The Offical KeenSpace Front Redesign Contest!

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The Offical KeenSpace Front Redesign Contest!

Postby STrRedWolf on Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:32 pm

I'm going to make this an offical contest, so listen up:

EDITED 2/10/2004! Updated with word from Chris Crosby, head of KeenSpot. It's trully offical.

The Challenge: Create a new design for the KeenSpace Front Page, which is at http://www.keenspace.com.

The Rules:
  • The design must fit on a 800x600 screen, and eazily rescale to 1920x1440.
  • You may not use Javascript, ActiveX, or Flash. It must be pure HTML and graphics.
  • You may use GIF, JPG, and PNG graphics. You may not use BMP's.
  • You may not use the KeenSpot Mascot (Keenie) nor use the "Green Keen". You may duplicate the KeenSpot design, as Chris has given permission.
  • You may use KeenSpace's Mascot. Further info on her will be provided once I get info from the "Better than Paper" KeenSpace Spotlight guys.
  • You should use a bright red for the "Keen" on KeenSpace, as is tradition. A copy of the old KeenSpace Logo is at http://guide.keenspace.com
  • You *must* leave space for advertizements (we will use the ***advertisement*** tag), and it must be near the top.
  • You *must* also leave space for the line "A service of KeenSpot Entertainment" as well as the small KeenSpot logo.
  • Designs playing off the "space" in KeenSpace, a la Outer Space, will get special notice.
  • Designs must be WEB G or WEB PG rated.
  • A template w/o content should be furnished so we can shove forms and whatnot in there.
  • Bonus points will be given for those who redesign the members pages as well as guide.keenspace.com.


RIGHT NOW, THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT -- SO YOU BETTER WORK ON IT NOW! That may change.

If you win: Your design will be shoved up on there, and your name will be put in for recognition. Further prizes may be awarded.

Entries will be judged by the KeenSpace and KeenSpot crews, plus a few of the KeenSpot comic authors we can bribe to take a look. :D

Thank you for sticking it out.
Last edited by STrRedWolf on Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Faub on Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:52 pm

HTML only is a pretty hefty restriction. No fancy rollover pages ala Keenspot.

What are the rules for making the guide interactive (PHP/CGI per request searches and page generation)? There have been many requests for artist and title search capabilities and I would love to have an advanced search page that allowed selecting multiple style and content types to limit the search results.
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Postby STrRedWolf on Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:47 pm

Right now, PHP is right out. It just slows the server down. Using Perl with the DBI interface may work for the Guide. I got to get Kisai's attention on it.

Also, no frames. We'll be testing for Lynx compatiblity. Flat file stuff please. It'll be run through AutoKeen just like your comics.
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Postby Kisai on Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:42 pm

Grr, I ought to thwap you Wolfie.

Okay refresher:

The rules above are okay, but here are some better reasons:

Javascript... can exist providing that the functionality also exists if javascript is turned off.

HTML (without the advertisement tag) must validate on the <a href="http://validator.w3.org/">W3 Validator</a> as at least XHTML 4.01 compliant. Preferable if it works as xHTML.

CSS is that is "browser neutral" , reason below.


For GUIDE:

Guide, unlike http://www.keenspace.com's past has always been xhtml+css, however the real thing that people may or may not be designing is the color scheme and arrangement of the output. Right now it's flatfile. However too much processing power is wasted in re-generating the flatfile guide over and over again, so what I need is two pieces of layout. The "outer" layout, basically everything BUT the comic information. Then the "inner" layout, which right now is everything inside the greenish box that has the rating in the corner per comic.

Guide "layout" is really optional, A color sceme for the guide, at the minimum if you are designing the http://www.keenspace.com site, as there is intention to integrate "guide" into the http://www.keenspace.com site.

Info about current/last versions:
http://www.keenspace.com version 1 actually resembles what guide (version 3) looks like now, except was a mess of table code. The current guide is xhtml+css
http://www.keenspace.com version 2, guide version 1 and forums.keenspace.com version 1 had a "space" black theme.

However the last version of http://www.keenspace.com looked... pretty sad, as there was really big images and not really standards compliant.

So, to summarize... don't use anything from the old layout(s) at all.
Last edited by Kisai on Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fi13r on Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:28 am

So entries have to be a completed, coded site, not just a compliant HTML mockup or anything like that?

