Tag Archives: design

Nabatea – Innerscape book 3 cover

Still heaps of work to do, but I’m kind of pleased how this last cover turned out. Again, it’s still a mockup but I’d appreciate some feedback. Too bold? Too hard to see? Too something else??

I really need fresh eyes so please tell me if you notice something wrong. I also need to know whether the three covers provide enough visual continuity to make it obvious this is a series?

In particular, should I change no.1 to be more like 2 and 3 in terms of the circuit board wires and size of title?

Thanks 🙂

Meeks

p.s. no.2 will actually be darker in the finished version.


Space age living

I came across this article in Quartz just now, and the video clip literally blew my mind:

Here in Australia we’re used to having so much space, it’s hard to believe that an apartment so tiny could be so much fun to live in – almost like an adult sized dollhouse, or perhaps a space capsule.

My favourite bit is the elevator cupboard in the kitchen. Imagine never having to bend or stretch again?

As for the cat facilities…what can I say? These architects have thought of absolutely everything, except perhaps the kitty litter. That was the one thing I didn’t see.

All in all, I would love to retire to one of these high tech apartments when I’m 90. Fun and function all in the one, small package.


A great new feature on Candy’s Monsters

Okay, I know I’m biased as my books feature on Candy’s new ‘Other Authors’ feature, but I honestly think it’s a great idea, implemented really well. And that ‘implemented really well’ part is super important because any feature that doesn’t work as advertised simply turns visitors off.

Those of you who have seen Candy’s website will know how delicious it is. The layout and graphics all work together to create a bold, yet ‘clean’ design with an enormous visual impact. It reminds me of the HBO production of Carnivale, which I also loved.

candys monsters site pic

Candy then works on that impact with her stories, which often have a twist at the end. Even when you’re expecting them, those twists always surprise!

So if you haven’t visited Candy’s Monsters, I really recommend that you do. And while you’re there, -cough- you might want to check out her ‘Bookstore’ where you’ll find that ‘Other Authors‘ feature I mentioned. -cough-

Happy Sunday morning,

Meeks


Open Letter to the WordPress.com Devs

As someone who has taught human beings for close to 40 years, I can tell you that one size will never fit all.

What that means for YOU is that the interface you create must always have ‘layers’ so it can cater to the abilities of all users – i.e. absolute beginners through to power users. At the moment it dumbs everything down in an attempt to suit absolute beginners.

Now I agree that pitching to the lowest common denominator is a nice idea, at least in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice because it ignores all those in the middle to high end of the bell curve. These users are not smarter than beginners, they have simply learned more, and put that learning to use. They have different needs.

Let me give you an example. When I started my blog on WordPress, everything was new and my first efforts were pretty basic. I knew how to setup my blog, write a blog post, publish it, and browse the Reader. That was about it. Well over 500 posts later, I need all the functionality of the existing dashboard to manage the sheer volume of pages and posts on my blog. Yet instead of giving me more tools, you’ve gone and hidden all the most powerful ones.

I haven’t been happy about these changes for quite some time, but I want this post to be more positive than negative so instead of whining, I’m going to make some common sense suggestions :

1. How about trusting your WordPress bloggers enough to ask them what they want and need? You know where we live – talk to us!

2. How about redesigning the interface so that new users are walked through the basic functions in a series of real time tutorials? The method works well in most MMOs and could work here.

3. How about accepting that all users are not the same, and giving those who want it, direct access to the dashboard. Perhaps you could have an ‘Advanced’ button up the top of the screen. Or even one called ‘Dashboard’. Wouldn’t that be radical?

4. Finally, how about giving your users the courtesy of some warning when you change things? For years now you’ve been treating us as conscripted beta-testers. We get no warning, we get no explanations and we get no apology when you inevitably get things wrong. At the very least, it would be nice to have the option of ‘opting out’.

I recognize that most of these suggestions will never see the light of day, but putting an ‘Advanced’ button within easy reach is such a small thing to ask for. Do you really care so little about what we think?

Yours most sincerely,

A.C. Flory


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