Site Review - Nomesque Fiction

I'd love some user feedback on Nomesque Fiction. There are a few things I've implemented - or which come standard with the template - that I think look kinda cool, but I suspect others wouldn't. Like:


- Colours... too confrontational?

- Sidebars... too many? (irritatingly, I don't think I can change this much)

- Previous/Next Story images... useful? try-hardish? offensive?

- Header image... cute? blurk?

- Layout... confusing? helpful? too long?


I'd greatly appreciate some opinions, whether you answer the questions above or not :-)


* I don't think that the colors are too confrontational, red and black are strong and contrasting but they don't hurt the eyes to look at (at least not mine).


* Yes, there are too many sidebars, and they are confusing. If you can't remove them whole hog from the layout (I don't know why you couldn't do this, but I suppose it could be possible) then I would suggest just removing the content from one of the right side ones (at least, two sidebars side-by-side with no dividing line between them are hard to make sense of). In the same vein: there's an awful lot of stuff sitting in your sidebars. I would go through and prioritize potential content based on what will help visitors to a) find what they're looking for and/or b) figure out what the heck they're looking at.


* Previous/Next buttons... o.o WHERE ARE THEY? I randomly clicked on the 'Lucky Me' stories linked in the left sidebar and they are not interlinked. They are not even all tagged within your site. This makes navigating through a multi-part story annoying and potentially off-putting to readers and passers-by.


* The header image is fine in my opinion, it is a little cutesy but - if it fits your sites themes and mood - then it is fine. If, however, your stories have nothing to do with punk-rock fairies then perhaps you would want to change the image, so as not to confuse anyone passing by.


* As for the layout overall, my only real complaint is that it's not centered in my browser (Firefox 3.0), and is instead clumped on the left side of the screen, making it seem very crowded (especially with the three sidebars).


Additional comments which you have not asked for:


- the fourth 'sidebar' on your front page titled 'the stories' does make this page even more crowded, and I would consider taking that information out of the table/div/sidebar thing that it's in and simply putting it in the regular text area.


- the comment area at the bottom of the front page is kind of odd, but hey whatever floats your boat.


- finally, the 'by so and so' beneath the images heading your stories. I'm assuming that 'so and so' is the artist's name and not yours, as the name listed in the info is different. You might want to start labeling them as 'art/image by so and so' so as to avoid confusion :P


^^;; wanderingwidget


WW, thanks! :-)


I'll digest and contemplate these for the most part, but thought I'd answer a few of your queries now -


- Anything marked 'by ____' is written by a different person. The entire 'Lucky Me' series is contributed by Brian.


- Previous/Next buttons - my bad. They're available for the oldest (Life in a Fairytale) and the most recent (Deadish) series only, atm.


- Layout constraints... I'm using wordpress.com, which doesn't allow template modifications or javascript. Anything the least bit unusual needs to be HTML-coded from scratch. This will change, but only when I have time and money.


I've made a few quick changes, just in case anyone's wondering what WW's talking about. :-D


I need to add some more navigation info to the front page, and (eventually) Next/Previous Story links to each post.


WOW! I am impressed :D


Really funky site and yet surprisingly easy on the eye. Quick too.


Nomesque,


On the constraints of Wordpress.com, I do suppose you can purchase their pro accounts, which frees you to tinker with the CSS style sheets and allow you to come up with some pretty fantastic designs (at nominal cost, compared to, say, regular hosting).


Speaking with my designer cap on, I'm not happy with the background red, not at all. It's rather glaring on my monitor. I should note, though, that it's due to a background image, and that it'll be hard to replace without CSS control. I'd recommend cutting down on the sidebars as well - the use of red and the parallel placement of links are very, very distracting. Perhaps one or no sidebars - so everyone concentrates on just your content?


On the upside: love the frog for the 'next story' link, and your text is generally readable. But I wonder ... is it possible to adjust the intensity of the red of your sidebar headings? It'll help if it's more soothing.


Thanks, miladysa and ejames. Pondering.