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Forum header change
« on: March 29, 2010, 04:52:26 PM »
I'd like to change the forum header (top section) to a more clean look and would appreciate any feedback, suggestions, or other comments from the community before I implement this.

An example of what I've done so far is on the below link. This is just an trial page to test the look and feel, none of the links work, but would work in final version. Also anything could be changed and or added to this.

http://www.computerhope.com/del.htm

If implemented I'd remove the Computer Hope forum above box and this would take its place.
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evilfantasy

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 07:09:19 PM »
The current header looks more polished to me.

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 06:13:05 AM »
I agree for the most part.  Although there is a lot of empty space, I think the font and size right now are just about perfect.  Also, changing the icons into text links makes them a lot less obvious.  Maybe it's just me, but text seems less...friendly.  I also don't like the links being positioned all the way up there, but that's more of a personal preference than anything.

I think your new design idea could work if you kept the current font and perhaps included small icons (about the size of favicons or perhaps smaller) with the links.  I just feel that eliminating the icons altogether is a step in the wrong direction.  A bit of change certainly wouldn't hurt, but having visual cues is incredibly useful.
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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 08:05:14 AM »
Thanks guys for your feedback. I've made some additional revisions to hopefully help accommodate what was said.

- Linked the forum CSS file so it changes the size to how it would appear on the forum.
- Added picture icons.
- Because pictures caused lost real-estate to help accommodate smaller displays moved "Calendar" into "Home"

...
I also don't like the links being positioned all the way up there, but that's more of a personal preference than anything.
...

I'm doing this because I believe most new users are having to hunt for the icons in the middle because most users are used to navigation being at one of the sides (top/left/right) of the screen. I know sometimes when I'm on the forum I've mistakenly hit the home button on the top bar trying to get back to the forum home page. This type of instinctive behavior to me indicates something is broken.

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 09:10:14 AM »
Quote
I'm doing this because I believe most new users are having to hunt for the icons in the middle because most users are used to navigation being at one of the sides
Have a look here: http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 09:35:41 AM »
Have a look here: http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/

Cool site, I've never seen that before. However, I'm using Expression Web which has the capability of making a window the sizes of different resolutions. I usually try to accommodate 800x600 and greater since that is a a vast majority of my visitors.

1.     1024x768 = 24.06%    
2.    1280x1024 = 16.48%    
3.    1280x800 = 15.61%    
4.    1440x900 = 8.67%    
5.    1680x1050 = 7.36%    
6.    1366x768 = 4.52%    
7.    1920x1200 = 2.81%    
8.    1152x864 = 2.38%    
9.    1920x1080 = 2.29%    
10.    800x600 = 2.15%
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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2010, 09:47:28 AM »
If you Google's Browsersize page along with IE8's Developer Tools to change the size of the browser window, you'll get a good picture of what can be seen.

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2010, 07:04:44 AM »
Thanks guys for your feedback. I've made some additional revisions to hopefully help accommodate what was said.

- Linked the forum CSS file so it changes the size to how it would appear on the forum.
- Added picture icons.
- Because pictures caused lost real-estate to help accommodate smaller displays moved "Calendar" into "Home"
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I think it looks much better now.  It's easy on the eyes, it looks good, and the icons make it much easier to find everything quickly.  Although I personally don't ever use the Calendar, it's too bad that it has to be moved.  Would using slightly smaller icons help?  Or would that still not leave enough room?

I'm doing this because I believe most new users are having to hunt for the icons in the middle because most users are used to navigation being at one of the sides (top/left/right) of the screen. I know sometimes when I'm on the forum I've mistakenly hit the home button on the top bar trying to get back to the forum home page. This type of instinctive behavior to me indicates something is broken.
Oh yeah, I totally understand that.  Like I said, just a matter of preference for me.  I'm used to them being where they are and I tend to not like change.  I do think what you've posted looks quite good, though.
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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2010, 07:11:12 AM »
Very nice.

