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Open Coterie  ·  46 members

Site Design

About This Coterie

The place to discuss the art of site design. From skins and templates to graphics and ads, anything aimed at the actual design, aesthetic, or visual aspects of creating a site. No coding skill necessary to participate! This is for getting opinions, suggestions, and sharing ideas about the way things look. Not the codes behind them.




Play nice. We're all here to enjoy ourselves.


Leave the coding discussions and the site reviews in the appropriate forums. This about the technical aspects of skinning/coding or for opinions on the overall appeal of a site.



  1. What's new in this coterie
  2. Gonna +1 on either The Forgotten or Shadows Darker for the name, but say that Shadows Darker would probably be the better of the two imo. Its got relevance to the series, and would do better SEO/recognition wise than The Forgotten. Palette-wise, I'd say either A or D. If you go with D, I'd suggest desaturating or shifting the hue on that purple a bit though. As-is, its a bit intense compared to the other colours and might be a bit difficult for some people to look at for too long.
  3. I'm all about short and sweet on names. I like The Forgotten and Shadow Darker. Both are short and easy to remember. Color palette, I like D best because I am absolutely 100% opposed to bright white. I have bad eyes and it's painful! 😉 Good luck with your site!
  4. I'm in the very beginning phases of designing a Dragon Age site. Its going to be set in Tevinter, with a darkish plot revoling around a slave uprising. I'm having a really hard time narrowing down my color palette choices and choosing an appealing name! Anyone care to give some input? Names first: Thedas Under Siege With Love From Arlathan The Forgotten Order & Chaos Elvhenan Ascending Shadows Darker (this comes from a Flemmeth quote in Origins) I've polled my coadmin and the top contenders for color palettes include: A- B- C- D-
  5. I am one of those RPers that will not consider a site that has too many IC forums and sub-forums. In fact, when we first moved back to forums from Nova, we had one IC forum. Now, we have a total of 6 IC forums with zero sub-forums. We use tags to add more descriptions to our threads so things are relatively easy to find. I am on one site that has hundreds (or so it seems) of IC forums. It's overwhelming. I do post but with only one person and have given up reading the other characters' stories. Clean, simple, easy-to-navigate!
  6. Layout is absolutely important. We use forum software to roleplay because they are a highly effective means of organizing our collection of threads. Organizing being the key word there. People like things laid out differently. What makes sense to one person might not to another. The beauty of forums, though is that you can move things around. Create new subforums and close inactive ones easily, etc. Which also means most guests are not taking any excuses- If your site isn't easy to navigate they aren't going to really check things out. They have options, and they know it, they're going to find somewhere with a layout more compatible to their taste. I definitely think that minimizing the amount of subforums is important for fledgling sites. It gets a much better response from potential members. You want your place to look active and tidy! A bunch of empty forums on the first page is going to turn people off. When I am personally checking out a site I might want to be a part of, the very first thing I do is look at the last post date on all the IC forums. If it's been a week since most have been posted in, I know the activity is slower than I will enjoy and that weighs in on my decision to join. I always look at the 'members online today' count, too. That's just part of how I try to gauge activity. Now specific to your example, I personally expect region specific subforums- for active and/or key locations. That is the norm on most sites. It's really easy to take that overboard, though, and a lot of sites turn off potential members by overcrowding the writing space. Not every house and business, or even state in a country, needs it's own subforum. If Elf City and Dwarf City are both in Fantasy Country, a catch-all forum for Fantasy Country is fine. But if Elf City has 10 current threads and Dwarf City has 2, I am going to want Elf City to have a subforum to make finding my threads easier. I don't agree that having subforums is a reason to be turned off by a site. Or that IC communities can be isolated by subforum usage either. Character are still free to travel between subforums, just like they would travel between cities. Post your thread in whatever community it is currently set in. If your going to move the setting from one location to another, post it in the parent forum. Or else just post it in the starting location, it'll be clear in the thread that travel took place. Or you could even end that thread to start a new one in the other setting and link the two.
