Nice to get back to XF1 after being on XF2

Morgain

Well-known member
Noticeably a great feeling of relief to return here after being on the demo board for XF2.
Part of that is the comfortable familiarity - which shouldn't be underestimated. Our users too like to feel ah yes this is my familiar place.

But it's also that XF2 is so BARE. Like being in a modern office building, impersonal, unfriendly.
Like a lot of modern office buildings it's described as very efficient. That's a good thing. No argument there.
But it's a shame it also has to be so mechanical looking. A lot of the attraction of XF was that it welcomed you in with its design.

Having a large avatar pic top right was important.It said WELCOME BACK in visual terms. It made YOU important instead of just the machinery.
The curves and roundedness in the design also represented a human feel, organic rather than robotic.
The XF1 board has various things going on that make it interesting. So much is hidden on XF2 - you'd have to know it's all there so you'd know to hover or go looking for it. New people won't know so they will feel there isn't much to do.
The Profile page has been stripped right down to practically nothing. That's quite revealing as that's about the user.

Feels like a progammers board not a humanity board. Hard, clean code and spaces to write and that's it.
Maybe that's the future. Something big has changed in the XF team. Used to be that the person element was top priority.
It would be interesting to know why it's changing to a commercialised corporate machine look.
 

Nudaii

Well-known member
I think the issue is XF 1 design was basically the design of the era it was made, 5 years on a lot has changed, personally all those elements you mentioned have been the first things I have stripped out from every style I designed/used as they are dated and my members on multiple sites welcomed their removal.

Of course any site owners who wish to retain that old style can make the changes themselves to retain the appearance on their own sites.
 

whynot

Well-known member
Noticeably a great feeling of relief to return here after being on the demo board for XF2.
Part of that is the comfortable familiarity - which shouldn't be underestimated.
Looking for new posts? Missing... Nooo... They are on the left instead of the right.
Your content? Disappeared. Possible to find after a few clicks as Postings.
Uncomfortable.
 

Morgain

Well-known member
Ah I've just seen a post elsewhere that explains various changes are because it suits mobiles. I suppose that's why it's so stripped down, boring and unfriendly.
It seems there is a two class thing going on and if you're not accessing via a mobile you don't matter.
 

tommydamic68

Well-known member
Ah I've just seen a post elsewhere that explains various changes are because it suits mobiles. I suppose that's why it's so stripped down, boring and unfriendly.
It seems there is a two class thing going on and if you're not accessing via a mobile you don't matter.
Its appears to be a matter of "doctoring" up the responsive design for mobile in XF2. Unfortunately on this round of change, its taken away from the "comfortable" feel and the effectiveness of desktop view. :(
 

Tattooed Theist

Active member
Yes.
I made a thread similar on the XF2 forums, It's shockingly bare, seems almost like an archive forum.
I love how clean they've made it, but I feel like the desire to keep it simple may have gone a bit too far.
 

wang

Well-known member
Personally I think that it was a much ado about nothing type of situation. Xf 2 is not what I expected to be. The look leaves a lot to be desired, and the lack of the new features is very surprising. It looks to me like the developers simply did what they liked without taking into consideration the needs of the customers.
 

Divvens

Well-known member
And you can easily fix all this with just simple style customizations. Make it more "friendly" as you say. It has already been clarified that the visitor panel is a widget which you CAN enable on your board, its not enabled by default, you may have missed that (even though it was a direct response to you).

There is no unfriendly feel. Times change so does design standards, if you wish to stick on to the past looks its easy. Or have someone do it for you if its so important, there are already examples of how effective the styling system is, without even having the product in hand stylers have already made great looking mock ups with just broswer editing tools.

You are talking only about the cover, and obviously the cover needed a change. My community was PC/Laptop dominant a year back, now mobiles and tablets make up 65% of the visitors (out of 800k+ visits a month). It may not seem friendly to you, to me its perfect to work with, spend some time to customize and eventually have XF2 on my community.

If just the look and feel matters so much, spend some time to customize it for your requirement. Nothing is gonna be perfect for everyones requirement out of the box.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
Important to remember this is still an Alpha and we have so far mostly been focusing on bug fixes.

