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Redesign VII: Overload

CmdrTaco (1) writes | more than 8 years ago

User Journal 24

After a few days in california, and Hemos's little birthday email bomb, I'm struggling to get my redesign entries back in order. I once again have another 20-30 designs that are probably worth sharing but given how busy I am, I'm probably not going to be able to share them all. But I'll do what I can, so I apologize if some of these entries don't get as much commentary as they might deserve.

After a few days in california, and Hemos's little birthday email bomb, I'm struggling to get my redesign entries back in order. I once again have another 20-30 designs that are probably worth sharing but given how busy I am, I'm probably not going to be able to share them all. But I'll do what I can, so I apologize if some of these entries don't get as much commentary as they might deserve.

Matt Walker's design has been transformed into CSS since we last saw it. His header is nice. His menu and slashboxes are strong. His layout decisions are sensible. I think his article footers could be better integrated into his articles- I can't tell at a glance if the 'read more' is an entity by itself, or attached to the article above it. I think his abbreviated articles could stand out a bit more. But all in all I like his entry a lot.

ukasz Topa's design has a really nice header/logo thing going on. His choice to put the search on the left is nice. I think his article layout is simple and very clean, and the 'read more' link looks great. I'd like to see a bit more emphasis on the titles of the articles. I'm not sure I care for the tabs inside the slashboxes & menu headers. And as I've said on many entries, we could lose the topic icons on the top of hte page and use that space for a login form, or a user menu or something. But this is another excellent design that has a real shot.

Marko Mrdjenovic's design has been updated. It is still a great example of a clean, elegent design. I still don't care for the /. as a bullet point. I also think his article headers using a light green makes them look a bit soft, but all in all, it's a nice design.

John Pennypacker's design is another one that chooses orange as a secondary color. Since we also have a lot of black-as-background here, this whole entry becomes high contrast and a bit harder to read then I Would like. I do think that his article footer looks cool (and the header). That subtle diagonal fading pattern looks great.

Jeremy deserves mad props for the completeness of his design. He's really gone out of his way to show what different things might look like. I like his article layout, as well his economical header. His expanding menu for user preferences in the header is a really great idea. I think his abbreviated articles are hard to read, and I think his choices of greens make the whole thing look a bit candy-like if thats a good way to describe it. Less earthy, more neon. I don't like that so much. But thats minor.

's design is interesting to me primarily because he chose to put all the menu stuff on the left. I think that this design is pretty good given that. I think that most of the time putting everything on one side creates overload. I really do like his header tho. The login box, the search box.... it works quite nicely.

Nuno Filipe's design is mostly fairly typical, but I think that header design is really sharply done. There is a bit of an issue I think with his menu up top- it looks a bit unfinished. I don't think the pop-up tabs add much (they don't hurt either) but on my screen I have a lot of space to the right- I'm cool with white space, but for some reason that looks to me like something didn't get loaded ;) Maybe if he echod the streaks a bit that he uses in the header. I don't know. I really like how he handled the logo...

Isidro Chavez's design is only a mockup image, but I felt the article footer looked really nice. Same with how he floated the topic image on the left. I'm not exactly sure if that trick will work with all the icons that aren't properly anti-aliased. Also, the light grey behind the topic icons on the top might not work with a lot of our icons.

ben heise's entry is another mockup, but a really interesting one. Very curvy. Very cool. It's hard to judge this fairly given how incomplete it is, but it's a cool start. I think the top topic icons aren't necessary, but I think he could make this one work quite well.

Jason Porritt's entry is another clean, simple, elegent design. His abbreviated articles work nicely. His article layouts are clean. His header is smart. His menu is cool. The only thing that doesn't work as well as I think it should is that his right hand slashbox menu headers see a bit brighter to me. than the rest of the design. But this is one of the strongest entries I've seen.

