Discussion in 'Drama Llama Holding Pen' started by OrfBC, Dec 10, 2012.
Obviously the problem is that there aren't enough forums.
Jeez, calm down.
It bothers me because the forum is now more complex and harder to navigate. A part of the joy of browsing a forum is to accidentally stumble on stuff that you didn't know you were interested in. Now it tends to happen less. And I really don't see the benefits or what the problem is that we're fixing now. It's a net loss for me.
Here's a quick example to illustrate dispersion:
There's a topic called "Studio Ghibli" in the forum "The Bridge Over The River Kawaii". Which apparently is about "things related to visual novels and dating sims, pigeon-related and otherwise" (Initially I thought it was just about Japan).
Anyway, the thread is really about anime and I understand why this thread would be under this forum. That is not the problem. The problem is that I would've missed it unless I would've randomly chosen to check it out. By knowing that this can happen, I feel that I have to now go through every single forum separately to make sure I catch all topics I'm potentially interested in.
The amount of forums will create confusion among posters on where topics should be posted. And sometimes they really just want to talk with specific communities. And this is understandable and unavoidable. In my opinion, the best recipe really is just to limit the amount of forums into a tight and clear set of categories.
I actually prefer QT3's style. It is trivial to open up the forums and there are no question-marks about where to post the threads. I know that I will see all the tech-related topics under the Tech-forum.
I think the forum looks better now. I wouldn't mind if they added more subforums. Honestly it's a tiny amount compared to what I'm used to.
We can just be broken in name only.
Hey, it could be worse:
I suggest a new forum/subforum hierarchy. We're all here from some sort of computing device, so we should start with that. To separate the stuff relevant to computers and games from others, we can have a system subforum. Below that, we can divide by system type and OS, like "ibm" and "pc." Obviously, then we add in categories like "games," followed by the type of game, like "strategic" or "rpg" or "flight-sim." A resulting example? Strategy games would then be located under comp, then sys, then ibm, then pc, then games, then strategic, or what I like to refer to as "csipgs." IT'S SO SIMPLE!
Bullshit. It's one subforum for one game. If it's really so complicated that you're now lost and confused, that's a you problem, not a Lum problem.
Why does this subject make you so angry?
I was asking a sincere question, because I want to understand.
And regarding the subforums, it seems that your only point is that you like it and I don't. So why are you so upset about it? I'm pretty sure this is not the first time you disagree about something with someone.
Maybe he is taking his forum title to heart!
FUCK YOU SUBFORUM BY SUBFORUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM
The answer is simple; some games spur enough discussion that a single thread becomes really difficult to use to discuss it - multiple ongoing threads in a single thread is typically an exercise in frustration. You could have multiple threads about a single game in a forum, but that also causes problems because it chokes out discussion on slower-moving topics.
So you move it to a subforum, and everybody wins. The people playing that game get to have sensibly organized discussions on different topics, and the people not playing it don't have a forum where they have to sift through 12 different Skyrim or Dark Souls or SWTOR or whatever threads. Once interest in the game dies down, you archive the forum and people can go back to using a single thread. There's a reason almost every forum I've ever used does this - it really is the best way to handle it. It isn't like QT3, but why would you want to be like QT3? I've never seen a more difficult to use, jumbled mess of forums, other than maybe VNBoards*.
*Which was awful mostly for reasons unrelated to forum organization.
And plus, breaking the game out into its own sub-forum can potentially stir up interest in people that would otherwise be totally dis-interested in a particular game (like me).
Thanks for a great and measured answer, Ingmar.
Yeah, I see the point. But to me a number of threads of the same game was merely a "zeitgeist" -type of a thing. It was great to see how people got for instance excited of Skyrim and to me it was a demonstration of buzz in a community. I liked it, and didn't mind that other discussions got a bit drowned (well, they really weren't since nothing stopped them from talking). It felt organic and appropriate, like people in the office gathering around an exciting movie trailer.
Of course I can live with this, it's not a major problem. But I do feel this buzz will now be dispersed into multiple forums and it will be harder to grasp the "current" events.
The forums feel harder to navigate. Too much going on on the main index now.
It's 2012. Stop navigating forums by main index.
What's New can be a terrible way to navigate. I might want to quickly dip into Entertainment and see if anything interested cropped up, but it's rare I spend much time in there. I certainly don't want all those topics making it harder for me to find topics about Gaming, which I am more likely to be interested in. It'd be even worse if I wanted to dip in and out of the LPs, because my view would be flooded with them and finding my primary content would be painful.
I honestly don't understand what you mean.
There's more visual noise. It doesn't fit on one screen. There's more information to process. The categories, while cute, don't help with mental filtering due to being cute rather than useful.
We're gonna have to disagree on that.
Henceforth, to aid in removing confusion, Broken Forum will only have one thread.
As a counter-point, I propose one forum per game/sport/hobby/TV show/movie/book
Some people like browsing, I am one of those.
