Update (September 3 11:05am):A silly oversight has been corrected. I hope any comments that were lost due to my error will be reposted later today. Thanks again, Eddie, for emailing me and letting me know.
Update (September 3 11:00am):After an email I just received (thank you Eddie) it’s apparent that the comment functionality is misbehaving. I’m going to work on fixing it, stay tuned.
I don’t claim to be the Web’s gift to design, but I went ahead and pushed the latest version of the Monday By Noon site design; version 3. Personally, I think this new version is a step up from version 2, and a giant leap ahead from the launch version. You may think it’s a bit better, you might hate it. If you’d like to leave your opinion please feel free, I’ve always got an open ear.
In an effort to make the on-site experience a bit richer, I’ve included a few features that I thought would be of interest to readers. I’ve started with just a basic feature set (as detailed below) but plan on expanding upon it over the next few months.
The new design is liquid in nature, something I’ve been meaning to play with here for some time. Personally, I’m pleased with how the content presents itself on screen. Liquid designs have both pros and cons attached to their implementation, but being that this design is quite simple in nature, it seems to work out quite well.
At the conclusion of each article, there is now a section containing article tags, a list of related articles, as well as some del.icio.us information using a snippet provided by Paul Stamatiou.
Many of my future plans for this version of the site stem from articles themselves. I’d like to make better use of my saved bookmarks especially; using them to make articles that much more useful by providing relevant links I’ve saved in the past.
I’ve included a few bonus features in the sidebar of each page. More prominent now are my del.icio.us links which I aim to treat as miniature asides, including a short opinion or thought with each link. I’m also including lists of recent articles from both the design community as well as the web++ community over at 9rules. The caching built into WordPress is great.
As with the last version of the site, Text Link Ads have been included in an effort to help with hosting fees and all that. Unfortunately, I’ve been without any sponsors for the past few weeks. Should the trend continue, I’ll eventually drop TLA in favor of more customized advertising, should anyone inquire. In case you may be interested in purchasing an ad spot, I’ve posted a screenshot of visits from Mint in the about section.
What else would you like to see?
Here’s where reader participation comes in. Readers of this site are often quiet. My stats show me people are reading, but with a lack of response, it’s hard to tell whether or not I’m providing worthwhile content, or merely publishing pieces that are marked as read after a quick glimpse.
I’ve spoken to a few people about the content I’ve posted over the past year or so. It’s clear that the content is fairly technical in nature, and that’s directly because I’m truly interested in the inner workings of things. I’m interested in the gritty details and I enjoy talking about it. With that comes a decent amount of research to ensure what I write isn’t a load of junk, but what often results is a piece approaching a technical user manual. That’s not my goal. My goal with this website is to provide ‘a resource for Web designers and developers to read and write about their craft’.
Some recent articles I’ve posted have been more opinion-oriented, and as a result have sparked some great conversation. Has the change of pace spruced things up a bit for you? Do you enjoy reading the opinion pieces? Do you like them more than the technical pieces? Do you like a healthy blend of the both? I’d really like to hear your opinion of the quality of writing as of the past few months.
All in all, I’m glad to have pushed the new design, and hope it inspires me to bring the on-site experience to the next level.
All is looking good now!!! Congrats!
Umm, what was I going to say before… I think that your sweet spot should be both technical posts and opinion posts. I like the technical articles, but a good opinion piece is more likely to get my blood flowing. I’m biased, so I can’t say what the ratio should be. You may have to use trial/error unless you get a lot of direction from these comments in one direction.
Mmmm I like the content to the left, are these widgets that you are using??
@Eddie Walker: Thanks again for the heads up earlier. It’s good to know that you enjoy a healthy blend of both technical pieces as well as opinion. I enjoy writing both and will try to keep a solid balance between the two.
@Jermayn Parker: The sidebar content is pulled using custom functions I’ve written which use the built in caching capabilities of WordPress. If it’s something you’re interested in I can definitely work on releasing them as widgets — let me know.
Nicely done, Jon! This is quite an improvement I must say. Very clean and easy to read.
Looking good, you could increase the contrast a bit though.
I am a little late, but nice work with the new look/feel.
Thanks very much for the compliments, I really appreciate it!
I think there are a few reasons technical articles create less conversation. One reason is simply that there’s less to talk about or less reason to say something. Often when reading a technical article, I’ll think “great tip/idea” but not make the effort to comment. “Great idea, thanks” isn’t so interesting to comment… So I wouldn’t consider the amount of comments a good measure of success for an article.
Like the new layout by the way.