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Do you think Cemetech needs a theme upgrade for 2016?
Yes, and this is it
 14%  [ 8 ]
Yes, and this is almost it
 27%  [ 15 ]
Yes, but this is not it
 18%  [ 10 ]
No, but this looks good
 14%  [ 8 ]
No, but this looks OK
 12%  [ 7 ]
No, and this does not look good.
 12%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 55

Well, a toggle button could always be implemented, so that instead of taking up the full horizontal height it's only the little tab.
StrawberryFrostedPopTart wrote:
Awesome job, Alex! That is almost exactly what I had in mind when making my own. I'm still not too much of a fan of the wide bars at the top of boxes, but honestly, I don't know what would replace that.


Thanks! I put them there so the boxes felt important on the page but also, and perhaps most importantly, there was way too much gray; SAX could probably do without a header-bar. I couldn't figure out how to properly address the date/time and author of the news post in the header so I left them out; I certainly like how you presented that info however.

Ivoah wrote:
Great redesign comic. I really like how you made the borders bolder, it adds more "substance" to the design.


Thanks! I tried using smaller borders but they kinda vanished in with the text. I settled on the thickness here because the corners seemed sufficiently rounded, honestly. Haha. Along with the text, even though the document is at 300DPI, the smallest text size there is like 3pt. News text is 6pt, News title is 8 and the navigation is 16. Thankfully it's a mock so text size isn't wholly important but I like the easy readability of the import info. It could probably stand to be a bit smaller though.

c4ooo wrote:
It is *much* easier to read text when a message takes up one line. (Commonly long messages in SAX take up 3 or 4 lines. "Why is it up above the body?": The 3 places where it could be put is the top, bottom, or sides. Placing it on the side creates the problem of too little horizontal space and multi line messages, so unless you put it on the bottom of the page that leaves the top Wink From my past experiences on other forums it seems to me that a chat client on top of the page is within "easy reach" and yet *not* obstructive. "and why does it have a tab?" I dont know Razz Just an aesthetic choice. Although optionally a tab may be used to toggle the client on/off. "Granted, it's wasted space whether the "tab" stretches all the way across or not.: Well it really doesn't matter if it stretches the full length or not. It's just when i made the hasty mockup, it seemed better to make the tab short Smile


Okay. I do agree, the small SAX window does make long messages incredibly hard to read. I too wish there was not only more room for messages but also a better distinction between the user and their message. But, to be honest, ever since I changed my name SAX hasn't worked for me at all Sad Addressing the space issue is something I think we should focus our efforts on in future mock redesigns.

Like the others have said, I don't think it belongs at the top. I just don't think it's worth putting above page content. It means our visitors and users have to scroll to find the pages content. I understand where the tab comes from now, you stretched the SAX box but left the title since stretching that would stretch the text. That also explains the font issues I suppose, which I dismissed anyways.
Woo, that post above 6666! So, here's 6667.

I decided to take a break from cleaning, which was already being alleviated by playing movies in the background, to do some more Redesign work. So, I fleshed out SAX a bit and abandoned the box idea like the rest of the site uses. I thought it'd be a good idea to not put much emphasis on the side bars and let users focus on the content on the middle. Aside from the poor spacing between the two sidebars and the main content, this makes the page feel more balanced in my opinion.

I also did this because my initial idea was that the right side bar would float in place as the page scrolled; maybe I should add a section for "Quick Links" that mimics the functionality of the top navigation since those won't be present if someone scrolls up but we've gone this far without them on the real site. Floating SAX has been requested by many a user as well so it felt like a natural change to do. Keeping SAX with the red banner and box would make it feel, as I put it earlier, weighted and thus anchored to the page. This open design makes it feel light and able to float. Maybe to make SAX as wide as possible, the middle/main-content can be moved closer to the left sidebar - since I left a bunch of space already - then the SAX sidebar widened ever more.


PSD Download

The PSD has been updated and some tweaks have been done. I've moved layers around into their proper groups ("as Alex" under "Logged In" was part of the "Online Now" group, for example) FWIW, the old style SAX is still present in the PSD as "Style 1 - Boxed." SAX is still under the "Body" group but I may move it to a second Sidebar group later on since it's not part of the main content (anymore).
https://www.codeschool.com/courses/fundamentals-of-design
Maybe the SAX chat box could be aligned with the bottom right corner of the browser window, so that it would always be visible regardless of scroll position.


Code:
position: fixed;
bottom: 10px;
right: 10px:


I also think it would be better if the SAX box were shorter, with a scrollback capability (~50 lines). If it is aligned with the bottom, it would probably be better for the text to move upward with the text entry box on the bottom.
I totally approve the new design proposal, again.

One question, though: Did you type the SAX contents in as an example, or is that actually a working theme already? Did I miss something?
I typed it in. Ivoah is working on a live example but it'll be a static web page and not a functioning template for Cemetech.
A few things I notice right off the bat:

The 'Explore | Forum | Play | About' is a little bit too big, and off-center from the Cemetech logo. I would prefer it if the font were smaller and more on-center.

