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Forum Map?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by DRE, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    When I was at a 4th of July BBQ yesterday I showed some peeps my site and some of em said what's that? And wanted to know what it was about. I would say 'entertainment forum' and they would say 'What's a forum?' and I'm like uhhh oh boy... and tried to explain.

    Anyway I went to bed thinking 'Okay there really is nothing to gain point-wise on here because you can't do much with your points. People love games and acquiring points to do stuff with'

    I woke up the next morning and it came to me that the forum home of most websites is probably what turns forum noobies off. I have realized that since we're in the Touch Screen generation, nothing more would appeal to them than an actual map instead of just words. If the forum home was a map then it would make it easier to browse through the site...

    If the forum home looked like a map, either a city map, town map or island map, whatever theme you had or even combine several locals, then this may actually appeal more to noobs. The map is a constant feature in videogames, like a Grand Theft Auto map or Zelda map or the Super Mario map for instance.

    So if you had a ladies forum it would be the salon on the map, the sports forum would be the stadium on the map. The breakroom would be the mall. The Global Forum would be Time's Square.

    Then I started thinking of the Sims... The points people earn would be enough to buy houses or buildings etc, these actual buildings would be a subforum and they would moderate their own subforum... but that's too advanced for me to figure out at the moment, I'm really just thinking about the map right now. I think the forum home sidebar could stay, and instead of having the forum listing, turn it into a map.

    This concept is nothing new as ibaker has it on his own site as a Quick Navigation Menu

    Ingenious likes this.
  2. Sador

    Sador Well-Known Member

    It's the usual noobies vs experienced users problem many companies, software, games etc. run into. If you make it more attractive for one, you pretty much always end up making life hell for the other. A map might really attract the less technical members, so it's an interesting idea. However, everyone that is used to "normal" forums will end up confused, frustrated and annoyed. Secondly, generally the "experienced" members add a lot more than the "casual new people", so you'd really need to pull a big new audience to make it worthwhile. Plus, you'd end up dumbing down the new people (which is something way too much companies do all ready) making it even more important to dumb down other stuff as well...

    What I'd like is some way of working for both new and experienced users, but I think that's fairly hard.
    8thos likes this.
  3. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    Hmmm true. So how about keeping the forum home and just using a map as the home page?
  4. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Detecting the inexperienced from the experience shouldn't be difficult. If the forum detects your using IE browser it switches to map mode, any other browser used the user views the standard forum layout. ;)
    RastaLulz, Sador, Trombones13 and 2 others like this.
  5. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

  6. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    I like that map idea. I've run into the same with someone not of the PC generation who is otherwise a computer and internet user and quite capable of using a forum if they knew how. But their question was, "What's a forum?". I tried to explain it, but even the concept of threads and posts was hard for them to grasp. This person was of the older generation (60+) but I wonder if we will also see the youngsters now, brought up on Twitter and Facebook, also wonder what a forum is.

    This is one reason why I like Xenforo so much. It strips out all the crap, the silly postbits full of stats (I also disable signatures) so all you have left is a series of posts - then newbies can see just the chat between people, it is less confusing. That to me is the key to making forums newbie friendly, focus on (and only on) the actual content people post.

    That map is superb though 8thos, very visual and very easy to follow. And as you say, very tablet/touch friendly too.
    8thos likes this.
  7. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    That's not my map, that's ibakers and he put it in a place noobs probably won't even see lol. I was thinking of taking the same concept and creating my own map. Ibaker already posted the code too. Anyway I agree with what you said but I can confirm that most of the younger generation doesn't know what a forum is because two of these girls were 18 years old and I'm not sure how old the other one was. If I think back, I also did not know what a forum was when I was 18.

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