New design on its way…

As some of you may have noticed we are in the process of implementing a new design for the site. There’s a lot of work going on in the background, and it is very much work in progress. When complete, we hope to have significantly changed the way the commenting facilities work, lending slight more space and focus on the work of individual commenters and making it slightly smoother and easier to navigate. Whether you love or hate what you see so far, comments welcome below!

  • michael

    Great stuff!

    Though still think that a wee comma between northern Ireland and politics might be appropriate. But what do i know?

  • Frank Sinistra

    It makes the site seem like a cartoon version of the MSM with it’s fixation on red, white and black.

    See here

    I personally find the red too bright. Its a distraction and a little annoying. Maybe its just change resistance on my part and I’ll get used to it.

  • RG Cuan

    Maith thú Mick, cén chomhlacht atá á dhéanamh duit?

    Are you trying to entice a younger clientele?

  • pacman

    In the interests of balance, shouldn’t the slightly orange tinge be tempered with a bit of green. 😉

  • Shawn

    I hate that word check below thing, as far as i know its only effective against stopping spam and I never see spam on here is it necesary

  • Mick Fealty

    RG,

    As I get older and more decrepit, the site gets younger and younger. 😉

    Frank,

    I think there are things that can be done about the colour/s.

  • Mick Fealty

    pacman,

    I think you should see a specialist! 😉

  • Turgon

    Mick,

    I have to join Frank Sinistra (that must be pratically the first time I have type that) and RG Cuan. I always liked the rather sober top of the web page and am unconvinced by the odd running bloke we are now greeted with. But then again I am a fundamentalist flat earth nutter.

  • pacman

    Sorry Mick – heading off the SF Politburo diktats before the minnions start posting.

    BTW, if I’ve taken the sting out of that one, they may just home in on parity of esteem for Notes on North of Ireland etc. etc. (or here, there, this place).

  • I am not a fan of the Gorillaz style banner.

  • Mick Fealty

    Actually, with my glasses on, I can see a hit of orange (as opposed to Orange) at the extreme right. My apologies!

  • Harry Flashman

    Any symbolism with the cartoon figure Mick? Wasn’t Slugger O’Toole a sailor who was drunk as a rule, whereas this character looks like some sort of athlete.

    One tiny point, whenever my broadband connection goes down and I have to resort to dial-up (frequently in this neck of the woods) I often find my posts don’t appear after submitting, no matter how many times I click the button, I’ve found the way around it is to go back, “copy” the original message, then forward and “paste” it into the message block in the page where I was hoping my carefully thought out, enormously erudite, and hugely anticipated comments were supposed to appear.

    It’s not a huge problem but it has occasionally led to me losing my six thousand words of meticulously researched opinion in the past and I know how disappointing that is to my many fans here on Slugger O’Toole.

    Like I say it only occurs on dial-up.

  • Garibaldy

    The red box for the home, contact etc is definitely a bad idea. I don’t know if you’ve seen it Mick, but I’ve made further complaints in response to your question if it’s that bad on the other thread which mirror Frank’s.

    And if that’s slugger in the heading, shouldn’t he be stumbling rather than running?

  • Garibaldy

    Ahhhhhhhhh. I said the same thing as Harry Flashman. See what you’ve done Mick, I hope you’re pleased with yourself.

    And if anyone sees Orange, I suggest they see a doctor. I used to have the same problem as Harry but not once the code was removed.

  • pacman

    Tongue firmly in cheek Garibaldy.

    Min you, I’ll have to stick to the left side of the page from now on, given it’s fine Down colours.

  • kensei

    The googles! they do nothing!

    Anyway, a small suggestion to cut the traffic on the site and improve user experience. Add a link on threads to view comments from either the first page (as now) or the last page. Saves people who are following a discussion having to go to the first page to get to the last.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s an excellent idea ken!

  • Garibaldy

    I agree. I suggested something similar ages ago on a thread about suggestions to improve slugger, but assumed the technology prevented it. Now I see that it was simply that my opinion was meaningless.

  • Pete Baker

    The current links to pages at the top of the comments zone are perfectly adequate.

    That way you’re not encouraging readers to skip from the front page to the latest comment.. and past the full post.. including what’s written below the fold.

