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Community Site changes

jwing
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 05-04-2007

Community Site changes

Hi Guys,
We've been experiencing some frustration with the current community site layout.  It isn't flexible enough for us to be able to use the space effectively and display the mix of content we've wanted.
So, I have redesigned the front page taking into account some of the feedback we have had on previous designs. Have a look and give us some feedback before we go any further with it.
Thanks
Jonny
25 REPLIES
jwing
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Thought I should also point out the following points that have been taken into major consideration:
- Page will resize depnding on users resolution
- Expandable nav if required e.g. forums
- 3 column layout to allow more distinct areas of the page
- Main area to push key announcements/storys at the top of the page
Thanks
Jonny
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Community Site changes

I'd prefer the Industry News section to be somewhere else, it reminds me too much of Google AdWords. If they got moved/removed, then the Community News entries could span the full length, which would look a lot better IMO. Less to look at on the page, and it gives more free-flowing text.
The tabs on the top should be a bit of a stronger colour, they look too washed out how they are.
It looks like the design is set to a specific px width, or is that just a result of the screen resolution the screenshot was taken on? I'd much prefer it being a specific width from left and right rather than it's own set width. If need be, then a percentile width set so it sits better in larger resolutions.
Will the new design and layouts incorporate the ability for theming? Would be a nice feature that's been asked for a while, and if this change is coming then PlusNet might as well move forward by moving all style information to a stylesheet rather than keeping it how it is with some styling hardcoded.
How would this theme integrate with the SMF theme for the forum?

If I can think of anything else, I'll let you know Smiley
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 637
Thanks: 119
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Quote from: jwing
... community site layout
....I have redesigned the front page taking into account some of the feedback we have had on previous designs. Have a look and give us some feedback before we go any further with it.

Very brief reply (for lack of time) but it does seem a vast improvement.  The links are (generally) much easier to see and the overall impression is "clearer and cleaner" - as well as lateral rather than linear, with lots of different areas being visible "at a glance".  The darker background/borders give much better definition overall.
Not sure about the "brown" - and "Catergories" needs to lose an R, but overall it seems significantly better Smiley
Regards,
Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,917
Thanks: 190
Fixes: 4
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Quote from: MikeWhitehead
I'd prefer the Industry News section to be somewhere else, it reminds me too much of Google AdWords. If they got moved/removed, then the Community News entries could span the full length, which would look a lot better IMO. Less to look at on the page, and it gives more free-flowing text.

We need the news on the front somewhere, but don't want to mix it in with the PlusNet news.  hence that direction.  Any suggestions for how to do that?
Quote from: MikeWhitehead
It looks like the design is set to a specific px width, or is that just a result of the screen resolution the screenshot was taken on? I'd much prefer it being a specific width from left and right rather than it's own set width. If need be, then a percentile width set so it sits better in larger resolutions.

It will expand with the resolution (as Jonny stated Tongue ).  it will leave a slight gutter on the edges for contrast.
Quote from: MikeWhitehead
Will the new design and layouts incorporate the ability for theming?

As best we can manage.
Quote from: MikeWhitehead
How would this theme integrate with the SMF theme for the forum?

yep.
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Quote from: Kelly
We need the news on the front somewhere, but don't want to mix it in with the PlusNet news.  hence that direction.  Any suggestions for how to do that?

Hmmmm...I'm trying to think of an alternative. The only problem is every time I look at it, it draws my eyes away from one thing from another, then to another, etc.
Any chance of seeing it with:
- Wider community news article width
- Industry news articles with alternative background colour
- A vertically-dashed line between Community News and Industry News, or the current one just darkened (I can't see it without looking at the monitor at an angle)
jwing
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Following feedback i have updated the design slightly taking into account the following:
- Made the divider lines darker
- Added a  background colour behind the "industry news" block
I cannot find a more logical place for the "industry news" to sit, but to me where it is at the minute is perfect as it needs to be quite prominanet but yet not take up more "real estate" than the "Community news".
Thanks
Jonny
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Tablecloth Smiley
(internal joke)
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Community Site changes

"industry standard" (damn, I hate that phrase) seems to be:
[ column ] [ ------ main info ------- ] [ column ]
Could we not move the Industry News column to the left, shade it the same colour as the right column, then off-colour the centre panel?
B.
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Liking how it is now, as long as the Community News section isn't made too small because of the Industry News section.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,378
Thanks: 632
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

... or swap the columns as Barry suggested and shade the left and right hand columns leaving the centre white.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
Posts: 26,378
Thanks: 632
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Quote from: Jameseh
Tablecloth Smiley
(internal joke)

Does that mean we are going to have a little vase of flowers somewhere on the front page?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Not quite.  When I first saw it, I told Colin that I thought it looked like a tablecloth, which probably wasn't the right word.
I'm not a massive fan, but that mainly down to me not liking the colour scheme and how I feel it looks like a hardback book.
I do like the way how the top buttons are more apparent and the division of the content areas.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,378
Thanks: 632
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Is it going to be changed so that only one EOD (the latest) appears on the front page? This would stop EOD reports pushing other items off the front page too soon.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Community Site changes

Quote from: Jameseh
I'm not a massive fan, but that mainly down to me not liking the colour scheme and how I feel it looks like a hardback book.

Influence them to make it fully CSS-driven for the styling, then the world is your oyster Tongue