I am trying to make a forum decision based primarily on a few key features and a rather vague "ease-of-use" criterion. Of course Gossamer Forum meets all the feature requirements and even a few nice-to-have options. It does everything but walk the dog. I think I saw someone working on a plug in for that, one too!
I like the capabilities of the GT forum and the collapsible menus, but I fear that the majority of my users will not. My question is whether it is possible through the use of the templates to remove some of the options and visual noise that are cluttering the display and just have it behave much more simply in the display modes.
This is a very personal opinion, but the user interface I fear is complex and intimidating to the first time user, and in particular to the computer neophyte. It is very important to me that someone be able to walk right in and use this thing, and I think many could not.
I recently finished reading a web usability guide called "Don't Make me Think" and I find myself staring at the controls here quite a bit. I see icons that are buttons and icons that are not. I have used this forum about a dozen times and i don't know the difference between expand entire thread, expand and view collapsed and I don't really care a whole lot. I'd rather see it flat.
I'd like to see some featured clients to see what folks have done with the templates. Does anyone have anything simple and friendly?
Thanks in advance,