Must Haves in a Theme - Pay or Not!
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Thread: Must Haves in a Theme - Pay or Not!

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    Goldwinger's Avatar
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    Must Haves in a Theme - Pay or Not!

    Hi, I'm Goldwinger, and I'm a theme junkie!

    Well maybe it's not that bad (yes it is yes it is :aargh4, but I do buy a lot of themes and I try a lot of themes. So I think I know what I like and don't like about themes (this of course is a personal opinion).

    I want to throw out there a few things that I think need to be in a theme that I would buy or use. These are not mandatory in all cases and some themes have an appeal that will entice me to make a few minor changes to the way I work. So for what it's worth, here's what I look for in a theme:

    1. Functionality. I need it to be usable on a daily basis as I use my phone for work and play. Nothing says dork like laying your phone down on the table with a Hello Kitty theme staring back at you. Don't get me wrong, there's a place and plenty of people who like Hello Kitty, just not for me and why I use my phone. So I need a theme that is more business than play.

    2. Hotspots. Call me lazy, but I like hotspots for my favorite programs. I use Meterberry and I want to see it. There's something comfortable about the rotating icon that lets me know the status of my Berry. Quicklaunch, well that's pretty much the number one hotspot for me. Having a QL hotspot will make up for not having the others, but it had better be a Grand Theme if QL is going to be the only hotspot. Don't waste the screen, give me some user definable hotspots, I'll figure it out from there. I use WB for my background, it makes sense and just looks cool.:cool2:

    3. Speed. DUH! Ok, so this is like telling a human they need oxygen, but you would be surprised (maybe not) by the number of theme makers who don't pay enough attention to this area.

    4. Icons. Call me boring, but I like the stock icons. I'll even take icons with a slight variation on the stock icons. To me, there are only a few guys/gals who get it, Nate and RJ come to mind real quick. Again, I need it to look like I'm a professional. Trust me, I'll screw it up from there and don't need help from my phone!

    5. Fonts. As the years go by, my need for larger fonts continues to grow. Not on everything, but at least on the time. However, I don't need it to take up have the screen, it just needs to be readable for an old guy. :amish: Also, when someone calls in, I like the font to be large enough that I can read the name of who's calling.

    Well that's about it. There are other things that attract me to a theme, but these are the things that will get the theme bought or used for me. Right now I have 4 themes on the Storm other than the stock theme. My current list reads like this: NU Simplicity by RJ (excellent), BBZen Pro Orange by Nate (also excellent), OS6 by WJD (good, just needs the hotspots to be excellent) and Impakt - Bounce Back by JP (some work needed in my opinion, but real close. MB doesn't show the info on the screen and hotspots).

    I'm sure there are some folks who would argue with my list and that's ok, just remember, it's my list, not yours. I'd love to hear from you on your list and why the theme made your list. It would be interesting to see why people buy or use themes. I'm sure theme makers would like to know.




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    teostar's Avatar
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    I agree with u on most points except the hotspots. I don't use many apps so all I need it a fast, functional, wallpaper friendly. And clean unique icons.

    I only use free themes so u know Nate is king.
    Bb zen pro
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    fratts is offline BlackBerryOS Friend
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    This list is bang on for me. Goldwinger would you be able to suggest some good freebies that meet your list of "requirements". It would be interesting to see what you were able to find in your hunt for the perfect theme.

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    Smile

    Goldwinger - I agree with almost of your thoughts. As one who has made and posted several themes, it is difficult to develop a theme which universally appeals to all or even many. Without question, Natemz is at the forefront.

    I am also a 'theme junkie' and I get ideas from others...I also refuse to pay or charge for themes, but that is just me. I have deleted themes, because I don't like the font, or layout or number of icons or the icons themselves...same with many others. Themes are very personal to both user and developer.

    Quote Originally Posted by fratts View Post
    This list is bang on for me. Goldwinger would you be able to suggest some good freebies that meet your list of "requirements". It would be interesting to see what you were able to find in your hunt for the perfect theme.
    fratts - remember themes are very device-specific you have a 9630 and Goldwinger, Teostar and I have Storms...themes function very differently on the Storm than other devices. When I have made themes for non-storm devices, it is a completely different mindset in terms of functionality without the touchscreen. I have never put an 'icon slider' on a non-Storm, but lately I almost always incorporate some method of 'icon expansion' on the homescreen, since people expect it.

    Just my 2 cents......
    "The time is always right to do what is right" - MLK

    ROCKS!