I might want to do this, but I don't think I have time to put together something really complicated. All I think I'd have time to do is a basic HTML mockup demonstrating the main idea that would be designed such that it could be easily elaborated on by whoever will be running the site.
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Postby Kisai on Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:41 am

The idea is that if you seriously want to do it, you need to be able to "do" it, not just whip up something in photoshop. ^^;

I had this problem back in 1999 when one person used dreamweaver and the other person only hand coded stuff, the person who handcoded stuff could never sift through the junk code dreamweaver made, and dreamweaver always made a mess out of his handcoding.

I have no problem with "junk removal" from stuff like dreamweaver, however the result is usually not what the designer had in mind.

I know someone who used frontpage all the time... something that makes a lot of IE-specific references and generally doesn't make stuff that looks as pretty on non Win-IE. She basically doesn't care if people use "crap" browsers and it doesn't work on those.

If I could design something pretty, I'd avoid tables and frames, cause I find both are misused where just div's would have worked.
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Postby Fi13r on Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:04 am

Kisai wrote:The idea is that if you seriously want to do it, you need to be able to "do" it, not just whip up something in photoshop. ^^;


Ah, but that's not what I said. ;)

I said a mock-up in plain already-error-corrected Transitional or Strict HTML 4.0, designed as a BASE that could be elaborated on and made more interesting by you guys if you so choose or perhaps based on suggestions from the designer.

For example, I don't see why http://www.keenspace.com and guide.keenspace.com have to be a different page, but I don't have any idea how to code any of the dynamic stuff off guide (like the different sort list thingamajigs). Also, even if www and guide have to be seperate pages, it looks like you want them both designed by the same person (which is sensible), HOWEVER, I think that limits your field of potential designers from around here who can meet your submission criteria by more than you want to limit it (for the reason listed in the previous sentence).

I have a design in mind that I think would look consistent with the current 'spot theme, but I KNOW I don't know how to do any of those dynamically modified charts, so if the ability to do that is required, I'm screwed, even though I also know I could code a base page that those could be easily plugged into by someone with the knowhow (plus, I also think it would be neat to put a randomly-selected "featured comic" kind of thing on there or something, but again, my knowledge of javascript and the like is insufficient).


Kisai wrote:I had this problem back in 1999 when one person used dreamweaver and the other person only hand coded stuff, the person who handcoded stuff could never sift through the junk code dreamweaver made, and dreamweaver always made a mess out of his handcoding.


BBEdit, the best HTML-coding software out there (IMO), has a great syntax checker, so you wouldn't have to worry about this in my case. Go ahead and check the code on my comic's site. Aside from autokeen script and the like, I'm pretty sure it's still error-free.


Kisai wrote:I have no problem with "junk removal" from stuff like dreamweaver, however the result is usually not what the designer had in mind.


Believe me, I know what you mean. But wouldn't you want to discuss anything like this with the designer anyway, whether their design has any junk-code in it or not?


Kisai wrote:I know someone who used frontpage all the time... something that makes a lot of IE-specific references and generally doesn't make stuff that looks as pretty on non Win-IE.


Frontpage sucks. Couldn't you just tell people they can't use it for the contest (I know, I know, hypocritical... ;))?


Kisai wrote:She basically doesn't care if people use "crap" browsers and it doesn't work on those.


Anyone who cares about their web work with any level of seriousness knows they have to test it on a variety of browsers and operating systems. I did so with my comic's site, and I have the peace of mind of knowing it renders consistently across platforms (well... maybe not really old versions of NS or IE...but, other than those...). :)


Kisai wrote:If I could design something pretty, I'd avoid tables and frames, cause I find both are misused where just div's would have worked.


Frames are stupid, but depending on the complexity of a design (meaning, if it's really simple), isn't it sometimes easier to use tables? I can't really say for sure, of course, because I don't have enough knowledge of CSS to control item placement using only <div>s right now.

Again, I don't think you want to limit entries to "only CSS," because you might end up cutting the playing field down to only 2 or 3 people (at least, around here), which I don't think would be a a very good initial pool.
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Postby Kisai on Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:14 am

I meant, I didn't want a pile of font tags. I hate font tags.

