If you’re a WordPress theme designer or developer looking to understand the desires of your users you can’t go wrong with one WordPress.com bloggers quest for the ultimate WordPress theme. It’s one of the best WordPress theme posts I’ve read in a long time.
2 thoughts on “A Quest For The Ultimate WordPress Theme”
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:
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.
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