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I am no expert but the goal here is discussion. That means the discussion and content there-of is king. So why all the extra chrome? Avatars do nothing for discussion. (Same thing with signatures but you already knew that). There is a lot of extra white spacing that doesn't make sense. And finally discussion means back and forth. To me, that means you need a nested / threaded system. A 'flat' mode is fine for two people going back and forth but as soon as there is another subthread, the flat mode falls quickly into chaos. I like the presentation of the threads but the threads themselves are still a mess. I want this to succeed because I too often find myself digging through forums for information and it has to get better. But I would encourage you to see how well sites like Shacknews and Reddit get conversation going without all the chrome. PS - Sticky threads that are used as a "FAQ" that have 100+ replies instead of a wiki page are another forum annoyance. Figure that one out and you will be the richest person alive.
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Feb 5, 2013