Forums Suggestions & Problems

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Chai, May 14, 2003.

  1. Jet

    Jet Just Started

    Maybe we should just lock the babe war thread.... :think:
  2. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    For you? Just a billion dollars. :wicked: :haha: :haha:
  3. zy

    zy Staff Member

    who sez i'm paying :mrgreen: .. hehe
  4. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    Aiyo... who says anything about removing the ad? :doh:

    Btw, can try placing the ad on the right? :D
  5. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    The banner was originally on the right. :wall:

    We moved it to the LEFT for a specific purpose.. and it's not to just move the banner there.

    We moved it as the first phase of a redesign of the forums. Wait until Chai completes it, then you will see what we intend to do. ;)
  6. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    He's probably one of those people who blocked the ads...
  7. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    LOL! Not unexpected. Too bad they don't know they are perpetuating a really vicious cycle.

    For example..

    1. A website runs 1-2 banners to keep it free for everyone.

    2. But people start blocking them, even though it doesn't cost them anything.

    3. To make up for the loss in ad revenue, they add more banners. Those blocking banners are not affected, but genuine supporters of the website suffers instead.

    4. Some supporters may actually start blocking banners.

    5. Website has not choice but to implement offensive ads like pop-ups and interstitials to make up for the loss.

    6. This further alienates their loyal supporters, while those who block ads get a free ride.

    As you can see, the vicious cycle of ad-blocking and introduction of more ads does not benefit anyone.

    If possible, visitors and websites should cooperate. The Internet can remain totally free, based merely on advertising revenue. But just how painless it can be, is entirely up to the visitors.

    If they do not block ads, websites do not need to run so many ads. Why mess up the layout of the site when you can get by with just 1-2 banners?

    Unfortunately, many people do not only want it to be free, they want it totally ad-free. Not only are they not satisfied with their free cake, they also want it served to them on crystalware with a silver spoon. :roll:
  8. aKho

    aKho beat around the bush

    i get this a lot..

    slow loading and sometime unable to click emoticons -->
    due to what my status bar says that it's loading...


    which takes a long time sometimes to get 'Done'.
    most times a simple refresh would clear it fast but irratating le...
  9. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Ads related problem as well. This has been an unresolved problem...
  10. zy

    zy Staff Member

    yea.. some ads are slow :faint:
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Sorry about that. That's because most ads are targeted at Americans. So, all of us Malaysians or those outside the US, get shunted from one ad server to another. :wall:

    I have a plan that can resolve this but I need the help of a dedicated programmer. Which is why I've put up notices for a full-time programmer. It's going to cost quite a bit of money and time but I intend to have this problem licked once and for all.
  12. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    Actually, NO.

    Web content presented in a proper manner, in a semantic manner and unobstructive way, together with intuitive and semantic design, can encourage a good symbiosis between ad content and site content.

    Actually, in my opinion, the one part which ARP fails miserably is Design and Usability. I didn't make a point out of it earlier, but maybe I should, if ARP truly wants to be better - but the moment ARP's new site design was announced, I took a look and see no difference at all from the old design.

    On Site Design
    Seriously, if you want my analysis on the site? It's poorly designed, has a lot of redundancy and may cause difficulty in maintenance later on.

    For example:

    You have orange, italicized, larger font size and underlined headers for your articles listing. However, in this alone, there is both redundancy and inconsistency. Take a look:

    <i><span class="arpnheader"><font size="3">Kingston 15-In-1 Hi-Speed Reader Pictorial Review Posted!</font></span>
    And the next header I can find:

    <br><span class="arpnheader">News From Other Hardware Sites!</span>
    And in arp.css, the CSS styles for the class "arpnheader" ...

    .arpnheader, .title {
    	FONT-WEIGHT: bold; 
            FONT-SIZE: 16px; 
            COLOR: #ff6600; 
            FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; 
            TEXT-DECORATION: underline
    There are a few design violations in these few lines alone:
    1) <i> tag - If you're going to italicize everything, and seeing that you have CSS class definitions, it would be more consistent to define them in the CSS file than have it styled via html tags. Imagine you're a doctor and you obviously need to keep your patient's history in files. You'd definitely want to keep them organized in a filing cabinet than to have some files scattered on your desk, your gurney, helpdesk, coffee table... - rather than having your entire office contain the files, you contain them in a place you know it'll definitely be in there.

    2) Inline HTML overrides external CSS stylings - in class arpnheader, you've defined the headers to be font size 16px, good. But in the Kingston article's header, there is a font tag. Now, what happens when you change the font size in the CSS file to 12px? All headers will be 12px except the Kingston header with the <font> tag, which will still be size 3 - around 16px.

    Here is the order of priority for CSS stylings:
    1) External CSS is applied first
    2) Internal CSS is then applied onto document - styles defined within the page itself, using <style> tags
    3) Inline HTML then overrides anything - things like <em>, <i>, <font> or even HTML style attributes.

    So you see one inconsistency here.

    3) HTML semantics: Those are headers, but they're marked up using <span> to span each chunk and define them as text, or header. No <p> tags or <h3> tags! Violation of HTML Markup Semantics.

