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Slippers
25 March 2010, 17:18
I didn't see it mentioned anywhere else, but I definitely prefer the older look compared to what is now displayed. Any reason for the change?

My main complaints are that it's more difficult to tell the difference between stickies and normal threads, and even the difference between unread and read threads. Part of that is due to the colors chosen for the various types of text.

I'm sorry to be so critical, but this one actually hurts my eyes to look at. The old one was very clean, smooth, and had the right amount of contrast between everything to make it very easy to read. Unfortunately there's no option to use the original style in the display settings, either. :(

Army Chief
25 March 2010, 17:30
Much more going on here than a new look -- the underlying code for the entire forum has been brought two generations forward, along with a host of new features. We'll get an announcement posted, but obviously at this point, we are still working on final functions checks and cleaning up the code.

Will take a look at your specific comments, though the manner in which stickies are marked has not really been changed. Icons have been altered somewhat, but none that affect those particular posts. Returning to the old template (original style) simply isn't possible, since it was designed to work with much older software. We'll be paying close attention to the readability issue.

Read/unread threads are annotated by icon coloration, as before ...

Red = New
Gray - Old

AC

Quib
25 March 2010, 17:38
I didn't see it mentioned anywhere else, but I definitely prefer the older look compared to what is now displayed. Any reason for the change?

My main complaints are that it's more difficult to tell the difference between stickies and normal threads, and even the difference between unread and read threads. Part of that is due to the colors chosen for the various types of text.

I'm sorry to be so critical, but this one actually hurts my eyes to look at. The old one was very clean, smooth, and had the right amount of contrast between everything to make it very easy to read. Unfortunately there's no option to use the original style in the display settings, either. :(

As with all forums, one gets used to the appearance. Then when a change is made there’s an adjustment period to go through until things begin to feel “at home again”. I too am in this “adjustment phase” after getting so used to the old boards appearance.

Give things some time. [:)]

Slippers
25 March 2010, 18:06
For me at least, I never did look at the icons. I look at the actual thread title.

I don't have any screenshots of the old version, but part of the issue may be that the "started by so & so" line is the same size font and actually brighter than the thread title, so my eyes are drawn to that instead. I bet if you knock it down a size or two and use a slightly darker color it will make a huge difference in how fast one can peruse the thread titles.

Army Chief
25 March 2010, 19:00
Concur.

Will see what we can do about that.

AC

MoxyDave
25 March 2010, 21:34
I like the new look, but text is more difficult to read. I can't tell you exactly why but I believe it's a contrast issue. Maybe a lighter background might help?

John Hwang
25 March 2010, 23:56
Thank you for all the feedback. We will continue to tweak our design so it's more user friendly. I do agree with a lot of the feedback. We will try to simplify some of the graphics so it's easier on the eyes.

HeavyDuty
26 March 2010, 06:34
I'm trying to get used to it, but I have to agree this was a hit against readability.

rob_s
26 March 2010, 07:08
I'm having a little trouble getting it sorted as well, but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.

UDT
26 March 2010, 08:27
Thank you for all the feedback. We will continue to tweak our design so it's more user friendly. I do agree with a lot of the feedback. We will try to simplify some of the graphics so it's easier on the eyes.

Thank you. For me with these old eyes it is harder to read than before it all seems to kind of blend in together for me.

Konrad
26 March 2010, 10:45
I would appreciate an improved 'search' function, one that would search three letter words or initialisms.
========

I have reading glasses, but for reading on screen information I frequently use [on Mac's] the "command" key with the "+" to increase the letter size, and "Universal Access" to switch display colors.


For longer articles I use this

http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/

on all three browers I operate. It is free and easy to use, their main page gives an example.


Konrad.

Slippers
26 March 2010, 11:12
I would appreciate an improved 'search' function, one that would search three letter words or initialisms.

I recommend using google for this. In the search field put the terms you want to find, followed by site:http://www.weaponevolution.com. Google works better than any search functionality built into forums if you're searching for terms and don't need to narrow it down to a specific user name or section.

Army Chief
26 March 2010, 14:21
One of the inevitable problems with fielding new software is that we're forced to update our style templates, etc., and most of our efforts in the test phase were admittedly geared toward pure functionality. Concerns over color schemes, text sizes and usability were not forgotten by any means, but it would be fair to say that they were of decidedly secondary importance to getting the coding right. Now that we've re-launched, of course, we're able to see what works well and what doesn't work quite so well.

