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After several months of the new format

Zpike

Jan 12, 2016, 6:29 PM
I've decided that I absolutely hate it. It's almost impossible to follow a thread anymore. The way the site expands comments it hides so much of the dialogue you have to spend several minutes hunting for all the comments. I can remember one thread were there were supposedly 25 or 26 comments and I was never able to find the last comment. I got dizzy trying to count all the comments just to see if I had actually found them all. The new format is a huge step backwards. And I've seen discussion on most topics dwindle to next to nothing. If you want more activity on the site, I sincerely recommend a complete overhaul of the forums and comments sections.
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eljeffe666

Jan 12, 2016, 7:12 PM
Seems like they are trying to get away from an actual forum type set up. But I agree I don't like it.
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Rich Brome

Jan 18, 2016, 3:16 PM
That's good feedback. Thank you!

The old format was pretty miserable in a lot of ways. We had a lot of positive feedback right after we rolled out the "new" layout.

It sounds like the pain point now is finding the most recent messages. Is that accurate?
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Zpike

Feb 2, 2016, 7:17 PM
Sorry, I've been swamped with work lately. So, I ahven't been around much.

>>It sounds like the pain point now is finding the most recent messages. Is that accurate?

Yes, Finding the most recent messages and seeing new activity on a thread is a huge pain point. Also, there is a need to balance this with the ability to see the history of the thread. So, pushing new messages to the front while obfuscating the thread history would just create a new dilemma.
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Rich Brome

Jan 20, 2016, 2:57 PM
Thanks again for the excellent feedback. I've been thinking about this and working on an idea to address it.

What do you think about a "thread overview" link at the top-right that would "zoom out" on the thread to show a table of contents of sorts, highlighting the most recent messages? It would show just the first line of each message, with a date/time at the right, and highlight the five most recent messages with those timestamps in bold. You could then click on any message to expand it, jumping back into the normal thread view. Here is an example:

http://img.phonescoop.com/img/a/m/63781.jpg »

Thoughts?
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Zpike

Feb 2, 2016, 7:18 PM
Sorry, this thread was the last one I checked today and I don't have time to follow the link. But I'll come back and check it out soon, I promise.
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Rich Brome

Jan 28, 2016, 5:34 PM
Okay I've launched a beta version of the solution I mentioned a few days ago. Find a longer thread and give it a try. Feedback welcome!
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Zpike

Feb 2, 2016, 7:19 PM
Is the beta still up? I was on some longer threads earlier today and saw the same issues. Maybe I missed the new functionality? I wasn't looking for it as I have only just returned to this thread.
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Rich Brome

Feb 2, 2016, 7:23 PM
Yes. It only appears on longer threads. When viewing such a thread, you'll see a small link at the top-right that says "thread overview".
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Zpike

Feb 3, 2016, 5:56 PM
Ok, so I found an old article with like 38 posts in the comments. But I didn't see the preview button. Does it only work if an individual thread is long enough? Could it be made so that a particular discussion (page, comments section, or whatever you want to call it) is considered a thread and that all posts count towards the thread length? Even the thread we're on now is becoming problematic. I had trouble navigating back to your most recent post in order to reply, and would have missed it if I wasn't absolutely certain it was there.

Also, one other suggestion would be to include the total count of posts somewhere on the discussion page, so you don't have to navigate to another page just to see how many posts there are.
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Rich Brome

Feb 3, 2016, 6:02 PM
That's great feedback. Thanks!

I can lower the threshold for displaying the overview link, and incorporate a reply count into the link text. I'll work on that ASAP.

Edit: done! Let me know what you think.
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Zpike

Feb 4, 2016, 9:55 AM
Ok, so I tested it on this thread. It works great. I clicked on "show all 10 replies" and the whole thread was there. Then I clicked on your post and it took me right here for the reply. Perfect.
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Zpike

Feb 4, 2016, 4:40 PM
Actually, after playing with this a bit today I do have one more suggestion. If at all possible it would be nice to see the username beside each comment in the preview.
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Rich Brome

Feb 11, 2016, 7:44 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

Hmm. I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure there's room to do that without cluttering it up quite a bit.
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Drunk

May 8, 2016, 12:29 AM
It's this why the site sucks now? I can't find anything.
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Rich Brome

May 11, 2016, 4:49 PM
What were you looking for?
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