Let's give the templates a name so we know which one we are talking about:
= template shipped with all alphas (because of the blue sidemenu)
= redesign by kawshar (the white sidemenu)
= Darkmode Atum, please...
First little bit about me so you understand why I wrote this piece
I am a webdesigner with really bad eyes (one eye has 20% vision, the other is "just" lazy
). I work on a 27" monitor and use ctrl+scroll (macOS) to zoom the entire screen. This means parts of the screen are not visible, outside the view, and I move the mouse to see the rest of the screen.
When I lose my pointer I go to the topleft corner of the screen to find it again, topleft is the only corner where the pointer is still visible. In all other corners the pointer will move off the screen.
If objects, like buttons, columns and messages etc, are not placed or designed logically I either need to do a lot of mouse movements to find them (and lose my pointer along the way, yes that sometimes happens) or I'll miss them completely.
As it stands now, and with all its imperfections, I prefer Blue Atum.
For me zoomed in
it just works better.
LOCATION OF BUTTONS
Both Atums have the navigation on the left.
Blue Atum places the important buttons ("New", "Save") on the left as well. So are the important fields ("Title", "Article text". And everything under the tabs. Everything is close together and fits into my zoomed in view. And they are closer to my topleft corner if I ever lose my pointer.
Unlike White Atum.
In worst case scenario I click in the navigation on the left, have to move all the way to the right (remember I'm zoomed in
) to click on "New", move back to the left to enter the form fields, move again to the right to click "Save".
LOCATION OF MESSAGES
The placement of messages is also better in Blue Atum: At the top.
Sure the messages may hover over the content or when you have multiple messages the width changes when you close one.... Make the widths of all messages the same, please.
Still better than the White Atums message location: the bottom right corner. Really!?! Could you put it any further away? Did you remember why I believe the topleft corner is important to some people?
J3 Isis displayed messages perfectly, imho: at the top, above the content, equal widths.
Another thing where I believe Blue Atum is better is in the lists.
Blue Atum uses the same icons for statuses everywhere. They are clear and distinct: i.e. Green checkmark, grey X. And, in most lists, they are in front of the title. The rows are highlighted on hover, making it easy to read and and follow. Columns are pretty much in order of importance.
In White Atum, the icons are different in different list, and in different locations. Some are in front, like Category list and menu items list.
But on the article list it's close to the back. I have to move my mouse to the right, past the category column (???), I can no longer see what the article title is. I might just look at the status of a different article, or worse change the status of a different article. The statuses only have a small coloured dot (with text).
PS: Who believed that the ArticleID is so important that is should be in the first column? You (I) hardly ever use them. All the other lists the IDs are in the last column.
PS2: Where is the Featured icon/column for articles?
This is better in White Atum. (Yes, it's not all bad)
All the fields for the options are in 1 column, looks clean and easy to use.
Blue Atum has some in 2 columns, some in 3. That looks messy and is hard to work with. When I'm zoomed in I'll miss a column. I believe you can have 2 columns, but the fieldsets need to be in 1 column. See Images & Links tab.
SOME OTHER DESIGN NOTES
In both Atums some form fields take the whole width of the window. That looks weird, especially on a 27" monitor, i.e. Modules > Main menu: Start and End level.
In both Atums: can the quickicons be less wide. Especially on really big screens.
In Blue Atum, without counter, I could go to 20% and it still looked good.
White Atum has issues with quickicons, so I didn't try...
In White Atum, the quickicon is no link, you'll have to click the text under it.
That's not how icons generally work. Nowadays, people click/tab on icons, not the text... It's also easy to missclick the "View all..." and the "+"-sign.
Displaying quickicons without counters just shows an empty box.
White Atum is so light/bright. Not just the white, but also the blue, the light grey background. The text seems also lighter. Popups are difficult to distinguish. I missed the whole post-install message, as it was white on white. As was the accessibility popup.
In White Atum the Accessibilty settings only work until a page is (re)loaded, on (re)load all settings are reset. Also the popup is on the right (not below the Accessibility button) and white, so hard to detect. I needed to zoom out first to see what had happened after I clicked the button
White Atum: What's with the 100% up-to-date? Compare that with pregnancy. There is no such thing as 50% pregnant. You either are or you are not.
You are either up-to-date or you are not.(period)
Adding it all up: I prefer Blue Atum
Better yet: Dark Atum. I believe with a few more extra colour options Blue Atum could achieve that.
Well, that's it for now.
I'm thinking of learning to create BE templates myself, so by the time work on Joomla 5 starts I feel confident enough to help.