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2010, 07:13:17 AM »
And, they're menus... very nice, good work.  :)
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2010, 07:15:38 AM »
I must need more coffee, I didn't even notice what was different until I read this...
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Allan

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2010, 07:31:44 AM »
I must need more coffee, I didn't even notice what was different until I read this...
I don't believe there have been any changes yet. The link to the proposed new header is in the first post in this thread ;)

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2010, 07:33:41 AM »
Okay, I'll go find out what is changing my display.  Something is different, just not sure what or why now.
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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2010, 07:38:43 AM »
Okay, I'll go find out what is changing my display.  Something is different, just not sure what or why now.

Well, he <did> change the top header since the last time you frequented the forums. Maybe that's what you're seeing?
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

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Re: Forum header change
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2010, 07:40:59 AM »
Maybe that's it, yeah, my internet went the way of the dinosaurs for a couple of months.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #15 on: March 31, 2010, 08:33:22 AM »
    New version looks good.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #16 on: March 31, 2010, 07:22:12 PM »
    Looks great!

    How about a blue RSS button?


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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #17 on: March 31, 2010, 11:15:33 PM »
    How about a blue RSS button?



    Good idea. Updated.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #18 on: April 01, 2010, 12:34:05 PM »
    If you're sick of the April Fools theme and/or want to test this new bar, I've got this implemented in the "Upcoming CH Theme", which you can change though your profile look and layout preferences. It does seem to completely change the overall look of the forum. It's very likely that I should have all this completed by end of the day and that it'll be implemented tonight when I change the April fools theme back.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #19 on: April 01, 2010, 04:29:54 PM »
    Good work Nathan.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #20 on: April 01, 2010, 04:31:59 PM »
    Now that looks much nicer than that stupid core theme...Except one thing, not an issue per-say, just different... This is what I see at the top:
    0Computer Hope - Computer Help Forums  >>  1Other   >>  2Other  >>  3Re: Forum header change )

    Can you see something different?

    EDIT: Strange...now it looks like this:

    Home  >>  Other  >>  Other  >>  Re: Forum header change )

    But what is the ending ) doing...is it just this thread...?
    Where's MagicSpeed?
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #21 on: April 01, 2010, 04:41:44 PM »
    Now that looks much nicer than that stupid core theme...Except one thing, not an issue per-say, just different... This is what I see at the top:
    0Computer Hope - Computer Help Forums  >>  1Other   >>  2Other  >>  3Re: Forum header change )

    Can you see something different?

    EDIT: Strange...now it looks like this:

    Home  >>  Other  >>  Other  >>  Re: Forum header change )

    But what is the ending ) doing...is it just this thread...?

    Still a work in progress. I'm modifying that section and I wasn't sure how the programmer wrote it so had to see what was the variable, which is why it was showing 0,1,2,3

    Should now show: Home  / Other  / Other / Forum header change

    I wanted to change this to say "home" instead of "Computer Hope - computer help forum", was taking up too much space. ;)
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #22 on: April 01, 2010, 06:14:57 PM »
    Still a work in progress. I'm modifying that section and I wasn't sure how the programmer wrote it so had to see what was the variable, which is why it was showing 0,1,2,3

    Should now show: Home  / Other  / Other / Forum header change

    I wanted to change this to say "home" instead of "Computer Hope - computer help forum", was taking up too much space. ;)
    It does show Home  / Other  / Other / Forum header change, and you're right...it does take up a lot less work.
    Where's MagicSpeed?
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    He's playing a game called IRL. Great graphics, *censored* gameplay.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #23 on: April 01, 2010, 11:46:45 PM »
    This change should now be apparent on the default theme. Let me know if anything is broken or if there is something you'd like changed.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #24 on: April 01, 2010, 11:58:40 PM »
    New headers looks good, but you know I kind of miss the April 1st colors.

    Footers are a nice addition also.
    « Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 12:14:27 AM by rthompson80819 »

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #25 on: April 02, 2010, 01:42:11 AM »
    I like the new look. Great job.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #26 on: April 02, 2010, 04:13:03 AM »
    looks good!

