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Started A New Design/Web Dev Blog
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Apple Pro Underwear
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Mar 8, 2009, 05:24 PM
 
Hi MacNN Peepz,

Check out my new design/web blog and let me know what you think:
www.typesett.com

I basically thought it was a fun way to take myself to the next level of being a designer/developer. Just figuring out how to make it, design it and now promote it and such. I'm going to update as regular as possible (once a week guaranteed, maybe twice) and try to see what it takes to run a successful blog. I trust my MacNN peepz more than any other online community, so let me know what you think! THX!

My first post is:
Top 30 Indie Band Website Designs

Help me out with some diggs:
http://digg.com/design/Top_30_Indie_...ebsite_Designs
     
besson3c
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Mar 8, 2009, 05:52 PM
 
Very cool look!

I would suggest turning on the WordPress permalinks feature, it will help you with improving search engine results.
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 8, 2009, 05:58 PM
 
thanks man. i was wondering why it didn't do that by default actually. i thought i had to get a plugin of some sort.
     
dcmacdaddy
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Mar 8, 2009, 06:00 PM
 
<Railroader mode>
I am reporting you for spamming the forum by trying to drive traffic to your blog.
</Railroader mode>


I like the simple, clean, rectilinear layout--I am a big fan of discrete blocks of screen-space used for different elements of the page--and your choices in fonts and colors. I'm not so sure the "notch" in the top left corner of each block's title is inspired or insipid. Right now I am leaning towards the latter as I like functionality to trump style in design*, but that's just my preference.
*In other words, a notch at the top of a block of text makes me think of a folded over page which makes me think there should be more content behind what I am seeing if I click the "notch".

As to your first blog post, I think there needs to be some indicator of sequence for your ranking (top-down or bottom-up) as well as some explanation for each image as to why you gave that site the ranking you did. You've got Interpol somewhere in the middle of your list but for me that would rank at the top for simplicity and cleanliness. So, tell us what made that particular site fall in the middle of your ranking?

I think you've got a lot of potential for this site so keep up the good work.


PS: Is your theme publicly available for other WordPress-based blogs or are you keeping it exclusive to your site?
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
besson3c
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Mar 8, 2009, 06:00 PM
 
It creates rewrite rules for the mod_rewrite Apache module, so this module will need to enabled on your web server, and your web server will need to have writable access to your .htaccess file to generate these rules in WordPress itself. Otherwise, WP will instruct you how to add these rules by hand. It's pretty easy to do.
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 8, 2009, 06:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
<Railroader mode>
I am reporting you for spamming the forum by trying to drive traffic to your blog.
</Railroader mode>
Amazingly, the handful of people who pre-date me are the first to reply. Going back in time, Tooki has busted me several times - once for proposing "tit-book" for the proper abbreviation for the titanium powerbook when it came out. I also got a thread closed for posting a picture of my ass because Philzilla baited me into it.... good times...

I like the simple, clean, rectilinear layout--I am a big fan of discrete blocks of screen-space used for different elements of the page--and your choices in fonts and colors. I'm not so sure the "notch" in the top left corner of each block's title is inspired or insipid. Right now I am leaning towards the latter as I like functionality to trump style in design*, but that's just my preference.
*In other words, a notch at the top of a block of text makes me think of a folded over page which makes me think there should be more content behind what I am seeing if I click the "notch".
The reason I went for the notch is for 1 main reason (rooted in functionality) - it points to the header text. Following a main usability rule, I think it helps people scan the page.

As to your first blog post, I think there needs to be some indicator of sequence for your ranking (top-down or bottom-up) as well as some explanation for each image as to why you gave that site the ranking you did. You've got Interpol somewhere in the middle of your list but for me that would rank at the top for simplicity and cleanliness. So, tell us what made that particular site fall in the middle of your ranking?
I categorized them into categories but it looks like I need to make the headers stand out quite a bit more. They are not ranked but I guess I should say that in the post. The blog writing part will be a work in progress.

PS: Is your theme publicly available for other WordPress-based blogs or are you keeping it exclusive to your site?
This is the first full out theme I made for WordPress. I suppose I could release it once I see how it handles, do you think people would actually want it?

Thanks for the comments!
     
