The layout of any given Memory Alpha article is controlled by a variety of pages: An internal CSS file, modified by another CSS file that can be edited by administrators, potentially again modified by a third file in your user space (User:USERNAME/monobook.css). On top of that, pages in the Mediawiki namespace are used to specify text and other content of the page interface, while various Templates and style guidelines exist to standardize Memory Alpha's "look&feel".

This project page is supposed to be a place where you can suggest and discuss possible changes or additions to the layout of this site. If you have an idea, whether it is a small correction or some seemingly absurd suggestion to change major parts of the page layout, feel free to add it to the "Brainstorming area" below.

If a relevant subsection for your idea already exists, add it to that section - otherwise use the "Random thoughts" subsection. Ideas here might be reordered, grouped, moved to other subsections, but try to keep necessary discussions in that section to a minimum. However, once a certain group of ideas reaches a "critical mass", they can be moved to the section for "Current discussions" to get more opinions.

Note: This is not supposed to circumvent consensus decisions for major changes. If a discussion here results in such change, it might be a good idea to summarize the outcome of that discussion on another page for voting. -- Cid Highwind 17:28, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Current discussionsEdit


I never used Special:Allmessages for anything, but the colors are... urgh. Make it black! --Memory 21:56, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Done by copying parts of the MA/de CSS, where this was already fixed. -- Cid Highwind 22:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

New TOC designEdit

NOTE: Two temp images removed. -- Cid Highwind 14:05, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

The image to the right shows the style I now use in my personal stylesheet for the automatically generated content tables. Changes are:

  • Border is solid instead of inset (minor).
  • Font size is slightly smaller, subsection have less indentation.
  • Links are not underlined.
  • Most obviously, different sections are separated by a horizontal line.

Combined, I feel that these changes make even big TOCs less obtrusive, while at the same time increasing readability. Does anyone have further suggestions, or would object to making this a sitewide change? Note: All changes are optional and could be implemented independent of each other. Everyone can check out that design for him-/herself by copying my CSS file. -- Cid Highwind 19:20, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a great improvement to the current TOC, especially in cases of long, multi-segmented articles. --Aurelius Kirk 19:44, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

To the right is an image of the current TOC, uploaded by Vedek Dukat, which reminded me of something: Please don't assume that the image above will be exactly what the new TOC will look like for you. Different OS, browsers, browser settings, installed fonts etc. may lead to slightly different results. -- Cid Highwind 20:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I like it. Truth-be-told, I never had a problem with the TOC table as it was before, but I can definitely see the advantages of the updated version. I agree, it looks less obstrusive and more readable. I support the new table format. To quote a certain bald-headed starship captain, "Make it so." --From Andoria with Love 00:11, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Changed it to the new style. Further comments or "bug reports" welcome :) -- Cid Highwind 22:05, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Personaly i think the size should be increased a bit as i find it a bit hard to read.--Mafeu 14:37, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Returned to original size. If there turns out to be a consensus either way, the rest can still use their personal css file to override that setting. Please comment here if you do. -- Cid Highwind 14:44, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, I saw its new form now for real and I must say I don't like it. I find the horizontal lines between the different sections to much. They attract to much attention and split the overview of the TOC. A TOC to me should be simple and easy to view at the first glance. (thats why the numbers are there) To me its not a TOC any more but some strange mini paragraph with sections in it. If it becomes standard please place the appropriate CSS code, by with users can reverse it for themselves, on a seperate page so they don't have find the proverbial 'needle in a haystack' to reverse it. I don't have a problem by removing the underlineing of the links, I do that already myself anyway. -- Q 19:02, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
The only thing I don't care for is the lack of underlining. All the other links in the entirety of everything Wiki are underlined. Even though these are only links to sections of the same page, it still bothers me that they aren't underlined. -Platypus Man | Talk 20:27, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Brainstorming areaEdit

Random thoughtsEdit

  • Change most border styles to "solid" - inset/outset often looks ugly. -- Cid Highwind
  • Change the arrow on Special:Recentchanges ([1]) to something that better fits the MA theme. -- Cid Highwind
    • Along the same lines, I've long thought we should change the "magnify" [2] image to something more "Trekish". — THOR =/\=
  • Remove the Wikicities logo from the internal search field. The IE can't show it properly (transparency didn't work and if it works [with Opera], it's not readable because of the black background) and we have the same link at the bottom with a better logo. --Memory
  • The Wikicities logo is all but invisible in Firefox or Opera because of the transparency, but the Google logo looks horrible. --Vedek Dukat Talk | Duty Roster


  • Use a slightly darker color for the page background - should increase readability. -- Cid Highwind
  • Apparently it is possible to use different background colors for pages in different namespaces - should we make use of this? -- Cid Highwind
  • External and Interwiki links could be colored differently from standard wiki links. -- Cid Highwind
  • Other colors for links: dark blue and glaring red on dark grey are sometimes hard to read. -- Cid Highwind
  • The table on Special:Allmessages needs to be checked, remove background color. -- Cid Highwind

LCARS look & feelEdit

Okay, I've looked all over and I can't believe nobody has suggested an LCARS/Okudagram style layout. (Literally, I feel like a real noob suggesting it!) The whole website, I mean, but especially the navigation side bar and the page top. It seems natural to me that the Federation's largest data repository would have an LCARS interface. Has this never been suggested? More to the point, wasn't an LCARS layout considered at this websites inception? Or is there some limitation to Wikia websites that makes this impossible? :) -- Joe

Currently, it is possible to loosely base the look off LCARS, but since Wikia wikis are about to change their default skins, I'm not sure it's going to be an option anymore. - Archduk3 16:36, September 15, 2010 (UTC)
In fact, this has been suggested before. However, ask a usability expert about an interface like what we've been presented as LCARS, and you might find out that it isn't really usable at all - especially not in a web site context. This, the fact that it would be hard to achieve with Wikia/Mediawiki restrictions, and the fact that the result would look somewhat "fannish" have prevented any work in that regard. :) -- Cid Highwind 16:43, September 15, 2010 (UTC)
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