Housekeeping: Same TTAG, Different Wrapper

Good design never goes out of fashion. Allegedly. (courtesy media.townhall.com)

First of all, thank you for reading and commenting. After perusing the comments underneath Connecticut Gun Registration: The Race to Ruby Ridge I texted Dan to share my admiration for our Armed Intelligentsia’s insight and intelligence. If you look at the post now, however, you’ll see a squished YouTube video. Yeoman programmer that he is, Nick’s on it (when he makes up from the installation all-nighter). And he’ll downsize the OVERLARGE blockquote text. And sort out the lack of a comment tally and link to comments at the bottom of the home page posts. Yup, we’ll look at restoring a serif face too. Feel free to list [more of your] your pet peeves below. Meanwhile, rest assured that the site design and functionality are evolving, and that TTAG values its community more than life itself. OK, maybe not that much. But a lot. Again, thanks for making this site possible.

comments

  1. LOVE the new layout. Great typeface, so much easier to read! All good improvements.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Well, that makes one of you. 😀

      1. Heheh… I think people hate change and like to bitch. About TYPEFACES, for God’s sake. I like to change it up every once in awhile.

        1. avatar Shire-man says:

          I was hoping the new typeface would be wingdings. I find it is very underutilized.

    2. avatar Ducky says:

      I love the layout on the web as well, and it works fine for the most part on my ipad. There’s some weird formatting on articles with embedded videos, but I love the layout. That makes two of us.

    3. avatar mike says:

      I hate it. The iPad theme is horrible and the full site looks crappy. Please put it back. It hurts my soul.

  2. avatar wade says:

    I’ve always disliked the mobile site, so when using my phone i just look at TTAG’s desktop site. But this setup just does not work at all on my phone, so I’m bitching about it from a desktop.

  3. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    I love the mobile version on my iPhone. Keep it!!

    1. avatar CCW Guy says:

      +1000

      1. avatar Loyd says:

        DO NOT EVER ALTER THE IPHONE MOBILE VERSION EVER IN ANY WAY PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF JOHN MOSES BROWNING.

  4. avatar Derrick says:

    Lettering could be darker, it’s slightly hard to read. Or it’s this crazy egg shell white background.

    1. avatar gloomhound says:

      I agree, it is harder to read.

      1. avatar Avid Reader says:

        Ditto.

        1. avatar Bob in NV says:

          Double ditto.

    2. avatar Don says:

      +1 black lettering!

    3. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      FIXED! I think. Hit F5 a couple times just to be sure.

      1. avatar Derrick says:

        Appreciate it sir.

      2. avatar Avid Reader says:

        The headline font has feathering at the edges, at least on a desktop display. The darker black does make the text much easier to read-thanks!

        I do struggle with the red, though, as I’m red/green colorblind.

    4. avatar William Burke says:

      You want lighter type on a white background? Robert, can you make the type white?

  5. avatar Jordan says:

    I liked it better the old way. The new theme seems a bit too loud and busy.

    1. avatar Zack says:

      Seconded

  6. avatar Stinkeye says:

    As others have mentioned in the earlier post – there’s something jacked up about the contrast of the text and background color. Very hard on the eyes.

    1. avatar Avid Reader says:

      I agree-not enough contrast makes it harder to read.

    2. avatar C says:

      I found the old background color quite soothing. Pure white is like …overly perky waiter.

  7. avatar Gregg says:

    These tired old eyes find it hard to read the text as it appears gray instead of pure black. Links on the Right Side Bar appear faded and hard to read.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      The type is straight-up BLACK. Maybe there’s a darker color than black, but I’m unaware of it. As for the links in the right-hand column, they’re gray. Either you need a new monitor, or you need to stop shooting, before you kill someone by accident.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Billy boy, I don’t suppose it occurred to you that in the 6+ hours between when Gregg left his comment and you forced your stupidity upon us that something may have changed? This is what it looked like when he left his comment: http://i.imgur.com/2V5y9q2.png

        The text has been darkened, though it’s still cartoonishly large (I’m now running the page at 90%) and an ugly sans serif. I guess this is what they’ve decided to stick with.

  8. avatar Liberty2Alpha says:

    I don’t like the blinding white background.

    The old background was much easier to read. The new feels like looking at the sun by comparison.

  9. avatar Don says:

    I like the clean looking layout but the background is a bit bright. If that could be toned down a bit it would be really nice. If the text could be black instead of gray that would be better too. A color other than red for the menus would be a bit warmer. This theme is very similar to TheFirearmBlog as it is.

    -D

  10. avatar jake says:

    Love it, it’s easier to read and I like the tabs up to, great for navigation.