    Just one thing... It would probably be better if the forum home button said "Forum Home" OR the main one said something such as "Back to Website" as two home buttons could confuse people.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #27 on: April 02, 2010, 05:24:58 AM »
    Yeah Nathan, the two home buttons just happen to be on top of each other.
    Where's MagicSpeed?
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #28 on: April 02, 2010, 06:28:38 AM »
    It's a cleaner look...but the background fade makes it appear busier than it actually is...
    How bout if it faded towards the bottom of the page instead ? ?
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #29 on: April 02, 2010, 06:33:15 AM »
    Looks nice, though I find it a touch less user friendly or intuitive than it might be. While YOU know what is in the dropdown tabs, a casual user would not guess, for example, that "HOME" drops down to direct forum links or that the link to find moderators would be under "HELP". One minor adjustment I personally would like is having a direct link to Recent Forum Posts separate from the dropdown box. As a "high count" contributor it's the "button" I click on most frequently. Not a big deal, but one less step (as it was previously) would be appreciated.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #30 on: April 02, 2010, 07:30:10 AM »
    Although I kinda miss the old box with all of the links (the pages "feel" funny to me without it), this is a very nice look.  Very sleek.  My only problem is that I have no idea how to check for new replies in the topics I've posted in.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I figured out that the drop-down menus don't work with IE6.  That explains my confusion.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #31 on: April 02, 2010, 11:34:54 AM »
    Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    For those mentioning the issue with the two homes by each other. I'd be happy to change it, but the issue I'm running into is that I can't change it to something long like "forum home" or "back to website" because it'd take up too much browser width for users running small resolutions. I could use other similar one worded terms such as "main", but that that'd be confusing as well.  :-\ I move the bar over to the right a little bit, maybe that can help a little for now until we come up with something else.

    It's a cleaner look...but the background fade makes it appear busier than it actually is... How bout if it faded towards the bottom of the page instead ? ?

    I played with this, moving it up and down trying to find the best fit. I moved it back down as you suggested and I'll let you all decide what you think works best. I added this because with just white or a light color seems even more distracting. We can continue to play with it.

    ... One minor adjustment I personally would like is having a direct link to Recent Forum Posts separate from the dropdown box. As a "high count" contributor it's the "button" I click on most frequently. Not a big deal, but one less step (as it was previously) would be appreciated.

    Instead of a new button I made the posts button simply link to the page you requested. So if this button is clicked it'll go directly to that page, give you what you'd like while saving space by not creating a new button. Hope that works.

    EDIT: Nevermind, I figured out that the drop-down menus don't work with IE6.  That explains my confusion.

    Yikes IE6. :o I'll see if I can maybe adapt it to work with older browsers in the future, once everything is tweaked to the communities approval.


    Finally, while updating these changes I also removed the mail count after the Inbox that had ( xx / yy), where xx was new messages and yy was total in the Inbox to a new system. Now when you have a new message the total new message count will show up in red. Otherwise this will remain empty to keep the clean look and help reduce horizontal width limitations.

    As always I welcome any other thoughts and suggestions. I would like this to be a clean, easy to understand and use feature, and at the same time be more powerful than what was available before.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #32 on: April 02, 2010, 12:47:33 PM »
    Quote
    For those mentioning the issue with the two homes by each other. I'd be happy to change it, but the issue I'm running into is that I can't change it to something long like "forum home" or "back to website" because it'd take up too much browser width for users running small resolutions. I could use other similar one worded terms such as "main", but that that'd be confusing as well.

    How about, "CH Home" for the link to the main home page?
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #33 on: April 02, 2010, 02:09:08 PM »
    Change 'Home' to 'Main'?

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #34 on: April 02, 2010, 02:21:18 PM »
    Home changed to "Main page"
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #35 on: April 02, 2010, 02:35:13 PM »
    Change it to Facebook....everyone goes there...no ? ?

     ;D               ;D
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #36 on: April 02, 2010, 02:42:53 PM »
    The new design looks good.  The only problem I have noticed is that in the page title, "computer help forum" is not capitalized.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #37 on: April 02, 2010, 03:40:03 PM »
    The new design looks good.  The only problem I have noticed is that in the page title, "computer help forum" is not capitalized.

