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Topic: Updating the interface of the Café
Message: Posted by: romerojp (May 3, 2018 01:00PM)
Hello,

I have been a long time lurker of the Café, and recently just registered. While I love the contents of your site, I would very much like the radioactive green color toned down. Here's something I did by modifying some css quickly :)

[img]https://i.imgur.com/O3TVSGd.png[/img]

Other than the color scheme, I changed the font to one with better readability. You can see some options at [URL=https://fonts.google.com/]google fonts[/URL], for example.

The site could also be worked to be responsive, which should be a standard, now that everyone has a smartphone.

Let me know if I can help.

J.P.
Message: Posted by: Julie (May 3, 2018 02:08PM)
I like the green... :)

Julie
Message: Posted by: Poof-Daddy (May 3, 2018 02:56PM)
GREEN MACHINE FOREVER! Not the first person to suggest this, but this is the way Steve likes it (as do many of us long time users) and it is not likely to change.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 3, 2018 06:59PM)
Romerojp, you're outnumbered. The Café is green and will remain green.
Message: Posted by: EasyK (May 3, 2018 07:25PM)
I agree on the mobile part. But the green is fine. It looked a bit childish at first glance maybe, but it grows on you. :)
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (May 3, 2018 09:36PM)
[youtube]rRZ-IxZ46ng[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (May 4, 2018 12:28AM)
There's many things that need to change here, and your improvements are better. But the the green clutter is effectively its branding. It's known elsewhere on the net as the green monster etc. It's not going to change after all these years.
Message: Posted by: romerojp (May 4, 2018 01:16PM)
[quote]On May 4, 2018, Terrible Wizard wrote:
...the green clutter is effectively its branding. It's known elsewhere on the net as the green monster etc. It's not going to change after all these years...[/quote]

Looking at the replies, this seems to be the case. Almost makes me want to apologize for suggesting the change.

Almost...

because I still think that the site looks like a 1999 geocities website :P (except with great content)
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (May 4, 2018 01:30PM)
Lol :) It looks tragic, and has waaaaaayyyy to many sub forums, and a terrible interface. But people are attached to its look. :)
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 4, 2018 06:16PM)
[quote]On May 4, 2018, Terrible Wizard wrote:
Lol :) It looks tragic, and has waaaaaayyyy to many sub forums, and a terrible interface. But people are attached to its look. :) [/quote]

Many of the forums are the result of member requests. Not sure what you mean by terrible interface. Many of the supposed problems that members run into are just a lack of understanding of how to make the Café work.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (May 4, 2018 06:24PM)
I've been feeling a little green, myself, today. Though my temperature is currently higher (102.4℉), I'm feeling surprisingly better than earlier and wanted to post:

Tommy Makem wrote:

[quote] If your bones they are weary and your mind is uneasy, The troubles of life, they are taking their toll, Come with me to a green land of laughter and legend, There's rest for the body and peace for the soul. [/quote]

:beatingheart:
Message: Posted by: Tim Snyder (May 4, 2018 08:48PM)
[quote]On May 4, 2018, Terrible Wizard wrote:
has waaaaaayyyy to many sub forums [/quote]

I think of the café as a large university with many different colleges. It can be overwhelming for new members, as it is confusing at first to find the topics you're interested in, but after investing a little time it is easy to quickly jump around to each of your favorite areas. Does anyone visit every sub forum regularly? There are many sub forums that I haven't visited in over a year.

The guy sitting quietly in the back of the classroom,
Tim
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (May 4, 2018 09:48PM)
It doesn't take long to learn the lay of the land here. Once you know it, it's a breeze. Personally, I've never had a problem with the Café's usability.
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (May 6, 2018 03:15PM)
[quote]On May 4, 2018, romerojp wrote:
[quote]On May 4, 2018, Terrible Wizard wrote:
...the green clutter is effectively its branding. It's known elsewhere on the net as the green monster etc. It's not going to change after all these years...[/quote]

Looking at the replies, this seems to be the case. Almost makes me want to apologize for suggesting the change.

Almost...

because I still think that the site looks like a 1999 geocities website :P (except with great content) [/quote]

Hey! My first church website was hosted on Geocities... What are you trying to say???
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (May 10, 2018 01:43PM)
[b]romerojp[/b] said; "... While I love the contents of your site, I would very much like the radioactive green color toned down".

I can say with confidence that will [i]never[/i] happen. :innocent:

When I was first designing the look of the site I noticed that most forums all looked alike and I wanted the Café to stand-out and be memorable. But more importantly I also understood that folks would be spending hours upon hours of reading and posting. Most forums use some kind of [i]white[/i] background and technically that is actually pretty hard on the eyes. I felt the shade of green we use would soften things up a bit and it does. Finally, (as others have pointed out) after almost twenty years we have certainly become known in many circles as [i]the green machine[/i], [i]green monster[/i], [i]green place[/i], etc. and I'm actually fine by that.

