New site - comments

A few quick observations.

  1. The lack of a button at the top of the page for the Forums was confusing. Since this is primary functionality, I recommend it have it’s own button.

  2. “Recommended” topics was showing some outdated threads. Not valuable IMHO. Would prefer I had the option to disable this.

  3. Front page animation… I found it distracting… Not bad, but I definitely found that I wished that the change from one picture to another was a fair bit slower (and possibly either pause-able or scroll-able). Some of those games looked interesting… Would be good to have a module title associate with each picture…

Can you be more specific? The lack of a button for doing what at the top of which page?

Where is this? (Don’t assume we know what you’re talking about w/r/t/ the new forum. It’s new to everyone.)

On this page (New site - comments - #3 by uckelman), if I scroll to bottom - I see Suggested Topics, including: [VASSAL 3.5.2 Released] (last activity Feb 22).

If you go to the Main Site page, you will see a button for the FORUMS that looks like a little coliseum. However, if you then click on News, Modules, Chat (etc). There is no equivalent forum button.

The buttons at upper right of screen I see are:
House (home)
Discourse (Controller/face)
Knight (Modules)
Book (Documentation)
Loudhailer (News)
Hourglass (Search)

The VASSAL icon on the top left links to the forums.

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I just went back and now I see it on the Modules/Wiki side…

But not when clicking on the “Chat” button… I’m guessing that’s because the Chat button is currently just a post in the Forums…

Yes, that’s exactly the reason. There’s no Forum icon when you’re already in the Forum.

What gets selected as Suggested should improve as the forum gets used. We’re still seeing the effects of dumping in around 60k posts all at once.

I didn’t find it distracting at all. In fact, I love it, because I was really bored of seeing the same picture all the time at the old website.
I do agree that the picture change should be slower and, yes, paus-able or scroll-able. It would also be great if the pictures varied and were perhaps selected from random modules, so as not to always have the same modules advertised. Maybe this is already the case? Or perhaps use pictures from the more popular modules? Or let the user select which module pictures they want to see? Or some other criteria.

I have no comment as of yet on the forum software, as it will obviously take a while getting used to. So far, so good.

This isn’t quite accurate…the VASSAL icon seems to take you to the root of whichever section you’re already in. So, if you’re somewhere in the forums, the VASSAL icon takes you to the forum home page…if you’re in the wiki, the icon takes you to the wiki home page.

Is there any way to sort the forum out into the various major categories? At the top I just see a list of most recently active threads with the tiny little colored squares next to them. I can’t, for instance, seem to say “show me the Technical Support & Bugs threads”.

Click on the “All categories” drop-down (or the Categories button), and select the one you want.

I’ve adjusted the front page so that the stack of screenshots is shuffled before being displayed.

Obviously a lot of work went into the redesign of the site. And the technology displayed is first rate. However, because something can be done does not mean that it should be done.

I find the rolling “advertising product display” banner on the front page is both far, far, too large and without much point. Frankly it appears to me as fluff, pretty to look at (once) but utterly useless. I cannot see what purpose it could possibly serve to a initial site visitor and it mostly gets in the way of a repeat visitor.

For me the most important information for a regular site user is the the change/news summary. This now is buried at the bottom and is invisible until one scrolls down a considerable distance. This information should be no less prominent than it was on the old site.

I do not believe that it is useful to have two links to download Vassal located within a couple of lines of each other. Likewise, the ‘New’ statement gets very stale quickly. ‘Current’ would be better I think. New or old is really in the eyes of the beholder. If one downloads the current version in July is it still “New” in December if there have not been any more recent releases? The version number contains more useful information; the release date contains even more. Simply having a link to the current version is sufficient, along with the version number and date of its release.

Front page real-estate for a web site is an extremely limited resource and I believe a major rethink of what Vassal’s regular visitors should see on that first six to eight inches of vertical space would prove beneficial.

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I hadn’t expected regular visitors would come to the front page at all, other than possibly for the navigation links at the top. The front page as an advertisement is a pretty common practice for projects these days. You seem to be expecting to see something totally different; would you describe what that is?

I type in vassalengine in the address field of whatever browser I happen to be using and without much failure this brings me to the home page of I rarely, if ever, bother to link directly to sub directories of sites that I regularly visit because these links are often impermanent.

As for the first page being an advertisement: 1.) GMT Games, who actually sell products on their web site has a much less intrusive banner. 2.) What, exactly, are you advertising for sale?

I do not wish to appear unreasonable with this. I can live with the new site as it is. Then again, I found nothing particularly wrong with the previous site. I do not have a particular UI design philosophy axe to grind. But I find the banner advertisement annoying, mainly due to its sheer size.

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I’d be happy to see an alternative. The CSS and HTML are there to be modified. Give it a try and show me. The problem I think you’ll encounter is that as soon as you reduce the height of the screenshots, you’ll also have to reduce their width to maintain the same aspect ratio.

Also, check the site on a mobile device—the fact that you said you found the old site fine makes me suspect you hadn’t ever. Mobile devices are narrow, so for the smaller breakpoints making the screenshots narrower is going to make them very hard to see.

I probably shouldn’t complain because Vassal is free and my interaction in these forums has been minimal (almost nonexistent), but I think this is the second-worst forum software I have ever seen in 30 years of being online, after the Consimworld forums.
Let me guess, these forums are optimized for mobile (phone) use, not desktops, eh?

Just to give one irritating example - the messages that say that a user hasn’t responded in a while - very irritating and distracting to see this in the middle of reading a thread, and I have not seen a way to prevent this in my settings. I really don’t care how long it’s been since a user has posted.

Oh well, like I said, Vassal is free, so take this with a grain of salt.

Sorry you feel that way. I’ve found Discourse to be the best forum software I’ve ever used, by a long shot.

No, they’re not. The layout is handled by width selectors in the CSS, so you get something that’s appropriate for whatever size screen you have. Mobile-sized screens get a different layout from larger screens.