Forum Functionality Checkup

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jeff

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Dec 5, 2003
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I need your input!

I got an email from a member a couple days ago that said something like "this is too hard, I'm leaving". This was from a member with decades of experience in a difficult and complex profession, skilled in quickly figuring out complex life-or-death situations with minimal information.

Perhaps this is an anomaly, but I'm concerned! If that type of member has difficulty using our forum software, then maybe I have my head in the sand and there are opportunities for significant improvements in the way things operate. I'm just a regular guy of average intelligence, but I think our new forum is orders of magnitude better than the old. Maybe it's really awful and I'm just used to it.

So what's bugging you about how our new forum software works? I mean the functionality, not the layout (unless that impairs your use of it.)

What can't you find? What is missing? What is harder here than on our old system?

Help me out. I think you all know by now that I'm always anxious to improve things where possible. THANKS!!
 
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walshjp17

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Messages
2,934
Location
Weddington, NC
Personally, other than the learning curve involved with new software/processes, I find the new forum look and feel to be spot on. It fixed the one issue I have had for years and introduced a more useful interface.
 

lorbay

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
3,189
Location
BC. Canada
Jeff as with most forums they all take a bit of a learning curve to figure things out. Yes this forum is quite a bit different from the old one but this format is really great. I think you got everything right and you did a great job on the conversion.
Lin
 

CREID

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
2,925
Location
Vancouver, wa
There are a few things that are named differently and the look is a little different but all in all the function is pretty much the same. Some minor differences but pretty easy to navigate. I have seen some posts where people couldn't find something or their way around but their questions were quickly answered by someone and usually they seem happy and thankful.
 

Curly

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2010
Messages
3,685
Location
Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Jeff I can’t say I like new change unless it’s in my pocket but I have no problem with the new format. Once played with it is easy to figure out how to use it and it certainly works better on my phone. Sad to see someone go especially a long time member. If they don’t want to take the time to learn it you can’t be blamed for that. Keep up the good work and maybe they will come back someday.
 

BRobbins629

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
3,973
Location
Richmond, VA, USA.
I actually find the features I use to be easier than the old site. Easier to load pictures, better picture quality, particularly from my iPad. No complaints here.
 

Stevej72

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
1,603
Location
Billings, MT, USA.
Jeff, I have been pretty much gone since 2012 and was very happy to see the new format upon returning recently! Of course it has taken me a little bit of time to find my way around, but I think you did an excellent job.
 

jeff

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
8,232
Location
Westlake, OH, USA.
Thanks all! Maybe it was an isolated issue. Glad to know that for the most part, things are usable!
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
9,269
Location
Medina, Ohio
I'll also repeat what has been reflected: There is a learning curve, but most previous features are here, and in many cases are of better functionality. But yes, it is different and some effort, patience and exploring is necessary for those of us used to the previous software. But if we want to be part of IAP going forward, we need to heed the BORG mantra: "Resistance is futile, You will be assimilated". And yes, we will adapt. 👽

And, for new members, the current software will be all they know, so all is well for building up the membership. We just have to do our best to encourage participation and be welcoming to new turners, and new members with ample skills.

There is little question that the upgrade was needed. So the only issue is to slowly tweak the format and features as input from the members becomes more clear in time.

I have a few items on a "wish list," but I need to do my homework to see if I can do what I want before crying wolf.

You have done a stellar job Jeff, and I'll also give a loud shout-out to Wayne for his work with the IAP Library. The Library is a true gem of IAP, and Wayne has insured that it got transferred to the new format (with initial assistance from Jeff I suspect). You both deserve more credit than you receive.

At this stage in my life, I'd better get used to learning more tasks related to my computer, my smart phone (which I didn't want, and still do not like), and other aspects of emerging technology or I will quickly become technically obsolete. Yes, I am grumbling as I type!
 

