Re: First Impressions to Newcomers (About Skins)
I have to say that more negative impressions come from everything being so empty than the general appearance of things here. Pretty much every Pokemon forum has a decent skin. Some of the best ones I've seen have been on tiny forums that never took off, so it is obviously not doing them any favors.
You might get better results from condensing lesser-used forums sections (10 posts yesterday in one section looks better than 2 posts, 3 posts, 1 post, 1 post, and 3 posts in a bunch of related-but-separated sections) and evaluate how many things actually need their own section with a realistic idea of activity level here. Totally empty forum sections that have posts from 3 months ago on the front page don't look good. Of course, you don't want one giant section where posts get pushed off the page in 15 minutes, but balance is key. I know when I see a section where thread #2 is from October, I don't even bother posting. I assume no one goes there.
Delete stickies that have out of date information or are never used anymore and replace them with fresh new ones. Have the authors be people who are still active. When people see that a bunch of the stickies are made by people who aren't here anymore it definitely gives the impression of a forum that has "died."
The name of this place is, well, *cough* sooooo 2000, but a rebranding would probably be too hard on the people left. It's long, it's referencing a date that is now almost 13 years ago, and just doesn't roll off the tongue like other one-word website titles.
If I had to pick a skin to be default, I'd say Your Adventure Awaits is my favorite. Version Reshiram still has some colors that look... off.
But I don't see why sparser skins should be deleted. If someone really wants to use them, even if you don't understand why, what's the harm? After all, more isn't always more in terms of web design. Some of us are turned off by 30mb pages with zooming objects, rampant abuse of the gradient tool in whatever editor the artist used, flash animations, sound effects, music, and bull-poop that follows the cursor around. I know this is the other extreme and not at all what pe2k looks like, but some people do prefer simplicity and if someone really wants to go change their skin back to BlueCommune, it's no skin off my nose.
But as a former user, the main reason I don't come back in much capacity is more due to lack of activity than any aesthetic differences. This place needs to find its niche. Probably the most appropriate audience is people who are seeking a friendlier atmosphere than somewhere more serious (like smogon) but a somewhat more competitive and slightly less restrictive atmosphere than serebii, which is a delicate balance. Could use some social events and such besides just plain giveaways, but I am not sure what. Something big, fun, and creative, that shows off the diverse talent and interests of the people left here.
Anyways, just my $.02 as someone who used to be around a lot more and isn't for whatever reason. Ciao.
Last edited by Tasteless; 12-12-2012 at 07:12 AM.