If someone can do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, just show it. I have the means to fix stuff so it works.

No I don't want http://www.keenspace.com, and guide to absolutely be done by the same people, but I do want to integrate the guide content in the http://www.keenspace.com site without having to re-invent the chicken twice.

So if someone can do a color scheme all in css without using any pre-css markup that I can apply to the guide, that's easy. Otherwise I just convert it to css.

It's a sticking point to ME if people can't do css, I can fix it for them. However some things can not be done in font and tables that can be done in css styles.

One VERY obvious thing you can do with css is switch out the style sheet. You can still get the original guide version 1 color scheme on the guide if you click the button on the bottom, but because it was designed on my uber-crummy monitor, some of the colors are too dark. The existing scheme actually has a few pieces pulled from the forums.

I'd like to change the forums too, but I don't have access to the code.
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Postby KittyKatBlack on Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:16 am

Hmm... yeah. I think this might count me out of this too. I can make an HTML page that functions the way it's supposed to, hand coded so there's no 'junk'. But when it comes to CSS and XTML and all that stuff, I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't even know what a <div> tag really is, to be honest. I've seen them, but I don't know what they do. I've never used anything over HTML before so I guess if CSS and XTML is required in order to produce an entry, I'm out of the running. Unless you can provide us with a tutorial on how the basics of CSS and XTML work. I wouldn't mind learning it, I just don't know where to go to do so.
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Postby Fi13r on Sun Feb 08, 2004 3:25 am

Kisai wrote:I meant, I didn't want a pile of font tags. I hate font tags.

If someone can do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, just show it. I have the means to fix stuff so it works.

No I don't want http://www.keenspace.com, and guide to absolutely be done by the same people, but I do want to integrate the guide content in the http://www.keenspace.com site without having to re-invent the chicken twice.


Right, that was what I was thinking.

But, to be more specific, do you mean you want some of the content on the keenspace front page to be a sort of "mini" version of the guide, wherein the guide would be more of an "expanded" version of the various sort methods, or...? I don't really remember what the content of the old Keenspace front page was because the page was so ugly I tended to avoid looking at it. ;)


Kisai wrote:So if someone can do a color scheme all in css without using any pre-css markup that I can apply to the guide, that's easy. Otherwise I just convert it to css.


That's just a color scheme though. Would a complete design be as interchangeable without a lot of difficulty? I don't know enough about CSS to answer that question, myself.

Like I said, I liked the suggestion of using a color that would relate to the new 'spot design (like that red they have a little of on the main page and maybe some muter shades of it, for instance), since, as I take it, you want keenspace to look like sort of a companion or sister site to Keenspot, right? You want them to be like a single, integrated whole in a way, though not identical, ne?
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Postby YarpsDat on Sun Feb 08, 2004 3:51 am

STrRedWolf wrote:You may not use the KeenSpot "Green Keen", their design, logos, nor "Keenie," their mascot.

What's a "keenie"?

KittyKatBlack wrote:Hmm... yeah. I think this might count me out of this too. I can make an HTML page that functions the way it's supposed to, hand coded so there's no 'junk'. But when it comes to CSS and XTML and all that stuff, I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't even know what a <div> tag really is, to be honest. I've seen them, but I don't know what they do. I've never used anything over HTML before so I guess if CSS and XTML is required in order to produce an entry, I'm out of the running. Unless you can provide us with a tutorial on how the basics of CSS and XTML work. I wouldn't mind learning it, I just don't know where to go to do so.

In the oryginal post there is no mention of CSS, plain HTML is ok.
As long as your design does not require massive amounts of font tags it will be ok.
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Postby RPin on Sun Feb 08, 2004 6:10 am

fi13r wrote:I have a design in mind that I think would look consistent with the current 'spot theme, but I KNOW I don't know how to do any of those dynamically modified charts, so if the ability to do that is required, I'm screwed, even though I also know I could code a base page that those could be easily plugged into by someone with the knowhow (plus, I also think it would be neat to put a randomly-selected "featured comic" kind of thing on there or something, but again, my knowledge of javascript and the like is insufficient).


Same here. I don't know where to start to set up something like that. I'm looking at the KSpot source code, and I don't have a clue on what's going on.

By the way, it appears to me it was done with dreamweaver.

