New look for F-16.net

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:53
by Lieven
We are really excited to finally launch the new design for F-16.net. It took us quite a while to finnish, but we have finally been able to get it to the point where we feel good about launching it.

The new logo and graphics at the top were designed by <a href="f-16_forum_profile-mode-viewprofile-u-2914.html">Peter Van Stigt</a>.

There is still more work we want to do and we will continue to work on it over the next weeks as time permits. Meanwhile, any feedback is welcome.

The F-16.net Team
Bjorn, Jon, Asif, Jeff, J.J. Habu, Stefaan, Lieven

New website/forum style

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 11:53
by boff180
Hi guys, great work on the new F-16.net styling (the blue one) that appeared this morning.

I just have one point to make about it.

In firefox and IE, when on a screen bigger than 1024x768 (I'm on 1280x1024) the website is ONLY using the left two thirds of my browser.

This is fine for the website but for the forums, its squashing the threads up and making them even longer I'm afraid!

Just thought I'd let you know :)

Andy

RE: New website/forum style

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 12:31
by Stefaan
Hey andy,

thanks for the feedback, glad you like the new layout! It took us quite some time to set it up and test it, but finally we felt it was ready for prime time :-)

First of all, I'd like to thank Peter van Stigt for designing the new logo and grapchics for the page header. We're really happy with it, so thanks Peter!

Second, all feedback is welcome - we'll be finetuning the layout in the next few weeks based on the feedback we receive.

Stefaan

RE: New website/forum style

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 12:37
by Stefaan
To answer Andy's question about the text width in the forum: We chose indeed to limit the text width to 800pixels, for two reasons:

1. main reason is to make it easier to read. There's a lot of research available that confirms short text lines are easier to read, and optimum text width is less than 800pixels (if you print an 800 pixel page, you'd fill a standard A4 or Letter page, so no coincidence there)

2. some people still use a small computer screen (800pixels). (granted, these are becoming a minority, about 20% I think)

For us, reason 1 was the most important one. most of the big sites also limit text width to make their articles easier to read.

Just wanted to explain why we did it, but as I said we'll evaluate our design based on the feedback we receive.

Thanks,

stefaan

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 13:22
by Ace02
WOW what a change! Sometimes change is a good thing and this place is no exception, it just keeps getting better and better. I really like the overall look and layout of the site. Everything is where I need it as I look around the basic page.

I do have a question about the banner ads. Their width fit the old layout but now it looks a little odd to have space on either side like that. (please pm me btw about advertising) Probably one of those things you can't fix right away but other than that... great job!

Guy

RE: New website/forum style

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 13:22
by Meathook
I like it too, very nice, gives a 'fresh look" to a very cool and knowledgeable reference site - great work folks, I salute your efforts

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 13:44
by J.J.
Looks very nice, guys! I love the bird at right, but I can´t read the subline of the new styled F-16.net logo at left.

I checked my main topics for the new look, and I must say, the frame width is wide enough for posting pics and listings. Well done! Thank you!
:thumb:

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 14:16
by PetervanStigt
Well done guys, and thanx for the compliment. I agree on the subline below the logo, it's almost unreadable. My mistake, I guess... Since I'm always working on High Resolution I guess I can expect a blank space to the right of the header, right..?

Greetz and keep it up, Peter

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 14:27
by Guysmiley
I like the look of the new graphics! The forum width being fixed seems like a step backwards though.

It's hard
to read
titles when
they are
crumpled
into a small
area.

Just MHO.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 15:24
by MKopack
Wow, what a surprise as I logged on this morning. I like the new look, it's sharp and clean.

Question, over on my Lucky Devils site (http://www.lucky-devils.net) I've used the 'old' F-16.net logo as a banner/link. I'd like to update it to the 'new look'. Peter, do you think you could do up something like this? (a little better than my quickie attempt...)

I used the 'normal' sized artwork, but the forum expands it, link: http://www.lucky-devils.net/fence/testbanner.jpg
Image

Mike Kopack

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 15:42
by Lightndattic
I'm loving the new look at well.

One thing I have noticed is below the google ads, there's a line that says this message will disappear after I logged in as a member. I did that and it's still there.

no biggie to me, but I thought you should know.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 15:47
by bozz
Good Work guys! :o :o :D Nice to have F22/F35 sections upfront and the new look is sleek. The top graphic is ok but could be better.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 16:18
by Stefaan
PetervanStigt wrote:Well done guys, and thanx for the compliment. I agree on the subline below the logo, it's almost unreadable. My mistake, I guess...


