New look

Astute readers among you may have noticed that Abandoned Berlin has a new look. Like many so-called improvements, it may turn out to be regressive, but I hope not. The principal aim is to make it easier for you, dear readers, to find particular places of interest and perhaps uncover some derelict sites I’ve written about already that you may not have been unaware of.
Pictures should also look better now. You just click on an image and it comes up in a thing called LightBox, designed to showcase photographs in all their beauty. So I better make sure I only take good ones from now on.
Who knows? There may be even more improvements to come! Ideally I’d like a little dotted red line down the side of the stuff to the side but I’m told that will break the whole thing because it’s “fixed-width” - whatever the hell that means. I hate HTML, CSS, Java and all the other shit. I just want to explore and write.
But hopefully you’ll like the changes. Feel free to make comments or suggestions for any other improvements, or you encounter any problems please let me know too. I won’t be able to fix anything if I don’t know about it. If you hate the damn thing altogether, let me know too and I’ll change it all back - if I can.

UPDATE: Thursday, October 3, 2013 – I think I’m done messing around. Yes, that’s it, I’m done. Too many late nights with this crap. Time to go exploring.


Thanks! Feel free to make suggestions though. No need to be nice! ;)

The posts and pictures look great - definitely an improvement! :) The header is way too big (and dark) for my taste though.

Cheers! When you say the header's too big - do you mean the logo or the whole black part thing including the sliding pictures?

The whole black part thing including the sliding pictures, but also just the general header that's up there when you click on posts (when the black thing including the sliding pictures disappear I mean). It's just too black.

I am agree with Anonymous.

I think the whole header, including logo and the top links, is too big. It occupies a lot of space at the top of the screen, which is the most precious space.

My suggestion is to scale down the header, both in the Homepage and in the other pages. I also believe that, the header in the other pages can be scale down up to 70%. Like a ribbon.

The sliding picture can be a bit smaller. When I am in the homepage, I expect to see at the same time the header, sliding pictures and at least the title of your last post. I would make, at least, the header and sliding pictures fit. Right now, I cannot see the header and complete sliding pictures at the same time (with a 15.4" display and 1280x800 resolution).

I also think that, the right column is too close to the main body. I would make a bigger gap between them and make the texts (right column) a bit smaller. I would like also to see in the right column the archive. I think it is more important than sites.

I think everything else such as page arrangement, color configuration, fonts, Square shape thumbnails beside posts, footer,… is perfect.
Of course, they are all my personal point of views.

Wow, that's a lot of info! Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe I'll try scale back the header so - once I figure out how to!
But I'm surprised you can't get the header and first blog post title on your screen - you must be zooming right in.
I'll introduce a bigger gap and make the right column smaller as you suggest.
The archives are now in a link over the sliding pics.
Thanks again for your input!

Understood. It's actually very very very very very very very very dark grey, but I'll muck around with it and see how it looks with a lighter shade. The only problem is that will impact on the logo too. But I'll try it anyway and see how it looks.
Thanks for the suggestion!

Dear Irish Berliner,

I am happy that I had useful feedbak.
About the archive, nevertheless they are accessible from the top menu, but I beleive that they are more important the sites. Therefore I would add at least the last 5 or last 3 moths posts titles there, above the sites list. But of course it depends on you. It is only my thought.

Changes have been made. The header's a lighter shade of dark gray, the slider pics are smaller, there's a bigger gap between posts and sidebar, and the "read more" tab is gray instead of red now. Better?
All opinions welcome!

Hello Ciarán,
I hope you don't kill me for my abundant suggestions.

The modifications are very good, specially the "AB" logo. But I would keep the header symmetric. For doing that, I would repeat the logo arm "AB" on the left side, in order to keep the logo type "ABANDONED BERLIN" in the center.

