Home  »  Politics  »  New Site: Work-In-Progress, Help Finish Re-Design With Your Input


Mar 19, 2012 42 Comments ›› Pat Dollard

TUESDAY UPDATE: Today’s big question – Should the cirle/arrows on the front page vid pics be colored orange-brown, as we’ve done today, or back to opaque? And there’s one thing that’s the bugging the crap out of me. I want the “continue reading” buttons at the bottom of each story/vid on the front page to align perfectly in each column side-by-side, as the photos do. I’m gonna figure out how to get this done. The whole of the redesign was perfect simplicity and perfect symmetry. The unaligned “continue reading” are screwing up the latter. We’ll figure it out; if anybody has any tips on that, please let me know.

Original Post:

I took last week off from posting to complete a couple of projects, one of which you are now looking at: welcome to the new site, ladies and gentlemen, we hope you like it.

The basic idea was to eliminate all the clutter and jumbled placement that you see on almost every news/blog site. I wanted an eye-catching slider box at the top to display featured posts, and below that, two perfectly symmetrical and aligned -not jumbled – columns. Soon, there will be ads in the space at the top, perfectly aligned ads in between every five ads and videos.

At the bottom of the page, and on the side, we will be adding widgets and more features. Any suggestions on either, are greatly appreciated.

Current issues: 1. We are doing something to make the “continue reading” buttons perfectly aligned between each video and the story to the right of it. 2. UPDATE: THIS ISSUE IS NOW FIXED. VIDEO PHOTOS NOW HAVE THE TRADITIONAL CIRCLE AND ARROW. Each front-page video picture will have a see-through circle/arrow on its center, as often traditionally seen, indicating that it’s a video, and to click on it. That will that take you to the page with the video. 3. The “send tips”/contact button IS NOW FIXED, WORKING. 4. UPDATE: THIS ISSUE IS NOW FIXED. THE DONATE BUTTON IS NOW WORKING. PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN. The donate button will be working. 5. Pictures for the slider will be carefully chosen for size to prevent blurring. Please let us know of any other bugs or problems you encounter. 6. Part of the slider photo is going under the headline text to its right. WE are going to fix that. The photos will stop at the headline on the right, the headline will just have the grey background. Again, this is just for the top slider photos. 7. UPDATE:
THIS ISSUE IS FIXED, NEW VIDEOS GOING UP IMMEDIATELY. Newly posted videos are showing up in both story and video columns, as you can tell by the Rachel Maddow video. Won’t posting any more videos this morning until that is fixed. 8. We will be doing something to make the headline text on the slider posts look better, either enlarging the font or chaning it to brown, or maybe both. 9. If you use the browser Opera, you’ll notice jumbling of posts on the front page. Working on fixing that today.

Upcoming: There is an in-motion breaking news/special announcements banner that scrolls across the top. It’s in place, I just have to start using. It may even be up by the time you’re reading this. There is also a secondary top box that goes below the slider but is only as wide as the Video and Story columns combined. It won’t be up permanently, but will go up to feature special original compositions, fundraisers, polls, special announcements, etc.

The Big Question: UPDATE: WE’VE DONE A FIX ON THE TOP SLIDER. LET ME KNOW IF YOU GUYS THINK IT WORKS NOW, PLEASE. Of controversy, at least to me, is the top slider box. To me it seems there’s something not quite right or elegant enough about it, someone described it as having a “cheap” look, and I’d like to figure out how to fix it. Whatever is wrong with it is my own fault, because I had the designer do it exactly to my specs. What I’m think is one or more of the following: 1. Shrinking it from left to right. 2. Fading the brown inward from the outer edges 3. Fading the inside lighter color band instead of just having it monotone. There are those who like the box as-is, and don’t want me to change it. I look forward to any input you’ve got as to 1. keeping it as-is or 2. changing it, and how. UPDATE: WE ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO BE CHANGING THE TOP FEATURED STORIES SLIDER TO MAKE IT MORE ELEGANT AND MODERN. MAY TAKE A COUPLE OF DAYS.

