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Feedback - randomizer

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October 27, 2012 4:31:09 AM

First impressions

Firstly, the main forum page:

1. It seems less cluttered. A lot less cluttered. Just using commas to separate the subcategories rather than pipes makes things seem less chaotic (even though there is actually one less space between each subcategory).

2. I am pleased to see that the "Ask the Community" button has been replaced with the more generic "Post a New Thread", because we don't always want to ask anything.

3. I'm not sure how I feel about the large font used for the message count for each section. It doesn't seem like an important enough piece of information to warrant being the largest text besides the heading. Besides, are more messages a good thing or a bad thing? It could mean my thread has a high chance of being answered quickly or it could mean that it will be lost in a flood of other threads. I don't really want to compete with 1.3 million other posts. But I digress...

4. The navigation at the top (just under the main nav) looks a bit out of place.

5. The list of moderators is missing now. I think this is both good and bad. We are far less likely to get pointless PMs, but it may also be difficult to find a moderator if one needs to be contacted. I think this information should be available somewhere, even if it's just a single list of moderators rather than a section-by-section breakdown (which is no longer needed since we moderate all sections anyway).

Secondly, the thread list view:

1. Stickies are fairly obvious now! :bounce: 

2. Being able to filter out solved threads is nice
3. I feel that the "Answer This" button is making demands, and I don't like it. Also, some of these threads aren't questions and so don't need answers.


More nit-picking to come! :ange: 

More about : feedback randomizer

October 27, 2012 6:49:23 AM

Logging in / out and other profile-related stuff

1. Anyone running the Firefox Ghostery addon (and presumably the Chrome version too) will be greeted by a nearly-blank page with a long JSON string when logging in, rather than being directed to the correct page. The user is still logged in, but will need to navigate backwards and refresh to see that.

2. The new profile page is a huge improvement over the current badges page, both the public and private profile pages, although moreso the latter. Progress for each badge is relatively clear and aesthetically pleasing, compared to the nasty table of text that we currently have. I have a few comments on the aesthetics but they aren't particularly important:

2.a. For badges which have only one "level" (such as legacy badges or ones in the Tom's category), there is no need to give the container the appearance of an arrow when no further progress can be made.
2.b. Levels that haven't yet been attained should have their text and icon's opacity reduced. I didn't immediately notice that level's two and three for my Linux badge didn't have a blue background, and was surprised to see that I apparently have 50 best answers there already. Then I noticed the blue and it all made sense. Reducing the opacity (or just sticking a partially-transparent grey overlay on them) will make this more obvious.
2.c. Earned badges should be grouped like the ones in progress, else the page will get very, very long over time.
2.d. "Theme" (under "Badges In Progress") should probably be "Category" or something similar. "Practices" should be something else. I'm not sure what, but "Practices" really doesn't describe what falls under it.
2.e. "General Billboard"? Maybe call it "Global Rankings" or something similar, and update that page accordingly. Maybe it's common in US English to call it this (in which case keep it if you want), but I understand a billboard to be a giant advertisement, not a ranked list of users.

3.a When I upload a new avatar it remains unchanged, but the time last updated does change.
3.b. When I first remove my avatar and upload a new one, my old one re-appears. This problem is pretty much identical to the avatar problem which plagues the current forum.

This appears to have been a temporary issue.

4. Updating other personal info works as expected

5. Updating password works as expected

6. Logging out works as expected
October 28, 2012 2:18:24 AM

Right column stuff

1. Can we please have a filter for what sections do or don't show up in the little widget thing that says "Hi, Username"? I don't care much about article comments for example, and they clutter up the list of threads I am actually involved in a discussion in. I suffer from Too Many, Don't Read disorder.

2. It should display only threads with unread posts by default. There is not much reason to look at old threads unless I'm specifically after something I've already read.

3. I want to be able to see a quick list of all unread PMs, just like I can in the current forum, without having to go to a new page. Also, please make sure that this is

4. You've probably realised by now that I'm not a fan of the assume-everything-is-a-question-or-answer language used throughout the site. I assume that there was a deliberate reason for adding this even in the current forum, but I think that sticking with "thread" and "post" is fine. Thus "Answered by user" can be "Posted by user". This is purely personal taste, but since we have discussion threads and polls as well it really doesn't make much sense to refer to everything like it is related to Q/A.
Related resources
October 28, 2012 2:42:24 AM

I agree. No right column please!

(I'll have my report done after the exams).

Edit: Can we have a built in grammar and spell-check? :p 
October 28, 2012 3:10:54 AM

Posting threads

1. The sidebar new thread box has "Help" as the text for the button. This is quite confusing because it implies that clicking it will display the help for this new thread box, not that it will actually post your thread. I understand that this ties in with "ask the community [for help]", but this isn't immediately obvious.

