I need to do some thinking about my sidebar. It’s getting very long and unwieldy. (And I’d like to add some more ‘favourite posts’ and have a new section for recent online finds.)

A 3-column design would solve the problem; I can probably suss out how to adapt this current style to 3 columns. (Probably.) But 1) they’re complicated and there are all sorts of things to go wrong; and 2) I think three columns can look a bit cluttered on a screen, especially on smaller screens.

Or I could work out how to put some sections in drop-down menus and/or on a separate page. But I rather like everything to be viewable on the screen without having to click on anything extra.

I am going to have to do something though, I think. (Besides, I haven’t played with the design at all lately!) Any suggestions?

Big Fat Update
In case you hadn’t noticed, ‘Probably’ does in fact = ‘I can’. (Wow! And it seems to work in both Firefox and IE. Double wow!) But does that mean I should? What do you think? I’ll leave it like this (well, tweak it a bit, I expect) for a few hours to see how I (and you) get used to it. Your input would be much appreciated!

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8 Responses to Sidebar

  1. Brandon says:

    It looks great fromt his end (and you’re right — it works well in both IE and Firefox!). (It looks good in Safari, too, although the right column is just a wee bit off.) I like it quite a bit. I wonder, though, if in a three-column layout you should do more to make the section headings in the column stand out a bit — otherwise they have more competition in this format. Perhaps that might help reduce any danger of a cluttered look?

  2. Brandon says:

    By ‘column’ I meant ‘sidebars’; the black box on the light background does well in the middle column.

  3. Wilson says:

    It looks very good to me in Firefox (I’ll take your word for it about Internet Exploder.) I like the way you’ve split up reference material, as it were, on the left, and housekeeping on the right.

  4. Sharon says:

    That split may not be kept totally consistent. The blogroll and favourite posts are soooo long…

    D’you people like the idea of the Latest Links section at the top right? It’ll never have more than 4 or 5 links in it so it won’t take up much space.

    OK, does the new style for headings in the sidebars do it for you?

  5. Brandon says:

    I think that putting the Latest Links up at the top right is a good idea; if it’s put anywhere else, it will get lost in the crowd — and if it gets lost, you might as well not have it, for all the good it will do. But where it is, it works great, and is very handy.

    I’m only seeing it in Firefox at the moment, but the way it’s done does seem to make the headings stand out more clearly.

    I’m impressed!

  6. Judy says:

    Crooked Timber reduced its lengthy blogroll by having a single link that takes you to a new screen with all the blogs displayed in very readable type down the center column. At first I didn’t like that but given the very lenthy list CT has, it makes sense. You could consider that to free up some space. I’m using Firefox, and it looks good.

  7. Jeremy says:

    nice job Sharon, I like it. The latest links thing is quite good…are you using Or something else?

  8. Sharon says:

    I’m just adding them manually to the Links list in their own category (and limit the number displayed on the screen). Unsophisticated, but it’s a fairly simple thing to do and then I have the link saved somewhere I can easily find it again to add the resource to EMR later. (I rewrote the index.php file to get links differently so I could split up the categories. That took a bit of working out to get the formatting right…)

    Now I’ve got used to the new look, I rather like the symmetry of it, quite elegant. I was worried about the sidebars being too narrow, but on the whole they’re fine – the only real niggle I have is that entries in the recent comments section tend to take up several lines. I have that one in myhacks rather than as a plugin and I don’t know if it’s possible to edit it just to show a truncated version of a post title. I looked at the code and went ???. (I might look into one of the more sophisticated plugins to see if any of them will do that.)

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