Meet the Team, Follow Progress and Enjoy the Ride

This blog is about the lives of a few entrepreneurs who are aiming to establish the next trend in social networking and the concept that will make it happen. Since our venture is all about connecting people together, we want to be involved and connected to you and we want you to be involved and connected to us. We'll be sharing with you: who we are, how we got started, how we’re doing and where we’re going...we're taking you along for the ride!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Design Feedback, Please...

We're doing good with the design of the mock-ups for the back end and we've nailed down our homepage design...however, the blog design isn't going that well.

It's not doing "it" for me. Since we'll go live with the blog right away, I can share it and perhaps get some feedback and assistance, or at a minimum some of your thoughts and comments. I'm pretty determined to have a three column blog, but I could change my mind on that one.

Click on the picture for larger image.

This is the top part. I think the header might be too large for a blog.

Thanks for the help!!


Robert said...

I think it is a great look--I really like the color scheme; however, I would agree that the header is a touch too large and I also think the middle column is too large--maybe something closer to the third column's size.

Good luck!

Steve said...

Looks pretty good. I like the colors. Yep, the header is WAY too big! Think about that people are using the internet in many different forms these days like on cell phones. There would be a lot of annoying scrolling to do to get past that header on a phone. And for that same reason, I don't like how the light blue wave shape pushes the main content down. This will be a problem on even smaller laptops.

There's nothing wrong with big, bold graphics but I think many of your buttons and such could be toned down a little.

I came across your blog by way of Pownce. I am a web entrepreneur as well building a company/site with a couple partners. You should check out - an incredible resource and community for folks like us. You can even post website critiques in the forums. I'm sure you will get a lot of great feedback. Just passing along a resource.

Zvi said...

I like it!
-Shrink the middle column
-There is nothing stating that it's a blog!
-It took me a few seconds to figure out what WGS was. Avoid acronyms!

Ann Bernard said...

Transferring comments off of Pownce for the sake of the designer:

From Kevin: I really like the flow of the design, it's soft and clean. If you really want to stay with 3 columns maybe just squeeze column 2 a bit, giving a few extra pixels to column 1. I really don't think the header is too big. The design really does "it" for me, you guys have done great. I would play a little with column sizes and see if it gives you a different perspective.

From Trik: Ann, I think the layout is super sweet. The colors are working great.

I don't think the header is too big. That seems like an easy change to make later if needed.

My only comment is on the use of categories. You have browse by cat in the top middle (some sort of meta-catagory list?), A category list in the right column. And then Topic cloud in bottom middle. Are those essentially doing the same thing? Or are topics different from categories?

From Carolyn: I like the header...very "web 2.0". My only suggestion is to make the "browse by category" much less takes away from the main content. The "Join" and "Feed" graphics also seem a bit out of proportion compared to the rest of the design. But definitely make the "join" the prominent part of that column, not the categories browsing. I'd be happy to help with any second opinions you may need! :-)

From Bill: Ann, the header doesn't seem too big, I would however like to see the WhyGoSolo full size graphic in the header with either a 75%-80% transparency or to see it offset so that the edges of the logo are cut by the border. Also, Kevin's though on moving to a two column or squeezing the middle column somewhat are features I noticed as well. The contrasting waves in the second and third columns are slightly distracting. Finally, if there is a way to stretch the overall template and reduce the white space on either side of the blog I would try it just to see how it looks, it might eliminate the need to squeeze any of the columns. Just some initial thoughts. I like the soft color choice and the tagline "Making Spontaneous Connections Happen". Ironic, playful and assertive. I'm intrigued. One step closer :)

Ann Bernard said...

From Rockstar...he doesn't really like it: Don't like the lighting on the smileys (header piece), Look very '98.
A lot of the shapes and images have bad aliasing.
I have a Strong dislike for the borders that wrap the left and right sides of the whole layout.
The shadow on the right column (that houses the links) is breaking the entire theme of the site, Doesn't really look good or like it goes to that site at all. Sorry for being harsh-ish, But it helps lol.

Ann Bernard said...

From Ben C (great comment and eye for detail): Very nice, Ann.

Personally I think the header size is fine. I wouldn't change it unless it really appears to effect load time.

Minor nitpick cosmetic detail: I noticed the enlarged Heads in the "Why go solo" header...Don't seem to be perfectly spherical (OCD on my part?). To me it seems like they could be retouched. In my opinion the header and logo are the crucial brand in your design. What's the first thing people look at? Top to bottom...Left to right.

And I feel like you could remove that green far right column. It would free up space for the actual content being displayed (Seems a little crammed to me).

But overall I like it. Keep up the good work.

Michael said...

The header is fine - it's the width that is throwing me off. The middle column is much to wide, or else you need to virtually double the width of your content column.

Anonymous said...

I like the look, but when it comes to blogs, the content of the posts is the most important aspect, everything else is just an additive. That being said, I would suggest that everything (header, sidebar contents) be shrunk down to give more focus on the posts.

Geoffrey said...

Hi Ann!
Just a few comments:

I would suggest to your designer to break out of the 800x600 mold and go for a more fluid-css layout. Check out modern sites like Digg and others that keep the same essential look regardless of resolution. Which means that you can expand your content horizontally and get more information above the fold. Its true, the concept of above the fold is not as relevant now, but users still spend very little time looking at a site to try and understand what its about before hitting the back button.

Try this trick I stole from the movie "LA Story". Put your comp on full screen and close your eyes. When you open, take just 3-5 seconds to look at it before closing again. If you "got" your concept in that time, then you've got a winner.

Me personally? I know it needs some work but I like the second concept in terms of bringing more information upwards. The header on the first is a bit heavy for me, but on the same side its not that big of a deal to trim it a bit.

Both comps are very strong! Its looking good for you guys Ann!!