phpBB Homepage Updated

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RMcGirr83
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by RMcGirr83 » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:49 pm

Desdenova wrote:
Tom wrote:
Desdenova wrote:Out of curiosity, does Vlad Gerasimov sponsor phpBB or the site in any way?
No, he does not sponsor this project.
Then why the obsession with having his stuff everywhere on here?

:?
Because he makes awesome pics and no one else has stepped up to the plate or shown the same type of ability?

Just a guess.
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by Marshalrusty » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:47 pm

Desdenova wrote:Then why the obsession with having his stuff everywhere on here?
We like it :)

We also welcome suggestions for alternatives.
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by Desdenova » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:36 pm

[Post redacted]
Last edited by Desdenova on Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by Mr. Bond » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:12 pm

The updated version is much more aesthetically pleasing than the first updated version, kudos to whoever did it. However, I still have issues with it. I really don't see a point in the images at the top. Sure, they are nice works of art (kudos to Vlad) but what purpose do they serve since all of their links are accessible via the menu bar? Not only that, the images generally have nothing to do with the links that they are associated with.

I have to agree with Desdenova, the homepage is lacking in information. At first the about text was hidden by JavaScript and now it's completely gone, and the images don't show anything useful either to people looking for information. I think the about text could easily be moved to the sidebar or above the blog posts/announcements without disrupting the design and providing a good amount of useful information to new users.

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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by igorw » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:14 pm

Finally, thanks.
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by Marshalrusty » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:04 pm

Desdenova wrote:This is another shining example of how the phpBB project has failed utterly, terribly, and miserably with marketing; it doesn't even say on the home page that it is a free and open source bulletin board/forum software.
One of the 4 main images on the front page is:
Image

This tells people what phpBB is. The front page is thus useful for people who hit it for the very first time, but also for returning visitors (who already know what phpBB is and don't want to read an intro). I realize that our front page doesn't look exactly like other projects, but we're not shooting for that anyway. I'm not a design expert, so I generally defer to others on the team, but I do not see this particular thing as a problem.

Desdenova and anyone else: if you are capable and willing to help with design aspects of the site, I welcome your assistance. Contact me via PM or any of the methods listed in my profile and we can discuss further.

I would also like to point out that we do not intend for the "Get started with phpBB" image to link to the downloads page. There will be a dedicated page there for this, but it hasn't been created yet.
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by VSE » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:19 pm

I do kind of have to agree with Desdenova... The new page may look neat, but the focus of it really appears to be on the blog posts and announcements. This just is not right! Those are only meaningful to the phpBB faithful. The main impact of the front page must be: what is phpBB and why it is great!

I mocked up a rough photochop of what it could be more like:
demopage.jpg
demopage.jpg (261.14 KiB) Viewed 1038 times
Dictated but not read.
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by narqelion » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:28 am

Desdenova wrote:Why not something relevant to what the image is supposed to represent, like what narq brought up?
Any suggestion from me is guaranteed to produce the opposite result, trust me on that. :P
Pietje15 wrote:Better then all different kinds of images and stuff....
And yet that is what you already have, a random assortment of completely unrelated images that match in no way at all nor visually represent the content they link to. :lol:
Mr. Bond wrote:I really don't see a point in the images at the top. Sure, they are nice works of art (kudos to Vlad) but what purpose do they serve since all of their links are accessible via the menu bar? Not only that, the images generally have nothing to do with the links that they are associated with.
Does anyone else hear an echo? ;)
Marshalrusty wrote:Desdenova and anyone else: if you are capable and willing to help with design aspects of the site, I welcome your assistance. Contact me via PM or any of the methods listed in my profile and we can discuss further.
Isn't that what we were doing by providing honest feedback from real users (us)? We listed several key flaws with the new design including oversized images that displaced actual text content you wanted visitors to see, images that have no visual clue to the content they represent or each other, image maps that create duplicate navigation menu paths and clutter up the UI for no good reason. All these issues negatively impact usability and first impressions with respect to visual appeal.

Tip #1: You need to be ruthless when it comes to what gets included on any given page, being "cool" or "liking it" are not good enough reasons to throw something up there.

Tip #2: Understand color theory and how to apply it to web design. Pick a minimal palette of colors (I typically use 3-5) as part of your design and use them consistently throughout your pages to create a cohesive experience from page to page. Using too many colors creates the Vegas Strip effect that is jarring to the senses and visually tiring. Take a look at how many individual colors can be extracted from your new home page, from both the images and text, there is so much going on color wise the eye doesn't know where to go first. It is just way too distracting.

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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by EXreaction » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:46 am

Most visits to our front page will probably be by people who know what phpBB is, making that a bit redundant I think. Pushing the news which is important to many users familiar with the project is worse than adding that bit of info for users who do not know of the project in my opinion.

For those who do not know what phpBB is, the first thing they'll probably see is "What is phpBB?" and will follow that to find out about the project. We'd need a true usability expert who studies behavior to give us their opinion to do much more, but unfortunately we really do not have anyone like that whom is known to us on the teams and most of this has come from what some of us on the teams has read from experts in the field.

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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by Desdenova » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:47 am

[Post redacted]
Last edited by Desdenova on Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by SamG » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:45 am

I think this particular discussion is at risk of escalating beyond reasonable conversation about the phpBB home page update. So let's stay on topic, please. Let's also acknowledge that consensus building within the community is the goal. I see no way for everybody to find a compelling argument in any single point of view--at least among those presented so far.

Let constructive exchange continue. Please leave the rest at the door.
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by narqelion » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:56 am

EXreaction wrote:Most visits to our front page will probably be by people who know what phpBB is, making that a bit redundant I think.
Actually the opposite is true, most new users will end up at the home page whereas users already familiar with phpbb typically have specific pages/sections that they frequent by accessing them directly instead of using the header navigation menu. This is true of most web sites in general that have specific segregated areas of content. I know if I hadn't seen this topic I likely would never have noticed the change as I have no reason to visit the home page, <- reason being is that it provides no value to me as a user. How many other people who have replied in this topic would have noticed the changes on their own without this topic to prompt them to go look? Even the topic starter mentioned he stumbled across the changes by "accident" so it appears that http://www.phpbb.com/ is not that common of a destination for past/existing phpbb users.

While phpBB doesn't "sell" anything your homepage is the most valuable marketing real estate in the entire site and as such you should follow the same best practices commercial entities do that clearly communicate what and who you are. There is a reason Desdenova's list of example home pages that adhere to the cardinal rule of homepage design was so long, because it works. ;)
SamG wrote:Let constructive exchange continue. Please leave the rest at the door.
Not sure what transpired to generate that comment but I do realize that .com did not actually solicit feedback on their changes (or even bother mentioning them what a surprise! :D ) and does not really care what we think anyway. ;)

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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by RMcGirr83 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:41 am

fwiw, I always go to http://www.phpbb.com to get on here. I must be an outlier. :?
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by tbackoff » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:48 am

RMcGirr83 wrote:fwiw, I always go to http://www.phpbb.com to get on here. I must be an outlier. :?
You're not alone... ;)
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Re: phpBB Homepage Updated

Post by Rotsblok » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:49 am

t_backoff wrote:
RMcGirr83 wrote:fwiw, I always go to http://www.phpbb.com to get on here. I must be an outlier. :?
You're not alone... ;)
I think you see a whole bunch of ppl confirming you're actions...

BTW can we stop post redacted stuff (it's somewhat annoying to follow the discussion when the original post of the quoted is missing.. (it makes the answers somewhat weird,,,)
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