This is actually an old version of For the latest and greatest, check out the new site.


FogBugz is a very thorough bug-tracking application and the flagship product of Fog Creek Software, owned and managed by Joel Spolsky, of the Joel on Software fame. Representing Happy Cog, I’ve had the pleasure of helping the Fog Creek team redesign the FogBugz site.

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this project. Joel and crew basically gave me free reign, so the direction was fairly open. While they mentioned their “wish list” to me, they left the door wide open to ideas.

While Fog Creek did the information architecture for the site, I was responsible for design as well as front-end coding. Their team uses jQuery, so it was a rewarding first experience to use a JavaScript library. I definitely had some frustrations with it, but I’d wager that had more to do with my inexperience with libraries and shoddy JavaScript skills than with the framework.

If you’re interested in some of the exposition for this project, Joel has a pretty extensive write-up on his own site.

Check out the new FogBugz site!


Andrew Gwozdziewycz said:

I think the site looks great, and the smooth gradients, typography and the icons in the navigation make it pop and look good. I'm curious though why the "Home" and "Learn More" are the only sub pages sporting the new look? "Learn More" has the same look and great feel of "Home," yet the other pages are out of place. Were those pages off limits for you to change?

Also, +1 for the footer, simple yet effective.

Posted on October 31, 2007 07:06 AM

Jody said:

Clear your cache maybe, Andrew? Site looks amazing Dan, nice work!

Posted on October 31, 2007 08:23 AM

Andrew said:

Let me clarify. The headers and footers of all the pages are the same. The inconsistencies that I think I see, are content. "Learn More" sports the gradient background while the blog and the other pages sport a white background and right side navigation. Ultimately, they are completely different sections of the site, so having a different look for each of them may be OK, I was just wondering if those sections were more off limits than the other. I just expected to see a similar content feel all throughout. I still think overall it looks great.

Posted on October 31, 2007 09:15 AM

Dan Mall said:

Andrew and Jody: Thanks!

Andrew: Good question. We had a limited number of templates to deliver to the Fog Creek, so we split them up into “feature” pages and “content” pages. The “feature” pages were more about appeal, whereas the “content” pages needed an emphasis on readability since they tended to be quite extensive. We decided on a higher contrast look for the latter.

I was just wondering if those sections were more off limits than the other.

Nothing was really off limits, but, we couldn’t design every page, so we went for designing page types as opposed to specific sections. It turned out to be the more extensible method.

Posted on October 31, 2007 10:38 AM

Jason Beaird said:

Looks great, Dan. I'd classify my own JavaScript skills as being shoddy too, but I've had a blast playing around with and working jQuery into a few projects here.

Posted on October 31, 2007 02:25 PM

bearskinrug said:

Lookin' good, Dan! Congrats!

Posted on October 31, 2007 03:22 PM

Dan Mall said:

Bearskinrug: Thanks!

Jason Beaird: I used to be under the impression that writing JavaScript from scratch was better because I had more control. However, this project has definitely changed my mind. I’ll at least consider libraries whenever I need to do JavaScript work, if even only for easier document.getElementById methods.

Posted on October 31, 2007 06:49 PM

Rey Bango said:

Dan, if you have any issues with jQuery or need some help, definitely hop on over to the mailing list. We'll be glad to help.

jQuery Project Team...

Posted on October 31, 2007 10:46 PM

ks said:

Looks great, Dan. Speaking as a disciple of Spolsky, a user of jQuery, and an evangelist for Happy Cog's design principles, I have to say I'm lost in admiration. Nice work, both in execution and (from what I've read on Spolsky's blog) expert-level client relationship skills.

Posted on November 4, 2007 11:39 AM

John Rochford said:

Did you have involvment with the markup or just the design?

Posted on November 14, 2007 03:42 PM

Dan Mall said:

John: I did designs, as well as coded XHTML/CSS templates for the site. I wrote some JavaScript, but Mark Huot did the heavy JS work. Why do you ask?

Posted on November 14, 2007 04:14 PM

John Rochford said:

I noticed in your markup that you have used strong tags, but you have also assigned a font-weight: bold for the strong selector in your css. I could be missing something, but isn't it redundant as the strong tag already renders the text as bold in the markup?

Posted on November 15, 2007 03:11 PM

Dan Mall said:

Great question, John. The reason for that is because I’m a control freak. I typically start my style sheet with this:

* { margin: 0; padding: 0; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; }

(If you’re not familiar with “ * ”, it’s called a universal selector. Eric Meyer has a great introduction to using it.)

Basically, I want things to look the way they do without being affected by the browser’s default stylesheet. There are times when I use <strong> and it shouldn’t be bold. That takes care of those cases.

Posted on November 16, 2007 11:04 AM

John Rochford said:

Okay, I see what you have done and I apologize for being so off topic. But it brings up another question. You mention "There are times when I use strong and it shouldn’t be bold."

Wouldn't that be semantically incorrect, since <strong> should render as strong emphasized text?

I ask this not out of arrogance, but out of admiration and guidance through your works.

Posted on November 16, 2007 10:16 PM

Dan Mall said:

Don’t forget, John, that bold is only one of the ways to visually emphasize text. Color, placement, typeface, stylization, and contrast are some ways that a designer can emphasize text without using “bold.” As is the case with many HTML elements, we’ve accepted what browsers build into default style sheets as “correct.”

Posted on November 19, 2007 10:42 PM

Sorry: comments are closed.