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Suggestion Changing forum design?

  1. Jan 13, 2010 #1
    Are there any option for changing default forum design theme?

    For my taste, current default user interface looks so.. so.. amateurish, démodé, ugly, totally unappropriate for serious public and serious science themes.. said the very least.

    Of course, content is what matters, but this interface totally stand out to such treasure of content, and after a while I realised that just this ugly interface stop me for taking more parts in Physics Forums community. I allways have a feel that I found myself on some teen forum with few members, created by some enthusiastic elementary school boy from neighborhood.

    I belive that I am not only person with such objection, so my question is, will there be some movement in that direction?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2010 #2

    Wallace

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    Huh? What would you suggest would make PF look more 'serious'? I think it looks fine. The layout and colour scheme is simple and understated, which is fine as what matters is the content. In fact, there are a lot of very usefull features that have been implemented specifically for this forum such as thread tags and highlighting, automatic links to library items etc etc. This is the kind of 'interface' that makes PF very usefull and effective.

    I could name several Bajillion things I'd rather the adminstrators of this forum could do with any of the time they so generously donate to this place other than worrying about the look of the site, which seems to work fine for me.

    If you want to make a constructive suggestion, then I'm sure it would be listened to, but you haven't even said what it is that you don't like, or how it could be improved.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  4. Jan 14, 2010 #3
    Ma quilty for this little misunderstunding. I didn't stress enough what my point is.

    It is not usability of site at all, nor so much nice and usefull things this forum offer on application level. That's all great more or less.

    What I was talking about is just look-and-feel, color scheme or "skin" of forum, which is for me as I described above.

    My suggestion is to change it, make it modern, with professional and unique design, as such content and such community surely deserves.
    Or at least to offer users to make a choice between a few skins offered.

    I hope to make it clear this time. I can't be more specific than this.

    cheers
     
  5. Jan 14, 2010 #4

    Wallace

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    I've never really noticed what the PF skin looked like until you made me have a look. I think this says that it works fine; it hasn't been a distraction from the content.
     
  6. Jan 14, 2010 #5

    Kurdt

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    I think the design is fairly unique. I've never see it elsewhere. There used to be options but I think it got too much for the admins to keep updating both at the same time, so now we have only one skin.
     
  7. Jan 14, 2010 #6

    Astronuc

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    PF looks fine to me. :approve:

    We did try different skins. We don't need glitzy. The words (content) are what important, not the trim. Nice and simple.
     
  8. Jan 14, 2010 #7

    sylas

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    Then there's no basis for a change. It comes down to your not liking it which is your prerogative, but gives no direction for making any change.

    Personally, I think it is a good design. I appreciate the lack of clutter and the functional layout. It you compare with other forums using vbulletin, it stacks up very well. Far too many websites have gone over the top in terms of jazzy skins and flashy appearance, and THAT, to my mind, is where you get the real problems. Good design is pared down, especially for a forum like this one.

    Cheers -- sylas
     
  9. Jan 14, 2010 #8
    "Modern and unique design" surely doesn't mean distraction from the content. Amateurish and old fashioned design, especially when both mixed (as is case in this forum), surely does.

    :) C'mon please..

    First, there is a big difference between "unique and good" and "unique and bad".

    This "design" is far away from being unique in any way except ugly addition of green color gradients to one of default vBulletin old blue skins. That blue vBulletin original design thousends of sites used to have.

    But maybe you've never seen it elsewhere because nobody serious today uses such deprecated fonts and style, which smells like design from early 2000's, very popular in underground or "hacker" communities, and also in amateurish forums maintained by school boy from neighborhood. Personally, i maintained a few forums with that "unique" :) design in early 2000's.

    Just take a look on buttons such as "new reply" and fonts on them and nothing more has to be said.

    If you don't know what I am talking about, please ask some professional web designer.

    In this case, content *is* distracted by poor design. Also modern and stylishe design doesn't means glitzy. As opposite - it means focus on content, unobtrusive, pleasant and simple design.


    I am talking about need for new professional design. What do you expect from me? To say "put this color here, and that color there?" :)

    ...
    Ok, to make a long story short - guys, please ask some professional web designer about this. I am not such person, but have some experience.

    Fact that this "design" for you is good, doesn't mean that it is really good.
    It is not question of personal taste.
    It is question of profession. How would some of you feel if you see that some football player gives a lecture in class about physics of moving ball? Of course, kids will love that. But does it mean that he is doing good job?

    What I am talking about is that this "design" is all but not "design". It is modified (and messed up) vBulletin (nice) blue skin, which *was* good design in early 2000's.