Everything Else: Whatever input you have, criticism of what is, or ideas for new features, would be greatly appreciated. Please leave them here or in the comments or via the send tips button, as soon as it’s working. We’re going to be doing fixes and changes as quickly as possible, many if not all by today.

Special thanks to the genius behind the re-design, Mr. Brandon Shepard of MAJ3STIC Studios. Check out Brandon’s new start-up company, CardioPanda for those of you a sportsman’s and athletic lifestyle. They’re takiing pre-registrations now.

Again, thanks for your patience with the slow week last week, but I think you can see it was worth having my attention elsewhere.

Special thanks to the whole team for all their hard work, and of course, to you our very dear readers.

Oh, yeah, one last note, per the picture. I don’t smoke anymore. Quit almost two months ago. Used the gum, highly recommend it.

This new site, of course, is dedicated to Mr. Andrew Breitbart, may he rest in peace. We hope to make him proud. His contributions to me as an activist have been invaluable, and he’s certainly not responsible for any of my shortcomings.


  • Rene V. Rivero

    I think it looks awesome. Maybe make the name larger? U want people to see your brand, which in this case is your name. Oh and of course…where’s the “tweet” button? Lol

    -Rene

  • JDelta

    Good to see you back safe and sound, Pat, and congratulations on kicking the coffin nails. You need your health to be combat effective, and we need you with us for a long time to come, brother.

    This new template seems similar to the one the new Breitbart sites are using. (God bless that man. Still pretty surreal that he’s gone.) It’s not quite as crowded, though. You clearly followed sound KISS principals. The color scheme is good, too. The scrolling banner is a great idea. So is the special announcements feature.

    First thing that strikes me is that the images seem a little too big, especially the slider, but that may just be from being used to the old layout. One of the best things about it was how much material was able to fit on the screen at once. It was like Drudge that way in that there was a ton of stuff right there but your eyes could take it all in and your brain could process what was there relatively easily. The slider itself might work better a little smaller, maybe with a thin, white outline instead of the light brown one, or maybe even no outline at all. It may actually be the big, brown bar itself that’s throwing things off. Seems like it might be cleaner and crisper without it there at all.

    Just some first impressions. You might want to think about changing the text font, too. The text is easier to read and the titles for the columns would match better if they were in a sans-serif type font. I like the logo, by the way. Modified DHS, right? Reminds me of another one I’ve seen somewhere.

    Nice of you to throw the whole thing open to suggestions like this. Good shit and only getting better.

    Courage forward.

  • VIJ

    Much easier to navigate.  I like!

  • Billyoldster

     Nice work, but I have to be honest with you, it reminds me too much of Facebook’s timeline. The pictures are too big and crowd out the headlines. I have the timeline on my FB page, and I can’t figure out how to go back to the old one. I think the headlines are more important than the photos IMO.

  • YERMOM

    Just a couple of comments Pat, over all I like a lot, and they are really just tweaks.

    1. I would make that brown around the slide much darker personally, as it will help the images pop more (I would start with about RGB= R=80, G=40, B=10 and go darker from there once I saw it.)

    2. making the link images smaller below that could get more per screen at a time, would be less scrolling, but that is a personal preference to me.

    3. in the logo I would make the Eagle Icon much larger and move the site name some so that we could see it more. If you want I could come up with a few versions if you want to send the files for it.

  • ATTILA

    The old way gave you more info per screen,less scrolling. don’t like if nohow  anyway.

  • McCloud9

    Work you have done looks Great Pat… I hope all is OK?
    You have to take care of yourself, it is a Given.
    Just one thing that would be neat to see on the site is a members Chat?
    God Bless, Take Care Pat
    Thomas

  • Storm0311

    Well I don’t know what is good for you however I have an opinion on what is bad for me..  In the long run anything with a lot of refresh and blinking bells and whistles screws up my limited bandwidth..  I’m here for the info…  Drudge is ticking me off (other than opinion) because of his sites constant refresh.     Maybe if your in love with flashing stuff you could have a mirror site plain jane for those of us trying to operate on a shoe string.   thanks and Pat and all the contributors for what you do and my family is also mourning and feeling the loss of Andrew….

