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Help Me With EcoGeek's Redesign

In general, online businesses like to completely surprise their users when introducing a new look. They want it to be a big secret and the best choice order cheapest viagra online then BANG! It's different! And everyone's a bit disoriented, and lots of people are upset because they don't like change, or it's less functional, or just plain ugly.

So I thought, y'know...why don't I just ask?

So, here you have it, give this a click and see the mockup of what we're thinking about for ecogeek 3.0 (yes, what you're looking at is not our first design...but we have had it for almost two years now.)

This is all very preliminary, but we are probably going to be slapping a new skin on this girl before long. Any suggestions you have, I would love to read them in the cialis prescription comments. And for those of you who want a simpler task, just use the following poll.


Thanks everyone! And thanks for being ecogeeks.

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Comments (40)Add Comment
new design
written by Ru, July 24, 2008
I'd say: Make sure a line of text doesn't read more than ten words... Like it is now, it's perfect.
I love you just the way you are
written by audi, July 24, 2008
Your content is great and so as long as that doesn't change then fine by us at Machine Nation.

Your links to different blogs and categories have disappeared from the side which is a serious change (I think networking will be a strong sign of Net 3.0) and the Digg etc. links are a bit intrusive on your always great content.

Diamonds don't advertise themselves mister, they're discovered - remember that ;-)
Easy reading fonts
written by Carl Hage, July 24, 2008
The new design has easier to regognize headlines and
a larger easier to read font. The wider column means less
scrolling. The font is heavily pixelized though, so slower to read. Perhaps a thicker serif font is better. You could shrink the unimportant link menu text, to avoid interrupting the eye.

Please get rid of the screen-wasting margins, unless the
width is too large.

I hope you don't fall into the pitfall of javascript stunts.

written by Upaya, July 24, 2008
as long as you are not redesigning the website to only moments later, pack your bags and sell ecogeek... treehugger did the same and is ruined.

i use ecogeek rss feed so the design doesnt matter too much to me, however it is an improvement on 1.0 and the current style.

have you been writing articles since 5/5/80?.. impressive :)
written by some, July 24, 2008
your new design would look good on a widescreen monitor but most people don't have widescreens yet.
Looks good.
written by Leuke, July 24, 2008
Sleek design! I like it. =)
written by David Hobson, July 24, 2008
You make enough money $5000 to a good designer, don't ask for free stuff.
written by Clinch, July 24, 2008
Do not like
-the email/print/digg etc icons right under the headline
-the wider lines of text (the current 'sleek' layout is better)
-the font used
-the "brains for the viagra sale viagra en gel earth" (sounds more zombie than green)
-the background being grey (rather than green)
-the weak border

The only think I do like about it, is the wiki link .

Okay to ask the users
written by Ann, July 24, 2008
The best thing to do is to ask the people who actually READ the site.

I like it. The bigger font and RSS/newsletter links are a clear call to action. Also, the "brains for the earth" tagline is good--that helps explain what you're about for first-time users.

The only thing I don't like is the most popular articles are WAY below the fold.

If you're really curious about whether it is better, do an A|B test using Google Optimizer. It's free, and it will give you concrete numbers that tell you whether the new site is better than the old.
written by Virgil, July 24, 2008
I like the new look, but agree on losing the margins - for those of us with limited screen real estate, margins are too much of a luxury.

I would improve commenting - lose the emoticons (they're for kids, and are sooo 1999). Provide the ability to log in an create an account, instead of having to type an e-mail address every time in order to leave a comment.

I also like that you moved the envirowonk/carectomy etc. links from the top. While they're great sites, you should link them at the bottom of the page - having them at the top detracts from ecogeek'sbrand value straight away since it seems you're not a standalone brand but just a sub-site.

One more thing... a mobile version would be great! I read a lot of blogs (digg-river, engadget) on my palm, and know a ton of people who do the same on their iPhones. A cut down version for mobile devices would seriously increase your traffic.
Eco Friendly Color Scheme
written by EnderK42, July 24, 2008
The new sight looks like its coming along nicely, but perhaps you might consider using a more ecoFriendly color scheme.

White is supposedly the most power intensive color, perhaps you'd consider a darker color scheme; or the option to switch to one?

