Syntagma Media Design Concepts in the Toilet

Filed as News on June 28, 2006 11:57 am

Syntagma Media, the blog network that thinks big and acts small, has rolled out “design tweaks” to their main blog. I think John and the folks over there need to talk to a designer and at least get back to a basic standard of normalcy in their design concepts. Why do I say that?

synt.png
Design Should Not take away from Content
At the SM blogs, the designs chosen including the combination of colors and styles detract from the blogs. It’s like sparkly javascript doohickies that follow the mouse cursor.

Design should isolate on one, two or three primary colors
The SM designs are psychadelic rainbow colored beasts that create a user experience that is at the same time dizzying and nauseating. I think I would do better dropping LSD and experiencing the hallucinations than viewing these blogs.

Fortunately for them, Search Engines could care less about designs so perhaps they have decent SERPs.

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  1. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on June 28, 2006 at 12:25 pm
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    Aaron, you’re not just talking about the new “Mondrian” background here, but the whole caboodle. I disagree. Design is all about grabbing attention not following rules. Some researcher discovered you’ve got 5 seconds to grab your first-time visitor. Big, bold headers do that.

    The tiled effect is purely experimental. So far, we’ve had far more yeses than noes. I’ll take your piece as a No, Aaron, but thanks for noticing it. That’s what we intended. :-)

  2. By Mike posted on June 28, 2006 at 1:01 pm
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    I’m with the No’s on this one, but I’m not the expert, just a potential customer. Oh wait, that would make me the expert !

  3. By Marco posted on June 28, 2006 at 1:11 pm
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    Even though I agree this design is well ehm… sub par I wonder:

    Since when is bashing others part of The Blog Herald?
    What ‘news value’ does this entry have? I’m sorry but I guess I’m totally missing the point.

  4. By Cary posted on June 28, 2006 at 1:20 pm
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    Slow news day in the blogosphere? ;)

    I really enjoy your work Aaron, but I have to agree with Marco on this one… this is seriously non-news.

    Hi John!

  5. By Michael Clark posted on June 28, 2006 at 1:24 pm
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    I did a trackback to the Syntagma site, but it isn’t showing up. Oh well. It’s not a pleasant design, very geocities-ish.

  6. By Mike Rundle posted on June 28, 2006 at 1:50 pm
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    Man you guys are vicious. I’m not sure there’s any real need to rag on John, the guy’s trying to pull some unique designs together by himself, nothing wrong with that.

  7. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on June 28, 2006 at 2:47 pm
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    Michael, we have first-hit moderation in place. Your trackback is now on the site. Necessity not by choice, I’m afraid.

    We are all writers at Syntagma. Or content providers, if you’d prefer. Some network owners are designers, some geeks. We do content first and foremost. While we respect those that go with design and technology first, we stick with what we do best. We’ve got some great blogs lined up for July.

  8. By Aaron Brazell posted on June 28, 2006 at 2:57 pm
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    Thanks for taking my viciousness in stride, John. Speaks highly of you not to get baited.

    Marco, Cary: Ah, but blog networks writing up posts on design issues that are “enhancements” and fall sadly short IS news.

  9. By BM posted on June 28, 2006 at 3:38 pm
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    Cheesey springs to mind. But I guess with so many sites they might not have the revenue yet to splash out on a designer.

    I hope the content is good unless this venture is going down.

  10. By Duncan posted on June 28, 2006 at 8:16 pm
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    Got to agree with Aaron on this one, only because the design was really that bad that it just screamed for someone to comment on it, sorry John, but I’d note you’ve put the old one back up, so you’ve taken that on board which is a good thing…

  11. By Aaron Brazell posted on June 28, 2006 at 8:39 pm
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    By the way, I might add that when Matt and I talked about my column here, he specifically indicated he liked my columnistic approach to blogging as opposed to ‘newsy’ stuff. So as columnists do, I opine.

  12. By HART (1-800-HART) posted on June 28, 2006 at 9:40 pm
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    Ok. I DEFINATELY in agreement with Cary and Marco – (that this is NOT news) .. but I didn’t think this post by Aaron was claiming that this WAS news ? …

    AARON – Good Job! If you see something anywhere that catches your eye – a picture is worth a thousand words! :) Post it and post your opinion! .. Not everybody is a designer and opinions from all is always appreciated, as long everybody realizes – It’s John’s website and he doesn’t have to listen to you! As it turns out he has succumbed to peer pressure and reverted back to normal

    My favorite part of this post?

    The SM designs are psychadelic rainbow colored beasts that create a user experience that is at the same time dizzying and nauseating.

    Why? Because at first I sounded like Peter Griffin and chuckled to myself … “oh – he said Breasts” … then, read it again .. “wooops! no he didn’t – he said Beasts”

    JOHN – There are lots of free backgrounds around the WWW … all my “battling series” sites are using ones I found over there .. I change one of them ever couple of weeks, but nobody notices it because my sites suck.

  13. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on June 29, 2006 at 2:33 am
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    It was only ever a temporary experiment, HART — as I keep saying. I put a load of different designs up on our test blog. God knows what would have been said about those :-)

  14. By Andy Merrett posted on June 29, 2006 at 3:25 am
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    “Since when is bashing others part of The Blog Herald?”

    Oh c’mon… that’s what Duncan did – why not carry on? :)

  15. By Matt posted on June 29, 2006 at 5:34 am
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    Aaron is right – he is not a news editor here – he’s a columnist. If he wakes up tomorrow and chooses to make fun of my wife – more power to him. I like what he writes anyways ;)

    And Duncan slammed quite a few people here in these pages – including me on more than one occasion :)

    Matt

  16. By Matt posted on June 29, 2006 at 5:35 am
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    Not to mention that I’ve commented previously on the fact that Syntagma badly needs a web designer.

  17. chartreuse (BETA) » Blog Archive » Thursday Morning Remix (The “Post” Edition)June 29, 2006 at 9:22 am
  18. By Aaron Brazell posted on June 29, 2006 at 9:31 am
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    Matt: I don’t know your wife to make fun of her. :-) But the only wife off limits is mine. :-)

  19. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on June 29, 2006 at 12:30 pm
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    Matt, we’re considering the thoughts of two web designers at present. But the best publishing doesn’t always come in the most conventionally acceptable wrapper.

  20. By Cary posted on June 29, 2006 at 5:51 pm
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    Hehe… I’ll admit I was a bit confused to see this kind of post here, but you’re right – it’s right up Duncan’s alley!

    It just seemed like the Blog Herald had moved more towards straight reporting.

    More power to ya’… all of you.

  21. By Matt posted on June 29, 2006 at 6:56 pm
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    Opinion is good. Strong opinion is even better. And Aaron has both :)
    Matt

  22. By Aaron Brazell posted on June 30, 2006 at 9:11 am
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    Cary,

    Awhile ago I wrote about where the Blog Herald had moved to in the time it has been in the BlogMedia fold. I criticized how it had become essentially a bland blog that didn’t seem to have the popularity of what it had been. Matt agreed with me. I don’t look to put words in the mouth of him or the folks here at BlogMedia, but I understood that they recognized that it had become somewhat bland, they had a number of folks move on to other ventures and they were looking to try to get back what was lost. I’m just a piece in the larger puzzle and if I can help get BH back to what it once was, then I’m happy to do my part.