Thursday, August 05, 2010

Blog Design Changes - Good, Bad, or Ugly?

I've been bored with my blog template for months now, but I can't seem to find anything close to what I'd like to change it to.  Blogger offers endless combinations within their new templates but I'm disappointed to find that none of the new templates take full advantage of the width of the display.  There just seems to be too much wasted space on the edges of the presentation - but then I don't claim to have an artistic bone in my body, so maybe it's just me that sees it that way.

Anyway, I'm going to try something similar to what you see at the moment, with a little more fooling around with the details and lineup along the sidebar yet to come.  I do like that the posts seem easier to read with this layout, and that's the main thing because staring at a computer screen all day long is already hard enough on the eyes. Regardless of where I end up with all this tinkering, the old look seems gone forever because I managed to overwrite it early on and it now seems to be an irretrievable thing of the past.

Please tell me what you think of the new look.  I know it's a drastic change, so let me know whether or not it works for you, and if it is any easier to read on your particular display.

21 comments:

  1. You're not the only one who hates the wasted space. I do too, as does a person who commented on a post I wrote about the whole template width thing. Sure, you can customize the width of your blog and columns with the click of a button, but the max width is pitiful. Are there really that many monitors out there not that wouldn't be able to handle something a bit wider?

    Plus, there are absolutely no templates that determine their width by percentages rather than a fixed number of pixels. I think I'll stick with my boring template until they change that. I might cave, though, because I discovered that some features of the "Blog Posts" bit in Design are broken in older templates like mine. For instance, although I have the "Show Share buttons" bit turned on, the buttons aren't there.

    Wow, that was a bit of a rant, wasn't it? I guess it's due to frustration. Blogger finally sets things up so that anybody could easily customize a template, and yet it's still not as good as it should be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Melanie and Maxine, I do think this one is easier to read and that's what finally convinced me to go with it. Of course, after losing the old one, I had to make the best of the situation and this is the one I like the most so far. I've looked at different backgrounds but some of them show so darkly through the blog part of the template that they are out of the question...too distracting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great points, Library Girl...all of them. I just got a 21 and a half inch monitor and the blog looks pretty puny on this thing. I just don't understand why the borders have to be this wide. IMO, they could be half the width and still serve their strictly decorative purpose.

    You're right too about some new features not working on the old templates. I noticed that when I switched to this one...hope Blogger is listening...we need at least one template choice that uses all the space available. This makes for a whole lot of downward scrolling.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well it's good and easy to read. And trust me you're not the only one to have been confronted with the problem. I too went through the same ordeal a few days back or so!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like it!
    I find the whole design thing very confusing and scary to work with - you've done a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wajiha, I like the way you filled the excessively wide border with pure white space. It doesn't give you any more width in which to write but it does distract from how the blog is centered in too much wasted space.

    Blogger really needs to get a clue...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kaye, Blogger makes it all pretty simple if you want to live within their specific guidelines. Otherwise, there is some frustration involved, as you can tell from some of the other comments. Just be careful you don't inadvertently save some changes...than it's panic time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Factotum, I thought you just might. :-)

    I tried dozens of combinations and this one was most pleasing to me...we share similar tastes in "graphic art," looks like.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think it is a lot more difficult to read than the old design.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm sorry to hear that, Syndi. I've only opened it using Apple's Safari browser. What do you use? I realize it might look very different on Firefox or Explorer.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like it! It also seems like you have more info in your sidebar... but that just may be from the new format.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's pretty much the same sidebar stuff, but slightly rearranged. I think it stands out more due to the colors and highlighting, though. I'm getting used to it all now and it's not bugging me quite so much. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks, I'm getting used it it now and it doesn't bug me nearly as much as it did at first. Still want to do some tinkering if I can find a few spare minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I just realized you were the one who commiserated with my Blogger complaining! Wow, my mind hasn't exactly been up to snuff lately, has it?

    Anyway, I really wish there were some kind of place to log Blogger problems. Maybe it's changed, but I seem to remember that Blogger's Help page has no way to do that. I don't want to feel like the only thing that can be done is to write posts about problems and hope that someone at Blogger looks at it and does something about it.

    Of the choices Blogger gives people, I think this one's nice. Your choice of read for the blog header makes that area stand our well in all of the green of the background.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I did stumble upon a Blogger's User Group/forum one time that was pretty good in getting some attention from the Blogger folks, but I can't figure out now how to get back there...story of my life, that. I'll let you know if I find the link again.

    My main concern in switching over to a new template was to be able to take advantage of all the new innovations while, hopefully, improving the legibility of the layout. I'm not completely happy with this layout, but it is the best I can find for now...but I'm still looking.

    I wonder how easy it would be to overlay a third-party template into the Blogger system? I do have some software that creates some fairly nice looking templates but I would have to figure out how to get the Blogger headers in there, too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I used to use a non-Blogger template on a different blog, and, other than some strangeness in the colors use in the user comments part that I could never figure out how to change, it looked fine. I don't know how something like that would do now that Blogger has the Template Designer, but I can at least say that it used to be possible.

    ReplyDelete
  17. If I get brave, and can find some spare time to start over again, I might give that a try. Thanks for letting me know that it worked for you at one time.

    ReplyDelete