  • Mick Fealty

    True, but it is a right royal pain if you want to get the end of the conversation quickly. We might just repaginate to show 100 or 150 comments at a time.

  • Mrs Doyle

    mick

    speaking of glasses, any chance of beefing up the script and making it a litte bigger. Otherwise I may need to get a pair of specs.

    What say ye?

  • joeCanuck

    Have to agree with a few others, Mick. That red colour is simply awful.
    Also would support the suggestion for a comma after Northern Ireland. That will stop the pedants who complain, mainly about Pete’s occasional wider forays, or, Heaven forbid, any mention of southern politics..

  • Evoluted

    A comment about the subheading – NOTES on NI politics and culture”.

    Any chance of losing the word NOTES. I’s prefer “DISPATCHES” rather than “notes” – or something even better if anyone else can suggest it. Notes is weak.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mrs D, it’s on the list…

  • kensei

    “The current links to pages at the top of the comments zone are perfectly adequate.

    That way you’re not encouraging readers to skip from the front page to the latest comment.. and past the full post.. including what’s written below the fold.”

    Well, it might be adequate if Slugger didn’t fall over all the time and give you what I can only assume to be throttling max page view errors.

    But in any case, each page of comments includes the full post at the top, and if you jump right to the bottom you are likely to be lost and have to work back to find the thread.

    Moreover, that’s a rather horrible top down dictation that results in poor user experience. Sometimes I don’t want to wade through a 200 page thread. Sometimes I’ve already joined the debate. In general, Mick’s idea of more posts on page is a good one, expect in the case whether I want to get to the last page to add to a debate I’ve already joined. Now I have to wait longer for the first page to load.

    Ideally, I want to be able to pick any page.

    But that is just my humble professional opinion.

  • joeCanuck

    Mrs D,
    Go to the top, hit View,Text Size, Increase.

  • Uatu

    I’m a fan of the redesign but yer wan on the top bar seems to be in a hurry to get away from all the conversation.

    Any insights into why you chose that design?

  • Mrs Doyle

    Cheers joe!

  • bo shank

    groovy

  • RG Cuan

    What about a system where you can sign in and out instead of remembering personal information?

    Might be good for those on work or multiple-user computers.

  • nmc

    RCG,

    Yeah, it’s a good idea. Would help us work surfers to avoid getting booted off here because of our shared IP. Going directly to the end of a thread’s a good one too. Sometimes when arguing all you need to do is see the last response and reply to it.

    Also, yer man’s a right shadey looking character, where’d you get him from? Looks like he’s evading arrest or summat.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s definately part of the plan RG. We hope too that those who register in that way will also have the means to aggregate their own posts.

  • yer man

    Whats the significance of the logo/runner/yer man?

  • esmereldavillalobos

    Arrrgh! Got a bit of a shock when logged on today – it’s well bright as opposed to the utilitarian graphic I was used to. All the best with the redesign – agree with comments made on being able to see more comments or access any comment page.

  • parci

    Is the “L” in Slugger a bottle of wine, I have to know?

  • joeCanuck

    It has to be a bottle of some sort of alcohol, Parci, given Slugger’s usual state.
    I love it!

  • Dewi

    Is it technically posssible to make links to prior posts a different colour than those to external sources?

  • Paul

    The new design renders terribly in IE6. You should remember Mick that while you might be using firefox, that IE6 is still the browser used by the majority of web users (closely followed by IE7, with firefox a long way in the distance).

    There is also an annoying bug that has been present for quite a while – the ‘More…’ link for each post on the main page does not work for IE. This is because you have used the ‘this’ keyword within embedded JavaScript (this is bad practice). You should use event handlers within a separate .js file to handle the ‘click’ event and use the magic ‘e’ variable in the function that handles the event, with some extra cross-browser code like this for IE:
    if (!e) var e = window.event

    see here for more info on JavaScript event handling.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks for the tips Paul. As it happens, I’m viewing it in IE6 today. Won’t get to see it in Firefox until I get home about 7 this evening.

  • yer man needs a drink

    SO, AS I WAS SAYING…

    Whats the significance of the logo/runner/yer man?

