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proavia

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Oh, I see you do have a test site - but only allowing Moderators to test it is a big mistake IMHO. That greatly limits the user base to test out and comment on new features and updates. There are a lot of every day users that put a lot of time and effort into posting here and helping others. Things need to be tweaked for the user base and not 10 or so Moderators.
 

Leebo

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In all fairness, don’t go blaming the Moderators here……most hate the idea of the changes more than yourself. 😉

Another change that’s occurred with the setup has been a “redo” of what’s now called Hot. Before TFP offered an option to display Trending threads but in all honesty, nobody ever viewed it. Behind the scenes we had zero ability to alter what content was shown nor did we have options to remove things we didn’t want to promote. With this new “Hot” feed we’re able to really dial in content we think our users most likely will view. As we set this up (it’s a work in progress) our goal is to predict what content you would open to read if you only had a few minutes on the site. Not only can we use the software to automatically promote content based on criteria we set, we also now can manually promote content if there’s a thread we feel users should read.

Again, it’s not ready for prime-time just yet, but it’s another step forward (or backwards depending on your viewpoint) with the new setup.
 

Newdude

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As we set this up (it’s a work in progress) our goal is to predict what content you would open to read if you only had a few minutes on the site. Not only can we use the software to automatically promote content based on criteria we set, we also now can manually promote content if there’s a thread we feel users should read
Well you certainly can *try*

9A367414-EAD8-4924-9942-5323E4039779.jpeg
 
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Mdragger88

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It’s hard adapting for the future & making everyone happy at the same time but I think things are going in a great & modern direction. On a positive note I have noticed that the notifications menu scrolls alot easier now which had previously been a point of contention for me since u can’t get to the menu until u scroll to the top. My only experience is on mobile iOS as I hardly ever use a computer. With every change there will be kinks to work out - keep up the good work 👍🏻 & try to get some sleep on occasion 🤣
 
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Newdude

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On a positive note I have noticed that the notifications menu scrolls alot easier now which had previously been a point of contention for me since u can’t get to the menu until u scroll to the top
Nice catch !!! That was miserable as any accidental side scrolling/shifting of the notification menu had to be undid to recenter the drop down menu before it would scroll. Now we can move it left/right and it still scrolls.
 

Newdude

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It was driving me crazy
I mean. As frustrating as it was I still was my usual goofball self doing the cha cha slide about it.

To the right now
To the left
Take it back now y'all
One hop this time
One hop this time
Right foot two stomps
Left foot two stomps
Slide to the left
Slide to the right
Criss cross
Criss cross
Cha cha real smooth
 
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Rocket J Squirrel

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As full discloser, I'm one of the younger people here on TFP in my early 40's.
You darned young folks! When I was young, we had CompuServe! And we liked it!
Call me lazy, but I just use a bookmarked link: New posts

:) Please don't remove this route
That's exactly what I use also, right in my browser's bookmarks bar. I also hope it continues to work.
 

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Leebo

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On a positive note I have noticed that the notifications menu scrolls alot easier now which had previously been a point of contention for me since u can’t get to the menu until u scroll to the top.
I can’t remember if it was March or April since our last update but over the last 6 or 7 months TFP hasn’t preformed only a single update of anything. Our plugins stayed the same, our servers were mostly untouched, and we only updated 1 key piece of software all year. Until this week the sole update preformed all Summer was to the program we use to manage our bulk email lists. We do this each year so we avoid major changes/problems during the summer. This weeks update was supposed to be an update just to catch everything back up.

Since our last update XenForo has released 3 updates that address little annoyances. If you really want to geek-out you can read about them here.
 

Leebo

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You darned young folks! When I was young, we had CompuServe! And we liked it!
If you wish I could maybe recreate their CB Simulator and we’ll just go for it! Colors and all!