GaryMGg

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
5,590
Location
McIntosh, Florida, USA.
The new forum has lots of new, nice features.
I almost always use my iPhone. When I use my laptop, the UI is even better.
The learning curve for this system was a bit more than most other ‘updates’ I’ve been through. However, nothing too difficult.
I wonder if, perhaps, something else was going on and this just became the scapegoat?!?

The end results have been great; the current version is very functional. Thanks for your hard work!!
 

greenacres2

Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
1,128
Location
Northwest IN
Reading the New Posts, as i do each morning and evening. Just a few minutes ago i was looking at Jim M's collection of razors, and had a conscious thought of gratitude that i could simply click the arrow to scroll through the pics instead of opening and closing each one--that makes it worthwhile to me.
earl
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
11,467
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Still getting "acclimatized" ...... Overall, I am getting used to the "New" and NOW would not want to go back to the "Old".
Let me take this opportunity to again express appreciation to Jeff, and also Wayne, for undertaking this massive task !!!! . THANKS VERY MUCH !!!!
I do find the "New" to be less compact in the screen display.
Also wondering if there are some features of the "New" which can be customized by me for my own particular preferences.

Have a couple of "naming" issues .....
1) What is the intended purpose of the "Media" section ? . Maybe a different name would make that more clear.
2) Under "Forums" there is a big grouping labelled "Penturning" and within that big grouping there is a forum which is also called "Penturning".
I would suggest that the big grouping name be changed to something like "Issues About Making Pens". . Alternatively, the actual forum could be renamed to "General Penturning", or similar.
My reason: . This distinction would make it easier to direct "newbies" about where to find specific information and where to post their questions.
Since the new software was implemented there have been several cases of newbies asking "where to find" & "where to post".

Thanks
 
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leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,143
Location
Tunica, MS,
Jeff, I am not psychologist but had 16 hours of psychology in college. I was introduced to numerous personality studies in college, in seminary and in my career work. I enjoyed learning what makes people "tick" so to speak. - not for the purpose of manipulation but how to understand them and work with them.

When pressure comes from one direction, response is all too often taken out on something else. (I have done that) I would surmise that this pen forum was the persons pressure relief from his day to day work. And the changes here were the straw that broke the camel's back. As we age, for most people, changes are harder. For me, I cannot handle using email on my phone or web surfing on the phone. Not enough screen real estate to see the big picture or read multi page PDF or Word Doc. But younger people don't seem to mind viewing a piece of the picture or just an overview of a pen instead of looking at the cellular stucture in something like padauk!


What I miss, and I know it is coming is the front page pen.

What does throw me off a little - is that on the older forum in the front page, the list of threads below the FP Pen was listed in the latest post on top. In this new forum, the home page list of threads (Recent Threads) - the top is not the ones with the latest posts. I'm still trying to figure out the order of the front page list and why it is like it is. For instance, the 12 threads on the front page, The top one was 1 hour 20 minutes ago, the 9th thread was 45 minutes ago; the 6th one was 6 hours ago; etc.
ANY way to view the front page thread chronologically by latest posts?
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
13,307
Location
NJ, USA.
When I get here I go right to whats new. If nothing I am interested in I am out of here. I try to answer questions if I could and lend support of work seen. I am an old fart so I have seen just about everything we introduced over the years. I see no new innovation as far as technical ideas so nothing to sink your teeth into there. If I need to start a topic they are basically the same so easy to do that. yes the look is a little different and the words used are more techy which I do not like but we adapt. The change was needed and Jeff you did a great job handling that and I know tweaking is still being done but that is all eye candy stuff and for me that does not rock my socks but I will continue to be a member and hope to give back in some small way for i did learn alot here over the years. I am probably the least computer literate and yet I plod my way around here with little trouble so do not know what the person was talking about. maybe if they could explain themselves abit more would help but then again maybe not. Now i view this site from a desk computer and that alone and will be that way till I leave the earth. I do not own a dumb phone so have no knowledge of viewing it through those eyes and maybe that is where there was some disconnect. Not sure. but keep up the good work and well appreciated.
 