    The SEO in me told me to keep it lower case since most people search in lowercase. If too annoying can change back.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #38 on: April 02, 2010, 04:22:26 PM »
    Try 1 day without the fade background...just to humor me...
    Everything at the top is dark shades of Blue.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #39 on: April 02, 2010, 04:54:44 PM »

    Instead of a new button I made the posts button simply link to the page you requested. So if this button is clicked it'll go directly to that page, give you what you'd like while saving space by not creating a new button. Hope that works.

    thank you sir.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #40 on: April 02, 2010, 04:55:51 PM »
    Just tried it. It does not go to the "All Unread Posts" page

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #41 on: April 02, 2010, 05:15:39 PM »
    You read them all...... ;D     :D

                    8)
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #42 on: April 02, 2010, 05:39:36 PM »
    Try 1 day without the fade background...just to humor me...
    Everything at the top is dark shades of Blue.

    Updated. Refresh and should no longer be there. Everyone put their input in if they liked the shade or without it.

    Just tried it. It does not go to the "All Unread Posts" page

    Fixed.
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    Dusty



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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #43 on: April 02, 2010, 06:00:32 PM »
    XP Home F'Fox 3.6.2

    Why does the C.Hope header on my setup show in text only?

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #44 on: April 02, 2010, 06:13:29 PM »
    XP Home F'Fox 3.6.2

    Why does the C.Hope header on my setup show in text only?

    Very strange. I've got 3.6.2 running on one of my computers still (most have updated to 3.6.3) and have tried it on that computer and had no issues. Do you have any type of grease monkey script or other add-ons that change anything with CSS?
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #45 on: April 02, 2010, 06:31:21 PM »
    Quote from: CHA
    Do you have any type of grease monkey script or other add-ons that change anything with CSS?

    Nope, everything is 'straight-out-of-the-box', only addon is WOT to F'Fox.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #46 on: April 02, 2010, 08:00:04 PM »
    Running FF 3.6 - about to install 3.6.3 - and it looks fine.
    Where's MagicSpeed?
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #47 on: April 02, 2010, 10:42:11 PM »
    AFAIK no-one else has reported a similar problem so it just has to be something local.  I'll upgrade to F'Fox 3.6.3 and see what happens.  Will report back later.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #48 on: April 03, 2010, 12:52:21 AM »
    Upgraded to F'Fox 3.6.3 and problem is resolved. 

    I like the new header but really miss the PM notification.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #49 on: April 03, 2010, 03:42:45 AM »
    Yikes IE6. :o
    Yeah, I know...I keep it old-school.  Ha.  I get a lot of flack for it, but IE6 is the only browser I actually like using.  I've been wanting to update, but I haven't been pleased with any newer versions (or any other browsers).  But everyone's phasing me out, so I need to do something.  Heh.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #50 on: April 03, 2010, 04:50:34 AM »
    Updated. Refresh and should no longer be there. Everyone put their input in if they liked the shade or without it.

    Fixed.
    Thanks again :)

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #51 on: April 03, 2010, 11:33:37 AM »
    I like the new header but really miss the PM notification.

    When you receive one or more PM it'll have a red number on the bar indicating how many you have.
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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #52 on: April 03, 2010, 11:41:50 AM »
    AFAIK no-one else has reported a similar problem so it just has to be something local.


    It looks, to me, like maybe the whole page isn't loading.
    I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #53 on: April 04, 2010, 09:32:08 AM »
    Maybe you could add the Chat Stat link underneath the Chat link?

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #54 on: April 05, 2010, 05:54:34 AM »
    I've noticed that I am no longer receiving pop-up notifications of new PM's even though my profile is set to do so.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #55 on: April 05, 2010, 06:24:29 AM »
    I am anyway.

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    Re: Forum header change
    « Reply #56 on: April 05, 2010, 02:12:22 PM »
    Yeah Nathan, the two home buttons just happen to be on top of each other.
    Which makes them just a bit too close together.  When I mouse over, the hover lights up the new one, when all I want is the old one.  A little more space, vertically would be nice.  Would another carriage return fix it?