2. The Full Edit page for the first post in a thread has the title "Create a new thread" and has "Publish my thread" on the submit button. These should probably say something along the lines of "Update my thread (or post)" instead. The title and button for the full edit page of other posts in the thread also should be changed to reflect that they are updating a post and not creating a new one.

3. Checking the "Ask the community" box on the full edit page does not change the thread type to a Question if it is already a Discussion.

4. I can't create a poll. The validation always complains about the date (but the time is fine).

5. Tag suggestions don't work. The AJAX request just returns a page with a heading "Default Home Page" (I expect it's meant to return JSON response), and the suggestions box continues to display "Searching...".

5. There are two links/buttons for showing the Full Edit page for a post (the pencil icon and the "Update this" link). We only need one. Also, the arrow next to the "Update this" link points to your signature which gives the impression that it's for updating the signature, not the post.
October 28, 2012 3:22:53 AM

amdfangirl said:
I agree. No right column please!


I like the right column, as long as it makes things quick to access and not tedious. The current one works fairly well, except that it blocks the page when it's loading because the request it makes is synchronous rather than asynchronous. That doesn't appear to be the case in the new forum which is excellent.
October 28, 2012 4:03:44 AM

Misc Bugs/Issues (updated as I find them)

1. Avatars are visible before they are approved.

2. Avatars can be uploaded before activating an account even though the account activation success message implies that you shouldn't be able to unless you've activated.

3. The account activation success message mentions the "Uniformed" badge. This badge is known as "At home" on the new forum.

4. The numeric value of the "Number of answers" column in the list of private messages includes the original message, which means it is always >0. Obviously the original PM is not an answer, so it should not be included in this count. Note that this doesn't affect PMs which were ported from the old forum, only new ones.

5. The categories popup that appears when you hover over "Categories" in the top navigation makes it difficult to click on any breadcrumb link under it. It's too easy to cause it to appear, and you have to then move your mouse right outside of the popup to get rid of it. The issue is due to the anchor tags in this nav bar having way too much padding, as can be seen here. There should also be a slight delay before the popup appears when hovering over that link to avoid inadvertently showing it when moving the cursor around the top left of the page.
October 28, 2012 5:06:41 AM

Moderation (Sanctions)

1. "Send to teletubbies" doesn't work. :( 

2. There must be a way to delete all of a user's posts, not just those from the last 24 hours. We can't possibly clean up spam effectively without this functionality.

3. The "Activity" section at the bottom of the sanction page is always empty. What is this meant to be? (Not really feedback, but I'd like to know)

4. There doesn't seem to be any option to lift a sanction that I have put in place early, but I can see a checkbox next to sanctions given out by other moderators. However, the "delete selected sanctions" function doesn't seem to actually do anything. Also, is this meant to delete the sanction history or lift current sanctions? It's not very clear.

5. The sanction notification private message has "sanction" spelled with two 'n's ("sanctionned") in the message subject and body.

6. The sanction PM should link to the Terms of Use, not just mention them.

7. The sanction PM should state the duration of the sanction and/or when it will be lifted.

8. The sanction PM formatting could do with a little bit of a formatting cleanup although that's not really important.

9. The message "You have been banned" shown when trying to reply to a thread while sanctioned is too hard to see. It just looks like the page didn't load right, or that it's just an incomplete debug page. The message given when trying to post a new thread is more obvious. Both messages should probably direct the user to their sanction PM in case they missed it (most do).
October 28, 2012 5:50:18 AM

Moderation (Other)

1. Unstickying a standard forum thread breaks the layout of the thread list view temporarily. The unstickied thread remains in its original position, and it and all following stickies are given the "firstNonSticky" CSS class which displays a grey border above them. The issue can be seen here. This corrects itself after a short time and the thread drops to where it should be. A similar issue happens when stickying a thread.

Note that if the sticky is changed to a Tech Support Question, it will permanently ruin the layout, as shown here.

2. Changing the thread type to a Tech Support Question sends you to a 404 page. The thread will show up in the forum thread list, but is usually (but seemingly not always) inaccessible. For example, I was able to access and change one of the stickies back to a normal thread. However, it's URL has been permanently altered, as shown below.

Normal URL structure: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/350952-28-looking-mob...

Altered URL structure: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-1319264/amd-piledr...

3. After stickying or unstickying a threads, you get redirected to a page that you were on earlier. It seems to be whichever page is two steps back in your browsing history.



That's all for today. :)  Hopefully you don't have too much trouble wading through my word soup, but feel free to PM me or contact me on Skype (my details are at the top of the table in this post, for those who have access) if you need clarification or even translation of what I was talking about.
October 29, 2012 11:51:23 AM

Hey,

Wow randomizer, this is a lot of great feedback. We're going to address these one by one... Keep up the great work!

As for the send to teletubbies, I'd rather just see that removed as an option. The sanction for longer periods of time has already been reported by myself.

