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#32950 - 06/20/01 07:05 PM The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
As I mentioned earlier in the High Priestess thread, I have been corresponding with Anu a bit lately, with the initial help of Jackie, of course. The purpose of our talking is my proposal to give wordsmith.org a fresh, new look. It has remained the same since it's inception in 1994 and Anu agreed that some aesthetic improvements are in order. I volunteered to create a new design for our beloved site. I had an interesting and pleasing conversation with Anu on the phone last evening (he's a very nice person) and we discussed what we would like to see with a new design and re-organization and what factors needed to be considered, such as older, text-only browsers and voice software for blind users.

Anu seems to be pleased with what I have designed so far, but we would like your input because we know that this board is such a great source of ideas. My design is located at http://home.att.net/~lovelandjazz/wordsmith. I haven't been able to check it in all browsers and possible computer set-ups. I'd like your feedback on the design and I'll most likely be making a couple other possible designs for you to consider.


P.S. Note that the only links on the design that go to other pages are the "text-only" and "more/AWAD" links.

#32951 - 06/20/01 07:20 PM
Max Quordlepleen Offline
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Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409

#32952 - 06/20/01 07:34 PM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
everything looks good as far as IE, Netscape and even aol (ha!) are concerned; and switching to text version works fine. are you planning to do anything with the available space on the side -- i.e., with frames or anything like that?

#32953 - 06/20/01 08:59 PM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
Jackie Offline

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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Wow, it looks cool! I LOVE it that Anu's picture is there!
Two--well, one--suggestion, and a personal preference.
Rather than just the basic definition of the W.A.D., I think it would be better to have everything that you see when you click on More visible immediately. I have a feeling that many people will skip this step, and thus also a great deal of enrichment. Words are so much more than their definitions; etymologies can be very interesting; and,
I love the quotes and X-bonuses.

My personal preference is about the font of the headings.
I like my letters better if they are solid, not hollow with odd colors here and there, and I especially like them to be straight, and to sit upon a level line. It makes me vaguely uneasy if they look "wobbly". (I know--that's weird, but I can't help it.)

#32954 - 06/21/01 06:19 AM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
rodward Offline

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 609
Loc: Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Jazzo, I can only echo the congratulations of the others. It looks clean and sharp. You are brave to share it with us.

Any design like this is going to be a compromise between having all the information and having too much clutter. I agree with Jackie that you should at least try having the etymology on the front page.

The open font and alignment didn't worry me that much, it fits in with the general look and feel, but you may have to try other options if too many people agree with Jackie.

Be very careful about cluttering up the current "spare" space with navigator frames as Tswum may have been suggesting, or was it just a question? You may lose the clean feel.

But great stuff.


#32955 - 06/21/01 07:21 AM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
Flatlander Offline

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 428
Loc: Cape Cod, MA, US

I think the new design is great, and rodward was right when he said that you were brave to share it with us. I doubt anyone would offer anything other than constructive criticism, but changing something we have all grown so attached to is likely to meet with some resistance.

As far as my own comments, I'd have to agree with Jackie that the more information about the WAD on the "front page" the better, and I am also not a fan of outline fonts (but to each his own, esthetically-speaking). Also, maybe you should add to the list of links in the right-hand box a link to the FAQs and, based on the amount of coverage Anu is getting lately, a link to Information for the Press.

I love the clean, clear style -- good work, and congratulations! Finally, and of particular importance to those of us who spend the majority of our time here at AWADtalk, can we see a redesign for the pink navigation banner that appears at the top of every page?

#32956 - 06/21/01 07:34 AM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
Thanks for the comments so far. Tsuwm, I'm guessing that you're using a screen setting that is higher than 800x600. Currently, it looks best in that setting because that's what I use personally. I'm considering using a background image that will have a different color at the 800 pixel mark so higher density browsers can see something other than a field of one solid color.

Jackie, I originally had all of the information on the front page, but that looked a little cluttered and made the middle column much longer than the others. This is actually one less step to get to the full details of a word because currently you have to click AWAD then Today's Word to get to it. This would only require clicking "more" or "AWAD" to get the full thing.

As for the title at the top, I'm fully open to suggestions there. I thought the two colors looked interesting, but I'm totally open to changes.

#32957 - 06/21/01 07:38 AM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
can we see a redesign for the pink navigation banner that appears at the top of every page?

If Anu will let me I was planning on continuing the style through to AWADtalk. I'm not sure about the tan/orange background, but some of the colors and the main logo would have to change for uniformity.

#32958 - 06/21/01 08:07 AM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I particularly like having all the available features on the first page. I first learned about AWAD from the Smithsonian magazine article.But it was a couple weeks before I scrolled down far enough to notice the AWADtalk button. A lot of people may never have noticed it. Perhaps the AWADtalk button ought to be made to stand out more.

#32959 - 06/21/01 08:20 AM Re: The ever-evolving wordsmith.org
Rapunzel Offline

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 328
Loc: Eastern Pennsylvania
Nice, Jazzo. I love the color scheme.
I like the Word a Day the way it is-- while having all of the information immediately available would be nice, I think it might look too cluttered.
I have to agree with Jackie on one thing; it somehow makes me slightly uneasy to be able to see the box borders through the A Word a Day, AWADtalk, Chat and News headings. Dunno why.

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