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Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-15-2002 14:20 Edit Quote

Well following the Doc's instructions (I was going to do it anyway, honest) here:
www.ozoneasylum.com/Forum15/HTML/000056.html

I finally grabbed a domain I was meaning to pick up a while back and threw some ideas together (its taken a while for my temporary free hsting to kick in - which has been frustrating).

So this is just stage 1 - pretty experimental and I'm seeking opinions on whether I'm going down the right road. I had been playing with one design which had all sorts of tabbed windows and stylesheet changers but I wasn't happy (it also didn't work in Opera so I was doubly unhappy). DL-44 asked me to make a button when I became an Associate over at the GN and I ended up going for something simple and low tech which gave me the general idea for the current design. My main concern at this stage is two-fold:

1. How readable is the text. The light colour of the text on that background might not work (I think it does but I need an opinion).

2. Does the concept stink? I was aiming for something papery and Oriental but whenever I try things like this I usual push it too far and it looks awful. I was going to add some marks and features to 'dirty up the edges, for example, but didn't want to run before I could walk.

3. Is it obvious what the main navigation links say.

As I'm my own worse critic I thought I'd throw in my thoughts:

1. The colour is slightly off on the Emperor logo (it looks OK on my monitor but this TFT screen takes no prisoners).

2. I've gone for a single peixel line behind the navigation but the anti-aliasing of the letters breaks up the look (esp. noticeable for me at 800x600) so I suspect I'll have to incorporate the line

3. Possibly the font size and spacing on the logo should be changed to match the navigation (or not - thoughts?).

4. I've tested it in NS4.x, NS6, IE6, Op6 on two PCs (at 2 different resolutions) and it seems OK (a little stark in NS4.x but I'll work on that) - anyone fancy looking at it with a Mac as I seem to have a talent.

5. There a few graphical issues - the 'o' of home needs to be moved over slightly.

6. Hmm wonder if I've forgotten anything??

Anyway none of the links work (although I have content for some of those pages) but before I became to fond of the design and added oher features (and carved it up into includes) I thought I'd seek your opinion. And I probably owe you all!!!

Anyway its at:
www.the-emperor.org

Let me know what you think and I can move on to bringing it up to speed or I can throw it in the bin and start again!!

Emps

[edit: typos and just to say that it is also up for review here: www.gurusnetwork.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=19;t=000050 ]


A good buttock will always find a bench for itself - Estonian proverb

[This message has been edited by Emperor (edited 03-15-2002).]

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-15-2002 14:53 Edit Quote

Woohooo.... Emps has a page!

Overall I think that it is cool. The "paperish" background isn't bad. I think that it works. You may want to check out some actual pics of rice paper or something. Check google.

The text on the left nav is a little hard to read. I am not sure what font that is but I found one on acid fonts that may work better. I will find out what it was call and let you know.

I don't think that the link colors work: hover or otherwise.

I think that maybe one more color would do. Right now you really only have 2 colors. Kind of makes everything run together.

I love the Japanese writing on the top. What does it say?

I dig it though. I have a thing about the orient though.

Cool man!

Later,
C:\


~Binary is best~

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-15-2002 16:31 Edit Quote

CPrompt: Cheers. You've hit on most of my concerns:

1. The font is Sumdumgoi see e.g.:
http://www.fontfreak.com/fonts-s.htm

quite a common font but I have a soft spot for it. The main problem, as you noticed, is that it stops being legible at medium to low font size (which is why I used Electroharmonix for the GN button). I have a lot of other Oriental fonts and will have a play to see if I can't get the smaller text graphics more legible. I'm not sure which font you were talking about at acid fonts (I'm nosing around now) but all suggestions are greatfully received!!

2. Good tip on the rice paper - I just got that background while playing and I know if I try to make something look too like something else it could go wrong but a little more research never hurt anyone.

3. Link colours - that is something I forgot to mention. I was having trouble getting anything that looked good with the brown. I was looking at reds but again any ideas would be appreciated.

4. A third colour - yes you are right. It all looks a little flat. I was thinking of a very dark red or possibly an offwhite. I was going to put the content in a scrolling layer (coming along nicely) so perhaps I might want to border that with a colour to draw the focus to the content.

5. The Japanese writing? The symbol top left in the main content area is the Chinese symbol Ti which means (amongst other things) Emperor. Its the cursive version (I have ordinary and running too - that got the thumbs up when I asked for opinions in Big Sigs a while back and will be making more of an appearance in the future!!).

Thanks for that - all good stuff there (as usual).

Emps

ZOX
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Southern Alabama, USA
Insane since: Sep 2000

IP logged posted posted 03-15-2002 17:00 Edit Quote

Yay Emps!

Nice subtle design you got there!

A few quick comments that comes to mind...

- if you really are going for a papery look for the background, you probably should loose the scanlines. They look too modern, and to little oriental, IMO.

