Acumen 1.3.4

Now supporting Magento and receiving its second major renovation in a row — introducing Acumen 1.3.4.

This was another massive optimization update (like Acumen 1.3.3) and includes Magento compatibility. Hundreds of edits over the last three weeks contributed to 12 new features, 15 updates, and 3 bug fixes in Acumen 1.3.4. Full release info is available on the changelog.


Magento was announced last month at Magento Imagine 2012. My speaking duties and subsequent barrage of meetings made it hard to dive in immediately. Acumen 1.3.4 brings compatibility with the latest stable Magento release.

Optimization was the driving force in Acumen 1.3.3 and 1.3.4. This is the fastest, leanest, and most powerful release yet. Core overrides were reduced, and markup patterns were refactored around even more extensible foundations. Every CSS rule was audited to reduce specificity to 1–3 selectors for improved rendering performance and simpler customization.

Captchas help make forms more secure. This new Magento feature is flexibly implemented. You can turn it on/off from the Magento Admin, or choose to have it only display on certain forms (sign in, register, guest checkout, checkout and register, forgot password). You can also have it display only after a certain number of failed attempts.

Refinements added small but important features to existing modules: clearer quick edit buttons for one-page checkout steps, ability to save/update configured product options on your wishlist, and gift messages for individual items in your cart.

Redesigned elements and layouts were peppered into Acumen 1.3.4. Block headers and tables were simplified for a lighter, cleaner look. Payment icons were sharpened and visually updated, and complex nested forms were given a new inset style. Acumen is transitioning to a more neutral base typeface from Adobe Caslon to Helvetica Neue.

Custom navigation is a challenge in Magento. Two new Snippets add editable content areas before and after categories in the primary nav. This enables simple additions like a ‘Home’ link/icon, and more complex menus to be added using Acumen’s existing CSS and some simple markup.

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