Depending upon what machine/browser combination I use, the new configuration ranges from fair to very good on the visibility scale. Granted, I've had a few weeks to grow accustomed to the modified layout, but all in all, the status quo isn't bad -- it just isn't the simple and straightfoward interface that we've employed in the past. Drilling into the style settings is a slow and often aggravating process, so it might take some time to find the right balance, but we'll stay engaged on this.

AC

John Hwang
26 March 2010, 23:41
The background color was changed to black to bring out the contrast with the letters to help readability. We'll continue to listen and make tweaks until we come to a resting place. Thanks again for the feedback....keep em coming.

UDT
27 March 2010, 15:05
The background color was changed to black to bring out the contrast with the letters to help readability. We'll continue to listen and make tweaks until we come to a resting place. Thanks again for the feedback....keep em coming.

Thanks, much better IMO.

jeffy
28 March 2010, 18:52
I like the vBulletin better then what was being used before. It sort of bugged me when you went into a topic and the nested path got longer and screwed up the page formatting.

The only real problem I see is little stuff like the colors. They are pretty high contract and if there is red or yellow, or even blue, they can be very difficult to read. Even the white text can be a bit hard on the eyes. I agree with others that the active/inactive thread indicator is also difficult to read. Maybe choose a lighter red or lighten up the background. The background image probably isn't helping since it's striped and forces the eyes to adjust to the pattern.

So what am I saying, less contrast between the extremes in colors would help.

Slippers
28 March 2010, 20:03
I have to agree with Jeffy. Previously the background was a green, rather than black, and it was more readable. If you look at someone's quote on the previous page with the olive background and white text, it's easier to read than the black background with white text.

Cameron
28 March 2010, 20:59
OK this is horrible, change it back.

Cameron

Konrad
28 March 2010, 21:32
I recommend using google for this. In the search field put the terms you want to find, followed by site:http://www.weaponevolution.com. Google works better than any search functionality built into forums if you're searching for terms and don't need to narrow it down to a specific user name or section.

Thanks! I've used the Google Custom Search and Google Site Search feature on other web sites but I didn't know about the way you described.

Konrad.

miczero
29 March 2010, 00:04
I have to agree with Jeffy. Previously the background was a green, rather than black, and it was more readable. If you look at someone's quote on the previous page with the olive background and white text, it's easier to read than the black background with white text.

I definitely agree with this. I don't mind the new layout too much and I certainly understand the need for upgrades, but the white text on black is just painful.

The OD background with white text was infinitely easier and more enjoyable to read.

HeavyDuty
29 March 2010, 06:17
A major issue I'm having is with the forum and search view. Please, please, PLEASE - move the "started by" information to another column somewhere to the right of the topic titles, or at least indent them a few inches. Right now it's a big jumble that's very difficult to read, almost painful.

Slippers
29 March 2010, 21:39
Staff will probably hunt me down for this, but I did a few quick photoshop jobs. I do not have any photoshop skills to speak of, so forgive me if these aren't very high quality. :)

First one gets rid of the red wevo icon to indicate a forum section with new posts. Instead, use the existing white fade for "new posts," and then use a grayed out wevo icon to indicate "no new posts."

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9167/readunread.th.jpg (http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/9167/readunread.jpg)


Next is an example of what you see once you're within a sub-forum. Again, get rid of the red wevo icons, using the white fade for "unread," and grayed out wevo for "read." Also, I shrunk down the text size for the "Started by...." line. This combination makes perusing the thread titles much faster in my opinion, much like the old forum.

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/9189/readunread2.th.jpg (http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/9189/readunread2.jpg)


Last, in this example of a thread being viewed, I took the background from Cameron's post and switched it to the same color as the quote bubble background. The black background is actually too much contrast, but the olive background is much easier on the eyes, while still retaining enough contrast for easy reading. I don't necessarily think using the exact same color as the individual post header is the best idea, but this just illustrates the point about color contrast.

http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/3326/contrast.th.jpg (http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/3326/contrast.jpg)


Also, I agree with HeavyDuty. The search function does produce an extremely hard to read list.

jeffy
30 March 2010, 13:35
Looks better with the faded Wevo new/old posts.

