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Full Version: Suggestions for the Theming Section of the Mods Site (for Future Implementation)
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I know a few designers are angry at theme series (don't want to point fingers, but I do know Apart/Afresh is a component) because of their to use the Mods system to almost rob other themes of exposure (whether accidental or on purpose). Now, before commenting in this thread, please be aware that my opinion is not biased and this is not at all an Apart/Afresh hate thread or anything. I'm just trying to give some suggestions to make the mod site theme system more fair.

I know that these ideas can't be implemented in the current mod site, and so they are for any future versions (as far as I am aware, a new version is being made?) So hopefully these can be implemented by the time MyBB 2.0 is released.

Issue #1: Alphabetical Listing with No Variation

This system has led to abuse after it was discovered that you could get your theme in the spotlight (I do admit that I am guilty for taking part in this). For example, looking at the 1.6 themes right now I see the first entry is "A Royal Theme". Since when is an indefinite article considered part of a name? In the 1.4 themes, why would somebody name their theme "AAA Red". Are you kidding me? It has gotten to the point that designers are considering changing theme names just to get more exposure.

In the future, and I know this would require a different structure altogether , there should be several things on at least the main page (from there, users can click to search with the same structure as the current one). There should be listed five or so of the latest themes, and then five or so of the most popular themes. This way is fair, as all get the same exposure (from new submissions), and those that deserve it will get on the main page under most popular themes.

From there, users will be able to search further with different options such as Alphabetical, Latest, Most Popular under the same structure as the current site. The difference between this and the current site is that the user has to specifically click to be given the type of sorting, rather than being default forced to browse in a specific way.

The main issue that this is tackling is the unfair exposure that the first page gets, and that only smartly named themes will get. The main page should be constantly dynamic. If possible, a Featured Theme section would also be cool, and I'm sure several people would volunteer to manage this (if staff is too busy to do it themselves).

Issue #2: Theme Series

Theme series are another method of abuse. Authors take their theme, create a bunch of variations, and release them as 20 different themes that are all released to the mod site as their own submissions. This takes up a huge amount of space, and when combined with Alphabetical listings can just completely wipe out other themes off the map.

My suggestion: Combine all theme series. Designers should submit series under one submission. If possible, a future option on the mod site is to provide options for "series" themes, where designers can upload multiple versions of the theme to display on the same page. The other option is to simply require them to put all of the series under 1 folder, and have the users upload which one they prefer.

These suggestions would help organize the themes section much better, provide more equal opportunity for designers, and in the end improve user experience as well. The above suggestions are my own, and I would love for further user input. I would specifically love input from Designers, MyBB Staff, and Alan Crisp (being the MyBB Mods developer).

Thanks a lot for reading this, even if only the first few sentences. Smile

Sounds well thought out and reasonable. I support.
Support! This should've been done during the beginning of 1.4. But as they say, "Better late than never."

Agreed with Tierney on the well thought-out and reasonable part. Smile
You make some good points Zash. I'm sure Alan will consider these as he's writing the new mods site Smile
I like the theme series idea. That would definitely take out some clutter. I think grouping them would be the best option, rather than forcing authors to put all options in one download.
Zash is right, I never even clicked in to naming my theme so it gets top listed!
(2010-08-19, 02:46 AM)DougSD Wrote: [ -> ]I like the theme series idea. That would definitely take out some clutter. I think grouping them would be the best option, rather than forcing authors to put all options in one download.

Well there could be an option of downloading them all too Toungue
Both completely sound ideas.
I support these ideas too.
You raise some very good points Zash so you'll probably be pleased to know that most of these things are already addressed in the plans for the new site. In fact some are even partially implemented.

There's been a lot of talk about the new mods site features in recent weeks so I'll aim to get a blog post up soon to address some of these points in more detail. Further suggestions are always welcome.
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