corporate-sellout.com - my blog

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Thad
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corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:27 pm

Welp, just published a full redesign of good ol' corporate-sellout.com. It needs some work on both the front and the backend, but I think it's a pretty good start.

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sei
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:39 pm

Check the nav links. Some of them have an additional "/index.php/" in the URL.
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Mothra
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Mothra » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:49 pm

In general, it's solid.

I don't like how the bar just appears on the left, and how the bar on the right isn't rounded out:

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:38 am

Going further with responsive stuff, there're also certain widths where corporate-sellout.com is on one line, but the rest of the nav is pushed down.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:04 pm

Mothra wrote:In general, it's solid.

I don't like how the bar just appears on the left, and how the bar on the right isn't rounded out:

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Yeah, I'm wondering if going with a different background-color for the hero might make the transition seem a little less abrupt. (ETA: A border or box-shadow might help too.)

Idea is that hero background is full-width while post background is only post width. Alternately, I could just make the entire site background white, but that wouldn't work with the alternating background-colors on each post. (Of course, I've noticed that on my phone the difference is not detectable unless you're looking for it, so that's worth considering.)

Rounded corners...eh. Not really my idiom right now.

sei wrote:Going further with responsive stuff, there're also certain widths where corporate-sellout.com is on one line, but the rest of the nav is pushed down.


Yeah, that's a Foundation thing. I fought with it a bit on my portfolio site but ultimately decided I'm okay with it.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:18 pm

Pretty sure Foundation lets you change the topbar's mobile-view breakpoint.

You could also shorten the "corporate-sellout.com" string's consumed space by changing it to say CorporateSellout, switching it to a narrower typeface, replacing it with a logo, or some combination thereof.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Grath » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:11 am

So I (and most consumers) don't have superwide monitors but your layout starts to get a bit funky at resolutions much wider than 1920 (bar in middle is Ubuntu's Unity launcher from stretching page over two monitors.) Dunno how much you care given that 1080p is generally still the standard, to my knowledge, but there's fringe enthusiast/etc "ultra-wide" monitors that might mess with your layout, plus 4k being a thing people would still have to zoom or something probably.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:50 pm

sei wrote:Pretty sure Foundation lets you change the topbar's mobile-view breakpoint.


Yeah, but I don't think it looks bad with the nav on its own line, except for the whitespace on the lefthand side.

sei wrote:You could also shorten the "corporate-sellout.com" string's consumed space by changing it to say CorporateSellout, switching it to a narrower typeface, replacing it with a logo, or some combination thereof.


Well, I could change the entire top-bar's font size at medium resolution, too, which I think is what I wound up doing on the other site. But there comes a point where it's worth asking "Does this really look bad enough that I need to worry about fixing it for the subset of users who are for some reason viewing it at a viewport width between 640 and 800px?" I think this falls well within the Good Enough threshold, but if too many people think it's a real problem, I could always change the breakpoint to 800.

Grath wrote:So I (and most consumers) don't have superwide monitors but your layout starts to get a bit funky at resolutions much wider than 1920 (bar in middle is Ubuntu's Unity launcher from stretching page over two monitors.) Dunno how much you care given that 1080p is generally still the standard, to my knowledge, but there's fringe enthusiast/etc "ultra-wide" monitors that might mess with your layout, plus 4k being a thing people would still have to zoom or something probably.


I'm viewing at 2560x1440 and don't see a problem -- like you say, if you stretch it to 3840 it fucks with the relative positioning of the navigation a bit, but also like you say, anybody viewing it at 4K is going to have to zoom in for 16px text to be legible anyway.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:31 am

Welp, in a totally unsurprising development, now that I started blogging again I'm finding it pretty easy to find stuff to yammer on about. Tomorrow makes a solid week of posting, and I've already got that post written, and the one after it. (They're listings of my favorite episodes of X-Files and Millennium, which I intend to update as I watch more episodes.)

Nothing planned for Thursday yet but I'm tempted to just edit and repost what I wrote about the current Humble Books Bundle over in the Free and Cheap Comics thread. Partly because it really is a great bundle, and partly because Thursday's my birthday and if you can't dash off a quick rerun post on your birthday, when can you?

