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Hey all. Kirkburn mentioned Wikia's new skin, Monaco, on Portal talk:Main, but I wanted to give you some more info about it and show you my attempt at a mock-up

This is the skin that Wikia is going forward with. Future new features may be compatible with older skins, but we will generally be developing for Monaco. Some of the elements of this skin, like the menus in the sidebars and the community box, are designed for the site readers (which on some wikis is 90% or so of the visitors!). The idea is to get them looking around the site more and seeing that there is activity. Hopefully that will help in some of them becoming part of the active group of contributors.

A feature I really like connected with this, is the ability to make your own sidebar with links you find useful. Something that can be extended with personal widgets in the sidebar. Another feature that will be available soon is a switch to widen the edit box. I think there is some good stuff ahead!

So below is a concept of how it might look. Remember, this is just my mock-up, you might prefer to go for a whole different colour scheme. Some good examples of custom skins are Wookieepedia, Marvel Database, FFXIclopedia, and WoWWiki. (If you don't see the custom skins, it's probably your preference settings - try logging out to view them)

Please let me know what you think! -- sannse (talk) 11:49, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I like the new skin in general, but I really dislike the top banner ad. I would be strongly opposed to changing to a format that included top banners. --- Jaz 03:19, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Move the advert from the top to the right, though, and it's gonna be my default choice of skin. - Bell'Orso 03:53, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

One of the problems people had with Quartz skin, was that it reduced the width of the content area. This version actually has a narrower sidebar than the two monobook sidebars, much narrower than the sidebar on Quartz. A banner on the right would lose that.

Ads are always a sticky subject, but they are very much needed for Wikia to survive and thrive. We are still actively experimenting with different size, shape, and positioning of adverts - we need to find the combination that means we can make a profit, without being too ugly and distracting. One possibility is to show ads only to logged out users, another is to have novel ad spaces that only show when we have sold them and are hidden the rest of the time.

But I think that wherever the ads are, regulars get used to them and they stop being so jarring after a while. So I think the usefulness of the skin, and the features it supports are way more important for usability of the skin. And Monaco has lots of that! Please do look at other wikis, and at the choices they have made for sidebar options and customisations. I think these might persuade you this is a skin worth having :) -- sannse (talk) 09:13, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Any more thoughts on switching over to this? I'd like to ask Christian (our designer) to work on custom version of this with your input (Cid? wanna play?). What we could do is set up a test wiki with the skin, so we can get it exactly how you want it before making it live. The idea would be to make this the default for anon and new users. Older users could choose to switch to it of course, or could stay on the current skin. But I think that once you get past the initial shock of a new skin, you will find that this is a really good skin to work in! -- sannse (talk) 08:21, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

To be perfectly honest, I just like the current layout better. --- Jaz 18:13, 7 May 2008 (UTC)