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Old 04/20/2013   #46
Fangu
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Shademp wrote: 3) Any advise on how I can (in the visual editor?) restore the Unused Text articles so they have either two or three different table styles to show the different categories of used/unused text therein?
Hodor wrote: 3) Nope . This one's for Fangu <3
And I'm gonna pass it along to Lex Or, maybe I won't have to. Have you seen the new section in the menu called 'Tablepress'? It's a table plugin Lex found that will help the authors create tables of all kinds. You create your table in the 'Tablepress' option in the menu, then you insert it into your page or post via a new button in the Visual Editor. You should try it out. I had a brief look at it now and there's TONS of options.
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Elixer.
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Ghost X wrote: As long as Fangu delivers the pizza, I will not particularly mind what is on it. Even if it is hot fiery death in plant form.


Progress!
2012
Member of the Year, Best Site Contributor (2nd), Best Newcomer, Hottest Female, Bounciest Boobies (3rd), Member You’d Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Most Improved (3rd), Best Drunk/Stoner, “Needs to Spend Less Time on TLS” Award (3rd), Best Ship (1st, Avengu) (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse (3rd), Most Likely to Save the World, Most Suited to Be on Cosmos’ Side (2nd)

2013
TLS Lifetime Achievement Award (3rd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female, Biggest Non-FF Geek (3rd), Most in Need of Daylight (2nd), Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), Horniest Member (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), The TLS Literature Prize, Most Talented (Art, Writing, Music, Etc.) (3rd), Best Ass (3rd), Most Fervent TLSer, Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (3rd)

2014
Member of the Year (2nd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female (2nd), Nicest Smile, Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), The Lifestream Literature Prize, Best Ass (2nd), Sexiest Voice, Best Ship/TLS OTP (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Fervent TLSer (3rd), Most Likely to Make the Best-Tasting Food (2nd), Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (2nd)

2015
Member you'd most like to bone (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), Hottest female (3rd), Sexiest voice (3rd)

2016
Best Drunk (2nd), Most Likely To Suggest An Award They'll Never Win
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Old 04/20/2013   #47
Lex
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The better quality videos win, feel free to replace the links or I'll take care of it as soon as I have time.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Fangu, Tablepress does have a tonne of options. I'm still figuring out how to mess with it myself tbh
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Old 04/20/2013   #48
Strangelove
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"Number 5 is alive."
is that a short circuit reference in dc?
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Old 04/20/2013   #49
Fangu
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Right, for Demps, this is the list of changes I did to the Unused Text HTML:

* Removed link to article index and header
* Replaced all </br> with <br />
* Replaced all <table border="1" with <table> (border of 1px is default)
* Replaced all <table border="4"> with <table style="border:4px solid">
* Replaced all tables to not have a border with <table style="border:hidden"> and <td style="border:hidden"> (tr's does not need this tag)
* Replaced all <table align="center"> and <table class="aligncenter"> with a wrapping div around the table, <div align="center">. Remember to close with </div>
* Replaced all <sub> and <table><sub> with <p style="margin-bottom: 0.5em"> (remember to close with </p> as you would close with </sub></table>)
* Replaced all <table><sub><b> with <p style="margin-bottom:0.5em;font-weight:bold"> (remember to close with </p> as you would close with </b></sub></table>)

Regarding the <div> to create a centered effect, it means this
Code:
<table align="center">
<tr>
<td><img src="http://iloapp.worldofbits.com/data/_gallery//public/24/1317567905_resized.png" /></td>
<td><img src="http://iloapp.worldofbits.com/data/_gallery//public/24/1317567906_resized.png" /></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><sup>English game</sup></td>
<td><sup>Japanese game</sup></td>
</tr>
</table>
is now

Code:
<div align="center">
<table style="border:hidden">
<tr>
<td style="border:hidden"><img src="http://iloapp.worldofbits.com/data/_gallery//public/24/1317567905_resized.png" /></td>
<td style="border:hidden"><img src="http://iloapp.worldofbits.com/data/_gallery//public/24/1317567906_resized.png" /></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td style="border:hidden"><sup>English game</sup></td>
<td style="border:hidden"><sup>Japanese game</sup></td>
</tr>
</table>
</div>
Not the style="border:hidden" to get rid of the default 1px borders in this example.
__________________
Quotes and shit
Pixel wrote: Someone say Pixel Porn?
(SPOILER)
Joe wrote: How does Tidus make Yuna feel better?

