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Merode wrote:
2 months ago
whereas this new generation wants everything served on silver platter, preferably immidiately.
Retail WoW?

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I don't understand how people can be confused by a format like this. There's literally nothing more than a single well-formatted page containing all the threads. There's absolutely no effort required to navigate. Clear as crystal.

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It does break the convention of what many people are used to, but I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. I was also a little confused about the forum button when I first joined, but I was also very confused how reddit worked when I first joined there. People will learn. This is better design (for now) than burying posts in a bunch of different subforms.

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rundal wrote:
2 months ago
I don't understand how people can be confused by a format like this. There's literally nothing more than a single well-formatted page containing all the threads. There's absolutely no effort required to navigate. Clear as crystal.
Can we please quit with this elitist attitude, not singling you out specifically but there is a lot of generalist going around in this thread about 'different generations' and 'everyone on reddit' etc. Teebling asked for legitimate feedback and we should be able to discuss this without dealing in absolutes and knee-jerk reactions - thats what I thought separated this forum from all those other places.

To your point. There are obviously multiple pages. The speed-running thread has occasionally fallen off the first one that's one of the best and coolest threads on here and it can get lost among the more short-term threads. Even a few sub categories would probably fix that solution. It's not that its difficult, its just that possibly some organisation could benefit the forum as a whole.

I still remain in the camp that the current design is sufficient, but if traffic and population increase, it would be prudent to be prepared.

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I think this thread itself makes my point: Even people in this thread, regulars to the forum, do not know that there are subforums/categories, and believe that the 'main' forum is the only one about. The dude had a point, and contrary to what everyone else in this thread is claiming, he wasn't an 'asshole' or anything about it.

He was giving valuable feedback, and he's getting shit on for it. Not cool.

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When the traffic was small, it did not matter that you don't have sub forums (others than guides).
Now that there is more and more people joining, you should think about implementing regular sub forums : classes, PvP etc...

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Executive wrote:
2 months ago
Even people in this thread, regulars to the forum, do not know that there are subforums/categories, and believe that the 'main' forum is the only one about.
Yes, this is unfortunate. I also fell to that assumption, because the first thing I read was
teebling wrote:
9 months ago
One forum category
It's all that is needed - no endless sections, sub-sections, categories, rules and requirements... just talk.
and also because I haven't been long enough on the forum to glance on the sections and -indirectly- compare them with the main section, as I already assumed they were all appearing there, and I was assuming the sections were a way to categorize and easily find "good posts".
Executive wrote:
2 months ago
The dude had a point, and contrary to what everyone else in this thread is claiming, he wasn't an 'asshole' or anything about it.
(...)
He was giving valuable feedback, and he's getting shit on for it. Not cool.
As someone who pinpointed in an earlier reply that the dude had a point, and speaking in the name of others who claimed the same, assuming they let me, we feel offended by your claim.
Also, he would deserve to be getting shit anyway for the way he spoke about it. Justice be served!!! *add retri paladin voice*

-----

Just as a suggestion thrown here, as a way to deal with the chaotic main section that may happen in the future as some people are pointing out in here, I'd give registered users a way to "hide" posts they are not interested to read any more. This is just a concern to power users of the site, and between that and the categories of "special" posts, it shouldn't be an issue for newcomers either.

I have never programmed for websites, so I don't know if there's anyway to store this in cookies or the like, but if it was possible to do somehow like this, I'd save the unwanted posts on client-side, and make it so that intelligently the client fetches new posts as necessary to fill the page, and allow registered users to save them into their account (if you are willing to pay the extra storage space)

So, TLDR:
- Main section, all posts appear
- Categories are just selections of the best posts (could be improved with community votes + pinned posts, etc)
- Let people hide posts they are not interested to read anymore.

Just an opinion, as always. Kudos again, Teebs.

EDIT:
The TLDR is just an idea, please don't assume that is the definitive list of functionalities (Some of the features, like unhide posts, are implicitly assumed)

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What your intent originally for this site was just be a discussion board for Classic so your fine there, but like someone mentioned earlier having everything in one Section can get messy though you got guides section/sub forum though only staff can move stuff there I guess. But yeah without more realm info not much you could add in terms of sub forums. Def would love a Sub Forum for Classic Twinking in future possibly hehe.

