Anonymous Monk Design Proposal

Intended as a redesign of the Anonymous Monk (logged out) face of PerlMonks partly in response to a previous discussion:

  • Site facelift?
  • UPDATES :: Wednesday, February, 9, 2011 ::

    SYNOPSIS

    DESCRIPTION

    While the organization of information has been kept largely intact, there are enough differences between the current Anonymous Monk design and this proposal that it's important to note in each area. I used The Monastery Gates for the design sample provided along with content from earlier this month.

    The design has been organized into two columns: One for node content and titles. The second for all navigation including search, log in and the Chatterbox.

    Below is a more detailed description of design decisions made in each area.

    Column One:

    Column Two:

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    I'd like to thank the following people for providing preliminary feedback to the design and helping debug parts of the markup:

    ambrus, belg4mit, Corion, ELISHEVA, jdporter, MidLifeXis, roboticus, steve, tye, Voronich, Your Mother

    SEE ALSO

    CAVEATS

    This document will probably change to reflect any edits to the design. I'll list the changes below this section in the future.


    "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote

    Comment on RFC: A Design Proposed for Anonymous Monk (logged out view)
    Re: RFC: A Design Proposed for Anonymous Monk (logged out view)
    by mr_mischief (Prior) on Feb 01, 2011 at 21:38 UTC

      I like it. I looked at the source and was gladly surprised to see the cleanliness and clarity of the markup. The design is clean and clear. The colors make text legible without being glaring on a bright monitor.

      I'm not personally a fan of one aspect of the markup in particular, though. The thick border between the byline and the node content followed by the thin rule between nodes reads at first as if you've used bottom attributions. It's very easy to miss that first by-line at the top and look at what is most clearly delineated. I'm not a fan in particular of bottom attributions, either, and I almost commented about that before I noticed it wasn't the intent. If you had used bottom attribution lines, that'd be merely a minor adjustment for people reading the site. I'm afraid what you have here will lead to mistakes in replies if it is implemented. Putting the whole by-line in the divider as the current design does may not look as crisp, but it is much clearer. I think an alternative would be to use quite a bit more vertical whitespace between the list items used to contain the nodes.

    Re: RFC: A Design Proposed for Anonymous Monk (logged out view)
    by Anonymous Monk on Feb 01, 2011 at 21:42 UTC
      I see you've put in a lot of work, but as someone who uses the logged out view quite often, i find yours simply unreadable
      • a lot of empty screen space on the right
      • poll is on the bottom (as is chatterbox etc etc ) and its hard to read because there is not enough contrast
      • using sans-serif font (Arial?), and mixing serif/sans-serif
      • lego color scheme for code (hot blue, hot pink, orange, on two shades of brown)
      • code looks ok without js only because the background is ends up whiter, so there is enough contrast for easy reading
      • unreadable link colors (black on dark blue)
      • complete disconnect between node title/content and author, I can't tell who wrote what
      • tumorously dark floating footer which gets clipped, with bizzare prose, and its not even a navigational
      • A visit to the monastery should not begin with It was a dark and gloomy night
      You've also chosen a peculiar page to mock up, the monastery Gates, I don't think I've visited that page in years, but it has made this stand out
      ( by LanX on Jan 03, 2011 at 12:57 ) 7 direct replies Offer your reply
      There are 7 replies already and even The real Monastery Gates is providing a link to offer another one reply -- 7 replies is a lot, adding another one without viewing the existing ones would surely lead to duplication

      See what it looks like for me http://browsershots.org/http://luisroca.com/PerlMonks/Anon_Monk.html

      I hope this is helpful

      Snooki want smoosh smoosh

        Well your link certainly wasn't helpful. It almost makes your post look like spam.

          The link to browsershots? That was quite interesting and seemed quite useful. It certainly showed similar bad rendering to what I saw (and informed luis.roca of prior to his posting). How does that look like spam to you?

          - tye        

           

        See what it looks like for me http://browsershots.org/http://luisroca.com/PerlMonks/Anon_Monk.html

           I hope this is helpful

        I appreciate that you took the time in writing your critique. I would like to point out again that I realize there will be users who will see a poorly rendered version of the design. Please feel confident that is NOT the design I have intended for Perl Monks.

        Again, for anyone who is having difficulties seeing the site (ie: only one column is visible, extremely poor contrast etc.)

      • Please View the Following Screen Shot : http://luisroca.com/PerlMonks/img/Anon_Monk_Design_Screen_Shot.jpg
      • I do apologize to anyone who is having trouble seeing the html page. If you are someone who is seeing the site as described by Anonymous Monk above, post here or msg me and include your specs if possible (browser, screen size and resolution). This will be a big help when I make corrections. I will update the document above with the specs users are most likely to have viewing difficulty and when the corrections for those specs have been made.

        Thanks again for the feedback


        "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote

          From looking at the linked browsershots page, it looks like the vast majority of browsers didn't render it as you intended. So you already have a whole slew of "spec" examples that demonstrate bad rendering.