Elixer.
Shademp wrote: #Fangustyle
Ghost X wrote: As long as Fangu delivers the pizza, I will not particularly mind what is on it. Even if it is hot fiery death in plant form.


Progress!
2012
Member of the Year, Best Site Contributor (2nd), Best Newcomer, Hottest Female, Bounciest Boobies (3rd), Member You’d Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Most Improved (3rd), Best Drunk/Stoner, “Needs to Spend Less Time on TLS” Award (3rd), Best Ship (1st, Avengu) (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse (3rd), Most Likely to Save the World, Most Suited to Be on Cosmos’ Side (2nd)

2013
TLS Lifetime Achievement Award (3rd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female, Biggest Non-FF Geek (3rd), Most in Need of Daylight (2nd), Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), Horniest Member (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), The TLS Literature Prize, Most Talented (Art, Writing, Music, Etc.) (3rd), Best Ass (3rd), Most Fervent TLSer, Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (3rd)

2014
Member of the Year (2nd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female (2nd), Nicest Smile, Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), The Lifestream Literature Prize, Best Ass (2nd), Sexiest Voice, Best Ship/TLS OTP (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Fervent TLSer (3rd), Most Likely to Make the Best-Tasting Food (2nd), Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (2nd)

2015
Member you'd most like to bone (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), Hottest female (3rd), Sexiest voice (3rd)

2016
Best Drunk (2nd), Most Likely To Suggest An Award They'll Never Win
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Old 04/20/2013   #50
Flintlock
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At the last staff meeting, it was agreed that we would continue working on the design of our front page over this summer, time permitting. Since then, I've been thinking about what needs to be improved, and today I got around to knocking up a draft of what I think we should be aiming for.

Before I show it to you, I have a caveat. It is important to note that I have only semi-considered what is realistically possible to build. I have included features that I don't have the knowledge to implement myself, and for which there may or may not be existing plugins or widgets. It would be pretty rude of me to say "here's what we're doing, now you (Fangu and Yop, probably) go off and do it, because I don't know how to do it myself". So I'm not saying that. Everything in my draft is an idea only.

Now you can see it I've also made a comparison image with the current site, in the state it was when I took the screenshot to be the base of my draft, but you'll need a stretch limo of a monitor to see it all at once.

And now I can talk you through the changes, of which there are many. Perhaps too many, in fact, for a year in which we said we'd work on improving the design rather than overhauling it, but I figured I might as well present all my ideas, even if we end up only implementing half of them. From the top...

The C of "Content" in the menu bar is now aligned with the T of "THE" in the logo. There are dozens of similarly minor alignment changes in this draft, and I won't bother pointing them out after this one. I've just tried to make all the spacing consistent.

The search bar and RSS icon have been vertically centred within the navigation bar, and have been joined by icons for Facebook and Twitter (no disrespect to our Tumblr and G+ accounts or the people who maintain them, but they aren't really on the same level as Facebook and Twitter yet). These icons should simply link to our pages/profiles on the social networks, while individual articles should have "share" buttons on them, as discussed.

The Materia orb in the "happening now" bar, and elsewhere, has been replaced with a nicer, more glowing one. I have requested that change at least a couple of times before I've used the orb more sparingly in this new design, as I think that it loses its effect if it is overused.

Speaking of the "happening now" bar, I think we should keep it, but completely disable it when there is nothing going on. We have a habit of putting something there that either a) goes out of date very quickly, or b) is a somewhat mundane link to our forum, which is somewhat redundant, so I think we might as well hide it when nothing is happening.

The images have switched from a 2:1 size ratio to a 16:9 size ratio. I've become increasingly frustrated with the former, as it has forced me to crop parts of screenshots, Youtube videos (see the current featured image for an example of that), and so on. 16:9 is a common standard, and not radically different from 2:1, so let's go with it. We'd need to do a one-off conversion of some old images - four at most - to the new format, but after that, it would be so much nicer. I've made the large image 400px by 225px and the others
320px by 180px. I think we should hard-code those sizes in, so that even if someone sets a featured image which is the wrong size, it won't break the layout. The second, third and fourth images have grown a bit from their current size, which was made possible by switching them from a horizontal to a vertical layout. I think that is more consistent with the way people read websites nowadays, particularly on mobile devices (though I'm aware we already have a vertical mobile layout). I've seen many news websites use that layout, too.

