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Any ongoing work for the Forum UI?

Mats Knutsson
Enthusiast

Still extremely hard to use the forum because the enormous amounts of white space and lack of structure... I thought the vast amount of comments and good suggestions that followed the UI change would result in something useful. I spend quite a lot of time on various forums and this one is by far the most confusing (in a bad way). Sorry. /Mats

61 REPLIES 61
runxel
Legend

First of all:

Quoting sucks. It just does not work.

That's the reason why, secondly, the Linear Layout sucks (which it shouldn't !)

Third: Threaded is deranged; we are not reddit, but a professional community. Linear is the way.

Or make some proper CSS adjustments for these subthreads (reddit kinda works, because they figured that out).

By the way: Paging is stupid. Forums should never be paged (my 2/c).

 

The thing Barry suggest is also a braindead "feature", because it's a one way ticket. That is as useful as a hole in the head.

Why? Because it misses the backreference. When going in a thread I don't know if somebody answered to that post, I only see it later, when I found the answer.

And: It's not AJAX; so it just RELOADS the entire page, even if the post is RIGHT ABOVE. (Again, if there would be no paging, this would not be a problem at all, it could just smooth-scroll up there...)

 

@Claudius Since you asked: Hate to say it, but Discourse is still the Gold standard out there. (Because it is aimed at users; Khoros is aimed at Corp only...)

The structure and usability of the McNeel forum is just brilliantly simple, and it works well.

It's probably impossible to bend it that way, but the more this thing here would be like Discourse, the better. All of the above is solved there wonderfully!

 

Also: The notifications sucks, because I get only a notification for the last answer. Then I have to scroll up, because it DOES NOT bring me to the FIRST unread answer. In fact I don't even know the point up to which I read the post the last time!

Something, that is again, brilliantly solved by Discourse.

 

Don't get me wrong; I'm super glad that we have you, but I guess even you as Khoros-wizard can only slap a band-aid on this open fractured leg. It's just that the entire product sucks. As if it was designed by someone, who never used a forum in their life, be it 80's BBS or whatelse.

 

Last point: Discourse is FAST as hell. Can't be said about this piece of .... 😂 I mean seriously, it takes ages to load! This forum is one of the slowest websites ever visited. And I have a good connection and am not on a remote island, so, what goes on there? Worst is clicking "reply": it loads and loads and loads... In that time I can get two coffees.

Oh and pleeeease disable the stupid rate limiter. When I open multiple Tabs with threads I always run into it...

Lucas Becker | AC 27 on Mac | Editor at SelfGDL | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»
runxel
Legend

I mean LOOK at this beauty!

THAT is all you (we!) need!

runxel_0-1701866365931.png

 

Lucas Becker | AC 27 on Mac | Editor at SelfGDL | Developer of the GDL plugin for Sublime Text |
«Furthermore, I consider that Carth... yearly releases must be destroyed»

Add me as another vote for the McNeel forum layout.

Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Collapsable subthreads!! 😍😍😍😍

Scott J. Moore | Fulton Trotter Architects | BIM Manager, Associate, Architect
Since AC13 | Current versions AC23.7000 & AC26.5002 | BIMCloud Basic | Python, GDL, VBA, PHP, SQL, CSS
Certified Graphisoft BIM Manger (2022)
Win 10, i9-9900K, 32GB, Quadro P2200, 500GB NVMe

@runxel wrote:

Also: The notifications sucks, because I get only a notification for the last answer. Then I have to scroll up, because it DOES NOT bring me to the FIRST unread answer. In fact I don't even know the point up to which I read the post the last time!

Something, that is again, brilliantly solved by Discourse.


I tend to ignore the notifications, unless I want to know what has been happening.

As I read every post (or try to), I have set up a link (bookmark) for the 'unread' posts.

 

https://community.graphisoft.com/t5/forums/unreadpostspage/tab/message

 

 

BarryKelly_0-1701913299052.png

 

I just click that bookmark to pull up all unread posts.

Click a post to read it, it takes you directly to that post.

Then I just click the bookmark again to return to the unread list.

 

I have asked for a button on the main page, as I think it would be useful.

But setting up a bookmark for yourself is even better.

 

BarryKelly_1-1701913545332.png

 

Barry.

 

 

One of the forum moderators.
Versions 6.5 to 27
Dell XPS- i7-6700 @ 3.4Ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce GTX 960 (2GB), Windows 10
Lenovo Thinkpad - i7-1270P 2.20 GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia T550, Windows 11
DGSketcher
Legend

@Barry Kelly I salute you. As ever you have taken the time to learn how to work through the problem. As a Moderator perhaps that goes with the domain. However, I do consider that the level of knowledge you have exceeds the typical user who comes here with a problem in AC and would like to know they are not alone and how to deal with it.

 

The basic core issue here of linear or threaded presentation is just one aspect of a ridiculously complex interface that neatly matches Graphisoft’s attitude to software. 

 

From the AI threads it is clear many users don’t have the patience to be carefully filtering. In that example I don’t think many even did a search. The old talk forum did the job of common knowledge exchange perfectly well. This cosmetic overload not only fails the basic requirements of an effective forum but much of what we were promised on the back of it e.g. wishlists etc is still undelivered. 

