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Nuxified Revitalization

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libervisco's picture
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Supermike had a load of nice suggestions over at Libervis.com about how to improve that site, especially about its layout and style. He seems to be going more in a direction of making the site shout out to the young population who responds to exciting and cool designs like many of the ones featured on sites like CSS Remix and Best Web Gallery. However, Libervis.com has a topic and content which requires a bit of a background which many young people might not have. It is an open think tank, but you first have to understand what the hell we are talking about there to become an active participator.

Nevertheless I started working on an alternative design. However, I feel that Nuxified.org currently requires most attention from me, even more than Libervis.com, MobiLiberty and whatever experimental projects I have. We need more activity and more buzz. Most of the activity we've had recently was about GetGNULinux.org. We could almost rename ourselves as GGL-forums.org. Laughing out loud

Another point is that unlike Libervis.com Nuxified.org IS the kind of site which could be made more appealing to young kool kidz and potential prospering geeks. Eye So while Libervis.com might be forgiven for having a duller corporate design, Nuxified.org may not have such luck. So the idea is to turn the project of redesigning Libervis.com into the project of redesigning Nuxified.org. The goal would be to make it cracking cool and attractive, but very simple, clean, efficient, less blocky, and with bigger fonts, lively colors etc.

I've sketched up the basic layout that I envisage for the homepage, but without a changed header. You be the judge of whether the current one is cool enough.

You can see it here.

The thing is, we really need to give even more emphasis to these forums as better, different, more attractive than UbuntuForums, LinuxForums.org, LQ etc.. They're way too bloated, too traditional etc. We can do better, can't we? In fact, it seems that we must do better if we want to compete!

Articles never brought too much of new activity around here. They're merely traffic boosters and temporary activity generators, but if we make this site look and feel sexy and irresistible and then give it some unique properties not found elsewhere, we might start generating some activity by viral marketing alone.

So.. what about? Here's the deal. If you have encountered any site whose design you absolutely love, give us the link. Also feel free to post any specific suggestions regarding sites capabilities as support forums.

And btw, I did not forget the other thread which asked for suggestions.

Cheers

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
No suggestions? Anyway, I'm

No suggestions?

Anyway, I'm slowly working away on this. I am not forcing it.. I don't want to end up with a yet another quick design for this so I'm just experimenting first, looking around for inspiration, trying to think of best ways to lay things down. I hope to make this quite an achievement for Nuxified.

With the unveiling of a new design you should feel really refreshed once you come back to this site and even excited about being here. I'm thinking of possibly putting together some sort of a plan of a renewed focus for the site which would be described at the launch of a new design. It will be almost a re-launch of the site as a whole. It will be awesome.

But this'll require some work and a lot of inspiration and motivation.. so.. I'm making no promises nor deadlines. I don't want to push it. I want to make this one right.

Nuxified might not be the busiest place right now, but trust me when I say this, there's lots coming for it, because I never give up! I force success. It happens whether it likes it or not. Nuxified will ROCK!! Laughing out loud

Cheers

libervisco's picture
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The redesign is making some

The redesign is making some progress. You can see it in action by switching to the NXFD theme from your user profile.

Of course, it is still not finished and things could change. Taking a look might inspire some ideas or suggestions though. Eye

Cheers

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Joined: 2006-03-28
It looks quite nice,

It looks quite nice, although I have to say that I don't really like the linkbox on the left side.

libervisco's picture
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You mean the text ads?I

You mean the text ads?

I thought of changing the left one to have three lines like the right one, for simetry, which might look better. Another option I was considering, but am not sure about is moving the logo to the left and putting all text link ads in a box to the right.

What do you think?

Thanks for looking. Smiling

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
I prefer the old theme, it

I prefer the old theme, it looks more modern and friendly to me, but I understand the new theme is a work in progress and may look much better when it's finished.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
What don't you like about

What don't you like about the new theme? Just asking so I can make the right changes. I personally already like it enough to be using it as my default so without any extra suggestions I might not make the changes that you guys think should be made.