The headlines for each article must not take up more than two lines on the new design. Ever. I hate seeing things overflow, like the three related articles on the current design. I put together the new draft with that in mind: a headline that takes up the full two lines when it is the top story should also take up the full two lines, and no more, when it gets pushed down the list. The only thing that could go wrong is if a headline has a couple of unusually long words that force new lines, but we can just watch out for that. If it's not possible to hard-code the two-line limit, then we should instruct all our authors to edit their title if it takes up more than two lines, or we'll edit it for them.

Each article is now accompanied by a proper description, not just the first article, and not just the first sentence chopped off half-way and appended with an ellipse. I pushed for this change last year, but it didn't happen, and I can't remember why. Anyway, it is a vital part of making our site look more professional, which has been my goal with this draft. We should find a way to allow the descriptions to be set manually, because they might not always be suitable as the introduction to an article. The descriptions are also fully justified, rather than left-aligned, which looks smarter and is standard on news sites.

Instead of the lead story linking to three others in the same category, now every story links to one. This gives us a greater variety of stories on the front page, and somewhat alleviates the problem of having related articles that were published years ago, if the top story is in a seldom-used category. For the second, third and fourth stories, there isn't enough space to put a whole article title in the "related" bit, so I've edited them, which I still think looks better than having an ellipse. Perhaps there's a way to manually set a long title and a short title for articles - we can look into that.

To encourage people to our forum, the top story now also contains a discussion link. I know this might seem unnecessarily strict, but I think every single article we publish on the front page should link to a related forum thread. The front page and the forum still feel too separate at the moment (more on that later).

The podcast gets a starring role in this draft, heading up a new right-side column. I had to edit Pixel's logo a bit to make it fit the box, but I'm sure we can come to a compromise on that. I put it there because I think the podcast has the potential to be really successful for us. As I wrote in the podcast thread, I'd like for it to be a bit more regular than once a month (and a bit shorter each time as a result), but I guess I was in the minority there.

Also making its début on the right-side column is "recent article highlights". I'm still in the process of recategorising and tagging all our old posts (I got a lot of it done this week), and the more I did it, the more I felt that our best articles are also our most original articles, in which the author shares some insight on the game that most players don't have, or presents a thorough analysis of some topic that most players would never have time to do. That's why I created a category called "Insights and Analysis". It is the posts in that category that are shown as highlights on the front page of my new draft. Of course, there's nothing to stop us from defining a highlights category (or tag) separately, in case we wish to include other types of posts, like translations (although we haven't published any of those in a while). Once a highlighted article has slipped off the list on the front page, we can assess whether it's been popular enough to add to the highlights part of the top menu, which should be reserved for our most historically popular articles.

Finally on the right side, there is a box for the forum post of the week. It's been in discussion for a while now, but nothing has happened yet, so let's pull our finger out and do it. If nobody else will, I'll do the choosing myself each week and update the front page (I expect it will be done through a widget). Consider that a threat, if you want! The feature is another way to get people to visit our forum. I think people are much more likely to click through if they see a snippet of an actual discussion, rather than just a thread title. Besides, the way we currently present forum activity on the front page is problematic: we have to hide various sub-forums' threads from being shown already, but even so, we get threads with swear words appearing on the front page. I don't have anything against swear words, I should stress, but it doesn't look good. Other thread titles appear truncated, which is just weird: "The Love Triangle Debate thread of KNEEL BEFORE...", for example. Fangu did a great job with the forum feed last year, but it is my design which is the problem; I hold my hand up for that.

Moving back to the left again, the "more news" box has gone, because I felt like it would have been very isolated on its own, once the corresponding forum box had gone. It doesn't blend in very well with the current design anyway, and the font we use for the "more news" text itself looks a bit squished at that size. The new format is much simpler and tidier. It does away with the dates of posts, because a) we weren't showing them on our top four articles anyway, which was inconsistent, b) they're not particularly important, and c) they can highlight periods of front page inactivity, which we don't want to be drawing attention to! Additionally, in order to avoid weekly roundups dominating our front page, I think we should only have one (or perhaps two) of them in the top four articles at once. The others can get shunted down to this section. My reasoning for that is that they are usually not FFVII-oriented, which is what most people come to TLS for. They contain mostly relatively minor news, so it's worth losing them from the top four in order to give other articles more exposure.

