PDA

View Full Version : Exciting Updates - Mac-Forums Beta



I.M.O.G.
01-13-2012, 04:39 PM
Hi Guys!

You’ve asked for a more modern design and a better blog, and we’ve been working on it. Some of you have already seen - and provided feedback on - the new design. We’re happy to tell you that we’re getting close to finishing the redesign.

How to preview the Beta version of Mac-Forums

We’ve setup a stage site in which you can preview the Beta version of the new Mac-Forums:

1. Go to: http://stage.mac-forums.com/forums/
2. Use the following username/password to access the site:
-- Username: dev
-- Password: d3v

3. Once you get past the authorization prompt, you can use your normal username/password to login to the forums.

We need your help …
We would like you to take a first-look at the new Mac-Forums and provide feedback.

Please note: There are some known issues, we’re still working on it, but we wanted to get you into the Beta version as soon as possible to start gathering your feedback.

Can you please provide feedback on the following:

1. Design (look/feel)
-- Forum: http://stage.mac-forums.com/forums/
-- Blog: http://stage.mac-forums.com/blog/
-- Home: http://stage.mac-forums.com/
2. Usability
-- Is there anything that makes your use of the forum difficult – posting a reply, starting a thread, etc?
3. Critical issues
-- Is there anything that is extremely important that we either missed or negatively-changed?
4. Any other comments

How to provide feedback

Please post your feedback to this thread.

harryb2448
01-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Looks great Matt. Perhaps the print could be a little larger for us older members.

I.M.O.G.
01-13-2012, 04:49 PM
Thanks Harry. Any specific area where you would consider larger print a benefit especially? For example, the navigation bar in the header, in thread titles, or in forum posts... I'm not sure which parts you find harder to read.

DrEwTiMe42o
01-13-2012, 09:49 PM
The new look is AWESOME!!! Bravo on the hard work it looks great.

If i may make one tiny suggestion. I belong to tons of forums and one feature that i love when they have it is when they mark( some small smiley size icon or check mark or something) what threads you post in. I don't know about anyone else but i look at tons of posts and don't post in all of them. And rather then subscribing to 100's of posts you can refresh the page and easily know which topics you looked at but didn't post( usually greyed out like on this forum) and which topics you actually posted in( this would be designated by the little check mark or whatever pic you guys deem appropriate. In the forums i belong to that have it the icon would be right about there the rating column is currently in this forum where the "pin" or "paperclip" icons are to indicate a sticky or attachment. putting a mark before that or in the bottom of the thread creator information may work. I would prefer it right before the current pin and paperclip but that's just me :).

Just my little two cents, not a major change but in my opinion is a HUGE help for very active forum members to keep track of what threads they are active in.

RavingMac
01-13-2012, 10:00 PM
I agree with Harry. I'm having a bit of trouble easily reading the body of text in the threads.
I'm on my iPad 2 BTW, where I do 95% of my Web Browsing. Fortunately I can zoom, but larger fonts would help.

Dysfunction
01-13-2012, 10:04 PM
I really like it, but right now I'm on my w520 thinkpad...

vansmith
01-13-2012, 10:20 PM
I agree with Harry. I'm having a bit of trouble easily reading the body of text in the threads.
I'm on my iPad 2 BTW, where I do 95% of my Web Browsing. Fortunately I can zoom, but larger fonts would help.What seems to be the problem? I can read it fine (as much as is possible) on my iPod Touch. I would normally claim that my youth was the reason but I wear glasses. :P

McYukon
01-13-2012, 10:21 PM
#1 Looks and feels great!
#2 Had to look twice to find the "Mark Forums As Read" button. I'd prefer it somewhere's near the top. Maybe like this, [Link] (http://f.cl.ly/items/2x1B0F3e1q1P401O1t0g/Screen%20Shot%202012-01-13%20at%206.12.53%20PM.jpg)
Reading Harrys post, I have seen a forum which had a settings area where you could choose your font/fontsize. This would enable those who want big fonts to have them, and those that don't small fonts.
#3 None that I could find in 5 minutes ;)
#4 Nice work!

chscag
01-13-2012, 10:24 PM
No problem viewing the fonts with my older than the hills eyes. :)

harryb2448
01-13-2012, 10:42 PM
Going to the posts, the headings are fine but the font is a little too small for me personally but the look is great.