Some of the things I plan to do with it are the way forum and article links (the "read more", "add comment", "edit", "reply" links etc.) are displayed (I might return it to the similar style of the old theme), change the way articles on homepage are displayed so that they're cleaner and with enough spacing, possibly make the "user" (for example "tbuitenh" menu for you) not be there all the time, but in a pop up rather coming out when you click on "welcome user", horizontal blocks styling and do something about those feeds on homepage (not sure what and where yet).

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
I'm using the theme by

I'm using the theme by default now as well. It looks nice and works well, though I think the light blue at the top clashes a wee bit with the rest of the design.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Thanks, I'll try to tone it

Thanks, I'll try to tone it down a bit. Smiling

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
I've just switched to the

I've just switched to the newer theme, it looks quite good so far, but I'll give it a decent whirl before I comment any more.

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Thanks. The new theme has

Thanks. Smiling

The new theme has been standing much unchanged for a while (I was at iCommons and then I was doing some other things), but it's in the queue so to speak so we'll get it done. I've got a few ideas for some changes to the header, possibly bringing back the penguin in a way that wouldn't increase the size of the header, maybe moving ads into one box and logo on the left and some other ideas already mentioned.

So, it might take a while, but.. stay tuned. Smiling

Cheers

dylunio's picture
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Just a note to say that the

Just a note to say that the forum view seems fine after using it a lot. The problem is the main page, it somehow doesn't seem to blend together, and the fact I have to scroll down to the block with 'recent posts etc.' is very annoying it would be nice to see this higher up where it used to be.

I'll let you know more as I decide upon it.

dylunio

libervisco's picture
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Thanks, that's very

Thanks, that's very appreciated. The theme is not finished yet so these issues will surely be fixed.

Cheers

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
The new update to the theme

The new update to the theme looks spectacular.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Thanks man! I'm trying to

Thanks man! Smiling

I'm trying to add a "welcome" link which will display a whole user menu when clicked so that it isn't in the right sidebar (making it simpler and more spacious). I'll have to see how well that works (and how do you guys like it) before making a final decision about keeping it.

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
Having another look at

Having another look at it...

The welcome link is white on white and does nothing, I suppose that is under construction?

There's a big blue block at the bottom of the page, containing blog links, online users and the banners for ruffdogs, getgnulinux and polishlinux. Very ugly, looks like something went wrong Puzzled . Maybe it belongs in the white space below the username-named menu?

I think the blog links and online users are not needed on the forums, should be good enough to give them a place somewhere in the left part of the front page.

But everything above that looks great!

libervisco's picture
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Thanks for comments. The

Thanks for comments.

The welcome link is under construction, yes. That blue block is there intentionally so it's not an anomaly, but right now it doesn't really look that good to me either. Something will have to be changed. I was inspired by some sites which seem to have a whole other part of the page, usually with some infos or latest post titles before the bottom of the page, but I didn't do it as good as some did and it might not fit as well for Nuxified so.. we'll see.

Not sure about putting blog links on the left. I'd like to keep that clean for main posts only. But somewhere on the homepage it probably will be.

I'm still gonna be reshaping things there.

Cheers

libervisco's picture
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I've added the in page pop

I've added the in page pop up user menu when clicked on the "Welcome" link. It will be made into a "Welcome your-username" later if you think this is a good idea.

Basically, this replaces the user menu block that you can still see now. You have to click on the welcome link to get the menu and then click it again to close it.

What do you think about this functionality? Any ideas on how to improve it?

Cheers

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
That's pretty neat, but I

That's pretty neat, but I think now something needs to be done to inform the user when there is a new message in the inbox - it's not seen at first sight anymore.

