Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-boosters (69 mails)

< Previous Next >
Re: [opensuse-boosters] Theme feedback
  • From: Robert Lihm <rlihm@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 10:36:16 +0100
  • Message-id: <45F63D56-71AF-434A-9E2B-BB9BF61EE9FB@xxxxxxx>

On 27.11.2009, at 15:26, Klaas Freitag wrote:

Am Freitag 27 November 2009 10:40:05 schrieb Michal Hrusecky:


as I reported that I was working on adopting Roberts theme to Media Wiki
theme, I posted screenshot of the current status on my blog [1]. I
received some feedback (not only on my blog but on IRC as well).
Generally they say that theme is nice, but that it isn't green and it
contains only one little Geeko and that it doesn't look so much openSUSE
at first sight. I'm just forwarding feedback so others will know and we
can discuss.

I basically like the design, but still some dumb questions left:

- I also do not really like the color, its too black. Some more green would
be appreciated

Well, I feel the need to explain my grey tendency:

Lets start with the mission of our site or ... what is the motivation of people who visite the page:

They are looking for something. They want to learn more about openSUSE, find help for there problem, download the distro or find a way to contribute.

Most of the visitors know SUSE already and look for informations. So they are interested in content. This means, the content has to be as easy as possible to consume. If we wrap the page in a to colourful Layout, the colours will stand in the users way while he is consuming the informations he is looking for.
The next problem is, that if we use to meny colours, we loose them as a powerful tool to highlight important things.

The Layout xor Screen Design is just a structure giving frame, which should give the visitor a good feeling. Good means:

* it's not standing between me and the information (no distracting)
* it supports me to find the stuff I'm looking for
* it's not so ugly that i feel the need to immediately leave this place (I feel this pretty often on the web)

Next advantage of grey is, that it's neutral. It has no special cultural meanings. The contrast is OK, so we make no trouble to e.g. colour blind people.
It looks elegant, classic and modern in the same moment. It has no problem with design trend; thus it's a ever-green.
And we can create pretty easily a optical hierarchy (e.g. main navigation bar vs. content area).

The next thing is, that we are a large project and our site should IMHO look profesional. With a bunch of colours it's much harder to reach this topic.

But, of cause we should use some green as it is our corporate colour! I would like to use it for highlighting importing things, in graphics and artwork and so on.
One disadvantage of green is, that the human eye recognise the most colour differences in the green spectrum. And green has pretty ambivalent meanings. It can be peaceful and reassuring (like the green in a forest) and it can have the character of poison (means danger). And it's very unpleasant for the eye if you use it on large areas on a screen.

Finally I would like to freely quote Thomas Wirth from his book "Missing Links": "You recognise a good web design, when you don't notice it".
I strongly recommend this book to all people (it's available in German only, what is pretty sad). I also recommend the book "In Praise of Shadows" by Jun'Ichiro Tanizaki (German title: "Lob des Schattens: Entwurf einer japanischen Ästhetik").

-- End of Standup-Talk --

- Why do we have two search boxes? Probably one is the wiki search, the other
the site wide search, right? I vote for getting rid of the search box on
the left

I think, this is just a side effect. Finally we will have just one search box.

- margin: I think the margin between the black top and the first box is too
large. Vertical space is valueable.

Darix told me that there is a little confusion about the usage of the 960 grid and the CSS. The spacing have some bugs in the wiki theme. This not dramatical, because its just a quick hack an proof of concept, and Michal made it pretty good.

Take a look at to see how the idea looks like or checkout the plain HTML & Co. from

There is also a Wordpress theme available at URL:

So, if you have a local Wordpress installation, you can take a look. I have currently no public one (we should get a devel Wordpress).

- left box: I wonder if the left boxes must be again grouped in another box.
Wouldn't it be cooler to completely drop the surrounding box?

Right. The content of a box should not be wrapped up again in boxes; specially not in boxes with a drop shadow.

Take it should be more like this:
... separated by colours, whitespace or an other background-colour.

- fixed width: What is the reason to go with fixed width?

1. It make webdevelopers life easier ;-)
2. The maximal text line-length -to be good readable- is 14 cm. Or about 400 px. It's a bit hard to transfer this rule to the screen, but ca. 400 px is fine.
This is a length where the reader does not have to move his head. It makes it easier to fint the beginning of the next line and to stay in the line while you are reading; the eye loose track if the line is longer (hackers working the whole day in vi or emacs do not count as standard user ;-).
3. What is the advantage of fluide screen design in our case?





To unsubscribe, e-mail: opensuse-boosters+unsubscribe@xxxxxxxxxxxx
For additional commands, e-mail: opensuse-boosters+help@xxxxxxxxxxxx


Robert Lihm, Webdesigner - openSUSE Boosters Team
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, Maxfeldstr. 5, D-90409 Nuernberg
Tel: +49-911-74053-0 - rlihm@xxxxxxx
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, GF: Markus Rex, HRB 16746 (AG Nürnberg)
SUSE - a Novell business

To unsubscribe, e-mail: opensuse-boosters+unsubscribe@xxxxxxxxxxxx
For additional commands, e-mail: opensuse-boosters+help@xxxxxxxxxxxx

< Previous Next >