We're taking all feedback on board and we have already made some improvements with certainly more planned in the coming weeks.
 

tommydamic68

Well-known member
And you can easily fix all this with just simple style customizations. Make it more "friendly" as you say. It has already been clarified that the visitor panel is a widget which you CAN enable on your board, its not enabled by default, you may have missed that (even though it was a direct response to you).

There is no unfriendly feel. Times change so does design standards, if you wish to stick on to the past looks its easy. Or have someone do it for you if its so important, there are already examples of how effective the styling system is, without even having the product in hand stylers have already made great looking mock ups with just broswer editing tools.

You are talking only about the cover, and obviously the cover needed a change. My community was PC/Laptop dominant a year back, now mobiles and tablets make up 65% of the visitors (out of 800k+ visits a month). It may not seem friendly to you, to me its perfect to work with, spend some time to customize and eventually have XF2 on my community.

If just the look and feel matters so much, spend some time to customize it for your requirement. Nothing is gonna be perfect for everyones requirement out of the box.
With all that said, I actually enjoy visiting the Xenforo community and poking around and even trying to put input into the community, I guess my thoughts (besides the lack of a mobile option with Xenforo) is that I like the old feel and warmth of the XF1 community style. Feels a bit warmer and inviting. And honestly, with all that "behind the scenes" jazz, I'm not sure even a tiny bit of it will improve or effect my community. But maybe it will, we will see. Thanks @Chris D for that update, I hope it works out to everyones liking in the end. :)
 

Morgain

Well-known member
Important to remember this is still an Alpha and we have so far mostly been focusing on bug fixes.
We're taking all feedback on board and we have already made some improvements with certainly more planned in the coming weeks.
Thank you Chris for nice courteous reply. I don't think you've just been doing as you please. Clearly there are big improvements under the bonnet in the code. With Documentation on the way for devs this is going to be a big boost moment for XF.

I note however that the feedback threads with the most views are about appearance, pleas for documentation, and better Pages editing.
Why not have an XF Classic skin as an option?
(Not all boards by a long way favour mobile users and while the trend is there a wise entrepreneur doesn't dump faithful clients.)
 

Morgain

Well-known member
And you can easily fix all this with just simple style customizations. Make it more "friendly" as you say. It has already been clarified that the visitor panel is a widget which you CAN enable on your board, its not enabled by default, you may have missed that (even though it was a direct response to you).
Style customisations take hours and hours of work - productive work time. Or else I have to pay someone.
Since it's a popular style and 'Classic' is a recognised tradition in design generally, I think a better solution is to have a skin available for admins to add either as default or user choice.

That would also solve the problem that our XF motherforum (here) on the current XF2 would otherwise end up cold, unfriendly, and unwelcoming. These small design differences make a LOT of difference to user experience hence the fuss.
Choice is best. There's a facility for visitors to select a skin in the core code system, so I think XF2 would be an ideal point to start offering the two skins here.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
That would be an unnecessary duplication of effort for something that, in most cases, will just be changed to an off the shelf style or customised to taste.

I would also suggest that the bulk of people aren't exactly after a "traditional" look. That's certainly contrary to the feedback we've had in recent years.

That said, hopefully with the improvements we have planned, it will become something that caters for more tastes.
 

JamesBrown

Well-known member
I really had no idea what to expect of xF2, but I was excited, expecting to welcome in the next era in forum software. To be honest I was a little disappointed, it just looked much like most every other forum software. Even the promise of some the things to come left me a little under-whelmed; we were using widgets on a custom page using vbAdvanced over 12 years ago.

But I appreciate that what we can see at the moment is just the chassis and the plan is that it will become THE forum software. A good dig around and you notice plenty of good things things going on. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the mod and skin makers can do with this chassis and will reserve judgement till then. Meanwhile me and my users are extraordinarily happy with 1.5 so version 2 will have to be utterly fantastic to drag us off it.
 