Finally - and this is a very minor change indeed - the right-hand border of the main div has gained the 1px dark green border that is present on the left, but has been missing on the right


When making the draft, I started off with our current design and tried to make it three things: neater, more informative and more professional. Let me know whether you think I failed or succeeded with those goals, and feel free to give me any other feedback as well.

Last edited by Flintlock; 04/21/2013 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 04/21/2013   #51
Shademp
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You've made many intelligent observations, Flintlock. That was a great read. From my end, it appears that you've succeeded with envisioning a more informative and professional version of the site.
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Old 04/21/2013   #52
The Man
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The new version definitely looks a lot better.
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“The management is very bad. In fact, let’s not mince words: The management is terrible!
We’ve had a string of embezzlers, frauds, liars, and lunatics making a string of catastrophic
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Old 04/21/2013   #53
Cthulhu
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Don't worry, it looks technically possible and whatnot, . Looks very nice; more information density without looking cluttered, more social / community things, etc. We should probably create a task list of sorts on Trello or a similar service, and I'll need a kicking to work on this.
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Old 04/21/2013   #54
Fangu
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Hodor wrote: Don't worry, it looks technically possible and whatnot,
My first thought as well, when I saw your post last night. I haven't read it in detail, will do so later.
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Quotes and shit
Pixel wrote: Someone say Pixel Porn?
(SPOILER)
Joe wrote: How does Tidus make Yuna feel better?

Elixer.
Shademp wrote: #Fangustyle
Ghost X wrote: As long as Fangu delivers the pizza, I will not particularly mind what is on it. Even if it is hot fiery death in plant form.


Progress!
2012
Member of the Year, Best Site Contributor (2nd), Best Newcomer, Hottest Female, Bounciest Boobies (3rd), Member You’d Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Most Improved (3rd), Best Drunk/Stoner, “Needs to Spend Less Time on TLS” Award (3rd), Best Ship (1st, Avengu) (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse (3rd), Most Likely to Save the World, Most Suited to Be on Cosmos’ Side (2nd)

2013
TLS Lifetime Achievement Award (3rd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female, Biggest Non-FF Geek (3rd), Most in Need of Daylight (2nd), Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), Horniest Member (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), The TLS Literature Prize, Most Talented (Art, Writing, Music, Etc.) (3rd), Best Ass (3rd), Most Fervent TLSer, Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (3rd)

2014
Member of the Year (2nd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female (2nd), Nicest Smile, Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), The Lifestream Literature Prize, Best Ass (2nd), Sexiest Voice, Best Ship/TLS OTP (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Fervent TLSer (3rd), Most Likely to Make the Best-Tasting Food (2nd), Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (2nd)

2015
Member you'd most like to bone (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), Hottest female (3rd), Sexiest voice (3rd)

2016
Best Drunk (2nd), Most Likely To Suggest An Award They'll Never Win
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Old 04/21/2013   #55
Lex
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I love the look of that redesign Flint. I think the content of "Recent Article Highlights" should be "Latest from the Forum" though, since the rest of the page is dedicated to "other" articles. Just a suggestion

I can see the logic behind it pointing to some of our articles but with the goal of more actively engaging front-pagers with the forum I feel like we're taking a lot of space away from the forum than we had before, even with the "post of the week" highlight there.
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Old 04/21/2013   #56
Fangu
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Design stuff, I won't comment on this
Flintlock wrote: The C of "Content" in the menu bar is now aligned with the T of "THE" in the logo. There are dozens of similarly minor alignment changes in this draft, and I won't bother pointing them out after this one. I've just tried to make all the spacing consistent.

The search bar and RSS icon have been vertically centred within the navigation bar, and have been joined by icons for Facebook and Twitter (no disrespect to our Tumblr and G+ accounts or the people who maintain them, but they aren't really on the same level as Facebook and Twitter yet). These icons should simply link to our pages/profiles on the social networks, while individual articles should have "share" buttons on them, as discussed.

The Materia orb in the "happening now" bar, and elsewhere, has been replaced with a nicer, more glowing one. I have requested that change at least a couple of times before I've used the orb more sparingly in this new design, as I think that it loses its effect if it is overused.