maxwell_smart007

Lead Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
6,499
Location
middle of nowhere in the great, white North
I wish I could look at the 'what's new' section on th efront page and scroll through a few pages of new posts instead of just a handful. At-a-glance, if there's nothing of note in there, I tend to not dig too deeply. Can you add a 'view more' button to the list on the front page?
 

tomas

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
404
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Jeff, Some people are just grouchy, especially when change is involved. I spent 25 years programming enterprise apps and discovered that some people just resist change. I have no problems with the new interface. If it wasn't any different, we wouldn't have changed. We should all be looking for continued improvement (my wife reminds me of this all the time). I do have one question. What is the Response Score?

Thanks,
Tomas
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,333
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Answering your question Jeff, you are far from doing the Ostridge "trick" of burying the head in the sand, by the contrary, you have always been very focused on making this place a place for all and somewhere we all can come to enjoy ourselves by doing one of the many functions the forum allow us, I don't believe this person had a problem with the new format nor he/she didn't have all the 30 minutes (that's how long it took me and I'm an old fart with no mobile phone and a brain not as sharp as once was...!) that would take to check things out and find out where everything is, this person may have had a very bad day and he/she got too annoyed when he/she realised things were not the same but in fact, I don't see any issues that would make me enjoy being here any less than before and reading the opinions of other members that posted before me, it is obvious that we are "all" happy with the changes and that any minor issues you will take care of on the spot so, do not worry...!

PS: If there is something you don't understand or know what it means, do please ask, someone will answer and with that many of us that had no clue but didn't find too important to ask at the time will also be able to learn, a win-win situation...! 👍

Cheers
George
 
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johncrane

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
9,263
Location
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Jeff I'm a computer dummy and have found the new upgrade ok to use so far, still a lot to see and do but overall i'm very happy with your upgrade and for all your time and effort you have done a great job! and i thank you for that🙂 keep up the good work 👍
 

Lucky2

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
1,081
Location
New Brunswick/ Canada
Jeff, I like the new format, actually, I like the new format better then I did the old. I can find what I want a lot easier and quicker, and I now find myself spending more time on here, and participating more.

Len
 

TonyL

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
7,221
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
I need your input!

I got an email from a member a couple days ago that said something like "this is too hard, I'm leaving". This was from a member with decades of experience in a difficult and complex profession, skilled in quickly figuring out complex life-or-death situations with minimal information.

Perhaps this is an anomaly, but I'm concerned! If that type of member has difficulty using our forum software, then maybe I have my head in the sand and there are opportunities for significant improvements in the way things operate. I'm just a regular guy of average intelligence, but I think our new forum is orders of magnitude better than the old. Maybe it's really awful and I'm just used to it.

So what's bugging you about how our new forum software works? I mean the functionality, not the layout (unless that impairs your use of it.)

What can't you find? What is missing? What is harder here than on our old system?

Help me out. I think you all know by now that I'm always anxious to improve things where possible. THANKS!!
I am assuming the member didn't tell you what he/she found difficult giving you the opportunity to address it. There's also the chance that his or her leaving has little do the change.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
1,320
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I like the new site. As other mentioned, there's a learning curve but that's the same for just about everything unless you do the exact same thing everyday. It's kinda like getting a new car, there's things that need to be "relearned" before you take it out of a spin. I'm still learning this new site set up but it's pretty intuitive. Just my opinion though.
 

jeff

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
8,232
Location
Westlake, OH, USA.
I am assuming the member didn't tell you what he/she found difficult giving you the opportunity to address it. There's also the chance that his or her leaving has little do the change.
Correct, but that's pretty typical of the complaints I receive. No specifics and therefore no opportunity to help.
 

jeff

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
8,232
Location
Westlake, OH, USA.
I wish I could look at the 'what's new' section on th efront page and scroll through a few pages of new posts instead of just a handful. At-a-glance, if there's nothing of note in there, I tend to not dig too deeply. Can you add a 'view more' button to the list on the front page?
Andrew - on the front page, if you click the title "Recent Threads" under the photos section, it will take you to the latest posts pane of the what's new tab. At the bottom of that screen is a view more button. Is that what you're looking for? Some screen shots attached.

