Luxrender curb appeal

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Luxrender curb appeal

Postby Rhys » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:38 pm

Hello
Does anyone else think Luxrender can deserve some modernisation of it's website styling? :)


I have an example below. The main pages run on wordpress, which if you wanted to go that route some changes may be required for gallery (which is currently not integrated anyway) and materialsDB.
You could have a "top selection" gallery on the main web gallery, with mod-picked/voted images only (similar blender.org or blenderartists.org gallery), then standard user uploaded gallery seperate or in the forum. Same with the materials.

The theme pictured is Avada (cost $40 I can buy if you want)...demo: http://theme-fusion.com/avada/flexslider/ ... http://themeforest.net/item/avada-respo ... me/2833226
Has been edited with firebug changing pictures and text with various stuff from current website/wiki.
luxsite.png


Integrating major documentation areas into the main website, will boost usage of manual and education = more great works:
(Still keeping the wiki of course, but perhaps update wiki design, there is too much content for all to be on main website)
luxmanual.png


Forum picture is themed with we_universal, adjusted with firebug and gimp. Adjusted to full width (I think the width works well at luxrender forum) and pasted the simple header from main pages.
luxforum.png


  • I think improving the "curb appeal" for luxrender will improve its uptake, respect and apparent quality to possible new users.
  • A handpicked high visibility image gallery may encourage more works to higher quality.
  • Using a system like wordpress can enable higher visibility and reading of news posts for fancy new features, tips & tricks, competitions and more. Once again raising apparent quality and demonstrating activeness of Luxrender.
  • Integrating the forum styling with the main site can stimulate traffic around more enhancing effect of above point.

I think luxrender would benefit from updated website, of couse I am not web-designer or programmer so these are just some thoughts or ideas. Perhaps to start some conversation on the topic.
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby A-man » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:49 pm

Layout is nice, however I strongly prefer a darker theme. I think most other people will agree. So much white is very strenuous on the eyes, especially on the forums where you spend much time reading.
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby J the Ninja » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:24 pm

A-man wrote:Layout is nice, however I strongly prefer a darker theme. I think most other people will agree. So much white is very strenuous on the eyes, especially on the forums where you spend much time reading.


Generally, white-on-black is harder on the eyes than black-on-white. Monitor brightness can mess with this though, most monitors have their backlights up WAYY too high from the factory. Mine came at 75%, reviewers with light meters found it was optimal at 31%. (and if you have a CCFL backlight, this isn't good for your display lifespan either).

As far as the OP, I like the newer look. I've never been the biggest fan of the design here, especially outside of the homepage. Also: http://www.luxrender.net/mantis/view.php?id=1208 <---- we don't have a feature page on the main website. We HAVE a features page, it's just really, really, really buried. Which is odd, as the features place is often one of the first pages one looks for when checking out a render engine. You have to see if it has the tools to meet your needs, and that is what the features page tells you. And we ALREADY HAVE ONE, but it is buried.

I always have mixed feelings to running sites of wordpress. On one hand, it always seemed a little odd and "prefab" but I know so many people who have had such good luck with the system.
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby SATtva » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:01 am

J the Ninja wrote:As far as the OP, I like the newer look.

+1 It looks and reads a waaaaay better than what we have now!
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby tomb » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:48 am

SATtva wrote:
J the Ninja wrote:As far as the OP, I like the newer look.

+1 It looks and reads a waaaaay better than what we have now!


+1
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby Rhys » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:15 am

J the Ninja wrote:I always have mixed feelings to running sites of wordpress. On one hand, it always seemed a little odd and "prefab" but I know so many people who have had such good luck with the system.

It's true sometimes it can just look like wordpress and it seems weird to make a site if you consider wordpress just for blogging. It can work well though I think.
Good thing about wordpress is it's popularity and then ease of use, there are thousands of themes/integrations. If you have a decent theme, creating "pages" (not just blog) is really simple and you can do a lot with the layout very quickly.
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby jeanphi » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:31 am

Hi,

Why not, your design is nice, but how do we transfer everything to the new infrastructure? Doug, would it be possible to do something like that with the current CMS?

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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby dougal2 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:30 am

jeanphi wrote:Hi,

Why not, your design is nice, but how do we transfer everything to the new infrastructure? Doug, would it be possible to do something like that with the current CMS?

Jeanphi


Sure it can be done in the current system. You simply need to modify the templates and upload the image assets for styling. You might have to remove or modify the default (reset) stylesheet too, but that is easily done.

On the other hand, we can install WordPress if you wish - depends on the maintainers preference.


On a side note, whilst a design refresh would be nice, some serious consideration needs to be put into the content. When I last did the site, I came up with a structure which I hoped would be tweaked and expanded much more than it has been. In reality all that happened was some blanks were filled in (and there still are quite a few blanks). If the site is going to be re-made then I suggest you start with getting all the content together first and then move on to deciding which style or system to use.
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby zsolnai » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:59 am

I also love the design in the first post, very cool stuff! :)
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Re: Luxrender curb appeal

Postby SATtva » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:58 am

The only thing that i'd fix in the mock-up is the opaque fill used for the title and author name on the featured image on top of the page. Semi-transparent monochrome background will do a lot better. Also its placing shouldn't stand out so much.

But conceptually i agree with Doug, we should really think through site sections, navigation, and what we'll place on the pages. At the moment the relevant data is scattered all over the main site, wiki and forum without good order.
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