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  #1  
Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Default Some design ideas

Earlier today, I started to look over some design ideas for the new site. While KiddCabbage's design is great, it only provides the layout and location of each of the items on the frontpage (and it doesn't provide a template for other pages). It doesn't touch upon the colors and graphics that would be used.

I looked through about 300 templates, and three in particular seem to attract attention for their modernity and their similarity to Kidd's layout. The templates could be used as a baseline and modified to more closely resemble Kidd's layout as well as to conform to some of the limitations of the site. Since they cost money, they wouldn't be bought but instead a new design would be created to fit the "merged" requirements.

http://www.4templates.com/view/xhtml...tes/1/AX0553BL
http://www.4templates.com/view/xhtml...tes/6/AX0524GR
http://www.4templates.com/view/xhtml...es/57/AX0256OR

Each of these is notable for being striking. They all fall short in some way or another, but nothing is going to match the requirements exactly. Ideally, music or game-themed elements would be added or replaced. The most important thing is that each template comes in three colors that look identical in all other ways, so that the different originals/remixes colors idea could be implemented easily.
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  #2  
Old Mar 10, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Wait, so what happened to that one guy doing the design for you? All of those templates kind of suck...
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 01:16 PM
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with a site such as this, how much stuff do you need on the front page? you should have users, music, forums. people have said this no less than 100 times. you seem to have a strong desire to keep all this stuff on the front page, but im pretty sure the users have dictated that the frontpage design aspect of web development in relation to the site doesnt lend too well to what you're going for, which is straight up the touch of max nerds.

full stop, if you have to waste money on buying a template for a front page design, then theres a big problem with what you are coding on. furthermore, if you spent time looking at 300 of these, thats a whole lot of time taken up that you could have spent coding something, or at least getting on the internet, talking to people and looking for a real-ass person who wanted to come in and work on it.

this doesnt seem like a good idea, and that doesnt even throw creedence to the fact that it would cost money. i feel as if you are looking for answers to issues that should be non-issues, because the creative aspect of building a webpage is taken apart and monetized. the site and design no longer becomes yours. but hey, this is just one guy's opinion, and if i dont get a lil heavy on the ol' opinion, imma have to start lookin for 3 cent coins, eh?

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  #4  
Old Mar 10, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidd Cabbage View Post
Wait, so what happened to that one guy doing the design for you? All of those templates kind of suck...
Well, FoxxDragon said that he isn't available now, and even if he were, he was only willing to work for pay. At this point, there isn't any money available, which is why I proposed to use these color schemes as a starting point using your layout, rather than to purchase the templates outright.
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  #5  
Old Mar 10, 2010, 08:42 PM
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Well, on the colour schemes alone, 1st seems a bit "corporate", 2nd is pretty damn nice looking. 3rd is just a no. My vote (if we have to choose) is 2nd. But I hope the layout won't be like the links. We can do better.
  #6  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnomnomnom View Post
Well, on the colour schemes alone, 1st seems a bit "corporate", 2nd is pretty damn nice looking. 3rd is just a no. My vote (if we have to choose) is 2nd. But I hope the layout won't be like the links. We can do better.
Well, keep in mind that the idea wasn't to make the site look like these templates, but rather to use Kidd Cabbage's layout along with the color scheme and images from these templates.

Do you have a suggestion as to a better color scheme, since you don't like the ones that were presented? Perhaps you might be able to provide a link to another template the you think is a better starting point.
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  #7  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 06:59 AM
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I recommend contacting a friend of mines. His website is http://www.simplyvin.com/ if you like what you see, you should contact him and discuss your needs. I think considering the type of site and the fact he's a fan of remixes himself you could work out a good deal. I could even talk to him myself if you like.

Some of his other sites. http://www.megaelixir.com/ NSFW http://www.transinfinity.com/ NSFW.
  #8  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xuse View Post
I recommend contacting a friend of mines. His website is http://www.simplyvin.com/ if you like what you see, you should contact him and discuss your needs. I think considering the type of site and the fact he's a fan of remixes himself you could work out a good deal. I could even talk to him myself if you like.

Some of his other sites. http://www.megaelixir.com/ NSFW http://www.transinfinity.com/ NSFW.
Hey Xuse,

If you'd like to contact him, that would be great. However, he would need to understand that no money is available for this project.

On the other hand, if he's willing to make a substantial contribution, I could grant him a significant number of experience points. Experience points will shortly be able to used not only to promote songs, but also to promote URLs and compos, so perhaps he might be interested in this alternate form of compensation.
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  #9  
Old Mar 12, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Sorry, I haven't been following the discussion too much, but...

A) What is Kidd Cabbage's design?
B) What do you need help with?

If I see the design, I could probably throw some stuff today in Photoshop, and MAYBE help with putting it all together. My time is limited, and I'm extremely lazy, but I'll help if/where I can

Also: I like the first link :3
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  #10  
Old Mar 13, 2010, 12:20 AM
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He's referring to this thread:
http://vgmdb.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3944

He needs someone to do the design and graphics for the site. I assume he'll be developing it after that.