- It took me quite a while to realize that the letters to the left were actually the menu. I could read "emperor" to the right easily, but I hard as I tried I could not quite get the part to the left. It looked like 'hnhwrl" and it made no sense at all. So if you hadn't mentioned the menu here, I probably would never have even thought of clicking on it. Now I might be a big dumber than the average web user (quite likely) but you might do something to make it more obvious.
The mouseovers in the menu is a bit hard to read, and I could not figure out what the 'html" one said without looking at the name of the file it linked to.

- one little thing I noticed with the font size thingy is that if you decrease it to the smallest size, it will not let you make it bigger again. Not really a big problem, since I don't think anyone would really want to make it that small anyway.

- I think the text itself is readable enough. Depending, I guess, on how much text you are planning to put there. Might be a bit eye-straining if you want to read a lot of text.

Nice design though, and a bit different too

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-15-2002 17:06 Edit Quote

Emp: don't know if you have ever seen this site but it has helped me a lot. It is for color schemes and such: Swatches. Kind of a neat page any way.

Where did you get the Japanese writing?

Later,
C:\


~Binary is best~

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-15-2002 19:50 Edit Quote

ZOX: Thanks for the comments (none of which seem dumb!!). Hopefully the navigation should be a bit more obvious as each page or section has a third graphic like the mouseover one but in the lighter brown. On the main page I'll probably supply links like the Who is the Emperor? one which trigger the rollover on the menu. I didn't want to make it too hidden or too obvious but getting the balance right is a little tricky.

I put the block on the lower limit of the font size thingy because any lower and it makes the page fall apart. I had noticed that it wouldn't go back up again (and was meaning to mention it). Hopefully I'll either fix it or remove it (if anyone really wishes to view the page with 5px high font then they can go ahead!!).

The HTML one was the one that was really troubling me too. I'll have a play with different fonts and try to fix that.

I'll have a play toning down the 'scanlines'.

CPrompt: Great link - that should prove very useful indeed.

Where did I get the Japanese writing? I'm not sure of the question. The Chinese Ti I found by searching out symbols meaning Emperor through Google (I found chrysanthemums and dragons too) and just got lucky with a page which just so happened to have the set of three of them for some purpose (I could probably dig the link out if need be). I'm also seeking Emperor heiroglyphs but they seem more difficult to get ones hands on (the Mayan/Aztec ones also seem open to debate but I know a guy who knows quite a bit on that topic so I'll probably corner him on that one one day).

Thanks again,

Emps

velvetrose
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: overlooking the bay
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-17-2002 16:04 Edit Quote

i like the way your letters hang from the line, as if from a string. it reminds me of windchimes... they would hang outside in the wind to chase evil spirits away (if i rmember my trivia correctly ) otoh, there may be some confusion with the letters in that you have a word on the right, but the first letter of menu words on the left...
hmm, is it possible to use a slightly more readable font for the lower case letters in the menu? just a thought..

imho, since this is your personal site, a third color is not required. tho i also think the brown with a teensy bit of red in it, for noting links, would maintain the flavor of the page

fix the alt tag for news: Go to thr news. thr -> the

well done. it "feels" like a letter on personal stationery or perhaps an official document - not western at all.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-17-2002 16:23 Edit Quote

velvetrose: Thanks for the comments. I agree about the readability of the font at that size (it was pushed to the limit of its legibility - I just wasn't sure if it worked or not. I've got plenty of others so while I'll keep the Sumdumgoi for the larger case I'll play with something better for the smaller text). I am leaning towards reds as highlight/link colours (I'll need to play around with them a bit more).

CPrompt: I've had a good nose around rice paper (washi - I even found the Japanese Paper Museum!!) and I can get an similar effect (using clouds, find edges, a dash of colour and then turning the brightness up and the contrast down) but unless I go for a really large tile the effect tends to look poor and is obviously a tile. I'm toning down the lines on the background slightly and will continue to play with trying to make a washi background (I might offer it as an alternative using a stylesheet swapper).

I'm thinking that swapping the navigation and logo around might be an good idea (it makes more sense to have the navigation on the right, at least in usability terms).

As reviews have been positive I'll start moving to the next stage.

Emps

Patrick
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Houston, Texas
Insane since: Dec 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2002 04:41 Edit Quote

Me no make fun of you site. You site look nice, cowboy. Me likey the color and layout.

All you site needs in my mind is content and just a little adjustment with that font thing.Once the font is it's smallest then the font cant become larger.


