Rolling Update Changes - End 01 May 2017

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I use the forum both from my personal cell phone, and my desktops at work (shhhh!) and home. I like both equally, but often find it easier to navigate and type on the desktop version, although I probably use the mobile version more frequently. I know this is a "benevolent dictatorship" and not a democracy, but I believe the original post did say that feedback was welcome, so I thought I'd offer my two cents. I thank you in advance for taking my feedback seriously, and in the spirit of which it is intended, which is continuous improvement of the end user's experience.

I'm all for mobile efficiency. However, I am also a very visual person and find the new "all gray, all the time" look quite off-putting and difficult to navigate.
Most of the mobile blogs I visit have avatars, and that is a very, very nice touch. They are more than just "cutesy," they allow a small degree of personalization that is important in an otherwise homogenized mobile environment. Additionally, the instantly recognizable and customizable avatars allow for a visual landmark in an otherwise drab landscape devoid even of color and contrast. I work with people with disabilities, and contrary to some web gurus' beliefs, an all-text interface is NOT easier to navigate for people with disabilities, and I would venture to guess that this forum has more disabled users than most! Finally, the Male, Female, Question Mark options are really out of step with the growing non-binary, trans community, of which there are many of us that use this forum.

I read the post, and my understanding was that getting rid of avatars was just one change of many designed to improve mobile efficiency. I think the lack of avatars is a sacrifice that goes too far; it really takes away from the end user's experience. I strongly echo the sentiment that we return to custom avatars, if not for all members, than at least for premium members. I agree with others who said adding this perk will likely SIGNIFICANTLY increase the number of paying members.


customizable avatars

I think a big thing (that I read) was the US holding site owners responsible for copywite infringment and not just the user (which is retarded) so there is the "what if it's copywitten material?" My thought of site selected avatars that the user selects gets around that. And really easy to find them. Sort of like smilies. A bunch of pre-selected ones.

Either way, I personally understand the reasons for the change and am ok with change. I'm just trying to find the easest way for myself (whom used the older default style) to navigate and use the site (as I am finding it difficult to navigate, avitars or not).


I don't like change, but I do like improved functionality and forward-thinking design. Fast is good.

perhaps paying members could set a colored layout for themselves, or choose from several pre-set layouts. Consistent brand is important, but customization can be a big draw.


@lostforgottensoul - you asked:
The avatars that are currently set are really light grey on white and killing my eyes. Is it possible to have the blue person or color in the female/male person so it's not so much white?
I responded, be patient. You then reply:
I meant the list of threads in a certian area. It's all white and it's super hard on the eyes...its making it so I can't use the forums as I can't look at it more then a few mins if not in a thread. Even if the blue avitar guy was back that would make it easier.
If all the white space is tough for you, you need to take care of that on your end with a filter - or, turn down your screen brightness. Just changing the avatars back to blue can't possibly address your whole issue.

A little lost

I'm sorry but some of you seem to be missing the idea that non paying people on here are not just trying to blag a free ride just for the sake of it. The price of premium membership for me is unattainable, not a choice...a customisable pic is not going to be the deciding factor as to whether I have to have cereal or value beans on value toast every single night for tea so I can afford it or can afford a more varied low cost diet and not pay a subsciption. There are bigger things to worry about than a picture on this very unique wonderful sanity restorer of a website. I'm sorry but I'm think the whole reason for the upgrade is being forgotten. Sorry to disagree.


To demonstrate how fast Google moves with performance enhancements, for the last 24hrs you can see an immediate spike compared to the last 30 days normal traffic patterns. That will continue upwards as each change is rolled out for the ultimate end goal of super fast loading pages. If you want to understand the performance problem, big players have been testing this for a decade now, Amazon showing that for every 100ms in load time it costs them 1% in sales:

Members may not understand some of these changes, but if they didn't have validity, I wouldn't be doing them, based on our metrics and market demands.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 9.16.39 am.png


I responded, be patient. You then reply

Yes because I didn't know if we were speaking of the same thing.

If all the white space is tough for you, you need to take care of that on your end with a filter - or, turn down your screen brightness. Just changing the avatars back to blue can't possibly address your whole issue.

Actually it can because the older default style was ripped from me.

Look, I am trying to be patient but I am not going to lower the brightness on my phone for one site just to make it go up for the remainder of my phone. That would be about 100 times changing it. I am looking for ways to help on my end but adding ANY color to the left would break up the constant whiteness of the screen. I am staring at the screen reading every single line 8 times as I am dyslexic.

And I know it was the change as I didn't have the issue before. I could stare at the screen all day and not have the issue.

I'm not sure why the thread was left unlocked if you didn't want suggestions.

She Cat

Policy Enforcement
What EVERYONE is forgetting....... @anthony has made it very clear. You can make suggestions, but the answer is still NO!!!!! So why is anyone still trying???? I've been on this forum for 10 out of the 11 years it's been open and one thing has always been the same. When Anthony says NO, he means NO. There is no discussion, no debate, no nothing. It's his way.

I made the decision to stop supporting the forum. That's my way of saying, ok, have it your way, and I'll have it my way. I'm not trying to be a bitch, and I understand that this is Anthony's forum, but the members do PAY to keep it going, so we should have some say. But we don't.

I do respect that Anthony has spent yrs paying for this forum by himself, and has put in yrs of his blood, sweat and probably tears too, but fair is fair, and if "We" as a community pay to keep the forum running, then we should have a voice. I used my voice.....


and if "We" as a community pay to keep the forum running, then we should have a voice
You do have a voice, just not about all aspects, many of which it seems most do not really understand the repercussions to. Avatars = no. Everything else, I am reading and again, people have totally missed - 01 May 2017. Debating with yourself about things is a non-starter... I have a big list of things to do, and noise is wasting my time from getting it done.

You pay to keep many of your local stores and businesses running. You can voice your opinion to them about things, you can choose not to use them, but at the end of the day, they make their decisions as to how they run their business. Coming online is no different. I as the owner, make my decisions about how this forum is run. @joeylittle makes decisions on how the forum is administered.

The technical complexities of servers, speed, and technological device requirements, surpass most here (nor do most care). If you have such knowledge and would like to feedback these aspects, advise on better options to lessen requests, page size, mobile load, so forth, that I've not already tried or engaging, then please feel free. I'm all ears.

If not -- then you're out of your depth about the changes being made here and OUR primary audiences device usage. One, two, three members, who only use a desktop and don't like changes to suit the majority of our market share -- tough bickies, to be honest. Meeting the minority needs only would be idiotic of me. I would call anyone in my position, naive, to discard such audience. I have been putting off changes far longer than I should have -- and getting them balanced correctly (my fault -- trial and error).

Why not hold debate until 01 May? Why not offer opinions and feedback -- but leave out the voicing as though something should be, when it won't (avatars). Big difference between approaches.

i.e. I am reading about colour aspects, and they have not been gotten to yet. Long list. Not saying I am going to change them, but I have not set colours yet, other than the default blue. I have not tweaked things for mobile yet. Long list. Wasting time!
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