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v1 pre member feedback

edited May 2006 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I am VERY excited about Vanilla. I have v1 pre installed on my server and have been developing a new blue metallic style. I've previewed it to a few people. I've gotten feedback from my soon-to-be members which I couldn't agree more on.

image Move the Discussions tab behind the Categories tab. Something so simple i can probably do myself for my server, but should probably be changed to be default. It is rather simple logic. Users want to look at the largest separations first. The largest (categories), should be followed by the smaller (discussions), which is fallowed by the smallest (comments). I'm not suggesting that you remove the discussions tab, it is quite useful. Nor would I say that there should be a comments tab, because that is sort of overboard.

image Private Messages! Whispers are pretty cool, but they are still no replacement for private messages.

... I'm fairly sure that there was annother suggestion, but i'm fairly sure thats it

Other than that, I'd like to say that it is really user friendly. Even for site owners who are installing it.

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    edited May 2006
    ... I'm fairly sure that there was annother suggestion, but i'm fairly sure thats it
    A tad indesisive, no?

    And in version one moving catagories to the front will be an admin option I think, but not installed by default (nor should it be, it's vanillas most inviting point imo.

    How are whispers a replacement for PMs, they are all that, and then some.
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    edited May 2006
    Users want to look at the largest separations first.
    Counterpoint: Users would rather look at a list of discussions than a list of categories. Only programmer dorks like us enjoy working with arbitrary heirarchies.
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    Users would rather look at a list of discussions than a list of categories. Only programmer dorks like us enjoy working with arbitrary heirarchies.
    After being aquainted with the forum for a while, yes, seeing a list of the most recent discussions is more efficient. However, first time users will need to know the structure, which is why it should be the default. Experienced users WILL like the descussions tab. It is just discouraging to the new reader to see so much seemingly random stuff on their first visit.
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    edited May 2006
    However, first time users will need to know the structure, which is why it should be the default.
    Categories aren't structure, though, they're just extra information about the content of a thread.
    Experienced users WILL like the descussions tab. It is just discouraging to the new reader to see so much seemingly random stuff on their first visit.
    In my experience, it's the exact opposite. New users like the simplicity of not having to hunt through a dozen category pages to find the thread they want, while experienced users are set in their ways and will bitch and moan at the tiniest of deviations, whether they're beneficial or not.

    In the long run, though, once people get used to the new way of doing things, they end up liking it better.
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    I'm with Bergamot. When I go to other forums (e.g. Macformat, which is a great forum) I am confronted with a lot of info that isn't directly useful to me, and I need a few clicks to get to actually read a post (poor me!), whereas at this Vanilla forum, the latest discussions are right there in front of me. Good for new and slightly less new users alike! This is one of the reasons I like Vanilla (probably a weak reason, but that's it!) The only time I'd do it the other way is if you had a monster forum with so many discussions, posts, cetegories, etc, that the more direct approach is overwhelming.
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    I guess you are right about that. I think the reason why I and many others think this is because people turn to the Vanilla community forum as a demo of what their forum will be like. Just click that right now and look at it from a first time point of view. 52 pages of (nearly) randomized categories. That one experience could be enough to turn a new user away. Luckily it wasn't for me, but it was a good experience.
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    The only time I'd do it the other way is if you had a monster forum with so many discussions, posts, cetegories, etc, that the more direct approach is overwhelming.
    Even then I'd fight that urge.

    If your forum is so popular that the number of new comments is overwhelming, then making it more work to view all those comments makes the problem worse.

    My suggestion in that case is to increase the number of discussions and comments per page.
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    Just click that right now and look at it from a first time point of view. 52 pages of (nearly) randomized categories.
    But a first-time user is far more likely to just ignore the category information altogether, making it simply appear as 52 pages of discussions, ordered by the time they were last updated.
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    What happen to the good ol' days of having fun and discovery. I believe Vanilla is paving a new way in terms community software. There is way too much emphasis on a "structure" these days. Who the hell made up these rules anyways? Give us novice users some credit. This isn't rocket science. The stark differences between Vanilla and other community packages today is what makes it a more meaningful experience for me. I absolutely love the direction things seem to be headed here. You gotta lead, not follow, if you wanna make your mark on this Net.
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    I agree! I think I figured out a middle ground though. I changed the link to the forum on my main page to go to Category. This leaves Discussion as the default, but puts those who come to it by the home or other pages, it sends them to the category view.
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    Ive never understood the whole "Whispers are not as good as PMs" argument. They are like, the same damned thing, except now I dont have to check my inbox for a message.

    Can someone please inform me as to why whispers are apparently not good enough? I happen to like them better.
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    Krak: the main difference is that there is no "create a new thread, whispered to this user" link on every post.
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    Yes, I think people don't realise that they can whisper a whole discussion to someone. 'Muppets, the lot of 'em!' I cry ; ) Read the documentation When it comes down to it, pms are wank and whispers are the future.
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    Haha. Seems people already managed to say pretty much what i would in this thread. Categories have their place as do discussions but it's the vanilla ethos that discussions come first. It can be configured, however, for categories to come first which caters for all users absolutely fine in my view. And yeah, i'm a little confused about the whispers vs pm thing. A whispered thread is the same as a pm except it encourages private discussion. On another forum i use someone pm'd me something and i replied to it and their reply came in a seperate box - whats the use in that when it's meant to be fluent and contextual? The ability to 'pm' in location on a thread is incredibly useful aswell. It saves users the hassle of referencing another place when trying to talk to someone about something specific. The only issue i see with them is that an in-thread whisper might not be seen if the other user doesnt return to that thread - and that is the only thing i can see which might need some work on it. Perhaps if a different highlight could be used on the discussions pages or something... i dont know how much extra strain that would put on though?
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    I think most people (including Mark) have emphasized being able to use the forum instinctually as being important.

    Perhaps Vanilla should come default with a "whispered discussions" category.

    Since many people are used to BB style forums and the like, people look for a PM tab near the top. So maybe a solution would be to create a link to sort out everything to just the "whispered discussions" tab.
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    edited May 2006
    "Perhaps Vanilla should come default with a 'whispered discussions' category."
    Grab Mark's Discussion Filters extension from the Add-ons repository. One of the filters is "Whispered Discussions". It would be pretty easy to make an extension which added a "PMs" tab that linked to the filter (yoursite.com/theforum/index.php?View=Private)
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    You could make an addon with a whispered discussions tab on it *really* easily. I might do that next time i'm not being lazy.
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    I see you beat me to it :D
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    MUHWAHAHAHA! :-P
This discussion has been closed.