Recommended Posts

I, personally, have several genres that interest me, but really only one that will draw me at all times. That being said, however, the genre isn't always enough to get my attention. This is for several reasons, all of which I'm completely unashamed to admit::

 

My biggest pet peeve- The site has to be aesthetically pleasing. 

I know this is something not everyone agrees with, but I'm a huge sucker for a well put together site. This includes graphics, the way the site is built, the colors, the fonts. Do I have trouble finding things? Do I understand what the roleplay is about from the header alone? Are the forums upside down...by that I mean is all the information at the bottom and the RP at the top? Can I read everything easily, or am I having to guess what it says in the forum headers?

 

One other part is "Do they allow creativity when it comes to posting templates? This one isn't always a make or break part of a site for me, but it is something I always look at. While I understand wanting your site to look uniform, I like my creative freedom. I like coding my own boxes, showing them off, having fun with them and personalizing them to my characters. Being forced to use one identical box that is exactly like everyone elses is frustrating to me, though not something that will cause me to say no to a site if everything else is going for it.

 

I hate to admit it, but the aesthetics of the site usually come before the plot, which is kind of sad, I guess.

 

 

What about you? Are aesthetics important to you? What about the ability to use your own templates? Do you prefer the site to set them up for you, or would you rather use your own creations, or ask someone to make them for you personalized to your character?

  • Like 1
  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uaithne    432

There is no shame in admitting that aesthetics are important. I know we sometimes look down on roleplayers for prioritizing the so-called prettiness of the site, but if we are being realistic, one needs to be able to see the content easily on a board in order to be able to use it. It's like judging a book by the cover. People tell you not to do it, but that's the point of a cover. It needs to draw the reader in so that they'll view the blurb on the back cover, and hopefully read the entire book. When you view a site, the skin is the very first thing you notice. Unless you are viewing the board's information reposted elsewhere, you literally cannot read the information threads until you view the skin. I don't think there is anything wrong with opening a site, realizing the skin doesn't work for your preferences, and then closing the tab as long as you realize you could be overlooking what might be the most awesome site of your life.

 

I've turned boards down because of skins before. It took me a long time to get used to the box format of the CFS that became popular a couple years ago, for example. It just wasn't easy for me to read. I'll also turn down sites if I'm embarrassed to be seen viewing a site with that skin. Not so much that I've seen lately, but people used to be fans of plastering teenage-looking half-naked models everywhere, and as an adult, I didn't want to be associated with that.  But for the most part, if the rules and plot and community match to my preferences, I'll look past it. I believe it is shallow to turn down what would otherwise be an awesome site because the skin doesn't fit the current trends or isn't "pretty" enough.

 

If a site allows custom HTML for posts and I don't like the codes people are using, I won't join. Although I prefer post templates to not be used, I'm becoming more lenient about them. The main problems I have include when people ignore you because you don't use one and everyone else does (so they think you're not as cool as them, I don't know) or when I can't read them. Aesthetics should not trump legibility, especially when the entire point of being here is to write with others. I've seen so many that are too small, too graphics heavy, too hover filled, etc. I want to know about the post. I want to spend time posting, not trying to find pictures of my character or sort through other people's crappy templates. I'm already overwhelmed by having to find so many pictures for mini profiles, and avatars, and signatures. As it is, I don't use gifs ever (due to personal visual issues) and trying to please people by finding one is tiring.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

Sage    178

Good website design is the first thing you see on a website of any kind, and bad design will undoubtedly turn away a lot of users. And its no different for rp's! Personally, I only join sites that are "pretty." If I'm spending a majority of my time on a website, I don't want to have to look at something ugly. It's like a house. When you move into or build a house, you want to walls to be a pleasing color and hang nice things on them. You don't want to live on shoddy furniture if you don't have to. And while you can get by with crappy appliances, it makes a world of difference when you have nicer models. And it's so much more feng shui when it all matches/flows. Right? Like you can live in a house that doesn't have any of those things. You can rp on a site that isnt "pretty," with just the basics. But I'd rather not.

