Templates, Designs, Styles, Themes, Skins, hmmm….

Posted By on Dec 22, 2014


Ideas, ideas, ideas. Creativity is what drives us!

You might laugh, but I was laying in my bed at 5:30 a.m. yesterday morning and, as usual, thoughts about Skooppa were racing through my head. Actually, it is normal this time in the morning, when I first wake up, for this to happen to me. It is the time when most of my ideas pop into my head. And, yesterday morning wasn’t any different.

Though, to continue on with this post and for it to make even a bit of sense to you, I need to back up a bit and tell you where I am coming from and where we are heading, I first need to explain a basic goal, which Skooppa will aim to meet and that is…


Not every site on Skooppa should look or feel like every other site on Skooppa!


The "Jumbotron". A standard design element in today's Internet.

The “Jumbotron”. A standard design element in today’s Internet.

This is imperative to us. Creativity is of utmost importance for the Skooppa platform and although we understand we are making some choices for the platform, like using PHP as our main server side programming language, we don’t want to handcuff website owners to a general design or UI for their frontend or what we call “the global view”. This “one site looks like another” paradigm has basically been the way of the past, for the most part, with boxed software and we’d like to break that mold considerably. I also realize, style seems to also be a “sign of the times” and I’d love it, if sites on Skooppa could also set a trend one day, but that can only happen, when creativity is allowed. So back the the issue…..


How do we properly name the concept of a freely “engineerable” and designable front end UI?


Styles? Themes? Skins? Designs?

I’ve been thinking about this for some time now. And the issue is, none of them really do justice to the goal we are trying to accomplish with Skooppa and let’s face it, these terms like “Styles” or “Themes” are incredibly jaded now too.

Again, the goal is not to lock anyone down to any certain design or UI for the global view of their site. And yes, we will have a basic UI/design/style/theme ready to use to begin with. But, we will leave the door very open for creating new UI’s/designs/styles/themes, etc.

Though, before we can even get started properly on this system, what should we call it? Hmm…

Steve Jobs once said:

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Steve was and is so correct with this statement. Simplicity is the key to so many great things happening in the world. And yesterday morning in bed, I said to myself, what simple term or terms could be used to convey how a site should look and how it should feel?”

Wait a second!

Look……and……feel. Look and Feel. That’s it! It’s so simple.

So with that revelation and this post, I’d like to put forward a suggested term for Skooppa’s global view designing system.


The Skooppa Look and Feel Frontend Design System


I realize this terminology isn’t really new, but it certainly isn’t as jaded as the current terminology and I really like it, because it shows we have more to offer than just a “design” or “theme” or “style” system. And, it is simple.


Let’s take this a bit further


A “Look and Feel” offered on the Skooppa system will be a package of Javascript, most likely with a framework, HTML templates and CSS, which determine UI components and the user interactivity with those components. It is, in other words, a “standardized” UI. A very popular package, which demonstrates these kinds of properties and will be part of the first Skooppa Look and Feel, is Bootstrap.


The Skooppa Backend

The link to the global view and some Bootstrappy design in our backend.


One Look and Feel might be more server side template oriented. This is the more classic “old skool” way to do the design work. Another Look and Feel might be more Ajax based. And even another Look and Feel might be totally mobile oriented, because, the platform will have the ability to build HTML5/CSS/JS single page web applications.


And then there is just a “Look”


bootstrap logo

Skooppa’s first design will be based off of Bootstrap.

A Look is much less involved than a Look and Feel and holds only html templates and CSS and possibly some added, but low-level, Javascript, which will only denote the overall style of a site. It is what most people would consider a theme or style from other software. A Look must be built off of a Look and Feel. For instance, you will see a lot of “themes” built with Bootstrap for WordPress. These are called Bootstrap themes for WordPress. Within the Skooppa world, these themes will be called “Looks”.

So a designer could offer two things to the Skooppa community. A “Look” and/ or a “Look and Feel”.


Oh, and a Look and Feel will be named after the designer and not after Skooppa!


Yes, the first look and feel to be offered on the Skooppa platform will be called the “Skooppa Look and Feel for the Skooppa platform”. However, any other Look and Feel built by any other designer will be named by the designer. For instance, let’s say Acme Agency designs their own Look and Feel. It would be called the Acme Look and Feel for the Skooppa platform. And, if a Look is created from the Acme Look and Feel, it will be called an “Acme Look”.

I am actually so happy to get this off of my mind. I think it is pretty cool and it is certainly new”ish” and we certainly want to be different. It also indicates the differences we want to make so clear between what is offered today and what we intend to offer in the future.

Let us know what you think in our forum!

[Update] –  I’d like to make it clear that my train of thought in this post is more at the web developer level. As time goes on, we will (sorry for the expression) dumb down the system, by adding features, which will help novices also change the “Look” of their site. The web developer community must feel at home first, because without them, Skooppa will be meaningless.

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Templates, Designs, Styles, Themes, Skins, hmmm….
Article Name
Templates, Designs, Styles, Themes, Skins, hmmm….
Looking for the right term to explain the Skooppa frontend design system.