Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Facelift Continues

By now you might have noticed some dust. Icethetics has officially been going for a full month so I got inspired to do a little sprucing up the design. As I've said, the design I've had all month was never meant to be permanent. I'm always looking for ways of improving the blog.

I'll go more in detail about the changes later on, but suffice to say I'm adding a new column for polls. It's one of the main features of the site so to have them buried in the posts just doesn't work. I've also got a new banner at the top of the page. Hope everyone likes it.

Back to work now.

UPDATE (10:24 PM): All right, it's getting late so I think I'm going to call it a night for all these upgrades. By the way, the feedback in the comments here has been awesome! Thank you guys for all the suggestions! Now let me explain a little about what's what.

Obviously I've made some changes. The banner at the top is new. Hope you like it. There's a new sidebar on the left side of the page. I'll refer to it henceforth as the pollbar so there's no confusion. At the top will be the bracket for the current tournament. Beneath that will be all of the polls for the current round of said tournament (including the closed ones).

Now that the polls are no longer part of posts, it makes commenting a little different. Instead of leaving a comment here on the blog, you'll leave it on the poll via the PollDaddy web site. After you cast your vote, a comments link will appear within the poll box. Click that to see what others have said and add your own two cents into the mix.

Unfortunately this means comments posted on those polls up to now are in between worlds. They're not gone, but they aren't currently accessible. I don't see it being a problem for now, but I'll try to find a way to get them back in the future.

You may be wondering about the IHA polls. For now, that's staying the way it is. I may change it at some point, but for right now those polls will stay within posts. You can get quick links from the sidebar.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be making even more changes tomorrow. Just keep letting me know what you guys think and if you experience any problems.

22 comments:

Richard said...

Hey Chris, just throwing the idea out there, but would you be interested in starting a forum for the site? I think it would give the site a big boost, and allow all of the designers to get in touch with each other as well as share work... like i said, just a suggestion.
Richard

Pas said...

i voted lightning
just for fun :)

Bill said...

I like Richards Idea, I have experience running and maintaining forums in the past, I would be very interested in an Icethetics Forum. I know it would be an Instant Hit.

Chris said...

Hey Chris, just throwing the idea out there, but would you be interested in starting a forum for the site?

Yeah, I think that's an interesting idea. Thing is, I don't have time to run it. And if I were to have someone else do it, it would have to be someone I could trust. Just seeing the way people get on each other in the comments makes me not want a forum.

I'm not even sure it's necessary though. I think the comments area of each post serve as a decent enough way to exchange information. I'll need to hear that more people are interested before I consider this.

I appreciate the ideas!

Hockey Week said...

i think a forum would be overkill. cool, but overkill.

the site is getting really crowded again. i agree that polls shouldn't be buried, but i don't like this answer much. bumping the bulk of the text, the stories, the stuff we're supposed to read to the left seems to draw focus away from it. not to mention, after the polls (1 or 3 or however many there will be) there's a ton of blank space that just makes the site look awkward.

what i suggest, and i don't know how possible or popular it would be, would be to have the polls on the far left, making all of your posts the center of the page, or move polls into the right sidebar, bumping out "vote now!" (which is definitely redundant if you have the polls right there anyways).

it's there already for Matt's rebrands, why not just have them all in that column?


i like the new banner and i'm glad you didn't change color schemes again, but i think you should continue to toy with poll placement

flyersk27 said...

I like the idea of having a forum and they can be lots of fun if you have very good rules enforced by a team of active moderators.

Back to the topic on hand of the new layout, I like it a lot more (especially the top banner). Its a great idea to have all the polls on the front page. Maybe it would be cool to have the blog posts in the middle of the page and the polls and links on both sides of it.

nogoodbye said...

I love the polls in the left sidebar, but is there no longer any place to comment on those polls? (or am I just to blind to see it?) To voice why we chose one over the other? I like to know why people vote the way they do, even if I disagree with them on the subject. It is nice to read what other people are thinking about the polls.

PointMeAtTheSky said...

Hey, nice job Chris!

Banner looks good, love the slogan too.

Great idea to put the polls on the left side.

flyersk27 said...

Left side polls was my idea and he used it, awesome! The polls need to be better separated like the divider under every section of the links on the right. The vote buttons are cut off too.

This new layout is almost perfect, great upgrade!

The Kyle said...

nogoodbye said...
Is there no longer any place to comment on (the) polls? (or am I just to blind to see it?)

Yeah, they're still there. After you vote/press view results one of the options is the go to comments and it takes you to a polldaddy page for comments.

