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Documented Life: New 6 column design (12 posts)

  1. miles
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Just spent the last few days hacking this 6 column design together... (don't see many of those do you?) http://www.documentedlife.com

    column 1 is wordpress

    column 2-3 are php includes from longer static files (a bibliography and filmography). I read a certain number of lines from the static file and include them on the front page.

    column 4 is del.icio.us

    column 5 is wordpress link database

    column 6 is old pictures

    I had fun, hope you enjoy. Backpages (single article view and category archives and lots of old static pages and the related css still needs work.)

    Comments and complaints appreciated.

    One big question. How do I create a whole clickable region corresponding to the space of a box?

    I would like the entire "books" and "entertainments" columns (now static text) to be clickable (pointing toward their own specific static pages), instead of just the text links at the top of each column that are in place now.

    Doing this has something to do with creating a one pixel transparent gif and getting the z index right so that any time the cursor is anywhere on the "books" column it is clickable, and the transparent pixel serves as the element for the href tag. But how? Anyone know how to do this? Know any guide for this?

    Thanks.

  2. miles
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Since I've gotten a huge amount of traffic from this post (thanks to everyone who visited!) but no responses at all, let me rephrase the question.

    Forget about the CSS question and how to make an entire box clickable... I'll figure it out myself and it's not a wordpress issue anyway... it's off topic.

    But if anyone wants to comment on the design, particularly browser compatibility problems, (tested for FF2, Opera 8.5 and IE 7), or about font issues or lousy color coordination, or why the hell did you try to cram 6 columns into 1000 pixels, please feel free to do so.

  3. brokenshardz
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    colour-wise, its ok. It is a novelty. I find it confusing though, if it was not for your headsup on the content. I showed my sister your page, she said she finds it boring... -.-

  4. fel64
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    It's really novel, but I think it would be better with more whitespace - it's hard not to get sort of disorientated on it, and I really don't know where to look.
    There's no clear colour-scheme, either, which makes understand it harder, too. It would be easier if you at least had titles the same colour.
    Your link-section is all in blue, and since that's all grouped together in two columns it looks like you have black and blue text, rather than that you have text and links.
    I don't know what you want the focus of your site to be, but the first thing I look at is Books & Entertainment.

    So, I think: better distinction between areas, design unified.

    But I like the fact that it's unique, a style that I haven't seen in a long time. :)

  5. whooami
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    its new, but thats all.

    way too much information, the font is too small, and honestly, I wouldnt spend more than 2 secs looking at a site that looks like that.

    Another person thats seemingly lost the point of blogging in particular, and web pages, in general - to be read (thats why theyre called 'pages').

    If you make things too hard to read, people leave. thats just the way it is. Like I just did.

  6. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Way too much information.... while the "cousin Nina" posts are interesting, it was too hard to read such short lines in small font size.

    As impressive as solving for the design is, and kudos for that (though it pops a whoppin' sidescroll at anything less than 1024x768), most people who would be interested in reading your blog might get awfully lost in all the extranea.

    In fact, it's the same thing that's wrong with New West News - which is a really great online newspaper for those of us in the west - except that it stuffs too much "stuff" onto too small a screen. ALL screens that normal folks have are too small for information in the quantity assumed by the front page of a newspaper.

    I've run across news sites which are readable and informative; while yours may qualify for the latter, it's anything but the former.

  7. Rocknation
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I'm glad you mentioned that there were six columns--on my 800-pixel monitor, I wouldn't have realized it.

    What I find really interesting is that it doesn't look like a blog at all, because what I'm working on doesn't look like one, either.

    http://www.rocknation.tv/test/index.php

  8. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Huh. You didn't think it looked like a blog, Rocknation? I didn't see it as anything BUT a blog.... and I don't think I would see it otherwise did I not do blogs myself....

  9. bsm0f0
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    different, but slow and way too much scrolling for my tastes.

  10. Rocknation
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    posted by vkaryl:

    Huh. You didn't think it looked like a blog, Rocknation? I didn't see it as anything BUT a blog.... and I don't think I would see it otherwise did I not do blogs myself...

    -------

    LOL--that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me in years!

    I was talking about not "looking like" a blog physically, of course. I fully realize that my site isn't as "pretty" as what's usually seen here, but there's a very deliberate reason for that.

    The best advice I've ever received as a music journalist is that "you're NOT more important than what you're reporting on." I believe that adhering to that advice is what's kept me in business for the better part of a decade--I've always tried to be nothing more than a simple backdrop against which bands, whether still rehearsing in a garage or living legends, could be the star of the show.

    I'm launching my website into the blogosphere not to jump on the latest fad or to impersonate a designer, but to take advantage of the ways it offers to do my work better. At any rate, it's very nice to know that doing that ISN'T considered a "hanging offense" around here!

  11. moshu
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    With apologizes to the OP for sidetracking the topic: I don't think vkaryl was referring to the lack of "beauty" of your blog. What she said: it looks like a blog and nothing else - despite your claim that it doesn't look like a blog. It does :)

    =======
    As for the 6 column theme. It is an interesting challenge to design and make it work but beyond that... I have to agree with the majority of the posters: it is too crowded. There are so many (supposedly) important things squeezed together that nothing became important as an end result.

  12. miles
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Thanks to all for the comments. The only one I actively take issue with is the complaint about 800 pixel width monitors. My utilization stats (on several sites) show that's under 5% of the market. I think we can all stop designing for 15" monitors running at 800 pixel width. 1000 pixels (or about 995 if you allow for a scroll bar), really is what you can build to in my opinion.

    Basically this blog is a stream of life, stream of consciousness exercise. It began many years ago with the pictorial autobio on the right, and evolved into a documentation of other aspects of life experience.... so I agree that "you are not more important than what you are writing about", except for the problem that what I'm writing about is myself, and the process of documenting one's own life.

    I agree that subject is of minimal interest to most people, and I have no problem with that. A small minority of people, mostly people who are trying to figure out how to do something similar, consistently over the years have written me to say they like my effort.

    Another thing my blog is about is "inter-textuality".... the relationship between multiple texts and representational images, placed in columns here. I'm personally interested in the way in which life experience is translated into multiple streams of text and images, and in the way when you read across horizontally you can make connections between those different streams.

    Obviously, in one sense, that's of interest only to me.... but since I am interested in how OTHER people do that kind of thing, I assume that someone out there will enjoy seeing how I try to do it.

    As for the density and readability, I hear y'all. I'll play with text size and color to try to get something more readable. Maybe I'll shift the blog column to the far right, newspaper style. The complaint about unreadability is completely legitimate. On the one hand it is not intended to be easily readable. I want it to be a dense inter-text.... on the other hand, 95% of my viewers are probably gonna say... no thanks, not interested. So it is good to hear these reactions and to have that suspicion confirmed. I'm not sure I want to be easily readable... but I do want to be decodable, which is a somewhat different goal.

    I'll have to think about whether density and intertextuality are the point... or a barrier, and whether there is a way to get both, or whether they are opposed by their very nature.

    I think someone mentioned newspapers as a model, and of course my ideal for a good read is the New York Times... lots of choices, lots of density. But even they have more white space than I do.

    ------

    vkaryl says it IS readable, but not informative... actually I think the predominant complaint is that is not readable, but surely it is highly informative about it's narcissistic subject... my stream of consciousness and consumption of culture.

    ------

    Oh, and I did figure out how to make an entire div clickable using java script: Insert in the <a> tag

    onclick="window.location="yourlink.html'; return false"

    and then in the containing div class in the style sheet insert

    display: block;
    and
    cursor: pointer;

    Thanks again for all the comments.

    Miles
    [sig moderated]

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