I’ve started tinkering with the ToolGuyd theme and layout again, with the goal to 1) optimize things, 2) improve readability, and 3) improve access to prior content.
The benefit to building our own web layout and theme is that I have absolute control over every part, and can tweak things as needed for the best experience possible. The downside is that it takes time and effort to do all this.
Bye Bye Amazon Widget
Here’s the Amazon “ToolGuyd’s Top Tool Picks” widget, which I added site-wide a few years ago. I haven’t experimented with it much, and I have only updated it 8 times in… 5 years!! Has it been that long? Ouch.
See More ToolGuyd Top Tool Picks
I like the concept of posting a couple of new misc. tool recommendations every now and then. This placement appears on every post page, site-wide, for mobile and desktop users. I have not updated it very much over the years, but keep in mind that it’s viewed by new visitors and not just regulars.
To be frank, while it has earned revenue, it’s not enough to justify keeping it on the page.
I guess I could potentially fill the same space with higher-paying ads, but for now I’m removing it for a cleaner look.
I’m sure the Amazon ad unit would perform better if I let it show you Amazon-suggested products, but I like having as much control over what is displayed on ToolGuyd as possible. While hand-picked tool recommendations still seems like a good idea, I’m going to remove this ad widget, making some of the lower-on-the-page sections easier to reach.
Someone at an advertising company cold-called me last week, trying to convince me to fill up some of the whitespace on ToolGuyd pages with more ads. They provided me with an example website that has some of their ad units up, and I practically laughed at the low quality user experience.
Sure, I like revenue – who doesn’t – but I can think of 10 better content-related banners, link blocks, or other such features that I’d rather put in this space. So, it’s goodbye Amazon widget.
Changes to the Mobile Homepage
This brings me to the next change, which I’m not sure you guys will like or not. Shown here is what the mobile layout looked like.
I like the condensed nature of this layout, but it can be a little clunky to read the titles and the images are often small. The same images are also used by the back-end to create post link snippets, and the smaller image size was lacking in quality.
And this is what it looks like now.
The images are larger, and the title text is less squished up and hopefully easier to read.
You have to scroll more, but apps like Instagram and Google News have shown that full-width images are the norm now, expected, and even preferred.
I am also working on ideas for the front page, such as having different sections. Maybe the first x-number of posts will have a full-width image, and the next x-number of posts will have a smaller image and reduced-height image-headline block similar to before.
I dropped back the number of front-page items from 25 posts to 20. 25 is the typical holiday season setting, and 15 or 20 is the typical all-year-round setting.
I have been looking into potentially add a “load more” button to replace the “next page” feature. I don’t like infinite-scroll pages, and a “load more” would still give you access to lower-on-the-page resources and links of you need them.
But, let’s say you load 3 pages of new posts, click on a link, and then want to go back. Will it go back to where you were, or back to the homepage, requiring you to “load more” several times again to get back to where you were? Having pages isn’t as glamorous, but it works and provides good functionality. I have been spending time trying to make that appear a little cleaner-looking as well.
A Different Homepage or Post Page Experience?
The ToolGuyd.com homepage is frequented a LOT. Right now it’s simply a feed of all recent ToolGuyd posts.
Do you want more?
Larger mass media sites and national magazines tend to have very structured and categorized homepages, but they also have more daily content that needs to be organized.
The top menu used to be sufficient for branching off to different sections, but how many mobile users click a menu anymore vs. scrolling down? You might see some experimentation here in coming months.
Recent Comments Section
Do we still need a “recent comments” section on every page? I always find it convenient, but I’m on the homepage often when I’m working on the site. Most of those new comments are to recent posts.
For anyone that uses this, would you rather if there was a separate page on the ToolGuyd site where you can click to see a longer list of new comments?
There are ways to mesh the ToolGuyd forum and ToolGuyd blog comments together, but it’s not exactly easy. Honestly, I’d prefer to keep the two separate than to integrate them or use any other 3rd party service for blog comments.
The hard part is that I know how I use ToolGuyd, and I can add code to certain links to see if and what readers might click on or access, but it’s hard to make judgement calls that can impact the way you use the site.
