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Constructive ideas on improving the forum - Page 2

post #16 of 546
The design is still horrid on my old computer but the site seems faster today for some reason. Problems that I still see:

-Signatures - On my 15" monitor, Spoo's signature literally takes up half the screen. I know we're in the new pro-business administration but that's ridiculous. The giant gold stars are a little much. Not picking on Spoo (ok, somebody has to) as I've seen a few examples of this.

-The reply box at the bottom of the page literally takes up the whole screen. What the hell do I need to load all that space for?

-In the same vain, there is a metric fuckton of empty space EVERYWHERE. Example - at the bottom of the reply box there must be at least 6" of grey deadspace between the box and the buttons, and the buttons and the footer. Similarly, at the top of the screen there is a good 2" of empty space around everything. The large gap around the logo is most egregious.

-Why do we need a footer? If you move the reply box above the branch chain of forum links it would completely eliminate this and also solve all this damn deadspace on the bottom of the screen. Also, all that stupid shit at the bottom of the screen with the columns of links is a complete waste of time and space.

-Still too much deadspace in the posts. I can see 1.5, maybe 2 posts TOPS at one time.

-Can we get the quickreply back? That way, I don't have to spend time loading up the reply function if I don't plan on replying to anything.

-The java popup boxes are horrendous. The one if you hit reply without logging in first is the worst. It literally fills my whole screen. I also get several of the "please wait" popups.

-And, most importantly IMO - I'd like to be able to hide the affiliate links, reviews, tags, and all that other god awful shit on the right side of the screen. It makes the forum completely unreadable and is just more useless shit that I have to load.
Edited by Rambo - 8/9/11 at 10:31am
post #17 of 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

-Signatures - On my 15" monitor, Spoo's signature literally takes up half the screen. I know we're in the new pro-business administration but that's ridiculous. The giant gold stars are a little much. Not picking on Spoo (ok, somebody has to) as I've seen a few examples of this.

Wait till you see what those stars turn into when they go on sale! Im not a huge fan of them in my signature either, but thats the avatar for my sale threads, and that appears in your signature the same way - you can't remove the image. I want the links in my sig, so I can't do anything about it.

However, my entire sig takes up about only 2" of height on my MBP... compared to NOBDS minuscule signature which takes up about 1.5" of height.
post #18 of 546
Alright, got a few more:

-What's going on with the stickied threads? In some forums, they show up as regular posts (social life, GC), but in Fine Living I don't see them in the list. Also, when you click on them you go to the first post. Is there any way to get the old functionality back where you could skip ahead to your last unread post AND see when the last post was and who made it?

-More of a technical glitch, but when I browse B&S, then hit BACK the java box pops up and it jumps me to the top of the forum that I'm browsing instead of taking me out of B&S to my last viewed page.
post #19 of 546
Can you make the highlighting of a thread we've contributed to more contrast-y ? Perhaps a darker or different color?
post #20 of 546
I think that not having the forums listed on the "front page" may be hurting pageviews. The feature articles are well done, but the full forum list also needs to be on the front page.

Alexa says that the pageviews per user rate is down to about 4. This is about the half the figure from earlier in the year:

graph?&w=400&h=220&o=f&c=1&y=u&b=ffffff&n=666666&r=6m&u=styleforum.net&

Also, the "bounce rate," or "estimated percentage of visits to styleforum.net that consist of a single pageview" is currently 50%. Up by like 10% since June-July.

graph?&w=400&h=220&o=f&c=1&y=b&b=ffffff&n=666666&r=6m&u=styleforum.net&
post #21 of 546
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

I think that not having the forums listed on the "front page" may be hurting pageviews. The feature articles are well done, but the full forum list also needs to be on the front page.

