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CmdrTaco's Journal: Slashdot Redesign IX: Home Stretch 76

Journal by CmdrTaco
So after trying to write thank you e-mails to birthday well wishers, I had gmail shut me down. They thought I was a spammer. This made redesign evaluations a bit of a trick. But I'm hopefully caught up.

Today's entries are largely repeats. Most (all?) of them have been posted in my journal before. Some have been revised. Some have not. I'm not planning on posting any more mockup links to jpgs. These are essentially "Finalists". The contest still is not "Closed"- We plan to take entries at least through tomorrow. Revisions to any design are welcome. If you have been exchanging emails with me, try to reply to your old emails with updates to I can keep threads together. There have been 200+ entries, and I can't keep all ya'll straight.

Michael Johnson's design has gone through a few variations, but I keep coming back to this one. I think this one needs work yet to win. I'd prefer green article titles. I want to see what he will do with that upper right hand corner. I think his left hand menu could use some fanciness. The slashbox fonts are to small for my tastes. His 'Read More' space could stand out. Abbreviated text font size is really small (and doesn't stick out well). But I think that with a few hours of work, we could make this work.

Matt Walker's entry is another sharp one. I think his logo metallic shading affect is to much- it needs to be much more subtle. Also I can't tell if he wants his background to be dark grey or dark green- there's floating green edge on the logo that doesn't work. But his menu choices are solid. His slashboxes stick out and have a lot of pop. His articles look nice.

Nate Ziarek's design features a very attractive left hand menu, and interesting slashboxes. The menu is HUGE here, and he doesn't use the upper right hand corner- but if you move the preferences up there and make the left menu a little narrower, this is an excellent entry.

Chuck Han's entry is the only one to feature a blinking curser ;)

Ian MacLeod's design has a LOT going for it, and one crippling bad thing: the main problem is his choice to use a light green background. It just doesn't work for me. It just feels soft. I'm not sure how I feel about the floating left column topic icons either, but I share this entry because I think his 'Rea More' graphic is great. The fading in on the left, and the curve on the right... it's a simple cool design. The drop down menus look nice for his menus. Most/All of the necessary navigational elements are here and well done. I'd like to see this with a white background in the main space instead. But it's very elegant. A great entry.

Alek Bendiken's submission is another great one. His slashboxes look cool. His header is spacious and efficient. Th gentle gradiant on the titlebars looks great. I don't care for the line between is quoted text and unquoted text- I think the line should go, and he should put a vertical line to the left of the quote and/or more space. I think the article footer is a bit bland. Unlike many entries, he paid attention to his footer. I might switch the curves from left to right... I might not. It's subtle but wonderful. This design doesn't have tags, system messages, or abbreviated articles, but it's a really great entry.

Peter Lada's entry is back once again. The issues I have with this design now are really minor. I think he uses his triangular arrow things inconsistently: I think a triangle really visiaully says 'click to expand' which works on the left hand menu- except he uses down arrows on every menu item. He has right arrow on department lines and abbreviated articles, but there's no expansion in there. I'd want to work out some minor details, but this is a great design that really looks like 'Slashdot'.

As I said before, the contest is not closed, but we are now beginning to judge on compatibility, and implementation details. Eg, how much HTML did each design change. How much 'Work' would it take us to deploy, and how well does each design work on various browsers. I'd appreciate feedback on these points especially from anyone willing to post comments here. We want our winner to look good, be compatible, and accessible, as well as lightweight.

So keep 'em coming. This is the home stretch... I want to pick a winner soon!

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashdot Redesign IX: Home Stretch

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  • ...my e-mails are never going to get through so I'll just submit my entery here. Hope this counts Rob. It's still only a raster comp because I'm not much of a code monkey.
  • Well, it's not the first time I post it there, but I've not been quoted yet, and I would like a little more comments on my entry.

    So here it is : http://jfband.net/slash/slash4/ [jfband.net] Thanks in advance ;)
  • I don't like in his the design, the way Abbreviated Articles seem to "mix" with the article above. They seem to be a whole.
  • Since Rob didn't list mine: slashdot.kurafire.net [kurafire.net].

