I suppose this is true if you were expecting a forum interface.
If you were to use xen and make a layout exactly like CNN.com or my.yahoo.com or bbc.co.uk, would you say those are hard to scan also?
can you clarify in what context you mean?
IMO the forum list page is just that, a page that lists all the forums (you need one somewhere). It shouldn't necessarily highlight new content as that's a job for the portal and What's New pages. Our structure is as follows:
/ (root) - our main landing page utilizing Jaxel's portal addon.
/forums/ - the forum listing page.
Our "What's New?" page (/find-new/), which accounts for ~20% of our total page views, is the main source of finding new content. The members are used to using that page and like it the way it is. Plus I prefer keeping the homepage "clean" and not over saturated with useless crap (widgets) like I see on some other sites, so that works out good. However I do show the 5 latest threads on the homepage (portal), just to possibly spark the interest of first time visitors.
I attempt use the KISS and "less is more" methods for pretty much everything. For example here's the homepage/portal.
It's still obviously a forum based community, but the navigation is strong and clear featuring What's On? outside the navbar as LATEST! on the side menu, as well as navbar. Also I brought the Quickmenu out and made it prominent on the sidebar.
Both the noticeboard area above the forums list and the sidebar offer you links to the main areas of the community.
The sidebar continues on almost all pages, looking just as it does on the front page.
The Library areas don't look like forums though they are built derivatively from forums; their threads/ Article pages feed into linked forum threads.
I use Nodes-As -Tabs quite extensively with LinkForums to make the navbar intuitively helpful (I hope).
My style is not at all a majority cup of tea and it's not meant to be. The site is not a business, and it's not about gaming, or any tightly focused niche. It's a broadminded little personal community of freedom lovers, mostly people I've collected over about 45 years.
If you don't like it you don't. We do.
I disagree completely. Form and function are not interlinked. The function is to interact with the database. The form is how the data is displayed, entered and updated.
In an ideal world, the forum homepage would be a blank canvas. From that, any user can pick from a couple of different page layout. After that, they can drag and drop forum widgets onto their forum homepage layout and create the display they personally want. Every individual user experience could be as unique as every individual user.