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Drowning in the din

PostPosted: July 21st, 2013, 5:36 am
by TheMatrix
(Hello, yes, I am back)

While this website shows potential, I feel I must explain what you are doing wrong that might just be driving people away from your site.

For comparison purposes, I want you to imagine a new install of phpBB. It has nothing too fancy on it, it is a forum where you can post threads and replies. Now if you'll notice, many sites have just that and not much more, and they have lots of activity. More on that later.
Now look at your own site, with the picture of the new install still in your mind. Are you not overwhelmed by the sheer loudness and distraction of it all? Name a "mod", and you've probably got it installed. Virtual currency? Check. Overly complicated editor? Check. Many "custom BBCodes"? Check that too.
And I could go on.

Oh hey, there's a link called "Forums" in the corner! Apparently, they have that too! But first I must look at the Ideas Center and the Knowledgebase and the "Modx Creator"(whatever that is) and the "Linkx" and the...
Do you see the problem? There's simply too much!

One thing you learn about website design, if you ever follow the most basic course, is that first impression is everything. No scrolling to have to see the content. If I have to scroll to see the content, I'll probably click back and go somewhere else. On your site, the header + "Important Announcements" takes up my entire view on this 1366x768 screen. Now imagine if you were on your mobile...

Now the editor. What makes a forum tick? When you get down to it, it's ultimately the text, not the way it's presented. Our parents grew up in the days when you could not add formatting to your eMails and Usenet postings. If people had something meaningful to say, they would not put kilobytes upon kilobytes of ASCII art in their message. Long eMail signatures were resented.
The same thing applies here. I don't care about being able to highlight my text, or setting it in one of many dozen fonts. I just want to convey my message to you, the reader, so you will understand it. If I wanted to distract you, then I would use fonts and animated pictures. Perhaps I should not say this, but look at the two most popular GovTeen network sites. The editor is many times simpler than the one here, and apparently it works.

Your site appears to be striving for that one-stop-site thing that Yahoo! and AOL were going for in the 90's and 2000's. But nobody wanted that then, and apparently still not now, or both would be very popular. But they aren't.

I feel I've rambled on long enough now, and you probably get the point. But if you want more, well, I've barely started!
I'm not going to explicitly propose anything. It's up to you what to do with this: if you don't wish to hear it, then you may delete my words. You are the owner of this forum, and I did agree in the rules that you could delete things as you pleased(see? I did read them!).
I will say this: look at popular sites and what design trends seem to be getting them traffic. Follow those, and you might get some more activity.

Re: Drowning in the din

PostPosted: July 24th, 2013, 8:34 pm
by Jessica
If you really hate the editor you can change it. Simply go here: ucp.php?i=prefs&mode=post

Re: Drowning in the din

PostPosted: July 25th, 2013, 7:59 pm
by Filip
Well I appreciate founder's effort to make site as feature rich as possible but I agree that it is too much. All those mods are too complicated for new users to figure out and that's what makes them go away. I think simple bulletin boards with only few mods like chatbox and awards is good enough. And also having alot of mods make site loading very slow. Esspecialy for those guys who are not as cl ose to the server.

Re: Drowning in the din

PostPosted: July 25th, 2013, 8:45 pm
by Knight Rider
Filip ยป Jul 25 2013, 6:59 pm wrote:
Well I appreciate founder's effort to make site as feature rich as possible but I agree that it is too much. All those mods are too complicated for new users to figure out and that's what makes them go away. I think simple bulletin boards with only few mods like chatbox and awards is good enough. And also having alot of mods make site loading very slow. Esspecialy for those guys who are not as close to the server.


I sort of agree with this, but then again, what is the Support Sections for?
But, I do 50% agree with the loading time.
At good times for my Internet it loads speedy fast, other times though, like around 11 PM, or midnight it loads a bit slower

Re: Drowning in the din

PostPosted: July 26th, 2013, 2:06 pm
by Jessica
If you think there are mods S&C really doesn't need, you can make a suggestion to remove it in the Ideas Center. No guarantee that I will agree though :S