I’m all excited this morning. I ran into Jack Slocum‘s PHPBB+YUI project. You can see the default PHPBB install here and then check out the YUI version here. The readability improvements are absolutly astounding. I’ve seen attempts to create multi-pane forum views fail many times. This version seems to take a lot of cues from a mail client interface – and takes them very well.
I don’t know just how well evolved the project is, how bug free the interface is, or if every feature is fully implemented. However, this drastic change in forum formatting seems to present almost no learning curve time. Unlike many interface designs, I didn’t find myself ‘figuring it out’ – it just made sense. That may be because I’m used to a mail client interface… or it may be because that interface is so well evolved.
Regardless, it’s refreshing to see this kind of work being done. I can’t wait to see this sort of UI work make it into standard forum interfaces. The forum really does need to either evolve… or die.