American Politics, Donald Trump and Old People
INTERESTING STUFF: 25 July 2015

Surprise!

Welcome to the Time Goes By redesign. What do you think? It's certainly brighter and shinier around here.

There are bound to be glitches to fix and design decisions I'll rework over the next days and weeks, but this general look-and-feel will remain.

Time Goes By hasn't changed since it shyly dipped its toes in the blog waters in 2004. Because I'm lazy and it's a lot of work to redesign a site, this day might never have arrived. But then the Google blackmail showed up.

The company that still has more than 80 percent of search engine traffic announced that (their definition of) non-mobile friendly websites would henceforth be penalized in search results; that is, as of 21 April 2015, non-mobile-friendly websites would be ranked lower in search results than those that have been redesigned to Google's standards.

The bottom line from Google - make your website look the way WE want it to look, or else. Which is why most websites look alike these days.

Well, I'm too old to fight back on this one so here we are.

Various items have been moved around or, in some cases, discarded. Let me give you a tour.

The main site navigation is at the top of every page above the banner. The Archive is now by category only; nearly 12 years of date archives are not very useful to anyone.

Contact now opens your email program rather than a form if you want to send me a message.

About leads to a page with links to various information about this website. It's messy-looking right now; I'll improve it in time.

As you can see, there is only one sidebar now, on the right. The same Subscribe buttons are at the top and, as before, the Search form is at the bottom. In between, there are changes to several features. What remain are links to:

  • Best Books on Ageing
  • Elderblog List
  • Geezer Flicks
  • A Mother's Last Best Lesson

We all know that the Elderblog List and Geezer Flicks are painfully out of date. I'll get to both of those one of these days soon. I hope. The Photo Biography is now linked from the About section.

May they rest in peace, four features have been permanently removed. Elder Video was not one of my better ideas so it has been ditched. The Where Elders Blog feature has been discontinued. And Reverse Mortgages is no longer available because the federal government has made several rule changes resulting in some information in the series being incorrect. Maybe I'll fix it in time.

Finally, for a variety of reasons, it has been impossible to keep up In Memoriam so instead of that section, we will hold memorial services here as they become necessary. Not often, I hope.

Of course, The Elder Storytelling Place must also be “upgraded” to Google's specifications. I'm going to take a breather and then go to work on that.

Comments

LOVE it!

More later... but had to say I LOVE It!

Looking great!
My only note at first glance is to update the ShareThis function, so your Tweet button includes your Twitter name. This way you will be aware when someone tweets one of your posts.

Wish you'd kept the serif font. Easier to read.. imho

Wow! Lovely design. Maybe I didn't notice before, but are there a couple of new photos in the banner at the top?

Best mobile site I've seen especially since I can still enlarge/expand to more easily see small print, photos and graphics on a tiny phone screen. Many do not allow that.

Because of my current schedule, I read TGB mostly on my phone. My phone seems to like it as well. :). You are good at this!

Love it. I, too, mostly read on my phone, and it's now much easier to read.

You're the best.

Trudi...
Time Goes By has never set a serif font for text. I code a certain font I want depending on how I want it to fit with the design but anyone can change it in their browser settings. If you change it, the site won't look as intended but that is always users' choice, as it should be.

Bravo Ronni.....Now you fit on my monitor. Yes, I can read the entries, but it is a bit of a strain as the type is so light. Perhaps slightly darker for those of us with cataracts? The site looks great.

PS: Just took a quick look on my laptop. Looks fabulous. Clean. Easy.

A quick look ... fantastic! One thing is I can't get Elder Blog??? I use that all the time rather than bookmark pages. Hope it's just a glitch. Good job!

I join the "Yessss!" chorus. The header looks like a movie marquee - hat tip to NYC? When there's more time, I'll check out some functions, like looking up past posts, that I've always liked using. But you did hella job here, Ronni!

Only downside to all this is Google flexing its muscles to get what it wants. Their own version of net neutrality. Wonder what's Step #2.