Alexa says that the pageviews per user rate is down to about 4. This is about the half the figure from earlier in the year:

graph?&w=400&h=220&o=f&c=1&y=u&b=ffffff&n=666666&r=6m&u=styleforum.net&

Also, the "bounce rate," or "estimated percentage of visits to styleforum.net that consist of a single pageview" is currently 50%. Up by like 10% since June-July.

graph?&w=400&h=220&o=f&c=1&y=b&b=ffffff&n=666666&r=6m&u=styleforum.net&

Alexa is wrong, or at least, mostly wrong. First, you have to be very careful about comparing pageviews between different platforms, because pageviews are counted very differently on different platforms. It's comparing apples to oranges. One simple, but telling example. In VBulletin, every reply counts for at least 3 pageviews. On the new system, a reply counts as exactly 1 pageview.

Re bounce rate and the actual slight drop in pageviews/visitor (which is closer to about 3-5%). Total visitors are up by about 10-15%, and of course, most new visitors are not on the site for as long as old visitors.

Google analytics shows that only a small fraction of pageviews are of the frontpage - I think that pageviews to the frontpage account for something like 5% of all views.

Like I've said before, there are liars, damn liars, and statisticians, and you have to be extremely careful when interpreting data (this is what I do for a day job, and what I teach my students to do.)

Rest assured that I am doing a lot of monitoring of site usage, and that we have been making adjustments in an ongoing, proactive way. We are always interested in your comments though.
post #22 of 546
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by willpower View Post

Can you make the highlighting of a thread we've contributed to more contrast-y ? Perhaps a darker or different color?

maybe a bit darker, but we don't want to make it illegible. We'll play around and see,
post #23 of 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

In VBulletin, every reply counts for at least 3 pageviews. On the new system, a reply counts as exactly 1 pageview.

Good to know! Was unaware.
post #24 of 546
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post


Good to know! Was unaware.

Some numbers, like absolute visitors and absolute visits, are more robust - even then, Alexa has serious issues. However, when you get to things like pageviews, it is very difficult to compare different platforms. And some things seem bad, but may be good. For example, we now vet all registrations from India, which is a major source of spam. As a result, I think that our popularity there plummeted. There are definitely things that we are actively working on to improve the site - specifically, we are working on speed, and we want to make the B&S forum a gold standard system. We are constrained by the technology to which we have access. However, at the same time, we have the flexibility of not needing it to be a significant revenue generator, so our goal is really to make it amazing for both sellers and buyers, so that it becomes the premium destination for anyone wanting to buy and sell top of the line men's clothing and accessories.

There have been some "I want a magical pony" type of requests, which we cannot accomodate, but there have also been some very good suggestions, which you should see implemented in the very near future.

J and I are pretty protective of this community (we've nurtured it for nearly 10 years, after all,) and we use all the tools at our disposal to make this a better and better place to hang out.

Cheers,

Fok.
post #25 of 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

-And, most importantly IMO - I'd like to be able to hide the affiliate links, reviews, tags, and all that other god awful shit on the right side of the screen. It makes the forum completely unreadable and is just more useless shit that I have to load.

THIS IS IMPORTANT.

I have seen it posted countless times yet I have never seen an admin respond.

its ridiculous the amount of space that crap takes up on the right side of the screen. its obscene.
post #26 of 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

-And, most importantly IMO - I'd like to be able to hide the affiliate links, reviews, tags, and all that other god awful shit on the right side of the screen.  It makes the forum completely unreadable and is just more useless shit that I have to load. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubblyMasquerade View Post


THIS IS IMPORTANT.

I have seen it posted countless times yet I have never seen an admin respond.

its ridiculous the amount of space that crap takes up on the right side of the screen.  its obscene.

