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Design suggestion for askbot

I'm in the process of building a custom skin for my Askbot installation at the moment. I was initially planning to do a "spin-off" of that custom skin as a suggestion for a new additional skin for askbot, but as things proceed, it becomes clearer and clearer that the custom skin has so many things unique to that project that a spin-off becomes more and more difficult.

Therefore, I would like to take a different path and propose slight changes to Askbot's current skin as the default skin and design for the site. I just had a little bit of free time and managed to work out a suggestion. I have come to really like the Askbot robot and propose to make it the official logo. (Could I have an EPS to play around with?) I've added a drop shadowed enlarged text to use next to the robot, underneath it or standalone. Most of the sketch is directly taken from the current stage of really and changed slightly in colour and layout.

The black frame is for illustration purposes only. The red bar to the top is supposed to stretch across the whole screen. The content is centered in a 960px container, as usual.

What do you think? Do you like it?

At the moment, the sketch is a plain PhotoImpact graphics file. If the skin (or parts of it) is liked, I would be ready to work it into HTML - I can't give a definite time frame for that right now, though, as it's going to be lots of detail work (much more than just changing the front page).

I also don't know what @Evgeny may already be planning, or doing, in this area.

In the long term, it might also make sense to build a rough "style guide" defining which colours to use where, what size ratios between Logo and text, etc. etc. to achieve a consistent visual interface.

Looking forward to your feedback!

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Pekka's avatar
updated 2010-05-10 14:42:37 -0500, asked 2010-05-10 14:31:53 -0500
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1 Answer


Hi Pekka, I like your concept and definitely up for experimenting.

The robot eps image is on the wiki.

We can put "unanswered" tab back on this site. On my NMR site (once I get there) I will keep "unanswered" under the search bar though. That's because to me it doesn't sound logical to have "unanswered" button on par with "questions", because unanswered questions are questions anyway.

Also IMO moving unanswered up will require some recoding - not much at all, we can do that add a settings option. I suspect that some people will want big "unanswered" tab back - I'll try to get it done this week, just assume it's done already.

Basically the buttons on the left site above questions affect the WHERE part of SQL and those on the right ORDER BY.

On the experimental branch it's already possible to switch skins on the fly from /settings view only accessible to admins, but can be easily added to profiles of all users.

On your design, at least to me it seems that robot image and big text are somewhat competing, also there is a bit too much empty space above "contributors". I think it's a very good starting point for a new layout.

As for the guidelines - it's really tough to advise anything, probably they will depend on the layout choices. Let's just see what we can come up with.


Evgeny's avatar
updated 2010-05-10 22:52:01 -0500, answered 2010-05-10 17:41:50 -0500
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Thanks for your feedback Evgeny. The "unanswered" tab got there more by accident, I copy & pasted the menus from my custom skin (where there is such a tab). Your reasoning makes sense, but I don't think there is a hurry to get the tab up.
Pekka's avatar Pekka (2010-05-11 02:03:05 -0500) edit
You make a good point about the competition between the robot and the big text, and the white space. I will experiment with that a bit. I too regard this as a starting point that is open for discussion in every aspect.
Pekka's avatar Pekka (2010-05-11 02:04:16 -0500) edit
How do you like the menu bar to the top? I'm not sure about the deep red yet. It would be great if the bar could be persisted across all the pages, the Wiki, the faq pages (except for the external links obviously).
Pekka's avatar Pekka (2010-05-11 02:06:27 -0500) edit
Oh and we need to raise the character limit in comments IMO :)
Pekka's avatar Pekka (2010-05-11 02:06:42 -0500) edit
I've added that on the "planned features" list on the wiki, I still remember about your "class" request, but writing things down will work better!
Evgeny's avatar Evgeny (2010-05-12 00:47:51 -0500) edit
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