New Design

As you can see, I’ve made a few changes to the design of Modern Mechanix. It’s the first redesign since, well, ever. I am sure there are going to be issues over the next few days and I’d like to hear about them. If you encounter a bug, don’t like a font choice, or find something is missing, please feel free to commend on this post.

I’ve totally rewritten the back-end code for the blog and along with the new, less fragile theme it will be much easier for me to add new features and functionality. I’ve also moved the blog to a new, much faster server.

There are a few things you might want to check out with the new theme. While I’ve been tagging posts for sometime, there wasn’t really any way to see a list of them. That functionality is now in the side bar, and I’ll be adding a page with a complete list soon. The pages for an individual publication (example) and issue (example) have been revamped and are, I think, a lot more usable. The Cover Gallery has been revamped, but I’m not linking to it on the home page until I see what effect it has on performance (there are a heck of a lot of images on that page).

The next things I have planned are to make the search functionality and the comments system both suck less. If you have any particular changes you’d like to see there, please let me know.

Welcome to the new site, and please let me know what you think.

  1. Tom says: March 5, 201211:18 pm

    Looks good, I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy the posts. One thing the RSS reader I use (bamboo with Firefox) no longer shows a preview of the images attached to each article. Is this something you could fix?



  2. Kenneth Urban says: March 6, 201212:07 am

    Nice redesign, Charlie. I like the look.

  3. George T says: March 6, 20124:32 am

    The comments font is not especially easy to read. I’m sure there’s another font that fits the site theme that looks better. Though change sometimes takes some getting used to, the new layout seems to be an improvement. Good work!

  4. TomLR says: March 6, 20125:15 am

    In general it is very nice. I agree with George T about the comments, font, though. I do like the more print-like font for the article texts. On the old blog I used to actually read from the images, rather than try to keep my place in all that Arial. I’ve had your blog bookmarked for years, and don’t plan to change that!

  5. Rick Auricchio says: March 6, 20125:43 am

    Naw, you shoulda made it look just like your dad’s menu!

    I enjoyed his book.

  6. Charlie says: March 6, 20125:58 am

    Rick: I suppose I could now that CSS has such robust gradient support 🙂

  7. Charlie says: March 6, 20126:13 am

    Tom: I haven’t seen this behavior in any of my feed readers. Do you mean they don’t show up in the article list or in the expanded content?

    Has anyone else been having problems with their feed readers?

  8. Jari says: March 6, 20126:31 am

    Quite nice! Fonts looks somewhat “pixelated” in Opera and what George T said about the comments font. It could be bigger and/or maybe thicker. Also contrast between the text and background is…harsh. Or I’ll need to re-calibrate my monitor 🙂

  9. Anonymous Tipster says: March 6, 20127:25 am

    How about a “NEXT” button at the bottom of the page to view the next page instead of having to peck at those teeny-tiny page numbers?

  10. Toronto says: March 6, 20127:30 am

    I agree with the others – the font used for the comments is a bit hard to read.

    Nice overall look, though.

  11. Andrew L Ayers says: March 6, 20128:03 am

    I think it looks pretty good, but I have to agree with the others about the comment font readability; it seems to be mainly due to the verticals seeming “thinner” and the contrast of the black against the white (IMHO) – an increase in the font size might fix this; hmm – yes, zooming in with my browser seems to make things a bit better…

  12. Charlie says: March 6, 20129:17 am

    I agree about the fonts, particularly on the comments. I’ll look at changing them, making them bigger or adding weight. If anyone has any suggestions for font choice please let me know. I am open to totally changing the main font to something else if someone shows me a better one.

    Anonymous Tipster: There were actually next and prev buttons, but they were >> and << I've changed them to text. What about next/previous buttons on individual posts? Would people find that useful?

  13. Charlene says: March 6, 201211:00 am

    As to fonts, Basic Commercial and Venus are two of my favourites, and are contemporary with much of the content you feature here. Venus Medium was invented for use on 1920s German maps, while Basic Commercial is probably best-known for its use on the New York City subway system. Tahoma is more modern, but it’s also easy to read.

    But I’ll give you fair notice: change to Comic Sans and I will pout.

  14. Hirudinea says: March 6, 20122:19 pm

    Very nice redesign, only the white background is too bright, I need shades, reverse the text and background colour and you’ve got it.

  15. Mike says: March 6, 20124:11 pm

    I see others have mentioned it, please increase the size of the font.

  16. Mike says: March 6, 20124:14 pm

    If you can make the comments, or the side bars slightly darker or a different color, I think the offset would be nice.

  17. Charlene says: March 6, 20127:27 pm

    By the way, did you notice that in the “recent comments” section, every word has its first letter capitalized?

  18. Tom says: March 7, 20124:40 am

    Charlie, in response to your reply. Preview pictures don’t appear in either the “list” or “content” view in bamboo. Tom

  19. hwertz says: March 7, 20125:02 am

    I think everything looks quite nice. I don’t know if you changed the font already or if Firefox for Linux just handles fonts differently, but the fonts look fine on my system too.

  20. Jari says: March 7, 20127:13 am

    I don’t know too much about fonts. Hopefully you don’t change it to wingdings…. A separate page for recent comments would be nice. Let’s say 30 or so latest comments visible. Also my credentials don’t persist as they did in old pages.

  21. mcubstead says: March 7, 20122:20 pm

    Over all a great improvement. On my notebook with an LED screen, I have to dim it a little , perhaps an option for a 20% grey or blue background.

  22. AM says: March 9, 201212:08 pm

    The layout is ok, but I too dislike the white background. Too hard on the eyes for me.

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