An Aside – New Look for Listless Ink

Twenty Ten Theme Header Listless Ink

Recently I have been reading a lot about design theories. Having always had an interest in graphics and art, my current fascination is in web design. This may seem hypocritical considering I am blogging on wordpress.com, arguably one of the most restrictive hosting and blogging platform around in terms of design capabilities. With limited customization and themes, most wordpress.com blogs seem to look the same. Of course, when I first started blogging, this was a major concern. I self-hosted and created my own layout. However, soon afterwards, I realized that I lack both coding skills and sufficient knowledge about SEO. Eventually, I switched over to wordpress.com and let the free host worry about most of that. I used a theme that allows some color scheme variations and a customized header.

Twenty Ten Theme Background Listless Ink

A much more powerful theme became available a few days ago. It allowed blogs to have even more individuality (albeit still limited relative to self-hosted blogs). So I opened up Photoshop and Illustrator, read a bunch of notable websites on design, and had a blast.

Twenty Ten Theme Sidebar Listless Ink

Besides the decorative changes, there are also many significant functional changes. The sidebar has now been cleared up to include only the more important stuff for new readers: subscription buttons, simple navigation, and popular posts.

Twenty Ten Theme Footer Listless Ink

The nitty gritty stuff and widgets for returning regulars and interested new readers have all been moved to the footer. It is now a vibrant place for in depth exploration into this blog, the author, and outside links.

Twenty Ten Theme Asides Listless Ink

One other really curious function is the aside. On the front page, the less important aside posts have a simplified look that fit between full-length posts. These posts have a condensed look so they will not detract new audience from the meat of the blog on the home page… hopefully. They also allow me to post shorter and less polished posts more frequently. This post is an aside.

I hope you like this new look. Please let me know if something does not jive well.

And I apologize if I flooded your subscriptions with updates because of these changes.

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56 Responses to An Aside – New Look for Listless Ink

  1. mefloraine says:

    Just 29! It looks good though. I’ve never seen a footer used this well before.

  2. Persocom says:

    Really digging the new look ^^ I’ve been wanting to change my look for quite some time as well, but I don’t know where to begin really.

    • Yi says:

      @Persocom: I’m glad you dig it! Anyways, I have it easier when changing looks, since there are only so many options on wordpress.com. Not too much I have to think about.

  3. Ryan A says:

    Aw I like it, and nice bg. The aside concept is good, I have a feeling bloggers consider this on and off, but most are not comfortable with it. There’s nothing wrong with asides imo, it’s collateral content, just like microblogs, except they’re part of the content here.🙂

    Navigation is nice, footer as well… I think you could use some extra white space in the footer, but I don’t have any good articles about that… maybe Gargron can stop by and leave some links🙂

    Cheers!

    • Yi says:

      @Ryan A: I put a lot of thought into the aside thing. I’m still not sure how best to use it, or if I’ll even keep them around. But the microblogging aspect is the reason I’m testing it out.

      Thanks for the suggestions about the footer. I guess it feels a little too crowded and busy. I’ll try my best to space that out… (Although with no CSS upgrade, I’m not sure if I can. :()
      Thank you for the comment.

      Cheers. ^ ^

  4. Kabitzin says:

    Very nice, I see the twenty ten theme really offers some nice options with the customizable background. It really gives the illusion of a lot more customization, and it doesn’t look like twenty ten out of the box at all. Did you make the background and header? They look nice and really match your blog’s motiff.

    • Yi says:

      @Kabitzin: Thank you so much for the kind encouragement. I did make the background and the header and I’m really happy you thought they match.
      Twenty Ten is pretty powerful indeed but if I had the coding skills, I would prefer to be able to make my own layout, or at least get the CSS upgrade.
      I really do envy people who have those skills (like you). ^ ^

  5. Hey, nice. Stuff is organized pretty neatly and I’d say it’s a good improvement in terms of getting the attention of new readers while allowing those of us familiar with Listless to look around to the bottom for the older stuff. Really awesome how you managed to balance the footer so that it looks fairly even while remaining relevant.

