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VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce New Reader
6/2/08 10:31 p.m.

I agree that the font if very hard on the eyes. I'm currently on a machine with 1280X1024 running IE6. I run 1024X768 in the newest Firefox on my crap laptop and 1280X1024 with the newest Firefox at home on my desktop. The font appears unclear on all of them. It's as if the font lacks uniformity over the entire letter. It does look much better on a white background to me. I'm also a 30 something year old male with excellent eyesight who is a computer geek and loves sunset walks on the beach.

Take a look at vwvortex.com forums. Their font is smaller, on a white background and looks crystal clear to me. I'm not saying the vortex is better The font in my address bar looks awesome too.

Could Wowak be on to something about the letters being too jammed together?

The links on the side are rather small too. I hate to sound like I'm beating up on you over the small stuff Tim but Paul brought it up.

Thanks again Tim for making the board better.

Edit, I see you working your voodoo on the font as I'm typing this and the bold is a little better but I'm thinking it's the font.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
6/2/08 10:44 p.m.

OK, for example, the main page.

Both say: "Grassroots Motorsports Behold all things GRM"

The old forum separated the first line from the second with significantly different font size, bold typeface, and an underscore. I don't know the font sizes, but on my screen the words "Grassroots Motorsports" measure 2 1/8" wide, and this line is about 30% wider than the line below it.

The new forum separates those same 2 lines primarily with the use of a different color (which doesn't help). The fonts are close to the same size, though the red is bold. On my screen, the same line measures less than 1 1/2" wide, and it is only larger than the line below it by 2 letters.

The old page is further subdivided with the use of both dark and light grey lines, rows, and columns. Boxes further subdivide the page.

What this format effectively allowed was quick perusal. I could glance down the page rapidly and visually separate things. I generally only read the headings, 'cause I knew what the subtitles said. But when my eye caught something new, it was easy to delve deeper.

Not to mention 16 different ancillary links down the new right hand column which occupy about 25% of the screen.

So, in fact, you are probably correct that the old was "busier", that there was more stuff going on. I'm just suggesting that it served a visual purpose, which made it more readable.

I'm not suggesting anything was done on a whim. I know you guys a lot better than that.

I think what I am identifying as visual clutter is probably visual uniformity. Nothing is punching off the page, and it is therefore all mushing together.

Thanks Tim! I'm going to bed now- my eyes hurt.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
6/2/08 10:47 p.m.

Hey Bruce- were you hitting on me or Tim?

I like sunset walks too, but my wife is much cuter than you are.

No offense.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/2/08 10:53 p.m.

I was trying to give Tim a better idea of what kind of user I was, a serious user

NBS2005
NBS2005 None
6/2/08 11:04 p.m.

So I'm curious, have the average daily post counts gone down since the switch? I'd bet they have. Same with number of hits too.

I'm not trying to pick on anyone and I know you guys have worked hard. But you've taken a site I spent a lot of time reading and enjoying and turned into something that is more trouble than it's worth. I'll probably peek in from time to time but I'm already looking for other cars sites to play on.

BTW, I will keep using the archive site for it's information.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave SuperDork
6/2/08 11:05 p.m.
SVreX wrote: I think what I am identifying as visual clutter is probably visual uniformity. Nothing is punching off the page, and it is therefore all mushing together.

I think you may be onto something here.

Stuc
Stuc Reader
6/3/08 12:21 a.m.

I didn't know about the archive though! That's cool stuff.

Yeah, looking at it... I definately find the dark grey bands with the poster's information to be more pleasing.

Also, I'm not tooo familiar with fonts, but the spacing on these letters seems verrry small. You might try increasing it slightly (not sure if you can do that in HTML or whatever)

Just my 2c

HoserRacing
HoserRacing New Reader
6/3/08 6:08 a.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: The thing is, I'm having trouble figuring out the "it's hard to read" comments. I realize you mean what you way, and I don't doubt you, it's just that I'm having trouble understanding WHY you feel that way. When we switched to the old board, I heard a lot of the same complaints -- particularly that the font size was too small, that the contrast was too low --- so this time around I made sure the size was *larger* than before and the contrast was higher. And yet I'm told its somehow harder to read? It's not a matter of spacing between the letters -- kerning, to type geeks -- either. That's the same. Same typeface, higher contrast, larger size. Just what you all asked for. Also, I'm sorry you missed out on the beta tests, and missed the posts on the old board that we put up before the changes went into effect. Letters actually went out to a lot more than folks with 500 posts, but I'm sorry we missed you. Would have loved to have had more voices on the beta testing, and I value your opinion, even if I don't yet quite understand it. As for the locations, they're on the profiles. With a map. Just click on their avatar. Events are also mapped.