Also I would suggest moving the welcome link all the way to the left, it makes more sense to read the word "welcome" first instead of last, right?

libervisco's picture
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Yep, you're right on both

Yep, you're right on both counts. I'm moving the welcome link to the left as we speak. Later I'll try to integrate the inbox feature there as well.

dylunio's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20
Will the JS in the Welcome

Will the JS in the Welcome menu work in command line browsers such as elinks etc.? I would test it, but I can't seem to enter my username/password in at the login (somehow links tries to save the link...).

libervisco's picture
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I tested it in links and

I tested it in links and the "about etc. " menu as well as the welcome, need help etc. links are showing at the bottom. The user menu brought by the welcome link is shown all the time also below everything.

That's because I'm using absolute positioning for those with CSS and I guess that in real order that's where they end up. I'd have to look into it.

So that might be a bit of a problem. It often seems to me that to achieve more advanced functionality we have to sacrifice interoperability with the text browsers. But I wonder if preserving that is really worth it. What's the point of new technologies and concepts for the web if we can't make proper use of them?

This reminds me of a recent Taco's blog entry about backward compatibility..

Maybe there's a way to just detect text browsers' user agents and show them a stripped down version somehow.. though doing that might be a bit of an overkill.

libervisco's picture
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The welcome bar, as I might

The welcome bar, as I might call it, is done. Picture tells everything:

Nuxified welcome bar

But, there are bugs:

  • The pop up is breaking the other javascript on pages, as you might have noticed (drop down links, resizing of text areas). I don't know why yet.
  • The pop up is displaying for a few miliseconds when page loads because, apparently, using <body onLoad="resettoggle()"> where resettoggle() sets style.display to none isn't the best way to force the element to NOT show by default.
  • I'm such a JS noob Laughing out loud
  • Gotta do something about text browsers.. at least try to rearrange the order in which CSS absolute positioned elements are put within a template.

That's it for now..

libervisco's picture
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Fixed all bugs except last

Fixed all bugs except last two (including being a noob). Eye

Now when you click on the welcome link you get the menu. Click elsewhere (except in the header and above content area) and it goes away. I think this is how most people would expect it to work. To me it seems natural.

Now, things left to do overall:

  • Homepage currently sucks. Gotta do something about blocks on the right, the area before footer etc.
  • Style the links below posts differently, remove all but most basic links from showing on homepage and main pages, to make it look cleaner
  • Style blocks. Currently they're with white background.
  • I don't know.. depending on how will it look, tinker and polish
  • Test in IE, Opera and other unworthy browsers. Ain't I a nice guy? Sticking out tongue

Add to the list if you've got any other thoughts.

Cheers

tbuitenh's picture
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I guess once this becomes

I guess once this becomes the default theme, recent posts and inbox in the welcome menu won't be needed anymore because there are equivalents in the bar right next to them.

libervisco's picture
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Yep, that would make sense.

Yep, that would make sense. I think I'll make the "show what's new" link go to xtracker instead of xtracker/type/forum so it shows recent stuff from everywhere, not just forums.

Cheers

tbuitenh's picture
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The welcome menu suddenly

The welcome menu suddenly stopped working, it simply does not appear anymore. The last thing I used it for was the "submit" link in it, which led me to the submit page, on which I chose blog entry.

EDIT: hm, now it works again, no idea what that was...

libervisco's picture
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Hm that's weird. If anyone

Hm that's weird. If anyone else had it happen please report. I guess it might be a cache issue or something devious like that..

libervisco's picture
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Some of the things

Some of the things mentioned in above bullets have been dealt with. I think this is pretty much color wise how it will be. Footers need to be revamped, links below posts fixed up a bit better and blocks on homepage somehow beautified and simplified more..

In any case it's already quite a drastic change compared to the old theme. I think it's more modern and colorful (that is, less dull). Smiling

Comments welcome, as always. Smiling

Cheers

free-zombie's picture
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Joined: 2006-03-08
this theme is buggy

this theme is buggy ;-)

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Hehe, well I'm gonna fix

Hehe, well I'm gonna fix that. To be honest I don't really like those borders, but I'm not sure what would be a better alternative, perhaps borders on one side and not on the other...