Regarding the "What's New" menu... the opening pane is "latest posts", which is a chronological list of all posts starting with the most recent. "New Posts" is the same list, minus what you've already looked at. So, "new to you"
 

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jeff

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
8,232
Location
Westlake, OH, USA.
Jeff, Some people are just grouchy, especially when change is involved. I spent 25 years programming enterprise apps and discovered that some people just resist change. I have no problems with the new interface. If it wasn't any different, we wouldn't have changed. We should all be looking for continued improvement (my wife reminds me of this all the time). I do have one question. What is the Response Score?

Thanks,
Tomas
I think you mean "Reaction Score"? "Reactions" are the various responses you see when you hover over the "like" button.

This metric is the total number of positive reactions minus the total number of negative reactions. Out of the box, there are no negative reactions. See the attached photo; the first three are all positive, and the last 3 are neutral.
 

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jeff

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
8,232
Location
Westlake, OH, USA.
Still getting "acclimatized" ...... Overall, I am getting used to the "New" and NOW would not want to go back to the "Old".
Let me take this opportunity to again express appreciation to Jeff, and also Wayne, for undertaking this massive task !!!! . THANKS VERY MUCH !!!!
I do find the "New" to be less compact in the screen display.
Also wondering if there are some features of the "New" which can be customized by me for my own particular preferences.

Have a couple of "naming" issues .....
1) What is the intended purpose of the "Media" section ? . Maybe a different name would make that more clear.
2) Under "Forums" there is a big grouping labelled "Penturning" and within that big grouping there is a forum which is also called "Penturning".
I would suggest that the big grouping name be changed to something like "Issues About Making Pens". . Alternatively, the actual forum could be renamed to "General Penturning", or similar.
My reason: . This distinction would make it easier to direct "newbies" about where to find specific information and where to post their questions.
Since the new software was implemented there have been several cases of newbies asking "where to find" & "where to post".

Thanks
1) For us, "Media" is photos. It's intended as a general repository for any type of photos, videos, etc. I think the name "Media" is just intended to be a generic name. I've been meaning to change that to "Photos" and I'll do that here shortly.

2) I initially wanted to change that category name to "Penmaking", but there was some pushback on that so I used "Penturning". I see the confusion given that we have a "Penturning" forum as well. I still think "Penmaking" or "Pen Making Forums" or "Pen Making Discussions" would be a good name for that category. I mean, we are making pens, right? :)
 

magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
11,467
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@jeff ....
Thanks for responding, Jeff. . I also think that a Category name of "Pen Making" (perhaps two words) would be adequately distinct from the Forum name of "Penturning". . In my opinion, "Pen Making" is more "over-arching" and all-inclusive (and therefore appropriate for a big group Category). . However, some people might view the two terms as being exactly the same thing ... but that's OK ... at least the names are distinctly identifiable and can be referenced without confusion when directing someone where to find things.
 

maxwell_smart007

Lead Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
6,499
Location
middle of nowhere in the great, white North
Andrew - on the front page, if you click the title "Recent Threads" under the photos section, it will take you to the latest posts pane of the what's new tab. At the bottom of that screen is a view more button. Is that what you're looking for? Some screen shots attached.

Regarding the "What's New" menu... the opening pane is "latest posts", which is a chronological list of all posts starting with the most recent. "New Posts" is the same list, minus what you've already looked at. So, "new to you"
Never thought of clicking on the title! :) THanks Jeff!
 
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