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Increasing readability with link colors

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Increasing readability with link colors

Postby wobnam » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:01 am

The "Digging up old threads" thread made me think of this, but I decided to start a new thread for it as it's really a separate (though somewhat related) issue.

One of the things I miss most here is a different color for links that I've clicked.

I don't have as much time for reading the forum as I used to. The main reason I started reading the CC forum in the first place was to see all the great MOCs; now I rarely visit the MOC section at all. I just follow a few blogs and surf through my Flickr. I know I'm missing out on some great creations, but there's just too much going on in the MOC section for the time I have.

Maybe it's just me, but having a different color for visited links would make things a lot easier. I read a bunch of forums, and most of them use different colors for visited and unvisited links. When I see a thread I haven't read before, I click the name. The next time I visit, this thread shows up in a different color (eg dark blue instead of black). That way I know which threads I've read at least the first post of. At CC, I find myself clicking the same threads over and over every time someone has replied to it, because there's no way to tell a new thread from an updated thread.

I hope that made sense. It's very simple to change the visited link color, and I think it would make the forums easier to read, leaving more time for contributing and perhaps even building (!).
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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby Aliencat » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:37 pm

Over here (Firefox 3.6) when I browse the forum, topics I haven't opened yet are dark blue, topics I have opened are light blue. Is that what you mean, or did you mean the actual links in posts?
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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby Bruce N H » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:08 pm

Also the shields should be different. For already read topics, the shield to the left of the subject is gray-scale, but for topics with new responses it is colored. Perhaps you have your browser set to block cookies?

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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby wobnam » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:14 pm

Aliencat wrote:Over here (Firefox 3.6) when I browse the forum, topics I haven't opened yet are dark blue, topics I have opened are light blue. Is that what you mean, or did you mean the actual links in posts?

I mean the thread titles:
Image

As you can see, they're all black to me. All browsers, all platforms, all computers.

Bruce N H wrote:Also the shields should be different. For already read topics, the shield to the left of the subject is gray-scale, but for topics with new responses it is colored. Perhaps you have your browser set to block cookies?

The shields are only gray if there are no new posts since you visited last. When there are new posts, the shields are colored whether you've visited the thread or not. I basically want to be able to tell "visited topics with new posts" from "unvisited topics with new posts".
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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby Bruce N H » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:38 pm

I'm confused as to the utility of this. We already have two designations - threads whose content you've read, or at least clicked on (grayscale), and threads with at least some content you haven't read (colored shields). If I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, you want a third designation, for threads that may have fresh content, but you never were interested in the original content anyway?
Personally what I do is, after reading any threads I'm interested in, I click 'mark forums read', so that everything else goes to grayscale as well. I know, I'm an admin, so I should read every single post that appears, but the dirty secret is that I don't really read the B/S/T forum (I know that other admins and mods do).

Oh, I thought of one thing. If I just hit the 'back' button on my browser from inside a thread, the shield for that thread doesn't change colors unless I refresh the page. Is that the source of your issue?

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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby wobnam » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:09 pm

Hehe, no. I'm not very good at explaining this (in english) it seems..

Okay, here's how I do it:

(Week 1): I visit the MOC section. I click all the new threads and read the first post. Sometimes, I read more than the first post. Sometimes I add feedback.

A week passes where I don't visit the forum.

(Week 2): I go back to the MOC section. 20 threads are now marked with a colored shield, meaning they have new posts. 15 of these I already read in week 1, but someone else has since posted a reply. Most of the time, this is something along the lines of "Wow, nice moc". In the MOC section, I'm done with 95% of the threads after reading them the first time, I just don't have time to follow all the discussions on all the creations. (Interesting threads I usually remember, or post in, or bookmark).

However, since there is currently no way to tell the threads I read in week 1 that has gotten replies between week 1 and week 2 from the threads that have been created between week 1 and week 2, I end up having to read all 20 threads instead of just the 5 new ones.
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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby Forestboy » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:45 am

wobnam wrote:Hehe, no. I'm not very good at explaining this (in english) it seems..

Okay, here's how I do it:

(Week 1): I visit the MOC section. I click all the new threads and read the first post. Sometimes, I read more than the first post. Sometimes I add feedback.

A week passes where I don't visit the forum.

(Week 2): I go back to the MOC section. 20 threads are now marked with a colored shield, meaning they have new posts. 15 of these I already read in week 1, but someone else has since posted a reply. Most of the time, this is something along the lines of "Wow, nice moc". In the MOC section, I'm done with 95% of the threads after reading them the first time, I just don't have time to follow all the discussions on all the creations. (Interesting threads I usually remember, or post in, or bookmark).

However, since there is currently no way to tell the threads I read in week 1 that has gotten replies between week 1 and week 2 from the threads that have been created between week 1 and week 2, I end up having to read all 20 threads instead of just the 5 new ones.


Here's what I do. I see the MOC threads that I know for sure I've already posted in. Then I see the ones that are new or ones I like. So I open up the ones that are new/I like in new tabs. Then I press the "Mark all threads as read" button at the top and then go on to those tabs. Do you think this could work for you?
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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby Aliencat » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:18 pm

wobnam wrote:
Aliencat wrote:Over here (Firefox 3.6) when I browse the forum, topics I haven't opened yet are dark blue, topics I have opened are light blue. Is that what you mean, or did you mean the actual links in posts?

I mean the thread titles:
Image

As you can see, they're all black to me. All browsers, all platforms, all computers.

Aha, I guess it's a difference in the themes:

Screenshot
Dark blue ones are ones I haven't opened (recently), light blue ones I have.
The little black dots symbolize whether I've posted in the thread or not, I dunno if the CC theme has that too, but I find this very handy.
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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby Athos » Sun Mar 21, 2010 5:17 pm

So you want to distinguish between new posts and new threads?

I think that's a good idea.

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Re: Increasing readability with link colors

Postby wobnam » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:00 pm

Aliencat wrote:Screenshot
Dark blue ones are ones I haven't opened (recently), light blue ones I have.

Ah, I didn't even think of seeing if the default theme was available. Switching to it will solve my problem (it's also possible to use a custom stylesheet to override the link colors), but I still think the CC theme should have this; I don't think I'm the only one who would find it useful.

Aliencat wrote:The little black dots symbolize whether I've posted in the thread or not, I dunno if the CC theme has that too, but I find this very handy.

It doesn't. I think the CC theme is older than this phpbb feature.
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