Apr 152008

I came across a great tip about the ultimate in low cost laptop sleeves over at The Random Forest and its author is seeking site reviews, so I figured I’d try putting my opinionated nature to some good.

Overall, I think the site template is gorgeous.  The title complements the sublime banner image wonderfully, and I think the tagline “The ramblings and randomness of Forest Park” fits the posts I read perfectly.  However I do see some rather serious flaws with the current presentation of the blog.  Serious enough to keep me from becoming a regular reader.

  1. The “Chat with ian parks” bubble link partially covers the VistaPrint banner completely destroying the lines of the sidebar.
  2. Further down the sidebar (below the level of my screenshot) the “Tags” list does the same thing although these actually run off the screen.
  3. The link color used in the sidebar is practically unreadable.  I really like the shade of blue used as the background on the sidebar, but blue text (or links) on a blue background is really a bad idea.  If you want to stick with the all blue theme, then I’d go with a more traditional cyan for purposes of readability.
  4. The font size for the sidebar links is also a bit too small for my old eyes.  I’d bump it up another point or two.
  5. The useful navigation is too low on the page.  In order to find the recent posts list, for example, I’ve got to scroll down an entire screen.  I totally understand the desire to have your advertising at the top, but the monthly archives, Blog Catalog visitors, and even recent comments aren’t nearly as important to me as recent posts.
  6. One final thing.  I’d replace the solid white background behind the posts with a very pale shade of blue.  The white contrasts a bit too much with the blue tones, IMO.

So, there’s  a quick seven tips for ya!  I know many of you reading this are thinking I’m a serious jerk, right now, but he did ask for honest opinions and my regular readers know I can be much more scalding when I want to.

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