          - tye        

    Re: RFC: A Design Proposed for Anonymous Monk (logged out view)
    by steve (Deacon) on Feb 04, 2011 at 15:27 UTC
      Suggested
      • Remove border from text input elements. They have awkward corners. The following might work:
        input[type="text"] { border:none; }
      • I mentioned this before, but I think mr_mischief explained it better:
        The thick border between the byline and the node content followed by the thin rule between nodes reads at first as if you've used bottom attributions. It's very easy to miss that first by-line at the top and look at what is most clearly delineated. I'm not a fan in particular of bottom attributions, either, and I almost commented about that before I noticed it wasn't the intent. If you had used bottom attribution lines, that'd be merely a minor adjustment for people reading the site.
      • In the Others examining the Monastery section I would prefer to leave each username on its own line. When I am looking to see if someone is online (say ... luis.roca) it is much harder to see who is here in the dense paragraph format.
    Re: RFC: A Design Proposed for Anonymous Monk (logged out view)
    by Crackers2 (Vicar) on Feb 04, 2011 at 18:41 UTC

      My personal opinion...

      Probably the most notable change has been done to the code blocks by adding syntax highlighting (Using a variation of the Midnight Theme from Syntax Highlighter ). The download link has been removed as users can simply double click on the code block, revealing the selected plain text.

      That's not working too well, since even the "plain text" still has its lines wrapped with the + in front of continuation lines. So it's not a good substitute for the download link.

      Footer Bar

      Personally, I hate this. I'd rather have three times as much space taken up by something that doesn't stay on the screen all the time as opposed to the permanent stuff.

      Organized the poster's name, date, number of replies and link to post reply into one visual unit above the post title. I wanted something to create a tightly grouped navigation bar for each post that will always be in the same location. (An example would be in regards to 'Offer your reply' which can shift depending on the length of a particular post.)

      The separation looks wrong to me. When I glance at the page I immediately think of a post as what's between two gray bars. While in reality the it's what's between the two barely visible dotted lines. Personally I'd move the author etc. line below the gray bar and just remove the dotted line altogether.

      There's something similar on the righthand column. The change of background color for the chatterbox input line makes it appear as if it's actually a new section, especially since the change in background color between login section and chatterbox does the same.

      The increase in size of the righthand column isn't my cup of tea either. I'd prefer to keep the main column as wide as possible. From the looks of it the main reason might be an increase in font size?

      In general, all the background colors seem to give the site somewhat of a claustrophobic look compared to the current one. Perhaps changing the background of the main section back to white and lightening up the rest might help some with that.

      On a nitpick note, what's with the question mark after each header in the right column?

      I'm afraid I'm far better at expressing things I don't like than things I like, but I hope at least some of these comments might be useful.

    Re: RFC: A Design Proposed for Anonymous Monk (UPDATE NOTICE)
    by luis.roca (Deacon) on Feb 09, 2011 at 21:25 UTC

      I'm posting my first set of *updates for the Anonymous Monk Proposal. The updates will be ongoing for the next few days so you can check back here or PM me. These ongoing revisions can be found here: http://luisroca.com/PerlMonks/Anon_Monk_rv.html

      Thanks again to everyone who posted and messaged me their feedback. A few of you also helped me figure out a number of the initial problems the help is greatly appreciated.

      Luis

       

      * I realize it can be considered bad form to reply to your own post so I'll only do this once. Apologies.
      Any updates I make will be made on the original post only so as not to clutter the thread.


      "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote
        I realize it can be considered bad form to reply to your own post

        I've heard that many times. I don't subscribe to that view. Replying to yourself is much better than making major updates to a node. So, replying to note major updates to a node is rather the worst of both choices.

        - tye        

          $ date "+%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%S%z" 2011-02-10T01:13:07-0800 $ date --iso-8601 2011-02-10 $ perl -MTime::Piece -le"print Time::Piece->localtime->strftime(q!%Y-% +m-%dT%H:%M:%S%z!);" 2011-02-10T01:13:41PST
          #!/usr/bin/perl -- use strict; use warnings; use DateTime; print DateTime->now->strftime(q!%F %T%z!), "\n"; print DateTime->now( qw! time_zone America/Los_Angeles ! )->strftime(q +!%F %T%z!), "\n"; print DateTime->now( qw! time_zone Asia/Taipei ! )->strftime(q!%F %T%z +!), "\n"; __END__ 2011-02-10 09:25:08+0000 2011-02-10 01:25:08-0800 2011-02-10 17:25:08+0800

          "Could you please use an ISO date notation?"

          Isn't this something you could have easily said in a private message to the OP? This is a thread asking for comments on a graphic design.

        Forget the javascript syntax hilighter, make those navbars/polls/chatterbox.... collapsible
    Re: RFC: A Design Proposed for Anonymous Monk (EFFORT ABANDONED)
    by luis.roca (Deacon) on May 21, 2012 at 03:40 UTC

      Hello everyone,

      tye made me aware in the recent thread: PerlMonks site design that I hadn't updated the status of this specific effort to redesign PerlMonks. I've abandoned the work, in short, due to both my poor choice of a top-down approach and what I perceived as a lack of interest from a good percentage here in the Monastery. Please don't take that as a recommendation that such efforts shouldn't be tried in the future but I would advise the endeavor take a different direction.

      Thank you to everyone who gave feedback during the process. It was a humbling experience for this cocky graphic designer. ;-)


      "...the adversities born of well-placed thoughts should be considered mercies rather than misfortunes." Don Quixote

        You're welcome and thank you for giving it a go. I'm just sorry you had to learn the hard way just how futile it is to attempt a PerlMonks redesign.