Do you think Cemetech needs a theme upgrade for 2016?
Yes, and this is it
 14%  [ 8 ]
Yes, and this is almost it
 28%  [ 16 ]
Yes, but this is not it
 17%  [ 10 ]
No, but this looks good
 14%  [ 8 ]
No, but this looks OK
 12%  [ 7 ]
No, and this does not look good.
 12%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 56

StrawberryFrostedPopTart wrote:

Just to add something, I left out the RSS links because when I click on them, it gives me this error:
"This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below."
along with the code for the page. I thought they weren't in use so I didn't include them in the mockup.


You must use an RSS feed reader to view an RSS feed.
seanlego23 wrote:
Just an idea, if the website gets an update, you could click on the number under views (or downloads if it's in archives), and see which members viewed your topic and such. I don't know if other people will like this idea. But just to throw it out if people do...


I think this does more harm than good. I understand where you're coming from and I like to view that info to but it would just lead to "Hey, X I saw you saw my topic/post. Just wondering why you didn't post a response." Or something like "I see X saw my response to them but hasn't replied. Why?" Additionally, that's a bunch of data overhead we don't want to keep. To keep a table just to track of who saw what isn't at the top of our priorities or interests.

Quote:
Another idea would be to have a member page with all of the member's on it. Like just their usernames and post numbers and download's and authored projects etc. If there is this already, I haven't seen it.


https://www.cemetech.net/forum/memberlist.php

StrawberryFrostedPopTart wrote:
Alex wrote:

Strawberry: Did you happen to save the HTML for your design anywhere? I'd like to take a screen shot of it with my tweaks.


Actually, that's just an image I threw together in Photoshop. If you want me to do it in HTML, I will gladly do so.


You don't have to I just figured if the work was already done (since it looked like it was in a full screened browser). It'd probably be a while before I found time to get to my updates anyways Smile

mr womp womp wrote:

I think the site looks fine the way it is, however, there are a few things I think could use a redesign...


Keep in mind this isn't a "Let's nitpick Cemetech's design." This thread is for a hypothetical redesign. Whether or not that was your intention, I don't know I'm just using that line to set a precedent going forward.


Quote:
1) The bottom of the pages sometimes look messy, there is a whole bunch of redundant stuff that I think should not be there at all like...
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I agree. It's a lot of text at the end of the page. I think it's relevant info but the way it's presented may be a bit excessive. Regarding the Second Section there. I've never clicked on a topic because it was orange instead of blue; redesigns should present that information more succinctly.

Quote:
2) I really love strawberry's social media section and I feel like that might even add a dab of colors which are not maroon and gray (I like the maroon and gray but there is a lot of it...)


Even color it on hover. Make it blend in when it's not being looked at or interacted with.

Quote:
3) The latest uploads section... if I remember correctly, someone had said it was because Cemetech was not oriented towards downloads and publishing games (*cough* ticalc *cough*), but rather towards learning, but I really liked that section, because right now, I am not aware of people who upload projects without having a progress thread. In fact, a newer member mentioned wishing there was such a spot, and I took the liberty of informing him that there used to be one and that it had been wiped off when Cemetech6 came along. (well the info is still made accessible on the left had side but that's not very user friendly Razz


Just to Nitpick, we've been on Cemetech6 for many, many years. The update we did recently, and the one you're referring to, was done to merge our aging Cemetech Mobile template with the main template. Thus, our site is responsive and will adapt according to the window size. This update was dubbed Cemetech 6.5.

Recent Uploads was removed from the front page because there wasn't enough room with the layout style we decided on for that section; 4 boxes across just wasn't feasible. (I think we kept it that way for a while before finally narrowing it down to 3). I forgot the reasoning behind why we took out Archives over Labs Updates but it's not changing anytime toon.

Quote:
5) In the archives, when clicking on a file, why does the text download it and the icon open it up? I don't know if I am the only one who does this, but I always have a look at the file's description and screenshots before hitting that download button... I think it should be the other way around, with the text redirecting to the page and a download icon to just download it blindly Wink


This was done long before I really came on board but I'm pretty sure it was done to copy ticalc.org, and not to confuse visitors between the two sites when the function of two - identical looking - links are all the sudden reversed.

