Hello and welcome to Aviate's newspaper! While this is a subsidiary of the site-makers' guild Aviate, it is intended to serve the entire site community. Here you can find interviews and articles focused on the site-making world.
Questions, comments, concerns? Neomail Borealis.
New site spotlight: Oasis
Date: Dec. 30, 2012
On December 28, 2012, Oasis arrived in the site community with a beautiful layout, offering both completely custom and owner's pick buttons. Oasis received 14 requests on its opening night. This site offers simply gorgeous buttons, like those below.
To learn more about Oasis, Aviate spoke with the owner, Kate.
Why did you decide to open Oasis? What made you decide to start making buttons?
I began making buttons several months ago for fun because I absolutely adore them. I've been a big fan of Monky and Turnip's sites for too long and I really wanted to try. Eventually, someone suggested I should just start making buttons for everyone and I couldn't have agreed more. There was something satisfying about making a button for someone and seeing how happy they were.
Would you please describe any other sites you've owned?
I also run the Draik Realm (/~Kohena), which was my first site and I used to run the Drawing Board. The Draik Realm is a directory of all the UFA Draiks that I know of and is largely because of my freakish obsession with them (I own 13). The Drawing Board was a pet application site, geared at me reviewing people's characters for the pets they already owned.
What did your first button look like? How have you improved since then?
I remember I searched for a nice background and the button was for the Draik Realm. I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to use a non-Draik image, but I did it. I used the font pixel love and it was horrible. The colours were ridiculous and the animation looped. It's still on /~Scallay. Since then, I learned how to crop images (and match them!), find better text and place it well, and expand my animations. It may have been a bad button, but it taught me a lot!
What are your tips for someone who wants to start making buttons or would like to improve the quality of their buttons?
Watch animations and read tutorials. Animations can really make or break buttons. Expert button makers have certain styles, so you can see how they design it for the best effects. There are so many sites that can teach you how to do it and if you can't understand, ask! Many button makers are really sweet and always willing to answer questions. I know I asked tons when I began making them and eventually, you find your groove. I love looking at buttons for inspiration and to try new things.
When you go to create a Kate's Pick button, how do you start if there's no guidance from the requester on what they want?
I look at their site for the most part and their account. I see what they like first and what the general theme is. If the site is really vibrant, I'm not going to make them a dull button. If they have something simple, I may opt for that, instead of doing flashy animations. Sometimes, I just see the text and I have an idea of what should fit that text. It's a bit odd, but that's generally my style.
What's your favorite part of owning a site? Your least favorite part?
The best part is seeing people use your work and seeing how happy they are. It's honestly the most satisfying thing in the world to leave someone really happy. The worst is people who cheat the system or just don't ever think on the other side. Request takers are giving up their valuable time and so many people forget that.
What's the strangest request you've ever received?
I've never actually had one! Most of the buttons I've made are my own ideas and the ones that are customs don't strike me as odd.
What do you think is the most important thing to have in a new site?
A new site needs to be clean, professional and mostly put together. Nothing is more discouraging than seeing a half-empty site. I always tell people never to rush opening a new site. I had another layout for Oasis, but I redid it because I wasn't satisfied. Because it's a new site, everything needs to leave a good first impression so people go back.