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Any plans to improve the UI ?


Anthony.

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I'd like the post/reply editor to be reworked to remove icons, buttons, and the emote system. Either by feature or making it easier for non-skinners to edit out that stuff. The notifications and PM alerts should be made less Facebook-ish.

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No offense meant by anything, hope you didn't get offended.



Cheers,


Marcus




No offense taken.. I just like people to keep an open mind and anticipate there to be a bunch of '..let's do it like XenForo...' topics..

This shouldn't be seen as a bad thing as any suggestions, no matter where they come from can only help push our product forward. :)

Jamie
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We're all on the same page. Before XF was revealed we had a laundry list of UI improvements for 3.2. Always was going to be abou polish and experience. Gallery 4 wll lead the way.




Cool. BTW, I've had trouble finding information on the likely features /improvements in 3.2; is there a blog post or something about it I could read? (search for "3.2" doesn't return useful results)


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We're all on the same page. Before XF was revealed we had a laundry list of UI improvements for 3.2. Always was going to be abou polish and experience. Gallery 4 wll lead the way.




I've seen your sneak peeks at the galley app and I really like the direction you're headed. Thanks for the hard work you're putting into IPB and our communities!

Jamie
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Cool. BTW, I've had trouble finding information on the likely features /improvements in 3.2; is there a blog post or something about it I could read? (search for "3.2" doesn't return useful results)



There hasn't been an official post of the likely features and improvements for 3.2 yet.
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Stuff happens quick on the internet. It's tough to stay current and only going to get tougher. I know a lot of people get tired of hearing what Facebook has done that's new and exciting or what features xenforo has introduced, but it has to be kept in mind that the general public has become used to having their whims catered to. The like button is a perfect example. Sure the rep button is similar, but it looks like the like button has quickly become the standard. The difference is subtle, one likes a post while one gives rep to another user. IMO, the like button is the current winner in the button wars. :P There will no doubt be a new feature next week that no one can possibly live without.

My point being that it is becoming increasingly important to keep up with a lot of small trends that may or may not stay popular for any length of time.

Why worry about fads, you may ask? Because the public is becoming increasingly more and more fickle. It is getting harder and harder to attract and keep viable communities. It is difficult to quantify exactly what it is that will prompt a visitor to click the register button rather than the close button. I think we would all agree that whatever it is, we want it on our boards.

Right now xenforo is seemingly on fire. They have been able to put together a feature set that has a lot of people pretty excited. Does this mean mean IPB should copy them? Absolutely not! But the main reason they are generating the buzz is they are completely fresh. They have been able to wrap the old in a new, shiny body. The feature we are excited about today, will be old hat in no time.

The old system of releasing incremental updates will, I'm afraid, no longer be able to keep up with all the new features the public now expects. Plus, we have found we can meet a lot of resistance to change on too big a scale. Those who have switched from vB to IPB have run into a little resistance from their communities simply because there was too much change too quickly. Change can be a very delicate balancing act.

I look forward to the new releases, but would like to see a way to stay current with today's newest, hottest features before they become de rigeur.

I might suggest IPB could incorporate on staff modders. It is far better to have semi-official releases of things that might be fully incorporated into the software at a later date that to just rely on people seeing needs and releasing things helter skelter. Keeping up with all the small changes requires a nimbleness and quick reaction time not afforded by standard incremental releases.

Just my thoughts.............. :)

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  • Management

We've never carbon copied any feature from another board and we're not going to start now. We have a creative and innovative team and we'll move the product onwards using our creative vision.

As I've said many times, we always wanted 3.2 to be a release tha cleans up the UI. I'm not being dismissive of XF or any other product but we don't need to imitate anyone else and we'll certainly not "panic react" to any release.

We have loads of exciting and cool things coming.

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Why not a steady stream of creativity and innovation rather than the old model of lumping fixes, cleanups and new features all into one fairly large update?

Realistically, the way it has always worked is the incremental release is teased at. You tell us a little here, and a little there. Then the excitement builds, people start pestering you about when will we get it. We all know the drill by now. Finally it is ready. Hmmm, it's gonna break all my skins and half my mods? Aw, bummer. Guess I'm gonna hafta wait till the important stuff is updated. Meanwhile, the web moves on without us. Then, when the day comes when we are ready, we update and the wow factor is very often offset by people moaning about this isn't as good as that was, but this is pretty cool. I'm sure that sounds familiar. :D

No, I wasn't saying you should copy anything. Innovation is awesome, but there is already a ton of it everywhere. That is what we are up against ourselves. You generally hear this stuff after we've been hearing it from our own. Yes, our users see stuff at other places and wonder why we don't have it. Let's forget the like button, how about (fine grained) RSS, topic hover, those things are everywhere. Waiting for the semi annual update is the way it's been done forever.

