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dailyish email page upgrade

 
steward
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Adrien, Cassie and I have been working on an upgrade for the dailyish email page. There is a lot more work to do, but at the moment there is one part where we are all at a bit of a loss.

The very first paragraph looks crappy. It is currently in blue on the top left. Maybe there are people with great HTML-aesthetic skills that can suggest how to make it look purty. ??

http://richsoil.com/sandbox/email.jsp

 
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paul wheaton wrote:
The very first paragraph looks crappy. It is currently in blue on the top left. Maybe there are people with great HTML-aesthetic skills that can suggest how to make it look purty. ??

http://richsoil.com/sandbox/email.jsp



Overall, I think you're off to a great start. It's a lot easier to read when relevant content is grouped into boxes with headings. As far as that paragraph goes, I'd try reducing the size and/or using either center or justify aligned text. Justified text is often used in print because it's hard to make narrow columns look pretty any other way. It's also probably a little more nit-picky that what you'd like to hear, but it's not unheard of to see content writers choose their words based on their length to make text fill the space better. Try moving some words or changing them out if you don't like the way it looks.
 
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I REALLY like the banner. Not sure what the objects are next to the RMH. A crapper?

Netscape trained us all that blue means clickable text-maybe that's a dissonance? I like the bigger text, might choose a color out of the banner, like an olive a little darker than the line for the nav bar.

I also like to proof for color vision impaired views - looks really good (screen captures from photoshop)
protanope.png
[Thumbnail for protanope.png]
protanope
deuteranope.png
[Thumbnail for deuteranope.png]
deuteranope
 
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Ann already voiced my opinion. Thanks Ann!

If you change the blue text to a darker olive hue, maybe also change the links under the "really free stuff" heading to that same olive color for continuity.
 
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Coming up on 10 years in web development but last 3-5 have been much more focused on back end stuff using Ruby and now Clojure. I support the above sentiments, especially the link color. Kill the blue with fire. Never underline text or give it that anchor link blue color if it is not a link.

More images, especially for the blocks where you REALLY want attention. Like for ernie and erica's book giveaway, you need a really cool firey picture there which will also help balance out the content with the block to the right. A picture of Ernie doing the fire rocket with the pipe from Fire Science would be super cool. I'll see if I can strip a still pic from the video for you or maybe someone else with good tech skills could get it also.

Don't be afraid to make more links within the "free stuff" boxes to direct people right to the sign up form. Just don't make the links red, highlighted, underlined and blinking. Keep it subtle but make it super easy to sign up when you are reading about all the free stuff you could get. You can even anchor link from the content box of free stuff to the part of the page with the sign up form (it doesn't have to be a separate page).

Brag about how awesome the daily-ish email is even without the incentive of all the free stuff you could get.

I like the picture of Paul looking all World Domination-ey.

I personally have found tremendous value in the daily-ish email simply based on how many times I have found links to incredible forum topics that I otherwise may not have found. In simpler words the summarizations of interesting forum topics is just as good as the free giveaways.
 
steward
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"A 72 head start to sign up for the RMH Innovators Workshop "

Need to add an "hour" after 72
 
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Thought I would give the site tweek a try. You were not really specific on what you didnt like about the design, so I just made some adjustments that stood out to me. I took a screenshot, but I also put up a live page if you wanted to visit that as well.

Link to Page: http://1kand1things.org/paulwheatonsdaily-ishemail.htm
Page tweek, colors, corners, and placement of content
If you have any further information on what exactly you dont like about the site design I think that would help.

Thanks
Wade
Untitled.png
[Thumbnail for Untitled.png]
 
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You could add a soft-hyphen in HTML ( & shy; ) to "permaculture" so that the line breaks don't cause weird spacing.
 
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We just did some changes, let us know what you think.
 
Penny Dumelie
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I think it's better but I'm finding the daily-ish email block too..... busy... or something.

I don't know if it's the text size, the bold, the type, or what exactly but it's too much.

I know we want it to stand out but right now I notice it immediately, but then it makes me want to look away... like it's glaring at me.
Sorry, not trying to be negative. :/

 
Sean Kibler
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I kinda agree, but only on the basis of verbiage.

My feeling is that it ought to read as below.

The daily-ish email is usually about permaculture and making a better world through learning good things rather than being angry at bad guys.

I'm admittedly not much of a wordsmith, in fact if I were to take a college level English class again I'd be lucky to pass, but I've spoken my peace.
 
steward
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The new page is now live!

http://www.richsoil.com/email.jsp

 
paul wheaton
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Maybe all the books and DVDs need to have little images for them and it can be in a big grid. And there can be a scroll bar. And when you hover over an image, text will tell you more about that book/dvd. And, of course, the image a link to that thing on permies.

