Monday, June 7

Some quick questions about the blog.

So far, what do you like and not like about the new blog look? You don't have to go crazy, but I really value other people's perspectives since I'm too close to the thing to be objective.

I fixed some of the spacing in the footers of each post.

It's very minimal, yet resizes dynamically and I'm using larger photos. Do you like this? Or does it make the page choppy on your system?

Would you like to see a sidebar of some kind that listed archived posts, or had widgets like a fancy analogue clock and links to other sites/blogs of interest, a poll of the day, that kind of stuff like you see on many other sites?

What about a chat box like Mandula's blog has, where anyone can leave comments?

I was thinking about going with white and a steely blue as my main color scheme. The background is currently white and the titles are blue (I may tinker with the RGB values for the blue a little). I was thinking about making a logo in Photoshop that would also use the same color of blue and maybe look crytaline, with white flecks of light as though you were looking at a brilliant-cut sapphire. And maybe a drop shadow to make it float or a bevel to make it feel 3D. Any opinions?

Right now, I've put the archives on the bottom, as well as the search bar. It's my experience that no one uses the search feature on a blog, but the archives might be a bit obscure down there. I reduced the number of posts that display vertically at one to half the number, so it should still load fairly quickly even with larger pictures. That puts more posts into the archives, but also makes the end of the page come up more quickly when scrolling, where you can find the archives in the first place.

I like the flourish between the posts a lot, and no, I will not give away the graphic file. Sorry. But I can teach you how to embed things like it in your own Style Sheet. In fact, I don't mind helping anyone with anything. I don't know a lot, but I'm a fast learner. I don't mind even designing graphical elements or schemes for people, though usually people want to do that part themselves.

I will probably center almost every graphic - photo or other visual element (video, graph, and so on) - because it retains a nice look as the window is resized. And title for pictures and famous quotes and snippets of text like that will probably get centered. But I hate centered paragraphs of text, so I really want to keep them flush-left. Agree or disagree?

What about the main body font? Readable? Suitable or boring? Too small, just right, or too large? Anything you'd change.

I'm open to all kinds of suggestions. In all my design work I like to start with nothing, or at least the bare minimum, and then build onto it only as is vitally needed. I never start with something elaborate and then start removing things. I guess that would mean I'm an architect and not a sculptor.

I like negative space too, and I like that so far this design has plenty of it. It never feels cramped or busy. Having no ads or widgets helps, but I think the spacing padded white spacing around each post helps, and the colors are cool and soothing, or are they boring?

Photographers like to work against grey backgrounds on their monitor, their light table, and in their display galleries, because that way the eye forgets the boring grey and attention is thrown on to the work itself. Do you think this current design has that effect, making pictures and polls and things stand out and not distracting the eye?

What about rollover effects - links that glow blue slightly when you hover over them, things like that... Cool and futuristic, or lame and annoying?

How about a music player that stays put in some corner and plays music like a jukebox while you're visiting (but can be muted)? Or would that just be clutter, and you have your own music players anyway...

Should there be a blog with serious stuff on it and a second one with polls, quizzes, music, and video clips? Or do you like it all jumbled in one blog, like trailmix?

Any opinions would be great :-D


billybytedoc said...

Overall - good

The full width is great. The pattern on the sides on the old got really old.

A little deeper blue would be good.

Do a cool Logo.

Large pictures - great.

A chat box would be fun, unless it gets filled with stupid comments. That doesn't happen in the comments with your readers.

I love the flourish.

Yeah, center the pics, left justify text.

Font is good.

You might try a light grey background, I don't know.

One Blog for all.

No music player.

Keep up the good work.

Metamatician said...

Thanks, Byte :)

Raelha said...

I like. The colours are similar to my own, much-neglected, blog, so of course I'll agree with the choice.

The font is fine, it makes reading easier, especially if you've written lots.

The photos are the best improvement though. I'm looking forward to the next cat pic.

I'm none too bothered about a chat box. We chat here anyway in the comments section, I can't imagine much of a difference.

Sharing music is always to be welcomed, especially if you changed it regularly depending on mood/latest post, and there were no problems listening for people in different regions - it's very frustrating seeing some possibly wonderful new track in a playlist but not being able to hear it.

An Gabhar Ban said...

I had this wonderful post all typed up last night, was going to need a second comment window I was THAT verbose. Only to have "help" hitting a key and having it all get erased in the bat of an eye... so I gave up and here I am trying it again but not nearly so long winded I'm afraid.