Just a thought,
keep up the good work!
Looks good but needs some tweaks
written by ditchwitch, July 24, 2008
Input is good, you're smart to get it. I echo Ann on using the Google Optimizer if you want to compare designs. I really dislike the link block next to the header image for each article. It seems they're not used by the majority of your readers and should be banished to the bottom of an article. You may also consider tucking the top nav bar beside your logo instead of underneath it to get more delicious content above the levitra pharmacy fold. I would move Most Popular above all the blogroll business.

It looks nice. Clean. Hurrah for you!
written by Kevin, July 24, 2008
Looks nice and clean (as an ecogeek should!) but the adds in the middle of the posts will annoy the shit out of me. Please don't annoy your readers... they will leave you if you do.

(p.s. if there's anyway to ditch the inline flash replacement for your post headings, please do. They take so long!)
Back to the drawing board?
written by Amy, July 24, 2008
Its too similar to what you already have, too square and flat. But I'm a nitpicky designer who does this for a living, so take it as you wish :)
written by Grizz, July 24, 2008
Do you really need text in the link box to the left of every news photo? It consumes a lot of space.

I wonder how it would look with a drop shadow on the news images...

Definite NO on the "Brains" slogan, but I like the idea of having one, needs more work there.
written by Luke, July 24, 2008

Few items of the top of my head:

1. Left-align title/byline with post copy.
2. Place rightside viral elements together (rss, newsletter, twitter, stumbleupon).
3. Digg, etc. should be below post. Seems like you're forcing it too much. First read, then call to action. Don't make users scroll back up.
4. Not sure you need descriptive text at top right.

Looking good. Keep up the great work.

If you'd like to talk more about it, feel free to send me an email.

This may not help much...
written by Alain, July 24, 2008
But I really like the site as is. I agree with Virgil, emoticons are dumb. I've been reading this site for a while now and it's by far one of my favorite designs, and content. I love the categories on the side, I love that I can read the generic viagra cheap articles without having widescreen, I don't mind scrolling down, but do mind scrolling to the side.

I trust the changes you make will be for the better, I love this site and truely appreciate the work you do.

Sue intel.
Needs a little something
written by juk, July 24, 2008
Howabout an Intel Inside logo?
Change for the Sake of Change?
written by ChrisAN, July 24, 2008
(Argh, second time I have written this, stupid computer. )It seems like you are changing things just to make them different. Some things seem like a step backwards. The current site has economy which is something too few websites do well. First the bad then the good.

The margins/padding around the outside need to go. The way the divisions go straight up to the edge of the container gives the design distinction. You know where everything is. The new design is an amorphous mess. I can see a nav bar but I am not sure where exactly the header is, I can take a guess but I can not be certain. In the current design the shadow provides certainty where the header ends.

You have lost all contrast. Contrast is one of the key ways we define things as different. Currently at the top of the site there is a yellow box. This box draws in new users while being quiet enough to allow older users to ignore it. But most importantly this box defines the sidebar. Even though the color does not continue the length of the sidebar it sets up a border telling our eyes where not to cross. It puts a marker on your eyes that remains even after you scroll down.

The background color is too close to that of the container and even closer to that of the border. Instead of stopping at the edge the best way to buy viagra container diffuses into the background color. This has the effect of making it harder to concentrate on the content. We lose the definite “Look here!” quality that is the reason for a container in the first place. In short, our eyes wander.

The bubbly buttons have got to go. I will be honest with you, glossy bubbly buttons are ugly. The glossy website is fortunately a fad that is on the way out. It has come to more represent out of date web design than quality. That said, used in economy it is still good but in this case the buttons just do not match the rest of the site.

The link bar at the top of the page is a powerful message showing your affiliation with the other websites. By moving them to the “Blogroll” you have ceased to say “Hey, check out our sister sites!” and instead just casually tossed a “Oh hey, these websites are cool, maybe you should check them out sometime.” into the conversation. I personally, rarely check the blogrolls on a website, but when I saw the linkbar on the top of ecogeek I checked every one and cheapest viagra tablets now subscribe to them as well.

The Digg etc. buttons next to the images add noise for functions many people will not use. Also, they kind of scream “attention whore”, no offense. I understand the order viagra uk reason behind them but it would serve you well to make them less intrusive. Personally I would put them inside the article underneath the image.

I like how (in the current design) the adspace looks as if it is inset from the rest of the website; one of my favorite elements of web design at ecogeek, although I am not sure if it would fit into the new design and it does move more content below the fold.

Personally, I am a fan of serif fonts, they make a website a little more classy in a medium over saturated by sans-serif.