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:23 pm

"Quick rerun post" my ass; I wound up putting a lot more time and effort into that one than expected (and not posting it on my birthday after all).

Anyhow, I've managed to keep up my post-a-day streak this long, but may take the weekend off. Next planned post is "What Mega Man: Powered Up Does Right and Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X Does Wrong", which will require a lot of screenshot gathering from four different games.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Mothra » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:50 pm

Alright, booted it up again yesterday, and I'm still not sold on the title header section. Most annoying thing for me is that it's so big and so empty I have to scroll down to see what the most recent post is. Feel like the content should be something you are greeted with first and foremost, with the information of what the blog is and who writes it secondary.

Also iffy on you having a picture there. It's fine for now, but I'd consider getting some kind of logo picture done via a commission to an artist. Could just be a drawing of your head, a la the olde WFE header.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:13 pm

Yeah, that's another one of those late 1990's things I've kept around out of sentimentality as much as anything. Though hero sections are still pretty common in this day and age.

And if you just want to keep on top of the latest posts, there's always good ol' RSS.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Mongrel » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:17 pm

I have to admit I am also not a fan of personal photos unless they're really polished or amusing. Your current image just looks like a casual shot someone took of you at a cousin's barbecue or something, which I hope doesn't sound too rude.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:00 pm

Ah, but the most amateur thing is the rotation job I did on it in Gimp.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:55 pm

Image
Image

Might also be worth making nav side-margins consistent with content margins. E.g., aligning the corporate-sellout.com text's left edge and nav's right edge with the content borders, instead of letting them scale off to the left/right window edges.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Thad » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:40 am

sei wrote:Image
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Fixed. (It had to do with the layout being set on the container for the hero portion and the content area on the posts. Not noticeable when the edge of the row's right up against the container, but noticeable when it isn't.)

sei wrote:Might also be worth making nav side-margins consistent with content margins. E.g., aligning the corporate-sellout.com text's left edge and nav's right edge with the content borders, instead of letting them scale off to the left/right window edges.


I don't really think it's much of a problem, and I'm considering adding more links to the navbar anyway.

And guys, look, I appreciate all the feedback on the site design; it does make me a better designer (which is going to make me better at my professional design work), and it points out little idiosyncrasies in Foundation and other toolkits for me that will probably be useful later. And you've clearly put some thought and time into this, what with the screenshots and all. That's good. I do appreciate it.

But you know we're up to seven posts on the layout and zero on the content, yes?

The blog design is a means to an end, ultimately. And that end is for me to blog about things.

And, I mean, if nobody gives a damn about Ken Penders or X-Files or comic book coloring techniques, that's fair enough; I know I'm scratching my own itch here and that's what I've always done. (We used to call them "vanity sites" back in the old days for a reason.) And maybe I'll get around to something that's more up your alley later on and maybe I won't. But I didn't expect the layout to be that much more interesting than the posts.

I'd make a joke about not quitting my day job, but, well, that's not really a concern at the moment.

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Büge » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:47 am

I like to read your stuff, Thad!

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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Mongrel » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:35 am

I think the thing is, when we do talk about your blog's content it's typically been in response to your posts here, without really mentioning your blog per se.
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby sei » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:51 pm

Thad wrote:The blog design is a means to an end, ultimately. And that end is for me to blog about things.
IMO, blogging is a means too. I am just not sure what your actual end is, even though you wrote it and I'm quoting it.

Why I Didn't Comment on "Content"

Most of your content bores my shit right out. But that's okay. I'm not into comics the same way you are.

The non-comic stuff is mostly a mental travelogue / stream of consciousness thing, not topic-constrained, so I wouldn't personally subscribe or keep tabs on it.

Like you said, scratching your own itch.


General Site Improvements

I can only really help with the meta- stuff.

I am an impatient mother fucker and have kicked a couple tires on the web. I can't make your content relevant to me, but I can help you organize it, dress it up, and in some cases, commit to it (in the case of the audio books).

