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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Forum layout question  (Read 5355 times)
Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« on: January 21, 2003, 02:05:12 PM »

For the last few months, I've had the forum laid out so that each section of it (General Forge Forums, Independent Game Forums, and Inactive Forums) are viewed separately.

I'd like people to respond and tell me if this has been a positive, negative, or neutral factor for them. Does it increase your reading and posting to Indie Game Forums? For the moderators of these forums: have you noticed more traffic because of the change?
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Valamir
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2003, 02:10:01 PM »

I routinely try to at least glance at ever forum (I'm afraid I can no longer keep up with the read every post of every thread plan of days gone by).
I've grown accustomed to switching screens.  It does not seem, once I got used to it, to be any more onerous than scrolling a long list.  It also does not seem to me to provide a tremendous benefit (although it likely would if the number of forums increases notably).

As far as traffic: no change that I can specifically attribute to this feature.
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Shreyas Sampat
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2003, 02:14:27 PM »

I like the partitioning; there's never any reason that I have to look around in the Inactive Forums section, and I routinely look at the Independent Games less often than the general forums.

I'd like access to a full list, though, simply for the clicking economy; if I come to the site and want to look specifically at, say, the Alyria forum, I have to get to the IG folder before I can reach its forum.
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Jason L Blair
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Posts: 636

Nothing is sacred.


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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2003, 03:57:09 PM »

The partitions are definite features for me. I wasn't too hep on them at first, but they've really grown on me. No forum traffic change that I've noticed. As someone who generally visits the Independent Games Forums over the General Forums, I like having them on their own page.
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Jason L Blair
Writer, Game Designer
Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2003, 04:02:07 PM »

In a standard installation of the forum - without the modifications I've made to make it operate as it does - you can get a screen of just one section by clicking on the section head. By default, though, you see the entire list.

With the modifications I've made, you see a singular section by default, but cannot get to a full list. In working out the details on the forthcoming Forge upgrade, I'm trying to decide which option is, well, optimal.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2003, 04:41:57 PM »

I have notice that I tend to spend all of my time on the General forums and nil time with the Independant Game Forums and it's partially because I just never see those forums anymore, Everyonce in a while I might go there, but since it's not one big list anymore, then I am less likely to notice a spurt of activity on one of those forums and go to check it out. Most of the time I never, ever see them.

If this is what you want, then go for it. If it's possible, you might want to try a main forum page that list all of the forums and then the sub categories for General and Independant Game. I think RPGnet has this structure.
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J B Bell
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2003, 05:38:24 PM »

I always use the "view recent posts" option, so I see a mixture sorted by "freshness."  In that way it doesn't make much difference to me.  On the rare occasions I do browse by forum, I like the new setup over the One Big List.

--JB
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"Have mechanics that focus on what the game is about. Then gloss the rest." --Mike Holmes
M. J. Young
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2003, 09:08:34 PM »

When I first arrived, this was already the design (I had glanced at the site a few times in the past, but had not registered or participated until more recently). I also had in mind that I did not want to become overly committed to too many forums. As a consequence, other than once looking to see what was on that page, I never visited the hidden forums list until Fang specifically invited me to carry a discussion on Scattershot. Now I glance at Scattershot every day.

It seems that having so clear a demarcation communicates to newcomers that these, on the first page, are somehow the important forums, and the others don't merit your attention if you aren't interested in their narrow focus. I don't think that's the goal or the intent, but I think it is the effect, at least for newcomers. I would probably be less inclined to ignore those forums if they didn't seem to have second-class (or second-page) status.

On the other hand, when GO empowered users to select which forums appeared on a personalized basis, I knocked out a lot of the game-specific ones I never used (I still have Sorcerer, Alyria, and Little Fears, for what it's worth), so it may be that it's my peculiarity.

--M. J. Young
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clehrich
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2003, 09:56:31 PM »

As another newcomer, I both agree and disagree with M.J.  The current layout does seem to emphasize the General Forums, but at the same time it makes pretty clear that the game-specific (or company-specific) boards are intended to be just that: specific.  Assuming that this is your intention, i.e. that you are willing to entertain all sorts of craziness on the General Forums but you want to keep things pretty focused on the specific game Forums, I'd say the layout works.

I do think it would help newbies to emphasize the "posts since I was last here" button, if possible.

It would also be nice if one could actually use the automatic login function.
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Chris Lehrich
joshua neff
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2003, 05:14:32 AM »

I liketh the layout of the fora. Verily.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2003, 06:32:34 AM »

I gotta agree with JB Bell & Clerich here. The "View posts since last visit" is a great feature. However, I was poking around for 8 months before I noticed it. While that embarassing fact sheds more light on my lack of perception than the layout, I also think emphasizing the feature would be helpful to newcomers.
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Serial Homicide Unit Hunt down a killer!
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wyrdlyng
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Posts: 193


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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2003, 09:13:31 PM »

Quote from: J B Bell
I always use the "view recent posts" option, so I see a mixture sorted by "freshness."  In that way it doesn't make much difference to me.


Just a ditto from me. :)
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Alex Hunter
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Tim C Koppang
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2003, 08:26:20 AM »

I'm just going to chime in and agree with the "view posts since last visit" people.  It's the way to go!

I also think increasing awarness of the function is a good idea, whether it be through layout or sticky annoucement.

And I know I've suggested this in the past, but I'd love to see a sort function on the "view posts since last visit" page.
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ethan_greer
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Posts: 869


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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2003, 10:27:27 AM »

Multiple sections good.

One big list of threads would become an instant clusterfuck IMO.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2003, 10:29:15 AM »

Hello,

I'm with Ethan and Josh. Semi-isolating (but not invisible-izing) the General, Specific, and Inactive fora was a huge improvement, and I'd like to keep it.

Best,
Ron
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