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NEW HOMEPAGE DESIGN DISCUSSION - Page 2

post #51 of 427

Joshua, that's already a million times better. At least people will have an idea of where to look first! I don't have many issues with the filmstrip (mainly because I don't use it), so the only other thing is for me to echo the idea that, second to news, maybe there's a way to put focus on the regular CHUD-Exclusive stuff since at the end of the day those are the lists and articles that will get new visitors to return. Even the word "Columns" feels a bit meh and non-descript. I think something like "Features" would work better, though I guess that might only be me.

post #52 of 427

Might be finally time to kill the white text on black background. 

 

I was always for more of a blog format, because there's just so much damn wasted space on the main page. Can you get rid of the word LATEST everywhere? Latest reviews, Latest news, Latest dvds, THE LATEST. We get that you're going to put newer content up there, "News" works just fine. Really need to pare down that ugly wall of text on the main page, too.

 

Oh and also? This shouldn't have been a public decision. Remember how long it took for that last redesign, how much of a disappointment it was after months and months and months of hype? Just work on it and roll it out.

post #53 of 427

well..fuck. I say just take the new graphics we have, and just go back to that design. super easy to navigate. All the new shit down the left, with the blogs/mboardposts/ down the right and content in the middle.

 

 

 

as for the above design, i echo the more muppets (why limit to the treasure island), but i say the gap between the menu and the film strip should go away, and i'd say combine the grill and film strip into one. instead of the film strip design around the pictures, do a metal plating thing, make the pictures a bit bigger, have it connect to the bottem of the above menu. then a page wide (or a double side by side, increased usage?) then content in the middle, new shit on the left, and blogs, mboard posts and the like down the right. 

 

have the menu be a drop down menu with updated posts and make it the navigation area. also keep the tabs up top but add a straight 'forum' one that takes you directly to it.

 

 

 

 

also thanks for making this such an open process. really, this is a stellar move.

post #54 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Massre View Post

574
Thoughts? The word "Reviews" in the nav bar and the crooked "Cinematic Happenings Under Development" at the top will be straightened out. Just want to nail down a design first. Also, the sidebar on non-homepage parts of the site will have a "Latest Articles" section at the top that will include everything from the site (columns, reviews, etc).
Keep in mind that the actual homepage will have far less Muppet Treasure Island related content.


Looks way cleaner.

 

No offense to anyone, but the blogs don't seem like enough of a front page draw to warrant that much real estate. But if they do stay on the front page, there's probably a benefit to streamlining their headlines to be inclusive and enticing. If I'm a first time visitor, "Rene Answers Your Questions" means nothing to me.  (Again, no offense to Rene or any other bloggers - but the one that's very clearly about Corbucci's The Great Silence is what I am going to be clicking on.)

 


Edited by Phil - 11/19/11 at 6:50am
post #55 of 427

You know, honestly, I'm torn about the white on black. Personally I have always liked it. Doesn't hurt my eyes, looks distinctive. But I have a few friends who have told me they literally will copy and paste the text from my articles into Word (or whatever) to read them because the white on black gives them a headache.

post #56 of 427

I think the black background / white text has been distinctive of CHUD for as long as I've been reading the site (over 10 years) and should go nowhere. Would also love to see the article pictures more prominent in the left hand scroll, to break up the text. 

post #57 of 427

I remember reading a study somewhere that people with astigmatism have real issues reading white text on a black background. I know it's the style of the site but it shouldn't come at the expense of scaring off readers. 

post #58 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Riviello View Post

Might be finally time to kill the white text on black background. 

I was always for more of a blog format, because there's just so much damn wasted space on the main page. Can you get rid of the word LATEST everywhere? Latest reviews, Latest news, Latest dvds, THE LATEST. We get that you're going to put newer content up there, "News" works just fine. Really need to pare down that ugly wall of text on the main page, too.

Oh and also? This shouldn't have been a public decision. Remember how long it took for that last redesign, how much of a disappointment it was after months and months and months of hype? Just work on it and roll it out.

Nixing the white text on a black background isn't a priority at the moment, since I'm working by myself here and just trying to get the homepage streamlined a bit.

As for getting rid of the word "LATEST" I plan on scrubbing that completely, I just want to get the design and layout pinned down first before I start worrying about wording and other smaller details.

