[sword-devel] New SWORD website - update

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Tue Dec 30 17:02:23 MST 2008

Peter von Kaehne wrote:
> Chris Little wrote:
>>> re styling and coloring.
>>> This remains a contentious issue clearly. I do not expect anyone to like
>>> my design choices - though some seem to do so.
>> The color scheme and overall design are another thing that were not
>> broken, but got "fixed".
> Actually you are mixing things up there - the color scheme of
> www.crosswire.org is identical to the previous one with the exemption of
> the link color which was in direct response to the color blind ness
> comments I received. It works and your links which you kindly provided
> to confirm this.

I don't recall what the former link color was, but purple is 
unacceptable here. Visibility to the color blind is not affected by hue 
difference when two colors of dissimilar brightness are used for text & 
background. If we had a light color (e.g. light gray) for links, then I 
think we should change from that.

In general, we should be thinking of complementary colors and strong 
differences in brightness values for strong contrasts (text vs. 
background). But overall design should range within the sorts of colors 
you might find on a paint color swatch.

When I designed the CrossWire color scheme, the signature colors were 
dark red and neutral colors gray, black, & white. So it has basically 
one color (red) in addition to neutrals, which was part of the austere 
corporate site style I was aiming for.

The Sword site (note designed by me) uses green as its signature color 
with lighter, darker, yellower, and very light green variants being used 
for most decorative purposes (backgrounds, titles). The text is mostly 
black, simply for readability. The purpose of this site, unlike the 
CrossWire site, is to appeal to casual users. Thus we have this 
relatively warm color scheme. (It's green, but it's a warm green with a 
lot of yellow.)

The new Sword design takes one green color and puts it on the CrossWire 
design in place of red, losing all of the warmth and welcomingness of 
the current color scheme. The purple sites (some of which have gone 
live, though I don't remember ever hearing any approval given for that) 
are both very unattractive and highly illegible.

> Moving to CSS - if you look at the CrossWire site, it has not exactly
> changed a lot. I copied the previous design in much detail. My only
> serious diversion of it was the move from the two liner menu to a one
> liner. I am experimenting with better solutions and I think I have found
> one, which does less wrapping and expands and shrinks appropriately. I
> have not deployed it on CrossWire yet.

I was discussing the Sword site when I mentioned color changes.

>> You raised the issue in an email to me of the CrossWire site, Sword
>> site, forums, and wiki all having different designs. My position is that
>> the CrossWire and Sword sites should have different designs. The Sword
>> site, the forums, the bug tracker, and the customized Google search all
>> have different layouts, but they have identical color schemes. (NB: I do
>> think the background on the last of these should get a change for
>> readability.) 
> I raised this matter several times. I am firmly convinced that we should
> have a single design (with variation) for all public oriented  parts of
> the site. we had this already for CW and several front ends (QPSword,
> Flashcards) and another for SWORD and a group of other front ends
> (BibleCS, Sword reader, GoBible). To unify this would introduce more
> clarity.
> There are few basic rules to web design and one is that you should not
> needlessly confuse your visitors. Top level links are by convention
> inner site links. External links are usually marked as such.

Fundamentally different pages with different purposes deserve different 
designs. Sword does not need to have the same design as CrossWire. None 
of the frontends (hosted at CrossWire or elsewhere) need to conform to a 
single design, nor should they avoid a particular design.

The frontends that mimicked the CrossWire design did so because it was 
easy for Troy to copy them.

My point being: the Sword, BibleCS, fc, & GoBible sites do not need to 
have layouts identical to CrossWire any more than do the BibleTime or 
GnomeSword sites. They have different functions & audiences and users 
SHOULD feel like they have moved to a different website when going from 
one to another, because they HAVE.


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