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  1. Mikari
    June 14, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

    I remember the mystery menus! 😀 I’m into the artistic side of things so I love it when I find them though they’re not as common these days. I was never bothered by the lack of labels since I could still tell what was what based on the url on the bottom bar upon hovering, which seemed to be an automatic feature of most (all?) browsers.

    Ironically, I don’t recall actually using the menu where the figures blend into the pic despite it being my fav to find on other sites. I think I used the poetic menu once, though the words stood out as clearly being the navi, so it didn’t feel like it was integrated enough, which probably made it “easier” but still not quite the pretty navi I wish I could make.

    I also once used circles, though they were labeled even before hovering. Overall I guess I’m not really into navis that stand out too much. That’s the good thing about those top navi bars, they’re easy to spot and not too fancy, but they don’t feel like they “interrupt” they layout, though spotting it with ease doesn’t give any particular satisfaction because who wouldn’t be able to do so? I also haven’t really used those much, except on business web-design where being obvious is a necessity, since its about getting as many visitors as possible and getting to info you need fast.

    Right now only one of my sites is a multi pager, as the others are more so single page portal style, and it has all the pages linked in the same place since its small enough to only be one section. Maybe subconsciously my love for layout variety and dislike for big “invasive” navis made me separate stuff rather then making it into subsections of the same site? Maybe XD

    I know animations are way easier when you don’t need to take the navi into account. I guess it depends on your aim, like you mentioned, some are about art, others functionality. Some are about making something they and their fellow designers can enjoy and be amused by, even if the less knowledgeable about the web don’t get it. Different goals and target audience.

    I don’t know where the different network name thing started. I think it’s amusing. I’ve seen some that match and some that don’t, but I guess there must be a story behind them. For a little while I joined in, though after I got a domain I just used the domain name. Before that it was the Digital Colors Network because of my love for digital art, the site itself was hosted on the subdomain mikari.piratesboard.net and was titled Fantasy Bit both tie into the theme of art and technology but I wasn’t really trying to tie them to each other, I was tying them to me. These names are often not about the site, but about the owner and the variety may indicative of the designer having varied interests.

    I’ve since lost interest in long titles and just call the whole site AzureLight.net but I get why it’s fun to come up with the network names. I think the reason why I dropped mine is because it matched and I got bored of it. A lot of the network names are random unrelated jokes and those are the ones I like best because they’re funny.

    I bookmark urls or use directories so I don’t really find myself trying to remember a url very often, but even then I’m used to network names being different. In fact, if they match, I might second guess myself thinking I’m remembering wrong. If they’re the same why even mention that it’s the “domain name network” the url already informed us of that.

    Remember “You / Me / Site”?

    The footer navi is often just browser functions so you don’t have to scroll to the top of the page. I don’t mind seeing them but don’t really use them when navigating except for clicking clear and I don’t include them on my own sites. Clear can also be Reset, basically it means to start over from the start. Since the others are just browser functions that I would have easy access to via keyboard shortcuts anyway

    I think they’re the same because it’s the same php footer. I only use site maps when on business sites to get to where I’m going fast and get stuff done and over with, but on fan sites even if there’s s map I don’t use it, since I rather explore the site seeing what it has as it comes. I’m there to be entertained and savor the visit, I like being a bit surprised by what I find, the opposite of business sites where I just want to get stuff done and get out.

    Mostly I design very differently in terms of business and fun because of “using” the site vs “admiring” or being “entertained” by the site. Though it is possible to pursue a balance, each point that goes to one leads away from the other (such as with “obvious” vs. “surprising” or “functional” vs “decorative”).

    A balance will capture a bigger audience, but it won’t push any boundaries on either side because it’s in the middle. It can still be innovative in terms of how these elements are combined, but it’s still neither “ultra functional” nor “super flashy” and sometimes the amusement of going to the extremes just to see how fancy something can be made is the whole reason why that particular thing was made.

