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Forum and site improvments

#1
I am creating a new thread , to give the heads up out there in our community, for any feedback, ideas, and suggestions to improve the site, and the look of the site in any way possible ?

Thanks for your replies , guys !!
Sports fanatic
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#2
Thanks for posting this thread @Brian!

I'm working on a few surprises that I'm pretty excited about. the forum is going to get a nice little refresh design wise. We'll be sticking with the same theme, but with a few improvements that will make it feel a little more fresh than it has been. It will be the first refresh since 2014 and I'm pretty excited about it.

The sidebar is here to stay. It was supposed to be coupled with the update, but people seem to like it, so it's going to stay and I don't see any point in waiting. The good news is that 1) It can be disabled in the user CP (under user options I believe, there is a checkbox.) 2), It won't display on screens that can't handle it (e.g. mobile phone browsers), so I think we have the best of both worlds. I'm gonna make the widgets look a little better too. Anyone have suggestions on what they think should go there?

3) The board layout is going to get a little more creative in the days going forward. we're gonna 1) take any user suggestions on what you want to see (Post them here! They will be seriously considered!) and 2), we are going to go through the forums and look for the content that is the most popular, and build an updated layout based on what people seem to be discussing the most.

If anyone has any mockups or outlines they'd like to see, please, by all means, submit them! We need your suggestions! This is going to be a community wide project that will breath some great new fresh energy into our community.

Oh, and icing on the top, our five year anniversary is coming around the corner as well! Words can't express how excited and thrilled I am to see the Makesetation project still running five years later. And I never would have guessed. Thank you so much to everyone who has been a part of the community, and for letting me be a part of the project myself. As busy as I am juggling the obligations of real life, I always enjoy coming here to kick back every once in a while. It's an atmosphere I look forward to being a part of every time I'm here.

Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas? Feedback? Please post them here! All feedback will be seriously considered!

Sincerely,
-Blake.
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#3
What about a sports subforum in the Media & Entertainment forum?

We already have a few large threads:
http://makestation.net/showthread.php?tid=1855
http://makestation.net/showthread.php?tid=1856

...and some growing ones:
http://makestation.net/showthread.php?tid=1877
http://makestation.net/showthread.php?tid=1878

Too soon? Or good idea?
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#4
Great suggestion. I've added one. Cool
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#5
Umm... Just a heads up Darth, your new site theme squashes everything on my smartphone... So the logo looks hilarious but still a bug, loving the improvements though, keep up the good work.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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#6
Are you using the development theme? It's a work in progress responsive theme. Expect far stranger bugs than this. Tongue
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#7
Drop mockups you say? I got bored Big Grin Page 1 is desktop page 2 is mobile. Really really rushed and quick work but you can see what I were going for. Big Grin
https://xd.adobe.com/view/37064a48-54de-...c6e3-4137/
[Image: forumonic-bar.png]...............[Image: xige-logo-png-blue-sml.png]
Latest snapshots: Postbit Design - Multi Login Modal (1) - Responsive Pollbar
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#8
hmm... doesn't it seem a bit trunicated?

I know makestation's theme is retro but that mobile theme especially, doesn't it seem to be lacking a lot of the nice features of the site like popular threads or the shoutbox?
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
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#9
(June 12th, 2018 at 9:33 AM)Harry K. Wrote: Drop mockups you say? I got bored Big Grin Page 1 is desktop page 2 is mobile. Really really rushed and quick work but you can see what I were going for. Big Grin
https://xd.adobe.com/view/37064a48-54de-...c6e3-4137/

How did you do these? I actually really like them a lot. It sticks very much with the general design that we've used for years (not a fan of unnecessarily frequent overhauls) while modernizing it a good bit. Thank you very much for sharing this. 

@SpookyZalost: Yes and no. His mockups actually do have the latest posts feature, it's just below the forum list! Finna Regarding the shoutbox, other sidebar boxes, etc., all of these will be implemented in very much a similar fashion on any final design once it's converted to a MyBB theme. Almost all of the site's current functionality will be present for the mobile experience, just with a slightly different presentation to be optimal for smaller screens!
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#10
(June 12th, 2018 at 11:12 AM)SpookyZalost Wrote: hmm... doesn't it seem a bit trunicated?

I know makestation's theme is retro but that mobile theme especially, doesn't it seem to be lacking a lot of the nice features of the site like popular threads or the shoutbox?

Um.., it's a mockup? So the shoutbox would be if you scroll down the page, same design... I'm guessing by popular threads you mean the latest threads bit? I've included that at the bottom of the mobile mockup and sidebar on desktop, again you have to imagine being able to scroll down the page..

Going from desktop to mobile their are only 3 elements that get hidden on the page, the last post info(moved into a title tooltip), the ancient proverb(hidden), and forum descriptions(which can easily be added for mobiles too)

Search bar moves from current position in desktop to where the quote were on mobile.

Shoutbox is lower down the page so I left it out - along with stats but you can imagine the design transfers to them elements too... Same with the make it famous.