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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #57 on: April 06, 2010, 06:44:52 AM »
      I have more trouble finding log out now!  The header looks good except for my problem finding log out! Nice work.
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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #58 on: April 06, 2010, 06:49:15 AM »
      I've noticed that I am no longer receiving pop-up notifications of new PM's even though my profile is set to do so.
      Disregard - seems to be okay now.

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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #59 on: April 06, 2010, 06:50:08 AM »
      I have more trouble finding log out now!  The header looks good except for my problem finding log out! Nice work.
      npersn31

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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #60 on: April 06, 2010, 06:52:38 AM »
      I do have to agree that while it's a nice look, it's less than intuitive. I guess it will just take a little getting used to :)

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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #61 on: April 07, 2010, 04:52:27 PM »
      Was out of town for a few day so sorry for the late replies.

      Maybe you could add the Chat Stat link underneath the Chat link?

      Done

      Which makes them just a bit too close together.  When I mouse over, the hover lights up the new one, when all I want is the old one.  A little more space, vertically would be nice.  Would another carriage return fix it?

      Increased the vertical height of the bar and buttons .4em

      I have more trouble finding log out now!  The header looks good except for my problem finding log out! Nice work.

      Logout is under profile as Patio mentioned. I could adjust / move this if suggestions offered. Also unless the box "Always stay logged in" is checked when you logged in you'll automatically be logged out if inactive for the set minutes to stay logged in.

      I do have to agree that while it's a nice look, it's less than intuitive. I guess it will just take a little getting used to :)

      Any suggestions for making it more intuitive are welcome. I did this change in the hopes of making the forum easier to use in preparation for migrating e-mail into the forums more.

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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #62 on: April 07, 2010, 04:56:00 PM »
      Quote
      Done
      Re: chat stats link...is it? I meant under the Chat link in the new nav bar!  :)

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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #63 on: April 07, 2010, 05:18:18 PM »
      Re: chat stats link...is it? I meant under the Chat link in the new nav bar!  :)

      Done.
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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #64 on: April 08, 2010, 03:34:49 AM »
      Not sure if I'm alone here, but I'm wondering if anyone else would prefer it if the Posts link were changed from this:
      http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php?action=unread

      To this:
      http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php?action=unreadreplies




      Just a thought...
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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #65 on: April 08, 2010, 05:59:05 AM »

      Any suggestions for making it more intuitive are welcome. I did this change in the hopes of making the forum easier to use in preparation for migrating e-mail into the forums more.
      Well, if I may....
      I don't think it would be obvious to anyone that "Home" is the parent of direct forum links. Perhaps renaming it "Forum" or "Forums" or "Forum Links" would be better?

      Ditto finding the link to "Moderators" under "Help". Do you have a link to see / find members? If so, how about a drop-down button named "Members" under which one of the links would be for moderators / staff?

      Maybe this is just me, but I don't think all of the buttons should be grouped together. What I mean is there are some more frequently used buttons (Posts, Forum Links, PM's) that might be on the right side of the page for example and the lesser used buttons (Chat, Connect, Profile, etc) that could be on the left side. Just a thought.

      Anyway, I for one appreciate the time you've put in and the continuing effort to make the forum look more modern and easy to use.

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      Re: Forum header change
      « Reply #66 on: April 08, 2010, 07:15:44 AM »
      I'd like to edit my above post (it's too late to actually edit it, so I'll do so here).

      I'm embarrassed to admit that I only just realized the buttons I mentioned above are actually attached to the "FORUM" Parent button. Accordingly, some of what I said doesn't make as much sense. Still, I think renaming the sub-drop down from HOME to Forum Links or Forums is still relevant. And now that I see the connection to the parent FORUM button, I think INBOX should probably be a completely separate link from everything else. Perhaps it should be renamed "Messages" or "Private Messaging" and I don't think it really needs to drop down to anything (ie, "New Message"). This is one of those instances where it might have been fine the way it was previously.