Quote:
6) Why this...


I assume you're asking why this isn't a sprite sheet? Mostly because that's part of phpBB. Updating phpBB is more work than any of us want to take on. We use/used sprite sheets where applicable under the general site but most of this is a template around the phpBB backbone and, like I said, modifying phpBB to understand and properly display from a sprite sheet is not something we're interested in amending.

Quote:
7) What are the little balls under our rank? Are those remenants from the authorisation levels on the old ID cards?


Nothing to do with the ID cards, afaik. The "pips" under our names is more for nostalgic reasons than anything else.

CVSoft wrote:
One thing I mentioned a while back is updating the forum to phpBB 3.1 or 3.2, and updating the forum theme to take advantage of 3.1's new features. I've raised some other ideas to administration a while back, I can find those later and reiterate them here for others to see and comment on.


DJ_O wrote:
Considering how heavily modified this installation of PhpBB2 is, I have to wonder if the database is even compatible with vanilla PhpBB2 anymore, let alone PhpBB3.x.


Our version of phpBB is pretty extensively changed. We can't auto-update and updating manually would take many, many hours. Mostly in figuring out where the changes should happen. I've mentioned that modifying phpBB is something we shy away from but it doesn't mean we haven't done it. We've certainly done it. Updating the forum software is either going to require working all of the site features into phpBB3 or another forum system or building our own forum platform around the sites features. Both of these approaches are incredibly time consuming. This has been discussed and work has started then stagnated as life takes priority.

jonbush wrote:
StrawberryFrostedPopTart wrote:

Just to add something, I left out the RSS links because when I click on them, it gives me this error:
"This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below."
along with the code for the page. I thought they weren't in use so I didn't include them in the mockup.


You must use an RSS feed reader to view an RSS feed.


Indeed. That's exactly what an RSS feed is: Raw data, a document tree. The RSS feed provides the data and the RSS reader provides the formatting. Many news sites offer RSS feeds that you can then combine into one RSS feed about whatever you want. It's a pretty fast way of getting updates without visiting each website individually. (FWIW, http://calc.news is basically an aggregate of all the calculator sites news RSS feeds).
Haha, if you look closely, you can see that the browser is very sloppy. I just drew that browser to give a better idea of what the site would look like. The design is somewhat ripped from Opera's browser, the one that I use.
StrawberryFrostedPopTart wrote:
I have made a quick redesign using that beautiful logo (credit to whoever posted it)



http://i.imgur.com/7NrTzLj.jpg

I really like this design, but don't really think it fits Cemetech.
Alex wrote:
seanlego23 wrote:
Just an idea, if the website gets an update, you could click on the number under views (or downloads if it's in archives), and see which members viewed your topic and such. I don't know if other people will like this idea. But just to throw it out if people do...


I think this does more harm than good. I understand where you're coming from and I like to view that info to but it would just lead to "Hey, X I saw you saw my topic/post. Just wondering why you didn't post a response." Or something like "I see X saw my response to them but hasn't replied. Why?" Additionally, that's a bunch of data overhead we don't want to keep. To keep a table just to track of who saw what isn't at the top of our priorities or interests.


That makes sense. Thank you for letting me realize why my subconscious thought that was a good idea.

Quote:
Quote:
Another idea would be to have a member page with all of the member's on it. Like just their usernames and post numbers and download's and authored projects etc. If there is this already, I haven't seen it.


https://www.cemetech.net/forum/memberlist.php



Lol. I found this yesterday ironically.
Alex wrote:
mr womp womp wrote:

I think the site looks fine the way it is, however, there are a few things I think could use a redesign...


Keep in mind this isn't a "Let's nitpick Cemetech's design." This thread is for a hypothetical redesign. Whether or not that was your intention, I don't know I'm just using that line to set a precedent going forward.


