Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Website feedback

Sou | 8:47 PM Go to the first of 43 comments. Add a comment


Thank you for all the help. I've made some more changes as a result of emails and comments here:
  • The sidebar is now white. Some of you were finding the dark background hard to read and/or ugly. 
  • The font has been made easier to read from what was there at first, and is bigger than the font on the old blog.
  • New menu: There's a new menu. Until tomorrow, I'll leave it so it opens when you visit the page. However it's quite intrusive when it's open, so I'll only leave it like that for a short while, so you know it's there.  I hope in time, people will notice the little hamburger icon in the top right hand corner. Click on that and the menu will open and close. Click near the top of the open menu itself (it doesn't have to be right on the spot marked with an X) and it will close.
  • Less white space: Not really, though it might seem that way. What I've done is adjusted the page so that on medium and higher resolution screens, such as you'll find on high end notebooks and with larger desktop monitors, the sidebar no longer sits right on the edge. The gap between the sidebar and the main articles is now a bit smaller. Smaller screens and lower resolutions can still enjoy maximum breathable space :)
  • I've put the latest comments and the newest articles up the top of the sidebar. Just click on what you want and the panel will open up. It's the same content as it was on the old blog, but should now be easier to get to for most of you. 
  • If on your screen the side bar is missing, it probably means you're looking at a very small screen (a small tablet or similar). The content of the sidebar is still there and accessible to you. It's just moved down the page under the main articles. You should be able to get to it easily by scrolling down the page. Or, if you know what you're looking for, use the main menu (click on the hamburger icon on the top right of the page). The sidebar items are listed under Blog Menu (the top item in the menu).

There are a few other things I've done, and I'll continue to make refinements over time, most of which you probably won't notice but I'll feel better for it :)

If there's something bugging you about the site, please let me know either by leaving a comment here, or by sending an email or tweet or even a comment at facebook . (The first three are better options. I don't really use Facebook except to let people know about blog articles).

Time to get back to the business of blogging and other important matters :)

Sou - 11:05 pm + 10 UTC, Thursday 29 June 2017

I'd be glad of any comments on the new website - speed of loading, ease of navigation, readability, colours, fonts, difficulties, complaints whatever.

It's a work in progress. (It's not been possible to test it fully before going live, because it's hosted on Google.) The old site was getting to the end of it's usability from a management perspective, but it did work.

If enough people find this new design doesn't work for them, I'll revert back to the old design. On the other hand, if you prefer this, I'll continue to do my best to overcome any drawbacks.

This is what the website should look like at the moment (I've updated the picture to show the changes as of now, 29 June in Australia). Click to enlarge.



tonyb said...


You will have seen that I added a further comment on the previous thread after looking at the new site through my three devices? The experience was totally different with all three. Has anyone checked it on a smartphone size screen?

I suspect you have optimised it to work on the size screen and browser version that you actually use daily.

Its always loaded quickly and still does.

Sou said...

Yes, Thanks again Tony.

Smartphones should be unaffected. At present HotWhopper defaults to the standard mobile design that it's always had for smartphones, though because of the change it's missing the menu at the moment (which I'll fix). In the meantime, you can scroll back to previous articles without the menu (on smartphones, that is) See here - it's on the menu under "Blog Menu".

The smallest tablet I have is 10" so if anyone else has a 7" or similar screen (larger than a smart phone, smaller than a laptop), it would be great if you could test it and post any feedback here.

Also very large screens. I've a 30" display, I don't know if anyone uses a larger one and if so, if they have come across any problems.

Kevin O'Neill said...

I like it. It does seem to load much quicker. Keep up the good fight.

Tadaaa said...

hi there

yes obviously the fist time I clicked onto the new look site

I did the classic "whoa wtf its all gone to sh1te, Trump Brexit, now this!!!! where has the side bar on the left gone for starters"

typical reaction from a male of the species who is inherently suspicious of "change"

then I applied my "wind your neck in and get on with it" theory of life

and it is actually a much cleaner more modern design and hey the side bar is on the left - how cool is that!!

and I like the font - I would say Calibri, but the LC a doesn't look quite right

as above, keep up the good work and keep smiling

Didip said...

