2 thoughts on “A Quest For The Ultimate WordPress Theme

  1. The post is very interesting, especially as he made it very clear what it was he was optimizing for.

    I too have agonized over theme design but from a different angle – as the author says, “one size fits all” does not apply to blog themes.

    The majority of my blog content is long reference-style posts which require time and concentration. I find as a reader that the vast majority of sites have excessive color, clutter, etc. which is far too distracting for reading a long reference post.

    His site is beautiful but I had trouble reading the entire post due to distraction from the layout. My solution as a web user to the distraction issue is to use tools like readable or readability on most sites when trying to read a longer article. I use the “readable” reformatting tool 10-20 times per day, so obviously I’m having a hard time reading the content on many sites.

    I wrote a similar theme design post based on a totally different set of needs which I know you read a couple years ago, Ian. My theme is optimized for being able to read lengthy content. As you can see (and it’s changed a bit since you first saw it 2 years ago), the resulting design of my site is very different – my guess is that it’s probably too simple and boring for many people – but I think I achieved my goal of being able to read without distraction:

    http://www.filterjoe.com/2009/03/23/site-design-for-reading/

    I’ve wasted inordinate amounts of time tinkering with my simple-looking theme trying to figure out how to incorporate modern functionality (i.e. sharing and following) without creating distraction. I wish that 1 out of the 130 themes available on wordpress.com were optimized for reading so I didn’t have to do all this work. I’m no expert designer. But I really do want my readers to be able to read a several thousand word reference post without being required to print out or reformat the post.

  2. Pingback: The ultimate WordPress theme is out there – the quest continues . . . | Notes from Africa

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