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Lack of Interest [Suggestion] UI/thread overview: make the sticky/locked/redirect-icons fade in (like the rss icons)

Discussion in 'Closed Suggestions' started by Grover, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Since a picture says more than a thousands... :

    I just realized something when using XF for the thousands ;) time:

    xfvisibility of icons final.png

    In the current state your eyes are distracted too much by those icons, especially when you use a small browser window. The focus should be on the thread titles, not the icons that tell me (often for the thousands of times) that a thread is sticky or locked.

    My suggestion is this: wouldn't it be a good idea if the presentation of these icons on thread overview follow the same path as the rss-indicators do on the forum-overview:

    rss indicators.png

    You see how clean the forumoverview looks on XenForo? One of the ways they achieved this is by displaying faded-out images of the rss-icon. They will only become more strongly visibly when you mouseover the forumtitle-cell, which makes perfect sense. I love XF's UI!

    So, why not follow the same great approach on thread overview where we even have more icons (and depending on your setup/forums sometimes those icons can populate the overview heavily)? Making them faded-out by default gives us not only consistency, but -this is the goal- a cleaner thread overview in the end.

    Hopefully XF can pioneer in this. The more (too) visible indicators on a forum screen, the more I hate such a forum package. Seeing and using the outstanding XF interface for the first couple of times made me realize this even more...
    Defqon and JmSevoro like this.
  2. Sejper

    Sejper Active Member

    I like this idea.
  3. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    I think those should be clearly visible tbh.

    Also about the RSS icons, I actually find it more disturbing that they flicker on/off. I certainly wouldn't want this flickering on the list of threads the whole time.

    I've suggested this already but IMO images should only light up when the mouse pointer is directly above them.

    Just my 2c.
    Peggy likes this.
  4. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    I could see it for the redirect arrow and lock. As for the sticky tack - the purpose is for it to be noticed. What if the sticky tack wasn't there at all but the title of the stickied thread was a contrasting colour?
  5. Shadab

    Shadab Well-Known Member

    While it does clean up (?) the UI a bit; I agree with dutchbb that these visual indicators should be clearly visible all the time. And not change their opacity while we hover over the thread listing. Hovering over the thread listing already makes visible the mini-pagenav. And we have the (excellent) thread preview popping up after a short delay when we hover over the titles. Changing the opacity of the status icons would be a bit too much.

    Some screenies:

    » With iconKey default opacity: 0.25, and hover opacity: 1.0


    » With iconKey opacity: 0.5 (permanent)

    Grover and CyberAP like this.
  6. Peggy

    Peggy Well-Known Member

    No I can't see those being changed at all. They should be noticed right off the bat. That said, I do like the lighter opacity in the screenie above ^.
  7. anotheralias

    anotheralias Well-Known Member

    I think the reason they look more cluttery than the other columns is that they don't have their own visible column. Everything else is in a nice little box and they're just kind of hanging out there.
  8. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Why? Can you provide me with good arguments, I am interested to hear them.

    When do you actually look at those icons? How often do you actually look at these icons? What purpose do they serve?

    Yes, me too. I totally love these mockups, Shadab. Thank you very much!

    Just compare this:


    ...to these:


    ... and tell me which does look and feel better in terms of cleanliness and readability? Just focus your eyes on the thread titles list and tell me on which of the above examples your eyes tend to focus more on the titles or the icons.
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    The first one.
  10. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    The benefits of making Sticky Threads as unnoticeable as possible...

    I get your point about the Stickies needing to be noticed. However, one could ask the question: what is the best way to achieve this?

    Look at this example:
    vb stickies.png

    Whoever designed that must be... well. (Needless to say I think Internet Brands vBulletin4 UI/UX is horrendous on many levels). But, back to the point: I believe most people do not even look at Stickied threads anymore when they have been stickied for a while. I always skip that horrendously looking sticky-thread 'area' (because it looks (badly) like an area) in vBulletin 4 platforms. Isn't this odd? Isn't odd that we need to indeed get Stickied threads to be noticed, but by adding all kinds of obvious in-your-face elements to it... people tend to actually get numb. Forum visitors subconsciously skip Sticky threads, because of all those nagging indicators! Indicators you've added to make people more aware of those threads...

