New HRC Site Design

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Karyn
Member Since: Jul 10, 2004

OK this may be a lame topic but it effects me directly. DB You changed your site design from a black background to a white one. I've heard from professional web people that black backgrounds are a common mistake in web design. Did you do this for psychological reasons for the members? Do people stay longer with a white background. My site has a black background. I like it that way, but if it's effecting visitors so they don't stay I'll change it. They say this can be partially be corrected with white text. I have a question for everbody else. When your surfing the web are you effected adversely by sites with black backgrounds. The pros say white background with black text is the best choice. I think HRC looks a little more corporate with the change. I don't know why, but this is kind of stressing me out. Id like to know if you were advised to do this and why. Do I need to change? Initially I didn't like your change, but now I do. It was kind of like turning the lights on.



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Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jul 30, 2004 06:46 pm

Hey Chick, thanks for asking, I will now climb on my soapbox...

Well, first, beware of "professional web people", I am a "professional web people", While HRC is my hobby of love, I also make a living in corporate America building internet sites, intranets, extranets I run a sum total of around 15 sites on a regular basis and have had a hand in many others.

That said, "web people" come in many colors, there are designer and there are developers, constantly at odds, then bringup the server admins and DBA's which typically run the backend and forever remain "in the shadows". Designer and developers are the more upfront and visible players and have two very different agendas. I have been involved at some point in each of the above roles and I have been doing this for about 8 years...when it comes to HRC, the only people that advise me are the members, and ask any of the long term members and they will tell you that I listen.

A black background is not a "mistake", it's a choice, and it's a choice often chosen by artists and underground sites (such as software and movie piracy sites and porn sites...not that I visit either). I changed HRC just becasue I wanted to shake things up a little bit.

The basic issue with light on dark schemes from a design standpoint is eye fatigue. It has been proven that light text on dark backgrounds promotes quicker eye fatigue than dark text on light backgrounds. Given that this is an inofrmational site where there is a lot of reading done (hopefully) I decided to go with that. Your site isn't the same thing, and does not have the same motives and goals as HRC, you should not feel obligated to change if you like the way it looks.

I have visited your site a couple of times, it look fine the way it is however I would make the link colors a color brighter than blue. Also, to decrease eye fatigue all that it sometimes takes is to just not make the background BLACK, a very dark gray can make a substantial impact, tho still not the prefered method. You site has more small usability issues than appearance...not that I at all intend to start bashing your site, cuz it's actually quite nice, however, you have so many pictures at the top of some pages that the actual readable content is about 1 1/2 to 2 screen lengths scrolling down before there is anything to read...THAT is what I would change if anything. Always, oh always have content "above the fold", meaning, viewable on the first screen in 600x800 screen resolution.

:: steps off soapbox ::

Nothing doesnt give me gas
Member
Since: May 25, 2004


Jul 30, 2004 08:28 pm

I cant stand some ebay auctions that have "similar" colors in text vs back. That drives me nuts. Greys, whites, off grey whitey- like, tannish to light -dark- not so light whitey......nevermind, these colors are good. I go crazy with the Sonar choices, there shouldnt be so many!!!!!

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 30, 2004 08:46 pm

Thanks DB, Feel free to bash away no pain no gain. I will work on the link colors..mabey a lighter blue. I agree totally about the above the fold thing. I think your referring to the blue tinted photos at the top of the page. There's little I can do about that except change the photo. It's a template that I have to adhere to.Sorry I'm not about to learn html. Music and audio is enough! The only small usability issue I have with HRC is method of payment. My sig. other refuses to use crdit cards on the internet. If you could email me a physical address I'd be happy to mail a check. I know this is unheard of. We're also saving up for a horse and buggy as I type this by our kerosene lantern in our log cabin.

Hi guitwiz

sloppy dice, drinks twice
Member
Since: Aug 05, 2003


Jul 30, 2004 09:12 pm

For what it's worth, I personally agree that the white text on black background, on most sites I've been to, did give me eyestrain quicker than the other way around. My favorite color scheme on this site is the light grey background with black text. That is easy on the eyes, and since HRC's non-audible content is mostly text, it's best for me.

Having said that, I'll also mention that just to me here, I think that most artist/musician/band sites can get away with greater degrees of garish or eye-popping graphics easier than a community/information site like HRC. A musician's site is sometimes a kind of reflection of the moods in their music or the image that they choose to project in public situations. And stop me if I'm wrong, but I figure most folks will not stay on a musician's site for a long periods of time after their first visit or so anyhow. They may drop by our of curiousity just for the experience or bio info, but they'll come back for tour dates and brief important news such as new releases or giveaways.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jul 30, 2004 09:30 pm

Well, Karyn, unfortunately, there is little I can do about methods of payment, as HRC Pro does not generate enough income to pay for an SSL certificate and static IP. The CC use on the internet always cracks me up...you have just as good (some argue better) chance of getting your information jacked in the store while you are standing there watching as you do of the net. The Secure Socket Layer encryption, database encryption and level of security people like PayPal must adhere to to keep their reputation intact is extraordinatry. I personally here of large CC stealing or lifting by store employees much more frequently than major web sites being infiltrated. But I digress, people remain scared of things they don't understand, or, have been told over and over again to be scared of by our fear-mongering media outlets.