Anyway, Q, I looked at the link you sent me earlier when I was AFK... and I gotta be honest, man. What's up on the development page looks worse than it currently does. The scratchy font and the saturated colors and all. I'd let the fine poster above me take a shot at it. I'm sure he'll be able to help you with the design and make the site actually something nice to look at!
  #11  
Old Mar 13, 2010, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidd Cabbage View Post
He's referring to this thread:
http://vgmdb.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3944

He needs someone to do the design and graphics for the site. I assume he'll be developing it after that.

Anyway, Q, I looked at the link you sent me earlier when I was AFK... and I gotta be honest, man. What's up on the development page looks worse than it currently does. The scratchy font and the saturated colors and all. I'd let the fine poster above me take a shot at it. I'm sure he'll be able to help you with the design and make the site actually something nice to look at!
You shouldn't base your opinion of what the site is going to look like based upon that development page. The page is 10% complete.

The only things I'm satisfied with on that page are the new font, the menu bar stretching across the entire width, the name of the new site, the square shadowed boxes and (maybe) the orange color, although the other colors are something I definitely don't like. Everything else should be ignored until I get around to doing more work on it.

I plan to do a lot of work on it today, so there should be something that's more towards completion soon.
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  #12  
Old Mar 13, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Anyway, I made this:



There's comments in the bigger image.
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  #13  
Old Mar 14, 2010, 08:29 AM
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I've been working on the design this morning. It seems that the svillage.mine.nu design and Rama's design are intended to be similar in almost all ways except the colors and graphics, probably because everything originates from Kidd Cabbage's initial drawing.

I like Rama's design a lot, and it is very impressive.

I did come to one conclusion that I think I'm ready to make a decision on: there should not be a separate news section on the front page. Rama points out the reason why in his image: there is not enough news to put there. If a news section is included, it needs to be updated daily or weekly, and I have to do it, diverting time from other things. If there isn't any news for a while, it looks like the site is stagnant. The news wouldn't be able to be commented upon using the current interface, so people would have to go to the forums anyway. It takes up space that could be better used to promote songs. Unless there's a huge public uproar over this suggestion, I think the idea of a separate "news" section should be put to rest.

Also, right now I'm just addressing the layout issues. As you can see, both designs use the exact same layout, but use different images and colors. Once the layout is settled, then I say we can move onto what's sure to be a much more difficult issue, deciding upon colors, because everyone seems to like different colors.

Now, to address Rama's image comments:

1. I agree with him that the spacing was poor even before he made the image, but just hadn't gotten around to it. I reduced the spacing in the latest version.

2. I agree that only three columns for promoted things should be visible, and implemented that.

The image also points out that song grids take up too much room because the profile and VGMdb album covers are unnecessary. That is a significant technical challenge to address.

You might say to simply list the games the track is influenced by, without any other information. The problem is that the VGMdb associates games with albums, not with individual tracks. If a user selects an influence from a compilation album, the games of every single track from the album are listed together in one field. There is no way of determining which particular game this particular track is based off of. Instead, a list of "Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros 2., Super Mario Bros. 3, ...." is returned.

The images add character to these grids, also, so I don't think they should be axed altogether.

After thinking about this a little more, I came to the conclusion that maybe grids aren't the ideal way to display songs. For example, there could be a "scrollable" interface using the JQuery Tools (http://flowplayer.org/tools/demos/index.html). We should really think outside the box and consider what could be done if tables were eliminated altogether.

If you plan to look at the Dev site, log in so that you can see the changes to the top bar that appear when you do so. Also, the streaming plugins were changed - this was a recommendation that shawnphase made two months ago that I've agreed with, and had put off until the redesign. Finally, the "random song" really isn't random; it's selected from songs above a certain threshold (five, currently).
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  #14  
Old Mar 15, 2010, 12:10 PM
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I wonder if it might be worth setting up a meeting, this weekend perhaps, between all interested parties in the redesign to discuss redesign ideas and come to a final decision? There are many people who seem interested in helping, but it takes hours or days between messages, even when discussing little things.

If enough people are interested, the meeting could take place using Skype, so that typing doesn't slow things down, as well as on some network drawing software that Kidd Cabbage demonstrated to me two weeks ago. The purpose of the meeting would be to come to a final decision on as many issues as possible so that the final design can be implemented quickly. Vile, for example, might want to attend to make sure that his ideas about compos are included, and Rama has incredible artwork in his latest image. Kidd Cabbage will probably want to show up just so that retroactive experience isn't lost in the transition

Since the end layout seems to be pretty similar across all designs, it would probably be relatively easy to modify the CSS file on the Dev server in real time to view proposed changes during this meeting.

Is there any interest in attending?
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 03:13 PM
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OpenCanvas won't support that many users. It starts lagging out at 3, and I think that may be the maximum allowed anyway.
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Old Mar 15, 2010, 04:04 PM
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Well, in that case we can use VNC. My parents, who live near Philly, have a computer that has upstream of 10Mbps. That should be more than enough to support even 10 or 20 users at 32-bit resolution.

VNC will allow people to take control of Paint or the GIMP to show everyone else. A significant benefit is that it would be possible to open any application in addition to the drawing program.
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  #17  
Old Mar 17, 2010, 01:29 PM
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Default Review Dev site

Hi,

I'd like to ask people to review the Dev site at svillage.mine.nu now that I've completed almost all of the changes recommended in KiddCabbage's design diagram. All pages on the site should now be updated to this new template, including compo details, profile, and song details pages. Again, log in while using the site to see the changes in stats.

