A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

Thursday, April 6th, 2006
My colleague, Tanny O'Haley, has been busy working on a series of impressive new site designs for several of the web sites I am preparing to launch, soon.

We decided to use this blog as a playground for some of the technology behind the web site. I told Tanny that I wanted to end up with an additional column on the right so that I could add dynamic content in the future; otherwise, he was free to do whatever he wanted with the existing site design.

Today, Tanny flipped the switch on a redesign for this site. The new design should be much more browser friendly across all current browsers. Tanny's also implemented a print style sheet to make it easier to print your favorite posts from this blog. (Unlike most TypePad blog sites I read, you'll actually be able to print pages from this site!) In addition, Tanny's eliminated the annoying Microsoft Explorer problem that prevented highlighting sections of text.

Most of the impressive stuff, however, is hidden. The site design is actually very compact, transparent, and easy to modify. Over the coming weeks we will be testing several new features of the site design, including live video, customized skins, and more. These features that will become a part of my other sites as well.

Rather than send you to a static "Under Construction" page while we modify the site, we invite you to watch as we experiment with a variety of technologies to improve aspects of this site. Thanks for your patience.

Thanks, Tanny! Well done!

Comments, suggestions, and feedback on the design are all welcome.

Behind the curtain ... ProjectDX Content Management System
For those of you who want to know what's behind the curtain, this web site is built on the outstanding ProjectDX content publishing engine, for Lotus Domino. (Formerly known as DominoBlog.) Tanny and I have worked with the ProjectDX Creator, Steve Castledine to help him test and integrate several features into his content publishing engine. If you use Lotus Notes and want to manage a web site, no matter how complex, you should look at this product. (It's free for personal use, by the way.) IBM recently hired Steve as part of their efforts to recruit top talent for Notes/Domino development. Way to go Steve!

Discussion/Comments (7):

A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

This design looks great, very easy to follow.

Posted at 4/6/2006 8:59:54 PM by USA


A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

It looks like the layout is fixed-width, is that correct? I'm reading it in Firefox with the Sage (an RSS aggregator) extension open. Sage takes up about 20%-25% of the browser space in a column on the left-hand side (as does Onfolio). In that situation, I can basically see just the bullets in your right-most column -- no readable text. My display is a 17 inch CRT set to 1024 x 768.

Posted at 4/6/2006 10:50:33 PM by Scott


A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

Looks great. But give it a little bit more line height (+20%). Will be much more readable.

Posted at 4/7/2006 11:46:17 AM by Volker Weber


re: Line height of new design

Volker,

I agree with you that it needed more line height. I increased it from 1.3 to 1.5 and I think it looks better. What do you think?

Scott,

Not sure what to do here. Eric wanted another column and he needs a specific amount of space for pictures and video in the content section. Also I want to maintain a line length of around 12 words per line for readability. Do you have any suggestions? I'm open to any feedback.

Thank you.

Posted at 4/8/2006 1:20:27 PM by Tanny O'Haley


A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

Tanny, yes it looks a lot better.

The headers in the right columns need a little head- and legroom and the bullets could be much smaller. Only nitpicking here.

Posted at 4/13/2006 5:21:28 PM by Volker Weber


re: A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

Thank you for the feedback, Volker.

Tanny and I continue to test and refine the features. We'll be sure to discuss your feedback.

When were' a little farther along, we'll post links to some other sites that Tanny has created fro me.

Eric

Posted at 4/15/2006 10:51:22 PM by Eric Mack


A New Look for EricMackOnLine.com

Much improved from the old design! The columns work well in full screen (I have a 15" widescreen notebook) and overall the page loading is quick. It's easy to resize the window and still keep the important blog content viewable on the left (of course hiding the other two columns). I like your font typeface. Which font is it? Perhaps the green links could be a shade or two darker? If there's a bit of glare, they links are difficult to see. I understand they match the green of your logo, so changing may not be an option?

Looking forward to any further site updates.

-Mike

Posted at 4/20/2006 10:45:47 AM by Michael



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