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Top 10 Tips on How to Win User Lookup Spotlight

by o_owater_faerie


Ever desired that spiffy shield looking trophy that 1337 Neopians like me own? Have you tried entering the competition a hundred times but always failed? Well, before you do anything maybe you should read this guide. You never know... you could be the next user lookup spotlight champion.

1. Be familiar with HTML/CSS codes.

You cannot win with only a brief knowledge of CSS codes. Don’t be afraid to play around and experiment with your codes. Just make sure you save it before messing around; otherwise you might make a horrible mistake which destroys everything (that would be scary). There are also guides around Neopia that teach you how to use CSS codes properly. Don’t hesitate to learn! CSS is very complicated but interesting.

2. Have a theme.

You can’t just have Illusen, Sloth and Lawyerbot in your User Lookup. That just doesn’t make sense (unless of course your theme is “Awesome Neopians”). Every lookup should always have a theme! For an example: Illusen and Jhudora, forever enemies. Sometimes TNT features your user lookup on a particular day, like if you make a Slorg themed lookup, TNT may show it to everyone on “Slorg Day”.

3. You don’t need Photoshop.

Yes, it is possible to make a spotlight worthy user lookup without using Photoshop. You don’t need to waste hundreds of dollars to buy the program. Try some alternatives like MS Paint or Word. In my entry, I used Paint Shop Pro to cut the pictures out. Everything else I used Word and Paint (Yes, I’m telling the truth). Word has a lot of services to offer. You just have to figure out what they are.

4. Plan Wisely.

It does take a while to plan a user lookup, let alone create one. Sketching your plan briefly on paper before producing one can make your life easier. Planning will give you an idea on what you can make and you will also make fewer mistakes. Remember in some image editing programs the button “undo” isn’t always reliable.

5. Be Creative.

I know you’ve seen this word a lot of times and you’re sick of it, but it does help. Copying someone else’s work doesn’t help at all. In fact it might get you into trouble if TNT or the original owner finds out. You don’t want people to think, “That’s just a copy version of her lookup.” You want them to say, “Wow! You’ve really outdone yourself!” Maybe, if you’re really artistic you could draw your own pictures instead of using the ones that are already made. In my opinion, making your own pictures would boost up your chances of winning if the pictures you drew are good enough!

6. Know your limits.

You should be aware that the maximum character in a user lookup is four thousand. This means that your coding should only have four thousand or less characters. You may think that it’s a lot, but it’s not. Use it wisely! Also, if you are planning to make a complex user lookup, make sure you know how to code it. It is useless if you don’t.

7. Don’t make super flashy images that may burn other people’s eyes!

This could hurt your chances of winning drastically! Don’t risk it! A slow moving animation is a good idea. It’s even written as rule number eight in the user lookup spotlight rule, “8) If your blinky, flashy images make the judge's brain explode, you will definitely not win. We'll need to find a new judge at that point and it's all your fault.” There you go! Don’t make the judge’s brain explode; otherwise, you’ll be in big trouble!

8. Make sure the colours you use “blend” with each other.

You may think that colours are not that important, but they have an important role in your user lookup. Remember that most of the time, dark colours blend in with light colours. Also, make sure the text is readable and mixes well with the background. If you have a dark background, use a light coloured text, and if you have a light background, use a dark coloured text. It’s logical! Play around with the colours. It’s fun and educational! *sarcastic laugh*

9. Ask other people to judge your user lookup, especially strangers on the Neoboards!

This is the reason why the neoboard was created in the first place. Don’t hesitate to ask other people to judge your creation! It would be even more helpful if you ask for harsh judgement! You might think that your user lookup is very 1337 and perfect in every way, but that is not the case with some people. Opinion does matter and you need to make sure people’s opinions are positive before sending the entry in. Listen to their suggestions on how to improve your user lookup! This part is very important as it is the key to winning! Make sure the judge isn’t being biased and never be disappointed in what they say. Remember, positive opinions are a good thing because they mean you are ready to send your entry! Negative is also a good thing because you will learn from your mistakes! Also, make sure your user lookup works properly on all of the browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari, etc.

10. Be Patient!

Send your entry once and once only. Be patient as there are another five thousand who are waiting for TNT’s acceptance/rejection neomail! TNT did say in their rules that they will notify you if your spotlight has been accepted or rejected. You will have to wait even longer if you send your entry again. I know you’re very paranoid, but you just have to trust TNT.

In conclusion, making a spotlight worthy user lookup will take time and effort. Sometimes it will end badly, like it won’t be accepted. It did take me a while to become a user lookup spotlight champion. I believe the key to being a champion is your CSS skills, creativity with designing your user lookup and listening to constructive criticism.

I hope you enjoyed reading your article and good luck producing a user lookup!

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