  • Kim Cliftrn

    Yeah I like it Dollard I also like that you don’t smoke anymore!!

  • CPeony

    The site looks fantastic. One teeny suggestion for the font next to the videos above (right). It’s too bold and comes off pixelated and hard to read. Otherwise, nice to see you back in action.

  • AuntObamao

    You New place S E X Y Dolla!! Take of boot & Pant. Why Not! OH pat!

  • AL

    Classy

  • http://twitter.com/JohnDanford John Danford

    Site looks great. The header area is really well done. Tend to agree that the slider and its surrounding background need a bit of polishing though. Currently it tends to detract from the rest of the site and makes it look a bit dated.

    Few things:

    1. Images in the slider look a little distorted. Also, depending on image content, maybe flip the image so that the main subject matter is not eclipsed by the caption area.

    2. Darker brown background around the slider area with gradient in keeping with the header area.

    3. Lose the shade of brown on the thin slider frame and replace with white to give some more contrast.

    4. Change the slider caption area to black but keep the opacity. Lose the thin white frame within the caption area.

    As an example, see the screenshot: http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/7049/patdollard.png

    Only other thing would be to change the color of the article ‘continue reading’ buttons. Too much brown, would be good to introduce another color that stands out.

    • JDelta

      Good suggestions.

  • Walt

    I’m glad to see you fixed the distortion of pictures in the slider.  They were stretched too wide and looked weird.

    My problem is the headlines all overlapping the pictures or text.  On the two columns of stories/pics/videos you need better spacing.  Sorry but running everything together without spacing the page hurts my eyes.

    I must be honest, emulating Andrew is fine but I must say I preferred the old format.  I could see a lot more of the headlines and videos.

  • Walt

    Forgot to mention, good on ya for quitting smoking.  I smoked for 63 years and it took 2 years of Chantix to finally quit.  I’m now 2 1/2 years smoke free.  I sure shocked the family by finally conquering it.

    I hope this gives some encouragement to old long time smokers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001724758054 Rick Carlton

      I smoked for 20 years – quit 28 years ago – diagnosed today with lung cancer. Don’t know yet if operable. Payback is a bitch:-))

  • Skeena73

    Congrats. on the smoking stop that will be in time the best thing you’ve ever done. I kind of liked the old site better as every thing was easier to see if there was new stuff and how many comments. We’ll get to like this one and it’s your site to run as you like. good on ya.

  • 22227

    I still miss the gun and beer icon! 

    • JDelta

       I’ll drink to that.

  • GRIZZ

     Me too

  • Kim Cliftrn

    Pat,  Please bring the beer and gun icons back.

  • http://twitter.com/huskerdiva S K A D E N

    So glad …missed your site this past week!  

  • GRIZZ

    Is that a pack of virginia slims on the table?

    • Just a Girl

      Here in Michigan we call those “Vagina Slimes”.

      Why ? No reason….we just do.

  • http://twitter.com/00_jackie ? Jackie ?

    Congrats on the smoking. I quite Dec 1st, 2011

  • https://twitter.com/#!/BoldFreshJew BoldFreshJew

    Badass pix, Pat.  New site design = #WIN.

  • reagan54

    Opaque, just because I don’t like the shade of brown being used.  Hermes orange might be a nice color.  

  • http://twitter.com/tatt2d Thom

    Nice job brother. Still entertaining the idea of a mobile link for those of us who use our phones the majority of the time?

  • http://twitter.com/kathleencaron Kathleen Caron

    Site looks beautiful–and since you asked: 1)  Play button on the videos would look better opaque,  2)  It looks like the “continue reading” links don’t line up because they are bumped down by the captions, so you need a one line caption under each video or story for consistency across the page. 

  • http://touchstonesjests.blogspot.com/ TouchStone

    Gave up my beloved little cigars three years back when I decided to reenlist.
    Don’t miss ‘em, except when I miss ‘em…..LOL
    I cheated and used the pill to stop – nothing else I’d tried had worked.

    Like the new site – my vote is for opaque.