    • Yi says:

      @zzeroparticle: “getting the attention of new readers while allowing those of us familiar with Listless to look around to the bottom for the older stuff.”
      That was my first priority so I’m really happy that it came out decent.

  6. Nopy says:

    I like the changes, especially to the footer. It really makes it easier to navigate to another page after reading an article.

  7. kluxorious says:

    this makes me want to have a new layout too. basically it’s another boring day at office >_>

    Sorry if I don’t comment much on your blog Yi but I am not tolerance to yuri =\

    • Yi says:

      @kluxorious: Good luck at work! I hope you made it through the day.
      Don’t worry too much about commenting. I post a lot of yuri so I understand if you’re not interested. It’s the same with me and mecha + old school anime + gar gar stuff. I can never really read too many entries on those.

  8. Shinra says:

    Nice Change on ur Blog!!!😄 Its more easier than last time but i still need some time to get use on it…XD
    I still haven’t gotten use to ur new blog so i’ll try hard on getting use to it ^^

    And the new background….totally speechless, awesomely GREAT!!!! >w< b
    As a Graphic Designer, i can giv a to ur blog!!! ^^
    (tho i think the bottom part, u have to use diff backgrounds on some sections like Recent Post or Recent comments, cuz its kinda hard to focus on wat u r reading.)

    For the others, i can say its ok, only the bottom part. (bkground too awesome!!)
    Gambate Fighto!!!😄 Can't wait to c ur new blog!!

    • Yi says:

      @Shinra: I’m still trying to get used it too, especially the font size and line spacing. I hope you get used to it!
      Thank you so much for the compliments!
      The footer area could definitely still use improvement. Your comment goes a bit along with what Ryan A. posted earlier. It’s hard to focus because it’s a bit too busy. I will need to figure out a way to change this despite the limitations of wordpress.
      Thanks for the comment.

  9. Swordwind says:

    Looks nice. You even get some added utility in that the ‘recent comment’ section is expanded now.

    You probably should be a bit nicer to poor wordpress, though.

    • Yi says:

      @Swordwind: WordPress does a lot of things very well, but in terms of customization, I think blogspot and tumblr offer better options. I still really like wordpress though because it makes blogging much easier for me.

  10. glothelegend says:

    I love the new theme. I wish I could have a theme that covers my wants and needs. All I want is to have a three column theme with a black background, customizable header, plugins, and the ability to change the color and style of the font.

    Eye Sedso is one of the most unorganized places on the internet, although that’s actually a good reflection of the author, aka me, who is very unorganized….well, I should say I’m not neat, but in my own way I am organized. Like, I can tell you right now that where anything is in my room, even if my room does look like an angry bear found it’s way in here, but then immediately got lost amidst the piles of crap, had to use his iphone to find a way out, only to realize that AT& T doesn’t get service at my house, which caused him to go on a rampage, thus destroying the organization of my room farther. I’ll clean it when school’s out.

    That comment’s what you call, “going off on a random tangent.”

    • Guy says:

      You can pay for CSS Modification, though you might need someone to help you with modifying an existing theme.

    • Yi says:

      @glothelegend: Haha, you do seem like the type of person who is disorganized on the surface but in reality keeps a mind out for everything. Well, I hope you eventually find a theme that works for you. ^ ^

      @Guy: I’ve actually thought about getting CSS a long time ago, until I realized that I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

  11. Guy says:

    Interesting. Some thoughts:
    1. While I too sometimes have posts I “worry” about posting, in the end, if I’m willing to post it, then it’s important enough to be read, IMO. Do the “Asides” get the automatic split for “Read more” without you having to do anything?
    I’m not fond of them all having the same header, though it might help returning readers to quickly identify them. It might be better to get the term “An Aside” on the art.

