Imperial Boxcar – Diamota’s theme

This WordPress Theme focuses on readability and legibility. It is desired to leave space- and plenty of it- around each element, and yet bring them together cohesively. Instead of trying to build a Top WordPress Theme competing among design peers, we wanted to create a pleasing environment for our readers *just in case* they decide to read our articles and info. We think that whoever invented “usability” is really cool.

The column layout follows our favorite “two-thirds, one-third” rule which we think is an outstanding format vs. the 3 column or 4 column that seems to have captured the info-bloggers imagination. Ours encourages shorter posts in the main, and then allows room for a wider sidebar than typical 3-column layouts.

The screen res for this theme is built around a 960 pixel spec, which translates to 84% of the American audience being able to view it without scrolling side-to-side. We could claim that’s 98% of our market, but we’re not that snobby. Progressively speaking, every new computer is shipped with an LCD or LED panel of at least 1280 pixels res, if not 1400 or greater. Thanks to the widescreen trend that has been in place for the last 3 years, those who are in the market to replace the CPU instead of the monitor are typically upgrading to get HD, widescreen, or some other benefit that assumes they have, or will use a screen resolution of at least 1024 or higher. Long and short is that we are safe – and everyone is safe at 960 pixels unless you have a global market**

The solid color background was chosen carefully, because the background is one of the single most important elements of display in modern web design. This is an upshot of the former discussion about screen res and modern displays. One of the simplest solutions in the Web 2.0 craze is the horizontal “stretch forever” format. This makes a lot of sense, because we are seeing displays of 1024-2200 or more pixels, which means that the background will at least be a significant element in the picture (at lower res) and may actually dominate the size of a fixed width page at higher res. We chose a solid color background because we wanted our readers focused on the info panels.

Along with fixed-widths and outlines our chosen vehicle jazzes up a typical business model of what a webpage looks like. It follows a traditionally inspired business page and takes it to a new level.

Technically speaking the main page background is implemented as a single unit, and each of the columns are stacked on top, implemented with their own backgrounds. At first thought, there is even more chance to see erratic displays here; the stacking layers are each potentially prone to browser errors or changes in configuration among them. But what would the alternative bring? What if the page was composed of only 3 elements, a composite header and footer, and a liquid-height middle background slice repeating vertically? In that case, if a browser display issue occurred, it would destroy the entire page. At the risk of a more complex scheme, and about 8 hours more labor, a greatly universal (near universal) display has been achieved, and the main column, as well as the sidebar column, each expand to their respective content’s height. If something goes wrong, it’s likely to go wrong in only one element, leaving the other 2 intact. We decided that was acceptable.

We’re still debugging this on iPhone with only 2 notable exceptions (that’s 2 more than we expected), and we are testing it on other mobiles. In desktop browsers, we’ve got a consensus between ie, Firefox, Safari, and Opera for acceptable displays, with a minor exception in the way our Linked-lists display on Mac in firefox, and apparently Safari. Hmmm. If you know the answer to that, don’t spoil it for our coders… heard they get way too much sleep.

Questions or comments about our Theme? It’s still under development, but we’ll be happy to answer any inquiries or even enquiries as they might arise.

3 Responses to “Imperial Boxcar – Diamota’s theme”

  1. One again, your article is very nice

  2. Diamota says:

    Thanks, you cut a strapping form yourself.

  3. Thanks for this great blog.

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