BrianLachoreVPI
01-13-2012, 10:47 PM
Really looks great - looking forward to the roll out

RavingMac
01-13-2012, 10:51 PM
What seems to be the problem? I can read it fine (as much as is possible) on my iPod Touch. I would normally claim that my youth was the reason but I wear glasses. :P

I wear glasses too and the eyes are definitely getting older.

We need a font choice for us oldsters.

vansmith
01-13-2012, 11:28 PM
Shameless plug: my colour changer browser extension (http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/community-suggestions-feedback/262960-why-font-color-gray-2.html#post1353995). That could easily be modified to be "Razorfied" ;).

Slydude
01-14-2012, 01:31 AM
Great look overall. Seems like a much brighter more modern feel to it. Very impressed so far.There are two things that I noticed after spending about half-an-hour there:

1. The text on the Multi quite button seems to disappear into the background for that button. Maybe it's my old eyes but it seems almost invisible.

2. The link to your user profile doesn't seem to be as easy to find as in the other layout. I don't go there every day but do pop in regularly to see what comments/rep have been left. I probably would hit the profile button even less if there was a way, such as an e-mail, to know when reputation had been left.

Kevriano
01-14-2012, 02:25 AM
I like the slick look of the front page for sure.
I would agree with Sly that getting to your profile isn't as straightforward, and nor is going to "new posts", which is how I always view the forum. I would prefer there to be a button to click on the home page, rather than the drop down.
Viewing on my Powerbook 12", the forum does not fit either, I have to scroll across to read the far sides (not sure this can be fixed) and I find the icons on the right hand side are a little large maybe (I like neat :)).
Finally, the red heading text is a little harsh IMO, but it is just my opinion of course.

RavingMac
01-14-2012, 10:43 AM
Shameless plug: my colour changer browser extension (http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/community-suggestions-feedback/262960-why-font-color-gray-2.html#post1353995). That could easily be modified to be "Razorfied" ;).

Have to admit I haven't looked at it yet. I do almost all of my MacForums browsing either on my iPad (and I assumed your fix wouldn't impact Mobile Safari) or on my work PC (where I have no admin privileges--at all).

Does it work on the iPad?

badshoehabit
01-14-2012, 11:55 AM
No problem for me reading the new design but users who have colour blindness may have trouble with all the red. The UK RNIB website has good guidance for website design to avoid such problems.

vansmith
01-14-2012, 11:55 AM
Have to admit I haven't looked at it yet. I do almost all of my MacForums browsing either on my iPad (and I assumed your fix wouldn't impact Mobile Safari) or on my work PC (where I have no admin privileges--at all).

Does it work on the iPad?No, it's a browser extension for Safari, Chrome and Opera. You could probably install it regardless of user privileges and I'd be happy to modify one of those for you to increase the text size so you can view MF with comfort from work.

RavingMac
01-14-2012, 11:56 AM
No, it's a browser extension for Safari, Chrome and Opera. You could probably install it regardless of user privileges and I'd be happy to adapt one of those for you to increase the text size so you can view MF with comfort from work.

That would be wonderful!

McBie
01-14-2012, 03:12 PM
Looks great .... much more modern
And better for my old eyes -_-

The arrows ( < and > ) at the bottom/top right to go to the next/previous screen should be a little more separated from the page number as my fingers are too thick to use this feature on iPad in an efficient way.

Cheers ... McBie

pendlewitch
01-15-2012, 05:12 AM
There is much to like on here so well done everyone.

At first glance, I think font size within the post is an issue. It may help if you changed the colour of the post header to something more solid, or turn down the brightness of the background because the contrast ratios don't seem right.

The eye is also drawn to a straight line and I'm finding it difficult to assimilate.

Here is an interesting paper to go all techie...paras 4 and 5 on the first page.

http://www.pnas.org/content/82/17/5983.full.pdf

Apart from that it's great.

louishen
01-15-2012, 01:22 PM
Looking good

As others have said, I would like to see and easy link to new threads

iWhat
01-16-2012, 10:59 PM
No problem for me reading the new design but users who have colour blindness may have trouble with all the red. The UK RNIB website has good guidance for website design to avoid such problems.