 

For me, when I'm looking for a site to join, the aesthetics should look nice, but not stand out. They should be intuitive and good looking, but focus on the content. I don't like too many bells and whistles. And I don't really like seeing all different styles of posting templates - it throws off the flow of the thread for me. On my site, we don't use post templates, it's just a justified block of text for each post. We do have site templates that members can contribute to for other things, like development, texting, social media, games, etc. that are optional. And as long as it's not in the main IC forums, members can use whatever kind of template they want. But I think that template coding/hunting takes away from the game's focus, which is why I did a bunch of premades for people to use instead. So I like the practice of not using templates, or at least having ones readily available, that match and don't disrupt my reading. Being customizable to my character isn't important, but having the ability to change colors or something is nice. But I also like having the option for people to submit their own creations for use, too, so that creative outlet isn't totally ignored.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

VirusZero    862

I only really care about the aesthetics insofar as they relate to legibility and utility. I mean a site that's neon pink and green is going to turn me away because it's going to be hard to read. A site with size zero font and no contrast? Same thing. A site that goes nuts with hover and fade? second verse same as the first. 

 

If people want to use post templates, they can again provided that it doesn't make the reading aspect harder and that I'm not forced to use one (because I won't). So anything that uses hover or fade is out. (Mobile is a thing and hover tends not to work on it.)

Though it does kind of irk me to see a narrow forum with a post template that even further reduces the amount of words per line. (Like seriously if your post area is only 400 pixels wide to start with... don't have post templates that take up another hundred pixels with meaningless crap.)

 

 

I like the layout to have some semblance of thought put into it. I mean categories and forums in some kind or order. Like not having rules in a category all by itself then 12 random in character locations spread across 3 categories that are also littered with ooc stuff. Rules should be easy to find (whether in a dedicated important document section or a link to their wiki or pages section I don't care. Just somewhere that I can relatively easily find it.)

 

 

 

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blackjack Bart    1,157

I need legibility and practicality. No low contrast themes, javascript everywhere, threads buried deep or information spread across multiple threads when 1-2 would work, etc. I don't care for fancy hovering and fading effects; it lags, it breaks , it covers background content like links.

 

I don't mind popular skins so long as the code isn't broken and I can read the text!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elena    1,147

I only really care about the aesthetics insofar as they relate to legibility and utility.  The focus on writing with using the less codes possible - and no post templates - is a bonus.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CovertSphinx    443

I believe @VirusZero said it best. Sure, an outrageously beautiful skin is nice, but in the end it does NOTHING for the site itself. Once you look at the site every day for a few weeks your brain is going to shut off the design of the site to begin with. And it won't cover up a lack of "Meat" in the RP for long.

 

I think people are more apt to "put down" skin 'snobs' that insist the skin of the site has to be some sort of prize painting or Mona Lisa compared to the rest of the internet - the people that will join a site that they think is Meh just because the skin looks like a scenic holiday card; not the Middle-ground RPer that just wants to be able to stare for long periods of time and not have to take an asprin for jarring contrasts.

 

I believe Aesthetics should only be important as far as utility and legibility. Is the content streamlined and labeled for easy access and navigation? Do the colors blend well together, a reasonable size and font to be legible but not monotonous? If there are images, do they fit well with the theme trying to be conveyed? Nothing too busy but not empty either?

