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Wikinews design contest

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The Wikinews design contest is a long-term project coordinated by Eloquence to create a new look and feel for the Wikinews project which is distinct from the Wikipedia design. It consists of two components, a portal design contest and a skin design contest. Note that you are currently on Meta-Wiki, which is used to coordinate all Wikimedia projects (Wikinews, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and so on). If you haven't seen Wikinews before, you can visit it here: http://www.wikinews.org/

The preliminary skin contest submission period ended June 17, 2005. Users may still submit entries but they will not included in the current voting.

The portal design contest will remain open until at least July 17th, 2005.

Like any good contest, it has prizes, contributed by users like you. If you would like to contribute a prize, just add yourself to the list below.


  1. 2 Wikinews buttons to put on your shirt when reporting, donated by Eloquence, one for the portal contest, one for the skin contest
  2. 500g box of chocolates from Daniel Le Chocolat Belge; one for each contest, donated by Amgine
  3. 2 copies of the photo book The Innocents, donated by Umbrage Editions; one for each contest.

Submission guidelines[edit]

Submissions should be put in the public domain. Please use no copyrighted images for which we do not have a license. As a logo, the official Wikinews logo should be used. A high-resolution version of an older logo can be found here: Image:WikinewsLogoPolarGlobe9TBig.png

Skin contest[edit]

The skin contest is meant to overhaul the monobook.css stylesheets (and possibly the JavaScript). Please use the user styles feature to create a customized version of Monobook. Simply put, create a page [[User:My name/monobook.css]] and, if you want, [[User:My name/monobook.js]] either here on Meta or on your Wikinews edition, and override the existing stylesheets. Then link the page(s) below to submit them to the contest.

Our goal is to create a more "news-style" identity for Wikinews.


Please begin evaluating and discussing each idea below.

Monobook (Current)[edit]




I really like this one, the colours go esp. well with the logo, it looks clean and modern without radically overhauling it. 8 July 2005 11:05 (UTC)


Too much space taken up by the logo bar and I don't think we need the categories on every page. Further, we now use a sub-menu page instead so we can guide the user to more sub-pages, quicker. Dan100 21:27, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)



Proof of Concept Wikinews[edit]

Not really usable - the categories on the left aren't the ones we use, and it seems to be a replacement for our main page, which is very unlikely to happen. Dan100 21:24, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Multiple styles[edit]


Current submissions[edit]


We demand warmer colors!

See n:en:User:Stw/monobook.css for the CSS code. This is just a first draft. Link colors aren't that great, I'm going to change them. Comments are welcome! --Stw 13:54, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I like how everything is rounded. Bawolff 23:00, 4 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

This one is my favorite, I love the colours. --Optimix 19:50, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I love the colours too. It has a kinda inviting look Bawolff 03:15, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


this is not even a draft, merely a mockup, of what i imagine a "more news-style" would look like. greetings. viceroy Link to the Picture on Flickr


It's cold out here!

You can view the CSS code under pl:n:User:Datrio/monobook.css (it isn't finished yet, only a quick mockup). If you have any suggestions, leave them either on mine or Sansana's user talk page, which whom I'm making this skin. Datrio 14:53, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Updated! Now, with one of the new logos and some minor tweaks. The skin is glitchy under IE so far, but we're working on it. Datrio 23:09, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Last update - still didn't fix the IE errors, but only if this skin will win, they'll get fixed in the IEFixes.css file. Same goes with some _minor_ errors in Opera. Datrio 13:15, 17 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
Screenshots: 1, 2, 3, monobook.css

Very good IMO --Blx 01:25, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Nicest one here at the moment, although that's a lot of whitespace in the bottom right. -- 16:15, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Support.--ThomasK 10:20, 8 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Best one here.--Fito leave me a message 20:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Very good -- 20:26, 17 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Three col. layout is very useful- unbridlednature might want to consider dark gray background, #333333 with a smaller table, just to give it some pop., maybe change up the colors.

