HackerOne users: Testing against this community violates our program's Terms of Service and will result in your bounty being denied.

New Theme: Community Feedback

Hello everyone,

I am new around the Vanilla Forums community and still trying to grasp everything around me.

I come here with over 10 years experience in more mainstream open source frameworks, like WordPress, Drupal and the related. It has definitely been a learning experience, one that I'm rather enjoying. I cannot wait for the days to pass so I can learn more about this awesome Garden framework.

So far, all of you have welcomed me warmly into the community and answered my questions, thanks!

Now I do have another question: I'd love to ask you take a moment and checkout something I'm working on.

It's a theme I'm currently calling "Summer Blues".

I build one version of it that I'm currently using on our buyer support forums here: http://www.ourwebmedia.com/support

Though the theme I plan on releasing for others to use is http://www.owmlabs.com/themes/Summerblues

I'm hopeful of getting some constructive criticism. I'm not faint hearted so please don't hold back your opinions.

It's not made for everyone, but wanted to see what the initial feedback from the community would bring me.

It's open for registration so feel more than welcome to register at http://www.owmlabs.com/themes/Summerblues to test it out.

Also note that inside the files, the header can be easily swapped out so that:

a.) The navigation appears beneath the logo area (aligned left).
b.) An advertisement space can be used where the menu is now (if chosen to).
c.) The footer widgets can be changed to suit your needs as wanted.

Currently working on the following:

a.) Mousing over the discussion title will give an excerpt of the discussion for preview.
b.) Working on a Members area in the sidebar for logged in members (their profile/use).
c.) ... a few other things as well...

Though I wanted to see where my approach was now and how people 'currently' see it?

Thanks for any feedback and thoughts (and opinions / suggestions) that you can share!

Kind regards,
Bryce.

shasha
«1

Comments

  • you might get more feedback if you upload it to the add-ons section and let people try it out.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • I wanted more of a visual feedback I suppose.

    I don't believe I'm ready just yet to upload it for others to download.

    Still want to work out things before I submit it.

    Plus would rather avoid any issues that may stir up from it not yet being ready for release.

    Thanks bud!

  • chanhchanh OngETC.com - CMS Researcher ✭✭

    Look nice!

  • Thank you, I appreciate the comment :)

  • businessdadbusinessdad Stealth contributor MVP

    @OurWebMedia said:
    a.) Mousing over the discussion title will give an excerpt of the discussion for preview.

    Keep in mind that "hovering" cannot be used on mobile devices. Since "mobile first" seems to be the latest trend, this feature could be unnecessary.

  • Hi there,

    At the moment a responsive version is not my intentions.

    The idea is a desktop version - visually attractive and interactive on desktop only.

    I appreciate your feedback though.

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

    @‌OurWebMedia

    If it is just for your own use, then obviously you can do whatever you like, but if it is something you are thinking of releasing, then responsiveness really ought to be a consideration. At least, imo, you should perhaps consider a matched mobile theme in terms of general styling.

    I can't think of many forums that would not be interested in making mobile users experience as good (and consistent) as possible.

  • Hi there,

    At this stage in development, it is not my concern. The idea is to complete the development of the desktop version. Once I have perfected what it is I am wanting to achieve, I will then address concerns such as responsive awareness of the site and UI.

    My objective here is to simply get a likable desktop version.

    I do fully intend to address these items once I've completed this phase in my work.

    I appreciate your thoughts and feedback regarding the mobile experience.

    Aside from this @Whu606 - how do you like the desktop version thus far?

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

    It looks perfectly presentable.

    Personally, I'm not keen on the narrow font style.

    I would say the sections at the bottom are likely to get 'lost', since people may often not end up getting to the bottom of the page.

    If you are focusing on a desktop version then it might be better to have panels on either side of the main content.

    On our site, I have collapsible items in the side panel, so users can choose what they have open and see.

  • Thank you for your feedback.

    I have always personally found footers to be helpful in many scenarios.

    Though I like the idea of sidebar content.

    Would you mind sharing your website just so I can better visualize your suggestion?

    I've always been a fan of "PT Sans", but I am calling Google Web Fonts.

    The advantage is, I've given easy instructions to modify the Google Web Fonts to any preference.

    Thanks again for your feedback @whu606!

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    Referring to the Summer Blues forum, here is my feedback:

    • Using bold and italics to represent the current page is a bad idea
    • The connection icons in the footer don't really fit into the rest of the theme. Either go with a blue monochrome version of the icons or saturate the natural colors to make it stand out more. It is currently pretty low contrast.
    • The paging limit is high so I couldn't see what the pagination styles looked like.
    • I didn't click through all of the discussions, but have you styled the standard markup inside a discussion (strong, em, li, blockquote, pre, code, a, strike, sub, sup, h1-h7?

    I actually like the fat footer, but that should be combined with a lower pagination limit for best use, imo.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • Hi @hgtonight,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    Using bold and italics to represent the current page is a bad idea

    I appreciate your thoughts on this and was thinking the same.

    I will be changing this but haven't yet gotten back to that part. Thanks.

    The connection icons in the footer don't really fit into the rest of the theme. Either go with a blue monochrome version of the icons or saturate the natural colors to make it stand out more. It is currently pretty low contrast.

    Currently I have the opacity set to 0.7 on those social icons.

    I didn't spend much time looking for better ones but I will do just that. Thanks.

    The paging limit is high so I couldn't see what the pagination styles looked like.

    To be honest, I hadn't worked on the pagination yet but I will certainly get that done.

    I didn't click through all of the discussions, but have you styled the standard markup inside a discussion (strong, em, li, blockquote, pre, code, a, strike, sub, sup, h1-h7?