Regarding your site, I'm not really referring to anything specifically, but, in looking now, the page I saw that stood out is the studio page where it is the bluey pic, then the title of the page image, then a pic of you in front of your desk...then content...I now realize that isn't the standard page, the standard page is the bluey pic, then the page title then text, which I am guessing would still drive the content down under the fold.

Personally, for links I would also consider trying a very light gray, as it would be a subtle difference, but still have the underline for the obvious "I'm a link" look. but lighter blue might work too given the blue your pics pull into the color scheme.

I dunno how bandzoogle works other than framing you in so they steal most search engine optimization options, which is unfortunate, but moving the page title into the links list in larger, bolder font would make 100 or more pixels for the content to be raised...and create a smaller overall download for the visitor. If the template allows it.

FYI, HTML is just barely a language it's so easy...

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jul 30, 2004 11:44 pm

Just to throw my 2 shents in, I personally like white text on black background. Especially since I go on the web a lot in the evening when the room is fairly dark, white screens are a bit blinding for my poor dilated pupils.

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 01:55 am

Thanks DB I like the Idea of the gray links. I'll work with both gray and the lighter blue links to see what works.

"I dunno how bandzoogle works other than framing you in so they steal most search engine optimization options, which is unfortunate, but moving the page title into the links list in larger, bolder font would make 100 or more pixels for the content to be raised...and create a smaller overall download for the visitor. If the template allows it."

Yes the template will allow it. That paragraph was a little over my head, but yes I can eliminate the title graphic and just retype it freeing up that space.

"I dunno how bandzoogle works other than framing you in so they steal most search engine optimization options"

What the hec does that mean? Okay, now I just feel like a stupid helpless girl. Usually only my sig. other can accomplish that. congratulations.




Nothing doesnt give me gas
Member
Since: May 25, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 02:17 am

how did you copy/paste that?? Ok, I feel more helpless.... I feel depressed, Im going to buy another mic.......

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jul 31, 2004 02:47 am

for the record i tried all of the themes and the white background at HRC and i had to come to the black. it's my favorite and it makes me happy and cozy.

Hello!
Member
Since: Jan 12, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 03:09 am

Alright Folks

I tried ALL the themes tae and yi all know which one I KEPT ?? The Good Ol Boys - Dukes Theme rocks!

for info, I think all of what DB said is pretty much spot on in terms of colours and usability.

I also do some web design and I Try to make as many sites as poss as light as poss. Even if the side bars/nav are not black on white, the main section usually will be.

Content is king, folk need ot be able to read what you are saying/selling so it has to be as easy as poss.

Black on white has been done for years in books and is probs why it translates well into web sites.

Coco.

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 03:52 am

(Heavy Sigh) on the Dukes reference Coco. Don't you dare high jack this thread with the Dukes.

Guitwiz- Highlight the text you want-COPY-Paste where you want. So what mic did you buy?

Fortymile- I agree Black is cozy. I changed my link colors tell me if it's working. I tried gray it just didn't seem to stand out.
www.karynwhittemore.com

Hello!
Member
Since: Jan 12, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 04:25 am

Hey

No hi-jack here RC, just stating my preference for the best theme!!!

For info, this theme is red, white and blue and still easy on the eye!

Coco.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 06:46 am

Quote:
I think all of what DB said is pretty much spot on in terms of colours and usability.


Well, while it's cool to be agreed with, what I said wasn't really what I feel or my opinions, most of what I have said is proven by huge collections of usability studies and human action/reaction tests...which are really fascinating if you are a geek like me.

Recording Chick, regarding my comment on the search engine thing, I will try to explain. Search Engines come your site, such as GoogleBot for example, they read your web page and take the meta tags, body content, title bar content and follow the links of your pages to other pages to do the same. They then scan that, pull out "and", "of" and other so-called "stop words" and rank your site based on the content. That is how you get ranked on Google (and others, tho they all have slightly different algorhythms to figure results). On a framed site, the search engines really sees no content, look at the code of your front page in a browser, it's just a frameset with the top frame being invisible cuz it's set to zero pixels (or maybe one, I forget) and your site is in the lower frame. Add to that your meta description and keywords are blank, so the search engine has nothing to rank your on.

You would be best servered getting your own server space and doing your website with some other content management system.

