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View Full Version : Your forum layout is a disaster



Geborgenheit
05-01-2019, 08:59 AM
Sorry, but I have to say it and I am very surprised nobody has mentioned it before. It is very inconvenient to search and post here. You need to change your forum layout, that's probably the worst layout I have ever seen. That's why I have stopped posting recently.

DMXX
05-01-2019, 09:53 AM
Hello,

Thanks for the comment, which I'm admittedly reading with a pinch of bemusement, given our platform (vBulletin) is conventional and practically all of the other anthropology or genetics-related sites either run it or an equivalent. But there's always room for improvement.

We cannot review and perform the necessary adaptations without precise feedback (hyperbolic statements don't inform us of anything other than "I don't like it"), so please respond to the following queries:



It is very inconvenient to search and post here.


The "Search" function here works the same as in any other vBulletin forum. I use it frequently without issue. What precisely do you find inconvenient about it?



You need to change your forum layout


What specific element of our layout is substandard, in your view? Do you have any specific suggestions which we can consider?



that's probably the worst layout I have ever seen.


It's rather standard for a vBulletin-run forum. Are your issues specific to our site's layout, or the generic presentation offered by vBulletin? Do you have any specific suggestions which we can consider?

Opening the discussion up to the community - Do you agree with Geb...'s opinion on the above?

I do encourage readers to chime in, as we (the team) won't have any other means of gauging how happy you are with your forum experience on this point. Thanks in advance.

Ruderico
05-01-2019, 10:02 AM
No, personally I find it very 'standard'. My only gripe is having to wait 60s for each search

DMXX
05-01-2019, 10:04 AM
No, personally I find it very 'standard'. My only gripe is having to wait 60s for each search

Thanks for this, Ruderico. It's been added to the jobs list. Will look at ways to speed up the search time period. Will let the community know when we've made the necessary changes.

Any further comments regarding the forum's layout and/or appearance, everyone?

rod
05-01-2019, 10:11 AM
No, personally I find it very 'standard'. My only gripe is having to wait 60s for each search
Especially when the 2nd "search" was because the slow response makes you think you didn't submit the first one (usually when I click "New Posts".

MacUalraig
05-01-2019, 11:00 AM
Layout is pretty good I'd say. For searching I do use external methods by preference sometimes...

MikeWhalen
05-01-2019, 11:11 AM
I too am very unclear what the OP has specific problems with

for what ever its worth, I think 'Regular-Okay' is certainly how I would vote

about the only thing I have noticed, is the occasional slow response for when you click on something, but that is often as much about time of day, traffic on the net generally or the site specifically and some such...I know I have far less problems on this forum (meaning small inconvenient waits for instance) from my much better home computer rather than the dopey gov. intranet set up I have at work...none of which is the fault of the forum of course

anyway, every computer thingy could use a bit of a tweek I guess, so I do hope folks that have specific problems let the bosses here know...they cant fix shit if they dont know it exists, eh?
:)

Mike

pmokeefe
05-01-2019, 11:20 AM
Here's a small layout issue. I very often use "Activity Stream" followed by "New Posts" - very convenient to see the broad range of Forums which are active. However, the space for the post title is rather small so the title is often truncated, sometimes to the point of not really being able to recognize what's going on. More space for the title, less space for the other fields would be my preference. And/Or wrapping long titles so the full title is visible.


A recent example: on my 12 inch Macbook I see the title
"Towards a better modelling of NorthWest"

while the full title is
"Towards a better modelling of NorthWest Europeans in Global 25"

Geborgenheit
05-01-2019, 11:31 AM
What specific element of our layout is substandard, in your view? Do you have any specific suggestions which we can consider?


Your previous layout was much better:
1) Easier to see the newest threads and responses. The overview on the first page was much more clear in my opinion.
2) Buttons are terrible. The quote button - you have to search for it. The thanks button - I am not sure where it is ? Those small signs under posts. Seriously, that's convenient for you ?

I am surprised that some like it. But I am glad that I have finally said it.,

DMXX
05-01-2019, 11:41 AM
Your previous layout was much better:

We haven't changed our layout to any significant degree since launch, Geb. The only changes we've made since 2012 was through re-organising a few sections, changing the banner and updating the section icons. I've been the supervisor (or implementer) of all those changes.

I have a hunch that you may be inadvertently viewing the forum through one of the other skins. Our applied default is "Bittenfruit_Fluid". If you happen to view the forum on a mobile device (phone or tablet), your browser may automatically select our "Mobile" skin, which has a depreciated layout.

If you can look at the bottom-left of any page on the site during your current online session, please inspect the drop-down list and ensure "Bittenfruit_Fluid" has been selected.

Please get back to us regarding whether that's been the underlying issue here.

pmokeefe
05-01-2019, 11:59 AM
Your previous layout was much better:
1) Easier to see the newest threads and responses. The overview on the first page was much more clear in my opinion.
2) Buttons are terrible. The quote button - you have to search for it. The thanks button - I am not sure where it is ? Those small signs under posts. Seriously, that's convenient for you ?

I am surprised that some like it. But I am glad that I have finally said it.,

What type of device are you using? The "Thanks" button is large and obvious on my 12 inch Macbook. There is also a "Quote" button on the toolbar for Quick Reply. However to "Indent" I have to "Go Advanced", that's often the only reason to do that for me, it would be nice to have that on the Quick Reply toolbar, but that's relatively minor.

I just looked at the site on my Google Pixel 3XL phone. I have never done that before. The layout is radically different. Are you using a smartphone?

Geborgenheit
05-01-2019, 12:27 PM
Please get back to us regarding whether that's been the underlying issue here.

Thank you. I am sorry! I don't understand why Google Chrome has chosen Default Mobile style on my computer...

DMXX
05-01-2019, 12:32 PM
I knew it! :beerchug:

Not a problem at all, and no need to apologise - In fact, your thread's led to two productive outcomes:
1) Confirmation our search process isn't up to par
2) An indication that we'll need to review our skins and potentially disable the "Mobile" skin (not sure if anyone uses this voluntarily? We'll find out)

In view of that, I thank you for making this thread. We'll work through those in the coming days.

MikeWhalen
05-01-2019, 01:59 PM
this point has come up before, the issue of default skins or what not
...I know I ran into problems with it a few years ago and I changed it to something I like much better, good basic advice for anyone who is struggling with the site...

Mike

oh, and the alternative device issue is fair too...I easily negotiate this site on my pc computer, its an increasing pain with my smaller platforms, with the cell phone the worst cause its small and it does organize things differently than when on a pc computer

surbakhunWeesste
05-02-2019, 01:30 AM
Thank you. I am sorry! I don't understand why Google Chrome has chosen Default Mobile style on my computer...

If you are using some sort of mobile device then you have an option to opt for a "desktop" version(for most sites it should be available on most popular browsers. I hope that helps.

DMXX
05-02-2019, 10:11 PM
A quick comment about the (standard) site's layout for everyone's information, which is tangentially related to this (confirming here that we've addressed point 2) (https://anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?16986-Mobile-Skin-Do-You-Use-It) raised in my previous post).

A re-organisation of the International Section and the addition of new sub-sections have been penciled in for a while now, alongside some aesthetic upgrades to the site. However, higher priority tasks had knocked those down the list over the past year and a half (some of you may remember the cryptocurrency mining bug from Dec '17 or our server load issue/migration in Oct-Nov '18).
The members of the team responsible for site updates, technical changes or bug troubleshooting have a limited weekly window to address these. I'm one of them, and though I'm loath to self-personalise things, quite a few personal sacrifices have been made over the years by our team to keep this venue "net-worthy".

We will eventually get to all outstanding matters raised by our community, but the IRL time constraint and prioritisation mean certain jobs might need to wait a while (security and anti-spam upgrades over new flags (https://anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?16582-Forum-Accessibility-(24-Feb-2019-onwards)), for example).

Fortunately, the majority of those behind-the-scenes technical matters have been addressed, so the community will be seeing front-end changes over the next few weeks.

We've addressed the cause of the disastrous forum layout*, so I'll be closing this thread shortly. Now the issue surrounding the Mobile skin has been definitively resolved, we'll work on improving the search feature next.

Thanks for reading (and for those waiting for some updates on the suggestions that were previously made (https://anthrogenica.com/forumdisplay.php?103-Suggestions), thanks also for your patience). Stay tuned!

* The Mobile skin is pretty naff, let's be honest.