After several months of the new format
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?
>>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.
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:
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.
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.
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.