New forum setup I like it

I think we have a different view of chaos.

If we had to compare, I saw the old format as chaos, as it was not possible to see the various forum categories without constant hunting and scrolling back and forth. I find the new setup SIGNIFICANTLY superior in reducing the chaos that existed before.

Your point about there being lots of free room is noted, but that was the the idea behind the presentation.

I can’t help but get the impression that our users feel there is some of the old “pizazz” missing with this more simplistic presentation, and they want the “pizazz” back. Maybe a judicious selection of colours and borders may help there. Maybe not.

The point that there is no activity evident (raised by others) is noted, and I think things can be done to address that. I personally don’t share the view that such is necessary (as **one click **to any of the forums and one WILL SEE lots and lots of activity), but I also think it also very important to listen to and address the views of others. Hence I agree something could be done to show more activity without a return to the previous non-fucntional format that had 3 or more pages of scrollling.

I confess I do not see this as whiners.

Rather I see this as an openSUSE community of members who are trying their best to provide suggestions to make things better. And even if we all do not see things the same way, the input we are getting is GREAT and even if the mods/admins appear to be slow at times in responding, please be assured we do listen and we do eventually take action.

Thanks again to everyone for their input.

Fully agree, a “use classic layout” which enables us to use the prvious efficient style where one could see at a glance where there were new posts and such (instead of the dead squished thing now) would be greatly appreciated.

That’s quite likely.

Looks just the same for me here (also using the same resolution).
Big open space on the top and the bottom with everything squished together in the middle - just chaos with no real informational value.

Yes, there was certainly ample space of improvement for the old layout, so I can see why they wanted to change it.
This new cramped layout however is just a huge step backwards in terms of efficiency and ergonomics.

Yes, that would be nice.

@Axeia: on a big widescreen monitor a lot of webpages, specially forums / older cms’s seem to have a lot of empty space. Chaos? What chaos? Has the word “chaos” gotten a new meaning, like “vet” doesn’t mean greasy anymore.

In general: whilst admitting i’m in the process of getting used to the new layout, I like it a lot. Simple, clean, one view start page, even on smaller screens.

cha·os (ks)

  1. A condition or place of great disorder or confusion.
  2. A disorderly mass; a jumble: The desk was a chaos of papers and unopened letters.
  3. often Chaos The disordered state of unformed matter and infinite space supposed in some cosmogonic views to have existed before the ordered universe.
  4. Mathematics A dynamical system that has a sensitive dependence on its initial conditions.
  5. Obsolete An abyss; a chasm.

Seems like chaos still retains it’s meaning.

One of the things you’re taught when following a course related to GUI design is to use a visual grid (it’s what made using tables for design so popular ;))
The human eye/mind just work that way, they can interpret information faster if you can divide the information you’re being fed into blocks.

So we went from a table with everything nicely divided in rows and columns to a bunch of links of different lengths next to eachother. (I spend 10 seconds searching for this part of the forum and then just found it via ctrl+f as I got tired of looking for it).
So yes I’d call it chaos.

Sure, the new design is liked by those still using 1024*768 or even lower on a mobile device but I personally hate it when something is dumbed down… I want to see all kinds of information. I like the detail view in Dolphin… not the icon one. I like big bulky forums that show a little bit of text describing what a certain section of it is for.

The majority of us are at least somewhat tech savvy, don’t we all want see all the details neatly presented in a table?

Whoever did the design, nothing personal against you… I tend to be quite picky to how a site should look like and often use greasemonkey to rearange things back to how they were if I think and older version was superior.
Youtube in particular tends to drive me mad with their interface changes.

On Sat, 10 Apr 2010 22:56:01 +0000, Axeia wrote:

> I tend to be quite
> picky to how a site should look like and often use greasemonkey to
> rearange things back to how they were if I think and older version was
> superior.

Perhaps you could mock something up and post a link to a screenshot that
shows what you’re thinking here? It sounds like you’ve got some
background in interface design that could help with visualizing different


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

In my opinion, it looks cluttered. Below is a list of my personal thoughts on the forum layout after a short span of using it. Feel free to criticize the comments, but not the commenter.

I use the web interface (and now RSS) interface(s). At work I have reasonably-sized monitors but at home I am using a not-the-brightest 12" non-widescreen laptop.

I am not a designer, these are my thoughts while looking at the forum (I love dual-monitors :slight_smile: ). As is, I still prefer the theme that was removed a while back, but alas not much I can do about that now.

