I browse the Forum using both a large desktop display and on my phone. My phone lacks a keyboard, meaning that all navigation and selection is by touch. The devices I use obviously influence some of my comments.
If you don't mind, what minimum screen size do you expect and/or design for? Some of my expectations might well violate your design parameters, in which case I'll adjust my expectations. The layout looks like it was designed for a screen with a minimum width of 1024 pixels.
Major issue, previously mentioned.
- On the "Personal Messages Index" page I can display the actual email addresses for some members by hovering over the envelope icon present next to some messages. I checked a couple of the members' profiles, and their profile shows "hidden" for their email address. (I incorrectly postulated that the members' whose email addresses showed up might have elected to allow them to be seen.) I assume displaying an email address is not the intended behavior.
Minor issues, some previously mentioned but now with additional detail:
- If the browser is narrow (happens in Firefox if I make the window narrow, and always on my HTC EVO phone with a screen 800 pixels wide) the banner image at the top of the screen covers the status text in the upper right corner. (I previously mischaracterized the problem as the text wrapping incorrectly or appropriately.)
- Did the private area for Antarctic workshop participants get left behind, or did I simply lose access to it? Since my posts from that board don't show up in the list of my posts, I expect that board wasn't migrated to the new system.
- The "Go Up" link (in Firefox, at least) doesn't actually move to the top of the page, which might be intentional. Instead it places the path to the current board at the top of the browser page. This means I can't see the status text next to my avatar image.
- I find useful a "next page" navigation link that remains in the same place on the screen from one page to the next, assuming the top of the page is at the top of the browser window. The page numbers work, but require carefully choosing a specific link. I suggest a left arrow (previous page) and right arrow (next page) link to the left of the page numbers. This change makes navigation easier on (small) touch devices.
- I initially thought the "Go Up" link at the bottom of the page would take me back to the list of topics. "Top of Page" and "Bottom of Page" would be much less ambiguous, IMHO.
- The "previous" and "next" links waste a line. I suggest moving them to the left end of the topic jump line, just below the list of page numbers. Also, there should be plenty of room to say "Previous Topic" and "Next Topic" to clearly indicate their function and distinguish their function from the page numbers.
- I suggest making the "Jump to:" dropdown field narrower. There's a lot of space between the widest board name and the "go" button. This will improve usability on narrow (phone) screens, as well as provide room for implementing the previous suggestion.
- I suggesting changing the link text, "Return to main site" to something like "LL Home Page". I find "main site" ambiguous (LL Home page versus the Forum home page).
Thank you for patiently paying attention to our concerns. I'm confident that with time we'll all get much more comfortable with the new software. And I'm now very curious what new features are in store for us.
Thanks Bob, all good comments.Issues:
I've fixed the personal message index. The default of SMF forum software is to show email addresses to other members and they only give you the ability to hide them from guests. I've manually been hiding the email addresses in the appropriate templates as we find them. I'll adjust this one right now. If you find any others, or anyone else does, please let me know and I will fix these.
For the 800px wide issue, the layout is setup to require at least 900-950px wide and is not easily changeable, sorry. The Antarctic forum is still there, it's likely a permissions issue as it shows that it's not a public forum. Will look into this. Lastly the "Go Up" does indeed by design only go to the breadcrumbs links, not the top of the header (not my design, the forum's design).Suggestions:
The page numbers is not my choice unfortunately, it's the way the forum software works and is surprisingly a lot of work to change -- not to mention a bad idea to make those kinds of low level changes if they are avoidable (thinking of forum software updates and the problems this would cause). If I can find a mod that takes care of this I'll give it a shot as I agree with you, but it's one of those "that's the way it works" answers that you get stuck with sometimes with software you don't write for yourself
The previous and next links are also not my cup of tea, but some people really like them as well.
The Jump To field is actually the width of the longest forum name, being "Medium Format / Film / Digital Backs – and Large Sensor Photography" or at least it is on my setup.
I agree with the return to main site link and I will change that right now.