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Site Modification in Progress

by Chad Ludeman on February 11, 2008 · 3 comments

in Press and News,site updates

I’m switching over to a three column format for the website now so the site will look odd for a while. Hopefully all goes well and I will be able to include some more helpful links on the homepage when complete. I have a lot of sites, forums and vendors that I’d like to reference that I’ve been using throughout this process and need a three column layout to make it look nice and be easily navigable.

If you enjoyed reading this post I can promise you'll love our new writing over at Postgreen Homes. Yeah, we know that's the same thing your favorite band said and their new album is nowhere near as good as their early stuff, but seriously, we are actually still getting better.

There also isn't much conversation to be had here . . . at least not with us. So come on over to the Postgreen Homes Blog and tell us what you think of our new(ish) digs and crazy ideas. We will be sure to tell you what we think of your opinion.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 brandon February 12, 2008 at 3:03 am

Well I’m always a fan of tweaking a site to make it better but I have to be honest and say I’m not a fan of the traditional 3 column layout found in many blogs. A 3 column layout can be a good thing but most of the time the extra space is used to just display more ads, links to external sites, or content that generally can be placed in it’s own sub page. Generally it make a page look very busy, increases the cognitive load for a visitor, and aren’t as simple or intuitive to use.

For example right now you have the “Categories” and “Archive” on the left side and “Search” and “Latest..” on the right. It makes sense to keep them all together on the same side because they are all related to one another as far as flow of the site and content.

Personally I thought the 2 column layout you previously had worked great. It was simple, made great use of white space to break up the content, quickly got the site message across, and could be expanded easily to suit just about any need.

If you just needed to add some references (vendors, sites, etc.) why not just make a link in the main navigation of the site instead? There was plenty of room in the main nav which would be my first recommendation or you could condense the space that “categories”, “archive”, etc. required. A select menu could have worked well or you could use a little javascript and a collapsable list that displays a set amount of links with a “more” link to show all the results when clicked.

I think the content on this site is top notch and speaks for it self. Because the content is so good it’s fair to say it will encourage visitors to seek out any other info you reference. I know I regularly check the majority of the blogs in your blog roll now as well as research just about every company, vendor, architect, or other project mentioned on this site.

I hope no offense is taken from my comments here as I’m just trying to express some ideas and give some food for thought. I design, develop, and test web sites all day and a lot of my time lately has been spent researching usability and user testing. I figured I can actually write a (hopefully) informative comment about something instead of my usual question. Haha.

2 chad February 12, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Brandon – Great comment and no offense taken. I will take this into consideration. The content in the columns is not as I would like it as I only had time to get the new theme up and change a few colors and such to make it look more like the original 2 column theme.

The plan is to have all blog related links in the right column as they were and have other links in the left column like partners, materials & products used, useful green links on the web other than blogs… I have considered including this on other pages and I may still do this. The bottom line though, is that many don’t click through to other pages and I want to recognize those that have helped us most in this project on the front page if possible.

I can always switch back to the original 2 column with a click of the mouse. I love WordPress!

3 Brandon February 12, 2008 at 11:23 pm

All sounds great then and the new theme is starting to shape up nicely. WordPress is definitely awesome. One of these days when I get some free time to myself I’m going to start up a WordPress site as well.

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