August 11th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Hey, I'm thinking of doing a complete overhaul of my site. I want to make a completely new theme for it.
Before I do, I want to state that my design skills are lacking. The current theme is a redesign of the last one, which was even worse.
The problem I'm having is making a professional look. I need ideas on styles that apply to those people. I'm working on more content for the site as well.
It needs to appeal to website developers, as it's showcasing my CMS.
So I ask, what sort of design would appeal to you?
August 16th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Look at other CMS's site. Your typography is bad, your navigation is plain also. It looks all unprofessional.
"Quality of responses may vary. I reserve the right to change my mind for any reason what-so-ever without admitting I was wrong. I'd prefer to change your mind however, it's easier on my ego". - jwdonahue
"so no-one has actually bothered to post an original quote ? what's wrong with making up your own?"
August 18th, 2009, 02:06 PM
Thanks, I've looked & tried many. I'll work on new content.
The navigation ->
I've been thinking about that. I can do a few things with it. I like to keep it simple, though I was thinking of replacing the bullet points with 16x16 icons if the page has one attached to it. You think each link should be in a little div with a background & border? Or would they be better naked? Also, should they have any roll-over/out effects? I can also change them to image links instead of regular ones.
The top logo is also going to be changed..
August 21st, 2009, 11:53 AM
The logo you have now was better than the previous one, still, it looks like it was created in ms paint. What graphic program are you using s-p-n?
Also, the first and third columns don't match the middle. It will look a lot better once you change that.
Hope that helps some, cheers.
August 23rd, 2009, 10:11 AM
Photoshop, but simple is what I'm going for. To me, excessive use of filters and all that are over-rated.
Okay I updated my site. I added some style to the nav items, and increased the width on the side-bars by 1%. I updated the logo a little bit. Changed the color from green to a few different colors.
The window headers have new background images, and color.
Switched the mainbody background from just green gradient to a green plaid gradient. I think it contrasts better that way. The calendar header is plaid now.
I changed the out-dated content.
A much needed update
Last edited by s-p-n; August 23rd, 2009 at 01:30 PM.
August 23rd, 2009, 12:27 PM
I'm not a designer in any sense of the word, but I have a few general suggestions.
- Use sufficient and consistent whitespace
For example, in the "My Details" section on the right you have ~20px of padding between the head and the start of the text. But on the left the text has absolutely no whitespace between the border and the text. I would recommend at least 5 px between the text and the border, but also make it consistent all the way around.
- Don't use borders / backgrounds unless it makes sense to
For example, in the "My Details" section you have the form labels and form fields in separate boxes. There isn't really any logical reason that those should be separated since they are tied to each other and both belong to the same page. Overuse of contains tends to make the layout look "cluttered". A similar problem exists in the navigation section, there are simply too many hard lines.
- Improve icon consistency
The icons above the calendar don't really fit with the rest of the site in style or color scheme.
- Use anti-aliasing
Your curved borders and images look jagged because they are not anti-aliased, adding anti-aliasing and possibly a shadow would greatly improve their appearance.
- Font size issues
For example, the header for your "links" section looks to be a smaller font that the actual links under it. Normally a header font is larger than the content font.
August 23rd, 2009, 03:05 PM
Okay I updated it again. I added icons for the nav bar.
If you could see the admin panel, then the links for the calendar would make more sense. I actually use those images pretty consistently. Oh actually, you can view the demo if you want a better idea on the back-end and stuff.
The demo might also explain the style on the forms. It's not just the login form, all of the forms (pretty much) have that same class. Actually the difference would be that the labels are left of the form, like on the sign-in page.
As for the details area, I got rid of the boxes around the boxes. It was too much.
I changed the favIcon for the homepage to match the new logo. Made the text on the links smaller.
Also, I added a roll-over effect to the links.
I think it looks better now.
Oh, as for anti-aliasing, the rounded corners only work in Firefox and Safari. They're done via CSS. I usually try to make sites that work for every browser, but in this case I chose this method for simplicity reasons. Using images for the effect would mean either allot of images, or a less flexible framework.. And a few more images. So in IE and others, it looks okay.. and in Firefox and safari it looks the way it should.
Rounded corners are supposed to be out in CSS 3, which means maybe even IE will have them! (not to mention consistencies between safari & firefox, and also opera, chrome, and other standard browsers who've yet to include the feature).
So I think I should get two more buttons..
"This site looks best in,
Comments on this post
August 23rd, 2009, 06:13 PM
I am not comment of the technical side - I don't know anything about your CMS...
But, consider linking up with a designer to develop a more professional looking template.
August 30th, 2009, 09:11 PM
hi there! i looked at your site and there are a few things that stick out to me.
You have chosen a serif font (or you have used one without assigning a fallback). as a general rule - serif for print, sans serif for screen. At least that's what i was taught. Of course there are exceptions (logos headers etc..) but sans serif is easier on the eyes for screen reading.
