Thanks Gadsby…


Keep them coming kids – the winning entry gets to poke me with a stick while I cry over the futility of my life’s work…



Sat down to have a cheeky hour of gaming before bed, ended up working. Lame! But as I’m here you may as well get an update.

It’s all still mutable but this is how it’s starting to shape up. Obviously depending when you look at it it may look different to its current state so here’s a screenshot as it stands (click for bigger):


Ignore the slightly garish ‘Looking For’ in the middle column (and similarly the bright yellow ‘Offers’ just out of shot if you’re viewing the actual page), these are vestigial elements from a failed experiment in colour.

That said I am looking at section colour coding and how it can be done without making it look like it’s aimed at 5-year olds. It’ll probably be along the lines of this quick sketch up in red:


The ‘Good evening Daniel’ space will be a Toolbar of sorts likely containing an Inbox, Calendar, Basket and Profile link and probably containing Admin functionality.

The central (slimmest) column will probably contain area-specific navigation and possibly Most Read and Recent Comments feeds. The Search may disappear from there.

Obviously there’s still a lot to be done (especially as this is a mockup rather than an implementable template) but it’s getting there, just need to work a little more on distinctions between content areas (what’s global, what’s context specific) but it is taking shape!



A spot-on assessement by Phil Gyford:


The current trend is definitely producing more graphics than information. This is also semi-relevant to some work I’ll be picking up later this week relating to our recent student survey, let’s see how many graphs I can use to convey, “cheaper drinks”…

(via kottke)


Get it on

At work we’ve been tasked with coming up with an identity for the Union’s sexual health campaigns and in doing research Glen turned up something that really brightened my morning:

(thx to Glen)


If you want to know why people use your site, take things away and see what they complain about

If having quite a lot of the (work) website down has taught me anything it’s taught me that:

Our website is capable of: running a full virtual ticketing system with dynamic event pages, event brand pages and seating plans where necessary, providing a News feed for each outlet, club, society, forum, committee and department in the Union, running Union-wide elections, Club and Society Elections and Polls for every organisation within the Union, running Sabbatical and Departmental blogs, giving people information of every aspect of us as a membership organisation and a commercial organisation, offering people advertising and sponsorship opportunities, offering our members a place to buy and sell goods as well as find out about local and national services available to them and much much more

People use our site for: the links to the University and Webmail




From my work blog:

I’m currently toying with how big or small to make the header bar (and at the risk of John coming back at me with own words regarding header size, the fold and scrolling here goes…)

My current predicament is the Header Bar, specifically how big it should be and what it should contain. In the current skin something that was criticised was the chunky header – my defence was twofold: firstly it looked good even if it was a little impractical, and secondly, so many of our pages lacked content that actually the more I could eat into the content area the better the limited content would look.

The new skin is going to be opening up a vast content area what with the admin column biting the dust and the header shrinking, which brings me back to the problem at hand: how small should it be? In the screenshot above you can see that it’s tiny, it’s just two lines (discounting the toolbar at the top) – this is of course because it hasn’t been styled – but I do like how it brings content to the fore. As a minimum I’ll need to put the SU logo in there but how big should it be? What amount of pixel space does it need? And what about the ad banner? As a source of revenue it’s important so that sets our header height to at least 70px but then what if the banner went elsewhere?

The options available seem to be:

  • Putting the ad above the left hand content area (so the top of the RH content area is level with the top of the ad) – this keeps the header small and means that some of the pixel height it occupies is not wasted for the RHC
  • putting a double ad banner between the content area and the navigation
  • Tucking it above or below the navigation with the SU logo being the first navigation link as an extra large button
  • Having a similar format to the current one but with the logo (and overall header height) reduced

I think ultimately it doesn’t make a difference – the first two still don’t determine whether how big the logo should be and if it’s at least the height of the banner these alternate locations ultimately waste space so I think the only option is really the last one (which is how it was in my initial mockup – which I should really post here!). I do like the idea of having the Warwick SU navigation tab as the logo though…