UnitedIssues- Political Debate Website

Vultren's picture

They have: 6 posts

Joined: Feb 2009

It took 3 different site iterations to come to a conclusion on this one. I'm just looking for some feedback on the design. It was coded using CakePHP. I think it turned out great, but what do you guys think?



pr0gr4mm3r's picture

He has: 1,502 posts

Joined: Sep 2006

Pretty cool - I've never seen a community site in the form of debate threads. Nice job with the design, too. Nice and simple.

I think for the categories where you don't have anything yet: instead of having a blank page, maybe have a form right on that page for someone to create a first topic for that category.

When submitting a message, why does it have to go to an empty page with only the message? I think, for example, when I submit content on a debate, it should go right back to that thread, and display a notification at the top of the page acknowledging that the reply was received.

Edit: one more thing - how do you like CakePHP? I've never worked with that framework before.

decibel.places's picture

He has: 1,494 posts

Joined: Jun 2008

When pr0gr4mm3r and I agree on a political topic... Laughing out loud

Nice site, reminds me of Drupal modules:


I would have also added a poll, although I guess you have the function de facto.

What do the different icons on the left mean? I see no pattern...

Vultren's picture

They have: 6 posts

Joined: Feb 2009

pr0gr4mm3r, Thank you very much for the comments. We really do appreciate the criticism, and have actually changed a few things tonight of what you said and some others. We really do appreciate it. For the categories, we will be adding something like a buttons, tonight or tomorrow. Its a good idea, and even if it isn't blank, we'll still be able to have a button there for faster and easier responses. We will also be changing that blank thing, It was a thing I brought up too when working on it in the early stages. Its something Cake does, but we can remove it, which we will do.

Other than that, I wasn't the one who actually coded the site. I'm the owner of the site, but I hired Fabry Design Co to do the coding, so I'm not sure how he liked it, but from what he said it was very fast and easy to do things. So it sounds like it was good?

decibel.places, thank you too for the response! In the future we will be adding a poll, its just not one of the things we needed for the launch. Umm and those icons on the left are the avatars the user picks. There's a few different ones you can pick from when the register and can change them under "settings" when or if they want.

If anyone else wants to say anything, it's very helpful! The more we get, the better we can hopefully make it!

decibel.places's picture

He has: 1,494 posts

Joined: Jun 2008

Vultren wrote:
those icons on the left are the avatars the user picks. There's a few different ones you can pick from when the register and can change them under "settings" when or if they want.

oh so the icons are user avatars... maybe they should be associated more with the username, or they could be made meaningful (# of posts & comments, rating, political inclination...) - they are interesting but I think you are overlooking a useful ID with them.

teammatt3's picture

He has: 2,102 posts

Joined: Sep 2003

Because it's a new website, you may want to consider getting rid of the advertisements. Aaron Wall wrote a post about under monetizing your website now, to gain more marketshare in the long run.

I really think this is a cool idea. I hope it turns out for you.

QuinneticDotCom's picture

They have: 5 posts

Joined: Feb 2009

First of all, great layout. It is very clean and stylish looking. My main issues with it are as follows:

1 - I agree with decibel - I would make the icons more representative of something (i.e. one icon means social issue, another means fiscal, etc...). That way visitors could easily find issues that they are most interested in.

2 - I like the layout of the issue for "America- On the the road to Socialism?". Specifically, on the homepage it only has a title and a question. Some of the others appear to answer the question in the caption, and this may shy some visitors away from the subject thinking that they will either just be repeating what has been said, or else trying to argue against the moderators - which can sometimes get you nowhere as they control who posts. If the captions were limited to just posing the question, I think that people would be more likely to click through and read the post, and give their opinion.

I do love the concept though, and may frequent your site in the future. Best of luck to you.

Brian Quinney

Vultren's picture

They have: 6 posts

Joined: Feb 2009

decibel.places- The avatars (if you click join you can see them all, you don't have to register if you don't want to, but if you'd like to see them just click join) they are basically just pictures to help recognize someone. I made them with different colors in order for people to promote their party or what not. For example the Republican might pick the Red avatar while the Democrat will pick the Blue avatar etc. Is there anything you would recommend we use them as?

teammatt3- Thanks for the opinion, we do like the ads I don't think they're too distracting, but yea I could see how it is a little irritating. We're not trying to flood the site with ads, we're staying very conservative on that and are not trying to give users the wrong impression.

QuinneticDotCom- We actually are going to try to do something along those lines. Lucky I found this site, because that is a good idea. I really do actually like it.

And then the other part, I actually posted the one you were talking about, that's what the goal of the titles was supposed to be, like the one I posted with the topic then a question. But sometimes people get a little excited. It's all good, it's a user fed content site, so if we have a huge problem with it in the future, we'll find a way to fix it.

Thanks for the responses guys! This is a great site, I'm getting a lot of good feedback. Does anyone have anything they would add to the site? Any ideas?

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