    Posted by yer man on Dec 06, 2007 @ 04:33 PM

  • Redhaze

    Mick,

    Have to support the views of many others on this one.

    I like red, but I really don’t like the red you have used here.

    I’m not sure its the colour for this site, I think blue is good, but if you stick with red, please darken it down a bit. Its too right and cheap looking.

    I have to say i’m totally unconvinced by the changes you have made. The cartoon type character is relevant how?

    I dunno Mick, change isn’t easy, but you’ve made it even harder.

    No offence like.

  • joeCanuck

    I imagine you have to do a lot of sprinting around when you have 3 or 4 jobs and a family to visit occasionally.

  • Nevin

    Would it be possible to have some simple formatting and hyper-linking features as in the very user friendly Blogger.com?

  • The Dubliner

    I don’t like the black on the red – too garish – or the fade to peach. If it can be toned down using soft, neutral colours, great. I’m not sure why the “notes on Northern Ireland politicas & culture” text is in a caption since no-one is speaking it. Either way, looking good as a work in progress.

    I agree with Kensei on page numbers appearing as links on the index page. It’s annoying having to go to the first page to navigate to a page one wants to read if one had followed the discussion that far.

  • snakebrain

    I’m not sure about the graphic…

    It doesn’t seem to have much to do with the ethos of the site. And the character reminds me too much of a beatnik 7-up dude to be entirely comfortable.

    Any major changes to the functionality of the site planned? There are a few things that could stand improvement, like direct access to the final page of comments on a thread.

  • The Dubliner

    One other point. The raised finger on the left fist will cause you problems when you scale down the graphic for small print logo work, i.e. it’ll look like you’re flipping the bird (as the Yanks say).

  • The Dubliner

    *right fist (dyslexia)

  • Webby

    Mick,

    The header image (top.jpg) is overcompressed, hence the noticeable swirls around the man and lettering on the left. I’d suggest saving the original header image as a gif instead and there will be no ‘lossy’ compression. 🙂

  • RG Cuan

    At home now and it’s working well on Safari. Don’t forget the Mac users!

  • mytriumph

    Fading from Red to Orange not unlike our beloved SF.

  • willis

    So when can we look forward to the tee shirts (XL since you ask)?

  • Donnacha

    The running man bears a more than passing resemblance to Twenty Major, probably legging it form the great Guinness carryout of last week.

  • brendan,belfast

    well i think it looks great – well done.

  • In addition to kensei’s suggestion, could we have a clickable list of current discussions within individual pages, so’s that we don’t have to go back to the home page to navigate to another discussion?

    Or is the way it’s set up just a sneaky way of registering more hits on the home page, thus making it a more attractive prospect to potential advertisers? ;o)

  • URQUHART

    I’m viewing on safari and I think it looks great.

    A few people earlier said the wee fella was running – he looks to me like he’s going uphill.

    Also, can we not embrace the spirit of the times and call it ‘Notes on Irish politics and culture’?

  • pfhl

    Fading from Red to Orange not unlike our beloved SF.

    Posted by mytriumph on Dec 06, 2007 @ 09:46 PM

    Nice one! lol!

  • circles

    Hmmm – a few thoughts on the new look as it is so far.
    Not too keen at all on the jokey comic book speech bubble thing – looks very andytown news in the most kitsch kinda way. Like the Hole in the Wall Gang but not funny …… no forget that – EXACTLY like the Hole in the Wall Gang!
    The wee running man, who I suppose is the boul’ slugger, is maybe a shade better than that oul orange super hero we saw last week, but theres not much in it. What use is he I wonder? Is he some kind of super-sleuth chimney sweep? Is he necessary in any way at all?
    Why is there an electric tooth brush on the L of slugger? Is there some broad orthodontic sub-plot that we’ve all missed so far? Is it maybe supposed to be a bottla of swally (playing up to the stereotype of the drunk mick)? I’d ditch it as it doesn’t even look like an L never mind a bottle.
    Interesting though – from what was, i found, a relatively modern look the designers have managed to drag the header back into the 80’s – a time that most of us were glad to scarper out of (as the boul’ slugger himself is obviously trying).
    I hope this isn’t a sign of what is to come Mick.
    I’m all for change – as long as its obviously for the better. So hopefully we’ve seen the worst and the best is yet to come.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Mick

    Can I strongly back kensei and The Dub on the ‘skip to the last page’ thing. This is definitely a good idea.

