Really? Hmm... I wouldn't think the "retro" theme would be available for phpBB 3. Didn't know that at all, so... pardon the assumption
Well, you can hopefully see my point though: it certainly looks
nauseatingly dated, at least to someone that's lived on the internet their whole life
. I always get a "ugh..." feeling when I go to a forum that uses the default theme (i.e. subSilver).
It's not so much function - although some functional improvements would be nice, like longer thread pages. Some "impossible" (or likely to need a complex modification) features would be better thread organization as a whole - like mimicking Facebook's new "threaded comments" system that ranks posts by content and their "likes" to place the highest-ranked comments/replies at the top/beginning of the thread for easier placement. Since individual posts become more "highlighted" in context-related searches (they become the "results" themselves, completely out of context), to shuffle the posts out of chronological order and into popularity order would probably be beneficial to someone browsing "threads" instead of searching.
Really, the problems we see here are, like the forum itself, problems inherant to the whole phpBB system, not just this site. Because phpBB is a traditional, old-style "forum" system, these little things have been improved by other sites over the years and I'd found they really help improve the quality of conversation. Most of the time, when I browse here, it's a headache to try to read - I see a 30-page topic and I don't even want to BEGIN
trying to read through it all. Sometimes I'll read the first 3 and last 3 pages and hope there's nothing important in between, as the conversation often gets completely off-topic while the authors are trying to re-rail the thread but outside topics keep (understandably, and innocently) coming up that bloat the thread.
Well. Yeah, that's a good example of going wildly off topic.
Anyway, as for the theme, just anything
to make this forum unique and separate from every other phpBB forum
would be really nice. Any theme you choose from any themes directory online would be unique - but it's really no good if it's not the default theme that's changed. It's just that the site looks very "cookie-cutter", void of anything unique to the fact that we're an awesome LEAF community and not just another cookie-cutter forum.
It'd just be a matter of picking a theme that's not horribly amateur (as anyone can submit those themes), and just as was done to put the MyNissanLEAF logo in the corner, just brand the theme for our own community
The primary concern would be to make the site appear more "modern", as anyone that's been around for a long time online knows this is phpBB and an old style at that. The nav-bar, for example, I never even looked at because I never see any useful links up there except "User Control Panel" on these forums. So I didn't even realize there were links to "Wiki" and "Blogs" up there. It's the style... I never even thought to look in all the places I already knew there wasn't something useful