Make the index a modular portal

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Arty
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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by Arty » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:47 pm

If you move those blocks to footer then there is a lot of wasted space below left sidebar. Then what's the point of left sidebar?

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Pony99CA
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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by Pony99CA » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:14 am

Dragonwolf wrote:I should point out that the current forum menu looks like this:

Image

That's about, what, thirteen hyperlinks and a load of plain text compressed into a half inch bar, and it dumps even more in there if you add mods.
That looks pretty reasonably organized to me.

Dragonwolf wrote:Also, lets not forget this mess:

Image
The only "mess" there is that the lists for Who Is Online and Birthdays are very ragged, making it hard to find specific people. However, converting them to lists or tables would make the page much longer, so it's a tradeoff.
Dragonwolf wrote:My main concern is to make this into something which can easily be seen and understood.
I certainly don't find that information hard to see nor hard to understand. If you want to clean it up, though, what about a tabbed interface with a tab for Who Is Online, another for Birthdays and one more for Statistics?

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Danielx64
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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by Danielx64 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:42 am

@ OP I'm sorry but it a -50 from me, not a good look IMO.

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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by Dragonwolf » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:46 am

That looks pretty reasonably organized to me.
I think what you are really saying is that you are used to it. When you look at that box the first time you tend to see five gibberish hyperlinks instead of thirteen. Being used to bad design does not make it good design!
OP I'm sorry but it a -50 from me, not a good look IMO.
If we are allowed to rate higher than1 or lower than -1 think I'm going to have to add a + 50 to the power of ninety million. :P
If you want to clean it up, though, what about a tabbed interface with a tab for Who Is Online, another for Birthdays and one more for Statistics?
Maybe, but I am extremely tentative about adding tabs to any kind of software. They are fine for web pages, but tabbed interfaces are annoying and have a nasty habit of making things incomprehensible and forcing you to click tmore. Plus, people really aren't going to click on a tab that reloads an entire page, which is what the ones in phpbb do. They aren't really tabs so much as tab-shaped buttons.
If you move those blocks to footer then there is a lot of wasted space below left sidebar. Then what's the point of left sidebar?
It's modular. :P You don't have to have any of it or you can have twice as much. It is entirely negotiable and it opens the way for much smaller mods that have no installation at all beyond uploading some files and enabling them in an options menu.

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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by Dragonwolf » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:52 am

Seriously, though, does nobody else see that the Phpbb interface is a confusing mess that's only getting messier and messier? I really do think that the reason you can't see the problem is because you have been using it for so many years that you just can't see it any more. I once told a newb that 'photoshop is easy' and had them tell me pretty much the same thing I'm telling you now - it is only easy because you are used to it. For a dyslexic or a new user this is total gibberish. There aren't even proper dividing boxes!

Image

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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by DarkBeing » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:41 am

Confusing mess? Not at all. So far I have not seen one suggestion which would solve this "mess" you think you are seeing. The "solutions" you have posted so far are what I personally consider a cluttered unorganized mess with lots of wasted space, in short a portal style. But then again, that is my personal taste and opinion.

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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by nachtelb » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Forgive me, if you already know: In 3.1 you have the Option in the Backend to set an additional Mainpage. Wouldn't it be better to ask for a additional modular portal as default for the Mainpage instead of targeting the forum-index?
main-url.jpg
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Frug
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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by Frug » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:05 pm

Dragonwolf wrote:
That looks pretty reasonably organized to me.
I think what you are really saying is that you are used to it. When you look at that box the first time you tend to see five gibberish hyperlinks instead of thirteen. Being used to bad design does not make it good design!
It's not the most modern design, but neither is it bad design for any reasons you've cited (except for one - the login at the bottom). The fact that there are a large number of links in the header is a valid point, but your solution is not ideal. From a user experience perspective, I find your dual sidebars far worse. You include some outdated ideas in your suggestion such as placing a theme picker on the front page. Nobody changes styles frequently enough to place something like that on the front page. That sort of thing was fun when the internet was new but not anymore. It belongs buried in the preferences page where it is. You have two search boxes and I don't know why, i guess that's an example to fill space.

A 'latest post' box, like most portal mods have, might be useful, and I would consider requesting that as a core feature that does not require a mod. However the main reason not to want a mod (phpbb3 mods are terrible to maintain) will hopefully be addressed with hooks in 3.1.

In my opinion there is only one thing that should go from the overall header in a default phpbb3 install, and that is the "FAQ" link which I can't imagine anyone who isn't living in 1995 reads. My solution is to remove it from my styles. Meh.

Other links can and should be hidden inside dropdown menus but left at the top... But this is trivial to do on your own style. They should consider improving prosilver this way, but there is a mentality here that ancient terrible browsers still need support (things like adding dropdown menus that work in IE6 is something nobody should have to do anymore), so they leave it in your hands as a webmaster to use a style that improves the layout and adds dropdowns. Again, this is pretty trivial to do because one of phpbb3's strengths is the templating system.

Actually all the things in your original request that are purely UI in scope can be done with a bit of html and css changes. So why make it out to be a big under the hood change to a modular portal? I can throw up a theme like yours in a day or two.

The best thing you pointed out was the login at the bottom of the page, which I will agree is very silly. Because you brought it up, I'm going to go into my forum and put that in a hidden div that appears when you click the login button at the top of the page. It's not hard, requires literally 1 line of javascript (a couple without jquery) and solves that issue properly. I expect one day they'll do that to the vanilla theme. One day.

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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by keith10456 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:39 pm

-1

Though I think there are a couple of ways to improve the layout of the Forum index (for ex: 2 column forum or something similar to this), I don't think what's being proposed is the way to go.

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Re: Make the index a modular portal

Post by Pony99CA » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:51 am

Dragonwolf wrote:
That looks pretty reasonably organized to me.
I think what you are really saying is that you are used to it. When you look at that box the first time you tend to see five gibberish hyperlinks instead of thirteen. Being used to bad design does not make it good design!
You're assuming a lot, like that I haven't done user interface design and development (I have) or that I can't see things from a fresh perspective (I generally can).
Dragonwolf wrote:
If you want to clean it up, though, what about a tabbed interface with a tab for Who Is Online, another for Birthdays and one more for Statistics?
Maybe, but I am extremely tentative about adding tabs to any kind of software. They are fine for web pages, but tabbed interfaces are annoying and have a nasty habit of making things incomprehensible and forcing you to click tmore. Plus, people really aren't going to click on a tab that reloads an entire page, which is what the ones in phpbb do. They aren't really tabs so much as tab-shaped buttons.
First, phpBB displays Web pages, so I'm not sure what "they are fine for web pages" means.

Second, I'm talking about CSS tabs, where you basically hide/display DIV elements on the page. No page reloading is required because everything is already loaded.

Finally, as for more clicking, that's true, but how many people generally want to see all of those items (or any of those items) on a regular basis? Also, putting them in a sidebar makes things worse because they'd make the page much longer.

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