I can understand your frustration, it's like when someone is asking you what's wrong with their car & can't really tell you what it's doing wrong except making a noise :D When I looked back this morning, your reply looked better, I noticed it's on a white background when I looked at it, not sure if that's what made a difference or if you changed something, or if it's just because my eyes are fresher, but it looked better. Now, I know everybody wants to hate on vbulletin, but in it I have the option of changing if I want a dark background & light text or vice versa. I don't know how difficult it would be to add that option, but that might be a solution for they people who are wanting the site in different ways. As far as the kerning goes, if it's not to difficult, could you let us try it with a little more space? I know you say it's the same, but getting out my old fashioned ruler, I've noticed that in the word interested & the word following, comparing those 2 words in new board vs. old board, there is ~ a letter difference in size between the 2 words, with the older being larger.

I didn't check out the GRM portion of the board as much as the classifieds, and I thought from the post that was in there that the decision had been made to not change to a new board. I'm glad ya'll at least left the basic set-up the same, thank you for that. My comment on the locations was that you didn't have to click on the old website to get the info. I know you can do that here, but if someone is in OR or WA, I don't have to waste time with additional clicks to find out that I'm geographically unable to go chase that car down, let's go to the next thread. Simple process was - 1) see something interesting in the classifieds, click on it. 2) see that it is on the other side of the country, click back & keep reading down the list. New process is - 1) see something interesting in the classifieds, click on it. 2) no location listed in ad, click on profile to find out where they are. 3) Crap, they're in California, not going there 4) click back to classifieds.

Left side type for different links would be nice to be 2-4 points larger. Other than that, I'm good. I understand the need for the left hand column, no problems with that. Thanks for your work.

David

z31maniac
z31maniac HalfDork
6/3/08 6:37 a.m.

Don't have a problem reading the page or anything like that.

But I constantly get weird error messages and sometimes it just pulls up weird hypertext and stuff (sorry I don't have a screen shot for you), but the biggest gripe I have is that this board is PAINFULLY slow compared to other car and motorcycle forums I frequent. I would guess my time spent perusing this board has dropped 75% compared to pre-switch.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/3/08 6:49 a.m.

Hmm. I don't have a problem with the font, or the legibility on my home computer or the work one. Seems very clear and easy to read. And I'm a 45 year old guy that often wears glasses.

The only issue I've had is server lag time or simply the server not delivering pages, with "upstream" errors instead. But I think the board "looks" great.

minimac
minimac Dork
6/3/08 6:57 a.m.

Bax- it IS getting better. While I'm still having trouble with the layout(side bar too big), I'll learn to deal with it. Is there any way to make the login any better? I don't log in unless I'm reading something and I want to reply. Instead of logging in and staying where I was(on the old board) I have to start all over again-the forums page, select the forum I was in, scroll down to the topic I was in, and then find the post I want to add my 2 cents to. Btw, I get the "cookies not enabled" message everytime I try to log in-but the second time, it's O.K. My time spent on the board has dropped also, but hey, it's free!

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/3/08 7:26 a.m.

Z31, it IS too slow, and it seems to affect some people much worse than others.. You'll see other posts about that and some things that help, and I'm still working on it -- I'd MUCH rather be working on that than changing the shade of the background on posts every day, or jiggling the text size up and down, then hearing how THAT change is worse.

Hoser, I bumped up the kerning a notch, but I'm telling you, it is IDENTICAL to the old site. You're not seeing what you think you're seeing.

Minimac, see elsewhere for the cookies fix, but in a nutshell, once you stop using the www domain and get rid of any cookies you've acquired from it, you should never see that again.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/3/08 7:32 a.m.

Woah, between when I posted the last post and got here to work to post this one, you bumped up the font and the kerning, didn't you?

Now it looks like those large type books for old people.

You're right. it WAS like the old site, and like most sites I'm on. Now, however...

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/3/08 7:36 a.m.

Nope, didn't touch the size (I bumped that up Saturday, and just can't bring myself to go past 14 pt) I did increase the kerning one notch, for the people saying the letters were too close together.

Yes, a big large type book for old people. Nice.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/3/08 7:44 a.m.

I'm not sure why increasing the space between the letters, keming?, would make the letters appear bold now. Now, they are huge.

Again, it isn't the size of the font, it's the way it looks. It looks messy somehow.

