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What

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: What

There were several reasons behind our thinking:
1)  Shorten the list of forums that an end user is presented with.  We went from a large number of forums down to, I think, 10-12 "main" public forums that are effectively categorised.
2)  Organise the forums in such a way that 'sub-moderation' is possible.   Once we've settled on the new layout, we'll be looking for volunteers to help moderate certain sections of the boards in a self-contained manner.  This will include moving posts from a parent board to a sub-board as an example.  This will also allow much greater granularity in the moderating approach (and as the number of posts and posters ramps up this is an important step in maintaining effective control over the entire boards).  We have trialled this approach with some of the 'Feature Trial' boards in conjunction with PUG and it is very effective.
3)  Retire under-used boards, but keep them available
4)  Move the Archive boards into their own category so they can (at some point) be excluded from default searches to increase the relevance of search results.
Overall, I'm fairly happy with the structure, although as jelv points out there are certain... shortcomings.. with the way that some features are displayed at the moment (like subforums on the main forum landing page).  I think it''s probably worthwhile starting up a thread or two with suggestions on how we could improve the look-and-feel once the dust has settled a little.
Does that answer your questions?
B.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: What

@shutter
We did try and publicise the changes as much as possible, initially with a 'Request for Comments' post here, then we followed up with a "Final discussion" post here
Ian Wild also posted a blog post on our behalf to try to get more visibility on the discussion.
So, to use your analogy - it's very similar to the new bus company advertising in the local newspaper and on local TV all their new routes, with exact timetables and their company logo emblazoned on every bus ?
We certainly didn't try to sneak the changes in under cover of darkness - after all, the community is here for the users so we want to try and make it as easy as possible for the users to, well, use.
B.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What

As I said in an earlier post I can see the positive side of the changes, but folks are normally resistant to change and I guess it needs to be lived in for a while!
A couple of points though...
I am definitely missing not being able to see what the latest post is for all categories, would the forum software support a tool tip with the latest post information to be generated by mousing over a sub forum link?

Edit.... ignore this bit I just saw Pierre's post!
The forum pages are loading incredibly s l o w l y today, is this because there is still changes taking place, or am I just the unlucky one and it’s fine for everyone else?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,880
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: What

@God the forums are slow today because of some problems PN are having at one of their sheffield datacentres.
I'm not sure if SMF supports a tool tip with that info by default, however I do think it is a good idea - possibly there's a mod out there we could cajoule PN to install!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: What

Hmm, actually it 's more of a theme issue than a mod issue, so PN should be able to hande it within the theme definition.
B.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,342
Thanks: 79
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: What

@ barry, thank you yes, quite comprehensively.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Not applicable

Re: What

Happen I'll get used to it but for now I find it a bit too complicated with the sub-forums. Also, agree about not being able to see which sub-forum the last post was in from the main forum page.
Undecided
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: What

I think we can do some work to improve the design a little to support sub-forums better, and I also think we could still look to reduce the number of forums / subforums even further to make it less confusing.
Really interesting feedback though, and I for one think we've made progress, even if it's still not quite there.
Ian
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What

@ Ian
I am sure as time goes on it will improve. Even though I understand you would like to reduce the number of subforums a little I (along with several others it seems) would really like to see a 'security' subforum added. I reckon that it would be a great benefit to Plusnet members to have a central point to discuss security issues and offer other folks our experiences.
Cheers
MacOS10
Grafter
Posts: 172
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What

Wow!! Well, I thought the previous forums had too many categories before this refresh, you can imagine my confusion now! What a complete hash, do we really need all these categories (I can count 40, if you include the sub-forums)? I also don't understand the way the sub-categories work. I mean, you click on the "Computers and Networking" category and you get some messages below the sub-groups - are these separate from the sub-groups, or do the sub-groups act as filters to separate out the relevant messages from the main list? It's just so bad from an interface and usability point of view.
Anyway, congratulations, you've managed to make the most confusing and badly organised forums on the net. Well done, PN.
Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What

Surely they appear as a ‘Cover Flow’ carousel on your Mac?  Roll eyes
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: What

Quote from: God
@ Ian
I am sure as time goes on it will improve. Even though I understand you would like to reduce the number of subforums a little I (along with several others it seems) would really like to see a 'security' subforum added. I reckon that it would be a great benefit to Plusnet members to have a central point to discuss security issues and offer other folks our experiences.
Cheers

If you take a look at the original proposal, there is a documented process for proposing the addition and removal of forums. This seems like exactly what you need here, if it works right. I agree we should nominate a forum for this discussion, although as I say my inclination would be to re-purpose an existing one rather than create more.
At the end of the day though, this is your forum... It's all good and well people posting up what they think is wrong, but it should be in everyones control to get it changed. If people have better ideas for improving these forums then it would certainly be good to hear them. 
Ian
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: What

Thanks for the info Ian. I have certainly been behind the curve on knowing about the forum changes as I hadn't seen any of the threads or articles about it. It's good that there is still some possibility of a security forum
Cheers
Javert
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: ‎06-04-2008

Re: What

I’m easily confused at the best of times, but, seeing and trying out the new layout yesterday, I abandoned it and revisited today – but with the same reaction.  Fortunately, I only visit here occasionally - so this is my last visit. I use five Message Boards – fortunately, the other four are much easier and less confusing to negotiate. 
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: What

I am interested in exactly what it is that you find confusing - I'm sure we can improve things, but I think it's important for us to understand what are the worst bits and what would work better. There are less forums now than before, and I think with a bit more tweaking we could clarify stuff and make it much easier to use than it ever has been.
Ian