I like the current logo just fine but if you change it I will not grab a pitchfork and torch your house. But if you do, please choose a better font, the “brains for earth” simply does not match the rest of the logo.

The way the RSS and newsletter are situated just bugs me. A button for the newsletter is unnecessary since there is already a sign up button. Also, the number of readers thing seems like bragging, it would probably be more suited to the About page maybe as an inline thing by putting a function to pull the number in the middle of a sentence. “Ecogeek has readers.” Kind of like that.

The text is more difficult to read.

And now for the good.

The divisions in the nav bar make it more recognizable as a nav bar and the color is more distinct (although I think the word search should be moved slightly towards the left).

The tree at the bottom adds a nice finish to the bottom of the page and keeps it from trailing out like most webpages do.

The bigger logo helps to get your brand name across. Ecogeek could definitely stand to have a bigger logo.


Move the “Written By” below the image and (if you have not already) remove it from the about and other like pages.

Order the only now buy cheap cialis online nav bar Home Wiki About Contact Forum

About Us is more personal than About
written by Chris, July 24, 2008
It doesn't fit on my browser. There's space but it's forcefully padded to the right, and is uncentered. I'm using Opera 9.1 on OSX (10.4). Dunno if this problem happens on anyone else's systems...
written by Chris, July 24, 2008
Sorry.. ignore me. Didn't realise it was an image :D
Body text font is not an improvement
written by Evan, July 24, 2008
I think the font in the current design is better. I find the new one much harder to read and enter site levitra online buy just unattractive (to the point that I probably wouldn't read the articles).

The wider content area column width may reduce scrolling, but it also makes it harder to scan text with your eyes. I personally prefer the current width.

I agree with ChrisAN about contrast: the background on the sides looks really pale, especially on a laptop LCD that may have poor contrast to start with. Even if you just reused the same green that you're using for the nav bar and headlines, it would probably look better.

There are no eco-friendly colors, that's a myth. On some LCD panels black will require more energy than white; in general, the difference is so small that it's not worth thinking about.
agree with the last guy
written by Pete, July 24, 2008
The current font is way easier on the eyes. The new font is too skinny or something. Also, do you really need an ad at the top of the page? Who ever started that trend needs to be punished. It ruins the design.
A Question, A Clear-Up, and a Comment
written by ChrisAN, July 24, 2008
Hank, I was just wondering what ecogeek is coded in (PHP, ASPX).

In my above post the comment sanitizer edited out something (I hate when a posting system removes illegal characters instead of replacing them with their relevant character entities). What I meant to say was “Ecogeek has < ?php totalreaders() ? > readers.”

Evan, just so you know it is really more of a misconception than a myth. Different colors do use different amounts of energy on a CRT monitor but since they have fallen out of common use it is not very relevant today.
written by Adriane, July 24, 2008
I like that the green in the new design is brighter. Everything looks very clean. Although the levitra prices in usa design is kind of boxy. I think a few rounded corners would look sleeker. I'm not a big fan of the byline "brains for the earth." It sounds weird and looks odd in it's current place.

All in all, I like it.
Shouldn't the page use less energy?
written by Simee T, July 24, 2008
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did I not read on an ecogeek post that white uses more energy on a computer screen than no colour (black?) If so then shouldn't the edges be exactly that, clean green energy saving nothingness? With all that white I think I am in my mother-in-laws chlorine driven laundry. OMG. Please tone it down. As for fonts and stuff, I tend to agree with some others that what you have is pretty good now, don't go ruining a good recipe.


Simee T
An alternative
written by Luke, July 25, 2008
How about something more along this line:
Follow Up: An alternative
written by Luke, July 25, 2008
I didn't have time to make new icons for those sidebar items nor the time to pull in appropriate share item icons, so please ignore them.
written by Penny, July 25, 2008
Usually I get attached to current/previous themes, but in this case I think I could cope with the new one without drifting away from the site... wow I actually like it! But I would be just as happy to keep the current theme.

My main request is please please please don't make the website theme too wide (ie more than 900px approx), I don't have the patience to scroll sideways for each article I read!