It may look slightly more trunicated due to the fact some of the borders etc.. are missing, I weren't paying too much attention Tongue

Edit: Darth covered it Big Grin And that is literally from a blank canvas on Adobe XD, I used French Color Pallete for the colors, and just "remade" the forums index. Had makestation open on 1 screen and XD on another Tongue

I'll attach the .xd file in a sec. I can't upload .xd files.
Uploaded in .zip, warning its messy! No layer names or nothing, I was tired. Tongue

.zip   makestation.zip (Size: 363.61 KB / Downloads: 134)

What's happened to your attachment template? Tongue
[Image: forumonic-bar.png]...............[Image: xige-logo-png-blue-sml.png]
Latest snapshots: Postbit Design - Multi Login Modal (1) - Responsive Pollbar
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#11
views from a forum noob, i would like to see a simple up and down icon thingy, ill have to scroll when reply to a thread
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#12
If we had to see some overhaul to Makestation's look... that's a good one.

Nice work Harry. It's still "pretty" without messing with MS too much.
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#13
Some more detailed commentary on the mockups that @harry K. submitted. I finally had a chance to really dig in a little deeper! But d***, these do look very good. Finna

I really like the movement of the announcement up to the header/toolbar area. I think it's a great use of some space that seems like "dead space" of sorts currently. The search box looks flatter and more modern, and I like the use of an avatar and a simple drop down for the user at the right side of the toolbar. It's really creative. A lot of the little tweaks look really great.

Regarding the boards, it actually looks fresh with fewer rounded corners. The MS design didn't use rounded corners for a very long time, until this past update. I have good templates for a good sidebox design that would fit pretty well too.

I've noticed that these mockups are container-less and 100% width. It looks a little more "readable" and upfront without the container over the background. I was thinking about, for the future, having the site's background be photography submissions from members here that are alternating every week. I think we might be able to pull that off more easily with flatter designs, so I like the look for a future ideal of what our design could be. We'll see if backgrounds really fit with the new design and go from there. Finna

My only real concern doing another mini-redesign here is that MyBB 1.9 is in the works. Even the change from 1.6 to 1.8 required a complete, from the ground up, redo of the theme. (Simlink and I made it to be fairly similar. We developed it on the 1.8 beta so we were ready when it released. Finna ) 1.9 is definitely going to require a ground-up theme, so I was contemplating waiting until 1.9 for some of the bigger investments in the theme. On the downside, it might be a year or more before 1.9 is released, so it would be a delay for responsiveness.
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#14
Quote:I've noticed that these mockups are container-less and 100% width.
That would be because I have a large-ish monitor and designed them in a smaller window. Finna I prefer contained designs (like it is now) even if the container isn't "visible".

Quote:I was thinking about, for the future, having the site's background be photography submissions from members here that are alternating every week.
Interested to see how you would go about this, an automated system could pose a lot of problems - quality, contrast, etc.. A manual one could require a lot of maintenance, for a good look most of the photos would require a little editing. Not saying you shouldn't do it, I love the idea but it would be a hard thing to pull off - and if you do, and option to turn it off would be nice especially for people with slow internet.

Quote:My only real concern doing another mini-redesign here is that MyBB 1.9 is in the works
The only REAL update coming from 1.9 is Twig, and a Responsive theme - do you need to update right away? Someone is already working on a theme converter I've heard. All your plugins - shoutbox etc.. gone too.

I personally believe we will be waiting a while for 1.9 - and expect a lot of mini updates after due to bugs, errors etc.. This is the first big update in a while and it's all been done in a long period of time so there will be inconsistency.

Twig conversion is nearly complete! Only around 30 templates to go! WOW. Had a word with Justin S about the 1.9 theme and well.. He doesn't seem to be making too much progress lately. Let's see if others jump in now the conversion is nearly complete. We'll see.
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#15
I'm definitely a tad bit concerned about jumping to 1.9 if it will break nearly all of our plugins, but I don't really mind the idea of making some new ones to replace the old ones if that is what we decide to do. The shoutbox will be the hardest to do that with, so I'll probably just hack the living daylights out of it to make it work on 1.9 if nobody has a better one released. Tongue

But that does bring a good point. If we do some design work and make this one responsive, there is barely any incentive to really go to 1.9 regardless, being that very few other features will really be released with it. The only downside is that we won't really be on the "cutting edge" so much, and some of the plugins and updates from the community will probably be focused more on 1.9 going forward. If they end up releasing a 1.9 beta in the very-near-future, I think we will just end up jumping on the gun and going for it. If it looks like it's still going to be a little while (and it appears that it is), we will probably just continue to focus on 1.8 and go from there.

There is a small part of me that feels like phpBB is probably the way to go (with a completely from-the-ground up redesign, probably to look similar to what we have now) and some plugins to considerably flesh it out. But the work involved in doing that would be pretty considerable. Nobody here really has much experience with it, so we'd all be learning a completely new software and that would add considerably to the time required to make a viable site with it. The theme would be the hardest in my opinion. They have a full template engine and everything of that sort already, out-of-the-box, but you have to mess around with editing files and there is no ACP interface. It's just so different from the MyBB way of doing things that it feels so foreign to use.
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#16
Upgrade

Do it
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#17
I'd personally rather we stick it out with myBB, at least until we see a bit more about the future of myBB. If things still stay slow for a long while then it's probably a smart idea to jump ship, but I think working on making what we've got responsive is a good enough start for now, then seeing where myBB 1.9 ends up in terms of community support, etc. before making a decision.
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#18
(June 15th, 2018 at 2:56 AM)Darth-Apple Wrote: The shoutbox will be the hardest to do that with, so I'll probably just hack the living daylights out of it to make it work on 1.9

@darth, what about integrating the Makestation chat over at the chatcave with the site to replace the shoutbox?
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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