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New design for AVForums commissioned

Rock27gr

Novice Member
Though in general I think the redesign is better and more streamlined than the current site, it feels to me more like a start-up online store rather than a technology web-site.

I know the site is called avForums, but maybe you could separate the main page from the forums and give is a more web-magazine style to highlight the editorial content? Of course I have no idea about web development and are only talking based on a first-glance experience about the new look.
 

Sofa-loafer

Active Member
Interesting that you found CompletevB as it is they who are doing the new style for us.
The font for the logo is futura bold. The CompletevB guys are going to work on a new logo using futura bold but with the idea of making the AVF part of the logo a more usable icon in itself.
Looks like a positive choice Re: CompletevB - Their style is uncluttered & forward looking. I like the calendar feature, also the tabbed side info-bars that collapse/expand.

I guess this base design would be something close to where you'd like to be in the not too distant future? - :CompletevB Demo vB4 & - News Page...

For me the AVForums logo would need to be emblematic. A bold 2 or 3 tone symbol that can be identified at a glance. Like the one's found here - :Top 33 Ranked logos - Wanna join them? :thumbsup:

Cheers for the font, I'll start knocking a few ideas up... :smashin:
 
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Merlin5

Novice Member
to new people a thread is part of your shirt
:laugh:



. Preferable to threads and posts are discussions and messages.
My 2 cents.

I must say, I prefer 'topic' to 'discussion'.


New Topic (instead of New 'Thread')

Write Reply (instead of 'Post' Reply)

(or Send Reply or Make Reply )

Also

Hot topic with new replies

You have written in this topic



Also, to replace' post' in other areas,
You may send attachments

or

You may include attachments


I've been trying to think of an alternative word instead of 'messages' to replace 'post' in all the other forum areas such as a members total number of posts, no new posts, etc. Would 'postings' be any more intuitive than
'posts' do you think? Probably not, just a thought though. The reason being is that to me, in the case of a members total posts as written under his join date, the word 'Posts' or even 'Postings' encompasses all topics AND replies that a member has made, whereas 'Messages' sounds like it means only replies.
 
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Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Stuart

looking good mate

how do you feel about a move to VB 4 ?

We are thinking of moving across but another site did and user where not hapy at all :(

Just asking

Giz
Forums @ The Ford RS Owners Club - Powered by vBulletin
Never going to happen. vB4 is a complete disaster and we're not touching it with a barge pole. Badly coded to the extent that it's a bad business decision to use it and those forum owners who have installed it are either unaware of how bad it is (in which case I feel sorry for them) or deliberately trying to wreck their forum.
 

99Gizmo

Novice Member
I know mate

I/we own a 3 licence have done for years !!

Now they want to us to buy a 4 licence ! or pay 20 for a 3 month version 3 support ????

I am considering to 4 licence not for 4 NO WAY, but for onging support and hacks for 3 :)

the CMS is a good idea but you can get a FREE one, how long till vb put a nail in it ?

Giz
 
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Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
I know mate

I/we own a 3 licence have done for years !!

Now they want to us to buy a 4 licence ! or pay 20 for a 3 month version 3 support ????

I am considering to 4 licence not for 4 NO WAY, but for onging support and hacks for 3 :)

the CMS is a good idea but you can get a FREE one, how long till vb put a nail in it ?

Giz
This is slightly off topic, but I've commissioned this style work and other mods for vB 3.8 because we are sticking with it until we can upgrade to new forum software. That will happen in about 12 months I expect.
 

JamesBaby

Well-known Member
The new site looks awesome. This forum is quality!!. A revamp of the website will only make it even better.

Thanks for your hard work making this a great site.

:smashin::smashin:
 

Manicstate

Standard Member
I thought I would chip my two bobs worth in on the new site design.

I think it looks pretty good. It looks clean and clear and I like the colour differences for each of the sections, although I would have liked icons in the headers as well for quick visuals and using red for the bargains.

One thing it does fail on for me is the top navigation section. I don't think this is being utilised enough considering it's the first thing a user will look at. The search box should be more prominent. Your twitter and Facebook links seem to be more important to you than someone wanting to search and find something on your site and the main buttons should be a bit better designed as someone else has said already.

As for the person saying it looks like something from the 90's well I think I know why he's saying that, as I remember when the Eye Candy plugin came out for photoshop and all of a sudden there was beveled and shiny websites everywhere but they never looked like this.

So I would have made a few adjustments but overall we all know content is king on this website and as long as it's easy to find you're on to a winner.

Good luck with it all:thumbsup:
 

leeb-1977

Well-known Member
New design looks great - place is in need of a lick of polish imo.

Just one question - is the new design still iphone friendly?
 

.digital

Novice Member
Looks very nice cant wait to use it :)
 

scjgreen

Novice Member
I like it :)
 

pragmatic

Distinguished Member
Is someone spamming this thread or is there a problem with the email? I keep getting this in my inbox
sorialoriza said:
I am new here and read this article and agree with this artilce.
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Is someone spamming this thread or is there a problem with the email? I keep getting this in my inbox
Primary thread on the home page so it's attracting spam.
Spammers, incidentally are wasting their time because we have rel=nofollow on all outbound links which means Google effectively ignores them.
Anyhow we get rid of spammers and their spam very quickly with just a couple of clicks.
 

alifatemi

Standard Member
I really need better colors, IMHO, what we have now is deadly plain uninvited colors that for those old friends might be not important 'cause they mostly pay attention to the texts but for new comers...? and still I will enjoy more cheerful ones. but whatever it may become, please don't make it complected; web designers like to show off their abilities, designing very complicated pages with flash and menus to charge you even more! avoid it please and make it as simple as possible. good luck!
 

deksawyer

Novice Member
I quite like the last screen shot Stu posted, but there are 2 things that still make it feel dated. That yellow/cream non-distinct colour and the logo.