    Thinking on it all the fan site community can be a bit meta with certain elements, which may seem a bit odd at a glance, but are totally amusing upon getting used to it. You go from not knowing what something is to being part of the group who knows and that initial not knowing can sometimes fuel curiosity and make you smile when you “get it,” or at least that’s what happened to me. Like the first time I saw “You / Me / Site” I was totally confused and thrilled to get to know this trend. Then it felt great to “get it.”

    A lot of this stuff is meant to be amusing or meta or decorative so keeping that in mind may make it easier to understand why it’s there. Although I think you understand this better than you give yourself credit for. I mean look at the notes on this blog.

    Often people use the comment numbers to list resources and references, stuff that those writing/reading the blog/article don’t want getting in the way, but you used this for additional comments, or commenting on your comments, which is another online trend. It’s not functional, since it would make more sense to display everything in context without clicking back and forth such as in parenthesis, but commenting on one’s comments is just funnier. I don’t know if you were doing it to be humorous or even ironic given the subject of the blog, but it’s entertaining. It gives the entry s touch of silliness which makes it more memorable.

    Good job with the links! I think the reason why the commenting on the comments trend isn’t as widely used as others is because too much scrolling can kill the jokes, so links are a must to preserve the “punchline.”

    Reply

  2. Adrianne
    June 14, 2016 @ 10:50 pm

    The little notes at the bottom of the entry are called “footnotes” or “endnotes” (like the ones we used to add when we’re writing those research essays back in school, etc.). I don’t know if I should call it a trend or not because I’ve seen it in a lot of content/text-heavy sites and blogs before, mostly for links/references. I use the footnotes/endnotes for both links/resources and for additional comments. If I keep on writing with all these additional comments on a statement I just wrote, it gets a lot crowded and redundant, and then I end up steering out of subject and into something else irrelevant. I’ve been using these for many years now on blogs, and it’s really helped me a lot. I’m also using WordPress for this site, so the footnotes/endnotes thing is actually a plugin. Very easy to use. It’s too bad it doesn’t work on the text boxes (like you see in my tutorials) because they’re generated by the theme framework builder, which isn’t compatible. How lame LOL. But I actually got the footnotes/endnotes idea from Vera (http://lianko.com/), who uses footnotes/endnotes a lot to post her sidenote sarcasm on her entries and I find them really hilarious. She hasn’t updated her site in years though. 🙁

    LOL I was going to write about the “You/Me/Site” or “Me/You/Site” nav trend back then but I decided to split the entry in a few parts. I’m saving that for the next part LOL. I see that a lot in personal blogs/sites though, not so much on collectives. I also got a few ideas for the TT (Throwback Thoughts) entries, such as talking about those website review sites, (anime/video game) graphics and resource sites, and even my take on “personal blogs that are way too personal.”

    Regarding the “prev/clear/next” issue, like you, I never use them. A lot of those fansites/shrines also used iFrames (I used iFrames too back in the day), and even with iFrames, I still see that javascript footer nav everywhere. I like exploring around, I never go to each section in order by the nav menu. Sometimes when I visit a site, I check out their links/exits section first LOL. Even today, I’m still not understanding what the Javascript nav’s purpose was for when they’re on static pages (ones that don’t often get updated compared to like the news/updates or blog section).

    I love one-page sites myself, although I only use them on sites that are appropriate. I like building my portfolio as a one-pager because I want everything on one page with just the user scrolling up and down and use lightbox on the portfolio section. I thought of having a blog section on my portfolio, but I figured that this site we’re on right now would be better suited for that purpose. I like yours (AzureLight.net), not just because of the animations and fanart, but because your content is just right there and direct to the point. I admit to you though, I can never do what you can do, especially when you almost put up a new layout almost every single week or two LOL. ^^

