Ask DN: Reimagining forum software. What would you like to see?

over 6 years ago from , Co-Founder at Compagnon Agency

Hey guys. I've been working on my own forum software for quite some time now as a side project and as a homage to bulletin boards which introduced me to the world of web design back in the days.

I'm not sure if any of you guys still spend some time on forums, or own one, but the main goal is to build a forum that is up to date and easier to manage without spending too much time figuring out how it works.

Forums seem to be a forgotten medium now that we have Facebook and Twitter etc. but for many people it's still a main source of information and a tool to talk about very specific subjects.

What do you think is lacking in the current generation of forum software, or what would you like to see in a possible revival of forums? :)

Here are some early screenshots:http://imgur.com/a/ysiot


  • Connor Tomas O'BrienConnor Tomas O'Brien, 6 years ago

    Personally, I'd like to see tighter integration with existing online identities (forums that allow pseudonyms/anonymity still have their place, but there are so many advantages to tying a user to their identity that any new platform should probably work around this), the ability for a user to keep up to date with activity across multiple forums from one dashboard, as well as the ability to limit who can participate in particular conversations (there are times when less voices lead to better discussion).

    I feel as though Branch (http://branch.com) were onto something, but they've stopped developing that service... I'd really love to see somebody pick that concept up and run with it.

    2 points
    • Falko Joseph, 6 years ago

      "multiple forums from one dashboard, as well as the ability to limit who can participate in particular conversations"

      Interesting ideas. Definitely something I'll take a look at! I like the idea of integrating multiple identities across the same platform, so you only have to sign up once (for example).

      0 points
  • Javin LadishJavin Ladish, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    I'm not really a forum user, but if I were I'd want something clean and minimal, with nice typography.

    In terms of design, your screenshots don't really feel like much of a 'reimagining' to me. It looks similar to most forums out there.

    2 points
    • Falko JosephFalko Joseph, 6 years ago

      Yes, typography will be an essential part of the core theme.

      The screenshots are just to show I've got a working prototype. The default theme will definitely change over time, right now it's mainly a tool to test the underlaying code.

      0 points
  • Carrie JonesCarrie Jones, 6 years ago

    I like what I see (and I'm actually in the market for forum software), but how does this differ from vanillaforums (http://vanillaforums.com)? It looks very similar to me. I think most forums still look very much the same. The important thing (to me) is the ability to @reply to people (the way I would on Facebook or Twitter), create private groups within the forums, elect moderators, and have a WYSIWYG text editor. The less design/coding experience you need to work 'em, the better.

    0 points
  • Catalin CimpanuCatalin Cimpanu, 6 years ago

    I really like how esoTalk ( http://esotalk.org/ ) works and looks. Basically as more AJAX as you can fit in. Tired of waiting for hundreds of redirects and page reloads for basic actions like saving a profile or editing a post reply.

    0 points
    • Falko JosephFalko Joseph, 6 years ago

      Looks nice! I've already implemented some AJAX here & there, but I agree, the number of redirects on most forums are crazy.

      0 points