Andrew Sharp

Amplify - a minimalistic wordpress theme

By Andrew Sharp

   on Aug 07, 2010
7 Reviews1 Vote1 Favorite804 Views

Concept Reviews

  • Steven Johnson

    Steven Johnson

    Rank: 1 Elite

    1420

    • Design: 3
    • Purpose: 2
    • Originality: 2
    • Engagement: 2
    3 Votes
    This review has been awarded.
    Few things...

    Posted on Aug 07, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    Hi,

    Good effort.

    These are the things I would change:

    1. Again, add a bit of colour. I know you're going for grayscale but I think that only works for small images, when you've got an image as big as that, it needs some colour.
    2. I would remove the home button next to the main heading, you've already got a home link in the main nav.
    3. I would increase font size of the main heading and position it above the main image. Users will want to know what the page is about within a couple seconds and having to look down the page to find the title just increases time on the page.
    4. No search function? Especially important on an ecommerce site. I notice you have 'Products' in the main nav. I'm guessing that it's just a generic template but you'd need to make HUGE improvements if you're going to be marketing it as an ecommerce site.
    5. Have you got the logo clickable? You might even be able to remove the home link in the nav if you have.
    6. In FF 3.6, your 2nd child on the main nav is mis-aligned by about 1em to the bottom. I would even suggest trying to remove the 2nd child as there's more room for error with the user moving their mouse outside of the nav.

    Anyway, I'll have a proper look when I've got a bit more time.

    Thanks,

    Steve

  • Robin Francis

    Robin Francis

    Rank: 4 Master

    1581

    • Design: 3
    • Purpose: 3
    • Originality: 2
    • Engagement: 2
    2 Votes
    This review has been awarded.
    Splash of colour

    Posted on Aug 07, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    This is a really good design but it seems to be lacking something. An accent colour of deep red may be a nice touch. I looked at the live site a really prefer the site with the large image in full colour. Think that the other 3 images would benefit from being in full colour too. The footer images look really good in the greyscale.

    I took a copy of the image and right aligned the menu. I think this gives a better balance to the header. I had to slightly increase the size of the Amplify font to make it work though. You may completely disagree but it's just my opinion.

    The second row of central grid look slightly unbalanced to me. I think that you should duplicate the style of the 3 element above by keeping the images. The spacing between the header image and body text looks good with the images - not so good without. Or you could just loose the second row completely.

    Hope this helps

    • amplify.jpg
    • Andrew Sharp
      Andrew Sharp commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 4:40 AM

      I think I am going to take your advice and use all color images in the large area and keep the black and white for the smaller ones. I think I will also combine your and Luke's advice about the nav floating right and Eric's of the slider circles floating right.

      That second row of content is finished yet and I have something in mind for it.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  • Eric Su

    Eric Su

    Rank: 1 Elite

    447

    • Design: 3
    • Purpose: 3
    • Originality: 1
    • Engagement: 3
    1 Vote
    This review has been awarded.
    minimalist it more

    Posted on Aug 07, 2010 at 4:17 AM

    i think its borderline minimalistic. to move this further safely into the minimalistic territory. a few things need to be adjusted;

    1. make the shadow of the main graphic much much subtle
    2. float the dots to the right to balance the left aligned text below it.
    3. move the title of the stories in the 3 columns below the images.
    4. restrict the summary to 3 lines.
    5. maybe turn the bottom's background to white from grey or something closer to white.
    6. make the home button's background color more grey to blend it in the background.
  • Aurimas Adomavicius

    Aurimas Adomavicius

    Rank: 1 Elite

    CF Verified professional

    4721

    • Design: 5
    • Purpose: 5
    • Originality: 5
    • Engagement: 5
    1 Vote
    This review has been awarded.
    test

    Posted on Aug 07, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    test

    • Ryan Brindley
      Ryan Brindley commented:
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 9:25 AM

      great review! :-)

    • Aurimas Adomavicius
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 9:36 AM

      Bah! That's what I get when I try to improve this system for you guys :)))))). Sorry Ryan - my bad. I'll try to make up for my error: one suggestion - I would try to group the dropdown arrow and the navigation text a little better. In some instances the arrow is almost between the two links which makes it hard visually to distinguish which it belongs to.

    • Aurimas Adomavicius
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 9:38 AM

      Oh, another note - I really like the design. If you look at our company webpage (http://www.devbridge.com), you will note a similar approach to "color". :) Btw - I need to implement uRLrecognition in the comments ant post bodies.

  • Luke Marohn

    Luke Marohn

    Rank: 1 Elite

    5102

    • Design: 2
    • Purpose: 3
    • Originality: 1
    • Engagement: 3
    1 Vote
    This review has been awarded.
    You make me feel colorblind.

    Posted on Aug 07, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    Hi andrew.

    I'm feeling good today so I'm actually going to review your work, instead of posting a stupid short comment to make fun of how weak your reviews have been.

    Please Post some worthwhile feedback like the following:


    Color: Add color. I know that this is a template but you should find a color scheme you like and make that the default. I'm sure if you make templates you know how to make it so that they can customize the colors.

