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The New Experience (Feedback)

caffeinemachine

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Mar 10, 2012
833
I see that the new website is so much smoother and is much faster. Posting now is much friendler since when one wants to preview the whole thing does not reload.

However, I think we need a new color scheme. Please note that the suggestions I am going to make are just that. I also realize that it is very easy for me to suggest changes since I don't know anything about how websites are made.

The 'blue' that we see on the main page seems dull to me. Also, we also see headings in 'brown' on the main page and it seems to not match with the rest at all. I also feel overewhelmed by too many rectangular boxes everywhere and I admit that I don't know what one could do about that, except that things like 'MHB math scholar' don't need to be put in a recangular box and it would be enough have it in simple text.

There are too many colors that one sees on MHB at any given page. Many members (including me) have their names in color and bold. This is a result of a badge of recognition which MHB has granted to the user. But my suggestion is that perhaps the names need not be colored or boldened. It would be perhaps better to have a bullet of appropriate color following the names, or something in th esmae spirit.

In my (subjective) experiece what makes a webpage beutiful and palatable is it's simplicity.

EDIT: I am not fond of seeing this. It feels like noise. The colors don't do it for me. Notice the blue with brown wooden boundaries.

Screenshot from 2020-06-15 07-51-50.png

Too many boxes. They do not align and have varied sizes laong with varied font sizes and it kind of bugs me.
Screenshot from 2020-06-15 07-52-19.png
 
Last edited:

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,035
Hey @caffeinemachine!

Sorry for the delayed response. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's really hard to get this kind of feedback from users and once you start working on the development side of anything, you lose the ability to see it with fresh eyes. So again this is great to hear.

What is really interesting to note is that this design is significantly less boxy and overall it's much more "flat" than the previous version. Here's a look at the previous design for reference: https://web.archive.org/web/20180724030655/http://mathhelpboards.com/

However the fact that you are aware of the details you listed means something about them stands out enough to catch your eye, and that's important. The elements you shared actually do align if you look closely at the outer most level, but I think the most prominent colors in each are off so the appearance might be that they don't line up. This could be tweaked to better give the impression of straight lines. I like the observation that there are a lot of colors happening, which I agree with after you wrote it. There are main colors that are repeated all over the site, but I think the non-standard flashier ones are confusing this from being clear to the eye. Again, with some tweaking this could be made a lot better.

So what I can do is try to talk to someone who is experienced in web design about simplifying the color scheme to establish the theme better and change some patterns to better outline borders or not have the impression of misalignment. I also think the varying sizes of the buttons here isn't working. I can look into a way to group them better but still stand out.

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 11.32.05 PM.png

Do you have any more thoughts to share or comments on my reply? :) Please post if so!

Another idea we can try for is to offer multiple themes, one of which could be a very condensed one that has extremely simple color patterns and aims to reduce the footprint of every element. This would reduce scrolling significantly for those who value this above all else. I still think that compared to other sites like ours, our theme is very strong and way more polished than all of theirs but these details add up and I think it's a good idea to improve on the start.
 

caffeinemachine

Well-known member
MHB Math Scholar
Mar 10, 2012
833
Hey @caffeinemachine!

Sorry for the delayed response. Thank you so much for sharing this. It's really hard to get this kind of feedback from users and once you start working on the development side of anything, you lose the ability to see it with fresh eyes. So again this is great to hear.

What is really interesting to note is that this design is significantly less boxy and overall it's much more "flat" than the previous version. Here's a look at the previous design for reference: https://web.archive.org/web/20180724030655/http://mathhelpboards.com/

However the fact that you are aware of the details you listed means something about them stands out enough to catch your eye, and that's important. The elements you shared actually do align if you look closely at the outer most level, but I think the most prominent colors in each are off so the appearance might be that they don't line up. This could be tweaked to better give the impression of straight lines. I like the observation that there are a lot of colors happening, which I agree with after you wrote it. There are main colors that are repeated all over the site, but I think the non-standard flashier ones are confusing this from being clear to the eye. Again, with some tweaking this could be made a lot better.

So what I can do is try to talk to someone who is experienced in web design about simplifying the color scheme to establish the theme better and change some patterns to better outline borders or not have the impression of misalignment. I also think the varying sizes of the buttons here isn't working. I can look into a way to group them better but still stand out.

View attachment 10448

Do you have any more thoughts to share or comments on my reply? :) Please post if so!

Another idea we can try for is to offer multiple themes, one of which could be a very condensed one that has extremely simple color patterns and aims to reduce the footprint of every element. This would reduce scrolling significantly for those who value this above all else. I still think that compared to other sites like ours, our theme is very strong and way more polished than all of theirs but these details add up and I think it's a good idea to improve on the start.
Hi Jameson. Thank you for the comprehensive response. The previous version, the link to which you have given, looks a lot more cleaner to me!

I think it would be great if we could choose from multiple themes. The one's who like it colorful can go full rainbow and those like me could go all black and nothing else (it's a joke).

As an example, the kind of look and feel that I like is one in physicsforums. It's so neat and clean and is very inviting. I would have moved base to PF if it wern't for my emotional attachment to MHB.
 

Jameson

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 26, 2012
4,035
So some interesting things about the way you see design are:
  • We hired the exact same designer as the one for PF. The style and design of both are clearly the same person with different starting ideas based on how I see it. You see two very different things though and I'm sure it shocks you that the same person made both. :)
  • The old style is actually way clunkier and has more nesting, more gradients, and is busier by number of elements. It is objectively more complex and less simple. What I think you like though is the lines and edges are better placed which gives is a cleaner look and more cohesion. I think you are really sensitive to this part.
These aren't good or bad things, it's just interesting to learn what catches one's eye. I really think with some small tweaking you will like the theme much more and see what I'm describing, so let's hope. Thank you for sharing this. I know it must feel hard to write something that isn't positive and fear that you will be yelled at or it will be taken as an insult, but I don't see it as anything negative. It's very valuable insight and it is meant to help improve the experience, so thank you again.