I'm Russ - AMA

Discussion in 'Ask Me Anything' started by Russ, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    Hey, I'm Russ! :D

    A little background on me, I'm the founder of the :russ: smiley and a proud supporter of the :coffee: smiley. Worked in banking for quite some time where I left and started styling on XenForo which led to me doing it full time.

    So... ask away :tup:
     
  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    Which software products do you use for style development?
     
  3. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    Photoshop
    Illustrator
    Notepad ++ (can't seem to kick it)
    Flow (project management)
    I think I'm actually switching to Redbooth from Flow here in a bit, I really like what they have to offer there.
    I like to keep things pretty simple...
     
  4. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    I know the feeling :)

    Another question, how does XF2 compare to XF1. After the learning curve is it a significant improvement? Do you think it'll improve productivity?
     
  5. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    Huge improvement. I was just looking up when I released my first style for XenForo and it was 3 days after the first public version was available https://xenforo.com/community/threads/xfstop.5701/ so I've been coding quite a long time. The learning curve for XF2 didn't take too long, I started out basically trying to destroy the style and learn the color palette, then went onto how the templates worked and the new functions that were introduced in XF2. I'm still trying to learn new things every day.

    A lot of my customers know this about me but if they ask a question I'll do my best to figure out the answer for them and usually supply the code :D, a big part of that is because things I don't know intrigue me so I usually like to look into how it's done.
     
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  6. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Moderator

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    What is the best xf style by another designer that you have seen?
     
  7. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    I'd have to say my favorite is xenFracture by the original ThemesInc.

    https://xenforo.com/community/threads/themesinc-com-new-styles-now-available.14306/

    I ran my first gaming community powered by XF using that style and really enjoyed it. It's sad to see them leave as they had some really nice styles. It's also even more sad to see what happened to the style after that...

    1. Passed to John (who left XF as well)
    2. Sold to some random guy who had no plans of updating it, and in fact, just threw up affiliate links to another XF third party styling company trying to make any extra penny he/she could
    3. Sold to Allan who left XF as well
    I contacted Allan a few months ago to see if I could get the "rights" off of him, figured it'd be a nice place for the style to end up at :D. It has been passed around so many times it just seemed like the least I could do I suppose.

    I'd obviously make significant changes and it would go on our framework but I think I could make that into a nice looking 2.0 style :).
     
  8. The Sandman

    The Sandman Administrator

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    What are the top 3 requests you get from your customers?
     
  9. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    Not so much customers but in general:
    1.) Can I buy your style off of you (referring to Pixel Exit)
    2.) Can you copy this exact forum (referring to any site, literally just want to copy)
    3.) New styles :D

    Need to get my new styles out already...
     
  10. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

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    Have you tried Sketch? If so, what do you think?
    What kind of banking did you do, why did you leave?
    Which site that you've designed/worked on are you most proud of?
     
  11. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    1.) Nope, just a simple windows users (only for mac that I'm aware of).
    2.) Small personal and business banking, worked for Wells Fargo for about 8-9 years where I ended up going over to a smaller bank. It was going great at the smaller bank, was on a fast track program to become a branch manager and then one day I was notified of a transaction I processed that I shouldn't have. Essentially I processed a $20 deposit into an account that I was later added onto as a signer (months later). It was the only transaction I ever did on the account, this transaction would have been acceptable at my previous employer but because I was added onto the account months after they saw it as a conflict of interest. There was an "investigation" that lasted 2 months and then I was let go. Sort of silly circumstances, I looked into starting another banking job, got the offer letter on a new job and out of nowhere I turned to my finance and said... "Ya I don't want to go back banking, I'm going to sell XenForo styles".

    She looked at me a little crazy when I told her I was going to try to work from home. Here we are 5 years later still kicking :D

    3.) I've worked on a lot of projects over the years... I remember being really excited about styling the official Firefall forums. It was a Triple-A game that was coming out and we were approached our first year to tackle the job. I think it was the first larger job we did and really cemented the idea that I could make a place in the XF market for myself. The game itself never actually took off as they intended, it ended up closing down a few years after the launch. Cool idea though, the graphics were pretty unique for what the game was.
     
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  12. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

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    Have you thought of making styles for IPS.
     
  13. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    For maybe a night or two, then the idea left rather quickly. We didn't have the best experience trying to dive into IPS. As of now, it's not on the radar.
     
  14. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    And that experience most likely was not based upon any issues with lack of ability on the part of PixelExit but rather the rather ho-hum way that pre-sales questions get handled sometimes over on the IPS site... hell, even the way that licensed holder posts get handled (albeit that has gotten better).
     
  15. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    Ya, it didn't really have anything to do with the styling system itself. It was obviously different than XF and would be a new learning curve but I have no problem tackling that challenge. I swear I've posted about it previously but I can't seem to find it. Basically, we looked into IPS, had some questions asked that weren't answered, had to follow up multiple times only to be given the wrong answers (we knew they were wrong because it was like they were answering someone else's question :D ).

    I signed up for the cloud a month or two ago just to play with the pages, really impressed with that but ya no further interaction on IPB past that.
     
  16. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Pages is probably the strongest point for IPS. There's a lot you can do with it if you know what you are doing.
     
  17. vij

    vij Participant

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    Do you primarily draw your inspiration from other forums while setting out to design new styles?
     
  18. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Moderator

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    Is there any style you made that you are ashamed of? What was the worst style you ever made? :D :D

    In terms of styling, interface and UIX: what enhancements are you hoping for in XF2.X ?

    If the XenForo team would ask you to write up 5 additional resource standards that Addon developers would need to comply with in terms of styling related practises, what would these be?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  19. Russ

    Russ Administrator

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    I showed a client a style a style a little too early in the process, I knew it wasn't pleasant looking at that stage and he apparently knew as well... he responded the next day asking for a refund due to some medical issues. It was when I first started out and the job wasn't large at all so I didn't mind at the time. I knew what I had at the time wasn't something I was proud of, heck maybe he did have some things pop up but I'm pretty sure it was because of the design :D.

    I've made so many bad styles that never see the light of day, I'll work on styles for a long time only to send them to the Pixel Exit graveyard. I'll get ideas in my head, roll with it and come to find out the idea looked better in my head :D.

    Enhancements for 2.x...I'm pretty happy with the changes from XF1 -> XF2. A few things, some non-style related just to fill a list:
    • Ability to export admin templates with styles
    • Ability to export/import advertisements
    • Ability to export/import widgets
    • Front-end widget manager
    Regarding additional resource standards that relate to styling... honestly, I feel like XF2 has solved the bulk of the problems I had with add-on developers in 1.5. Previously devs were just calling random color palette properties, the text would be a color normally meant for a background or a border ect... XF2 solved the guessing game with the new basic colors.


    Not really, I'm constantly browsing various design sites that have nothing to do with forums, see what I like and think about how I may be able to incorporate that into a forum design.
     
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  20. Jason5

    Jason5 Enthusiast

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    Any chance you will release few more free themes for XF 1.5 and 2.0?
     
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