I think the last redesign was so poorly received BECAUSE we didn't involve the people who actually use the site enough. That said, this is simply a redesign of the homepage, not a redesign of the whole site so it won't take nearly as long.
post #59 of 427
Thread Starter 
574

Now with more left side column. I also moved the filmstrip up closer to the nav bar. I really like the idea of taking the filmstrip and turning it into a way to feature the latest articles in all of the popular columns.
post #60 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Massre View Post

574
Now with more left side column. I also moved the filmstrip up closer to the nav bar. I really like the idea of taking the filmstrip and turning it into a way to feature the latest articles in all of the popular columns.


Dear God, NO.  Highlight the biggest items first.  Flip that back the first way you had it if you must insist on going blog like that.

post #61 of 427

If the main point of this redesign is to get more people reading, for god sake, change the white on black. As long as there is green in the site in the right places, it won't lose its identity. Shafting the site in order to keep something from 90s is a fucking brutal waste of the talent on display. I know so many people who cannot read this site, like Joshua, people I know will copy and paste or just highlight the text with their mouse. Website design, the users, how people see the web has changed so much since this place launched.

post #62 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

If the main point of this redesign is to get more people reading, for god sake, change the white on black. As long as there is green in the site in the right places, it won't lose its identity. Shafting the site in order to keep something from 90s is a fucking brutal waste of the talent on display. I know so many people who cannot read this site, like Joshua, people I know will copy and paste or just highlight the text with their mouse. Website design, the users, how people see the web has changed so much since this place launched.

I reiterate, this is merely a redesign of the homepage. Changing from the current white on black color scheme is actually a pretty big undertaking, since almost all of the art that we use would have to be redone to work with a white background.
post #63 of 427

Well, I happily volunteer myself to do it for you guys.

 

Also, RE: the filmstrip. How about using something similar to the spinner thing at the top of the community page? Make it a bit shorter/smaller though. Could work well.

post #64 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

Well, I happily volunteer myself to do it for you guys.

Also, RE: the filmstrip. How about using something similar to the spinner thing at the top of the community page? Make it a bit shorter/smaller though. Could work well.

When we first implemented the new homepage at the beginning of the year, I asked the people that designed the community section if we could use that same carousel on the front page. Long story short, it's too tied into the community section to just rip out and throw on the homepage.
post #65 of 427

Fair enough.

post #66 of 427

Pretty sure I'm in the minority but the overly bloated architecture of the boards does NOT need to creep into the front page.

post #67 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post



Dear God, NO.  Highlight the biggest items first.  Flip that back the first way you had it if you must insist on going blog like that.



Yeah, I'd keep it the way you had it before, Joshua--with the menu of stories on the right.

post #68 of 427

Have to agree that I'm not convinced this should be a public and democratic community decision - everyone has different tastes and opinions. Much better to have a clear and specific vision for the site and to pursue it with the help of pros who really know what they're doing.

 

For my part, poking through that archive.org link I honestly don't get what the big problem was with the old front page layout. It's not perfect but it was tidy and easy to understand, and I kind of like the softer green-on-green link layout.

 

Mixed feelings about the white on black issue. It's never bothered me personally and to an extent I think it's part of the site's identity and would be weird to change it. And I'm not sure changing stuff just to fit with the latest web design trends is necessarily the best approach for a culty specialist interest site like this. I mean look at Ain't It Cool - you don't get designs much more ugly and old school than that, but it does the trick in terms of getting the content across, and that site still seems to do okay.

post #69 of 427

This absolutely should be a public debate. The last time it was behind closed doors it was such a huge fuck up, it nearly killed the place. I think most people are on board for the changes, but you know what, even here, we're not the people this needs to be designed for, it needs to be for new people to discover and habits have changed. AICN gets away with the shitty design because its been focused in lots of cross media things. Chud hasn't, beyond us, I don't think people would care how drastic the changes are, as long as it was readable. After all thats the main point of a website. Not what colour it is.

post #70 of 427

Transparency is never a bad thing.  I think most people who have commented on this thread are actually on the same page with respect to what they want to see improvement of in the main site.

 

The white on black doesn't bother me, but I do agree that black text on white background exudes more professionalism. 

 

NYTimes = black text, white background

 

DOS = back background, white text.

post #71 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post

 

The white on black doesn't bother me, but I do agree that black text on white background exudes more professionalism. 

 

NYTimes = black text, white background

 

DOS = back background, white text.