    A better solution would be:

    <div id="postid" class="post">
    <h3>Some Header</h3>
    <p>Some text bla bla...</p>
    <p>Paragraph 2...</p>

    Code: p {    
    	padding-right: 5px;
    	padding-left: 10px;
    	font-size: 11px;
    	width: 635px;
    	color: #666666;
    	line-height: 1.3em;
    	padding-top: 5px;
    	font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    } h3 {
            FONT-WEIGHT: bold; 
            FONT-SIZE: 16px; 
            COLOR: #ff6600; 
            FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; 
            TEXT-DECORATION: underline;
    Voila. Now, don't bother to put in all those unneccesary tags, or having to put class="something" in every span tag. This is what you call "CSS Selectors" - it will look for divs with the class "post", and if it finds a h3 tag within it, it'll apply the css. If it finds a p tag, apply the p styles. It will also make the HTML a lot cleaner to read. So all you need to do in the divs for the latest articles, is to put a class="post" in every new div, and h3 and p's inside those individual divs to format things.

    I'll attach a file as a demonstration of all things said above.

    On Site Usability
    What does the user first see when they enter the site vs what do they really expect to see.

    You may argue that semantics stifles creativity. I beg to differ. Too much creativity without putting the user in mind may cause frustration on the user's side. Maybe all of you don't see too much of this problem because you're so used to it, but to a new visitor, the experience can get frustrating.

    For example, ads in the middle of articles. You don't force your ads into the user's reading experience. When reading articles, people want to read the articles, not the ads. That's why many people block those ads, because they're obstructing the user. Ads should be put in unobstructive places - right below, after all article content, or right beside, and the content should be kept together, untouched, in one place.

    Links - in the articles - links to the next and previous pages are done via select menus, or descriptive links. It took me a while to realize that "NVIDIA" is actually a link to the next page. Use descriptions like "Next Page" and "Previous Page" instead, and leave the select menu to contain more descriptive ones, like NVIDIA, etc.

    I could go on... but erm.. my post is getting rather long winded... and I don't know if I'll offend anyone, especially the person who designed ARP's site... so sorry if I did.

    But well, I sincerely do hope that anyone who's interested in site design, maintainability, usability and so on would learn a little here. Here's a good site with good articles on these topics:

    Attached Files:

      File size:
      552 bytes
    1 person likes this.
  13. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    Errrm... forgot to say... but ditto applies to forums too. Too much ads in forum content frustrates user as well :) So that's a few things to keep in mind. Don't let revenue get in the way of user experience - it may cause users to eventually abandon the forum/site.
  14. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I love critisism like this, but you posted at the wrong place... :D
  15. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    Heh, I know... but in the process of explaining Usability and User experience - the website itself ended up the best example to use rather than the forums. You may copy that out to the correct thread though..
  16. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I don't think it's possible to implement the main site to the forum, even if it's possible, it won't look nice, have to design a different one.

    My only complaint is the left column, very cluttered... But I was just following the requirements...
  17. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    What I meant was the ads... it's to do with user experience. And user experience has to do with site/forum design too. Where you place the ads is a design issue, regardless of whether you did create the forum design or not. But the fact that ads were plugged in is a design issue in itself already. People don't want ads in the content they're reading, be it in the forums or the site... I must say again that I got a little carried away while trying to explain that bit, and it ended up a small paragraph in a bigger picture I painted.

    Ads get blocked if:
    1) It obstructs the reading
    2) Slows down a page
    3) The user just simply hates ads

    I know of many sites and forums which place their ads nicely, and it doesn't make people block them. The less you make the people unhappy about ads, the less likely they're to block it, and putting more ads to "recap loss" is not the solution..

    For example, if I remember correctly (and if I didn't get the forums mixed upp, :) so pardon me if ARP never had this, but take it as an example anyway...), there were text ads in the forum, which if you hover over it, gives a popup tooltip-like thing that covers a few hundred pixels of my reading space. It obstructs view, I have to move my mouse away, or be careful where I move my mouse so as not to hover over it, and it slows down page loading. Hence I blocked it.

    I'm not sure about now, whether those kind of ads are still there. But that is one example of bad design. It spoils the user experience, and not everyone knows how to block ads, and some do not have a browser that can block ads. What do they do then?

    Leave the forums..

    As for the left column.. ads do not have to be concentrated just there. And a less cluttered ad solution is to get Sponsored Links-like ads, or AdSense-like ads - text ads, or ads that come in bulleted lists at the sides.. and probably dedicate a banner area at the top and one right at the absolute bottom. There are many ways to distribute ads so that it looks pleasing, yet does not ruin the experience.

    You get the idea now? How design can affect so many things...
  18. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Maybe you didn't understand what I understood...hehe. But like I said, I'm following the requirements set. But I know what makes a good browsing experience myself.

    If it's only as simple as making our website user friendly and prevents people from blocking the ads as you said it is... You have to understand that most users visit other ad-infested websites too, even I use ad blockers on them too, but only pop ups etc.

    You have some good points, but not necessarily true. If you place ads at non-visible area, then what's the point of those ads? Might as well don't use them at all?
  19. djspinnet

    djspinnet Newbie

    I did not say "put the ads in a non-visible area" - I said, to put it in a non-obstructive manner. Content should be kept together, not with an ad stuck right in the middle of it. Ads put in a non-obstructive place can still be very visible. It's a matter of design, again, I say - on how you present it so that everything is well placed and well seen.

    Also requirements are just requirements, but a designer always have a say over requirements if it doesn't fit in properly, to suggest new ways of meeting the requirements.

    Anyway, I don't like how the tone of this issue is going, so I shan't say more. Anyone who wants to know more can always email/PM me.
  20. zy

    zy Staff Member

    jinny on final gear :thumb:

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