Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back to Tweaking

With a couple of days of having looked at it, I'm still broadly happy with what I've done here, although I'll admit that I keep wondering about the color scheme, given the number of people who still find it too dark. I definitely need to rearrange and reorganize the blog, though, since there's enough content here that navigation isn't as easy as it ought to be, but that's easily done.

The bigger issue for me is figuring out how to tweak the size and padding of the columns to something slimmer yet still readable. That may not be possible, I don't know, in which case I might need to return to a single non-post column, but I'd rather not since I find three columns strangely appealing to me.

As usual, if anyone has some practical advice on better implementing any of these things, I'd be grateful, as I lack the technical skills to do many of them myself.

13 comments:

  1. It seems like there is a lot of empty space towards the outside of the page - on the far left and far right, past those two columns. I think you might be able to utilize that to give more space to the center column. As it stands now, the center column, which contains the most important information is being squeezed too much by the ones on the sides, which have peripheral info.

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  2. That's something I recognize, but I simply don't know how to correct that. So, if anyone can give me some pointers on this, I'd be grateful.

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  3. I actually don't feel that it's "squeezed." I do see the big spaces on the left and right, but that doesn't bother me. I feel that the center column is about the right size for readability to me. Is is that much narrower than the "old" version? I can't recall but somehow it just feels "right" to me.

    The side columns seem to be the right size to me, too. The muted colors in the background help serve to make the center column stand out, which works well.

    In short - I think it looks great!

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  4. I think the empty space on the outer margins is based on resolution. On my netbook the three columns just barely fit. On the desktop here at the office I can fit another website in the empty space.

    James, I say stick with what you like as long as the site is legible.

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  5. Color wise, you might experiment with some very dark shades ... your masthead on my screen is actually a very dark burgundy (at least the scan is). Maybe use some of the dark browns like on "The Cursed Chateau" cover. There are a lot of evocative hues that still carry the weight of black but are little more evocative. You might also make the borders a little lighter so they stand out a touch more ... this is all assuming you have the full range of colors to work with.

    Finally, I find the main text a bit large but that might just be me.

    Hope you find this helpful,

    Richard

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  6. I suspect the center column feels squeezed because the columns on each side are exceedingly dark. I'm not recommending this as a solution, but if you swapped backgrounds I suspect you'd find the middle column would feel fine. If you want the center column to be less strong then the background colors of the various columns need to be closer so you create a "soft" line where they meet.

    On a different point, if the borders on the two side columns are a little more visible you wont get that sense of the empty space surrounding the text. The outer margins are probably fine because you don't get a scroll bar on the bottom of the window until the sides almost touch the text.

    (PS Oops about the double "evocative" in the preceding post)

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  7. There is a way to tweak the size of the columns--I did it with my own blog--but I can't figure out how to do it again. Something in the template designer though.

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  8. I think the empty space on the outer margins is based on resolution. On my netbook the three columns just barely fit. On the desktop here at the office I can fit another website in the empty space.

    That definitely seems to be the case. I've checked out the site on three different computers -- one desktop and two laptops -- and only those with a high resolution show much empty space. The other fits precisely within the screen.

    So, now it seems that the real hurdle is making a site that looks better on mobile devices. There I haven't a clue what to do, since I don't use them myself.

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  9. Color wise, you might experiment with some very dark shades ... your masthead on my screen is actually a very dark burgundy (at least the scan is). Maybe use some of the dark browns like on "The Cursed Chateau" cover. There are a lot of evocative hues that still carry the weight of black but are little more evocative. You might also make the borders a little lighter so they stand out a touch more ... this is all assuming you have the full range of colors to work with.

    That's a pretty good suggestion, actually.

    Finally, I find the main text a bit large but that might just be me.

    I dropped it a point size. It's still up one from where it was under the old layout but it's not as big as I'd recently made it.

    Hope you find this helpful,

    I do! Thank you kindly.

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  10. I know I've missed the window of opportunity for wholesale color scheme changes, so let's call this a thought experiment. How about a color scheme which captures (parrots?) the old school feel? For example, the tan and dark brown of the old Judges Guild terrain maps (Wilderlands of High Fantasy, et al.).

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  11. How about a color scheme which captures (parrots?) the old school feel? For example, the tan and dark brown of the old Judges Guild terrain maps (Wilderlands of High Fantasy, et al.).

    I'm actually considering that, amusingly enough, so it's a good suggestion.

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  12. Column adjustment is indeed in the Blogger template designer—go to Layout, and the Adjust Width submenu comes right up.

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  13. RE: Judges Guild look, scan a portion of the hexes to tile in the background.

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