Of course, I only noticed it seemed like a rant after having typed it up, I really don't think these things are very important at all as the site is fully functional and I think it looks nice if compared to other calc sites. Some of these were questions more than they were things that should be redesigned (like the pips). Although that does sound like an interesting topic title Razz
Cemetech forum content since 2016 began:

9000 posts ordering staff to change forum theme
1000 posts about other things


Seriously, what's so wrong with the theme? Will people die of gradienitis notmodernenoughitus if there is a little gradient somewhere on the site?
Here are my tweaks to StarberryFrostedPoptarts redesign.
I condensed the nav bar into a more manageable thing. By using the word explore, we help facilitate an education-like atmosphere where we encourage users to find their own solutions. We then have forum, where they can go if they have questions or just want to follow up. Then we have Play where users can discover how we as a community let lose and have fun; there would be links to specific info pages regarding Minecraft, UT2004, AoE2 and, other games we routinely get together over.

I replaced the Labs section on the main page with Uploads. Since it's one reason visitors may be land on the site. Labs also has a tendency to become stale after a short while since it doesn't get regular updates, having an additional section that potentially displays new info on each visit.

I added the RSS feeds back and reduced the social media links to just their icons. Not shown, is how the icons can gain their services shade of color upon hovering. Likewise for the RSS feed icons, changing to orange.

I copied the lightning bolt from the logo and put it in the News Post Title to give it some color since at this point the site is largely gray and maroon. A dash of yellow here and there may help break the color monotony. Additionally, I wanted to add the lightning bolt to the uploads to differentiate the difference between a new file and an update but, I settled on a single arrow to mark new uploads. The other issue I had was that yellow doesn't show very well on the light shade of gray for the background. I thought about creating a small maroon circle that the yellow lightning bolt could nest inside but it would likely be too small. I didn't go through the trouble of creating SAX because that was more formatting work than I wanted to do. Haha. But I made it smaller from Strawberries redesign as I felt it was way too wide.

Some tweaks I'll likely do later, swap "Stay Engaged" and "Online Users" so the side bar flows a bit better. From the top we have relevant user info then, site wide user info till we finally have additional ways to keep up with Cemetech news and events.


Download PSD

The PSD file has a swatch layer that has all 4 colors I used for easy eye-dropping. I substituted black for bold text but I think it looks kinda nice, again it breaks the color monotony.
Great redesign comic. I really like how you made the borders bolder, it adds more "substance" to the design.
Awesome job, Alex! That is almost exactly what I had in mind when making my own. I'm still not too much of a fan of the wide bars at the top of boxes, but honestly, I don't know what would replace that.
Indeed, comic's tweaking looks really nice. The only thing is that I think sax should have text, but faded out, like a gray, then when you hover it goes to a black.
DJ_O wrote:
Cemetech forum content since 2016 began:

9000 posts ordering staff to change forum theme
1000 posts about other things


Seriously, what's so wrong with the theme? Will people die of gradienitis notmodernenoughitus if there is a little gradient somewhere on the site?


I agree.
DJ_O wrote:
Cemetech forum content since 2016 began:

9000 posts ordering staff to change forum theme
1000 posts about other things


Seriously, what's so wrong with the theme? Will people die of gradienitis notmodernenoughitus if there is a little gradient somewhere on the site?
No, they will not. But a little eye-candy won't hurt!

No, seriously. If I am honest, I love what Cemetech has to offer, but the design ist not that beautiful.

As a programmer, you should know, but let me tell you anyway:
I once made two TI-BASIC programs... A really good one, but the UI looked... Well, it looked bad.
And one with a decent UI and much less functionality.
Guess what?
My classmates wouldn't stop asking for the pretty one, while I was the only one using the functionality-focused version. And I could name more examples.

Design matters even more than functionality. At least nowadays - I do not live for long enough yet to compare this over a span of years.

So, my opinion on this:
The better the design, the more people are attracted.


On the design itself:
Alex, I really like it! The only thing that, in my opinion, doesn't fit, is the logo... This one looks kind of weird, with the lightning bolt only at the "C". But, if I understood correctly, that's the only thing already agreed on.
No remarks elsewhere - perfect layout, good color scheme, no overloads.


