I've been playing with the layout for some time, as you may remember, and coded two skins: Monobook Lite was a heavily modified Monobook while Upshift was written from scratch (as a myskin.css). I know I'm not a designer and both are aesthetically worthless, but before we get to the decoration stage, I'd like to settle the layout problems once and for all.
I started the whole thing because of one problem not present on Wikipedia (and the default MediaWiki installation): the sidebar and the adbar together leave a miniscule stretch of space for the content, especially on lower resolutions. So my goal was to get rid of the sidebar somehow, since we obviously can't touch the adbar without Wikia going "hey!" on us. Both skins present a different approach each, but there are problems with both of them. In Monobook Lite, the logo is in a not-so-obvious place, and perhaps too many controls are hidden. With Upshift, the situation is reversed: all controls (except the Wikia box) are immediately visible in a compact space, and this confuses the user. (This is my personal opinion, not a professional analysis — I don't have any experience as a web designer at all).
So I present the new layout mockup, codenamed "Forklift" after the in-joke we all know and love, for your consideration and comments. I haven't started implementing it yet - I want to study your opinions. It combines elements of the two previous skins.
There is a possible improvement I'm considering: making the logo, the menubar and the searchbox position:fixed (with the necessary workarounds for IE, of course). This would mean they would always stay at the top of the screen when scrolling. What do you think? - Sikon 19:45, 2 March 2007 (UTC)