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This 83 message thread spans 3 pages: 83 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
New "homepage thread" format

 2:52 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I noticed last week that threads featured on the homepage now have some large red italic text to that effect at the top of the thread, and all posts beyond the first one are inset quite a bit from each side of the page. Does anyone else find all that pretty distracting? I've given up on at least three homepage threads I was interested in just because it was too hard to read.

The red text is one thing - but could we please have the same layout format as in un-featured threads? I'd sure appreciate it! :)

Thanks for listening,




 3:20 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is a test we're running so feedback is appreciated.

If you set your "Messages per thread" to the default of 10 you'll see that it's only the first page (first 10) that is set to be indented.


 3:24 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'll stick up my hand in the "I don't like it" camp. That indented post bit is very distracting...


 3:25 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not a fan, but interested in the logic behind it...


 3:32 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Not only it looks hideous, but it's annoying and IMHO pointless. A small 16x16 gif icon (not animated) would be sufficient.


 4:12 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have to agree. I'm not a fan of the "home page thread" layout.


 4:16 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Me too."

I just find that it breaks up the normal reading habit im accustomed to at webmasterworld.



 4:28 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is it a format thing, or you just don't like the /. model?


 4:53 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just found it mildly intrusive, but what is the point of it? Who cares, apart maybe from admins and mods, if a thread is on the home page or not, once you are reading it?


 4:59 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I really don't like the "Home Page Thread" in red at the top of the page - very distracting.

I might get to like the Original Post being more prominent than the replies. But then it is strange on Page 2 when the posts revert to full width again.

In fact I wonder whether it would be useful to have the original post at the top of every page. It might keep people on topic.


 5:03 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would agree with Iguana - Just highlight the first post of a home page thread.

Some ideas:

- Have a little 5 stars at the top of the first post.
- Change the outline of the first post only to make it stand out.
- Don't fix something that isnt broke :)


 5:13 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

What if we:

- leave the 2nd msg onward just as it is.
- make the first msg in the thread radically different (new fonts, new colors, new layout).

The whole idea here is to make the first message of a homepage post something posters will strive to hit.


 7:40 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Agree with the comments about the indenting being very distracting. Just makes me think that the templates are broken every time I see it.

I also agree with Iguana's comment on the previous page though - keeping the 1st post highlighted at the top of every page could be useful! May need to be clipped if it's a very long message?


 7:54 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The whole idea here is to make the first message of a homepage post something posters will strive to hit.

Brett, just making the home page is more than sufficient "recognition". No need to mess with a proven format for the topics. I agree with the above, it is a bit distracting and somewhat ugly but I know you have your reasons.

I like moltar's idea of a small icon indicating a home page topic.


 8:06 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't see the change in thread layout as being beneficial. Having more than one layout style seams wrong on a site that is very simple to use.

It makes people stop and think, "whats this" as oposed to getting right down to the reading.



 8:19 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

What if we:

- leave the 2nd msg onward just as it is.
- make the first msg in the thread radically different (new fonts, new colors, new layout).

By "just as it is," do you mean the standard (e.g., non-homepage thread) format? If so, I agree.

For the second point, I agree that making the first message in the thread very different would be a good thing. I don't know that different fonts, colors, or layout would be the route I'd go, but it would be worth a try. I liked rj87uk's suggestion of adding stars or something like that. Maybe a decent-sized "avatar" type image to go in the left column of the post along with the poster's membership information - a blue ribbon (or gold seal) that said "Homepage Thread" would be two (cheesy?) ideas.

On the whole, I think I would like to see an obvious, but non-intrusive difference in the title area for the whole thread, or in the member info sidebar area for the first post in the thread.

Thanks for the consideration - I hadn't expected my small thoughts to spark so much discussion so quickly! ;)


 8:19 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have to admit that new format did not bug me much, although indenting the posts is a bit distracting (as someone else also mentioned, I also just thought that there was ‘bug’ in formatting).
Brett said:
The whole idea here is to make the first message of a homepage post something posters will strive to hit.

I might be a bit slow but what does this mean “the first message of a homepage post” – homepage of the whole site , or homepage for each forum (where post titles are listed), or homepage as in first page of each thread? If it is latter, I am not sure why do you want to emphasize first post – this site has good navigation, so it’s very easy to find out what original (first) post question/comment/etc. is.

So to summarize, in regards to formatting change: I am not fan of indentation, although I can live with it. It was distracting to me because it was different from what I was used to (both here and other forums). When I first saw it, I tried to figure out why it was different, what is so special about it, and is there any significant purpose to it. Granted all this took a second, however I did not start reading content right away (something I wanted/expected to do). And on top of it all, I came to a conclusion that formatting was off.
As for model change, I can’t offer any constructive comments, as I am not clear what you are trying to accomplish.


 8:28 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am finding the big red letters very distracting on occasion and the changes to not have any perceivable benefits for me as a reader.


