Your friendly neighborhood moderating team have been kicking around some ideas on improving the Board . You may have noticed some cosmetic changes on the front page and there may be more coming. We're also tossing around some suggestions on the content.
Now here's where YOU come in. We want to hear your thoughts too!
This all kicked off with my own personal feeling that our front page was too cluttered. Some sections were trimmed down and we are toying with changing others. I felt it looked too busy on my laptop - and it was pointed out it looks very congested on a mobile device.
It was mentioned that if we want to do some pruning, the Latest Activity section and the Forum section were taking up a lot of real estate and doing very similar things. How would people feel about getting rid of one, or the other? Are there other front page sections people feel should be on the chopping block?
What other changes would people like to see here?
I was in a situation a while back where I needed to access the site via my phone vs. my computer. I was surprised to find out that there isn't a mobile version of the site, so yes, it's quite congested on the phone.
For me, my primary interest is forum activity and discussion, so if Latest Activity went away, I'd be okay with that. I'm not sure what happens with the video sections as I never visit, and it seems to me that chat is more trouble than it's worth.
The Forum section on the home page is very useful. I look at the Latest Activity occasionally but could live without it. I've never used the Chat function. The Groups section seems useless. The Welcome and Some Essentials sections are important but probably could be moved from the right side.
...Ha , maybe I at least helped inpire Alexandra to comment just now , with my reviving a line she'd posted in...:-)
There isn't a mobile version of the site? I wouldn't know. When I look at it on my smartphone, I go right to the "Activity" listing of the latest posts.
As for the desktop version, I never use the chats, and probably wouldn't miss it if it was gone. I occasionally use the "Members Online." I go to the Forum section when I want to make a post and need to find the right category to place it in.
Otherwise, I usually go to Activity, because it shows the first sentence of new posts and I choose what I wish to respond to. So I like that feature being prominent.
Doing a little experimenting with the layout, I've changed the home page from three columns to two columns; this appears to be the only choice for number of columns ning will give us. What do people think of the two column look? It can be changed back as it was.
I like it. I normally look at the site on my laptop, but I just looked at it on my android phone and it looks good.
Turns out there is a mobile option now, recently added. So I have turned it on, and made choices that mimic the home page layout initially. There's a menu on the upper right to jump to other areas of the site. It should come up automatically if you go to the site on a smart phone.
One suggestion: with Latest Activity removed, I think it would be good to see more forum topics on the front page.
Regarding my previous comment, when I looked at the site on my phone it was on the Chrome browser, bringing up the same display as my laptop.
I'm also in favor of showing more forum topics on the home page, especially since some older topics keep pushing newer ones down the list.
I personally have the site tell me about all new topics and new comments to my selected threads by email. This way I don't miss something that is buried on the home page.
I’d just as soon not have to scroll past a video every time I log on. We already have a “VIDEOS” section below. I say eliminate “EYE CANDY.”
Thanks for your comments everyone. A few things: "Latest Activity" hasn't gone away, at least for now, but it has been pushed down to the bottom of the page. Also, the Forum section has been expanded so that it shows the last 20 threads, the maximum that ning allows us.
The new, less cluttered home page looks much better. Eliminating the Eye Candy video at the top of the page makes sense. The forums are the main reason most of us come here - they should be the focus of the main page.