Brand New Day

Thanks for all the comments on site design. We’re still making use of that feedback. Here is a two sidebar option that gives a great deal of info up top, but then quickly drops off to just let you read in peace as you get farther down the page. Take it for a spin.

42 comments for “Brand New Day

  1. Much easier on my subconscious — I don’t feel dragged down by the overwhelming weight on one side of my focus.

    The display on my screen, though, has Notes from All Over pushed down below the white space marking the post and comment form, because Notes seems to be a tidge wider than the brown space left for it. If that continues to move down the page as the comments get longer, I won’t see new Notes as they are posted.

    I still like the menu bars on the top. I especially like the grouping of Recent Comments by thread, and the Welcome! box is friendlier in its new narrow format.

  2. Frank, it all looks good to me. One refinement I’d offer is that it would be nice if the center region could expand to the left and right to fill browser space, rather than having a fixed size there.

    That way, when I open this blog on my super-hi-def laptop widescreen, there aren’t light brown bars of empty space on either side.

  3. The search bar in the welcome box is extending far to the right, causing the entire page to extend with it, and there’s a second search bar next to the links to aggregators. Do you really need two?

  4. As I commented in “Don’t Think Twice…”, this layout with the thread in the center is preferable. As you get deep into a thread with comments, the balance of empty space is easier on the eyes.

    Again, if there was anyway to make so the side frames (Recent Comments and Notes From All Over) could be collapsed, that would be even better yet.

    Overall… Thanks for being so responsive to the readers comments!

  5. Ariel,

    Search in the welcome box should be gone now. Let me now if it sprouts up.


    So that’s weird. Do you have the screen magnified or something? What browser are you using and I can try to re-create the offending screen.

  6. GuyC, I don’t have the slightest clue how to make the sides collapse, but it sure sounds nice.

    Rob, we’re probably going to have to stick with some kind of fixed width for now, but we’ll kee p an eye on it. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Frank, the “Notes from All Over” section is at the bottom of my screen, too. I have to scroll all the way down to get to it. I pop back to T&S even when there are no new posts, but just to see the NFAO, so I’m definitely interested in seeing it get moved back up. Thanks.

  8. Well, I am working blind because my IE looks good. I made the sidebar a little narrower. Let me know if that fixes it. Is the welcome box correct?

    Stinkin’ browsers…

  9. I’d get rid of the double top menu bars. Just choose one. Move the unnecessary items to a sidebar.

    Ditch the welcome slogan, it says nothing and takes up valuable space. I know it seems like you ought to have something — you don’t. Really. Move the search box up there instead.

    Pick a better font. Your default font is a really really blah sans serif — keep it sans serif but choose something that doesn’t look like a system default font. Speaking of which, what’s with the odd Times Roman smallcaps in your ‘Posts’ category on the left sidebar?

    More importantly: why do you need a ‘Posts’ category on the sidebar at all? It’s called the front page, people. If it’s not on the front page, people can search the archives or categories and go from there. Again, it’s not a significant value add but it takes up a lot of room.

    No need to thank me for these outstanding tips. I gave more ideas to Marc.

    I take it back, there is significant need to thank me.

  10. Also, the Notes From All Over looks crowded and repulsive, and that’s without speaking as to its content. Remove the stupid asterisks and separate each entry by a solid line instead. That should be easy to add to the CSS.

  11. Frank, Notes is still pushed down, and because of all these comments it is now wa-a-a-ay down. It displays as overlapping with the end of the copyright line. My browser is IE.

    While I find it painful to agree with Steve Evans on anything (hi, Steve), lines would make the Notes easier to read. The asterisks are better than nothing as markers of new notes, but they are a little busy.

  12. I would recommend increasing your linespace. I realize that it makes things compact, but it is harder to read. Consider normalizing your sidebar width (though it could be that I am just a sucker for summitry). I would consider making a different class for your long lists of links. The massive blocks of hyperlink formatting are difficult to read. Everyone knows such text are links. Steve’s comments about having a dividing line, is, I think, helpful. Same would be helpful with post comments. Then you could shrink the space between them. I’m also a sucker for justification in posts and comments. This is definitely an improvement, though.