    Currently working on these and a few other things but will setup an example with all these soon.

    I actually like the fat footer, but that should be combined with a lower pagination limit for best use, imo.

    Thank you. I was considering some different footer design backgrounds for that area that could easily be switched out by the user of the template. I have always looked at a footer like the last chapter of a book. You've reached the end and you're looking for something more and exciting to give that "big bang" a complete effect. I think a footer can be extremely resource and can be used to cater to a lot of different needs. So I appreciate your vote of confidence on this.

    Thank you for your very constructive feedback. It was extremely helpful.

    Once I've perfected the first stage of this, I'll submit for better reviewing and feedback.

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... Moderator

    @OurWebMedia‌

    My forum is at whu606.com

    I have the right side panel 'sticky' so it stays visible as the page scrolls down.

    The content is 'closed' by default, although you can set it so that one or more is open by default and can then be closed by users if they prefer.

    I don't make any great claims for design aesthetics - I'm a happy amateur rather than a seasoned pro.

  • Hello @whu606,

    Thanks for the sticky box sidebar idea. I think I'm going to run with that a little.

    Right now trying to figure out a way to create custom sidebars without creating a new file?

    I've found a lot of reference to create new sidebar items by means of a plugin but that's not what I want.

    Basically, trying to create a new box that is tabbed. First tab will be "Categories", second will be "Tags".

    I also am creating a members info area in the sidebar for quick reference and use.

    Got some big ideas but still a lot to learn about this framework. It's exciting though. Really liking Garden!

    I've made some changes since we last spoke - including changing out the social icons.

    Could I get your opinion on the new look for the social icons? I left the footer ones commented out though in case others preferred the footer approach rather than this new approach aligned right of the search bar.

    Again, thanks for sharing your website and for the feedback given already!

  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP
    edited March 2014

    Basically, trying to create a new box that is tabbed. First tab will be "Categories", second will be "Tags".

    Already exists.

    If you want a quick and easy way to add stuff to your page look at some of my plugins. Like FootBox or Index or Container. Use jquery to put anything you want into the master.

    I've found a lot of reference to create new sidebar items by means of a plugin but that's not what I want.

    Using plugins make's it easy to switch themes without having to enter all that info again. And if it break it does not break your entire forum.
    I used to do that, add a whole bunch of stuff to my master, but I found that it was more tedious to have to do it every time I changed a theme.

    Plugins are the easy way of doing things.

    About the theme, I don't like blue or combos that look like Facebook. Unless you are using it to match Facebook then I guess it's ok. I personally do not like it for that reason.
    But it is only my opinion your users will have to decide.

  • Hi @vrijvlinder,

    Thanks for your feedback. The blues can easily be changed.

    The intention is to keep a blue scheme, dark like Facebook.

    Will be making notes on how people can easily change the look and feel of the color schemes.

    This is what I've been using as a guide for it: http://www.colorhexa.com/0055a4

    My company is all blue, it's also my favorite color ;) Guess it's rubbing off in my work.

    Using plugins make's it easy to switch themes without having to enter all that info again.

    The only thing is, I don't intend for this to be used on other themes.

    The idea is to have it pre-packaged with the theme (as I plan to offer this after completed).

    So when users are using this theme, I want it to be a "plug and go", no additional steps.

    Aside from those steps to customize the footer text, color schemes and etc., that's about it.

    Use jquery to put anything you want into the master.

    Not sure I'm following this. Could you elaborate a little on this comment please? :)

    Thanks so much for your feedback and thoughts. I really appreciate the suggestive help.

  • P.S. You stated that the tabs already exist.

    Are you referring to a plugin for this? Could you explain? Thanks!

  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP

    The problem with packing your theme , as I found doing the same to the themes I made , is that people ask me how to remove those things. They want their own things not what I felt they would like. No matter how helpful it may seem to add those things, it is best not to. Specially because they also may conflict with real plugins.

    Please download and look at one of the plugins I mentioned. It is by far the fastest and easiest way to add things to your master. This way if you need to edit the plugin you don't disable the theme for people.

    Lets say you decide to add another link to the INDEX plugin. You simply edit the plugin and if you make a mistake, only the plugin gets messed up but your theme remains intact. Under most circs. Anyway. It beats messing up your theme.

    OurWebMedia
  • vrijvlindervrijvlinder Papillon-Sauvage MVP
    edited March 2014

    The stuff the appears on the side panel are modules, the menu is a module, when you enable the tagging plugin and add tags to a post, the box with tags, the tagging module appears on the side panel.

    The categories also appear on a side module. Many plugins use a module to be rendered on the side panel.

    MyTabs plugin is also an example of adding content to the panel. The easy way without building a module.

    Sometimes content does not need a module to be created you just append or prepend using jquery. It is just as valid as creating a module. But modules are more complex and actually do stuff besides just add content.

    If you just want to add content, use my method.

    OurWebMedia
  • Hi again,

    The problem with packing your theme , as I found doing the same to the themes I made , is that people ask me how to remove those things. They want their own things not what I felt they would like. No matter how helpful it may seem to add those things, it is best not to.

    Thank you for this reminder and better clarification. You're absolutely right.

    So I suppose with my download, I can always package these recommended addons (plugins).

    As a WordPress developer who creates premium themes, it's very different using Garden.

    Whereas enabling/disabling things can be super simple in WordPress, it's a bit more in here.

    I think I'll follow your suggestions and go with the plugin approach. It's likely the best solution.

    Thanks again for everything!!

    vrijvlinder
Sign In or Register to comment.