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.
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!