slappage

Another day, another theme.

the bottom left bar is associated with your about page. Derek made it clear when designing the theme that he wanted that there.

Oh dear. Did nobody tell him that wordpress.com users don’t take kindly to being told what widget goes where? The kind of fine-grained control that professionals demand is a really, really bad fit with wordpress.com. You may know exactly what you want the sidebar to look like — search box at the top, categories below it, kewl javascripty thing — but your users are not necessarily going to share that view.

I seriously believe that before anyone designs a theme for wordpress.com they need to be sat down and forced to scroll through twenty random blogs, followed by a day or two on the forums. Then they will understand how people plan to mutilate their beautiful design with excessive numbers of pages with unfeasibly long titles, outsized widgets, crazy fonts pasted in from Word, video clips, photos the size of a bus and languages other than English. And, when they have finished sobbing, they will be able to take evasive action to make it slightly more difficult to break.

Meanwhile, yet another discussion on how it is, and will always be, evil in the eyes of the dictator to profiteer from designing for WordPress, wherein I challenge Matt to name his favourite GPL themes before belatedly realising that he is obviously referring to Prologue and Monotone. Like Matt would ever publically express admiration for a theme he wasn’t personally involved with.

Sometimes, still, I am so touchingly naive I am compelled to slap my forehead. Hard.

3 Comments »

  1. Oh, did you forget to mention Redoable Lite, the one that needs to be called Please Heavily Redo?

    You click on the blog title, the text spreads across the page right up next to the sidebar, and the box with the tags and comments is on top of the post horizontally. This is the way it should look, imho.

    But click on the post title, and the text scrunches up to a narrower column, while the box with the tags and categories gets shoved up in the far-right corner. If the post title is too long, the box obscures some of it.

    The back-and-forth flip-flop also makes it impossible where to stick photos. I usually just throw them in and hope for the best.

    Complain about it? They ignore you – I gave up ages ago.

  2. My main issue with Redoable is that links in comments are indistinguishable from the rest of the text until you hover. That’s not even an aesthetic issue, it’s a usability one. I suspect that nobody’s complained about not seeing comment links because they don’t know the links are there ;) The really annoying thing is that it would take about thirty seconds to fix.

    I honestly think that a lot of these glitches could be avoided if they could just get more than one person to look at them before release. When you’ve been tweaking a theme for a long time you do get sort of snowblind. If I can spot something wrong within a couple of minutes of applying a theme to an everyday working blog, think how many bugs the support staff could squash if they spent five minutes apiece (each in a different browser, ideally) seeing how it functions on a specially designed test blog. True, they’ll never catch everything, but the more time they spend testing pre-release the more time they’ll save fielding bug reports afterwards.

    It might be worth trying again now they have a couple more designers on staff; given a sufficiently horrifying screenshot they’re more likely to do something.

  3. Yeah, perhaps I should. I actually forgot about that links in the comment problem, too. I drop tinyruls now so they stand out a bit.

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