Here's a look back in history, to late 2006 when the site-wide redesign introduced our, then very small, user base to essentially the same color
scheme used on ATS.2010, called ATS DarkMater at the time. For those who have been around, you'll recall the gnashing of teeth as many people decried
the layout (early version of what ATS.2010 is now) and colors to be the most horrible and hard-to-read thing they've ever seen.
This thread, authored by member psyopswatcher, was created solely to bash the new ATS Dark Mater...
Give it a Bash, the new Look
I started this thread to start giving members a heads up to the heavily skeuomorphic design featuring the first-ever consistent user experience for
ATS based a dark (not pure-black) background and light (not pure-white) text. In fact, the colors used are exceptionally close to what we have on ATS
Project "ATS Dark Matter" -- The Evolution Continues.
The thread is full of threats of never visiting ATS again, unreadable pages, too gloomy, and predictions for the end of ATS.
And a long lost former staffer who contributed on several levels, started a bug hunt thread:
NOW you can help Dark Matter evolve - Problems?
That also became a bitch-fest of calls
to revert to the old design.
And there are 37 threads from that time in our Trash Bin that were angry calls and lamentations of all varieties. The policy at the time was to close
the thread with a link to one of the above threads, leave it available for a couple hours, then put it in the trash.
What's my point?
Change must happen. In 2006, we were on the cusp of either fizzling away. Something serious needed to be done. The feeling that the discussion board
using online population was getting fatigued by the sameness of nearly all discussion boards. So we took a big bold step at being different, and our
traffic quadrupled in just 3 years since the launch of the "highly controversial" ATS DarkMater.
We took an even bigger step away from ho-hum discussion board cookie-cutter sameness with the ATS.2010 redeployment. In both cases, nothing was
arbitrary. The designs were based on contemporary sensibilities combined with research and analysis of how people were using the site. Such is the
case now, except that even more time was spent on research and comparative designs.