The one exception is that I have not implemented the separation of remixes and originals with different tabs and colors. Following the usual process of incremental improvement, I was going to propose working on those changes after these changes are released, since they are nearly separate. Also, song graphics are not available on the Dev server, but only because I didn't copy them from the backup to the webserver.

The site now works in all browsers.

There are a few ways you could vote. First, you could say that everything is trash and that a completely new design, discarding even KiddCabbage's template, is needed. You could say that the layout is fine but the colors and graphics are poor. Or, as I believe, you could say that there are a few mistakes here and there that need to be resolved in testing, but that the design fulfills all the requirements (except that one) set out in the initial problem description.

The biggest thing that bothers me is what to do about Rama's design, in that I like Rama's design a lot. He obviously spent a lot of time creating that image. The problem is that Rama's design came out late in the game, after a lot of the work was already done, and he's only available late at night, while I have to get to bed most days by 10:00pm EDT and am most readily available on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

While the site could still be changed to Rama's design, and while I appreciate his help, I wonder whether whether the current design should be refined and tested instead. Rama's design is very image-heavy, meaning that he or someone else would have to create these images, a skill that I don't have. He might not be willing to do that and it would take a significant amount of time. I think that, in the end, either design would probably be accepted by an equal number of people, even if individual people might prefer one over the other.

Comments?
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Old Mar 18, 2010, 07:53 AM
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ohai guyz

i seen da forumz post n i wuz bord so i did this lol

http://dougarley.com/design/remixSit...OfConcept.html

Really though, I didn't even know if I could actually pull off that mockup, apparently I can.

Rounded Corners Test here:
http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/boxTest2.html

Better idea of what they're doing here:
http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/boxTest.html

Images used are all here:
http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/img/

The only thing that's missing is a super snazzy image for the header and the footer. I imagine something akin to the spinny measure thing that you use now, but changed. If someone can link me a big (1000x1000?) version of it, or something close to that, I could make it work. I'd just be damned if I want to try to recreate something similiar when it already exists.

You snazzy table/DIV table thing would have to be restyled too, obviously. To make the colors match really well, I could've ripped the guts out of it and recolored it myself but that would've been a LOT of work, so screw that for now.

There's probably some explaining required here but I'm drawing a blank.

I stick to my comment from my mockup about "members" thing: Members is MEMBER FUNCTIONS, Profiles is MEMBER PROFILES. That could be a bit awkward and at the very least is counter-intuitive. In my opinion, member functions should be moved to the little "you're logged in as..." block or, at the very least, hidden from the navigation unless you actually ARE logged in.

Oh, and if you're renaming the site "Game Remix" is pretty much not the greatest name ever. remixSite was a WAY better choice than that, which is why I used it in my proof of concept.

Just my 2 cents.

Total project time: 7 hours. Not bad.

Time 4 sleep. /afk

Edit: All kinds of weird errors in IE (duh) that I'll iron out lat0r. Should work fine in everything else.
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Last edited by sgtrama; Mar 18, 2010 at 08:18 AM.
  #19  
Old Mar 18, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Pretty good, Rama.

I feel the "all-time" stats should just be removed. Who cares how many views and downloads the site has except for the person running it?

Also, with those stats out of the way, the text describing the site can be condensed into a much thinner bar.
  #20  
Old Mar 18, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrama View Post
ohai guyz

i seen da forumz post n i wuz bord so i did this lol

http://dougarley.com/design/remixSit...OfConcept.html

Really though, I didn't even know if I could actually pull off that mockup, apparently I can.

Rounded Corners Test here:
http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/boxTest2.html

Better idea of what they're doing here:
http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/boxTest.html

Images used are all here:
http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/img/

The only thing that's missing is a super snazzy image for the header and the footer. I imagine something akin to the spinny measure thing that you use now, but changed. If someone can link me a big (1000x1000?) version of it, or something close to that, I could make it work. I'd just be damned if I want to try to recreate something similiar when it already exists.

You snazzy table/DIV table thing would have to be restyled too, obviously. To make the colors match really well, I could've ripped the guts out of it and recolored it myself but that would've been a LOT of work, so screw that for now.

There's probably some explaining required here but I'm drawing a blank.

I stick to my comment from my mockup about "members" thing: Members is MEMBER FUNCTIONS, Profiles is MEMBER PROFILES. That could be a bit awkward and at the very least is counter-intuitive. In my opinion, member functions should be moved to the little "you're logged in as..." block or, at the very least, hidden from the navigation unless you actually ARE logged in.

Oh, and if you're renaming the site "Game Remix" is pretty much not the greatest name ever. remixSite was a WAY better choice than that, which is why I used it in my proof of concept.

Just my 2 cents.

Total project time: 7 hours. Not bad.

Time 4 sleep. /afk

Edit: All kinds of weird errors in IE (duh) that I'll iron out lat0r. Should work fine in everything else.
Wow, that is impressive. As you said, Not bad.

