FairySlayer

Something That's Always Made Me Dislike The Forums

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I'm not angry and will accept that there will likely be no change, but this has bugged me since I signed up on the forums.

It's always annoyed me that a forum dedicated to fanfic would have the actual forms for fanfiction at the very bottom of the main page instead of at the top. That's the main reason for being here, right? Why do we bury the lede, and so very, very deep? Again, the very bottom! I suspect that when some newbies come to the forums and start scrolling down several screenfuls about the archive maintenance and cleanup (then even games and roleplay get higher billing than Fan Fiction) – well, they give up and go away.

Heck, the barely-used Art Room is given more importance than the fanfiction "meat." And even Aimless Babble ranks higher?

I have no evidence and there's no way to poll, but I'm sure it's turned a lot of potential forum members off.

Now, just a little extra: The User bar, banner, toolbar, and especially "Important Things To Read" probably take up more than half a screenful for most people too. (More than two-thirds of my 1080p with small fonts.) Seriously, the ITTR really needs to be consolidated big-time, perhaps multiple columns and less lines spacing... but actually, it really does all fall under site announcements anyway. Regardless, it could easily be on one line. Not sure how much we can do with the wasted space on the logo bar, but if Search can go there then can we also put the user-bar (Messenger, Notifications, etc.) in there too?

Oh! And that's with the "Shoutbox shows on every page" option disabled. (I think it's on by default.)

To me it seems that the forums are arranged to be mostly about The Archive and the Forums themselves than discussing Fan Fiction. It'd be great to see a compact top with "Please Read!" (as rules and instructions really do need to take top billing) and then the Fan Fiction section immediately after that.

So there's my opinion. I can already imagine at least fifty of the responses, reasons why it should or even needs to be this way. I probably won't read them because I don't want to get stuck in a bunch of arguments, and I'm sure some replies will just make me needlessly irritated anyway.

But if it comes to mind the next time you reorganized the categories, then that's a start. :)

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Users can easily collapse the categories themselves, and leave open the ones they want to have to open. There's an icon in the line with the category name which allows you to do so. Click the "-" and the categories you DON'T want to see are collapsed.

As to disliking the forum in general, that is your choice.

The "Please Read" section encompasses far more than site announcements. The search bar is already in the logo header space. The user bar takes up very little space at the top of the page, above the logo bar. This SINGLE LINE has the messenger, profile, and login/out options Below that, you have the links bar to the archive, other modules of the forum. Directly below THAT is the shoutbox. Yes, it is turned on globally by default. Again, something the user can collapse with a click. As long as you're logged in, the changes a user makes to appearance in that manner stay in place until the user changes them again.

It all revolves around whether one wants to use the simple tools in place to affect appearance of the thing for themselves.

As to not reading the responses, why would you bother to make a post if not to get response?

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DG has very valid points on customizing it specifically to your tastes - That is why we use IP Board as it does allow this!

The suggestion on reorganizing the categories is a good one, but please always remember that when making suggestions, being confrontational like this isn't the best way to effect change. Perhaps next time "Hey, looking at the current layout, I believe there could be some improvements that would draw more people to the forums." And then just lay out the suggestions as opposed to "I don't like this, you guys are doing it wrong tone" :)

You know we listen to users and while there are some times we can't, we always explain why things are as they are!

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Yeah, I should have posted in rants instead, especially since I barely use the forums anymore. It wasn't supposed to be confrontational (late night brain sigh) but yes the title is poorly worded ("Something I've Always Disliked" is what I meant, even if it's not that much better). I am sorry that it did come across that way. Ideally I would have just asked about it in Shoutbox when you ladies were around.

I don't have a '-' with each section but if the mouse cursor hovers over on then an arrow appears (up to close, down to re-open - probably to do with skin???). They do pop up when I'm scrolling (usually wheel mouse) but if I'm looking at the left (titles) my mind misses them. More of a me problem when I'm focusing. (Otherwise peripheral vision is pretty good.)

Thanks.

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Right end of the title bar is s toggle for collapse/not collapse any given section. Depending on the skin is what'll be there. It should be a +/-, as that's default with almost every skin I've ever seen. What skin are you using?

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"Delicate Blue" The up and down (collapse and expand) arrows appear just about instantly when the mouse cursor is over them; same with the Xs and ...s on the side bar. I'm surprised I never had the mouse resting on one of those bars while reading the side panel because then it would be within inches of where I was looking. But again, I kind of fell off the face of the forum before it was upgraded, so maybe not so surprising. I keep my browser (and most other) windows narrower than the screen, but tunnel vision sets in quickly when I'm trying to use the verbal part of my brain. Then the thing to eliminate the side bar appears at the top (very translucent until the mouse is right on it) to completely close the side bar. (It leaves a small translucent tab next to the bar for the top section ["Please Read"] to restore it).

magic_arrows.png

(This is two screencaps spliced together. The arrow is visible only when the mouse cursor is on the bar, showing for a split second even if just moving across it.)

I think it's all working fine - the forum software is working as designed. My brain is still just off. I'll just try to play with hovering the mouse over different things on the different kinds of forum pages (main, forum, subforum, topic, profile, dot dot dot dot dot...)

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