Removing the Amazon ad widget feature is easy. Adding or removing from the desktop sidebar or lower mobile sections is a lot harder to justify.
Right now I won’t touch the “recent comments” section, but it’s something I’m considering.
Before anyone asks, I’m sorry but there’s still no secure way to allow for comments to be edited. Every now and then I look at plugins as well as 3rd party systems, but haven’t found anything good yet.
Subscription Pay Wall?
HA! Just kidding.
Sorry, I know – not funny.
Maybe I’ll create a “you have 999,999 more free articles left” pop-up for April Fools Day.
The smallest things require the most time.
I am *still* working to re-code the top of the mobile view to better lay out the ToolGuyd banner, menu, and search bar. Would ToolGuyd still be ToolGuyd without that backwards-held hammer logo? We might have to explore this at some point.
There are no shortcuts – updating the top of the site will require major coding work that I’ve kept putting it off. It seems minor to do, but will require major work. I’ll come back to it later.
There are also little things that modern page analyzers gripe about, such as adding fallback fonts. Apparently the entire desktop layout shifts around during loading, but I have not once seen this or been able to replicate it.
I really don’t want to ditch the desktop menu for a bigger slide-out mobile menu, but I do need to make some changes. Maybe it’s time I created more “hubs” to replace some of the expandable menus.
Right now we have:
- New Tools
- Hand Tools
- Power Tools
There are more frequently-updated sections that deserve easy-access as well, such as tool storage.
If I add more categories, it clutters things up. If I create some “hub” pages that are basically table of contents pages to lead you elsewhere, that’s one more click or tap to get you to what you’re looking for.
There’s a new paid service that claims to improve built-in search results. I might give a try, but it’ll take some research.
Small Icon Changes
I replaced small icons throughout the site for different graphics. It was a little (extremely) tricky, but everything should look about right. If you see anything out of place, please me know!
While it might not seem like a big deal, doing this allowed me to eliminate requests to a rather bloated icon/font file, which should help with loading speeds a little bit.
If you see something you don’t like, please let me know. If there’s a problem, please let me know. If there’s a feature you do want, please let me know.
For example, someone asked for “next post” and “previous post” headline title links to be added back a few years ago. Some of you are still clicking those links, and so I’ll keep them in, although I probably should give them “next post” and “previous post” labels so they’re not just floating post titles. You can see these just before the comments section on every post.
For those of you that prefer a condensed layout, what about:
On the left: Similar to before, but with time and category links stripped away.
On the right: Similar to before, but with time and category links stripped away, and also greater spacing with the horizontal bar removed.
In both, the headline title font size is also a little smaller. The images are a hair smaller as well.
There’s a complication with this, though, because the image sizes are still going to be large, but scaled down, so that they could be used in other parts of the site.
IF I do go in this direction, it will be after giving the full-width images a try for a little bit, or maybe some kind of half-and-half type of arrangement.
The search could be better. Sometimes I can’t find something I commented on so it would be easy to search my name to find it again. But you also don’t charge for this great site, so I cannot complain.
I agree- there have been times when I’ve been curious to see if there were follow up comments but had trouble finding my initial comment. Is there a way to subscribe to replies but not all comments? I may be wrong, but I feel like that used to be an option (?).
Unfortunately, not that I know of.
If you want to search your name, put “site:toolguyd.com yourname” into your favorite search engine.
A general advice blog would be nice. Sometimes I have a question and don’t feel right about crashing another topic. I know there’s lots of experts on here in all the trades…
With today’s gigantic smartphones like my 12 Pro Max, I hardly notice a difference between desktop and mobile.
If you’re tinkering with you’re site, a Hot Deals forum might be nice. I bet you’ll get a lot of referral sales too.
Just a DIY guy, but I stop by ToolGuyd every day on the mobile device. If an article attracts my attention, I read it all the way thru, including the comments. Won’t miss the Amazon widget. Like the bigger pics.
I’m not fond of the Amazon links of any sort on ToolGuyd… it doesn’t correct for Country outside of the USA. So, even if I was to buy through the link, you don’t get paid for it, like the disclaimer at the top says you can be.
