bigbadron
 moderator, 15783 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 13:18
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 261):

Not really redundant.  Hovering over the character name in a thread requires that the character be active somewhere in the page you're looking at, which isn't always the case.  The Cast List  shows the names of every character currently in the game, all listed in one place for convenience.
Lunarius
 member, 414 posts
 eadem mutata resurgo
 pax ex tyranny
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 13:19
Re: RPoL Design Update
I think they meant in the cast list itself, Ron.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15784 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 13:45
Re: RPoL Design Update
D'oh!
jase
 admin, 3703 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 15:44
Re: RPoL Design Update
It is redundant but it's also a little more obvious for those who aren't used to the old way.  Don't see it as necessarily a bad thing, though feel free to correct me!  (c;
UnseelieLord
 member, 77 posts
 Survival of the fittest.
 We're all gonna die.
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 17:20
Re: RPoL Design Update
Others may have already commented along the same lines, but I figured I'd throw my two cents in all the same. While I don't think the new design is necessarily ugly, I think it looks like just about every other message board out there. I can't specifically point to what it is/was about the current/old/original site design of RPoL that set it apart, not just in appearance, but in FEEL, but it did. Prior to RPoL, I hated message board roleplaying. I hated the design of message boards and the format, again, there's nothing specific that I could point to and say "there, that's what I hate" but it just rubbed me wrong. It didn't feel like a place to write stories collaboratively with other writers.

A friend of mine suggested RPoL and I knee jerk refused, because I didn't like message board roleplaying. But he persisted. He said RPoL was different. It looked different. It felt different. So I gave it a chance, and I have been a member of RPoL, writing as time permitted, for over fifteen years now. I never went back to chat, or messenger based roleplay. RPoL had me hooked.

This new site design, format, interface, what have you. Has absolutely none of that feel that originally hooked me into RPoL, and all of the cold, standard message board look and feel that made me avoid message board roleplaying.

I know nothing about code, and the intricacies and difficulties of designing something like RPoL, and I can understand needing an update, and something that isn't so time consuming to work with. But I think it would be beneficial to try to find something closer to a middle ground between this, and the original.

This probably isn't the finished product either, I don't know, this is the first time I've noticed the prompt to check out this new look. So I'm not sure how far along this all is. But like most message boards of the past that have been suggested to me for roleplaying, I find it off-putting. It doesn't feel like somewhere I want to write.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 115 posts
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 17:30
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to UnseelieLord (msg # 267):

You know, I hadn't thought about it until just right now, but as I read your post I flipped back and forth between the test site and the current site, and while I have really come to be pretty fond of the new site (now that I've tweaked it to my preferences), I do have to say that the old site just "reads" better. I think I figured out why that is, though (at least for me)...

The posts don't look like individual posts. They flow together like a story. Sure, there are tiny lines between them, and different authors to the left, but the words themselves flow seamlessly. (Assuming that players have posted a post of decent length, but that's not something my games have problems with...)

The responsive site has some forced gaps between the posts that make it clear that they're, well, just that - individual posts. Obviously, I hadn't thought about it until just now, when looking for something specific, so it doesn't really bother me... but it is there.
The Stray
 member, 115 posts
 When the Cat's a Stray
 the Mice will Pray
Tue 27 Aug 2019
at 20:08
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to jase (msg # 262):

Yup! Seems to be working (at least on my end)!
Mad Mick
 member, 951 posts
 GURPS beyond measure,
 outlander
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 01:47
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to SunRuanEr (msg # 268):

Yes, I agree. It would be nice if that area with the character name, post time, icon, and hyperlinks to PM, rmail, and info were consolidated so there wasnít so much empty space there. The responsive site is certainly easier to read, but it seems to lack the charm of the old design. (I still like old Reddit rather than new Reddit, though, so maybe Iím just resistant to change. (= )
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 116 posts
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 02:28
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to Mad Mick (msg # 270):

Honestly, I've actually come to quite like the responsive site - it just took some customization to inject some "charm" back into it. (Of course, I never understood how some folks could play with the plain white of the current site, either, so maybe that's just me.)

It's less the space to the left that I was talking about, though, and more the space beneath/between the posts. (I've come to terms with the space to the left, and we are copacetic now.) On responsive, there's a distinct color block that surrounds the body of a post, and a distinct background color to the page, and the post-body color block doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the post section if the post doesn't have a lot of text in it. In addition, even if the color block does go all the way down because the post is longer, there's still a significant gap of space before the next post. That means that a lot of little short posts feel like, well, a lot of little short posts. Almost like trying to follow a story written on Post-Its.

On live, the post block color (at least on the themes I've seen, although I admit I haven't checked them ALL) goes all the way to the bottom of the post section, even if the post is shorter, with just a tiny thin line between one post and the next following it. It "feels" a bit nicer to read, like following a written page.