I think we scaled it down a bit too much - since I know what the tagline says, I never realized that it's actually hard to read - just looked over it. Will have to fix that!

as for high-resolution screens, I'd be interested to hear if a lot of people use their browser full-screen at really high resolution, and if they prefer to have the text fill the entire width of the screen. Personnally, I prefer shorter text lines since I find it reads easier - same reason why newspapers and magazines use multiple columns. But that's just me, so I'd like to hear it if you prefer wide-screen!

In the next few months, we will adapt some of the content to use more of the screen if you have a wider screen - the photo gallery would be an obvious example.

thanks again for all the feedback - keep posting!

stef

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 16:25
by Stefaan
Lightndattic wrote:I'm loving the new look at well.

One thing I have noticed is below the google ads, there's a line that says this message will disappear after I logged in as a member. I did that and it's still there.

no biggie to me, but I thought you should know.


Thanks for pointing this out - I messed this one up in the new layout. It's fixed now!

stefaan

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 17:35
by Jeff
Guys,

It looks GREAT :thumb: !!!

Thanks for all the hard work and keep it up, especially Peter :D !

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 19:25
by Roscoe
My screen is 1024 across. By restricting your display to 800 it means more scrolling and wasted space on the right.

Personally I liked the old way better...

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 19:41
by boff180
I'm sure there is someway of auto-clipping the forum width to the browser window/resolution.

That I think would be better, I have a high resolution for one reason, more stuff on the screen at once... and a having to scroll alot defeats that :)

Anyway, keep up the great work lads!

Andy

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 19:48
by RyanCollins
Congratulations by the new design! Sincerely the page looks brilliant with this new format! Congrats to the F-16.net team and Peter, you guys made an excellent work.

:cheers:

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 20:02
by AfterburnerDecalsScott
I really like it a lot.....the new banner is awesome.

...

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 21:55
by ET-204
Well, I think it's a cool design!

/ ET-204

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 22:10
by Person
Roscoe wrote:My screen is 1024 across. By restricting your display to 800 it means more scrolling and wasted space on the right.

Personally I liked the old way better...


The new banner and color scheme look great! But I agree with Roscoe and the others. The squished text on the left 1/3 of the screen is hard on the eyes.

I run Firefox: 1152 x 864 @ work and 1600 x 1200 @ home.

RE: ...

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 22:11
by Jon
Hi All

Looks like most of the feedback is positive. As an editor, I've had this new format for a while. I didn't like it as much at first, but now I find it better. So anyone who isn't used to it, just give it a little time like I did. It looks great but was different.

Good job Stefaan, Lieven and Bjorn

Cheers,
Jon

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 23:22
by Redtail115
when on a screen bigger than 1024x768 (I'm on 1280x1024) the website is ONLY using the left two thirds of my browser.

This is fine for the website but for the forums, its squashing the threads up and making them even longer I'm afraid!


Ditto, :2c:

But, the site looks great, real clean! I especially like the new logo and graphics. :thumb:

Thanks guys!

Re: RE: ...

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2006, 23:56
by Person
Jon wrote:Hi All

Looks like most of the feedback is positive. As an editor, I've had this new format for a while. I didn't like it as much at first, but now I find it better. So anyone who isn't used to it, just give it a little time like I did. It looks great but was different.

Good job Stefaan, Lieven and Bjorn

Cheers,
Jon


Curious to why you think it's better? From a web design standpoint anywhere from half to 1/3 the page is being wasted with white space. And then it smashes all the text into a portion of the screen. Also the forum text doesn't align with the banner width for instance.

I saw the newspaper comment. But this isn't a newspaper and newspapers put things in tiny columns to get the most amount of articles on one page given the limited space they are working with. They don't make books into tiny columns for instance. Fixing it at 800 pixels wide was a wise choice in 1998 but now?

RE: Re: RE: ...

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 04:23
by Guysmiley
Curious to why you think it's better?

IMO the look and color scheme is more visually appealing, as well as the toolbar layout on the left side. And of course the great banner!

Like I said, the ONLY thing that I think is a step backwards is the fixed width forums. Can't do proportional widths?

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 04:50
by F16VIPER
Guys:
Thanks for your efforts in trying to please us all F-16 lovers.

I may be alone on this one, but I find the opening page far too crowded and difficult to read.

Graphically I believe it is better to have a page with 3 columns or maybe just 2.
New forum entries could go on top of news. Just a thought. 4 columns makes it a bit crowded. All the computers I have access too are running at very high resolution so it is a bit difficult to read.

Thanks again for such a great site.

regards

F16VIPER

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 05:43
by DeepSpace
It looks great! One glitch I found is the Photo Gallery. It's dead :wink:.

