The Finished Kitchens Blog (FKB) is back

starpoohSeptember 1, 2012

"Can't see the forest for the trees...."

Yup, that's what happened.

I had been so involved in the details of setting up a new FKB (with fancy categories) that I lost sight of the goal of the project..... adding kitchens.

So I'm revamping the blogger setup so it is more user-friendly for both viewing and for adding kitchens.

I will worry about the categories later.

Click on the link below to view a preview of the new FKB.

It's a "work in progress" since I haven't played around with the text or colors and many of the links in the navigation bar aren't working.

Be sure to hover over "Dynamic Views" in the top navigation bar and select the various views: Flipcard, Magazine, Mosaic, Sidebar, Snapshot, Timeslide and Classic.

What do you think of the basic functionality?

btw.... can someone please verify the page displays properly on tablets and smartphones?

New format for Finished Kitchens Blog (FKB)

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starpooh

hmmm.. thought I had posted this image in the original post.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:08PM
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annsch

Hi starpooh, so I just clicked on the link you provided and then clicked on "add my kitchen" and nothing happened...I just posted my kitchen here last week and wanted to add it to the FKB. What am I doing wrong?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:15PM
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jenswrens

Yay! Starpooh is back!

I like the new look of the FKB. One thing - it's saying that dynamic views isn't supported and doesn't work on mobile devices. I can see things on my iPad but the pages don't scroll right unless I'm on the home page (non-dynamic view?).

Also, can't find the list of kitchens alphabetically by username anymore. It only seems to be by archived month/year. I haven't checked the site on my laptop yet - just the iPad.

But off to a great start so far! Can't wait to see more!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:21PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

Wow, Starpooh - this is great! Thank you for this. It was fun looking at all the kitchens I've watched built through the years. This is a real labor of love - thank you!!

Jenswrens, if you click on any kitchen you'll see the names alphabetized on the right hand side.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:29PM
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annsch

Starpooh, Nevermind! Now it's working...will send you and email soon. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:53PM
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writersblock

It looks great! Thank you so much.

One thing, though. After you click on a kitchen, the page shows two search boxes, of which only the top one actually works (sorry for the large image--the software here seems to one of those that enlarges images that are below a certain pixel dimension):

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:53PM
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onedogedie

I was wondering ...
So glad to see the person behind the curtain is back.
You are appreciated!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 2:06PM
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cat_mom

Hooray!!!!

Quick feedback:

Definitely need search function/box on the Dynamic view page(s).

Any way to edit info.? (e.g. update paint colors, URL's/websites, etc.)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:00PM
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likewhatyoudo

Awesome, I will be spending lots of time browsing! Is there anything for finished bathrooms? That is my next project...
Thank you for this!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:16PM
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rosie

Thank you, Starpooh! I'm so glad you're busy building this for us all. I look forward to regaining the search function (which found me the wood hood design I copied and love--thank you again!), but in the meantime opening the site and finding that wonderful array of kitchens to just dive into is wonderful.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 3:40PM
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andreak100

Hooray! So, does this post get a sticky so that it's easy for people to find?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 4:57PM
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covingtoncat

Yay! And I second what andreaK asks.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 5:58PM
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a2gemini

Can't wait to be able to post our kitchen!! Thanks!!
I agree - we need a sticky!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 6:31PM
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springroz

Maybe I will be able to see some now...I never had the patience to search before!! I have a really slow connection!

I think FKB should be right next to gallery and conversations, but I know it is not a GW site.

Thanks for all the hard work, starpooh!!

Nancy

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 7:15PM
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starpooh

Thanks to everyone for the positive comments. I've truly missed viewing all the beautiful finished kitchens!

I appreciate the feedback on the Dynamic Views and the search button. I had hoped there wouldn't be any problems since the new version of the FKB uses one of the new templates from blogger.com. But that doesn't seem to be true.
a. The internet contains numerous complaints about the Dynamic View on the iPad. There are workarounds but that will have to come later; my priority now is getting new kitchens posted.
b. I removed the non-working "Search This Blog" box, but have found that the other search box sometimes produces incorrect results. (Why can't the blogger team get this right?) There's not much I can do about this.
I will also need to defer adding a Search Box to the Dynamic View pages (sorry cat_mom). It's not an easy fix; I will need to delve into the code so will put this on my "To Do" list.

So my plan is to convert the original FKB into this new format. Hopefully you all understand that it's not the best, but at least the kitchens will get updated. :-)

The next step is for me to generate the new FKB Category Checklist. It's a huge list with dozens of specific questions that was compiled in April 2011 with help from members of the forum.
I'm not even halfway done so it will take me a few days to complete the checklist/questionnaire.

Here's how the new system will work:
1. Please email me with permission to post your finished kitchen. I will email the Category Checklist questionnaire to you.
2. Fill out the questionnaire with as many details as you wish, then submit it to me.
3. I will post your kitchen
4. You can resubmit the questionnaire at any time with updates.

I am so hoping this new method will make it easier for me to post kitchens while providing you with the details that you have requested.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Jodi_SoCal

Excellent news! Welcome back! You truly are a "Star"!

Jodi-

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:45PM
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lalithar

Strap ooh.. Welcome back.. Please let us know if we can help beta test the new FKB.. I loved the categories of the old FKB.. Very useful for targeted search to clarify design and not get lost in the general prettiness of kitchens..

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:07AM
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aliris19

Starpooh yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:55AM
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beekeeperswife

Welcome back old friend!!!!

