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I’m trying again…[fingers crossed] — 22 Comments

  1. Your site is very informative, but it lacks focus.

    At first, the eye hovers over the colored panels, going from the pale green to the pale blue highlights without a clear sense of direction. Then, of course, one starts reading through those, click the text they contain and discover a wealth of information.

    A great deal of information is indeed there but because it’s all at the same level it feels a little like a hodgepodge. More guidance would channel the attention of the reader and impart a stronger sense of theme to the page — to me, for instance, the rather original concept of Sideways Thinking applied to writing is central.

    Not unlike the written page perhaps, every element on the web page should contribute to reaching an objective, as you instruct yourself. In fact entire sections of your Clinic books could be assembled to draft a “Web clinic for writers” — so many people are dealing with the same issues, it could be a best-seller.

    On a lesser note, your logo is a niece of design by itself. But what is it trying to convey? if you were a Vintage Car dealer or a Classic Rock station, its meaning would immediately become clear by association.

    All that being said, the aesthetics of a web front page is a rather subjective matter and what really counts is the content. I give my input, in case it’s useful, because I’ve benefited from the materials on your site and also because of my own interest for interplay between words and images.

    JPh

  2. Now I find that much, MUCH better, legible and to the point.

    I would still think each box content is too much diluted to see what they are about. You have to read each box to grasp them and then you are still not sure where you are headed. I would at least add a headline summing up the box content (Like “Creating”, “Diary” etc.).

  3. Personally, I like them both. They each have their own charms, pros and cons. I definitely prefer having a picture of you right out in the open instead of lurking behind one of the slidey boxes.

    The colours add a little bit of personality without being over the top or too dramatic. I can see how most people would prefer the current layout as things are all clearly displayed and you don’t have to search around for things as much.

    I still liked the slidey boxes, but I’m sure in the end, when you find THE layout, you’ll make the best choice for your site and what you represent.

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling better and are back to writing fiction. Just being able to do that is apt to make you feel better.

    Jess

  4. First, how are you feeling? If you have a different thread somewhere chronicling your health challenge, let us know.

    I like this better, much better. Everything is accessible on the front page. My only comments/corrections would be around details — like too much verbiage here and there.

    Also, I am not sure what the middle box on the top line is for.

    Can the boxes be phrased down to a word or title that encompasses what is there? That would help people like, who right now, are looking from work during lunch and don’t have a lot of time.

    Where would Talysmana and Write a Book With Me as land as a link on this page? Do you have more than one thread on which you are commenting? A list of those might be nice. It it is on here and I did not see it, I apololgize. I am reading during lunch at work and having to move fast.

    Overall, much better than the sliding boxes.

  5. Holly,
    Love the new look! The large “cards” make it easy to choose which topic I’m interested in today and lets me know what to look through next.
    Glad you’re feeling up to the task. Keep on keepin” on!
    G

  6. I found several links that led to “404 page not found” errors. I do like the simple format–no bouncy things, nice and clean and professional. It’s easy to read and get around in. I do hope you are feeling all better soon…

  7. Loving the new design. However the one issue I have is that everything looks a little squished. I’m curious as to why the site has such huge band of blankness on either side?

    Spreading it out over the whole page would open it up and not look as cluttered.

    Hope you’re feeling better.

    • The blankness is a function of the template, to keep the site to a width readable by most browsers. I had the old site on flex width and a percentage font size…but it was my design, and while it was fast and flexible for the user, it was a beast for me to update—after a while, I gave up out of sheer exhaustion.

      Moving to a CMS system is allowing me to actually modify and add to the thing for the first time in a couple years.

      I’m still looking for a template I love.

      And I’ll keep searching for an answer to the front page.

  8. -I like the way it’s easier to use than that slidey thing
    -it’s a bit annoying having to scroll down (yes, lazy)
    -I don’t like all those white screens. I think your old website felt warmer; there was all that red, wasn’t there? However, this white, it makes me think of glaciers, snow, iceberg roses, marble-surfaced kitchens, the packaging of generic medicines– all of them uncomfortable. When I see a webpages that’s white, white, white, I feel like I’m about to be suffocated by a large, refrigerated, bleached hotel towel. However other people don’t seem to be bothered by the colour scheme, and I’m probably just over thinking. (I generally prefer coziness in websites.)
    -The pop-up email sign up thing was good the first time or two I visited your website but after that it becomes annoying

    Erk, I feel so harsh. Anyway you don’t need to pay any attention to what I say. The content is fine and it’s that which really matters.

    • Alice, I guess I’m just comforted by the glacial atmosphere created by the white. Must be genetic or something. 😉

      On a more serious note, to me, the white background allows whatever colors Holly uses to leap off the page and attract attention to themselves individually. It gives the page more contrast and helps me focus where I want to look. But I can see where the contrast could leave a harsh impression.

  9. Its clean, it is clear. The magazine format lets you put a lot of information on a “static” front page and you have limited the use of red/green which are the most common visual “challenge.” It is a good entry point for new people.

    However, with hard coded tables there are issues with accessibility (look at the front page with styles turned off). It is more than a little challenging for anyone who needs to blow up the fonts. The inside pages don’t have this challenge. These are choices you need to make.

    To make it work, you will need a separate feed for your writing diary. There are more than a few who don’t want to do multiple clicks every time they enter a site. And, since most of us have pop-ups killed, you might want to add an additional way to get sign-ups.

    • Seeing the front page with Javascript turned off in the previous version was even worse, unfortunately, and part of the impetus I had for changing it.

      I have not yet found a solution I like—this one should at least work better for most people.

      And the separate feed for the writing diary is on this page. Top right corner, currently right under my picture. 😀

      OR you can subscribe via this link.

  10. I liked the original update more. This new version seems cluttered.
    It makes me wonder about preferences: Would Left-brainers prefer one format and Right-brainers another? If so, there’s no easy solution–unless you create a Left-brain option and a Right-brain option. : )

  11. I liked it better before this last update — the page seems awfully busy compared to simply being able to open whichever slidy box was of interest at the given moment.

    Also, the “Concept Discussions” link under “Recent Articles” still leads to Error 404—Page Not Found. And, the Site Map still doesn’t work.

    Other than that, it’s a pretty nice home page, compared to most others I’m familiar with! 🙂

  12. Beautiful. I liked the cards that were there in the earlier version, but having them opened out is even better. Clear, clean and simple.

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