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The Webmaster Forums

Development notes: 

I am responsible for a wide variety of tasks at The Webmaster Forums: handling spam and problem users, implementing new features, developing administrative policy, and designing and maintaining the theme. In all of these tasks I collaborate closely with partner, co-administrator (and husband), Liam McDermott, forum administrator and lead developer.

The overall design was a collaborative effort between Liam and myself. We played "Inkscape tennis", passing the file back and forth, building on each others' ideas. Liam implemented the design as a Drupal theme with my direction.

Our intention is to move away from traditional forum layouts. In a lot of forum software, such as vBulletin or phpBB, the design tends to overwhelm the content. Short posts can disappear among graphic buttons and other layout elements. We wanted to create a forum design that supports the content rather than detracting from it. Reading the content should be a seamless and comfortable experience.

This is a difficult thing to do. By definition, forums contain a lot of content. The home page contains a long list of forums with descriptions and post counts.Topic display pages contain various types of meta content such as user names, post counts, and signatures. Refining the design is always a work in progress. We hope to release an updated theme later in 2011.