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Forum Skin Review .pdf

Original filename: Forum Skin Review.pdf
Author: Ron

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Forum Skin Review
The website is the most important part of a new gaming network, or even any new
gaming server no matter if it’s a licensed or private server. The site needs to lure in players as
soon as they look at it. With that being said, I have made this a very detailed critique. I have
tried to include images to help demonstrate my ideas and concerns wherever possible.
My biggest concern is something that may seem small, but it really isn’t. When a new
user visits a site we obviously want them to register to interact with the community. Registration
needs to be a fast and simple process. The registration link is currently hidden within a couple
sentences under the forum navigation. Most people will very easily overlook this and end up
never finding the registration button. My suggestion is to move the Facebook integration to the
left of the ‘Remember Me’ box.

After logging in, the sexy looking area disappears and we’re left with a really bland area
with text links. This really isn’t appealing and each link should probably be replaced with a
button that looks similar to the Login button, with the Facebook integration button being in the
corner again. Here is my take on what it should look like…

Scrolling down after we log in; the forum looks great. The overall theme was well thought
out and everything is very impressive looking. Only two things I see that don’t really fit in well;
the fence-like texture set as the background for the banners, and the fact that there is no border
around the banner. After looking at the top of the forum background I see where you got the
fence texture from, but I think it would blend better if it was shrunk a bit to look more like the first
background. Basically, use the same sized fence as you did with the forum background and put
it behind the category banners. After that, add a red border around the banners so the layout
looks cleaner. I can’t really emulate the smaller fence in Paint but here is my shot at the border.
The way I illustrated it isn’t really what the end result should look like. I’m sure you can
make it blend well and make it look a lot better than some lines drawn in Paint. You may be able
to scrap this idea altogether, it depends on how it looks with the smaller fence texture applied
behind the banner.

The next thing we see is the ‘Post New Thread’ button, along with any other buttons
throughout the forum. They should all have the same gradient used on the Login button, having
them all match and adding to the universal feel of the forum.

Looking at the rest of the Thread view page, we run in to a lot of visual issues.. It really
seems like this part was rushed when it was being worked on. The red and white header bars
are really contrasting. It almost hurts your eyes when it loads. The header bars over the threads
should match the homepage header bars, too. It would make everything match more and really
give a great feel to browsing the forum.

There really isn’t too much to be said about viewing a user’s profile. The bars just look
really bad. They need to have a gradient that matches the rest of the forum. I added a picture
for the sake of confirming what I’m talking about. The same applies to the Calendar, FAQ,
Profile Settings, and anywhere else these bars are used.

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