Simplicity

You want to add a new forum to your bulletin board. Which of these forms looks more appetising? The first form presents you with tons of options of which I’m sure 99% of people don’t use. For example, are you likely to need to add a new forum but have it locked? And are you likely to want one of your forums to be unsearchable or to show a different number of topics on each page in different forums?

phpBB and Geneone

It can be argued that the first form provides the user with a lot more power and flexibility. Depending on your point of view, you could say that the second form is either very simple and easy to use or very crippled. Probably a bit of both. The second interface will not allow you to configure some things which you may want to (such as passwords) but 99.9% of the time, I believe that users don’t need to change these other options. It’s more about making decisions for the user rather than crippling them.

There are perfectly good reasons why you may want to lock a forum or set a password – these can be done by editing the newly created forum afterwards. 

4 thoughts on “Simplicity

  1. Yours looks very nice, and 90% of the time I would want to be using something easy and fast (i.e. yours), however, how about an element (hidden by JS) that could be easily expanded to give you advanced options when you want to use them, rather than going back and editing it again?

  2. The first one is the fastest.
    All you have to do is press enter when you have edited the information you want.
    On yours you have to open a new site to edit extra information.

    I prefer the first one, however keep "thinking out of the box" as you called it and you might create something I also like…

  3. Cow created the form, not I. 🙂

    The problem with the first form is that it is very intimidating for a new user, and most average computer users. What programmers forget a lot of the time is that real everyday people will be using their software, people who will be intimidated by options thrown in their face that they don’t necessarrily want.

    I think Cow’s form is the better option as it is simple enough for any computer user to make a forum with it without getting confused, but of course more advanced users can still fine tune the options later on.

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