What would you like to see?

I’ve been making some changes to this website recently. New Year, fresh start.

What do you think of the new look? Please be honest, because I’m still working on it and can make changes. Is there anything that’s hard to find? Anything that looks ugly or doesn’t seem to work on your computer? Please write a comment below, and if it’s within my technical capabilities I’ll add it in the next round of changes.

As well as that, I’d like your views on the content of the site. I know, there hasn’t been much lately, but I plan to work on that 🙂 But as a visitor to this site, either new or regular, is there anything you’d like to know about that I’m not writing about? Anything I do write about that you’re not so interested in? Longer posts? Shorter posts? More/fewer pictures? Anything at all – please let me know. I’ve taken a step back from the blog for a few weeks specifically because I wanted to think about it and plan the content a little more, as well as refreshing the design. So I’d love to hear your ideas.

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There are 9 comments

  1. Hi Andrew,I like the new look to the site because it looks very clean and there aren’t a lot of different things competing for my attention. Pictures are nice because they brake up the black and white. You may want to add a few more but fewer is better. I hope you continue to write about what you like the most. If you enjoy writing it more of us are likely to enjoy reading it. I visit the site because so often it makes me aware of things that I would otherwise be unaware of. Other times you bring up thought provoking topics that lead to interesting discussion on the site and at home. Thanks for that. The one thing that I’d hoped to see more of was your author interviews. I’m sure there is a lot involved with that so I understand if it’s not terribly frequent.



  2. I think it looks very professional, clean and cool. If that’s what you wanted, it’s perfect. I took a while to get used to it but only because I knew the old one. Personally I find it a bit too white but wouldn’t change that by adding more pictures. The moving part is quite fast. Could the posts move a little bit slower? Not too much, just a bit. But maybe I’m the only one who has a problem with that.
    I like the title bar and think it is easy to find things.
    I’m looking at it on my MacBook – via Safari – which makes everything look great – I will report back after having had a look on the PC via Explorer and Firefox. That’s the real test. 🙂 I’m confident it will still look very nice.

  3. Hi Andrew,
    I liked the last version so it will take me some time to get used to this one.
    I agree with Caroline about it being too white and the moving part could be a bit slower.
    Personally I prefer things to be more structured, things to stand out. Maybe the names of the pages at the top of the site could be in bold or on some sort of darker colored line to bring them into focus.
    As for the content, write whatever you want. I enjoy your book reviews,and if you decide to explore other subjects, that would be nice too. Music, movies, the process of writing, perhaps even excerpts from your writing or short stories (maybe I am asking too much :)) – I am always interested in that.
    Good luck with everything you do!

  4. I like your new site, it’s easy to find information. I think the pictures move too fast though.
    It’s very professional, a little too much many. I don’t know you in real life but from the few written exchanges we’ve got, I imagine you as friendly, open and welcoming. This doesn’t show in the layout of this site. It’s too impersonal, too clinical perhaps.
    I hope you’ll keep on blogging, I like your insight on the books you read. I’m not much interested in interviews, not yours in particular but writers’ interviews in general. Tell me what you read, I’ll know about who you are, that’s the idea. That’s why I’d rather read your response to the books you read than your answers to fabricated questions asked by a journalist.

    PS : Thank you so much for the link on the News & Events pages.

  5. Thank you all for the wonderful and helpful comments!

    Charles, I’m glad you like the white space. I wanted a less crowded look and an easier reading experience, so that’s good to hear. More pictures are definitely good, and I’ll go for that whenever I can. Author interviews are something I plan to do more often this year. Phone charges are quite expensive from Barbados, so I might have to just email questions to people rather than chatting as I did with Preeta Samarasan, but will definitely try to arrange more. Is there anyone in particular you’d like me to approach?

    Hi Caroline, thanks for that! I’ve made the pictures slower now, so hopefully that has helped. Let me know if it’s still too fast. I take the point about all the white – I wanted an uncrowded look, but maybe will add an image in the header to make it a bit less stark!

    Thanks for subscribing, Michelle! More about the writing process? Great idea – I’ll plan to include more posts on that.

    Delia, thanks – I’ll see if I can make things stand out more. I tried to stay away from too many lines or boxes, but perhaps could use a little colour to differentiate. And no, you’re not asking too much 🙂 Good suggestions, and I’ll plan to explore some of those subjects.

    Hi Emma, yes I wanted it to be professional, but no I don’t want it to be clinical, so I’ll look at the balance there! I know what you mean about interviews – often they are quite dull. I tried something slightly different in the one I did with Preeta Samarasan, making it more of a conversation than just the usual emailed questions and standard answers. As for the link, my pleasure 🙂

  6. Hey there Andrew, In response to your question I don’t have anyone in particular in mind. The important thing is that you find the author interesting and engaging. I liked the interview with Preeta although admittedly I only listened to the first part because I had the book but hadn’t ( and still haven’t) finished it. I intend to go back to it but I had The God of Small Things too fresh in my mind and so I could not help make unfair comparisons. Your site has changed a lot since this post. A few things to consider: 1. The stories that change at the top of the home page should be broader across the page it looks cramped and not very visually appealing at least on my browser which I know can be a factor. 2. You may want to cut down on how many past stories display because by the third scroll your masthead is gone and I’m lost in what looks like a hodgepodge of stuff. This second point is not so much for someone like me who visits regularly but rather for those who come across it for the first time…. it’s a matter of visual appeal which I recognize is subjective .

    1. Hi Charles,
      Thanks for the feedback on the interviews – will try to get something lined up. Also really helpful comments on the design. I’ve cut down on the number of stories that appear on the page now – you were quite right about that. On the stories at the top, I’ll try to spread it out more. I do want to include the sidebar, but may be able to squeeze it and give more space to the main area with the scrolling pictures.
      Thanks again for the help!

  7. Hi there just wanted to give youu a quick heads up.
    Thee text in your content sem to be running off the screen
    in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with
    browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let youu know.
    The design look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon.

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