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Circles 2 (work in progress)

Do you remember Circles? A draft of a theme - modern, clean and very round. But Circles died because no one made a backup copy of it and someone decided to clean the computer.  :-X

But I am glad to tell:

There will be Circles 2!

And it too will be modern and clean, easy to use, and will offer new features and functionalities. I began to work on it. More will come. And there will be backups!

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #1
Long live Circles II :D
“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?” – Jack Sparrow

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #2
Stick it on something like Bitbucket (free private Git and Mercurial repos) as a backup. ;)

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #3
Let's take a look at the forum index of Circles 2:



As you can see, Circles 2 is much more compact then it's predecessor and shows much more information with less space. What Circles 2 offers:

  • A modern, fresh and clean design.
  • Colors and font providing best contrast and reading comfort.
  • Custom pages and menu entries.
  • All that's new at a glance.
  • Index can be switched to show single posts or topics.
  • New features and functions such as hashtags and infinite scrolling.
  • No boring category and board lists anymore. Circles 2 works without them.

The header of Circles 2 shows the boards logo on the left and links to register or log in on the right. When you are logged in as in our example, a welcome text and your avatar is shown at the right.



As you can see, the all new main menu provides all menu entries at a glance. No need to click buttons or links anymore. Little white dots in front of entries show new content since your last visit. Custom menu entries which lead to websites or custom pages created with Circles 2 can easily be made within the admin section.

If you want to you can collapse the header and use dropdown menues instead (your avatar and the newsflash will vanish, providing even more space for the boards content):



You don't like the color? You can easily switch to blue or any color scheme you wish because Circles 2 only needs two color codes:



What's new? Circles 2 shows new content in a new, very clear way: it uses dots! At the top of the post index the number of new posts, tags and files published since your last visit are shown, plus a button to show the topic index, where you can start a new topic. A preview will be shown soon. And yes: these circles can be clicked to see the new content right away!

New, unread posts since your last visit are marked with little dots - sounds familiar, right? To show a topic and this post, simply click on it's title.

If tags are set, they are shown in color with other useful information right under every post.

On the buttom of the posts index you can load more posts or go up to the top of the index. The number of posts shown as standard can be set in the admin section.

And then there is the new footer section with custom footer menu entries:



That's all! No endless lists of boards, no unnecessary clicking and scrolling. Circles 2 is a clean, fast and easy to use theme. What do you think about it?

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #4
Quote
As you can see, the all new main menu provides all menu entries at a glance
Will that be a problem on phones?

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #5
No, I don't think so. The mobile version will differ from the desktop version to provide good usability.

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #6
At the top of the post index the number of new posts, tags and files published since your last visit are shown, plus a button to show the topic index, where you can start a new topic. A preview will be shown soon.

And here it is, the topic index preview!


Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #7
Meh... I thought a lot about categories, boards, missing them and how that would change the way of using a forum. We know the system to sort content with categories and boards for many years, we ware used to it. I think the drafts I showed you of the index are good, but not good enough imo. Here's another attempt of creating an index of topics without boards, but with categories (only sticky topics, new or updated topics and all the rest). What do you think about it? Can this be the way?


Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #8
I think the current forum navigation process needs a major overhaul. It needs to be simplified. I believe it to be one of the reasons forums are getting destroyed by social media. Not to be on a soapbox, but rather to encourage innovation.  Give it a try! See how people like it. Maybe try something else too. ;)

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #9
Looking at facebook, there are only topics with posts in it, kind of.  ;)  Maybe you're right. I sorted the topics on Circles 2 index by importance (sticky topics) and if they have new posts or not. I find this useful, because really important topics such as forum rules for example should be on top of it all, followed by all new and unread content.

Instead of boards Circles 2 will work with tags. They can help to order the content too.

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #10
Presenting the Circles 2 tag system:)

Thread starting authors can use tags to mark their topics. The tag index can be reached via the main menu or by clicking on a tag when reading a topic (the tag "result" page with all other topics marked with the same tag will be loaded - see the second screenshot for an example using the 'apple' tag).

Once you open the tag page two tag clouds are shown: new tags since your last visit and all used tags. All tags? Yes, that can be way too many, so administrators can set a limit of shown tags in the admin tag section of Circles 2. If you set the limit to 20 the twenty most used tags are shown as a tag cloud. Three different font sizes are used - the bigger the font the more often the tag is used.



When you click on a tag all topics marked with this tag are listed. Little dots right behind the topic title are used when new unread posts since your last visit are located inside these topics (3 topics with unread content in our example).



Only the topic starting author can mark his topic with tags by default. Of course administrators can edit the topic's tags. A statistics page for the tag system in the admin tag section can be visited if your're an administrator.

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #11
I like the pretty well straight forward functionality.
But seems the pushing of most recent & most active is a bit "over bearing".
... (burying) other categories/topics. Hampering their attn - chance to grow.

Wondering how "post/view counts" would effect the display?

 

Re: Circles 2 (work in progress)

Reply #12
Would you provide a dark variant of it?