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)

@DGSketcher wrote:

 

On the subject of multiple posts in threaded format, all I am saying is that without the individual notifications for each post it is possible to miss an important post if someone replies to different posts in the same thread over multiple pages.😉


That's odd because I get individual notifications on my community notification page for every individual reply/mention and clicking on those notifications take me directly to that reply. Do you see the same on your end?

Claudius_0-1702030513637.png

The problem here is that once you open the notifications page it will clear all notifications right away while ideally it would only clear those that you have opened.

 

Also as you pointed out I would recommend to use the "Linear layout" option (Ideally set it to "Use default") on your forum display preferences for the best experience. A little bit of history: When Graphisoft Community initially launched on Khoros the default was "Threaded" but this was changed to "Linear" in May 2023 together with some larger restructuring and layout updates. Some of you old timers might still be stuck with the Threaded setting.

Claudius Henrichs
German Community Manager
Leipzig, Germany

@Mats Knutsson wrote:

@Claudius...before answering to you request about posts with the community suggestions I need to ask if you didn't get this background when starting working with the Community? A regular handover... Tried searching the forum?

And please don't use the "hardcore BBS users only" derogatory phrase. Apart from being very foul it's so totally wrong. 

Matsimus the gr8 70er


No


@Mats Knutsson wrote:

And please don't use the "hardcore BBS users only" derogatory phrase. Apart from being very foul it's so totally wrong. 

Matsimus the gr8 70er


It was never meant derogatory. I also can't see how it would be foul language. I simply wanted to convey that old school forum layouts are super optimized on minimal screen estate use. When designing community experiences for a wider audience ranging from technical to non-technical though (which might be more used to an article format used on other web properties like news, blogs, even social media) then the very crammed layout gets overwhelming. Which is why we wen't for a layout with more spacing, imagery to convey location and community identity etc. Many layouts for the Discourse community platform follow this very space optimized layout but for any visitor seeing it for the first time (and more than 3/4 of our traffic lands deep in the community at thread level without ever seeing our front page) this is quite overwhelming.  

Claudius Henrichs
German Community Manager
Leipzig, Germany
Claudius
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks all for sharing where your are struggling with the community right now, sharing links to older threads and giving improvement suggestions. I've spent this morning reading a lot and trying out some setting optimizations. I won't reply individually but try to summarize my learnings, actions identified and setting tweaks. 

 

Threaded versus Linear layout:

Linear layout is currently the best option to consume Graphisoft Community and have the most consistent notification behaviour to ensure you don't miss out multiple new replies in a conversation when following notifications. If you haven't done so please ensure you use linear format in your display preferences. We've set this as the default for every new community user, but currently don't want to disable the selection as it has some unwanted side effects of users getting stuck on threaded layout then.

 

Quote behaviour

We're looking to add a "select message part to quote" functionality as initial investigation shows it should be doable pretty easily. I was also wondering for your insight in what behaviour you would prefer when using the "Reply" button next to a message. Should it prefill the editor with a quote of the message you reply to or start with an empty editor?

 

Community performance

100% with you on that. Since migrating the German Community here the additional traffic unfortunately has lead to page load performance degregation across the whole community. I've alread worked on a bunch of optimizations to reduce average page load size by 1/4 to 1/3, optimizing how new messages in the activity feeds are fetched, removing unused HTML etc. But it's still far from ideal and the experience seems to very over the course of the day, with European mornings being okay, but the close we get into US East coast day timings the worse it gets. There is ongoing worh together with Khoros to get this improved through tweaking our community instance setup.

 

Optimized layout

This December we'll be overhauling the forum topic layout a bit to reduce vertical space usage as well as structuring it more coherently: where do we show solutions, where to show replies, labels and setup info.  We are targeting a similar layout as you can see in this Khoros based Community: Python code to create a new Dataiku dataset - Dataiku Community - Would love to hear what you think about that slight improvement.

I'm also evaluating this December if we can maybe add a "Compact mode" switch that would allow users to use an even more compact layout closer to how Discourse is showing.

 

Unread posts

There really should not be the need to go to a separate page but this info should be at the front activity feed. Currently there are some issues remaining with how the "load more" behaves and the fact that we don't have an "unread" filter type there which should land in January.

 

Now to the settings tweaks I can suggest:

- If you want to get (mostly) rid of the pagination I recommend increasing the "Linear Format: Posts per page when viewing a topic"  value from it's default of 10. I've set it to 21 which is a good value to cover most of the really active conversations on one page

- Also right below on the same setting if you haven't done so enable the "Jump to first unread post in a topic" to minimize some scrolling

Claudius Henrichs
German Community Manager
Leipzig, Germany

I don't get how this works...

DGSketcher_0-1702032162114.png

What are the 8 other replies? As I have mention, if everything was added to the end of linear threads then you know what you are looking for.

 

So if us "old timers" are using the wrong / outdated Threaded setting, then why is it still an option? 

Apple iMac Intel i9 / macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds.. if they work)

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