Main Site Documentation

Get rid of the side panel? Opinions?


I have been reading the forums for quite some time now, and the sidebar is starting to become a little bit annoying. It never really changes and it only takes up space at this point, so what’s the point of keeping it up?

What does everyone else think?


Iagraee with Chris. I could use the extra space on my iPad.


It is there for new users. Experts do nor need it


I personally think there is enough information for beginners already. I doubt anyone pays attention to the side bar and it does steal precious screen real estate. Can anyone speak from experience from when they were a beginner. Did you read it? I will admit at first it helped with alerting firmware update requirements. I believe the updated downloads page helped people figure out what to do now. Should we need an alert I think a horizontal line with a bright color background is just as effective and smaller. I believe the Why FEZ should be broken into it’s own testimonials page.


To me, a better place for helping newbies would be a dedicated place, visible in the top menu, like suggested with insistance some time ago.
The “Update firmware” advice being in good place in that dedicated page.

But this panel doesn’t bother me that much :slight_smile:


I didn’t realize it was clickable until very recently. Even then it was a pain to navigate through the items since it only allowed navigating forward and not back.

Personally it has little value to me. Nice to have it display recent FEZZer or Projects updates instead.



yep I agree more content and less candy, engineer vs marketing?


I do most of my forum reading on my “Samsung Galaxy S” Andriod phone. The side bar on a desktop isn’t so bad, plenty of horizontal real estate, but on the small display on the phone, the sidebar uses so much valuable horizontal space the text of the posts are reduced to a small blur of pixels. I need to rotate, pinch and zoom to get the text readable.

Vertical space is no problem, vertical scrolling is a easy and natural thing. Horizontal scrolling on the other hand is not so pleasant.


I agree, it’s not really needed. Maybe we can add things like the contest on the top menu?


The side panel serves an important purpose, especially for newcomers. Moving the same information to the top of the page does not save any screen real estate it just rearranges it and leads to more scrolling on every single page (scrolling is bad from a human readability standpoint.)

The column width for the posts with this format is about right as well. If it were wider it would be much harder to read, the line breaks offer a natural stop to the eye and helps you keep track of where you are on the page.

Now, could the content in the sidebar stand to be updated more often? Sure. Given the choice of the guys at GHI worrying about updating the sidebar once a week or working on fixing up Fezzer or other things on this site I would latter two.


I have to disagree with Jeff. I only believe the side bar helped when everyone was having the same issue and needed to update their firmware. The issue’s disappeared along with the notice.

Does anyone read “Why FEZ?” Maybe out of curiosity the first time they see it. I’m not sure they’ll read all 18 entries though. Should that earn so much space on every page? No. It should be on the front page along with the rest of first-time visitor reading. It’s not necessary to spread it over every page.

The “did you know bubble” is read even less then Why FEZ.

If a temporary notice is needed a 30 pixel high box at the top will serve us well. I think the forum could use a little more width. As for the contests, they do need high visibility and should be placed somewhere more prominent. I wonder… :wink:


To be honest, I never read the sidebar when I was a newbie. I agree with Josh that it only helped with the firmware update issues.


I think it’s has nice touch, maybe hide it on mobile devices only ?


Think Global, not Local!
Not only that it is for the newcomers, but also, for the peoples from somewhere else, who happends to search, or tag for the words, and happened to land here at And I’m quiet certain that’s a good reason why they put that sidebar there. (another good thing is for showing off to others who might be interesting in what we’re all doing here.)

I think is already generous to us by providing us a commercial free environment, look at some other website that is commercial oriented, you would see too many ad. and that is a lot more distracting, confusing, don’t you think? Only a small side bar which contains some good words (probably, one that came from you!) would not hurt me that much.

In My Humble Opinion, (sorry, I hate the Abbr. especially the Abbreviation of the Technical term that I have no way to know, when it appeared on the thread.)
The Side Bar is more important than the info of the user, I believe!
I rather read more important message on the side bar than knowing who has how many points (this doesn’t means that I do not like the point systems) but we already have a page that dedicated for that , all the info and ranking could be moved there and we could gain more estate, something like 20 to 25 characters per line. And only put only half the size of the icon up there (see the attached image)

The things that’s annoying me the most is the Ranking Icon, the EXP Point, the EXP Bonus, and the number of the points to the next Rank. All of this info can be listed in the users/ranking page there. And if you’re too obsessed with your own ranking, the link is alredy provided under your name, right!

The Icon seems to be too big. And most of the time when someone post only one or two lines, the icon pushes the next message down two or three lines. The vertical estate is wasted.

And with this solution, It wolud solve your problem too, Josh.

my two cents!


There is a fine line between a website that provides free info (like Lifehacker or Engadget) and a website that is for talk of the website owner’s products.

It would be totally unprofessional to put ads on such a website as this. They aren’t being generous, they are being professional.


Being professional is one thing, and it doesn’t mean that a professional would be generous, or have the generousity. ???


I find the TinyCLR staff monkeys to be both Generous AND Professional.


I totally agree with Sam. The length of the user information is usually longer that the actual post so that is a wast of space.
From a marketing perspective I can see the point of the panel, but for user it serves no purpose, it’s just some quotes and statements that is of no interest for newcomers or regular users.


Keep on the suggestions coming. is almost done with stage A and we will be focusing the next month on filling your wish list :wink:

This is your chance to say what you want. We have a VERY VERY long list by the way! worries, we will complete it soon.


I would love to see a issue/bug/request tracker, where people can enter issues/bugs/requests, and that will be at the same time some sort of roadmap. I know this kills a but the surprise fact for the great new features you build in silently, but on the other hand, people will know what to expect in the next release. Just an idea…