When a user lands on the main page of a forum he or she wants to know what’s hot right now. That’s why we are baffled by forum platforms that insist on showing a list of sub-forums instead. This hierarchical, top-down format reminds us of the way “search directories” initially tried to organize the information across the web.
You can see that the forum platform pictured below divides everything into countless sub forums. This is eerily similar to the screen cap from Yahoo that dates back to the mid-1990s.
When the forum/sub forum paradigm is put in this context, it looks ugly. It also looks ineffective compared to modern approaches for organizing large volumes of information. If you agree there is a better way, we’d love to hear from you.