Beautify Live Journal's interface
Short, concise description of the idea
Add additional site skins under "Browse Options" to make the journal interface more unique.
Full description of the idea
A user can choose different styles for their Live Journal. This is not only a form of expression for the user to show to journal visitors but also a method of making their journal more pleasing to their own eyes. However, when users have to post entries at livejournal.com or make other account modifications, they are forced to use one of the three provided themes (XColibur, Dystopia, Lynx) provided by the Browse Options page.
As a recent Live Journal contest has proven, the users at Live Journal can come up with innovative styles for journals. As other journal sites have proven in the past (uJournal, Dead Journal), people can develop creative site designs to interface with the Live Journal code base. In reference to that, there should be more site styles created so that a user can have a unique pleasing interface when posting to their journal.
- Happier users (due to increased choice and extra uniqueness)
- More features for paid uers (SOME skins can be paid users only)
- Best site designs can become the default (saves work on the staff)
- Flexable code (resolving the problems listed will make the site code accept website changes easier while keeping older styles which will not only assist Live Journal, but other journal sites as well)
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- Difficult to make a site theme that won't break the site
- External web development software required
- Extra site styles might not work as well as the default styles potentially leading to not satisfied users
- "Browse Preferences" area is not set up to handle a large number of site styles
- Easy for all the styles to NOT have the same menu system and thus disagree with the official site
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
- Test server could be used to test styles by refering to an external site to retrieve the HTML (on a per account basis)
- Styles can be voted in by the community with only the best few being accepted as selectable
- Styles can use SSI (side server includes) and other web technologies to refer to core HTML files. Those core files will keep all parts of each style (menus, main content areas, alike) in synchronization with the official site
- In reference to the first and prior comments, refering site URL should be checked. This prevents external HTML from interfacing with the site (an HTML file from a non-Live-Journal doman). This site should, on the test server only (for now) retrieve the HTML and then use that HTML to display the content off of the Live Journal server