What do you think, design-wise, of your experience on the Sponge website

Some of you might recognize me from my past activity on the forums/IRC, most of you probably don’t. I’m Kornagan. Web developer. I make my living out of it but my primary job is that of a graphic designer. I work daily on UI, UX, app design, web stuff, etc.

Now that it’s been a month since the last major design changes and bugfixes on the Sponge website, I’m interested in hearing what’s been your experience, design-wise, with the website as I am to work into improving it.

Do you like design?
Do you like the color?
Does the UI puts you off?
Are thread readable enough or are you lost sometimes?
Is there things you would change?
How would you rate UX (User experience)?
How does it compare to a forum like Bukkit?

Basically I want your general feel. :tophat:

It’d be nice to see a left/right nav to easily go through the topics. I created a basic userscript for this though due to the AJAX loading, it made it difficult when changing pages.

I personally dislike Discourse as a forum board, I’m more used to boards such as vBulletin, IP.Board, XenForo, etc. As things expand, it’s also going to get difficult to search for topics. I more extensive search filter would be nice (I know there is one but it requires more typing! ;))

Readability is just fine and the colour scheme suits the current style perfectly. Comparing it to the Bukkit forum, I don’t have a favourite as Bukkit’s was just pure chaos and here it’s scarce and difficult to find what you are looking for at times.

I know there is an IRC chat but perhaps a chat room plugin added to the forum. If there isn’t a plugin, they wouldn’t be too hard to make.

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First of all, it would be great to have a unified navigation bar on all Sponge sites (Forum, Bugtracker, Homepage, Wiki)

The Website

Do you like design?
No. There are about 10 different font sizes, unneccesary animations, there is no grid, important information is hidden/missing

Do you like the color?
No. The background image of the header/footer is too occupying.

Some quick edits made by me:

The Forums

Do you like design?
Yes. It’s nice, readable and modern.

Do you like the color?

Does the UI puts you off?
Yes. Although formatting buttons are missing in mobile version.

Are thread readable enough or are you lost sometimes?

Is there things you would change?
I would remove some of the horizontal bars on the Categories page. And maybe make a ‘mixed’ that has a categories and a latest topics box. Right now the categories page only shows pinned topics.

How would you rate UX (User experience)?
Much better than any other forum I know. Everything is carefully designed.

How does it compare to a forum like Bukkit?
Much better than the Bukkit forums.


More to the point, it might be interesting to have an optional IRC interface in a slide-out chat container. This would be operated by adding a field set in the discourse user profile to include the necessary handle and password for the irc rooms.

I’ll link it later but @Jake0oo0 has a really amazing sponge website, if it can be integrated with the forums then with that unified bar then I think things would work well.

I`m not aware if they plan to add this feature (IRC( but it wouldn’t be a bad idea :wink:

That unified navigation bar is exacly the reason why I was approched to help with the web team, though me being part of it as yet to be confirmed.

What do you think of the current navbar? Is it usefull to have the thread title appear in it when you scroll or that for you has only a cosmetic value? Also, what if it was either white or the sponge-branded yellow instead of the current grey?

I love…



No. The golden-brown on graphite is evil.


No, I hate long threads with a stack overflow system. It’s not intuitive.

The whole thing rofl

Not user friendly and hard to navigate.

[quote]How does it compare to a forum like Bukkit?


Well aren’t you super positive! I don’t know how you can compare this to StackExchange though.

@Pink__Slime I believe Discourse is made by some people at Stack Exchange. Can’t give you a source on the fly, though.

###As for design experience etc:
Forums: I absolutely adore Discourse. I always hated forum pagination, and I love the cleanness of it. I’d like to add one feature request to the ones mentioned above, though: a full-size text editor with a more complete toolbar.

Also, it’s a bit hard to tell, but I think the notification circle thungamabob (the one which appears when you get a notification, weirdly enough) is a slightly lighter shade of brown than the buttons. This seen in Chrome on my Note 2 with Android 4.3. I’d screenshot it and check if I hadn’t been on my phone.

Edit: On the computer it is a completely different colour from the one shown on mobile. It’s a kind of yellow which looks to be slightly lighter than the text in the header, as seen here

Paint.net tells me the notification and text colours are #E8BA26 and #CF9E38, respectively.

Edit 2: Suddenly I remembered the pen thingamabob on my phone. This is how it looks. It’s also slightly clipped at the top.

The notification circle is #EFDFAC and the bubble is #E7CE9C. I am assuming they’re supposed to be about the same colour.

Website: I kind of like it, but I think it could do with a little bit less yellow and a little bit more air.

The other pages I haven’t used, as I’m no java dev. I therefore can’t really say anything worthwhile about them.

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It’s nice to see the thread title when you scroll down, it helps me to renember the original topic.
The grey is ok.

I would add an additional navigation bar (black or yellow), like this:

Thank you all for your replies!