I've weighed in on the layout because it interests me. I couldn't find content relevant to my interests conveniently enough to weigh in on it, and I'm not convinced I'm your target audience.

Then again, I'm not convinced you have a target audience.

Anyway, shit to fix:

Presentation

Making posts / blog index sexier:
  • Fix your fucking URLs so they don't include index.php. This isn't 1996. "index.php" is noise and it will cause URL clipping in search result listings.
  • Use featured images. Header images break shit up and make it look sexier. Theme lack support for it? Hack it the fuck in. I'm pretty sure that if FoundationPress didn't support it out of the box, I edited it in easily enough.
  • Consider just showing excerpts instead of the full posts on the archive pages. It makes it a lot faster to skim for something of actual interest.
  • Use subheadings every 2-5 paragraphs, depending on article length, because of how people read on the web. Bonus: good SEO.
  • Break content up with elements of visual interest. This usually means images, but it can be pullquotes or other shit. Side-align images to appear beside paragraphs. Or you can do what cracked.com articles does (centered, w/ caption). But do something to break that sensation of drowning in a wall of text. Go poke around popular articles on medium, NYT's long form articles, or check out other sites and see what looks good to you, then start mimicking it. I'm sure that you read HN and that you can find well-formatted articles that "made it" there, too.

Content (Organization) Strategy

Organize your content. Figure out who your prospective audience(s) are and how your site's content/layout can get them to relevant shit ASAP.

Case Study: Audio Book Section
Audio book section. Do you want to actually sell these?
  1. Make a damned audiobook page instead of linking to a WP tag view in navigation.
  2. On that audiobook page...
    • Lead with some paragraphs that sell people on your narration. "Focus on your unique selling point," if you want it in marketing jack-off terminology.
    • Follow with a section for each book. The sections should include things like: cover picture, book audience, summary of the book, base price, and other info.
    • Close with some sort of blisteringly fucking obvious feedback section (and/or have it in the sidebar). This would let people make suggestions, requests, ego stroking compliments, inquiries, etc..
  3. Turn the individual audio book posts into pages that are children of the main audio book page. Link to them appropriately from the aforementioned audio book page. On the page for an individual book, sell the fucking book. "My favorite of the three I've done so far" isn't enough to make me buy anything, unless you're already an artist whose work I enjoy and/or taste I deeply trust. Being that you're not yet Stephen King, George Martin, etc., you don't have that luxury.
  4. Market the books by connecting with relevant people in the field. When you've got the page looking up to snuff, start linking people to it and giving them a promo code for a free download and/or attaching the book for free. You have to get some initial interest/reviews. Figure out where people write about audible books or books similar to the ones you narrated, and send them your shit for an honest review and/or a way they can give their readers some kind of discount. Bonus offering for them (content, if they like your book, and a giveaway to readers); bonus offering for you (traffic); win-win.

Make a fucking portfolio page to serve employers / peers. Feature interesting personal projects and any previous web shit done for work that you'd like to show off. The next-closest-thing right now sucks. It's the work WP category and the first thing I saw was Job Spammers are the Worst which is almost certainly not relevant to their interests.

Obscure tech stuff might be an exception; people who it's relevant to will come in from Google long-tail searches. The other people tech would be relevant to are employers/peers who are trying to quickly assess whether you're smart, coherent, and not a twat. Again, see that bit about making a portfolio page. Employment is probably like online dating; you probably don't want their first impression to be you complaining.






P.S.

FIX YOUR FUCKING URLs

(and promptly 301 the old ones)

p.p.s. i might edit this later

p.p.p.s. if this sounds aggressive, it's a matter of having fun. i'm not actually irritated; i just like saying "fuck"
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Re: corporate-sellout.com - my blog

Postby Friday » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:02 pm

Well, I might be the opposite of sei in that I don't really know/care about comics and I still find reading your articles enjoyable. As I've stated before (somewhere, I think) my favorite thing you've ever done is the FF7 series.

Anyway I always click to read through your "expanded" posts when you link them here. I'd probably still read them even if I hadn't known you for 10 years. You've got a good writing style and know how to do paragraph breaks followed by short sentences

(like this)

to keep a reader interested.
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