Revised look for Locally Grown blogsite; straw poll

lg-sshot sean

When things broke, we decided to put up a new theme for Locally Grown that we’d begun working on this past summer but never finished.

Sean Hayford O’Leary did the heavy lifting on the new theme, with some collaboration with Tracy.

So let us know what you like/don’t like, what problems you see, what suggestions you have.

And take the straw poll!

[poll id=”19″]

66 thoughts on “Revised look for Locally Grown blogsite; straw poll”

  1. Griff,
    Pagination was originally only on on the presidential thread, but I’ll turn it on here shortly (in fact, this should be the first comment on page #2).

    Don’t know what to see about your issues with formatting in Chrome/WebKit. I’ve tried it in Safari/WebKit and it seems to be fine. Maybe you just caught the CSS file when it was being updated… try wiping your cache and trying it now.

  2. haha. so you like comic sans, huh? my respect for you has changed, sean. kidding. honestly, my opinions are pretty biased, so i hope you don’t take them too personally. it’s been awhile since i freelanced web, so i’m probably out of the trends. and, of course, print design and web design can differ greatly. unfortunately, if a designer used any of the basic universal web fonts in print, they’d probably be shot. it’s hard because the last bit o’ schooling i got really ingrained that in my head. i know when i design sites i get really frustrated at the limited font options. basically you have to do what work for the site and if people think it works, go with it, right? trend or not, i still think it looks odd to pair serif with sans serif. that rule’s been around for decades. anyway, love the idea of a ‘rotating’ image in the header. don’t have a particular one in mind, but the two albums i mentioned previously have lots of potential. i don’t think you can go wrong in most of those. send someone out with a long lens to get a good shot of downtown with the leaves still on the trees and right as the sun is setting. lovely!

  3. Oh good God, I hope I didn’t leave the impression I thought Comic Sans was anything other than one of the most horrendously vile and overused fonts there is. It’s absolutely awful, hence my offense at your taking Georgia (if not beautiful, a good, hardworking font) to its level.

    Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I’ll look into those albums you mentioned soon.

  4. Here’s a concern: the comment section no longer remembers the name and email address used for previous postings. While that rarely caused the Enders and the Summas to post under the wrong name, it was awfully convenient. (I just lost a comment I had spent some time on, because I didn’t stop to reenter my name and address before hitting ‘post’. Under the old version of this site, usually if one went ‘back’ after making a similar mistake, the text would still be there in the comment section. No such luck with this version.)

  5. Sean, I really like the pagination. Both for loading speed and for sanity, it helps a lot!

    Ditto for Patrick’s comments on retaining the name/email in the comment section when using the same computer/browser.

  6. I have a few comments and suggestions.

    1. Great font picks–I love Georgia and Lucida Grande on websites.

    2. The kerning is off on the “Locally Grown” header text–make sure the cursive serifs line up so that each letter flows into the next.

    3. I think the Locally Grown needs a written graphic identity (the logo changed!) and one that reflects Northfield as a community. I don’t think the cursive typeface and the diamond background image fit the identity. Though, the diamonds do add more depth. I think design decisions should reflect the identity rather than doing something for the sake of being cool. If it does both, great.

    4. People have mentioned that the type backgrounds are too blocky. I think it can look great if done correctly (look at the University of Chicago or Livefront as examples).

    5. I don’t like the bullets next to the comments. Perhaps put the numbers on the same line as the author name?

    Overall, it is a very clean, easy to use site. Well done.

  7. Re: Patrick, #55…
    Yep, Yep , and Yep … or is it spelled Yup, Yup, and Yup?
    Actually I lost a comment I’d spent a lot of time on in the same way, and it must have been in the Change-over period, because I also got an error message from wordpress and then I e-mailed Griff about it, and since he professed to be clueless as to the “glitch”, it must have been during a technical transition.
    I did like it being filled in(name and e-mail) even if in the heat of the moment it could cause multiple users of one computer to post under the wrong name, as Patrick pointed out.

    Small details , but ‘you guys’ did ask …

    P.S. Hey Patrick! Did you notice I quit using quotation marks in the wrong way? I HAD a bad habit of using quotes on words/phrases that were not necessarily quotes , but that I wanted to highlight in a referential way; caused some serious confusion ; I’ll find a new style.

  8. I’ve appreciated the adjustments over the past few days, especially the tweaking of the right sidebar. It looks much cleaner and more streamlined to me now. If I could vote again, I would switch my vote from “it’s okay” to “I like it.”

  9. Patrick, et al:
    Yeah, that is an annoying quirk of the plugin. I can try to fix it, but if it ends up being a choice between the pagination and auto-entering name and e-mail, I think we’d have to choose the former (especially since that auto-entering has been problematic.

    Thanks for the design feedback.

    1. Good catch! I’ve fixed that now (might take a couple browser refreshes to show).
    2. As your comment acknowledges, our only visual identity is here. We have nothing printed, we have no ads or T-shirts, or anything of that such. The diamonds are not an especially intentional choice (which is why they’re nearly transparent) — they’re just there to add some texture to the gray. The cursive was somewhat more thought out, but it certainly didn’t get the careful consideration a logo for print might. I thought our strongest visual element on the old site, though, was the pictures of Northfield, which we are maintaining. LoGroNo may need to make more of a commitment in the future, but if we’re online-only, why not just have a little fun?
    3. Livefront’s highlights look great (in fact it’s all-around gorgeous site), but I think it’s apples and oranges to compare them to the much louder highlights here. I’m playing with some alternatives, though.
    4. I agree on the bullets. It’s technically difficult to do the <ol>-style numbers from the non-paginated comments, but it won’t stay as it is now.
  10. I’m getting a lot of comments from regular contributors that are submitted with typos in their names and email addresses, making me wonder whether people are having to type that info in each time they comment… meaning, the cookies are NOT working.

    Anyone having this problem?

  11. Yes to #61. And, I don’t like the out of focus
    Heading Photo and never have…the eye tries to focus, and cannot. Very trendy, but no other merit.

    I like the quicker loading, but I liked the old messiness of it, because you could see what else was going on in the sidebars that was current.

  12. On the matter of the comments, as I said a while back, this problem is caused by the pagination plugin. I know it’s kind of a pain to type in your name each time, so I would recommend workarounds like Bill’s use of the autofill feature (Safari and Internet Explorer offer this too).

  13. Griff- Re.: post #61. YES!!

    Sean- How do I get this auto fill to work? It worked for a few days, but it no longer does for me.

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