Railroader
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Mar 8, 2009, 09:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
<Railroader mode>
I am reporting you for spamming the forum by trying to drive traffic to your blog.
</Railroader mode>
Lame.

You're being a bit dishonest. I don't report this kind of thing.

I do not even consider it spam. Now, he was asking what we think, I'd say that it was in the wrong forum as it should then be in the Design Forum.

Anyway...

I like it APU. Clean and to the point. Not any muck or distracting info.

EDIT: Oh, and I "dugg" it!
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 02:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
I like it APU. Clean and to the point. Not any muck or distracting info.

EDIT: Oh, and I "dugg" it!
thx bud, i appreciate it!
     
dcmacdaddy
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:12 AM
 
Just wanted to follow-up and say that your changing the size of the text for the categories in the first post made a big difference in processing the page. The text about not having them ranked helped with the clarity as well.

Good Job!



PS: I asked about the availability of the theme as I am building my own WordPress server to host my own blog and I am always on the lookout for good looking themes to play around with as I develop the site. If you do decide to make your theme available to the public, let me know.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
Maflynn
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Mar 9, 2009, 09:25 AM
 
Nice site, clean and not overly cluttered.

OT, I never noticed that tropicana was rebranded, so I guess I do live under a rock
~Mike
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
Just wanted to follow-up and say that your changing the size of the text for the categories in the first post made a big difference in processing the page. The text about not having them ranked helped with the clarity as well.

PS: I asked about the availability of the theme as I am building my own WordPress server to host my own blog and I am always on the lookout for good looking themes to play around with as I develop the site. If you do decide to make your theme available to the public, let me know.
your advice was well heeded! i also plan to comment more on future posts like that to inject more personality as well.

can't wait to see your future blog!
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 9, 2009, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Maflynn View Post
Nice site, clean and not overly cluttered.

OT, I never noticed that tropicana was rebranded, so I guess I do live under a rock
dude! those guys (Arnell Group) had some weird interpretations for gatorade and pepsi's new brands too! (pepsi was not too bad though IMO)
     
turtle777
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Mar 9, 2009, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Apple Pro Underwear View Post
Going back in time, Tooki has busted me several times - once for proposing "tit-book" for the proper abbreviation for the titanium powerbook when it came out. I also got a thread closed for posting a picture of my ass because Philzilla baited me into it.... good times...
LOL, I'm going to report this thread as spam, and then claim that Railroader baited me into it

-t
     
Maflynn
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Mar 9, 2009, 04:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Apple Pro Underwear View Post
dude! those guys (Arnell Group) had some weird interpretations for gatorade and pepsi's new brands too! (pepsi was not too bad though IMO)
I'm not saying that, but rather, I didn't noticed that tropicana went through any sort of rebranding. I did notice that pepsi did, so far I'm not sure if I like it or not (the new pepsi logo).
~Mike
     
Railroader
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Mar 9, 2009, 05:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
LOL, I'm going to report this thread as spam, and then claim that Railroader baited me into it

-t
LOL, I'm going to report you as spam and claim this thread baited me into it !!!11ElEvEnTyBi11IoNNNMACNN!!!
     
philzilla
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Mar 12, 2009, 02:24 AM
 
My thumbs have gone weird.
"Have sharp knives. Be creative. Cook to music" ~ maxelson
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 12, 2009, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by philzilla View Post
My thumbs have gone weird.
that's what happens when you have hairy palms and a trail of dead kittens around your flat
     
lyanma
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Mar 12, 2009, 04:36 PM
 
You designed this?
I don't ike the design, titles are way too big, its simple but...I just don't see the creativity of the design...it's just an average blog.
     
Oisín
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Mar 12, 2009, 06:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by lyanma View Post
You designed this?
I don't ike the design, titles are way too big, its simple but...I just don't see the creativity of the design...it's just an average blog.
I have to say, I agree. I like the header and navigation at the top, but the content part of the site just doesn’t appeal to me. Text is too big, too little whitespace, colours too bland … not sure what it is, exactly, but it doesn’t draw me in.

