3. Forum List page

To access the Forum List page which is the heart of this site and contains all the discussions, click on the word Forums in the Main Menu. We may also refer to this page as the Forum Index page, Index Page and Main Index Page.

The above picture shows part of the Forum List page which is split into two areas, the main Content area where all the forums and sub-forums are located and the Sidebar, which is on the right hand side of the page. All pages on Forum Box are similarly split into these two areas. Lets look at these two areas in more detail:

A - Content area

This area is arranged into sections (or categories, the terms are used interchangeably), forums and sub-forums.

Currently on Forum Box, there are five sections on the Forum List page, they are Current Affairs and Chit-Chat Forums, Politics Forums, Media and Entertainment Forums, Specialist Forums and Site Stuff. These sections contain the forums and sub-forums.

Taking the second section as an example which is called Politics Forums, this section contains two forums: UK Politics and World Politics. These forums also contain sub-forums. As you can see from the above picture, the UK Politics forum contains five Sub-forums: Brexit; Culture and Community; Defence Policing and Justice; Health, Education and Welfare and finally Elections - National and Local.

The Forums and sub-Forums are the places that contain all the discussion topics or threads, the terms are used interchangeably on this site.

Forum and Sub-forum information

Using the Politics Forums section as an example, lets take a closer look at the information being displayed here:

Forum Icons:

This icon means the forum contains unread posts. Double-click the icon to clear all unread posts.

This shows that the forum has no unread posts.

Sub-forum Icons:

Like the Forum icons, these icons indicate whether there are unread posts or not.

The icons may change in look in the future, but the functionality of them will remain the same.

Forum links, descriptions and notifications

After the forum icon, is the actual link into the forum itself which is in orange writing. Currently, all links on Forum Box are in orange coloured writing. So, looking at the picture above, to access the discussions in the UK Politics forum, click on the orange word "UK Politics" which will take you into the Thread List page for the UK Politics forum.

As you can also see, all the sub-forums are located underneath the main forum and all of these contain discussion pages too, Again, simply click on the orange links to access them.

To the right of the forum and sub-forum links are the red notification boxes. These show how many unread topics there are. If there are no unread topics in a forum or sub-forum, the red boxes will not appear.

Number of Threads and Posts in the forum

Scrolling further over to the right and you be shown how many threads and posts are in the forum, as you can see from the above picture.

If you move your mouse cursor away from this area, the information about the number of threads will disappear and you will just see one number, which is the number of posts in the forum. Move the cursor back over the area to see the full information being displayed again.

Last posts area

Scrolling further to the right of the page and the last section of information, as shown in the above picture, relates to the last post made in the forum.

Starting from the right hand side, the avatar of the last member to make a post in the forum is displayed. Click on the avatar to quickly jump to the last unread post for that thread.

Next to the avatar picture, is the title of the last thread which is a clickable link (all links on Forum Box are in orange coloured writing). Clicking the thread title link also takes you into the thread. However, if you wish to see a preview of the post without actually entering the thread, hover your mouse cursor over the thread title and a preview box will appear.

Finally, underneath the thread title link is the name of the member who made the last post in that thread and the date and time when they did it. If you hover your mouse cursor over the name, a small mini-profile box will appear showing you some information about the member. To see their full profile, click on their name.

B - Sidebar

The other main area on the Forum List page, or any other page for that matter, is the Sidebar.

The Sidebar is usually on the right hand side of pages and contains boxes which show various information depending on the page. Lets take a look at one of these boxes now.

The above picture shows the first box in the Sidebar on the Forum List page. It displays the last 5 threads which have had new posts. As with the last posts area in the main content section, this area works the same way with clickable thread title links, being able to click on member names to bring up mini profiles of them and hovering over the thread title links to get a preview of the posts.

There are various boxes all over Forum Box which show different information, so go ahead and explore them!