Discussion about a new forum concept
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Discussion about a new forum concept

by Neo » 06 May 2015, 16:24

Earlier DMoney and I were talking about how the forum concept could be better, and where things can be improved. I was limited in what I could do during the 4 months of work put into the site - mainly because I was limited to rebuilding this new theme based on the subsilver theme that phpbb folks had made since the software and responsiveness was all new to me - and a bunch of new features were added that I had not seen before - and of course the fact I hadn't touched any part of the site in 7 years.

So here's how that went. I'm curious what other people's ideas are...

neotsn: I want to build my own forums instead of being tied to phpbb…I think I understand enough about how to do it now - but the historical content is the problem.
then I can build an app for it and everything
DMoney: by historical content, you mean the looking glass and all the posts from before?
neotsn: yeah
might be easier to just build from phpbb instead in the end…but the point of it all is to make it desirable and quick instead of a time sink
DMoney: honestly, if you want to create your own, I would say now is the time to do it.  
I used to love forums.....but now, for the most part, I dread going to forums and trying to search for specific things.
neotsn: searching them sucks, yeah
DMoney: Even all of my android/droid/motorola forums I used to love....I avoid them now
neotsn: and the pages and pages to sift through for the answer (like the mobile dev forums)
what are you actually looking for? a blog with a step-by-step solution?
DMoney: xda has great content....but it's impossible to really follow stuff on there with the way it's laid out and organized
neotsn: yeah, threaded text conversations are ugly no matter what
even reddit gets the first comment hijacked
DMoney: so if you wanted to re-create tsn, but not have that threaded text convo, how do you think it should be designed?
neotsn: I’m not sure. in a real conversation, people will call back to something said earlier, or jump in during a pause…this is how forums and quoting work…the conversation doesn’t spin off into several simultaneous conversations like threading does
DMoney: for example when I do get back on tsn (it's only been about a week), I like to get on there and read through all the new forums and posts, but dread how long it might take to read minimal information through a handful of threads.  some comments I'm going to love and reply to, while others won't be too important
neotsn: so a way to deal with new content as efficiently as Google Inbox
DMoney: and I honestly have no idea what the best way to organize it would be, but I don't like the way forums work anymore, and I also don't like facebook's way of displaying content
so the first post hint in a thread, and expand all the new posts at the bottom, with the option to see everything in between with a click
DMoney: Yeah, I do love that about inbox.  Maybe include additional circles next to that 4 to show an unread and read count of everything in between?
neotsn: there would only need to be a count of posts in between, because the unread ones will be displayed
DMoney: got it
I honestly think that would work better for the thread aspect
neotsn: yeah
DMoney: with a "done", "snooze", and maybe other organization options in case you can't get to it right away
the other thing I think could be better is the "my spot", where it shows you your long list of unread threads
neotsn: in what way? I’ve been struggling with how to make that not like facebook’s list of existing things
but i’m nearly at the point of replacing an empty New Posts section with the Unanswered Posts list so there is always something to display
currently if you’re logged out it shows the Active Topics list so people can see that there are discussions happening
DMoney: mostly I think it's just the organization of it I don't like.
I still want to know what the new posts are
who created it, who posted last
so instead of a list, maybe more of a grid layout?
pinterest-esque maybe?
neotsn: I hate pinterest
everything about it
DMoney: do you use pocket?
neotsn: not often…very rarely
that layout would make things harder to read
DMoney: I think you could show the same amount of info that we currently get in the list layout
neotsn: but I think with a revamped view topic page, a method for handling the new posts section would present itself
I didn’t get to do what I wanted with the my spot page this time around, because I had to rebuild the whole site instead of giving it a facelift.
but I do want to change up the structure around the page (header, footer, side contents) so that the focus is on the forum content instead of stats and stuff
DMoney: yeah, I think that would help a lot
neotsn: …just hesitant to embark on a whole new redesign after the redesign
DMoney: haha, yeah
but again....now's the time. only a handful of people have seen it
neotsn: yeah
I’d really like to build the theme as a material design implementation as well
DMoney: I'll be thinking of ideas of how to better display the content and everything.
neotsn: but working within the existing template just to get the style out there was the limitation
yeah, this is good…a different approach.
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Re: Discussion about a new forum concept

by DMoney » 15 May 2015, 08:56

I'm still unsure of how I'd like to see this place transform. I DO want it to transform though. I enjoy coming here and following different discussions, and I think that for this place to become anything like what it used to be, it needs to evolve. Some times it's just an annoyance to have to click through each thread to try to read everything. I still think something with a "card" type layout could be most ideal to me, but obviously that may not be most ideal for others. I see no one else has commented here, so have you come up with any other ideas?

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Re: Discussion about a new forum concept

by DMoney » 15 May 2015, 09:35

Another thought I just had: I want push notifications on my phone. If someone mentions me, quotes me, comments on a thread I started, or comments on a thread I'm following, I want a push notification to my phone or through chrome. I hate email notifications, and probably won't subscribe to any email notifications anymore. Because of that, I don't have that instant gratification of being able to check what I want to check right away.

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