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The Art Galleries of SL List is available at http://sasun.info/ArtGalleriesOfSL.htm.



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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Art Galleries of SL facelift

I have finally done a full on redesign of the Galleries of SL list. The more you learn the more you realize how much better you could have done something you made in the past so... time for a makeover!

Leave your comments here on this blog. If you'd like all the gory details about the redesign, read on!

The intent of the redesign was to make something much more pleasing to the eye, yet still functional and intuitive to use.

First, the website has a distinct 4-color scheme (a tetrad of some warm and cold colors to contrast) and a simple 4-color bar logo used to present a pattern to the eye. The site is laid out in a simple grid format, and is fluid - if your page gets narrower, the columns resize, then the site will pop into a 2-column format, so it looks good no matter what size browser you use. Try it!

The options are now arranged nicely in 4 boxes on top so it's much easier to see where they are and set them.

For you web types out there, it uses pure CSS, HTML, and jQuery so it loads fast. I converted it from an aspx page and got rid of all the server-side code and replaced it all with javascript and jQuery. It uses ajax to get more galleries to display when you scroll to the bottom, so there is no longer a "page size" setting, you can just scroll forever! It does not use postbacks like the old .aspx page did, it's all ajax, fast and light(er). I'm using a simple fluid column layout for the grid rather than a fixed width.

I am using some modern browser features such as fill gradients, nice rounded corners, and dropshadows, so if you are running an old browser, or IE (god forbid), the experience may not be as nice, so UPGRADE your browser!! So many good websites are taking advantage of HTML5, CSS3, and modern features, you're missing out if you have an old browser. And avoid IE like the plague, it's just NOT compatible with so many modern browser features. Or upgrade to IE9 at least, it's not as horrid, but the gallery list will still not look right, for sure, due to the missing feature support.

The gallery reviews are still there, click on the images to get a popup. I plan on doing some more thinking on the review presentation, possibly redesigning that simple dialog box, but that works pretty well as it is.

I also plan on replacing the "Slurl" line with a simple and familiar orange TP button. I think people don't care what the slurl address text is, they just want to go. Having a TP button will remove some text, which will de-clutter the display a bit more which is a Good Thing.

If I do decide to revamp the rating system (see previous post) the rating stars will be replaced with a simple display of the current "like" count for that gallery, and perhaps a "likes/month" number to help sort them more appropriately (or perhaps some weighted combo of both, not sure yet).

So far I'm very happy with the new site, it looks much better and more pleasing, and much less cluttered to the eye. Less like a spreadsheet and more like a list of Art Galleries :)

11 comments:

  1. Looks good! :)

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  2. It seems to well scaled. Thanks.

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  3. This looks super, Sasun. I Plurked and Tweeted the link. :)

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  4. Well I don't know, I've tried it on 2 different computers and can't move off the page Search isn't working for me or filtering; I get an 'error on page' notice and am just stuck there. Wish I could utilize it's features!

    Treasure Ballinger

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  5. It looks great but OMG, i don't see mine in there lol

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  6. Try using search! I've been making a few modifications - you can now hit enter after typing in a search phrase and it will work. If you have javascript turned off, or your browser is really freaking old, you'll get an error message plainly visible instead of empty space, and I added a "get more" button at the bottom to force a fetch of more galleries, just in case it fails getting more galleries to show when you scroll to the bottom. Oh and a better RSS graphic. And fixed some spacing issues on Chrome and Safari.

    If you can't find your gallery (search on your name, your gallery name, or the region name) please let me know, something else may be wrong, like a disabled kiosk.

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  7. If you have ANY problems seeing the page please let me know! Please also let me know what web browser you are using, and do a Help/About in your web browser to find out what version you are using, that will be very helpful. Thank you!

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  8. Hi Sasun,
    Looks great, but I too am receiving an "error on page" message and can't seem to move past that. I am on Explorer version 8. Any ideas?
    Thanks! Lillie Radek ACT Gallery and Emporium

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  9. Hi Sasun, I already wrote you inworld I can not see more than 16 galleries when I scroll down. I do not see any 'get more' button, and more galleries are simply not there. I can find mine in search, but of course I'd like to see other galleries as well. My browser is Internet Explorer MSIE 8.0 and my operating system is Windows Vista. So maybe it will work for me if I upgrade to all the newest stuff, but chances are that customers who visit the website for seeing the galleries up there probably will have 8.0 too, which actually I think is not that old. I hope whatever is the case will be an easy fix, because the new facelift and design of the site really looks great!

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  10. I'm happy to report that the IE8 incompatibility bug has been worked around - loading more galleries when you scroll to the bottom now works! I HIGHLY recommend everyone running IE8 switch to a more compatible browser (see http://www.findmebyip.com/litmus/ to see the sad state of affairs with IE support of modern web standards) or at LEAST upgrade to IE9, which as you can see has better, but still pretty bad, support for more standard features.

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  11. Cecilia DelacroixJune 24, 2011 at 5:07 AM

    What a splendid, remarkable work of art itself the new webpage is! As a "visual" person, I find the graphics format much more compelling to want to explore than mere text... I can't wait to visit some of these galleries I hadn't know about! Well done, Sasun! - Cecilia Delacroix, Curator, Campus d'Art

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