Cocoa Dev Central Designs That Weren't

I've always found it interesting to see designs that fell by the wayside on the way to a final revamp of a site. In this case, I have a handful of designs for Cocoa Dev Central that just didn't quite fit for one reason or another.

I really feel the look of Cocoa Dev Central is a major part of the character of the site. That is, it shouldn't look like just any other programming site. Not only should it look great, but it should look distinct. Of course, the design should also be functional, and should not be an obstacle to the information itself.

Although I'm not sure the current design really defines the character of the site, it's a good interim step, and is at least functional. Here are some of the designs that didn't make the cut. Keep in mind that none of them were ever really finished, so they look sparse.

The Designs

This first one was an attempt to play off the hyper-modern look of Mac OS X, but it just ends up looking a bit generic:

Next was something much different. I like the feeling from this one with some simple but distinct artwork, but it just sidelines the content too much. Or maybe the content just seems out of place:

This one is actually pretty promising, and in an alternate universe, it might have been the design:

Played around with some fractals and abstract designs on this one. Didn't exactly come together and maybe looks a bit too much like ADC:

This one is much different. Some promising elements here, but not quite right:

This one features the "gorilla" tagline. I had a whole plan behind this, but decided it was just too bizarre, and felt too much like I was trying to sell a product. I like the punch of the artwork, though:

A variation on the brownish theme. This one seems a little more Mac OS X-ish, but still not the right one:

A variation on a few of the other designs, minus the gorilla. Again, not necessarily bad, just not the one for this site:

Finally, the winner:

(I should also note that I'm not a professional web designer. Sorry John, couldn't resist. To insult to injury, googling for "Not a Professional Web Developer" currently returns me as the first result. Oh, the irony.)
Design Element
Cocoa Dev Central Designs That Weren't
Posted May 6, 2006 — 9 comments below


Daniel Jalkut — May 06, 06 1179

Definitely some interesting stuff in there, but I agree you picked the best one as the ultimate winner. There is something unbalanced about many of the others, and they may just be a bit too bold to want to see every time you come to the site.

Ron G — May 06, 06 1182

I just subscribed to Cocoa Dev Central and I see the latest item is dated April 29, 2005. Is this site still active?

Scott Stevenson — May 07, 06 1184 Scotty the Leopard

I just subscribed to Cocoa Dev Central and I see the latest item is dated April 29, 2005. Is this site still active?

The feed is outdated. The screen saver tutorials are relatively new. That said, it doesn't get updated as much as I'd like because it takes a while to do good tutorials and it doesn't pay any bills.

Alastair — May 07, 06 1185

I love your mock ups, especially the yellow gorilla theme one. It does look like you're selling a gorilla hair dye product than an actual content tutorial site!

Johannes Fortmann — May 07, 06 1186

I love the ADC-like one. How did you do the tree and the circuit in the background?

John Gruber — May 07, 06 1189

You're just lucky I didn't call you something worse.

John — May 08, 06 1192

Just a comment on the Cocoa Dev Central site: The links for the featured tutorials "highlight" when you hover over the text. The links for the general Cocoa topics "highlight" when you hover over any part of the box containing the text.

Just a personal preference, but I would expect the featured links to function like the topics links.

Scott Stevenson — May 09, 06 1200 Scotty the Leopard

How did you do the tree and the circuit in the background?

They're generated by Context Free.

John Joyce — Jul 23, 06 1465

I noticed that cocoadevcentral's layout tends to break badly when increasing text size in Safari...
I know this is one of the many caveats of web design, but it was alarming while mousing over things!


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