the Fiddler's picture

[Website] Help with site theme redesign

Project:The Open Toolkit library
Version:all versions
Category:support request

Hello all,

I am looking for feedback for a new site theme.

If you have a few moments to spare, please select the "community2" theme in your account settings ("My account" -> "Edit"). Make sure to refresh your browser cache (just press F5) and simply browse the site for a while. You can revert to the previous theme at any time.

Once you have seen the new layout, post your impressions:

  1. How did you find the new layout and color theme? Did you prefer it to the previous one?
  2. Did you encounter any glitches, like misplaced or missing items?
  3. Is the site easy or hard to navigate?
  4. Thoughts on the new frontpage?
  5. Any other suggestions for improvement?

Please post your impressions and make suggestions for improvement. Don't forget to mention your browser and OS if you encounter any glitches!


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
the Fiddler's picture


Fixed footer layout and background image.

Fixed default page after login.

kanato's picture


I like it. Per your questions,

1. Color scheme looks good to me. I might suggest a few minor tweaks, like make the border on the blocks a little darker, or a little thicker (maybe 2px)? I don't know if you've tried that, it might look worse. I like the more efficient use of space in the layout.

2. I don't know if it's a glitch, but in Internet Explorer... (just kidding :). Actually, one thing I find a bit distracting is the "underlines" beneath header text (I'm using Firefox, btw). It bothers me a bit that the text overlaps them. Also, maybe it's just my crappy laptop screen, but the gray underlines in the light blue blocks don't have enough contrast, so it's almost like they are not there.

3. The site seems about the same to navigate, but then I am used to the way Drupal works. How do you feel about drop down menus at the top? I'm not a fan of the placement of the breadcrumb trail in the upper left, above the blocks.

4. The new front page looks very nice. I especially like the mix of fonts and font styles. What fonts did you use?

5. I'd suggest adding an OpenTK logo & banner to the area above the menu at the top.

the Fiddler's picture



  1. Done. I tried even darker borders, but I find them too distracting. The blocks are secondary elements so they shouldn't attract your attention more than the main page. I'm starting to wonder if they'd fit better in the right side of the page.
  2. Will tweak.
  3. I'm trying to avoid drop-down menus if I can help it. Any ideas for a better position for the breadcrumb?
  4. Fonts: everything is Candara (if you have it) with fallbacks to Arial/Helvetica and default sans (usually Bitstream Vera on Linux, which looks great).
  5. Working on that.
objarni's picture


Looking good!

However I think the underlines of the block-titles are a little too visible. Maybe either be a little farther from the text, or a shade of gray instead of black. (if that is possible at all - maybe using a HR instead of underlining?)

the Fiddler's picture


Better now?

objarni's picture



flopoloco's picture


1. Slightly better because it's more elegant, with clean lines. The current has a richer style, but the new one is minimalistic (in a good way).

2. In Firefox:
|||||| the |||

Inertia's picture


Maybe my suggestion was not very clear in words, here's a picture of the header

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usQuickPost

  • The logo itself is 640x256 atm, could be smaller so it does not get cut off at borders. Yes. The glow sucks on blue. Mind this is a sketch and the glow a separate layer.
  • top-right of the header contains the shortest description of OpenTK possible. So if someone lands on the site from a search engine, the header gives sufficient information what's going on.
  • Like flopoloco suggested, rename "contributed" to "gallery". Better fits the type of content found there.
  • Can the buttons "delete, edit, reply, quote" moved upwards? somewhere near the #postnumber might be better, less scrolling (less whitespace).
  • No search button. Search field instead would rock ;)
the Fiddler's picture


  • Header (logo & slogan): this is the most difficult part so I'm leaving it for last.
  • rename "contributed" to "gallery". What about "forge" or something in a similar vein? The gallery section is distinct from the contributed projects. It's rather undeveloped though.
  • The post number is supposed to hold a custom caption for your comment but this functionality is slightly broken in issue reports (it's not supposed to be empty like that). If you check a forum comment, you'll see there's not enough space to move the links to the top (unless they are replaced by images). I kinda prefer the minimalistic text approch to images, however.
  • Search field: ack, but this is more delicate than it looks. The search button is common between all themes so you cannot just remove it - everything must be prepared to cope with the change.
the Fiddler's picture



  • Improved layout for issue reports.
  • Improved link colors.
  • Added a few icons to the new frontpage. Still a lot of work left to do here.
  • Removed large amounts of unused CSS and HTML markup.
  • Added view statistics ("#n reads").
  • Minor touchups and fixes to the forums, tables, heading and list elements.

Still a lot of optimization left to do wrt image sizes and number of html requests per page.