Michael Jonhson's design has been updated. We last saw a mockup, and he's come a long ways. In my eyes, this design is in the absolute top tier of submissions. His left hand menu is elegent. His right hand slashboxes have a slightly small font, but whatever. His header is fantastic. I think his article headers could benefit from a little more green- I'd like to see a visual top & bottom to them. Like a green titlebar with white text, perhaps still using that cutout look still. I'd also love to see what he does with the upper right hand space. But in terms of raw "Look", I love this one. There are only a handful of other entries that I think are this strong.

Lastly I'm sharing Peter Lada's update. His design is one of the most complete and best we've seen. With each revision, his design has got a little stronger.

I have several more entriesin my inbox left to scour through, but since they are mixed in with like 1200 happy birthday emails, it might take me awhile to get them all out. The contest will hopefully be wrapping up by the middle of next week. The game is still wide open- entries will be accepted until the winner is announced, so feel free to keep trying until then.

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First... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15308324)

First post :P

there's still hope (1)

dottedlinedesign (754366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308390) [] - is the best one so far in my opinion And now that I'm done with classes and finals it looks like I can finally start working an entry! All I ask is that you don't close the contest until I am chosen the winner thanks ;)

Re:there's still hope (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15316632)

No thanks. Not with the really small "read more" links that keep changing postion. Bad design.

Re:there's still hope (1)

graznar (537071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15318007)

(this is Jeremy) Ah yeah, I see what you mean; do you think I should move it to the right side? I wasn't sure if that would work well or not.

Re:there's still hope (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15323437)

I'm not sure why, but many people seem to have done the same thing. I'm not sure if it would better to move it to the right side, or back to the left, as it normaly is, but just not where it changes positions all the time.

Designs (1)

ViceClown (39698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308420)

ukasz Topa, Jason Porritt, and Peter Lada's designs are all very nicely done without beeing "too much". Maybe Im just a fan of the more minimal design approaches. The others are nice but a little too garish, I think. Good luck choosing!

Couple Top Entries (1)

Bensari (71509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308457)

I think Michael Johnson's and Peter Lada's entries are tight. Only problem is that they are broke all to hell in Internet Explorer. For entries that are so good otherwise, why filch on the browser compatibility?

I have to say I was skeptical that Michael Johnson's would work as CSS, but I was surprised at how nicely he got it together. It would be great if he can get the login area back up into the header as it was in the mock-up. I also think font size of 9pt/12px for Verdana would probably be an advisable minimum--most studies recommend 10pt. Might be nice to have a little larger line height too.

Re:Couple Top Entries (1)

peterlada (973116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308703)

Personally I am not ignoring compatability and I recognize how important it is. However, due to the nature of the contest and the large amount of changes I am making to the code and design every day, I have been wary to implement code tweaks until after I am certain I am happy with the design. Hey, I even put a little disclaimer at the top! :)

Re:Couple Top Entries (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15316746)

I quite like your design. I just have a few suggestions:

  • Seperate the mini, one-liner articles from the bigger ones, so that they don't look like they are part of the bigger one.
  • Make the minis bolder
  • Make the "read more" bigger.
  • More spacing between the columns. It's not like we're all running 800x600 anymore.
  • I think the "from-xxx-dept." and the tagging are taking up a bit too much vertical space.
  • Logo could be bigger

I really like the article headers and colours.

Opera (2, Insightful)

laptop006 (37721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15308527)

Really worth pointing out that several of the entries broke *badly* in Opera on my laptop, for two big reasons:

1. Opera, It generally has the widest CSS support so there are some odd situations where compatability hacks break things (or the exact opposite)
2. 1280px wide screen with small fonts, several of the designs have suspicious lines at about the 1024px mark.

Another thing that several designs do is forget to set a background colour, I know many longer time users still have their browsers set to a grey as the default background, and it's a really obvious thing when a site doesn't set the background colour but just assumes white.

