Following was our first forum review which was done by our member 'Kaynil'.As a token of our appreciation, I have given him 30 Talk Cash! Hope he makes good use of it!
Okay first of all, I'd like to make clear I am in trial, given that situation I can't really edit my posts, so I'll see my self in the need to do posts in a row in order to show my progress.
Other than the three divisions, I don't know for sure template is there for Forum reviews. So my design may be slightly different, but with the same principle you love fro AdvertiseHotSpot.
All right, I feel ready to post my review now.
I hope you like it. Here it goes:
- Guest Impression: 7
º The first thing I see when I enter is the login pop up. I see it not very different from any other pop up. It even has the same tone with that catchy motto. It sounds more like a company than a friendly community for me. It is annoying, specially when it is your first visit. You want to explore the place and that thing is hurrying you up.
º Then the second thing I see is the bold, red message, that says something very similar to what I just read in the pop up. I guess it is okay, so long I don't have to keep looking at it even after I register. Kudos for the links to the rules and the staff.
º Overall the name Clubbies! and the banner motto, which is key for me to confirm what is this board purpose. I also like the different categories and sections you got for it. The board itself looks inviting enough. The rules are clear and gives you pretty much the idea of what kind of discussion you can start and which ones are frowned upon.
Turn off the login pop up. It is useless. Members already have the login bar at the top and the bottom of the boards and guests pretty much read the message directed at them through the welcome announcement that can't be missed. If you still want to keep it, well, then delete the announcement and get rid of the login bar, at least one of them. That way it won't look repetitive, repetition is usually associated with boring. :P
Make the bold, red, text guest viewable only. It is good to have for first visits but rarely will people be clicking over and over the links and the text. It takes up the visual space to what you are more interested into, which are the boards themselves.
Say you cannot control who sees that box, then think in a way to give it use for members too! I also recommend to tone a bit down with the "look here" scream it gives with that red and blue. Because of its position, I am sure newcomers will read it and members will find it less annoying if it has to stay.
- Creating an account: 10
Excellent. The less you make mandatory the easier it is to finish the process, and the less likely you forget the password while you are at it. =]
- Effort: 9
I can see effort there, going out of your way to give the place their own personality, Especially with the Policies and Rules, it shows things are being planned and looked after with care. It talks good about the staff. The threads in the new section gives the impression of contrast work for improvement and the will to improve through actions.
Review your staff-presentation thread. I find it a great idea in itself to post a page for staffs but I have a few things against its current form.
It is confusing, there is not enough distance to understand what belongs to who. There are no links to profiles, so if some staff changed their name, or if I am new to the community, I'll find a bit hard to locate them. Also, besides language, it is not telling me much info I could get away from their mini-profiles. I think adding some more information about each of them or even a message to the members from each, would make it more personal and would be a great for a chatting community, your staff would have more than a nick and range.
Score: 26/30 marks
- Visual Stand out: 8
ºIt is a clean skin where blue and white stand out in harmony.
º The purple banner seems a bit out of place with it. It doesn't look horrid, but the lack of blue inside (or perhaps the lack of purple in other skin areas) makes it look a bit odd. Still, this is really subjective, some people enjoy the banner to be the centre of attention, since it is your digital presentation card and what people will associate your board with. Another thing I can have against it, is that it seems too cluttered, if you want it to have images, maybe you could make some of them to be more transparent (less opacity) in order for the text to be the main focus.
º The new, no new and locked images are easy to understand.
º The sections visual help are all congruent in size and style, more over they are easy to relate to what the section is about.
In general, the place doesn't seem unique, visually speaking. I even think the theme itself is a recurrent choice, but I heard you when you say it is starting, so I am sure tweaking with it (or another one) will lead you to a more unique style.
- Navigation: 9
The buttons are clear and I liked that the join wasn't a blinking button crying for attention, that subtle underline does the trick just as nicely. And the main ones are there groups, members, profile, pms... which is good sometimes less is more. It stroke as odd the search button was not there.
- Categories and boards: 10
Score: 27/30 marks
- I think they are perfectly organized and distributed. The board is not tirelessly big. Nor is it filled with empty sub-boards. All the boards have at least one thread, being the exception the Shop area, as you need that people already bought the right to post there. It is pretty nice.
- Clearness: 9
Maybe I am slow but Mighty and Universal were a bit hard for me discern which was above the other in my first read. Second thought, I can see how "Patrol team" makes you easy to relate to Moderators as well as "mighty" to the admin. The explanations were short but straight to the point. Both of this important user groups names have their own colour too, which makes easier to distinguish among normal members.
- Utility: 10
Plain and simple, it has the basic groups every board needs, well defined with their colour legend, easy to tell from regular members. The amount is also accordingly and they all are active.
Score: 19/20 marks
- Post / Members: 10
281 posts / 15 members. This means around 18 posts per member. Considering the board is fresh, I believe the ratio is Excellent. I also have in account the request to skip statistics so I am not going to get deeper than this.
- Members Involvement: 9
It is pleasing to see more than one author starting threads and that they get an answer. new members are getting welcomed which is pretty encouraging. Overall the boards are growing very nicely. It could be a bit more active, but what we got is not one half bad. The majority of their members have posted at least four times, which is something no many forums can brag about. Good for you guys!
Score: 19/20 marksOverall score:
91 /100 marks
Even though the boards may not give the best of impression on your first visit as a guest, it is notorious the staff effort and the friendliness, making sure you have a pleasant time. The topics are easy to relate and the board appears to grow steady. It is easy to register and to find the path to your favourite areas. Keep it up!
Thanks a lot for your patience, I hope you liked your review!