Thanks for asking for our opinions :)
Bad font...
written by marianne, July 25, 2008
The text font on the current website is great, it's easy to read and not tiring to the eyes. The font on the proposed new website is al lot less friendly to the eyes! Hard to read and makes me dizzy... Please change it! The rest of the new site is all good.
"Brains" not specific
written by d, July 25, 2008
What sets EcoGeek apart from other eco-themed sites is that it talks about using technology to solve the problems. The tag line "brains for the earth" is way too general and almost seems condescending to the other sites (as if saying your site is the smart one and the others are stupid). I really think you need to use the word technology in the slogan. Perhaps "technology for the earth" instead or "using technology for the earth". Verbs are good.

Also, I agree with others that the large block of Digg, Stumble, Print, Email, blah blah links is too big and seems a little whorish in the heading of the articles. An alternative would be to include a strip of the icons, without the text (use tooltips instead) at the bottom of the articles. No one's going top want do any of those things until after they read the article anyway so it belongs at the bottom.
Font Fix
written by Tarren, July 25, 2008
I think it looks nice overall, like some others have mentioned the font is hard for me to read, the current font is much easier on my eyes.
Just a few suggestions
written by Karen D., July 25, 2008
I believe that the larger font might be enticing to some people who have to stare at a computer screen all day. Might you try listing the the best place cialis pills categories vertically along the top, so that we can shoot right to the topic we are looking into information for? Or, place it at the top of the right column. Lastly, I liked your original slogan of technology for the future. Simple, concise and clean. Brains for the future is a little open-ended and confusing to me. That being said, I love your website and will visit and viagra discount research it no matter what. ;D
Mock Up
written by ChrisAN, July 25, 2008
I had some free time so I mocked up what the site would look like taking into account a few of my previous suggestions. I stuck with the colors you already had.
The width
written by Geoffrey, July 25, 2008

Since the width is more larger, when a person reads the words, he'll find it a bit harder coz he'll miss the line. Hence the reason of narrower columns. You could increase the buy cheap generic levitra font size and it'll be better but increasing the width is not the way to go. If the width is narrower another advantage is, people can read faster...

colours layout and everything else is great.
The Site Looks Great, but the Questionai
written by Mike Barnett, July 27, 2008
First, let me say that I am a large fan of your site. Articles always interesting, many of which excite my imagination and give me hope that we haven't quite destroyed all of our chances for a better; cleaner world.

So as a courtesy to you, I checked out your first new site, and generally liked the layout and the ease of the shortcuts. Then I read your survey.

To me, there are several types of pollution in this world, and the one that could be controlled the easiest is vulgarity. OMFG WTF??? Gents, we are not ignorant and you know that so you know that your use of these abbreviations are clearly understandable to most (or anyone that has been in the military service). Not that I think myself a prude or easily offended by a good cussing; I have let one fly myself on occasion, but in this case, it is offensive to my Christian beliefs; at least the first one is.

So if you could be so kind as to limit your inference to our Lord without the sexual connotation, or keep your abbreviations to the calm side like BOHICA, SNAFU (that one is in Webster's you know), or DILLIGAF; I, for one; would be most appreciative.
written by Rosa R., July 27, 2008
Hey Hank, I'll say it once again, you've done a great job! You put a lot of thought and effort into it and it shows it comes from the heart.

Suggestions....hmm, well, instead of "complaining" about it or saying something mean and negative, rather than helpful, constructive, and positive, I prefer to go for the latter. Looking at this version, or version linked to this page, I will say for one that I thought the place of the "Are You an EcoGeek" box is perfect, right up there in the upper box because it's very easy to see and easily accessible and easy to find. It catches your eye very "easily", lol. I don't know that if the lowest prices viagra box weren't there in the first place that I would have signed up for your fantastic emails. I saw that in the new version it had the box elsewhere, and I thought, that perhaps there were 3 versions all in one page to choose from since they all had the same story and basically the same stuff, but I did read through what many people were saying (as if you didn't know that the story repeated, duh), but I also read "why", and it makes perfect sense, but if I may ask a silly question, is that the same for the box or does it actually repeat or is something else supposed to be there?? Aside from that, let's say if the box was repeated as shown in the version of the page linked, then I would have to say, as someone else said, "less is more", and there would be no need to repeat the box again.

