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Improved theme (beta!)

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libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

I've been pretty actively working on this for a couple of days already. It's not a wholesale redesign of the site, but rather an incremental improvement in style and most importantly usability.

Most of the changes are in the header which now features a centered main menu whose items stay highlited when you are within a section they represent. This helps let users know at which major part of the site they currently are. Even if you are watching a forum topic (not just a forum index), the "forums" item will be highlighted. And same goes for blogs, articles, polls and screenshots.

To allow for this I've had to make some URL changes, so now all forum topics have a /topic/ in the URL (blogs have /blog/ and articles have /article/) in order to allow differentiating between sections.

We also now got a neat search box built right into the header removing the need for a separate space taking box in the left sidebar. Smiling

Some have said that they'd like to see some more color on the site so I emphasized light blue on forum topics, as you can see. I think it looks a bit more encouraging. Smiling

Not all improvements are about the theme. For example, we've been publishing articles for quite a bit now, but never had a specific "articles" section for it. They were all listed on homepage only. Now we have a dedicated page for listing articles.

I've published this theme live not because I've done 100% of what I wanted with it, but because it is usable enough (already better than the old one) to be live, and because I could use some feedback from you regarding some of other changes I am considering.

I am thinking about moving the content of the bottom bar above into that blue bar of the header. In addition I am thinking about moving the "Need help? Ask here!" button from homepage to that blue bar as well so that it is visible sitewide. The fate of the secondary menu (one with that "contribute" link) is up in the air as well..

I am also going to add an about page which concisely describes what the site is for and what a visitor can do with it. I've already got the concept written down. Eye

I hope you like these improvements. I welcome whatever opinions and suggestions you may have, especially regarding further improvements.

As I said time and again, Nuxified.org will be the best Free Software support site around, not because of size, not because of "look how many ads we've sold", not because of running the best and latest proprietary software, but by being a classy, easy to use and different alternative to the big players in this field! We're here to help people and each other use Free Software, with style. Eye

EDIT: When I say "Free Software support sites" I don't mean all Free Software sites. I rather have some specific "competitors" in mind and wish to make this one a worthy alternative. Anyway, hopefully these improvements help.

Cheers
Danijel

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
good work

Excellent. I love it, very clear, very neat, this is first-class work.

libervisco wrote:

I am thinking about moving the content of the bottom bar above into that blue bar of the header.

I would vote against that. It's all content that is secondary, keep the header clear and concise.

libervisco wrote:

In addition I am thinking about moving the "Need help? Ask here!" button from homepage to that blue bar as well so that it is visible sitewide.

Good idea, it shows our commitment to helping beginners, but make it small enough that it doesn't become intrusive for the regulars...

Overall, this is good work. I am very comfortable with the layout now.

Olivier.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Thank you Olivier. Glad you

Thank you Olivier. Smiling Glad you like it.

The need help button is going to be redesigned to fit the blue bar, so that's not a problem.

Anyone else feel free to post your opinions. Eye

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
I like the central links to

I like the central links to forums/blogs/tips/etc. -- I feel it makes them more accessable since links to them are more obvious.

dyluino

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Thanks dylunio. Yeah, when

Thanks dylunio. Yeah, when it is centered it feels a bit more logical.

I've now also added the orange "need help" button below the header. Might yet make some height adjustments to better fit, but this is the concept. It is available sitewide and displays differently to anonymous (two steps towards posting a topic, registration and posting) and registered members (just posting). Smiling Feel free to comment.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
On the 'Need help' button I

On the 'Need help' button I don't think that the '?' image is clearly defined - it looks a bit unclear/squashed to me.

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Yeah, it looks great when

Yeah, it looks great when zoomed a bit in inkscape, but in a small format it doesn't look that good. I'll try to fix it up somehow.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Ok I fixed it up a bit. I

Ok I fixed it up a bit. I think it looks a bit better now Smiling

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
I do not like where the tags

I do not like where the tags in the forum are situated. They would look at better at the bottom. I also dislike the "Need help" button. I can understand the point of it, but think it clashes with the header, and as it is part of the header it looks out of place.
Otherwise it is great. I was using this theme even when you were working on it Eye

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Tags are put at the top

Tags are put at the top because it is easier to notice that way. I felt that if it were at the bottom people would just fail to see it and browse everything through tags, which can be really useful.

