Suggestions for readability?

I'm looking for suggestions on the readability of my story, Blood Moon at http://ereshkigala.blogspot.com/


I can read in most conditions and I am having trouble choosing a layout that inceases readability for other people. Help?


Novelr had an excellent two part series on improving readability here: http://www.novelr.com/2007/10/25/design-improving-readibility-without-lifting-a-pencil-part-1


I hope it helps. :)


Also, I clicked your link and I found it easy enough to read, though there seems to be an issue with the paragraphs.


I think a border around either the content or the sidebar might help. Right now my eye follows the end of the line to the sidebar content, which can be distracting.


At first glance the font drives me a bit nuts. Something a bit softer might help me read it. Other than that, I agree with the above comments.


I like the way you separated the text from the sidebar. The color difference and the borders make it nigh impossible to confuse the reader. I find it much more appealing now than before, but in the past I've only just skimmed through so I don't know for certain...


If I was to add my 2cents I would use a smaller font size because now there are just too few words in each sentence and it's a bit tiring to my eyes to skip down lines at such a pace. Also I would change the heading to either fit in a single line or having Bloodmoon in the first line and 'demon by night' in the second and not having it mixed like it is now, but this is just an aesthetic option.


Maybe instead of making the font smaller (I like big fonts, they are easy on the eyes) you could make the content area wider and the sidebar thinner. It's a pretty hefty sidebar as it is. I dunno how much control over that you have in blogger, but then again, that's why I use wordpress.


Overall though, it looks much better.


Thanks for the info guys.


As for the sidebar and content area ratio, you CAN change them but you need to play with the code a bit to keep everything working. I tried changing the width of the content area but that warped all the margins, sidebars and colors.


about the border size:

I played around today a bit with the html editor and I've found a way to extend the border without warping the sidebar: (caution: it does warp the 'customize layout screen' but not to a degree that you cannot use it)

We are using almost identical layouts, so if you like the way mine was extended, I can sent you the code. (I mean this' blog's layout, not my main: http://whatliesunborn.blogspot.com/ )


Nice. Just send me an e-mail with the code, hopefully it will work. Or, better yet, tell me what you did to widen the box; I don't want to completely change the code as changes clash with google analytics if it's already running.


BTW, something I noted on your blog; you're using the standard archives. Don't. Once the month changes, the older links are pushed into a drop-down menu and only the last month is visible. Plus, you can't move links around or post them in a different order.


What I did was just make a link sidebar, updated manually. The downside? You have to update it manually. The upside? You can put there any links you want, change the order of links, rename them, even divide the links into several different columns to separate chapters of different books and thus put everything you ever wrote there with no danger of mixing up posts. Plus, you can play a bit with the coloring/size of the characters, make it more appealing.


Yeah... about the archives, I just set up this site today, so I didn't have any time to play around. I use custom links for my main site and it IS better, but this one I just set it up to check if it will be easier for the readers... if it fails I'll just delete it.


About the borders: (If I remember all the changes):

Make a backup (obviously). Make certain that you have your widgets set as you wish (it becomes kinda hard to change them afterwards, and since I'm no techie I don't actually know what I screwed to make it that way^^)


In page structure: change the width of the outer wrapper to 900pixels (I think it was 740 originally). Change the width of main-wrap-1 to 645 pixels (I just added the same amount of pixels that I've added to the outer one). I've also added the same amount to .main.widget and .main.blog making them 628 and 644 respectively (For the widgets that you have atop of the posts to match the width of the post)


Then, just put */ /* at the url's (*/ url... /*) that are in: main-wrap-1, main-wrap-2, main, and header so as to make them comments. You'll actually lose the nice curvy corners of the main post page and the header but it's the only way that I've found (that didn't require of me to draw new curves) to remove the curves from 'splitting' your page to two halves (just visually).


Hope it works.


forgot to mention that I did all those in (almost) the order that I posted them and just checked with preview page (not save). So, I actually don't know if something that I did wasn't necessary, it just worked. :D


OK, thanks for the help everyone. The story seems much more readable now. If anyone has any more suggestions, feel free to share.


@shadowphoenix:

I tried the steps one by one. Yes, they're all needed because the curving edges are a fixed gif image, not something whose size you can alter.


one last thing: I've recently changed this: (the width)

#main {

$startSide;

padding:0;

width:665px;

}


it fixed the layout tag nicely (it just puts the side widgets below the main in the layout tablet instead of cramming them all together (don't actually know if you have any trouble there), but it is much more easy to rearrange the layout now)


My own blog does this already but thanks anyway.


wow. much easier to read. it's looking really good belial!

heading looks a little odd tho. perhaps 'demon by night' could be italicized or made a bit smaller. also the font size (or is it the capitalization?) could maybe be adjusted to neaten it up a little.

but these are minor points and purely one view of what i would do.


but overall, it's looking great! :D


and seeing as we're both on blogger and i've also been playing around with widths and fonts and stuff, would you be so kind as to let me know what you think of my layout? would be much appreciated ;)


http://ridersofdarith.blogspot.com/


Your blog looks fine (according to me at least) NiSp. I'm actually following it (although I haven't read all the chapters yet)and it's easy to navigate and find things. I specially like the background color, since I despite reading lengthy posts in white background (it tires my eyes quite fast)


One suggestion that I can make would be to put a visible link to the first chapter, because after the month ends, the 1st chapter (which currently one can easily find through the archives) will not be available (one would have to open the scroll down archives to see it).


The other suggestion would be about the council of darith blog of yours. It seems that you're trying to create something like a forum/blog, but wouldn't it be easier if there was a static place with the comments visible all the time? (I don't know if one can do that with blogger). Because as it is now, a potential poster would have to click on a specific subject that you have set (thus limiting the width of the conversations that might took place). Also it is counter-intuitive for someone that doesn't use feeds to check all the posts one by one to see if someone has commented on his comment and etc.


thanks 'phoenix. yeah, i noted the earlier post about rather having a links list for the chapters. will get onto that...


am playing around with the council chamber. yes, is intended as forum type place and am not sure about blogger being on friendly terms with them yet. so far, i think you're the only one to have gone there! lol. maybe one day i'll venture into wordpress if my readers' needs exceed blogger's capabilities.


I haven't used the 'old book' template myself but it looks very readable. As shadowphoenix said, blogger archives are bad. You should fix a link list yourself.


Also, you might want to increase the size of the older posts/newer posts links and the comments link might need a rewrite. Just a number of comments noted might not seem very inviting but "[number] comments, click to leave more!" is both more visible and more reader-friendly.


As for your "Council" blog not getting many hits, give it time. It's been what? Two weeks since you started the entire story? It took me a month just to get 50 visits a day and one more to get to 80. Don't worry, just keep up the good work.


oh my - now you're just testing my technical ineptitude! lol.


yes, i'm going to re-do link list and change the size too - thanks.

as for changing the comments thingy - i'll have to put some time aside for more blogger studies i think... i've only just managed to get all comments visible.


am not too worried about the council for now. i don't have an interactive enough audience for that - yet. but it lets me say stuff :P the template is a complete blogger standard there.


thanks for the feedback!