Forum changes

Leebo

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In full disclosure..................
The update today was only supposed to fix some very minor bugs. There really wasn't supposed to be anything noticeable occur. :) We had planned on setting up how content is displayed in the future, but things didn't go exactly as planned.

In the end it was easier to hurry up and setup the new content view than it was to revert everything and start all over. There's still some issues with the new views I'm working out, but I'm very pleased so far. In addition to how content is now displayed we've also now got increased control over when posts get displayed in the "Hot" tab plus we can now manually bump threads we feel are important to the top of various lists when we want content to be VERY noticeable. Again, none of this is perfect just yet......but I'd say it's somewhat acceptable at this point. If you see issues please let me know, and I'll look into it.
Lee
 
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Newdude

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In the end it was easier to hurry up and setup the new content view than it was to revert everything and start all over.
Totally fair enough. (y)

It scrolls smoothly and has a nice feel to it. Will there be a mobile friendly version / old ‘new posts’ button ? This post for example takes up the whole page that would have listed 15 before. Scrolling is free so it’s not the end of the world or anything, but still.

B3821803-C017-49DD-848B-2BE6F4AF8D7E.png
 
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Mdragger88

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One suggestion/question..
in the past the notification bell would only clear if i had read/clicked on all the notifications - if i had read some but not all it would still display the number of unread ones. This seems to be gone now it clears the number at the top even if u just read one , the unread ones are just in bold on the list 😢. I worry one will get lost in the mix & won’t get replied to in a timely fashion.
 

proavia

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Once you go to the section you want, you have to look to the far right and select the filter elements you wish (i.e. unanswered).
Thanks Pat - I did see that, but not exactly sure that is what I want or why I need extra clicks to get to simple stuff. I want to see all posts I haven't already seen or marked as read. Previous version made that a very easy one click option.
Mark Forum Read is gone.
That is a shame and loss of a great feature. I usually reviewed any new posts I was interested in and then clicked Mark Forum Read. Next visit showed only new posts since last visit. Now it shows pages and pages of posts. Seems like it needs to query the db and load a long list of posts instead of new since last visit - and possibly wastes valuable website resources and bandwidth.
 

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Mdragger88

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Thanks Pat - I did see that, but not exactly sure that is what I want or why I need extra clicks to get to simple stuff. I want to see all posts I haven't already seen or marked as read. Previous version made that a very easy one click option.

That is a shame and loss of a great feature. I usually reviewed any new posts I was interested in and then clicked Mark Forum Read. Next visit showed only new posts since last visit. Now it shows pages and pages of posts. Seems like it needs to query the db and load a long list of posts instead of new since last visit - and possibly wastes valuable website resources and bandwidth.
I just tried the filter & it stays in place even when you navigate away from the page so its a set it & forget it type thing. I haven’t tried signing out & signing back in to see if it sticks yet.
 

mknauss

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If you sign out or close your browser, you have to reset your choices. They do not stick.
 

Leebo

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Thanks Pat - I did see that, but not exactly sure that is what I want or why I need extra clicks to get to simple stuff. I want to see all posts I haven't already seen or marked as read. Previous version made that a very easy one click option.
Please note my goal is to make it where this setting sticks for yourself. It won’t stay at this time so you will need to preform a few extra clicks, but I’m working to make it where things will save. This way users will be able to totally customize the feeds to get the view they want.

That is a shame and loss of a great feature. I usually reviewed any new posts I was interested in and then clicked Mark Forum Read. Next visit showed only new posts since last visit. Now it shows pages and pages of posts. Seems like it needs to query the db and load a long list of posts instead of new since last visit - and possibly wastes valuable website resources and bandwidth.
The end goal here is endless scrolling……and we’re very close. 😉 I can possibly figure out the link for “mark all as read” and add a link somewhere but I wanna see a few days/weeks without it.
 

Texas Splash

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Lee (@Leebo), I don't know if you mentioned this already, but something else I really miss that I'm not seeing ....... the "break line" in the POSTS section "No Updates Since last Viewed" on my screen. When I look at the POSTS section for example, it was very convenient to see that break to let me know I don't need to scroll any further down since I saw those posts already.
 

PoolBrews

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The first thing I go to when I come to TFP is the new post section. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but so far I don't like the new look. It's far "wordier", and I have to scroll a lot more to look at posts. Under the old view, it was a simple one liner for each post, and I could see 10 or so on my screen at once. Now I see 1 or 2, and if I change to list I see 3 or 4.

Seems like a simple thing, but this makes it painful to scroll through the new posts. (I worked in user interface design for quite some time:)).

Just providing feedback :)
 

NCMike

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If we are keeping score, add me to the group of wanting the "Mark All As Read" button back. I know I'm not an expert here, but I do try to read the forums daily, and specifically look at new posts and help give advice where I can. There are many threads I just skip over because I know I can't help. Before, once I looked over all the new posts and read/responded to the ones I wanted to, I would mark all as read so the next time I visit I didn't have to see anything that I skipped over previously. Now, the list just keeps getting longer and longer, and its hard to know which unread threads I skipped intentionally last time and which are new.

Still an awesome forum, and I definitely appreciate the continuous improvement efforts. But for me personally, these changes make the forum less user friendly.
 
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Leebo

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A few comments as I'd like to be fully transparent in my goals here...................

For starters I'm fully admitting the design isn't exactly where it needs to be. It was pushed live about a month early, but so far the damage has been very minimal. We were going to go in this direction later this Winter anyways so I'm not terribly disappointed things have went the way they have. We've been running this layout on a testing server for about 4 months now with minimal issues as Moderators have assisted in testing so we kinda knew what to expect once we went live. This all said, I 110% know we've gotta tinker with some more things and address them. Without a doubt the #1 thing I KNOW we need to fix (if possible) is to make it where the Default "sticks" as it's very stupid they don't. I've already been in communication with the developer to see about making this happen.

For the time being, if you preform the following steps you will recreate the old "New Posts" view...............
  • Click on the "List" button as this removes all the "Preview" text and shows everything in the older format
  • Click Filter and the check the "Unread Content" button
Once these are clicked the view is almost exactly as it was before. I do stress the word almost as there are some changes, but IMHO the changes here are minimal. I do fully admit they don't stick, but I'm working with the developer to address that. Their answer maybe it's going to cost a ton of time/money to alter this in which I'll curse but I'm at least trying to fix this issue.

So why the changes?
As full discloser, I'm one of the younger people here on TFP in my early 40's. I grew up using forums and the current layout after I joined my first one in 1999. I've also been a user of many other social media sites for the last 15 years and have learned how to use many of the popular ones out there in order to help "keep tabs" on what my children are doing. For some time I've watched social media sites move towards an Interface that's totally different than forums and I've watched as younger people have somewhat struggled with the layout a forum offers. I've spent some time talking to the developer of this new layout and have agreed that there's some opportunity to help move the look/feel forward to help newer users while still also keeping things the same for established users. I don't think the interface is a carbon copy of social media sites, but it's a step in that direction. At the same time I am working towards keeping things the same for existing users, but we're not there just yet. I am taking notes of feedback here knowing changes are going to need to be made, but at the same time I'm pleased with the performance and numbers I've seen over the last 1.5 days.

As an example of what I'm working towards, take a look at the "Media" feed as it's one of the most polished at this point. I think it's in need of links to the exact thread (works for desktops but for some reason not mobile devices) but it's very friendly to use and does tend to keep you viewing more. I tossed this feed to my wife who almost never visits the forum and instantly she found herself scrolling looking at the photos seeing stuff she likes. This is what I'm hoping to see more of, but for sure there's some stuff that needs to be addressed. We're doing these changes in the Winter where traffic is down about 75% compared to the Summer, so let's hope by prime-time next year we'll be mostly pleased with the new direction and offer younger users a more modern option to view content.
 

proavia

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Please note my goal is to make it where this setting sticks for yourself. It won’t stay at this time so you will need to preform a few extra clicks, but I’m working to make it where things will save. This way users will be able to totally customize the feeds to get the view they want.


The end goal here is endless scrolling……and we’re very close. 😉 I can possibly figure out the link for “mark all as read” and add a link somewhere but I wanna see a few days/weeks without it.
I know you're still tweaking - hopefully not endlessly. :poke:
It's like the cookie that is set doesn't contain all the necessary data to make those settings stick.

What is "endless scrolling" and why do I want it?
Yeah, having "mark all as read" back would be great - along with the "no posts since last read" that Pat requested.

New and updated is not always better.
Do you run a test site along with the live site for testing purposes? It would be nice to let Guides, Experts and Moderators have access there to beta test new "features" and updates.
 
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