Also having multiple sub forums or categories can tend to make sites/forums Look ''Dead'' if they don't got enough fair interest in those multiple categories or subjects so what you got now is totally fine, but has traffic increases / members def maybe something to consider!

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I think their could be a section for the really active topics, like speedrunning for example. I think I had even suggested it within the thread itself previously. It is hard to find any other topics that are consistently active enough to warrant sub-forums at the moment. Maybe having a 'Guilds' section where people can advertise/apply/discuss guild information? This website could be a nice LFGuild hub leading up to Classic, if implemented well.

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I actually liked the fact that everything was in one place.
However as time passes and we get more users, I can see how it could be hard to find topics.
Just spitballing ideas, but maybe instead of having 10 sub-forum categories, an easy way to search with tags can also be applied. Similar to topic flairs on reddit.

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Haters gonna hate. This site is epic and I love it! :)

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Dont change anything, as the site is perfect as it is. if you're looking for something specific there's a search function that works really well.

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I think it might be something that needs to be considered more as the userbase of the forum increases. Honestly the only desire I've ever had for a 'sub forum' here is a place to communicate about playing together with other forum members. I've been in beta since the beginning and have felt pretty lonely outside of some random interactions with people in the world and I'm the only one in the beta in my guild so it sucks finding people to play with.

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His points are poorly presented, but there is a kernel of truth in there. Mainly, I would point out that there ARE in fact sub-forums already. As he pointed out, for instance, the header "Realms" leads to a subforum for realms. I think there is a small point to be made that having the header "Forum" is inaccurate, considering the board it leads to is NOT the only forum board on the website, but rather the MAIN forum. If you want to be strict about it, it's not unreasonable to suggest that the "Forum" header be renamed to "General." It would be more accurate, and less confusing. I admit, when I first came here I was surprised that the other links led to forum-style boards. The link titled "Forum" implied to me that there was only one such board on the website.

Aside from that, I agree that our small community wouldn't benefit from splitting the General forum into multiple boards. What would be nice, though, would be the ability to tag our threads with categories, to make it easier to search for and view certain types of posts.

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teebling wrote:
2 months ago
...does he have a point though?
No. This forum is awesome and simple. We don't need 10 empty sub-forums.

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Thanks for the honest feedback guys, I think it has definitely been a productive thread and I've taken a few things from it. Here's where things stand now.

I will be keeping the one forum layout. This is the most important parts of the design and functionality of the site and in the nature of Barrens Chat which was after all a stream of discussion. My justification for it is this - having administered and participated in forums like this for years, I know from experience that over-categorisation of forum content and hiding posts within layers of subforums is not conducive to an active community.

What ends up happening is that some areas become inactive - which in turn leads to them looking 'dead' - which in turn means that less and less people post in those areas - which worsens the situation further. The one-forum system has been there from the beginning so that as soon as people hit the index page of the site there are interesting things to read only a click away.

I have learned to never underestimate how impatient people are when navigating websites and this is apparent in the way the site is intended to be used with a quick sign up and straightforward features which don't require a manual on how to use. Analytics from the past have shown me that when faced with a labyrinth of different forums to choose from, most people just 'bounce' straight away.

HOWEVER.

It is apparent that the Search feature, whilst I put a lot of work into it in patch 1.7, isn't sufficient for most new visitors and therefore a design flaw in part. Either it's too difficult to find, too laborious to use, or simply not producing the right results for keywords (or people are just lazy and don't search first but that's not within my control). This is clearly evident from the continuous reposting of well-rehearsed topics like 'what is your favourite class/what race will you play/what zone do you like' etc. despite these being very easily accessible through the search.

