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Master of AFTER


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post Jun 4 2015, 04:10 AM
Given how long it's been since the boards' last visual overhaul, I figured this place could use a new coat of paint to keep things fresh. Wouldn't you know it, once I got to fiddling with the settings and screwing around in Photoshop, I couldn't stop myself until I'd filled out a checklist long enough to get away with calling this an update.

In addition to the various aesthetic upgrades, I've also tweaked/added a few features:

  • Multiple board categories and subcategories have undergone name changes. (Note that the purpose of all categories remains the same; the new names are intended to better reflect the nature of the content they were designed for.)

  • In accordance with the funding milestone achievement detailed here, all third-party advertisements have been removed.

  • New users can now customize their member titles as soon as they've made their first post.

  • User ranks have been revised. There are now eight ranks in total. The new post requirements and rank titles are as follows:

    0 posts - Rank 1: Newbie
    50 posts - Rank 2: Tourist
    200 posts - Rank 3: Regular
    500 posts - Rank 4: Advanced Member
    1,500 posts - Rank 5: Dedicated Member
    3,000 posts - Rank 6: Super Member
    5,000 posts - Rank 7: Veteran
    10,000 posts - Rank 8: Legend

  • User profiles now feature entry fields for Tumblr accounts in the "Contact Information" section.

  • Two new user groups have been added: Sponsors and AFTERholics.

The new user groups mentioned above are related to the site's Patreon page. Forum members who pledge at the Supporter Tier level will be eligible for promotions to Sponsor accounts, while those who pledge at the AFTERholic Tier level will be eligible for promotions to AFTERholic accounts. Members of these groups will have the exact same abilities and privileges as regular board members—the only difference in their accounts will be special category listings and unique group tags that replace the pips used to denote user ranks.

For more information about Sponsor and AFTERholic accounts, click here.

One last note: The color scheme is what you might call a work-in-progress. I'm still tweaking the colors of various elements to create an overall appearance for the boards I like, and I'll probably continue to make adjustments over the next several days. If you'd like share your thoughts on the current color scheme, it's not too late for your input to make a difference.


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oneluckyduck


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post Jun 4 2015, 08:48 AM
It's fun seeing all the ways that you've updated the forum, like a virtual "I Spy" game. Unless you always had such a large sign to declare that you were the boss, and the mods' names were always bolded on the "currently signed in" section, in which case I am horribly unobservant.


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post Jun 4 2015, 08:55 AM
QUOTE (oneluckyduck @ Jun 4 2015, 10:48 AM) *
It's fun seeing all the ways that you've updated the forum, like a virtual "I Spy" game. Unless you always had such a large sign to declare that you were the boss, and the mods' names were always bolded on the "currently signed in" section, in which case I am horribly unobservant.


I'm horribly unobservant as well, and it's really neat to pick out the changes. Not really fond of the Bejeweled gems signifying your forum rank, but that's my only quibble with the new design.
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post Jun 4 2015, 12:54 PM
QUOTE (Baguette @ Jun 4 2015, 09:55 AM) *
Not really fond of the Bejeweled gems signifying your forum rank

Agree with this. Also not a fan of replacing the pips next to users' names that indicate whether or not they're online from orange to yellow. The color looks kinda ugly.

Everything else is cool though.


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post Jun 4 2015, 01:18 PM
B-but I like those gems D:

I mean, these changes were cool and all, but maybe it's just my phone, because I didn't see those "Sponsors" and "AFTERholic" blings yet here.


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post Jun 4 2015, 02:02 PM
It Loved It!


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post Jun 4 2015, 03:07 PM
I like the changes. Simple, but different. Quite nice.
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post Jun 4 2015, 04:23 PM
Now all you need is an option to play non-stop smooth jazz while browsing the forums.


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post Jun 4 2015, 05:10 PM
QUOTE (Baguette @ Jun 4 2015, 11:55 AM) *
Not really fond of the Bejeweled gems signifying your forum rank, but that's my only quibble with the new design.

No, see, the gems are so we buy special accounts that replace them with another graphic. It's all part of the plan.


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post Jun 5 2015, 04:56 PM
I'm okay with the gems, I'd just make them a little smaller. Still diggin' the change to making the outlines gray, though. =P


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post Jun 5 2015, 06:48 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing that new color scheme again. Shit's aight.

Although I want to second the rank indicators being something other than gems. Also, I noticed you briefly changed the icons beside the various boards from the stock "IPB" to the PA star. I personally didn't care for that choice, but I like the idea of altering the icon to something more unique to the community. Suppose we got a nice stylized "PA" to replace the "IPB"?


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Master of AFTER


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post Jun 6 2015, 12:03 AM
QUOTE (Protto @ Jun 4 2015, 01:54 PM) *
Also not a fan of replacing the pips next to users' names that indicate whether or not they're online from orange to yellow. The color looks kinda ugly.

Your face looks kinda ugly.

Completely unrelated to the above statement, I'm inclined to agree that the color of the user online icons could use some tweaking. I wanted to bring another color from the header design down into the thread view area, but the yellow is a bit garish. I'll experiment with some different shades of reds and oranges to see what looks good.