The fonts in the right bar are not clear in my desk computer, but it´s ok in my notebook.
I use a lot your blogroll to track the news (dont like feeds). I think you´ve lost Jeff Masters blog when changed to Category 6. And don´t work the link for BOM blog from your page.
Greetings for the other side of south, Buenos Aires!

Sou said...

Hi Didip, I'm working on the right bar at the moment.

I tried to include Cat 6, however the blogroll didn't like it. I can't even find a way to link to a feed. Hopefully they'll attend to that in time.

The BoM blog works for me. What happens when you click on it?

Sou said...

Thanks, Tadaaa. I get a surprise when I log on, so it's not just a male thing :)

(The font is Lato. It looks terrific in the light version. Unfortunately it only looks good on hi res screens, such as with most notebooks. So everyone's stuck with the slightly less attractive normal weight, except in a few minor spots on the blog.)

Sou said...

Thanks, Kevin. I'll keep going :)

Anonymous said...

The HotWhoppery link does not work for me.

tonyb said...

Hi Sou

just checked again on my ipad and on my laptop.

it all looks fine now. The ipad is immeasurably better.

I think it all looks better as well without the black strip down the right hand side.

If I get the chance tonight I will check it on my 7 inch tablet as well.

The only other observation I would make is that previously you could see who had just commented and on which article. That now seems to be replaced by a box at the top.

I guess your regulars will soon know where to go and whether the previous arrangement was a format that mattered to casual visitors I doubt.

So, it all looks good.

Didip said...

"ErrorSorry, there's no matching article to show. "

The link to BOM blog works, but not for the article. And the article is not in the blog yet! May be you receive a preview?

Sou said...

Oh, yes, I see what you mean. I've found that seems to happen when someone posts an article and then takes it down again. Maybe the blogger was testing SoundCloud :)


Sou said...

Good to hear, Tony.

The latest comments are all there still, with who, where, and the first few words of what they said. You just have to click on the box. (Top right hand corner.) I know some people like to go there first, so I thought I'd make it easier to see when you first visit the page.

If you or anyone wants, I can make that box open when you first land at HW, to save you having to click it.

Sou said...

Yes, there's something been changed at the webhost which I'm following up. I've changed a couple of files, and am hoping the web host will fix whatever they did at their end so I don't have to go through every single page.

You can get to the two most recent HotWhoppery web pages now, but not most of the other pages there. (Yet.)

john said...

The links to BOM did not always work even before the change.
error msg.
Sorry, there's no matching article to show. Please make another selection from the navigation or use the back button to return to the previous page.

However removing the cloudcloud and using

Gets the blog.

Griff. said...

This new format loaded up far quicker than hot whopper used to .
The split for the side bar and comments allows too much space to the side bar on my lap top set up.
Founts are clear as. The site looks very clean. Good job SOU.

dda said...

The orange drop-down menus don't un-drop when I move the mouse away, and they scroll over the title banner when i scoll down the page (the top level e.g. About HW, etc, scroll under the banner image.)

Running chrome

tonyb said...

The box works fine.

as reported previously the site looks entirely different on my 7 inch android whereby you see the articles as five line descriptions one above the other and clicking on one opens the article together with the comments. All very sharp.

None of the attendant stuff (on the right hand side on my laptop) is there but that would merely crowd out everything

MikeH said...

In landscape mode on my iPad , there is a gap between the RH column and the scroll bar which is about as wide as the column.

Also when I hit publish (in Name/URL mode), the comment box is erased and that is as far as it goes.

Sou said...

Tony, is it not there at all, or has it shifted to the bottom of the page. (You might have missed my other reply to you where I suggested you try the menu to get to stuff. The sidebar will move to the bottom of the page if the screen is too small for it.)

Sou said...

Any chance of a screen shot, Griff.?

Sou said...

Oh, that's a nuisance. Thanks for letting me know. I will be changing the menu in the next couple of days, which should fix that problem.

Sou said...

Hmmm. I'll see if there's anything I can do to fix that, MikeH. That shouldn't be happening. How were you able to post this comment. Did you use a different computer or a different browser? Or does this problem only happen sometimes - could be at Google's end.

Sou said...

Update: The webhost told me they'd changed something at their end and I'll have to change some of the code in the web pages. It's only a line on each webpage, so it will be a fairly easy fix. It could have been worse :)

MikeH said...