But I don't know. What do others think?

As for the button, do you dislike the button itself (even when it was only on homepage) or just that it is in the header?

The button is really meant to make it very simple for new and existing users to quickly start a new topic when they need to, and promote getting/providing help as the primary purpose of the site.

If you simply feel it doesn't fit very well as it is right now, then that can still be refined. Anyway, what do others think? It's always obvious we can't please everyone, but at least we can try to please the majority. Smiling

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
I thought it looked ok where

I thought it looked ok where it used to be, I just don't think it is something that should be in the header. It slightly does not fit in either. It may just be me, in that case it is cool. Eye I will ignore it hehe. Otherwise I like how things are centred.I like yhe curve just above the Forum Blogs etc part. The RSS feed button also looks good Smiling

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Alright, if others think the

Alright, if others think the same it will be removed or otherwise refined a bit to fit better. Smiling

I'm glad you like other changes. Thanks for your comments and suggestions! Smiling

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
I'm also uncomferable about

I'm also uncomferable about the button's placement. As one looks at the header, I feel it seems to jar with the header theme/colours - making it feel unbalanced (with the weight where the button is). Mayme it would be possible to put it on the top of the right hand blocks?

dylunio

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Hey, I love the button! But

Hey, I love the button! But I do think that changing its shape could make it fit in more.
Expressing it in ascii art:

now it is:

----------------------------------
Need help? Ask away! (?) )
----------------------------------

I would prefer:

-----------------------------------|
Need help? Ask away! (?) /
----------------------------------/

Also, I think it should not look different when logged out. It suggests one has to register before clicking the button, instead of clicking the button to register.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Hmm, ok so we're choosing

Hmm, ok so we're choosing between removing the button from the header completely and just changin it a bit to fit... What to do.. Sticking out tongue

tbuitenh, if I got it correctly I think I like your suggestion, might make it fit a bit better. The button displays differently to unregistered members because they need to register before opening a topic. It's meant to illustrate two easy steps (register and post).

Anyway, some sort of refinement will apparently have to be done, I'm just not yet sure what. Anyone else has an opinion?

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
Yeah try and change it

Yeah try and change it first. I did not want it removed, just moved. Eye

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
I know why it looks

I know why it looks different to unregistered users, but the fact there is a reason does not mean it should be that way. As it is now, I think the button suggests "go figure out how to register" instead of "click here to register".

So maybe it should be "Need help? Register here and ask away!"

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
tbuitenh wrote: So maybe it
tbuitenh wrote:

So maybe it should be "Need help? Register here and ask away!"

I guess I thought that was obvious from the current button, but yeah.. gonna change it. Smiling

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
removed bottom bar, converted "need help" button to link

I ended up removing the button as an image and making it only a plain bold text link. I suppose this could be a good compromise for everyone. Those who thought the button didn't fit well with the header now only have text links which should fit better. Those who liked the button (minority apparently) at least have the "need help" link still easily available and noticable sitewide.

I also added a "what's new" link to it and then removed the bottom bar because it pretty much isn't needed so much anymore.

This should scale much better than an image and there are no more problems with the bottom bar anomalies to those using 3D desktop.

Any thoughts you may have on this are welcome. Smiling

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
Currently I can't see the

Currently I can't see the text unless my mouse pointer hovers over it, then I see the text in orange. I see the bar in the middle all the time, just not the text.

dylunio

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
The above seems to be fixed

The above seems to be fixed now Smiling

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
It's possible you were

It's possible you were watching when I was updating or it was in your cache. Smiling

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
Nuxified.org works on IE,

Nuxified.org works on IE, Firefox, Safari, Konquorer.
I will varify other browsers such as Dillo, elinks, links2 etc when I get home.
We should maybe make a small page to promote that we have functionality on so many browsers Eye

AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18
Also, I like what the 'need

Also, I like what the 'need help' button has been replaced with.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Good to hear! Maybe we

Good to hear! Smiling Thanks for checking.

Maybe we could place a "any browser" button in the footer or something.. I'll see about that.

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