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  1. #1
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Gnome on the run

    Hello everyone. I'm finishing the design and mockup of my new website and would like your feedback. Site is

    gnomeontherun [dot] com/sandbox

    I don't want it getting picked up just yet, but remove the [dot] and put a . there Right now the only page that really works is the one you see. I have the content, just am waiting for the design to be finalized.

    Things I plan to do:

    I will add a little interactivity by hiding an image of a gnome somewhere on the page (perhaps behind the hat) and if the user happens upon it then it will be a little fun thing.

    Perhaps integrate some bookmarking tools or twitter stuff, but I thats extra stuff later.

    I will change the background with the seasons, so every 3 months it will be different. I may even set it up so that it grabs the weather from the local area of the visitor IP and displays accordingly, again thats later.

    Somehow I will be expanding into a Resources section, where I will have some open source projects that are in the works as well as links and tutorials etc.

    Ok so lay it on me, I'm curious what you think!
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

  • #2
    God Emperor Fou-Lu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremywilken View Post
    I will change the background with the seasons, so every 3 months it will be different. I may even set it up so that it grabs the weather from the local area of the visitor IP and displays accordingly, again thats later.
    OMG I've done that before! I had to rely on the closest I could come up with geomapping (and allowed them to specify later if they wanted too), and changed according to weather instead of season. So awesome I'll see if I can dig that one up so you can have it.
    Just make sure you're caching results though, the webservice lookups tend to be pretty slow

    Nice. The featured work section with you're home page is offset to the right. I'm on IE7 at work with a 1280x1024 res. The bottom links need work as well since they look like they are kinda just floating out there. While we're on floating, I love the clouds.

    I'm red/green colour blind so I have some issues with the green -> brown right box on the side there.

    what a great post...
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  • #3
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    For those not subject to red/green colorblindness the sidebar looks good, but then of course there's accessibility.

    Overall, I like the site - good color choice, nice contrast. I, too, like the clouds - nicely done.

    I will add a little interactivity by hiding an image of a gnome somewhere on the page
    I like this as well. With the domain name, you almost need a gnome somewhere.

  • #4
    Senior Coder Rowsdower!'s Avatar
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    The cloud effects are kind of neat, but to be honest I didn't even realize they were there until someone else mentioned them in their post. Apparently I tended to move my mouse onto/off of the links before the clouds had a chance to leave the gate. I realize that clouds won't go shooting around the sky here, but you may want to make them move just a little sooner when you hover on them.

    Your colors are easy on the eyes and the page looks easy to read (good contrast, but not so much that your eyes hurt). Your in-page graphics are nice (arrows, check marks, quotes, etc. -- I'm not too wild about the top banner, but more on that later). Your client reviews quote is missing the end/closing quotation marks.

    Your featured work section is left-justified in FF2 (not centered over the "previous" and "next" buttons as one would expect) while in IE7 it is centered properly, but with the content popping out to the right - as was mentioned earlier.

    I definitely agree that those links at the bottom need work. I'd say that the font appearance of the category headings should be reworked as well so that at the very least it fits in with your "featured work" heading below.

    OK, now about that top banner...
    I get the style that you are going for here but as I see it, there are a few issues:

    1) The bump/hill (the gnome's freshly covered grave? ) Isn't the same color as the grass that it lands on. I would say that you could either change the color of that hill to match the color of the top of your gradient or else you should add that same gradient to the hill so that it appears to exist in the same plane of "reality" as the ground below. Right now they just look very disconnected.

    2) The sign looks sort of rushed. The finely lined texture doesn't look right especially with the thickly lined style of the rest of the items on the page - the contrast of this against the gnome's hat in particular makes the sign something of an eyesore. I'm not pleased with the font either, but that might look better on a different background.

    3) The footprints don't alternate (left foot, right foot, left foot, etc.) - the gnome would have to bounce across the hill on both feet to get those tracks.

    4) With the blades of grass occurring as frequently as they do on the foreground, it looks out of place to have no blades of grass whatsoever on the hill. I'd either thin out the grass on the foreground to just a few tufts or else I'd add some grass to the hill as well.

    5) The snowman looks way too small given the size of the gnome's hat and the size of the sign. Presumably the gnome built the snowman so maybe the size relative to the sign is irrelevant, but most snowmen I've seen are pretty close to 1:1 scale with the person who built them (sometimes larger). It's not a bad graphic anyway so why not pump it up a little? You could probably go to 150% of its current size without any trouble.

    Apart from that, I like the site.
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  • #5
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Some excellent thought, I appreciate the detail!

    Yes, I fixed the IE problem with the Featured Work. I admit I hadn't checked my site in IE after making a few last changes, ergo the problem. I know...test validate test validate etc. [Edit, I fixed it, and then accidentally overwrote the file with the corrections. Great...Now the footer is messed up, well I am working on the IE issues, but its fine in FF]

    The links at the bottom have been a work in progress lately, my last major change. I had been using a third column, but it was too cluttered and this has been my suggestion replacement. What is good is that it seems to fit, just needs polishing. It is hard because I have to consider possible font scaling and so on, but I want them to alternate between planks in the fence and the open space. I'll sleep on that one.