I like the adjustments you made but maybe you could get rid of alot of the stuff on the right to make room for IHA voting. Instead of having a write up for every team getting a 3rd jersey you could just post a link to an article. And, personally, I don't really look at any shoutouts. Just a thought. And having forums could be a cool little thing to have on here.

Dandy said...

I like the new design and layout however I find the diagonal lines everywhere to be distracting. Your new banner at the top is nice and slick... feels like "ice" but again the diagonal is taking away from that design. I suggest putting an "ice rink" texture behind your logo in very light cold blue/white. It'll make your logo pop!

Richard said...

I don't think you would run into the problem of "bashing" on a forum because reputations would be at stake. So rather than whomever's random google posts being deleted, they are now risking they're account at the forums.

Hockey Week said...

yes, the left-side pollbar is definitely the way to go. keeps your focus on what's important, and that's your posts. but, because we read from left-to-right, we don't just overlook the polls, which i think is how it should be.

comments for the polls never seemed to be that big of a deal to me. nice? of course. necessary? probably not. that's especially true if the IHA polls are going to remain in the center as posts (as i well think they should be).

two quick suggestions that i think you should try. a lot of the polls have a light gray background. some do not. i think it would make for easier separation if everything in the sidebars (on both sides, symmetry is always nice) had that same light-gray background. it's not a huge color change, but it's enough to keep everything separated without being drastic.

the only other suggestion, is to change the color of the date-bar at the top of this post. the color is so drastically different that it really draws the eye away from the Icethetics banner. just try to stare at the banner, i know my eyes drift downward to that bar. i (think i) understand why you have it different, to separate the posts from the polls more, but with that gray background, that won't be necessary.

give it a try, keep tinkering, i think you're well on the right track here. keep it up!

Bill Hardin said...

I like the new layout! I think the left and right columns balance out very well. My only question/suggestion is, would there be a way to post the polls like normal, and have them in the sidebar? That way there would be comments for all polls, and all the voters could stay on the site.

Although I agree that the comments section provides good interaction, and forums may be a bit overkill, I have a lot of experience with them and would be willing to help with one.

akus said...

I like the facelift.

I seen this link as a daily reader/blogger at The Pensblog, however tonight when i clicked on the link it told me.

Page not found
Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog icethetics does not exist.


The link is for the Pens/Wild logo and if that page is gone, then it would make sense on why i got that error message.

I found http://icethetics.blogspot.com/ via google.

James said...

It'd be nice if when you click the item you're voting on in the left pane, the large image came up instead of the small one.

flyersk27 said...

I agree with James on that.

Hockey Week said...

James, Flyersk27,
Chris mentioned that before, seems he's not sure how to make that work. unless someone really knows their HTML and is willing to volunteer, i think we're stuck with separate links for the enlarged poll pics.

The Kyle said...

Off-topic: I was looking back at NHLToL and I noticed you just kind of dropped the Here's How You Fix It series. What happened to it? You only did 14 teams and I thought it was one of the best thing going for the site back then.

Chris said...

It'd be nice if when you click the item you're voting on in the left pane, the large image came up instead of the small one.

Chris mentioned that before, seems he's not sure how to make that work. unless someone really knows their HTML and is willing to volunteer, i think we're stuck with separate links for the enlarged poll pics.

Okay, well Hockey Week you almost had it, but that's not quite what I said. I originally wanted to set up the polls so that clicking on the picture takes you to a larger version, but that isn't possible through PollDaddy (the service I use). It's not an HTML/CSS issue, it's the way they've coded their polls.

But to be fair, how hard is it to click a link directly beneath the poll? That's the best we can do right now until PollDaddy updates their poll templates.

Off-topic: I was looking back at NHLToL and I noticed you just kind of dropped the Here's How You Fix It series. What happened to it? You only did 14 teams and I thought it was one of the best thing going for the site back then.

That was just something I was doing in the aftermath of the Rbk EDGE unveilings. Not every jersey needed to be fixed and that's why the series ended.

Chris said...

the only other suggestion, is to change the color of the date-bar at the top of this post. the color is so drastically different that it really draws the eye away from the Icethetics banner.

Perfect! The point is the draw your eye to the posts, not the banner.

I like the new layout! I think the left and right columns balance out very well. My only question/suggestion is, would there be a way to post the polls like normal, and have them in the sidebar? That way there would be comments for all polls, and all the voters could stay on the site.

If that was possible, I'd do it.

Leafers LP said...

Great banner! That's the first thing that came to mind when coming to the site this morning. I have only one minor complaint.

What bothers me is the abrupt ending of the diagonal lines when they're used in places such as the banner or the header for "Center Ice Bracket", "Vote Now!", "Email Chris", "Rebranding the NHL", etc, etc. The blue line at the top should be changed to an full border around each header. My opinion, of course.

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