I love the new forum. It’s much less static than the old forum. It feels more like a social platform now.
Yeah it’s growing on me. Change is difficult… but well worth it
BTW you can get to the last post by clicking on the X mins ago.
I know it is not obvious but…
Nothing is obvious. The lack of visual clues to what’s a button and what isn’t turns this into a game of hide and seek: Confusing button styling
One of the issues I found with the new forum is that it somehow promotes quantity over quality. People seem to naturally use it more as a chat rather than for forum posts. Instead of longer, elaborate messages, I am now seeing a lot more short messages which are difficult to put into context with all the others. It feels more like scrolling through Skype message history than a forum, so it’s bit harder to backtrack in a thread and find a relevant information.
VBulletin seems to be the main choice for professional computer graphics related forums. I can’t really comprehend why probably the most controversial forum system was chosen.
The quantity probably comes as it’s a new forum and overwhelms with new design and features. Certainly not a bad thing to try it out. Probably after a few days everyone calms down and posts return to normal size and content.
Backtracking could actually be easier now because of reply functionality linking to the referenced post.
I’m not at all averse to change, however change has to be a positive thing. Whilst there are a few neat little touches, there are too many negatives.
Infinite scroll. Very bad and goes against the design of most websites. When I use the browser scroll bar and scroll that bar right up (or down) - I expect to be taken to the top (or bottom) of the page. It works like that in 99.9999% of webpages, as well as in pretty much every MS windows program that uses the scroll bar. The way it works in Discourse is that it only takes you to part of the thread loaded by the ‘infinite scroll’. The get to the actual top or bottom of the web-page - you have to use the supplementary timeline scroll bar. This is very un-intuitive. This feel like a change for change sake, because I cannot see a single advantage over paginated forums (it’s harder to navigate, harder to locate and reference information, slower loading, takes more bandwidth etc).
On the main page - there is far too much real estate given over to “Latest” - whilst there is very little information given for the actual forum headings. The fact that the forum heading information inst aligned either (e.g. unread/new) make you have to jump around the page with your eyes, which again is un-intuitive - like information should be aligned where possible.
Some information is useless. Why do I need to know how many threads are unread in each forum? It’s a forum - not an email inbox. It doesn’t tell me what those unread threads are - so I have to click into the forum anyway. It also leaves them unread if I don’t actually click inside the topic. I (and i’m sure it’s true of most people) only read topics that are of interest to them. So the “unread” statistic is always going to be high. The fact that it changes over time conveys very little useful information. For example - General Forums is currently showing me that I have 100 unread threads. When later in the week it changes to 105 or 110 - what am I supposed to do with that information? It’s telling me how many threads I haven’t read that hold no interest for me…ok great…and erm…? Also - I’m still non the wiser what it actually means. I thought the little blue dots denoted unread topics, so I clicked on some topics with blue dots and went back, and sure enough the dots had disappeared showing that I had now read them - yet the “unread” statistic remained the same?
Within a forum, there is far too much white space and again, useless information. Why is there a “users” column showing user avatars taking up so much space? That might work if BA was some sort of chat room and you were looking out to see where your mates were, but the way posters post on topics, often days go by without a reply. Also, the content of the post is often far more important than who made it. If somebody ask a question on the support forum, i’m sure whoever asked it doesn’t really care whether it was me, Secrop or AceDragon who answered it.
I also don’t like the fact that within topics - the conversation is confined to the middle of the page. I have a 24 inch wide screen monitor that I often browse in full screen mode - yet 40% of my screen is unused as I have 4 inch wide white bars either side of the screen. I expect web pages to adapt to my screen settings - not assume i’m browsing on a mobile device held in portrait mode. This also leads to more scrolling since topics are compressed to fit in a restricted horizontal space for no reason.
Some visual cues I like to see are missing. Things like highlighting your relies. If you are looking for a particular post you made in a thread - highlighting your posts can be very helpful (even more so with infinite scroll).
There is inconsistency with regards to icons/buttons/hyperlinks. Even the reply button looks different depending which part of the page it’s on (within a thread it’s a dark grey left pointing arrow on a white background with the word “Reply” next to it - but on the timeline 2 inches to the left, it’s the same grey left arrow, but this time inside a lighter grey box. Then at the bottom of the page it’s a white arrow on a blue background). Some buttons also highlight when you mouse over - some don’t. Some buttons result in a small pop up window, in some of these windows you have an x to close them (like the poster history), in others you have to just click outside the window (like the poster’s member information). Why so inconsistent? It’s like somebody has got a box full of widgets - and felt they had to use every single one of them at least once.
I get the impression Discourse was designed for conversational/chat type social media or collaborative working within small teams where a timeline of events, who has replied and how many unread messages there are is important information. A forum like BA however is essentially a source of news and a database of information across a global audience - so much of this ‘collaborative’ stuff is pretty meaningless.
I think the same. It appear to be more designed for people that work all day with the forum instead of people that use the forum a few moments along the day. But even the developer webpages is easy to read and understand.
Exactly this. For a collaborative team working daily on a project - I can see how it would work.
But for a forum where people may only dip in a couple of times a day/week - I don’t see the benefit.
I work in an industry where gathering user requirements is paramount and have also worked as a software developer - and it’s often obvious where a software developer has developed software to suit their own ideas/needs rather than the needs of their user base. I suspect that may be the case here.
You’re right, the OS scroll bar became very useless on this website. I always use the mouse, touch pad or keys, so I didn’t notice that. Seems like a flaw that’s hard to fix with infinite scrolling.
I’d also like to see “Latest” being moved to the background or toggled with a button.
The unread counter (or at least an indicator that some thread is unread in a category) seems to be the standard and was also present in the old forum. It’s useful for categories you’re activley following, so it would not be a good idea to remove that feature. But aligning this information would probably make it more organized.
I personaly like whitespace as a layout element and I think it was a similar padding between posts in the old forum, even more when including signatures. I support removing or shortening the users column to thread owner and last posting user.
This is a difficult design issue many websites have. Even when you google something, only 1/3 of the page is used. The reason for that is that long lines are hard to read. There are several articles on the web suggesting 50 to 75 characters per line and while it always seems to be a waste of space, I have to agree that it’s more comfortable to read.
When reading emails I often enjoy reading them on the phone more that on the pc, because of the additional line breaks.
Post highlighting could indeed be useful. Maybe adding color to the top line or the name would help.
I think the blue dots are all new topics that are most likely not interesting for you, while unread topics are only marked when you have replied in them or read them for 4+ minutes.
That’s fine - but it should be up to the user to decide, that is afterall why we have resizeable windows within Windows. If I want 50/75 characters per line - i’ll size my window appropriately. If I want more - i’ll go full screen.
The text adapts and gets compressed if I make my window narrower - so I don’t see what justification there is for putting a hard coded cap when it’s made wider. Why not make it adaptable to all window sizes? Surely it took more effort to actually hard code a limit?
If it absolutely must be limited - then at least left justify it, so that the right hand side of the screen real estate can be used for another floating window (like the Google example you cited).
And that’s where I’d have to argue with you. Can’t please all of the people all of the time.
The code required for the width restriction is trivial (one line of CSS) and IMO it’s far better than having the text run all the way across the page. And often I don’t want to shrink the window, so personally I like the restriction on text width. I can code it myself as an override, but I can see why they did it as default.
I can’t log in using chromium 53.0.2785.143, no errors showed…
The same happens in incognito mode
What happens when you try? Can you share a screenshot?
I’ve heard about this technology, where the server sends just text and some markup (“this is a header, this is a paragraph, …”) and the user can configure the formatting such as font size, page width, color etc in their web browser. Instead of the page maintainer having to come up with a compromise and adding themes individually, every user can change it to whatever they like best.
Let me think, what was it again…HTML 1.0.
another bad thing i have found:
scroll position doesnt save. when i click on a section from the homepage, or a thread from a section, pressing the back button always resets to the top of the page. its suppose to scroll to where it was. most other websites have this function.
So we have two options.
My option: Make the text fit the width of the window - and thus make it easy for people to resize their text as they see fit using the inbuilt functionality of windows, functionality that has been around and well established for well over two decades,
Yours: Restrict the width - and if people want to override it and make the text wider, they have to tweak the underlying code as a workaround…
Even if restricting the text is the right thing to do - it doesn’t have to be centred on the page. Why have wasted screen space to the left - it makes no sense. People naturally read left to right and having it left justified would feel far more natural…just like Google does.
Disable CSS and it’ll be like that.
Why shouldn’t both be available and left to the user as a choice? It seems like an odd order of priorities that I have a dozen of options for notifications and custom backgrounds for user profiles, yet cannot configure font size or paragraph width without 3rd party CSS injection.