    Navigation: I think your navigation would look best floated to the right, with it on the left like this, It seems really cluttered.

    Subheadings The "Lorem Ipsom Dolor Sit" at the bottom has way too much bottom margin, and i think it could do with a little less padding on the top too.


    Also on the navigation, Under "About Us" > "the Team" Brigita has a TON of top padding.(in google chrome)

    I'm not even going to go into how unorginal this is, since im guilty of it myself. BUT SRSLY :D

    All in all, solid template, but very unoriginal.

    Please Post better feedback

    TY. :D

    • Andrew Sharp
      Andrew Sharp commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 2:09 AM

      Are you kidding me man? Here's some detailed feedback for you: learn graphic design before bashing other people's work. A minimalist design does not need to use color. The very idea of minimalism is theme / website design is balancing white / gray / black to create visual hierarchy and ease of viewing content. Not to mention that this is the default color scheme and there will be several others available.

      As for your other points..

      Nav: I went back and forth on whether the nav should be floated left or right and decided the if it was to the right there was a big white gap that interrupts the flow of your eyes. I'm open to other opinions on this but I still think it looks better on the left.

      Subheading / Padding definitely would not look better with less spacing. 20px bottom margin is very standard in good themes.

      Drop downs: I know there is extra white space at the top of each directory on the drop downs. I haven't replaced the solid color background yet with the one that is going to go there.

      As far as unoriginality: I hate to break it to you bud but good theme design is 100% not about originality. It's great to have lots of creativity with custom client where you are designing a website for one person, but a theme needs to be accessible and useful to a wide audience mainly consisting of businesses.

      Final note about feedback: If conceptfeedback didn't have a re-occurring habit of not allowing me to post concepts even after I have earned enough points, I would probably be willing to write more in depth feedback on concepts I review. But as of now, I have to write 8 reviews before I am even able to find out if the website will work or just sit frozen on the post screen indefinitely after I typed all my info out.

    • Luke Marohn
      Luke Marohn commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 3:40 AM

      Andrew, I wasn't "bashing your work" by reviewing it, I told you what i thought might look better, thats what you posted it here for right?

      This isn't CheckOutMyPerfectDesign.com

      Minimalism - extreme simplification of form, as by the use of basic shapes and monochromatic palettes of primary colors, objectivity, and anonymity of style. - the dictionary under my desk

      You don't have to completely insult me by saying "learn graphic design" Face it, your reviews were one liners [even your first one!] - not because this website forced you to write them that short, but because you weren't willing to take the time and put in the effort to help others.

      @originality. I'm just saying I have seen Hundreds of themes exactly like this out there, It is fine if its still the same as some themes, But i really just feel that your the only difference between your theme and the other hundred is the fonts, little styling things, and spacing.

      Conceptfeedback isn't about posting shit reviews then expecting good ones, Its about giving back to the community.

    • Andrew Sharp
      Andrew Sharp commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 4:23 AM

      I'm not going to waste my time getting into a long drawn out argument with a 14 year old about graphic design or reviewing etiquette. All I will say is that not every job needs to be unique and designs should not be downrated on every category because they are not "unique". There is a huge difference in a good design that has attention to detail in spacing, typography, and visual hierarchy and a half assed version of the same thing. I'm shooting for the first one and hoping to get feedback as to how I'm doing, not have someone come in and criticize my work for going in the exact direction that I was trying for and not commenting at all on the details.

      And starting off a review with "You make me feel colorblind." and continuing the entire thing in a completely negative and exaggerated tone is a shit review.

    • Noel Tock
      Noel Tock commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 8:05 AM

      Jeez.

    • Luke Marohn
      Luke Marohn commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 12:15 PM

      Well, I'm honestly very sorry you took my review so negatively, I didn't want the colorblind thing taken in a negative way, Its just when i saw it, i was like. No color?? At all??!

      At the end I said it was a solid template but just very original, and thats what it is.

      I'm glad we had this debate, you are completely right about the spacing, typography, and visual hierarchy of a design being as important as they are, both in a template and every design.

      All in all, I am just tired of people posting one-liners. :|

      I'm hoping that after this you will take a little more time in your reviews. And thank you for handling this maturely, You should have seen Dena B.'s comments one of my reviews that was similar to this.

      http://lukemdesigns.deviantart.com/art/ConceptFeedback-Fail-1-174067741

      I'm sorry we had to have this discussion, Its just that this whole review thing is becoming a problem.

      Anyways. The design is a very solid template, Its just been done hundreds of times.

      I look forward to seeing more of your work and [detailed :] reviews in the future! I definitely have more respect for you that i did in the beginning. Luke

      @Noel: I know, It gets pretty hardcore in here ._.

    • Noel Tock
      Noel Tock commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 12:27 PM

      Yeah dude, "inexperienced pre teens" tbh :P Good to see everything is back to normal on planet CF...

    • Andrew Sharp
      Andrew Sharp commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 3:06 PM

      Alright, apologies Luke.