I'm colorblind, red/green. :Cool: And red is actually my favorite color. I can't speak for the other colorblind users on Mac-forums, but I don't struggle with the colors for the redesign. The color choices are really nice.

But I do at times find sites who have no regard for colorblind users. I do find myself having to highlight text in websites every now and then.

Lifeisabeach
01-16-2012, 11:40 PM
I may be the odd man out on this, but I'll be brutally honest here and say I don't like it. The font is too... I dunno... squarish? Easy to read and sharper than what is in use now, so that is a plus at least. Actually I guess it's the same font, but a tad smaller and fully black rather than grayish? In any event, there's just too much of it everywhere. Or maybe I'm just distracted by it because there's so little in the way of color and graphical elements.

The logo... while updating it is certainly in order, the fonts used are very much boring. That may be the single worst change here.

The red-colored rows that indicate the section title, post count, etc, are perhaps a little too tall in relationship to the font size. Actually the fonts in those red bars seem inconsistent. At the very top, where it says Home, Forums, Articles, etc... that doesn't look too bad for the size. But below, it's either a different font or a smaller one, not sure which, and the letters look a bit too much mashed together.

Speaking of red... there's too much red. Perhaps the forum categories could be changed to a blue color... to match the > icons to the right of each. That would help offset the colors a bit. Or better yet... same color blue as the category titles (General Discussions, e.g.).

Compare the header for this post from the old and new site:

http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/iphone-hardware-accessories/257629-what-scratches-iphone-4s-glass.html#post1327708

http://stage.mac-forums.com/forums/iphone-hardware-accessories/257629-what-scratches-iphone-4s-glass.html#post1327708

On the new site, the background that was red and clearly differentiates one post from the next now is a rather like gray that sorta floats there. I do like the whole "shadow box" look for each post, but I think making the header graphic more solid would help break up what on first glance looks like, I dunno, a bunch of text floating on white background. It looks somewhat surreal, perhaps? Sorry... not sure how better to describe what I'm thinking here. Maybe pin striping just inside the border of each post would look good?

Anywho... those are my initial thoughts.

EDIT: What looks really good is up top... the stylized bar where the name/password fields are. That rocks. In fact, I think using that style, with the light gray background and white pinstripe border on top of the shadow should be implemented more throughout the forum, like for each posting to address the concerns I had. This would add more color (even if it is gray) and some graphical nicety to the whole look here, and some more consistency.

MacLicious
01-17-2012, 04:10 PM
I am happy with the forum the way it is. Easy to read, easy to find everything. Everything familiar and where it should be. I dunno, maybe I'm just getting old.

AKlove
01-18-2012, 01:04 PM
The first thing that jumped out at me was the logo, I don't like it.
The old one has a glow about it, the new one makes me feel like I'm in a hardware store forum, for some reason.
And maybe the red is a little thick and heavy for me.
I quite like it the way it is actually, but then I'm not a big fan of change unless it is a huge and significant one that vastly and obviously improves things.

I do like the little touch that makes the individual sections on the page look slightly lifted above the background. Looks great that way.

SaucerBoy
01-19-2012, 10:39 PM
I don't know exactly how it would look, but if you could make the profile bar in the top right scroll along with the page it might be neat. I don't know if it would be necessary, but worth a shot.

Doug b
01-20-2012, 06:08 PM
I'm going to chime in but with a different issue from aesthetics. At least for now anyway... This has more to do with functionality. I feel like the order in which the fora are laid out, needs a bit of revision.

I kind of understand having the "switcher" forums near the top, but the rest of it makes less sense to me. The way I'd reorder the forum structure would be something like:

Community
General
Hardware
OS X Software
iPhone, iPad, iPod
Dev Playground

I realize this may seem like nitpicking at first, but the logic behind this applies to when you think about posting a new topic. And in my experience, I'm more likely to want or need to post a new topic in hardware, Software or iOS before the others.

Opinions?

Doug

cwa107
01-22-2012, 09:41 AM
I'm going to chime in but with a different issue from aesthetics. At least for now anyway... This has more to do with functionality. I feel like the order in which the fora are laid out, needs a bit of revision.