    And one tiny gripe: After I make a blog entry, would it be possible for the default setting on the ‘Notify me of follow-up comments?’ to be unticked, as it is for ordinary commenters. If I forget to untick (as I did last time!) my email box fills up with replies very, very quickly. (In other words, I just spent 10 mins deleting about 1,200 emails – no kidding – from my inbox).

    Anyway, I think the logo isn’t a bad idea at all. In fact, I vaguely remember a rather drunken conversation about the possibilities of website branding a few months back! Now where’s me free T-shirt!

    ‘Slugger’ in the banner is reminiscent of the style used in the excellent Samurai Jack cartoon. But your wonderfully straggly character’s message is kinda lost in the larger centre image; I like the little guy in the top left better, as it’s clear he’s struggling uphill. The main one in the centre looks like he’s trying out a new boy band dance move!

  • Shawn

    Mick
    i realize you probably do not value my opinion based on the number of times i have been banned but a few thoughts

    1 if the latest comment feature on the main page was automatically updated every time you returned to it, it might keep the number of people pressing “refresh” down and thereby save you band with costs

    2 on my wee laptop the red fades to orange and thereby leaves a whole different impression by the users, especially the occasional users. and frankly i agree with the vocal minority the original header ws far superior to this cartoon abomination

    3 that skip to the last thing, excelent idea especilly top those of us on dial up and therefore subject to low loading speeds

    thanks for asking Sean the Emerald Pimpernel(dont bother banning me you cant keep me out and i despise sock puppets as much as you, even though you force me to use them)

  • Danny O’Connor

    Mick,
    Am I imagining it or does the belt of the bigger figure and the diagonal flashes make it look like a certain flag around his waist-or am I just being paranoid.

  • Forecast

    Do not like it. Especially the running man cartoon chap.

    Ho hum, I suppose I am just getting older.

    Better put down a glock, bitches and ho’s on the old Christmas list

  • nuttal

    In addition to, or maybe instead of, adding a link on the thread to take readers to the last page, could I suggest changing the link on the “latest comments” box over on the right hand side of the page to take readers directly to the end of the thread.

    It is here I look first when I want to catch up with the most recent comments on a popular thread. When I want to read a whole thread through, I go through the usual thread link.

  • BonarLaw

    URQUHART

    “can we not embrace the spirit of the times and call it ‘Notes on Irish politics and culture’?”

    Trolling or just grossly misjudging the actuality?

  • Wilde Rover

    Call me old-fashioned, but I had come to appreciate the simple text of the original as a soothing balm away from the blitzkrieg of imagery elsewhere.

    And now the Eye of Slugger on a red background. Ah well, onwards and upwards, I suppose.

  • yer man again

    Mick,

    Any chance of some info on “yer man”, and its significance. It’s killing me!!!

    SO, AS I WAS SAYING…

    Whats the significance of the logo/runner/yer man?

    Posted by yer man on Dec 06, 2007 @ 04:33 PM

    Posted by yer man needs a drink on Dec 06, 2007 @ 05:53 PM

  • Paul

    I like the new logo, I like the way that slugger is represented in an uphill struggle type of stride… very strong concept in my view

  • Mick Fealty

    Yer man,

    Paul has it one short sentence…

    Danny,

    Paranoia gets to us all by times… but maybe we can adopt Urq’s idea as a compromise?

  • URQUHART

    URQUHART

    “can we not embrace the spirit of the times and call it ‘Notes on Irish politics and culture’?”

    Trolling or just grossly misjudging the actuality? – BonarLaw

    I don’t understand the question.

    Is describing Slugger O’Toole as a site where we discuss notes on Irish politics and culture not reasonable? I was certainly under the impression that’s what we were doing…

  • dunno, i can’t see it at my desk… i seem to have been blocked from the site since the Celtic / Findlay thread. When i try to get access to the site at my desk i get (mis) directed to a BBC site.

    Mick, I’m blocked ?

    and if so then why?

    anonymous

  • Mark McGregor

    Is anyone else experiencing a massive increase in page download time due to sharethis.com?