New Look, More Help

I have redone my site’s front page.

Take a look at the redone front page here.

  • Does this help you use the site?
  • Does it simplify finding what you were looking for?
  • Does it let you know I have resources available that you did not realize were there?
  • Does it save you time?
  • Is everything clear and understandable?
  • Is everything easy to use?

I would really appreciate comments.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

7 comments… add one
  • haarajot Nov 24, 2008 @ 16:42

    I did not try to find things yet. I like the quieter look. So I prefer this one.

  • hollylisle Nov 20, 2008 @ 15:03

    The tabs are still there, right in the header, because they’re useful for people who already know their way around.

    However, I have, at the moment, huge traffic and an equally huge bounce rate off of that front page because people come to my site looking for something they can’t figure out how to find. I’ve deleted the yellow box and have gone with a clear, graphical table that will, I hope, quickly introduce new folks who DON’T know their way around to what I have available here.

  • Nandini Nov 19, 2008 @ 14:43

    I don’t like the multiple choice “What do you want to do?” section in your home page. The tabs to navigate wherever, whenever were cool, and in general wordy options take time to read and are off-putting as compared to one-word descriptions of sections.

  • djmills Nov 18, 2008 @ 22:02

    My answers for the 6 questions are: No, no, no, no, no, no.

    First, I am not sure all change is for the better, but I have been visiting your site for over a year and was familiar with it. I still have the top link line to quickly find the articles and HollyShop, which is important to me so please don’t remove it.

    In Firefox (my default browser) the comments text is far too small, so I tried in IE and the text size is better. Hard to locate buttons, such as log in, which I have now found, obviously.

    I have not been impressed with Twitter from the start so didn’t follow your comments while there, and it seems your site is looking more like Twitter now. I do not like white text on the pale background or black text on very dark background, hard to read.

    I am sorry about my answers because I know you have excellent articles, you work hard to get knowledge on the site and you deserve a thousand “thank you” comments every day for passing on your knowledge to every hope-to-be writer out there.

    However, for marketing purposes, the quiz is good. New users will get familiar with the default page. I hope you get many more users and clients to purchase your books and courses.

    Good luck with the changes.

  • coraa Nov 18, 2008 @ 17:43

    (Also, while I love the clean look and general colorscheme of your new writing diary skin — I’m one of the people who does like a white or light-colored site — I think that the combination of grey text and small font make it kind of hard to read comments, especially since every other comment is already on a light grey background and so there’s really not much contrast. Maybe either increase the contrast with darker text, or bump the font up a smidge?)

  • coraa Nov 18, 2008 @ 17:42

    (I just spent a good several minutes trying to figure out how to log in to make a comment — so as a side note, might want to move the Meta sidebar up, or make log in/log out bigger, or something.)

    I want to take a longer look at the site later, but right now the immediate thing I noticed was that I took the quiz out of curiosity, got to the last page… and couldn’t figure out how to get my results. I refreshed, closed and reopened, retook the quiz, nuthin’. It finally dawned on me to try it in IE instead of Firefox (Firefox is my default browser) and discovered that, lo and behold, there was a box to put my e-mail into. That box didn’t appear at *all* in Firefox, leaving me puzzled as to how to retrieve my results. Might want to look into that — or at least put a disclaimer on the quiz saying that it doesn’t work in FF. (Unless it’s just me having the problem…)

    I like the way you organized the ‘find site help quickly.’ My only comment was that I think a ‘go back to the full menu’ option would be good — I inadvertently clicked the wrong button, and it took me a couple of minutes to realize that the browser back button would ‘reset’ the menu.

    Other than that, I like. And once I was able to get the results, the quiz was fun (even though I had the advantage of knowing most of the answers because I’m already a Think Sideways student 😉 ).

  • ErinH Nov 18, 2008 @ 16:12

    Heh. At first, I was going to comment on the redone blog. (Don’t like the design; wasn’t expecting content all the way on the left, sidebars hard to read.)

    The front page of the actual site does clearly present the resources you have available. I don’t think I found anything *new*, but I’ve been visiting your site for a few years. The yellow box should make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

    I’m not a fan of the solid-white (or pale pale blue, or whatever it is) background, though. It’s hard on the eyes.

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