Granted, it was a very easy interface to navigate and understand, but that does not mean we can’t make it look cooler 🙂
So, with the official Vanilla 2 release around the corner, Mark, Todd, and I decided it was time to start thinking about a dashboard makeover. I was given the go ahead to “make it prettier”. In keeping with the Vanilla spirit, I wanted to create a very clean, simple, and easy to use interface.
But first a bit of history
If you’re a veteran user of Vanilla you will be familiar with version 1. This was not an easy screenshot to get. I had to install vanilla 1 on my machine to grab it, which took 3 tries (remember, I’m a designer), or as Todd would say “read the on screen instructions and stop clicking everywhere!”.
When vanillaforums.com launched a year ago Mark rolled out a new design, a place holder for bigger and better things to come (me 🙂 ).
Now with version 2 soon approaching I felt it was time for a full makeover.
Click to view larger image
The color scheme
The idea was to adopt a very subtle 3 color scheme: light blue, grey, and white.
I cleaned up the sidebar.
I have added a new Vanilla icon to the top. I also wanted to create an obvious division between main category headings and add some relevant icons.
Icons are something I felt was missing from the over all design. I used the Glyphish icon set. I wanted something very simple and subtle that I could easily re-color. They have been added to the sidebar and inner pages.
The top bar
Not much has changed here. I re-skinned the buttons, and added a few new options and displays.
You may be wondering what the “My account” button is for. This is a surprise for .com users 🙂 Keep watching for updates.
I’m very happy with how the inner content areas turned out. Again, not much has changed in terms of layout.
Table formatting has remained the same as well, I just implemented our new color scheme and cleaned up the over all look and feel a bit.
I also created a whole new set of message boxes. There message boxes, not much to say…
In light of the up coming launch, we would like to open the discussion up to the community. This is not a final design yet, there is still a bit of tweaking to do before we launch it, and most importantly we want your feedback!
Tell us what you think. Vanilla has always respected the community that has helped build it.
This new dashboard will also allow us to roll out some other improvements we’ve been holding off for a bit as they didn’t make sense before. Keep an eye on this blog.