Thanks for all the feedback this week. I wont pretend it’s been pleasant to read but you’ve given us some really useful information and we are currently and plan to act upon it.
As far as we can tell there are three main issues: firstly, the width of the middle column in the Community section. Secondly, the lack of timestamps in Community and thirdly the colours'n'whiteness.
We will, you’ll be pleased to know, fix all of these. Rest assured the forum posts will enjoy the luxury of more width - and this will also allow for timestamps (apologies for not knowing how useful these are). We’ll also be experimenting with a few different colours and backgrounds and we’ll be inviting a few of you to critique our efforts and find the best combination that makes the content legible and also doesn’t scream ‘skiver!’ to your boss.
To answer a few points. The current site is designed for screen resolutions of 1024 width. Many people do have higher resolution monitors but around 40% use 1024 so we can’t exclude them.
We have chosen not to go for a fluid design (where the content fills your screen no matter what resolution you have) as this would mean the centre column could go from being minute to huge – which makes reading text even harder than now. The other thing we’ve got to have is ads, especially as we're trying to shift from being a site run as a hobby into something much more professional with enough staff to write, create and manage something on par with more established publications ("when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" - as Hunter once said). So with ads we end up with around 800 pixels of width for three columns of content.
One idea we’ve got is to drop the third column for the community section. The downside is the section would look different to the rest of the site. The upside is you get more space. Is that an acceptable compromise? Please vote for this thread if you agree and say so below if you don’t.
Any other questions you’ve got about our approach or suggestions you’d like to make please do so. This is your site and we want to make it as satisfying an experience for you as possible. Hopefully all the other little kinks will be ironed out by Monday too.
Cheers for bearing with us,
Have a fun weekend,