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Various

Tamlyn
Grafter
Posts: 268
Registered: 11-04-2007

Various

Here are some things that I think need sorting before the site comes out of beta.
General
Navigation - put the logout link on the right and add a 'home' link in its place. The community logo doesn't look clickable enough to make it obviously a home link. Does the polls archive deserve its own section? As discussed elsewhere, it is detrimental to accessibility to add link titles that just echo the link text.
Search - the search box on the home page searches the blogs, the search page in the forum searches the forums. This is BAD. If we're giving the illusion of integration between these components, we need to take that all the way.
Blogs
Categories - can we have a nicer display of categories? Either as a vertical list or as a tag cloud.
Post headings - Don't make blog post headings links to themselves. It's useless, bad for usability, and means headings always appear in the dull purple visited link colour (because the current page is implicitly a visited page)
Pages - each blog has a page list with just one 'about' page. This looks weird. Also the page list is in the 'welcome' box which doesn't make sense.
Forum
You have 0 messages - Remove the message summary from the top of the page when i have no new messages. It's just clutter. And preferably show it at the top of every page (not just forum pages) when I do have new messages.
Unread posts since last visit - is it really necessary to have these links at the top of every page? Take them off ever page but the homepage.
Forum hierarchy - I find it ugly and confusing. Change it into breadcrumbs and use them throughout the site (not just the forum)
Forum(s) - the url says forum, the navigation says forums, the headings say forum.... let's be consistent. Also on the forum search page, individual forums are referred to as 'boards'.
Navigation - No need for a 'home' link here as the 'Forums' top level link goes to the same place. Similarly no need for a 'logout' link.
Date & time - remove the 'seconds' from every date & time display. It's really not necessary. I would recommend moving to 24hour clock too. It would be nice to have 'smart' dates that are relative to the current date (yesterday, last tuesday etc.)
Icons
The 'notify me' icon looks ugly.
Down the left in forum view, there are way too many icons! does anyone remember what they all mean?
The 'post reply' and 'new topic' buttons should be much bigger as they are the most used.
Thread view
Icons - the 'profile', 'website', 'email' & 'pm' icon links belong on the user's profile page, not in the thread.
The 'ip logged' icon and text below each post is not necessary for normal users.
'Report to moderator' should go next to the 'Quote' button.
Normal member's don't need to have a 'member' title. They are implicitly members if they aren't moderators or staff.
Post page
Are we able to change these pages or are they hard-coded into smf?
Message icons - can we move this to the 'additional options' hidden bit?
BBC tags - really? surely everyone calls it BBCode yet SMF have chosen to call them bbc tags on the 'post' page. Or better yet, call it 'formatting'. Can we change that?

ok.... that's enough for today!
22 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,264
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: Tamlyn
Navigation - put the logout link on the right and add a 'home' link in its place. The community logo doesn't look clickable enough to make it obviously a home link. Does the polls archive deserve its own section? As discussed elsewhere, it is detrimental to accessibility to add link titles that just echo the link text.

I'll take a look at these.
Quote from: Tamlyn
Search - the search box on the home page searches the blogs, the search page in the forum searches the forums. This is BAD. If we're giving the illusion of integration between these components, we need to take that all the way.

Unfortunately, not quite as easy as it seems Sad
Quote from: Tamlyn
Categories - can we have a nicer display of categories? Either as a vertical list or as a tag cloud.

I was writing that before priorities changed Smiley
Quote from: Tamlyn
Post headings - Don't make blog post headings links to themselves. It's useless, bad for usability, and means headings always appear in the dull purple visited link colour (because the current page is implicitly a visited page)

This was fixed, I believe.
Quote from: Tamlyn
You have 0 messages - Remove the message summary from the top of the page when i have no new messages. It's just clutter. And preferably show it at the top of every page (not just forum pages) when I do have new messages.

I think this would be a beneficial change, actually....
Quote from: Tamlyn
Unread posts since last visit - is it really necessary to have these links at the top of every page? Take them off ever page but the homepage.

Yes, IMO - but maybe that's just the way I use the forums. It's often the page I want to refer back to, using One Click rather than 2.
Quote from: Tamlyn
Forum hierarchy - I find it ugly and confusing. Change it into breadcrumbs and use them throughout the site (not just the forum)

This is an option, but as discussed in the office, is this something we actually want to turn on?
Quote from: Tamlyn
Forum(s) - the url says forum, the navigation says forums, the headings say forum.... let's be consistent. Also on the forum search page, individual forums are referred to as 'boards'.