I don’t want any links that promise to fund you, but can’t be used by anyone outside the USA. That’s a lot of lost revenue, as you have a global reader base.
Links to where something can be bought are fine, but if they’re promising an affiliate rebate or referral credit to you, it had better be able to work worldwide, or your revenues from that affiliation are possibly a good 60% lower than you’ve actually earned.
The Pentel incident? The Engineer Scissors? Do you realize you could have been ripped off by the affiliation not counting in Canada, despite a direct connection between you literally tempting me with these products, and me immediately buying them? It’s not right for you to do all that research, and reporting, on an article, have a promise to get a little skim off the top of the sale, and then lose that skim because of the nationality of the buyer. It makes me feel like I took money from you, and it literally takes money from you. Not a good deal to have with these “partners” on the site links.
I’ll think about it (again).
Amazon Canada cancelled our account due to disuse a few years ago. I registered again a few months ago. I tried just now and cannot sign in.
I added a Canada version of the deal widget here: https://toolguyd.com/amazon-coupons-deals/
This *should* work if you really want purchases credited to ToolGuyd: http://amazon.ca/?tag=toolguydca-20 But I can’t login – Amazon Canada says I don’t have any account there despite them still sending me newsletters and what-not, so who knows.
There are scripts that auto-detect user locations to serve up the regional Amazon affiliate link. But, it’s more bloat, and generally more hassle. Amazon Canada doesn’t have all the same listings as Amazon USA. So why slow down every page a little bit and add a lot of extra work?
In the past 30 days, we’ve served 10X more readers in the USA than in Canada.
I am okay “leaving money on the table” if it means a better user experience. Maybe I’ll take another look at the regionalizing code, I’ll have to see.
But your complain here isn’t “Amazon Canada links would be convenient for readers,” it’s “you should be getting more money out of my activities”?
My complaint is I’m okay not having ANY widget that promises you money for linking to them on each sale, but you NOT getting paid unless they’re in the USA.
I’m fine if Amazon widgets go away, or Toolnut widgets go away, or the Amazon Canada widget doesn’t work on the site, therefore goes away. I don’t feel comfortable following links to buy something, without you getting credit for that reference. Having a link showing me that places like Amazon USA, or any of the other stores you use for links for that matter, actually have the product in stock/the options for buying them.
Showing us the products… In The Marketplace, so to speak… I’m cool with. I can find equivalents here in Canada. If they’re promising you money for those links… I’m not THAT okay with it. I trust your knowledge, and this place has really helped me in some really rough times, and I genuinely feel guilty when I get a product you advertise, but you don’t get paid. But I WON’T feel guilty if all the USA-Exclusive widgets go away due to dragging down the site, or them not generating enough revenue to warrant their presence.
Maybe, instead of a Widget, you can ask for a world-wide code? When we go to check out, whatever the store is, we put that in the promotional code section, and it registers with them that we found products in our carts on ToolGuyd? I can probably do some of that inquiry for you if you’d like, asking Amazon up here if they can do that kind of thing, have them reach out to you?
By the way, if you’re getting 10X the traffic from the USA, compared to Canada? And you’re being literal there? That means you’re getting the same traffic. Canada does have 1/10th the population of the USA, despite our land mass being somewhere around 2% greater than the US. You’re effectively getting the same Traffic-per-Capita from both nations. (Which is a REALLY good sign you’re hitting your demographic on target!)
Just because you click a link, that’s not an automatic referral revenue guarantee anyway. There are cookie time-outs, and competition via Google, other websites, and also Amazon’s own browser plug-ins and what-not.
Honestly, don’t worry about it. I try to push affiliate revenue considerations to the furthest corners of my mind, and you should too.
Fwiw, I prefer the previous mobile design: more information at a glance. I don’t have a large phone, but I never found the small images or part width text difficult to read. I know lots of sites use full width, but to me, that is too much space for too little content. Thanks as always for your thoughtful approach to adds, links, and curation.
