MacCentral Undergoes Re-Design

3 minute read

As probably nearly all readers of this site know, I am a volunteer moderator over at Macworld’s Forums. Macworld recently revamped their website and accompanying website, MacCentral, which a new design. It’s a radical change for sure, but uses CSS heavily to improve portability and loading speed.

It has also moved Macworld’s news site into the main site and pointed the comment system for those stories into Macworld’s existing forums. This had couple changes that went along with it. The first being that existing MacCentral users had to get new usernames at Macworld’s forums (resulting in 0 post counts). It also meant that existing discussions were in a different forum system.

Before I give my personal spin, let me give a warning that this is my own personal spin. It has nothing to do with Macworld, so if you don’t like it, you have a problem with me, not Macworld.

  1. Instead of carefully examining the situation and seeing what the actual changes were, most users jumped to a series of rash conclusions which was joined with a lot of crass comments and childlike threats. It was fairly obvious what happened, at least to me. Macworld had two forum systems and migrated people from one to the other for the purpose of commenting on stories. Macworld left MacCentral’s forums in place, but they are no longer in use for story commenting. They did not “delete user accounts” as a few users suggested.
  2. Due to the number of overlapping users, merging the two forum systems wasn’t possible. I had logins for both sites, which was common. Additionally, some users that weren’t the same on MacCentral, registered on Macworld’s forums. Those logins couldn’t and shouldn’t have been wiped to be replaced by MacCentral users. That’s not fair. Instead, users are given a new account at Macworld.
  3. Avatars and image signatures are not allowed at Macworld. They make pages load slower and I for one applaud Macworld for never enabling those features. If you don’t like that, you can read the next point.
  4. MacCentral’s existing forum system is alive and well. It’s still accessible through a link available in Macworld’s forums. Use it.
  5. Being crass and making threats helps no one. It only aggravates those running Macworld. This goes for any business or institution. It’s like the old saying goes, you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
  6. If you don’t like something about the way things have changed, specify them. Don’t just reiterate the moronic “it sucks”. Describe them very specifically and be extremely clear about what you mean. Posting “I can’t make new topics” isn’t clear. Explain that you’re talking about creating a new thread about a particular story. Also, offer suggestions. “Go back to the old site” is not a suggestion. If the type is too big in your opinion, suggest smaller type. I think you can get the idea.
  7. That said, there has been, in my opinion, excellent feedback on the new design. There are a few users in particular that I can think of. They did all the things above I suggested. more importantly, they are going to wait to see how things play out for the next couple weeks. Others have not, opting for immature threats.

I’d like to see Macworld utilize the ability of different CSS style-sheets to be used. That way, they could offer a “Classic” style sheet that closely emulates the original style. Users could choose which style sheets to use. (For those of you didn’t pick up on it, that’s an example of constructive feedback.) The possibilities are many and certainly too early to pass final judgment on.

Addendum: I forgot to mention that post counts are not a functional thing at all. It’s completely for vanity. If your points are salient, post counts are unnecessary to back them up.