The 'Stay Engaged' section is below the 'Online Now' section, which I find a negative change. See, if there were many members online, the 'Stay Engaged' section would be moved down. Since the 'Stay Engaged' section has a fixed height ad the 'Online Now' section does not, i say to keep the 'Online Now' section at the bottom.

My name is cut off. In fact, I like that. Sometimes when I reply to topics with a long name (such as this one) the message is far too long. Actually, I think that names should be truncated further.

One suggestion I have, and this may seem weird, is to flip the SAX. Have the most recent messages show at the bottom. And with that, have the 'Send a message...' box disappear, and just have one large button. When the button is pressed, have a much larger box show up. This can help for easier editing of messages, and have it look better when floating at the bottom right corner.
StrawberryFrostedPopTart wrote:
The 'Explore | Forum | Play | About' is a little bit too big, and off-center from the Cemetech logo. I would prefer it if the font were smaller and more on-center.


I aligned the logo and the navigation links to the bottom of each other. I can align the navigation so it's centered on the vertically with the logo.

Quote:
The 'Stay Engaged' section is below the 'Online Now' section, which I find a negative change. See, if there were many members online, the 'Stay Engaged' section would be moved down. Since the 'Stay Engaged' section has a fixed height ad the 'Online Now' section does not, i say to keep the 'Online Now' section at the bottom.


I had not thought of that. On one hand I don't think we've ever had enough members online to really make that an issue but that is something that should be considered.

Quote:
My name is cut off. In fact, I like that. Sometimes when I reply to topics with a long name (such as this one) the message is far too long. Actually, I think that names should be truncated further.


I agree. I did it because our IRC network limits names to only 9 characters. While in SAX and a name as long as yours, it creates a needlessly long entry when someone chats. I believe putting the time and username on one line and moving their message to another is a cleaner way to present the information in SAX. Additionally, I don't exactly think there should be a line break between messages (creates too much wasted space, perhaps) but I opted to do that instead of creating little horizontal lines/spacers/breaks between each message. It just would have been too much work whenever SAX changed or something in future versions.

Quote:
One suggestion I have, and this may seem weird, is to flip the SAX. Have the most recent messages show at the bottom. And with that, have the 'Send a message...' box disappear, and just have one large button. When the button is pressed, have a much larger box show up. This can help for easier editing of messages, and have it look better when floating at the bottom right corner.


You aren't the first to suggest that. I don't really know why it's at the top but I assume it's because the text box would be off the screen. As it stands now, writing this post (non-quick reply) I see just the top of the SAX box. I could quickly respond if I had to rather than scrolling down to see new messages and responding. Conversely, when using quick reply the new posts are likely off the screen and one would have to scroll up.

I think for user experience SAX will remain top to bottom. Another factor is that I'm pretty sure that's how SAX is coded, and changing it to a bottom to top thing would be more than a simple cosmetic change to the Cemetech template.
IMO Cemetech really really needs a modern design. The site's theme looks like it's 10 years too old.
Especially the SAX needs a good bit of rework including scrollback.
Two more suggestions (sometimes it's the small that matters):
1) Maybe make the name scroll when hovered over - to have the information shown but only on demand.
2) That "view more" is... Uhm, it looks too similar to the other links. What about making a small box in the lower left of each UI blocks, which the contains the "view more" link? Did I explain understandably? I could Photoshop what I mean, you you want me to.
I only have one suggestion: Downloads area should be more prominent and renamed from archives to downloads so tha casual users do not get confused...
amazonka wrote:
I only have one suggestion: Downloads area should be more prominent and renamed from archives to downloads so tha casual users do not get confused...


Motion Seconded.
amazonka wrote:
I only have one suggestion: Downloads area should be more prominent and renamed from archives to downloads so tha casual users do not get confused...


I disagree; I believe 'archives' is a more descriptive word of what the section is.
Just remembered i had a second comment on that please - allow skipping zip creation for known types of calculator specific file types like g3a for casio prizm etc. I understand the requirement for readme inclusion but this can be also skipped by filling out the description text box. I think this will be welcomed by downloaders, uploaders and adminstrators by making everyone's life easier due to not having to zip and unzip and allowing of upload/download of the single file actually used on the calculator
How is the design coming along?
If I may repeat my question, do you need help with the stylesheets?
I meant to vote "Yes, and this is almost it" Razz

This theme looks good, but it's missing sax!
SAX is present in this current design. You are welcome to download the PSD and tweak it how you want or make your own Smile

amazonka wrote:
Just remembered i had a second comment on that please - allow skipping zip creation for known types of calculator specific file types like g3a for casio prizm etc. I understand the requirement for readme inclusion but this can be also skipped by filling out the description text box. I think this will be welcomed by downloaders, uploaders and adminstrators by making everyone's life easier due to not having to zip and unzip and allowing of upload/download of the single file actually used on the calculator


As mentioned previously, this isn't the topic for website suggestions, this topic is for a hypothetical redeisgn. Please post suggestions in the appropriate topic.
Ivoah wrote:
EDIT: I started making Comic's theme in HTML/CSS, here's what I've got so far: http://codepen.io/Ivoah/pen/qNYWVv

Not sure what can be done about this, but the font Calibri that you used isn't available on Macs, and not sure about Linux.
What happened to the development of this theme?
  
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