Who *doesn't* want their LJ to look good? The designs on Vox (Six Apart's other personal blogging service) are now also available on LiveJournal for users with Paid (&Permanent), Plus, or Early Adopter accounts. You can select Expressive
as your layout on the Customize page
, and choose from the variety of designs from the themes drop-down menu. There are 76 to choose from! You can preview them
by clicking the "Samples" link next to the themes drop-down menu.
The Expressive themes are just a jump-start for what we want to do. We want to be able to provide you with more themes to choose from without having to take our engineers off other important projects to code each and every design we come up with.
With this in mind, we decided to create a base layout where the CSS is separated out from the HTML because while S2 is scary and intimidating, CSS is not. Since Vox already works this way, we
borrowed their HTML structure, and thus, their designs as a starting point.
We took out the things that Vox has that LJ doesn't, and added in LJ specific things (like userpics and current mood & music), things that make LJ LJ. We also made sure that the sidebar(s) included useful layout features like tags, links, and a page summary list, since a lot of the existing themes have some or the other, but not all of them. We put all of this together, and voilà! – the perfect base layout.
With that done, each theme we create won't require additional S2 coding. All the styling will be done in CSS. This means that it will also be easier for you to create and customize layouts too!
We know you have been waiting a long time, but now we have the infrastructure in place to make LJ "more pretty." We already have one LJ-specific theme in the works, and more on the way. Be on the lookout for those in the near-future! In the meantime, try out some of the Expressive themes and give your journal a makeover. (lj_design
has just changed its theme to Expressive's Playful Robots Orange)ETA:
screenshots/theme previews are coming.
You can now see screenshots
of the themes by clicking the "Samples" link next to the themes drop-down menu.
Also, the extra scrollbar in older versions of Safari has been noted, and we are working on finding a fix for this. We are also aware of the problem with comments overlapping in Internet Explorer, and will be working on a fix for it. In the meantime, you can use a disable customized comments pages, or use a different browser. Thank you for reporting bugs. Please let us know if there is anything else acting weird or displaying wrong.