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Posted on Jun 10, 2007 in admin | 48 comments

Site look & feel


As you can see if you’re reading this on the site itself, I’m changing the site look and feel. There’s still work to be done (use a different graphic across the top, etc), but do you think it’s a general improvement? Also, if you’re experiencing any difficulties with the new layout, please let me know (either in a comment here or in e-mail to lunchinabox (AT) gmail (DOT) com and I’ll see if it’s something that can be fixed. Threaded comments are now fixed, BTW — you can now click “Respond to this comment” on an individual comment to have yours displayed as a response just below.

(EDIT: The expanding archives are back up.)

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  1. ooh I love it! It took me a min, and I was like something is different. Although this comment page it a bit wonky, and has some loose code floating around in it, but I still like. Off To H mart!

    • Good feedback, Lauri. Can you tell me any more about the loose code? It’s not showing up for me.

      • hmm now i dont see it either. But the comments are pushed down really far on the page. With a big white space. Almost like there is a little army of line breaks hiding in the code.

        • Ah, I think I know what that is! There’s a Google ad at the very end of my recent posts, so if you have something like AdBlocker enabled you’ll see blank space instead.

  2. I like it, though think that the site title should be easier to read in the header image. Also, the main navigation links should be higher up on the left-hand nav bar. ^_^

    • Agreed on the site title (and I want “Building a Better Bento” up there too). Fixed the main navigation links (hooray, finally something that’s easy to fix!!!).

  3. Heya Biggie! Beautiful weather this weekend huh? I love this new look you have going on right now. The look you had for the last few weeks (gray and red) just really didn’t look right, but this is definitely a good look you have now! I think what makes this layout a good choice is because the entries are once again the main focus of the page (as in the red/gray layout the entries sort of took second place to the navigation and text elements of the page). The green theme also matches your photos, green is such a nice refreshing, appetizing color for the food. I also happen to like this commenting section better now too, it spreads out over more of the page and that is a good thing for readability and functionality. Awesome work! Can’t wait to see the final results! Have a nice Sunday!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Summers Love. It feels better to me, but I’m no expert. I’m having a great weekend because we got two kittens just yesterday! Our 14-year-old cat that we brought back from Japan died last November, so it’s been too long without a cat in the house. We’re all basking in the kittens right now! :-)

        all the kitties you could ever want!

        • lol I love cuteoverload I have it on my RSS reader, I am addicted to that and those two sites and biggie’s site are the best ever!!!!

          • That cheezburger site cracks us up — we’re examining our kitten photos with similar captions in mind…

  4. This format is easier for me since it’s narrow enough not to require a sideways scroll.

  5. It’s much cleaner looking; I like it! I agree with the above commenter, though — I’d prefer the text to be a little darker for easier reading.

    • Got it — I see your point. I’ll put it on the list of fixes to hand over to a programmer.

  6. one of the main reasons i love your blog are the photos of Bug’s bento. perhaps bar of three cute bentos at the top would be better… I also love the orange text. thanks for your work on this it has really helped me feed my little big man.

    • Yup, the top graphic should be bento-related — this is a place-holder that came bundled with the theme. My pleasure on the blog; I’m glad you’re getting benefit for your little big man!!!

  7. I like the new site layout. I do think it would look better with a different font, this one is a bit of a strain for me to read.

    Good luck finding the right fit for your site. I know it took me forever to find what worked for my site.

    • Is it the font color, size or style that’s difficult for you to read? Thanks for the kind wishes; I think we’re much closer to a final version now.

  8. Hi, biggie!
    Looks great, but, the layout arrangement are sidebars first, then your entries (which is way more important than the sidebars). On dial-up connection, your entries (which is more important) loaded later, which IMO, are not good for your blog reader on dial-up connection (they have to wait until sidebars loaded before they can actually see your entries.)