  • Links held horizontally with a small space in-between is sometimes more difficult to click properly with a poor mouse.
  • The icon in-between takes a (small) moment of thought to understand that it represents the link to the right of it. I normally look at the link and THEN want to know if it has anything new to it. This requires me to read “backwards” as I have to find the link then move to the left, not the right.
  • The spacing between the icon, the related link and the previous link are the same making it more difficult to figure out which one the icon reffers to.
  • With a row-layout it makes clicking on the one you want a little bit easier as there is the whole row to aim for, not some little collection of a couple of words.
  • These links are even harder to access when using a system with a high resolution and sometimes increasing the font size (Cntrl + “+”) may not be the best answer as then it increases it for EVERY site, or has to be done EVERY time you come to the forums.
  • You HAVE to click on some level to see what the latest post is, etc. You can’t get teh same “10,000 overview” from the front page and ot get the full picture you have to go into all 8 categories.
  • The icons will tell you when there is something new, but doesn’t let you know how OLD the last post is or by whom.
  • It does look better in the openSUSE Basic theme, though I’m not fully satisifed with the choice of Green (too dark). Not to mention, you loose the navigation links on the left side of the other theme. Oh, and the button Green doesn’t match the Header green which makes it look hodge-podged and inconsistent.
  • The constant list of links with very small graphics to seperate anything makes it look like a whole bunch of words. This may help NNTP users but is unpleasing to a visually-orientated person. For Google, this works, a forum is different though.
  • It looks better with a widescreen, but there are plenty of non-widescreen displays in use out there.

Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile:

Just to clarify the above though, the nntp side of the forum has no
bearing on the web side for layout etc. Basically you get the
information like you would an email (text based at that), here is what
I see on my emai/news reader](

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel
up 1 day 22:42, 2 users, load average: 0.11, 0.14, 0.26
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - CUDA Driver Version: 190.53

I can +1 to the basics of what you say

I can see from the graphic that it would take me a while to get used to it! I think I’ll stick with the web for now :wink:

Oh, and what reader is that?

Oh, and what reader is that?

Looks like Claws to me

I use Claws-Mail :slight_smile:

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel
up 1 day 23:23, 2 users, load average: 0.08, 0.11, 0.28
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - CUDA Driver Version: 190.53

The last sentence is perfectly true, precedes the birth of computers probably by several centuries, and a well-known technique for printers and layout designers, etc. Unfortunately, success also depends on the GUI tools available. For example, compare the limited layout capabilities of “word processing” software with the fully-flexible layout facilities of the average “desktop publishing” package. I suspect many of the new home page’s critics actually have no idea of what the forum software’s layout capabilities really are. :\

Designing a layout that cannot be implemented would be a waste of everyone’s time.](

All done in the awesome Firebug. Got tired halfway of editting things manually though, so yeah take the ‘get help’ bit as what it should have been (just with a third column as well). That can be done using a list with a set width for the <li>'s.
Semantically there’s a few things wrong as well… <td class=“thead”> should ring a bell, namely that <th> would make a whole lot more sense.

And the sub forum links really should be in an unordered list (<li>) imo.

I like that mock-up. I may even vote for it, if it ever comes to that.

Good mock-up I can do a +1 too

Think with that mockup it would look better / make more sense to put the ‘logout’ link inside of the login info box… and move the box up next to the ‘forums’ image text (still at the topright though) and then use a ‘logout’ icon (in monotone white)

On Mon, 19 Apr 2010 22:16:02 +0000, Axeia wrote:

> And the sub forum links really should be in an unordered list (<li>)
> imo.

It looks good, the next questions would be whether that can be
accomplished using the standard templates (see

  • in particular, the fourth paragraph).

And of course the next is what people think of it. :slight_smile:


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator

It’s a nice general layout, apart from the “iconitis” down the left-hand side. Wouldn’t one gecko that size be enough for contrast with Novell? Repetitive icons, what purpose do they serve? Anything that reduces “white space” unnecessarily is a design/communication flaw (IMHO). This would be a vote loser/winner for me.

Hi, Axeia. I like the mockup, but as it is, i.e. just for ‘Get Help’, and max. 3 columns (netbookusers…). Don’t know if vBulletin allows all this, without changing sources or css. You know what that would mean in case of updates etc.

I took the geeko’s of different shades to represent some sort of general forums with new posts, but then again each entry would need such an indicator. It is nice layout though.