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From Chris Bentley <...@webguy.com.au>
Subject Re: new skin
Date Fri, 31 May 2002 06:00:21 GMT
The more I've thought about what Bert has achieved the more excited I
become. I really believe since he has designed his solution in such
compliant and elegant way that to move the HTML into the 21st Century while
allowing the browsers of the past to tag along is a mere single confident
step forward.

My first thought was that the layout should be much simpler to help this; as
I sketched this idea some other concepts quietly just fall into place for
me. Please don't view this as a well thought out finished design -  it is
just thrown on to the page and is undeveloped and would be very bad to
implement as is. This is simply a quick sketch which illustrates some
concepts I'd like you to consider - don't be drawn to the detail.

1. BANDING - Ignore the grey, at this stage I didn't want be concerned with
colour, just tonality, I'll add colour later. I've used this banding to
break the page into more distinct separate sections. starting at the top i.
the Breadcrumb Band. ii. the Branding and Search Band  iii. the Tab Band iv.
The Content Band

 Navigation -  In this design the Tabs bind with the Content more
completely. In the current design a Tab binds visually with the Menu - but
the only connection to the Content is by Naming association. This design, by
key-holing the selected tab to the next band binds the Tab, the Menu and the
Content together by visual effect. The Menu and Content simply sit in white
space and the content is given plenty of "air" so that the eye can focus
there with less distraction.

(It is worth pointing out that in the current design the actual Tab visuals
are a better convention in that they "Look" like tabs and are a more quickly
recognisable structure - however the simplicity of this new design appeals
to me, if its function is obvious to Users)

* Id like to see colour used in a less overpowering way and be used to give
the site more "life" and "energy", I don't think the current colour says
much to me. Is blue significant? - can other colours be tried?

*I also like the idea that these header bands are completely separate HTML
components which may be switched on and off in a trivial way without having
to re-code. If new tools or control elements are need to be added they can
simply be dropped into the header in their own self contained band as
required in a straightforward way. While ultimately this approach may reach
some barriers it may take the design forward in a more manageable, modular
way towards Phase 3 if not beyond.

2. BRANDING - In a way this is the most important concept for me. The Apache
XML Logo and the Project Logos should always stand together. It implies an
association - the project is part of a unified entity. Instead of the
project logo flapping about in the middle, it  should be locked in place
proudly beside the Apache XML identity and by association her sibling
projects.

I think in a simple way this device speaks to the requirement for Forrest to
bind the other projects together with a common identity (or in my world
"corporate style") - a simple styleguide would need to be developed so that
Logo creation would not break design - max-height  & width spacing etc.

forgive ratty look of Logos I couldn't find originals - had to hack out blue
bg for demonstration...
again don't look at detail - fonts colour etc - Just the high level concept.

<http://www.webguy.com.au/testforbert/forrest_sketch_1.gif>

chris


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