Hixie's Natural Log

2003-11-30 19:43 UTC Boring Web log

People keep complaining that this site's presentation is boring. (Actually what they usually complain about is that the stylesheets are ridiculously complicated, find way too many bugs, and that once fixed, the result isn't even interesting enough to warrant the effort. But I know what they mean.)

Fair enough, I thought, I can see what they're complaining about. After all, I haven't made my text unreadably small, I haven't used fifteen different font faces, and I haven't tried to make colours disguise the fact that underneath the shell, the content is remarkably boring.

However, my attempts at coming up with something more "fun" and "exciting" and "pretty" were somewhat, ah, unsuccessful. The basic truth of the matter is that I suck at Web site design. My idea of a good Web page is a green square with no red present.

And then, earlier today, I came across a set of screenshots of pretty looking Web logs. Interesting, I thought, maybe I can get some "inspiration" from these guys.

Now, one thing to note about this Web log is that there is no list of links, no calendar, no search tool, no fancy categories, no display of what CD I'm listening to right now no copyright, no colophon, indeed, there is precious little except my rambling entries, the header, and a single link to one of my other sites.

So as I looked at the screenshots, I mentally blocked out all the extraneous nonsense that most Web logs appear to saddle themselves with and concentrated on how the content was styled. What I learnt surprised me. It turns out that in the majority of cases, the actual Web log content of these sites and other logs that I read is styled in an even more boring way than my own!

Anyway, if anyone feels they know what this Web log should look like, I would ask them to please mock it up in a graphics package and send me the idea as a JPEG. (Whatever you do, don't try to do it in CSS or send me a stylesheet or try to change the markup or anything. I won't be using your CSS anyway, and the markup isn't changing, at least not for any stylistic reasons.) If I like any of the ones I get, I'll look into writing a stylesheet for it. If you're interested in doing this, it may interest you to know that the same stylesheet will be used for index.hixie.ch, www.hixie.ch, software.hixie.ch, etc.