I want to give some feedback about the paging in the forum and about some other things.
I am an experienced user when it comes to forums and all sorts of web applications but even I did not see the small numbers of the paging at first. So when I browsed one of the topics I started, I did not realize that there was another answer until I got an email that took me directly to it.
The reason why I didn't see it by just looking at the thread is that the paging is so tiny. They can quickly be overlooked, especially by users who are not so used to complex interfaces like a forum. We have many of such users among our clients.
I am worried about those users. Some of them complain about the forum not being easy to use and not intuitive enough. Too many little icons, boxes, and buttons. When I look at the paging, I can understand why they are saying that.
The usability of the pagination could be easily improved.
You guys do a great job for the most part but the interface could really use a facelift and become more user-friendly. It seems a bit old-school to me.
Another thing I want to suggest is that you consider moving away from all these tiny image icons (most of them are not pretty anyway) and consider using Fontawesome or another similar solution for all the icons. This would also result in a better scalability. Right now all the little images look blurry when I scale the page.
Well the whole point of using templates and child themes is so that you can change whatever you like. Move things around. Remove items you do not want. Change the sizing and placement. Etc.
For the record, the 'BareBones' theme uses font glyphs. It is also was designed to have a more simplified look.
I appreciate the hint. I think I am going to scale those pagination items to make them stand out more.
However, wouldn't it make sense to optimize usability for all themes?
As a web developer, I very much appreciate if I have to customize less of the basic interface and don't have to worry about the sizes of buttons and such.
I will check out the theme you mentioned.
It is also important to remember that the WP theme being used can have an enormous impact on the display of SP (and all plugins come to that). The SP theme inherits everything from the WP theme.
I dolt know if you will like BareBones - it is the theme that we now supply as standard with SP core - but it also tends to use more textual links rather than icons. And has a basic customiser tool for colours and base front size.
These are all good thoughts. I will check out that theme when I have my clients confirmation for the update of the general theme, probably with the new version of the forum coming (you said around 2 months from now). It's a bit of a budget matter because he's hesitant to spend a lot of money on the forum. Anyway, I believe in it and think it is worth it to make the forum easy to use and more attractive.