Bug, Suggestion, Feedback! Community sections Answered
Since there is no place for it right now I just created a topic for the purpose of collecting bugs we find.
Let me start with a little list I collected so far:
When I create a new topic I need to select a category and channel.
So where exactly are these categories and channels?
Somehow I struggle to find them anywhere else than in the two drop down menus when creating a new topic.
If we have all those drop down options then why can't we make proper use of them?
2. List problems!
I know there is planned work on the way we see the cummunity section but still...
When I create a new topic then it seems to be nowhere.
I check again a few hours later and still nowhere.
Next day often the same storey.
Where does a new topic go and when does it appear in the community section?
3. Sorting - this one is already being worked on I guess.
We really need a working option to sort postings and replies by time and date and relation.
I get notified about a reply and check...
Hmm, about 80 replies and somehwere, someone wrote something new...
Good if you can copy and past a part of the preview to search for it in the browser manually...
Comfort and logic is needed to replace the current confusion and inconsistences.
As for suggestions to get the section up to what what both developers and users turn into happy campers:
1. Editing options!!!
For years this is my number one that not just got more and more ignored but also reduced to nothing.
Anyone creating a topic should have direct control over it.
This means beain able to create the post in a way the poster sees fit for the purpose.
The basic text editing options any Vbulletin or PhPBB board would offer should be available here in a similar way.
Embedded text and images in the size and place that fits - either by posters choice for the size on the screen or by providing a fixed sized preview that opens a fullsie view when clicking on it.
Code is more important these days than back then when I first asked for option to embed it here.
Tags are useful for a lot of things.
Add a quote from a previous post or reply, add a code window that allows proper copy and past action for both poster and reader (preferably with highlighted syntax like in Notepadd++, ....
You can only provide dedicated help if you have the right tools for it.
And you can not ask for dedicated help if you can even properly post the problem due to restrictions and limitations in the editing system.
Coloered text, other than for code is not really required but all the basics anyone knows froma real forum would be a great addition.
2. Tagging or otherserwise highlighting the areas of the topic.
If I already create a post in the technology section than it would only make sense to see a corresponding icon next to the topic in the community section.
Same for coding help, mechanical problems and so on.
The current sections and categories are outdated and a lot of things are missing.
Mabye not in terms of Intructables but certainly for the community sections.
Currently it is all one big blob and not even the sorting works (yet).
This is perfect for people like me wanting to quickly check if something new was posted but not so good for someone trying to have some fun browsing.
Imagine you want to spend some quality time checking what problems people have or what help they seek when it comes to woodworking.
No search options, no list options, no categories to explore.
Back in the day we had a few sections and a basic sorting option, like by most recent.
Someone only interested in helping with coding on Arduino wouldn't even bother here and move on.
On the other hand, people with no clue how to fully specify their problem might find a solution just by browsing through the corresponding section.
4. Linking Instructables....
I don't know the reason for it or the idea behind it but why again is the question section filled with Instructables?
And why look lot of Tips like Instructables?
I mean if it is for the user to find stuff than it might bind him on the website, but I doubt it will be satisfactory for the user.
Questions or tips in regards to an Instrubale should be there- with the Instructable but not in the community section.
Add it a tab for the Ible instead...
I see little to no point in answering to a question someone has in regards to a specific Ible unless "I made it"....
5. Voting and closing...
When it comes to forums then one thing all have in common: bloat.
People only register to post something but never come back.
Topics are solved, done and dusted.
Topics gone dormant for months or even years.
Great answers or vital details get lost.
The list goes on....
What it comes down to is that order needs to be restored and maintained.
Open an archive section and start moving out.
Topics of certain age and with no new replies - gone.
Topics where the user never again logged in - gone.
Topics voted or request to be closed, closed or gone to the ariche as well.
Topics voted to be of general interest pinned somewhere for easy reference - like this one ;)
A thread starter got his answer and is happy? Then for crying out loud let him vote or credit the best answer and close the topic.
More than three people voted or tagged a topic as useless, not possible or similar - close it so it can one day go in the archive section too.
All this and more should create a community section that once again can become an active playground for everyone.
A place to seek and find help.
And who knows, maybe some of the good old guys might even consider a return and more time spent here....