  13. I’d second Steve. Some whitespace between entries in your sidebar links (Notes from all over) would be more pleasant on the eyes.

    I actually dug having both columns on the right rather than left. But that’s just me.

  14. Since each of the Notes wrap around, a line between them would make it much easier to read. Every where else it isn’t a problem.

    The font may take a bit of adjusting to, but it may be just fine.

    I like how the recent comments are split between posts. Makes it easier to follow a single thread.

  15. Overall, I like it. It looks like some of the things that others have mentioned are fixed now, and I no longer have any problem with the width.

  16. I find it awkward that the sidebars are different widths. Also the white strip for the *main content* is so narrow! It feels squished but really that’s what we’re all here for and the everything else is of far less importance.

    Also, on each side I see a wasted bar of dark down space. I know you’re designing with other monitor settings in mind. do your visitor stats really warrant that? I know when I did my site design, my visitor history showed a single percent of two were using smaller monitor settings, and the vast majority were seeing the wasted space like I am now. Don’t design for that insignificant minority, not at the risk of turning off your other 98% or whatever your stats show. Put that valuable space to use – sidebars further out and make the main content area wide enough to read comfortably like it was before.

  17. “And I thought this was going to be a post about Spider-man’s Marriage…”

    I’m going to pretend I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Thanks all, for the comments.

  18. New welcome box still = New Coke. Bring back Coke Classic. The people demand it. Who will be their Max Headroom?

    Posts centered, huge double-sidebar on right eliminated, not needing to sideways scroll = better than before!

    Two left-justified bars across the top, new font, sidebars that are close to the same width but not quite, text smashed together, recent comments organized by post = ugly

  19. Visitor counters are a bit amateurish in my view. At a minimum, the font should be changed to something more dignified than Comic Sans.

    Words cannot express my psyche’s relief at having the weight of the left and right sides more balanced. The old version had me feeling like I was going to tip over, right off my chair.

  20. There are some weird anomalies around the menu bars where little strips at the edge have the wrong color.

    I like the idea of having the two sidebars the same width, and allowing the center portion to expand with wider viewing windows. Like AB I still like the old one-sidebar format, and your tweaking prowess has now reached the level of awsomeness that I’m sure you could reproduce it under the new theme protocol. But I’m okay with two sidebars as long as their content makes sense. It’s looking pretty good at this point.

    Yeah, this font is not great. It goes better with a Lunatic theme : )

    Thanks, Steve Evans, for sharing the report of your fine design eye!

  21. Do I like the new T&S? I don’t know, Adam is still Adam. Stapley’s affinity for symmetry calls for at least one flaming liberal.

  22. Very nicely done. I like the double sidebars, recent comments, posts, and top bar. (Though the double top bar should probably be collapsed into one.)

    I’ve got some more detailed feedback that I’ll send along.

    Nicely done.

  23. I agree with others who recommend ditching the explanation and putting the search bar in its place. And a singe sidebar is much better. If you can’t fit everying in one sidebar, you probably have too much junk on the page.

  24. I love the double sidebar! It puts the links I really want–and that I come back to the page to see–at the top on both sides (recent comments and notes from all over). And the middle width is great. Line lengths of 10-15 words are typically the most readable, and indeed it feels comfortable here.

  25. I hate change, so the fact that this makes me want to threaten never to visit T&S again should be taken lightly by all concerned. I still hate the three-column thing at M*, and it’s been there for months. Death to more than two columns!!!

    Having said that, with Firefox 2.18 (I HATE change) and noScript blocking only QuantServe and SpecificCcick, there is something hidden behind the white column:

    “LDS Church Links
    Official LDS Site
    True to the Faith

    Disclaimer: This web site expresses the opinions of its authors,”

    It goes on for a bit but I can’t capture it easily, because, you know, it’s hidden.

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