    2. I finally thought of some use for footer-widgets, and I usually detest it: To put all the stuff that must be on my site, but I dislike actually having on my site😉 I still feel it somewhat clutters the site when people reach the bottom of a page, but reducing the length of the sidebar is a form of organization.

    3. I’m a big believer of “Recent Comments” as deserving a place of honour at the right, even if less than the number of comments you have. I’d also prefer “Recent posts” over “popular posts”, heck, need to make the new posts popular too!😀

    4. Hm, the “Background image”, is there a way to make it stretch/repeat? The fact it only shows at the top and then it’s blank all the way down is a bit unfortunate. Perhaps to have it not move so you always see it at the same position on your screen? I guess this might be a limitation of the theme, might be worth asking for the feature on the forum.

    5. I always try to get the “pages” both at the top and the side, they’re mui important!😉

    6. Looks good, and congrats on the facelift! Sorry if I’m a bit too opinionated on someone else’s blog… heh.

    • Yi says:

      @Guy: 1. A very valid point. I’m still not set on asides as of yet. They don’t get the automatic split with “read more” and they actually don’t come with a set header. It’s just coincidence that the two recent asides, I used the similar images as an opening to the post. They’re treated mostly the same as a normal post, except that they are condensed and lack post title on the front page.

      2. My logic on footers and sidebar is that if a reader is new, I’d want her to concentrate on the posts. And if she’s interested enough to reach the bottom of the site, there’s further more in depth navigation available then. As it seems though, my footer might be a bit too overwhelming. Ryan A and Shinra also felt this way.
      Anyways, kind of unrelated, but according to one article I read on design, a new trend for 2010-2011 is oversized footers among other things.

      3. 5. That’s a good point. I will need to think more about where to put those.

      4. It’s a limitation of the theme. I could use a really large background image to stretch all the way through, but that would make loading time so much greater. I already use images that are too large in the posts.
      Also, the bg is actually repeatable.
      I actually rather like the fade out too.

      6. Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate them.

  12. Baka-Raptor says:

    I’d be to give you a copy of my design template if you’d like.

    • Yi says:

      @Baka-Raptor: I would love it, except wordpress won’t be able to take it. It’s a good thing though because I don’t think anyone other than you can rock the minimalist gar theme.

  13. Hi.. I like your new theme and changes esp on the footer.
    It makes me easy to drive to other pages after finish reading an article.

    Nice one!

  14. 2DT says:

    I did get a flood of entries from you on Reader, actually. But that was very interesting, seeing the way you wrote before you became “Yi, all-purpose cultural yuri blogger.” 😉

    • Guy says:

      This explains why when I changed the theme on another of my blogs it re-tweeted the entries from it… interesting.

    • Yi says:

      @2DT: Ahhhh… I feel so embarrassed now about those older entries showing up on people’s readers. Most of them were from back when I didn’t really care about how I wrote. (There weren’t many readers anyways).
      Well, I hope it was at least somewhat interesting to look at the differences between the past and present.

      @Guy: I recategorized a lot of older posts too, so I think might have been a trigger.

  15. Ningyo says:

    Ahah, really neat and organized! And I mean really neat and organized o.o
    A dexterous balance between aesthetics and readability. I see you’ve put a lot of thought into it, mm. To the point of diminishing aside posts… Impressive. Looks like I’ll need to start up the idea grinder (copying ideas) for myself…

    I’ve a soft spot for background images that fade off near the header – Lily Glass Cradle’s first build used to look like that, believe it or not.
    http://badenbadenlily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/LGC.bmp
    I still can’t look at it without saying what the hell.

    • Yi says:

      @Ningyo: The aside was actually what prompted me to make the switch. It’s such a great idea that I really wanted to try them out. At the very least, posts such as this one won’t be too distracting for new visitors.

      I love fading backgrounds too! This time though, it’s as much for my tastes as it is necessary to work within the confines of wordpress.com.

      I actually kind of like the image you used! Very pretty. ^ ^

  16. Fabrice says:

    Wow, very nice i must admit o.o
    love the footer.