Justin
October 29, 2012 3:04:21 PM

Is it feasible to get I.P banning?

I would be nice to have all proxy sites and TOR I.Ps banned.
October 29, 2012 3:14:01 PM

Hey,

The system does have IP banning. However, I don't know if we're planning on restricting it only to Administrators. I would imagine we are, since that is such a powerful tool.

Justin
October 29, 2012 8:42:01 PM

justinblue said:
Wow randomizer, this is a lot of great feedback. We're going to address these one by one... Keep up the great work!


No worries Justin. Like I said, if you need any clarification you can reach me on Skype or however else you wish.

On a side note: will feature requests still be accepted after launch? Sometimes you don't know what is missing until you need it.
October 30, 2012 2:04:51 PM

randomizer,

If a feature makes sense that we forgot, sure we'll try to get it done. That is the advantage of the new forum system, much more rapid development when needed. Of course, it'll be much better to do it now.

Justin
October 30, 2012 4:36:54 PM

randomizer,

Here are the answers to your feedback:

"List of moderators missing" - Great point.. .this will be reintroduced in some fashion. We are thinking of the best way.

"Can we please have a filter for what sections do or don't show up in the little widget thing that says "Hi, Username"? I don't care much about article comments for example, and they clutter up the list of threads I am actually involved in a discussion in." - We just developped this widget as it is now in beta, and it did not occurr to us that a filter would be useful. We will add this to the roadmap, but do not expect a short-term improvement on this. The only way around for now is to "stop tracking" the unwanted threads. In a few weeks, you should also benefit from a "mark all as read" button in the "followed threads" tab, that could help when applied to article comments specifically.

"It should display only threads with unread posts by default. There is not much reason to look at old threads unless I'm specifically after something I've already read." - Agreed that for long-time members it is more useful when the option is checked. We invite all regular members to check this box. But as for new members, once they just created their first thread or posted their first message, it is important that we help us get back to the corresponding thread at any time. New users are easily lost. So the default value is just meant at helping new members get back to the threads they contributed to, will it have new answers or not.

"I want to be able to see a quick list of all unread PMs, just like I can in the current forum, without having to go to a new page." - we're working at this as part of a global site redesign, but it's not sure yet wether this will be released before or after the new forum platform.

"built in grammar and spell-check?" - This is fraught with issues. Most browsers have spell check now. Grammar check is much harder. Its always something that we are looking into, but very difficult to make work right.

"Checking the "Ask the community" box on the full edit page does not change the thread type to a Question if it is already a Discussion" - You should use the "Change type" moderation option for this matter.

"The sidebar new thread box has "Help" as the text for the button. This is quite confusing because it implies that clicking it will display the help for this new thread box, not that it will actually post your thread. I understand that this ties in with "ask the community [for help]", but this isn't immediately obvious." - should we rather go for "Help me"?

"I can't create a poll. The validation always complains about the date (but the time is fine)." - We're currently fixing some issues with polls. Let's resume testing on this in a week or 2.

"Tag suggestions don't work. The AJAX request just returns a page with a heading "Default Home Page" (I expect it's meant to return JSON response), and the suggestions box continues to display "Searching..."." - This is probably a side-effet of the tags being in their early stages. We are currently working at defining a first list of tags.

"Avatars are visible before they are approved." - This is on purpose. We'd rather have people not wait for their avatar to appear (we know that in this situation, they retry to upload it whatever we tell them, and they complain, and everybody's losing time for nothing). We have so little annoyance through avatars that it seems legit to display them right away (or a very short time after it has been uploaded, as mousemonkey noted). All avatars are presented to the admins for review anyway, and no doubt that any abusive one will be shortly taken care of.

"Avatars can be uploaded before activating an account even though the account activation success message implies that you shouldn't be able to unless you've activated" - good finding ... will fix

"The categories popup that appears when you hover over "Categories" in the top navigation makes it difficult to click on any breadcrumb link under it." - good finding... will fix

"There must be a way to delete all of a user's posts, not just those from the last 24 hours. We can't possibly clean up spam effectively without this functionality." - we'll be working at "7-day" and "all" spam deletion options.

"The "Activity" section at the bottom of the sanction page is always empty. What is this meant to be?" - it displays a user's past activity (threads created, messages posted). This feature started gathering information only very recently, so most users have nothing showing up here.... As the new system ages, it will be filled in

"Changing the thread type to a Tech Support Question sends you to a 404 page." - Yes, this is because the tech support "section" doesn't exist yet. This will not happen on the live site. The tech support system will be rolled out in the future.

"After stickying or unstickying a threads, you get redirected to a page that you were on earlier. It seems to be whichever page is two steps back in your browsing history" - known issue, very annoying, but not a huge priority. Will be fixed though eventually.