    • Luke Marohn
      Luke Marohn commented:
      Posted: on Aug 07, 2010 at 5:44 PM

      :)

    • Aurimas Adomavicius
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 9:37 AM

      You guys are cracking me up. :) Play nice.

    • Ryan Brindley
      Ryan Brindley commented:
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 10:35 AM

      Oo, is it too late to join in?! @Andrew yo mama's sooo colorblind.... lol Just kidding.

      Anyway, to get to the more serious note. @Luke, I can agree here bud, people generally want to take more than they give. But I want to address how I think we should handle this situation. So I'm writing this as if I'm talking to you, but actually for the whole community reading this review thread.

      Selfish community members are definitely a problem in any community environment, of which I'm very familiar with. I work for an open source company, so I've been part of a development community for 5 years. I actually lead and maintain one of the projects for my company, so I have to deal with many community members that want immediate help or bug fixes that they report, but then don't want to help others when they need it. They're basically only there to consume. I've found, however, that the best means to increasing the level of quality in community members is to establish the expectations and provide constructive criticism while still doing your part in the community. Make it a community they want to be in and they'll take pride in what they contribute to it. If you don't establish and protect that, then this will only ever be about getting the rep/credits and consuming what they want. The good members will move on and we'll only have the bad members complaining that they are getting bad reviews (aka, what they are putting into the community).

      So here's my suggested way to handle a selfish CF member: Next time they post a concept, review it fully as you normally would (do your part), but at the end, post a little something to set the expectations. Explain to them that their short reviews and one liners aren't acceptable, especially if they expect more on their concepts. Show them a sample review, or set some new bar/standard so that it's clear if they want to be in this community they need to perform "this" way. And if they continue with the bad reviews, then don't waste your time on their concepts when it could be spent on others who truly deserve it. Building a strong community that is focused on helping each other has one great advantage. We take care of those that take care of us. Stated another way: we're too busy to try to help those who don't help us.

      I'd also try to avoid any form of cussing or badmouthing. You don't want them to become defensive, it only leads to misunderstandings (read above as an example :-P) and arguments. Be mature and stay on the level you'd expect the community to be. I think it's a bigger slap in the face to be called out and corrected than to be slandered by bad behavior.

      @Andrew, I've already replied to you on your review of my concept. (http://www.conceptfeedback.com/concept/4122/freakinsweetcanvas-com-photo-page/). Please take your reviews a little more seriously, 5 or 10 minutes more of your time can go a longer way than you

    • Ryan Brindley
      Ryan Brindley commented:
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 10:39 AM

      (comment got cut off just a few words before I was done haha)

      *...5 or 10 minutes more of your time can go a longer way than you seem to think.

    • Luke Marohn
      Luke Marohn commented:
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 8:13 PM

      Dang Ryan XD. I completely agree with all of this. Most of the conversations I have like this happen at like 2am when i'm grouchy and for some reason reviewing concepts.. I've actually made myself not get on after 12 since thats when all the action seems to happen >.>

      I think we should get some certificate Showing that we have contributed the the longest stream of comments in the history Of CF!

  • Alex Simpson

    Alex Simpson

    Rank: 4 Master

    263

    • Design: 5
    • Purpose: 4
    • Originality: 4
    • Engagement: 2
    0 Votes
    Break

    Posted on Aug 07, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    I think this looks beautiful.

    Only issue that I have is the break is at an awkward place. There is definitely more form then function here. The first impression is just this huge image and the navigation/headline. The content requires scrolling and more importantly there is nothing to let the view know that they need to look down.

    Depending on their browser, a viewer could not see any of the images bellow and just go to the navigation links or be a bit confused. If this is for a site that is more about image then communication information then it isn't a problem.

  • Kai Brunner

    Kai Brunner

    Rank: 2 Titan

    247

    • Design: 4
    • Purpose: 4
    • Originality: 2
    • Engagement: 3
    0 Votes
    Very nice with some minor touch ups

    Posted on Aug 09, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Well for all the reasons this design has been criticized, my eye was attracted to it. I like the black and white image. I find that stylish in an environment where there's so much color. I very much like how the navigation harmonizes with it.

    The suggestion I have are to bring structure to the layout by right aligning the top navigation, so to frame the image with the logo being left aligned.

    I agree that the "Home" button below is redundant, for one, and draws attention for not particular purpose. The text below the image can be left aligned with the 5 slide buttons right aligned, again, to frame the image.

    Tell me when this template is ready I would very much like to use it, for a blog.

    • Andrew Sharp
      Andrew Sharp commented:
      Posted: on Aug 09, 2010 at 2:51 PM

      Thanks Kai for the suggestions. On the live version I have already right aligned the nav and slider buttons and I am happier with it that way. The home button is meant to display the name of the current page, such as "Blog" or "Features" or "Portfolio" so the user knows the page he is viewing. I am not sure how to make it less redundant on the home page, maybe "Welcome".

      The theme is almost ready, it will be posted on themeforest once it is.