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  #1  
Old 05-02-2012, 06:45 AM
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Heardy Heardy is offline
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Reviewed Mindless Junk - Full Review
URL: http://www.mindlessjunk.com
Topic(s): General Forum
Posts: 2145
Members: 90
Software Type: vBulletin 4.1.2
Launch Date: 12th January 2012

Comments: We appreciated your review last time and am hoping you can put out a full review for us this time! Our last review was in January with old software, now we have changed the way it looks completely.

Thanks for reviewing the forum!
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2012, 06:49 AM
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I am glad to inform you that I have approved your forum for a full review. A member of the team will be assessing your forum shortly and posting a detailed review on all of its operations.

Thanks,

Lochie.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2012, 06:54 AM
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Wow, that was fast. Thanks Lochie!
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  #4  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:20 AM
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Just my thoughts.

First Impressions
At first glance, and based on the title, I assumed this was an off topic forum. I was right, wasn't I? Nailed it. The title definitely suits the niche, and the vertically semi-symmetrical navbars are a very nice effect. The guest notice isn't too big, so it doesn't feel like the visitor is being forced to register, and the ad at the top isn't intrusive enough to make me feel like I need an ad blocker.

Look

Guest's Outlook: The various forums are in a sensible order, with the news and rules ones being the most important, and rightly placed at the top. There isn't an overwhelming amount of information on the index like some forums have, and the register button is easy to find.

Logos and Banners: The title image works well with your theme, and uses nicely contrasting colors. It's simple and doesn't really use any images, though. The logo you used on your forum when requesting the January review, which integrated the favicon into the title was very nice, and I think you should consider resurrecting it. However, the current one is equally tidy, and flatters your colors just as much.

Quantity of Forums: You seem to have a good number of forums, though the subforums of "Entertainment" and "Humour" (Hooray; British English) seem like they're a bit unnecessary. The forum just for smartphones seems like a waste, as it could easily go under one of the other forums, or be removed entirely. There are a few too many subforums under "Gaming", in my opinion, and they could easily be generalized to "Consoles", "Computers", and "Other".

Advertisements: The ads are sparse and, most importantly, not popups. We all understand you at least want to break even for the forum hosting and software, but with the way you've gone about ads, it seems like you care more about the happiness of your members than the ad revenue, and in the long run, that's what counts.

Color Scheme and Styles: Your theme makes good use of what I call the "rusty" colors, but it's broken up nicely by the yellow notice and the social networking tabs at the sides. The individual forums would likely look much livelier at a glance if they had mare colorful, or at least different icons than each other, but aside from that, it's very laid out and the colors work well together.

Page and Image Sizes: The images are good. They're certainly not oversized. On non-widescreen monitors, though, the page is pushed to the right, cutting off content and and leaving the social networking tabs to block the latest posts column. If these tabs weren't there, I wouldn't have as much as a problem, but not everybody is in the widescreen era yet, and they are a bit of a nuisance. It'd be a good idea to stop the page from keeping the black at the left side when there's not enough room for the content. In the meantime, I'd suggest moving or removing the tabs.

Favicon, Buttons, and Other Graphics: The favicon immediately reminds me what the site is - well, that or MegaUpload, but since that's gone, it just leaves MindlessJunk. The navbars are good colors, and the login button is nice and obvious, but other than the forum icons I mentioned earlier, it's a good set of graphics and coloring.

Feel

Sense of Community, Post-count, and Participation Overview: There seems to be a group of members that does a lot of the posting. Naturally, the top posters are the staff, but that's fine. However, there are a large number of members, of the 90, with a post count below ten. That might be okay, but up to 40% of those low posters have a post count of zero. It seems a lot of members stay for a day or two, but then drift off. You need something to hold their interest. Maybe a very limited time contest for now? The trouble is, there are so many off-topic forums out there now, it's hard to be original. What can you offer that other off-topic forums can't?

Postcount and Quality: Like I said above, there are a lot of non-posters. Whether they're bots or fake accounts or not is not my concern. The posts that are there are of good quality, though, and if those members continue to be active contributors while you find others, there's a good chance the now ones will stick around for longer.

Contests, Games, and Diversions: As far as I could see, there were no contests on offer. But with a memberbase that isn't so large, it's not a good idea to run them yet, anyway. The forum games section you have is a smart choice, but the posts in there make up for what the other, more specific forums are missing. Follow some of my advice on the number of forums to help with this.

Management

Points of Registration: The register button at the top of every page is in plain text, but the login button is a bright image. If you're trying to encourage possible members to register, you'll want the register button to stand out. If a member's returned, you've already hooked them. You don't need to make the login button flashy. At least give the register button an image.

Rules, FAQ, and Privacy Policy: Your rules are fine, but you may want to include that members can't spam ads (unless you allow that), and make sure everyone knows you can change the rules at any time. A privacy policy is also a good idea to have, just in case there's some smart-alec out there who thinks he/she can get you in trouble for not doing so.

Quantity and Activity of Staff: The staff are posting plenty, and three administrators is fine for the amount of members, and lack of objectionable content being posted. You all seem to be doing a good job of keeping the forum tidy, aside from what looks like either bots, or members who didn't like the idea of migrating the forum.

Overall Impressions
A great start to a site, though not without its flaws. Fix up that register button, get the page aligning properly, hold on to members when you get them, and liven up the colors a little bit. You should be fine without a privacy policy and extremely detailed rules, but you'll probably want to cover things better in the rules when you build up that activity.

Hope this helps you a bit.

~ broccollipie

Last edited by Judge Dredd; 05-05-2012 at 12:15 AM..
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:43 AM
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Thank you broccollipie for your review. We will take into account everything you said and try to rectify those problems/areas where something arises!

About the members, those are actual genuine members, funny ey? We haven't made any fake accounts on there but those people were friends that just signed up and looked at the forum which is a shame because they don't post. We also have an Android App for the forum so that members can view it on their mobile phones.

The only reason we have 3 Administrators is because the one wants to look at the styles but I don't think there's a way that you can do so without becoming an Administrator. (Correct me if I'm wrong, please!)

We might encorporate Smartphones into a Technology forum and see how that goes.

As you said, with the limited member base we don't really want to start a contest but if that's the only way we are going to gain members, we may have to consider it.

We may be reconsidering the style and redesigning the whole website once we've learnt how to develop our own styles. If we don't we may redesign the current theme we have in which we add new forum icons, change the logo back to the original one.

Thank you for the review again, much appreciated!
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2012, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heardy View Post
We also have an Android App for the forum so that members can view it on their mobile phones.
Something I didn't notice before was... is that an entire forum for a thread with the download link for that app?
Don't you think it would do better in the navbar?

I like your "clogging your cache" tagline, by the way. Perhaps incorporate that somewhere?
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2012, 09:21 AM
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No it's just feedback for the app itself, we could incorperate it into the navbar, I didn't think about that!
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2012, 02:09 PM
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Best vB4 skin I've seen! It all looks so well put together.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noles View Post
Best vB4 skin I've seen! It all looks so well put together.
Thanks Noles! We're not sure about having it fluid or fixed though, what's your opinion?
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  #10  
Old 05-04-2012, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heardy View Post
Thanks Noles! We're not sure about having it fluid or fixed though, what's your opinion?
Both! That's another thing I liked about the site because most sites usually have one or another, but it's good to give your members the option. Personally I like fixed skins, but others like it fluid, so I'd keep both of them.
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