If you have a browser that supports user scripts (such as Chrome or Firefox with the Greasemonkey plugin),
the following user script will block all the sidebars:
Code:

var allDivs, thisDiv, allDivs2, thisDiv2;

allDivs = document.evaluate(
    "//*[@class='sidebar-module']",
    document,
    null,
    XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,
    null);

for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    // do something with thisDiv
    thisDiv.parentNode.removeChild(thisDiv);
}

allDivs = document.evaluate(
    "//*[@class='sfspon']",
    document,
    null,
    XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,
    null);

for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    // do something with thisDiv
    thisDiv.parentNode.removeChild(thisDiv);
}
post #27 of 546

We have responded to it a couple of times, but I will do it again in this thread since we've locked the others: it is built-in and we can't opt out of it. That is one of the things we agreed to in order to get the benefits of the system. It does, at times, provide useful information, but we understand it often seems intrusive.

 

We are going to push for an optional 'power user' or 'lite' skin that would maximize text density and minimize basically everything else (interface effects, ads etc). I want that and I know a lot of people would like it, but don't hold your breath.

 

OTOH, one of their major initiatives right now is to get a version of the site optimized for mobile/tablet use, and maybe that will be an option for desktop users who want less stuff, and more words, on the screen.

post #28 of 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by scriptguy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

-And, most importantly IMO - I'd like to be able to hide the affiliate links, reviews, tags, and all that other god awful shit on the right side of the screen.  It makes the forum completely unreadable and is just more useless shit that I have to load. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubblyMasquerade View Post


THIS IS IMPORTANT.

I have seen it posted countless times yet I have never seen an admin respond.

its ridiculous the amount of space that crap takes up on the right side of the screen.  its obscene.

If you have a browser that supports user scripts (such as Chrome or Firefox with the Greasemonkey plugin),
the following user script will block all the sidebars:
Code:

var allDivs, thisDiv, allDivs2, thisDiv2;

allDivs = document.evaluate(
    "//*[@class='sidebar-module']",
    document,
    null,
    XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,
    null);

for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    // do something with thisDiv
    thisDiv.parentNode.removeChild(thisDiv);
}

allDivs = document.evaluate(
    "//*[@class='sfspon']",
    document,
    null,
    XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,
    null);

for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    // do something with thisDiv
    thisDiv.parentNode.removeChild(thisDiv);
}

 


I haven't tried it, but assuming this works, thanks for posting it. I would love it if those who don't want the sidebar could just turn it off.

 

I should add, if people don't know what they are doing, they probably shouldn't try this.

post #29 of 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by scriptguy View Post





If you have a browser that supports user scripts (such as Chrome or Firefox with the Greasemonkey plugin),
the following user script will block all the sidebars:
Code:

var allDivs, thisDiv, allDivs2, thisDiv2;

allDivs = document.evaluate(
    "//*[@class='sidebar-module']",
    document,
    null,
    XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,
    null);

for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    // do something with thisDiv
    thisDiv.parentNode.removeChild(thisDiv);
}

allDivs = document.evaluate(
    "//*[@class='sfspon']",
    document,
    null,
    XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,
    null);

for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    // do something with thisDiv
    thisDiv.parentNode.removeChild(thisDiv);
}


That code helps. It still leaves the affiliates but removes Tags, Recent Reviews and Styleforum Affiliate Links. Still, I prefer IE8, so this doesn't help much.
post #30 of 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicguy 
That code helps. It still leaves the affiliates but removes Tags, Recent Reviews and Styleforum Affiliate Links.
I am also running AdBlock Plus which had already removed the affiliates for me.  I modified the script to remove everything without require ABP.
Code:
var allDivs, thisDiv;

allDivs = document.evaluate(
    "//*[@id='sidebar']",
    document,
    null,
    XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,
    null);

for (var i = 0; i < allDivs.snapshotLength; i++) {
    thisDiv = allDivs.snapshotItem(i);
    // do something with thisDiv
    thisDiv.parentNode.removeChild(thisDiv);
}
Quote:
Still, I prefer IE8, so this doesn't help much.
There are some plugins for IE that will run user scripts though not as well as Chrome or FF.  Sometimes inferior software relegates you to an inferior experience.
 
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