This is just for a visual standpoint. i didnt look at anything else pretty much. Good job all in all Emps



Unforgiven

reitsma
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the bigger bedroom
Insane since: Oct 2000

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2002 06:02 Edit Quote

ok emps - i'll have to be brief.
- the page looked better before the background loaded, IMHO. just that nice colour will do fine, for me.
- the "welcome to the emperor's pages" font detracts from the page
- the navigation isnt entirely obvious, but it cute.
- i don't suppose the fake-chinese font could be a little more legible?
- i reckon the menu could do with some more funky dhtml-isation. you obviously CAN do it - the font-resizerer proves that. you know, something cool like it dropping from the top, or something... or sliding down with the page scroll.
- i love the feel you've given the site, but it still is a tad plain. i think it's just because the colours are so neutral...
- overall, nice concept, just needs to spend more time on the 'design' blackboard before it's moved to the 'implementation' one.


- - r e i t s m a - -
(tifkab)

Allewyn
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Solitary confinement
Insane since: Feb 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2002 07:04 Edit Quote

Hi Emps! 'm certainly no expert but here are my thoughts:

"1. How readable is the text. The light colour of the text on that background might not work (I think it does but I need an opinion)."
**I believe the text is sufficiently readable. Maybe a *little* more contrast
"2. Does the concept stink? I was aiming for something papery and Oriental but whenever I try things like this I usual push it too far and it looks awful. I was going to add some marks and features to 'dirty up the edges, for example, but didn't want to run before I could walk."
**Well, the concept is great! I particularly like the way you used psuedo-oreintal letters to spell the link names.
"3. Is it obvious what the main navigation links say."
**They aren't obvious and even though I picked up on it, some people might not get it, however it's very original and with a few small color accents will be really sweet.


"1. The colour is slightly off on the Emperor logo (it looks OK on my monitor but this TFT screen takes no prisoners)."
**It looks compatible with the rest of the page from here.
"2. I've gone for a single peixel line behind the navigation but the anti-aliasing of the letters breaks up the look (esp. noticeable for me at 800x600) so I suspect I'll have to incorporate the line"
**I second what velvetrose said about this.
"3. Possibly the font size and spacing on the logo should be changed to match the navigation (or not - thoughts?)."
**The combination seems workable to me. I am hoping for a different color for the text. You're right though, it's hard to find a color to go with brown. Muted blues seem to..

Nice job Emps! Nice papery feel and despite what others say about the oriental looking letters, I like the implementation in this case.


Allewyn: Left Along the WaySide

Darkshadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jan 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2002 12:43 Edit Quote

Emp I have tried this about ten times now and still can't get it , oh well it might just be my shit ISP .

It's sad really because I really want to see what you have done .

- Still can't post a new topic in here so mailing doc about it -


Chris C

tomeaglescz
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Czech Republic via Bristol UK
Insane since: Feb 2002

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2002 18:07 Edit Quote

in one word nice, all peferctly readable in IE6 and NN6 on win2k and at 1280x1024 which is cool as i dont have to swap down a resolution to see what a site says so hats off to ya emps nice work

Dracusis
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Brisbane, Australia
Insane since: Apr 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-18-2002 20:24 Edit Quote

Interesting. Yah, I dig it.

First impersions:
Nice colour... Warm and inviting. Espically since I've been surfing black sites all night.

Although while I like the monocromatic colour scheme I think it looks a tad bland. Maybe you could mix up the tonal values a bit... play with the contrast, saturation and texture (or lack there of) of the textual elements. Brown can seem like a hard colour to work with but very subtle hue shifts can do wonders.

Comic sans for the the majority of copy? I don't know how well that'll work when you've got more than two words on the page... Eh, it should be fine, it's just that some of the comic sans characters really bug me.

Oh and cause I like to nit pick, DTD?, Encoding?




[This message has been edited by Dracusis (edited 03-18-2002).]

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

IP logged posted posted 03-19-2002 03:05 Edit Quote

Thanks everyone for your comments all duly noted (and in some cases acted upon!!).

reitsma: Trust me this is still in the designing stages!! - this was a test to make sure I was going down the right road before doing more things to it. I will probably throw a stylesheet changer in and let people select if they want the background or not and to make the text a darker. On the DHTML front I must admit I'm not so good on making things move but I am looking into a variant of mr.maX's scrolling layer code to keep everything above the fold - more on that later!!

So I've uploaded a few tweaks to:
www.the-emperor.org

I've:

1. Toned the lines down a tad on the background.

2. Redone the navigation graphics with a more legible font and taken out the background graphic from the box and added the vertical line to the graphics which makes the transparency better.

3. Swapped the title and navigation around (the latter is more usable on the right).

4. Added a little 'magic' around the graphic in the main content area (works OK in IE and NS6 but might need a little tweak in Opera - doesn't upset NS4.x too much).

5. Fixed a few ommisions and typos.

6. Swapped HTML for Code so that I don't have 2 'H's.

7. Fixed the font size changer so you can make it go back up again when you reach the minimum setting.

Some problems:

1. In NS6.2 the navigation graphics are slightly separated but not in the other browsers.

2. Op5 doesn't seem to support transparent gifs as backgrounds (Op6 does).

3. None of the Opera browsers can be made to bring the content to the top of the window (there is still a wee gap).

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Emps



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