Site Makeover

We gave the site a much-needed makeover, both to make it more aesthetically appealing as well as more functional. It sets the UI groundwork for a forthcoming wave of features by giving us a roomy right sidebar area for contextual controls and help.

While there are several dozen minor changes, the most immediately apparent are:

  • Sidebar is now on the right, and wider
  • The common starting money and library tasks are merged into one “Report” box
  • The site font is bigger
  • Links are purple, not green
  • “Your Account” tab is replaced by an “Account” link next to your name

Here’s a sketch of the kind of thinking that goes into such a redesign. It should be pointed out that this is Chuck’s best possible handwriting. His high school history teacher once remarked that “my german shephard has better penmanship than Chuck.”

redesign.jpg

16 Responses to “Site Makeover”

  1. Moof Says:

    It looks good. Haven’t played around with it much yet, but I’ve noticed a major bug: The dates are *still* US-Centric.

    Can I add a plea again for all us Europeans stuck having to explain to the less worldy around us what a US date is and why it is so (and, incidentally, garnering you a lot of Bad Word Of Mouth, if nothing else as people who fit the internationally-insensitive american stereotype, which I don’t think you guys are) to please get a date format option? Pretty Pretty Pretty Please?

    It’s cherry season here in Spain now…

  2. Vinod Says:

    nicely done dude.. I like it.

  3. Adam Doupe Says:

    I’d change the links to regular blue. I think it’s less confusing, but other than that I’m digging the new UI/look. Congrats on a great service.

  4. tadzys Says:

    Why sidebar was moved to the right???? At the moment i have about 10 other applications running on my desktop and all have their sidebars on the left…

  5. Keith Says:

    Love Billmonk, like the new UI, but…. the link colours purple? Why!!! It makes me think that I have clicked every link on the page, as the default visited link colour for most browsers (as I’m sure you know) is, well, purple! Please reconsider??!!

  6. Jim Says:

    I like the layout, but frankly, the color scheme… not so much. I’m really not feeling the purple.

  7. billmonk Says:

    Tadzys – there’s a preference option in “your account” that lets you toggle whether you want the sidebar on the left or right side.

    In an ideal world, we’d actually want two sidebars, the left for contextual controls, the right for non-contexual actions and information. But we just don’t have the screen real estate for both, without shrinking fonts and squishing things. And trying to read tables of financial data in small fonts is not much fun.

    Why is it on the right side by default? Left sidebars are the convention in desktop apps and older websites. The problem with left sidebars are that your eye often tends to hit them before the content, which can be a problem if the content is more important than the sidebar. Basecamp, Flickr, and a bunch of other more recent web apps are putting controls on the right side for this reason. However, it’s up to you.

  8. Andy Says:

    One more vote for blue links instead of purple. Purple should be visited as is the default in most browsers.

  9. Eric Says:

    I’ve got to add my voice to chorus… I don’t find the purple links pleasing. They blend into the orange background too much.

  10. billmonk Says:

    Blue it is! 0x0000ff looks pretty awful, so it’ll be a a slightly navy blue.

  11. Nori Says:

    “‘Fewer’ bar colors”! Chuck, I love you.🙂

  12. Eric Says:

    I agree. I preferred the sidebar on the left.

  13. Keith Says:

    Thanks for switching the links to blue. Checked back this morning and was much easier on the eye.

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