  7. So, I know many sites use the format where each specific location gets its own subforum. Like one for Elf City and another sub-forum for Dwarf Citadel and so forth. That seems like it might even be standard practice. Personally, I dislike the format and never stick around somewhere like that for very long. Ends up isolating the community into too many groups. Plus, when I write on boards, they usually have lots of freedom for members creating new locations, so there's no way to keep track of them all and have them properly sorted. That raised a question. How do board layouts affect members and potential members/guests? Have you noticed ways that different layouts affect your initial response?
  8. Cinzel Decorative is such a classic. 💞 I like to match the font to the theme; Metamorphous for magic/fantasy, UnifrakturMaguntia or another nice blackletter for historical/low magic medieval or gothic/horror (Uncial Anquita is good too), Fredricka the Great and Sankreek for Western...
  9. Cinzel Decorative! I use that on my site. So pretty ❤️
  10. Some light themes can be nice, but I seem to prefer dark themes. I'm a minimalist. Keep it simple. Make it easy to read (I'm old, dammit), and give me a nice balance of image and text. No tiny text. (I want that tiny trend to die in a fire.) Because I am often on my phone, yes, mobile legibility is important. Prioritizing that makes me happy. I'm a graphic designer by day so I'm pretty damn picky, aesthetically speaking.
  11. I taught myself HTML/CSS in high school and am a web/graphic designer by degree and career. When I want to learn something new, I take it apart and fiddle with it until it makes sense. This is how I taught myself HTML/CSS. This is how I taught myself PHP for Wordpress. This is how I taught myself phpBB. And this is how I'm teaching myself MediaWiki. I come up with a few small, easy to wrestle projects and work my way through them. I often search for tutorials online. W3Schools, Codepen, CSS Tricks, and HTML and CSS are Hard are good spots to study.
  12. I'm a big fan of header fonts that make an impact. Some of my favorites are: Cinzel, Cinzel Decorative, Playfair Display, Jim Nightshade, Abril Fatface, etc. I tend to try to match my body font to my title font. If I use a serif or slab serif title font, I like to use a sans-serif body font. If I use a script or fancier header/title font, I like to use a serif body font. Forum, Open Sans, and Comorant Garamond are favorites.
  13. Double purple is also good! Decisions are hard Jones
  14. Needs more orange I am sure. *flees*
  15. I prefer your double purple.
  16. I like the silver too. I think I like double purple with gold also but is it too much purple? idk. maybe.
  17. These are forum wrappers for the SMF theme I am building for a wip. I am terrible at the actual aesthetics and keep second guessing my choices- hence the point of this coterie. So what combination looks the most appealing to all of you?
  18. I reached LOL because I am the exact same way! It's my OCD. However, we do have that issue at my sites. It was a conscious decision to put some basic character info below the avvies so that people didn't have to go find the bio to get the info for their posts. Still.... I HATE seeing a short paragraph and all this blank space. Another reason we promote doing short dialog tags within one post (editing in responses). It assuages my OCD.
  19. Hahaha....ha.... I actually don't like large avatars or having a lot of information in a mini-profile/below an avatar because I can't stand it when a post's container is longer than the content. I know it's the internet and it's not like we're gonna run out of paper on a website, but it really bugs me to see 3-4 inches of blank space between posts. Now you know my dirty secret.
  20. Moving, flashing, moving things everywhere! Ugh! If it moves, I will immediately leave the site. Ditto on the cursor thing. Did I mention hating the moving, flashing, moving stuffs?
  21. So I was browsing a site and this absolutely annoyed me and I realize that there are some really annoying things in some design elements so I figured we could share. So I hate when sites change my cursor. My arrow is just fine! Leave it the fuck alone! This is not a video game. Additionally elements that say you can mouse over them but then you have to mouse over a tiny element WITHIN that element to see it. I have a big screen, ain't nobody got time for that!
  22. Category Headers and Forum Titles are generally the most eye catching on a forum, making them one of the most important aspects of a site's aesthetic. So what are your favorite fonts specifically for Headers?
  23. I learned on my own with the use of an html guide book. This of course followed my dive into rp around 11 or 12. I was big into horse rp and it was way before jcink, back when invisionfree was a new thing. I had a freewebs webpage and I had all these mini discussion boards spread out over ... basically... a webpage. Forum design was an entirely new thing when I finally drifted to invisionfree forums and rp. But generally, it was a lot of examining source code and messing with it. Script I still cannot even begin to write but I can do pretty well with html and css.
  24. Morrigan

    Title Help

    I would go with site name personally.
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