View Full Version : New 'improved' facing page

10-28-2008, 02:28 AM
Hi, I wonder if someone would mind taking a look at the facing page of my historical publication Skegness Revisited (http://www.skegnessrevisited.com/index.html)?
I'm particularly interested in anyone's views about the justification in the line `Historical events and human interest stories which took place in Skegness during the 1880's', below the image of a Victorian flower seller.
Is there a print design or typographical `rule' about justification that I should consider?
Also, any comments, however critical, about the design of this page would be welcome.
Regards to all,

Bo Aakerstrom
10-28-2008, 03:10 AM
Tried to have a look at the page but your link doesn't seem to work.

10-28-2008, 04:32 AM
Also, any comments, however critical, about the design of this page would be welcome.

Of course the page is beautiful -- so precise in color and layout (notwithstanding some needed Mickey Mouse adjustments, like more left margin in the center column or moving over the second line at the top or adding space between paragraphs). But I don't relate to this page. It is too smooth. There is no emotion. I have to wait too long to see the soul of the page. The communication is bland. But I very much suspect what I relate to doesn't work in your culture.


10-28-2008, 07:24 AM
It looks pretty good. I like the color scheme. Have a lot of niggling comments about details:

Why not use a light grey background in body instead of having it start and stop? Then the blue and yellow and the white image would all be surrounded by the grey.

Did you check with browsers set to different widths? I normally keep mine set letter-style (about 800 pixels wide and tall). The layout is puzzling that way, and the text in the yellow areas is very narrow. (The bottom box seems to have wider margins than the other two.) When I widen the window to view a landscape page the layout makes more sense. But you can’t count on everyone having browsers set to the same view, alas.

The justified type is very annoying to read with wide gaps in some lines. (Justification depends on hyphenation — which does not exist in HTML.) It is much better to use flush left/ragged right to avoid these problems (you may get dramatically short lines occasionally but the spacing will be easier to read).

How about space between paragraphs (half a line-space, say).

Margins: Having text run off the edge of the page (as in the title block) or smack up against an object (as in the justified text next to the image) is annoying. Makes me feel as if I am missing something!

Less space between title and sub-title; more between sub-title and menu bar.

Why not make each menu item (Home, Family history research, etc.) use boxes of the same height (leave the text as it is).

The instruction for viewing the video needs to have a line break so it sits on a separate line reliably.

Sorry to be so nit-picky. Nice project — just needs a little tweaking.

Michael Beloved
10-28-2008, 12:53 PM
Paul, I agree with Ktinkel’s critique. One thing is that you may just let it be as it is and just improve it over time. If you set your mind to start this perfectly, you will be limiting yourself. If you just begin where you are, then this could involved day by day. That is probably your best approach.
I have a friend who is professional artist. About 30 years ago when I met him, he used to do paintings in a basement in Denver Colorado. He worked in oil paints which allow an artist to paint, repaint, paint and repaint endlessly since oil dry slowly and the paints can be activated with thinners. Sometimes after one year, he was still not done with a painting. So that is one method of painting, where you tinker along and change it daily to improve it.
I feel that you don’t have to do that. What you can do is to let it be as it is and just return to it in about a month or so and then make some changes. Then wait another three months and then make some changes and then in about a year, you will have this in a formal presentation which gives the site its own identity.
You asked for suggestions.
On the Home page below the main headline, there is the statement of the site which begins with “Historic events and……………………………….
Use only the six words
“Historic Events and Family History Research” beneath the headline either centered under the headline or justified to the left.
Then on the right use a photo of the seaside resort instead of the words “seaside resort”.
With that photo use the words Skjegness Lincolnshire England
The idea is to show the resort visually rather than through words.
Some things are better shared visually than verbally. The picture of the resort should be small of course but it should be such that it is obviously a seaside resort.
Since the column on the extreme right is so narrow, you may either reduce the font size or carefully select words and phrases, so that each line makes sense as a phrase or a group of words, otherwise the line breaks make the reading awkward and unless a person really pays attention, the message there is lost.
If you notice narrow columns were always used in newspapers but the print is usually fine. Large print size (font) hampers reading in narrow columns. Narrow columns are good for one or two word statements which are complete line by line.
I helped set up a web page recently and if you check it, look at the narrow margins and see that there is hardly any sentences. This is the url:
http://meditationtime.nexo.com/ (http://meditationtime.nexo.com/)
Anyway, my main point is that the site could develop over time. You don’t have to begin with perfection. You can earn it as you go.

Michael B.

Bo Aakerstrom
10-28-2008, 03:47 PM
Tried again and it worked this time, no idea why it didn't earlier.

Have to agree that the lack of margin does look a bit odd and doesn't aid readability. Justified text doesn't really work all that well in a web page.

I would also have to mention that the page doesn't validate, there is some odd code in there as well. To some this is not important, but if you intend to keep working on the layout and improve it, it would be a good thing to have a solid foundation (my opinion:)).

Also, while the layout works on a widescreen monitor, if you narrow the width to 1024px (a common width) it doesn't look right.

As far as the content goes, I'm not qualified to comment on it - even if I quite often were in the area back when I worked as a service engineer for computer company. Not quite Victorian times but some time ago nevertheless.

Couldn't help but noticing the red squiggly lines under 'Skegness' and 'Revisted' in the image;)!

Howard Allen
10-28-2008, 05:07 PM
From your original message, I gather you want criticism of the thumbnail page "Skegness in the 1880's" rather than the web page. If so,

1) I don't think you need an apostrophe in "1880s". Apostrophes are used to indicate possessives or to indicate missing characters (contractions), neither of which applies here.

2) I think I would make "Skegness" bigger in the title, since it's the subject of the book. You've set the name the same size as "in the", which makes "1880s" seem more important than Skegness. I might put Skegness by itself on the first line, in bigger type, and "in the 1880s" on the second line, or perhaps "in the" on a separate second line in small type, and make 1880s somewhat smaller than Skegness, but bigger than "in the".

3) The subtitle "Historical events..." is too wide on the page: it breaks up the white space on either side, and crowds the margins. I would break the subtitle like this:

Historical events and human interest stories
which took place in Skegness
during the 1880s

or perhaps even:

Historical events
and human interest stories
which took place in Skegness
during the 1880s

4) The word spacing is a bit wonky, particularly the big space before "Skegness" in the subtitle.

5) I hope you intend to fix the spelling of "Revisted" ;)

6) I would probably shrink the "A Skegness Revisited publication" and move it down on the page to separate it a bit more from the subtitle; but not so far down as to cramp the white space at the bottom.

There's my two-bits worth, but I should caution that I'm not a designer!

11-07-2008, 12:46 PM
Thanks for your comments everyone, I've made a note of them and will make some changes this weekend.
It's the design of the page on the web page that I'm interested in improving, not the web page or the web site. I think I may have been a bit ambiguous about this in my post.