Acts of Volition

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Daniel Burka -

Good points Steven. I thought that the use of photographic elements in the Snapshot template was a little strange. I can totally see someone asking their friend why they chose to put the Chicago subway map (I'm not sure which one's in there...) on their weblog. A photo implies quite a bit of inferred taste and meaning. Otherwise, I agree, great work all-round.

Steven Garrity -

Exactly Daniel. Also, the banner ads at the top of the free sites appears to have been a bit of an afterthought, sitting awkwardly a top some of the designs.

Ben -

Just out of interest what is the text used to fill it out, and why is it not Lorem Ipsum. More importantly many English peeps may find the abundance of the word "wank" amusing.

Graham -

I felt the same way, Steven. I also think it's great that it's CSS and standards compliant, but it took so many hacks to accomplish it (at least on the front page) that it seems almost easier just to use a simple table layout (yes, I said it) for the major quadrants of the page.

Dave S. -

Thanks for the thoughtful comments Steven. Doug and I talked about the amount of personality that Snapshot has on its own, and the consensus was that personality wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Doug suspected I could have gone even further, but in the end we kept it within what I felt was a reasonable boundary.

Banner ads were an afterthought. Though it's obvious in hindsight that they're needed, they weren't a consideration during the design process, or even until I saw the first BlogSpot site sporting my design today.

adam.b -

Steven, I appreciated your comments here on template design. It now has me rethinking my own blog layout. I especially appreciate your assertion that the visual elements shouldn't fight for attention with the writer's material. With that in mind, I looked at my own site and realized the visual elements of the template I had built were not competing with my content - it had already kicked my content's ass! As always, your insights are great.

Robert Castelo -

It's a challenge to create a strong design that at the same time is generic enough to suit a wide variety of users.

Here's my first try, the Pushbutton design for Drupal:

http://www.cortextcommunications.com/pushbutton/

I like a lot of what's been done with the new Blogger design, but is it just me or does anyone else find the drop shadow effect a bit jarring?

Ryan Hillier -

First of all, I really enjoy the redesign. From a user perspective, it creates a great workspace that not only lets creativity flow without technical interference, but looks amazing. An excellent job well done to all involved.

I think part of the reason I decided to start blogging again was the redesign itself, coupled with the great-looking new templates that all these talented designers came up with. To have my words associated with such a nice thing to look at visually is really an honour. Congratulations to Bowman, Shea, Dominey, Zeldman, Rubin, Cederholm and anyone else who created these designs.

Steven Garrity -

Oh, and the "I Power Blogger" buttons: brilliant.

<p><img src="http://buttons.blogger.com/bloggerbutton1.gif" /></p>

Timon Snetselaar -

"Also, the banner ads at the top of the free sites appears to have been a bit of an afterthought, sitting awkwardly a top some of the designs."

I don't know if it is allowed, but is is posible to move (or even hide the ads) quite simple. The ads are directly added after the <body>-tag. Therefor replacing "<body>" with "<!-- <body> --> <body>" will place the ad-code in the comment. Which will not be shown by the browser. Becose its not fare to remove the advert (it's a free service), you can always place the advert code (which is in the comment) in a better place and even alter its dimensions. Like this:
<script type="text/javascript">canEdit = new Array();</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
google_ad_client='blogger_468x60';
google_ad_width=160;
google_ad_height=600;
</script>
<script type="text/javascript" src='http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js'></script>

Bruno Figueiredo -

Generally I really like the redesign and all the templates, but is it just me or when you post something the "Save as Draft" button is in the worst place?

For me a bright orange or dark blue button on a white background have the same visual impact. Maybe a bit more on the blue side.

I find me hitting the draft button by mistake. What I suggest is switch the buttons, put the Publish button first (maybe with a preview button right along - that too is in an awkward place) and the save as draft in the rightmost side of the same line.

Micah -

Are there any weblogs or templates that you think tastefully incorporate the banner ad?

The <a href="">Google weblog</a> uses an alternative button:

<img src="http://www.google.com/googleblog/blogger-simple-kahki.gif">

Dan Rubin -

Those banner ads were a surprise to all of us I think, though we should have realized they would be a factor (we also were working within the specific requirements provided). My design in particular, Thisaway, was specifically meant to line up flush with the top of the browser window, and it looks very strange/wrong once the banner is in place. I'm following up with Doug about revising my template so it will work well with the ads.

Andis Kaulins -

The Volokh Conspiracy left Blogger even before the relaunch and more top blogs will follow.

Most people applauding the Blogger Relaunch seem to be those who do not use Blogger for blog posting but use some competing system. To my mind, their opinions simply do not count - all theory, no practice.

For those of us who use Blogger frequently, the Relaunch is an Edsel. Of course, some of the new page designs are excellent, but the new user interface seems to have been designed by a blog-hating kobold. It is one of the worst pieces of programming I have seen in a long time - taking a fast-to-use practically-designed original one-page user interface and spreading it over countless, useless, conservative brown and insipid, bland, time-consuming pages which add nothing. I think this has been done so that the myriad unnecessary pages can later be filled with advertising.

I have ca. 40 blogs at Blogger and could previously and easily find them fast alphabetically. Now they are posted by frequency of posting, so it is hunt and peck, hunt and peck. I used to use text elements out of previous posts which I could easily see on the same page as the post being edited - now I have to look for these text elements elsewhere, so it is click and search, click and search. What a horrid waste of time. EVERYTHING takes twice and long and the Blogger server has slowed to a crawl because all the bloggers are busy clicking and searching.

Sorry for all the work that went into this user-unfriendly software. Believe you me, as the result of the relaunch, I am looking for alternative blogging software.

The recent change in permalink archiving by Blogger to outside servers (see my blog about this) takes the cake. Bunglers at work.

Glenn Sackett -

Another "Blogger Nav Bar" workaround (to avoid having your title covered up by the Nav Bar)is to add space to the "padding" in the "body" area of the template. I'm using "Minima Black;" changing the top padding number from 20 to 40 created enough space to make the title visible again:
body {
background:#000;
margin:0;
padding:40px 20px;
font:x-small "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-Serif;
text-align:center;
color:#ccc;

Glenn