A few comments:
  1. I agree with you on the issue of "members." I plan to remove that when the member isn't logged in. When a member is logged in, I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with that situation.
  2. It's interesting you comment on the name, because if you look at the Shizz history from a year ago, most criticism focused on how horrible the name is. I want to thank you for proving my point that [b]change is the significant problem when it comes to site design, not the design itself.[b] Look at the brouhaha at Overclocked ReMix when they removed the sidebar.
  3. That said, there is something to the idea that remixSite is a more unique name, and I agree with you. Despite that, I think we should still go with Game Remixes because it's easy to underestimate the effect that the gameremixes.com domain name is going to have on search engine rankings. "remixSite" will never top out in the rankings, but gameremixes.com could eventually because gameremixes.com is more logical than ocremix.org for people to start at when looking for game remixes.
  4. The image is located at svillage.mine.nu/images/circlenotext.png. A scalable vector graphics image is also available; let me know if anyone wants it.
  5. The table design definitely needs to be modified, but be warned that I was not the one who originally designed the CSS for those tables and I don't know how they work inside. This is something that's going to need to be done for sure.
  6. This design is so good that I see only two major suggestions for improvement. First, I think that the One Miguel Shaded font should be used, sparingly, to provide the site with a distinct identity. Second, the gradients in the content area of the boxes seem to be too great - the blue-to-black is noticeable. Perhaps it might be better to reduce the range of the gradient in these areas to be more subtle?

I'm going to make a complete copy of the Dev site, and create a working version of it with your design. That should only take a few hours.

We need the input of more people on this. There were 38 absolute unique visitors yesterday who went by the site; yet, only two people have offered their opinions since I posted the nearly-finished design. There needs to be ten or more opinions, from which the best or each is taken, in order to get a really great result.
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Last edited by quintin3265; Mar 18, 2010 at 11:05 AM.
  #21  
Old Mar 18, 2010, 08:59 PM
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I'm in the second category. I like the layout decently (I still think the 'about the site' block is too petty for center page - if you want to keep it, but it below the discussions box or something), but I much prefer the graphics that Rama made. And I still think that scratch font has got to go.

Also, the dev environment doesn't work on Chrome fully. The header box extends far to the right, the font doesn't load, and the menu bar is too huge.


Edit:
OH GOD and the song view page doesn't work well in Chrome. Get this big orange table in the listen box like
( ! ) Warning: filesize() [function.filesize]: stat failed for D:\Webserver\remixsite\web\uploads\songs\211-v1-quintin3265-asdf.mp3 in D:\Webserver\remixsite\apps\frontend\modules\song\ templates\detailsSuccess.php on line 276
Call Stack
# Time Memory Function Location
1 0.0003 316240 {main}( ) ..\index.php:0
2 0.1390 5824408 sfContext->dispatch( ) ..\index.php:13
3 0.1390 5824440 sfFrontWebController->dispatch( ) ..\sfContext.class.php:170
4 0.1394 5843544 sfController->forward( ) ..\sfFrontWebController.class.php:48
5 0.1586 6876184 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfController.class.php:235
6 0.1587 6876216 sfRenderingFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
7 0.1588 6876216 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfRenderingFilter.class.php:33
8 0.1589 6876216 rememberMeFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
9 0.1589 6876312 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\rememberMeFilter.class.php:23
10 0.1590 6876312 sfGoogleAnalyticsFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
11 0.1629 7294104 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfGoogleAnalyticsFilter.class.php:45
12 0.1631 7294104 sfCommonFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
13 0.1631 7294104 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfCommonFilter.class.php:29
14 0.1632 7294104 sfValidationExecutionFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
15 1.0200 17684288 sfValidationExecutionFilter->handleView( ) ..\sfValidationExecutionFilter.class.php:56
16 1.0200 17684288 sfValidationExecutionFilter->executeView( ) ..\sfValidationExecutionFilter.class.php:209
17 1.0262 17835384 sfPHPView->render( ) ..\sfValidationExecutionFilter.class.php:248
18 1.0268 17835640 sfPHPView->renderFile( ) ..\sfPHPView.class.php:185
19 1.0368 18594568 require( 'D:\Webserver\remixsite\apps\frontend\modules\song \templates\detailsSuccess.php' ) ..\sfPHPView.class.php:81
20 1.1037 21742520 filesize ( ) ..\detailsSuccess.php:276
  #22  
Old Mar 19, 2010, 06:18 AM
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First, as a side note, that issue with the huge orange box should be ignored. It exists because the song files don't exist on the Dev server. It's attempting to find the filesize of the files, which fails with a "file not found" error. When it's moved to the production server, those boxes will disappear. To provide some test cases where the box doesn't appear, any song written by you is now present on the Dev server. At some point, I'll get the backup and extract it there so that the boxes go away for all songs.

On to the more important point: I think the font is the one remaining major point of disagreement between everyone (other than which of the two designs should ultimately be chosen). Hopefully, some other people will chime in on whether the One Miguel Shaded font should be used in either design while I work on the mockup with Rama's design.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidd Cabbage View Post
I'm in the second category. I like the layout decently (I still think the 'about the site' block is too petty for center page - if you want to keep it, but it below the discussions box or something), but I much prefer the graphics that Rama made. And I still think that scratch font has got to go.