...but I'll just refer to the point I'm making further down. Do think about how these things should look in the two other categories (explained later). It's not critical for the process, just keep it in mind.

I'm glad you focus on these things. I would never ever bother to measure pixels with a ruler, but it's those little things that end up making a huge difference in the overall esthetics.

There are two things I can start working on right away. These are things I've been planning on a) making better and b) finishing up, because now it's kinda half arsed.

Those are:

a)
Speaking of the "happening now" bar, I think we should keep it, but completely disable it when there is nothing going on. We have a habit of putting something there that either a) goes out of date very quickly, or b) is a somewhat mundane link to our forum, which is somewhat redundant, so I think we might as well hide it when nothing is happening.
I wanted to use WP's built in "Posts Format" for this. If you open any post in WP, you can see this on the right side, under "Featured Image":



These are WP's built in "different kind of posts" categories. They were meant for blogs, like if you only wanted to post an image, or a link, you could choose to make your posts one of these, and only selected values from that post would be output on the blog page. (I haven't studied these in detail (yet)).

My thought was to 'reserve' one of those (or even make a new category) for the Happening Now. Meaning every announcement in the Happening Now could be made as a post, given a specific publish-time, and also we would have an archive.

I just have to proof-read and fiddle with it so Happening Now-announcements don't end up being published as actual articles. There should just be a variable you send into some function, but strange things have happened (like when the Header for the site was set as one of the Featured Images). So it has to be tested etc.

b)
The images have switched from a 2:1 size ratio to a 16:9 size ratio. I've become increasingly frustrated with the former, as it has forced me to crop parts of screenshots, Youtube videos (see the current featured image for an example of that), and so on. 16:9 is a common standard, and not radically different from 2:1, so let's go with it. We'd need to do a one-off conversion of some old images - four at most - to the new format, but after that, it would be so much nicer. I've made the large image 400px by 225px and the others 320px by 180px. I think we should hard-code those sizes in, so that even if someone sets a featured image which is the wrong size, it won't break the layout.
Initially, the Featured Image was to be set by these priorities:

1) The Featured Image set by the author
2) A cropped version of the last picture uploaded to the post (all pictures are uploaded in a 2:1 version)
3) A default picture

tbh I don't know what it does right now. I thought 2) was working fine, but then someone told me they couldn't see any Featured Image on the front page when they published. That might have been due to no pictures being Uploaded to the post, which it very well might be - I think it was Force's article about the Podcast, and this one has no images in it, meaning we had no 1) or 2), and 3) isn't properly set yet because a) I needed someone to hand me over an image they wanted set as the default, and b) by the time we launched, we hadn't _properly_ decided on 2:1 yet.

So I'm all for 16:9. I can already start working on resetting the logic for the Featured Image to 16:9.

The reason the sizes aren't hard coded in as of now, is because I didn't want to limit strictly what people could or could not do when we first launched the site. I'm all for it though. I did start to write a logic that compares the width and length for a picture to check if it is in scale (allowing a certain flexibility of course since pixels are integers) but it was one of those things that weren't finished.

Another thing is,

The second, third and fourth images have grown a bit from their current size, which was made possible by switching them from a horizontal to a vertical layout. I think that is more consistent with the way people read websites nowadays, particularly on mobile devices (though I'm aware we already have a vertical mobile layout). I've seen many news websites use that layout, too.
The mobile layout isn't really vertical. The responsive design is divided into three categories:

1) > 1000 px wide screen (computers)
2) > 650 && < 1000 (pads and smaller computer screens)
3) < 650 (phones)

...but as most cell phones will have a cat 3) screen anyway, it will place the elements in the exact same way vertically and horizontally.

Which brings me to: The very specific design things you mention in this post is for category 1) only. Have you made drafts for how things are going to behave on cat 2) and 3) as well? This affects how we end up structuring the CSS and the markup output, so it's very important it's taken into consideration from early on.

I'm assuming cat 1) only for the rest of my comments.

The headlines for each article must not take up more than two lines on the new design. Ever. (...) I put together the new draft with that in mind: a headline that takes up the full two lines when it is the top story should also take up the full two lines, and no more, when it gets pushed down the list. The only thing that could go wrong is if a headline has a couple of unusually long words that force new lines, but we can just watch out for that. If it's not possible to hard-code the two-line limit, then we should instruct all our authors to edit their title if it takes up more than two lines, or we'll edit it for them.
This is the easiest way to handle this. The option is to count the letters and put in an ... when the title is too long. But that doesn't look very pretty.

