Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

redbullmarky

Custom Forums

Recommended Posts

Hi all

A few times in the past i've tried to integrate forums into my sites, but never managed to get things looking as good as i'd like. this time around, i decided to write my own from scratch.
obviously they're not as feature packed or 'glam' as say vBulletin or invision, or even phpbb, but i reckon they fit nicely and follow the same style as alot of my other sections in the site.

Any thoughts?

[a href=\"http://www.thedinnertimes.com/forum/index.php\" target=\"_blank\"]DinnerTimes Forums[/a]

Cheers
Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't like the way the forums/topics are laid out, at first I was like, where the @#&$ are the forums? It should be laid out like they usually are

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[!--quoteo(post=345706:date=Feb 14 2006, 03:58 PM:name=Lorian)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Lorian @ Feb 14 2006, 03:58 PM) [snapback]345706[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
I don't like the way the forums/topics are laid out, at first I was like, where the @#&$ are the forums? It should be laid out like they usually are
[/quote]

Hi Lorian

thats a fair comment. again, like most of the stuff on the site, it seems like a 50/50 love it/hate it. i'm just trying to keep a different spin on all the stuff in the site, which is purposely why i didnt do it like a proper forum.

it's a valid point though - i'm sure i could have it laid out better than it is - but i'm fairly adament that i'm gonna stick to my guns and not lay the main forums/topics out like a proper forum. if anyone's got any ideas on the best way to do it, but still keeping the 'theme' the same, i'd be very keen to hear your thoughts.

Cheers
Mark

[b]EDIT:[/b] oh - not sure who it was that tried to access an invalid forum by changing the URL, but thanks - you helped me find something that coulda been a major problem.

Cheers
Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[!--quoteo(post=345710:date=Feb 14 2006, 11:16 AM:name=redbullmarky)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(redbullmarky @ Feb 14 2006, 11:16 AM) [snapback]345710[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Hi Lorian

thats a fair comment. again, like most of the stuff on the site, it seems like a 50/50 love it/hate it. i'm just trying to keep a different spin on all the stuff in the site, which is purposely why i didnt do it like a proper forum.

it's a valid point though - i'm sure i could have it laid out better than it is - but i'm fairly adament that i'm gonna stick to my guns and not lay the main forums/topics out like a proper forum. if anyone's got any ideas on the best way to do it, but still keeping the 'theme' the same, i'd be very keen to hear your thoughts.

Cheers
Mark

[b]EDIT:[/b] oh - not sure who it was that tried to access an invalid forum by changing the URL, but thanks - you helped me find something that coulda been a major problem.

Cheers
Mark
[/quote]

I don't like it, it is very confusing. There is a reason that forums are structured the way they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the layout of the forums. I dont see it as confusing at all. It all matches in with the rest of the site too.
A forum doesnt have to be like any other forum out there. Theres no standard to what a forum should look like.

I like it! Good work redbullmarky!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[!--quoteo(post=345727:date=Feb 14 2006, 04:55 PM:name=jcombs_31)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(jcombs_31 @ Feb 14 2006, 04:55 PM) [snapback]345727[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
I don't like it, it is very confusing.
[/quote]

Fair enough. Just out of curiosity, is it confusing because it's not what youre used to, or because it literally is confusing full stop? obviously either way there's a problem. i'd like to make them as easy to use as possible, but as before without actually going down the 'normal forum' road.

[!--quoteo(post=345727:date=Feb 14 2006, 04:55 PM:name=jcombs_31)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(jcombs_31 @ Feb 14 2006, 04:55 PM) [snapback]345727[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
There is a reason that forums are structured the way they are.
[/quote]

how can i break the mould? what's the compromise that will keep things friendly for regular forum users, but also to keep within the 'theme', aside from just getting a copy of phpbb or whatever and changing the skin?

Cheers for your comments.

[!--quoteo(post=345731:date=Feb 14 2006, 05:07 PM:name=wildteen88)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(wildteen88 @ Feb 14 2006, 05:07 PM) [snapback]345731[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
I like the layout of the forums. I dont see it as confusing at all. It all matches in with the rest of the site too.
A forum doesnt have to be like any other forum out there. Theres no standard to what a forum should look like.

I like it! Good work redbullmarky!
[/quote]

hey wildteen thanks for your comments! what you said about matching the rest of the site is more important than anything. if you take a look at the 'classified' section, you'll see that those are laid out using exactly the same theme.
i am gonna stick to my guns as far as the theme goes, but i do to an extent agree with other posters too - i think there could be a good compromise that wouldn't mean me 'giving in to the trend' totally.

the forums are based on the intranet staff forums of an airline company my girlfriend works for.one of the other main reasons i decided to write the forums myself is that i just loved how easy to use they were - not just for computer experts and people who use forums all the time, but for literally anyone.

Cheers
Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I does not flow naturally. They eye doesn't want to jump all around a page like that.

