I have ideas for a new UI/Skin - But i can't code!
#1
Brick 
Originally posted here... http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=150448

Hi all. I was just wondering if anyone would be kind enough to turn some photoshops into a real useable skin for XBMC? I have no idea whats involved and the wiki page just goes right over my head! What i purpose to do is make a series of screenshots in photoshop of what i think the UI should look like, then have some clever people come along and turn them into a usable skin. The photoshops do not exist yet, but will be in PSD format so the skinning wizards are able to pull out each element and export it accordingly.


My aim is to have a beautifully simple skin that looks premium and is focused on being used with a HTPC rather than in a desktop environment. I want graphical elements of the skin to be customizable by the end user (icon sets ect), but that can come later... if at all.
I'm prepared to put the effort into this, but i don't want to start if no one is willing to help.

Cheers,
Chris.
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#2
You'll need to find a coder that shares your vision. It's difficult to ask someone to commit to a project without ever knowing what it may entail.

Show us something and maybe you'll get some responses. Show us something really neat and original and you won't have to worry about people wanting to work with you.
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#3
i did that with my skin SKIN CONCEPT but no comment
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#4
Like I said, you need to find people who share your vision. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Design is hard. If you really want your skin to exist, the best advice I have is to keep pushing.

Skins can take months and sometimes years to develop and even then never reach completion. It's a labour of love.
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#5
(2013-01-03, 18:57)niamu Wrote: Show us something and maybe you'll get some responses. Show us something really neat and original and you won't have to worry about people wanting to work with you.

This sums it up nicely and don't forget to show that you're working on some of the more boring dialogs as well - there's been plenty of mockups for the home/movie/music screens that didn't get any further than that.
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#6
Ok fellas thanks. I will make a mock up of the home screen and go from there. Hopefully people share my vision and it's not too complicated to implement.

As for dialog boxes, i don't mind making every single one individually. However i envisioned a very uniformed skin where all of the dialog boxes are aesthetically the same, where the only real difference is there size.

I'll post back with a home screen mock up Smile

Cheers,
Chris.
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#7
As promised earlier, here is a quick mock up of what i think the homescreen should look like...

Image

Hopefully i've done enough to show everyone what sort of direction i want to go with this.
It's all about being clean and uncluttered. The menu's and dialogs i have in mind are similar to the ones in the Boxee theme, only simpler.

Let me know if you're interested in working on this with me.
Also, any and all comments are welcome Smile

Chris
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#8
I will make a mock up of a settings screen or similar to give an idea of the menus and stuff.

Also i would like to explain a few things i should have when i uploaded that screenshot...

- The blue box indicates which item is currently highlighted.

- I'd like the option to have a second row of icons under the 7 i made for the screenshot. I have only made those 7 for now but plan on making ones for music videos, games ect if this takes off.

-I would like to be able to show and hide all icons individually and rearrange them into any order.

- Perhaps not initially, but eventually id like the option for users to be able to change the icon set used in the theme.

- Obviously the user can choose a wallpaper of their own.

- Id like an option to change the highlighted/selected item (blue box) colour (from a selection of 5 maybe?)

- At the very bottom i'd like the option to have a weather feed or RSS feed scrolling along.

- At the top i'd like the option for a recently added scrollview thing showcasing recently added items as fan art (with a case mask maybe?)

- This last idea i think is kinda cool but not really a necessity... More and more people are installing XBMC on car PC's ect, so it would be nice to have a daytime and nighttime theme (with the option of auto changing, similar to sat navs) where the theme changes to an inverted version.

I will probably make a start on a menu screen tomorrow at some point.
In the meantime it would be nice to hear some form of feedback on this, whether it be positive or negative.

Chris.
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#9
you are so good at making skins could you make a metro skin with that look i am working on one and you are good at skin idea and making and i would love the help i can not code and you can not code but it would be cool if you can help
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#10
(2013-01-05, 19:08)kipor Wrote: you are so good at making skins could you make a metro skin with that look i am working on one and you are good at skin idea and making and i would love the help i can not code and you can not code but it would be cool if you can help

Thanks dude!
I would be willing to help you if you can get a coder onboard that supports your idea. However, even if you can I will be making this theme my priority. Im sure you understand Smile
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#11
Ok so this morning I mocked up a setting/menu page. I've gone with a tabbed approach for two reasons 1, I think this design is aesthetically pleasing and 2, it gives the user a clear understanding of where they are in the menus and how they got there.

For this mock up I copied the Boxee icons purely to save time in these preliminary stages. If this takes off I will, of course make every image used in the theme completely original.

Here is the screenshot...

Image

Obviously these are nothing more than mockups and are subject to change based on any input you guys give!
Please leave a comment on your thoughts.

Cheers,
Chris
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#12
Here's a second one showing off the opacity...

Image
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#13
yes i do
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#14
I would definitely keep developing your idea.. Whats the general theme going to be for the whole Skin?

If you want someone to Code a skin for you, your going to want to minimise their work load. If you gave me those few mockup id tell you to go away. there is too many possibilities, Unknowns on where stuff goes or even what it looks like?!

From personal experience, when coding a XBMC skin. Start out, with a mockup of ALL WINDOWS. Icons, everything basically. I spent a long time in this Phase and Still constantly tweaking it. When designing this some UX concepts and knowledge will help GREATLY..

Once i had my idea fully fleshed out, ive started to teach myself how to code a skin. But the key here is im not blinding going in, wondering what it will look like or where elements will go.

Some Critic:
  • Font: that Font hurts my eyes / Hard to read as all caps. I dont think it would translate well from 720p to 1080p and different screen sizes. Experiment with different fonts and Sizes.
  • Your Colours. Currently you have Roughly 5. They All Blend into each other too much. Think about better contrast to high light elements. and better use of White space. (dependant on design)
  • Thinking about whats is Taking Focus? The Currently selected Element? the Background? what? It all blends in together and is a little hard from a quick glance what is what where etc.

To give yourself an Idea of good mockup take a look at http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...big+alaska and the heaps of others on this forums and on the Web.
You'll have greater luck in someone helping you Code and see your vision with better Mockups. More detailed the better. Put HOURS into them.

I spend near 3 months on my mockups every day for a few hours!
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