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Overclocked v1.9.X

Overclocked v1.9.X

This latest release of OpenCart™ Overclocked Edition features the most important visual changes for the last two years. While the core files have not changed that much, a completely new frontend "Default" theme has taken over the Catalog side and a new dark theme has been added as an alternative to the "Classic" Admin theme. We are going to explore in a bit more details these new themes in a minute but before we do so, lets go through the reasoning behind these essential changes.

There three major reasons why the re-design of the themes was necessary. The first has to do with technology, the second is about web trends and the third is all about user friendliness.

Technology:
Yes, as we all know technology never stop and one has no other choice than to keep-up with it. So, if we look at the size of the average computer monitor nowadays, we quickly realise that 19" monitors don't cut it anymore and we are now more likely to have something around 24" instead. This is obviously better to have more "real estate" to work but that also means that softwares have to keep-up too, otherwise it will not only look odd but will quickly become harder to work with.
OpenCart™ Overclocked Edition v1.9.x now takes these considerations into account better than before.

Web Trends:
This is always a tricky one to justify because, like we said earlier, progress cannot be stopped and we all have to keep-up. So, even though there was nothing wrong with the old ways, ultimately we have to move on to newer ways. This brings me to Bootstrap (and generally speaking, frameworks). I am not a big fan of frameworks because they tend to be over-engineered and complicate things unnecessarily in my opinion. There is nothing that frameworks can do, that Html5, Css3 and jQuery can't do. Yet the Bootstrap "look" makes a site appear more trendy and modern.
OpenCart™ Overclocked Edition v1.9.x needed a make-over to keep-up with the web trends, so the new themes are now fully integrating the current latest Font-Awesome library and also taking some presentation elements from Bootstrap, to look more cutting-edge, yet without using a framework and keeping the code simple.

User-friendliness:
I believe that user-friendliness should be the number one priority when designing any type of software. As advanced as some softwares may be, they must not ignore that ultimately they are tools for people. A good software should be easy to learn and use, with a navigation logic that makes sense (and works!) and should be visually pleasant without being too rich. Simple, yet efficient.
OpenCart™ Overclocked Edition v1.9.x brings new themes for both Admin and Catalog, and new options to manage display colours and sizes for a more comfortable experience.

New Administration themes
First of all, the "old" theme is still available. It is now called "Classic" and has been updated only slightly to fix some minor incoherences and to be more in tune with the new "dark" theme. The reason for these incoherences was due to the fact that a "white" theme is much more forgiving to style errors, while a "dark" theme is not at all.
The "new" dark theme is called "Overclock". For the story, I always wanted to make a "night time" theme, more adapted to certain times of the day where low ambient light didn't require a bright display. Then recently I visited the nVidia website and this is when I had my real breakthrough in term of balancing dark colours together. After that, the rest was easy and the "Overclock" theme was completed in less than a week. The result is a much more easy-on-the-eye theme, that can be on all day without tiring your eyes or damaging your screen. Perfect for large monitors and user-friendliness!

New Catalog Default theme
The idea behind this radical change in the Overclocked Edition series was to, in 2017, give the "old" theme a much needed major make-over. The beauty of the new theme is that it is still very similar behind the scene to the old one, yet it took a lot of work to get the layout right, keeping all the past changes while improving the visuals. Many theme images have been replaced by Font-Awesome icons. There are also more responsive breaking-points than before. The new theme should now display better on more devices and in more resolutions. To make it all even better, some essential javascripts and stylesheets have been minified, making the complete theme generally quicker in loading a page than before. The overall result is a much fresher look for the entire site, much more responsive and much faster!

I hope you will enjoy working with OpenCart™ Overclocked Edition as much as I do.

If you have any questions regarding the above, don't hesitate to get in touch.
 

03/02/2017

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