I have to agree with Adabhael that I liked the previous site look and feel more. I always prefer more information (articles in this case) visible at a glance.
I might be the minority opinion here as the trend these days is indeed towards larger images as you point out in the article. Either way I’ll still visit the site!
I check toolguyd regularly, so I like the current “home page” layout as opposed to a typical news site. If I skip a few days, it’s easy enough to scroll down and see posts I missed. Finding the most recent article on other sites can be quite cumbersome. I’ve used the search feature a number of times and it works well enough. The only suggestion I have would be to consider a filter option to include/exclude certain brands or tool categories in the results.
I suggest the “reply” button in the comments section be moved to the center of the comments. Accidental opening a “leave a reply” window makes it annoying to scroll comments.
When I scroll the comments I use my left thumb and the most comfortable position is to scroll the left quarter/third of the page, but not tight to the edge. If the button was on right, right thumb scrollers may have same annoyance. Center may be a happy spot.
Doesn’t stop me from visiting the site. Just mentioning it if others have same issue.
I second this! At least once per article it happens. I did appreciate the change to a smaller button a year of so ago and it did help but always could be better. Middle or right for the reply button seems logical.
Doug in Post Falls
as a lefty it’s caused me no amount of consternation too. Putting it in the center might make it worse for all folks instead of just us ten percenters.
I’ve tried to give the link as much spacing as I can, will see what I can do to make it better.
I don’t remember what the problem was last time, but I wasn’t able to shift it over any more without causing some kind of issue when comment threads start indenting.
I added a new non-clickable “reply” icon to mobile that only serves to offset the alignment.
If that’s not enough, I’ll think of something else. It doesn’t work very well in the center, but I can shift it over a little bit more.
I *could* also put it next to the reader/commentor name, but that could be a hassle after reading longer comments. It works best at the bottom of a comment, not the top.
Much improved. Don’t need to be so careful scrolling. I see the needs of left alignment as comment replies indent right each time. Thanks for the thoughtful response and change.
Glad to hear it, thank you! I can look for other options as well, but this was the first half-solution I’ve found since the concern/complaint first came up.
Update the logo. Hate it. It looks like an error. You would not have a hatchet with the blade facing the user or a pipe wrench with the open jaws facing the user. Same. Just looks odd, always has.
Doug in Post Falls
Counterpoint, I giggle a little bit each time I look at the logo.
I like it, looks like someone is about to chip ice off a block with the only tool they have, the less-bum bum end of a hammer (bottom of the handle being the bum end I suppose). It’s unique. Makes me want to hammer things behind my head.
ToolGuyd tends to show us all the uses of a tool. Every feature, and identifying what it’s for. In a way, it shows us features that are rarely used, but still useful.
In the Logo, it’s less about the hammer face, and more about the Nail Puller. It’s a reminder that the tool we don’t always think to use, is often still useful for other intended features.
And to answer your complaints:
A Hatchet is actually a small Axe, a Wood Splitting Wedge, AND a Hammer. When used as a Hammer, you absolutely do use it with the blade facing the user.
A Pipe Wrench lets go when you slide it to reposition it for another pull while tightening. But when you Loosen that same pipe, you are often faced with the jaws open toward you, because flipping it the other direction doesn’t allow the wrench to have enough turning radius to move the pipe without hitting another obstruction, or a wall. So it very much is open with the jaws facing the user, with the handle below the pipe, with the user lifting up, instead of pushing down, or vise-versa, depending on which side of the pipe you’re standing on.
Not only does the ToolGuyd logo express the uniqueness of this site, it also shows the general Philosophy of the site, and Stuart Himself, rather elegantly. Anyone can show you a Hammer. ToolGuyd also covers the benefits, and other uses, for the Nail Puller on the back end. They help you decide for yourself, by YOUR needs, what tools you need, based on their features, not their primary application alone.