    The beauty of XenForo is that the developers choose to NOT make the Sticky Threads stand out. Here is comes :cool:.... by making them less noticable as sticky threads, people notice (and read) them more! Amazing, but all so true. So, IMHO they can stretch this refreshing approach even further by also making the Sticky icons fade out by default.

    Yes, I am in love with XF's UI/UX. No other package can compete with this at the moment. And I hope it will stay like that for a very long time...
  11. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    You'd have to ask the developers about it, but my guess is that it was not their intention to make ticky threads "less noticeable". I'd say they were trying to make them noticeable in a less intrusive way.
    Again, what if the "Sticky Tack" wasn't there at all but the Sticky thread title was in a contrasing color, like a darker blue? Or even just bolded (emboldened?)?
  12. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    That is what I mean yes, but I comes down to the same thing, doesn't it?

    No. Again, this is what I covered in my explanation: the more noticeable/different you make the appearance of Stickies compared to Normal threads, the less they will be noticed/read!
  13. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    That sounds like something Sun Tzu might have said had there been online forums 2500 years ago. To be honest, I don't buy it. I think they need to be noticeable in a minimalist sense - the design is stripped down to its most fundamental features. In this case, noticeability is fundamental to Sticky threads.
  14. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    I think it should stay as it is.

    If people have no intention of reading stickies, they're not going to read them anyways, so further degrading their ability to separate them from normal threads does very little. 
  15. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    You don't have to buy it ;). And who is Sun Tzu? (aha... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu). Well... as a wise philosopher I am sure he would have understand that he should make the Sticky threads in TzuForo appear as much as Normal threads as possible, in order for people to (keep) noticing (and therefor reading) them.

    To come back to your point: XenForo already makes them noticeable in a minimalist sense. It uses the [​IMG] icon. And that's it. In fact, like I said, I believe XenForo can even stretch this further and be really inventive like they already are with the [​IMG] -icon. Make them even more less noticable...
  16. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    It does very little to that yes, but it does contribute to the overall cleanliness/readability of the thread list and it is inline/consistent with the rss-indicators. And... it sets XF even further apart from all the other forum packages out there which -especially the dreaded vBulletin 4- often don't have much clue how to provide the enduser with a good UI/UX. XenForo is already a breath of much needed fresh air and IMHO they can take it even further/improve in a few areas.

    Having said that, the above suggestion (OP) is not a big 'issue' at all for me. Just wanted to share my views/ideas on it. If it stays this way, I am perfectly happy actually. Still, XF could investigate if this is an idea to go by. They are already doing it for the rss-icons in the first place. Like I said:

    And, if somebody can answer that, then the next question would be : Why do they need to be so visible in the first place?
  17. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    I think the reason for the RSS having a lower opacity is so that people who do not use RSS aren't having it shoved into their face. RSS is rarely adopted by your standard Internet goer, and more often by the tech crowd.

    And why is there a need to further set XenForo apart from competitors? The system is already completely different in comparison to other platforms, and I really think there is little point to potentially impeding an users ability to see the icons. They've already been moved to the far right, and they'll have to actively notice or look at them, making that harder will do nothing more then potentially aggravate users, which is the last thing that we should want to do as administrators.

    For the most part, I think nearly everything seems to be perfectly fine with XenForo, and the little changes are things that administrators can do on their own, as so far people just quibble over them and it tends to break down the middle evenly for the crowds who want to change it, and the ones that think there isn't much of a reason to change. 
  18. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Grover, why don't you just edit the code to achieve what you want?

    I doubt very much the dev's are going to implement this as there doesn't seem to be much support for it.
  19. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Sure, I am gonna to try it out on my own forums, because -in line with the XF rss icons- it seems a brilliantly fresh idea. :) I am not wanting this so badly implemented, just a suggestion to look at/consider if this is something that would work. Really, the more I think about it, the more I feel the (strong) visibility of these icons serve no purpose whatsoever. I love this mockup very much:

    View attachment 2307
  20. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Yes, this could be a thought behind it indeed.

    The same could be said then when it comes to the RSS icons. That's why I keep asking the question (which no-one has answered yet :)): 'When do you actually look at those icons? How often do you actually look at these icons? What purpose do they serve?'.

    And rightfully so!

    Harder? Why? In fact, when you would highlight them on mouseover (again... like the rss-icons), they become even more noticeable!

    Yes, I follow that thought :). I rest my case now... people can quibble further. ;)

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