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Seasoned Veteran
Jun 25, 2009
Web designs for online communities, forums, and blogs can come in all shapes and sizes. However, even the best theme designers have been getting it wrong since the first forums came online. The templates most forums use may look flashy, but they’re not helping communities grow – they are not designed for that.

Once upon a time, the first forums came online. They were mostly meant for professors, niche enthusiasts, computer nerds, and other rare folk who had access to a computer and internet connection. In fact, some of the very original discussion boards and communities operated over LAN – and generally unavailable to people using the internet. Things were great, but like every good thing these days, it just had to come to an end.

Queue dramatic music, because in walks the famed forum designer. He’s slick, she’s fancy, and they’re here to make your forum great! Or so they say… You see, most forum theme artists do in fact create wonderful digital creations that may be custom...

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Familiar Face
Mar 13, 2019
1. Whoever is in charge of the homepage needs to update it. I honestly thought the last article was the one from July 14 2019, which is three months behind.

2. Any forum theme is going to be a variant of the default theme. The theme will be evolutionary and incremental and only a couple of steps away. It won't be revolutionary or a brand new re-imaging. You really need the underlying software to be different (eg. Discourse or Invision Community's fluid view).

In general though, I agree with you that the forum index page is now one of the worst UIX choices that can hold back new sites. Modern users expect to immediately view the discussion and content, not need to navigate through categories and sub-boards. This is why I'm relentless on cutting back on forum bloat.


May 28, 2020
Valid points. Forums aren't as appealing to many users these days because there's so much to click through before finding the content. A more Twitter like user interface might lead to more successful communities (just look at Mastodon!). There's a lot for us to change to remain successful throughout 2020 and beyond!