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Let's redesign Two Bills Drive and The Stadium Wall


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#1 SDS

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 12:48 PM

We are a decade overdue for a real modern redesign. I would like to make it a community effort. While the final decisions will rest with me, I want to hear from those with a strong interest and eye for design, usability, function, etc... and help push me in the right direction to serve the Bills community the best we can.

 

If you are interested in helping, I will probably open up a subform for us to chat about the direction. I want the discussion to be constructive with a high signal to noise ratio. While I love a good joke, I'd greatly prefer if everyone refrained from adding noise and derailing the conversation...

 

Offer specific suggestions if you have the chops or point to another site's implementation if you don't. A sampling of topics:

 

Fonts (typefaces, serif/sans-serif, size, etc...)

Header

Site width

Mobile specific

Color scheme

Social media

etc...

 

The platform will be Wordpress and the theme will be based off one of the StudioPress themes:

 

http://my.studiopress.com/themes/

 

We won't have the big, front page images those themes have though. If there is a specific theme I should be looking at outside of those, please suggest...

 

thanks.

 

Design forum:


http://forums.twobil...drive-redesign/



#2 John from Hemet

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 12:59 PM

Lets call John Taffer!

 

:)



#3 CJallDAY

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 01:26 PM

Definitely need to be able to go to the last page of a thread on mobile more easily.

#4 SDS

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 01:34 PM

The redesign forum is listed above...



#5 Boyst62

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 04:55 PM

I very much enjoy the simplicity of the site as is and hope that remains a part of it.

Also, please no sponsor a player or adopt a player or pictures in sig lines.

I miss gif avatars though

#6 Fan in Chicago

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 05:35 PM

 

Even though I have no skills to contribute, I am supportive of the decision.

 

I second boyst's suggestion to keep it simple in format. Dont clutter with too much extraneous junk and animations.



#7 mead107

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 06:05 PM

I vote for keeping simple. No extras.
Thanks for all you do to keeping this site a good place for Bills Fans to come and discuss our team.
It certainly has become a place to make new friends.

#8 Acantha

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 06:19 PM

For TwoBillsDrive, I think the Metro Pro theme could be ideal, but it would be a big change. Though if your wanting to keep everything a one scroll design like it currently is there's probably not much reason for the redesign.

 

The only big picture you need for that theme is the background image which is mostly covered anyway.  A pic of a tailgate or stadium would be fine.  Maybe a tunnel pic where the fans on either side would show up around the content (though I assume that's a tougher picture to get rights for).

 

Did you get in on the one time purchase price for those themes?  I own a few, but didn't pull the trigger on the whole package.  Probably regret that someday!

 

As for TSW, I've never built a forum before, and I'm having a hard time figuring out how you would use one of those themes with a forum.  Wouldn't you just have to put a forum plugin over the top, which would mostly make the theme pointless?  Again, I don't have experience so maybe I'm just missing something obvious.

 

I did a quick search and it seems there's some forum specific themes out there, so I'd think that would probably be what you want, instead of trying to fit a plugin into a StudioPress theme.  I'll try to do some actual research into forum themes and see if there's something good, but it would be superficial look without any knowledge of the ins and outs.  This is the only forum I use.  

 

Whatever is chosen MUST be fully mobile optimized (most new themes are). 


Edited by Acantha, 23 April 2016 - 06:52 PM.


#9 Virgil

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 06:30 PM

Agreed on keeping it simple. People go crazy with gif avatars and bling all over their profile. It's just distracting.

I think the simplistic nature of this site makes it come off more mature. And by simple, I don't mean that as an insult.

I agree on the mobile version being able to jump to the last page of a thread.

#10 Leroi

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 06:39 PM

Mobile version needs the shout box and page numbers.

Default preferences on sign in would be nice.


Imo

#11 SDS

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 06:52 PM

For TwoBillsDrive, I think the Metro Pro theme could be ideal, but it would be a big change. Though if your wanting to keep everything a one scroll design like it currently is there's probably not much reason for the redesign.

