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    Releasing September 1st 2020

pdxfreddy

Administrator
Administrator
Jan 30, 2020
12
25
Hey!

I'm Freddy, product manager for Forum and Wikis. Happy to announce that we've spent some time refurbishing the forms (yay!)

Among many things the Forum will now work a lot better on mobile devices, the user interface is completely revamped and we added a few nice features as well

Hopefully we'll get this rolling late April/early May, if final tests are going well... I will let you know in advance since we'll have some time when forums are unaccessible during the upgrade

Would be happy to get some response on the screenshots below! (high and low!)

/Freddy

Skärmavbild 2020-04-07 kl. 08.22.56.png

Skärmavbild 2020-04-07 kl. 08.24.04.png

Skärmavbild 2020-04-07 kl. 08.21.12.png

Skärmavbild 2020-04-07 kl. 08.21.47.png

Skärmavbild 2020-04-07 kl. 08.22.33.png

Skärmavbild 2020-04-07 kl. 08.21.31.png
 

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YetiBandito

resident β troll
Apr 24, 2017
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Looking good, the new front page should make it easier to navigate on a mobile device, that is something I complained about in the survey :D
 

Swuul

Zealot Crybaby Troll
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All new things are bad!

Will it be possible to skin the forums the old way somehow, or do I have to hire one of my kids to use the new forums for me? For checking the forums fast, it doesn't look like Lynx or Text Mode Chrome will be supported anymore?
 

Dauth

Wiki Mod
Jan 30, 2011
1.024
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I'm not a super fan of the splash images because we get less information than now.

Also I think you've increased the number of clicks for me to check the threads I'm watching. The point of watching threads is to minimise the clicks required. For the case of someone who mainly checks for Dev diaries and wiki threads, this is a backwards step in the design.

Edit: Seen the response and it looks like a reduction in the number of clicks needed. This is therefore a good thing.
 
Last edited:

Sound Of Trance

Druidic Lightning Elephant
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Looks cleaner, and less cluttered. It is different, but I'm diggin it. Nice work!
 

Trinitrotoluen

tu felix Austria
Sep 16, 2003
1.393
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I would like to echo the sentiments of those who are somewhat critical. A forum's reason to exist is to provide easy access to information and not to look pretty while making things harder to navigate. Please at least reduce the (IMO) wholly unnecessary graphical clutter if retaining the old forum skin as an option is impossible.
 

Aardvark Bellay

Lord Wuffington of Grumpytown by the barks
Apr 5, 2001
14.153
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- I don't like white and black in any combination as a forum colors.
If there are other options, fine.

- Big pictures for the games require more scrolling, mobile or not.

- Having subforums only mentioned in the headlines of each forum will likely
rather increase ignorance of them and misposting. As an alternative i could
imagine the subforum names in the example in a line below the game forum
name, the graphic with name above suffices, and bolder and maybe bigger in
size than the game forum name to make them obvious enough.


Apart from that :
I miss the features we had in the old forum.
Putting cheese on top doesn't make it better.
Clear structure overview is what a forum requires and less so graphical cheese.
I like the way it currently looks, though also missing old different forum colors and customisation options.

If this turns into something akin to the Steam or for instance GalCiv forums, don't expect an increase in usage.
 
Last edited:

Denkt

Field Marshal
May 28, 2010
15.723
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Only good if it let you keep how it looks right now as I don't see anything good from the Pictures.
 

Peter Ebbesen

the Conqueror
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1.
Using space for a column on the right to feature advertisements, tweets, and links to shopping and other stuff as well as having a large game-specific banner at top is a criminal waste of screen real estate from the POV of a regular forum user using the forum to participate in forum discussions rather than as a shopping centre for the easily distracted, and it does nothing for the casual forum user who's just here to post about a bug or ask for technical help either.

I trust that those features are optional and can be disabled in settings rather than hogging screen real estate at all times.