I am just trying to think outside the box here. I don't think the innovation is the problem, maybe it's the box it comes in. ;)

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The difference is subtle, one likes a post while one gives rep to another user.



That's true, but if you're not using your rep system as a rep system but rather as a like system, and you change the language bits and graphics to match, it's essentially the exact same thing.
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We've never carbon copied any feature from another board and we're not going to start now. We have a creative and innovative team and we'll move the product onwards using our creative vision.



As I've said many times, we always wanted 3.2 to be a release tha cleans up the UI. I'm not being dismissive of XF or any other product but we don't need to imitate anyone else and we'll certainly not "panic react" to any release.



We have loads of exciting and cool things coming.



Precisely what I hoped I would be hearing and thank you for posting it.

I enjoy IPB for the simple reason it is IPB, and not an imitation of anything else. And look at all the features and functions IPB introduced before others caught on. IPB's coders are innovators and not imitators.

I think it is just easy for we customers to get spoiled and fall into a 'what have you done for me lately' mindset, particularly when we see someone offering something different. (Bearing in mind that different doesn't necessarily mean better.) Looking back at what IPB had to offer one year ago, I think we have been spoiled a bit with all the new features. But don't stop spoiling us now, OK? I've actually come to enjoy it and would hate to see it come to an end.

Matt, my offer to step into the Inner Sanctum with you in order to offer a customer's perspective of Gallery 4 still stands. ;)
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If everything is so addictive in XF, why not go use it then? IPB was not made to be like another forum competitor it was made so we have something that is easy and amazing to use. Not everything has to be like XenForo. Also so far you are the only person saying that everything they have over there is addictive.





Big forum owners from vB4.0 and the latest IPB owners have said the same on xF :)
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We're all on the same page. Before XF was revealed we had a laundry list of UI improvements for 3.2. Always was going to be about polish and experience. Gallery 4 will lead the way.





Well you managed to out innovate vB ... I'm sure IPB is in good hands to not loose the crown. :D
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Kier said that the doodles were just for testing but people liked it so much that he kept them in the beta release



I think the main IPB can do to improve UI is to have less page loads to do simple functions such as posting replies, editing posts etc. I also think that PB should make a default theme that looks more modern. [color="#8B0000"]The current theme looks really outdated to be honest.[/color]




I concur. One of the only reasons why I even considered IP was the 'Clean Cut' skin that IMO looks far better than the default theme and a good starting point for your own customization. The default IPB theme really needs lots of work. If it could resemble the Invision front page, that would be a start :)
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  • 2 months later...

I think it would be more helpful if you indicated what exactly about the XF interface you feel is improved over IP.Board. Sweeping statements like "make the UI better" are a touch hard to address, because every person has a different idea of what is better. What do YOU think needs to be improved in IP.Board?



IPB has giant text and bars with enormous height on everything. Just look at the title bar at the top of this thread...it's about 50 pixels tall! Do you guys all use widescreen monitors turned on their side?

You should try to make it as undistinctive as possible. It's highly recognizable as IPB because it's the only forum in the world that uses size 24 font in the thread title.

It's obvious your designers didn't know what else to do, so they put giant thick bars everywhere. Just go look at Apple's website if you want to see something conservative, sleek, and inoffensive.

You should NEVER EVER EVER have a solid color border with a thickness of more than one pixel. NEVER!!!

One good thing you have done recently is it looks like the comments for blogs/databases/files/etc. now all look the same, and before I think there were some differences in each section.
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I completely disagree with you SuperNoob.

Firstly:

You should NEVER EVER EVER have a solid color border with a thickness of more than one pixel. NEVER!!!


Who said? Also, what universe do you live in to denote the rules of style? I think that border thickness depends on what and how it's being used.

You should try to make it as undistinctive as possible. It's highly recognizable as IPB because it's the only forum in the world that uses size 24 font in the thread title.


o_O What? So you're saying that IPB has to look like everyone else to fit in with the cool crowd? That doesn't sound right. I think that the header bars are quite nice to be absolutely honest. It's easy to see and easy to read.

IPB has giant text and bars with enormous height on everything. Just look at the title bar at the top of this thread...it's about 50 pixels tall! Do you guys all use widescreen monitors turned on their side?


I think that you don't realize that screen resolutions are getting bigger making things smaller on an average screen. 50px is the new 10px. Small font, small design, small, small, small does not equal a pretty cleaner looking skin. Quite honestly that just makes a lot of users stray away. I know a sites I've seen go sleeker and smaller they lose members. Making text unreadable and squishing it all together to make it "look" sleeker does not mean it's better.

To be completely honest, the basic skin is easy to modify and make it look however you want you just have to know WHAT you want to do with it. RPers Anonymous is an example of that and so was Wootflakes (before I closed it to make RPers Anonymous). Soon I will be making a greatly custom skin for my Knights of Cydonia site when I figure out what exactly I want to do with tit. Right now it has the basic skin customized.
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