New forum design

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jsmaje
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New forum design

Post by jsmaje » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:50 pm

Re: The forum software has been updated, enjoy :)

While I like the aesthetics of the new-look forum, why has the personal details column been moved to the right-hand side of the screen to no obvious advantage, and more importantly made to take up a quarter of the horizontal screen space available?

Although text is appropriately formatted to take into account the narrower space left for substantive content, graphics that were previously accommodated are now subject to cropping if wider than three-quarters of the screen-width. See my posting here for example, where it is now impossible for a reader to fully view the graphs provided and therefore evaluate what I have to say about them for themself.

In any case, why try and fix what wasn't broken, particularly if it causes problems that weren't there before? Is there any way to remove or narrow the right-hand column that I'm unaware of?

My solution would be to simply relegate personal details to a header or footer, thus enabling the poster to use the full screen width, also thereby reducing wasted space and the reader's need for excessive vertical scrolling.

If the changes came from the phpBB Group rather than the team, my apologies, but if so they need to be told about the problem.

John - just a little bit :x and :o

DTF
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Re: New forum design

Post by DTF » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:52 pm

jsmaje wrote:Re: The forum software has been updated, enjoy :)

. . . See my posting here for example, where it is now impossible for a reader to fully view the graphs provided and therefore evaluate what I have to say about them for themself. . . .
John,

I can understand why this change has upset you because if I posted something similar and it was damaged, I would be too. I went to your "for example" and for me all of your graphs were complete, but I have a wide screen display and my computer video resolution is set at 1280 X 768. I'm not sure if that made a real difference since I'm no computer whiz, although I suspect it likely did. In any case I just wanted you to know this new change didn't necessarily affect everyone's view of your graphs. It's likely that many people now have wide screen display monitors or TV/monitors with various wide screen resolutions to watch wide screen DVD's on their computers, so that they are likely (and hopefully) able to see all of your graphs in full.

DTF

DanZ
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Re: New forum design

Post by DanZ » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:53 am

The graphs in that early post looked just fine to me. Dan

jsmaje
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Re: New forum design

Post by jsmaje » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:18 pm

Thanks for your responses DTF and Dan. Good to know you have no problem, but I doubt I'm alone.

My maximum screen resolution is 1024 x 768, lower than yours DTF but surely not totally outdated yet? Trying the two other poorer-resolution settings I have (1024x600 & 800x600) shows that while text is appropriately reformatted, the graphics understandably appear progressively larger and liable to cropping, since they are of course being displayed according to their native pixel dimensions (IE & Firefox).

Fair enough, but the right-hand column in the new forum format only makes matters worse, not only by being excessively
wide, but also (I've found) by maintaining the same absolute width and position (~ 65mm / 2.5") regardless of screen resolution, thereby taking up more wasted space and further compromising the message/graphic space the lower the user's resolution might happen to be.

The above measurements were made on my average-sized home desktop monitor (~ 300 x 230mm), and I don't know whether it would be the same on a larger (same resolution) screen, but to my mind I suspect this to simply be an HTML programming issue regarding a misconceived choice of screen measurement having been made for the right-hand column in terms of absolute units (mm/cm or in) rather than as a proportion (%) of available horizontal pixels.
[ Edit: on second thoughts, I'm not sure that would make any difference, and that the basic issue is the increase in width from ~ 15% previously to ~ 22% now, at least on my monitor ].

Whatever, if no changes are made, I'll have to reformat my previous postings, and suggest you will need to warn others to keep their graphics sufficiently narrow and hugging the left side of the page, or stacked on top of eachother, in order to stand any chance of being visible to the widest range of users.

John
Last edited by jsmaje on Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

DanZ
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Re: New forum design

Post by DanZ » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:20 pm

John,

Thanks for the feedback. I'll see if there's anything our tech on this can do.

Dan

DanZ
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Re: New forum design

Post by DanZ » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:51 pm

Hi John,

So there's not much our tech can do, at least at the moment. But take a look here and let me know if that design is any better.

Thanks,

Dan

jsmaje
Posts: 616
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Location: Manchester UK

Re: New forum design

Post by jsmaje » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:26 pm

DanZ wrote:... take a look here and let me know if that design is any better.
Whoopee! I don't know precisely what's been done programming-wise there, but the personal data column occupies a smaller 16% (47mm) of my 1024 x 768 screen width in that particular format, allowing all the graphics to again be visible. And assuming that proportion is maintained, then I see no reason why the personal details column shouldn't stay on the right if desired (as in the new version); at least it maintains consistency with the index pages.

Thanks to all for responding so quickly to my admittedly pernickety issue, and I look forward to seeing how the forum appears in future.

John :D

DanZ
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Re: New forum design

Post by DanZ » Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:35 pm

Since that works John, we're going to try and find a design that suits everyone. No promises, and it might take awhile (our tech is only a few percent time on Stardust and is going on vacation soon), but we'll definitely see what can be done.

Thanks for your patience.

Dan

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