    The clouds are meant to be discovered, and its just a little enhancement. I have more of those kinds of things planned, but they are meant to be subtle so if you miss them no biggie.

    Questions

    What part of the page is hard for you Fou-lu? I have put it through simulators, but it just seems to make everything a shade of brown.

    Does the hill really look like a grave? I like the way the hill contrasts at the bottom, it gives the hill a rounded feel and a distinct place. I will mess around with it.

    Keep the thoughts coming!
    Last edited by gnomeontherun; 01-14-2009 at 04:05 PM. Reason: ugh
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
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  • #6
    The Apostate Apostropartheid's Avatar
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    I can't do anything but reiterate what I've already sent to you. My love wants to make it VERY CLEAR that she wants to see a GNOME under that hat (I was forced!)

    One thing, though: your titles should be in titling case, right? Your other header is, after all! Also, the post title should be the one underlined, not its underlings: I assumed the "Topics in [...]" was a separate post.

    What will single-post pages look like? What will comments look like? It's currently defaulting to Kubrick. Ew.

    There is only ever one space after a full stop, but I'm just being nit-picky here.

  • #7
    Senior Coder Rowsdower!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremywilken View Post
    ...
    Does the hill really look like a grave? I like the way the hill contrasts at the bottom, it gives the hill a rounded feel and a distinct place. I will mess around with it.
    ...
    That's the first thing I thought of when I saw it, but I'm in a morbid mood today so it might just be me. Especially with that sign there, it reminds me of when a soldier's helmet is placed atop the casket or the grave over the general area of their head (kind of like this random image I googled to give a frame of reference - or this one).

    I'm no artist so I can't really say what exactly to change about it, but to me it just looks like it's a bit off...
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  • #8
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    Sort of related to this, but not necessarily your website ...

    In the U.S., there's a prank (sort of like a fad), where you steal a gnome figurine
    from a neighbor's garden and take photos of it everywhere you go (especially on vacation).
    You then send those photos as postcards to your neighbor, or use a fake Yahoo email
    account to send the photos.

    You don't destroy the gnome, but you return it a few months later.
    And of course, you never tell anyone about it.

    That leads me to thinking about a website where people could send-in some photos
    they've sent or received pertaining to a "stolen gnome - gone on vacation".

  • #9
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Yes well I've derived some of my inspiration since I've played that sport before...

    I for real fixed the problem with the Featured Works in IE, and the footer is at least the same in both. I will probably do more work on it, but for the moment it at least functions.

    Any other thoughts, thanks again!
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

  • #10
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Alright, a major update on my front. I gave up on WP, and went ahead and ported the template into Joomla. I figured why not, besides I need most of the features anyways.

    Give me some thoughts now, as some things have been added/changed.

    www.gnomeontherun.com

    Added:
    Gnome is now under the hat, although its hard to draw one...
    Commenting system (work in progress, having to overwrite a lot of files to get features right)
    Footer is different from before
    Pages are in place and a lot of content is there (yeah, I'm finishing that part but let me know if you have thoughts)

    Edit: I also added some CSS3 things, so check the rounded edges in FF!

    Does the Featured Work Next/Previous links work in IE for people? It functions in FF without errors and fails in IE?

    And does anyone have a strange issue with hovering over the hat in IE?
    Last edited by gnomeontherun; 01-23-2009 at 11:32 PM.
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
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  • #11
    The Apostate Apostropartheid's Avatar
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    This is what IE's saying about your JS:
    Code:
    
    Webpage error details
    User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0)
    Timestamp: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 16:33:35 UTC
    
    Message: Object doesn't support this property or method
    Line: 1
    Char: 1
    Code: 0
    URI: http://www.gnomeontherun.com/
    
    Message: Object doesn't support this property or method
    Line: 1
    Char: 1
    Code: 0
    URI: http://www.gnomeontherun.com/
    
    Message: Object doesn't support this property or method
    Line: 1
    Char: 1
    Code: 0
    URI: http://www.gnomeontherun.com/
    
    Message: Object doesn't support this property or method
    Line: 1
    Char: 1
    Code: 0
    URI: http://www.gnomeontherun.com/
    
    Message: Object doesn't support this property or method
    Line: 66
    Char: 2
    Code: 0
    URI: http://www.gnomeontherun.com/
    
    I like it! But why is there only one sidebar module-thing on single post pages?

    I still think the bottom border should be on H2s, not H3s.

    Also, were you trying to load an OTF font?

  • #12
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Yes I tried to load an OTF font, but I must have not removed it from the final version.

    I don't know whats wrong with the JS, it used to work in IE and I haven't done anything to it. Its Protype/Scriptaculous that is getting flagged...
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
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  • #13
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    I like it the side bar and clouds just need a little work


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