Call me lazy, but I just use a bookmarked link: New posts

:) Please don't remove this route
I currently have zero desire to remove that. At the same time I also have zero desire to push that front and center any longer. I’m also trying to give users the ability to completely recreate that using the current interface. This all said, if I’m the future it comes between maintaining that “status quo” and doing some sort of move forward…….I can tell you which one I’m opting for. All this also said, I can’t picture what change may force this decision so I suspect you’re good for some time. 👍
 
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proavia

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In all fairness, don’t go blaming the Moderators here……most hate the idea of the changes more than yourself. 😉

Another change that’s occurred with the setup has been a “redo” of what’s now called Hot. Before TFP offered an option to display Trending threads but in all honesty, nobody ever viewed it. Behind the scenes we had zero ability to alter what content was shown nor did we have options to remove things we didn’t want to promote. With this new “Hot” feed we’re able to really dial in content we think our users most likely will view. As we set this up (it’s a work in progress) our goal is to predict what content you would open to read if you only had a few minutes on the site. Not only can we use the software to automatically promote content based on criteria we set, we also now can manually promote content if there’s a thread we feel users should read.

Again, it’s not ready for prime-time just yet, but it’s another step forward (or backwards depending on your viewpoint) with the new setup.

I'm not blaming the moderators. I'm suggesting you broaden your focus group. Maybe start off testing with moderators, and as things progress, add experts, guides and other frequent posters - and don't go live until you can figure out all the kinks. IMHO, the worst thing you can do is roll something out that really isn't ready for public consumption.

I am well aware what a pain upgrading/updating forum software can be and the challenges of integrating existing addons/modules poses - but jumping the gun with a general release will drive casual users away. And making what was once easy more difficult than it needs to be will certainly drive users away.
 
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Flying Tivo

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@Leebo Its not a big thing, but when you land on the New Content page and scroll all the way down there is the View More... Button. When you press this it refreshes the page with all the threads but takes you back to the top of the page instead of just expanding the page with more threads right where the last thread was. Just a suggestion.

Edit: i see i was using my old link to new post, using the new one fixes this, thanks
 

Leebo

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As I've mentioned above the new interface is a work in progress and I fully know there's some work that needs done. I'm also rather pleased with the numbers/feedback from the first few days of use and encourage others to keep providing feedback as we go. I've got the following email prepared to send to the developer but wanted to toss this out to this group to see if anybody else has anything to add.................

Good morning all,

During our last update we suffered some small issues with the Feeds plug-in being installed and overwriting some other parts of TFP thus causing us to setup Feeds live about a month earlier than I wanted to. I wanted to write to all to give some feedback however about the experience as I know your group is always looking to learn. This feedback is based on what I’ve heard/saw over the last week(tops) and really is based on some very early data. So far the setup has been somewhat smooth and I'm actually pleased with some of what I've seen.

I’d also like to start by being totally transparent about why TFP is making the switch to the new Interface. Over the last few years I’ve watched as about 70% of our new users left the website and didn’t stick around for long.....if at all. We’ve had some difficulty getting new users to post their questions and an even larger difficulty getting a user to stick around for the long term. We’re an amazing community, but the houses in this community are frequently sold. I cannot help but think part of the reason we see frequent turnover is some younger users migrate towards social media and the addicting interface.

One thing to put out there in the open to start is that TFP is made up mostly of older users. Our core (yet vocal) Usergroup tends to be males in their 50’s and grew up using the old fashioned forum interface. Nearly every person I ask had the same “pattern,”
  • Click View New Posts
  • Skim/open the titles for posts that interest them or they’ve replied to in the past.
  • Repeat if we’re lucky
Now some users may take things a step further and click the “Mark all as read” but that seems to occur maybe half the time.

This all said, my main goal of setting up the Feeds plug-in is to offer users multiple options to view the content. I want these existing users to be able to setup an interface that recreates what they're used to. At the same time I also want newer/younger users to be able to have an interface they're more accustomed to. I 100% see where the “Card” option can really grab some users attention. I see this somewhat like a Facebook feed and do see it offering a better experience for some younger users. At the same time this minor change (defaulting to card verses list) has really started the older users to call for my death. 😂😂 Those users whom grew up on forums are looking for a way to recreate the old New Posts feed without having to preform extra clicks each time.

So far I’ve been able to recreate the old New Posts options by having them select List and then check the unread content filter, but each time you leave the site these settings go away……even if you’ve marked them as default. Users all expect these filters to stick, but for some reason they don’t. Addressing this small detail I suspect would totally allow ALL users to have a 100% customized feed and would really make the plug-in clean.

I’m willing to fund some developer time if it’s possible to make it where users can set their personalized card/list option and set any filters they wish…….and get them to stick.

The next item that’s caught my eye is the Media feed. I’m telling you, this feed is amazing! My sole suggestion here is gonna focus on mobile devices and users who want to view a thread that a photo came from to learn more.

TFP uses the option in XenForo to “mirror” attachments in a thread to the Media Gallery. Because of this we’ve got a very well established feed full of amazing swimming pools and interesting items that catch the attention of some that are browsing. As users browse they may see a photo that they like and open it hoping to read the thread. If however a user is holding the phone in portrait mode (like any sane human being) there’s no way to access additional info like URL’s. If you’re an Alien just learning to use a phone and you’ve got it in Landscape you’re at least given an option to see the additional data, but in portrait mode…….you’re SOL. This small item kinda leads to odd browsing IMHO. I’d love to see in the future some way for users holding the phone in portrait to access the info that XenForo includes such as the url of the original thread.

Next item I’ve noticed is concerning the “hints” on the feed drop down that lets the user know if there’s new content in a certain feed or not. My initial reaction would be to see if we can disable that notification as I’m one of those people who thrive on having everything checked off. I’ve found myself clicking on a feed just to get rid of the number, and that’s what lead me to ask about having this totally disabled. That said, this is something kinda minor and I suspect it’s something we can get over in time. I do have a question however concerning one of the numbers. From time to time I’ve found the Forum List feed with a number next to it and I’ve got zero idea why? What does this number refer to? I understand others but cannot figure out what’s up with this one?

Last off for now are a bugs I think I’m seeing, and I may or may not have discovered. The first I may have discovered as I attempted to have all my Feeds checked off. 😂 If a user deselects the option to display the Forum List as a feed (AdminCP > Forums > Feed List > Deselect Forum List) for some reason it removes the ability to create a new thread from the Forum List. Is this something you can recreate? The second bug can be seen when there’s a moderated item that enters the approval queue. Once a user starts their very first new thread TFP manually reviews things to fight off SPAM. With the Feeds plugin enabled we now also have new entries to approve that state something to the tune “Auto-promoted Thread” that for some reason we cannot approve these? I’ve sent Will a screen-recording of the issue as we’re all unsure just what’s occurring.

All in all I do feel personally the Feeds layout does have some interesting potential but also has some area’s where it can be improved upon. As you know TFP is willing to work together to really help polish this new feature off and provide the users an improved experience. I look forward to hearing back from you on the idea of some custom developer time to address the cards, and I’ll also make sure to keep everybody updated as time goes on with other general observations. I’ll also be keeping a very close eye on the data from various analytics and the Xenforo stats to see if we notice any changes that we can maybe address.

As always, thanks for all the amazing work your company does and I can’t wait to continue to work together in the future!

Lee
 
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NCMike

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Jan 31, 2020
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Raleigh, NC
Does this forum integrate with the Tapatalk app? I don’t use it a lot but a lot of my younger friends use it to read the forums they belong to. They seem to prefer it on mobile vs reading forums in a web browsers on their devices. It may help you reach some of your goals from your email. Just a thought.
 

wireform

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Aug 15, 2017
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Spring Valley, NY
I think a big thank you is due to all involved. Change is always hard but a necessity in today's social media world. If it's not on TFP it'll be on every other forum sooner or later. I'll do whatever it takes to have this forum so if it means learning the new quirks let it be. In the end it's the TFP CLEAR POOL I aim for.
 

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