Like I mentioned, forums are designed a specific way for a reason, easy for the user reading and navigating. Sometimes it is not a good idea to change something that is not broken just to be different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[!--quoteo(post=345732:date=Feb 14 2006, 02:13 PM:name=redbullmarky)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(redbullmarky @ Feb 14 2006, 02:13 PM) [snapback]345732[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Fair enough. Just out of curiosity, is it confusing because it's not what youre used to, or because it literally is confusing full stop?
[/quote]

Mark, that's all the user will see.. if it look unlike customary people have to see, they will leave before learn.. just few ones will try it.. look, few for the www-count.. ;)

i agree.. very confusing..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure if it works for me. Seems to take longer to scan through them, so I imagine that if there were lots of new topics and posts it would get annoying eventually.

Good effort in trying something new, but with the way forums have been perfected I'm not sure this is an area you should try reinventing the wheel on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[!--quoteo(post=345786:date=Feb 14 2006, 07:49 PM:name=Javizy)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Javizy @ Feb 14 2006, 07:49 PM) [snapback]345786[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Not sure if it works for me. Seems to take longer to scan through them, so I imagine that if there were lots of new topics and posts it would get annoying eventually.

Good effort in trying something new, but with the way forums have been perfected I'm not sure this is an area you should try reinventing the wheel on.
[/quote]

valid comments from everyone here, and all taken on board.
i'm solidly sticking my ground on the concept/theme of this one, but i've kinda had a (slight) compromise.

here's the old one:
[a href=\"http://www.thedinnertimes.com/forum/forumbak.php?fid=2\" target=\"_blank\"]Forums - Old Topic layout[/a]
[a href=\"http://www.thedinnertimes.com/forum/forum.php?fid=2\" target=\"_blank\"]Forums - New Topic layout[/a]

any thoughts on the new layout? slightly easier to digest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[!--quoteo(post=345878:date=Feb 14 2006, 11:43 PM:name=redbullmarky)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(redbullmarky @ Feb 14 2006, 11:43 PM) [snapback]345878[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
valid comments from everyone here, and all taken on board.
i'm solidly sticking my ground on the concept/theme of this one, but i've kinda had a (slight) compromise.

here's the old one:
[a href=\"http://www.thedinnertimes.com/forum/forumbak.php?fid=2\" target=\"_blank\"]Forums - Old Topic layout[/a]
[a href=\"http://www.thedinnertimes.com/forum/forum.php?fid=2\" target=\"_blank\"]Forums - New Topic layout[/a]

any thoughts on the new layout? slightly easier to digest?
[/quote]

Yeah that's not too bad much easier to skim through. One thing I would suggest is some navigation at the bottom of the topic pages so you don't have to scroll back to the top after reading. Other than that looking good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For the right-column, instead of older topics, try doing something else, like links to related articles or topic information. Multiple columns just don't work for forums, I'm afraid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cheers all

moberemk, i've tried various things in the right hand column, such as related articles, links to other sections of the site, etc, but it does seem to detract from the whole concept and looks even more confusing. having said that though, i'm still looking at other ideas for the right hand column, but it's really gotta be right for the forum/site/uniformity/consistency throughout the site as a whole.

Javizy, youre right about the nav so i'll have a look at things i can use to spruce things up and make things easier to skim around. only thing i don't want to do is to overcrowd things with buttons and stuff, as i think by sticking to my guns, the 'basic, no frills' approach could really work well. it's safe to assume that people who use phpfreaks, etc, are computer literate and just know how to get around complex forums. i'm actually targetting people from all walks - so that even someone who hardly ever uses a computer will be able to find their way around and get involved.
glad you find the new way a bit better though!

jcombs_31 i did at one point find my own eyes skimming all over the place to find stuff lol i think it's always harder when you make things yourself to actually see these things that make it confusing for other people. hopefully i've done enough to make it a bit more easy on the eyes.

any more thoughts, feel free to comment!
Cheers
Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah buttons and stuff would cluster things. Something like a simple set of Index > Forum > Topic links at the bottom on one side, and the page numbers on the other would be good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[!--quoteo(post=346384:date=Feb 16 2006, 02:48 PM:name=Javizy)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Javizy @ Feb 16 2006, 02:48 PM) [snapback]346384[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
Yeah buttons and stuff would cluster things. Something like a simple set of Index > Forum > Topic links at the bottom on one side, and the page numbers on the other would be good.
[/quote]

i got a breadcrumb-type thing at the top of the pages - you reckon then that i should also put it at the bottom of the pages?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alright... a few things:

1) I think the menu could use some work. I think what you're using for a "selected" class should be the default and you should put a bottom border on them all to make them feel more seperated. The highlight class should lighten the background color and possibly change the bar on the left. The "selected" class should then invert the colors completely (little bar colors become the main background and vice versa). Something along those lines would help. But you definately need a seperator bar... without it, I think it all kind of runs together. Same runs true for the columns you have... it's nice that you use different background colors for the content and nav areas, but it still would hurt to throw a quick border between the two and on the outside.