For whatever reason the sites don't look anything alike on any of the machines I frequent. I could show you window to window the difference. I've even gotten the guys at work here to take a peak just to give me some peace of mind that I'm not losing it. It's different to them too and they all comment on the font first thing.

Tim could you possibly give me some insight offline as to what is happening with all the people that are having this issue? I just don't get it. Am I missing something? I can take some screen shots when I get home this afternoon if that would help?

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/3/08 7:49 a.m.

Bruce, drop me a line. I'm as baffled as you are. There's nothing unusual about the font whatsoever. It's as plain as they come, well, at least up until today. That tracked-out text is just weird. Anyway, it's just Verdana -- dirt common, and widely considered a font particularly suited (and designed for web use). If you don't have Verdana, it goes to Arial. Mac guys get some more interesting fonts, but for Windows, its Verdana, or Arial.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/3/08 8:00 a.m.

For the guys using IE6, try checking your settings under View, check that your Text Size is reasonable, not too big, and that your encoding is set to Auto-Select, which in turn sets your encoding to Western European (Windows).

Some jackhole here at work had set the encoding to UTF-8 which was making it look worse. It's getting better here.

Still don't know about the BOLD in the posts.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/3/08 8:03 a.m.

Hmmmmm... now that's interesting.

z31maniac
z31maniac HalfDork
6/3/08 8:05 a.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: Z31, it IS too slow, and it seems to affect some people much worse than others.. You'll see other posts about that and some things that help, and I'm still working on it -- I'd MUCH rather be working on that than changing the shade of the background on posts every day, or jiggling the text size up and down, then hearing how THAT change is worse.

I don't want to dig on you, because you guys run a great operation, but does it come down to bandwidth? Or the speed of the servers you guys are using?

I'm not to web-architecture savvy (about to start learning this stuff at the job hopefully)

I read the other thread you are talking about that has to do with changing some settings and the reason for the small av's and some other things done to speed the board up, but I frequent a few other boards with much more graphically intense layouts. And where every member has an avatar 2-3x the size of the ones here and big sigs and post big pics in the threads, etc etc etc.....And those boards still load MUCH faster, all with the same settings.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/3/08 8:15 a.m.

Tim, I just tried changing font size in IE6 (that's all we can use here at work) and it doesn't affect what's on the forum. It's still larger and wider. Still clear as it ever was, however. And I'm getting arial, not Verdana (I use Verdana in web design, myself, and I know i have it on this machine). It still shows up like it used to in the preview, however, as you can see in this screen shot:

http://www.supercars.net/pitlane/pics/3279684f.jpg

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/3/08 8:22 a.m.

Well, from what I've figured out so far.

A typical page is taking .2 to .4 seconds to put together. The latest topics page, for example, too .04 seconds for the db to pull the info and .18 seconds for the code to put it together for the page. This one was .35 seconds. .05 at the DB and .30 for the processing. Still pretty reasonable, I think.

So why the slowdowns? For some people, it's rendering on their browser. These are the folks on older, slower machines, and that's who I think should consider turning off the topic post previews, which cuts both the DB calls and the amount their browser needs to render.

Second thing is processing. There's some places in the code that could be optimized for some pretty decent speed gains. This is a bunch of new code.

And at this point, kinda tied to the previous point, I think the big one is the database. I think I'm hammering it alot, and that means you have to wait for an open connection to it. It may only take .04 seconds, but if you have to wait 3 to get to it, it's kind of irrelevant.

So that's where the speed issue is today. Tomorrow, I may be going off in a new direction trying to speed things up, but that's where it stands right now.

Remember, though, that I've been making daily improvements on speed. It's faster now than last week, and much faster than two weeks.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
6/3/08 11:10 a.m.

Hey, cars never perform at their full potential right out of the box either :)

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/3/08 11:15 a.m.

It's funny the differences you see when you put 5 or 6 times the load on something.

Wowak
Wowak Dork
6/3/08 11:56 a.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: So why the slowdowns? For some people, it's rendering on their browser. These are the folks on older, slower machines, and that's who I think should consider turning off the topic post previews, which cuts both the DB calls and the amount their browser needs to render.

So I should turn off all the features that make this format tolerable?

Never had this problem with a VBB, Tim.

Sorry to be snippy, but Jesus Christ I'm starting to feel like I'm wasting my time even TRYING to read this forum.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/3/08 12:07 p.m.

Wow, you like the topic previews that much -- "the features that make this format tolerable". Pretty cool, since I don't know any other board that offers that.

Seriously, though, VBB was a non-starter (see the FAQ), you seem to be overlooking the many, many changes and fixes happening every day, and just the other day you yourself said your only complaint was the sidebar.

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