I just did a Google search for "Karyn Whittemore" and you came up third. You should be first for at least your own name.

I wrote a long article about Search Engine Optimization if you care to read it at www.homerecordingconnecti...tory&id=392 but, like I said, using frames, SEO is a whole bunch harder.

Also, don't feel like you have to jump up and do what I am saying regarding the title graphic (or anything else)...I am just giving my opinion, ultimately the site is yours, and if it does the job you want it to, well...

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 06:50 am

I just noticed the site that beat you is also yours...and it's frickin cool as hell if you like FLash movies...why, oh why do you not promote that site...tho the SEO is not good for that, it's cool!

Remember, to put the #1 result in perspective, don't be impressed or satisfied when querying on your name or domain name, it SHOULD be number one there. It's the more general searches that you want to increase ranking with, if SEO is a concern. But, I won't repeat, I go through that in my article mentioned above.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 10:01 am

Would an article on the topic of design and usability be of value?

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 10:07 am

i think so...be interesting definately.

ive picked up a lot of thisstuff by rappin with ya on IM, but others could find it very beneficial i think...

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 11:01 am

"fire retarded" LOL

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 12:32 pm

Would an article on the topic of design and usability be of value?

Hell Yes!

I read your article EXCELLENT!! I feel my brain getting bigger already.

Sigh..I don't use the Flash site anymore because I can't frickin update it. It's a major hassle calling the web guy, trying to explain to him what I want, then still not having it be the way I want. Okay Flash sites are cool, but I find my self getting really annoyed with them. They seem not to help me interface better with the content, but function instead as a barrier between user and content. I think flash designers get to creative for their own good. People don't want to figure out how to navigate a damn site, just stay conventional. Their also slower for people on dial ups. I was at my moms that flash site loads way to slow.

If you go to getsigned.com their web pro says stay away from flash period. especially flash intros even if you can skip them. I notice Flash intros are on the decline at least on the huge corporate sites I visit. There was a time when they were quite prevalent. There's something basic and primal about a html site that's appealing. A simple content driven html site is all you need says he. I guess I wanted to believe him pretty badly. I hate being dependent on people. That's why I learned all this audio stuff, play bass, electric, acoustic, piano, program drums, I'm a control freak!

I must confess I do enjoy being the master of my own domain name. I can make changes in seconds. Do you like the new link colors better?

If you look at the google search on karyn whittemore. It does appear that it is gleaning content off my site does it not? I mean the content is showing in the search. Bandzoogle also lets you add meta tags. What should I enter
I've heard search engine don't use them much anymore because of abuse.

Do you guys like www.karynscorner.com better or www.karynwhittemore.com look quick because karynscorner will soon be pointing to karynwhittemore. I dread your response.



...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 12:44 pm

i think the karynscorner one is more memerable personally....easier to remember off the top on ones head...

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 01:05 pm

The Dukes theme is nice touch, luv the logo on car.

Karyn, I like them both for differant reasons. You need to stick with the one that {b]you [/b] can maintain yourself if that is what you desire. As it sounds like you have trouble with the guy maintaining the other site. The corner one is very good and attractive, but on the other hand the one you maintain yourself is very homey feeling and gives a pretty soft feel for the surfer dropping by.

Just my 2 cents.

Noize

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 01:06 pm

Flame-You mean the domain name or the site design?

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 01:12 pm

Thanks Noize2u, Have you tried the squash blossom recipe yet? just kiddin. I try to make it so if people take the time to page through they know me by the time they leave.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 01:31 pm

I have tried a recipe a bit like yours. And I agree with the Karynscorner being a bit more memorable name wise, but either one for a domain is gong to get them there. Probably the karynwhittemore would be best for search purposes.

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 01:36 pm

yeah, i meant the name...

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 01:38 pm

Thanks Noize & flame

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jul 31, 2004 02:06 pm

the new link colors--you mean the electric blue links? what were they before? they seem kind of overly colorful right now. but thats just my opinion. i usually try, when i'm doing a black page, to keep the brightness but scale back on the color for the links, so that i wind up with something washed-out but still bright enough, yet not too bright. like a dull hyperlime or aquamarine. i try to make them glow without being obscenely neon-like. for all i know that's bad web design but i kind of like it.

i think your white text links in the main section are nice.

Hello!
Member
Since: Jan 12, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 02:38 pm

Your Karyn's Corner site looks the part but as you say, this is not maintainable by yourself so - I'd boot it on that aspect.

However, as you say - whilst it looks better, it wont be better for folks on a dial up. Many folks still are on a dial up so you want maximum hits - therefore, can it and go with your new one as you have said.

You can then do the updates, people can access it and with a few visual tweaks to your newer site, it can be equally as good with better load times and the advantage of you being able to update it.

Its also better having the artist name i.e. your name.com than something else.