2. It looks at first glance as if more clicks are needed to navigate the interface for ordinary browsing/reading - but I may be wrong on that.

3. It looks at first glance as if the possibility of writing posts using pure manual formatting BBcode (as is currently possible by clicking the BB editor button) is gone? Either that or it has another symbol. In any case IF it is gone, let me note that losing that functionality would be bad for AAR writers, who typically write up posts using the proper formatting using whatever text-editors they prefer, and then copy-paste them into the BB editor interface to be sure that it actually ends up formatted exactly as they want it rather than the occasionally creative interpretations the default editing interface come up with, when something with a lot of manually written BBcodes is entered into it.

4. Exactly which use-cases is the new forum look intended to do better with than the current? Cross-selling to stunned bunnies? Providing live feed updates and advertisements to the easily distracted? Providing pretty pictures crowding out the text? Is that REALLY what you think people visit your forums for? :p

5. To not be so relentlessly negative, I see one good thing in that forum mockup. The wiki link. But you don't need to reserve an entire column just for that. :D

6. If you really, dearly, and sincerely need to have your cross-selling options available in a right hand column, how about killing off the tweet stream, commercials, etc that currently take up the space under it and instead providing something that would be of at least some use to forum users, such as a vertical menu of forum subdirectories for quick navigation? You know, there's a lot of space there. When you have subdirectories in a horizontal list at the top (as in the pictures), all you gain is that you run out of space and require people to scroll sideways to see them all, making it harder both to get an overview and to access them.
 
Last edited:

Tyon

Westfälische Volksbefreiungsfront
Mar 5, 2007
547
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Seriously?
Tiles to enter the subforums?

Why not simply make a specific mobile skin?
 

paintedindigo

almost one decade on here
Dec 2, 2010
24
0
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I was worried about what might happen in a potential forum re-design, but this actually looks really nice. I do agree with the others that the tiles look a bit odd on a desktop, but it's a pretty minor complaint. I like that it's still full-featured forums, and the different color schemes for different games look good.
 

Jernau_

Second Lieutenant
Feb 8, 2018
133
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Looks ok, but I think the forum works fine as it is now.

From the pics you posted the banners on each forum looks way too big (but they are too big on the forum we have now as well). I'd also prefer it if i dont have to scroll to find the subforums, especially on a mobile device.

You dont show it in the pics, but hopefully the front page will still show the latest dev diaries as thats what I primarily use the forum for.
 
Last edited:

Willem IV

Alexander
Aug 4, 2008
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Doesn’t look good, I’m afraid that the old ‘good’ functionality will suffer. I don’t need a mobile friendly forum, it needs to be PC friendly.
 

Darth.

Lt. General
Apr 29, 2017
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I like the way the new forums look but the tiles look weird on a desktop. However it does seem like it would be much easier to navigate on a phone so there is that.

Also I hope you retained the BB code editor.

I like the Tweet functionality on the right side for the individual game forums, but I think the ads could be smaller.
 

Darth.

Lt. General
Apr 29, 2017
1.672
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Doesn’t look good, I’m afraid that the old ‘good’ functionality will suffer. I don’t need a mobile friendly forum, it needs to be PC friendly.
Me and everyone I know, uses the forums more on phone than pc tbh. Plus it does look good on pc barring the tiles which seems like less clicks on pc tbh trading anesthetics for functionality is fine with me.
 

Willem IV

Alexander
Aug 4, 2008
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I use my iPad for the forum mostly, so I don’t need a mobile forum. That’s my humble opinion.
 

Topias

Captain
Sep 30, 2015
486
460
Why is Paradox obsessed with fixing things that weren't broken?
Pretty much every company with a website does this. Just think about YouTube making their site worse with every update.