    Regarding the different domain/site names, there’s two reasons why I call LVI “The Let’s Volt IN! Network” even though it has the same URL. For one thing, I don’t have lets-voltin.net as a domain, but just lets-volt.in. I just added in the “network” just to let everyone know that it’s a network/collective LOL. Second reason is that I like to amuse myself with all of my sites. You know where I got this name “Ninpojineous” from? It’s a wordplay from the Japanese that’s supposed to be a synonym for a “ninja” (ninpo = another name for Ninjutsu, some say that Ninpo is a more formal name and Ninjutsu is just a branch of it). The term “ninja” has been (over)used a lot among webdev professionals so I thought that I’d make a parody of the term. (“ninpojin” could almost be equivalent to “ninja”) Anyway. ^^

    I try to have my site designs as balanced as possible, one part artistic, the other functional. I’m not really aiming to have a site that has the “most interactivity,” I’m out to build a site for everyone out there to come, visit, and enjoy. I know you do the same with yours. I can never get tired going to yours LOL. <3

    Reply

    • Mikari
      June 18, 2016 @ 9:25 pm

      I wouldn’t say every week lol XD I aim more so for every month, but the rotating layouts make it seem like I update super often. XD

      The ninja thing is neat! 😀

      Reply

      • Adrianne
        June 20, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

        Yep. I love the rotating layouts. I mean, I love a lot of CSS tricks and tips like the ones they show at Codrops, but the tricky part here is using them the right way. Before, I used to update my layouts every month, but bleh, I don’t have time anymore and it’s really hard to have inspiration to come by as of late without my layouts looking the same as the previous one if you know what I mean LOL.

        Reply

  3. Chisa
    June 23, 2016 @ 6:04 pm

    I’m finally commenting because I saw that anon comment from before, and I’ve been waiting for your response, because I was honestly curious how you’d address those legitimate arguments, considering you’ve got so much opinions and critiques of your own. Since you’ve deleted it, I guess you’re only interested in being “right” and not in engaging with anyone who disagrees with you. I guess you can consider it “offensive” if people respectfully disagree, but I think that’s rather cowardly of you. You say “Create because you love it without a care in the world. If you create because you love, why would you care what other ppl say?” but this entry seems to do the opposite. You’ve spent most of it telling people what’s considered a “fail” and how in your opinion, what steps should be taken to fix these. For someone who can dish a lot of criticism, you sure can’t take any. If you thought that anon comment was harsh, clearly you’ve never been “harassed” online. I’m sure you’ll consider this comment mean and harassing too, but I haven’t bashed you in anyway (and if you can’t see the difference, then you’re beyond help). I’m just disappointed you can’t take any legitimate disagreements without crying foul. I’m not sure why I (or anyone else) would continue to read your tutorials if you’re only using them as a vehicle to show off how knowledgeable and right you are, rather than in engaging the web community at large with a discussion you seem set on initiating.

    Reply

    • Mikari
      June 25, 2016 @ 9:14 pm

      I’m copying and pasting this comment as well with numbers and notes as with the previous one.

      QUOTE

      I’m finally commenting because I saw that anon comment from before, and I’ve been waiting for your response, [0] because I was honestly curious how you’d address those legitimate arguments, [1] considering you’ve got so much opinions and critiques of your own. Since you’ve deleted it, I guess you’re only interested in being “right” and not in engaging with anyone who disagrees with you. I guess you can consider it “offensive” if people respectfully disagree, [2] but I think that’s rather cowardly of you. [3] You say “Create because you love it without a care in the world. If you create because you love, why would you care what other ppl say?” but this entry seems to do the opposite. [4] You’ve spent most of it telling people what’s considered a “fail” and how in your opinion, [5] what steps should be taken to fix these. For someone who can dish a lot of criticism, you sure can’t take any. [6] If you thought that anon comment was harsh, clearly you’ve never been “harassed” online. I’m sure you’ll consider this comment mean and harassing too, but I haven’t bashed you in anyway (and if you can’t see the difference, then you’re beyond help). [7] I’m just disappointed you can’t take any legitimate disagreements without crying foul. [8] I’m not sure why I (or anyone else) would continue to read your tutorials [9] if you’re only using them as a vehicle to show off how knowledgeable [10] and right you are, rather than in engaging the web community at large with a discussion you seem set on initiating. [11]

      END QUOTE

      [0] So this is about some annon comment and not about the blog entry?