Stuart is a PhD in Material Science, last I checked. An expert in how materials behave, and likely a whole lot smarter than 80-90% of the readers here. That he chose this simple, elegant way to show this philosophy? Is pretty genius. I used to teach some Graphic Design back in High School, I was rather good with Photoshop in a pinch… At worst, I would pick a high-contrast background in place of the “Wood grain” we have now. Because honestly? The fact that the entire team covers so much more than just Wood tools is a significant feature of the site, and the diverse readers who contribute regularly. Our much beloved fred, probably one of the most experienced, and wisest sources of long-held trade secrets, being a major element to it.
No, it’s backwards. Maybe the user is pulling nails from the ceiling, or raising it as a trophy. The designer I worked with gave me a few concepts based on what I had in mind, and I liked this the best. I flipped the orientation in Illustrator, but I really liked this look a lot better, and so I kept it.
I get a kick out of it when someone realizes the hammer is backwards, or when they assume it’s wrong. Claws have functions too!
It also amuses me every time someone realizes ToolGuyd is read as Tool Guide. I liked the Guy in there, and how it can be read as Guyde or Guide.
As far as being an expert, the more education one has, the more focused the advanced knowledge.
Earning a doctorate can be achieved in 3 ways. By getting really lucky with a discovery, by being a genius, or by working hard. I worked hard. I love scientific exploration, and somehow that turned into a love for tool and tool tech exploration.
You can also be granted a doctorate “Honorary” but nobody counts those. 🤣
Maybe, but that also factors into hard work. Aren’t those for recognition of an exemplary career?
Do I get points for SEEING how elegantly you’ve also embedded all this deep meaning into the logo, even though the reality is it just “Tickles your Fancy” so to speak?
I mean… Just like the deeper meaning, it’s also a classic logo style that is easily recognized. The simplicity and joy it brings is no different than the deep, obviously read way too deeply in my case, reasons that users MIGHT see?
I feel stupid now… I have a genuine “Genius” IQ, and I feel stupid. Having a 187 IQ means squat if you still know jack about things! (Now where’s that laughing smiley face? hmm…)
Sometimes a tree is just a tree. =)
Possibly, someone who has been cursed with a curved claw hammer needs to spike a beam or something. Otherwise, I don’t know.
Old layout is better.
Please do not go for oversized images, the width of the mobile page, followed by the headline.
I am 100% in the camp of common size thumbnails do fine on the left, with a headline and quick blurb on the right.
The whole giant images and tiles, tap two three times for the same content, while wasting multiple time the bandwidth and require n times more user interaction is (-).
The wonderful thing about ToolGuyd has been that you still run a traditional style blog page, banner on top, menu bar, side bar on the right. Which keeps the content close to top left.
Hundreds and thousands of pages have been ” re – invented ” but are harder to use. It is like they were designed for people who only have 12 neurons and can only tap with one finger and process one action at a time.
Please keep the old format.
There are a couple of reasons for trying out the larger images.
If near full-width images on the homepage and categories doesn’t work, I can change things back.
Maybe the first x-number of new posts will get a larger image, and the others will get smaller ones.
Looking at 30-day anonymous metrics, let’s say there are 100 homepage views. Against those 100 front page views, there are 1.74 views of “Page 2,” 0.74 views of “Page 3,” and 0.39 views of “Page 4.”
I would assume that most regulars are scrolling through those first few new posts.
Or I could potentially shrink the images for just those first few posts.
I’ll see what I can do. Hopefully more people can chime in about their preferences.
Thanks, for the reminder about Amazon. With their “Pandemic” changes my traffic to them is about the same but my revenue has dropped 80%. It’s time to decide if I even need banners to them on my sites.
I like the bigger images.
I must ask something.
Today I got a full page ad from Vegas Fastener MFG while clicking the link to the homepage/frontpage. It is the first time that it has ever happened.
Is that normal?
That’s not normal.
Every now and then there could be bad ads that make it through Google’s ad server – I have only ever seen this happen on ToolGuyd once but I’ve seen it elsewhere.
I’ll try to look into it.
I turned on “lazy loading” again, and it’s possible this caused the bad behavior, but I can’t replicate it. I see a 300×600 banner in the blocking controls, and it seems to have started displaying to some users on the 18th. Since it shouldn’t be displaying anywhere due to the size, I’m going to block it.
