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Moderator: Debs from SiteSell

#1367206 by ken-admin
Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:48 pm
Hi to all,

OK, ya'll. Hold onto your hats💨...

Mike Allton, our CMO, pointed out to me that my SIDEBARS "wrap weird" when viewed on the phone. It's because I wrap SIDEBARS at 60 to set them off from the main text.

That gives a ragged look because the phone wraps each
sidebar line at, say,
40 characters (depending on the width of the screen).
Then the hard break does the hard break at 60, the break
that I set intentionally.
The whole thing ends up looking like what you see above.

I'm sort of addicted to SIDEBARs, so dropping them was not an option. And too many people view the forums on phones to keep doing it this way. So here's the new SIDEBAR deal...

1) They won't wrap anymore - will go full width, just like the main post. That means that they need a better way to offset them from the main content. So...

2) I asked Jon da Graphic Guy to whip me up a really cool SIDEBAR image to use. I tested it at this "Living Abroad" post. I like the flamboyantly fun feel to the two "test" SIDEBARS at...

So here we are!

SIDEBARS allow me to go off on tangents that are usually related to the main material in some way, but that would break the flow. The reader can read it (can also skip it) and understand that "the main flow" picks up after the sidebar is done.

Why not just include them in the thread? They explore an extra dimension, but they don't really fit otherwise. Hence they go in here, this being first "Official New SIDEBAR."


Whaddaya think? :-)

All the best,

P.S. Click bait is really annoying, isn't it? 😜

But hey, this is pretty historic. You'll never see "-----SIDEBAR-----" again. 😩

P.P.S. If you have some graphic talent and want the fame and fortune (well, the "fame" anyway) that goes with being "The Sidebar Guy," try and beat it. Heck, I'll even throw in 3 free months of SBI!.🤑

Just in case someone does take me up on this, we'll close entries ("entry"?) in a week, noon Eastern Time on the 26th. We'll decide a winner based on SBIer preference (details in a week).
#1367208 by Cath from Italy
Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:07 pm
Personally, these nice blue ones have my vote! Classy, clear and much easier to spot than the boring old ones. (Boring lines, not boring content, of course... :lol: ).

Nice job, Jon the Graphics Guy!

#1367216 by Mary from
Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:44 pm
Whaddaya think? :-)

Glad you asked. I do NOT like it. It's too big, bold, and busy! Happy you are requesting SBI!er's creativity. I LOVE your ramblings, especially on Sunday when I'm relaxing. I ALWAYS read your sidebars, they're the best part.

I LOVED your mood today! :P

#1367230 by Juri from
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:09 pm

I am not sure I like it either.

Mary from wrote:It's too big, bold, and busy!


Here's pretty much how I style asides on my site:

    This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar.

    This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar. This is styled as a sidebar.

There's also a border on the left side in the original, but I think it looks OK with limitations of forum postings and stands out as it is.

Kind regards,
#1367258 by Susan from Nolan
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:46 am
Looks good. I would like to see a difference between the starting sidebar marker and the ending marker; sometimes sidebar content runs a bit long (not a complaint!). Could be helpful to recognize where one is in the content when scrolling through a post, especially if the line length is not significantly different from the main content.

#1367271 by Laura from Chautauqua
Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:09 am
The look is fine. However, like some of the others, it's really big. It looks like the sidebar is MORE important than the rest. So instead of a sidebar, it's a READ ME!!! bar. :-)

I like Juri's idea of lighter, italicized text with either your regular ---sidebar--- text or a smaller image.

I hope that helps,
#1367290 by Debs from SiteSell
Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:49 pm
I like the color; it stands out ... You can see where the sidebars are by skimming and it fits the color of the new forum design.

I do find it to be a bit large; width is good for me but I agree a bit smaller otherwise would be nice.

#1367295 by Claude from
Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:15 pm
I'm not very good at creating meaning graphically.

My first observation is that - on a large screen (PC, laptop) I can easily see where the sidebar begins and where it ends. I am never disoriented ... unless Ken rambles on and on and ... :wink:

However, on a small mobile phone screen ... I can see where the sidebar begins - if I happen to remember that I have not encountered a sidebar graphic since I began reading the post (on some of Ken's posts that can tax my memory :lol: ) - but if I don't encounter the "closing" sidebar soon ... I may get disoriented and lose track of where I am - still within of outside a sidebar ? :shock:


The sidebar graphic, as it stands, is just as ambiguous in my eyes as the old form of sidebar alert.

I suggest that either:

1. Graphically - The sidebar graphic should clearly mean that the sidebar content follows - and the next sidebar clearly indicates (graphically again) that the sidebar content has ended and resides above. The two graphics would have to be different enough to be unambiguous. For example, it would not be enough, in my view, to simply flip the loops in the curly line to point downward to indicate the beginning of a sidebar.

I know this is not as sexy as da Graphics Guy's grapics, but you get the idea :wink:

2. Textually - The sidebar graphics contains the word "Begins" or "Ends". No ambiguity possible here.

⬇︎SIDEBAR "Begins"⬇︎
Again not very sexy :lol:
⬆︎SIDEBAR "Ends"⬆︎

I hope I have not lost anyone :roll:

P.S. In HTML and most other programming languages, there is some form of code to indicate the beginning and end of a piece of information.
{ blah }
[ blah ]
and the old...
#1367305 by Help Elf from SiteSell
Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:54 pm
Da boss is hibernating today so I am tasked with showing you what just a little change can do ...

The first sidebar (as shown in Ken's post above):


And the slightly modified version based on some of your feedback:


Don't forget to enter your idea of what the sidebar graphic should look like, like Claude did above, for the contest!

P.S. If they look the same to you, it is probably your cache. CTRL F5 should fix it.
#1367306 by Catherine from
Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:12 pm
I agree with Susan, Claude, and Mary. It would help to have a different ending.

Perhaps the lovely curlicue deign at the top and just a short blue line or design, then "end sidebar," and then another short design? (I do like the current blue design-- and it should not be hard to have a 2nd, similar or smaller, design that adds the word "end" to the sidebar closing...)
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