Also, the dev environment doesn't work on Chrome fully. The header box extends far to the right, the font doesn't load, and the menu bar is too huge.


Edit:
OH GOD and the song view page doesn't work well in Chrome. Get this big orange table in the listen box like
( ! ) Warning: filesize() [function.filesize]: stat failed for D:\Webserver\remixsite\web\uploads\songs\211-v1-quintin3265-asdf.mp3 in D:\Webserver\remixsite\apps\frontend\modules\song\ templates\detailsSuccess.php on line 276
Call Stack
# Time Memory Function Location
1 0.0003 316240 {main}( ) ..\index.php:0
2 0.1390 5824408 sfContext->dispatch( ) ..\index.php:13
3 0.1390 5824440 sfFrontWebController->dispatch( ) ..\sfContext.class.php:170
4 0.1394 5843544 sfController->forward( ) ..\sfFrontWebController.class.php:48
5 0.1586 6876184 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfController.class.php:235
6 0.1587 6876216 sfRenderingFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
7 0.1588 6876216 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfRenderingFilter.class.php:33
8 0.1589 6876216 rememberMeFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
9 0.1589 6876312 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\rememberMeFilter.class.php:23
10 0.1590 6876312 sfGoogleAnalyticsFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
11 0.1629 7294104 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfGoogleAnalyticsFilter.class.php:45
12 0.1631 7294104 sfCommonFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
13 0.1631 7294104 sfFilterChain->execute( ) ..\sfCommonFilter.class.php:29
14 0.1632 7294104 sfValidationExecutionFilter->execute( ) ..\sfFilterChain.class.php:53
15 1.0200 17684288 sfValidationExecutionFilter->handleView( ) ..\sfValidationExecutionFilter.class.php:56
16 1.0200 17684288 sfValidationExecutionFilter->executeView( ) ..\sfValidationExecutionFilter.class.php:209
17 1.0262 17835384 sfPHPView->render( ) ..\sfValidationExecutionFilter.class.php:248
18 1.0268 17835640 sfPHPView->renderFile( ) ..\sfPHPView.class.php:185
19 1.0368 18594568 require( 'D:\Webserver\remixsite\apps\frontend\modules\song \templates\detailsSuccess.php' ) ..\sfPHPView.class.php:81
20 1.1037 21742520 filesize ( ) ..\detailsSuccess.php:276
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  #23  
Old Mar 19, 2010, 06:55 PM
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So I'm pretty around 90% done with ironing out the IE issues. Most of them stem from the fact that IE ignores both width: 100% and min-height in CSS, both of which are easy fixes. Only problem now seems to be with the search bar, which I'm still working on.

New Preview here: http://dougarley.com/design/remixSit...OfConcept.html
Changes have been comitted do a CSS file: http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/style.css
IE fixes have their own CSS file: http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/iestyle.css

As you can see from the background images in the header and footer that the image you gave me didn't scale well at all, and I DO need a higher resolution. SVG version would probably be preferred.

As far as the gradients go, they are intentionally "brighter" to give the design more contrast and make the rounded corners "pop" a bit more when compared to the background. They also mimic a sort of "lighting" effect similar to what you see here, without the gloss. In any case it's pretty much a random number that "felt right" to me, and I'm open to suggestion. I'll make a few variations so we can decide what looks best, but I highly suggest a good level of contrast.

As far as the logo goes, I completely agree that you need to find something that gives remixSite/GameRemixes/whatever a distinct look. This can come from a font, and I think it would be better to use something a big flashier than Verdana or Tahoma, but I do not think that Miguel properly fits the design I did. I think that design calls for a cleaner, sans serif font. If we can get away with doing it with a pre-loaded, but less used font, then great, if not...well we can figure something out, image based.

Here are some system fonts (Century Gothic being what I used in the image mock up, Verdana being used in the HTML mockup, but with CSS letter-spacing):
remixSite (Arial)
remixSite (Century Gothic)
remixSite (Lucida Sans)
remixSite (Trebuchet)
remixSite (Verdana)


gameRemixes (Arial)
gameRemixes (Century Gothic)
gameRemixes (Lucida Sans)
gameRemixes (Trebuchet)
gameRemixes (Verdana)


My design is based off the first design from the initial post, and we could try to find THAT font (it looks pretty common, but I can't place my finger on it. Possibly Lucida Sans) else I recommend looking here: http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=501 And for clarification: My main beefs with the Miguel font are readability and the roughness of it. For a more grungy design, similar to ReMix:ThaSauce, it could work, but for a clean design, it's not ideal.

Which leads me to my next suggestion: More so than a font, what's really going to make the site stand out is a symbol. Symbols transcend language, and are more easily identifiable. ReMix:ThaSauce has the big red R, OCReMix has it's headphones and controllers, VGMix has it's VM logo that VGMix X hasn't really implemented, Google has the G, McDonald's has the arches, Pepsi has the ball, etc etc etc etc. Pretty much everything you can think of has a "symbol." The site right now is using the swirly notes, which I like, and implemented in my design, but it really gets lost when scaled smaller than 200-300px which becomes a problem. When I was trying to make the site icons for R:TS I had a really big problem with remixsite. Anyway, I don't really have an idea of where you could start, but I'd ask around for suggestions. I think something like this would really help a lot. As I said before, symbols transcend language, and to explain what kind of impact that has: 1/3 of ReMix:ThaSauce's traffic is strictly Japanese language speaking (which is why I link the Japanese Google Translation on every page). They rely primarily on pictures to help them navigate around (as I've learned from Japanese blog posts). This also means you may consider trying to grab different images from vgmdb is availible because, in my experience, the images themselves don't really portray what the source is very well.