Please let me know if this happens again, because it really shouldn’t – there are size constraints in place to prevent ads from breaking out of bounds.
Thanks for letting me know!
Thank you Sir.
One small suggestion would be using a service like Tweet Photo so that your Twitter posts (the automatic ones after posting to Instagram) actually show the photo and some text instead of saying “Hey I just posted to Instagram.”
Will look into – thanks!
Mobile? What’s that?
Paywall? Nah, but I go out of my way to not use affiliate links so you’re not getting money from my visits. However, Toolguyd does provide a useful service to me and I’m willing to toss a few bucks your direction once in a while directly to you if there’s a way to do that.
Mobile is the type of device that at least than 5 out of every 7 readers are using to access ToolGuyd.
Optimizing for mobile and desktop/laptop devices basically doubles the work, but allows for hopefully more streamlined experiences.
Thank you for spending the time to optimize it. Can’t tell you how ridiculous some sites are to use on one platform or another (ebay, facebook marketplace, and bank of america are constant irritations).
You replied to my irrelevant snark about mobile but failed to indicate whether there are any other methods of supporting ToolGuyd such as direct contribution. Is there a way to support other than using affiliate links? Personally, I’d prefer something that supports contributing as anonymously as possible, which probably isn’t possible.
If the bulk of visitors are coming from mobile I urge you to optimize for that. A mobile website on a non-mobile device is, for me anyway, still better than a mobile website on a mobile device. Bigger screen, better input devices available. I think that that SEO makes it harder to just do mobile because even if 5 of 7 visitors are using mobile, you don’t want to give up those 2 non-mobile visitors.
Not at this time. Honestly, I don’t know what to think about it, so I tend to put it off.
Some have asked for a PayPal Donate button or Patreon or similar, but I’m hesitant.
If you benefit from content or enjoy it, and come back for more, that does benefit ToolGuyd. I wouldn’t want to ask for more than that.
Maybe instead of a “buy us a cup of coffee” button there can eventually be a “buy a 10mm socket” button. =)
Others have asked me to sell swag over the years, but I’ve never been into that. Maybe eventually I’ll make stickers and order personalized tech screwdrivers or similar.
The way the web layout works now, things change, move, or are added or removed depending on the viewport size.
You can resize a desktop browser window to see what I mean, or if you’re on a mobile phone switch it to landscape mode and back* to see how things on the homepage change.
(*But don’t do this unless if you use Chrome on an iPhone – there’s a bug affecting a lot of people right now that adds large spaces to the sides of most pages until you reload.)
These days SEO is mobile-first.
Back when I redesigned ToolGuyd to be more mobile-friendly, I started with a Desktop-first layout, modifying things for mobile. Now, it’s a mobile-first type of world.
My goal now is to refine and optimize, and eventually I will need to re-code EVERYTHING. A lot of magazines have already done this, but I find it frustrating to use mobile-designed sites on desktop and laptop browser windows.
One of the biggest difficulties is in knowing what direction to go in. I know how I use ToolGuyd, and what I like to see in other websites, but the last thing I want is to make changes that push any of you away.
I’d pay via a patreon style thing or whatnot.
I know that nobody likes change. Probably because our brains are constantly adjusting, from the way we scroll, to how we gauge and view things, to optimize for a repetitive pattern (like a website).
That being said, the old way allows faster viewing of the content so that I can get to the article(s) that I’m interested in or trying to find.
So, I really do prefer the image on the left and text on the right, but I’d adjust if you changed it.
In the end, my brain will adjust and I will forget the way it was before, until five years from now when you’ll change it back. 😉
The difficult thing is that it’s a 50:50 choice.
I sometimes like clean and narrow headlines so I can browse more quickly.
But when I come across full-width images and headlines in Google News or elsewhere, I spend more time scrolling through the list, paying more attention to the headlines.
When there are 6 headlines in view, I skim fast. When there are 1 or 2, I read them, or at least there’s a greater chance of deeper interest as I scroll.
If I analyze my own behavior, both options have big benefits.
It’s possible to create two different switchable views, but that’s something I’ll need to work on over time. I don’t have a team of developments I could simply hand this off to.