    I've no idea whether it's simply not near interesting enough for him or something else, but I'd be interested to hear what the Slashdotters themselves think of it. :-)
  • Since it wasn't listed any feedback is much appreciated. Even if it's not a winning design I would love the critique for learning purposes..

    http://www.optimle.com/slashdot/3/index.htm [optimle.com]
    http://www.optimle.com/slashdot/2/index.htm [optimle.com]
    • Few comments on your header for now:

      Your logo's separated color is nice, but drop the contrast between the dark and light green a whole bunch - right now it just seems to split slashdot in half, instead of accenting it.

      The catch phrase could use some clean up to make it less blurry - try going for a light grey dropshadow

      I like your search box, but I think you should probably round the left edge instead of go for a triangle cut - the rest of your design hinges on rounded corners, so it should fit in much mor
    • I like your sidebars a lot, but the header and the stories don't look too good. Too much contrast I think - I dont like the super dark logo on top of a very light background. The font size for the stories is a bit small, and I think they could use some additional padding.
  • Michael Johnson's design is badly broken under galeon [googlepages.com] (version 1.3.20, in debian sarge). Right hand slashboxes fonts have overlapping lines (smaller space between lines, than font height), and search box is somewhere in the middle of the webpage, badly overlapping with some article. Some hyperlinks underlines from left hand menu extend into the articles sections. In general this design doesn't work.

    Matt Walker's entry - unreadable article headlines - black on dark green. And yeah - slashboxes stand out t
  • ... it took me some days of ... quite a lot work, and at least i'd like to get some constructive criticism :)

    My Slashdot redesign [inode.at]

    please let me know what you think, ... hopefully you like it
    • oh, wow! That's some serious competition!

      The menu is far too dark for my tastes - and you'll want to sneak in a "clear: right" for the article footers

      You've got a really good look going on - I love how you did the search & login, too.
      • hehehe ... did i mention, that it's running smoothly only on firefox yet? ... :) all other users have to stretch their fantasy for now ...
    • cool, but the Abbreviated Articles are such a mess... Also the left menu font is way too little (I know I could resize, but the default is too small)
    • wow, looks good! here's my screenshot [googlepages.com] :) Just few remarks: right-hand column grows too wide when increasing font size. Left-hand menu is too dark and unreadable, background bars under left-hand menu sections are too small, and the text doesn't fit in full. What's up with 'search' and 'login'? Besides it looks really promising :)
    • thanks guys for your opinions! ... i know, ... resizing causes some troubles - it's hard to deal with this without changing too much in the original layout (... when using that much graphics ;) ) rob thinks the design is too "busy" ... i think he's right in a way. but i wanted to do something a little bit funky, not so boring ... so, hopefully i'll be able to 'recycle' the whole stuff sometime in the future ;) wah it was a lot of work! :)
  • If I had to pick one at this very moment to be my forever-slashdot view, it would be:

    Nate Ziarek's design.
    • Yay me :-) I'm working on it a little more now, trying to figure out if there is a way to get the font-sizing to not break the layout. It's tough, though, as things don't scale quite the way you think they should. There are a ton of great entries. I'm thrilled to even have mine mentioned... Nate
  • Nearly ALL the entries submitted failed the basic text resizing.

    For mozilla firefox, pressing CTRL-+ or CTRL-- results in subject topic shaded boxes NOT to resize along with the text.
    • Ian MacLeod here - I've been doing my best to ensure that font resizing works like a charm in my layout. Unfortunately Firefox makes life difficult by resizing line heights as well, so there's a lot less control we have over the page.

      Did you find any outstanding issues with it on that regard? Toss me a reply and I'll see what I can do about fixing them.
      • Either it's fixed or it was already fixed.

        Keep it up, Ian...

        My user agent is:
        Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.8.0.1) Gecko/20060410 Firefox/1.5.0.1

      • What's "difficult" about that? That's entirely intended and correct behaviour...