I have to disagree. The NYTimes is Black text, white background because it was originally a newspaper. People want their newspaper to look like a newspaper. I don't know that there is a preconceived notion of a film site that requires black text, white background.

post #72 of 427

Because its just easier to read. Always has been. I don't know why there is such resistance to the idea, the only reason the site is this colour is because its old as fuck and before anyone had good design sensibilities online.

post #73 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post



I have to disagree. The NYTimes is Black text, white background because it was originally a newspaper. People want their newspaper to look like a newspaper. I don't know that there is a preconceived notion of a film site that requires black text, white background.



CHUD is my film newspaper, and I think that CHUD (despite it's wonderful irreverence and whimsy) aspires to provide quality online film journalism and criticism.  After all, this is where the smart film nerds hang out.  I think, as a design aesthetic, that's what black text on white background communicates: professionalism, quality, reliability.  If you just want straight film news parroted from press releases, why not just visit Deadline Hollywood or AICN?

 

But this is off topic and, again, it doesn't bother me.  Just throwing my two cents on that debate. 

 

I think Joshua is on the right track, redesign wise.

post #74 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Massre View Post

574

Now with more left side column. I also moved the filmstrip up closer to the nav bar. I really like the idea of taking the filmstrip and turning it into a way to feature the latest articles in all of the popular columns.
The left side column should go on the right, like in the previous design you posted. The first thing readers should get to after the film strip is content, not an add or headlines.

Other than that, it's looking much better.
post #75 of 427
Thread Starter 

CHUD 2-5.jpg

 

There definitely seems to be a consensus that the sidebar should be on the right hand side (where it is on the current site) and that the metal sewer plates that we use as headers for the sidebar should be replaced. Taken care of.

 

Does anyone think it might be better if the pictures were on top of each article instead of beside them?

post #76 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

Because its just easier to read. Always has been. I don't know why there is such resistance to the idea, the only reason the site is this colour is because its old as fuck and before anyone had good design sensibilities online.



The resistance comes because you don't have to sacrifice your visual aesthetic to bring in other people. Maybe tweaking it to maintain your aesthetic and appeal to outside readers. You say it is easier, but this comes to the idea that it could very well be personal choice. Perhaps the letters need to be shaped differently, as this Mark Boulton guy is quoted in all sorts of websites about this topic.

 

Quote: Mark Boulton
When reversing colour out, eg white text on black, make sure you increase the leading, tracking and decrease your font-weight. This applies to all widths of Measure. White text on a black background is a higher contrast to the opposite, so the letterforms need to be wider apart, lighter in weight and have more space between the lines.

 

As for the second part, I think you are wrong about that.  Look at the forums of any major MMO: SWTOR, WoW, LOTRO, Rift, Aion, whatever. All games with huge online presences that use a dark background/light text on their main pages and forums. Surely they don't suffer from "old as fuck" syndrome.

 

 

post #77 of 427

Yes and bigger and in 2:35 aspect ratio. 

post #78 of 427

Liking the updated look. Already is easier to follow, but I'm sure it will be tweaked a bit more. Thanks for losing the extra eyeballs. 

 

By the way, what is the deal with the Splash quote at the bottom of the page? Does it have any significant? Can we lose that?

 

Joshua, I kinda like the pictures beside the articles. 

post #79 of 427

Of course, it'll look just like BAD after that...

 

edit- referring to the wider images on top of each article.

post #80 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Massre View Post

 

 

There definitely seems to be a consensus that the sidebar should be on the right hand side (where it is on the current site) and that the metal sewer plates that we use as headers for the sidebar should be replaced. Taken care of.

 

Does anyone think it might be better if the pictures were on top of each article instead of beside them?



I like the photos to the Left of each article. Above them means I have to scroll through them to figure out what that awesome image is about.  See the picture, scan right versus See the picture, scroll down, scan.

post #81 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTyres View Post
 Surely they don't suffer from "old as fuck" syndrome.


They do, its ugly, its distancing. This isn't some grotty game forum, this is one of the best film sites around with fantastic writing. It should have be broadly accessible while still retaining its niche origins to survive. You can do that in subtle ways. Right now the site is dying, so why not just reboot the whole thing, the content, the voice, the personalities are as good as ever. Allow them to be taken in by a wider audience, its a waste and a shame if not.

 

And more Podcasts. 

post #82 of 427

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

This absolutely should be a public debate. The last time it was behind closed doors it was such a huge fuck up, it nearly killed the place. I think most people are on board for the changes, but you know what, even here, we're not the people this needs to be designed for, it needs to be for new people to discover and habits have changed.

