Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blog Revamp - Comments Requested

We will add all the sidebar stuff once we have completed the template. Comments requested on:

(i) Colour Scheme (work to do here). General sense is that the red is too bright.

(ii) Font

(iii) Column Format (the current version is the one I want but open to suggestions. Lots of comments to the extent that filling out the screen is a big improvement on the old format.

(iv) Suggestions for watermark images for the title bar.

(v) Suggestions for the permanent links.

(vi) Suggestions for website html name. Something like is the default. Certainly gearybehaviourcentre is not good.


Martin Ryan said...

In my experience Calibri and Georgia are fonts which are easy on the eye.

Donald Knuth created Computer Modern as the default font for TeX. This font set includes serif, sans serif, and monospaced text faces, and corresponding math fonts. Typesetting is a different issue though.

It is well known though that our eyes look at presentations differently - and that different fonts work better for journal articles and presentations.

That is why Beamer looks different to a conventional TeX-produced journal article (and one reason why iots better than a lot of Powerpoints). The presentation linked below shows clearly how Computer Modern Sans Serif is best for most presentations:

CMSS Beamer

the question is whether the blog is more like a paper or a presentation. I think it may be more like a presentation format - and therefore benefits from a sans serif font such as Calibri, or a serif font such as Georgia.

The majority of web pages employ sans-serif type (something like Calibri), according to Wikipedia:

Wikipedia on Serif and Sans Serif

One suggestion for a watermark image is a photo of the lake at UCD. The recent Conference on Applied Statistics in Ireland (hosted by UCD Stats) used just such an image:

CASI Image of UCD Lake

Martin Ryan said...

Also, I think the shade of grey currently used for the font is too light.

Leigh Caldwell said...

I like it. I noticed that the links at the top, Biography etc, are not yet active but I assume they will be at some point.

I am looking at a redesign for my own blog so will be interested to see what conclusions you come to. My main suggestion would be to allow a little more breadth in the main column, as a bigger article could be hard to read if formatted as a long, narrow column.

Of course there's no one right trade-off between screen size, font size and amount of content - I always find Brad DeLong's blog much too crowded, Marginal Revolution just about perfect (though the links to past articles are obscure) and Mark Thoma's somewhere in between.

Perhaps you could make the layout variable-width instead of fixing it to 800 pixels - perhaps with the left and right columns fixed-width and the centre column expandable.

I do think links to other sites are probably useful, as they correspond with common usage modes of blogs. On the other hand the URL you use is probably less important than it used to be, but is probably fine. You might want to register the American spelling too!

Martin Ryan said...

Thanks for the feedback Leigh!