Right now I’m trying to tackle the comments section to see if I can move the “reply” button.
I removed the reader “says” text and re-coded the timestamp. For under 1 year, it says “x minutes/hours/days/months ago” and for more than 1 year it has the date stamp.
I have an idea about the “reply” button, will take some time to get to it.
Yeah, it’s a lot of work. Thanks for your effort!
I like the condensed version better. The titles are spot on so I don’t need a large picture which I’m sure I’ll see in the article. I also love that it is sorted by newest first and not curated for me, especially since I check the site multiple times a day.
I’m also good dumping the widget if it is a hassle and not making you money – I don’t think I ever clicked on one of those.
I’d like a ‘like’ button, though can see arguments against it. It would be more of appreciation for the comment. Could be an ‘agree’ button.
The logo is great as is, I see it as an inside joke.
If looking to expand content, have it pull your latest tweet or Instagram post if possible. Maybe side by side at the top under the banner but it shouldn’t get in the way of the articles which is the heart of the site. This could replace the newish weekly media post as an option. Why do the same thing twice?
Love the site and it works on desktop just fine for the couple times I haven’t used it on mobile.
I don’t want to get rid of the logo, in case that’s how it sounded, but a more streamlined mobile layout might simply not have room for it.
There might be some ways to auto-load from Instagram, but sometimes I tend to cross-post and it doesn’t make sense to have it automatic. That’s why I like to do it manually.
What I’m also hoping is for a way to add curated sections to mobile as well, but hopefully without impacting daily or regular visitors in a negative way.
I spent more time today looking at modern tech and consumer product magazine and website trends, and I found a lot of unusable clunkiness.
Time stamp 10:50 a.m. CT, 2/21/21, this is the best looking layout. Easy on the eyes and images look good. The big images on my Note 10+ looked goofy to me. I enjoy the time stamps and categories. Just enough info without being cluttered.
Please no “load more” button! I dislike it for the exact reasons you laid out and I personally can’t see any advantage. Google switched to this style on my ipad (not desktop though so don’t know if it’s a form factor thing or a/b testing), but I’ve stopped using them as my search engine on ipad as a result!
Otherwise love the site and the other proposed changes look great.
Appreciate the openness of this conversation – I’m a web developer as well so this types of posts are always interesting to me, as the ‘why’ is far more compelling:) Also appreciate the lack of swag and Patreon style support – you have clear business model, it’s easy to understand when you are talking out of personal interest, and when you are featured sponsored content or reviewing a product provided to you for that purpose.
Not a fan of the personality driven YouTube channels, etc, so love that the focus is on the conversation, not the persona or site brand. (Your personality comes across here, it’s just that you’ve done a great job in moderating comments and shaping the discussion, it really feels like a hardware store with folks mulling around the free coffee – it’s a real community and it’s very hard to build.)
Artists and folks producing really niche content need direct support, but so long as your model supports what you’re doing, I’m way more in favor if it.
Thank you, I appreciate it!
Posts like this are as much about transparency as they are about a request for feedback and suggestions.
Consider the new offset for the “reply” button on mobile. That’s an attempt to fix a frustration I haven’t often encountered myself and I wouldn’t have known about had I not asked for feedback and requests. It’s functional but not very pretty. Removing the “reply button” border box might suggest the arrow is clickable along with the link, and so I’ll keep it for now.
Or consider the timestamp. Based on feedback here, I modified the settings and it now changes over after 1 week. How many people would have volunteered their preferences about this without a post like this one?
I like ToolGuyd to be as reader-friendly as possible, and so what better way to ensure this than to talk about it every now and then?
It’s an ongoing process.
The current layout is largely identical to when I redesigned things to be mobile-friendly back in 2015. But now, mobile traffic is dominant, and it’s time to revisit everything.
In the hardware store analogy – this is the equivalent of “did you find everything you were looking for today?”
It just seems natural to ask. Plus, since readers are essentially the client here, your feedback is definitely of interest. I’d rather fix any reasonable frustrations than see anyone walk away and not come back.