There are also clearly a lot of people who are well aware of the search, power users and light users alike, but would also like to have a way of filtering/separating topics based on their overall 'category' and have more control over how the forum appears to them. Like I said before, the solution to this is NOT subforums - I will not be adding any this time (and probably never), but I also can't ignore the very clear case for giving users more control over the front page. So what I think I'll do for the next upcoming patch 1.10 is this:

There will be a filter dropdown button in the same style and right next to the New Post button. When clicked, the user will be able to filter the posts on the main page (without a page refresh possibly if I can do it in AJAX) based on the current 'topic icons' which I will repurpose as 'categories' of sorts. So for example, everything to do with Warriors will have the warrior little shield icon attached to it. Someone wants only topics about warriors? They click Filter > (Icon) Warrior and the page reforms to show only those topics. That's a much more intuitive and visual way of categorising the posts so that people can browse categories they are interested in without losing the unique one-forum structure. I'll also add a ton of new icons so that every possible 'virtual subforum' one could think of can be represented and used for filtering in this way.

Thoughts about this solution?

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You can always expand to sub forums as the contributing base expands.

He wasn’t trolling but did come off a little childish.

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teebling wrote:
2 months ago
There will be a filter dropdown button in the same style and right next to the New Post button. When clicked, the user will be able to filter the posts on the main page (without a page refresh possibly if I can do it in AJAX) based on the current 'topic icons' which I will repurpose as 'categories' of sorts. So for example, everything to do with Warriors will have the warrior little shield icon attached to it. Someone wants only topics about warriors? They click Filter > (Icon) Warrior and the page reforms to show only those topics. That's a much more intuitive and visual way of categorising the posts so that people can browse categories they are interested in without losing the unique one-forum structure. I'll also add a ton of new icons so that every possible 'virtual subforum' one could think of can be represented and used for filtering in this way.

Thoughts about this solution?
I think it's a good middle ground solution for the first page. I like however how the other pages (realms, guides, tech, info) are set up at the moment.

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Elegant solution. Look forward to seeing it in action!

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teebling wrote:
2 months ago
I'll also add a ton of new icons so that every possible 'virtual subforum' one could think of can be represented and used for filtering in this way.
Good thinking Teebs. One question though, when posting a thread can only one category be assigned? That may be restrictive, although if there are a lot of wide ranging categories to choose from that can encompass most topics, I don't see an issue.

Regardless of all the discussions points, the site is visually and thematically outstanding. Best in class Teebs.

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My two cents: I actually think sub forums help keep things clean and organized. They make things easy to find if you're new or just want to find an older post. There's pages of stuff I've never even looked at and I've been here a few months now. If the site gets larger I think sub forums should definitely be considered.

That said, it's not my baby, and it works well enough as is.

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teebling wrote:
2 months ago
Thanks for the honest feedback guys, I think it has definitely been a productive thread and I've taken a few things from it. Here's where things stand now.

I will be keeping the one forum layout. This is the most important parts of the design and functionality of the site and in the nature of Barrens Chat which was after all a stream of discussion. My justification for it is this - having administered and participated in forums like this for years, I know from experience that over-categorisation of forum content and hiding posts within layers of subforums is not conducive to an active community.

What ends up happening is that some areas become inactive - which in turn leads to them looking 'dead' - which in turn means that less and less people post in those areas - which worsens the situation further. The one-forum system has been there from the beginning so that as soon as people hit the index page of the site there are interesting things to read only a click away.

I have learned to never underestimate how impatient people are when navigating websites and this is apparent in the way the site is intended to be used with a quick sign up and straightforward features which don't require a manual on how to use. Analytics from the past have shown me that when faced with a labyrinth of different forums to choose from, most people just 'bounce' straight away.

HOWEVER.

It is apparent that the Search feature, whilst I put a lot of work into it in patch 1.7, isn't sufficient for most new visitors and therefore a design flaw in part. Either it's too difficult to find, too laborious to use, or simply not producing the right results for keywords (or people are just lazy and don't search first but that's not within my control). This is clearly evident from the continuous reposting of well-rehearsed topics like 'what is your favourite class/what race will you play/what zone do you like' etc. despite these being very easily accessible through the search.

