My item has been rejected twice on Themeforest, I can really see how that has helped me improve, despite being (naturally) discouraging and disappointing
Here is my latest demo version: http://satoristudio.net/fuji/
The second time the item was rejected the comment from the moderator was as follows:
Right now, I’m seeing too many issues that I can’t possibly point out what specifically needs to be fixed. So for now, look to tweak and polish this template. With improvements, I’ll hopefully be able to be more specific. For now, please use the following as guidelines:
- There are a few inconsistent spacing/padding as well as alignment issues throughout the design. I’d like you to go over it with a fine toothed comb and weed out these basic design issues.
- Please look into how you’re using white space—both micro and macro. It needs to be intuitive, consistent and frame the content correctly in the manner you seek.
- Overall typography and visual + typographic hierarchy needs additional refinements and improvements before it will be ready for Theme Forest.
- Important— try to make your theme’s design more unique. Adding features, options and styles will help increase your template’s value and increase its ability to be approved. However, a unique design will be a key factor for approval. Try experimenting with different layouts, placement and positioning etc
- Even with the current design, a significant increase in the polish of the various aspects of the theme may just swing the decision in your favor. Right now, it doesn’t feel like a premium theme due to the lack of attention to details.
I’ve seen that quite a lot of people get the exact same emails, with their themes being on the different state of “premiumness”, so now I’m a bit lost. Thus would really appreciate if the community could point out at least some of the (more specific) things that need to corrected (especially in connection with the points above), so that I’d know the direction in which to proceed. I promise I will take all criticism with due respect.
Thank you very much in advance!
Here be some brain farts – in no particular order!
First impressions are it’s a little bland.
I love the top strip – logo/strapline/social/search – nice, clean and easy on the eye.
My eye is instantly drawn to the ‘Photography, Thoughts, Culture, Ideas, Travel’ under the slider but because they are UNDER the slider, I immediately discard them as not being main menu items and for a split second wonder if they are news categories or tags. It takes a few more seconds to twig that that might actually be actually the main menu. Now I see the menu hidden behind a toggle button in the top right. I’ve spent the first 5 or so seconds on the site being confused about navigation…
On Firefox 13, the slide transitions are not smooth, the final frame shifts down 1px. The background behind the slider text in the bottom left needs to be darker too as it’s hard to read the text against a light slider image.
The header font is serif, Noticia Text, and for me doesn’t sit well with the clean, modern look of the theme. The font stack is curious, too. You use a serif font then your first fall back is sans-serif?
glancing over the titles and tag box, there’s too much grey – you start off great up top with black, red and white but this nice clean contrast is lost in blandness further down the page. Why not go more high contrast for titles and widget headers and lost the serif header font to keep the visual consistency.
The footer is yet more grey on grey and doesn’t really provide a strong visual anchor at the bottom of the page – nothing makes me want to look in any detail at what’s there. The pink text especially is totally lost against the background.
Moving to the Frontpage Example page template, The icons have no place there at all. Their style is generic and they don’t sit well with the overall design. If you’ve called the theme ‘Fuji’, kicked off things with a stark black and red logo and given a nod towards a minimalist theme with clean lines and high contrast colours then look at the icons again – how to they fit in with that?
The ‘Sign up for a free trial’ box needs to be killed with fire and started again. Colour, font size, element spacing, padding, everything.
The blog archive pages are again, way too grey. I like the layout of the individual archived entries, but with the that title font and the bland colours, everything just blends into everything else.
Shortcode: Buttons. Look at the buttons with textured backgrounds – do they really fit in with the look you are trying to accomplish or did you just think, “I’ll throw these in here for something different”?
Portfolio – transitions on the filtered portfolio are shaky and stuttering on FF13 . Not keen on the mouseover fade effect either. It’s a personal thing but I prefer mouseover items to be highlighted than faded out as they should be of more importance, not less. If you are going to fade out then add an overlay image of a link or something.
Individual portfolio pieces are fine but why the comments form below? It looks all lonely there aligned on the left and is a company really going to want to let people comment on their portfolio pieces? Secondly, what if a company has done a project with more than one image they want to feature – how does the theme handle that?
tldr: nice logo strip but everything else is too grey with conflicting styles. If I have to click one more time to open up that top menu so I can navigate, I’m going to plunge forks into my eyes. Try sticking to high contrast colours black/red/light grey or white, switching to a sans-serif font for headers and perhaps inverting the widget and page titles to white/light grey on black background with less vertical padding.
Thank you very much for the comments, kops! I really appreciate your feedback and will try to fix as many issues as possible.
One question – do you think the upper sliding menu could stay and serve as a secondary (e.g. category) menu? I suspect that without it the template would look even more generic than it does now
I don’t think the theme needs it – IMO deleting the nav-secondary div and bringing the menu down permanently is a big improvement.
2 mins with firebug – this is what I mean: http://lemongrasstest.co.uk/satori.jpg just a switch out of a couple of colours and toning down the title text, in my opinion anyway, makes all the theme elements sit a lot better together.
Looks more user-friendly indeed! Thanks! I think I will stick to your proposed black-white-red colour scheme for the theme preview (all colors can be changed in the options panel anyways). Maybe using the oriental motif to the fullest will help make the theme more distinguishable on the marketplace.
Hi again Kops!
After six more rejections and a few sleepless nights my theme got accepted for sale [link removed by Mod]. As you can see I implemented most of the issues you talked about; the only thing that I left as before is the top sliding menu, yet I’ve added a front-end feature for the visitor to keep it always open, and a back-end feature for the admin to fix it in the open position.
I would like to thank you once more for your advice; as a small token of my appreciation I’ve included you in the “Credits” section.
A Note on Self PromotionBecause of the commercial nature of the Envato networks, authors are expected to understand and respect the fact that using the forum to post links to one’s own items, or to give away free files to the community, is not allowed. This practice effectively undercuts the hard work of all authors who wish to sell their items fairly, and as such it is not tolerated. http://themeforest.net/community/forum_rules
Fair enough. Sorry about the link, was too excited to consider.