Army Chief
30 March 2010, 13:46
The icon re-tooling is obviously still a work in progress, but we're doing what we can ...

AC

Army Chief
30 March 2010, 16:04
OK this is horrible, change it back.

Cameron

Are you talking about the entire theme (which we can't really change back), or the black text box (which could potentially be changed back -- or, at least, modified a bit)? Just want to make sure we understand what you were responding to.

AC

Mat
30 March 2010, 16:11
Agreed that the black background makes it hard to read and is hard on my eyes. IMO the old color scheme worked very well, the text didn't contrast so hard against the background. Even in the short time posting this my eyes are feeling the strain :P

Ryo
30 March 2010, 18:08
I do like the Tapatalk integration. I think that's a step forward.
I don't have problems with the contrast, but I can see others might.

Some of the bright colors of the ads don't blend in well with the site's colors and kind of distracting.. but I like the new Rainier Arms small logo on the left. ;)

Army Chief
30 March 2010, 18:22
I do like the Tapatalk integration. I think that's a step forward.

Appreciate the feedback.

Not sure who else may be using it, as I get the impression that we're still the odd men out in this respect, but I've been greatly impressed by the ability to port a nearly full-featured version of the site to a mobile device.

Perhaps the other iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Nokia users just have yet to get the word (http://www.weaponevolution.com/forum/showthread.php?2132-Mobile-Device-Forum-Integration-via-Tapatalk&p=19324#post19324).

AC

Ryo
30 March 2010, 19:00
I know a couple of people who use Tapatalk to check forums. I wished more forums do. I suggested it. Makes it easy to maintain my subscriptions and my mail. If I can run from computer, I would, but handheld when I have connection elsewhere.. priceless to me.

Lastrites
3 April 2010, 07:13
Simply put the black background is completely aggravating to the eyes with the associated text. My eye's feel like they are spinning.

TehLlama
3 April 2010, 11:51
I'd be for a limitation on signature size - pages look cluttered fast with huge signatures. Looks great otherwise, I really like the fast reply option

Tracker722
3 April 2010, 19:04
The only problem I have is with the log-in. My user name space is there, but, my password is cut-off and I never know if it has been entered correctly.

Cameron
14 April 2010, 20:48
When I have free time I open firefox and then open a block of gun forums at once in tabs. The only webiste that is light text on dark background is this.

I haven't been in here since I wrote my post above, that the new dark background light text high contrast is horrible. I literally open this site with the other book marks and simply don't come in here as I don't like the text contrast etc. The last thing I need at the end of a day is to strain to read a forum.

I can't understand why it hasn't been changed when just in this thread members have said:


I'm sorry to be so critical, but this one actually hurts my eyes to look at. The old one was very clean, smooth, and had the right amount of contrast between everything to make it very easy to read.


I like the new look, but text is more difficult to read. I can't tell you exactly why but I believe it's a contrast issue. Maybe a lighter background might help?


I'm trying to get used to it, but I have to agree this was a hit against readability.


Thank you. For me with these old eyes it is harder to read than before it all seems to kind of blend in together for me.


The only real problem I see is little stuff like the colors. They are pretty high contract and if there is red or yellow, or even blue, they can be very difficult to read. Even the white text can be a bit hard on the eyes.


Previously the background was a green, rather than black, and it was more readable. If you look at someone's quote on the previous page with the olive background and white text, it's easier to read than the black background with white text.


I don't mind the new layout too much and I certainly understand the need for upgrades, but the white text on black is just painful.

The OD background with white text was infinitely easier and more enjoyable to read.


Agreed that the black background makes it hard to read and is hard on my eyes. IMO the old color scheme worked very well, the text didn't contrast so hard against the background. Even in the short time posting this my eyes are feeling the strain :P


Simply put the black background is completely aggravating to the eyes with the associated text. My eye's feel like they are spinning.


I am not sure why, with this obvious consensus, that the text issue hasn't been changed. I can't see how leaving the colors like this makes any sense.

Regards,
Cameron

Ps. for me the layout if fine, and the content is superb. The text and back ground are the only problem I have. As I have this open it tabs I just flicked back and forwards between here and M4carbines and it is like night an day. Sorry for the criticism, I don't mean to be negative but for a lot of people this is a problem.

