Let's Talk About Forum Aesthetics

I am generally a proponent of a relatively minimalist approach to web design. I favor clean and simple because that’s what feels elegant and approachable to me. I’m something of a visual learner, but I can’t really draw or use photoshop, so I avail myself of the tools at my disposal, and produce the best work I can.

That said! If anyone has any thoughts or concerns regarding the color scheme, fonts, layout, &c. of these forums, please let me know. It is my goal that they be easy to read and navigate by whomever. And insofar as we have control over the interface (which we do only to an extent), I intend for us to avail ourselves of it to make the best possible experience for everyone.

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About the Port Katherine app’s image (the icon for this website):

I was on the site on Mobile today, and was prompted to “add Port Katherine to my home screen”, which I did. But there’s one small problem: the image used for the app is largely a transparent grey and as a result is nearly invisible (with my woodsy background at least).

If it were opaque I don’t think there would be an issue.

That aside; I love how the site looks on Mobile and Desktop! You/You all did a wonderful job!


It would be phenomenal if there was a way to display character names alongside/instead of usernames in the IG sections of the forums. (Or just in general, that would be cool too.)


@Shades: I have updated the favicon for both the main site and also the forums, so hopefully you should stop seeing that smudged gray icon (which is, in fact, the default icon for Discourse, our forum software.)

@spaige: If a user has set their default character (by clicking the :heart:︎ icon next to that character on their list of characters), the forum now grabs that character’s name when they sign in, and displays it next to their username. So hopefully over the next few days/weeks, you should start seeing people’s character names appearing.

Great feedback, thank you both!


@eben, this new favicon looks so much better! Thank you!

Would it be possible to start reply chains so it’s a bit easier to follow when conversation get broken up?

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So, the exact UX of replies is (sadly) outside of my control. But I do know that Discourse basically handles replies in one of two different ways, depending on whether you click “Reply” on the thread, or the individual post. If you do reply to an individual post, then those replies are all aggregated under that post, just hidden beneath a drop-down link.

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I am completely brain dead right now, so I’m sure that made sense, but I don’t get it. Thank you for explaining though.
As another question that, what made you choose this for our forum?

This actually depends on how many people have posted between you and the post you’re replying to. This post being an example. This was a direct response to the individual post, but isn’t aggregated right below.

@LadyMaverick: You are correct, apparently I over-simplified. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

@ConnorM: I chose Discourse because I’ve used it before, and it’s generally been my experience that it has a clean UX, a nice feature-set, and some convenient configuration options. Also it’s open-source (which is big with me), and the back-end is Ruby on Rails (same as the main Port Katherine site, and most of the projects on which I work.)


Fair enough, programming isn’t my forte,but I can see what you’re going for.