by carl wilson

Zen & The Art of Zoilus Repair


I'm toiling away on a few design revisions, mostly minor (with the help of site-meister Bill Douglas). If you're a regular visitor to Zoilus, or just an opinionated busybody, I'd be happy to hear comments on what would make the site work better for you. Again, I mean design, not content:

  • Are the sidebar categories useful, do they make sense, are there others that would be more practical? (For instance would it help to have them organized into related music genres as well or instead, and if so what would they be -- maybe jazz/avant, pop, dance/hip-hop, 'indie,' 'trad.'? Pigeonholes are hard to work with, as a lot of what I cover straddles genres. Are there better indices?)
  • Does the links page breakdown and ordering work for you? (And do you use the links page?)
  • Can you read the print okay?
  • Would you like to be notified of new posts by email?
  • Any other bright ideas?

Your input honestly would be useful. Email me or use the comments. Thanks.

News | Posted by zoilus on Friday, August 12 at 1:58 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (10)



Add me to the list of people who have never once said "I'm going to surf on over the the Writ section of Zoilus". The categories, I think, make more sense for you than for your readers. We don't read the blog in sections like a newspaper.

One quick-link I *have* looked for more than once is this month's show listings. A link to those on the front might be nice.

Love the site of course of course, and mostly all this formatting tweakery doesn't matter much: The site it pretty clear as it stands, and what really matters is that fine fine content.

Posted by Misha on August 16, 2005 11:29 AM



we're trying our best :p

Posted by CJD on August 16, 2005 12:46 AM



A great big pom pom shake (!!) for links along the side (but please do preserve the asdfkla;jbva for those who like to ramble).

I have to admit that I've long been befuddled by the sidebars and their categorizations. What is the difference between News, Via Toronto, and the Writ, really? I mean, really truly? It's confusing when I go off and read a book or something, and then come back to catch up.
I would love the archive to indicate the DATE posted in the list of entries.

Personally I think the sidebar should be links at large, and then links to the big meaty essays only (and ALL of them). But then I'm a big meaty essays kinda girl.

Posted by spitzer on August 15, 2005 4:58 PM



Wonderful column/blog/journal/thang. Living in the burbs it's great to cut to the chase and get the info that I like. The writing is always clear and intelligent. I don't use the sidebars, and as I view it at 1240 X whatever res, I would like it wider not narrower.



Posted by bp on August 14, 2005 7:53 PM



maybe there's some aesthetic vision that I'm not seeing, but line breaks on the links page would make it a lot more useful to me. I like the commentary, but when I look at it, I just see "asdfkla;jbvalskjlsafvbas".

I'm an engineer. I like order.

Posted by frank on August 13, 2005 7:39 PM



Nothing needs to change in my opinion. I agree that links on the sidebar would be useful, but your links page has some great explanations on what we're about to link to, while I imagine that a links sidebar would just be a list of names. How can we know what a "Tofuhut" or a "Pregnant Without Intercourse" is without some kind of explanation?

Posted by Steve Birek on August 13, 2005 4:15 PM



adding the links to the sidebar would be great because i've never even visited your links page, and was barely aware of it until about five minutes ago.

i also read your site via RSS and would appreciate either full-text entries in the feed, or, barring that, longer excerpts. you aren do this pretty easily in movabletype by changing your rss template between the description tags.

also your site always creates a horizontal scrollbar in my browser (OS X, firefox, 1024x768 resolution) which is visually distracting.

Posted by kathryn on August 12, 2005 11:39 PM



I read the site pretty regularly so I don't really use the side bar, and I also this it makes the site a but cluttered. i think you should keep past entries in categories but like the first person said, it seems unnecessary to have the most recent entries from that category listed underneath. It'd make for a nicer page if you just had the categories listed across the top, and links that lead to a page of the entries under that category, kind of like stylus does. Does that make sense? Basically I agree with the first poster, mostly because it would clean up the site a bit. But I love the way links are used because you can click them and find out about cool stuff.

Posted by mike on August 12, 2005 6:28 PM



Honestly, I never use the sidebar categories and I am not sure that a different type of categories would change anything. As I am an avid reader, I simply read every new posts regardless of their category. If I need to find something I use the search engine or good ol' google to help me.

Links page works perfectly fine with me. I have found some very interesting blogs through you links page and although it is not a page I regularly consult it has worked fine for me when I did.

I use the RSS so I know everytime you post right away, no need for a mailing list.

Posted by Simon on August 12, 2005 2:31 PM



Hi Carl.

I really like the character of your links page, but I don't exactly check it. Your webstats will tell you better than I, but I can also attest to the fact that my site's received close to 0 traffic from that page. (This certainly has more to do with us than you, and obviously is due to the number of links on your links page, but it also suggests that not that many people click through.) It would be really great if you could sideblog the links, with all of them aggregated on another page. Or something. That way we can see when you catch something neat, and you don't need to do a whole big post about it. Similar to what ftrain's got going on.

The legibility is very high, but an even narrower centre column would appeal to me as a reader. (NB: StG is redesigning too. :)

I've never used the sidebar categories, so I'll try to restrain myself from saying anything other than this -- it seems to me that if one wanted to read, say, some of your gig reviews, one would probably not find a short selection of recent ones particularly appealing. More fun/rewarding to look through a page of all of them, clicking on the ones that appeal. (In other words, I dunno if the "last five" in each category, on the sidebar, is very useful.)

Posted by Sean Michaels on December , 0 12: AM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson