Your community changes

SimonKJones
SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
edited September 2014 in General

The changes to the community over the last couple of months were really just laying the groundwork for the launch of the new HitFilm blog and forums - which have now arrived. Read more on the blog...

This is a comment topic for a blog post.

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Comments

  • Har
    Har Posts: 401 Enthusiast

    I have to agree - I'm not fond of this new forum layout at all.

  • Ben
    Ben Posts: 51

     Is this the 'zoom level' for standard resolution for these new forums? Because although I like the big text, as a frequent reader (less frequent writer here) of the forums, it's much much harder to see really anything with all this whitespace. Very web 3.0 in its minimalism, but so much whitespace that there's very little content for me to see -- feels like a stock Squarespace website.

    Looks cool, but not very usable. For example, this is the most I can read 'above the fold' on this post:

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    edited September 2014

    Tooshka and Har - if you can get more specific in your comments it'll help us to address them.

    Personally, the two things I'm really enjoying so far are reading the forum on my tablet, something which has never really worked before, and the robustness of the post editor.

    Thus far I'm finding it a very pleasant experience, so I'm genuinely interested in getting more detail from you so that we can consider your points.

    Ben - thanks for the feedback. I'll make sure the design guys see it so they can have a proper think. The new system has been designed to work across all kinds of screen sizes and types so there may yet be room for tweakage.

  • Har
    Har Posts: 401 Enthusiast
    edited September 2014

    Personally, the two things I'm really enjoying so far are reading the forum on my tablet, 

    For me that seems to be part of the problem right there: it now seems mainly optimized for tablets or mobile devices, but here on the monitor of my non-mobile device (running at 1920x1080, landscape as Marcin mentioned) I'm now swimming in whitespace as Ben pointed out, and between the large font sizes and the spacing between lines and paragraphs, I now find myself having to deal with a lot more vertical scrolling than I used to before. This might be wonderful for the swipe-and-pinch folks using a tablet or mobile device, but not so much for those of us who aren't.

  • Ben
    Ben Posts: 51
    edited September 2014

    I like the changing of the font and the minimalism designed to push the important content to the foreground. These are very strong design changes that I think will only get better as things go by.

    Some certain points that I feel would improve the overall experience:

    1. Decrease the whitespace in the header (topic title) and footer (dashboard for user) to allow more space for mainline content; like the forum and blog posts themselves

    2. Allow more room for everything by tailoring to a slightly lower-resolution workflow overall. I'm using an Asus Vivobook I bought in 2013, and the 'base' font size looks like an <h1> set to about 16pt when it used to look like 10 or 12pt.

    I know that with the proliferation of Apple's 'Retina' sales pitching, high-resolution displays are the bellweather of web layouts. But, for those of us with only medium-sized displays, the website is almost unreadable. The form of the site is great, but the function is now severly limited. And, as any good architect/designer/engineer will know, form follows function (normally).

    Right now, I'm using Chrome zoomed out to 60% to be able to even read this draft that I'm typing. Which brings me to

    3. Small adjustments, I feel, will yield great results to this design change.

    Looking good, guys, and I think it's on the right track. For presentation-based stuff, like mine and my brother's film 'Making of' threads, this design will continue to work wonders; and I'm excited to use it. From a pure information-oriented point-of-view, however, I feel that there's a lack of overall content to be had.

    If there were possibly a way to delineate comments from subject posts, this could be really, really cool. Wherein the comments themselves are nested and smaller, but the subject/thread creators have a more dominant post (in the vein of a blog entry with a Disqus thread at the bottom) with richer typography and larger lettering. 

    EDIT:

    4. The design feels very mobile-centric, in that it's simple and stripped down. This is nice, but it would be ideal if the design were more dynamic -- allowing for richer, more organized content on PCs, and streamlining things simpler on mobile. This wouldn't be too difficult to implement, I feel. Keep the current design for mobile and tablet stuff, and expand the parameters when detected on a conventional laptop/desktop to accomodate a landscape orientation and potentially larger screen real estate (less resolution, more actual inches of viewing area). If I shrunk my 15" screen down to 7" for a small tablet, I would love the hierarchy of everything here. But on a larger device it feels both sterile and messy at the same time.