Finally as far as the name change goes, if you really feel it's necessary, than by all means go for it, but while "Game Remixes" is pretty literal it is, in my eyes anyway, the worst "name" for a website I've ever heard. Theoretically with a name/domain like that you could get to the top of the google listing by relevancy, but in practice it'd never work. OverClocked ReMix has existed for over 10 years, it has over 2,000 in-links (which is the MOST important thing), including high-profile sites like Wikipedia and slashDot, and lesser known sites like kotaku and Destructoid. The only way you'll be able to top them in the Google listings would be if they somehow disapeared from the internet and you somehow got SUPER popular on your own. VGMusic doesn't even fare that well, and they've been around for even longer. "News.com" (albeit redirecting to CNET) doesn't exactly top Google either. What you're going to have to deal with is that one day you'll probably be on page 1, and that's going to have to be enough. There's only so much SEO you can do.

WHICH, I don't know about you, but Google amounts to practically none of my traffic. All my traffic comes from either: RSS, Twitter via RSS, Facebook via RSS, or word of mouth via OverClocked ReMix. The fact of the matter is you are supplementary to a long-standing community, or small collection of communities. Anyone looking for video game remixes is going to find OverClocked ReMix first, everytime, and will branch out from there. Most of them won't look past the first Google link, SOME may, eventually. So anyway, maybe your numbers are different, and SEO is definitely something to consider, you have to consider branding for the long run. A "distinct" domain name, over something that "extremely literal" would be a much better idea in the long run.
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Last edited by sgtrama; Mar 19, 2010 at 07:02 PM.
  #24  
Old Mar 19, 2010, 07:38 PM
Omnomnomnom Omnomnomnom is offline
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I rather like the look of sgtrama's site. It's nice. very nice. The colours I mean. Both are welcomming but the appearance alone wins on sgtrama's. More professional. Functunality wise... I like the idea. It's pretty perfect (for now, all we need is something that's good enough for now. The current designs do that). Most importantly, you can see the whole page at once and know where you want to go. This is a little clearer in Sgtrama's colour scheme.

What mainly bothers me about both, is the actual "RemixSite" or "Game Remixes" header. THAT, more than anything needs the effort of design. As SG was saying, the site needs an identifiable logo. And this site is definitely missing that.

Maybe, if anything, we should have a comp about that? Many are artists of more than one field here. Would be nice to do something more inclusive for everyone. Also, there's no money involved, only motivation.
  #25  
Old Mar 19, 2010, 08:01 PM
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For the purposes of gauging public opinion, I asked my brother to view both sites before telling him which version was designed by whom. He preferred my version, because he believes that dark-on-light is annoying to read, compared to light-on-dark websites. He expressed a similar opinion about the VGMdb site. He did not mention the font, and when specifically asked, he said he didn't notice it at all as a positive or a negative.

I'll read Rama's post in detail tomorrow morning and comment on it.
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  #26  
Old Mar 20, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrama View Post
So I'm pretty around 90% done with ironing out the IE issues. Most of them stem from the fact that IE ignores both width: 100% and min-height in CSS, both of which are easy fixes. Only problem now seems to be with the search bar, which I'm still working on.

New Preview here: http://dougarley.com/design/remixSit...OfConcept.html
Changes have been comitted do a CSS file: http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/style.css
IE fixes have their own CSS file: http://dougarley.com/design/remixSite/iestyle.css

As you can see from the background images in the header and footer that the image you gave me didn't scale well at all, and I DO need a higher resolution. SVG version would probably be preferred.

As far as the gradients go, they are intentionally "brighter" to give the design more contrast and make the rounded corners "pop" a bit more when compared to the background. They also mimic a sort of "lighting" effect similar to what you see here, without the gloss. In any case it's pretty much a random number that "felt right" to me, and I'm open to suggestion. I'll make a few variations so we can decide what looks best, but I highly suggest a good level of contrast.

As far as the logo goes, I completely agree that you need to find something that gives remixSite/GameRemixes/whatever a distinct look. This can come from a font, and I think it would be better to use something a big flashier than Verdana or Tahoma, but I do not think that Miguel properly fits the design I did. I think that design calls for a cleaner, sans serif font. If we can get away with doing it with a pre-loaded, but less used font, then great, if not...well we can figure something out, image based.