We will adapt. My comment is the type is weak on my tablet and it's quite a strain on my eyes; I have cataracts and bunches of floaters. Also, the archive and contact links are not working this morning.
Thanks for all your efforts.

What's most wonderful about TGB is its content and as that hasn't changed, I'm fine with the re-design and will undoubtedly soon barely remember the previous format. I'm thrilled with the new Archive and will enjoy being able to read TGB more easily on my phone or tablet.
Thank you, Ronni, for all the hassle you undoubtedly had to go through.

Very clean and up-to-date looking. Good job, and thanks for biting the bullet and doing it. I redid my blog about a year ago and it IS a ton of trouble but worth it. BTW, I hope you will keep me on your ElderBlogger list, if you decide to update and keep that. I'm always happy to ride on your generous coattails.

Love the new look Ronni! Very neat and clean and bright. My only comment is that I wasn't able to link to any of the pages in the FEATURES category in your sidebar. . .not sure if it's a problem on my end - never has been before. Something to check.

As I'm sure your content won't change all is good!

Wow! What a surprise! And even tho;' as an elder, I HATE change, this one is ok by me. The only thing is the white background is sooooo white, at least for me. But I'm sure I'll adjust. Thanks Ronni, for all the hard work, & as others have pointed out, it's the content that we love the best! Dee :)

I like it! When blogs and websites look alike it can get kind of bland and boring - OTOH I'm into Simplicity now and appreciate the clean look and easier navigation -

The quality of your posts and discussions here is stellar and I'm sure that won't change! Great work Ronni!

BTW, like the large print........waiting to see what Darlene thinks, too. Dee

Nice clean look, and I too love the Broadway look at the top. I'll chime in with those who find the type a little light and thus harder to read. I'll go play with my browser settings.

I'm reading from my mobile devise and it's very nice. Really like the update.

Karen...
Those Features links worked fine when I was testing. Thanks for letting me know. It's among the fixes I knew there would need to be.

Dee...
The white background is exactly the same white background as before, as it is at The New York Times and at just about 99 percent of all websites that use a white background.

yes, like in Ronni. Clean and crisp. Thanks for all the trouble you went to.

No matter what the reasons, the site looks good and it's nice to see you and your elegant hat.

Weary...women do get weary wearing the same shabby dress. So when she gets weary, try a little interface renovation.
I was a little confused by the whereabouts of the "Comments" section, but I think I've got it now.

Good move.

However, like Trudy, I too prefer a serif typeface. I think that's because that is what we Elders learned to read with in books, newspapers, etc. Also, it may be that the less dense san serif is more difficult for Elder eyes to see and Elder minds to register, at least that is a conclusion I've come to. I prefer, as you could guess, the old Times New Roman but also like Calibri, Cambria or even Bodoni much better.

Wish there was a way we Elders could change the typeface on the pages that we read by just pushing a button or making a simple selection, Don't want to go through the process of using HTML tags, etc. to make the changes. Any suggestions?

Miki...
As I responded to Trudy above, users have total control over fonts. Fonts are set by designers usually to match the overall design. But you can change the font to anything listed in your browser and you can change the size in your browser settings. In fact, you can download fonts you like from the web and apply them in your browser.

The website won't look the way it is intended when you do that. Depending on the form and size of the font, it may rearrange elements on the page. But you have complete control. It's your choice.

As to serif or not, hundreds of tests over many years have shown that sans-serif is easier for the majority of people to read on a screen (as opposed to a page). But that doesn't matter. You can change to a serif font in your browser any time you want.

Looks good. Although I read your blog on my laptop, it's nice to know that it will look good on my iPhone. I do use it lots more these days.