 

The only big picture you need for that theme is the background image which is mostly covered anyway.  A pic of a tailgate or stadium would be fine.  Maybe a tunnel pic where the fans on either side would show up around the content (though I assume that's a tougher picture to get rights for).

 

Did you get it on the one time purchase price for those themes?  I own a few, but didn't pull the trigger on the whole package.  Probably regret that someday!

 

As for TSW, I've never built a forum before, and I'm having a hard time figuring out how you would use one of those themes with a the forum.  wouldn't you just have to put a forum plugin over the top, which would mostly make the theme pointless?  Again, I don't have experience so maybe I'm just missing something obvious.

 

I did a quick search and it seems there's some forum specific themes out there, so I'd think that would probably be what you want, instead of trying to fit a plugin into a StudioPress theme.  I'll try to do some actual research into forum themes and see if there's something good, but it would be superficial look without any knowledge of the ins and outs.  This is the only forum I use.  

 

Whatever is chosen MUST be fully mobile optimized (most new themes are). 

 

My focus at first is the front page of TBD. I probably should have said that as most people are commenting about the forums themselves. But, to address simplicity - the front ends will be geared towards removing as much visual clutter as I can.

 

I own all the studio press themes. Right now, I'm playing with the Aspire Pro theme.

 

As for the forums, my guess is that I will migrate to Xenforo, as I have really grown to dislike IPS and the direction of the company. I will then skin it to have the same feel as the main page.



#12 TakeYouToTasker

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 09:22 PM

The TBD home page is nothing more than a news aggregator.

The best news aggregator in the world is Drudge.

Look there.

#13 Just Jack

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 10:16 PM

I miss gif avatars though


I miss being able to have a gif as an avatar also

#14 Chilly

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 11:22 PM

I second Metro Pro.  The content and sidebar with a cool Bills background picture would be great for the homepage.  Aspire Pro isn't bad but it feels more "business-like" than a football site should be to me when you look at the content/sidebar layouts.



#15 Keukasmallies

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 07:33 AM

Less is better.  Keep the framework as simple as possible so as to put the focus on the contributors and their posts.



#16 SDS

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 08:02 AM

I second Metro Pro.  The content and sidebar with a cool Bills background picture would be great for the homepage.  Aspire Pro isn't bad but it feels more "business-like" than a football site should be to me when you look at the content/sidebar layouts.

 

My issue with pictures is that a picture that is ~1200px wide is a huge download. I'd have to prevent that on mobile.

 

Coincidentally, I already had Metro Pro installed on my test site. It's probably closer to where I want to be, but I'd live the main nav bar next to the title and then for the menu to become a drop down on mobile like it does in Aspire.


I miss being able to have a gif as an avatar also

 

I don't really think this is a design issue...



#17 Chilly

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 08:51 AM

 
My issue with pictures is that a picture that is ~1200px wide is a huge download. I'd have to prevent that on mobile.


I'd think there's a plugin that would switch it out in mobile. I work for a Managed WordPress host, let me know if you run into issues and I can ask around.

#18 BringBackFergy

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 09:29 AM

SDS - I like the website a lot. I rarely hit the front page and set TSW as my Home Page because most all of the breaking news is on TSW  (Yolo, 26Corner, etc)

 

The site is great. 

 

One thing I saw on other NFL football fan sites is the ability to win currency (fake coins) which you can use to bet with other members on week to week games. I think PatriotPlanet has something like that. Not sure if it is a quick software program or what, but it looks like a fun way to bet against each other without real money issues.

 

Great work on TBD though. Love it.



#19 PastaJoe

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 02:00 PM

Definitely need to be able to go to the last page of a thread on mobile more easily.


That's the only issue I have. I hate going through pages from the past year to get to the end.

#20 reddogblitz

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 02:53 PM

KISS

I vote for what Some others have said. Keep it simple. It loads faster that way as well. Please don't make it like So many other sites on the internet Where things move around and it takes forever to load all the graphics.

If it ain't BROKE (and it does not appear to be IMHO) ...