    This look and feel *is not* appropriate for serious content and serious users and needs change, in spite of all you kids who likes it ;).
     
  10. Jan 14, 2010 #9

    Wallace

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    This place is not a business trying to market itself. It has a volunteer staff and no capacity to employ a professional for any aspect of the site, including design.

    If someone comes here and decides, before reading anything, that the "ugly addition of green color gradients" means that they aren't going to get the answers to the physics questions that they were hoping for, then I suggest that this site is probably not for them.

    PF was built by the community, so the only way that you are going to get this changed is if you can offer something yourself. If no one else has the time, expertise and desire to do it then speculating on how it could be improved is pointless.
     
  11. Jan 14, 2010 #10

    sylas

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    I'm only 50; but on the other hand I believe a couple of those who have responded to you in this thread are older than I am. I am so totally abashed by this sophisticated criticism that I'm going to go home now.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2010 #11

    Kurdt

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    The point is the whole thing is subjective. You don't like it, but in the years we've had this design you're the only one that has complained. This website needs its skin to be something that does not distract from the content of posts, whether you like the aesthetics or not.
     
  13. Jan 14, 2010 #12

    turbo

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    I LIKE the design of the site. The light gray background is easy on the eyes, and the clean, simple layout is a plus, not a detriment. I have been on many forums that could have benefited from a simpler, more minimalist layout.
     
  14. Jan 14, 2010 #13

    Dembadon

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    I'm pretty sure we're being trolled. :uhh:

    Or you are actually serious, in which case I am very perplexed at how the appearance of this forum inhibits your ability to get answers to questions or participate in mature, intelligent discourse with others. Can you provide a link to a thread which is unreadable or unintelligible due to the design of the site?

    I'd also advise against the pretentious language you've been using. It's very unattractive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  15. Jan 14, 2010 #14

    Borek

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    Bingo.

    Heavy duty hammer doesn't need fancy design, its heavydutiness already makes it look respectable.
     
  16. Jan 14, 2010 #15
    Or you just miss my point - word "kids" is referred to football player lectures part, and should be understand as some kind of joke (see wink at the end), and allusion that scientists degree in phyiscs doesn't mean degree in design. To prove you that I was not "pretentious" I suggest that you take a look in my previous post in which I call this community serious several times.

    Btw, fact that I am newbee in this forum (newbee in writing but I am lurking and make benefits from this forum for a while, also ask question before) doesn't gives you a credibility to call me a "troll" just because you don't like my opinion or have wrong understanding.

    I asked perfectly legal question and make perfectly legal argumented suggestion in appropriate part of PF.

    Of course, perfectly legal is also to reject my suggestion.

    So everything is ok, and there is no need for insulting words, especially because I have good intentions.

    I expect yor apologize or I will report your post as abuse.
     
  17. Jan 14, 2010 #16
    The best all stress simplicity and usability, which itself rests on using elements and styles your users will be familiar with, like standard php forum layout.

    If you hate the skins/layout, I think you can use greasemonkey to write your own.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  18. Jan 14, 2010 #17

    jtbell

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    If you don't like the way PF looks now, then save a page or a screenshot, fix it up the way you'd like to see it, and show it to us. Then we'll have something concrete to focus on, and if enough people like it, maybe the admins will even consider implementing it.
     
  19. Jan 14, 2010 #18

    Dembadon

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    Thanks for clearing up what you meant; it was not clear in your post.

    Likening someone's work to that of "some enthusiastic elementary school boy from neighborhood" is offensive, even if you have used the word 'serious' re this forum in some of your posts. Would you be okay with someone comparing your work to that of a child?

    I'll admit that my troll accusation was unnecessary; sorry. To be clear, though, my issue was not with your opinion, it was with how it was communicated.

    I am finding that I am emotionally overinvested in this discussion for some reason. I think it's best if I just remove myself from it entirely. Sorry for the clutter, everyone.
     
  20. Jan 14, 2010 #19
    I don't have a problem with color or skin. I do think the forum is a little complicated logistics wise, but I do appreciate the information contained herein. Even if it is over my head.:smile:
     
  21. Jan 14, 2010 #20
    Thank you multipole for your opinion. The PF skin is about four years old now. As you can see the vast majority of the membership find it acceptable. Creating a skin takes a huge amount of time. Plans for updating the skin will be in order when we upgrade to vB4, but I don't expect that will happen for many months. However, you are in control of the situation if you want it. You could send me a nice fat check so I can hire a professional design company :D
     
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