  • Marcin
    Marcin Posts: 128 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2014

    Yes, single threads are more readable on the phone. But on 16:9 monitor (landscape orientation and I don't want to change it :) ) there are tons of wasted space. Short posts looks ok, but longer ones looks awfull- very narrow with huge, white marigins. Old layout let me see a lot of information at a glance. With this layout, I don't even want to scroll down, while on computer. 

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast

    Quick update - we've tweaked some of the spacing so that there's less of a gap between the username and content. Just a small tweak for now (as it's 9.30pm in the UK) but it definitely helps. We'll take a more detailed look once we're all back in the office in the morning.

    Have also fixed the oddly squished image in Ben's earlier post so that it retains its proper aspect now.

    Keep the feedback coming, it's all very useful and welcome.

  • IamJoshuaDavies
    IamJoshuaDavies Staff Posts: 360 Staff

    The Blog is far more readable for me and I'm just on a MacBook Air which is pretty low resolution.

    The Forum will take a little bit of adjustment, its almost like a new website, but I found the old one was just a blur of content where there is more clarity now... again, I'm a MacBook Air which is lower resolution than most people who visit HitFilm.com so I should be having one of the more compromised experiences.

    On my phone and tablet the improvement is immeasurable and I think the experience will only get better as people post with the new format in mind. In fact the experience of posting this very reply is SO much better than before I know I'll be more active on the forums than I have been for some time. :)

  • IamJoshuaDavies
    IamJoshuaDavies Staff Posts: 360 Staff
    edited September 2014

    I'm glad you have happily used the old forum on your various devices and I'm sorry the new version isn't pleasing you at the moment. The old forum certainly never worked as well as it should on any smartphone or tablet and now it works on them as if it was designed to... because it was. 

    We have to update and evolve... it is the only way to make progress. FXHOME will be sure to listen to your comments and learn from them.

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast

    This seems like a cleaner version of reddit.  I think i like it, just wish you maintained the headings because that keeps things more organized.  I rarely would go to the technical support area.  Also the white space on the side is only annoying when i go from full screen to windowed mode.I have 2 wide screen monitors and will regularly have 3 websites and a project or up.  Dragging this to the side for the automatic resizing leaves me having to scroll over to have the text displayed.

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,086 Staff

    A number of interesting responses - and all happily received :)
    In reference to the white space and large font comments - can I ask whether people find that design in the blog to be a similar visual issue or whether it's something specific to the discussion process in the forums which you find out of place?

  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2014

    On the topic of the new forum design, I'm not a fan. I'll explain that in a bit.

    First though, I'd like to comment and say that as far as manuals go for software, I've never found one to be particularly helpful for more than installation (and that is pretty basic anyway). Beyond that, I can't imagine even looking at a manual. I look to forums and user tutorials for training on software, not the manual.

    As for the redesign, it is okay. I don't like it at the moment becuase it is different. I'm not used to it and I won't be able to look at it objectively till I get more familiar with it. I don't personally think the old design needed a revamp, but I am not necessarily opposed to it. This design seems to have over simplified the forums if you ask me.

    I don't like that the home page is a collaboration of all the topics from all the categories. I would rather choose my category first. I don't use HitFilm, so HitFilm help topics, to me, are useless. I also don't like the large text. It feels awkward for me, but I'm not sure why. Definitely feels "blog-like" but I'm not sure that's the issue. Hopefully I'll get used to it.

