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Dim

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The demo portal page has now been up for a week or so and hopefully everyones had a chance to look at it, so after your thoughts.

First, the logic of the portal. At the moment, for guests or non members visiting the front page of the site is fairly daunting, a lot of information with the forum at the head of it, and unless they start digging around in the forum they dont always find the topics of interest, and what we are really about.

The idea of the portal is to provide a single front page overview of the site, with latest topics, things of interest, and also certain threads highlighted by using the "article" button thats on all threads to give a overview of the entire site thats more friendly to new users.

The idea would be that the forum then is on a second page, and would just contain the forum index, perhaps with the shoutbox, and remove the left hand panels from the forum page so that the forum was much bigger, less cramped and easier to navigate.

The best way to get the full effect of the portal is to view it as a guest so that you see what non members will see. We are still regularly picking up new members and word is starting to get out on twitter etc. We will also be getting an advert on cyclismas which will further drive new members to the forum so having an attractive entry page is key.

As a side note. I am starting to look at alternate software to smf and there is a likelehood that at some point we will move to a new platform that is more modern, supports html5 etc etc, but that is a while away yet.

So thoughts.

Do we like the portal page, or not
Is there anything that can be done to improve it
is there anything we should be featuring on the portal that is more important or anything that doesnt need to be there
general thoughts..

etc..
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  • mc_mountain

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    I think it will be difficult to completely eliminate the busy/daunting feel, but I think the portal does give the feeling on 'more than just a forum' and I think it makes sense that there is a screen designed for the unintiated.  I dont like the blue theme and much prefer the wallpaper effect on 'Velorooms Black'.  I think the latest activity box is really useful, but the content seems just too big for the panel requiring a slider, it would be cleaner without.  I might also prefer not to have 'recent images' panel.

    Excellent work as ever on looking at improvements.
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  • Youth CQ Game originator.

    Dim

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    thanks.

    the blue theme is still a wip. I prefer the wallpaper on the black, but theres elements of the blue i prefer. Matter of getting the right mix.

    The "latest" box i am trying to get into the box below that has two options but its being a pain in the arse, but ideally then it could be a single box with [recent posts][recent topics][latest activity]

    am playing around with the option to click and drag panels around so you can configure the page as you wish, but its not totally working at the moment :S

    think i agree iwth the images panel, we dont really have a huge amount of images posted.
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  • L'arri

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    Very busy and the shoutbox history no longer works. ;)

    OK, that's a bit strong. It actually looks quite good on a big screen (like mine). Must be hell with ads on a handheld though. :D

    I think all the themes are too intense though, which is what contributes to the busy-ness. What would be better is not to have such gridded themes with all the structural lines and shaded backgrounds. The layout should be deconstructed so that the content itself does the structuring.

    A simple analogy to illustrate this is when you get a graphic designer to do a table of figures. A good one will never use vertical lines. A really good one will dispense with the physical grid altogether and just rely on typographic choices.

    Deconstruct the constructed and this forum will look a lot calmer and more authoritative.  :tu
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon

    froome19

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    Very busy and the shoutbox history no longer works. ;)
    I believe it does if you scroll down, just now two pages which are just much longer..
    http://velorooms.com/index.php?action=portal;sa=shoutbox;shoutbox_id=8
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  • RIP Keith

    L'arri

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    I believe it does if you scroll down, just now two pages which are just much longer..
    http://velorooms.com/index.php?action=portal;sa=shoutbox;shoutbox_id=8

    Yeah, but didn't we used to be able to go through the last x pages?
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  • froome19

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    10/11 I believe, but I think that the No. of shouts we can see are very similar if not identical as the shoutbox pages have been extended quite considerably, very possibly by 5 times as much.
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  • Dim

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    the shoutbox thing is a bug.. because the portal hasnt been set as "the portal" the shoutbox history button is confused.

    but the front shoutbox now shows the last 200 shouts.

    im working on a very simplified simple theme larri with very slight shading for the header bars, and very thin lines..
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  • search

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    OT: I can only barely figure out how to post on this forum anymore. WTF is going on?!

    I don't think there should be any problems, maybe it's browser related?! And if it's just about the new theme you can always switch back to the classic one.

    Maybe you can post more details, I think dim will be able to help
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

     

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