If you are so fond of the What's New feature, why do you care about sub forums at all? All you see is new threads/posts so it doesn't actually matter to you of there are 10 or 73 different sub forums, does it?
It does matter for the browsing people though.
Subforums matter for What's New because you can selectively exclude them from the What's New list.
Why are we still debating this? It's time to get used to them and find all new things to complain about.
I browse and I think it makes it easier.
Yeah, having to scroll down to get to what you're looking for kinda sucks compared to the old way.
You are right.
I felt like this was the time and place to bring up concerns and reservations. Now I guess it's time to move on and just see how it turns out. I need to look into using "What's new" a bit more.
Every user should have their own subforum so that I can disparage them in a much more personal manner.
I'm sure the profile posts can be used for that purpose.
I was surprised to see the Dark Souls subforum, but I prefer it to filling up the general games forum with a whole bunch of threads of no interest to anyone not currently wrapped up in that particular game. It makes sense to temporarily break out games that are generating a ton of discussion into their own subforum. I would've killed for a Skyrim subforum on QT3 when it came out.
As for navigability concerns, if you have trouble scrolling a webpage, you should possibly return to America Online. That is the most inane complaint I've heard in some time.
OMG the home page breaks vscroll
They're just as simple as they've always been. Observe:
Step 1) view the main page.
Step 2) "Are any of the forums I usually read bolded?" If YES, that means there are new topics/posts in them. If NO, then I can go on my merry way.
Step 3) Click on appropriate forum. Do I see a bold title of a thread I've been reading and/or am interested in? If YES, then read. If NO, then oh well.
Step 4) If there's nothing I want to read, click Mark All Forums Read and move on to another tab.
There, simple four-step process.
Sooo... shouldn't The League Of Extraordinary Game Players be in the We Play Games section?
Well it's just basic usability, isn't it? In my design experience, whether print, web or anything in between you generally want to convey your concepts with as few elements as possible. The subsections are cute, but they add a lot of extra elements without conveying much useful information.
BF's homepage is potentially simple enough that it can sit entirely and elegantly above the fold even on a 768 monitor. So I think trying to meet that ideal is great, rather than changing it with a load of chrome.
But it's the tiniest of issues, really.
That's what I said!!!
Note there are lots of different ways you could display subforums on the front page; after we get a few more of them it will probably make sense to change the visual organization of them. This is kind of a separate issue from 'should there be subforums at all'.
There are a few different ways you can sort things on the forum front page so that subforums don't take up as much vertical space:
- Put subforums behind the main forums so you don't even see them until you click on the parent forum. Example: http://www.swtor.com/community/forumdisplay.php?f=3 Click on the "Classes" forum, and you'll get a general forum for Class stuff with a bunch of subforums for each individual class (and then those have subforums of their own for advanced classes.) I don't personally care for this method much.
- Don't display subforums at all unless you expand a parent forum. I don't have an example of this at hand, but it would be your basic +/- menu thing, like, say, a Windows folder tree structure. If you have everything expanded this has the disadvantage of still taking up a lot of vertical space, but the advantage of seeing from the front page which thread has the latest post, etc., like how it works now.
- Display subforums all in a line underneath the parent forum. Examples: http://forums.somethingawful.com/ http://forums.f13.net/index.php This method is good in general but sometimes the little links are hard to click on accurately in a mobile touchscreen scenario. You also don't get to have snarky subheadings for everything on the front page, just the parent forums.
Of course right now the BF forums aren't organized into parent forum/subforum really. There are parent *headings* but no forums are under other forums. When we get more forums I would suggest a structure like:
PC/Console Game Discussion parent forumDark Souls forum
Guild Wars forum
Traditional gaming forum
League play forum
Switching to this kind of organizing principle will probably make it easier for the browser type people in the long run, regardless of which of the above models is adopted for the front page.
I cannot overstate that too many subforums can be THEE WURST THING EVAR. If you go too crazy segmenting stuff off, it makes navigation and discussion harder and makes keeping up with things going on in various subforums to be a chore.
I always liked the QT3 "Less is more" approach with the exception of the lack of a Sports Ghetto, and the fact that I thought Music/Books should be combined with TV/Movies. One of my favorite parts about this forum is how
Lum fixed that oversight quickly as if it annoyed him as much as it did I.
If we're gonna do the "subforum" thing, I'd much rather see a bunch of stuff under "Games" and a bunch of stuff under "Everything Else." As is I am sick of clicking the next breadcrumb only to find I'm staring at the "We Do Other Things" page or the "We Are Frustrated" page.
PC/Console Game Discussion parent forum
Dark Souls forum
Guild Wars forum
Traditional gaming forum
League play forum
Debate and Discussion
The Sanctum Santorum
January and Everything After
Drama Llama Holding Pen
At least, that's my perfect forum right there.
I like that! Let me try that.
Separate names with a comma.