  11. avatar SigGuy says:

    Kudos to Yeoman Nick, the new website looks more modern. I agree that the red is a bit harsh, but maybe that could be solved with a slightly darker red 😉

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Darkening to follow.

      1. avatar Don says:

        +1 darkening!

  12. avatar OODAloop says:

    There’s a reason that serif typefaces were invented- easy of reading and the curly bits on the ends of the character lines lead into the next character so it flows for the eyes. The current setup is difficult to read due to the extreme white background and the lack of “weight” in the typeface picked and the non-mobile version of the site is ugly on a mobile device http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t501/cminigo/2013-08-02055711_zps9c24e39e.png.

    Stand up a beta site or, better yet, test drive it on TTAK readers first… 🙂

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      We’re looking at returning to serif. Watch this space.

      1. avatar Don says:

        +1 serifs!

      2. avatar Adam says:

        Thank god. The titles/Headers being sans is cool, but body text is much easier to read in serifs.

    2. avatar brian says:

      “test drive it on TTAK readers first”

      HA!

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Interesting read. I appreciate the info, as I’m guilty of parroting one or two of those from time to time, and I don’t like saying things that are easily proven wrong.

  13. avatar tfunk says:

    For whatever reason on my phone the “full site view” only uses half of my phone’s screen.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      It’s because there’s a “full width” banner ad at the bottom of your phone screen that’s rendering at more than double the width of the actual content.

      1. avatar tfunk says:

        Well, to me that’s dumb…I’m guessing many of us are accessing on our phones and that turns it into suck

        This will show how clueless I am about computers, but, uh, why can’t the website “render” at full width?

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          It’s a bug that it’s doing that, and I assume it will get fixed.

  14. avatar Josh says:

    Looks nice, but the white background is bright. Also, I like seeing a count of the number of comments an article has on the homepage before diving into it, as well as a button to go directly to the comments.

  15. avatar B says:

    I like the floating home bar. Helps me continually refresh the page waiting for new stuff.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      There’s an addon for that for most any browser, FYI. Look for something called “auto reload” or “auto refresh.”

    2. avatar Don says:

      +1 floating bar!

  16. avatar SubZ says:

    This is the damnest thing. Overnight, someone took my Sig and powdercoated the slide red. They also changed the trigger. May still be the same pistol, but sure looks and feels different…

  17. avatar John says:

    On an ipad the menu wraps down a line and only uses 3/4 of the screen. I view your site 95% of the time from an ipad so if you could get it back to a place that it was ipad friendly, that would be great.

  18. avatar Ipe says:

    “A” for effort, but I really don’t like the end result. It really looks like crud on my iPad. Big red bars floating about all over the place, most of the screen real estate not utilized. Yeah, thanks for trying, but not liking it all that much. Sorry

    Edit: about half the iPad screen is article, about a quarter is ads, and the remaining quarter is blank gray.

    1. avatar Zack says:

      Same here, you wouldn’t block off a third of your windshield of your car.

  19. avatar Mike says:

    When a window is at ‘Restore’ size, the Header links bunch up into a 5″-tall banner.

  20. avatar Ben Eli says:

    I really don’t like all the white space. The top banner is boring. The top banned should be dominated by something other than and ad. This now looks like a site that would give me a virus. The red is nice.

  21. avatar handfulofsounds says:

    Good thing I use Feedly to read the articles and never really hit the main site unless I want to comment on something.

  22. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Ah, so I guess the new layout is designed to be “cross-platform friendly” and that’s why you lose the “first paragraph-style” postings. Note these two images:

    http://i.imgur.com/rCK4fV1.png
    http://i.imgur.com/S8k1Y3P.png

    In the first one, the window is about 815 pixels wide. You can see the content column on the left, and the advert/extras column on the right. The posts are in the “teaser text” style, and the top menu banner is scrolling with the page.

    In the second one, I’ve dragged the right border in by about a half inch, and the window is about 780 pixels wide. When I passed about the 800 px mark, the screen redrew into what you see. Only one column, no advert/extras column, no lead photo, no teaser text, just headlines, and the top menu banner has ceased scrolling with the page.

    The breakpoint seems to be 801 px, because my phone is 800 in landscape format, and it shows the trimmed down version.

    Knowing what’s making it do that doesn’t make me think it’s any less ugly.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Now that I know what it’s called, at least I now know what to say I don’t like.

        If I pull up the “Desktop version” on my phone, I want to see the “Desktop version,” because I have a reason for doing so. I’m accepting the fact that I’ll have to pan around a little bit in order to gain whatever functionality I’m using that version to obtain.

  23. avatar jwm says:

    I had to piggyback in here on somebody else’s comment. No comment tally at the bottom of the post and no comment button.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it comes to mind.

