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what has always disturbed me at this forum

 2:39 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

What has always disturbed me a little about WebmasterWorld are the colors of the design. It just always looked so "anonymous" to me.

I know it's utterly stupid that it makes me feel this way, but a design such as the one over at searchenginewatch (just a random example) seems to give a forum a more "professional look" to my eyes. I can only mention again that I know its utterly stupid it makes me feel this way :D, but perception is reality isnt it?;-)

(That being said I like the content on this forum much better than at most others Im aware of, at the moment)



 2:28 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)


User Experience is a science, not a feeling you get in your leg or something.
Look up the term on Wikipedia (I doubt you'd find much in WW on the topic)


 2:36 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

User Experience is a science, not a feeling you get in your leg or something.

subexpression, you and wrgvt are on the same page. wrgvt stated that some people use technology for it's own sake, i.e. they're responding to it like a feeling in their leg.

Look up the term on Wikipedia...

Ha! Wikipedia is a cesspool of non-expert Internet addicts rewriting authoritative content found elsewhere on the web. Wikipedia is convenient but it's not authoritative. ;)

[edited by: martinibuster at 3:13 am (utc) on May 27, 2010]


 2:54 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I like an austere interface that gets one to the place they need to be with minimum fuss.

In the case of the home page, I'm too used to the variations over the years to be easily confused by it, but I could see how the space could be made more useful, a bit, perhaps ... I'm more of a guts guy, not so much UI.

The only thing about the forums is the intermediate page you get redirected to after logging in, and then needing to jump through some hoops to get back to where you were when you started logging in. The little intermediate page between post and view is in the same category, but not nearly as disruptive. I'm certain tidying those up will be included in any rebuild, so they'll be moot in a minute, anyway.

All in all, I have always appreciated WebmasterWorld's spartan landscape.


 7:55 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ha! Wikipedia is a cesspool of non-expert Internet addicts rewriting authoritative content found elsewhere on the web. Wikipedia is convenient but it's not authoritative.

Isn't that contradictory? ;)


 1:31 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't care about the colors/design, they work and don't produce eye strain. ABW redesigned recently and they really screwed things up. Please don't make the same mistake.


 2:04 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think the basic simplicity of the site is great. It loads well, and is easy to sort through. It definitely looks like a site that has been around for a long long while. I'm not crazy about the color scheme, but it doesn't make my head hurt, either. One user pointed out that they didn't like the rectangles. I don't mind them, they serve the purpose of organizing info, and rounded corners aren't worth the hassle until CSS3 is fully supported. You could maybe update the look, without changing thing super drastically and add a little character by using some subtle shading and gradients, kind of like the new Adobe Photoshop CS5 interface - very square!

I would definitely change the website header. I'd update the logo (tweak, not necessarily re-design), and definitely make the navigation larger, and more readily apparent (what px size is that? 8?). Every time I come back to the forums after not being here for a while, I'm always confused as to how to navigate, which brings me to the most important change:

Most importantly, I'd make "Search" much more apparent. That's the main way to navigate a forum. There should be some sort of large universal search in the header with a link to an advanced search on every page. Additionally, login/logout should be more apparent.

Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever been on the home page. I've only come here through search engines, or bookmarks to topics I'm following. I didn't even know there was a subscription forum until reading this thread. This should certainly be highlighted better in the *new* header with a few of the benefits. I may have joined a long time ago. I definitely wouldn't get rid of the subscription forum. Even though it's a steep fee, it keeps the overall quality of the posts high. I'm fine with a few ads here and there in the public forum to help increase revenue, though I'd hate it if they became overbearing.

Some users have had issues with the URLs. I'm OK with them not having post names in them. You'll end up with 100 million posts called "../php/help-me-plz.htm" The URLs are still short and have the category name in them, and the post number. I can't think of a better way to organize them. (would be different if the posts were controlled like in a blog setting, and there was more of a concentration on headlines and keywords).

Good Luck!


 2:11 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

If one values inclusiveness, loading speed is a major design consideration and not to be dismissed lightly.

Also, with the mobile web, speed is an even larger factor. Cellphones aren't on broadband (yet)


 3:44 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Aren't phones supposed to be for making telephone calls? ;)


 3:44 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)


If you read what wrgvt was saying, he was implying that "the user experience" is an event that occurs. Whereas, I clarified that User Experience is a subclass of Human Factors science, not a feeling or event that happens to you...though many would say it's a subjective feeling.

Usability is also commonly referred to as a simple state of being, rather than the psychological study of human interaction with information systems/hardware/tools/etc.

I am currently an interaction designer on a UX team. We employ HFI methodologies in order to arrive at a logical and usable interface. When dealing with information systems, it's inevitable that we will be confronted with 'technology' (IT - information technology). And, this is precisely what WebmasterWorld is...an information system.

I'm not fond of using technology just because it's available, especially when it adds nothing to the user experience. Often, it detracts from the user experience.

Herein lies the problem: If ux is just a subjective feeling, then it's just his opinion if technology adds to or detracts from the user's perception. But, if UX, being a legitimate user-centered design philosophy, then the decisions to incorporate specific technologies into a system aren't willy-nilly...or just for the sake of using technology because it's available. Those "webmasters" who decide to play with technologies without any design rationale are certainly doing harm to their interface.

When UX methodologies are correctly employed, the addition of a particular technology is both a positive enhancement and completely justifiable.

Perhaps you're right...I may not have seen that we are saying the same thing. The wording was such that it seemed like UX was simply a feeling people get when they experience a system.

Ha! Wikipedia is a cesspool of non-expert Internet addicts rewriting authoritative content found elsewhere on the web. Wikipedia is convenient but it's not authoritative. ;)

Oh the irony!

User-generated content is what it is...if you hate Wikipedia, you have to turn your hatred upon WebmasterWorld as well for being the same breed of animal.


 3:57 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Except here someone of authority will usually come along and correct misinformation or it gets debated.
I think there are few forums like this, easy on the eyes and no free links every second post.
Maybe theres no forum like this.


 4:10 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)


You're probably right about the hyperlinks. I never gave it much thought, except for my occasional desire to post one.

Removing hyperlinks entirely seems like a good spam deterrent.


 4:12 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

if you hate Wikipedia, you have to turn your hatred upon WebmasterWorld as well for being the same breed of animal.

Same genus maybe. Not same breed. Not even same species.

Nicely said for the rest of your post though, subexpression.


 5:08 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google looks retro also. It worked out pretty well for them.

My mistake, I should had said Google Search looks minimalistic, not retro (although that playable PACMAN logo drove me crazy for a few days).

But the point is, I come to webmasterworld for information, not for its design, so the layout does not bother me.

It would be nice however to autodetect newbies and display the search link in a flashing 28 point neon pink, so they just might get the hint :)


 5:44 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Appearance does count. When visitors from search engines land on one of the pages in these forums, they will use many criteria to decide how to value the information they find here.

Considering that this is a forum for and by webmasters, if they get an old fashioned looking forum (as the forum is now) they will not get the impression that the information is coming from people with current, state-of-the-art knowledge.

Will they stick around, stay on the site, and register? Or will they click 'back' and go back to the Google results page and just try another forum?

I feel strongly that you need to update the look of the forum. Yes, everyone will agree that it should be clean and simple looking and easy to use. But that can still be achieved while giving a more up-to-date appearance.

IMHO, I agree with those who feel it is just overboard on the rectangles. And the colors are too dark, and yes, those icons and buttons need updating too!


 10:25 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is the easiest format of any forum to read. Don't change the spacing of things. Some gradient coloration instead of grey, would be nice.

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