Ronni-
Looks great! I have, throughout my many years creating and editing documentation always favored sans serif. The publishing world (especially Time mag) insisted on the Times Roman (serif) font 10pt. My agrument was sans serif is cleaner and certainly more legible. But powers to be, I was 'made aware' and then had to read Time's style book about their justification of reading of a more popular style (Times Roman). My only logical agrument to the publisher was: "But, sans serif uses less ink!"
Your overall layout is very generous with lots white space. Another thing that printers liked as long as they were getting paid by the reams of paper they passed through the presses. Now that we are in the paperless, digtal age - we can go crazy with the good stuff.
As I walked out of the business for the last time, from that wonderfully wild, wild world, I was reminded, "to suck it up" and "change is good".
Well just another lifetime to think again Yellowstone, “Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.”
Good job, Ronni!

critique: Are photos of you missing? Highlight or somehow point up COMMENTS. Right now there are residual images that show up - but those might settle down. PREVIEW then POST went awkward - residuals showed up in left margin blocking site. And - seems spellcheck is missing from the comments (or is that my PC that does that?)

As someone who generally opposes change unless I initiate it, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like your new format. And I no longer have to refresh the page when I click on the "comments" section! I haven't tried the other features yet, but I do like this new look.

I agree that "the type is weak" - harder for me to read. I'll play with the settings on my monitor to see if I can make it more readable. It seems to "work" for most of the people who have already left comments.

Since I don't do mobile much, I had no problem with the old format. However, it's gone like other things in my life recently (for example, my job). That's "just the way it is" so I'll have to adjust. Like Classof65, I no longer need to refresh the page to read the comments.

I like serif fonts, as well, but will I mess with reformatting the page? I don't think so! I'm sure it would turn out to be a total disaster.

I like it very much. I especially appreciate the amount of space between the lines. Makes it WAY easier for me to read. I am reading this on my iPad and having no problems. :-)

The link to expand the Comments is pretty important, as many of us do check back here to read new comments more than once a day. Can you maybe make it a larger point size, and/or bold, and/or black instead of light grey? Perhaps all three?

Other than that... beautiful redesign. I like it!

At first the top section with your progression of photos did not appear and I was so disappointed since they sort of represent your blog (to me). Then for some reason after I'd read through the post, I scrolled back up and there they were! So I'm happy and will embrace the new look. You bring us so much valuable news and information, it's all great.

I like the overall design--the clean look and lots of white space. The font really doesn't work for me. The letters are not a uniform darkness; it seems that letters with a straight vertical line (e.g., i, l, b, p, h, k, etc.) are darker on that line compared to the rest of the letters and the parts of those letters that are not straight lines. I find it very tiring for my eyes. I hope you'll give this some thought.

Very nice, Ronni. Simple. Clean. Easy to read and navigate. Nice job.

Oh, and you didn't really ask for nitpicky detail typography feedback, so feel free to disregard the following! For what it's worth...

The Limelight font is oh-so stylish, but one has to be careful with it. The very thin portions of the letters can disappear if the point size is too small -- especially when reversed, or of a less-contrasty colour -- causing the text to seem clumpy and splotchy and not as legible. Where I noticed this effect:

- the header graphic subheading: "What it's really like to get old" (reversed white on red)
- the Elder Storytelling Place graphic "Read a new story every weekday written by elders themselves" (gold on white)

In both cases I think the cleanest fix would be to use a heavier weight, perhaps SemiBold, of your Raleway body-text font, in whatever point size will fit the space.

Love the sans serif font and find it much easier to read.

Nice, bold and clean.

The overall look is up to date and very cool. When it comes to the font/point issue, I, like Sylvia, would like the letters to be more black than grey. More contrast helps those of us who have Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) or other vision issues. Usually I can read your blog on my laptop without magnification because the letters are large and there's been good contrast. This new format is a struggle, but I can, and will use the Windows magnification feature if I must. It's just a bit of a fuss because the enlarged lines run off the visible page requiring mousing back and forth. I guess that Google likes the grey on white best because it's in many, many websites.

As for my phone, there's no problem because I can pinch/open to increase the size. I haven't tried it on my iPad, but it's easy to increase the print size there as well. These wonderful electronics will significantly extend the time during which I can read published printed material. I wish my mother had had had these tools..