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    Goldwinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fratts View Post
    This list is bang on for me. Goldwinger would you be able to suggest some good freebies that meet your list of "requirements". It would be interesting to see what you were able to find in your hunt for the perfect theme.
    Check these out. I forget which ones are pay and which are free (the trouble with trying soooooooo many themes. :Eyecrazy:

    BBZen
    Transparency
    Blackberry Professional
    New Carbon Zen
    Nu Simplicity
    Earl Grey
    Earl Orange

    Another very good theme builder is d_1000 (sorry, should have mentioned you in my first post ). His themes seem to border on almost perfect and are free.

    The main problem I have is that trying so many, some get lost and I fail to circle back to them. There have been many that had enormous promise, but were not kept up with the changing OS.

    There was one (forgive me if I get this wrong) I think made by d_1000 that allowed you to choose which programs were used with small icons on the bottom and some larger ones above those. Highly functional and as soon as I remember the name, I'll be going back to it for a second look.

    There are so many that I have to apply a filter when doing looks at new themes. If I don't like the home screen, I keep moving (this has the probability of me missing a really good theme, but hey, it's my filter). The second thing I look for is the hotspots. If the theme draws me in on either, then I'm giving it a look. I've actually bought a theme, loaded it up and didn't even get to arranging the icons before I was unloading it. I've bought themes before that were absolutely wonderful, but they ate through my memory like a starving man at a seafood buffet. :aargh4:

    A bit of advice, if it's free, give it a shot, I mean really work it over. Sometimes you find some jewels within the theme that for some reason the builder didn't mention in the write up but turns out to be a really good feature. Some builders have great talent and ideas, but their marketing sucks! :crazy:

    Bottom line, it's your Storm and your way of working and using it, so pick one you like and fits your needs, that's what I do to the chagrin of many people. :laugh2:

    Goldwinger
    On a Wing and a Prayer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by d_1000 View Post
    Goldwinger - I agree with almost of your thoughts. As one who has made and posted several themes, it is difficult to develop a theme which universally appeals to all or even many. Without question, Natemz is at the forefront.

    I am also a 'theme junkie' and I get ideas from others...I also refuse to pay or charge for themes, but that is just me. I have deleted themes, because I don't like the font, or layout or number of icons or the icons themselves...same with many others. Themes are very personal to both user and developer.



    fratts - remember themes are very device-specific you have a 9630 and Goldwinger, Teostar and I have Storms...themes function very differently on the Storm than other devices. When I have made themes for non-storm devices, it is a completely different mindset in terms of functionality without the touchscreen. I have never put an 'icon slider' on a non-Storm, but lately I almost always incorporate some method of 'icon expansion' on the homescreen, since people expect it.

    Just my 2 cents......
    d, you are so right and I apologize for leaving you off the list. I've used several of your themes and they are great. What was the name of that one with the small icons across the bottom? I think that was you, was it not?

    Goldwinger
    On a Wing and a Prayer!
    Last edited by Goldwinger; 05-17-2010 at 12:01 PM. Reason: bad grammer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
    d, you are so right and I apologize for leaving you off the list. I've used several of your themes and they are great. What was the name of that one with the small icons across the bottom? I think that was you, was it not?

    Goldwinger
    On a Wing and a Prayer!
    Thanks Goldwinger, but seriously I was not looking for you to include me or others for that matter, I was just very interested in your post!!! I am not one who looks to get noticed...except maybe in my avatar with my daughter!
    "The time is always right to do what is right" - MLK

    ROCKS!

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    Quote Originally Posted by d_1000 View Post
    Thanks Goldwinger, but seriously I was not looking for you to include me or others for that matter, I was just very interested in your post!!! I am not one who looks to get noticed...except maybe in my avatar with my daughter!
    While your modesty is refreshing, I wasn't trying to butter you up, your themes are already free and they are that good! :hail: The credit is well deserved as is the rest that I've mentioned here.

    I know that some of you do it for fun, some for money and some for the challenge, but for the most part, the good ones anyway, do it for the satisfaction of knowing they've done a good job. My validation of your good work in no way takes away from the fact that it is good work. That may be circle talking on my part, but I think you get the picture.

    Anyway, I'm looking back through the forum for that one theme with the small icons. I'll try and post up which one it is when I find it. It really had most of everything I wanted.
    Goldwinger
    On a Wing and a Prayer!:usa2:

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    Thanks! I REALLY prefer when my wife butters me up!!!
    :haha:

    Hmmmm. I don't think I will let her know I posted this..........
    "The time is always right to do what is right" - MLK

    ROCKS!

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