Taking a few minutes to look at the new forums, the overall design and UI may look more “polished” than the old one, but has a severe decrease in readability and density of information.
Let’s take a look at a side by side comparison of the forum index:
-The new forums shows 6 categories that are listed with no space in between.
-The old one shows 12 categories, that are also grouped into 3 general areas with a nice visual separation between them.
Now let’s compare the view of the categories themselves:
-Already you can see that the new design takes up more horizontal space(tho a lot less atrocious waste of space than on index)
-The new forums shows pictures of users instead of usernames that participated in the thread. This is completely useless information.
-The “new or updates topic” notification blocks the colums headers “Replies/Views/Activity”, making you guess what those numbers mean.
-The dev tag has been moved to the middle of the screen, mixed in with other random user portraits, instead of being uniquely and obviously availiable to the left side of the topic name.
This continues in every section and aspect of the UI design.
tl;dr The new UI is a downgrade regarding usability, clarity and density of information in favour of being “shiny”.