OT: New boards: The Good, the Bad and the UGLY

My short list of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

First, the Good

  • No Ads! (yet?)
  • Editing and formatting posts is so much better and the instant preview is nice.
  • Especially quoting a post, inserting a link or image.
  • I mean images! the internet has those now.
  • You can edit a post…after you’ve posted it.
  • Polls are so much better and not limited to 5 options
  • Speed is much better (probably due in part to no ads)
  • Seems like lots of hidden features and new (less visually efficient?) ways of doing things

The bad

  • The new layout makes it more difficult to see what has been posted and who has posted, what you’ve read and not read. Disorientated is a possible description…or maybe just lack of orientation.
  • There is too much wasted white space; can you give us a higher density overview of a category’s recent posts?
  • clicking to get rid of the side bar doesn’t improve this. Seems like this is a placebo at least on the desktop

And the Ugly

  • The transition was terrible. (We thought the new boards would be heavenly and they seemed to have stuck many in purgatory)
  • Losing your favorites and having to discover that you have to enter them as categories and tags should have been done for us or explained in advance to minimize the pain
  • It appears that there was little consideration to finding out how existing posters used the boards for the past 20+ years

heaven-hell

Mike

31 Likes

Two thumbs up emojis on this one. This is the key problem. In particular, finding out how the people that produce the most valuable content for the forums, liked to navigate them and use them.

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When I look at “all categories” and “all tags” I get the sense the techs looked that over very carefully.

When I look at “all categories” and “all tags” I get the sense the techs looked that over very carefully.

“How they use the site” and “Which bits they use and when” are not the same though.

There’s a branch of software engineering called ethnography in which instead of looking at the figures on your server, you sit down with (or watch via video) an ordinary user, a power user, etc and literally just… watch them for an hour. Take notes. See if ‘what you think they do’ matches ‘what they actually do’ and ‘what they think they do’.

In a best-case ethnography study, you even have things like eye-tracking equipment to understand what people glance at briefly and choose NOT to interact with, as they work through the interface.

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I am aware of that. I think it would be the wrong approach. But hey we are assuming it was not done. No reason to assume that either.

There are only so many approaches to this. Using a tree like this has been made a bit more complex. Familiarity clears out the complexity. We are in the first few days.

Some people need to stop complaining for the rest of us. Then they need to get used to things. It will look better a week or two from now. But that wont stop permanent complainers.

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Great post @luxmain !! I’m a little tired of all of the ranting that is going on here about the new platform, but instead of complaining and telling others what to do, I’ve tried to be helpful to those folks by trying my best to explain (even including screen shots) how I navigate the new boards.

'38Packard
– really hoping that folks adjust quickly and we can get back to the great old content on a new platform :wink:

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Two quick comments: One, studying how people used the old boards would provide limited insight as to how people would use this one as this one works very differently and that is going to result in very different usage patterns. Two, there is certainly a better place to discuss the general features of this new site than METAR, which is not about the site.

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38,

It has been good to see you chip in and help others.

I have actually done as much as anyone here to help other adapt to this format.

I agree it is tiring to hear the ranting, but that is calming down as others get used to things. It was nothing more than a passing comment. It was not directed at anyone. I do not harass people.

May be it is a personal thing but I do not like complainers. My generation is in retirement mode. When I am out with other people in my generation and they complain about the wait staff it bothers me to no end. It is arrogant and nasty to hard working people.

The TMF techs took this effort very seriously. Size that up folks how you want to respect that.

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I’m still baffled anyone has any positive thoughts about the old board. I’m glad the switch was made and like this site so much better.

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It baffles me as well.

Like I just mentioned, I see some folks in my generation complaining about every little thing. I think that is no way to go through what remains of ones life.

The TMF techs are being forgotten in those complaints. I respect them. This is a complex job. It was boiled down to a few controls and some bells and whistles. People asking how can I…? Need the bells and whistles.

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It’s not too mysterious. The two board systems are structured differently, and emphasize different things. So if you find the things that the old boards emphasized, and made easy, to be things that are more important to you you’ll have some regrets about the change.

Certainly it is much easier to compose a post now - and there are many more features as well (edit! pictures!). It’s lovely to have a working search function again. It is much easier to find posts based on subject or content.

But it’s much harder now to identify which posts in a thread or category have been made by specific posters. Simple things like putting the “like” count at the bottom of a post (where you can’t see it until you’ve read it) rather than at the top of a post (like at TMF 1.0) change how you can use the boards to “skim” to comments that got a lot of response or approval. There’s still ways to do those things, but they’re much less convenient.

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Al,

I can not find how to make the icons bigger in preferences. Sorry.

The categories on the left, if you see the blue print next to the category that is the “unread” it brings you to the last comment in a thread. When you read the comment the blue takes it off the unread.

You are having vision problems. That is harder.

I would agree with that as a general principle, but unfortunately, one of the key problems some people have had (not myself, except a little) was navigating around and finding threads they wanted to find in the first place… and the chances that people are going to be immediately subscribing to the ‘correct’ place in the first week of the new site is low. So (speaking personally) I’d consider the opening days of the board & opening threads a special case.

A solution might be to automatically include a ‘tracked’ category of "Needing help/giving feedback’ for all new accounts & any accounts yet to contribute. I’ll suggest it to the admins.

Congrats! Glad that some people are finding it better. What do you like about it compared to the old one?

(I ask because perhaps there are some good things about this that I’m missing or failing to appreciate, which would offset the things I don’t like)

I suspect it’s one of these things though where enjoyment of the platform likely depends on how you use the site & other sites, what your expectations are in a discussion forum (or ‘social media platform’). Or maybe as simple as being like the taste vanilla/strawberry ice cream.

And how fortunate we are, that you are willing to mention your thoughts on those people and what you think they should speak about or enjoy - again, and again, and again!

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Harass someone else. find someone who wants to hear it.

Hey, I managed to find the first person I want to block. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to block him. Is your first name “Karen” by any chance? “Karen Leap1”?

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I am going to block Lux. I do not need to constant moaning.

edit should have done this two days ago. I was being nice to him.

Rayvt,

By all means, go to the avatar in the right hand corner > bottom of the icons the profile > preferences > users > Leap1 select forever. :wave: :wave: :wave:

Rayvt we can do it at the same time. Good bye