So there you have it! I do appreciate your thoughts and input on things Café related.

:jump:

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Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Jun 10, 2018 09:08AM)
The only problem I see with the green background is that it's so recognizable: my wife and kids walk by and say, "you're reading the Magic Café [i][b]again?[/i][/b]"
Message: Posted by: Cleverpaws (Jun 12, 2018 09:53PM)
[quote]On Jun 10, 2018, stoneunhinged wrote:
The only problem I see with the green background is that it's so recognizable: my wife and kids walk by and say, "you're reading the Magic Café [i][b]again?[/i][/b]" [/quote]

My family also says the exact same thing, but a small price to pay for all the information!

Regarding the interface;

I think the Café has the best forum interface of any that I subscribe to. It's easy to see where the new posts are, which ones I have not looked at, I can mark sub forums read or mark them all read at once, the subscribe to a particular post button is right there so you can click on it etc., and the font is easy to read.
I just think it's the best.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jun 15, 2018 01:33AM)
Yeah the longer you are here the more you like the green, and everyone has their own preference. Personally I think forums with dark or black backgrounds and white text are hard on the eyes I like bright backgrounds and white text like here. I also use a 32 inch Monitor with the biggest font and that is perfect. I remember long ago sites like Elusionist had the black forums which gave me a headache and felt like they were made by teens, and I never went back after that one time. I also do not mind the white background and black text ones like Penguin used to have, until they switched to that new atrocious "ask here" format. But the dark backgrounds and white text I never liked at all, seemed too hard on the eyes as I said. But at least you can adjust your own colors if you want to. Green here though a trademark.
Message: Posted by: How (Jun 15, 2018 10:05PM)
[quote]On May 4, 2018, Chessmann wrote:
It doesn't take long to learn the lay of the land here. Once you know it, it's a breeze. Personally, I've never had a problem with the Café's usability. [/quote]

I think it is very thorough and easy to navigate.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jun 27, 2018 05:03AM)
What I'd like to see is the option to only view the area's you want to see...so a section in preferences and some radio buttons and let me pick the ones I want to remain visible...
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jun 27, 2018 04:07PM)
[quote]On Jun 27, 2018, IAIN wrote:
What I'd like to see is the option to only view the area's you want to see...so a section in preferences and some radio buttons and let me pick the ones I want to remain visible... [/quote]

IAN, this has been brought up before. On the main index page if you click on the Welcome to the Magic Café, all of the forums will be reduced to just a title. Click on the forum you're interested in, for example Show me the money and only that forum will open up for you. When you're finished, click on the Magic café logo and everything will go back to normal. You'll have to do this each time you visit but it give you ability to find specific forums without scrolling through the entire Café.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jun 27, 2018 04:17PM)
Hi david, yes - I've noticed that thank you!

I work in usability and design for my main job - and to support what's been said, the site does really need an overhaul to be honest...I think I've suggested it before, start afresh with a better back end bit of software that's more device friendly and with some custom options and archive this place (but keep the search function so its still useful)…

it will also benefit the users too - they'd be able to make a change once, and never have to do it again (from font sizes, colour contrast and so on)...and your search capabilities will be improved as well...

you guys will probably save money long term too!
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jun 27, 2018 04:45PM)
Thanks for the suggestions and ideas, however these are all out of my area of expertise. I do know that a member can change the font size to some extent by going to their preference. At the bottom of the page are font size options.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jun 27, 2018 06:56PM)
Yeah I have the largest font set also and I like it, and I even have a 32 inch monitor, bigger is better lol. Less strain on the eyes also trying to read tiny text for hours. I would like an even bigger font yet but the biggest (20) now works good.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 29, 2018 05:05PM)
It's the middle of the afternoon normally a pretty decent time for members to be here and there are only 17 members online at the current time. I'm not sure many of these issues really matter.
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Jun 29, 2018 06:33PM)
[b]Mindpro[/b] said; "[i]It's the middle of the afternoon normally a pretty decent time for members to be here and there are only 17 members online at the current time. I'm not sure many of these issues really matter"[/i]

You posted that statement an hour ago. I'm here now and there are currently 42 registered members online (logged-in) on this hot afternoon.

I don't think how many people are currently LOGGED-IN really matters. For example, though there are 42 registered members shown as LOGGED-IN, from my side of the screen there are actually 156 people reading the Café at this very moment (Back in the day we use to display how many folks were logged-in and how many people were lurking. We stopped showing the lurker count because it only slowed everything down).

All that said, what does it really matter? Its summertime and people are out camping, vacationing, etc this time of year. Summer is hell for magic shops, just ask any shop owner.

Your pointing out how many people you see actually logged-in means absolutely nothing in regards to whether or not we change our current interface.

For now, I am quite happy with how things are working but I do appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

Thank you. :)

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