    I do like that it is "cleaner". No clutter to this design for sure, not that there would be room for clutter anyway. There is no way to rate posts, which can be good or bad. Likes never really caught on around here, so I'm not sad to see them go at all. A lot less information on the poster is nice too, since I don't necessarily care where someone lives, or when they joined when they are commenting. I like the new profiles, much cleaner. I don't think I'll use it much, but maybe it'll catch on this time.

    Only time will tell if it really sticks with me or not. Right now, I don't like it. I like the older design, but I knew it. It was familiar. We'll see.

    PS - When are we bringing FXforce back? ;)

    EDIT - BB Code doesn't work anymore? I'm going to miss that..

  • My reactions to the new design:

    Viewing it on a phone: "This looks great!"

    Viewing it where I normally view it, on my desktop: "Umm...."

    I feel like this new design makes the forum easier to read on a mobile device but harder to use on a PC. On a large screen, I find that having more links and widgets makes the experience more exciting and efficient. It's quicker to move a mouse across the screen than it is to scroll up a page or click through multiple links to get to what you want. I do like the new bar at the bottom, though. It's very convenient. Also, is there a way to quote someone's post anymore?  I agree with Matthias that this might just take some getting used to. Right now, it's reminding me too much of Windows 8.

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,086 Staff

    Matthias - thanks for those comments. We're proud of the re-design but certainly agree it's definitely an initial shock having something familiar change so drastically, so I look forward to your opinion when you say you've had time to adjust to the changes.
    That said, you've been helpfully objective anyway and raised some really good points about it being cleaner than the old forum, but as you say, feel perhaps it is too oversimplified. The points you raised about categories is interesting, as it sounds like you filtered out what you didn't want (e.g. the help) as opposed to using the categories to reach what you did want first.
    We'll be reviewing everything tomorrow in the office and continuing to update everyone through this post on any changes made as a result of the feedback. 

  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out

    Since the homepage is a little bit of everything, is there anyway we could make it customizable? So I can choose which categories to show and which ones not to? Like I said, since my HitFilm experience is minimal, and I don't use it often, I prefer to focus my attention to Filmmaking/Everything Else categories. If there was a way for me to filter the homepage to only what I wanted to see, I think I'd like it a lot more. Of course, this is only coming from someone who has been viewing for about an hour. I haven't really found the "ins and outs", and am a bit concerned that there isn't much to learn.

    For the same reason I like my Windows 7 over a Mac operating system, I still lean toward the old style forums. I like having tools. I like having options. I like being able to customize my experience. I guess the same could be said about an iPhone compared to an Android. Apple products just always felt over simplified and at this point, these forums feel similar.

    I'm sure some people will love it, and others will hate it, but that's what happens when things change.

  • Har
    Har Posts: 401 Enthusiast
    edited September 2014

    The various FXhome responses so far to the negative comments, per "really enjoying so far are reading the forum on my tablet, something which has never really worked before", "never worked as well as it should on any smartphone or tablet and now it works on them as if it was designed to... because it was" and "On my phone and tablet the improvement is immeasurable and I think the experience will only get better as people post with the new format in mind" ...seems to make it very clear that this new forum layout was specifically designed to improve the UX for smartphones and tablets. Sadly, it seems to have also been done at the cost of the UX for people not using a tablet or a smartphone. 

    And believe or not, not everyone wants to come here via a tablet or smartphone. As someone who has no real interest in them (yes, I'm one of those oddballs LOL) - in this current state I honestly really can't imagine myself wanting to come to this forum very often now, which really bothers me a lot as I enjoy coming here. 

    There's a perceived underlying feeling (to me anyway) of "Hey, WE'RE happy with it...so you'll just have to get used to this now". I understand and appreciate the idea of dealing with the initial shock of the new, but IMHO there's more to it than that. A forum reading experience shouldn't be a chore - for ANY users, not just the ones on mobile devices.

    That said, I also understand that my personal preferences per mobile devices and this new design making me not want to be here are of no real consequence since I'm clearly the minority, and the majority is ultimately what gets always gets served. 