Both are straight from the 80's and don't fit well with the new design. I think the logo is slightly too small as well but that's maybe a side effect of it looking very dated.

The colour sub forum markers are a good addition as well.

D.
 

Stephen Carter

AVF Games Reviewer
Just a thought here; like you have the lastest hardware reviews bar near the top of the screen, maybe have one of these for latest games reviews etc too if it wouldnt overcrowd the page too much. Sorry if this has been said but i didnt want to trawl through all the posts :)
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
What about a move to Invision Power Board?
No, we're going to XenForo.

Just a thought here; like you have the lastest hardware reviews bar near the top of the screen, maybe have one of these for latest games reviews etc too if it wouldnt overcrowd the page too much. Sorry if this has been said but i didnt want to trawl through all the posts :)
We'll be having a dedicated game review section with a new option in the reviews menu.
There are a few things up in the air at the moment, though.
 

tryingtimes

Well-known Member
On a design-related note Stuart, I recently returned to the site after a bit of an absence, and find that the line-spacing has been reduced. I think this makes paragraph blocks of text quite difficult to read. Was there a deliberate decision to do this?

Anyway - my 2p says that it should be opened up a bit, both in the editor and in the posts.
 

MrBeast

Standard Member
The new layout is gonna look good, can't wait to check it out more :thumbsup:
 

Albo

Standard Member
Just some small input from me - and yes it's my first post – but I have been a keen user and supporter of the site for a good while now. There's been no point in me posting to the forums as the people on there usually know much more than me! It's why I visit. That said – I do feel I can contribute to a branding / web design discussion.

Personally I don't subscribe to the ‘if it ain't broke' mantra as websites/blogs/forums should always be evolving. Yes, content is vital to bringing users back; but look and feel, navigation, speed of loading, usability all contribute to richen the visitor experience – particularly when ‘locking in' first time vistors.

But - if you are planning another update / updated platform after this rebadge – I'd hold any changes until then. In my experience even the smallest tweaks can cause niggles and fixes that take time – and suddenly your quick refresh becomes a major distraction from the day job and indeed the major update project. It will also mean users will only have one period of adapting to change and you are not locked into design elements that you may wish to change at the next update. In PR terms it also means you have one launch date, with all associated PR, promotion etc (should you do any) rather than a 2-phase weaker launch.

I won't comment on overall design / look and feel, as everyone's view is different. I‘ve learned over the years – you can't please everyone and design by committee never works. Sure, canvass opinion but ultimately be brave and follow your own gut feel – it'll usually be right.

So, if you must go for a 2 stage approach – here are a few small observations:

I'd be sure that whatever colours, icons and general navigation aids you choose for sections in the rebadge remain in the next update, as users will have mentally wed themselves to them.

On the AVF logo – and sorry if this sounds harsh – I wouldn't waste any time on development of a new one if you are wedded to the ‘VF' device. This is what dates the logo the most and always will if it doesn't change. My gut feel is that it's probably been there in one form or another since you started the site, and was probably designed by one of the originators and so has an emotional bond. Nothing wrong with that but don't waste time or money tweaking the other elements IMHO.

On advertising – I realise they pay the wages etc but I would limit the animation cycle on animated gifs to one – so that the same advert doesn't keep rotating while reading the same page – it's distracting, annoying and smacks of ‘cheaper' websites.

Whatever you do – keep up the great work – I can't make a technical purchase with confidence without the site! Thanks guys.
 
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barahawk

Novice Member
hi stuart, i don't post often, also i hardly ever view the front screen (like many others i imagine, due to the lack of replies so far). however, I've read the thread and ill give my personal views if that's ok. I'm posting via phone so sorry for any bad mistakes i make.

firstly, a change is due and always welcome so good on you for that, tech and it are always moving forward people adjust so ignore any posts advising against change.

i would change the logo, the vf part makes it look the main part, when in actuallity its the Av or avf. i would not neccessarily rebrand but avf as main logo would be better, easier to find for potential new users possibly? each letter as important as the other, each standing for a word themselves.
on this note i would like to mention this site (service!) is more than a forum, which agrees with my argument to drop orums from logo, abbreviation is fine!

the colour coding is a good idea in the right nice colours, i won't give an opinion on colours, I'm not an artist haha.

my last point/query would be, how hard would it be to offer an eaay to find option to revert to last site design for the current/infrequent users to change to this design for their ease of use/simplicity (and save to account/cookies) so they view in this style, but all new visitors (potential users and contributors) see the new striking and inviting style?

i hope my htc hd2 has not buggered up my points too much haha, I'd like to end on the point its good of you to ask for points of view from your users (customers to an extent) for input as they are the market for you, unlike corporate companies who hire rubbish to design what they think is best!
david.
 

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