      [1] Rudely stated opinions which might have been easier to understand if they were polite disagreements.

      [2] The blog post respectfully disagrees, the commenter was insulting.

      [3] Another insult.

      [4] I also think people should create sites they love regardless of the opinion of others, including mine. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion, but that you are as free to ignore it as I am to state it.

      [5] Adri was talking about herself (as in failing to understand, rather than failing in general). Failure was not used to refer to other people.

      [6] Art/technology critiques and personal insults are different things.

      [7] Point it out, I don’t see it either. Give an example for comparison.

      [8] Isn’t this what you’re doing?

      [9] No one is forcing you to.

      [10] Aren’t tutorials about sharing knowledge?

      [11] I’ve been able to discuss this post just fine, see my comments and their replies. See how we don’t necessarily agree on everything, but we can talk about it without insults.

      Reply

  4. Mikari
    June 24, 2016 @ 8:15 pm

    For reference, I’m going to copy and paste, and add numbers [#] with my corresponding replies. The text between QUOTE and END QUOTE is not mine, it’s from a comment that was left on this blog anonymously.

    QUOTE

    I’m going to be real with you because I think you deserve the truth. I am not a member of this “somewhere else” (and it’s obvious who you’re referring to; NEVER mention this passive-aggressively because you are inciting drama) [0] you are speaking of, and my thoughts in no way speak for anyone else in the community, so I’m giving a fairly objective view of what I see from your post.

    “I know that some of you may feel offended, and like I said in the beginning, I’m not out there to offend anyone. After all, if I were to offend anyone, then I wouldn’t be giving out a few tips on remedying the issue.”

    That’s pretty much saying something around the lines of, “You’re being a real douchebag for not graciously accepting my help after I knocked you down a couple of pegs with some unwarranted comments.” If that isn’t the most condescending thought, I don’t know what is. [1]

    Some people make websites FOR FUN. They don’t necessarily care about reaching a wide audience (one of many reasons is because a lot of people are likely to discuss fandoms on social media). I think people who made those kinds of sites you pointed out are very much aware their websites aren’t “perfect.” The point? They don’t need you telling them that. It’s ridiculous you’re on your high horse acting like people who identify as AMATEURS AND HOBBYISTS are very inexperienced in their craft. [2]

    You’re being very authoritarian by approaching people with little complaints about their websites and urging them to change it to match YOUR standards. [3] This post was basically nothing but ridiculing people’s practices. [4] Sure, there are things we can do without and things we can change to make websites more, as you say, “user-friendly.” I remember seeing a lot of people wax poetic on their websites and remember going, “What the hell?” But those things are just little things and don’t impact the functionality of the website by a large margin. If people want to design websites for the sake of aesthetics, don’t harp on them. It’s like the arts vs. sciences debate; neither of them are problems. [5]

    Fandom communities suck [6] (which is partly why I don’t partake in them) but so is also being arrogant and condescending. Just like you are trying to “save” people through your advice, I’m also giving you advice. Red pill or blue pill? Your choice.

    END QUOTE

    [0] What then? Not mention places at all? Let them be untouchable and all critiques censored? Not mentioning names is a way to avoid drama, as people who think a certain place doesn’t fit the profile can assume that’s not the place mentioned or at least understand that the purpose is not to start an argument about it.

    [1] To me it sounds more like “here’s my advise, take it or leave it, it’s up to you.” There is no wrong answer to this, take it or leave it, but why be bothered by the fact it exists?

    [2] No one is forcing anyone to take the advice and no insults were given in the blog post.

    [3] A post in one’s own blog isn’t approaching anyone, a comment in someone else’s blog is.

    [4] Not understanding or even disliking something isn’t ridicule.

    [5] I lean towards the artistic side myself (just look at all the animations and effects on my sites) and I don’t find the post offensive.

