Total feedback on the new forum design

Poryg

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So this is it, we have a new forum design. From what I've seen, many people like it. Me... Not so much. There are multiple dreadful flaws I've found with it. I'm using the dark mode, but I can't say I was impressed with the light mode any more.

The previous version was beautiful. Every important element had a round edge. What had to be found, was easy to be found and the buttons had some life to them. Sections in home were painted in blue and it blended to the background well, much better than the white does. It also broke the monotony of the constant white. And most importantly, no space was wasted. We had our base profile (posts, likes) visible on the top right. That has been moved to a toolbar at the top (which sometimes, not sure when or what causes it, moves several pixels down the y axis, but whatever) and replaced by... Nothing. Just a button that has no explained function whatsoever (it toggles the Latest profile posts, but can someone explain to me why in the world would I be interested in reading these when I'm browsing through the forums?) Now the forum contains X blocks just slapped on a background that does not give any contrast to it. It's bland and it's monotonous, not to mention, this version of green does not go well with the dark colors. There is plenty of space that's just plain wasted. I am using a 1080p monitor amd would be dreaded to use the website on 4K. On the other hand it does look pretty good on mobiles where there is no wasted space.
Now that is not all there is to it visually. The new icons are out of place too. The previous ones were small and just enough, aesthetically they were pleasing. Now we have speech bubbles in background that's using Double team. The speech icons without this background look okay, with this background it feels as if the only function of this icon is to eat up the excess space. In which case a question would be, if you needed to eat up excess space, why make it so large on the y axis in the first place.

But in the end it's still not the most visually unpleasant thing in the forum.
So, the question would be, what is?
Here are my top 3.
Screenshot_143.png
Screenshot_145.png
Screenshot_144.png

The bronze and silver medal are merely graphical glitches though, although it's not the only place where they are present. The emoticons have a white background too (and the birthday event ones are severely chopped down in it). The gold medal is a fully intentional design... And it's completely pointless too! Not to mention, it looks really ugly, especially in the dark mode. And the white footer... Well... I think I don't need to say anything.

There is plenty of wasted space in the header, in the footer and on the sides. Official social media channels (long description, not to mention icons would be just fine) has plenty of options to go to without having tons of empty space underneath it. Online statictics can be moved right under the Forum statistics. Newest members, knowing the latest member was fine. Who browses the profiles of newest members honestly? It's pointless information and I think that the Latest member in Forum statistics are just enough. And latest posts... We already have latest posts in the home screen, so in the home screen we see it twice?
Not to mention, it makes much more sense to replace the latest profile posts the latest posts, because unlike profile posts, which are just a lighthearted spam, posts contain real problems. Or maybe there could be both of them., although there's not enough space for it everywhere.
The veteran badge being this small looks pretty awkward there, ngl.
New forum smiles are a disappointment. And with the options to give not only a like, but also love, ROFL, cry and angry... Seriously, I feel like I'm on Facebook, not on a serious forum.
Now the last thing I would mention is, light blue background doesn't pair well with white text (Yes, I'm speaking about you, number telling me how many alerts I have). Red background not only makes the white text much more readable, it looks better in dark too.
There is somthing I do like about the new design though. The profile posts, if we actually click on one, look good. The username is white and the text has a light blue tone.


Now let's move to the functionalities. I really like that now we can actually see what category the new post belongs to even before we click on it. It's something I secretly wished for for a long time. I also like that there are newest posts and that we can finally see which of our followed members are online, it at leasts gives the Follow one more function.
But I don't like the smooth scrolling when I expand something or when I want to create a new post. I'm trying to write a post after all, not watch eye candy.
I also appreciate the NEW when there's a new post in a forum category. Likewise with the div "Latest posts"... But I really hate that we had to say farewell to Latest threads for that. If you ask me, Latest threads are more important, because in all honesty, many new threads get seen exactly due to this exposure. Now thanks to the Latest posts the exposure is diverted somewhere else and i we want to find latest threads, we need to click a subforum, the same thing we needed to do to find new posts.
But what is totally atrocious is the new way of uploading images. I liked that first I uploaded an image through drag and drop, then I choose where to place it and I place it. The previous version. The new version simply places the image after you upload it with drag and drop. Meaning if you're one line off, it will mess up your post and you have to deal with it.
I also hate that while an image is uploading, you CANNOT type.
And I shouldn't forget that in case I forget my mouse on someone's username or profile picture, I will see a popup with their posts, likes and score.

To sum it up, I really don't understand the point of this update. It does not look any prettier, in fact you need to spend time to get used to the looks. It hurts more than it helps in terms of ease of navigation. And most importantly, it broke things that worked well. Really, this update gives me more a feel of a social network than of a serious forum.

