Originally posted by jsobecky
[I remember specifically references to other sites that use the "dark matter" theme when this idea was presented to the ATS community. I believe it
was SO that said it; I could be wrong, but I know it was at least an admin level person.
There was never any mention of "other sites" using anything called "dark matter" since I coined the term myself to designate the ATS redesign.
I've managed the design and/or redesign of several dozen websites over the years... some you know, some are long gone. Each time there's been a
redesign, there has been a vocal minority that dislikes any change... it's a natural resistance to seeing something with which you're familiar alter
There are countless online/computer usability and heuristic studies that indicate light text on a dark background is the best combination for the
eyes/brain. The primary reason is that you're looking at the text from an emitted light medium (monitor) rather than a reflected light medium
(paper)... less light is less strain... less strain is better focus on the words... better focus on the words is better comprehension... etc.
However... there are somewhat conflicting studies that show the brain has possible learned to better recognize black text on a light background... no
matter what the medium. But these same studies also end up finding that our brain scans white text on black faster than anything else. Go figure.
Now I want to "Find Posts" for myself or another member.
It displays as dark-on-dark, unreadable text. I must go up and switch preferences from dark to light (or vice-vera; who knows how that really works?)
to be able to see the results. Do-able? Yes. Easy, or user-friendly? Absolutely not.
I don't see this happening. Can you provide a screen shot? If you recall, someone else had a similar problem, and it ended up being their browser not
accepting the site style sheet for some reason. They cleared their cache and all was well after that. Browsers do get constipated from time to
Newspapers don't do it because of the larger ink requirements
Sorry, but I don't believe that for a second.
Huh? You don't realize that a dark-background newspaper would increase the cost of ink usage AND ink smudging on reader's hands?
Why? Why was it necessary to have a "custom" look? Accepting that it was necessary, or desirable, it was a very poor choice, imo.
Because we're a leader and not a follower.
Back when this started, I indicated that our popularity was bringing more people to ATS than ever before, and that many of our new users had no
previous experience with discussion boards (most people don't). Hour home page abandonment percentages were rising as a result (the number of people
who visit the home page, then never click through to any other page). It had surpassed 50% of all new visitors. It was clear that something needed to
be done... and with the rise of user-generated-content and Web 2.0, we needed to define ourselves a more as a content-driven social network (a content
network), and less as a tired old board.
After the redesign, especially the home page, the abandonment number immediately dropped to less than 20% and is currently hovering around 16%...
pages viewed per visit rose by about 40%... new visitors rose by about 30%.... spectacularly effective redesign by all measures.
Soon we hope to be spending an effort promoting ATS "in the real world" beyond the typical stomping grounds of people habitually interested in
"alternative" topics. If they were to land on the previous version of ATS, it was clear they'd be confused and unsure of what to do next.
This is not to say I'm currently please with all aspects of the redesign. I continue to delve into site path analysis, button clickage (yes, there is
such a study), feature usage, and related things. In fact... there is some increasing data that seems to indicate the overall cleaner look seen by
non-members is more effective for long-term navigation and usage than what members see (log out to see what I mean).
Also, it seems time to reveal the results of our survey filled out by 523 ATS members...
1) Now that the ATS "DarkMatter" redesign is complete, what is your general impression with the new look and feel of ATS? (80% positive)
The best website I've seen! --- 178 (34.03%)
Very good, but it could be better. --- 243 (46.46%)
Average, lots are worse, and lots are better. --- 53 (10.13%)
Pretty bad, fix it soon. --- 16 (3.06%)
2) Do you use the "light" or "dark" setting to read threads? (2/3 dark)
Dark version --- 302 (64.74%)
Light version --- 178 (34.03%)
(The actual site database numbers are showing 77% dark)
3) What is your favorite feature of the redesign?
The new forum icons --- 71 (13.58%)
The new forum groups --- 38 (7.27%)
The new ways to look at popular posts and new posts --- 83 (15.87%)
The Anonymous Board --- 17 (3.25%)
The Dark colored background --- 69 (13.19%)
The improved advanced search --- 32 (6.12%)
All of it! --- 157 (30.02%)
4) What is your least favorite feature of the redesign?
-no opinion- --- 214 (40.92%)
The new forum icons --- 31 (5.93%)
The new forum groups --- 21 (4.02%)
The new ways to look at popular posts and new posts --- 53 (10.13%)
The Anonymous Board --- 91 (17.40%)
The Dark colored background --- 78 (14.91%)
The improved advanced search --- 21 (4.02%)
All of it! --- 14 (2.68%)
5) How is the overall performance of ATS for you?
Blazing fast, fastest site I visit --- 129 (24.67%)
Very fast, some are faster --- 261 (49.90%)
Average --- 111 (21.22%)
Very slow, most sites are faster --- 13 (2.49%)
And I suggest that you learn to accept constructive criticism.
I suggest you learn how to improve the way you attempt to give it.
("boondoggle" is not an effective adjective in the context of "constructive"
criticism, nor is it supported by the data :p )