Design Study

First, I’ve changed the comment option for this blog to allow ‘only registered users’, which I hope will eliminate the dozen or so comment spam I’ve been getting every day for the past few days. If not, I’ll just prohibit comments altogether; it’s not as if I get all that many. Which is not to say that comments aren’t appreciated; they certainly are, and if I’m reduced to allowing them only by email, I’ll just manually paste any into the blog that are of general interest or needful of reply.

Second, I’m toying as ever with design refinements to the homepage of Locus Online. The latest study is here. There are three things going on here.

1) I’ve replaced the biege color of the left sidebar and date bars with a soft bluish green. I’ve never been really fond of that biege color, but it’s hard finding soft colors (that don’t distract from the overall page layout defined by the curvy rocketship line) that don’t look like easter egg colors. I found the biege — it’s f7efde — on another site, years ago. Looking at the new page on my laptop, on which colors aren’t as intense as on a PC screen, even a flatscreen, the bluish green is perhaps not distinct enough from the purplish blue of the Locus Magazine right sidebar…

2) I’ve widened the page by another 50 pixels, to 800 pixels. (For the moment, some of the graphics have been stretched, rather than rebuilt.)

3) Most obviously, I’ve set up a ‘highlights’ or ‘headlines’ set of boxes at the top of the center pane, as a place to preserve links to the most worthy content of the past few weeks or months, to overcome the drawback of the strictly bloglike chronological format of the past 2 years, whereby such content scrolls down like everything else and might be missed by occasional viewers. Here again I’m not sure I’m happy with the colors; it needs to stand out, but perhaps the block of darker color is too much like a sore thumb.

Comments, opinions, feedback, are welcome, as always. (Via email if necessary.) I get so few, those I do get tend to be disproportionately influential…

PS Cynthia Ward’s Battlestar Galactica review arrived today. Balancing the desire to ‘space out’ such reviews, with the currency of the review given the recent release of the DVD, and my own schedule… well, look for it by the end of the week.

UPDATE — I’ve tweaked some colors on the posted file, so some of the comments above are no longer quite pertinent.

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