on the visual design of kisrael.com
My recent question of where should loveblender.com appear in my sidebar raised some questions about my web-design choices...and my quote lowerdown not with standing, most of them even have answers:
- Not that I go that often to either site, but why have 'Mortality' above 'blender', when the former was written about three years ago, and the latter is updated constantly?
Philisophically, I consider 'Mortality' to be my most important work...something that can really help a group of people suffering a certain type of existenitial anxiety. Loveblender is more interesting, at least on a monthly basis (and usually gets a link in the main content section every month) but it's not really "part" of this site and most of its content isn't by me, though I am proud of my role in keeping it together.
- Why have a 'link' at the top of each page to bring the day's entry to its own screen when you could just organise it so that the clicking title would do that for you?
In general, I don't like links that aren't underlined. I think links should look like links, and that underlining/colorizing is part of the visual vocabulary of the web that shouldn't be lightly set aside. On the other hand, underlines do tend to clutter up stuff like titles, especially if they take more than one line. So, I made the 'link' seperate. Also see about 'permalinks' below.
- What's with the triangles beside the date and comment link?
Before them, people were adding comments to the previous day's content. I think they'd start at the top of the page, read down, see a comments link, and use it. The triangles are there to tie in the right comments link with the right content. (I also experimented with a text based link at the end of each day's content, but it looked cluttered.
- Why link the date at all?
Well, the link says 'link' because I didn't want to use up the space in writing 'permalink'...'permalink' is an important concept in blogdom. It's a way of letting people link to any day's content even as the main site changes day after day. Without that, if people linked to the frontpage because of that day's content, that link would be obsolete in three days.
- Why have fullstops after the 'quotes and links worth the click' up the top?
Eh, it's kind of an pseudo-artistic conceipt I stole from somewhere, I forget where. Maybe an old sexy ad for "Interview" magazine, "for a good read." Actually, when I finally get to migrating to kirkjerk.com, that will probably change to "quotes and links daily" for the topline and the other names for the same site (alienbill.com kisrael.com) on the second.
- Why does grey seem to be the feature colour on the site?
It's not; black and white are. The grey is just there to liven up the place.
- Why does the "last 2 weeks" past entries run chronologically backwards, but each month in "by month" run forwards?
(No one asked this question, but it hits me as odd sometimes. The reasons for that go way back to my own journaling history on the PalmPilot.)
The front page is in reverse order. This is a general blog tradition, that new content appears at the top, so a regular visitor doesn't always have to scroll down to see what's new. Now, I'm kind of 'cheaty' in that sense; for some reason it's been important to me to break my journal into days. (and I haven't missed a day in almost 3 years) Now, it's obvious that 'day' isn't quite the smallest unit of update, most days get several "of the Moment" updates. So the days are listed in reverse, but each indiviudal day gets updated forward. In practice I think it works out ok, because days are clearly differentiated with the black bar, and 'today' almost always is contained "above the fold", with no scrolling needed.
I think that I have better than average archive browsing. I really tried to think about what tools I wish I had when browsing the past content of other sites. "last 2 weeks" (which actually clicks on a tool that lets you select any number of weeks) come from that; often I miss a few days entries, but I really don't want to go digging through a calendar. It's in reverse order because it's more or less an extension of the front page. "By month" on the other hand...well, I don't know. My old Palm journal broke things out by month (well, often one month would be a few 'memos') in regular chronological order, and kisrael.com is an extension of that journal, so the month archive goes forward in time despite everything else going back.
- What's up with that "...of the Moment" stuff anyway? Shouldn't that be "...of the Day" if anything?
"...of the Moment" goes back to the first entries..."Quote of the Moment" for the first few weeks, then it got to "Joke of the Moment", "Poem of the Moment", and "Rant of the Moment". In short, it's a way of categorizing content that doesn't take too much time. I think most people block out the "...of the Moment" in pretty short order, actually. I've toyed with other systems, but they all take too much mental effort and/or make unfunny jokes. (Like how Slashdot uses a MAD-magazine-esque "from the something-something-something dept")
It's "...of the Moment" and not "...of the Day" because...well, if something is "...of the Day", it sounds like you're planning to do something every day, and I didn't want to try to live up to that. Also, it somehow implies it stands for the whole day, when usually I'm amazing to entertain on a more momentary basis.