Web design, eh?

design

#1

Seems that this topic isn’t very popular considering that a fair percentage of members here should be web designers.

nevertheless, I want to talk about the design of the forums here at DreamHost. Personally, I think they’re godawful. It reminds me of something from Netscape 2.0 or something from 1995. The all-gray colour scheme with dark blue links and the flat, cramped appearance of it makes it dreadful to browse threads. I call for a redesign!

What would be nice is something run by the Invision Power Boards:
http://www.invisionboard.com/

Lovely interface, as seen here: http://demo.invisionboard.com/v2/

Avatars would be nice, too. This message board is surprisingly sparse considering the number of members. I’d expect it to be used more often.


#2

vBulletin is the standard for business forums. I actually have been voting for that over at the web control panel (Home > Suggestions)


GungHost.com :: DreamServers.net :: DreamRegistrar.com


#3

They offer a “One click install” for PhPbb

They should try this on they own server :smiley:


#4

[quote]They offer a “One click install” for PhPbb

They should try this on they own server :smiley:

[/quote]

Oh yes, AGREE!


GungHost.com :: DreamServers.net :: DreamRegistrar.com


#5

I personally like the minimal design. It doesn’t reek of “design for design’s sake” like most web forums.

I think one of my favorite features is the lack of avatars. I also like the flat look of the board, but I’m a sucker for content. I’d rather have a flat design than a trashy Vegas shell any day.

It would be nice to have the features of a modern web forum without the scabby ‘design’ residue they all lump on the surface.


#6

I think it’s great. Yes it doesn’t have all the features of some other forums but it’s also secure. By making their own system/forums they know the ins/outs and more importantly others don’t. So it’s much more secure if closed source so to speak.

Plus it’s more professional using your own software rather than a bought or free package in my opinion. Look at the DH panel. Home made and expandable when DH wants to. Over at my old hosts (spit) they had Cpanel and some common forums. I think the whole homemade stuff is better :). After all, isn’t your own food (usually) better than prepackaged junk food?


#7

“Lovely”? Are you color blind? I prefer web sites that aren’t painful to look at, thanks. I’ll also throw in my vote against user icons/“avatars” or anything else that contributes clutter, as opposed to actual content, to the pages.

These forums are far more professional and classy looking than that god awful, fisher-price-looking thing you linked to. In my opinion, this forum actually looks pretty good. Over-designing gets in the way more often than not. Read up on design and usability principles sometime.


If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.


#8

This forum wasn’t actually written by DH. It seems to be something by Infopop, possibly old, possibly modified.

There is something to be said for not re-inventing the wheel, but for something as central to the service as a control panel, it’s usually far better to develop your own than to shoehorn your system into something that will work with a third-party product.


If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.


#9

There is a pretty good, minimal and modern forum package named punBB. You can check it out at: http://www.punbb.org/

Off topic, I first heard of punBB while using the Textpattern forums. Textpattern is also big on minimal design, yet elegant and packed with features.


#10

count me among the “[color=#00CC00]content is king and this forum loads like lightening and presents it’s info well[/color]” crowd.

As I’ve been saying for years now tho, somebody’s gotta crack the style sheet and make the links discernable from regular text. Ridiculously easy to do, and ridiculously bad link colors in the flow of posts.

The white on grey of the “new posts count” is teh suck as well (esp on an lcd tilts screen to and fro) but sufferable.

make links gooder! RAWR!

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#11

Yeah, I’m another designer who likes the simplicity and speed of this forum. Glad it’s not just another bloated phpBB board. However, the recent posts list is pretty unwieldly and I second the need to fix the illegible rollovers of this “outta the box” stylesheet. and… add a link to the kbase darn it :slight_smile:


#12

I’ll agree with the comments that favor content over flashiness. Take a look sometime at some other Web forums that permit a large amount of glitziness such as signature files with images, and that are frequented by large numbers of teenage users, and you’ll find threads consisting mostly of one-liner “Me Too” postings, each of which is trailed by a grotesquely humongous signature consisting of multiple enormous images expressing the writer’s celebrity obsessions, and so on.

– Dan


#13

Good god - PLEASE NO AVATARS!!!
Aside from being a ludicrous waste of screen space, adding page length, visual noise and of course, gobbling bandwidth unnecessarily they’re just plain amateurish. All we need are more bored people hanging out here for no reason other than to thrill us with their clever signatures latest anime online personality. How about we go with functionality here? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I find the forum here very usable. I appreciate that DreamHost doesn’t waste time on less than important revisions and upgrades.

BTW, if you love avatars, that’s cool - they’re just not appropriate here (imo, obviously). Ya know you can have as many as you want - just install word press - there’s a nifty avatar plugin available guaranteed to make your comments take up yards in square feet of screen real estate!

mail[at]mahalie[dot]com


#14

[quote]make links gooder! RAWR!

[/quote]

Better?

This is, as they say, a work in progress. Let me know what you think (and don’t be afraid to suggest hex color codes!).

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#15

I was about to hit you in another thread, say hello, and accuse you of artfully dodging this thread :smiley:

better! but now I’m off to find my suggested hex codes from back in the daaaaay… tbc

edit: meh, couldn’t find the post, it’s been a while! what you’ve done is a fair amount better but it’s not real “scannable” - maybe text-decoration:underline would pop out a bit more, or after a brief play in photoshop:

Links pop good here: #2525FF but screws up a few other things. Plug this in at the extreme end of the stylesheeet for a look if you like:

table.menubar, span.forumtitle, table.subjecttable { background-color : #dcdcec; }
hope all’s well at Dreamhost, good to see you around =)

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#16

I’ll opt for #0066FF . It’s still blue, but brighter.


MacManX.com
I don’t work here. I’m just your typical support forum volunteer.


#17

I’d actually suggest going with a slightly darker color. The blue at the time of this writing is a little garish. It clashes a bit with the general understated-ness of the site. If you want links in the body of the posts to stand out more, may I suggest underlining them? Non-underlined links are fine in menus and such where it’s obvious what’s a link and what isn’t, but a similar underlined color for links mixed in with regular text is easier on the eyes than a bright blue in the middle of black text.

The grey used for the new post count is great, much easier to read.


If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.


#18

I likes the linky colors now…


#19

Yup, nice links- 'cept the white on mouseovers disappears against the light gray. If you want “quiet,” how about sort of a rusty/peachy brown, like 9d4505? Hi Jeff- is good to see you here again.

~Chell


#20

I agree. The grey on the new post count is much nicer.


MacManX.com
I don’t work here. I’m just your typical support forum volunteer.