EDIT: Okay, after posting this I have two more comments. The spoilers look terrible... and the edit post animation too.
 
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Bastrophian

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Maybe its just my screen, but I could barely see the spoiler button on the background of the dark theme.
 

Poryg

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No, it's not just your screen. I can barely see it too, the way I recognize it is through "SPOILER:" and capitals. Even my signature looks terrible now. And with the posts looking like quotes... It really amplifies it.
 

Shaz

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Archeia said she's still working on the themes.
 

TheoAllen

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I really don't understand the point of this update. It does not look any prettier,
If it isn't clear, the forum update was for security reasons. The theme was collateral damage because of the software update/change that we have to deal with it for the time being.

Edit: And I don't think this is a final of the update yet. I've been an admin in a forum once and dealing with forum theme was a pain in ***. Do you think our certain resident graphic artist would like it? no, she just doesn't have time to deal with this yet. Or at least that is what I believe.
 
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MushroomCake28

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On a more serious note, everything you said is legitimate, especially concerning to space organization. However, I have to say that aesthetically I prefer it now, but that's a purely subjective matter.
 

Poryg

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If it isn't clear, the forum update was for security reasons. The theme was collateral damage because of the software update/change that we have to deal with it for the time being.
Yes, I have read that the old theme did not work with the new software. An update in terms of looks was probably inevitable. But since Xenforo, just like Wordpress, is highly customizable, feedback on that is quite important imo, especially since some of the introduced features don't make much sense.
 

TheoAllen

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Yes, I have read that the old theme did not work with the new software. An update in terms of looks was probably inevitable. But since Xenforo, just like Wordpress, is highly customizable, feedback on that is quite important imo, especially since some of the introduced features don't make much sense.
As long as your post isn't being interpreted as being grumpy because the one who's responsible for the theme doesn't have a chance to fix everything. Should be good I guess.
 

The Stranger

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I like most of the changes. I like the new reaction emojis. I like that the forum has incorporated more social media functions. I like the lil' pop-up when hovering my cursor over another member. I like being able to see the newest thread replies, rather than just the newest threads. I like how sleek and shiny the new forum looks.

The colours and what not can be adjusted over time, so I'm not all that concerned about them.

Oh, I dislike being unable to see who's following me, but that's a fairly minor issue for me.
 

Poryg

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Well, being unable to see who's following me is not an issue for me either... Just like likes it's a number you can boast about, but that's about it :D
 

Milennin

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Haven't used the new forum all that much, but I'm mostly okay with the change. The only thing I've noticed so far that is godawful is the bottom of the page, like in your gold medal spoiler.
Without really improving on anything of note, I just don't see why the change was made.
 

Heirukichi

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I admit that you have a point, the themes still need improvement because certain things are not visible at all (spoiler buttons and certain syntax highlights), however...
you need to spend time to get used to the looks.
This is a universal truth, whenever something changes you have to spend some time, be it a few hours or a few seconds, to get used to it. The thing that saddens me the most is the fact that the issue with dark theme and font colors has not been solved yet, but besides that, the forum is still functional.

What I mean is: if you want to see a spoiler and you have a button with "SPOILER" written on it, once you read that while knowing that you can click it, the button image itself is not exactly part of the button function either, same as the eye candy you mentioned. And the same applies to the account information in the top bar, as you said, it is not really useful; having it displayed on the screen could also be considered as "wasting space".

In the end, I do not particularly like the new theme either, but as long as the forum can still work as before I am fine with it. It did not create more huge issues, the issues that we have now are:
  • black font is extremely hard to read when using the dark theme;
  • spoiler buttons are hard to see with dark themes (this is new);
  • syntax highlight is difficult to read when using dark themes (this could be somewhat related to the first issue, but we had no syntax highlight prior to this update so we should be thankful that multi-language syntax highlight has been implemented);
  • graphic glitches in the drop-down menu (also new).
The first one is an old friend, the second is new, the third is new, but considering that we had no syntax highlight until 3 days ago can we really consider it a relevant issue? We lived without it for years and nobody complained. The graphic glitches are something that can be annoying, but, in the end, we can live with them.

We had worse updates after all, do you remember when the update completely messed up with script formatting? And what about the disappearance of the horizontal line that messed up many posts formatting at once?

So, in conclusion, if I have to say whether I like or dislike this update, then I dislike it, but not to the point where I would really be complaining about it. Considering that it was a somewhat "forced" update, the fact that the forum can still work as before is already something we can be happy about, empirical evidence proves that it is a hard thing to achieve.

After all, if the forum is still able to work properly, the staff can fix minor things at a later date.
 

Darkskull

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The old layout was perfect. Pristine, small, easy to navigate. This is, by all means, a horror show. You've taken one of the most beautiful layouts for a website and butchered it. Please, for me and everyone else at the RPG Maker Forums, please revert it back.
 