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Stuart Wright

Well-known member
Having made cosmetic changes to AVForums which have generated a lot of negative responses, I have a small number of things to say.
  1. The aim of the dev team for XF2 has been, as I understand it, to employ an all new, much more efficient and modern way of creating the core software. Since this is a major undertaking, their first aim has to be feature parity. And I recall them saying this somewhere. The most important thing, though is that the core is bug free, solid, easy for developers to work with, efficient and using modern techniques. I bet there is a lot of stuff new in the guts of XF2 that will go unnoticed by the majority of people and the dev team will be largely unappreciated for the unseen improvements they will have made. So those people expecting lots of new features are likely to be disappointed. It's a bit like asking people on a plane what the most important aspect of the flight is. They'll say the inflight meal or the free drinks or seat comfort. They don't consider that the most important element is that the plane doesn't crash.
  2. People don't like change so there will always be people who prefer things the way they are. Let's face it, we're very familiar with the way XF1 feels. Everyone will have a different opinion when it comes to subjective things like the site design. If I were the XF dev team, I really wouldn't make changes based on subjective design feedback when it comes to the CSS and colour scheme etc. As the owners and developers of the site, it is their responsibility to create what they think is the best design going forward and they should stick with what they feel works. Feedback with regard to the functional interface (like missing *Your Posts* links) are things which they should listen to and make decisions about.
  3. I do see XF2.0.0 to be an opportunity to add a small number of new things, with Font Awesome, the configurable menus and widgets system being good examples. I'm surprised that extremely popular addons like post ratings and some other elements of UIX (like sticky headings) have not been adopted. But it's more important that the core of what we get is good, and I'm confident that it will be.
  4. How well a site works on mobile is absolutely critical. It's been suggested that a site should be designed first for mobile (since that's the trickiest UI to get right) with desktop being the easy bit. It will vary, but 40% of our traffic is on mobile and that figure will just increase. I think that redesigning XF to work well on mobile is absolutely critical. Sidebar widgets are completely redundant on mobile and it's just not good enough to relegate them to the bottom of the page. We need to think about a better solution for using them.
  5. I don't think the team would present this version of XF2 to the public until it's relatively stable, and it seems to be. There are 77 bug threads at the moment, but having checked a lot of them, many seem to be css related (particularly with older browsers) and problems with the new text editor. Also there are several duplicates. The input from members looks very useful and the team seem to be responsive in dealing with the reports. I have a good feeling about it.
 

Teapot

Well-known member
I definitely agree with everything @Stuart Wright is saying. There's plenty of visual changes to come for XenForo 2, and of course a deluge of custom skins. From what I've seen of the new front-end code already, styling it is going to be significantly easier and quicker than any forum package currently on the market – including XF1. That may not mean much to end users right now, but it will directly benefit you all very quickly – the style authors here will have no trouble getting stuck into XF2 to produce high-quality, performant styles for everyone to choose from, The new framework means there's a lot less "busywork" involved in creating styles, and they'll be able to turn out high-quality work more quickly, and to a higher overall standard, than they can with XenForo 1.

In the end, and I believe I'm paraphrasing someone else here, XF 2.0 is the foundations for great things in the future. Right now, those great things are just visible to developers and those of us with enough of a techy background to understand the processes behind it, but it'll almost immediately result in an increase in productivity for add-on and style developers, and remove a lot of the friction we currently face when developing for XenForo. But give it six months after launch, and you'll start seeing much more new and innovative functionality, both from XenForo's development team and the third-party market.

Sidebar widgets are completely redundant on mobile and it's just not good enough to relegate them to the bottom of the page. We need to think about a better solution for using them.
I've said this over on the XF2 dev board already, but I completely agree with this in particular. As it stands at the moment, sidebars are effectively useless on small tablets or mobile, which means that anything that uses them on my site at present inevitably has an impaired experience. Thanks to the above advancements in customisation, I have some ideas to try out with XF2 once I can to solve the issue, but a core solution would be better.
 

Alex - A2Hosting

Active member
It is still an early version so things might change. In any case, change does require time to get accustomed to. There are cases where I agree that I just prefer the old way of doing things but then again, things might change.

For the more rounded interface, I'm sure it wouldn't be to difficult to implement that across the board.

One area I specifically preferred in version 1 is the thread listing. Version 1 had a bit of color to go with it, version 2 is simply just white. I didn't really know where to look at first glance. But given time that will either change or I'll get used to it I'd imagine.
 
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