I'm just very, VERY sensitive to people that come out with statements about how it isn't what they've expected. Bear in mind that I've also been known to write a lot of free mods, give them away for free and then get crap from people because I didn't make *exactly what they wanted*.
Thanks for getting back Pete, very sorry if Ive offended it was'nt my intention.
Fair comment. Though I find it interesting to note that Bloc has actually been taking some of the ideas we proposed here... and it should also be noted that the default theme of every single forum software is bland. That's by design, and with one specific reason: it provides a structure for people to build upon.
Have done - remark was tongue in cheek - drawing on pun, I suppose not in the best of taste.
It is different to the norm. But it also has to perform the same actions as the norm, and on top of that, we will get complaints if it doesn't perform the norm.
That may be the case but I was under the impression what you were doing with Wedge WAS different to the norm - socialization, board structure the whole package.
Because we have to balance a goal that a lot of people seem to have forgotten.
Yes there are reasons why you branched from SMF but the underlying motivation was surely one that was centred on improvement. Why create Wedge if change wasn't required?
Change for the sake of improvement is great. And there is a lot of change for the sake of improvement. However, change for the sake of change is not improvement.
A forum has certain functional requirements that have to be adhered to. There's only so far you can go from those functional requirements and still remain generically usable for a lot of sites. As I demonstrated on Game Memorial, you can do some very nice customisation but that customisation is simply not suitable for every single site. I applied a setup that turned a board into a blog. But it won't suit most forums. It will make a difference for blog boards, sure, but I guarantee that what I did on GM will likely not be suitable for most sites if any others. (I'm not entirely sure it works on GM at this point, but hey, it's experimental.)
It started out pretty much that way.
Its impossible to believe Wedge falls in the category of a huge customisation. You have invested so much energy and sacrifice into something that was for purely for supposed personal use? The vibe im getting is your striving for so much more than a streamlined 10 year old system that works.
That said, can you really convince me that the thoughts/conversation system will be suitable for most sites, for example? It's basically reimplementing what's on Noisen, however it's likely to be usable enough for a lot more sites, so it got included.
Also note that there's not a great lot of code that's actually original from 10 years ago ;)
Creating a fresh approach does mean so much more than just doing design. It has to support customisations, the entire range of customisations that Wedge will be able to support, as well as all the features that we want it to have. AND it still has to be suitable for a vast, vast range of sites, a criteria that theme designers generally do not have to deal with.
Personally, the whole exercise seems like a new beginning in forum software hence my remarks on endeavouring to create a fresh approach with themes, not as an adjunct but a marketing ploy which coincides with the release of Wedge.
Let's take Bloc as a classic example. How enthusiastic do you think he was when designing Curve, as opposed to all the other creative themes he's done? Can you also imagine *ANY* of Bloc's newer themes being the default for ANY forum package, which by definition has to be a base, rather than the end product?
Are they really? Both are on-going works in progress with active users. Both have users with user psychology. The only real difference is scale.
1. Yes people are resistant to change but theres a whole world out there thats also receptive to it. I feel your not comparing apples with apples where Wedge and Facebook is concerned - Theyre @ different stages of development.
There is a whole world receptive to change. Except they're by far the minority. And even then, they're not receptive to change for the sake of change, they're receptive to change when they're aiming for a specific change or improvement - or getting anyway from a specific bug or issue.
Except Facebook's UI has had several major shifts in the last 8 years. The world of websites is quite different to conventional product design and marketing, because conventional products have to do the whole design, user experience testing etc. then the product hits the market. But with a website, the product essentially evolves over time and can respond to user feedback and so on as time goes on.
Consideration to UI would have taken place well in advance of its emergence onto the marketplace. With the release of any new product there is an overall focus on design/function first and foremost, then brandname.
Yes, there is an overall focus on design/function first and foremost. And that's the crux of this debate. We have a fundamental functional requirement to meet. Major UI overhauls will not change that fact, and there's a reason why forum UI has not significantly altered in over a decade - no-one has yet been able to improve upon it in a meaningful way for the majority of users. Yes, individual users and individual sites might have specific improvements but we simply can't just include major UI shifts in the base software, no matter how much people complain.
That's merely a matter of semantics, actually. Most of what is in Wedge is a round of iteration on top of SMF 2.0 which is a round of iteration on top of SMF 1.1, on top of SMF 1.0, on top of YaBB SE, on top of YaBB, on top of UBB, on top of migrating the conventional newsgroup concepts to a web based environment. It's one long line of iterations.
Although they are separate entities they are inextricably linked. Before release to public the product passes through prototype phase which Wedge is currently in.
From a user experience standpoint, we're iterating on top of what is in SMF 2.0. There's a lot of iteration in some places, less in others.
Wedge is not really prototyping user experience, it's mostly a technical phase of prototyping. I fully expect way more iteration to occur in response to user feedback - because it's a constant iterative process, not the conventional product evolution process that physical products have.
I've been a Facebook user for several years. A great number of changes, large and small, have occurred in that time, not least 'Timeline'. It's an iterative process. Have a read of http://facebooklayout.com/blog/a-look-at-the-changing-layouts-of-facebook/
Which is what Im concentrating in my own way. Facebook would certainly have gone down this road as its an essential ingredient of the products makeup. It defines it as too does its packaging.
Well done, you've taken on board my argument and turned your own 180 in the process.
There's an addage that I draw on from time to time and it holds true - namely, "form follows function" but it has to be remembered they go hand in hand.
Form follows function, quite right. The function of a forum hasn't changed in decades. Small parts of the process have. Specific implementations might also have changed. But the bulk of operations have not changed. As a result, the theme in Wedge needs to follow that approach. There is really very little major change we can do to the form of Wedge as a consequence.
Nope. That really is an apples and oranges comparison.
The first analogy I would have expected in relation to Wedge and Facebook is "What are the reasons for its popularity". Facebook was certainly a new concept in social media as indeed Wedge is in its realm - You guys have that area covered but and its a big one - Consideration to UI is not wasted and is equally important in Wedges case
I realise that, and I'm glad you feel better for having got it off your chest :) On the flip side, I firmly disagree with aspects of your argument because I think they're valid, but rooted firmly in a different background. I'm also pretty sure you're not seeing it from the perspective that Nao and I have to consider - we're in the position whereby we have to consider how users will use the software.
2. By now you will have realized that I disagree with you on your latter point - Im feeling much happier that ive got it all off my chest though.
Point of interest: why do all the forum software packages out there at present have a default theme based around the colour blue? Why do they do this, I wonder? Could it be that they have to be carefully neutral across all the different uses that their software will generate and that they have to remain neutral to allow users to customise for their specific site?