    I just wish some kind of balance can be achieved; as Ben pointed out, there ARE ways to do this to satisfy both camps.

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast

    @Tooshka, i feel like you seem a little more blunt/harsh in more recent time, is everything ok?  While you do make some valid points, its in such a way that its hard to accept.  I mean remember they launched this proud of what was done and hearing how its terrible and how you wouldn't be surprised if someone starts a forum else where kind of pushes your comment to the background when they are looking for constructive criticism.   Again you are free to say whatever you want and again you are making some valid points, its just that valid points while getting hit in the mouth get lost on most people.  If you could find a good example of a forum you like, post it here so we can see if its something FXhome could integrate.

     

    @FXhome peoples,  I have no problem with the larger then average font.  Not really a big deal to me.  For me the big issues are the white space, having categories to limit some of the posts, being able to search the posts and supporting Internet Explorer.

  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out

    I agree with you Har. I don't like using tablets or mobile devices for forums. It find anything without a proper keyboard (and I don't mean a digital keyboard) to be a hassle to type on. I can type much faster and more accurately on my physical keyboard. I find that typing any of my past messages on here would be a chore to do from such a device. 

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff

    Thanks for the feedback everybody.  Keep in mind that the "Categories" button at the bottom of the page will take you to a page where the forums are still split into categories, so you can start there if you only want to look at the Filmmaking topics, or the General topics.

  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    edited September 2014

    I think the update looks fantastic, but I'm also not a huge fan of the functionality just yet.  Just as an example of something I'll miss: quotes!  Can you not quote a post without doing it manually now?  It'll take some getting used to, that's for sure.

    And yeah, BB code going away is going to take some adjustment as well...

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,080 Ambassador
    edited September 2014

    Obviously still in the first impressions stage here, so we'll see if these change over the next few days:

    I can see where the current re-design took input from the responses to the partial redesign earlier this year--at that time, some of of complained about losing the page that had Status Updates and the breakdown of the most recently replied-to threads. So this new redesign gave us back the recently replied-to threads page.

    At the moment I miss having the four subforum categories right there, but I'm sure I will quickly adjust to the new "Categories" button at the bottom. I do question the new categories breakdown. The previous four categories of "Film Making," "Hitfilm Techniques," "Tech Self-Help," and "General" seemed a logical breakdown to me. The current breakdown of "Film Making," "Hitfilm techniques," and "Everything Else" less so. Mostly that removing the subforum for tech self-help (Did those posts get folded into "Hitfilm Techniques?") seems a bad idea. "Hitfilm Techinques", to me, seemed a good place to put threads like "Hey, We Finally Figured out How Caustics Works!" while Tech Self-help was a good place for thread like "My mp4 footage is slow, someone tell me about DNxHD!" threads. From an organizational standpoint it seems better (to me--and assuming the current push is for three subforums) to break tech-support back to it's own subforum and to combine "General" and "Film Making." After all, "Peter Capadi is an Awesome Doctor" would fit comfortably next to "Check out my Project!" "Hitfilm Techniques" is a good subforum to keep seperate as, in theory, that's a great place for tutorial threads, tips/tricks, etc.

    Visually, yes, it's a little cleaner on my phone. However, I had very few issues with the forums on my Samsung Galaxy SIII before: There was an odd glitch where line breaks didn't parse correctly unless I clicked into "Full Editor" quickly before posting (this glitch occured across Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Dragon browsers on that phone), and posting in links was a bit of a pain (easiest in Opera. In fact, I put the links glitch down more to the browser), but, otherwise, no issues.

    For computers, I can see how some people aren't digging the huge gutters on the sides. I had to look for it to see it, however, as I never run a browser window full-screen unless I"m watching full-screen video. I'm just one of those folks who has a browser window taking up half the screen. Likely because I often have a research chain going in one window while writing in another, or some such. However, I agree with the general consensous that the redesign seems to be more optimized for mobile devices in a portrait orientation.

