Design Notes

Reason for existence

Furo exists because, at the time of writing, no existing Sphinx documentation theme quite fit what I wanted. The rough structural elements I wanted were:

  • Three-column layout, for proper in-page navigation.

  • Clear navigational sidebar.

  • Good search.

  • Good typography.

  • Good looking design.

Every existing theme either didn’t check all of the boxes above, or tried to do too many things at the same time. There were a few that came close, but nothing really felt quite polished to me.

“Guiding” ideas

Furo’s design follows a few of the ideas I’ve had discovered over the course of browsing the existing documentation themes across ecosystems and static site generators.

  • Focus must be on the content.

  • More stuff is not more good.

  • Graceful degradation is important, so are niceties.

  • Simple and good enough, is more than sufficient.

  • This is for the 80% – don’t need to cover all possible usecases.