Here are some system fonts (Century Gothic being what I used in the image mock up, Verdana being used in the HTML mockup, but with CSS letter-spacing):
remixSite (Arial)
remixSite (Century Gothic)
remixSite (Lucida Sans)
remixSite (Trebuchet)
remixSite (Verdana)


gameRemixes (Arial)
gameRemixes (Century Gothic)
gameRemixes (Lucida Sans)
gameRemixes (Trebuchet)
gameRemixes (Verdana)


My design is based off the first design from the initial post, and we could try to find THAT font (it looks pretty common, but I can't place my finger on it. Possibly Lucida Sans) else I recommend looking here: http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=501 And for clarification: My main beefs with the Miguel font are readability and the roughness of it. For a more grungy design, similar to ReMix:ThaSauce, it could work, but for a clean design, it's not ideal.

Which leads me to my next suggestion: More so than a font, what's really going to make the site stand out is a symbol. Symbols transcend language, and are more easily identifiable. ReMix:ThaSauce has the big red R, OCReMix has it's headphones and controllers, VGMix has it's VM logo that VGMix X hasn't really implemented, Google has the G, McDonald's has the arches, Pepsi has the ball, etc etc etc etc. Pretty much everything you can think of has a "symbol." The site right now is using the swirly notes, which I like, and implemented in my design, but it really gets lost when scaled smaller than 200-300px which becomes a problem. When I was trying to make the site icons for R:TS I had a really big problem with remixsite. Anyway, I don't really have an idea of where you could start, but I'd ask around for suggestions. I think something like this would really help a lot. As I said before, symbols transcend language, and to explain what kind of impact that has: 1/3 of ReMix:ThaSauce's traffic is strictly Japanese language speaking (which is why I link the Japanese Google Translation on every page). They rely primarily on pictures to help them navigate around (as I've learned from Japanese blog posts). This also means you may consider trying to grab different images from vgmdb is availible because, in my experience, the images themselves don't really portray what the source is very well.

Finally as far as the name change goes, if you really feel it's necessary, than by all means go for it, but while "Game Remixes" is pretty literal it is, in my eyes anyway, the worst "name" for a website I've ever heard. Theoretically with a name/domain like that you could get to the top of the google listing by relevancy, but in practice it'd never work. OverClocked ReMix has existed for over 10 years, it has over 2,000 in-links (which is the MOST important thing), including high-profile sites like Wikipedia and slashDot, and lesser known sites like kotaku and Destructoid. The only way you'll be able to top them in the Google listings would be if they somehow disapeared from the internet and you somehow got SUPER popular on your own. VGMusic doesn't even fare that well, and they've been around for even longer. "News.com" (albeit redirecting to CNET) doesn't exactly top Google either. What you're going to have to deal with is that one day you'll probably be on page 1, and that's going to have to be enough. There's only so much SEO you can do.

WHICH, I don't know about you, but Google amounts to practically none of my traffic. All my traffic comes from either: RSS, Twitter via RSS, Facebook via RSS, or word of mouth via OverClocked ReMix. The fact of the matter is you are supplementary to a long-standing community, or small collection of communities. Anyone looking for video game remixes is going to find OverClocked ReMix first, everytime, and will branch out from there. Most of them won't look past the first Google link, SOME may, eventually. So anyway, maybe your numbers are different, and SEO is definitely something to consider, you have to consider branding for the long run. A "distinct" domain name, over something that "extremely literal" would be a much better idea in the long run.
OK, now that I've eaten breakfast I can offer my comments here.

First, I think the idea of a symbol is a great one. Perhaps a way to get around the notes being too small is to reduce the number of notes in the small symbol. If there were only a few notes, instead of the 20 or more that are in the current circle when it's large, it would be a recognizable symbol and allow for greater detail in large form.

I don't think we should write off the idea of this site competing with Overclocked ReMix at some point, whether it be next month or in years. The reason is that the argument you gave is fallacious. While it is true that VGMusic is listed lower than Overclocked is, VGMusic was around for many years before Overclocked was. In fact, it was undoubtedly the first video game music site around. To state that Overclocked ReMix can't be toppled simply because it has been around is untrue, because it's already happened before. For whatever reason, Overclocked ReMix was perceived as a better place than VGMusic was, and people started using it. If Game Remixes is ever perceived as a better place than Overclocked ReMix, then I have no doubt that Overclocked ReMix will become less popular. As Liontamer himself claimed, success is not guaranteed.

On to the traffic statistics. About one third of visits come through links people post at the Overclocked ReMix forums. 18.38% of visits originate through links at the VGMdb. 17.58% input the URL directly into the browser. 13.93% is search engine traffic; 5.18% is from metroidmetal.com, and 4.69% from the press release site prlog.org. Another 5% comes from Dwelling of Duels, remix.thasauce.net, and a number of other sites. Facebook is not a significant contributor to traffic (1%).

There's also the question of what traffic is most valuable. The people who originate from the press release sites are the most valuable; they stay at the site for an average of 9 minutes. People from Google are the second most valuable at 5:32, with Dwelling of Duels at 5:29, and Overclocked ReMix at 3:39. For search keywords, "Jamison Randall" tops the list with an average time per visitor at a huge 14 minutes, "carolina heridia" second, various topics related to symfony third, and the newcomer "video game music remixes" at fourth. All searches for "video game music remixes" have come within the past ten days, and that's because I've systematically changed the site to use those words more and more. The search engine optimization techniques are working.
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  #27  
Old Mar 20, 2010, 07:21 AM
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quintin3265 quintin3265 is offline
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Hi,

After much thought, I had a make a difficult decision this morning. For a while, we've been working on two designs, but it wasn't until recently that I determined how hard it would be to implement Rama's design into the existing site. I estimate it would take 30 hours to get Rama's design working, when the other design is very close to being finished.