Each article is now accompanied by a proper description, not just the first article, and not just the first sentence chopped off half-way and appended with an ellipse. I pushed for this change last year, but it didn't happen, and I can't remember why.
Most likely because of what you're saying next:

Anyway, it is a vital part of making our site look more professional, which has been my goal with this draft. We should find a way to allow the descriptions to be set manually, because they might not always be suitable as the introduction to an article.
If you're not gonna use the <!-- more --> or what it's called, then it would mean adding a new element to every post/page, which would also mean creating a new column in the database, adding several filters (which is liable to bugs) in the functions file(s), etc... there are probably plugins for this, but the risk, as I see it, is too high.

What could be done, is to put in some sort of marker in the post itself (like <!-- more -->, only with an end tag as well) and tell WP to look for it. (It will be auto-hidden in the post body itself.) If it finds it, output it on the FP. If it doesn't, do this or that. I'm sure that would be doable. I haven't googled for examples but I imagine it's one of those hax'es that has been done by others before.

The descriptions are also fully justified, rather than left-aligned, which looks smarter and is standard on news sites.
Should be fairly easy. The CSS text-align:justify; should work.

Instead of the lead story linking to three others in the same category, now every story links to one. This gives us a greater variety of stories on the front page, and somewhat alleviates the problem of having related articles that were published years ago, if the top story is in a seldom-used category.
Thought exercise: What if the top 3 stories are in the same category...? Do the "related" in the first article point to the 2nd story, or to the 4th story, or... you get my point. It's stuff like that that became a challenge in the last round, and it would be really good to do a "all possible outcomes" exercise here.

For the second, third and fourth stories, there isn't enough space to put a whole article title in the "related" bit, so I've edited them, which I still think looks better than having an ellipse. Perhaps there's a way to manually set a long title and a short title for articles - we can look into that.
See comment above about the descriptions.

To encourage people to our forum, the top story now also contains a discussion link. I know this might seem unnecessarily strict, but I think every single article we publish on the front page should link to a related forum thread. The front page and the forum still feel too separate at the moment (more on that later).
This is nice. Also, linking to threads in the forum in an article itself is nice. The debate about whether to turn off the comments on WP or not is a veeery long debate I won't get into. What I will say is that vB is a bitch, and even though we could be able to output stuff from a thread beneath an article, it's gonna be a bitch. (See comment further below)

Pure content discussion
Also making its début on the right-side column is "recent article highlights". I'm still in the process of recategorising and tagging all our old posts (I got a lot of it done this week), and the more I did it, the more I felt that our best articles are also our most original articles, in which the author shares some insight on the game that most players don't have, or presents a thorough analysis of some topic that most players would never have time to do. That's why I created a category called "Insights and Analysis". It is the posts in that category that are shown as highlights on the front page of my new draft. Of course, there's nothing to stop us from defining a highlights category (or tag) separately, in case we wish to include other types of posts, like translations (although we haven't published any of those in a while). Once a highlighted article has slipped off the list on the front page, we can assess whether it's been popular enough to add to the highlights part of the top menu, which should be reserved for our most historically popular articles.
Well done on the tagging work. Fangu likes this.


(snip, content discussion)
I think people are much more likely to click through if they see a snippet of an actual discussion, rather than just a thread title. Besides, the way we currently present forum activity on the front page is problematic: we have to hide various sub-forums' threads from being shown already, but even so, we get threads with swear words appearing on the front page. I don't have anything against swear words, I should stress, but it doesn't look good. Other thread titles appear truncated, which is just weird: "The Love Triangle Debate thread of KNEEL BEFORE...", for example. Fangu did a great job with the forum feed last year, but it is my design which is the problem; I hold my hand up for that.
Nah, it's also because of the incredible PAIN vB is. I spent HOURS trying to figure out how to pull out the current avatar of a member. I couldn't do it. (We will meet again, though, avatars. We will meet again.)

