This showcase is different from other showcases. Since the project is to create a generic theme that provide a concept design, high flexibility and easy customization ability to users; not for a specific business organization. We strive for a general method of building a site based on the predefined concept.
Drupal is well-known for being a good team player with News publishers. Some big names can be listed here: The Washington Examiner (http://washingtonexaminer.com/), The Economist (http://economist.com), Maxim (http://maxim.com), Al Jazeerah Balkans (http://balkans.aljazeera.net/), The nation (http://www.thenation.com/)... So we decided to provide our users a professional online news Drupal template so they can take advantage of powerful ability of publishing from Drupal.
We have been through many web design projects (~ 20) using Drupal as the CMS. Hence we just choose what we can do the best.
It was effortless with coding when we develop TB Nex using Drupal and yes we had seen it coming via past experiences. 3rd party modules like Views help us a lot in bringing the design concept into reality without spending too much time and effort on coding.
Furthermore, Drupal offers many powerful publishing tools including Open Publishing, NodeStream... Though we do not use any of the above tools in this project on purpose , users can choose their favourite publishing methods with TB Nex design thanks to Drupal amazing architecture.
Last but not least, Drupal’s high flexibility and ability to upscale is impressive. Once you have a news site for yourself - it is obvious that you want to get more traffic and expand your publishing activities. With Drupal, it’s proven to be capable of content management, publish workflow and security.
The objective of the project is to create a general Drupal theme for building online news/magazine, responsive ready, capable of heavy content sites and large traffic.
Although the project team is small, we use Scrum to take advantage of its fast development cycle and strong adaptability to change.
In order to satisfy the requirements, we came up with a set of features/designs that are necessary to implement:
- Multiple appearance forms of content: Carousel, Accordion, Slideshow, Quicktab...
- Responsive design: a must in nowaday web design since number of users using mobile & tablets has increased rapidly
- User interaction: comment, post articles... are common features
- Homepage layout that is clear and well categorized sections - which is important to most of online news site to let/guide users know what they want to read and where they can find them
- Ads section: to news sites, it’s essential to have space for ads. We keep that in mind when it comes to this theme design
- Mega Menu: for better content navigation and hot news featuring purpose
TB Nex homepage design is the biggest challenge. Homepage includes a slideshow Feature News, Music News block, Editor’s Picks, Main Content, New Stories Quicktabs, Most Popular Accordion and other blocks. First challenge is slideshow navigation. It combined by list of article data such as images, dates, and titles. It is not easy to achieve this slideshow navigation structure. Another challenge is main content structure. Main content is a list of articles grouped by its category. Each category has one main article and a list of three article titles. It is almost impossible to achieve this structure without writing custom code. Fortunately, Views modules and its plugin modules are powerful and flexible enough to help us fulfill these tasks without writing a line of code.
Sites made with TB Nex
Below are some of our customers' sites made with TB Nex:
As usual, our project team for creating a theme is lean. It consists of 1 css, 1 developer, 1 QA/QC (she was in charge of both job), 1 designer.
Time line: 5 weeks (Please find the diagram below)