Also, everybody I've talked to in person has expressed concern about the black-on-white rendering of text in Rama's design. They love his design and think that it looks great, but the black on white is a fundamental issue that has been proven in studies to reduce accessibility. With these two considerations in mind, I think that we have to proceed starting from the design at svillage.mine.nu.

That doesn't mean in any way that we should ignore all of Rama's ideas, nor does it mean that Rama's design is poor. On the contrary, it's incredible. If he had presented the design a month earlier, this decision would never have had to been made.

To thank Rama for all his efforts, I'd like to offer him 100 experience points that he can use to promote his songs or sites. I'd also like to retain a link to thasauce.net at the bottom of Game Remixes, and offer to change the text of the link to whatever else (to anything else than "video game music remixes") he wants so that he can increase his search engine rankings for his desired keywords. Finally, I'd like to ask if he would allow his design to remain public for commercial websites I'm working on, with him receiving a commission for his services, perhaps $50, each time someone purchases a website.

Hopefully, people will understand the need for consolidation of effort. I incorporated almost all of the changes that were suggested by everyone and put them up at svillage.mine.nu. Firefox only, for now. I'm not going to list everything here because you can go see them for yourself.

If you click on an original song, you'll notice that I've started changing the colors on the resulting page to differentiate originals from remixes. There's still a lot to go with that, so I ask you to withhold judgment on the original song pages for now.

If Rama is still interested, and I can understand completely if he is not, I'd like to ask him if he'd design the symbol he offered to design. I agree with him that the symbol doesn't really fit the design and that there are too many notes to make it look good when it's smaller.

Keep the suggestions and comments coming, and I hope that everyone can agree that regardless of what comes out of this redesign, the result will be far better than the original.
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  #28  
Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:23 AM
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OK, I pushed what's done so far live. The reason for putting it out while it's half done is that even half done, it's better than what was there before. The reason for doing so today is that I needed time to set up the domain redirection for the new address, and if I did it during the week, it's possible that the change could not go according to plan and I'd run out of time to fix it for a day or two.

Frequent visitors may need to clear their caches. People who don't know to clear their caches will see some visual problems until a week from now, until their caches expire.

Please continue to provide suggestions. There's still a lot to be done, and I still want Rama's input with graphics, if he's still willing to provide it. I'll be working on providing him with experience, as well as calculating the retroactive experience, next weekend.
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  #29  
Old Mar 23, 2010, 12:41 AM
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My response to everything mentioned above can pretty much be summed up in the phrase: "Yea sure, no problem."

However I will say that while I'm willing to design a symbol/logo, but I wouldn't rely on me solely. I'll see what I can do, but that doesn't mean I'll be able to produce anything D:
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  #30  
Old Mar 23, 2010, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrama View Post
My response to everything mentioned above can pretty much be summed up in the phrase: "Yea sure, no problem."

However I will say that while I'm willing to design a symbol/logo, but I wouldn't rely on me solely. I'll see what I can do, but that doesn't mean I'll be able to produce anything D:
I'm thoroughly impressed with this post. I had thought that you would get extremely mad and that you wouldn't want anything to do with the site ever again. It certainly would have been understandable if you did. I apologize again for having to come to a decision, and by the way I just added the experience points to your account. Since Kidd Cabbage is only bidding 0.01 points/day for his promotions, you should easily be able to outbid him on song promotion (for now, at least).

If you don't want to come up with a new logo, or want to help in some other way, the other thing that needs immediate attention are the song images. You can see these images by clicking on any song, scrolling down a little, and clicking on the "song image" link. They are designed to be placed in forum signatures, and have the old site's design. I don't have any preferred design; you can have full latitude to design them however you'd like. You can change anything you want: the dimensions of the image, the size of the elements, the information contained within the image, and so on. Almost anything the site calculates can be included in these images - data like experience points, ratings, VGMdb images, profile images, and so on. You can ask other people for advice or give it a go yourself. The single limiting criteria is that the image must be smaller than 250px in height, because that's the limit for Overclocked ReMix's forum signatures.

The only thing that's different about these images is that rather than delivering a finished image, you need to deliver an algorithm to create the image, because thousands of these are generated every day. I'm not asking for code; just a series of steps of how to create them, as well as any images or font files you used. I'll translate the steps into code. Here's an example:

1. Size the image at 500x150
2. Add the background image I created, X.png
3. Add the number of song views at 14pt using the Calibri font at coordinates 50, 50
4. Using the Ank* font, write "game remixes" in #ff3d66 in 20pt at 5, 5
5. Get the VGMdb influence album cover, size it 60x60, and position it at 100,100
6. Add X instances of the image I created, Y.png, to underline the number of song views
7. and so on

This information should be easy to obtain if you design the sample image in the GIMP or Photoshop, because everything is considered a separate object. Simply write down the order in which you do things. You can have another 50 experience points for designing the song images that if you're interested.
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Last edited by quintin3265; Mar 23, 2010 at 06:42 AM.
 

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