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explora says

Hi,

Our item just got rejected with no reason whatsoever… just this message:

The overall quality of your submission does not meet our aesthetic and technical requirements and will need to be improved before being resubmitted. Unfortunately we’re not able to provide more specific feedback for your submission at this time. Please consider taking some time to familiarise yourself with our current library and quality levels of popular items before resubmitting.

I honestly thought it would get at least a reason why it failed the review process, I mean I think it’s a good theme.. but anyway… maybe you guys can help us out a bit here and let us know what you think can be improved :)

Here’s the demo. Thanks!

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meks says

We think that your theme looks good in general. Maybe to tidy it up a little bit, font and typography can be improved.

Also, check the cross browser and responsive mode. We know that review staff may be too strict when it comes to “first theme release”.

Pay attention to every detail and good luck! :)

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explora says

We think that your theme looks good in general. Maybe to tidy it up a little bit, font and typography can be improved.

Also, check the cross browser and responsive mode. We know that review staff may be too strict when it comes to “first theme release”.

Pay attention to every detail and good luck! :)

Thanks for your thoughts. We will pay more attention to the details and see what we can improve.

Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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BdgPixel says

Ooo god, I can not believe you turned down theme. I am also disappointed about this, good luck :)

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adiacone says

First of all, let me just start by saying that I really like your design. While it’s not 100% original (but these days nothing is 100%, everything is a remix!), I think you have some interesting ideas in terms of layout and I think it’s a theme that can be easily customized. For me and for a lot of theme buyers that is key! I don’t know what’s going on in the backend (I assume this is a WordPress theme?), but aside from some minor alignment / font size issues with the slider text on mobile, I see no reason why this wouldn’t be accepted.

I had my latest theme rejected as well (similar minimalist design, although that just one of five unique skins), so let me try to shed some light on why yours might have been rejected. The reason was “We already have a number of submissions with the same overall design and concept and we have to draw the line somewhere” and then explaining that the design was too minimalist, without being effective, meaning that the theme looked too much like a framework than a full fledged design.

While I do think my design has true potential and was a bit disappointed at first, I will try to improve the theme and come up with some design tweaks. However… here’s where I take issue with the whole “we have to draw the line”, “too much of the same” ideas: I agree with them 100%, but I feel they are applied randomly. Some themes slip through the cracks (I really want to think this is the case), while others get the short end of the stick.

I apologize in advance for posting this on your thread, but I felt your case was a great example: there’s a theme approved a few days ago (that I will of course not name) that’s very similar to yours (one page navigation, simple design). However… that theme looks like something thrown together in a few hours. It’s the most basic of basic themes I’ve recently seen on ThemeForest, the design is amateurish at best and has major usability issues. Yet… it’s there, rocking 0 sales.

And that isn’t an isolated case. There are many other themes approved in the last few days that are very, very similar in design to existing items, yet reviewers didn’t feel they more of the same. Which is fine, but some of these themes simply do not work on mobile. I found one where you couldn’t click portfolio items at all.

Sorry if this sounded harsh, but I really hope someone from the Envato team can jump in and shed some light on how this can happen. I know reviewers don’t have an easy job and I don’t want this to sound like I’m badmouthing their work, but if we’re going to make ThemeForest a “cleaner, better place”, that encourages creative design, let’s do it right and let’s measure everyone using the same ruler. I would gladly have my next themes rejected multiple times if that means less themes in the queues, but better quality overall. Is this the goal or am I just getting this wrong?

That’s it from me!

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explora says

First of all, let me just start by saying that I really like your design. While it’s not 100% original (but these days nothing is 100%, everything is a remix!), I think you have some interesting ideas in terms of layout and I think it’s a theme that can be easily customized. For me and for a lot of theme buyers that is key! I don’t know what’s going on in the backend (I assume this is a WordPress theme?), but aside from some minor alignment / font size issues with the slider text on mobile, I see no reason why this wouldn’t be accepted.

Thank you! We do realize that it’s not 100% original, but we did try to put some interesting things into it, I think that, for example, the mobile design for the theme is quite good and unique.

let me try to shed some light on why yours might have been rejected. The reason was “We already have a number of submissions with the same overall design and concept and we have to draw the line somewhere” and then explaining that the design was too minimalist, without being effective, meaning that the theme looked too much like a framework than a full fledged design

We are new to themeforest, but I’m not sure this is the reason why it got rejected.. the reviewer mentioned that it “does not meet our aesthetic and technical requirements and will need to be improved before being resubmitted”, he didn’t mentioned anything about being too similar to other items. So we are thinking there must be some issues with it that we are not seeing, of course it can be improved, there’s always room for improvement, and we will try to do it.. but right now we are out of ideas… that’s why we posted this here..

Anyways, thanks for your thoughts and I wish you the best of luck with your theme!!

