Function and Design Upgrades

Published in Fiftyfoureleven on Saturday, May 29th, 2004

A review of site design and functionality upgrades, and a call for feedback!

Just a short note to confirm what site visitors may have noticed over the last few days, and in particular this morning: things are evolving.


We're slowly starting to tighten up the blog script, and I am trying to tighten up the design. In brief, we've changed the navigation, made the commenting system more complicated more user friendly (ala Anne and Simon) and are undergoing almost daily CSS tweaks.


We've decided to try something different with the homepage. It seems that most regular visitors are reading this site via the available RSS feeds. So if regulars are reading this site via feeds, the homepage will be targetted towards new visitors. To that end, the 'Recently Written' section was added to the top, to be followed shortly by an 'Active Conversations' sections and a site search.


Some things are being cooked up for the regular visitors/readers as well. A comment feed and Atom feeds are being built, and e-mail subscription to a single posts' comments is being toyed with.

Feedback = share your views

As this site evolves, we would love to hear your thoughts on the current layout, colors etc. Some people have shared that it is too busy, too many words etc. and we have recently played around with the visited link colors. Let us know how you feel in the comments. We're open to suggestions!

Comments and Feedback

Looks good to me. But I guess I\'m biased, I\'ve always been a fan of this design.

Thanks DarkBlue. I guess, re-reading this post, to me I know the changes that have been made, but on the front-end it looks like any other blog really, and the changes were fairly subtle... Spend too much time staring at something and you lose site if it!

Fixing a little time and date problem...

\"Spend too much time staring at something and you lose site if it\"

Pun intended I presume?

Looks good to me, too. I think the page is actually winning, being a bit more straight forward

However, there are tiny bits that I tend to dislike. Changing font-weight or font-size while hovering a link is a bit annoying in my opinion. And while I agree that the toggle effect on the whole list item is pretty smart, I always find myself a bit appaled ;) At least, I think there should be a little padding-left on the hover states of your \"Also Available\" and \"Currently in vogue\" items (pushing text away from the boxes\' corner).

Anyway, keep up the good work!

@DarkBlue - Yes it was, my blog addicted friend! (loving the changes, by the way)

Minz, thanks for the feedback. Good call on both the padding and the font-weight. I\'m not a fan of switching the font-weight on hover either. That was an oversite. The padding will be sorted as well, I had orphaned those links a bit as I have been encouraged to make them look more like the links on the homepage, though I fear that may be a little too much...

It seems that most regular visitors are reading this site via the available RSS feeds.

I wouldn\'t like that to happen on my site. I only provide a brief abstract on my feeds because I would prefer to see my words in their proper context. It is just a personal preference.

I\'m not so happy about it, Simon. Personally, I do subscribe to full feeds from other sites. I scan the message in my reader and then head to the site to give it the full read and to check out the comments.

\"Yes it was, my blog addicted friend! (loving the changes, by the way)\"

Cheers Mike. :-)

I would echo Minz Meyer\'s point about the link styles. I too noticed that some hover effects change background colors, some changes the colors and font-weight, and your sidebar items have box effects going on. I think the overall presentation and (possibly) usability might improve if they were bit more consistent. Hope this helps.

Thanks Sox, That seems like a nice Sunday morning coffee thing to do, after a good long low-threshold ride though! ;-]

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