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But as they said who cares about members needs
--- remainder of misplaced assumptions removed ---
What you are testing is not "change for the sake of change." Two massively important factors have been the driving force behind such a significant re-think of what a discussion board platform should be.
1) While the number of in-bound new users (roughly 85% of all daily traffic) has remained relatively flat, the user-engagement (content/thread pages viewed) has been falling off for months.
2) Across the Internet, nearly all discussion boards are experiencing a very similar phenomena. The decline in engagement is seen everywhere, even in large long-established video game forums.
The reason, is relatively simple: the audience has changed. The percentage of people comfortable with the rigid/tight discussion board format is decreasing, while the percentage of people accustomed to the more open sensibilities of contemporary flat design is increasing. It's a clearly quantified (and has been) fact of life for online operators.
Great design is more about reduction than anything else. What we're striving to do is to reduce the site "chrome" to the essence of what's needed, and places focus on member content in the best possible way.
Also, with our new approach at a modern CSS3/HTML5 web app execution, all of those screen shots combined use only two image files -- we're greatly reducing the "weight" of ATS pages for faster loading, especially on mobile devices.
As the daunting task of propagating the new clean user experience into deeper pages such as threads, I need to know how much of ATS legacy features will break your heart if we loose or otherwise alter them. These include:
So since when cant members express opinions?
Yes and I did express my opinion when they were testing the new website.
That's the point me and the Ops opinions were ignored. Hence the thread title.