    • Yi says:

      @Fabrice: Thanks! There’s still room for improvement in the footer, but I’m really happy you thought the theme was nice. ^ ^

  17. Canne says:

    Now I wish I had more time. I’ve been planning to change my theme for a while after a flood of new themes were released.
    I love your new theme, of course. It’s new but is still the same you🙂

    • Yi says:

      @Canne: “I love your new theme, of course. It’s new but is still the same you ”
      I really like pastel colors and soft themes, and I was too lazy to make a new header, so I guess it still retains some familiar elements.

  18. Love the new theme Yi!!!!! I tried experimenting with a few new themes that Word Press recently released, but there weren’t any that match my style. Hopefully Word Press will come up with an interesting theme that I can incorporate into AFC.

    • Yi says:

      @Andrew L. Budny: I hope that wordpress eventually comes out with something for you too.
      Anyways, I’m glad you like it. ^ ^

  19. Raph says:

    I really love the new look! It’s a lot of fun and seems very unique to me. Great job.😀

  20. pur says:

    tank you,for your info..

  21. Reltair says:

    Lovely new blog design. It feels very vibrant with the background images and the ink splatters that are on top of both the central section and the background.

    I haven’t worked with hosting at WordPress.com before, so I don’t have much to comment on that. It’s really a pity though if they don’t let you modify the CSS. :O

    I was planning to switch to a new theme soon myself and your excellent layout is inspiring. I especially like how you moved some widgets to the footer to clear out the sidebar. Good job!

    • Yi says:

      @Reltair: WordPress.com allows CSS customization of existing themes with some paid upgrades. I wouldn’t know what to do with it though.

      Anyways, thank you for the lovely words. They make me really happy!

  22. Shin says:

    Gayest theme ever. And by gay, I meant yuri.

  23. Ninjovee says:

    Lovely new theme! I’m just lazy to make customizations but I would’ve gone a similar route had I known the flexibility of the new themes sooner.

    I agree about the fadeout of the background to white. It’s kind of off-putting since you won’t see a separation between the background and the area of the post. Especially if the post becomes as long as this page because of the comments.

    You can work around this though… If you have the option to change the background color to something else, you can fade the background image you have to that color instead of white. =D

    • Yi says:

      @Ninjovee: Thanks for the suggestion on the fade out to white! That’s something I definitely have to take care of. ^ ^

  24. softz says:

    It’s fresh and nice! Footer is great too. I want to update my footer too (guess I need more time)🙂

  25. Yeah, I noticed WordPress seems to be a bit difficult to adjust. It does have much more default templates than Blogger. I’m still (trying to, but failing in) constructing more things for my blog, but so busy lately that I could barely do one post and then I get burned out about doing other things.

    I kinda miss seeing all the four girls together on top, lol, but I guess it’s good to have those updates out of the way. I almost don’t remember what your last layout looked like, hahaha. It worked out quite well😀

    • Yi says:

      @lightningsabre: Thanks! I kind of missed all the chibi girls too at one place, but…😦

    • Guy says:

      Blogger allows you to change everything, but it also requires more knowledge and work on your end, but also seems to be more blocky, because you’re mostly working within a frame-work…

      it is there for those who really want to monetize their blogs with ads and such though…

      I also miss the chibis in one place😉

      • Yi says:

        @Guy: I see. I actually tried blogger before wordpress, but I had little idea about how to make it work well for me.

        • Guy says:

          Well… there was one additional thing there. Blogger really used to suck with being offline and not having many options in early 07, then I moved my competitive story RPG blog to wordpress, that even though it had a lot less gadgets than it has now, was WAY ahead of Blogger.

          Only everyone departing it did finally cause blogspot to take its head out of its ass..

        • Yi says:

          @Guy: Interesting. Other than the limited theme options, wordpress.com really does all the background stuff pretty well, so I’m glad I switched.

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