Posts in Category: Site Design

Help Me Pick The Next 10 Designs for mojoPortal skins

Last August (2007), someone commented in my blog, saying something to the effect that they thought the biggest thing holding back mojoPortal was the lack of good looking skins included. Of course this was something I had been thinking too but the comment motivated me to do something about it. Not being a good designer myself but very knowledgable of Html and css I set out to find some free Xhtml compliant designs and implement them in mojoPortal. After a lot of browsing and downloading of designs I spent a period of 10 days doing nothing but implementing skins from the designs. On average I was able to implement one skin a day so I ended up with 10 good looking skins in 10 days.

Since releasing those 10 good looking skins the popularity of mojoPortal seemed to spike upwards fairly dramatically so I concluded that the time spent implementing those skins was well spent and the lack of good looking skins prior to that probably really was holding us back in terms of popularity. Those skins have since formed a nice starting point for others to make their own custom skins as I have seen in the wild on various mojoPortal sites.

Currently we ship about 30 skins with mojoPortal, 10 of which are good looking and 20 that are just ok or mediocre, or just outdated looking. So I'm thinking its time to drop out most of the boring ones and do another round of 10 skin implementations to bring us up to 20 good looking skins. I figure we can move the less good looking ones to the community download page so people can still get them if they want them but we will just package the 20 or so good looking ones with new versions of mojoPortal.

So I invite you to help pick out the designs for the next 10 skins that I will implement. Please post links in the comments to this post pointing to the designs you like the best. They have to be free, open source, and Xhtml compliant. Preferably with no tables used for layout and with ul and li elements used for the menu. Extra points for designs with interesting menu styling that is different than anything we have now. When I look at the designs I also consider whether they will make a good starting point for users to make custom skins.

Some places where you can browse good designs:

Let me know of others and I will update this post.

Now is your chance, if you know of a good looking design but not sure how to implement it as a skin yourself, post a link. If I agree its a good looking design I will probably implement it, it just depends on how many good suggestions I get. The 10 that I like best I will implement.

My goal is that when people try out mojoPortal they find it has a lot of good looking designs included so they have a lot to work with in customizing them for their own sites. So please, help me pick some really good looking ones!

Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

America Recycles Day Site Goes Live with mojoPortal

The National Recycling Coalition has just gone live with a new sub site for America Recycles Day, which is coming up on November 15.

I was fortunate enough to work on the project with the good folks at DDB Seattle. They did all the design work and my job was achieving their design in mojoPortal and building a couple of custom features like the Take The Pledge and Pass on The Pledge pages. Its nice to be involved in such a good cause. Recycling is something where each of us can make a difference with just a little effort and America Recycles Day is a good time to take a moment and commit to stepping up our efforts to recycle on an individual basis.

A Couple of Interesting New mojoPortal Sites

Added a couple of interesting new sites to the mojo Sites page this week.

A.Samarian submitted this nice site: , I can't read it because its in Persian but it looks nice and is a good example of a site using Right To Left layout. Persian text is very beautiful.

Summit IT Solutions also did a great job with the custom skin they made for their site:

Know of any more mojoPortal based sites not already listed on the mojo Sites page? Let me know and I'll add them.

mojoPortal Released

I'm happy to announce the release of mojoPortal, available now on the download page.

I was going to wait and try to get finished with the Newsletter feature I'm working on for this release but since I'm getting side tracked with some customer work (which is a good thing) I thought I should go ahead and make a release to get the new skins out there.

This release contains a few bug fixes and 7 new skins as mentioned in my previous post.

4 More New Skins

I implemented 3 more new skins yesterday and 1 today. They all went fairly quickly because they are from the same designer, David Carter, and are all variations on the similar layout as used in the ticktockpro skin.

You can see these on the demo site:

The first 3 are in svn trunk and the 4th one will be in there in a few hours.

I'm still working on even more skins. I want mojoPortal to have a lot of great looking skins included. Any of them can be used as a starting point for further customization.

UPDATE 2007-09-15: added another new skin today:

 UPDATE 2007-09-16 added another new skin today:

 UPDATE 2007-09-17 added another new skin today, this one was suggested by Brian Nicol: