I like the dark theme, keep this. But I feel that only working on the front page's CSS and HTML makes the actual forums stick out like a sore thumb. And yeah, the front page is just really cluttered and there's no um, clear direction that your eyes should move in. It's just too much to take in at once.
Also on mobile you have to scroll for a while just to get down to the topics, which I feel is one of the more important part of VGC. While it's nice to see the OP's avatar next to their topics, I feel that since the website is contained in a div that allows for ads to be displayed, it takes away real estate for negative space. Overall I think it's too busy and the forum design isn't cohesive to the new changes.
I know web design is difficult, especially if you're the only one working on it (I've been there) but I feel there's still room for improvement. I think if the designer is going back to the drawing board, keep negative space in mind. Think about what ideas aren't necessary to the design & usability of VGC, explore ways to use less real estate for news & articles while still being omnipresent meaning, maybe use carousels, scroll wheels, etc. And finally update the forum designs. If the front page is focusing on hard edges, modern minimalism, then the forums should too. Remove the round corners from the forum actions, enlarge those forum action buttons and update the forum icon to match.
This is going in the right direction, your work is appreciated, it just needs to be polished. And that's the beauty of art right? You can always improve.
Edit: Also, whenever I post in forums the line breaks/paragraph breaks aren't processing when I submit. Hence the edit.
Edit 2: Another issue that bugs me...the Global Hardware Totals. Like I get it, it serves its function but I think it's time for a redesign. Paper Prototyping goes a long way.
Thank you for the constructive criticism. There are bugs that either we missed in our testing or didn't show up until now. Once we fix the slowness, the next step are bug fixes, then working on suggestions from the community. As for the Global Hardware graph, we do plan on updating that as well as adding other new graphs for other parts of the site in the future. We just ran out of time.
A lot of us in the staff do agree about removing the avatars from the forums on the front page and are brainstorming ideas to make it a bit less cluttered.