Looking forward to entering 2 kitchens...

Bee

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:45AM
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angela12345

I can see the home page but get the following error message on an iPad when trying to look at any of the different "dynamic" views ...
Dynamic Views in Blogger require the use of a modern browser, and are not currently supported on mobile devices.
You can visit a non-dynamic version of this blog, continue unsupported, or upgrade your browser by clicking on one of the links below.

I liked the page on the old FKB where you could click on a category and see all of the kitchens with a certain granite, or glass cabinets, or features like broom closets, etc. etc. That was what I used the most on the FKB - going to all kitchens that had a certain feature I was looking for.

It would be nice to have the alphabetical listing also on the home page. It shows for me on every page except the home page. Also, I liked before where the A's were grouped together, then the B's, .... Although, with all listed like it is now, it is almost as easy to scroll quickly down the page.

I LOVE how the home page has a small picture of a bunch of different kitchens. Allows me to easily look at lots of kitchens, many I may not have seen before. If they didn't have the feature I was looking for, I may have never clicked on them, there are so many !! Are they in any particular order ? Is there one thumbnail for every finished kitchen in the FKB ?

Welcome back ! And thank you for continuing this arduous task that you have kept up with for so many years.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:55AM
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drewem

As a somewhat new member I have to ask, where is the FKB located? I see the gallery and conversations options, but when I clicked Blogs, it pulled a garden blog.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:02PM
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mpagmom

Looks like a tremendous improvement. Thanks so much for your hard work and welcome back!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:50PM
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starpooh

~ drewem - You can access the Finished Kitchens Blog at www.finishedkitchens.com.
If you forget where it is you can look in the kitchen forum's sticky post "STICKY: New To Kitchens? Posting Pics? Read Me!".

~ angela12345 - I'm quite surprised that blogger's dynamic views isn't supported on mobile devices. I believe there are workarounds but I'm satisfied for now that the main page is viewable. I'll look into problems with the dynamic views in the future.

I realize the importance of the categories in the FKB... and there will be dozens of categories in the new FKB. In the beginning you'll need to search to locate kitchens with a certain granite, etc.
Once it gets going I will add single-level categories.
One good thing is that a search from the main page now will list kitchens with their photos.

I tried to add the alphabetic kitchens to the main page but it involves a code hack, so it will need to come later. I also liked the way the A's were grouped together, then the B's; it was so easy to find a kitchen.
But creating the grouped list of kitchens was a manual process in the old FKB. I'm trying to streamline the work for the new FKB so will not be grouping them. Sorry... hope the automated list is sufficient.
Oh, one nice feature of the automated list is that it's easy to search the page.... I think this makes it easy to find a specific member's kitchen.)
And I realize the names aren't really alphabetical since the automated listing separates capital and lowercase member names. I will fix that.

Yup, the main page displays one thumbnail for every kitchen in the FKB (the "main" photo). They are shown as Last-in/First-out, meaning the newest kitchen is displayed first. If you can get to the last displayed kitchen you'll see it belongs to Kacee2002; hers was the first kitchen added to the FKB back in 2005.
Also note that the dynamic views may show more than just the "main" photo for each kitchen. This usually also includes a backsplash photo.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 5:42PM
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buehl

StarPooh, I emailed you a few days ago using the email address from the new FKB...did you get it?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:02PM
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drewem

Thank you, I'll check it out!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:37PM
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colorfast

Starpooh, I really like everything so far! I especially like that we can see the snapshots to scroll through when first opening the blog. The newly remodeled FKB will be great for many people coming to GW for kitchen help.

I would appreciate somewhere a list of the kitchen names and the date the kitchen was posted on FKB. Also are the kitchens listed in order of most recent first (my preference, so I could open the blog and see the most recently added right off the bat? Or are they on the last page? Also cool, I can go straight to page 32 to see the latest.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 3:14PM
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starpooh

Thanks for the helpful comments! I am trying to incorporate all ideas into the new FKB. Some are easy; some are near-to-impossible.

Easy: Yes, colorfast! The main page displays kitchens by most recent first. So the last page displays the oldest. I have also added Recent Posts to all non-photo pages.
Not-so-easy: Listing kitchens by dates would require a special plug-in. Colorfast - can you use the Blog Archive at the bottom of the main page? It doesn't list all kitchens at once but does show the month that each kitchen was posted.
Near-to-impossible: Just found out that blogger does not allow more than 200 characters in the labels field. So that blows away my idea to use labels for categorizing. :-( But each kitchen post will contain category keywords for searching; hoping I can find an advanced search plugin-in that will allow you to easily search multiple keywords. But I realize the importance of multi-level search capabilities and am working on it. :-)

You may have noticed that I recently removed the test blog and have converted the FKB to the new format. The original blog has been archived.
Navigating the new FKB may be confusing at first because there are so many views/options. But try playing around with it and you'll find many ways to view each kitchen.
Have you tried the Dynamic Views? I love them... especially Snapshot. This view shows all photos posted for each kitchen, again starting at the most recent kitchen. So much easier than a slideshow!
And try clicking on a kitchen in one of the dynamic views: the kitchen post will pop-up, then you can use the older/newer arrow buttons in the top left to scroll through all kitchen posts. Easy peasy!

Please let me know of any other problems you find.
Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:54AM
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rhome410

You are truly wondrous! Thanks for doing this great service.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 1:28PM
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