There are also clearly a lot of people who are well aware of the search, power users and light users alike, but would also like to have a way of filtering/separating topics based on their overall 'category' and have more control over how the forum appears to them. Like I said before, the solution to this is NOT subforums - I will not be adding any this time (and probably never), but I also can't ignore the very clear case for giving users more control over the front page. So what I think I'll do for the next upcoming patch 1.10 is this:

There will be a filter dropdown button in the same style and right next to the New Post button. When clicked, the user will be able to filter the posts on the main page (without a page refresh possibly if I can do it in AJAX) based on the current 'topic icons' which I will repurpose as 'categories' of sorts. So for example, everything to do with Warriors will have the warrior little shield icon attached to it. Someone wants only topics about warriors? They click Filter > (Icon) Warrior and the page reforms to show only those topics. That's a much more intuitive and visual way of categorising the posts so that people can browse categories they are interested in without losing the unique one-forum structure. I'll also add a ton of new icons so that every possible 'virtual subforum' one could think of can be represented and used for filtering in this way.

Thoughts about this solution?
I think it's a great compromise between original design and improving functionality. It's like tags without the ability to be abused.

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teebling wrote:
2 months ago
It is apparent that the Search feature, whilst I put a lot of work into it in patch 1.7, isn't sufficient for most new visitors and therefore a design flaw in part. Either it's too difficult to find, too laborious to use, or simply not producing the right results for keywords (or people are just lazy and don't search first but that's not within my control). This is clearly evident from the continuous reposting of well-rehearsed topics like 'what is your favourite class/what race will you play/what zone do you like' etc. despite these being very easily accessible through the search.
Feedback on Search:
I actually never realised the Search feature. I thought it was simply missing!
Instinctively I looked at the top right of the main page (where the page numbers appear.. 1 2 3 4 ... 10), and it wasn't there. So my eyes looked for a "search bar", and the "84 days left until release! :)" looked like the search bar at first, until it wasn't. It was only after then I noticed the small magnifying glass icon.
This all happened in 2-3 seconds, but if I wasn't made aware that there was a search option, perhaps I would have glossed over it. Maybe (after the launch, so when the countdown is no longer needed) include the search bar as a default on the middle top of the screen? Or perhaps make the magnifying glass stand out a bit more? It is not immediately visible with the dark background of the button.
teebling wrote:
2 months ago
There will be a filter dropdown button in the same style and right next to the New Post button. When clicked, the user will be able to filter the posts on the main page (without a page refresh possibly if I can do it in AJAX) based on the current 'topic icons' which I will repurpose as 'categories' of sorts. So for example, everything to do with Warriors will have the warrior little shield icon attached to it. Someone wants only topics about warriors? They click Filter > (Icon) Warrior and the page reforms to show only those topics. That's a much more intuitive and visual way of categorising the posts so that people can browse categories they are interested in without losing the unique one-forum structure. I'll also add a ton of new icons so that every possible 'virtual subforum' one could think of can be represented and used for filtering in this way.
I think this is a great idea! I honestly aggree 100% on the "no subforums" thing because well it has been done to death and is proven to feel dead after some forums are dead, making the whole place feel dead. So "categories" or flairs are a good choice. Perhaps a new thread can be forced to fall under a category (im sure there are pros and cons for this)? And my comment above regarding Search is also applicable here! Please make it stand out so people who don't know what it is realize it on the first glance!

Thanks for all the hard work. #1 WoW related forum, ever. I really like it here :D

   Selexin
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@Teebling Love the ideas! I think that also having it prominently displayed that there is nothing wrong with resurrecting old threads would also be a step in the right direction as so many other forums heavily discourage reusing old posts.

I agree that sub-forums contribute to the death warmed over look of so many forums. Having a search feature to sift through the topics would almost be like all the forums are mixed together and you just have to unmix them to acquire them, but without the negatives of going into your class's forum and realizing no one has posted there for a week because they're too busy talking one sub-forum over (except you don't know).

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i really like the design. I mean if we get bigger with the release or so maybe Subforums would be needed but at the moment we have not enough active threads.

I like it that most threads are really fresh and you can see news better.

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