The text on the nav buttons does not contrast well, text should always contrast strongly with it's background (the bottom half of the buttons is near in colour to the text)
No offence but the whole thing looks dated IMO, i can hear what you're saying about gradients and the like being overrated but this looks like an original frontpage template what about a patterned background? i think this could give the site the facelift that it deserves!! (that and a sans serif font!!) try http://bgpatterns.com/
i would do that and ditch the rounded corners... i think they have been done to overkill now!!
The page is very long... as a matter of interest, why would i choose this cms over say, wordpress for example which has everything i could want??
i presume most of your effort has been centered on the backend coding so a few design tweaks wont put you out too much!! to me, it just looks dated... these users have alot of computing power now... and it is there to be used!!!
hope this helps!!
September 2nd, 2009, 12:41 PM
Thanks for all that, Eddie.
I changed the font to "Palatino Linotype".
A friend of mine suggested I changed the fonts, and he gave me a list of suggestions. Before the font was default, actually. So Sarif must be the one used by your machine, though it seems sort of weird if that's the case and you didn't know that, so I don't really know what you saw there on August 30th. I did the change yesterday morning, (Sep. 1st)
In any case, the font is defined now, and I think it's good. Though it isn't sans-serif, so some feedback wouldn't hurt
The name of the month for the calendar in the sidebar is hard to read with the new background-image. Oh, I nabbed a background-image. I think it looks good, the only issue is the calendar's month. White and black text both clash with the bg, so I'll enclose the calendar in a window or something..
I went with a new color scheme, so the font colors in the nav bar fit better now.
As for why you would switch from WordPress, that would be for a more versatile CMS. If WordPress does everything you need the way you like it, then use WordPress
But since you asked...
I started out building my own web-sites from scratch. Then I found out about the WordPress & Joomla Content Management Systems. I always used to hit dead ends with my CMS of choice. Where either I couldn't code the way I wanted, or I needed to learn an API or something in order to write custom code. That's why I developed WysGui. It's more than a CMS, because it manages advanced modules & frameworks as well as content and all the basics. It's the perfect tool for me, because I can use any web platform I wish, and integrate it directly through the CMS. I only made it Open Source for the chance somebody else might need a versatile CMS. Also, there are widgets all over the web that will work with WysGui. Any third party web-site add-on one would use without a CMS can be used with WysGui. Unlike most other CMS, you're not limited by advanced add-ons that use <head> data, PHP or other language based settings, or database interaction. It's as versatile as a custom web-site, while remaining easy to use for those who aren't too savvy with the stuff. It's a happy medium, for me at least. Things like writing & managing content don't take any thought, so it makes it allot easier to do things. Though there isn't a CMS to date that wasn't designed around that point. So in reality, it has advantages for anyone who needs a more versatile CMS. There's not a flood of WysGui dependent modules, in fact most modules I make aren't even strictly tied to WysGui, so they're just web-based modules. So we don't need those anyway. That's what makes WysGui powerful. At least until I do get a strong community backing it; but so far it's mostly me.
The theme (template + style-sheet) is also completely customizable, and the back-end can match your site so you always feel at home while administrating. It's the best I can do in a few months of hard work. The community I do have is very helpful, so it's certainly the work of 10's. Not exactly the work of 1000's yet. We're getting there. It'll never take off unless people use it, but I'm not going to say it's better than wordpress for everyone who's tied to wordpress. Simply because I haven't been around long enough to have the only reason wordpress is reputable- The everlasting Open Source community building themes & modules for their favorite CMS. That's what I strive for.
September 2nd, 2009, 01:21 PM
It looks much better s-p-n. It's really starting to match. But there are a few things you need to fix.
I would fix the borders of the frames; maybe to a light brown and change the corners so the shapes look consistent.
I still dislike your logo, and the header. I think maybe a leaf with colors that match your page would be a good option. And maybe put the Versatile CMS & Online Site Manager on the bottom and have your logo still sit at the top left.
Hope that helps, cheers.
September 2nd, 2009, 02:49 PM
wow, that really does look 10 times better... Good job! i'm still seeing a serif font (and this is on windows). see here the general rule as i said is serif for print, sans serif for screen.
i would consider making the nav items one colour as you have done with the username/password tabs...
Well you do make a strong case, maybe i will switch!
hope this helps.
p.s. the problem now - the logo doesn't match!!
September 16th, 2009, 02:15 AM
The site does look good.
The curved corners have a few white dots in them
September 16th, 2009, 03:53 AM
those are some errors. This doesn't look good for a cms, since a cms has to be coded well (imo). now these are just html errors, so these can be fixed easily if you follow the steps w3c provides you.
The cms text was placed ok , but the background just gets too much attention. I simply love the menu. If you want to promote your product, people shouldn't digress to the background. I would go for a softer, less crowdy background.
Also, in the login, I would take away the brown rectangles surrounding username & password.
Hope this was useful
The html errors are something you need to fix.
At second: your cms is quite impressive, nice work.
Comments on this post
Last edited by fangore; September 16th, 2009 at 03:56 AM.
September 16th, 2009, 04:04 AM
there is some sense in this but the background is a vast improvement. Maybe make the content boxes bigger and space the patterns out a bit. Incidentally, in my browser the centre column is attached to the left nav box but not the right login box, which looks untidy.
Originally Posted by fangore