Review Request--My site

All right, after wrangling with Wordpress and moving all my stories over to this new site, I think I'm finally ready for a review. What do you think?


http://vjchambers.com


The design is great. I love the unobtrusive background. Everything I'd like to find right away is easily located on the main page--twitter, facebook, subscription, and recent posts. One might argue the need for the "books" page if you're willing to devote nav space to each book individually--but it's nice having a simple list of the different places where the book can be read/bought.


For the stories: The large font isn't really to my liking--the font type and white background aren't harsh on my eyes, so I don't see why the person across the room should see what I'm reading (an exaggeration, I know). That and it just makes for more scrolling, especially given the width of the post space. It's just a little quibble though. I'm certain many would appreciate this font size alot.


Overall, very nice. It's clear you put a lot of work into this. :D


Yeah, I'm kind of unsure about the big old font myself. But I do want it to be easy to read. The point about more scrolling is well taken, though. Hmm...


My two cents is there's a looooooooot going on. I have no idea where to start, what I should focus on. I can't tell what I Can read online and what I can't. I can't distinguish between story updates and all the other stuff.


It would help me as a reader if the front page were simplified. Give the content room to breath. Give the reader space to make room for herself without having to fight all the content shoved onto the front page.


I, too, don't like the large font. It makes the words per line too small. It's true that online you want shorter lin lengths than in print, but not that short.


I decided to go ahead and make the font smaller, which is an improvement overall, I think.


I did attempt to clarify a bit in the about section that all works are for free online and for sale. Probably being a dick here, but if someone gets confused about reading it online and just buys it, I'm not going to cry about it. However, if you're actually interested in reading, I think you'll scroll down and figure it out. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to put a "start reading" link for each book on the book page, however. That will be my next project. :)


In terms of story updates, there currently are none. When there are, they'll show up front and center with the other blog entries. Also, I'll nix the countdown in favor of a link to the most recent update in the upper right hand corner.


Thanks for your comments. Cheers!


"However, if you're actually interested in reading, I think you'll scroll down and figure it out."


There are a couple of issues with that stance.


First--The first rule of web design is, "Don't make me think". If you care about your reader's experience, you'll make it easy for us to read. If you don't care, that's one thing, but if you do care, you can't put the onus on the reader to figure out your design. Make it simple. Make it obvious.


Two--I don't *know* yet if I'm interested in reading. Not all your readers have made that decision by the time they reach your titles page. Don't assume they have.


It wasn't at all clear to me that your work was available, in complete form, online. The way it's set up now, I see a list of titles with their available formats, and nowhere in that list is there an indication that I can read the books online for free. I have to click a particular book, and THEN scroll down to see that it's available online. I shouldn't have to. That information should be readily available on that first aggregated screen displaying snapshots of your work.


At the moment, I'm getting a message from IE saying that it can't open the page for one of the stories, 'Brighter'. I'll weigh in when my browser starts working again. :( Other than that, things are looking interesting.


No, Amber, you're totally right. Which is why I said I was going to put "start reading" links on the pages.


Which I will do. It's going on my to-do list. (which lengthens at an exponential rate constantly :P)


@intergal I checked it out and didn't have any issues. Weird. You say when your browser starts working again...? Is it on your end, you think? I hope there aren't access problems. :(, indeed.


Good deal!