Jason Porritt's (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15309063)

I like this design the best of any that you're put up so far. It has a clean look and appears to be a natural evolution of the Slashdot design. Beautiful header and left hand boxes.

Re:Jason Porritt's (1)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15309628)

It has a clean look

IMHO, the gradient used in the menus makes it look rather aged and dirty..

Re:Jason Porritt's (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15310547)

Are you talking about the green gradient in the left-hand menu? I guess that's subjective, becuase I happen to like it. :)

There are a few changes I would like to see on this design, however.

  1. Lose the "mirroring" on the Slashdot logo.
  2. Use the same (green) backgrounds on the left and right menus.
  3. Clean up the gray area between the story title and story preview. A plain light gray background with a dark gray line at the bottom would be fine. The way it fades out looks messy.
  4. The footer is boring, but that's no big deal.

Re:Jason Porritt's (1)

mythicflux (794321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15310219)

So let me ask you this, what do you think of my entry? []

Taco commented on my first version, I'm curious as to weither or not my design feels like a natural evolution to others.

Re:Jason Porritt's (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15310444)

Not a bad design. I'm not crazy about the gradients on the story titles, and the left-hand nav is too small for my liking (a problem with the current site as well). Also, the "News for Nerds" tagline feels a bit overemphasized. Could be good with a little refinement.

Re:Jason Porritt's (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 8 years ago | (#15316654)

Left align the "read more" links, or put them on the very right. Ditch the collapsable menus.

Rob needs some design help (1)

silveyra (449630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15311383)

Rob, I really think that you need some professional help selecting the next design on the site. Your comments on the journal show that you can't seem to see the best features in the submitted designs. For example, I think that ukasz Topa's design is hands down the best one, however you critizized the use of tabs and lack of title emphasis. Give us a break.

We know you can't design (just look at the site), however we love the content of the site. You should help the site by getting rid of the crappy, outdated design.

I don't want to compare you to the new sites, but it would be nice if slashdot was a little easier on the eyes.

Re:Rob needs some design help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15311930)

Err...I think your opinion is a bit more than subjective. I think that's a rather garrish feature of that design, but whatever.

Font Sizes (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15313516)

Rob, after looking at the designs you mentioned on the main page, I now have also looked through the list here and not a single one respects the default font size a user sets in his browser.

I know this is a disease /. shares with all too many other pages but it's nevertheless disappointing, especially as it means that I now have to use the "minimum font size" setting to fill the role of the "font size" option of a few years ago, which in turn means that on most pages the page layout, especially of the navigation elements, is horribly broken.

I don't see what any of those proposals would lose by using the user defined font size for the stories and comments and their own for the navigation so I hope that can be changed for the final version.

Re:Font Sizes (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15314348)

MrAndrews [] made a revised version [] of his proposal and imho its look&feel as well as its handling of fonts and jscript is great.

type styles (1)

capsteve (4595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15314387)

i don't recall, but did you allow/suggest a type style change? personally i think your type style should be a serif on all articles, with san serifs allowed for all slashboxes and heading, side bars etc. but for legibility sake all articles(or blocks of type more than 100 characters) should be a serif so it's easier on the eyes, especially for those who read a lot, or are getting old, like you!

gradients (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15315201)

They are so Windows 98.

The color and contrast will look good on one side, and not so good on the other. Being good on both sides is better.

Possible improvement for Michael Jonhson's design. (1)

MTO_B. (814477) | more than 8 years ago | (#15316278)

I really like Michael Jonhson's design.
One thing I would improve in it is the main page article headers... as it is, the "posted by..." line right after the title calls my eyes attention more than the title itself. I would suggest graying that line or making the title font a little bigger.

I like Marko Mrdjenovic's Design (1)

drseuss9311 (789400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15324999)

Plus I can use it right now.

What would be really cool, is if the slashdot would offer different skins to registered users through the prefs. We could choose the stylesheet basically.

Maybe this is already in the works.

I like choice.
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