Have a look here: http://www.google.com/search?q=white+text+on+black+background

Cam

Cameron
14 April 2010, 21:07
However, most studies have shown that dark characters on a light background are superior to light characters on a dark background (when the refresh rate is fairly high). For example, Bauer and Cavonius (1980) found that participants were 26% more accurate in reading text when they read it with dark characters on a light background.


Reference: Bauer, D., & Cavonius, C., R. (1980). Improving the legibility of visual display units through contrast reversal. In E. Grandjean, E. Vigliani (Eds.), Ergonomic Aspects of Visual Display Terminals (pp. 137-142). London: Taylor & Francis
This is most likely why I have a big problem as I have a mild astigmatism... Cam



People with astigmatism (approximately 50% of the population) find it harder to read white text on black than black text on white. Part of this has to do with light levels: with a bright display (white background) the iris closes a bit more, decreasing the effect of the "deformed" lens; with a dark display (black background) the iris opens to receive more light and the deformation of the lens creates a much fuzzier focus at the eye.
Jason Harrison (http://www.cs.ubc.ca/labs/spin/people/harrison-jason.html) – Post Doctoral Fellow, Imager Lab Manager – Sensory Perception and Interaction Research Group, University of British Columbia

Army Chief
15 April 2010, 02:18
I am not sure why, with this obvious consensus, that the text issue hasn't been changed. I can't see how leaving the colors like this makes any sense.

While it might appear that these comments are falling upon deaf ears, the truth is somewhat more complex. The adoption of new/upgraded software made it necessary to alter the theme of the site, and while we are generally pleased with the appearance of this one, it is not an especially simple matter to go back and redefine text field color schemes. We have conducted various experiments along these lines, but most have revealed a host of complications, since a change in one template often has a negative cascading effect upon others. Naturally, none of this is very straightforward, and most of our server/troubleshooting time has gone into making sure that the new coding is stable, and in integrating new features that were not present in our previous format.

We're concerned about readability, of course, and not challenging the science; that said, there are some other considerations in play that may be somewhat less obvious. I don't want to make too much of this, but per our original charter, open discussion boards really only constitute about one-third of the site, with the balance being devoted to informational content and review features. In this, the fact that the revised scheme is atypical for a discussion forum is not entirely a bad thing, as it does give some of our reviews, how-to's and guides a bit more aesthetic prominence than they have had in the past. I would stop just short of suggesting that we're looking to emulate the format or appearance of an online magazine, but the greater integration and visual re-branding have been done along fairly deliberate lines. Among other things, we wanted to do something to lend even greater visual impact to the images that we work so hard to produce, and the new scheme would seem to deliver in that sense.

All well and good, you say, but to what end if I can no longer even read the site? I'm not sure that we have a one-size-fits-all answer for that at the moment, but we are continuing to work on it. None of the earlier comments have been discounted, but some were from newer members who might not yet understand WeVo's larger aims. Some might simply reflect the need to get through an adjustment period, as certain members were taken aback by the sudden change. Some are more likely tied to individual equipment and display issues over which we have no control. Some (and Cam, this likely includes your remarks) don't fall neatly into any of these categories, but are nevertheless the thoughts of members left with the impression that the evolution of the site has actually served to make it less usable.

We're listening, and we've obviously made incremental changes already to attempt to deal with some of your challenges; that said, I'm not sure that we can say with any sincerity that we're looking to roll the site back to an earlier point in time, visually. WeVo remains a work in progress, and we're obviously not happy that the step forward has left some feeling ambivalent -- or even openly disappointed -- but I would expect to see a succession of small adjustments from this point forward, rather than anything too revolutionary all at once. This theme, or some permutation of this theme, is our current baseline, and that is not something that we can easily change.

We have no wish to be inflexible or unresponsive, but the most effective comments at this point will be those which tell us how we can make the existing scheme better, rather than those with call for the return of what might have gone before. I'm not suggesting that anyone has ventured too far down that path, but the challenge now is to look ahead, and not back.

AC

HeavyDuty
15 April 2010, 06:14
AC, can you add any "canned" vB skins for us to use while you work out the new scheme?

TehLlama
15 April 2010, 17:02
Selectable canned skins would be an excellent stopgap - but I'd still focus on stability before that.