Deck chair rearrangement

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 01, 2002

You’ve probably noticed I’ve moved a few things around again. Posts now have titles and the date & time are located at the bottom of each post. Additionally, the time has come to say goodbye to some older browsers. I have no idea what kottke.org looks like in Netscape 4, and I really don’t care. It works in IE 5+ and Mozilla on both the Mac and PC…that’s pretty much what I’m shooting for. There are still a few tweaks to make here and there, but any bug reports or comments you have are always appreciated.

Reader comments

tgenterJul 01, 2002 at 12:30AM

looks good, and its more comfortable to read. but RED links? hmm… “sieht gut aus”

ArthurJul 01, 2002 at 1:44AM

That´s one more fine thing about using OS X as your default system: you just can´t care about NS4 no longer. Alte Zöpfe abschneiden.

But you´re still using tables? That´s not quick and easy and fun, I guess?


experienceJul 01, 2002 at 3:26AM

The headings seem a little over-large and over-black, disrupting the overall reading flow. The Main Navigation also looks a little low on the page.

I will second that the move to OS X has stopped me caring about NS4. I recently fired up classic to check elasticspace in NS4 only to find that classic has no fonts installed, the whole thing comes up looking like its from a ZX spectrum.

So whatever, make sure your content *linearises* well :)

AmyJul 01, 2002 at 4:49AM

Unfortunately (or not?), it looks as if you have to write your own headlines. In my experience, the copy editors do that — frequently with words spelled wrong, but nonetheless. Perhaps you could hire an intern to write your headlines…and maybe fetch bagels in the morning, answer the phone when you don’t feel like it, and do other intern-y type things.

JosetteJul 01, 2002 at 5:03AM

i can’t imagine writing titles for four years’ worth of posts. oof!

MikeJul 01, 2002 at 5:29AM

Looks just fine in OmniWeb 4.0.6

NataliaJul 01, 2002 at 5:30AM

Now you just have to add trackback. Maybe?

JandreJul 01, 2002 at 5:58AM

The biggish blackish headings took away a bit of that suitably subtle kottke-esque style which we all came to love and admire!
No external style sheets on Pocket PC Internet Explorer though, so it still looks fine here - just a bit of scrolling…

PauloJul 01, 2002 at 6:56AM

May I humbly suggest placing the comments link to the left of the date and time stamps? That way, date and time remain flush to right, providing a thematic chronology uninterrupted by the occasional comments link. The red of the link should be enough to attract attention to it when so desired.

Of course, the Kottke may choose to ignore me. It is His right. ;D

peterJul 01, 2002 at 7:00AM

also looks fine in Opera 6.

matthewJul 01, 2002 at 7:07AM

I am amused by the underlined links, as I always have been.

I now feel like I’m reading something important with every post - and the fact that you title each post, my god Jason, you have more ambition than I ever could.

PauloJul 01, 2002 at 7:36AM

Crap. I only just read the “no ass-kissing” stipulation down below. I’m sorry if I referred to Kottke with any implied or direct superlatives. ;)

Looks good in Opera6.01/PC and Moz1.1/PC here, by the way.

vitafloJul 01, 2002 at 7:41AM

Just so ya know, the site actually does work in NS4…for the most part anyway. As I’ve been saying for the last year or so, if they can read it in NS4, it doesn’t matter if it looks like ass. Pixel perfect layout in NS4 is sorta like masturbating with a cheese grater. Slightly amusing, but mostly painful.

JonJul 01, 2002 at 7:42AM

I feel your pain. I’ve recently started adding titles to every one of my 1250+ posts over 4 years. I’ve got about 8% done.

xepharJul 01, 2002 at 8:10AM

I totally agree with this comment:

Initial viewing of the new kottke.org was akin to a major disturbance in the Force.

MarkJul 01, 2002 at 8:36AM

When I first loaded up the ol’ Kottke.Org, I saw the words “Deck chair” and thought that for some reason the site was in Norwegian today.

PhilJul 01, 2002 at 8:39AM

I think my initial response was something along the lines of, “Holy stylesheets, Batman! Kottke redesigned!” Contrary to some popular opinions, I happen to really like the red links. A lot. I think they add some much-needed color to this page. And as for adding titles, I just let MT give my posts their default titles; then again, that may be because I imported them from Blogger and it gave them a default title consisting of the first five words of every post.