So far, I like it. A lot. I like the idea of a graphic logo and, loving blue as I do, I think your idea for the sapphire-like look is great. I don't think little mouseover effects will really bring anything to the blog no matter how cool all that stuff is to tinker with. Fluid width is wonderful as are the larger photos. I have had no lag in my system now that it's new and improved. The white background is pretty nice but if you wanted to pick a different color maybe try just the BAREST hint of blue mixed in. (like #E4F6F8) The font looks good; both the character set as well as the size. Personally I like a sidebar with at least the archives up there where I can see them. It's a personal preference and not really a functional issue as I can easily scroll to the bottom to find something if I really want to. The flourish is nice as I'm the one who tried to hint about "borrowing" it if you didn't use it. ;) Guess I'll have to go make my own... Hoofprints anyone?

Ahh... sure I'm missing something here... oh about the gewgaws and doodads on the sidebar. I'd say no to a music player (I do like your individual youtubes of artists so perhaps there is a way to just have a player embedded with a song you wanted to share to go along with a post?) Something like a chat box might be fun although we seem to chat a good bit via email or your posts as it is. I say simple is good (think Apple!) and we're here for your posts not so much the extras on the side.

I think I'm done for now...

Happy blogging.

Keep the blog together with all your musings. I like it, and your ramblings, just as they are.

Mandula said...

Wide - great
Font - cool
Drawings on the ends of post - very nice
Pictures in the middle, text in the left - best choice (though I keep the pix on the left, but my blog is as different from yours asit possible)
Some light grey/drab/ivory(!!!) instead of white background - worth a try, maybe more comfortable for the eye

Suggestions (and this in only "what I would like") - archive section, neighbours section (favs and other blogs if you like, etc) are to the top in a bar or something (f.e. in one of my friends' blog:
and what i would really love, is the comment box to open in new window, for I can see the original post in the same time I'm commenting. I know I could do it myself by right clicking and choosing this option - I always forget it...) :)))

Mandula said...


links with different colours - def. yes
music player - i dont think its needed
One blog, not more, with everithing. :)

And I maybe will ask for your help - I'm thinking about changing something in my blog, but I would not be able to do that by myself. Not a big change though. :)

Metamatician said...

Thanks Mandula!

Sure, I would be happy to help with anything you need, if I can!

I appreciate your opinions... I might try a slight ivory background, that sounds interesting.

I like your friend's blog a lot, it's hard to make black background work well but hers looks nice.

You're right we have totally different designs and I'm trying not to "over-widget" mine just because I CAN... you know those sites that have everything packed into them... chat window, a row of icons for Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and so on... links to everywhere.

I'm not dissing those sites but it's not really my cup of tea. Although I think a tastefully done side bar with my friends' site, some convenient resources on the web, and an easy to use archive would be possible and not too distracting. I'd keep that section frozen at the same size while the main section shrunk or grew with the window.

I wish more fonts and stuff were available on blogger, but with HTML5 there's something called Open Web Font Format (blahblah.owff) that will allow the designer to use TrueType (.ttf) or OpenType (.otf) fonts on his or her computer and "embed" them in this little font container.

Then when someone views the site they will see the font as intended, even though they don't have it installed! The secret is, they can't copy and paste it or get it from the code, because it loses all its properties if you do that and turns into Arial or something. It's "view only".

That will make typography SO much cooler.

Thanks again for the suggestions, I'll keep thinking about them, and please email me when you know what changes you want to make to your template or whatever you want to do, and I'll see if I can help out!


Mandula said...

"her" blog is "his" blog, actually, but this is not significant anyways. :) He is messing around with PS sometimes, and has much more practice than me, worked for press company and so. :)

What I would like to change in my blog is the... ummm... frame or what of the post themselves. I love my background, and I chose the colour of the posts. But it is boring a bit, just a coloured square, I would be happy with a not-so-even stuff (f.e. a scroll of pergamen or old paper - not exactly that but, something similar you know). Some... zygomorphic. (is there a wolrd like this or it's just the trick of my dictionary? ) :D

Metamatician said...

Ah... he, not she. Sorry about that. And yes, he had a nice sense of style. I wouldn't want my blog to be as complicated, but I like his choice of fonts and sizes and the placement of things, it looks artistic and not amateurish.

Zygomorphic.... yes, I think it means symmetrical, like the human body. Left-right symmetry maybe? Not a word I've heard since biology!

Ok, that sounds like a fun challenge, altering the "boring box" that your posts live in. I'll take a look at your blog right now and remind myself...

We can talk about it on Gmail :)

Metamatician said...

Oh, and I changed the color between the unviewed and viewed links on THIS blog at your suggestion. Now they start off deeper blue then turn a faded version of the same blue when they have been visited. Looks pretty good, I think. Next time I post you'll see the difference :D

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