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Theme And Other Thoughts(Actually Constructive)

Discussion in 'Forum Suggestions & Feedback' started by dccfoux, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. dccfoux

    dccfoux Newbie

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    Well I joined this forum around 2 years ago when I recently started my trek as a webmaster. I was originally looking for SEO tutorials and things of that nature but didn't stay an active member for long.
    This thread is somewhat in response to one which basically didn't lay out any real suggestions.

    I think this forum could do even better if it ran on a more up-to-date theme or even more recent forum software.
    Hold up. I know what you're thinking:
    - It's been said before
    - I like this theme!
    - There's a theme chooser for a reason
    - That takes too much work
    - Or simply "I don't want the drama"



    However, here are some of my thoughts on what is how it can be improved, and how it can help.
    - Design -
    Content is king!
    A tip I always like to give web designers is to focus on the content. This idea has started to be worshipped by almost every designer nowadays and has become the industry's standard. Flat designs purposefully focus on the content. You don't want your users distracted by by "cool" looking additives when after you add them all up it can give people a headache. When I look at this forum it honestly is on a verge of giving me a headache due to all the content that seems spewed all over the place randomly. This isn't necessarily the theme's fault however, VBulletin's layout seems like it is from 2008 in all honesty

    Responsive designs are cool. (4k = display with resolution of 3840 x 2160 natively | Responsive design = web design that changes layout to fit the screen size perfectly)
    If the site was to get a "responsive" design, it would open up the site to be automatically ready for all mobile devices and for the future of computer displays(4k displays). I think that eventually the majority of computers will be running a 4k or "retina" display. The number of computers and graphics cards that support 4k displays is increasing rapidly and even the TV market has started headed towards 4k as well. With a responsive design the site would look crystal clear on all displays and you don't have to worry about giving yourself a headache in the future!


    - Forum Softwares -
    Speed & Server Load

    I don't think a change in forum softwares is a big need for this forum, but I personally think it could help. If I am not mistaken this forum isn't yet running VBulletin 5(I can't be positive since I don't give it much attention), and if I'm correct more recent updates in the software and other competing software will more likely have better optimization, and loading speeds than older versions. This is an obvious win-win for both your server and the community.

    Ties in with design
    The backbone software plays a big role in how a site looks regardless of it's theme. Since the software controls the layout of the content. With more recent softwares, they do a better job of layout and putting content first.

    New software features we all love

    We all love those new features that come with new software releases and updates(obviously some less than others*cough cough* Windows8 *cough*). New forum softwares can provide probably more of the same features than what BHW has now however more perfected. So the features you know and love are rid of their little quirks you've grown used to. For example rich text editors on new forum softwares work very nicely and some such as IPBoard with the 4.0 update coming will include even better ways of embedding things into threads.

    Interactivity

    Another point that probably isn't that big of a deal since VB has notifications but other softwares do a much better job with their notification systems, making user interaction easier than ever.


    Conclusion:
    I'm not making this thread to be completely pro-IPBoard because I believe in their development team's work, sticking to VBulletin is just fine. However, I think this forum could definitely benefit from a different, and more "up-to-date" design. I definitely think it has the funds to outsource a web designer as well. All in all if I was the guy running this massive board I would eventually switch to IPBoard 4.0 when it's finally released and plugins start to be made for it. Their default theme will be responsive out of the box which is really cool to see.
     

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  2. Apricot

    Apricot Administrator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for your feedback, watch this space...