    [Read more over here]

    • I think that this loading order is a problem for visually impaired readers as well — it’d be better for the main body to load first, then the sidebars. This is beyond my skill level to fix, so I’ll put it on the list for a programmer to handle soon. Thank you for bringing it up!

  9. These commentary threads bother me. Not the comments themselves of course ;), but how they look. Feels rather messy to me.

    • What did you think of them on the LiveJournal site?

  10. I have to scroll a loooong way down before reaching comment no 1 which leaves me feeling like I am missing something.

    This might just be a temp glitch or something I’ll get used to, both the scrolling and the expanding function. I liked the live-journal commentary setup better. I don’t miss the missing avatars though. I have some health issues so the avatars, although nice too many, obscure my reading.

    • Do you have AdBlocker or something similar turned on? I’ve got a Google ad at the bottom of recent entries, which would turn into blank space with AdBlocker.

      Although avatars are fun, I think I’ll leave them off of here — they slow down page loading too.

      • No ad-blocking. I have cookie-blocking on some internet zones but that shouldn’t and usually does not effect google ads.

        • So you can see the Google ad at the bottom of the post, then a bunch of blank space? I’ll let the programmer know.

        • btw, I really appreciate the time you are taking scoping what your readers think and your preparation to make as many of us happy :).

          • And yes on the ads. I see them all. The ads on the sidebar run as normal. When the sidebar texts end, with blank space in between in the middle, that’s when I can see the actual comments.

    • Great feedback, thanks Neveth! To the programmer it goes…

    • Mine looks like this too. It looks like the text is missing pixels. I use Firefox if that helps.

  11. Loves it! I think the changes you’ve made so far have really made a difference. My only quibble is the font, it’s not really my favourite in terms of aesthetics, though that’s mostly a personal preference methinks.

    Thanks for taking the time to be so meticulous and getting feedback from the readers. This is fast becoming one of my favourite food blogs. :)

    • Thank you, Faliq! I’d like to get the look and feel right, and move on to the food.

  12. Shouldn’t the graphic at the top be bento or at least Japanese themed?
    Love the green color, though!

    • Yes, that’s on the to-do list. Thanks!

  13. I get a long blank section in the middle, too, but good to know that it’s our adblocker.
    This new site is great! I can tell that you have been working on so hard, Biggie.
    BTW, great that two new little friends joined your family. Love to see them sometime!!

  14. @1 from Lauri:
    I think I may have fixed the loose code issue on the comments section, could you take a look?

  15. @13 from Meredith:
    I changed the font on the site to make it easier to read; I hope this fixed your issue!

  16. @21 from Jessica:
    I’ve unthreaded the comments on the site, which has also had the benefit of solving some formatting problems for some people. Hopefully this is an improvement for you too?

  17. @27 from Neveth:
    I changed the font on the site, which I’m hoping solved your issue of being able to read the content. Did it help?

  18. @37 from Michelle:
    With your feedback, I just changed the site banner to a food-themed one using some of the bento lunches I made. An improvement?

  19. @42 from Lisa:
    I changed the website font to try to fix this issue (looking like it’s missing pixels) — does that help for you?

  20. @51 from Biggie

    Yup…it looks great now!

  21. @49 from Biggie

    Yes! Everything’s nice and clear on the site!

  22. Moose and Squirrel. ;-) (For non-Americans, this is a reference to the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, where spies Boris and Natasha were always chasing after the title characters (a moose and squirrel).) My husband used to have a pair of cats named Boris and Natasha, so this was a fun naming.

  23. Fair points, Heather — I’ll put the text issue on a list for a programmer to fix, and work on drop-down categories to replace the long laundry list of categories. Once I fix the expandable archives I’m thinking I can kill the visual calendar in the sidebar as well, which would further reduce the clutter there. I agree that it’s still too busy. Thank you so much for the frank feedback — it’s really invaluable.

  24. No, I see you mreh! The web guy who was going to help fell through, so I’ll try to fix it on my own. Thank you for pointing this out!