[development] possible theme?

Gary Feldman dpal_gaf_devel at marsdome.com
Thu Aug 31 23:22:40 UTC 2006

Dries Buytaert wrote:
> Hello world,
> is there someone else who likes?
>   http://www.drupalart.org/drupal48/
>   http://drupal.org/node/81217
> Personally, I think it makes for the best candidate so far.  It looks 
> like bluemarine's pretty sister, and is what I had in mind.
> Let's avoid talking about the underlying XHTML/CSS: we'll worry about 
> that in step #2.  Instead, let's talk about the aesthetics, the brand 
> and the message this theme communicates.  On a scale from 1-5 (1 = 
> "Argh, it hurts my eyes", 3 = "I can live with it", 5 = "Exactly what 
> we need"), what rating would you give this design (not its XHTML/CSS) 
> and why?
I'll rate it 3.1, marginally better than what we have now.

The problem I have with the aesthetics of the color scheme and brand is 
that it's a washed-out blue, make me think of a ten year old car that 
was a pretty blue when new, but has spent too much time in the sun, thus 
fading into old age.  The tan line on the logo just makes this worse.  
It's a color scheme that only works for jeans, but I don't see Drupal 
acquiring a denim-textured background image. 

One low-level point that I have yet to see anyone raise is the use of 
boldface for the links in the sidebars.  The purpose of boldface is to 
stand out from surrounding text, which is pointless if there is no 
surrounding text (as on the left sidebar).  The boldface is harder to 
read (fonts are tuned for their normal weight, not bold), looks like 
crayon (i.e. targeted to children), and causes the navigation menus to 
take up too much vertical space, reducing what appears above the fold (a 
real problem on the handbook pages).  I'm not fond of bold face in any 
case - it reminds me of trashy junk mail -- but at least it's somewhat 
justifiable in the center content.  I can't see any justification for it 
in the sidebars.  (If I could make one, and only one change to the 
Drupal.org style sheet today, it would be to add ".sidebar a { 
font-weight: normal;}".)

On the plus side, I like the simplicity and the cleanness.  The headers 
feel like they have the have the right size ration compared to the 
ordinary text, Verdana is much easier to read (especially for 
proofreading), justified text is easier to read (though they take more 
effort), the layout spacing is good, though the spacing between elements 
doesn't get the affinities right. 

May I suggest replacing the Latin with something that most of us could 
read for real?  Perhaps copying some text from the handbook?  The Latin 
Lorem tradition seems to come from the school of thought that's more 
concerned with the high level visual design than with other usability 
factors like readability.  English text would make it easier to judge 
the readability of the design.

Just my $0.02,


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