About the sidebar, I does not appears good to me. For three reasons:
1. It is too close to the body and I cannot see any gap
2. It is poping up the screen because it is red with big and bold fonts.
I believe that it must be something aside and less important. I know they are good and useful, but now it seems that it has a high priority to be seen by readers. That's why I suggest you to add your recent posts (mini archive) above it, in order to push it down and give it less importance.

The last but not least, the transparent footer in the slider pictuers, is a bit thick. It was good for the previous size, but now it seems too big to me. I mean both the thickness of the transparent ribbon and the red captions.

Sorry if I wrote too much. I appreciate again your "AB" logo.

Hey Omid,
Thanks! They're all good suggestions so keep 'em coming!
You're right about the symmetry. I think two AB logos would be too much though, so I'll probably get rid of them altogether, or put it somewhere else.
Was aware of the large font in the slider pics - I'll take care of that.
There definitely is a gap with the sidebar - 30px, but maybe the red sites are a bit distracting. Maybe I'll put the archive there as you suggest.
I'd love to put a dividing line between sidebar and blog but don't know how.
There are a few other issues with it - the items in the footer are all messed up - so I think I'm going to have to start all over again with modifications to the original template.
Hopefully it'll be much improved by the time I'm done.
Thanks again for the suggestions. Really appreciated.

Would it be possible for you to include the latest comments on posts on the main page again? That was one of the first things I checked out every time I visited the blog, to see if there were any new developments on any posts.It'd be cool to have that back. :-)


Good suggestion! I figured that reinstating it the way it was would stretch too far down the home page though, so I've added a separate comments page instead. You can find it in the header. Hope it serves your needs!

Dear IB,
Sorry for the delay, I was too busy in recent days. I wanted to reply your last reply, but I saw that you have made some new changes to your blog.

Header: I am so glad because of the symmetric logotype and the size of it. I can say that the whole header (logotype, slides...) is almost perfect and I like it a lot. I would make only a little change and I would make the transparent ribbon on the sliding photos a bit thinner. Because right now it cover one third of photos which makes them less visible.

Dividers: Nevertheless, the division lines are too narrow, but I believe that they can be reduced in terms of numbers. Especially the horizontal and vertical lines in the right column.
However, I think this one is a matter of personal taste, because I usually prefer virtual division and using gaps rather than any sort of drawing. So you can forget about my suggestion. 

Right Column: In general, the right column is a bit fragmented and needs to be categorized and grouped.
Buttons and Boxes: I would put all social site buttons like g+, Flattr, Facebook... in one area. I would also put the “Subscribe” box either under the sharing buttons area or in the footer close to the "Join this site" area.
Sites: I would work more one it and make it a bit smaller. 
Twitter box: The idea of Tweet box is nice and make the site livelier, but I would shift it over the “sites” and/or make it closer to the social network buttons area.
Archive: I still feel the lack of archive in the right column. Even if you put a link of the last three or five posts, or the link of months or a tiny calendar like the sample below, etc. anyway it would be useful.
Sample calendar:

Conclusion: I like the new look too much. Specially the new header. I hope my suggestion are useful.


Dear Omid, no need at all to apologize! Your comments/suggestions are very helpful!
I did say I was finished with modifications, but will try reduce the size of text in the slider as you suggest, and group all the buttons together - maybe at the bottom of the page.
In short, I'll move things around again and try improve it, though it really will only be little tweaks at this stage.
Many thanks!
I did try the archive on the side, but reckoned it looked crap. Plus it's just repeating what's contained already under "Sites." I'm not sure the date is terribly important and they're all given at the top of posts anyway...

I didn't read that you were finished with modification, otherwise I would not make a long list of suggestion. :)

You are right about the archive, it can be accessed under "Sites".

I think everything is perfect and I wish to read still more very nice posts. By the way if you need a company for your next discoveries just let me know. :)

Good luck,

Haha! No worries Omid! I'll still take your suggestions on board. Hopefully I can get to a new post soon...

So I've made a couple more minor alterations as suggested. Hope it's better now. ;)

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