Would love to hear some more suggestions if you guys came up with any. :)

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ImanGM says

Hi,

That’s a nice work BUT I think its very similar to Salient theme. I don’t know if the reviewers check for these similarity issues but maybe that’s the reason of rejection…

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SurmountStudios says

explora,

I really like this theme. In fact, I know of a few clients who would greatly benefit from its simplistic and beautiful design. A few areas of improvement stick out to me:

1. http://demo.explora.com.uy/explorasky/elements/ and http://demo.explora.com.uy/explorasky/typography/ have a different navigation bar at the top than do any of the other pages in your site. This makes it a little confusing and sometimes redundant (in the case of the “portfolio” page) to navigate.

2. The “Buy Now” links on your pricing table module send me to a weird page, both in terms of content and the actual URL name: “http://demo.explora.com.uy/explorasky/www.google.com” Where are users supposed to go when they click here? Is there a shopping cart I’m missing? How do they close their sale? It’s a little confusing to me.

3. The error boxes in the contact form at the bottom are misplaced if you don’t type any information into them. You can check this by hitting “send” while leaving all the contact forms blank.

4. The video thumbnail is not responsive.

5. I can’t see your supporting documentation, but in my experience the best documented templates sell better. Make sure to look through those.

I hope I’ve been of some help to you. Let me know when/if this theme comes out on Envato! I’d love to add this to our arsenal of tools to work off of.

Thanks,

Surmount Studios

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explora says

explora,

I really like this theme. In fact, I know of a few clients who would greatly benefit from its simplistic and beautiful design. A few areas of improvement stick out to me:

1. http://demo.explora.com.uy/explorasky/elements/ and http://demo.explora.com.uy/explorasky/typography/ have a different navigation bar at the top than do any of the other pages in your site. This makes it a little confusing and sometimes redundant (in the case of the “portfolio” page) to navigate.

2. The “Buy Now” links on your pricing table module send me to a weird page, both in terms of content and the actual URL name: “http://demo.explora.com.uy/explorasky/www.google.com” Where are users supposed to go when they click here? Is there a shopping cart I’m missing? How do they close their sale? It’s a little confusing to me.

3. The error boxes in the contact form at the bottom are misplaced if you don’t type any information into them. You can check this by hitting “send” while leaving all the contact forms blank.

4. The video thumbnail is not responsive.

5. I can’t see your supporting documentation, but in my experience the best documented templates sell better. Make sure to look through those.

I hope I’ve been of some help to you. Let me know when/if this theme comes out on Envato! I’d love to add this to our arsenal of tools to work off of.

Thanks,

Surmount Studios

Great feedback! Thank you so much for taking the time to help us out. We will definitely check and fix all of that. :)

Documentation can be improved a lot, so thanks for the tip also!

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adiacone says

Exactly! I think the switch to a slider works really well on mobile, so aesthetically and functionally I don’t find much wrong with the theme, so it’s either something about how the content is managed (is there a theme options panel or does it support the new Theme Customizer?) or maybe the review team just wanted you to work on the finer details. Here are some ideas from me:

- Try to get rid of the menu overall menu underline and just stick with the one for rollover, maybe just a bit thinner.

- At very narrow screen sizes (phone), the slider caption font size is really small, maybe remove it altogether or find another way to show it?

- I like the clean look of the area with icons, but without some separation, it’s hard to focus on something. Try to add some separation, even something very subtle, like a corner shadow or something. Similar to what you have for that section’s bottom separator.

- In fact, I would ditch the subtle shadow that separates sections (and use a straight line only), because the way it’s used now suggests the sections are stacked on top of each other. This doesn’t really jell with the menu shadow anyway.

- Replace the remaining “lorem ipsum” with something else. You won’t believe how much this influences someone subconsciously into thinking this looks unfinished. As a general rule, I always try to imagine a use case for my theme and use text that would be appropriate for that, at least for headings and larger text.

- Go back and rework some of the finer details, such as spacing / padding for the blog post footer or the comments icon. The tweets widget could use a bit of spacing and more styling.

- The footer could use a bit of work: try a subtle pattern for the background, try something with the widget titles (maybe introduce a bit of color) and definitely change the font color so that’s consistent across all widgets. Now you have links in white and color, plus text in white and grey. Maybe dotted (or more subtle) underline for the recent posts? The footer might actually be the area that reviewers were hinting at.

This might seem like a lot of observations, but it’s mostly minor stuff and I struggled a bit. But since all this is subjective, it can also make it or break it and a reviewer might see these small tweaks as an improvement over the previous iteration.

I would also say to try and contact support and see if you can find more details regarding why was the theme rejected, but I suspect you won’t get specifics, just general guidelines. So your best bet might be to update and resubmit, but make sure you explain what you changed and how that impacts the design.

Good luck and I really hope to see this one approved, I might use it for a future project. Now it’s back to the drawing board for me as well.

Later Edit: What SurmountStudios said! ;) Definitely style the error messages for Contact Form 7 too, the defaults aren’t pretty.

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