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I have built a prototype that could go online in the next few days. I would appreciate any and all comments regarding it. The prototype is here:
(Some links may not work due to relative addressing and ofcourse, your member name will replace mind on the page).
Any problems with the html? Style, colors, format?
The "Forum Index" link at top right above the forum list, will lead to the current homepage.
When I ask people why they lurk or don't participate more, the most often repeated feedback is that WebmasterWorld is so active they miss the important posts. So, in style, that is what the new homepage is there to accomplish - getting people involved and helping them to find the current quality content.
I know some of the regulars may not appreciate that goal since they read everything posted. For the casual reader, new user, or news hungry reader, it can save them time in finding the better posts they want to read. We have had some very high quality posts over the last 30-45days - many, are top newsletter or publication quality. With 30'ish forums, even some of our regulars missed the good ones from time-to-time.
For a new user, the highlighted post of the day will be a good intro for them into the board. I expect many a new user to be introduced to the board from the highlighted posts.
Lastly, there are many aggregators that look for sites like ours. When I've been approached by them, they always say, "give me one or two topics a day". If we could get on some of those regular lists, that alone could be huge.
(edited by: Brett_Tabke at 9:23 pm (utc) on Jan. 25, 2002)
At the moment, I go straight to the home page and then directly to "recent posts". I do like the more "vertical" view. Sort of like a vortal.
Maybe the first featured posts section could be made a bit smaller, on the top of the right side, taking up not more space than would preclude being able to see the start of the other RHS content in the first screen for most users.
Smaller font? Less description?
In any case, this is a great new page, which has far more points for immediacy and usability than the present page which is similar other boards which are "horizontal" and database-like.
As you say Brett the new homepage is not necessarily for me, it does seem to be an improvement (not that there's anything wrong with it currently :)).
For me it would be ideal if the recent post page had an excerpt of the topic, though I can think of at least one reason that you might not want to do that (bandwidth?).
Many users do tpk. It has gotten so busy that I took it off the logger since it would just fill it up. About 20% of all page views are the active list. I'm not trying to make the hp a substitute for it - just an introduction. I may skip the se news tracker, but I wanted a bit more foot traffic both ways. Many people ask where I go to get se news and I say, well actually, the news tracker at my place, and they ask what's that? Putting it on the hp here adds to the whole "what's new, what's hot, share the info" focus.
I also have been doing this for awhile. It is not only easier to go through the site, but easier to get more involved in discussions.
The rationale for the site and why you are using the highlighted posts is understandable and justified. Maybe you could use smaller posts. This may take away from the size and still leave the effect you are looking to get.
it could be too because when you don't understand well english (i speak for me :) ), it's sometimes difficult to understand all what you say and much more difficult to reply.
Babelfish and others tranlators are efficient to have the main idea but not for all the detail
I my own opinion, it already is. I don't remember the last time I visited another forum. I haven't found the same amount of expertise or level of involvement at any other forum.