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A New Skin

Posted by Watashi Wa , in BZPower Jul 23 2012 · 162 views

BZPower Anniversary Skin
First off, congrats to Nate and the rest of the staff that worked really hard (in their spare time, mind you) on getting this new skin pushed out. It wouldn't have been possible without great cohesiveness and teamwork. Good job guys. :)

Nate did a superb job of capturing the tone and theme of the old forums while still giving us a contemporary feel to our favorite website.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Do not be taken aback when people get defensive or unsettled when you let it be known that you do not enjoy the product of their own hard work. Many hours went in to creating this skin. The staff as a whole put in our thoughts and concerns to Nate about colors, styles, and buttons. You do not have to like the skin. Certainly, Nate and I are open to criticisms of the skin overall. Try to be as descriptive about what you do not like about it, and we will take these statements into consideration.

There is a difference between "bland" and "warm", the latter being the feeling Nate was targeting in his overall design. The skin creates feeling of warmth and invitation. Muted colors tend to evoke these emotions. The few hints of brick red and even subtler hints of yellow spark the more feelings of flare and zing that a few members seem to desire in a site's design.

And hey, we may even have a way for more members to voice their opinions on the skin soon. We know a bunch of you guys are really talented, so why not take advantage of that?

Let's all be respectful. People worked hard on this, and we welcome criticisms that are thoughtful rather than just provoking. :)

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Shadow Kurahk
Jul 23 2012 11:34 PM
First off, let me start over with my entire criticism of this.

I appreciate all the work that was put into this, not only by you and Than, but also by the staff members that participated.

While I understand the effect that was trying to (and, in part, was) achieved, I don't think it's a particularly fitting one for this site.

I'm a little surprised that muted blue and grey were considered warm and inviting, as blue is generally described as lower in temperature. And there doesn't seem to be too much grey in the skin anyways, so there isn't much of a problem there.

I'm inclined to think that red, orange, yellow, and maybe even violet are the definitively 'warmer' colors. Though, I can't really decide since part of the inspiration for this theme was to stay true to BZPower's original forum design, which incorporates mostly blue and grey.

But if we think about inviting colors, I think darker shades of any color can seem very inviting. More so, perhaps, than the simply muted tones. A blue like this is just as inviting (but obviously not as warm) as a red like this.

So yeah, maybe some consideration could be made towards the coloring. That's my only problem with this theme. That and perhaps the gear icons, since they didn't look like gears to me until I read that they were supposed to be gears (but maybe that was on an individual basis).

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Than the Moa
Jul 23 2012 11:59 PM
First off, I'll start by saying I appreciate your comment. It's obvious we both needed to cool our heads a bit, and reach some common ground and reasoning with one another.

I think when John says "warm" he isn't necessarily referring to color temperature (of which the skin is most certainly not featuring warm colors temperature wise) but more of a feeling he got from it. He described it to me once as the feeling of coming back home, a place you're comfortable at. While I agree that you can make designs that evoke that feeling with colors that pop more, they're also much more divisive. For example, our quote boxes originally featured much darker tones (even a gradient at one point) and was a huge point of contention during the process. People tend to feel more strongly about darker/brighter colors (ie. colors with more "pop"). By opting for the more gray tones, it may be more "dull" so to speak, but also comes across more neutral and unoffensive. There's a reason the Silver Chevy Impala is such a popular car, it doesn't offend anyone's tastes. You may find it boring (heck, I find the silver Impala boring, it's why I drive a dark red Mazda 3 :P ), but it still sells. And yes, that isn't to say other colors don't sell as well, but when you're aiming to make a default, baseline skin, you shoot for something that will be appreciated by the widest audience.

We are having preliminary talks on the idea of creating future skins and even opening things up to have member driven skin creation (through some kind of submission process or a skin contest). I know personally that John, Andrew, and I are committed to following through on this and taking our experiences from working on this and making sure we do give people more options beyond just one default experience. I can't speak to when that'll happen, but we'll make a stink about it when it does happen.

Sorry we got off on the wrong foot about this, I'm sure we both have our reasons why, but let's let the past be the past. I'm willing to get forgive and forget so to speak.
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Shadow Kurahk
Jul 24 2012 12:10 AM
Ah, in that case, "warm" is a pretty appropriate word.

Also, a contest sounds great. Hopefully we can see some user-created skins soon!

And yeah, it's water under the bridge, man. Glad we're through with that. :P

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Yes, by "warm" I meant inviting in a more emotional sense than strictly temperature. Thanks for the clarification, Nate. ;)

And as Than said, nothing is official, but I'd really like to see some sort of skins contest in the future. We just need to figure out a bunch of technicalities. More skin options for members definitely wouldn't be a bad thing.

Certainly, reading and writing criticisms on the internet is always more difficult since we can't get a sense of each others tone. Edgy things may have been said on both sides, but we've learned from it!
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I don't have a thing to criticize. Everything is way better than the old one and it's glorious. I love the colors.
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The only thing I don't like is the little Takua in the blogs. He doesn't feel like he fits the aesthetic of the site as well as Tohu.
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I don't have a thing to criticize. Everything is way better than the old one and it's glorious. I love the colors.

Thanks man, we appreciate it. :)

The only thing I don't like is the little Takua in the blogs. He doesn't feel like he fits the aesthetic of the site as well as Tohu.

We went more for the symbolism of Takua rather than the aesthetic. He's the official Chronicler of all of the histories on Mata-Nui. It's only fitting that he grace the top of all of our own, personal records - or blogs as we like to call them in the 21st century. ;)
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