I think Dilbert has the right approach to people who ask for computer help…
One side-effect of being known as a guy who 'works with computers' is that you're often called on to help sort out computer problems. Never mind that your background is as a coder; to many, computers is computers. Hard drive making noises, DVD drive not working, monitor showing funny colours; all lumped under the general category of 'computer issues'. I guess doctors, lawyers, accountants etc, probably all face the same issues. That said, I wonder why it's considered bad manners to ask someone to clean the grout in your shower…
What if Microsoft were in charge of designing the packaging for the iPod? It's funny because it's so true.
What a week! Based on the response and the results, 'a theme a day' wasn't too bad;) So the next thoughts on everyone's mind is where next?
Well, I'm planning to do a writeup1 on this week's feature where I'll be talking about the design process, lessons learnt and other (hopefully) interesting points.
In preparation for that, I was wondering if I could ask a favour of anyone who has been tuning in; could you answer a couple of questions for me? Just post a comment with your responses to the following:
- Can you rank the themes in order of personal preference?
- Are you planning to use any of these themes?
- Have any of this feature inspired you (whether it's the challenge itself or the designs)?
Also, the themes are currently in the process of being ported to TXP. Stuart, who has a great track record of converting themes, is currently doing me a favour and is undertaking the port. When they're ready, I'll make an announcement on this site.
Hopefully everyone has enjoyed this feature. Who knows, I might do this again next year but for now, I'm going to take a bit of a break2:) Blogging might be a little slow for the next few days whilst I get back up to speed but stay tuned.
After a break in our scheduled programming, it is time to reveal the final theme in the 'a theme a day' week feature. Today's theme is Bosa, a theme that is big and bold but which also carries an air of calm tranquility.
This one underwent a quite a lot of restructuring. It flipped between 3 columns to 2 columns, colour scheme jumping from dark to light, dimensions went from wide to narrow and from elastic to fixed width.
Despite (or because of that) I think that were it not for my self imposed 'a theme a day' constraints, I might not have released this theme. I'm not entirely happy with this release but I said a theme would be coming so here you are. For each day's release, I've tried to offer something different from what's gone on before. Whilst I don't think that I'd personally go with this design myself, I'm sure that it'll catch someone's fancy;)
I've managed to release a theme everyday for the working week but I had plans to work on and release another one today. However, as I have to go out soon, it's unlikely that I'll be unable to release one today.
I might be able to return in time to work on the theme but chances are that you'll have to wait till tomorrow. Thanks for your support.
The week draws to the end and the weekend beckons allowing us to temporarily forget about the stress and tribulations of work and concentrate on R&R. With the cold weather outside, one way to relax is to curl up in bed or by a fire and immerse yourself into a good book.
Today's offering for 'a theme a day' week is reminiscent of such; for me, it gives off an air of comforting sophistication and provides a lovely canvas for your thoughts and insights to reside. Give a warm welcome to the Jentri theme. Take a look at the demo site and if you find that it's the one for you, head over to the theme page and download it for yourself.
Today's design was another one that evolved as the day went on. Initially, it started off looking more cream and blue; however, that the bookish feel was one worth expounding on which, through various twists and turns, led to the one you see now.
Coincidence and perspective
Talking of twists and turns, just as I was polishing up the release of Jentri, Andrea Arbogast3 publicised the release of her latest project. As Andrea notes in her entry, though we worked on the designs seperately and without knowledge of what the other was doing, we had independently used similar design elements in our works.
The other interesting point was that, though there were similarities on a layout level, each site have a totally different look and feel. One thing that I really like about her design4 is the balance that the wonderfully designed logo header brings to the piece. What's makes this pertinent is that this is a good place to start customising the themes that I've released.
Whilst I've designed them to stand well on their own, I think a little bit of work in bringing an identity to your site can work wonders.
- OK, so I lie. I had a whole two minutes to spare:) [back]
- Need to fork out some money for a new machine, methinks [back]
- As an aside, I love the design of Interllectual for it's distinctiveness and expressiveness. [back]
- Actually, there is a lot to like, especially the cool vertical bars on the left [back]
And it's another day in 'a theme a day' week which means, of course, another theme. Today's selection is Treba. Once again, it's all about the words and Treba's clean design let's you concentrate on the content; after all content is king. Take a look at the demo site and see what you think.
Today was probably the most difficult day so far. As mentioned, I'm designing and developing the themes as I go along and the limited time constraints really hit me today1.
What made it harder was that that the design I had in my head didn't really work when transferred to digital bits. The colours clashed and the design didn't really balance. I went through several iterations2 before settling on the one that you see now.
Also, as an aside, I had a bit of a scare last night as shortly my site went down. Fortunately, it came back up but it made me realise that I had no up-to-date backups. Not very wise and now rectified.
So with day 4 out of the way, I can catch a few hours of sleep and hopefully dream about what to do for tomorrow:)
Looks like my server time setting is an hour fast which meant that this post appears to have been posted on Friday morning. I'd go back in and change things but breaking links is bad.
I'll confess to having a soft spot for single column designs; I like the clarity of purpose they provide and how no-nonsense they are; when you go to a blog with a single column design, your first point of attention are the posts. One of the first WP themes that I worked on was single column and it's good to be able to develop another one for the 'a theme a day' feature. Give a warm welcome to Ambiru.
For me, Ambiru gives off an air of calm tranquility. The lovely header image1 brings a nice piece of balance to the design.
Speaking of header images and themes; back in the early days of WP, there was one theme that was so popular that it became the default theme. I, of course, am talking about Michael's Kubrick theme. One of the main reasons behind it's success was how easy it was for people to add their personal touch to things by changing the header image. Likewise, if you want to do the same with Ambiru, simply replace the header.png file with a 500×225 image of your choice. If you want to delve a little deeper with your customising, jump into the style.css which should be nicely organised for you2
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's left a kind comment, words of encouragements or linked to this site. This week long feature is really hard work3, and though it's one that I quite happily enjoy doing, but knowing that the work is appreciated makes things so much easier.
- Which I had a bit of help with. With the tight time constraints, I decided to ask my brother Mike if he'd could spare a bit of his time to help me develop a header image whilst I worked on the rest of the design. Much appreciated especially with the tight time constraints which he had to play with. [back]
- Like all the themes I've released this week, not only are the CSS classes organised into logical blocks but I've also taken the time to alphabetise the properties for you. Makes things easier for you and easier for me. [back]
- The smart thing to have done was to spent some time planning and doing some preparatory work before embarking on this crazy venture. Perhaps waiting till I had a free week would have been more sensible. But what is life without a bit of spontaneity and carefree rashness? [back]
There are a number of gorgeous looking themes available but sometimes what you really want is something that looks smart. Enter todays theme which I've entitled Emire. Emire is a theme which is just as comfortable in a commercial setting as it is on a personal site. Calm and aesthetically pleasing, Emire exudes an air of professionalism. Feel free to take a look at it on the demo site.
Feeding off some of the comments on yesterday's theme, this theme is a much more detailed affair whilst never stepping into garish territory. In particular, I like how, on the front page, the latest entry is highlighted and showcased.
As an aside, the Arsenal vs Real Madrid game1 meant that this theme was released a little later than I'd hoped. Trying to code whilst live Champions League football is playing in the background is probably not the ideal working environment:)
Let's see if I can release the next theme in the "a theme a day" feature a little bit earlier tomorrow.
- What a great performance by Arsenal. Hopefully, the second leg will be just as riveting [back]