I would also agree to the person who said, less is more again, just generally speaking because too much would cause a person to sort of get a little overwhelmed perhaps. I like the scrolly idea, rather say, for subcatergories. If there is no version, as yet another person stated, where you can sort of go over and the subcatergories appear or something, would be great! If not, then I believe that it would be important to always keep those catergories easily visible and accessible to people, instead of only being under an ad, which in this version seemed to come 3rd down. I think ads would be nice if kept obviously on the sides of the margins, like just on the right side or something as it is shown in the linked page, but perhaps only after your stuff that strictly relates to your website goes first! And as you said, you guys are working on the marjins if I recall reading correctly, which is a good idea, more space for your page instead of unused space due to marjins or rather marjins taking up so much space. Well, that's up to you, obviously the marjins don't have to disappear completely because I will say, it ads a nice touch, it sets the reading apart, and may give the eye a little rest. And I think any of the greens are fine. You won't be able to please EVERYBODY! lol. Some people are toooo particular, you would still have your faithful fans and online cheap viagra fellow geeks! lol. As long as the websites contents are the same, that's all that matters, even though you want to update it, which is all good, but what I'm saying is, although the aestetic AND the technical part may need to and may be wanted to be updated, we will still LOVE YOU and this SITE! It's the contents, the messages, and the fantastic information that you deliver to the rest of the knowledge craved people!

Which also stumbles upon the topic of "crave", aka what people are saying about the "BRAIN" and zombie correlation, I see what Clinch (I think and hope from recollection is right) was saying. I don't think it's a bad slogan. I guess I could see what some people say, about it sounding like for zombies and stuff. Not a big deal, keep it or not, whatever, it won't destroy the site and won't run people off. I am able to see what Clinch was saying though, you could use "minds for the earth", or simply and nicely said just "For the Earth", or even nothing. Those are nice ideas, I will give Clinch that, I liked those 3 ideas, but again, brains for the earth, either or, not the biggest dilema, lol.

(More to come)
written by Rosa R., July 27, 2008
The text wasn't terrible, but I guess I can also see that this current one may look sleeker and more appealing, again, I don't know that people will be so crazed with anger over it, lol. I think some people may get a little too riled up, although I'm sure the feedback is appreciated as is the passion for this site, lol, which I may only guess would at least please you as well for their passion, but being constructive in a helpful way is probably more desirable.

I hoped this helped. Oh, yeah, one more thing I would like to say, is I TOTALLY love the idea of posting how many people are readers in the "box" of "Are You an EcoGeek"! It's nothing big, but a reeally cute idea. It's just a little something more that can inform people of how many other people are into this, how popular it is, how popular it has gotten, and how popular it has been. It may motivate people to share this site and tell others about it to boost the readers since they'll be aware of the number of readers! So, I could only see it helping you and expaning this site!!! GOOD LUCK once again HANK! Muah!

Warmest Wishes,
Rosa R. :)
READ Me! lol, PS!
written by Rosa R., July 27, 2008
PS. I took a couple last looks at both designs, draft one and two, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and I hope I'm not writing too much, but, just a few more things, I'll try and obtain a prescription for viagra make it quick. I like how you have in draft one on the left side in a box to the story, the little logos, of the comments, email it, print it, Digg It, etc. BUT the thing is, I also think related stories box was ALSO a good and cute idea, easy link, and it will just be so convenient for people if they like reading that type of story to read others, sort of like an addiction (cuz I've been there, done that!lol. some sites will have me reading stories like an addict since it's so convenient to just click to the next one!). Is there a way perhaps to combine the ideas! PERHAPS if you were to do the Comments, Email It, Digg It, etc first, and THEN put related stories in a separate box directly under that one!?! That might help or might do it?!

PPS....(last one)
written by Rosa R., July 27, 2008
Example, Beginning of Draft One is great, you have the Comments, Email It, Digg It, etc Box on the left with the picture on the right, then story directly and neatly under. Then you also have the "Are You an EcoGeek Box" on the left, where it can easily be seen (also with the cute readers number box idea in it), AND THEN YOU CAN TAKE the idea from Draft TWO about the Related Stories and Most Popular boxes, but PUT THEM on the left side, directly under the "Are You an EcoGeek Box"!!! I hope you read all this, sorry to everyone else for writing so much and taking so much space, but I tend to get very detailed and just want to be thorough and hope to have the reader see what I imagine in my own mind. I believe this example of a layout, just a very though out suggestion, and simply a friendly suggestion, would be pleasing to the eye without eliminating some cool and try it pfizer levitra helpful things, making it aesthitic, less jumbled, AND convenient and easily accessible to most things!!!!! HOPE YOU LIKE IT! I obviously took some time to write this and hope to show that it was thought out. Take Care. And again, good luck!! :)

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