[EDIT] What were the buttons that featured on the main page again? I forgot them.
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Postby Kisai on Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:16 am

Look at the guide "navigation block" on top for an idea of what was on the keenspace main page.

Okay...

"Guide" currently is xhtml+css and the color scheme is easily changed through that. That's what I was getting at. If you turn off the css, you get a plain page. That's the idea, separation of code and style.

By no means am I saying "only code as xhtml+css", just code html 4.01 compliant, which means no newbie coding errors like unclosed tags, or a billion font or table tags to change color and "fix" the layout.

http://www.keenspace.com can be in a layout table for all I care, just design something, and I'll say if I can make it portable.

The front page needs to have links to these on it:
Login, Guide, Forums, News, About, Join, F.A.Q.

That's pretty much all there was for links. Then there was the newsbox and a text description and the ad banner.
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Postby McDuffies on Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:12 am

<html>
<head><title>KeenSpace</title></head>

<body bgcolour="red">
<center>
***advertisement***<br>
<src img="logo.gif"><br>

<a href="guide.php">Guide</a><br>
<a href="members.php">Members log in</a>
<a href="Error_message.html">Sign up</a>
<a href="forum.keenspace.com">Forum</a>

<img src="keeny_spacey_the_mascote.gif">

<font size=3.14>All your base are belong to space
</body>
</html>
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Postby Jaster! on Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:19 pm

Wouldn't it be "All your Space are belong to Keen"?
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Postby KittyKatBlack on Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:19 pm

mcDuffies wrote:<body bgcolour="red">


Does 'bgcolour' actually work in HTML? I thought it was 'bgcolor' I didn't even think about the fact that web designers from europe might be using 'colour' instead...
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Postby Faub on Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:26 pm

Better to let css do that:

<head>
...
<style type="text/css">
body { background:red; }
...
</style>
</head>
<body>
...

For the links:
Login: http://siteadmin.keenspace.com/cgi-bin/ ... /login.cgi
Guide: http://guide.keenspace.com/
Forums: http://forums.keenspace.com/
News: http://www.livejournal.com/community/keennews/
About: http://www.keenspace.com/about.html
Join: http://www.keenspace.com/join.html
FAQ: http://www.keenspace.com/faq.html

Is there any reason to have a news page separate from the livejournal?
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Postby Fi13r on Sun Feb 08, 2004 3:53 pm

Whoa, hold on. Didn't notice this:

STrRedWolf wrote:You may not use the KeenSpot "Green Keen", their design, logos, nor "Keenie," their mascot.


What do you mean by "their design?" Do you mean the exact design, or by "their design," do you mean that the keenspace design can't look ANYTHING like it (as in, not even a vague similarity for the purposes of uniformity)?

As I understand, their exact design wouldn't work anyway. But don't you think it's a good idea, from a brand identity sort of standpoint, for them to look a little similar to each other?

The old Keenspace logo was pretty much identical to the old Keenspot logo. The only difference, really, was the word "space" at the end rather than "spot," and the coloring. Seems to me like you'd want the same kind of deal now, for consistency. After all, they want to present Keenspace as another ASPECT of Keenspot, and as a part of the overall whole of Keenspot, right? If you make Keenspace DRASTICALLY different, you decrease the likelihood of the service being identified as a PART of Keenspot and make it more likely that people will continue to view it as the redheaded stepchild or retarded cousin of Keenspot.


Kisai wrote:The front page needs to have links to these on it:
Login, Guide, Forums, News, About, Join, F.A.Q.


All of these have to be separate links? For instance, the contents of "News" can't be an element on the front page?
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Postby STrRedWolf on Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:53 pm

You cannot make our front page look like *their* front page, is what I ment. Sorry. Wish I could, but Chris (big head honcho whos' trying to loose weight) made it clear to us Space folk he wants to not have people confused.
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Postby Kisai on Sun Feb 08, 2004 4:57 pm

fi13r wrote:
Kisai wrote:The front page needs to have links to these on it:
Login, Guide, Forums, News, About, Join, F.A.Q.


All of these have to be separate links? For instance, the contents of "News" can't be an element on the front page?


Considering the contents of those linked pages is gone, leaving just login, guide/list and signup. FAQ really should goto help.keenspace.com and help.keenspace.com is actually php.
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