    1. avatar Matt in NC says:

      I miss the comment tally as well. I also liked the tan color scheme better. It seemed much less busy and easier to read.

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Comment tally cometh.

        1. avatar Don says:

          +1 comment tally!

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          Comment tally vous??

  24. avatar Wussface says:

    That giant page-wide ad at the bottom is really effing it up on my iPhone using Chrome. If I open the site in Safari, it defaults to the mobile site, which is honestly about ad boring looking as can be, but at least it utilizes my full screen. Anyone know how to open the mobile site in chrome?

  25. avatar Michael B. says:

    It looks like **** and I hate it.

    That ****ing red blob shouldn’t scroll with me and the color scheme is stupid.

    Did Tonka Trucks or Lego come up with it?

    1. avatar 5spot says:

      I think I’m on the mobile version on the pad. Don’t know how to get to desk top version. The top red banner IS ginormous and the sales banners at the right of the page take half the screen,

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        It’s like being face-****ed by a candy cane.

    2. avatar Zack says:

      No,this is gaudy, intrusive, and unnecessary therefore, it was made by tapco.

  26. avatar Doomrabbit says:

    Liking the redesign in general. However, for articles like this with no “read more” link, there isn’t a fast way to get to the comments. A link at the bottom of the post to full view/comments/permalink would be cool. Keep the good stuff flowing!

  27. avatar Jason says:

    I… don’t like change…

    Seriously though, I like the layout but the color scheme is harder on the eyes. Specifically the red.

  28. avatar miserylovescompany says:

    Definitely bring back the direct link to X number of comments. As noted above, a little more subdued, bring back the serif and maybe a different color other than red for the floating tool bar. Some of us are vampires or otherwise descended from bats and don’t need to be blinded when getting up to raid the fridge. It has the potential to wake up the significant other, and that’s always a risk 🙂

  29. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    don’t like it. The whole TTAG brand that was defined by the old site is totally lost. Now it looks like thefirearmblog. check it out.

  30. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

    I run a 24″ monitor and the right half is for my browser. On the old site I could see almost everything, now a lot of the right side is cut off. “Ted Nugent Reads TTAG” now reads “Te Re”. The whole thing seems to be wider in pixel count.

  31. avatar Alaskan Gunner says:

    This looks great. Much more professional-looking, guys. Great job!

  32. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    At the risk of repeating all of the observations from iPad users, yes, the current page formatting dow not implement the best use of screen area on the device. I am not a tech person but I do know that some blog hosting sites have the ability to create “mobile friendly” formats from the basic browser format. These “mobile friendly” formats are then loaded when the site’s server detects a mobile browser accessing the site. That said, anything that can makes the site a bit cleaner on the iPad would be appreciated.

  33. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I like the white background. Easier for my older eyes to read.

    Serifs: I can go either way. It depends on the font family. I’ve seen good fonts and bad fonts. I can do some manipulation of fonts on my end if I really don’t like what you guys come up with, including just jacking up the font size.

    I liked the comment tally.

    The new layout seems to load in a much snappier manner on my iMac and 3Mbps link. Snappier is almost always better.

    Thanks for your work on this Nick.

  34. avatar Rick says:

    Looks Cheap – I probably won’t read as often.

  35. avatar Dave S says:

    dont like the colors or the font, bit small almost broken font on my laptop

  36. avatar Mark Horning says:

    The bright white background is HORRIBLE. Very hard to read. The old “parchment” color was much better. Also sans-serrif fonts? what were you thinking?

    Not a big fan of the javascript window either, though it’s loading much faster than expected. I also really dislike the giant sticky red bar across the top. It limits the viewing/active reading window. Ditch that.

    The new logo on the other hand is very nice.

    1. avatar NeonCat says:

      I agree, hate the big red bar.

      I honestly don’t understand site style changes. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and the old site wasn’t broken.

  37. avatar Ruben says:

    I really liked the old layout. I don’t care for this new font, but I’ll get used to that in time. It’s HUGE though, and I can’t read it comfortably unless I zoom out. The font size for the titles could stand to be about half the size that it is currently. The white background is more taxing on the eyes.

    You asked for my gripes and I gave them! TTAG is still a great site.

  38. avatar Mark Horning says:

    Agree with the guy above who says it looks a lot like thefirearmblog. This is NOT a good thing. In fact, I’ve pretty much stopped reading those guys due to the horribly layout and use of disquis.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      We were zen rock garden before TFB. And then we got cluttered. So we started with a clean sheet of ePaper and this is what we got.

      FWIW, we looked at Disquis. We proposed it to our AI. They said HELL NO so we dropped the idea.

      Love TFB bee-tee-dubs.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        So this is what you’re sticking with, then, or is it still a work in progress?

