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myff admin

New look and new categories!

See the Beta on:

http://www.myfabforum.org/index.php

The directory need some bug fixes, and a couple of images are missing/wrong.
Buteo

Very Nice!  
myff admin

I have a few groans, the front page has more white faces and teeth than the entire Osmond family, but the designer makes the point that the way they "look up" does focus people attention where it is meant to be, the other images we looked at did not do that.
Zudane

I think it needs to be toned down a little.. it's very vibrant.  Colors in the eyes are way to bright, colors on the page are too bright...   The background of gray and white are a bit dim, and stand out too much against the contrast of a vibrant red and blue.  Just dimming some of the colors I think would look better, mellow it out some, ya know?
myff admin

One point to note is that there will be a pretty much "two click" change your forums category option in the admin panel, so the owner can change categories without even the hassle of password entry.

As to comments on the style, I genuinely like it myself, though I do see where the critics are coming from. The proof of the pudding will be the "signup" rate. At the end of the day that is what the redesign is about.
myff admin

Users on phpbb2 forums should now see a link in the admin panel to allow a quick change in their forums category.
Nick(NR)

myff admin wrote:
I have a few groans, the front page has more white faces and teeth than the entire Osmond family, but the designer makes the point that the way they "look up" does focus people attention where it is meant to be, the other images we looked at did not do that.


I'm sorry, but I don't buy into that one little bit, it's wasted screen estate in my opinion, the idea that having those people looking up to give a focus is countered by the your interests, your forum caption in nice clear and rather large text, that draws your focus and gets you reading what's below, no one should look at the bottom of a page first
Bravo

For that style of design, the eyes are draw to the 'This That' part first, where there isn't even a link.  So Nick is 100% correct there.  There is a strong whiff of salesmanship with regard to the eyes...sort of 'hey this stock image will do to just slap on, how we gonna sell it?'

There is also a hidden link on there which is bizarre.  The bottom of the sections don't even align.  There is a big gap of nothingness.  Simply put it is a lazily and ill thought out design.

Will it increase traffic? Possibly.  But, put yourself in the shoes of someone looking for a new forum, would it attract you?  Also, missed out are some of the key points, such as the willingness to customise the system given sufficient demand and the second to none support.
myff admin

Minor bits of html can (and have) been resolved.

The purpose of the page is to increase people signing up.... will that work? Well all we have to go on so far is less than a full day of data so it would be foolish to nail things down on that as this point. But the numbers so far are positive.
GentleD

I like it. It's very appealing and would make me stop and read more. A HUGE improvement over what you had before. I am sure it could use some tweeking, but what couldn't?  Nice job.

Kat
Myles

The red and blue colours are bit intense and 'in your face', but it's definitely an improvement and looks more professional than the previous layout.

The list of features in the blue box on the right are good for new visitors.

This paragraph might be better in slightly larger font...
Quote:
   Got something to say and people to share it with?

    Our free forums provide you with an excellent service to trade, share and learn with your community. We'll provide you with all the tools you'll need along with help and support to make sure you get going on the right foot.
Zudane

Myles wrote:
The red and blue colours are bit intense and 'in your face', but it's definitely an improvement and looks more professional than the previous layout.

The list of features in the blue box on the right are good for new visitors.

This paragraph might be better in slightly larger font...
Quote:
   Got something to say and people to share it with?

    Our free forums provide you with an excellent service to trade, share and learn with your community. We'll provide you with all the tools you'll need along with help and support to make sure you get going on the right foot.


The colors and images do detract from this.. I noticed that last night.
myff admin

Two days of data is still hardly a lot to go on, but again numbers are notably up

I do know we offer a whole lot more than we mention on the page.

But from a marketing perspective, to mention a lot more is to tell the user that their choice of service is a complicated decision and one they should go away and think about...
myff admin

I'm looking forward to seeing a weeks data, but so far day after day the new design is something like 30% ahead of the old.

So like it or not, it is effective.
myff admin

Some time tomorrow the new "control panel" will go in, basically its the old control panel but looks nicer as it uses jquery tabs.


Seemed unfair to have all the work done on getting people to sign up, but not to have the job finished for a better experience for all.
myff admin

Well things maintain a 25% increase....

What I will say to anyone with a design opinion is that unlike the last design that was vastly complex in terms of the number of links, the new design is fundamentally simple. This means that it could be changed say on myfastforum.org to use different images, colors, copy etc without it being very involved at all.

Now when you look at google analytics the baseline conversion rate does tend to vary by only a small % when averaged over a week and we do measure per forums domain.

So the basis is there for any budding designers, copy writers to have ideas tried out, and I'm perfectly happen to pay for ideas that work.

The basic fact is that now we can make such changes easily, it would be crazy not to. Google analytics likes Sunday as the start of week, and IMHO two weeks is needed to give a change a chance.... so we have to be looking for an incremental change to try by the 29th. Even if that is just the bigger font suggested by Myles.
Myles

My internet connection was a bit slow there so i noticed that the part of the page below the menu buttons loaded before the banner and the menu. This could've just been the browser acting up obviously, but just incase thought i'd mention it.

Perhaps it's better that the banner loads first, followed by the menu, then the rest of the page. In otherwords that the pages loads from top-to-bottom, instead of bottom-to-top, especially for people still on slow connections.

Probably just a case of adding the images in sequence using;
Code:
<img src="url/your-banner-image.png" class="b" width="0" height="0" />
<img src="url/your-menu-image.png" class="b" width="0" height="0" />
<img src="url/your-hoverover-menu-image.png" class="b" width="0" height="0" />
etc.


Suppose most people are on fast connections these days, so probably doesn't matter.
Myles

I forgot, this would go in the header to compliment the class;

Code:
<style type="text/css">
<!--
img.b { display: none; }
// -->
</style>
K

First: Very nice look! sleek and appealing!

Second: I must agree with many people above that the "This that" caught my attention first and i didnt even SEE the "Your Interest your forum" until i looked all over the page, but the buttons and important stuff did stick out. I noticed the top bar and buttons first
myff admin

Okay it breaks the rule about making changes on a Sunday, but I have fixed a bit of an idiot issue The main page images were way to big, I have cut over 50kb from the site load size with some gentle compression.
myff admin

Down to 81430 bytes. Which is another 20kb or thereabouts lower. Basically half the size it was before.

Probably 20kb more could be removed even now. Though the image compression might start to get visible.

But there is probably 2kb of redundant css and 10kb of image flab that would be easily done and unnoticeable.
myff admin

61,684 bytes now.

Another 25% saving and down to about 33% of the original size

Quite hard to get more out of this now. The techniques that would have to be applied would make things rather inflexible IMHO.

But is has been a telling exercise.
myff admin

61,163 bytes.

Not a lot of change there, but 2 requests eliminated, so there are only 11 objects on the main page.

Forums themselves are not half as easy unfortunately as they to tend to have a lot of images. Using css sprites is a good method there, and is not actually as daunting as it might sound.

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