  • LockandLoad_v2

    Like the new look Pat!  Personally, I’d prefer the opaque video play buttons, and a white frame around the front slider for better contrast, rather than the grey. As for the  ”continue reading” buttons, I think Kathleen below hit it on the head – they seem to be interacting with the first few lines of the text or caption from the story that shows under the picture. Perhaps showing no text caption or consistently only one line of text will fix it. Congrats on kicking the smoking – you probably added years to your life, and we sure as hell need you around here to lead the fight!!!!

  • Scarlett

    Orange

  • BobUSMC

    Andrew Breitbart, true American hero!!!   What a great, great warrior!   It’s a HUGE loss but now the resolve is even stronger.  God bless you Andrew, I feel like I knew you even though we never met.

    That said, Pat, I always really, really liked the old site layout just fine, it was absolutely great, IMHO.  You could always see all the content/links much easier on the front page than most websites and there was much less scrolling and searching around for articles.  This is just way too big and makes me feel like I’m missing something.

    That’s just my opinion, of course you can do what you want, it’s your site, and I’ll still be here anyways.  Hey Pat, you asked for feedback, and of course, you know me.  LOL.

    Semper Fidelis!

  • BobUSMC

    Meant to add, many congrats on quitting those nasty cigs, Pat !!!!   That’s awesome, man.  Those damn things killed my grandfather. 

    Maybe you could do a post on exactly how you did it to inspire others in that boat. 

    Hope you’re not going crazy from withdrawal.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VPZXYCU6GM2A2JSG5S66SPYC3U TyS

    final suggestions:

    First, writing a comment has gone all screwy – while I type this very comment, the cursor keeps going past the edge of the box where you cannot see, rather than carrying down to the next line.

    It would be nice to get the “keep reading” buttons to be locked
    in place so that they stay aligned across the video and story columns.

    Also, the search bar is better up top, but aesthetically, it would probably look better if the top of the search bar were aligned with the top of the “special features” thumb. I would then tuck the Twitter frame under the search bar, and align the bottom of it with the bottom of the “special features” thumb. After that, I would push the “most commented/most viewed” list down so it aligned with the top of the video and story thumbs. Then I would tuck the “latest posts” followed by the “latest comments,” then the “archives list” under that – it would keep everything “level, plumb and true” so to speak.

    Finally, the little button at the bottom of the page to send readers back to the top of the home page should probably be the orange color to make it more obvious that it is a button.

  • Tom in CO

    Love the new site, Pat. It looks great!

  • http://profiles.google.com/jacobrichardford Jacob Ford

    Also the other commenter is right. The videos are too big.

    I love your idea of making the videos bigger than on other websites. I really like the New Yorker feel–artsy and refined. Already your website is giving like a conservative counterweight kind of vibe. Very slick and appealing but not leftist basically!
    (What I’m trying to say is that it gives you the feeling that you’re looking at a professional intellectual journal with beautiful pictures thoughtfully placed next to scholarly articles. Most websites feel like cheap tabloids rather than respectable, refined publications. There can only be so many Drudges.)

    You need the feel of the New Yorker with the populist/”conservative” popular content of Fox–only smarter.

    However right now I think the videos are too big.

  • Eqwatz

    Site looks good.  I used the patch to quit; it has been years but I still want them every day–and they still smell s-o g-o-o-d.

    I have not visited in years. Did you ever get distribution on your documentary? I really wanted to see it.

  • billietheoriginal

    This new design has its advantages but I miss the old one.  It was possible to see what was available at a glance; this site takes a lot more scrolling.  Also, I like the lead-in at the bottom or side of the articles/videos, like before.

  • billietheoriginal

    The new design has its advantages but I miss the old one.  One could see at a glance what was available.  This design takes a lot more scrolling.  Plus, I like the lead-ins at the side or bottom of the photos, like before.

  • billietheoriginal

    This new design has its advantages but I miss the old one.  One could see at a glance what was available.  This new design takes a lot more scrolling.  Plus, I liked the lead-ins at the side or bottom of the articles/videos, like before.