Slabs dot TV

Slabs.tv logo

Slabs.tv logo: The square is a slab, and it's tilted because we're tilted.

My friend Ben and I had been musing on making a comedy site for a while; videos are to Ben what code and… sonnets… are to myself. So, naturally, I was conscripted into hours of unpaid web design and admin duties, and we have emerged — I, scalded from working over a hot DNS — with Slabs.tv.

I could probably do a whole post on the branding and the tribulations of trying to procure an occupied dot-com domain, and that is outside the scope of this discussion. So, take a look at the website; it is herein appraised!:

Site design and accessibility

The first thing you notice if you’re a design-y sort of person is League Gothic. Try and escape this typeface. You cannot! It is not possible to evade the clutches of it and its bold, tall, gothic brethren, unless you entirely sequester yourself from the graphical web. If you highlight the text of the logo, imagining for a second that it is not an image, you will notice that it works! This is a trick I learned from Erica Greco’s website, and it aids accessibility for people with screen readers or text-based browsers like eLinks.

Blue is the easiest colour for which to design. Well known fact, that. I set it off against a sandy background and used a Photoshop tutorial on torn-paper edges to get the horizon at the top and the tabs. Ben said from day one that we should have a torn paper design, and I agreed. Rightly? You decide!

The site is much tidier than I had planned, quite sober, but I don’t think it loses out for that reason. An advantage is that if you zoom your browser in or out 5 steps (CTRL + Mouse scroll wheel, then CTRL + zero to return to normal) all of the content panels stay in proportion, so the site shows well on very big – or very small – displays. This is key to web design.

Financial and technical

As for the hosting, the whole shebang is on the same server as SteGriff.co.uk (which you might have used to get here today), and Ben pays 40% of my hosting costs. This is “reselling”, and does not contravene my host’s term and conditions (which is strange, I thought, but I’m not complaining). The Slabs.tv domain would cost £30/year from my host, so I got it from a different provider (123-reg.co.uk) for £10/year and messed with the nameservers until it pointed in the right direction.

Conclusion

Things like this are what I do. I am nowhere near pro at web design, but I have experience and problem solving skill. If you want to pay me to make you a website, that would be great! I design sites with accessibility and low-download size in mind, without compromising aesthetics (I hope).

Here are some other sites which I want to talk about in the near future:

Le Game – IP Shortening

Cloud Tools

In closing, I make no apology for the length of time between blog posts. You do however, get this nice lampshade.

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Quitting Facebook

I’m not addicted, I’m just sick of it.

Admittedly, the initial idea buzzed into my head straight from this xkcd strip. I think Randall is a bit skeptical about Diaspora from the tone of the alt text, but I’m not bothered. I think it sounds like a beautiful thing, and a great alternative.

Anyway, I’m confusing you unless you’re very aware of this kind of thing, or you’ve already read the page where I discussed why I’m leaving Facebook at length.

I tried to make that page look quite good… sniffed out a cunning and perfectly legal way of using the Facebook logo font (Klavika) for my heading. Still, my writing style is super corny when I’m being righteous; that is a matter to be corrected later.

I’ve fixed the hub page of stegriff.co.uk to work in all browsers and resolutions, something I believe in fairly staunchly. I just need to make it XHTML strict compliant and then finish the evening with some /infdev/ minecraft. Ahhh.

Ste

Minecraft Island Renovation

I wrote previously about my dealings in Minecraft; 90% of the web design I do is Minecraft related, and as such, I need a neat portal to keep everything.

My hastily done previous effort was this:
Minecraft Island, before

So I spent an hour or so, slaving over a hot Inkscape and Photoshop (because, let’s face it: the layout and styling required is minimal) and now, I have this:

Minecraft Island, after

…I really am in love with border: 3px double grey for my sinister Web 1.1 dealings!

As a note, the background took a lot more effort than you might think. I went into Minecraft creative single player, changed the fog colour to the same as the sky (using Cheat Engine), waited until there was a nice cloudscape, took the screenshot, and then rebuilt the sea in Photoshop, also recolouring the clouds to offset the fog.

Making things look Web 2.0 is so much hard work, and who cares about the output? I’m not trying to be the next twitter. I think if you don’t try to make a site look amazing, because you value content, there’s no problem. When I try to make something look vaguely modern, and fail, that kind of sucks.