I posted using Chrome on my laptop. The columns jump around a bit as the page displays but OK.

I tried again using Chrome on the iPad thinking it might be a Safari problem but the RHS gap was still there. I got a bit further posting a comment but I could not get past the Captcha - the touch screen never selected the right box.

Not a problem for me - if I want to post, I will use the laptop but if you can borrow an iPad might be easy to fix.

Sou said...

I've noticed the jumps too, and am working on a fix. I might need to move the sidebar back to the left. I'll see what I can do.

Re the iPad problem, I'll borrow my mother's but don't expect to see her for a few days. (She has Safari and it's an old iPad, so will be a good test I think.)

I'll continue to tweak in the meantime and see if I can make it better.

numerobis said...

I figured some css files had failed to load when I first saw the redesign. I find it much harder to tell the separation between posts.

On a particular post, the main text uses up only about 40% the available space on my laptop (13" MacBook pro). About 20% is the right sidebar. That leaves about 40% of the screen that's just blank unused space.

numerobis said...

For all that naysaying, your page isn't using up 50% of my CPU anymore like it used to.

Sou said...

Appreciate the feedback.

Can you clarify, numerobis - do you mean you can't easily see where one blog article starts and ends, or are you referring to separation between comments under the articles. (I can probably do something about either, or both, if necessary.)

Sou said...

I wonder if other people don't like distribution of the white space?

The proportion of the sidebar to the main text is about the same as the old blog. It's just that on the old design there was grey space on both sides of the blog, to the left and right :)

Sou said...

Thanks to numerobis tip, I've adjusted the width for higher resolution screens. There isn't as big a gap between the article section and the sidebar now, on higher res screens.

Entropic man said...

On my Google tablet clarity and contrast have both improved. Easier on my ageing eyes. Thank you for the update.

Oh, and I can see the right sidebar.

Johnny Vector said...

The layout works fine for me (Safari 10.1.1 on Sierra; I never read on my phone and I don't have a tablet of any kind yet).

Mostly I enjoy how much faster it loads, rather than slowly rearranging everything on the page like the old site. I suspect the old site was making hundreds of separate requests, and apparently Verizon still uses coal-powered lasers in their FIOS interface, so latency is terrible.

BTW, the light version of the font (e.g. "Instead of commenting as...") looks fine on my non-retina screen, but I can see it would look even better with the extra pixels.

Sou said...

Mine too, Entropic man :)

Sou said...

Thanks, Johnny. It was slow to load and getting harder to tinker with.

George Montgomery said...

Whether it be white or another colour, space between paragraphs and around blocks of text actually helps people understand what they are reading better. Space can increase comprehension by up to 20% and is an important element of textbooks.
As for websites, space can be ignored in website design because of a belief that website users do not scroll down the web page - which is not generally true. This belief can result in space being removed from website design in an attempt to communicate a lot of information in a 'window'.
In web design speak, the new Hot Whopper layout communicates elegance, openness and freshness. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

I find the links do not stand out very well.

Perhaps some colour? Some bold? Italic? Different/larger font? Underline? I do not know what is best.

Sou said...

Appreciate the tip. The links in the main section were different from those in the sidebar (underlined vs underlined and coloured). I've now made them both the same i.e. both are now underlined and coloured.

Hope that works better for you now.

Sou said...

Thanks George. I learnt this from publishers (of paper), but hadn't seen the difference quantified before.

PS I might just have to quote your last para :)

tonyb said...

Hi Sou

Have I missed something in the site evolution?

The redesign included a nice slim top bar showing eucalyptus trees. This has been replaced by a deeper black top bar.

Was this intentional or has fiddling with something affected something else?

Sou said...

Tony, you should be seeing a photo, not just a black bar. Could you try clearing the browser cache or try another browser?

(Is anyone else having problems?)

tonyb said...


Different browsers see things in different ways.

Both my ipad and 7inch screen android see the photo at the top. My 17 inch laptop sees a black bar.

I would be surprised if my laptop was the only machine seeing things in this way but if the vast majority see the site correctly its probably not worth doing anything as that might inn itself have unintended consequences


Sou said...

Strange. What browser and operating system are you using on the laptop, Tony?