So, it looks like a pretty successful launch! You must have been working on this for quite a while. Bravo.

I am a new follower and so pleased to be able to read the excellent content on my iPhone — thank you. The site now looks fresh and modern. Those who struggle with the font: just making the font larger generally does the trick for me. But you can change the default font for your own browser and it's quite fun to do. Various pages walk you through the process. Here's one that looks OK::
http://www.howtogeek.com/208552/how-to-change-the-default-fonts-in-your-web-browser/
Or just search "change default font on browser".

Hey, I love the bigger comment box! I read this on my IPad. Your site looks great!

I'm so glad you brought back the photo strip at the top! Very cool redo.

It does look cleaner and more modern. I am sure usability will be commented upon as the weeks go by.

Love it all, specially the new picture, the way I know you now, hat included.

Congratulations on completing yet another time consuming task..

Change? Bah, humbug! So, Google rules? Okay, it's slick but not bad and I do like the new header with its 40s movie marquee look. It did seem to me that the photos were slightly different. Since we now have no way of comparing them, 'fess up---did you change them? I also agree with other commenters that sans serif type is harder to read and that the paler type is not kind to old eyes. But I'll get used to it and the site is still very easy to navigate, with all the features we have come to know and love.

I had previously noticed this exact look and typeface in a number of other e-publications to which I subscribe but I thought it was something my iPad was doing. Thanks to TGB, I now know it's good old Google throwing its Sumo wrestler weight around. It would have been nice to have one---just one---traditional blog site with its own sweetly unique look. But I understand how difficult it would have been for you to buck the monolith that Google has become. It's ironic that the company with the motto "Don't do Evil" is so intent on controlling everything.

I'm not trying to be a grouch, but I will share this: when I clicked on the story section, the top story, a poem, leapt out at me with a title which was something like "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Interesting. Deliberate?

For those wondering about the photos in the header, my take on it is that the 6th one in (counting from the left) is new. Had never noticed that smashing dimple before! And the final one was changed from laughing-without-a -hat to laughing with a hat. Like everyone else, I love the whole effect.

Heh, heh, heh. For those of you discussing the photos in the banner, I think this is similar what the TV crime shows tell us about eye witnesses: they're not very good at it.

The banner photos, except for the size which is slightly larger to fit the new blog size, are the same as they have been since I added the final photo on the right - with the hat - about six months ago.

What?? You're not pulling our collective leg? :-P How come we didn't notice? I look at that banner every time I come on here! Sigh. So much for perception...

I concur with everyone who like the new look. I have AMD and find this easier to read. To avoid sending my comment with mistakes I had to preview everything I typed and another aging issue made me forget to do so half the time,

I especially like the new comment section because it was hard for me to read and spot my many typos on the old blog..

The latest part of my body to show the ravages of aging is my hand. Specifically , my fingers that have become disfigured due to arthritis and are hard to place on the right keys on the keyboard resulting in numerous typos, so seeing them as I type helps avoid some weird words with wrong or missing letters.

I am all for simplicity and this format pleases me. And I really admire you, Ronni, for doing the hard work in making the changes. Kudos!

I feel like a Luddite still reading on my laptop! So the view from my laptop: as others have commented, the type is grey which looks a little fuzzy. If it can be made like the old style (still on Storytelling Place) that would be nice, but if not we'll learn to live with it.
I actually shrink the content on the page as I can read faster if it's more compact. Quick keyboard shortcuts are < Ctrl>+ to expand or < Ctrl>- to contract the page.
As for serif v. sans-serif, as Ronni said, sans-serif is more readable on screen according to research, although as display quality has improved the difference might be less significant.
On the whole, a clean and neat layout. And all Ronni's research and hard work plus the commentariat here are what matters most. Thank you all.

Hey looks great!

Love the new open look.
The sans serif type face does not work.
Tests of comprehension have shown that serif typefaces increase comprehension. Design guidelines usually suggest using sans serif for headlines but serif for text.
I would like to see you return your text to a normal serif typeface. There are many wonderful and creative options. Keep the sans serif for the headlines. That will look nice.