I kind of understand having the "switcher" forums near the top, but the rest of it makes less sense to me. The way I'd reorder the forum structure would be something like:

Community
General
Hardware
OS X Software
iPhone, iPad, iPod
Dev Playground

I realize this may seem like nitpicking at first, but the logic behind this applies to when you think about posting a new topic. And in my experience, I'm more likely to want or need to post a new topic in hardware, Software or iOS before the others.

Opinions?

Doug

I agree - and that's something we can change pretty easily, given consensus amongst the staff.

RavingMac
01-22-2012, 06:20 PM
How about setting up the Buy/Sell/Trade Forum as invisible until a member meets the criteria? Is this feasible or desirable?

Chalkhead1016
01-22-2012, 06:57 PM
Hey guys, i know my account name doesn't have a lot of posts on it and it is rather new but i've been coming to mac-forums for a few years now for general mac questions and id like to say off topic thank you very much for all the help i have received, and back on topic id love to say that i absolutely love the new design.

McYukon
01-22-2012, 08:29 PM
How about setting up the Buy/Sell/Trade Forum as invisible until a member meets the criteria? Is this feasible or desirable?

I think thats a pretty good idea actually, it would keep down the number of "Why can't I post in B/S/T???!"

However… right now anybody can post in a thread already started and buy or trade something, right?
So unless we want to keep new joiners from buying or trading from the regulars, it wouldn't work.

Doug b
01-22-2012, 08:36 PM
I think thats a pretty good idea actually, it would keep down the number of "Why can't I post in B/S/T???!"

However… right now anybody can post in a thread already started and buy or trade something, right?
So unless we want to keep new joiners from buying or trading from the regulars, it wouldn't work.

I think it is a good idea, and should be mandatory on any forum. I wouldn't want to buy or sell to a member with zero reputation. eBay reps don't mean much to me either simply due to how horribly the eBay and Paypal system is set up. It's easy to get pushed around if you're the seller, as there are hardly any safeguards set up for them. Whereas the buyer can basically steal anything they want more or less.

I always try and buy from someone close to me if possible, so that I can meet them in person. Otherwise, I only trust their reputation based upon previous transaction history. On some forums, there is a separate section setup for just this sort of thing. The buyer/seller sets up the transaction, and the whole thing gets logged in a forum post. After the sale is finished, both members have an opportunity to give their account of the transaction. This way, other members can see what they should expect.

Doug

Printerman
01-22-2012, 11:01 PM
Likes:
-The modern look and “bubbly” look
-New “new posts” icons
-New logo

Dislikes:
-The position of “User CP” under the “Forums” tab, I think it should be above “Log in”
-If an image has been attached, and resized by the forum, the post still has the large image under the part of the post that says “attached images”

cwa107
01-22-2012, 11:14 PM
I think thats a pretty good idea actually, it would keep down the number of "Why can't I post in B/S/T???!"

However… right now anybody can post in a thread already started and buy or trade something, right?
So unless we want to keep new joiners from buying or trading from the regulars, it wouldn't work.

No. The rules have been updated, and the same criteria apply for new thread creators as they do to replies to existing threads.

I.M.O.G.
01-23-2012, 10:25 AM
I belong to tons of forums and one feature that i love when they have it is when they mark( some small smiley size icon or check mark or something) what threads you post in.

Thanks for the input. :)

This actually exists already! Currently on M-F, threads you have participated in are marked with this icon to the left of the thread title, and if you hover over it there you will be told how many posts you have in the thread:
Old layout: http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/mac_images/images/statusicon/thread_dot_hot.gif

The new forum layout has this feature as well, but it is more easily readable/noticeable!

To help you and people like you further, here's some further advice:
1. Set your default thread subscription mode option to "no email notification" (if you actually want email notices, then choose one of those options): http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/profile.php?do=editoptions
2. Check for newly updated threads here (this is the first place I go to every day when I want to check for new stuff, to see which of my threads have gotten responses): http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/usercp.php
3. Find all threads you have been part of here: http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/subscription.php?do=viewsubscription

Hope that helps - I was using forums for about 5 years before I realized you could subscribe to threads to make my own participation easier to follow up on. Before I figured out subscribing wasn't going to spam me with email, I was constantly searching for my own posts to see if my threads had been active.