 8:29 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

One of the most desirable things about WebmasterWorld, (other than the high level of information one finds here), has always been its uniformity, its lack of gimmickry, and its simplicity of design. Look at some of those other boards --boxes popping-up on mouse-over; things beeping; no thanks.

I'm not opposed to improvements, but WebmasterWorld Classic is going to be hard to beat.

Robert Charlton

 9:25 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm for the "classic" layout too. I think that the red letters are distracting, and that the indent is unnattractive and makes the whole thread more difficult to read. One of the basic principles of page design, in my book anyway, is simple visual alignment.

As I surmise the objective of this feature, it's perhaps to highlight the first post and to keep responses on topic. Now, to this end already, WebmasterWorld displays only the first message of a thread when you're replying. I don't fully agree with this particular approach, which has been discussed elsewhere. I often find myself opening up a second window when responding. This discussion right now is as much a response to engine's message #2 and Brett's msg #12 as it is to the original post. So, I'm not for emphasizing the first post either, at least not at the expense of the rest of the thread.

Possibly something worth trying might be to put the front page blurb, which is generally a good summary (or at least a provocative one), on the reply to thread page, maybe just above the reply box. This would keep the topic in mind as we reply, perhaps more so than the current arrangement does.

I also think that red is an overkill in any event.


 10:14 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I didnt want to post me too but I felt I needed to say something, maybe because Im not used to it, but everytime I go to a home page thread its distracting and annoying, I dont like the indentation even though other websites use the same thing, and additionally with the theme I use it looks terrible. IMHO highlighting the first post without changing the layout as others have mentioned is a good idea.


 10:31 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I originally thought the indentation was due to my being a part of Opera's weekly build, and that they broke something. Now I understand what's happening, and I frankly don't like it. The indentation is horrendous. It totally ruins the flow of the post.

As for doing something special to highlight the "the first message of a homepage thread"... why do it at all? I have had 2 home page threads in my tenure here (both within a week ;) ), and it was good enough for me just to know I was up there.

If you're going to do anything at all, apply some different CSS to the first message, but don't make it as ugly as the red test text that is currently at the top ;)


 10:41 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

You guys are lucky!

Using firefox I can't even access the forums linked on the main page.

Even if I am logged in when I go to the index page and click on a link to view an interesting thread such as [webmasterworld.com...] it takes me to the login screen, so I login and the go to the control panel.

I can never get to the link at all!

now that I am logged in, if I cut n paste the link I will get the login window yet again.

Just tried clicking on the link above when logged in here. Again went back to the login window. The actual thread is never see, as yet I still can't find a way to view the post.


 11:13 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

The thread you linked to is in the Supporter's Forum. Have you subscribed to WW?

See if you can get to some of the non-Supporters threads from the homepage:



 11:20 pm on Mar 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ahhh, thanks I never knew there was a different forum (despite being here for about 6 months :) )

Pity, looks like interesting information. Shouldn't it be more explicitly mentioned on the index page?

Otherwise bozo's like me just blame it on the coding or the browser and move on to another site.


 12:34 am on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

The indent is distracting, makes me thing the code is broken or something. Digg started doing this too, don't like it there either.


 2:23 am on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I also thought the site was broken. I'm on a Mac and I thought "oh my, I'm sure it's a Safari bug and will never be corrected".

I don't see indentation anymore, that's good. Now, I still don't like the red header.

If you really, really want to highlight the "homepage" posts, just make the first message "post-it yellow" like, in an understated way.


 3:18 am on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

My knee jerk response ot the new format:

Change is bad...

Keep in mind, how many discussions have been centered around the subject of "First Impressions..." when talking about design?

Thinking about it a bit deeper...

Not a bad idea, in concept. Maybe just make it a bit more subtle. Big blazing red letters overlayed on the otherwise subtle, clean design of WebmasterWorld is a bit jarring.

Some kind of acknowledgement that a thread is a "Home Page" thread is probably a good idea. Especially when going through the archives. It's nice to know when you're going through old threads that you're looking at a "significant" discussion.

One problem I have with the overall concept:

More than once, I've gone to a thread that got home-paged not because of the value of the initial post, but because of the value of the conversation it sparked. Highlighting the first post in a thread in such cases might be a bit misleading, putting emphasis on the wrong part of the conversation.

My 2 bits, and now on I go.

edit, add:
Note: I read WebmasterWorld far, far more than I post here. With some of the big brains kicking around here, a lot of the time I just don't feel I have something significant to add to the conversation. I mention this, because there are probably a great many users here in the same boat. Basically, just giving you some demographic info.


 3:49 am on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

i read this forum at work, and the red color/huge text stands out on the monitor :(

i'd appreciate, if at all possible, to stick to the current, 'quiet' design.

thank you :)


 4:51 am on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I assume the huge red letters were just to get our attention so we can give feedback.

I like the idea of doing something to let folks know the thread is on the homepage.

I don't think a change in format is needed. Perhaps just a quiet "Home Page Thread" in regular bold text in black or dark blue would do the job.

This 83 message thread spans 3 pages: 83 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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