        My personal issues, to which others may or may not subscribe:
        * Overlarge sans serif font (I’m now running the site at a 90% zoom level).
        * All the text in the right column is 65% gray. (I think it’s to keep the focus on the content, but can you turn up the contrast a little bit?)
        * The reply box always jumps to the bottom of the page, instead of opening in place under whatever comment you’re replying to.
        * The site clock is an hour behind (I’m posting this at 1730).

        1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

          Working on the font, the right side is lighter to keep the focus on the content, working on the background, and working on the text box. And I think the time issue might be related to the fact that we switched to central time instead of eastern, although I will double check.

          There are definitely some bugs. And we’re working on it. But for those who do the writing, it feels like putting new sheets on an old bed.

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Thanks for the reply, Nick. Maybe it’s just me (and despite the link above from Sean debunking the ‘serif fonts are easier to read’ idea), but I just went through this post, where the comments included several walls of text, and all I can say is that when I see a text wall in a sans serif font, I often end up skipping over it, unless it’s really compelling.

          It’s not on purpose, and it’s hard to explain, except that I can feel my eyes starting to “slip” after reading 10-12 lines, and pretty soon I realize I just skipped a whole paragraph. It’s not just on this site that I’ve noticed that happening, but I probably read this site more than any other, so it’s glaringly obvious to me here. I find that when sans serif fonts are used in short takes of a couple-three lines (almost like photo captions), they’re OK, but that’s not often the type of writing that’s done here.

          I understand what you’re saying about “new sheets on an old bed” for the writers, but I guess you have to decide if it’s about the writers, or the readers. Because a lot of the readers don’t like it. I know some people just don’t like change of any kind, but the readers I’m referring to are the ones offering specific comments, not just “I don’t like it” or “Ow my eyes.” Not that those people’s opinions are less valid, because they can dislike or be uncomfortable with the look of something without knowing precisely why. I’m trying to give you some of those reasons.

          To extend your bed analogy, after reading this site for 20-30 minutes, flipping over to TTAK with its lower contrast and serif fonts is like wrapping my eyes up in a warm blanket. My eyes let off an almost palpable sigh of relief, and flipping back over here is jarring, like your mom flipping your blanket off in the morning and telling you to get your ass out of bed.

  39. avatar Joe S says:

    I like the new look! Now if you guys would just give up the day jobs and post twice the current content I could do less at work than I do now 🙂

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      I once calculated the total time lost to the U.S. economy by readers of TTAG. It was in the millions of dollars. Per month.

    2. Twice the current content? So…28 posts a day? Guess it’s worth a try.

  40. avatar Brock says:

    This layout is not right with iPad. If I only wanted to use a 5″ screen I’d have gotten something with a 5″ screen. No thanks, please change it back.

    1. Yep. Working on the mobile version so it’s the same as on big boy ‘puters. Nick’s working furiously.

  41. avatar Paul McCain says:

    No complaints here, this is a HUGE improvement and really kicked the whole site up a notch from amateur “Blogger” look to serious media rich/blogging layout and format.

    Kudos guys.

    1. Glad you like it. It’s still a work in progress. Serifs on their way and we’ll be toning down the red.

  42. avatar Nelson says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  43. avatar James says:

    I could do without the navigation bar that stays on the page. I realize that it’s the “in” thing to do in website design the last couple years, but come on.

    Everybody knows vertical monitor space is at a premium. The last thing that people need is another bar sitting in the way of actual content.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I would estimate that in the 3 years I’ve been posting here, as much as I post here, I’ve probably clicked on something in that top bar maybe 5 times. Maybe 3.

      Other than the search box. I use that all the time. Speaking of which: Can we have the Google search box back, please? The built-in WordPress one is less than useless. It might as well not even be there.

  44. avatar jwm says:

    What about the recent comment box on the right side of the page? The old one you clicked on a persons comment and it took you there AND changed the color of the comment you clicked on. That way you could just glance at the box tell if you’d already hit that comment. I need all the help I can get moving around one of these sites.

  45. avatar SGC says:

    LOVE THE DESIGN!!! Nice and wide and bright and easy to read. The old site looks like a 1990’s Frontpage compared to this one. Very nice, keep up the good work.

  46. avatar kg333 says:

    I’ve been getting the following RSS error since the site update:

    “This XML document is invalid, likely due to invalid characters. XML error: Invalid character at line 276, column 25”

    It looks like you might have a non-UTF-8 character in your feed?

  47. avatar MacBeth51 says:

    Prefer the old style. This is not as reader friendly, to me

  48. avatar Paelorian says:

    I hate the white background. It’s too bright and hard on my eyes. If it was some off-white, it would be easier to read. But I really liked the old color scheme. I like light browns.

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