Hmm, good point... should be an easy enough change.
Quote from: Tamlyn
Navigation - No need for a 'home' link here as the 'Forums' top level link goes to the same place. Similarly no need for a 'logout' link.

Will look ot remove.
Quote from: Tamlyn
Date & time - remove the 'seconds' from every date & time display. It's really not necessary. I would recommend moving to 24hour clock too. It would be nice to have 'smart' dates that are relative to the current date (yesterday, last tuesday etc.)

Default time format changed... I have Yesterday/Today showing for the posts, though, so that might be an option you need to hcange in your profile.
Quote from: Tamlyn
The 'notify me' icon looks ugly.

Agreed.. but Mitch possibly still has icons to skin.
Quote from: Tamlyn
Down the left in forum view, there are way too many icons! does anyone remember what they all mean?

Yes :-p
Quote from: Tamlyn
The 'post reply' and 'new topic' buttons should be much bigger as they are the most used.

Hmm, not sure I'd agree with this. Yes, they are the most used, but is that any reason for making them larger?
Quote from: Tamlyn
Icons - the 'profile', 'website', 'email' & 'pm' icon links belong on the user's profile page, not in the thread.

While I sort of agree, just about every major forum I've used has had these visible next to each post.
Quote from: Tamlyn
The 'ip logged' icon and text below each post is not necessary for normal users.

Hmm, sort of agree with that, but then there's also the argument that you should let people know that their IP is being logged.
Quote from: Tamlyn
'Report to moderator' should go next to the 'Quote' button.

Not sure I agree with that...
Quote from: Tamlyn
Normal member's don't need to have a 'member' title. They are implicitly members if they aren't moderators or staff.

Agreed. Will remove if it's a quick win.
Quote from: Tamlyn
Are we able to change these pages or are they hard-coded into smf?
We can change most things in the template.
Quote from: Tamlyn
icons - can we move this to the 'additional options' hidden bit?

Personally I'd prefer to turn them off if that's possible ;-)
Quote from: Tamlyn
BBC tags - really? surely everyone calls it BBCode yet SMF have chosen to call them bbc tags on the 'post' page. Or better yet, call it 'formatting'. Can we change that?

Quite possibly... maybe the [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/]BBC will pay us for advertising them ;-)
Tamlyn
Grafter
Posts: 268
Registered: 11-04-2007

Re: Various

Thanks man!
Quote from: Colin
Quote from: Tamlyn
Search - the search box on the home page searches the blogs, the search page in the forum searches the forums. This is BAD. If we're giving the illusion of integration between these components, we need to take that all the way.

Unfortunately, not quite as easy as it seems Sad

I know. Damn hard actually. maybe we can the google mini to crawl the community site and use that for a combined search instead? In fact that's clearly the best option and maybe use the smf search as an 'advanced forum search' option or something.
Quote from: Colin
Quote from: Tamlyn
Unread posts since last visit - is it really necessary to have these links at the top of every page? Take them off ever page but the homepage.

Yes, IMO - but maybe that's just the way I use the forums. It's often the page I want to refer back to, using One Click rather than 2.

Maybe once we remove the 'home' and 'logout links from the subnav, they might fit in there?
Quote from: Colin
Quote from: Tamlyn
The 'ip logged' icon and text below each post is not necessary for normal users.

Hmm, sort of agree with that, but then there's also the argument that you should let people know that their IP is being logged.

But then again we log just about everything about everyone in webtrends and the web server logs anyway.
Quote from: Colin
Quote from: Tamlyn
icons - can we move this to the 'additional options' hidden bit?

Personally I'd prefer to turn them off if that's possible ;-)

Me too! And that would address my other point about there being too many icons down the left in forum view.
Also, what do you think about removing the subject line for replies? It's rare that anyone changes it from "Re: whatever" and I find that I don't usually notice if someone has changed it because I mentally block it out.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 4,899
Thanks: 179
Fixes: 4
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: Tamlyn
I know. Damn hard actually. maybe we can the google mini to crawl the community site and use that for a combined search instead? In fact that's clearly the best option and maybe use the smf search as an 'advanced forum search' option or something.

That, my friend, was "the right answer" *ding*  Cool
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,372
Thanks: 629
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: Tamlyn
Unread posts since last visit - is it really necessary to have these links at the top of every page? Take them off ever page but the homepage.

I'd really miss that as I use it on here and the PUG forums more than any other link. In fact I'd go further and say rather than remove it I'd like it in the footer of every page as well so that when I finish reading the new posts in a topic it's there ready to go and find the next topic with new posts I haven't read.
Quote from: Tamlyn
Thread view
Icons - the 'profile', 'website', 'email' & 'pm' icon links belong on the user's profile page, not in the thread.

