June 23rd, 2007

SITE NEWS: Message Board Upgrades

Our AccurateShooter Forum is a cornerstone of this website, attracting over 5,500 visitors per day, and generating nearly 700,000 page-views per month. For the past two years we offered the Forum in two formats–a standard format that fit within the same, general layout of the editorial pages, and a “full-screen” format that dispensed with the navigation buttons on left and top in the interest of providing more “real estate” for the readers.

We found that, once users became familiar with the Forum they almost universally preferred to use the wide layout version of the forum. This reduced the need to scroll around, and it also allowed you to view large photos better. In light of this user preference, we have now officially switched over to an “all-wide, all the time” Forum format.

In addition we’ve added some significant upgrades. A Forum FAQ + HELP section was added today. In addition, we have added a very powerful poll module. This allows us to run multiple, photo-illustrated surveys at the same time. The polls are set to randomly rotate each time the main forum page is refreshed. The ability to provide photos of products and allow users to voice their preferences should yield some fascinating results. At right (above) you see one of six polls actively running on the forum. Below is a screen shot of the new Forum displayed at nearly full extension on a 19″ monitor. As you can see, there’s lots of room. Hopefully readers will value this upgrade and the change will demonstrate that “bigger is better” when it comes to web pages.

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