The forum users among you may know that we have switched to a new forum software and design last year.
Ever since then we have received valuable feedback about the overall style and usability of the forums. In the meantime other InnoGames projects have migrated their forums to XenForo and updated their designs, with Forge of Empires and Elvenar having received the most recent improvements.
While the aforementioned two projects are testing their new designs on their respective beta forums, we have sat down with our artists recently to look into potential improvements for our very own forum layout.
Our goal will be to make design choices with the following things in mind:
- We will follow Forge’s or Elvenar’s design choices and adapt our style accordingly.
- Quick links will be available for forum registration and log in.
- All graphics need to remain lightweight for mobile use and at the same time scalable for large screen resolutions.
- Feedback showed that the brightness and lack of contrast between forum areas is one of the main concerns with the new design. We would like to improve upon that.
- Subforums were hard to find and will hence return to the forum list instead of being hidden in a dropdown menu.
- The header area showed to be a little too big and will become smaller.
- The discussion and message count for each subforum shown in the forum overview will be replaced with an indicator for the most recent topic and poster as seen below.
While looking at these graphics, please keep in mind that these are mockups and hence in no way shape or form final designs. Some of the elements outlined above, e.g. the quick links for login and separating lines between forums are not displayed but will become available in the final version.
With that said, let’s take a look at different approaches that we could imagine:
The first mockup is closest to our previous layout. It keeps light colors with a change in background, smaller header design and the new subforum view.
This second version follow’s Forge’s lead by having a clear separation of header and forum background. The dark textures are taken from the game and should remind some of you of past forum designs.
Our third approach mixes both first and second version elements while keeping the background darker than before.
Last but not least a design example that is close to Elvenar’s more modern layout, while sporting a darker background.
Now we would like to ask you for your feedback.
What do you like in each version? Do you prefer darker or lighter forum skins? What are your favorite elements?
Let us know in the comments below or post your feedback on our forums. We’re looking forward to hearing your opinion on each of these ideas!