...and that's not a complaint, because it really isn't something that bothers me personally. I was just trying to put a finger on what UnseelieLord had mentioned a few posts back about the "feel" of the site, and that was my main "this feels different" conclusion I came to. Take it with a grain of salt. :)
horus
 member, 853 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 09:24
Re: RPoL Design Update
I see folks talking about the info on the left side needing to be "consolidated" and wonder what is meant.  From my perspective, if the message number were moved up to the same line as (to the right of) the subject, it might help make the posts flow as SunRuanEr and others were suggesting.

That said, I'm not at all uncomfortable with the responsive layout as-is.  Just making an observation.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 117 posts
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 10:54
Re: RPoL Design Update
I think what is being talked about is the spread space between the author bio block and the portrait, but maybe I'm wrong. That's what I mean, but it might not be what others are referring to.

I agree about moving the message #, though. Or maybe giving an option to have it in a different color than the rest of the text in the body of a post? Not only is it hard to find (instinctively, I'm always looking to the upper right corner to find it, since that's where it's always been), but it does make the thread title/message #/body of the post all kind of jam together awkwardly since there's no break between title and post.
Skald
 moderator, 871 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 10:57
Re: RPoL Design Update
SunRuanEr - you might try reducing the number of colours used via preferences (you mentioned you'd already been playing with custom themes) - I set header and footer background, legend (at the bottom of pages) background, main background and thread list, row background (for both odd and even row numbers) to DDDDDD  plus set all the sidebar menus background to BCC7D4 and hover to 969FAA (ie all the same as side menu 4) to try to recreate more of the look and feel of the old site.

To my eye that improved the flow for messages ... but as always everybody's mileage may differ. ;>
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 118 posts
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 11:14
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to Skald (msg # 274):

I appreciate the suggestion, Skald. While I have been playing with the colors a lot (I admit!), I actually do have the thread pages of posts themselves simplified with just a header/footer navigation bar color, and then a simple monochromatic charcoal grey/slightly darker grey for the posts and their background, with white text. I found that, for myself, having the posts the exact same color as the background made me "see" more of the space around the text than I liked.

Honestly, I'm not having any trouble with the flow of messages myself. Although the message number IS a little awkwardly placed, I feel, and if I can't move it I'd appreciate being able to make it a different, less-obtrusive color than the one that the text and titles use. (That might already be an option, and I just can't find it. The custom settings are not exactly self-explanatory in a few several places.) I can read it fine, and I can find it, it's just a little jammed-up there between title and text.

Like jase said, I've played with it and given it time, and I'm cool with the responsive site. At this point I'm just in the nitpicky 'what would make it better?' stage. :)

This message was last edited by the user at 11:18, Wed 28 Aug.

jase
 admin, 3705 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 11:25
Re: RPoL Design Update
I was looking at trying to get the swirl back but one of the things I was going to do is remove a subject for every message.  I think the thread needs a title but every message doesn't need one.  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:.  That's pretty much all I see.

So it swirl can't go under the subject as it currently is as that'll vanish.  I've briefly tried putting it under each message but not convinced on that... and if there's flow issues then that'll exasperate it..?

Can reduce the spacing between posts a bit but if I go too far it looks cramped.

Probably need to split the aesthetics off to a different thread as it's a massive minefield.  Main focus to date has been making sure the layout works but definitely want to spend time tweaking it and getting it less stale and at least some throwback to the old site.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 119 posts
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 11:30
Re: RPoL Design Update
If you remove the automatic subject for every message, will you keep the option to put one in if one needs to be added? Several of my games use the same thread for setting location, and adjust the subject title of individual messages to reflect a new date/time/topic, and losing that option would suck.

In the non-aesthetics area, jase, I just found a character description in one of my games with a lot of little... diamond-shaped blocks with ? in them instead of all of his apostrophes. Just the one character, so I feel like MAYBE the player is using some kind of special character that isn't working, but it looks like a normal apostrophe to me over on the current site, so I don't know. Whatever it is, it looks busted.

This message was last edited by the user at 11:45, Wed 28 Aug.

seraphmoon
 member, 99 posts
 "Plays well with others."
 Talks lots. Reads more.
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 12:23
Re: RPoL Design Update
That's a character-encoding issue. I suspect that player is writing things in an offline app and then copy-pasting it over. It was happening to me copying from Apple Notes with the smart apostrophes and em dashes, and occasionally the returns. I didn't realize it wasn't happening on the basic site though, so I didn't mention it here. :)

This message was last edited by the user at 13:02, Wed 28 Aug.

