Tag Archives: design

Sidebar decluttering

A few days ago I came across a post at Problogger.net where Darren Rowse suggested bloggers should de clutter the sidebar of their blogs.

I looked at my sidebar and I saw what he meant by clutter. Darren could have used my sidebar as an example of a cluttered sidebar.

The sidebar was full of widgets that were not really useful to me or to my visitors. Here is what I had and removed:

  • Most popular Posts: I removed this because I didn't think it was really useful for my visitors. A lot of them come from a search engine and look for something specific. I don't think they are interested in what's popular on my blog, but I might be wrong about it and I might add it back in the future, maybe on the footer.
  • Tag cloud: this one was getting too big. I occupied too much space and the most popular tags were already the words in categories to it was kind of redundant. I might add this on a page of it's own
  • Top commentators: I removed this because it looks bad to see a list of top commentators where #1 has only 3 comments.
  • Technorati fave this blog: removed because I already have a technorati button at the bottom of each post
  • Google Referrals banners: The banners increased the load times and were not making money. I may add them back as links like this :
    because I see some potential in this but I'll have to get more traffic before I start using it again
  • Text link adds affiliate banner: In two months of using this I got about 80 clicks on it and no conversions. But the text link ads is reported to be one of the best affiliate program. They give you $25 for signing up an active publisher or advertiser
  • Reviewme banner: removed because I received no offer for a review since I started using it a few months ago. I guess no one wants me to review a patch 🙂
  • WordPress meta: does anyone care about this ?
  • DoFollow: This doesn't really have anything to do with the sidebar but I removed this plugin because it was pretty much useless. I don't think anyone that commented on my posts did it because of the dofollow plugin. The only ones that commented because of dofollow were those that commented on the post about dofollow. The idea to reward your commentators is good but if there isn't anyone ( or very few ) to reward the plugin is useless. Also I think the Top commentators plugin might be better for this.

Some thoughts about what I should do, but I'm not sure about this yet:

  • move archives and maybe categories in the footer
  • add most popular posts in the footer
  • remove google ads, I this I can afford losing about $2/month 🙂
  • remove kontera
  • create a top navigation bar and move the links to pages on that bar

What do you think I should do about the blog ? Any suggestions are welcome in the comments.

Color Picker

AdesClrPicker is an easy to use standalone program that let's you designers out there easily get the code for colors anywhere on your desktop.

Of course it you're using firefox there's an extension out there that does the same thing but that will only let you pick colors from your browser and Ades Color Picker has some useful extra features built in.

AdesClrPicker has a color library that let's you manager the captured color codes, you can delete andadesclrpicker  menu edit colors ( set up the RGB values ), you can save the codes in a text file different formats ready to be used in HTML, Delphi, C++ and VB.

When started, this program goes to system tray and waits for activation.A right click on it's icon in system tray will show a popup menu with several options (Activate, color Library, Settings, etc ) and a list or recently captured colors.

You can activate it from that menu or with a key combination that you can customize from settings.

ades color picker magnifierWhen active the color picker will attach a magnifier to your mouse cursor so that you can easily pick the color you really want.

Flexible and easy to use, no need for photoshop loaded just for picking colors, not that I use photoshop, gimp rocks 🙂 at least for my image processing needs.
And btw this color picker almost works in Linux if you have wine. I say almost because you can start it but it will only pick colors that are inside it's own window, but this is because of a problem with wine applications not being well integrated into the X window manager. Maybe a future version will have Linux/Unix support too.

Here are some screen shots of the color picker in action:

ades color picker screen shotades color picker screen shot 2

What color picker and design tools do you use for web/software development? I would love to hear about them in the comments.