    I do note as I'm typing this long response (this is on the laptop, not the phone) that the Reply window is extending downwards as I type--however, the window is extending downwards and is dropping behind the menu bar at the bottom of the screen rather than scrolling up the top of the screen. In other words, I'm having to manually scroll my browser window to keep my most recent text on-screen so I can check myself for spelling errors.

    For visual formatting, I do remind my fellow forum members that most computer based web browsers allow one to resize text: in Firefox it's "CTRL+ + and CTRL+ -" and selected sizes seem to be persistent across sessions, although I've not closed and reopened my browser to see if it remains persistant.

    Let's see---Oh, What's up with the new "Activity" and "Notifications" tabs in user profiles? So far both of them basically say "nothing yet." Otherwise, I appreciate the addition of a big, blue "MESSAGE" button to User Profiles. I liked the little envelope icon next to the user names in the forum threads, but the new button is at least easy to find. I don't have much of an opinion on removing small items of data like a commenter's join date, number of comments left, etc... All that did was feed into my self perception of being an overly talkative sonofagun (I'm fairly certain that, in 2014, I'm the most prolific commenter on here).

    I miss the "Quote" button. It's not a huge deal to copy/paste, but having the quote set off in the shaded box made quotes stand out, and the email notification was nice as well.

    I, like others, will have to adjust to the seeming loss of BB code. That's certaily going to kill the "Post your Photography" thread, and it was helpful for occasional self-help discussions about interfaces, since I could toss a screenshot into a junk directory on Flikr and link the shot, instead of using a limited amount of attachment space on the FxHome servers.

    This "Bookmarks" tab at the bottom. Is this basically a re-brand of the old "Follow this Topic" function? Right now I don't see a way to Bookmark a thread.

    We'll see. As others have noted, it's different, so I'm not used to it, so I'm being grumpy about a learning curve. First impressions here, right?

    I'm sure my opinionated ass will have more to say later. :-)

    EDIT to test editing. I'll also try tagging a user or two here to see if I can get that to work:

    @MichaelJames, this is actually about @Tooshka, but he's been getting some comments this week (including from me) about being "grumpy," and he can be. Tooshka is blunt, brusque, opinionated, and occasionally comes over as a little harsh, but I'd also like to point out that when a user has a question about techniques or workflows, Tooshka is also usually one of the first in there offering help opinions and advice. I think he's a good guy, think he intends to be helpful, and put any perceptions of "harshness" down largely to in the imperfect nature of typed communication. Some of any faint criticism I have in his communication style could apply to you, occasionally Har, and probably even myself, since I have occasionally been rude on here. It's all good. While I may at times disagree with a post written by Tooshka, or you, or other writers, I also recognize the value of alternative viewpoints, and there have been times on here where another user has corrected misinformation I erroneously posted (most recently Ben in the recent lens discussion re: t-stops) or changed an opinion I held regarding something more subjective via a good arguement. Overall, this really is one of the most helpful, informative and pleasent forums I peruse.

    Bravo to all.

    Now, back to fighting with Blender. ;-)

     

    EDIT 2: Damn, that's a ridiculously large banner at the top of the most recent blog post--speaking of which, I no longer see a way to access previous blog posts?

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast

    I need more emoticons.  My emotions can't be limited to 21 emoticons  

  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out

     Is all I need.  Posting from my ipad to test it out.   Definitely works very well on a tab.

  • Marcin
    Marcin Posts: 128 Just Starting Out

    @Triem23,  yes, ctr- can decrease fonts, but it doesn't make more letters appear in one line of thext. The whole column is just going narrower.  But more posts fits into browser window in vertical direction.

    Anyway, reading forums on phone holded in portrait orientation is nicer now. But for PC, I think some tweaks should be done.

     

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast

    Thanks for all the additional comments. We're now back in the office and will be taking a closer look at all your feedback. This new forum is here to stay, but we'll certainly be examining it to see what can be improved. There's a lot of really precise, detailed feedback now, which is relly useful.

