It's all thanks to you - our members
Over the past months we've been monitoring your activity on the board and more specifically which links you click and how you interact with elements on the page. Now whilst that might not sound particularly exciting it does mean we got a pretty good idea of what you were getting out of the last website design and we came the conclusion that we could do more for you and this website could do a lot better!
So this new design is all about getting the stuff we all write about every day (the content) to you with minimal fuss and perfect ease. All the features you know and love have been refined and everything's been redesigned from the ground up to make your use of the board as easy and enjoyable as possible.
What's new? I can't find x feature or y button?
Most of the changes are simple re-positioning where things are or moving less important features to other areas of the website this means that every function or button you knew is actually still here but it may now either be wearing a different set of clothes or maybe just moved somewhere else
One of the biggest issues we felt was how phpBB (our forum software) labelled two buttons - "View Unread Posts" and "View New Posts". We understood that for those of you used to vBulletin Boards the "View New Posts" was the most intuitive button to click if you wanted to see what new content had been posted but unfortunately it did not produce the desired results. Instead the "View Unread Posts" performed this task and the "View New Posts" only showed you what had been posted recently - not necessarily everything that had been updated or added since you last logged on.
To address this issue the brand-new "What's New" button at the top of every page now shows you every topic that contains a post you haven't read. For some of you this may produce a large list the first time you use it but if you wish to clear the list and start afresh, then go to the main page (http://www.75ztcommunity.co.uk) and towards the bottom in the right-hand edge you'll see a "Mark Forums Read" button - click this to reset every post as read.
Along with consolidating this feature we've also added a few more functions to make life even easier:-
More space to the posts!
We've give more space to your posts and made the content even easier to read with overall larger font sizes and removing clutter out of the way. Now your post stands out so you can get on with the important stuff - reading and writing!
Quite often you might want to check out someones profile but you don't want to be taken away from the topic you're reading. Now if you click on a username anywhere on the board a pop-up box gives you the juicy important information about a user. For a more detailed in-depth profile, follow the link towards the bottom-left of this pop-up box to the users profile page.
Posting New Topics
At the base of every forum you'll see a "Post New Topic" box, this provides a basic text editor allowing you to quickly post a new topic into that forum. Click on the "Full Editor" button if you wish to access more features such as smilies, attachment uploads or poll options and so on.
Reply to a topic
Similar to the posting of a new topic, when you click to reply to a topic you'll be taken to the very last page of the topic (if it has more than one page) and to a simple text editor thus allowing you to quickly reply to a topic. Again, click on "Full Editor" for more functions. NB: If the topic only has one page of posts, or you are on the last page of posts in a multi-page topic, this text editor will appear at the end of the posts
More emphasis on announcements
When viewing an announcement, the first post (i.e. the announcement itself) is given a special full-width highlighted box to help it stand out. Every other post appears as normal underneath
Changing the text size
Now you can change the size of the text of the page using the button found towards the right-hand edge of the main (dark blue) navigation bar at the top of every page. Once the text size has been adjusted the website will remember your setting for every subsequent page you visit (NB: Cookies required)
Re-Order the forums!
Now we're giving more power to you! If you wish you can drag-and-drop the order of how the list of each category of forums appear. This allows you to drag those categories you are most interested in towards the top of the list for easier access every time you visit. (NB: Cookies required, settings stored on a per-computer basis so if you use more than one computer you'll have to order the forums for each computer separately)
We'll also be implementing native French and German language support for our fellow Europeans. This allows those of you who wish to change the wording of the buttons and messages into French or German. To access this feature visit your user control panel and under "Board Preferences" you should see an option for language. Change is and click submit. Please note this DOES NOT change the content of posts and can only change the messages and buttons generated by our website software.
Intelligent Topic Titles
Now when you hover over a topic title with your mouse cursor you will get a little short preview of the opening post of that topic!
We've also made clicking on a topic title even more intuitive. Now, if a topic contains unread posts when you click on the topic you'll be taken straight to the first unread post. If the topic does not contain any unread posts, you'll be taken to the first opening post. This is how most people viewed topics and after you start using it it makes perfect sense Don't forget that the icons next to the topic titles always tell you information about a topic - blue icon for unread posts, grey icon for all-read
If you've posted in a topic we've now got a little blue star that sits near the topic title that indicates to you that you've posted in a topic
Of course - any questions then shout up and we'll be happy to help out! So, there you go folks! Go enjoy!