Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm.
Welcome To SplatF 3.0!
Less clutter, designed for mobile, and more room for creativity.
A few days ago, I decided that I couldn’t write another post for the existing SplatF — there were too many things bothering me about it. (That’s also the same reptile-brain malfunction that leads me to buy a new iPhone every year, I think.) So here we are: The second major revision to SplatF’s structure since launching in mid-2011.
- Less clutter. I’ve spaced things out a little more, deleted a lot, made the site’s navigation interface even smaller, and added more whitespace. Article text is generally bigger, and some posts (including this one) will now have HUGE headlines. The most important thing to me is a fun and pleasant experience for reading and writing this site, and I think this is an improvement.
- Designed for mobile. SplatF now uses a “responsive” layout, which basically means that you’ll see different/more/fewer things depending on how big your browser window is. My articles are great fodder for bathroom trips, boring meetings, and train rides, so I wanted a clean iPad and iPhone experience. There is some compromise, as in all areas of life, but I’m happy with the tradeoffs. (Btw, almost everything is now retina-tuned, too.)
- No more comments. More than a year after adding reader comments to SplatF, they’re going away. I was never happy with the quality and volume of conversation. Most posts attracted a few throwaway comments, and high-traffic posts filled up with lame arguments between people I don’t know or care about. (I’ll take much of the blame for being a hands-off, generally absent moderator.) The real SplatF community seems to be on Twitter, where I’m interacting with you all day via @FromeDome and @SplatF. I still want to include some element of participation on this site, but the standard “block-o-comments” at the bottom of an article doesn’t seem to be the right solution. So today, it’s gone. (Maybe Twitter should make something for this? Or is this what Branch is for? We’ll see.)
- New font: Avenir. The French word for “future”. I’ve been using it for a bunch of stuff at City Notes, and I really like it. You may recognize it as the font Apple is using more often in iOS, including Apple Maps. It’s modern with a sense of adventure — the spirit I’d like all my projects to have. (Webfonts by Fonts.com, btw.)
- Fewer sharing buttons. Today, we’re saying goodbye to Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Twitter is the only sharing button I’ve seen get any real usage on this site, and it makes sense: SplatF articles are typically tech- and news-focused, which is where Twitter shines above the rest. I hope to do more with LinkedIn — I’m impressed with its growth as a media brand, and I’m contributing some articles there — but the sharing button wasn’t earning its keep.
- New quote posts. You’ll see big quotes on the site now. The most interesting thing about business is the people involved, and I want to highlight that more often, starting with the smart and stupid things they say. (Add, subtract: I no longer have “link” posts, where the headline links directly to an article or website. I was rarely using them properly, and they were more trouble than they were worth to create, especially on my phone. You’ll just see more short posts from now on.)
- More room for creativity. As an independent publisher with limited technology resources, not much production time, and basically zero budget, it’s hard going beyond the template for most posts. At very least, this new look will support bigger and prettier photos. I hope to do more interesting things with it, too, as time and inspiration permit.
That’s enough for now. Let me know what you think. If something looks terrible, or is driving you crazy, I’ll try to fix it. There are still some things I need to add back — you may notice there’s no way to search the site right now, which a few people were actually doing — but I wanted to get this up first.
As always, thank you for reading.