Lucid Theme Review

home

The Home page banner image is in fact a nice implementation of the image slider shortcode. It can be clicked on to go to a related article, or scrolled to see different images

The ElegantThemes package features 86 themes, gives you a lot for your money. All of the themes share the same basic design elements – galleries, blog pages, etc., and what makes some of the designs stand out more than others is how these elements are blended together. Lucid feels somewhat put together using the stock ElegantThemes templates. It looks fine, functions as smoothly as you would expect from a theme in this collection, and it uses the available shortcodes to quite pleasing effect, so basically there is nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately we can’t help feeling that we have seen it all before.

Designers Opinion

I think the reviewer is being a little harsh, as each theme should be reviewed on its own merits, not on how it compares to others in the range. The layout is clean and the largely black, white and grey color scheme is livened up nicely with the use orange headers, tabs and rollover buttons (and I agree that the rollover effect on the category tabs is funky). It is interesting that the usual Theme Customizer, which lets you change the color scheme, individual design element colors, and fonts, has not been included with Lucid, so you either like the designer’s color choices or you don’t.

The Lucid live demo uses shortcodes mainly to demonstrate how blog layouts can be varied and presented in a number of different ways, some of which I’m sure could be productively nabbed for use in other ElegantThemes designs, even if you choose not to use this one. As the Home page banner initially suggests, Lucid would be good for showcasing factual content in a no-nonsense but nicely presented way, although the variety of blog layouts on show also points to its utility for magazine style website design.

Highlights

Lucid’s real focus is on blog / news story presentation, which we will address in a little while. The rest of the design is about the little touches that make the theme work and give it functionality.

video
YouTube videos and other multimedia content can not only be embedded in the webpage,   but can be presented as part of a series which can be accessed through thumbnails and ‘slider’ controls

spinning tabs
One of the most pleasing effects in Lucid is the category tab rollover. Not only does the tab spin from white to orange background with a nice slot machine effect, but the tab to its right spins in the opposite direction. It is difficult to describe, but it looks great

drop
Category tabs can also be configured as drop down menus

footer
Page footers can be attractively laid out using the column shortcodes

 login
ElegantTheme’s suite of practical ‘metadata’ templates / utilities are included in Lucid. These function well and are very useful, but look a bit ‘bolted on’, and don’t really mesh with the theme. Included are Member Login (above), Sitemap, Advanced Search, and Contact Us

shortcodes
Here are some of ElegantThemes shortcode options, which allow an impressive degree of customization and improved utility to be added to all ElegantThemes themes (in fact it is creative use of these shortcodes that is responsible for the more unique and eye-catching elements of Lucid). The  full list of shortcode categories available is: Button Varieties, Content Boxes, Toggled Content, Tabbed Content, Image Slider, Easy Tooltips Social Media, Password Protect your Content, Author Info, Column Layouts, Custom Icon Lists, Corporate Lists, Corporate Pricing Tables, funky DropCaps effects, and Quotes

social
Some of the more useful shortcodes showcased in the live demo include social media buttons and a handy Site Search dialogue box

rss
On such a blog oriented design as Lucid RSS, functionality is particularly welcome, as it allows users to add blog and news updates to their RSS feeds, so they can stay updated with your latest news without having to continually return to your website

Blogging features and layouts

The Lucid live demo focuses heavily on blogging / news story elements, and this is definitely its strongest area.

blog 1
The News Feed or Recent Articles template is standard fare for ElegantThemes, but that is no bad thing as it looks great and presents the article in a clear and easily accessible way.  This accessibility is further enhanced through the sidebar widgets, which allow posts to be sorted through in different ways and which make site navigation very easy and intuitive

blog feed

Lucid provides a number of different templates for presenting information. This Blog Feed is very similar to one shown above

home_blog list
The Home page of the live demo also shows off how shortcodes can be used to effectively present blog, news and magazine style posts and articles

home_blog list 2
This is another example of how the same information can be presented in a fresh and interesting way

blog 2
The Blog pages themselves look good (as they should do, being standard ElegantThemes templates). There is plenty of space for text, navigation elements are all present and correct in the sidebar, and a comments section is included…

comments

… which, again being a standard ElegantThemes template, looks goods and works well. As usual, we like the way that registered users can use avatar photos for a more personal touch when leaving comments

Image gallery and portfolio layouts

That image presentation is not the main focus of Lucid is evidenced by the fact that no gallery or portfolio pages are featured in the main section of the live demo. However, ElegantThemes has bundled its default templates for these with the theme.

gallery
Fortunately the default templates look good, and the Image Gallery is neatly out and presents photos and whatnot well. When you mouse over an image you get a nice rollover effect, and can choose between viewing the image fully sized, or jump straight to its related Blog article

galler 2
When viewed at full size, the pictures bounce up and away again in a pleasing manner

 port med
The Portfolio pages look very similar, except that you can add a bit of text to each picture (linked to the text of its related Blog post if you wish), and the rollover effect is not as charming. Available Portfolio templates are Small, Medium, Large, Portrait Orientation (displays images in portrait when expanded), With Sidebar, and No Text

port vid
Portfolio pages can be used to show videos as well as images

Features

  • Perpetual Updates
  • Responsive Design (did not work well on a high-end Android phone)
  • Theme Options
  • Secure and Valid Code
  • Five Unique Colors
  • Shortcodes (see above for full list)
  • Page Template
  • Browser Compatibility
  • Theme Options
  • Page Templates
  • RSS feeds

Price

As one of 86 themes in the ElegantThemes package that retails for just $39, it is difficult to argue with Lucid’s price, so we will start out by saying that Lucid is not the theme you will fork out for the whole pack just to get. There are however plenty of themes in the package that are worth the entry price just on their own, and if you have the package then there is a fair chance that Lucid’s relatively modest but nevertheless stylish design and feature set will be perfect for your secondary needs.

Conclusion

Our main criticism of Lucid is that other than some quite nicely observed color scheme choices, it relies very heavily on ElegentTheme’s standard layout design and templates. This is admittedly only really at problem when you compare it with the other 85 designs in the ElegantThemes pack, and if divorced from that can be seen an attractive and neatly laid out theme that would be great for blog or magazine style websites. Even within the context of the ElegantThemes suite it is by no means a turkey, and can definitely be viewed as adding to the value of the package.

2013 Blogrid