Skald
 moderator, 873 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 13:00
Re: RPoL Design Update
Good thought, jase ... created a new thread to discuss appearance, layout and aesthetics in link to a message in this forum.  :>
jase
 admin, 3706 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 14:19
Re: RPoL Design Update
New Subject...?

Do you really have to have a subject for every message?  Seems like an awful waste of space to me and would actually improve the flow from one post to the next if there wasn't this superfluous emphasised line.

Only about 1.26% of subjects are changed (have analysed about 39 million posts over 2 million threads).  Of those how many mattered?

Happy to include it, then that's where I can put the squiggle... but are we hanging onto a pretty useless bit of (non)information because that's the way it's always been?


I think the diamond etc symbols might be due to a switch in character encoding.  If it's working on the current site but not on responsive then pretty sure that'll be it, will have to see how to fix that!

This message was last edited by the user at 00:53, Thu 29 Aug.

SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 120 posts
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 14:43
New Subject?
jase:
Do you really have to have a subject for every message?  Seems like an awful waste of space to me and would actually improve the flow from one post to the next if there wasn't this superfluous emphasised line.

Only about 1.59% of subjects are changed (have analysed about 17 million posts over 1 million threads).  Of those how many mattered?

Happy to include it, then that's where I can put the squiggle... but are we hanging onto a pretty useless bit of (non)information because that's the way it's always been?

No, we don't actually need to have a subject for EVERY message. And I suppose we don't NEED to have one at all, but in the case of several of my games, it would certainly be helpful (and not just because it's the way we've always done it).

Say for instance, (using examples of a real game) - a classroom thread that gets the Subject line changed by the GM when the classroom subject changes...

...or a military game where the maneuvers being done (on the same field) change when the date advances.

...or a particular thread that updates something the characters can see each week, and therefore has a different date as the subject line for each ICly new post on the same IC board.

I mean, we can live without it, but it's certainly helpful and handy and I feel would look nicer than putting in a manual NEW SUBJECT HERE line at the start of every post (discounting that half the players probably won't remember to DO that anyway - currently the GM can 'set it and forget it', mostly). Besides, it gives you a place to put the squiggle. :)

This message was last edited by the user at 23:31, Wed 28 Aug.

bigbadron
 moderator, 15785 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 15:07
New Subject?
In many information threads in games, the subject lines change from post to post.

The first post might be "Character Creation" which gives the thread title and a brief overview of the initial steps in creation (name, race, how many character points, etc...  This is followed by "Character Creation: Attributes", then "Character Creation: Skills", "Character Creation: Feats", "Character Creation: Abilities", etc... etc... etc...

By putting them in separate posts, the GM can link to the appropriate post when discussing a particular aspect of character creation with a new player.  But the subject lines mean that the player can scan through the thread and quickly determine what is covered in each post.
seraphmoon
 member, 100 posts
 "Plays well with others."
 Talks lots. Reads more.
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 15:36
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to jase (msg # 280):

If it helps with the encoding problem, the questionmark-in-diamond that I see is the Unicode replacement character. On the responsive site, I see it when I switch the view from UTF-8 to ISO Latin 1. If I manually switch the view on the basic site to UTF-8, it shows up too. I'm using Safari on OSX 10.14.6.
locojedi
 member, 177 posts
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 15:46
Re: RPoL Design Update
[ELIMINATION OF SUBJECT LINES]

I say do away with Subject, that's a carryover from old Forum days and needs to go away.

To address the issue a few of you have mentioned, can the same thing be accomplished with an in-post header like I've done above (and below)? If the subject line is gone, then perhaps those headers will pop more to draw the eye.

[ANOTHER SAMPLE HEADER TO MAKE MY POINT]

I sometimes alter the subject lines in posts just a little bit to see if anyone even notices, and very few ever do. I think we can train our eyes to pick out things as well as glaze over things, but from a real-estate point of view, I say get rid of the subject line.
Mad Mick
 member, 952 posts
 GURPS beyond measure,
 outlander
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 15:51
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to Skald (msg # 274):

Iím not seeing all the customizable settings. Iím on mobile, though - perhaps there are less options available for me on iOS?
seraphmoon
 member, 101 posts
 "Plays well with others."
 Talks lots. Reads more.
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 16:03
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to Mad Mick (msg # 285):

I can see them on both my iPad (10.3.3) and iPhone (12.4). Where are you looking for them? I go home page>Preferences>"create one" under Your Control Panel.
SunRuanEr
 subscriber, 121 posts
Wed 28 Aug 2019
at 16:11
Re: RPoL Design Update
In reply to Mad Mick (msg # 285):

Did you count them, perchance? I pulled up the customizable settings on my phone and it looked like some were missing (specifically the ones with two columns of colors), but upon counting each section I realized they're all there, they're just in one column instead of two.