    [6] Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it sucks. The “attitude” you seem to be complaining about isn’t something I perceive on the blog, but I see it clearly in this comment.

    Reply

  5. Megan
    June 27, 2016 @ 6:15 pm

    Just commenting to say that it’s very clear to me that you took a screenshot from my Talim tribute and put it online here. I was informed by one of my friends actually. I personally don’t mind that you aren’t a fan of what some people do on their tributes, but I think that it’s kind of uncalled for to use screenshots from MY hard work to talk down to a technique that you personally don’t like. Web design to me is about creativity and allowing my mind and my creativity to flow with the passions I love. I am NOT a professional, nor do I ever pretend to be one. I personally like having my footer with the “back . clear . forward” and NO its not saying that you need to read my site in any particular order. Most of my sites are NOT set up like that at all, but sometimes I want to go back and reread what I have read before the current page I am on, or go back to the home page, etc.

    Regardless, your opinions are your opinions, and because I am an open-minded person, I would never attack you for your opinions. However, next time you should ask me if you’d like to take a screenshot off of my tribute and attack it. Thanks a bunch! 🙂

    Reply

    • Adrianne
      June 27, 2016 @ 7:50 pm

      Thank you for visiting, Megan.

      First of all, I’ve searched around for screenshot examples from now non-existing sites via Wayback Machine because I was looking for screenshot examples from my old sites. Since I’m already there, I might as well look at other people’s now non-existing sites while I’m at it, just to avoid myself from getting the wrong impression that I’m attacking an existing specific site. Some of those sites were linked to my old sites too. I simply took a random site and just took a screenshot of it and not take down the name of the site where I got the screenshot from. The only ones that I referenced are from my old sites. There are a lot of these sites (shrines, fansites, any other type of site) with those same wordings, colors, the way the text was displayed, etc. I don’t know how you’re able to tell that it’s yours because I can’t (I rarely visit other people’s shrines, collectives, etc. nowadays). It can be coincidental that it’s similar to yours or otherwise, but then again, it’s hard to prove (to anyone that is) whether the screenshot is coming from your site or somewhere else. All I know is, there are A LOT of sites/shrines/fansites with footers like that: black background, (dark) pink text, spaced out letters, and periods to separate each word from one another, it’s a very common feature. It’d be nice to ask first before you start pointing fingers (like some commenters here as of late…).

      If I were going to take a screenshot example from a currently existing site, it’s only respectful to ask permission, but like I said, this was a screenshot from a now non-existing site. If I don’t get a reply or have a “no” for an answer, I just simply move on and go somewhere else. As far as taking that screenshot, I didn’t even look at the site’s name or the old URL. I was just looking for one particular feature, take a screenshot of it, and cropped it to focus on that one feature instead of drawing an arrow to it.

      But, going on the subject, I only question to myself why people do these types of practices because they are very common and are in (almost) every single shrine/fansite that I visit. I’m not telling everybody what to do and what not to do, I mean we’re all open to creating anything with however we want on things. I only question practices that are very common in the past and (on a few practices) still common today. Why do people do it? What’s the purpose? Someone explain to me. That kind of thing. I’m not saying that I don’t like that particular feature or that I’m talking down to it, I’m just saying that to me, it doesn’t serve much purpose for that in comparison to adding the same nav from the header to the footer (that includes the “Home” link).

      I hope this clarifies things for you.

      Reply

  6. [Throwback Thoughts] Fansite/shrine practices I (may have) fail(ed) to understand (Part 2) – The NINPOJineous
    June 27, 2016 @ 9:16 pm

    […] Awrighty, proceeding to Part 2 of my previous entry. […]

    Reply

  7. Lucien
    July 3, 2016 @ 3:53 am

    I completely agree with you on point I; it’s something I noticed as well, mainly reflected into premade layouts: I have quite a number of very old – some made like 5-10 years ago or even more – designs stored, and several of the oldest ones have the menu hidden under squares, circles, random words (not the common About, Network, Exit, etc.), or they have super-artistic image maps with links embedded. The more HTML and CSS evolved, the less common that kind of layout became; today no designer, not even total beginners (only nostalgic ones like me sometimes :p), will do that kind of menu…exactly because it’s considered old school, whereas a trend these days is for example dropdown menus – learned and copied from WordPress.
    That is something which makes you reflect on which evolution web design will take in the future, how will it evolve.