Support - simple design and not too bad on the eyes. Thorpe 18:28, 31 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Support -- Get It 17:43, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Oppose - too plain, too remniscent of Monobook. 21:38, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Support --Cspurrier 23:43, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Support Uses also the Wikinews "old" vision-- 12:50, 29 Jun 2005 (UTC)


At 1024x768 resolution

(Please read the full details here!)

"Wikinews" skin by Noclip, inspired by viceroy's entry. Last updated 19:02, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC).


Comments are appreciated, post them here:

You see, there's one main problem with your skin. We're allowed only to edit monobook.css and monobook.js - not anything else. You've edited all the HTML on the site, and, like you mentioned, some PHP. If you want to make a good submission, you should use only CSS and JS, nothing more. Datrio 11:38, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Eloquence gave me the go-ahead to post it here. If it wins the vote, then WN will probably make accomodations. -- Noclip 17:49, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I think it's nice, and no technical reason we can't use modified html --Alterego 18:31, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I like the basics, but it needs to be a little cleaner - example as follows. Granted I've stripped out some content, but hope its helpful anyways. Easy on the gradients. --The silentist 05:45, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Where would all the Wiki Navigation stuff go?
  • Either the dark grey left bar or the lighter grey right bar. --The silentist 02:16, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Here's another with more of the nav stuff. Sorry to be camping in your suggestion space here, but I don't write complex CSS myself, and the best I can offer is some graphic design (my field). Great work though - refreshing to see ideas outside the norm. Monobook is beautiful, and it meant a lot for Wikipedia when it came out, but its beginning to look a little dated. --The silentist 02:58, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

BTW, I have no strong opinions on the right or left-aligned navbar etc; I'm just offering advice on the execution. I like how you've laid out the page. Though would it make sense for all the topics to be on every page? Maybe it should be in a div on the main page, as it is now, just better done. Hmm. Not sure. --The silentist 03:02, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I included some extra settings in the PHP file. The whole topics/locations area can be disabled by changing a line in the file from "true" to "false," also, in compliance with WN's constant goal of keeping a large part of the main page "above the fold," the page title/subtitle aren't displayed on the main page. -- Noclip 03:28, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What about the user nav (my discussion, preferences, my contributions, log out) ? -- Get It 23:40, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Having used some of the suggestions here, I've tweaked the colors and spacing a little:

At 1024x768 resolution

Looks superb! My support... ~ 01:48, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Great to see my Idea carried so much further ! - viceroy321 -- 02:06, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Honestly, I think it's a little dark, and it doesn't feature multiple articles like the current Main Page does. But you got something going on with that gradient, but you should try a lighter blue gradient instead. 21:45, 10 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • All this skins are really goood and look prof. so good that I can't choose one. keep working.
  • Beautiful. My favorite. My only qualm is that the header takes up too much vertical space. I like to be able to see a lot of text all at once, and scroll as little as possible, and I don't gain anything by having a big "WIKINEWS" starring me in the face all the time, taking up a quarter of my screen. 04:56, 29 May 2005 (UTC) w:Kevin Baas[reply]


My monobook skin didn't exactly come out as I had planned (due to the rather scrambled up HTML and CSS), but here it is. I don't know how to upload a screenshot so if anyone could offer some help that'd be great. Thanks and enjoy! --Shir 19:17, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think you just have to register on meta and click on upload media on the sidebar. to take a screenshot (in windows) just press print screen (prtscn) and paste it into mspaint. they should proably have more info under help. hope that helps Bawolff 07:08, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I tried your skin. I liked the colors and the general layout. Bawolff 07:45, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Bumblebox on firefox with mouse over the main article heading (links are hilighted on hover)

This isn't that great but its what i'm using to look at wikinews/pedia. Its basicly a yellow version of monobook (bumblebee + monobook) i just used editcss sidebar for ff and didn't remove the extrastuff so its kinda messey (n:user:bawolff/monobook.css) n:user:bawolff Bawolff 07:08, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In my opinion, it's a little too straining on the eyes, colour-wise. Also, imagine learning about a major disaster, while the website is all nice and sunny. -- user:zanimum
I just noticed that. Since quite alot of news (in general) is bad a really sunny skin is proably not the greatest skin. For wikinews its proably to much like 'pedia anyways, but it was fun making it. Thanks for the coments. :D Bawolff 22:11, 2 May 2005 (UTC) (sory forgot to sign.)[reply]