 

Last time it was a huge fuck up definitely, but that doesn't mean the solution is to let a scattered load of people on a forum make all your key design decisions for you. The fact that seems to be happening is representative of the larger problem this site has, which is that it often seems like there's no one at the wheel.

post #83 of 427

Pictures on the side look fine with that example, but if you've got news articles and a little funny one liner next to it, there's going to be lots of dead space. Ideally you want something wider but with space for a funny line, like we've always had. 

post #84 of 427
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Last time it was a huge fuck up definitely, but that doesn't mean the solution is to let a scattered load of people on a forum make all your key design decisions for you. The fact that seems to be happening is representative of the larger problem this site has, which is that it often seems like there's no one at the wheel.



Make no mistake, I'm in charge of this redesign. If I don't think that a person's suggestion is a good one, I will not implement it. that said, I think that a semi-democratic process is the way to go. The people who use the site day after day should have some sort of say in what they're going to be staring at.

 

Having a single person design the whole thing is generally a bad idea, since they never have anyone to tell them no.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JPL View Post

 

By the way, what is the deal with the Splash quote at the bottom of the page? Does it have any significant? Can we lose that?



The bottom of the page has a movie quote that changes every so often. It's on the current site too.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

Pictures on the side look fine with that example, but if you've got news articles and a little funny one liner next to it, there's going to be lots of dead space. Ideally you want something wider but with space for a funny line, like we've always had. 


The funny one liners will probably be sent back to RSS banishment, like they used to be. They're great but people want more information on an actual story, not just a funny one liner.

 

post #85 of 427

See, I think that's the kind of change that affects the personality of the site. However, whatever must I suppose. The quotes should be at the top though if they're going to be anywhere, otherwise drop them.

post #86 of 427

I like the pictures on the left, personally.  BAD's redesign is, well, bad.

post #87 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Massre View Post

 

The funny one liners will probably be sent back to RSS banishment, like they used to be. They're great but people want more information on an actual story, not just a funny one liner.

 



iron-eyes2.jpg

 

CHUD has a personality as well as a look.  If it must, it must.... but those have always been a great part of the front page.

post #88 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post



iron-eyes2.jpg

 

CHUD has a personality as well as a look.  If it must, it must.... but those have always been a great part of the front page.


Thank you for making my day.

 

post #89 of 427

Bring back the Chud man. Or what ever it was called.

post #90 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randolph Carter View Post

Bring back the Chud man. Or what ever it was called.



I'm going to work the graboid and the chudman back onto the main page if I can convince Nick. Haven't brought it up to him yet.

post #91 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

For my part, poking through that archive.org link I honestly don't get what the big problem was with the old front page layout. It's not perfect but it was tidy and easy to understand, and I kind of like the softer green-on-green link layout.



I like this idea. that was a perfect evolution from the original site.

 

Otherwise, I change my opinion and say menus on the right side, and pictures to the left. keep it simple and streamlined.

 

Also, Green and white on black is this sites personality. Its actually helped my evolution of favorite colors since childhood from red and black to green and black, so I am a little biased.

post #92 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Have to agree that I'm not convinced this should be a public and democratic community decision - everyone has different tastes and opinions. Much better to have a clear and specific vision for the site and to pursue it with the help of pros who really know what they're doing.

For my part, poking through that archive.org link I honestly don't get what the big problem was with the old front page layout. It's not perfect but it was tidy and easy to understand, and I kind of like the softer green-on-green link layout.

Mixed feelings about the white on black issue. It's never bothered me personally and to an extent I think it's part of the site's identity and would be weird to change it. And I'm not sure changing stuff just to fit with the latest web design trends is necessarily the best approach for a culty specialist interest site like this. I mean look at Ain't It Cool - you don't get designs much more ugly and old school than that, but it does the trick in terms of getting the content across, and that site still seems to do okay.

Only thing about that old site is it had a waste of corner in the right. That or maybe isn't showing up.

If the above look could have the news articles below it, that would be awesome. The things currently in the middle can be moved to the right side.
post #93 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Massre View Post



I'm going to work the graboid and the chudman back onto the main page if I can convince Nick. Haven't brought it up to him yet.



CHUDMan didn't die because Nick killed it, it died because I wasn't clever enough to keep it going with any regularity.  :(

post #94 of 427
Then have it loop.
post #95 of 427

You can easily design beautiful and readible dark sites. It just doesn't have to be completely black and white. A dark grey background with a light grey font looks gorgeous!