Also: “5 Classic Sans-Serif Fonts” (or, even better: “Five Classic Sans-Serif Fonts”).
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 12, 2009, 11:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by lyanma View Post
You designed this?
I don't ike the design, titles are way too big, its simple but...I just don't see the creativity of the design...it's just an average blog.
my intention was to follow user patterns so that i can start off with a familiar universal appeal. your criticism is noted though and thank you for visiting!
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 12, 2009, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
I have to say, I agree. I like the header and navigation at the top, but the content part of the site just doesn’t appeal to me. Text is too big, too little whitespace, colours too bland … not sure what it is, exactly, but it doesn’t draw me in.

Also: “5 Classic Sans-Serif Fonts” (or, even better: “Five Classic Sans-Serif Fonts”).
Thanks for the note... I think the way I say it made me think I was right. I'm from Brooklyn unfortunately.

But I think in headline writing for the web, you can bypass spelling numbers under 10 because it helps scanning. It's what I would prefer as a reader.

Thanks for the feedback!
     
0157988944
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Mar 13, 2009, 06:24 PM
 
The content is good, but as others have said the design is repelling. It's not that it doesn't look good, but everything is too big and uninviting. By having everything so large, you push a lot of content down on the page, and so there isn't much to look at. Also the colors are pretty cold and it looks a little "Wordpress theme-y."
     
Synotic
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Mar 13, 2009, 07:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
The content is good, but as others have said the design is repelling. It's not that it doesn't look good, but everything is too big and uninviting. By having everything so large, you push a lot of content down on the page, and so there isn't much to look at. Also the colors are pretty cold and it looks a little "Wordpress theme-y."
"Repelling" is a little harsh . You're dealing with humans here, and I also don't think anyone else said that.

I think the design is fine, although parts of it could possibly be tightened up. The metadata underneath the titles on the frontpage could be cleaned up. Also, requiring logins to comment is a sure way to kill a site.
     
0157988944
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Mar 13, 2009, 07:44 PM
 
Good point. I should have said other have criticized the design, and I find it "off-putting."
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 13, 2009, 08:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
The content is good, but as others have said the design is repelling. It's not that it doesn't look good, but everything is too big and uninviting. By having everything so large, you push a lot of content down on the page, and so there isn't much to look at. Also the colors are pretty cold and it looks a little "Wordpress theme-y."
Thanks, for the comments. You make a lot of relevant sense.

For the time being, I felt that interesting content was more relevant than a "intense" design. I'm actually working on the content to be more in my "voice" rather than semi-blah that I have now.

Strictly design-wise... I find blogs that look very designerly to be a turn off. I think smashing and six revisions is the space I want to be in.
     
0157988944
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Mar 13, 2009, 08:52 PM
 
I know what you mean, but I still think you should try a smaller font size on at least the front page, so a variety of content can be seen without scrolling. Once on a single post page, the larger text is welcome, but when there are a lot of posts to look at, I like the text smaller so I can see more.
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 13, 2009, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Synotic View Post
"Repelling" is a little harsh . You're dealing with humans here, and I also don't think anyone else said that.

I think the design is fine, although parts of it could possibly be tightened up. The metadata underneath the titles on the frontpage could be cleaned up. Also, requiring logins to comment is a sure way to kill a site.
Log-ins is fixed... my wordpress experience is limited. Thanks for the tip.

I'm taking heat for the design now from some, but I realize that I am in the first week of "publication". My only comment is, let me prove to you this will be great.
     
dcmacdaddy
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Mar 13, 2009, 10:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
I know what you mean, but I still think you should try a smaller font size on at least the front page, so a variety of content can be seen without scrolling. Once on a single post page, the larger text is welcome, but when there are a lot of posts to look at, I like the text smaller so I can see more.
I don't have a problem with the larger fonts on the front page. As I scroll through the page I look for the title blocks and don't actually read a post, let alone skim it, unless the title catches my eye. But yeah, I can see your concern if you were trying to skim the contents of a post as you scrolled the page. Plus, you are on a laptop (according to your sig) so you probably have a lot less screen real estate to deal with when viewing web pages. I am on a 20" Intel iMac so I've got plenty of room to see more of a page's content.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
lyanma
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Mar 13, 2009, 11:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Apple Pro Underwear View Post
Thanks, for the comments. You make a lot of relevant sense.

For the time being, I felt that interesting content was more relevant than a "intense" design. I'm actually working on the content to be more in my "voice" rather than semi-blah that I have now.