Proof of Concept Wikinews[edit]

Following along from the html path that has started here, this is my design of how a news site should look judging by various different sources (BBC,ABC,CNN for example!). I aimed for simplicity and ease of use, along with basic colours and clear differences between navigation for readers and editing facilities for writers (now on the right). The text has come out green on the image, whereas it is in fact a blue a little deeper than that used for links on Wikinews currently.

Please give me your opinions but remember, it's only a half-hour jobby - simply to see how it looks and feels to people! If there is interest, I will put the source on my user page, though it will be messy, since it was thrown together on FrontPage - it may require rewriting!

Here's the link: [1]

I like it. Bawolff 07:40, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Updated version. Not much change - undone a few glitches and added the central blue bit for links and the welcome message [2]:
png has reduced the amount of colour distortion so this image is truer to the original

We couldn't really use this - this is a total top-to-bottom redesign, which isn't what this competition is for. Dan100 21:14, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Multiple styles[edit]

If possible, maybe we should use alternate stylesheets, to have more then one theme in browsers that support it, and have the winner as the default. Do people think this is a good idea? Bawolff 22:15, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I do! Perhaps 3 or 5. Not too many though. (anonymous)

We could also have different stylesheets for special ocasion. For example, for national histroy week/day/month (if it exsists.) we could use the chepos skin.(Gallery_of_user_styles#Cheops). The only problem with that, would be who picks each holiday, and how to make the choice NPOV.Bawolff 23:59, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]


It'd be cool if somebody could make columns in the stories like a real newspaper. This is way beyond my expertise in CSS (if its even possible in CSS, proably'd need javascript which i don't know anything about). But I saw a news site that used columns and it looked absolutly amazing. Bawolff 03:23, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Although I don't know nothing about programming, it would be great if you provided link to it. I'm very curious how does it look like. -- 10:27, 30 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
That's the problem, I clicked on a link to it and now i forget what its web address was. I'll look thru my history to see if i could find it. It also had a link on the side were you could toogle if it used collunm (sp?) or not collumns. Hope I can find it. Bawolff 02:30, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
found it http://www.iht.com . if you go into an article look on the sidebar that says article tools. Its kinda simmiliar to toolbox on the sidebar here, theres a link there for change article format.
It would be cool if we could get a button called super wikify, that automaticly wikifies everything, so if you feel like goining into random dirrections into wikipedia you can but there isn't a big hunk of blue text, for the people who don't want to. 02:49, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

opps one too many~ Bawolff 02:50, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Against. I find that columns on web pages are hard to read; one has to scroll down and up repeatedly. 21:35, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If we did columns I think we should seperate it into different pages if theres enough content you'd have to scroll down. Like the way they do it at http://www.iht.com . I agree with the statment that anonumous (sp?) user said about scrolling + columns = annoying. you could have the first three columns that fits in one screenful then on a subpage have the next three, so you don't have to scroll. Only problem i could see is differnt font sizes and resolutions. Bawolff 03:57, 30 August 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I did manage to do this, with a horiz scroll, but it doesn't work well with images, and doesn't work at all with non-recent gecko browsers (although it falls-back in IE, and sometimes in Opera depending how I do it. (If I make it so that it fits in screen then no-fallbacky in Opera). Its in my user-space at wikinews. - n:User:Bawolff/Sandbox/Column-test. Bawolff 19:35, 5 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Other design issues[edit]

Outside the official contest, here are some more ideas for parts of the site to customize:

This is not here to provoke negative fibes but to discuss the implications and empathy involved in such a design competition as this, it discusses bad and good points in a professional way.

  • (add your idea here)

If you're not involved with Wikinews or wikis, but you would like to help, you can contact Erik Möller at moeller(@)scireview(.)de (remove parentheses). Thanks for any help in making Wikinews look beautiful and professional!