13 December, 2005

United Colors of Benniton

Are the colorful little flag icons a bit too much? I've added them to this blog so people can read our posts in their favorite language. Unfortunately Arabic isn't available. The only way the html script will work properly is to have the links appear at the top of each post rather than just once at the top of the webpage. But if it's all a bit too much, let me know. I could perhaps tone it down by putting simple text links in place of the flags.

30 comments:

secretdubai said...

I think they're pretty colourful, and it will be very useful for non-English speakers.

Flags are nicer than text! They are quite small already, but if you find them too prominent, maybe they could be squashed?

samuraisam said...

i think if you can get rid of the blue border it'd be a bit better

BD said...

Tried the flags a little smaller but they don't look very nice when shrunk. I agree the blue link border should be removed or minimized. I'm looking for a way to do that--it doesn't show up on my own blog. Also, as secretdubai requested I'm trying to link the poster's name to their profile. I agree, that link is good to have on the top page.

Husain said...
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Husain said...

BD (Website Manager): I agree the blue link border should be removed or minimized. I'm looking for a way to do that--it doesn't show up on my own blog.

The IMG tag of the flags don't have a border attribute. Add "border=1" to it.

Husain said...

Ok after staring at the page for a while, I feel the whole flags thing is overdone. I mean having the flags shown on top of every post on the home page is too much.

My suggestions: move the flags to the sidebar to allow translating the home page. Also, modify the template so that the flags are shown on the post pages for anyone who wants to translate the entire post. The home page will be visually appealing as well as accessible.

~ my two cents.

BD said...

Thanks Hussein for the border tip. It worked--and I set border to "0". I think it looks a lot better now. I think if I move the flags to the sidebar it may end up only translating the sidebar info. But I'll give it try and the other things you mentioned.

samuraisam said...

bd, are you scaling them in HTML by using a tag like width=xyz ?

try downscaling them in photoshop, if you don't have it i can do it for you.

BD said...

Ok, how's this: The flags (and translation option) will only appear when the post is clicked at (Translate Post). This takes the reader to the individual post where he can select the translation. I am working on a little .gif to add to the link. What do you think?

secretdubai said...

Oh that's very neat!

Thanks so much for doing all this ;)

CG said...

Oh this looks better.
WTG BD

Husain said...

No offence but I disagree. You actually made the homepage more confusing for visitors by changing the '#' to 'translate page'.

You have to think from an accessibility point of view. Make it easier for your visitors, not harder.

Also, I hope you are aware of this: the link to the my name does not take me to my profile. AFAIK you can't do that with Blogger. What you can do is link to the poster's home page.

Furthermore, putting the translation flags will in fact translate the entire page.

BD said...

I was trying to get the poster's name to link to their profile but nothing seemed to work so I've removed the link.

Hussein, I'm not sure why you say repacing "#" with "translate post" is confusing. Are you suggesting I put all the flags back on the main page?

The way the translator html is written, it will only work when placed within (blogger)(/blogger) tags. So, this only allows me to either place it under (posts), which places it on every post on the main page, or under (item) which puts it only on the unique page for each post.

Anyway, I think having it as it is now leaves the main page uncluttered and the "Translate Post" will at least let people know there's something there. If I just leave the little "#" how will people have any idea they can get a translation?

secretdubai said...

The flags thing works for me.

bd - strange that the profile linking isn't working. You would think it would be whatever blogger tag is used in the comments part. Never mind though - thank you for trying!

Husain said...

If you can give me access to the blog's templates, I can make the changes for you.

secretdubai said...

husain - try now. You should have access.

Husain said...

Thanks. I will post a changelog in this thread when I am done.

moryarti said...

i think its working .. great!

BD said...

The mini-flags on the item page with the "translate to:" look good. But I still think it would be good to indicate somewhere on the main page that the translate option is there. Perhaps you could put "#translate post."

I really doubt that people instinctivly know what the "#" is if they even notice it at all. I've had my own blog for 6 months and never noticed it and I only noticed it on this site a couple of days ago. Most readers aren't so much into blogging or posting that they will recognize that.

And I think the translate option can really benefit people, if they know it's there.

BD said...

Oh, I see you've added the tranlate to: in the sidebar. That's great. On the poster links, why is it that some lead to a unique homepage and others lead to the uaecommunity blog?

secretdubai said...

Hi - thanks for that - it does look neater. I moved it to below the images because it seems to look better there.

But what else has happened to the page? The font - especially in the Title - looks odd. Also the alignment looks different or something.

BD said...

Hey guys, let's pat ourselves on the back. We can collaborate effectively in not only posting but in designing the template as well. Nice to see the different ideas coalescing. I think the site is looking better and better.

secretdubai said...

Definitely! We had to revert a couple of changes because there were layout problems in some browsers - it was rendering really weirdly for me in OSX.

But those flags look super - thanks so much H and BD ;)

Husain said...

Thanks for the comments/suggestions. I see that someone had changed the CSS code back to the old one. I was still working on the styles but I am not going to make any more changes since I feel it is what you guys want.

To answer some questions:

'#' in the blogging world means a permalink. So changing that to 'translate' didn't make sense. I understand that visitors to this blog are not aware of the details of blogging and so we can change that symbol to something better. What I had in plan was to make the title of each post a permalink -- I have seen a lot of blogs do that.

Re. posters links: Posters that have not specified any home page link to the current home page. Blogger does not allow me to link to the profiles (which is what I was trying to do earlier).

Re. title of the blog: I was experimenting with typography to figure out what looked best and modern. Personally the current style looks pathetic.

My overall opinion on the blog: It needs a makeover. I am sure there are lots of creative people over here -- the community needs a modern look. I am willing to do my part if I am given some creative freedom.


Well, as I said, I will not be making any further changes unless asked. If you guys have any questions or need advice, post away :o)

samuraisam said...

i was having extreme problems on all 3 of my browsers with it, iexplore, maxthon, and firefox.

i think as ugly as it may be, it does the job, it's quick to load, it doesn't hog smaller screen resolutions, and it does its job fine

secretdubai said...

husain - I think we definitely should improve it, but it may be better to test it in a test blog for cross-platform checking first. The template used is really basic - as you can see it's one of the Blogger ones, with very minimal modfication if any.

One thing I was keen to try - though this may make it less accessible for smaller screens? - is to add a left hand column. I'm thinking that the Blogrolls could go that side, or we could post a weekly poll there, or a small RSS feed of UAE headlines. Just to make things more attractive and interactive. Do let me know what you think.

BD said...

Hussein, I hope you don't mind if I post you from time to time with queries about tweaking templates. In the meantime I'll update my profile with a homepage so my name will link to that. I wonder, secretdubai, if we could somehow suggest all the active posters do that.

secretdubai said...

Is someone tweaking again because it's gone all weird and wide?! Which isn't going to work if we add a second side column.

BJ - that's a great idea - do post it. Does it apply to all of us or just those with blogs elsewhere than Blogger?

secretdubai said...

Oh no - ignore that - it's back to normal again. I am having some really weird cache issues tonight :( Might be why it was looking so strange earlier.

Husain said...
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