Can Simplicity Look Great?

June 18, 2006 Posted By Duckwizard

So many designs on OSWD (mine included) seem to rely on colorful header images in order to be visually impactful. So, when designing this template, I wanted to see if I could create a simple, minimalistic design that didn't need a header image to be attractive. I wanted it to be useful, readable, and attractive. I also wanted it to have clean, semantically meaningful markup. I hope you'll find it to your liking.

There are a few things in this design that are different from my previous designs. First, serif fonts have been growing on me lately, so I went with Georgia as the default typeface. I chose Georgia because it's attractive, readable, and included with most platforms (including Windows®, Mac OS®, and most Linux distributions). It's pretty easy to change it to sans-serif if you like. Also, you might notice the heirarchical tree-style table of contents on the sidebar. I think it will still look fine even if it's a flat list, but it doesn't hurt to have a little structure! You also might notice that the links get checked off as you visit them - I lifted this from the new Slashdot design because it's one of the things that I really like about it.

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Any Nice Surprises?

This design didn't take very long to create, so I thought I would add a couple extra features. Here is an example of a web form. Its layout is only CSS - no tables.

An Example Form

Is That All You Got?

Here's a couple of different <blockquote> styles that you might want to use. I mean, that's up to you, but they might be useful for error or success messages. You know. That kind of thing. I think I may have filled this paragraph up enough now. So check it out:

Error: The fingers you are using to dial are too fat. To order a special dialing wand, please mash the keypad with your palm at the tone.

Your special dialing wand order has been successfully processed. Please allow 3-4 years for delivery.

Notice: We have unexpectedly run out of special dialing wands. Please allow an additional decade for delivery. We value your business. Fatty.

What, No Latin?

Defacto lingo est igpay atinlay. Marquee selectus non provisio incongruous feline nolo contendre. Gratuitous octopus niacin, sodium glutimate. Quote meon an estimate et coitus non interruptus inna stadium. Sic tempus fugit esperanto hiccup estrogen. Glorious baklava ex librus hup hey ad infinitum. Non sequitur condominium facile et geranium incognito. Epsum factorial non deposit quid pro quo hic escorol. Olypian quarrels et gorilla congolium sic ad nauseum. Souvlaki ignitus carborundum e pluribus unum.