        On a side note, font resizing works just fine on my entry. ;)
        • Well, I can totally agree with resizing the line-height in most situations. However, when you specify a line-height in pixels, one would think that the browser would respect that value (while still resizing the em-specified line heights). This is what IE does, and is probably one of the few 'features' that I actually applaud in that mangled mess of a browser.

          Basically, seems like a counter-intuitive behavior to me, particularly when dealing with pixel values and em values together.
          • Pixels were never meant to be an unchangeable unit. When you specify a font size in pixels, you don't want it to be unchangeable. Well, old-school designers may want it to, but as a user you really really don't. If you need to scale text so that you can read the tiny print that some people use, you don't want it to not change, nor do you really want just the text to change and the line-height to stay the same (that may well make things even more difficult to read).
            • I totally agree that the font size should change when resizing, that's what the users are asking for, and that's what they should get.

              However, it's the line height that I'd like to keep static for certain situations - for instance when you have text you want to fit into a given image. If we could resize background images via CSS, this wouldn't be a problem, and we could just set up the page (or portions thereof) to scale the way Opera does.

              Sometimes the design lends itsself to holding a given line of text
              • You have a point there, but I don't think that line-heights in pixels are to blame there, nor Firefox. It's a limitation in the CSS Background specification, and nothing else. Also, it's a challenge to your creativity -- I can assure you, there are ways to accomplish exactly what you're hoping for. :)

                Z-index, images and the em-unit are all you need.
  • I would like comments on my entry: http://slashdot.myfinejob.com/ [myfinejob.com]

    It may looks similar to the current Slashdot (I thought that's one critical point!), but look closely you will find a lot of differences to make it 'new and refreshing'. Guess Rob didn't even visited my site even though he replies my email. hmm..

    Still tweaking the top menu, let me know what you think!

    Thanks.

  • Hm... I submitted my entry on saturday and didn't get a reply. I sent it again today just in case, from another email account, still no reply. I just want to make sure he actually saw my email at least. What should I do guys? Does he check this thread?
    • Rob must have some super aggressive spam filter on his e-mail because I sent e-mail from three accounts (two on the same comcast account) to both his redesign address and his slashdot account. He never looked at my comps because I checked my web logs. Two weeks later and the best I can do is post them here bu since I'm not a code monkey it's basically wasted time and effort on my part because it appears Rob not only wants a free designs on sort-of-spec, he wants free programming too.
      • "Free" is subjective. He's giving away a laptop and the notoriety that goes along with being "the person that redesigned Slashdot." For those two things, he wants more than a mockup - that's only part of the battle. Translating that mockup into usable (read: crossbrowser) CSS is an extremely difficult task, not a trivial afterthought of the design process. That all said, I am willing to bet that if your mockup absolutely rocked, and it looked like it _could_ be turned into CSS, he'd consider it...
      • C'mon dude don't be a hater. I can understand you being frustrated, but check your attitude at the login. What reason would CmdrTaco have for intentionally ignoring your emails? Afterall, it's his website and he's giving away a laptop...don't you think he'd prefer getting the best design? Btw I think your designs are at the top of the pack in the visual dept. however they're lacking in the completion dept. ;)
        • I never said he did it on purpose, I said hey were simply being ignored or filtered. I'm apparently not the only one. If you're going to setup a seperate e-mail account for allowing submissions to something like this, remove the super aggresive portion of the spam filter or at the very least poke through the junk-mail folder for possible legitimate e-mails.
    • Thanks for the post. Sorry that you didn't get a reply either. Perhaps there are others as well. I really just wanted a confirmation that the submission has been received that's all. Anyways, My entry is not a mockup. In fact it's already cross browser compatible (IE6, PC/MAC FF, Safari) and it's in pure CSS. It won't break with font re-size either. Check it out, comments are very welcomed. http://www.primecut.net/slashdot [primecut.net] Thanks!
    • I submitted an entry which tried a couple of new things and asked some questions but only received a thanks and "read the journal" response. I thought I'd tried a couple of things that were worthy of a quick "nah, doesn't do it for me" or "interesting, keep at it" so I lost interest.

