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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:26 am 
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New important links added to the forum:

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Let me know if you think something is missing or needs correction.

Our troubleshooting has a new look, i hope you will find it helpful.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:41 pm 
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I think there's an important difference between a "bar" and what you have added. What you've added is a set of links, set inline with an existing set of links. You didn't place them against a narrow, horizontal, colored background, which in general is what defines a "bar."

I write this not to criticize the way you've described your addition, but to point out that by merely adding new links where you have, I believe you defeat your purpose.
Users attention will not be drawn to the new possibilities, because they become blended with the existing row of possibilities in blue type, starting with "Logout" on the left, and ending with "User Control Panel" on the right.

Beyond not having their attention drawn to the new possibilities, I think it's unlikely that users will even notice they are there--unless they also read this post.

Since your page style is to have full column gray bars divide each page into sections, I think you could achieve your goal more effectively by using two gray bars at the top, one for |Help >> Troubleshooting >>Change Log >> Download| options, and another below it for the group now on the far right: |* FAQ * Search * Members * User Control Panel|.

On those gray bars, I think you should space the options so that none of them align directly above/below each other, and also should use different colored fonts for the choices on each bar.

For even better visibility, you could achieve emphasis by deviating from the gray bar style, and making the each of the two new bars a different, bright color.

Finally, I'd like to suggest that there's something that you can do for your users that will be even more useful than adding these new action choices. That change would be to move the Search box to the top of the page. By convention, on almost all sites, that's where it is found, and where people will look for it. I've visited the forum several times, and never thought to look for it at the bottom. Instead, I used a Google site search.

Making the Search box more visible and available might help you as well, by encouraging users to search for answers before posting a new topic.

Since I believe that it would be used more often than any of the choices already available at the top of the page, I'd suggest putting it in its own colored bar above either of the other two.

I hope you find some or all of these suggestions useful.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:37 pm 
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This is one of the phpBB forum default themes, 'Silver2' . We didn't alter it and i don't think we will.
BTW, the place where links are is technically a 'menubar':

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So far, we didn't hear any complaints about finding links. In case you didn't notice, the post is from 2014. But thanks for suggestions any way!
I've changed the wording.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:27 pm 
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I'm not surprised that "we didn't hear any complains about finding links." If someone was looking for links, they would find them.

That was not my point. My suggestions were directed toward making the visitor to a page aware of the fact that the links are there. I'd bet that a high percentage of the users of your forum, like me, have never noticed them.

i think that the image you now present at the start of this post shows the existence of the links quite clearly, and makes the top of the page look very attractive, even without using another forum theme. However, this clean, uncluttered look vanishes after a user login, when multiple other links are added in the same row. It is then that the problem I was pointing out becomes evident: "Users attention will not be drawn to the new possibilities, because they become blended with the existing row of possibilities in blue type, starting with 'Logout' on the left, and ending with 'User Control Panel' on the right."

It looks like, without changing to a new theme, you could show most of the existing links by themselves, on a second menu bar below the first.

Finally, it doesn't look like you'd need to change to a different theme to implement my suggestion to move the Search Box to the top of the page.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:19 am 
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JTab wrote:
... Users attention will not be drawn to the new possibilities ...

JTab wrote:
... I'd bet that a high percentage of the users of your forum, like me, have never noticed them ...
That's too bad. I don't know of anybody yet who found a way to make people read forums stickies. I see people trying all sort of things: large font, bright title color, images in the titles, very long titles .... Nothing seems to work, people still post questions about stuff that is outlined in the stickies. It's the era of writers not readers. It's easier to just type some question than search for an answer or read (forum stickies).
At the end, as i said, we didn't alter the phpBB theme. If onemen will find himself bored with nothing to do, he can play with coloring bars Image If/when the forum software gets updated (yes, i'm looking at you, onemen!), we'll get a dark theme or 2 and all this will look different for users anyway. If it annoys you now, just write your own style like i did. BTW, in my style, i moved the Search link, works for me.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:18 pm 
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My suggestions were provided to help onemen accomplish his purpose. Although, as you point out, it's not possible to "make people read forums stickies," some people will read them if they are aware of them--or aware of links leading to them.

My suggestions would increase the number of people who become aware of the new links provided by onemen. The point is not not to change my own settings so I am not "annoyed" by the current design. I am not annoyed. I just think the design is not as effective as it could be.

My revised suggestion dropped the idea of colored bars, and merely proposed adding another row exclusively for the new links, which would not require changing to a new style sheet. The header already displays several rows of links after a user is logged on, so making such a change should be relatively quick.

Moving the Search Box to the top might, on the other hand, require changing the style sheet. If that's the case, and making such a change would be laborious, that suggestion could be ignored, and only the other one implemented.


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