 
Cassie Langstraat
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paul wheaton wrote:Maybe all the books and DVDs need to have little images for them and it can be in a big grid. And there can be a scroll bar. And when you hover over an image, text will tell you more about that book/dvd. And, of course, the image a link to that thing on permies.



This sounds wonderful. And hard. I know how to make a grid I think, from the book review grid. But no idea how to make it scrolly! I'm sure I could find this information out online somewhere though. Unless anyone else knows how to do this?
 
Penny Dumelie
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I like making grids with tables. Most people consider them bad for some reason but I like how everything keeps their place in a table. A span tag can create the hover text.
 
paul wheaton
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Penny,

Go ahead and throw this together please!
 
Ann Torrence
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One comment: move to the top the desired actions of Facebook, Google+, etc that are now on the bottom. I forget the numbers, but a shocking % of people simply won't scroll. Make it stupidly easy to take the desired next step. The email sign-up box is in the perfect spot. But some people will prefer the other options (fools I know).

I like the typewriter text as distinguishing the content in the top left box. There's a lot of white space between lines of text, can tighten that up later if people aren't scrolling to buy the DVDs. Google Analytics will let you know that.
 
Penny Dumelie
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Yeah I can make something.
A couple of questions...
Are you wanting this grid for placing in a block on this page or will the grid have its own page, much like the podcasts have this page?
And which DVDs and Books are you referring to (all the ones reviewed on permies? or just the ones you sell? or...)
I haven't been using the permies site consistently for very long so I'm still not sure where everything is.
 
Adrien Lapointe
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I need to jump in the conversation! It is better not to use tables to do grids as it is harder to maintain later on. The current best practice is to use css to style a list that contains the links and images.

I just created the style to do that. If you look at the page in the sandbox you can see it. Of course it is just a proof of concept at the moment.

Paul, what do you think?
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Adrien, can you put that into a little scrolly box of its own?

I am assuming we could put little blurbs about each book in the "title" section so that the blurb would come up when hovered over.
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Penny Dumelie wrote:Yeah I can make something.
A couple of questions...
Are you wanting this grid for placing in a block on this page or will the grid have its own page, much like the podcasts have this page?



It will not have it's own page. It will be on http://www.richsoil.com/email.jsp


And which DVDs and Books are you referring to (all the ones reviewed on permies? or just the ones you sell? or...)
I haven't been using the permies site consistently for very long so I'm still not sure where everything is.



All the books that are in the list on http://www.richsoil.com/email.jsp .
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:Adrien, can you put that into a little scrolly box of its own?



I will have a look later today to add the scroll bar.

I am assuming we could put little blurbs about each book in the "title" section so that the blurb would come up when hovered over.



yes, the title property is where you put the text that will appear when you hover over the book.
 
paul wheaton
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I think the idea of the css managed list makes better sense.

Adrien, please set up a template for penny to follow.

 
Adrien Lapointe
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All one need to do to add to the list of books is add to the html list that follow. The only limitation is that the book image has to be 100x150 pixels.

 
Penny Dumelie
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Okay, I'll try and get this done tonight once my house goes to sleep.
 
Penny Dumelie
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So, last night was a bust. I'd love to say I"m done and here you go, but that would be a lie. I'm baking today so I should be able to get at it here and there through the day and hopefully finish up tonight.
 
Penny Dumelie
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small update in case I need to change what I'm doing

I am about halfway done entering the first column on the daily-ish email page into the list (in notepad).
That includes adjusting the book image for the 100x150 image slot.

I'm using alt= for the book title and title= for the summary.

I'm adding target="_blank" to the links so that the links don't pull the viewer away from the main page. This should result in users spending more time on the page, in theory.


I have assumed the "Design and Implementation Plan" is the book Permaculture Design: A Step-By-Step Guide by Aranya
 
Penny Dumelie
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I have the list ready.


I'm not sure which book is "Make Better Buildings"

There were a couple books I couldn't find a thread for so I linked to the author intro.

The Complete Biogas Handbook

http://www.permies.com/t/3304/energy/David-House-author-Biogas-Handbook#27549

Wild Plants of Greater Seattle

http://www.permies.com/t/725/wild-harvesting/Arthur-Lee-Jacobson-author-Wild#3568

Where should I send the list and the images?
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Awesome, thanks Penny! Could you put that on Dropbox and share the link with me? Otherwise, Google Drive would be another option.
 
Penny Dumelie
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Alright. Purple Mooseage sent
 
That feels good. Thanks. Here's a tiny ad:
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
https://permies.com/wiki/105944/Native-Bee-Guide-Crown-Bees
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