Oh gawd. The new Trail website forum has been promised for ages and finally went live today - and seldom have I seen a more retrograde step in a website. It’s bloody awful. Just take a look at the page: yes, it really is as bad as it looks.
I’ve posted a short list of technical errors and usability issues already from my first few minutes of trying to use it, and I’m not alone. Somebody clearly thought it was a neat idea, a sort of Zen concept, to draw textboxes with a faint wispy line that don’t follow the words at all, and to eliminate the usual neat boxes that delineate the sections of the page and replace them with little fractured bits of boxes… I could go on.
I can’t help but think it’s a determined attempt to pip Cotswold at the post for the accolade of ‘worst new outdoor website of 2007′ before the year-end. It won’t quite achieve that ignominy because at least it’s written in HTML and CSS whereas the Cotswold turkey is a dreadful Flash job, but it’s a worthy contender.
The old board was implemented with a standard forum software package that was easy to use and read. It worked as expected - and worked well.