Peculiar & Retro Web Design || Alternadiv

sixlxvi

Well-known member
If you've ever seen some of my attempts to learn HTML/CSS and other shenanigans here on the XF forum, you might've noticed my 2000s web design nostalgia is strong. If not, have a tl;dr: I miss 2000s-era web design aesthetics and have a 17 year-long interest* in HTML/CSS, specifically for forums. *Interest -. As in... not experience.


alt⟨div -- peculiar, retro, and other niche XenForo styles



Alternadiv.com will become my personal website to share my free XF styles and other web dev nonsense.

I'm creating this thread to hopefully receive some feedback on the homepage and general aesthetic I'm going for. Beyond the homepage, there's not much for an unregistered user to see--not even forums--and that's intentional. I want my site to stay pretty raw.

If you're going to have a look, the only pages of interest would be https://alternadiv.com and https://alternadiv.com/about/updates. (If you manage to navigate elsewhere, well, good luck... I probably didn't even navigate there yet.)


why⟨tho ?



I miss 2000s-era web design aesthetics. I enjoy experimenting with HTML/CSS. It's been 17 years of wanting to get into frontend web dev and the urge isn't going away. So, I'm accepting my fate and trying to learn how to write my divs like the big boys.

Speaking of writing divs like the big boys, I would be remiss if I didn't mention a few folks who--possibly unbeknownst to them--have kept me motivated.

@Russ from Pixel Exit, @AndyB, @Hotfix, @Deathstarr, @Ozzy47, @arn, @Kirby, @BassMan, @beerForo, @JoyFreak, and I guess... @Brogan.


wt⟨f ?



Glad you asked!

I have a handful of interesting styles to be released here on XF soon. And I have a lot more in their beginning phases. I probably have 100 style ideas written down, most of which have the retro, unusual, or very niche aesthetic I've been blabbing about.

I'm a retired US Marine with chronic back pain a chronic interest in actually getting decent at this. I feel like there's potential for this little web design niche that I'm focused on, even outside of XenForo styles. From my site, here are some of my philosophies for Alternadiv design:
Websites were unique and personable. The "Webmaster" was passonite. Their design matched their content, albiet with chaotic HTML sometimes.

One of my design goals is to recapture that wild "web surfing" vibe, but for modern platforms. Hey, my HTML is controlled chaos, at least! That said, retro isn't always the way. Alternadivly, I prefer working on very niche or extraordinary styles, that probably (and understandably) aren't worth a proper designer's time.
I appreciate a clean and lightweight website that puts the literature in focus first. Less can be more.

To me, modern web design tends to feel bloated, cumbersome to navigate, difficult to visually separate the content you wanted from the clickbait. All that, with unexpected layout shifts and poor TTI speeds, to boot!

I prefer simplicity and minimalicity(!).
I'm newer to CSS, therefore most of my initial work is the result of learning by trial and server error.

For that reason, my styles are free to download and use (if you're feeling dangerous). But I'm loving the challenge and eventually I'd like to push a few premium themes. You know, with built in style properties and such.

And, for that reason, I encourage suggestions and bug reports. I'm always ready to squash bugs and bake in new features, if asked. After all, practice makes PageSpeed scores!

Again, this is a hobby for me. And the styles will be uploaded here on the XF forum, for free. I'm not really trying to pull traffic to my site. I don't know if there will ever be an actual reason to allow registrations and/or use the forum part of XF.

Ironically, the code for my homepage is messy right now, but I'll tidy that up when I stop making 100 tiny changes every hour. I haven't done much mobile-firsting yet, but that'll happen too. I'm not worried about the favicon or SEO/analytics for now, BUT! With @Kirby's Font Awesome add-on enabled, my homepage gets a 100 mobile/desktop PageSpeed score! I love removing excess elements (@Anatoliy).

My next big thing will be turning the XFRM into a tool that can display a portfolio without it resembling much of its former self.

If you're still reading this, thanks! Please do tell if you have any suggestions or ideas for any part of the site or me learning how to write good divs.

Also, if you have a XenForo forum that could use a new design, I'd love to make you one for free. Give me a few weeks to show off my "real" style portfolio first.

Also also: to keep Alternadiv.com authentically retro, I want to put some "affiliate site" banners somewhere in the footer. If you have a small forum that isn't monetized, let me know if I can add your link. (y)
 

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kolakube

Well-known member
Looks excellent man. A lot of personality has been lost over the years in favor of creating purely transactional websites—which is not a bad thing—but to see it extend to blogs and forums it's no wonder so many close down. I think anyone can tell your site is worth exploring because it handles those tiny details so well and you hit your visitor's with a big heart instead of a big hero image. :D

Good luck and excited to follow along.
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
Looks excellent man. A lot of personality has been lost over the years in favor of creating purely transactional websites—which is not a bad thing—but to see it extend to blogs and forums it's no wonder so many close down. I think anyone can tell your site is worth exploring because it handles those tiny details so well and you hit your visitor's with a big heart instead of a big hero image. :D

Good luck and excited to follow along.
Thank you very much! You just perfectly summarized my whole shebang in just a few sentences, nice!
 

Lee

Well-known member
Very small piece of feedback as I otherwise really enjoy this look, but the nav tabs are very hard for my fat fingers to tap on mobile.

Otherwise, this is outstanding and I like it very much.
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
Very small piece of feedback as I otherwise really enjoy this look, but the nav tabs are very hard for my fat fingers to tap on mobile.

Otherwise, this is outstanding and I like it very much.
Good point. I have a few small adjustments I want to make for mobile only so I’ll make this one of them.

And thank you!
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
I decided to put a little more spice into it. I think it looks a tad older now. Especially by taking away the 100vh height, lol

Screenshot 2022-02-03 at 02-24-48 XenForo Themes, For Free.pngScreenshot 2022-02-03 at 02-25-39 About Alternadiv com - Updates.png
 

BassMan

Well-known member
Excellent work. Very minimalistic, clean and transparent. I wouldn't go any further with any clutter.

I like the mobile view, like one giant phone :)

Wish you all the best and keep your motivation. We all need it, and forums like this make us even more optimistic. We just need to keep persevering.

Bookmarked...
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
Excellent work. Very minimalistic, clean and transparent. I wouldn't go any further with any clutter.

I like the mobile view, like one giant phone :)

Wish you all the best and keep your motivation. We all need it, and forums like this make us even more optimistic. We just need to keep persevering.

Bookmarked...

I'm liking it on mobile! I detest wide designs as they almost always look messy and cluttered, especially if there is a lot of advertising.

Appreciate it to both of you!
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
100 mobile PageSpeed score! Now what am I supposed to do? Optimization is fun. I guess I can get the actual times lower, lol.

Screen Shot 2022-02-04 at 6.17.18 PM.png
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
I'm liking it on mobile! I detest wide designs as they almost always look messy and cluttered, especially if there is a lot of advertising.
I find wide designs to be overwhelming. Likewise, I find designs with huge vertical padding around every section to be even worse.
 

sixlxvi

Well-known member
looking good, just remember the saying "less is more"
Thank you!

Do you think the site already appears as if it isn't following my own philosophy? Or do I currently have a good balance of less is more within my own site?

Because sometimes part of me wants the whole site to be black and white only.
 

JoyFreak

Well-known member
Hi Tyler, thank you for the mention, such a shame I never got an alert for it otherwise I would have jumped on here sooner. I love what you've done with the software and your intuitive to start this commendable project. I look forward to seeing what's coming. Keep up the amazing work!
 
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