 

 

Now, my question for you @anthrxmilkshake is: What's you definition of Aesthetically Pleasing? since we all probably have different opinions on how much is not-enough or too-much

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately I can't really help my need of a well designed forum. Amateur graphics that are haphazard and clash colors turn me away. I'm inexplicably drawn to a well designed forum, it's just the way I've always been. As for your question @CovertSphinx, it's a great question. The answer is actually pretty simple. I won't stay with a site that is boxy, utilizes the original layout of the site with minimal design around it, or the graphics are just sort of 'thrown together'. That being said, if the plotline or storyline particularly call to me, I'll probably stay regardless, especially if the people running the site are nice, welcoming, open, and draw the player in.  In the end "Aesthetically Pleasing" to me is a site that is well put together, easy to read, no hardly legible words. Colors that don't clash or blind the reader. Neon colors drive me nuts, unless they're done in small amounts. A boxy site with weirdly rounded sidebar boxes filled with tiny words and titled with overly curly font is something I see a lot on proboards, and that is pretty hard to get passed. 

 

One thing that usually trumps a well appointed site for me is a set of rules and informational threads that are all horribly typoed and hard to read. I feel like it's important for a site based on writing to have threads meant to tell the player what is going on and what to do to be at least spelled correctly for the most part. I say 'for the most part' because everyone makes mistakes and misses a typo here or there. Hell, my grammar isn't the best on the planet, and I'm constantly mixing words up myself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Renya    2

I tend to be more interested in can I read this? I dislike having to zoom in or spend my time squinting hard to figure out what the content is all about. That being said I admire anyone who does create truly beautiful sites for their games; and they are ones who will make me stick around. Usually because they are the ones I can read!

 

Anything like neon colours -- just so much why? or tiny fonts... 😞 will make me go off as soon as I can get my pointer up to the little 'x' and I'll avoid the place thereafter.

 

Honestly; at the end of the day it is more about the hook to snag my attention but if the information, rules and most especially the people don't win me over then I won't be joining or sticking around no matter how good the site looks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Midian    19

Aesthetics are good, but I have seen sites that have taken the idea of graphic design to a level that makes their site impractical. 

 

When I go to a site my first priority is to get started.  I like sites that are easy to get into but allow for creativity.  Streamlining the process of approval, plot creation, and posting is key for me.  Graphics can lure people in, but what makes them stay is the posting.

 

Posting templates are a new thing for me.  I don't use the but I have never had a problem with others using them (so long as they don't mind my lack of using them).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

Claire    39

My next site is gonna be the epitome of simplicity. As much as I love the bells and whistles I much prefer the stripped down themes that are elegant but focused on forum mechanics and RPing.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kit the Human    165

-starts crying- I just want to be able to read a post without squinting and play on a forum from my phone. Is that too much to ask? -more weeping-

 

I'll join a site with post templates but I won't like them. 

 

I guess my real answer is: I like pretty sites that are legible and functional.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards

KAIJU    2

I have totally joined sites that I have no real interest in just because they're pretty and grown to love them.

I have a HUGE weakness for pretty and well built sites that they can literally intice me to join even though  I have had no interest in them previous to coming.

 

That being said I will straight up leave a site if it's poorly built and  hard to navigate. It's not at all shallow I think. Just practical?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zozma    1,218

Aesthetics are somewhat important to me, although I have to admit... I've joined sites with horrendous skins just because I liked EVERYTHING else about it. (And this means I actually joined a site with a dark skin and tiny grey font... I used templates with BIG fonts and a white background and dark text but eventually got too lazy for that. Part of me was hoping the admin would get the hint and make a light option...)

 

Anyway, I really like skins that play with color. I like light skins and I like pastel colors. I like super wide post areas. Small ones make me feel claustrophobic. I do like some dark skins though, but I prefer even those to have a light background with dark font. It's just easiest for me to read. 

 

I don't much care about graphics. Just slap something up, whatever. I'm not judging because all I do graphics wise is crop. lol 

 

I do like to see new and exciting things done with site layouts though. I've seen a handful in the past where I just thought they were absolutely beautiful and that a lot of work and talent went into them. But there's nothing wrong with simplicity either. I find myself drawn to some rather basic looking themes lately, without all these annoying bells and whistles like sliders and "mini" profiles that are more like mega giant profiles, since they take up a monstrous amount of space in the post area...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.