MiniBlog…. and is this design working for you?

April 11th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science | 24 Comments »

Let me introduce you to the MiniBlog on your right: quick links to interesting stuff, science vids, academic articles (apologies on behalf of the closed journals if you don’t have a login), cartoons, badscience-related news stories too lame to actually write about, and stuff. You can subscribe to it as an rss feed here, and look back at the archive (I’ve been doing it on and off for a while) here.

To give it fair space I had to do a quick redesign to three columns, and I just wondered if my rather rushed and amateurish trial and error attempts had basically worked? If not, are you a, er, wordpress genius? Big redesign to accommodate a mass of material to go with the book etc is coming in however many months, this is a holding pattern to deal with the fact that there’s so much content on the site now. And let me remind you of the existence of the forums while we’re here.

If you like what I do, and you want me to do more, you can: buy my books Bad Science and Bad Pharma, give them to your friends, put them on your reading list, employ me to do a talk, or tweet this article to your friends. Thanks! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

24 Responses

  1. Ben Goldacre said,

    April 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    incidentally, the theme is taken from here:

    i had to do some messing about to the the numbers to show up properly in the categories to the left, if anyone knows how to make the “underline” disappear and have the boxes light up nicely like on the original that would be ace.

    unless the whole thing just doesnt work on some browsers, in which case it’s back to the old theme until the redesign..

  2. coracle said,

    April 11, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Like the new style, miniblog is pretty nifty idea.

  3. blchrist said,

    April 11, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Try adding this to your css (works for me in Firefox):

    .subnav li a {
    text-decoration: none;
    .subnav li:hover {
    background: #9C997C;

  4. Tom P said,

    April 11, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    It’s hard to tell, but I think it is changing the text colour on hover… just going from a very very dark grey to black, while the background gets lighter, so it looks like it’s staying the same.

    To clarify, I think Ben wants the whole box to light up on hover, rather than just the immediate background to the category link. Is that right? If it is, i think adding in blchrist’s

    .subnav li:hover {
    background: #9C997C;

    should do that.

  5. Andrew Taylor said,

    April 11, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    There are two links to at the bottom left, too.

    I like the miniblog. But then, I like anything with xkcd in it.

  6. Will said,

    April 11, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    I hate to be the bad ass, but I was rather attached to the old design… perhaps I just don’t like change (why I still have my dressing gown from when I was fifteen – more of a towelling shirt than gown now). I do, however, like the miniblog!

  7. Robert Carnegie said,

    April 11, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Text here is now invisible in the Opera Web browser (v9.10 on Win XP) with graphics-loading set optional. Of course any browser not from Bill Gates is a minority, and in Opera a simple keystroke decolourises your page (or loads the graphical elements and makes text visible), and broadband is cheap, I just haven’t got around to it yet. But it’s still a drag. Sorry.

    Did we know that [The Daily Show] was going to redecorate their studio? I’m not delighted but what the heck.

  8. mottainai said,

    April 12, 2007 at 2:04 am

    Like the colours and banner, but smaller font not comfortable to read without the half-moons. Colour-blind people may have problems with the orange text on gray. Useful Website design bullet points at back of this article:

  9. Ben Goldacre said,

    April 12, 2007 at 3:11 am

    thanks for all this everyone, really appreciated. the whole box on the left lights up, but only the text works as link, any of you voodooists know a way to make the whole box work as a link for each category?

    there’s obviously something about the white background for the middle column which doesnt work on some weird browsers, eg neil desperandum above. that would be great to fix, similarly, beyond my trial-and-error skills…

    ps i just won the keyboard neil gaiman wrote sandman on in the Open Rights Group Raffle

    “now i have reclaimed all my objects of power” etc etc etc.

  10. Idolator said,

    April 12, 2007 at 7:37 am

    The search box in the upper left is too wide, and the text takes up less than a third the width of my screen. Also, this text box I’m typing in right now is a whopping 40 characters wide, which is, er, tiny.

    Could you perhaps make the page width adjustable?

    Here’s a screen of what I get, scaled down.

  11. hairnet said,

    April 12, 2007 at 7:50 am

    Purely from an aesthetic point of view i preferred the dark blue and purple (i think), the content selection is good, the general design needs to be fine tuned i think..

  12. notzed said,

    April 12, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Any chance of having it resize better? i.e. narrower on smaller screens, and wider on bigger screens? Even on my ‘tiny’ 1024×768 laptop there’s a lot of wasted space. And the narrowness makes it difficult to read the main text.

    (I override the text to be bigger, so it is easier to read, and that exacerbates the problem)

  13. Ben Goldacre said,

    April 12, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    yeah i get that, anyone know how to fix it?

  14. davidoc said,

    April 12, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Not that I’m not working hard today or anything, but I’ve put up some versions of the header image tinted green, orange and a mixture of the two at

  15. pseudomonas said,

    April 12, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    The text and commentbox flows off the bottom of the pale grey area on many pages, including the front page at the moment.

  16. evidencebasedeating said,

    April 12, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    No. It definitely not working for me! the red text-on-black on the right reminds me of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ posters. and the grey background on the left linkbar diminishes the text.
    Preferred the one ‘earlier in the day’ – why not dark text on PALE grey background, and yellow/light coloured text on right toolbar.
    for newbie browsers the site has lost some of its impact ‘WOW’ factor….

  17. Spencer said,

    April 12, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    You do know that top miniblog story (outsourcing prayers) is a hoax, I hope!

  18. MJ Simpson said,

    April 13, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Red text, on any background, is a no-no for those of us who are RG colourblind. It always looks like it’s in 3D and is really tiring to read. I know this is orangey-red, but it’s still not good.

  19. oneiros said,

    April 13, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    “ps i just won the keyboard neil gaiman wrote sandman on in the Open Rights Group Raffle”

    Oh, man…

    /dies of envy

  20. BobP said,

    April 13, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    I know a good website designer, but you’d have to pay her.

  21. CarlH said,

    April 13, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Pink, purple, orange, grey/green is making my head swim. Although it is rather late on a Friday night as well…

  22. Ben Goldacre said,

    April 14, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    don’t know how to do that andrew.

    anyone know how to make the comment box bigger? or is it good to have it small, stop trolls wittering on?

  23. fontwell said,

    April 19, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Not sure if this has been covered already but the Books section is now a bit of a mess due to the narrowness of the middle panel.

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