Coco.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jul 31, 2004 02:46 pm

Karyn, I have started the article even before anyone responded, I predicted a favorable response. :-)

I feel the same way about flash as you, it's cool and sexy and all that, but totally impractical. I like the Flash site of your's it's really neat, but very few search engines can navigate and read flash content. And yes, Google does have some of your content, it will get to them, the trouble with frames is that is harder for it to get andindex and link to properly. I will ocver this in more detail in the article, which hopefully I can release within a month or so. As well as the stupid "enter here" frickin splash pages...

I would stick with your current non-flash site, easier to update, easier to index than flash (still not easy tho) and a number of other reasons make me say you are doing the right thing by redirecting the domain to your existing site.

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Jul 31, 2004 03:33 pm

Thanks so much guys. I just redid my bio as well Is this to racey? Most bios are so boring my eyes glaze over. I thought this embarrassing, revealing true story was a little catchier.

Thanks forty mile I'll keep working on the link colors. They were a darker blue.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Jul 31, 2004 06:52 pm

yeah,
it's definitely catchier. definitely. definitely. did i mention definitely?

Lost for words with all to say.
Contributor
Since: Sep 12, 2003


Aug 01, 2004 12:35 am

(I like the pictures.)

Oh crap, here I go again typing things out loud.

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Aug 01, 2004 01:00 am

Forty mile - that's a good thing? Music is easy writing a bio is hard. It doesn't go to far does it?

Vdalehubbard-Thanks, glad you liked the pics.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Aug 01, 2004 01:07 am

well, i hate to say it, but it *might* go too far. i would get some other opinions on this. it definitely takes the focus off of the music for a moment. frankly, it makes me want to hear the rest of that story. what the boys did, how they reacted, etc. at age eight, such revelations would have been, well, reveletory to any young lad!

also, if you do inject a personal story in that slot--whether this or some other one--you should probably offset it somehow to call attention to the change in point of view. it jumps from third person to first. quotes would do it, as would somehow offsetting it graphically.


Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Aug 01, 2004 01:24 am

I certainly won't disagree with you. I just thought it would be a cute (it all started when type of story) The origens of a performer transitioning from child to what I do now.

I do need to correct the 1st and 3rd person thing in any case. Someday I'll tell you the...rest of the story. It's hard to do that Paul Harvey impression while typing.

I don't know why it's so essential for a muscian to have a bio?

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Aug 01, 2004 03:02 am

hahaha, paul harvey. what a cool old dude. his voice sounds like the breath of a corpse wheezing through dead corn husks behind a weathered old barn in the year 1910. but not in a bad way. and i always learn something in his little segments.

anyway, i hear what you're saying. i'm not sure, it might be good to keep that story in your bio. see what others say.

by the way when i was 8, i witnessed something almost identical to what you describe in your bio. you should tell us the rest of the story now. :)



Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Aug 01, 2004 03:39 am

Are there any children of this age that haven't done something like this. It's natural right?.....right!? Please tell me I wasn't a 6 yr old skank. If everyone votes for it and DB clears it, I could tell the rest of the story. I don't know we might have to move to another forum. This might be getting beyond HRCs paradigm. Wait a second I think there was a mackie mixer in that garage and I was wearing a crown cm311 head mic.

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Aug 01, 2004 06:35 am

i think you should email me the story to check...

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Aug 01, 2004 07:55 am

Actually, it's pretty common for kids to do stuff like that...or at least not uncommon, but I would rather not see that kind of discussion here, not because of the story itself, but because of the thread I fear will follow.

Member
Since: Jan 18, 2003


Aug 01, 2004 01:29 pm

hahaha

fair enough


Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Aug 01, 2004 01:33 pm

Whew... Thanks DB. How about the complete full story with purchase of CD?
Just kidding hmmm... or mabey not.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Aug 01, 2004 07:46 pm

I agree, it only distracts for a moment. Then its on with the show so to speak. I think it is just enough of a teaser to make someone read the rest, and that is what its about. The bio is short and sweet and to the point. Again, meaning it doesnt detract from informing the masses of who you are and what you are doing now.

I am however trying to remember if I was ever involved in something like that at age 6, the imgaes are fuzzy as that was too dang long ago. Oh well, Im sure I was. :-)

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Aug 02, 2004 04:23 am

i think i was drinking alcopops at six probably...

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Aug 02, 2004 08:11 am

Thanks Noize. My other bio was boring. I think this lead in was much better.

Flame- you should have been in my nieghborhood.

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Aug 02, 2004 08:18 am

should i? how come? shortage of good looking men there?

Karyn
Member
Since: Jul 10, 2004


Aug 02, 2004 08:27 am

The more in the garage the better. I like to pack the house.

...bringing sexy back
Member
Since: Jul 01, 2002


Aug 02, 2004 08:35 am

lol, fair enough...

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