Re: RE: ...

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 08:45
by Stefaan
Person wrote:Curious to why you think it's better? From a web design standpoint anywhere from half to 1/3 the page is being wasted with white space. And then it smashes all the text into a portion of the screen. Also the forum text doesn't align with the banner width for instance.

I saw the newspaper comment. But this isn't a newspaper and newspapers put things in tiny columns to get the most amount of articles on one page given the limited space they are working with. They don't make books into tiny columns for instance. Fixing it at 800 pixels wide was a wise choice in 1998 but now?


I didn't say it was better from a DESIGN point of view - but it's better from a usability point of view. Short lines are easier to read (that's the general consensus and there's a bunch of research that confirms it). It's the same reason why many sites with lots of text use short lines. See for example:

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/internet/0 ... index.html
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/

We'll look into a more fluid design though , so you can make the forum as wide as you want to - only makes sense to give everyone the choice :-)

stefaan

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 08:47
by Stefaan
DeepSpace wrote:It looks great! One glitch I found is the Photo Gallery. It's dead :wink:.


Yeah it sometimes does that - it's a serious bug in the software. It requires a manual restart to get it going again.

Sorry for the inconvenience - I hope one of the next releases of the software will fix that problem.

stefaan

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 14:49
by RoAF
Stefaan wrote:
To answer Andy's question about the text width in the forum: We chose indeed to limit the text width to 800pixels, for two reasons:

1. main reason is to make it easier to read. There's a lot of research available that confirms short text lines are easier to read, and optimum text width is less than 800pixels (if you print an 800 pixel page, you'd fill a standard A4 or Letter page, so no coincidence there)


For me it's not easier to read the texts when I've got half of the screen BRIGHT WHITE. I have to use a 21' monitor both at work and at home because of my job - CAD.
In my opinion going back to 800 is a step back now when everybody starts dumping old 15' and even 17' screens - it's just not an improvement.
Sorry guys, I know you're working hard for this site but I had to say it!

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 15:10
by Stefaan
RoAF wrote:For me it's not easier to read the texts when I've got half of the screen BRIGHT WHITE. I have to use a 21' monitor both at work and at home because of my job - CAD.
In my opinion going back to 800 is a step back now when everybody starts dumping old 15' and even 17' screens - it's just not an improvement.
Sorry guys, I know you're working hard for this site but I had to say it!


of course, instead of displaying your browser window full-screen, you could also have your browser fill half the screen and use the other half for other applications - that's what I usually do on my 1680x1050 ;-)

But as I said, we'll make the layout more fluid so you'll have the choice.

stefaan

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 19:23
by PetervanStigt
MKopack, I'll see what I can do, OK. May take a while, busy and all. Stefaan, I'll try to fix the subline as well, OK? Less extended font type but greater size (higher but less wide).

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 20:16
by J.J.
Thanks for realizing the new styled F-16.net´s logo´s subline problem! But what I forgot in my last reply is the following: Very, very thanks to Lieven and Stefaan for maintaining this great website - world-wide the number one online source for the Viper. Also thanks to all moderators, and - last but not least - to the website designer Peter van Stigt! Well done! Since I joined the F-16.net forum late October last year, I must say again: That´s my second home!

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2006, 22:11
by TenguNoHi
Great site guys.

I just returned from vacation and this was a great suprise.

2 Thumbs up.

On the sizing issue; can't you just alter most of the tables in the layout to %?

If not there you can use java to write a script that detects the viewer's resolution and forwards them to a webpage (have alternate sites differantly sized). The downside is, I believe this doesn't account for resized windows so users can only view at a single size. I seem to remember having to use this on a project way back.

Cheers,

-Aaron

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2006, 04:33
by Whiteman_B2
Love the new look. It looks awesome in 1280x768 wide screen (even if it doesn't fill the screen). :)

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2006, 23:48
by snypa777
The new site look is great! Very clean and simple to use, less cluttered. Well done F-16.net team!

Peter, fantastic banner by the way! The subtext is a little short but hey, you can`t please everybody right?!!!! Great design! :applause:

Unread postPosted: 29 May 2006, 03:25
by Infinity16
The old style was brilliant, and so is the new one. I must complain about one thing though - I understand the importance of ads but I feel the banner at the top kills the flow of the page a great deal. It would be nice if it could be moved to somewhere less intrusive. Perhaps in the actual header between F-16.net and the wonderful work Peter did.

Re: RE: ...