Also, posts aren't necessarily "Here the text beginneth, blah blah...", they can be a picture, or a smiley, or just three words. While just outputting three words is fine, the challenge comes when we have to interpret vB output on the front page, like :monster:, [QUOTE], [SPOILER] etc. We really need to lean on what vB already knows, and this is where the pain begins. New smileys are added all the time, so we have to tap into vB's brain somehow, and the thought just sickens me. It's almost as if I feel like it's better to look for actual text (jump over all ['s and :'s) but this is so open for bugs I wouldn't trust it. A thread title is always text, a user name is always text etc. that's what makes them easy to fetch. The post itself... not so much.

Moving back to the left again, the "more news" box has gone, because I felt like it would have been very isolated on its own (...)
The important part is to display a variety of articles on the front page, be it with or without pictures and descriptions. I feel the front page as of now is way too naked - there's not much to choose from, and besides from the top story and the "medium top stories", there isn't really much to focus on. Sure it's all there in the menus, but you want to catch the users attention. Which I think this design does a lot better than the current one.

Finally - and this is a very minor change indeed - the right-hand border of the main div has gained the 1px dark green border that is present on the left, but has been missing on the right
Where? I don't see it... wait. I'd never noticed that, haha.

When making the draft, I started off with our current design and tried to make it three things: neater, more informative and more professional. Let me know whether you think I failed or succeeded with those goals, and feel free to give me any other feedback as well.
I like it. It's a lot closer to how I visualized the new FP. Nice work!

Edit: I never really made a mock up of what I imagined, to me it was always something like this. Not pulled out and in like it appears now, but the basic shapes of it.
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2014
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2015
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2016
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Last edited by Fangu; 04/21/2013 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Added stuff
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Old 04/21/2013   #57
Flintlock
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Excellent post, Fangu. This is why I like working with you - I can throw a bucketful of ideas at you, and even when I worry about it being too much, you come back and say exactly what can be done easily, what can be done with difficulty, and what probably needs to change. In detail:

Ygritte wrote: ...but I'll just refer to the point I'm making further down. Do think about how these things should look in the two other categories (explained later). It's not critical for the process, just keep it in mind.

...

Another thing is,

The mobile layout isn't really vertical. The responsive design is divided into three categories:

1) > 1000 px wide screen (computers)
2) > 650 && < 1000 (pads and smaller computer screens)
3) < 650 (phones)

...but as most cell phones will have a cat 3) screen anyway, it will place the elements in the exact same way vertically and horizontally.

Which brings me to: The very specific design things you mention in this post is for category 1) only. Have you made drafts for how things are going to behave on cat 2) and 3) as well? This affects how we end up structuring the CSS and the markup output, so it's very important it's taken into consideration from early on.
My draft was for cat 1 only. I admit to never having designed anything for pads or phones before. I didn't do a draft for them last year, but I can do so this time around. Just bear in mind that I won't be as good at it as I am with cat 1, so it'll probably need more, er, ironing

If you're not gonna use the <!-- more --> or what it's called, then it would mean adding a new element to every post/page, which would also mean creating a new column in the database, adding several filters (which is liable to bugs) in the functions file(s), etc... there are probably plugins for this, but the risk, as I see it, is too high.

What could be done, is to put in some sort of marker in the post itself (like <!-- more -->, only with an end tag as well) and tell WP to look for it. (It will be auto-hidden in the post body itself.) If it finds it, output it on the FP. If it doesn't, do this or that. I'm sure that would be doable. I haven't googled for examples but I imagine it's one of those hax'es that has been done by others before.
The solution you propose in the second paragraph sounds fine. If it's not possible, then we should just take everything before the <!-- more --> tag and encourage our authors to keep their introductions short, editing them after publication if needs be.

Thought exercise: What if the top 3 stories are in the same category...? Do the "related" in the first article point to the 2nd story, or to the 4th story, or... you get my point. It's stuff like that that became a challenge in the last round, and it would be really good to do a "all possible outcomes" exercise here.
Somehow, that managed to evade my thought process completely last night. One option would be to make each category have a maximum of one post on the front page, but I don't like that option. There may be a breaking news story - a FFVII remake, for example - that is so big and important for us that we fire off four articles about it in a week. We shouldn't be hiding any of them for the sake of some unrelated articles in that situation. Weekly Roundups is the only category that should only be allowed one article on the front page, if you're able to code that in somehow (mind you, if we are going to do that, we need to get more non-roundup articles published on a regular basis).

