Friday, February 13, 2009

A few hours creating a tiny image

Despite the spartan layout on Linkspank, some spankers are confused about where the menu is, or what they can or should do when they receive a spank from another (slightly savvier) user of the site.
a picture of the menu

I've tried various tactics to address this issue. For a while, the "spank" and other links were formatted as big red buttons. Some people liked that, but it started to drive me nuts with all the red on the page. I felt that red as a highlight color was being overused and abused.

Today I decided to try creating an image that would go at the left of the spank and call attention to the links. My first idea was to create a little icon with the hand in it. Some work led to this icon:
first stab at the icon (bigger size)

But when I shrunk the icon to 40 x 40 pixels, it looked crappy. I decided ultimately that it wasn't my lack of skill that was causing the problem, so much as the fact that the hand is a fairly intricate shape to be presented at such a small resolution.

After despairing briefly, I got the idea to use a caret-shaped image to call out the menu:

the spanky caret

This took me about two seconds to make, and I like it so far. All I wanted was something that says, "Yo! Look here. This is the spot," and the caret does a pretty good job of that. It also looks a little like a command prompt, or an arrow, both of which make sense in this context. It's also a use of red that seems to be in line with the usage of red on the rest of the page.

Finished product:

That is all. As for the Seal of Spankiness, I'm using it for the time being at the side of the page to promote the Linkspank Toolbar, which is getting high reviews so far.

I hope you have enjoyed this foray into random minutiae. Have a nice day.