2) Colors, colors, colors. I'll say it again, colors. The header green doesn't appear much elsewhere, especially in the menu. I think it should. And I also think it might look better if it were a shade darker. Then we have your favicon.ico that shows up on favorites lists, etc... that blue doesn't really appear anywhere that I can see. BE CONSISTENT! It also wouldn't hurt to add something to the main background (not the content area, but the outside). There's too much whitespace, IMHO. A gradient or even something off-white (light grey perhaps?) would help to soften the site a bit.

3) I do like the scroller thing you have at the top... it's not over-the-top annoying. However, it probably wouldn't hurt to throw a light grey border around that as well.

4) Fonts. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm not crazy about the main font you're using. It's not as clean as some fonts are and it gives the whole site a bit of a messy look, IMO. You may consider changing it to Arial or something just for kicks to see how it looks in comparison.

5) The concept: I'm not crazy about it, but it is sort of growing on me the more and more I use the site. It's definately not a typical forum setup, and I can't decide whether that's a bad thing or a good thing. What I think it may turn into is more of a comment system than a thread-response type system. I don't really see the migration of news-article + normal thread talk going on in a layout like that. It's almost unnatural.

nitpicky: link to newest member in "stuff" area on main page is unreadable. search engine submission of nothing doesn't really do anything... it just seems to return me to the page I was on. There should be some kind of warning of incorrect usage. And if I put in some PHP code to the search engine, it kinda screws up the input box... you might want to check for <?php and ?> and scrap any results if you see em.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thank you for your comments!

[!--quoteo(post=347696:date=Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM) [snapback]347696[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
1) I think the menu could use some work.
[/quote]
yeah i think youre right. it has been mentioned before that the menu is a bit rubbish, and considering it's the main way of getting around it could do with more work than it HAS had on it :)

[!--quoteo(post=347696:date=Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM) [snapback]347696[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
2) Colors, colors, colors. I'll say it again, colors.
[/quote]
point taken. i've picked up more from you about colours than anyone, so a point not to be ignored. the green does actually look a bit out of place, especially since i added a newspaper-clipping theme behind the logo. it's just a solid block of colour surrounded by 'activity'.
as for the FAVICON - that's just pure laziness on my behalf. basically, i was getting thousands and thousands of errors due to missing favicon file (still working out why) so i used one temporarily from my company website to keep things under control whislt i got on with other stuff. but yeah youre right - the logo looks stupid in a way and doesnt site in with anything lol

[!--quoteo(post=347696:date=Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM) [snapback]347696[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
3) I do like the scroller thing you have at the top... it's not over-the-top annoying. However, it probably wouldn't hurt to throw a light grey border around that as well.
[/quote]
the latest news ticker? again, point taken. sometimes i actually thing it looks a bit odd sitting above the page title...

[!--quoteo(post=347696:date=Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM) [snapback]347696[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
4) Fonts.
[/quote]
my font family in my CSS is Trebuchet MS, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial. i DID have Georgia, and it looked GORGEOUS on my mac when i first tested it. however, the PC (FF and IE) didnt agree so much and it looked a bit nasty. i'll have a play around with this - ideally, i need a quirky font that looks good on ALL browsers, that definitely ISNT comic sans lol

[!--quoteo(post=347696:date=Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM) [snapback]347696[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
5) The concept: I'm not crazy about it, but it is sort of growing on me the more and more I use the site. It's definately not a typical forum setup, and I can't decide whether that's a bad thing or a good thing. What I think it may turn into is more of a comment system than a thread-response type system. I don't really see the migration of news-article + normal thread talk going on in a layout like that. It's almost unnatural.
[/quote]
yeah it's definitely odd, and i've resisted the temptation to 'normalise' it, as it seemed to fit well in with the concept of the entire site. the ability for a user to interact to everything on the site was the most important thing i was thinking about when putting things together.

[!--quoteo(post=347696:date=Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM) [snapback]347696[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
nitpicky: link to newest member in "stuff" area on main page is unreadable.
[/quote]
yeah the colour clashes with the BG if i'm right?

[!--quoteo(post=347696:date=Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM:name=ober)--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(ober @ Feb 20 2006, 07:33 PM) [snapback]347696[/snapback][/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]
search engine submission of nothing doesn't really do anything... it just seems to return me to the page I was on. There should be some kind of warning of incorrect usage. And if I put in some PHP code to the search engine, it kinda screws up the input box... you might want to check for <?php and ?> and scrap any results if you see em.
[/quote]
that's the ticket. after spending the entire today recovering my other computer from a complete wobbly and losing 2 years worth of stuff, i think i've learn a few lessons about backups and security so things like that definitely help alot!!!

Cheers
Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've read me right on the questions you threw in there. I think it has a lot of potential. Keep working on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.