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bring back ability to hide categories from categories list [Hosted Vanilla question]

beckfieldbeckfield New
edited October 2016 in Feedback

I use the Vanilla-hosted ("Vanilla Cloud," apparently) forums at Plex.tv, and I saw today that all the forum categories I have had hidden for the past few years were suddenly unhidden, and the 'all categories / followed categories' links were gone.

The Plex folks queried Vanilla about this, and learned that this was a deliberate change. I'm here to ask that you put it back the way it was, or give me some other way to hide categories from the list.

Comments

  • You should try asking for help on the Vanilla Cloud forums.
    https://support.vanillaforums.com/

  • Thanks. Didn't realize there was a separate place.

  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff

    @beckfield Howdy, I'm the lead developer who approved the change. Thanks for reaching out. Cloud support actually won't be able to help you since you're not the customer.

    For those on the open source side not following along, we're talking about this change, which is technically explained at that link. I'll give a little more info about it since it will be coming in 2.4.

    We've renamed the "Hide Category" option on the category list to "Mute Category" and changed what it does. Instead of hiding the category entirely, it now ONLY removes those discussions from the Recent Discussions list. This solves quite a few issues:

    • General confusion. Folks would unintentionally hide a category or forgot they did it.
    • Re-finding a hid category was not intuitive. It required toggling to "show hidden categories" mode using a special module in the sidebar. Folks didn't understand this non-parallel workflow well (hide via 1 action in menu, unhide by doing 2 unrelated steps).
    • That module was frequently not included in new themes, meaning there was literally no way to go about un-hiding a category.
    • We don't see a strong use in hiding categories from the full categories list.
    • We don't like the feature any more and want to rework it as a subscribe / unfollow model in the future.

    By halving its functionality and renaming it, we made a clear intermediary feature that lets folks continue filtering their Recent Discussions list for now without any of the confusion it was causing. Better experience, less support. We'll revisit it when we can devote resources to rethinking the entire experience of the Recent Discussions list.

    ItsVizionTvShadowdareR_Jrbrahmson
  • R_JR_J Cheerleader & Troubleshooter Munich Moderator

    I really like the feature to exclude the categories from the discussions index, but when I was a Vanilla newbie I had my problems with hidden categories, too.
    I think it is a very good idea to change the UX for that feature :heart:

  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    @Linc wrote "We'll revisit it when we can devote resources to rethinking the entire experience of the Recent Discussions list."

    Just a thought - there is hiding from Recent Discussion List and then there's real hiding which could also be achieved via permissions. Perhaps the permission model can be utilized to handle hiding from the Recent Discussion List.

  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff

    Very granular category permissions don't scale any better than the current system, which is our primary concern for a revamp.

    rbrahmson
  • @Linc said:
    Instead of hiding the category entirely, it now ONLY removes those discussions from the Recent Discussions list.

    I don't use the Recent Discussions list. I use the Forum categories list. There are some categories that don't apply to me, so I hide them. This allows me to quickly see which of my chosen forums have new content, without having to sift through a list of forums that I don't use.

    This solves quite a few issues:

    It solved none for me.

    • General confusion. Folks would unintentionally hide a category or forgot they did it.

    I have been completely unconfused by it. I very deliberately chose which categories I wanted to hide.

    • Re-finding a hid category was not intuitive. It required toggling to "show hidden categories" mode using a special module in the sidebar. Folks didn't understand this non-parallel workflow well (hide via 1 action in menu, unhide by doing 2 unrelated steps).

    It was clearly obvious that the "show hidden categories" link would allow me to get them back. If some were having trouble finding it, you could rework the link to make it more obvious.

    • That module was frequently not included in new themes, meaning there was literally no way to go about un-hiding a category.

    That is the fault of the theme designers. There was still a way to un-hiding categories. You just had to turn off the defective theme.

    • We don't see a strong use in hiding categories from the full categories list.

    I do. It's the way I use the forums, and it's the way I intend to use them going forward.

    • We don't like the feature any more and want to rework it as a subscribe / unfollow model in the future.

    As long as I can hide the categories I don't use, do it any way you like.

    By halving its functionality and renaming it, we made a clear intermediary feature that lets folks continue filtering their Recent Discussions list for now without any of the confusion it was causing. Better experience, less support. We'll revisit it when we can devote resources to rethinking the entire experience of the Recent Discussions list.