Justin
October 31, 2012 10:50:47 AM

Hi Justin,

Thanks for the feedback feedback :)  I agree with most of your counter points to my suggestions.

justinblue said:
You should use the "Change type" moderation option for this matter.


In that case the option should not be available to users then (if it is), except when actually creating a new thread. However, I already noted that the full edit forms for both the first and subsequent posts are more or less identical to their new thread/new post counterparts, so presumably if that is corrected then this would be resolved simultaneously.

justinblue said:
should we rather go for "Help me"?


"Help me", "Ask for help", "Get help", "Tell me tonight's lottery numbers"... I suppose it doesn't really matter as long as it clearly indicates what that button is for and isn't too cheesy either. :) 

Let me know when those features that are still baking are ready to be poked and prodded again and I'll take a second shot at them. In the meantime I still have a few things left to test.
October 31, 2012 12:57:31 PM

Hey Randomizer,

The change type is only available to mods and admins, so we're good on that front :) 

We'll come up with something not too cheesy!

Justin
November 3, 2012 3:47:09 AM

A couple more issues:

1. There doesn't seem to be a way to merge threads. The option is available in the moderation dropdown at the top of a single thread view, but it's disabled. The thread list view only has the option to move and delete threads.

2. Moving threads in bulk works fine, but deleting them doesn't work. The AJAX request to populate the deletion dialog returns a 404 when looking up http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/delete_selection?dele...

This could be a proxy issue, but I am having no missing page issues with anything else.
November 4, 2012 2:14:38 AM

What is the maximum avatar file size? I think the maximum dimensions and file size should be specified near where you upload it.
November 4, 2012 3:03:51 AM

I think it was said we were to use our judgement on sig size? We need some sort of guideline though.
November 4, 2012 3:27:26 AM

Avatar, not sig :) 
November 11, 2012 8:41:43 AM

Is there a word filter in the new forum? If yes, has it been load tested against our current enormous list? :lol: 
November 27, 2012 10:27:11 PM

Would be nice to have multi quote while you guys are at it :)  or a tab to wrap text in a quote or a link hidden in a word. The background is hard on the eyes and would help if its a bit darker for the forums.

moderators names highlighted in bold vs others is an easy way of showing who is boss lol


Edit: hmm All the options wasn't showing until i posted.. don`t know if thats a bug or only happens when you post first time on this forum :bounce:  The icons are out of line i think :o 
December 30, 2012 5:01:11 AM

Would it be possible to allow having a fixed display order for stickies, or perhaps a "weight" assigned to a sticky (which is more future-proof) so that the most important ones are always at the top of the list while less important ones can drift towards the bottom? Some stickies are very important/useful but don't have much reason to receive new posts (many are locked), so discussion stickies tend to force them to the bottom pretty quickly which reduces their visibility.

Case in point: The "Read this first" sticky, which contains the forum Rules of Conduct, is almost always the very last sticky. It's hard to expect people to read it first when it's buried in the middle of the page.
December 30, 2012 3:18:33 PM

randomizer said:
Case in point: The "Read this first" sticky, which contains the forum Rules of Conduct, is almost always the very last sticky. It's hard to expect people to read it first when it's buried in the middle of the page.

It might be worth renaming that sticky as well to something that reflects the fact that it is about the rules of conduct.
December 30, 2012 9:45:02 PM

If only we could bulk rename threads...

/wants raw DB access

On another note: It would be nice if we could lock threads but have the OP still able to edit their post. It seems like a rather strange suggestion but it would avoid two existing problems:

1) A guide which is an open thread will get continuous new posts when they aren't really wanted or needed.
2) A locked guide can only be updated by a moderator. This puts additional workload on them.
January 2, 2013 4:43:34 PM

Those are perhaps items for a wishlist, post-update. Right now we're mostly concerned about whether or not stuff works. ;) 
January 2, 2013 6:27:56 PM

jpishgar said:
Those are perhaps items for a wishlist, post-update. Right now we're mostly concerned about whether or not stuff works. ;) 

Any news on the right hand column being collapsible?
January 3, 2013 12:33:06 AM

Definitely a +1 to the above.

One the wish list, Joe, I know this makes me sound lazy but could we have a "down" button on the Forum Categories List to take us straight to the bottom - similar to the one in each individual thread?

January 3, 2013 6:49:05 AM

jpishgar said:
Those are perhaps items for a wishlist, post-update. Right now we're mostly concerned about whether or not stuff works. ;) 


Of course. I would not expect such features to be considered anywhere near high priority. :) 
January 9, 2013 5:36:10 AM

randomizer said:
Of course. I would not expect such features to be considered anywhere near high priority. :) 


Meeeoooww! :D 
January 15, 2013 4:01:28 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Any news on the right hand column being collapsible?


This is still being worked on, though from last update, it will not be available upon launch.
January 15, 2013 6:35:13 PM

That is really going to suck but thanks for the heads up.
!