I'd agree that the website and email are slightly superflous (as are some of the other icons that appear if people have other things in their profile). However if profile isn't there, people who didn't know that the name was clickable might not find the profile (to get to all the other options). PM I suspect is frequently used and so should stay.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Community Veteran
Posts: 26,372
Thanks: 629
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: Tamlyn
Also, what do you think about removing the subject line for replies? It's rare that anyone changes it from "Re: whatever" and I find that I don't usually notice if someone has changed it because I mentally block it out.

Agree. On forums where you have a threaded view (like TBB), changing the title does have a point and does stand out. On forums without a threaded view it seems pretty pointless.
Exception? Will it change the subject of emails for topics with notify on? But then it could confuse anyway because they may not recognise that this is a topic they are watching!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote
Unread posts since last visit - is it really necessary to have these links at the top of every page? Take them off ever page but the homepage.

I'm with Jelv - I use that all the time and I imagine it is vital for the Comms Team also.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 17,636
Thanks: 619
Fixes: 159
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Various

Unread posts since last visit is one of the most useful links, it means we can easily visit the most recent issues quickly.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Help Team
Tamlyn
Grafter
Posts: 268
Registered: 11-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: Chris
Unread posts since last visit is one of the most useful links, it means we can easily visit the most recent issues quickly.

Duly noted. Actually as I start to use this forum more, I'm finding it pretty useful too.
I've made a few changes to personal messages. The main link to PMs is now in the sub-menu and it only appears at the top of the main page when you have one or more unread messages. I also removed the home and logout links from the sub menu since both are present in the main menu.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Various

Personal preference maybe, but could we move the 'thread pages' link to the right hand side, and the next/previous threads to the left hand side? 
About 10 times so far, I've clicked "next" expecting the next page of the thread, and obviously got the next topic.  It just seems counterintuitive as most forums have the positions the other way around?
Barry
Tamlyn
Grafter
Posts: 268
Registered: 11-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: zubel
Personal preference maybe, but could we move the 'thread pages' link to the right hand side, and the next/previous threads to the left hand side? 
About 10 times so far, I've clicked "next" expecting the next page of the thread, and obviously got the next topic.  It just seems counterintuitive as most forums have the positions the other way around?

I fully agree that it's counterintuitive but I don't agree that most forums do it the other way. In my experience most forums get this wrong. And often I don't even notice that there's a next page. It definitely needs addressing. I'll see what we can work out.
Tamlyn
Grafter
Posts: 268
Registered: 11-04-2007

Re: Various

Changed forum hierarchy to breadcrumbs (not yet added on the blog side).
Removed message icons.
Removed message subject from topic replies.
Pendragon
Rising Star
Posts: 425
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Various

Well that was a shock, I’ve just returned to the forum from a day away and suddenly it is much cleaner and clearer. I like it very much  Cool. Just need to make the ‘breadcrumbs’ text a bit bigger (Please, we old un’s can’t see as clear as you young un’s) and that’s about it for me.
Regards, P
PS a slight problem. When I hit [Preview] it popped up in a small box top right of the screen, not what I expected.
Tamlyn
Grafter
Posts: 268
Registered: 11-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: Pendragon
Well that was a shock, I’ve just returned to the forum from a day away and suddenly it is much cleaner and clearer. I like it very much  Cool.

great! cleaner and clearer is what I was going for. I think there's still scope for a little bit cleaner and a little bit clearer (see for example Beast or the Mint Forum) but it might be harder to remove more things without upsetting people.
Quote from: Pendragon
Just need to make the ‘breadcrumbs’ text a bit bigger

Good call.
Quote from: Pendragon
PS a slight problem. When I hit [Preview] it popped up in a small box top right of the screen, not what I expected.

It works OK for me in firefox and opera (i'm on linux here so no IE but will test when I get home). Or coule you post a screenshot perhaps?
Tamlyn
Grafter
Posts: 268
Registered: 11-04-2007

Re: Various

Quote from: Tamlyn
Quote from: Pendragon
Just need to make the ‘breadcrumbs’ text a bit bigger

Good call.
Quote from: Pendragon
PS a slight problem. When I hit [Preview] it popped up in a small box top right of the screen, not what I expected.

It works OK for me in firefox and opera (i'm on linux here so no IE but will test when I get home). Or coule you post a screenshot perhaps?

preview bug fixed. breadcrumb font size increased Smiley