CodeStore Version 7.6

My eagle-eyed readers might have noticed a few changes being made recently on this site? Particularly on the homepage:


Notice that my recent Tweets are now in the right-hand sidebar, along with the results of the most recent survey. There's also a new tab called Surveys to host blog entries with surveys attached.

Also, I moved the "DEXT" tab over to the right to try and set it apart from the actual content of the site. Notice that hovering over it brings up a list of the noteworthy demos contained within.


There have been numerous other changes you're less likely to notice. For example:

  • Links posted in to comments now get converted to working links.
  • Less images used and a splattering of CSS3 applied.
  • Added "social" sharing links to all blog entries to let you easily share on Delicious, Twitter etc.


They're all things that have been on my to-do list for ages and I decided it was high time I gave this site a breath of fresh air. Last thing I want to happen is for it to become dated and showing signs of age. I like to think it's always been on the cutting edge (if not the bleeding) of web trends.

What Else's To Come?

  • Better search (possibly via Google Site Search?).
  • More mobile-friendly.
  • More content. Well, hopefully.

Stick with me.


  1. That New is too red ;)

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 19 Nov 2010 03:39 AM

      Don't worry, it won't be there for long.

  2. Great work Jake!

    Things like polls can really enhance the engagement (I hate that word) on your site. I have a long todo list of such improvement myself but lack the focus to do it, and am considering moving my blog to another platform one day.

    I still find your new comment system to be the best recent improvement but these evolutions really are great too.

    Just one reading suggestion for you:


    If you're not familiar with that source, it's Jakob Nielsen's site. He is considered to be THE usability guru of the world. Unlike many others, all his findings are based on actual data and research. I have read some of his books and particularly "prioritizing web usability" is worth it's weight in gold. As for pulldown menus, his research shows that:

    - Pulldown menus suck and confuse and irritate users

    - Hovered 2D menus (mega menus) are an exception to this rule

    - ...But not when they are not categorized and/or iconized

    I think your mega drop down menu is fine given your audience and it is really good that you can get to the content on non-hover devices (iOS). Just wanted to give you a tip on how you can easily determine the usability of an individual element you're designing. Base it on data, not opinion.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 19 Nov 2010 04:07 AM

      Thanks Ferdy. For what you said and for testing the link-converter too!

      I'm aware of Mr Nielsen. Also aware of the issues surrounding mega menus. Nothing's ever perfect is it.

      What I don't like about my own mega menu is that all the DEXT links, in effect, navigate away from the site with no warning and could therefore be seen as unexpected behaviour. Hence why I never like the DEXT tab at all, as it's not a tab - it's merely a link.

      I'll read the article though and possibly re-consider its use.

      If you want to see how to really confuse users, see how I used mega menus on the three tabs at the top of this site:


      Hide the rest of this thread

      1. I think DEXT is an important showcase element. Perhaps it could be more of a "featured" element rather then an element suggested to be part of the navigation hierarchy.

        That example indeed was confusing, to me at least:

        - The 2D menu is more of a tooltip than a real menu

        - The visual seperation between the tabs and the black bar menu suggest they are disconnected but it seems they are not. This makes me wonder why the secondary menu items were not made part of the tab hover, after which you could remove the bar alltogether

        - Most confusing to me was the reordering of tabs when you click on them. Quite unexpected behavior if you ask me.

        Having said that, the site is simple enough to still find your way, but I would not call it a showcase of solid navigation.

          • avatar
          • Jake Howlett
          • Fri 19 Nov 2010 04:24 AM

          For that site the three tabs represent three different (but similar) websites. Notice how the domain in the URL changes for each tab. The main black navigation just happens to be the same for each site.

          Each of the three sites used to be disconnected from the others. The idea of the tabs is to cross-sell them to people who land on any of the other two.

          The re-ordering of tabs is indeed an issue. I plan to make it check the referrering domain and if necessary leave that ones tab at the beginning.

          1. Did not notice the domain change at all :)

            The suggestion is given that it is a single site. Which is good as you intended to do that. Users will not understand that the secondary navigation happens to be the same, it is merely a technical explanation of your design choice.

            It is a good thing that secondary navigation is the same, but my original point was that it does not feel like secondary navigation to me, because it is not in close proximity to 1st level navigation.

  3. Jake,

    Getting Codestore to be mobile-friendly is for sure one of the trendiest things you could do. There's a lot of noise around mobility right now.

    By the way, the changes look nice !

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 19 Nov 2010 04:19 AM

      Agreed. It already is mobile friendly in that it *works* on all devices. I just want it to be a more natural experience per device.

      Ala https://twitter.com/#!/Malarkey/status/3574419901390849

  4. Nice work Jake - quick suggestion for the drop down menu:

    Delay the closing of the menu slightly its very jumpy else if you move around the edge of it and more of a highlight when moving over those links would be good.

  5. Jake, one more thing I forgot...it is recommended to only display a mega drop down after 0.5 sec of hover. This way you do not confuse users who hover by the option with no intention of actually going there.

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CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

Your host is Jake Howlett who runs his own web development company called Rockall Design and is always on the lookout for new and interesting work to do.

You can find me on Twitter and on Linked In.

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