Thursday, July 10, 2008

TasteSpotting: Your Opinions Appreciated

hey fbs'coolers...it's sarah, just about to fall over from putting tastespotting v2 back up. *whew*

first, thank you to everyone who has shared very honest (the "*ouch* that hurt me, but i needed it" kind of honest) opinions and feelings in the comments of previous posts about tastespotting. that, plus the emails, IMs, and blog posts around the foodweb from everyone have been a tremendous help in refining tastespotting's future. there is still much left to do!

which brings me to the second...we just did a redesign on the site, and while the functionality is about the same (with the addition of being able to crop photos on the site and see a preview) and there will be more to come, it's fairly dramatic change in color scheme/look and feel. i would SO VERY MUCH appreciate it if you could share your opinions about it.

does the dark background behind the pictures make the food (*smack* me for using this term) POP? does minimal color (black white and gray) let the food stand out? does it feel clean? or is it too dark? drab? someone actually called it "scary."

thanks so much to everyone in advance for any opinions you have...if you'd rather share your opinions with me privately, you can also email me: sarah[at]tastespotting[dot]com

i'm going to go eat a cupcake now. they've been showing up all over the site.

This Post was written by Sarah from TasteSpotting

14 comments:

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Sarah, I think it's so great that you're asking for feedback and really trying to make the site work well. Personally I shy away from black backgrounds, because on my little computer screen they tend to strobe a bit. But I like the idea of a darker than white background -- kind of like hanging artwork on the wall, it's often better set off by a dark neutral gray/green wall than a white wall. Keep up the great work with Tastespotting!

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Glad you're back! Not crazy about the dark background - I liked the neutral colors, too

www.crabbycook.com said...

Hi Sarah, First off thanks for all the hard work bringing TS back. Now to the black background. On my monitor the contrast between the black background and white "recipe card" causes an almost shimmering effect. That in turn makes the blog address at the top of the card barely legible.

My suggestion would be to soften the black with a little more gray and possibly darken the blog address.

DawnsRecipes said...

The new color scheme is awesome! But...I liked the green more. I dunno, green just feels more like a foodie color to me. But take one look at my site and maybe you'll just think I'm biased. Yes, it's green...lol! Great job on the site, though...seriously! Love it!

Sam said...

I thought about this long and hard when I redesigned my own blog a few years ago. Although there is something about black that appeals to me, all the sites where I thought the photos looked the most stunning had white backgrounds: Nordljus, Delicious Days, 101 Cookbooks, the list goes on. So, I made my own BG white and I have since been happier with it. Look at David L's blog - he just changed his BG to white and suddenly it looks so much fresher. I am also sure Flickr is white for a good reason.

lisa said...

I'm a food blogger and a graphic designer, so I have all kinds of opinions. ;) I like the black and grey at the top of the page. The black behind the photos may be too much contrast with the recipe cards, and a subtler shadow on the cards would be nice. I'm not worried about the legibility of the blog addresses because that becomes obvious when you click on the card. I just wish my food photos were good enough to get posted! I'm working on it--I need a better camara. Great site. Thanks for creating it.

sarah j. gim said...

thank you all for the feedback so far. and OF COURSE if you have other comments or suggestions for other parts of the site, PLEASE FEEL FREE to share!!

Angela said...

I also preferred the green version of the site.

What I would really like to see is some sort of status update in profiles to show whether a picture has been approved or rejected.

sarah j. gim said...

angela: we are definitely working on something to make it easier to communicate that kind of info to submitters - submissions that are pending, which ones won't be published, etc....working like a chicken with her head cut off to get it all done - takes time since we're not building on a platform, but from scratch. thanks for your patience :)

Anonymous said...

Got to admit, I was relatively devastated when, to my surprise, I found the tastespotting site shut down a couple of months ago. Oh the humanity! But, thankfully, it has now been reinstated as part of my daily internet rounds due to your fantastic work and effort, Sarah. However, concerning the color scheme- it makes the site seem somewhat cave like. I loved the brightness of the previous tastespotting, I felt that the photo-on-white combo made the pictures more inviting (it might have even made them actually look better). The photo-on-black combo makes it seem as thought the photos are about to be swallowed up. Kind o intimidating too. Perhaps you could brighten up the color scheme tad? But that's really my only complaint. Great job!

Allen said...

Sarah, thank you for taking up the challenge of refining and revitalizing Tastespotting. I'll admit that I have a love/hate relationship with the site. Earlier this year I submitted photos and most of the time my pictures found there way to the site. Then, as if someone turned the switch, I couldn't get anything on the site for over a month. I realize this is a past issue but where you can provide visibility into the publishing process, it will be helpful.

Also, I'd love the ability to categorize submissions (i.e. Dessert) -- this would allow you to create sections for people to better browse. Sometimes I just want to see desserts and nothing else ;-). This would also allow more visibility for submitters since the photos wouldn't roll off from the category pages as quickly.

I'd suggest toning down the color contrast of the photo background, but agree that the contrast creates a nice 'pop' for the photos.

When the old tastespotting was up I could receive hundreds of visits while on the homepage -- with the new tastespotting it's more like <50.

Sorry, just dumping all of my thoughts since I need to run off to the kitchen to stir something :-)

All the best --

Michelle said...

Sorry Sarah but I just don't like the black background. I come to TS wanting to relax a bit and "popping" is not relaxing.

I've submitted photos and not had them appear for days. With the original TS usually it was about 12 hours from posting to publication. But now I never know when it's going to appear.

Still love TS!!!

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