I sympathize with Darlene's arthritis and typing problems. The new, larger comment box is great and should help with that and also make it easier for our typing to keep up with our thinking, or the other way around. But I'd also like to encourage Darlene to get an iPad if she doesn't have one. They are well worth the investment. The iPad makes everything sharper and brighter and I find that using a stylus eliminates most of my typing errors.

I almost always use a sans serif type and like this one. I have no problem with lighter and darker letters on my screens. (May be my Apple phone and Macbook.)

How we 'old' people hate change. We'll ajust!

Ronni,
I love the new look. It feels much cleaner and fresher. Very easy to read on my I
Pad, which I truly appreciate.

Thank you for you do for us, your readers.

Hey, folks, all that's happened to the body text is that Ronni switched from one sans-serif font (your browser's default, whatever that is, usually Arial) to a different one. (And she made the point size bigger.) Go take a look at the Elder Storytelling Place, which hasn't been updated yet. Unless you've done something on-purpose in your browser settings, what you're seeing is a teensy tiny sans-serif font.

This is a nicer font family than Arial. The x-height is bigger, and look! You can actually tell the difference between a lower-case l and a capital I -- there's a little hook at the bottom of the l! How refreshing!

I think the perception of more white probably comes from the type being more spread out, less dense on the page..

Great - Clean, Clear easy to read if slightly faint.
You have motivated me to think about getting back to blogging - as you say - such an effort to tackle the page - but i will.
Thanks for the effort Ronni - even if you were forced into it!

What a lot of work you've done! Like it.

Congratulations Ronni. I like the new layout - fresh and easy to read. Like Bruce, I struggled to find where to comment. I didn't think to scan down - dah!. Anyway, here now.

I have to agree that the typeface on white makes the site difficult to read.

I am not sure how you mean that I can change the type other than in my aging Mac's "view", which lets me zoom in or out--I have found no way to manipulate text except in my word processing function.

The bold text at the comment section which reads: "Your Information" is no better. I think it is a time factor--trying to stay focused on the site, gets worse as I go.

I don't know if the thinness of the type or the lack of contrast
is the problem, it just doesn't feel good to my eyes.

Sorry, Ronni, I know the content will remain of quality.


I've probably done more commenting than my standard allotment on this post, but this additional one is for Ronni. After a few days with the new font, I have decided that it is actually easier to read and easier on the eyes. The Comment box is wonderful. Much, much better! So, although I still don't like Google using muscle on blog runners, I am a convert. Regarding the photos on the "marquee" I concede that they weren't changed except for the addition at the far right. But that addition is meaningful in that it imparts a delightful symmetry: you as a little girl in the first photo and you as a proud elder woman in her grown-up "bonnet" at the other end. Good show, Ronni.

Oh, my. I'll repeat what I said earlier in the comments in regard to the banner photos: apparently we are operating on the TV cop show principle: eye witness memories are never accurate.

All the photos in this banner, including the far right have been exactly as you see them now since about February when I added the most recent one on the right with the hat.

Wow! Love what you've done with the place!! I thought at first I'd knocked on the wrong door. Instead, you just threw back the heavy drapes and let the sun shine in. Well done! (But it's a good thing you hung onto that photo bio. I'd have had to chastise you severely if you let it go.)

It's a lovely surprise, looks absolutely fantastic and I find it easier to read.
Banner is easier to see too!

P.S. My compliments to your designer, Ronni, for coming up with a light, open, modern layout and yet choosing a headline font that maintains a vintage feel.

Okay, I guess. But the print appears to be more grey than black. Are my eyes fading?

... and here you said you were slowing down... that must've been a LOT of work. Thanks!

Like a fool I miss the old! Because the new is good!. I like that the recent posts, which I like to read when I've been away for a while, are on the right now. Yes, I agree with the sentiment from many - Thank You for taking the trouble - the print is larger now which is a great help.

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