Amy R. (brightknightie) wrote,
Amy R.

Musings on FKFicFest Community Design

In case you didn't hear, the 2011 FKFicFest ficathon is on!  Sign-ups start April 20; stories are due in July.

fkficfest (LJ) is now at [community profile] fkficfest (DW) as well.  I had been planning to spare the extra work of mirroring, but the recent inexcusable DDOS attacks on LJ have demonstrated the benefits of an alternate meeting place; if evil spammers beat down one site, see us on the other.  (Remember that you can use OpenID to comment without an account, and if you would like a DW invitation code, ask.)

As I was telling PJ, I tried out a new theme/style for the community, and I'll probably try some more themes yet. 

The LJ theme we used last year, with the black-and-white photo of the Toronto municipal bus, is from the "Style Contest," and it cannot be customized.  You cannot so much as change the font, add a "sticky post" or insert free-text into the side-bar.  I hugely approve and enjoy that style for FKFicFest!  That's why we had it.  But the lack of customizability has irritated me throughout.

Searching for a way to make the community more readable, and also to access the option of a sticky post to help orient people just discovering the community, I tried out a "Smooth Sailing" theme earlier this week (which is what's up as I post right now).  I'm not entirely happy with it; I suspect that it looks old-fashioned.  However, it is customizable, and I think it is easier to read than the "Style Contest."

I may have a try at a version of "Flexible Squares" later this weekend.  I believe "Flexible Squares" allows a photo insertion in the title/header field, which would be inviting, I think.  However, I'm reluctant to appropriate the "Style Contest" Dundas bus photo and use it in another layout, as that might be rude to the original designer.  I don't want a collage for the header.  I want a simple, evocative, black-and-white, newspaper-like photo.  Perhaps a screenshot of an FK exterior, skyline, or set... without any actors/characters on it, for an all-factions appeal.

Or I may return to the previous style, which did, after all, work nicely last year!

As far as the current DW layout, it's very nearly the DW default community theme.  I just changed the fonts and tweaked a few colors and settings.  Obviously, it needs attention, too, and should be made to resemble whatever theme the other community settles on.  Because the DW community is free (I pay for the LJ one), the links list is severely limited.

We'll see. :-)  Opinions are welcome, but just to be clear, it's not up for a vote.  If it were, it would be over on the community, not here in my blog! ;-)  I'll tinker, regardless...

Addendum 4/10: I spent several hours on Sunday afternoon attempting to find a LJ theme that would (1) support both the requested FK font and the requested banner illustration, and (2) display correctly in both IE and Firefox. I could not locate such a theme. If you know of one, by all means, please tell me.

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Tags: art:graphics, foreverknight:fkficfest

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