19 December, 2005

Reaction to the new layout

OK - so we're getting a majority positive reaction to the new look, but a few people aren't happy.

Those that answered "Nope" - could you give feedback as to what you think still needs improvement?

Likewise, those that answered "Love it" - could you specify what you love about it?

Such as:
- colours
- layout
- content
- fonts
- pictures

This place is an ongoing work and aims to be as democratic as possible, so please let's get as much feedback as we can!

(If anyone is too shy to critcise - or praise - by name, then please feel free to do it as Anon).


Anonymous said...

i think you should have a further link section for other related sites with information on them such as uaeinteract for example

azucenamaryam said...

It seems just a little too wide, when the window opens up it's hard to see both sides of the bloggers.
I am not a blog scientist but I guess, you could perhaps shrink the middle a little so that it fits the page.
I like the colors. The kind of give a calming effect.:)

Anonymous said...

i dont like the colours, it looks a little too bland to me. the colour looks too much like my vomit from last night.

the design is good though, albeit a little wide. a marked improvement though. well done

an other links section might be good.

John B. Chilton said...

I believe the right column would be much easier to read if it were left justified.

nzm said...

I like the Blue Font colour for the headings, but it can get a bit overpowering when it's also used for URL links and for the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.

E.g. if you look at John Chilton's post on Blog bites (Dec 16th), the post is blue - all blue - it's hard on the eyes!

Is there any way to make the URL links a different colour to the heading - likewise the "Comments" link at the bottom of the posts?

A different colour for the latter would also make it clearer where one posts ends and the one below starts.

Also, is it possible to activate the pop-up window for the comments? I like to read each post and the associated comments before I go onto the next post, and I find it annoying having to navigate back to the homepage all the time.

Otherwise, the layout looks great - the side bars in a slightly different colour look good and the whole appearance is cleaner.

I do also notice that we don't have a link to the IOP Blog aggregator! :-)

Again - I congratulate and thank all responsible for doing this for us.


kaya said...

Congrats . I do like it, but I have to agree the middle is a bit wide and I would like alternative colours between left and right columns.

scarlettepimp said...

some more color please. its a little too blue and bland for my blood.

John B. Chilton said...

Good point, nzm. Perhaps the problem of excessive blue in link filled posts can be solved by the poster. For example, I just went in and changed the color of many of the links in that post.

On another issue, I notice that the "updated" and "last updated" features are not working on many/most of the blog listings in the right column.

Al Ain Taxi said...

Yes, it is a little wide but I think thats because my monitor's too narrow perhaps?

nick said...

The colors are bit off putting for me...and I really think the title at the top could use a little snazzing up...either replace it with a neat banner, or make it a bit more noticeable.

secretdubai said...

I think there might be an issue with the middle being too "wide" because of the photo posted below.

I'm going to edit it and see if it makes a difference...

Husain said...

Thanks for the suggestions people. I think majority of you don't like the blue.

Question: do you not like blue altogether or is it just because there is too much of blue? If you don't like blue at all, please suggest an alternate color (http://colourlovers.com/).

For complaints about the layout being too wide, the only fix is to restrict the width of the page. But before any changes is made to the layout, I would like to know what screen resolution you all use. My screen resolution is 1280x800 (widescreen).

For snazzing up the header, Secret Dubai is running a competition for the best header design. Be sure to particiapte ;-)

secretdubai said...

Super - fixing that image has sorted out the too-wide middle panel, at least on my browser.

If we can stick to keeping images around 400 pixels wide max (you can always link to a larger size, or people can right click and open up the image fully in a new window, whatever) it shoud keep the page more balanced.

BD said...

Yes, Hussein, I think there's too much blue. It needs some contrasting color. I like the palet on the link you list, referred to as "mud fusion." Anyway, a little gold, brown, auburn or maybe even purple could spice things up.

John B. Chilton said...

I like the blue.

nzm said...


I like the blue too - it's just when there's a lot of it - Headings, URL links, Comments link - it's a bit too much.

John's modified his post, and now it's much better. When all the links were blue too, it was not easy to read.


sheikha cheryl said...

OK...maybe I just missed the little "post" link earlier, but I have now found it! (I'm not even blonde, so don't go there.) Either way SD, it seems workable to me. --DB

secretdubai said...

nomad - if you mean the little post link at the bottom of the right-hand column: no, it wasn't there before (I mean since the new layout) it was one thing I more recently added back.

You're not going mad. Yet... ;)

John B. Chilton said...

At home the colors of the left and right columns are a pale blue. On my work computer they are a putty color.

The home computer is the older of the two. I guess the settings are different.

What this suggests to me is some color choices are not as robust as others. The more sophisticated the color the less likely that what we see is the same as what some of our readers see.

Just my idle non-technical speculation.....

samuraisam said...

john: that suggests you haven't set the brightness / contrast and white balance of your monitor(s) correctly.

can someone explain what exactly happened to the thing blogger bar that was located once at the top and is existant on every blog except this one? I find it handy to log onto my account rather than messing around and having to visit the main page.

Husain said...

The Blogger bar is hidden. Do you guys want it back?

samuraisam said...


El Condo said...

Well, I LIKE the colours, even the blue. Overall, it's very pleasant on the eye, and the blue contrasts well with the pale cream background. Slight touches of lemony green and orange add life to it. So colours aint a problem for me. The width also suits me because I generally prefer wide to narrow, especially when reading...perhaps having 2 sidebars is constricting. Most people have 17" monitors, I think; not all are colour calibrated, so there's no way you'll satisfy everyone.

My generalised reactions:

- colours: very nice, and also difefrent from what one usually sees. 2 thumbs up.

- layout: rather bland.

- content: Well, it's a community blog, everyone contributes, we cannot moderate or shape content, it has to be a potpourri, and that in a way I guess, is it's attraction. (Even though John B. Chilton seems to be your most prolific contributor, I've never found any of his posts/chosen topics to be boring...indeed I've generally clicked on virtually every link he's provided...whenever I visit this blog, which is not always.)

- fonts: terribly bland and uninspiring (but technically I don't know how you'd address this, especially with some of us logging in from a Mac platform).

- pictures: those camels and coffee pots etc. at the top right no doubt are your best effort, so I won't blame anyone, mebbe when I get time I can improve it for you...Content pictures are nice, topical and interesting (so far)...

Keep it up...

Oh, yeah, my suggestion:

You have about 33 million links in ponderous lists on either side..that's the sea of blue everyone was complaining about...how about having just one side bar...and hide all the links under categories.

Eg: All UAE Blogs, All Mideast Blogs etc., Instead of giving the whole list right there, have drop-down menus (the way you select your country of residence or your year of birth on some websites). Or have a nice little icon or picture for each category, clicking it leads you to a list.

Thx for listening.

bandicoot said...

Is this still open for feedback? The last comment was posted some four months ago. Nevertheless here's my five cents worth. First, the color; it might be my monitor, but what I see (in the top lower stripe and the two sides) is not blue but turquoise. I like dark blue as it contrasts nicely with cream and white; but turquoise is just too pale. Even forest green might work better. Secondly, I'd like to second JBC’s suggestion to left justify the right hand column; I think it makes reading easier. Finally, overall it is a neatly designed page and navigates easily; and btw, do we know how many hits we get? Where is the blog counter?

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