    To address a few specific points:

    @tooshka - the web team don't make tutorials or write manuals. Their work on the new community doesn't affect that side of things one way or another. I started a topic recently specifically asking for constructive criticism on the manual, you can check it out here.

    @matthias, @har & @fingerpeoplemovies - mobile is really important, and only going to become more so. That said, we don't want the new design to not work on desktop, as that's still crucial - we make desktop software, after all. My general excitement here about it working on my tablet is due to it being a really clunky experience before - but don't take it to mean that we haven't considered desktop users. We'll be continuing to take a look at the balance there.

    @triem23 - functionally, categories are still there and work as before. If you definitely prefer to browse that way, I'd suggest bookmarking the categories page so you can jump straight in there. Though I would suggest giving this new setup a little time first, to see how it feels after some use - the idea is to make good stuff more easily discoverable, and reduce the need to navigate in and out of sub-forums.

    HitFilm Techniques and Technical Self-help have indeed been merged (nothing has been lost). There were always many posts going into the wrong forum, partly because they were a bit interchangeable. The merging is designed to make it simpler to post and find stuff. We'll have to wait and see how it pans out over time.

    You can bookmark a topic using the Star icon on the forum listing, after which you can go to your Bookmarks section to quickly check out your bookmarked topics. This is separate to general topic notifications (eg, a reply to something you've posted). Quite a handy way of keeping an eye on a topic without necessarily having to post in it.

    One thing I'm really liking is that the forum saves comment drafts across devices. So I can start writing a reply on my tablet or my home computer, then come into work and finish off the reply.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,080 Ambassador
    edited September 2014

    @Simon K Jones, I think I kinda like the notification tags. I presume these tags would come up in one's profile if a new response is posted in a forum that user started?

    Oops here's something: In the Notification tags in profiles, clicking the user name takes you to a profile, clicking the thread title takes you to the comment: Being a Facebook guy, I just assumed the entire line was a single link--I don't know if for that function you want to maybe tag the name in blue (to match the tags within forum threads) and underline the topic or something? Or just wait for users to figure it out--it's not that hard. ;-)

  • IamJoshuaDavies
    IamJoshuaDavies Staff Posts: 360 Staff
    edited September 2014

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    I'm glad that Simon mentioned that the web teams efforts here (and elsewhere) have no impact on how many tutorials are produced, new updates to the manual or development of the core software. Those of you who know us know that FXHOME are a small but dedicated team and we have to effectively use our resources - you can be sure there is a larger plan. It takes time for us to roll out new features and updates but we are listening to all the constructive comments we get. As things stand, over the last 18 months, there are far more people accessing the website by mobile devices than at any time in our history so we had to make some changes.

    Personally, as someone who has used every forum FXHOME have had over the last 14 years I can honestly say I like this experience more than any other. Sure there are some bugs to work out (and we will) but I found it easier to read the posts above without all the distracting repeated (and often superfluous) elements... In fact it was just a more pleasurable reading experience even if not all the comments are positive.

    From a UX point of view, last night I was using a MacBook Air and my iPhone, today I'm on a 27" iMac and 24" Windows PC and I like the white space around the content on all of them more than what we had before - maybe I'm strange. I'm unsure where the negative UX comes in other than if there are features which are missed (sometimes this is required) or unresolved bugs (we are working on them). I would definitely dislike the content to go much wider as the lines are a comfortable length to read without losing where you are.

    All that said, keep the detailed comments coming and useful examples coming we'll keep listening. It is a bumpy road but we are moving forward.

  • Har
    Har Posts: 401 Enthusiast
    edited September 2014

    @Simon
    > My general excitement here about it working on my tablet is due to it being a really clunky experience before - but don't take it to mean that we haven't considered desktop users. We'll be continuing to take a look at the balance there.