      Have only looked on Firefox/Win (IE has font issues), but maybe someone out there might want to have a look. Focuses on layout before fluffy corners and gradients.

      http://www.triplezero.com.au/production/slashdot/ [triplezero.com.au]
  • I think, without a doubt, that Peter Lada's design is the most well thought out design, and the one that looks most finished. It just has that polished look, where the designer really tried to think about every last detail.
    This is the face I want to see on Slashdot when I wake up and find that they changed the design :)
  • is the only readable one; he should do something with titles, taco is correct, but the rest is good; the others are all inferior to the current style.

    In the end, having seen what people proposed, I would serioulsly consider sticking to the old style.
  • by graznar (537071)
    Well I'm glad you guys think they look great; I think they all look the same in lynx.

    --
    My entry redux [20somethingdesign.com]
    • by bj8rn (583532)
      I think they all look the same in lynx. Actually, Peter Lada's design shows an extra login box right at the top of the page in lynx, which is really quite nice, as you don't have to scroll down several pages just to log in. I find it quite boring otherwise, though. And it has too much green to my taste.
  • Peter Lada still gets my vote. I agree with Rob's thing about the arrows. Perhaps + and - would be better for the hide/show controls.

    I think the "read more" is still better off on the left as it is a much better in terms of usablility. There was one design that had "read more" on the left, and "xx of xx comments" and the catagory on the right. That was more usable while also looking more balanced. I also think that's one area that still looks a bit plane and needs to draw more attention, after all, the fo

  • This is hilarious. I think it would more funny if such a popular site like Slashdot chose this as their UI. What would newcomers think if they happened upon it? This is how I want my slashdot to look.
  • Here's mine http://jiggit.com/slashdotsite/Slashdot.htm [jiggit.com] I'm sad that I won't be able to complete this design in time. I started really late in the competition and tried to do too much. I even tried doing a new set of icons but only got 55 of them done. :( Anyways, just figured I'd share. O yeah, it has some issues with IE. lol
  • Can you guys tell me your comments on my look? http://www.umlautconception.com/slashdot/slashdot. htm [umlautconception.com] and here is one with the Slashdot logo.. http://www.umlautconception.com/slashdotv2/slashdo t.htm [umlautconception.com] Thanks for giving me comments!
  • Hi... just wanted to share my design... shoot! tell me what do you think about it. http://www.quasarcr.com/samples/sd/sample1.html [quasarcr.com] Besides that Peter Lada's design looks good to me.
  • Not that this is a popularity contest, but I think Ian MacLeod's design is the most appealing.
  • Some of the designs have collapsible sideboxes, and I haven't looked at all of them so maybe this has been done.

    I would love it if regardless of which design is chosen, the story summaries could be collapsed ala Gmail. It could be login-only option to avoid compatibility issues, perhaps. Depending on your screen size you could see twenty or thirty headlines without scrolling.

    I toyed with the idea of submitting a design based on this but I didn't think my puny css skills would allow me to compete with the be
  • This guy posted his design [cloaks.com] in the comments for journal #8 about the redesign, I dont know if he ever submitted it to Rob but I know Rob hasn't posed about it. It's one of my absolute favorites. The stories could use a bit of work, but the header and logo look flippin fantastic if you ask me.
  • Here's another one I submitted. Any comments are welcome.

    http://jiggit.com/slashdot/newSlashdot.htm [jiggit.com]
  • Can we PLEASE stop putting ~20 articles on the front page? This isn't digg - the articles are interesting, the summaries here are good, and the comments are great. We don't need 20 articles on the front, people can always use the "yesterday's news" button.

    Also - I am glad to see the new entries are taking the search box seriously. Now if only we could improve the search engine to work...
    • You can change your own limit [slashdot.org], but I don't see why you would want to apply your tastes to everyone elses' homepages.

      When I've been offline for a few days, it's good to have nice long pages to skim through just in case Linus has ordered any beheadings or anything interesting like that that I may have missed.

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst

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