 

http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/dark/

post #96 of 427

Darkhorizons.com also has white text on black and it's the biggest Australian movie site. That is not a problem. Also, it makes CHUD stand out from the AICNs and Joblos and whatever. I say we keep that white and green on black thing.

 

As for the colum/posts thing. There are two message boards which contents you should exclusively feature on the main page as feeds instead of LATEST POSTS: CHUD MAIN and FOCUSSED FILM DISCUSSION. Those are the two central parts of the boards that discuss what is most interesting for new visitors: current movie topics. The site's name is cinematic happenings UNDER DEVELOPMENT so new and upcoming movies should be the main selling point. Not DVD reviews or what's on TV or user X' personal blog (sorry Rene, you know I love you). And make it like this: thread title [number of comments], as in BREAKING DAWN hate thread (78 comments). The showing of the comments proves that there's life in the boards and it makes readers curious about what people wrote. Just like in here, you'll click a thread with 97 comments faster than one with zero comments. If it's only "BREAKING DAWN hate thread" without numbers it's less of a lure. And if you can't see that thread because of 365 days of sci fi part 673 that's a failure to communicate.

 

People visit the page and see your Twilight review, which is great but WAIT, there's a hate thread with nearly a houndred comments? Great, I'll check that out. You need to lure in people with great content and bind them by leading them to the boards. This way they are more likely to become regulars. And we all know these boards are awesome, it's just that most readers don't come that far.

 

And you need a list of like ten of the most awesome most recent articles. Articles writers really spent time on, like Joshs Franchise Me. That are really funny, or informative. What I say is that the standout articles of each week need to stand out longer, longer than the day they are up in the news posts. You need to advertise the deeper content of the site with peak articles on the main page, to make people look further. If I write an amazing Twilight special today it needs to be seen 7 days from now.

post #97 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Myers View Post

 

People visit the page and see your Twilight review, which is great but WAIT, there's a hate thread with nearly a houndred comments? Great, I'll check that out. You need to lure in people with great content and bind them by leading them to the boards. This way they are more likely to become regulars. And we all know these boards are awesome, it's just that most readers don't come that far.

 

And you need a list of like ten of the most awesome most recent articles. Articles writers really spent time on, like Joshs Franchise Me. That are really funny, or informative. What I say is that the standout articles of each week need to stand out longer, longer than the day they are up in the news posts. You need to advertise the deeper content of the site with peak articles on the main page, to make people look further. If I write an amazing Twilight special today it needs to be seen 7 days from now.



Agreed on linking the articles and their forum discussions, but again THIS IS JUST A REDESIGN OF THE HOMEPAGE. I really don't plan on changing the color scheme or anything like that, I just want to make the homepage as easy to read and attractive as possible. I agree that there are advantages to both black and white backgrounds, but it's not going to happen on this go around. Please, stop debating it. Or make a thread just for that and debate the merits of each side until you're out of breath, but please stop discussing it here. I started this thread so that we could get some feedback on changing the homepage, not the color scheme of the site.

post #98 of 427

Right now, the main page has both the scrolling screen AND the space above it (along with the gargantuan logo - glad that's getting fixed) and having both seems fairly redundant.

 

Make it clean, make it spare. Lots of white (or in CHUD's case, black) space. Ads are necessary. Understood. But no need to get carried away with great looking graphics that eat up page real estate.

post #99 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitches Leave View Post

You can easily design beautiful and readible dark sites. It just doesn't have to be completely black and white. A dark grey background with a light grey font looks gorgeous!

 

http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/galleries/dark/



Shitloads of great designs in that link. 

post #100 of 427

As for the links to the discussions, I think you only have to reduce the Latest Post feed to the message board ids of CHUD MAIN and FOCUSED. Right now it seems to show all board activity.

In your example, I'd go for

 

Columns retitled to FEATURES

then Chud Main posts as CURRENT NEWS DISCUSSION

then Focused posts as NOW IN THEATRES DISCUSSION

scratch BLOGS

 

hm, but we got a ist of the most recent reviews missing. Maybe we could edit an Reviewed: into a thread title if a CHUD review has been added. This way you can use the NITD also as list for the most current reviews.

I'd reduce that Cinematic Happenings... to the size of the chud logo and reduce the whole row to the height of the ad. You could even put the Share icons under the chud logo.

And something else Josh. Another thing. Someone shall pat your back because it's great that you're helping chud. It's really appreciated, thank you man.

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