3/17/2005

Feedtagger colour scheme and layout

Feedtagger is currently using a layout and colour scheme surprisingly similar to this blog. In fact I originally used this blog layout as a template to speed up prototyping the feedtagger concept.
Most of the feedback I have received has supported the layout, but I received one email commenting that he prefers the black text on white background, much like a newspaper. I think he has a valid point, there are many attractions to the simple layouts and colour schemes employed by Google.
I have no qualms about re-designing feedtagger - it will be a good opportunity to start using more screen real estate. I am concerned however that:
a) Existing users accustomed to the current look, will be turned off Feedtagger by a new design (especially so early in the piece)
b) I'm not much of a designer. I know what I want when it comes to establishing a good UI, but making it look good is not a strong point. Hence why I used an existing template in the first place.

There seem to be several options:
  1. Do a complete re-design and make sure it doesn't look too shabby
  2. Mould the extisting design more towards the look I want in progressive steps (hard if major colour changes occur)
  3. Make the whole site (at least the feed display) a template much like blogger. Attempt to offer my new design and the old design as two default templates, while allowing users to build their own.
Option (3) is probably the best solution, but involves the most work. I'll keep working though my (ever growing) feature implementation list and ponder it a little more I think.

Any other suggestions?

3 Comments:

Blogger Mud's Tests said...

Got your feed, thanks -- it works now OK. Not sure why there was a problem before.

Good luck!

11:07 AM  
Blogger CloCkWeRX said...

Ah, this is a sticky pickle. There's the most css-zen like route of using alternate stylesheets, but lack of support in IE, certain bugs in firefox and who knows what Opera's doing make that sort of unfeasible.

How much can you refactor the underlying html to be plain elements?
If you could achieve a very minimal layout of the elements and retain the current look, do that.
Then offer a 'community skinning' section -> you upload your own stylesheet into the pool and anyone can use the design to read their news, ala csszengarden. Then, that takes the onus off you and places it (slightly) back on the user :P

12:26 PM  
Blogger tahpot said...

> How much can you refactor the underlying html to be plain elements?

As the original format was from blogger, the layout isn't too bad. The css class names aren't perfect, but it should be ok.

>Then offer a 'community skinning' section -> you upload your own stylesheet into the pool and anyone can use the design to read their news, ala csszengarden. Then, that takes the onus off you and places it (slightly) back on the user

Sounds like a plan. The other consideration is that the front page will also be redesigned to allow people without an account to view the latest news via tags. Hopefully the css skin will also be applied on this front page for account holders.

I've got a few other things to implement before I get to this though

1:41 PM  

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