    Point II actually made me laugh: I’ve seen lots of sites with urls and names…who seemingly want to imitate Beatles songs – whose titles had often nothing to do with the lyrics – but almost always with ghastly results; better leave that to the Fab 4. xD

    As for point III, I’ve always gone with “About ‘me’ (implicitly)”; I don’t know why, but about is a word meant mainly for people – talk about yourself and such – rather than subjects. Because of that, I’ve always found a bit odd when it’s used to indicate the site info section; that is my very personal opinion, so I understand if some find my reasoning weird.

    The javascript footer menu, to conclude, has never made sense to me: people will always use their browser’s back and forward buttons to move between pages, and you can put a link to your index page in the main navigation; nobody will use the javascript links on bottom, why put them? They’re useless don’t even make a cool-looking footer.

    Reply

    • Adrianne
      July 4, 2016 @ 3:23 pm

      That’s also a disadvantage to many of those free graphics/resources sites. It’s good that the owners behind those sites have the drive and time to build more layouts, but the disadvantage of them is that when things advance as time goes (ie. responsive web design, deprecated code, etc. etc.), they remain untouched, fending for the site creator to “fix” the core codes by themselves. But for me though, there’s nothing wrong with those trends still being used today; the problem is trying to understand why they’re added on sites in the first place while someone like me is trying to figure out what their purpose was (if I can’t find any purpose for them being there on first sight).

      For your point III, there’s also “About Me, About Site,” etc. etc., but for convenience, I just put everything in “About” with some subsections/submenus underneath. I’ve always thought that first and foremost, the “About” section would be the site itself. After all, you’ve built that site about a particular subject, a particular interest, that’s not necessarily all about you. Most sites/shrines with an “About” section (that is, not using “Site” as one of the sections) would talk about the site itself in their “About” section, and very little to talk about themselves. After all, the site is about that particular subject, not about you. You understand?

      The javascript footer menu would only work on dynamic-ish sites, like blogs or site updates (since they’ll be occupied with dates, times posted, etc.) and that they will take up a few pages or more once more posts start to appear on that section, for example. When I use graphic menu items on the main menu, I rewrite those same menu items at the bottom in text format, in case the server goes slow and then people would be seeing broken images on the main menu items, at least they have the text menu of the same items at the footer to go to. With just a javascript footer like that, it won’t work. Lately though, because of CSS3 and that we now have the ability to use any custom font without the use of graphics, I shouldn’t be putting text versions of the menu at the footer anymore, but that habit still hasn’t disappeared just yet. ^^

      Reply

  8. Pim
    July 18, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

    I remember the you/me/site nav lals as well and that was like in the old days. With my past sites my nav labels were way different than that.

    The footer nav previous/top/forward people used as well in the old days but I never bothered with it since people can just scroll up/down and just use the forward/backward nav on their browser. In my opinion it just seems easier that way.

    Reply

    • Adrianne
      July 18, 2016 @ 12:54 pm

      People still use the footer thing today, but that’s what I’m also pointing out. One thing, if you use graphics as your main navigation on the top, and if your server goes down, leaving only broken images there, there can be a secondary menu at the bottom using text links of the same menu as the graphic ones instead of using “forward/backward”. I can understand “Top” (since it scrolls up back to the top of your site), but forward or backward, especially if they’re not blogs or some kind of dynamic sites, have no clear purpose in my opinion. Oh well.

      Reply

    • Mikari
      July 18, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

      I find the browser buttons to be easier to use too, and there’s also keyboard shortcuts. XD

      Reply

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