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Category icons on index





truespeed
Why not colour up the forum index with category icons? In place of these.

Examples.

General chat:



History:



P&R:



Obviously they would have to be smaller and a little more time would have to be taken in choosing the right ones for each category,but in terms of the visual it would make the forums a lot less grey looking.
Ghost Rider103
I think we could do something cool with the main categories. Like General, Announcements, Suggestions and Introductions.

Otherwise, we have quite a LOT of different categories and that would be way too many different style/color icons and would look way overcrowded.

I support this idea. I would not support changing ALL the icons though. Just too many.
truespeed
Looking at the index again,you are right,changing all would be too much.

Maybe just the top section as you suggested,but on its own it might look out of place with the rest of the forum.
hw3patch
I don't think any of the icons need to be changed. With the current icons, one is able to glance at a topic and know if it is read or unread, based on the color of the icon. With the new icons, that would be harder to do because General's unread and read symbols would look different than Jobs and Learning's unread and read symbols. Changing the icons would take away the meaning that the current ones have. What we have now is simple and effective.
truespeed
hw3patch wrote:
I don't think any of the icons need to be changed. With the current icons, one is able to glance at a topic and know if it is read or unread, based on the color of the icon. With the new icons, that would be harder to do because General's unread and read symbols would look different than Jobs and Learning's unread and read symbols. Changing the icons would take away the meaning that the current ones have. What we have now is simple and effective.


Who looks at the front page to see what categories have read and unread posts? I know I don't,I just go to view new posts to see what is new.
Ghost Rider103
truespeed wrote:
hw3patch wrote:
I don't think any of the icons need to be changed. With the current icons, one is able to glance at a topic and know if it is read or unread, based on the color of the icon. With the new icons, that would be harder to do because General's unread and read symbols would look different than Jobs and Learning's unread and read symbols. Changing the icons would take away the meaning that the current ones have. What we have now is simple and effective.


Who looks at the front page to see what categories have read and unread posts? I know I don't,I just go to view new posts to see what is new.


Looking at the front page of the forums is actually the default way to tell which categories have read/unread posts.

I personally don't use the "view new posts" page at all and I'm sure there are quite a LOT of users who don't use and probably even more who still don't know about it.

But saying that, if we did change the icons, we could still implement something into the icon design that resembles a read/unread post.
truespeed
I came across this while browsing phpbb.com somebody had linked it,something like this index interface would look good,cleaner and more attractive.

http://forum.bouwlink.nl/
abdoopc
helpful
Nick2008
I like the idea of having forum categories be associated with certain symbols, it really makes it easier for us visually-inclined folks to find what we are looking for. At the same time, there needs to be a certain degree of continuity between the symbols to make sure they have some similar characteristics (like same colors, same style, same "unread" and "read" hues). This makes it more aesthetically pleasing and makes it easy to know which forums have new posts.
deanhills
I think it would be great if there were no categories at first view and all posts were listed by default in date order, last post first. When one creates a new thread, one has to indicate which category the post fits into, as a condition for the thread to be posted. That way people won't just automatically use the General Chat Forum for all posts.

There should be a wide variety of viewing options available, i.e. viewing categories individually, viewing categories collectively, etc. in a scroll down menu. So one can zero into one's favourite categories in a much easier way.

The icons for each category would be very handy here, as they would help to identify the posts when they are listed in default date order. Would be nice if one clicked on any one of these icons, that it would take one straight to that specific category of posts.
Ghost Rider103
I'm still a bit skeptical about this working for Frihost. However the link provided above does propose a possible way of it working out.

My initial thought was more 3D style icons with tons of colors and shapes. If all the icons were toned down to the same shape and color it would be much more clean than I initially thought. However, the link above is displaying in a typical vertical fashion of displaying categories. Frihost no longer uses this typical layout and we (obviously) use a horizontal style layout. I'm not sure having icons in a horizontal fashion would look as neat.

The bigger issue I have with this idea is the amount of categories we have. Not only (in my opinion) would it look sort of messy, I think it would hurt page load time. We would have to load an excess amount of images. We have what, probably 30 or so forum categories? Not sure on the exact number, but that is kind of a lot of icons to load for one page ontop of all the images the page is already loading for the template.

It's a good idea for your typical forum I think. Frihost is just displayed in a way I don't think it would work for us. Not with our current design. Perhaps this suggestion could be considered in the making of a new Frihost design. If that ever happens!
deanhills
Ghost Rider103 wrote:
It's a good idea for your typical forum I think. Frihost is just displayed in a way I don't think it would work for us. Not with our current design. Perhaps this suggestion could be considered in the making of a new Frihost design. If that ever happens!
I'm totally agreed on this too. Won't really fit with our current design. Everything else would have to change as well to make it fit right.

I'm pretty happy with things the way they are. If there is time available, I'd rather see that the information gets updated everywhere first. Particularly including the Coins and Free Domains in the FAQs. I.e. the details such as how they are earned. Seems to be something that is asked frequently. Maybe some of the information in Bondings Official Blog could be incorporated in the FAQs as well, particularly where repeated questions have been asked.
ocalhoun
Nick2008 wrote:
At the same time, there needs to be a certain degree of continuity between the symbols to make sure they have some similar characteristics (like same colors, same style, same "unread" and "read" hues). This makes it more aesthetically pleasing

But it does need to be balanced against making them visually distinct, which makes their purpose of distinguishing them easier.

...Which I do support.
When looking for a particular forum, you'd be able to find it faster if it has it's own distinct icon.
(Imagine how much more difficult it would be to find the right icon on your desktop if only the text were different, and they all shared the same nondescript icon.)
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