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2006, 19:15
by Person
Stefaan wrote:
We'll look into a more fluid design though , so you can make the forum as wide as you want to - only makes sense to give everyone the choice :-)

stefaan


Great new! Looking forward to the abilty to choose forum width.

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2006, 19:15
by J.J.
I think the same, KickURanus! The advertise banner really kills the site header because it have about the same height and nearly the same width. But I also knew, such payed banners should be placed good visible either on the top or at right. For the webmasters and the webdesigner that´s a fu___ compromise.

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2006, 20:23
by Lieven
Thanks for all the feedback so far. We already started working on upgrades. :-)

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2006, 20:49
by Raptor16
About the website resolution,

I understand you want to let the 800x600 guys to visit the site too but is there a possibility to also make an 1024x768 website? So that you can select the preferred resolution for the site and then you have it filling your complete monitor.

What about that?

Unread postPosted: 01 Jun 2006, 13:58
by s_ellebaut
Well, the overall look is great, but I have to agree with some of the other members. I work on a 1200x800 and it appears very busy and all crammed together in a small space... My websites are also smaller then 800px, but centered. I think when you center the whole think it will already look a bit better...

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2006, 12:59
by glambors
Great site, totally LOVE it :D
One question: can you add some print out options for the topics?
Thanks!

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2006, 05:30
by J.J.
Further impression, just realized: The "six" in the new F-16.net logo looks more as a "G" (for F-1G.net). You understand?

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2006, 10:15
by PetervanStigt
JJ, I understand. However, not because I designed it but because I'm convinced that the majority of the viewers will read a '6' instead of a 'G' despite the opening in the mark itself, I tend to disagree. But, let's ask them...

Unread postPosted: 04 Jun 2006, 01:06
by VPRGUY
Very impressive, but I've got one quirk that I've noticed: on many computers, if I'm not logged into f-16.net I get the little message saying "This advertisement from our sponsor will dissapear when you log in"- and when I log in, I see the ad. I don't get it.

Unread postPosted: 08 Jun 2006, 21:59
by Lieven
OK, we'll give the unrestricted, wide look a chance. This change will be most obvious in the forum but over the next months (first we need a break) we will work on the other pages and allow them to display wider too.

Todays change is a test and depending on the feedback, we'll keep the width as it is or restrict it again to xyz pixels.

Thank you all for the input! We haven't responded to all remarks yet but we definitely took notice of them and keep them in mind.

Unread postPosted: 08 Jun 2006, 22:11
by PetervanStigt
This is actually quite an improvement, Lieven. Even at my better than 1200x900 resolution...

Unread postPosted: 09 Jun 2006, 07:49
by Stefaan
VPRGUY wrote:Very impressive, but I've got one quirk that I've noticed: on many computers, if I'm not logged into f-16.net I get the little message saying "This advertisement from our sponsor will dissapear when you log in"- and when I log in, I see the ad. I don't get it.


Hey VPRGUY,

could you post the URL of a page where you see the ad? Or the title of the topic where you can still see it? Normally, the 2nd post (from "Sponsor") should indeed always disappear when you log in.

can you see the ad on ALL forum pages, or does it disappear on some but not on others?

thanks,

stefaan

Unread postPosted: 09 Jun 2006, 12:05
by boff180
Just like to say thanks for widening the viewing area, it makes this "skin" look excellent now :)

Andy

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2006, 18:17
by Person
Lieven wrote:OK, we'll give the unrestricted, wide look a chance. This change will be most obvious in the forum but over the next months (first we need a break) we will work on the other pages and allow them to display wider too.

Todays change is a test and depending on the feedback, we'll keep the width as it is or restrict it again to xyz pixels.

Thank you all for the input! We haven't responded to all remarks yet but we definitely took notice of them and keep them in mind.


I'll have to second what other member's said before. The wider format looks brilliant and really makes the new skin pop.

Thanks!

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2006, 20:13
by Purplehaze
Great Job to all involved.

Unread postPosted: 13 Jun 2006, 21:29
by Lieven
Thank you for the compliments. Any constructive feedback is still welcome. It will be a bit slow during summertime now but we still have some changes coming up.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2006, 00:09
by J.J.
Hi Lieven! Although you Belgian guys mostly are discreet in the background as webmasters and moderators, special thanks to you and Stefaan for maintaining this very great website! It´s really the number one online reference for the Viper, and I´m :D that I joined this great forum - meanwhile as a F-16.net editor.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2006, 16:22
by Stefaan
:oops:

We used to be more active on the forum ourselves, but the site has grown so much (more than 100,000 different people visit each month) that we have our hands full to keep it running and to expand it even more. But hey, I'm not complaining - this site is lots of fun!

stefaan