I.M.O.G.
01-23-2012, 10:34 AM
Regarding Font Size concerns:

All major browsers have a font size setting. The forum will respect your browser settings - you can set your preference in your browser to smallest, smaller, normal, larger, or largest typically. This will help improve the text size across all sites for you.

While this could be implemented in the site, recreating functionality in the site that already exists in your browser may not be the best investment of developer time. I hope this is helpful, and we appreciate the feedback - it is noted. :)

I.M.O.G.
01-23-2012, 10:45 AM
I'm going to chime in but with a different issue from aesthetics. At least for now anyway... This has more to do with functionality. I feel like the order in which the fora are laid out, needs a bit of revision.

I kind of understand having the "switcher" forums near the top, but the rest of it makes less sense to me. The way I'd reorder the forum structure would be something like:

Community
General
Hardware
OS X Software
iPhone, iPad, iPod
Dev Playground

I realize this may seem like nitpicking at first, but the logic behind this applies to when you think about posting a new topic. And in my experience, I'm more likely to want or need to post a new topic in hardware, Software or iOS before the others.

Opinions?

Doug


I agree - and that's something we can change pretty easily, given consensus amongst the staff.

Can you guys earmark this to follow up separately from the redesign? As cwa107 mentioned, pretty easily changed now or later (changes now will be preserved on the redesign launch), and this does not have to be part of the redesign. Once changed however, we should do so in a "final" sort of approach. Changing homepage organization can be sort of a big deal to the search bots and can impact traffic - that is fine, just not something we want to be finicky with changing on a regular basis. We can tune this up though, I agree. :)

class77
01-24-2012, 07:28 PM
Could the red color be darkened just a little bit. I find myself squinting at the new print because of so much of the red fonts

rustyk123
01-25-2012, 03:05 PM
I like the new look, everything looks very clean. The only thing that bugged me when using it was the user control panel. My issues is I was trying to find it I eventually did, but not the way I thought it would be. In the navagation bar, it reads "User CP", to be clear it should read "User Control Panel" Other than that it looks very good.

alexsd123
01-26-2012, 03:28 AM
I don't like all the space wasted because of the join the conversation... Although I could see an ad going there.

When you click to type in where you search, is it possible to have a drop down option of an advanced search? Kind of like our current search.

I agree with Doug about the order of subsections.

It's looking good. :)

vansmith
01-26-2012, 12:02 PM
Regarding Font Size concerns:

All major browsers have a font size setting. The forum will respect your browser settings - you can set your preference in your browser to smallest, smaller, normal, larger, or largest typically. This will help improve the text size across all sites for you.Also worth noting is the ability for most browsers to control font colour as well. If you don't like the colour, you can generally change a setting or use custom stylesheets to control the font. I can post an example and instructions if anyone is interested.

I.M.O.G.
01-26-2012, 12:28 PM
FYI, the new style will be coming next week!

Thank you for all the testing and feedback, we're making some last minute tweaks and making sure its ready now!

vansmith
01-26-2012, 01:10 PM
Thanks Matt. I'm sure I speak for many of us in saying that we appreciate all the hard work you guys have done.

RavingMac
01-26-2012, 01:50 PM
Thanks Matt. I'm sure I speak for many of us in saying that we appreciate all the hard work you guys have done.

+1 on that

McYukon
01-26-2012, 04:17 PM
FYI, the new style will be coming next week!

Thank you for all the testing and feedback, we're making some last minute tweaks and making sure its ready now!

Yay! A big hearty Thanks to the team behind the scenes!

nnamelet
01-27-2012, 04:40 AM
[QUOTe

I just joined today, searched on Outlook for Mac2011 and got "no results"

I then sent what I thought was a feedback email, but it apparently went nowhere.

I am not sure how to post an inquiry or to whom to post a problem with site operation.

Of course, I'm one of those terminally electronically challenged, but if you can help me you'll be able to deal with almost any persons in my condition.

Frank M (nnamelet)

chscag
01-27-2012, 02:40 PM
PM sent to member.