Anyway, I'm personally not looking forward to the update. Call me a pessimist, but I doubt it's going to actually improve on anything beyond maybe the very superficial, and I fear it will be detrimental to actual functions.
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
Aug 1, 2002
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Would be happy to get some response on the screenshots below! (high and low!)
Hi Freddy

Taking you at your word here, as I have already had someone in my actual day job get snooty at me for asking for feedback but wanting praise.

Also, from the perspective of a moderately heavy forum user, but not expecting any of my points to necessarily being original. Below is a mix of observations and questions, and then a final comment.

A - I dislike constantly having the column down the side. On the front page - fine.

B - Top banner is already too large imo, and this looks to make it worse. Currently the banner at the top of the forum and associated menus and what have you take up more than 50% of my monitor screen, causing a lot of un-necessary scrolling. This looks to make that problem worse

C - I suspect putting the subforums in a line across the top will (like @Aardvark Bellay states above) will effectively make them invisible. Ok, I know lots of people don't notice there are there as is, but this will make it worse.

This is especially likely to be the case because there simply will not be space for the subforums to be properly listed. Actually, the more I think about it the more I regard this as a bad design decision for this very reason. If you cannot display them horizontally as one line, then you need to have at least two lines imo, or drop the entire idea.

D - The large splash screens for game forums ... looks pretty yes, but in practical terms no. Much much wasted space

E - As regards to @Peter Ebbesen 's point about BB Code I know the Paradox team has had a view towards the AAR subfora of benign neglect since the take-off of streaming, but it would be a great shame to lose functionality. However, it may be this is just something one cannot see from a screenshot.

F - Mark Read and Watch forum buttons seem nice and clear. Ditto watch thread.

G - No Search Thread functionality?

H - Can't tell if there are still threadmarks (which I know in AAR subfora are a very welcome feature we would be very sorry to lose, and I have seen used elsewhere too). But maybe I am missing something

I - My overall impression is, unfortunately, someone decided that style was more important than functionality. Form no longer follows function? Or is it a case of mobile functionality is the deteriment of pc functionality?

J - Not at all obvious how to accesse Watched Threads / Forums from these screenshots.

K - Where would notifications display?

L - Currently the forum structure is displayed at the bottom of the page as well as at the top. The screenshots do not appear to show this. Please consider it - when you have just read through a thread, and sometimes having posted, it can be very useful to use that as a navigational tool at the bottom of the page, where one already "is" if that makes sense.

M - Not that I use them currently much myself sharing buttons for thread/post look nice and clear

N - How configurable is all of this? Because from the initial feedback I have seen it looks like some users will really like these changes, whilst others will find them a bit obstructive.

O - Relating to (I) above, I wonder if this aimed largely towards the relatively casual forum user? Trying to make it look welcoming and pleasing. That is a quite legitimate objective. Unfortunately ... I am not in that demographic.

P - Any chance for a few of us to actual get to play around in the new version before it goes live? You have offered us these screenshots as a look - which is great - but only so much can be done looking at screenshots.

Q - What are these "few nice features" you mention?

R - The presentation of threads is clear. It looks less cluttered than current, an effect that appears to be achieved by increasing the amount of space each thread takes up. However, this comes at the cost of space efficiency, and for my own part I didn't thing the forum presentation was that cluttered anymore to begin with (admittedly, I remember the forums of yesterday which were more cluttered at times).

S - Am I correct in that you are removing the three reactions of Agree, Helpful, and respectfully disagree with a single like? am I missing something?

T - Is the little up arrow after someone's name in a quote a "hide quote" button or does it link up to the quoted post, or something else?

Ok, I am going to have stop now as I have spent my entire lunch break poring over this, and need to get back to work :)

However, to put the above in context and less I sound overly negative I want it to be understood that I have spent thousands of hours on these fora over the last 18 years of my life. Friends I have made here have literally helped ensure I didn't top myself in 2007. I have an emotional connection to these fora. Therefore I really wish to see them be absolutely the very best they can be. These criticisms and questions are offered very much in the spirit of friendship, and I hope they are received that well.

All the best
stnylan