HexMozart88

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I kind of like the blues and greens, and certain other things. But yeah, the bottom threw me off a bit. Personally, I liked the temporary theme a bit better, though I'm still here missing the one from when I joined, so maybe my opinion's invalid here. I wouldn't go as far as to say a horror show, I just find it a bit too much like a generic social media site, whereas the old ones sort of stood out a bit more as it's own forum. Also, where are the Erics? T_T
 

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Hey, just some random lurker here. Felt motivated to log in to say that the main text font is too thin, particularly on desktop with a 1920x1080 monitor. It's hard to tell a lowercase "e" from a lowercase "c", with the horizontal line on the "e" being less than a pixel thick.

A bit more contrast would be nice too. The pages look like a giant sea of white; only at certain viewing angles can I tell that the background is light gray instead of white.

Neither of these problems is as bad on a nice 1440p mobile screen, but even there it's clear the line on the lowercase "e" is thinner than the rest of the character for no good reason.

Don't really have remarks yet on the rest of it. I'd have to spend some time with it first.

Edit 2: Found out from snooping about that we have forum themes, and the "Swift - Dark" one has a normal font. Hooray! It doesn't help guests, but it's something.

Edit: For now, I've just added a userstyle to my browser to fix the few small gripes I have. Feel free to use this yourselves if you feel the same way I do.

CSS:
/* use a normal font */
html, .message-body {
    font-family: sans-serif;
}

/* darkens the gray of the main background a little bit */
.p-pageWrapper {
    background-color: #e0e0e0;
}
 
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gstv87

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agreed with poryg in pretty much everything.
I haven't been able to test the new theme in larger resolutions, so I don't know if it has some scaling design.
if flexibility with large resolutions was the point of these themes, then at least they'd have a purpose, but I can't say I see it.
as poryg says, lots of wasted space, important things get lost in between frames and spacers, less than ideal font, pointless focus on "latest personal posts" above "latest forum posts".
...... I've seen works like this being rejected by picky college teachers.... this is not designer material.

this update gives me more a feel of a social network than of a serious forum.

that is, indeed, what it is.
 
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Conflictx3

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Maybe it's just me but in an era where styles of "less is more" and simplistic are the wave this new theme is appealing to me albeit not unheard of, I frequent sites like reddit alot so when i came to this page today it took all of 3 minutes to get acclimated. If it's not the final design and just a place holder till things get sorted I think it's a fine one and truth be told the old design was....well, there. It wasnt pretty, it wasnt not pretty. But it WAS dated, constantly came to this forum thinking it'd be dead soon, this look makes me feel like the community is more alive and with the times then ever. IMHO
 

Sixth

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I won't comment on the looks much, other than it's not my style, I don't like any of these new themes, but I will wait until everything is in place with them.

But some functional features are buggy, or rather, very slow, at least for me.
For example, longer scripts put between code tags will make severe lags when I try to scroll the code itself (not the page), or when I try to highlight the code. Oddly enough, scrolling with mouse by clicking on the scrollbar and dragging the mouse won't cause these slowdowns, only when I do it with the mouse scroll. I have seen this behavior in a game actually, and was surprised that I finally found the same issue outside of that game. o.o

That's the bug I found so far, but I didn't really do much on the forum since the update. Hope I won't find any other issues like this.
 

TheoAllen

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About the code lag scrolls, it also happens on mobile. I thought it was just a specific mobile issue.
 

Restart

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Hey, just some random lurker here. Felt motivated to log in to say that the main text font is too thin, particularly on desktop with a 1920x1080 monitor. It's hard to tell a lowercase "e" from a lowercase "c", with the horizontal line on the "e" being less than a pixel thick.

A bit more contrast would be nice too. The pages look like a giant sea of white; only at certain viewing angles can I tell that the background is light gray instead of white.

Neither of these problems is as bad on a nice 1440p mobile screen, but even there it's clear the line on the lowercase "e" is thinner than the rest of the character for no good reason.

Don't really have remarks yet on the rest of it. I'd have to spend some time with it first.

Edit 2: Found out from snooping about that we have forum themes, and the "Swift - Dark" one has a normal font. Hooray! It doesn't help guests, but it's something.

Edit: For now, I've just added a userstyle to my browser to fix the few small gripes I have. Feel free to use this yourselves if you feel the same way I do.

CSS:
/* use a normal font */
html, .message-body {
    font-family: sans-serif;
}

/* darkens the gray of the main background a little bit */
.p-pageWrapper {
    background-color: #e0e0e0;
}
Also, for a forum where people are posting code, picking a font that has a difference between l and I is important.
 

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