Thursday, 26 January 2006

In which we stick our necks out and critique..

..Desicritics, the blog that everyone has been talking about, which is now open for business.

We have mixed feelings.

The positives first.

As both our readers know, we're a fervent evangelist and disciple of collablogs.

Add to that the site's promise to showcase excellent writing from the Indian blogosphere, and we're sold. And from an initial cursory flip through, it is defintely worth a bookmark or an addition to your feedreader. Quantity and quality.

Set against that is the nagging discomfort we feel when we see human beings choose to replicate political boundaries in this wonderful, borderless world of blogs that we love so much. (And yes, we know we started indi³. We're conflicted. Sue us.)

[Extremely opinioniated statement warning]

And then there's the design.

The blogcritics look is way too busy as it is, making it extremely difficult to enjoy their excellent content.

The look here takes the worst elements of that design and adds some clutter of its own. It's not so bad once you see the post pages, we'll grant them that (bad yes, just not so bad), but the home page is more crowded than a stockbroker's terminal during trading hours.

How do you bug us? Let us count the ways.

Post introductions are way too brief — we'd prefer to get more of a taste of a writer's style, more of the flavour of the post, before we click through to read. Especially when there's so much to choose from. Here, one has to click through, read a bit, and then trudge back to the home page.

There's an advertising panel of which the kindest thing that can be said is that it does not have animated banners. It completely overwhelms the content, which is supposed to be the site's USP.

And those icons, flags, call them what you will, that mark post categories? Two words.



Thankfully, there's an RSS feed. Whew.


Phillip Winn said...

I appreciate your comments, even though I'm the sole designer of both and I definitely agree that the site is too busy, though I hope you notice that I've made less busy than overall, and I hope to take as much of the less-busyness back over to when I can.

The main exception is those colorful section indicators, for sure. All I can say is that I'm not an artist, and I hope that someone can develop a series of nice icons I can drop into place instead. :-)

Eric Berlin said...

I actually like the design of Desicritics a lot -- I find the color scheme eye pleasing and the content extremely easy to navigate through.

Of course, as the exec producer of both Blogcritics and Desicritics I'm biased, but I swear on the Good eBook I speak truth!