Also:
If I don't go too far with that, I might help you admins to implement this - I'd need a bit of instruction for the responsive design, but besides of that I would say I have some CSS knowledge, and I think I wouldn't have problems with anything else.
But, again, if that goes too far, just ignore this.
For the sake of SAX users' sanity, i suggest this simple swap:
that's why non-tech-savvy people use Macs instead of Windows. "what's this about drivers?" "what is the C: drive?" "it wont let me put my files in My Computer!"

OS X makes things stupidly simple. It doesn't expose anything under the hood by default to dumb end-users.

The perfect UI is a single white button on the middle of the screen that knows exactly what you want with 101% accuracy (i.e. it knows what you want without you even realizing it).

I don't know what SAX means, so just replace it with Chat.
c4ooo wrote:
For the sake of SAX users' sanity, i suggest this simple swap


What's your reason behind this change? Why does this help the SAX users sanity? Why is it up above the body and why does it have a tab? Granted, it's wasted space whether the "tab" stretches all the way across or not. I just want to understand your thought process.
c4ooo wrote:
For the sake of SAX users' sanity, i suggest this simple swap:

Looks like the omnimaga/codewalrus layout now Razz

EDIT: I started making Comic's theme in HTML/CSS, here's what I've got so far: http://codepen.io/Ivoah/pen/qNYWVv
c4ooo wrote:
For the sake of SAX users' sanity, i suggest this simple swap:


That looks significantly worse. You made the 'Online Now' section look weird with several different unreadable shades of grey, you recolored some of the dark grey to black, which I find too bold, and the SAX has a weird tab, along with being terribly short. How are you supposed to see previously sent messages, or long ones?

I think Alex' design is better left off without a dramatic change like that.
StrawberryFrostedPopTart wrote:
c4ooo wrote:
For the sake of SAX users' sanity, i suggest this simple swap:


That looks significantly worse. You made the 'Online Now' section look weird with several different unreadable shades of grey, you recolored some of the dark grey to black, which I find too bold, and the SAX has a weird tab, along with being terribly short. How are you supposed to see previously sent messages, or long ones?

I think Alex' design is better left off without a dramatic change like that.

"I suggest this simple swap". I simply suggest swapping the position of sax client and the other 3 boxes. Any other changes i made should be ignored Wink "How are you supposed to see previously sent messages, or long ones" The sax client would be wider, so a single message of over 140 characters would fit on a line. I think it is *much* better for a message to take up one line, instead of the average 2 lines i usually see. Second of all, there could be a scroll bar, so even *more* messages could fit.

Ivoah wrote:
Looks like the omnimaga/codewalrus layout now Razz

This is simply what i feel is the best. I guess that means, that omnimaga has the best layout Very Happy Razz

Alex wrote:
What's your reason behind this change? Why does this help the SAX users sanity? Why is it up above the body and why does it have a tab? Granted, it's wasted space whether the "tab" stretches all the way across or not. I just want to understand your thought process.

It is *much* easier to read text when a message takes up one line. (Commonly long messages in SAX take up 3 or 4 lines. "Why is it up above the body?": The 3 places where it could be put is the top, bottom, or sides. Placing it on the side creates the problem of too little horizontal space and multi line messages, so unless you put it on the bottom of the page that leaves the top Wink From my past experiences on other forums it seems to me that a chat client on top of the page is within "easy reach" and yet *not* obstructive. "and why does it have a tab?" I dont know Razz Just an aesthetic choice. Although optionally a tab may be used to toggle the client on/off. "Granted, it's wasted space whether the "tab" stretches all the way across or not.: Well it really doesn't matter if it stretches the full length or not. It's just when i made the hasty mockup, it seemed better to make the tab short Smile
Tbh, I find it pretty annoying when the chat is at top. If you have a small screen, you need to scroll down to see important things, and the chat is not the first thing I'm looking at. That is what I don't like of both CW and TIPlanet Wink

On the other side, it's true that line shouldn't be broken into 3/4 shorter lines, but yeah, I dunno how to fix this Razz
  
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