Regarding the new pips for user ranks, we seem divided on those...? The old pips were way too dinky and the style wasn't at all consistent with the rest of the new icons. I'm not opposed to changing the current graphics if we can get a consensus of what the majority of users would rather see. A good place to start is pinning down exactly what you don't like about the gem designs.


QUOTE (Beatdoof @ Jun 4 2015, 02:18 PM) *
I mean, these changes were cool and all, but maybe it's just my phone, because I didn't see those "Sponsors" and "AFTERholic" blings yet here.

So far, only one backer has opted to have their account promoted. As I explained in the Patreon link, people have to contact me with both their Patreon account ID and their forum username. I know who a couple of the site's backers are, but some of them I'm not sure. Getting confirmation from everyone just makes everything a whole lot easier.


QUOTE (Al_Cone @ Jun 5 2015, 07:48 PM) *
Also, I noticed you briefly changed the icons beside the various boards from the stock "IPB" to the PA star. I personally didn't care for that choice, but I like the idea of altering the icon to something more unique to the community. Suppose we got a nice stylized "PA" to replace the "IPB"?

I tested a variety of different icon designs including different variations of the site's initials, and nothing looked good. Creating the star icon was actually a huge pain in the ass, so that's here to stay. Give it a couple days and I'm sure you'll learn to love it.


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post Jun 6 2015, 06:39 PM
QUOTE (Master of AFTER @ Jun 6 2015, 04:03 AM) *
Completely unrelated to the above statement, I'm inclined to agree that the color of the user online icons could use some tweaking. I wanted to bring another color from the header design down into the thread view area, but the yellow is a bit garish. I'll experiment with some different shades of reds and oranges to see what looks good.

I think a nice, subtle orange would look nice.

QUOTE
Regarding the new pips for user ranks, we seem divided on those...? The old pips were way too dinky and the style wasn't at all consistent with the rest of the new icons. I'm not opposed to changing the current graphics if we can get a consensus of what the majority of users would rather see. A good place to start is pinning down exactly what you don't like about the gem designs.

See, one reason I liked the old style was that the pips were small. As they stand now, they're obnoxiously large. PA doesn't use those ranks except as information, I think, no one really has pip measuring contests or anything*, so to have them dwarf all of the writing, the parts that I'm actually interested in, is a bit annoying. I don't want my eye drawn there of all the places on the side bar. I like the diamond shape, I'll admit, but I'd prefer them a little more in proportion to the writing.

There's also that awkward amount of space between them and the first set of words underneath. It may be temporary, or it may be intentional, or it may be just my computer, but it definitely is aesthetically displeasing and I figured it's worth mentioning.

*Ooooh, I see why some people like them bigger, I get it now. tongue.gif

QUOTE
I tested a variety of different icon designs including different variations of the site's initials, and nothing looked good. Creating the star icon was actually a huge pain in the ass, so that's here to stay. Give it a couple days and I'm sure you'll learn to love it.

Oh, I'm sure we'd get used to anything if we took enough time. And someone who just found the forum's probably wondering why we're bitching so much. smile.gif


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post Jun 25 2015, 02:12 AM
First off, I apologize for the downtime earlier today. The PA Forums were offline for somewhere around seven or eight hours due to the database running out of memory and shutting down. We think this might have been the result of some process going rogue and eating up too many system resources. In any case, everything appears to be working fine now. I'll be paying extra close attention to the sever status and memory usage for a while until I can confirm this was a one-time issue.


Second item: User rank pips have been updated. Enough people liked the design of the old-new pips that I decided to keep the basic appearance mostly the same while addressing concerns that the icons stood out too much. The updated rank pips are smaller and use a more muted primary color to mesh with the surrounding visual elements better. What do we all think of these?


QUOTE (oneluckyduck @ Jun 6 2015, 07:39 PM) *
There's also that awkward amount of space between them and the first set of words underneath. It may be temporary, or it may be intentional, or it may be just my computer, but it definitely is aesthetically displeasing and I figured it's worth mentioning.

The bit of empty space is there to separate different pieces of users' profile information based on importance. A user's avatar, title, and a visual representation of their rank/group are all positioned closer together as those are the defining aspects of someone's identity as a forum member; additional info is grouped together slightly further down to indicate that it's supplemental information most people won't care as much about in most situations.

Concerning the aesthetics of how user info is grouped, we actually experimented with moving these elements around back when the board software was being upgraded in 2012. For the sake of brevity, I'll simply say that the way everything is arranged now looks better than several possible variations we considered, one of which included deleted the vertical gap between the different types of user information. The gap is there for aesthetic purposes as much as it is for practical reasons.

Thank you for sharing your observation, though! This kind of feedback is always helpful.


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post Jun 25 2015, 06:18 PM
The new pips are better, but I feel they could be further improved by making them into those forum dragon pet things that people click on to level up. I don't think there's any other name for them, but you know enough about the dark days of web 1.0 to know what I mean.


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post Jun 25 2015, 06:44 PM
Will there be a karma system like with Reddit?

I find that useless internet points really enhance the endless pissing contest that is internet culture.

Also I like the new colors.


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post Jun 25 2015, 07:30 PM
Let's not.

As Bong said, them new colors are good.


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