    Good to know; re-achieving that balance is all I really could ask for. I'll step out of this topic at this point and keep fingers and eyes crossed.

  • First impressions of this new blog/forum is not favorable.

    1. Too much white space everywhere

    2. Font is too vertical and horizontally "open" in it's lettering spacing (is that related to kerning?) making reading a chore for your eyes to span the entire line

    3. If I select Categories and then do a search, I have to read through lots of text and scroll alot to find headings to find out what a post was about. Before, I was presented with concise listings I could browse through quickly to find out a technique or someting in a post I had read a week ago. Now, I wouldn't now where that posting was.

    4. Conclusion at this point, I will not be using the forums regularly.

  • OrangePekoe
    OrangePekoe Posts: 478
    edited September 2014

    Not a huge fan of the changes - I can appreciate that the "Discussions" section listing the most recent threads again similar to what it was like before the community page, essentially was changed to a blog listing page.

    I highly valued the community front page showing a quick snap of recent posts - it saves time navigating and hunting for content that I want to follow especially if I don't have much time. 

    Even though from my own experience the status update ability was never used much it was a nice "personal" thing that made this site feel more like a community when it was used. 

    As others have mentioned, a forum attracts people who liked the idea of a forum.  From a desktop standpoint - viewing threads currently feel less personal and from the idea of wanting to create and establish a community it feels less engaged.  "Status updates / Signatures / Quotes / Multi Quote / Emoticons / Badges"

    I can definitely see how this would work on a tablet or other mobile device and from a development standpoint it's easier to keep the same theme across all devices.  As mainly a desktop user of these forums I like having all those options that may have cluttered up the view.  When I'm on a mobile device I want quick information - usually I'm on the go - I don't have time to sit down and write out a long reply.  So it's mainly about taking in content not producing it.  Conversely, when I'm at my desktop - my time spent on the forums is about answering questions - researching - adding my own advice or critiques, sharing work thus, it is about content creation.

    As someone mentioned earlier, it does feel very corporate, almost like a review site where I don't really care about reviewers just what they have to say, I'm not going to "follow" them...  this doesn't feel like it's promoting a healthy community.

    The forums should detect what device a user is coming from an adjust according to the device to give the user the best possible experience.  This likely would mean the web team would need to create two separate experiences a mobile detected environment and a non mobile detected one.  I don't need all the functionality of a forum on a mobile device, likewise, I don't want a "lite" version of a forum on a desktop experience. 

    "...In fact the experience of posting this very reply is SO much better than before I know I'll be more active on the forums than I have been for some time. :)"

    I agree posting is very asethtically pleasing and functionality works.  However, in terms of activity level I feel it has created the opposite effect for me. 

    "And believe or not, not everyone wants to come here via a tablet or smartphone. As someone who has no real interest in them (yes, I'm one of those oddballs LOL) - in this current state I honestly really can't imagine myself wanting to come to this forum very often now, which really bothers me a lot as I enjoy coming here. "

    I hate to say it but I do agree with the above... specifically, the latter half.  I use mobile devices, but as mentioned above on mobile I'm here more for taking in content.  I enjoy this community and I feel this revision loses some of that community feel. 

    "A forum reading experience shouldn't be a chore - for ANY users, not just the ones on mobile devices."

    ^^ This

    When it comes to the mobile experience one thing I really appreciated about the old forum is the four category system.  The size of the boxes made it easy to select which section I wanted to view.  On the iphone currently the threads themselves are easy enough to click in landscape mode (vertical mode is okay) and the forum / blog / moviewall buttons are a bit too small.

    I do however, like the cleanliness of the mobile experience when in a thread now.

    The overal desktop interface feels very ..... google plus like... 

    So to sum it all up, if the goal was to create a better mobile experience and create a more streamlined, clean cut, less fancy interface you have definitely achieved this.  However, I do feel a lot of what promotes a healthy, engaged, interactive community and an engaging forum experience has been reduced. 

    Curious to see what changes are to come.