So, let's say that the all four top stories are all from the same category. I think that each article title should only appear on the left-side column (which includes the main article) once. So the related article on the top story would be the fifth post in that category, the related article on the second story would be the sixth post in that category, and so on. That's not a perfect solution either, as sometimes we might pair up some "related" articles that aren't really related at all. This is, again, the kind of thing that I think might be best to set manually for each post, but I understand the problems of implementing that. Let's think about it some more.

Well done on the tagging work. Fangu likes this.
Thanks. Once everything has been recategorised and retagged, it should make some tasks easier for us. If we want to put together a list of all our FFVII translations, for example, we just search for all articles in the translations category that are tagged with FFVII. That would have been a long manual process before.

Also, posts aren't necessarily "Here the text beginneth, blah blah...", they can be a picture, or a smiley, or just three words. While just outputting three words is fine, the challenge comes when we have to interpret vB output on the front page, like :monster:, [QUOTE], [SPOILER] etc. We really need to lean on what vB already knows, and this is where the pain begins. New smileys are added all the time, so we have to tap into vB's brain somehow, and the thought just sickens me. It's almost as if I feel like it's better to look for actual text (jump over all ['s and :'s) but this is so open for bugs I wouldn't trust it. A thread title is always text, a user name is always text etc. that's what makes them easy to fetch. The post itself... not so much.
Just for clarity, if we were to go with the forum post of the week idea instead of a list of recently updated articles (and I understand Lex's concerns with that idea), we would write that quote manually, selecting the best line from the best article, so we wouldn't need to worry about a post starting with a cookie monster or anything.

If we do keep the list of recently updated articles, then perhaps we should do two things: firstly, only show posts from our FF sub-forums, and secondly, ask the forum moderators to be more active in editing thread titles so they accurately reflect their content, and without using swear words or anything like that. So "The Love Triangle Debate thread of KNEEL BEFORE..." could just be "The Love Triangle Debate thread", for example.

Edit: I never really made a mock up of what I imagined, to me it was always something like this. Not pulled out and in like it appears now, but the basic shapes of it.
That's not working for me at the moment. Try picpar?

For everything I haven't quoted: good
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Old 04/21/2013   #58
Fangu
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Flintlock wrote: That's not working for me at the moment. Try picpar?
Weird, Carlie says she can see it.

Try this? http://i.imgur.com/XRUSMlW.jpg
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Progress!
2012
Member of the Year, Best Site Contributor (2nd), Best Newcomer, Hottest Female, Bounciest Boobies (3rd), Member You’d Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Most Improved (3rd), Best Drunk/Stoner, “Needs to Spend Less Time on TLS” Award (3rd), Best Ship (1st, Avengu) (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse (3rd), Most Likely to Save the World, Most Suited to Be on Cosmos’ Side (2nd)

2013
TLS Lifetime Achievement Award (3rd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female, Biggest Non-FF Geek (3rd), Most in Need of Daylight (2nd), Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), Horniest Member (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), The TLS Literature Prize, Most Talented (Art, Writing, Music, Etc.) (3rd), Best Ass (3rd), Most Fervent TLSer, Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (3rd)

2014
Member of the Year (2nd), Best Site Contributor (3rd), Hottest Female (2nd), Nicest Smile, Member You'd Most Like to Meet in Real Life, Member You'd Most Like to Bone (2nd), The Lifestream Literature Prize, Best Ass (2nd), Sexiest Voice, Best Ship/TLS OTP (3rd, Sprexanghululock), Most Fervent TLSer (3rd), Most Likely to Make the Best-Tasting Food (2nd), Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile (2nd)

2015
Member you'd most like to bone (2nd), Best Drunk/Stoner (3rd), Hottest female (3rd), Sexiest voice (3rd)

2016
Best Drunk (2nd), Most Likely To Suggest An Award They'll Never Win
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Old 04/21/2013   #59
Addy Carver
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Despite not being on staff or anything, I do look round the site every so often just to see what's going on, and the front page always looked a little lacking IMO (no criticisms, it just looked like it could be improved). Flint's new layout is super, it maximises the space available without it being overwhelming.

Just my two penn'orth, good job folks.
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Old 04/21/2013   #60
Lex
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^Reminder: this thread is for EVERYONE to contribute if they want to. Say your piece, don't be shy
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