    So, it's a half-thought-out, half-finished change that cripples your product's usefulness to users, until you maybe, someday, might think about putting a little more thought into it. That's BRILLIANT! Genius!

    You may have helped the folks who use the Recent Discussions list, but you have created problems for those of us who don't. WORSE experience.

    Devote your resources to restoring the ability to hide categories.

    rbrahmsonTim
  • RiverRiver MVP
    edited October 2016

    @beckfield said:

    @Linc said:
    Instead of hiding the category entirely, it now ONLY removes those discussions from the Recent Discussions list.

    I don't use the Recent Discussions list. I use the Forum categories list. There are some categories that don't apply to me, so I hide them. This allows me to quickly see which of my chosen forums have new content, without having to sift through a list of forums that I don't use.

    This solves quite a few issues:

    It solved none for me.

    • General confusion. Folks would unintentionally hide a category or forgot they did it.

    I have been completely unconfused by it. I very deliberately chose which categories I wanted to hide.

    • Re-finding a hid category was not intuitive. It required toggling to "show hidden categories" mode using a special module in the sidebar. Folks didn't understand this non-parallel workflow well (hide via 1 action in menu, unhide by doing 2 unrelated steps).

    It was clearly obvious that the "show hidden categories" link would allow me to get them back. If some were having trouble finding it, you could rework the link to make it more obvious.

    • That module was frequently not included in new themes, meaning there was literally no way to go about un-hiding a category.

    That is the fault of the theme designers. There was still a way to un-hiding categories. You just had to turn off the defective theme.

    • We don't see a strong use in hiding categories from the full categories list.

    I do. It's the way I use the forums, and it's the way I intend to use them going forward.

    • We don't like the feature any more and want to rework it as a subscribe / unfollow model in the future.

    As long as I can hide the categories I don't use, do it any way you like.

    By halving its functionality and renaming it, we made a clear intermediary feature that lets folks continue filtering their Recent Discussions list for now without any of the confusion it was causing. Better experience, less support. We'll revisit it when we can devote resources to rethinking the entire experience of the Recent Discussions list.

    So, it's a half-thought-out, half-finished change that cripples your product's usefulness to users, until you maybe, someday, might think about putting a little more thought into it. That's BRILLIANT! Genius!

    You may have helped the folks who use the Recent Discussions list, but you have created problems for those of us who don't. WORSE experience.

    Devote your resources to restoring the ability to hide categories.

    sometimes its hard to argue logically against a change, even if your arguments seem valid, once the wheels are in motion, especially if the answer deals with "scalability". especially since you are not in control of writing the software, and the forum is runnign on the cloud. At that point you just have to accept what the developers want and intend to do, unless you go to the open-source product and make the changes you want.

    Pragmatism is all I have to offer. Avoiding the sidelines and providing centerline pro-tips.

  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff

    @River said:
    sometimes its hard to argue logically against a change, once the wheels are in motion, especially if the answer deals with "scalability".

    Scaling is the ultimate logic. The challenge is that it requires deep expertise & consideration to address, when so many opinions are drive-by.

  • RiverRiver MVP
    edited October 2016

    @Linc said:

    @River said:
    sometimes its hard to argue logically against a change, once the wheels are in motion, especially if the answer deals with "scalability".

    Scaling is the ultimate logic. The challenge is that it requires deep expertise & consideration to address, when so many opinions are drive-by.

    Yes, thats my point.

    Pragmatism is all I have to offer. Avoiding the sidelines and providing centerline pro-tips.

  • LincLinc Director of Development Detroit Vanilla Staff

    @beckfield said:
    So, it's a half-thought-out, half-finished change that cripples your product's usefulness to users, until you maybe, someday, might think about putting a little more thought into it. That's BRILLIANT! Genius!

    You may have helped the folks who use the Recent Discussions list, but you have created problems for those of us who don't. WORSE experience.

    Devote your resources to restoring the ability to hide categories.

    I deleted my Lebowski JPG since you decided to link to it directly out of context from your company forum, but rest assured I saw your condescending, ignorant remarks here and have no further interest in discussing the matter with you.

    beckfieldItsVizionTv
This discussion has been closed.