SiWJul 01, 2002 at 9:26AM

I also vote for a smaller headline. Other than that, I like it. I still can’t believe you went so long without using one of the usual CMS..

Todd DomineyJul 01, 2002 at 10:01AM

Smart little comment bubbles. :) Very nice.

jkottkeJul 01, 2002 at 10:16AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Give the red links a chance…they’ll grow on you in a few days. Besides, they’re a return to the good old days of kottke.org when the links were red (for a brief period). And I’m hearing that you don’t really like the bigness of the post titles. I don’t know if I like the big titles much either, but I’m going to stick with them for a bit. First impressions of a design are important, but I’m more interested in seeing how it looks after a couple weeks.

The biggish blackish headings took away a bit of that suitably subtle kottke-esque style…

The thing I was most concerned with in redesigning the way the posts display on the site was maintaining a sense that what is being displayed is writing and not just data out of a database (which is how Slashdot feels to me). The spareness of the previous design communicated that fairly well…no metadata got in the way of the writing. The titles and the date/time stamps at the end of each post break up that feel a little, but I feel that the addition of the titles, dates, and times makes the site more useful for readers and linkers and is worth the bit of extra clutter.

MarcCanterJul 01, 2002 at 11:13AM

I agree the comments should be to the LEFT of the time/date stamp. But I can’t help but wonder if this new design would be approved by the Usability police? Red links, bold headlines - who knows - at this rate - you might even start embedding PHOTOS or streaming electronica grooves soon!

SUJul 01, 2002 at 12:47PM

Why not use Heading tags for the post titles (i.e. H2) instead of DIVs? Seems a bit more degradation-friendly, no?

tomasJul 01, 2002 at 2:31PM

I think you should allow comments two posts back so I can disagree with you about rap & r&b being stagnant.

the AdmiralisationJul 01, 2002 at 2:33PM

I’d concur with other readers; the red links are shocking. I have less issue with the size of the titles, but agree that less boldness, or a few pixels smaller might make for a more muted look, who’s to say?

Looks good on OSX with all the glory of Quartz font smoothing.

MattJul 01, 2002 at 2:47PM

>Why not use Heading tags for the post titles (i.e. H2) instead of DIVs? Seems a bit more degradation-friendly, no?

I agree, using h1, h2, p tags etc. for your headers and paragraphs is a much more elegant approach than using classes. I’d further that by recommending that you go all the way and redesign using stylesheets. Your layout seems like it would be easily converted using the CSS box-model.

JeffJul 01, 2002 at 4:14PM

A few observations:

Even if you’re not concerned with aesthetics, your content should at least be -accessible- to Netscape 4 users. Right now that’s not the case. NS4.79 Mac 9.1 users will be unable to click on any of your postText links. I consider that a bad thing not because Netscape is all important, but because accessibility is. Your links are kind of the point…

Also, the red link color hurts my eyes, but the missing vlink and alink colors hurt my brain.

KevinJul 01, 2002 at 5:27PM

I like the red links but I find it hard to follow when the posts are not clearly seperated by date. I will sometimes miss a day and having the sections by date makes it easy to catch up on what I missed.

I also agree that the bold headlines are a bit much. They take away from the subtlety of your site design, break up the flow, and are just too bold and black for your overall look.

BillJul 01, 2002 at 8:36PM

Looks fine, though may I suggest adjusting your style sheets a bit: you’re Mac now, put Geneva first and all other fonts follow (especially that Arial!).

MT moves me!

marisaJul 01, 2002 at 9:49PM

red links rock. now i can see where they are. big headlines rock too. now things are easier to read and not one big long hard-to-read block of text. i don’t think it matters a bit where the comment/date thingies are, left or right of each other makes no diff. good job. much easier on me ol eyes. ;)

jesperJul 02, 2002 at 1:54AM

Dude. Red links rocks. Don’t remove!

the fake jesusJul 02, 2002 at 3:18AM

I love it! (Especially the red, although your green-yellow top and bottom now look hideous. Dark grey or something, maybe?)

Steven GarrityJul 02, 2002 at 6:10AM

All good. More visible links are great - Jakob would be pleased.

mJul 02, 2002 at 11:04AM

icons are beautiful, red links were ugly at first but after a day of getting used to them they really do rock, although I think you would be better off with smaller headlines (maybe in caps?)

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.