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My colleague, Andrew announced the new Engine Yard AppCloud User Experience team about a month ago. We are very excited about the ideas we have for AppCloud's UI, and are working surely and steadily toward a better user experience. Along the way, one of our priorities was to refactor the UI's HTML/CSS for better maintainability and consistency. This allows us to work more efficiently on our design and front end architecture.

Today, you will notice a major layout update: We've moved to a fixed-width layout. This is so the AppCloud UI can provide a greater experience on smaller screens -- still very important today with the popularity of smaller laptops and devices like the iPad.

We opted for a fixed layout over a responsive fluid layout for now in order to maximize maintainability. In general, we believe fluid layouts are better suited for publication websites as opposed to applications. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we opted for the 960.gs which is a solid grid system that is very easy to integrate into our workflow.

Another change you will notice is that AppCloud is more tightened up and polished. We're implementing design systems for our typography, colors, form, tables, and other elements in our UI, which gives everything a consistent visual language. We'll show off our style guide in another upcoming blog post.

We would love to know what you think. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us over email or Twitter.


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