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Re: youlookfab forum: keeping things simple

Thanks very much for the kind words.

WordPressl, I mock up a few different design options in PhotoShop and when I’m happy there I move to the code. Since this was my first exposure to bbpress I ended up iterating between PS and the code a lot as I got to understand bbpress better. The challenge was to keep the flavor of the blog, but still make it clear to the user that they are somewhere different.

The mechanics of the template are similar to the default theme. The different look is achieved mostly through the CSS stylesheet. One major change to the layout is to add a floating div for the sidebar on the left. All the rollovers are CSS. I do the tabs simply in php by checking which forum the user is in and displaying the tab bar appropriately. Most of the other changes are actually about hiding some of the power of bbpress.

I’m glad the “tabs” resonate. I had a full working site in beta without them, but just wasn’t happy. The breadcrumb is a little subtle (particularly for folks who are new to a forum), and with only 4 forums and no sub-forums seems like overkill. But without the breadcrumb the user is lost once they’re in one of the forums or topics. The tab solves that and makes it easy to get to any forum from almost everywhere.

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