Strictly design-wise... I find blogs that look very designerly to be a turn off. I think smashing and six revisions is the space I want to be in.
I think that content and design are both important. Very "designerly" blogs are interesting, it can be designerly and minimalistic though. I dont think it matters how you design it as long as it is creative. I just think that I would spend more time in your blog if the design would've been different, I really like what you write about.

Can't wait to see your next design.
     
0157988944
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Mar 14, 2009, 12:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
I don't have a problem with the larger fonts on the front page. As I scroll through the page I look for the title blocks and don't actually read a post, let alone skim it, unless the title catches my eye. But yeah, I can see your concern if you were trying to skim the contents of a post as you scrolled the page. Plus, you are on a laptop (according to your sig) so you probably have a lot less screen real estate to deal with when viewing web pages. I am on a 20" Intel iMac so I've got plenty of room to see more of a page's content.
It's worse on my MBP, but even on my 23" ACD, I can see 2, 3 posts at most. Maybe less of a post preview then? Or smaller images? I guess I just don't like scrolling, and would rather be able to see as many titles to choose from as possible.
     
Oisín
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Mar 14, 2009, 01:59 PM
 
I don’t mind the scrolling all that much—it’s more that the large text looks like it’s trying to shout everything at me at once and gives me a complete visual overload, especially conjunct the lack of whitespace distinguishing semantically separate elements.
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 15, 2009, 02:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
I don't have a problem with the larger fonts on the front page. As I scroll through the page I look for the title blocks and don't actually read a post, let alone skim it, unless the title catches my eye. But yeah, I can see your concern if you were trying to skim the contents of a post as you scrolled the page. Plus, you are on a laptop (according to your sig) so you probably have a lot less screen real estate to deal with when viewing web pages. I am on a 20" Intel iMac so I've got plenty of room to see more of a page's content.
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
It's worse on my MBP, but even on my 23" ACD, I can see 2, 3 posts at most. Maybe less of a post preview then? Or smaller images? I guess I just don't like scrolling, and would rather be able to see as many titles to choose from as possible.
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
I don’t mind the scrolling all that much—it’s more that the large text looks like it’s trying to shout everything at me at once and gives me a complete visual overload, especially conjunct the lack of whitespace distinguishing semantically separate elements.
I experimented with the size of my headline and I thought It could be reduced without losing much of the "boldness" that I wanted. I also fixed the contrast so that the posts can be differentiated a bit better as you scroll.

I added some social network stuff like my twitter icon and re-phrased some of my sidebar headings to show more personality and the tone that I am seeking. Tweaked some colors as well and did some more designer-ly stuff as well.

I appreciate all your comments! Thanks! Don't be afraid to keep em' coming. I'm getting hundreds of hits and it's building each time I post something new (thanks reddit, stumble upon and digg). I'm still optimistic that I just need to keep building and writing the way I have.
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Mar 15, 2009, 02:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by lyanma View Post
I think that content and design are both important. Very "designerly" blogs are interesting, it can be designerly and minimalistic though. I dont think it matters how you design it as long as it is creative. I just think that I would spend more time in your blog if the design would've been different, I really like what you write about.

Can't wait to see your next design.
I get what you're saying. There are some improvements coming outside of what I did yesterday to bridge that gap between form and function a bit. I'm going to live with what I have for a bit and determine what I can do first though.
     
Apple Pro Underwear  (op)
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Jul 8, 2009, 02:04 AM
 
Hi all -

Just wanted to update you on my little side project and some things I learned:

Update:
I have about 120 or so RSS subscribers and traffic is still in 3 figures consistently. Seems like people like it and are commenting more. A couple of people have signed up to help contribute to the content.

What I learned:
- you get visitors as a result of attrition over time. for example, i have like 35 articles... somebody out there is going to find that content and visit the website no matter when you publish it.
- twitter and facebook is monumentally important. now i know why TWiT talks about Twitter so much
- it's unpredictable who links to you but it's nice when you get some love from somebody else's website. this is the essence of the "blogger community".
- it's better to submit links to your niche community rather than something like digg or reddit
- however, when digg or reddit picks you up — you get massive hits and nice exposure
- content is most important to success of the website. in this thread you guys helped me tweak design but nobody says anything about that... my viewers seem to only care about the content

anyway, thanks all!

follow me @typesett @typesett
     
   
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