Welcome to the new platform

Welcome to the new freeforums support :)

Moderators: Tech Team, Support Staff

lefrenchquarter
Joined: February 2nd, 2014, 5:11 pm

May 18th, 2017, 8:52 pm

"If it aint broken, don't fix it" :D
So, once this is said, I'd like to confirm I have been willing something better for a while, there are bugs and missing features, as well as some useless on the old freeforum :)
But new doesn't mean less, we all agree.
This is why I am glad to participate to the beta testing, with the hope we get the useful features further and keep our spirit.

I would hate to have a new style forced by Tapatalk, who probably wish to concentrate as many foras as possible, for market shares (and of course business) reasons, while losing what makes each and every firum unique.
Indeed, the choice of a forum means that a blog or anything similar is not enough.

We count on you Chris
:)
Testing my signature
Reply

lefrenchquarter
Joined: February 2nd, 2014, 5:11 pm

May 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm

It DOES make sense to be able to upload our banners. So far it's not possible
Testing my signature
Reply

User avatar
Andy03
Joined: August 27th, 2010, 9:48 pm

May 19th, 2017, 12:41 am

Um....where's the "print view" button? Did it get sucked into another 'arrow'?
Reply

User avatar
Chrisw
Site Admin
Site Admin
Joined: October 1st, 2013, 7:41 pm

May 19th, 2017, 4:45 am

Um....where's the "print view" button? Did it get sucked into another 'arrow'?
Good question, but it doesn't seem to be swallowed by an arrow. I'll see if I can find out for you.
Reply

User avatar
Chrisw
Site Admin
Site Admin
Joined: October 1st, 2013, 7:41 pm

May 19th, 2017, 4:49 am

Andy03,

Your feedback is excellent. Don't stop now, you're on a roll!

By the way, the Quote button is the reply option just below the posts. That should probably change. It should say quote, not reply.
Reply

User avatar
Chrisw
Site Admin
Site Admin
Joined: October 1st, 2013, 7:41 pm

May 19th, 2017, 4:51 am

Eagerly posted by Lefrenchquarter:
"If it aint broken, don't fix it" :D
I did laugh out loud. Thanks for the moment!
Reply

User avatar
Butch
Joined: September 24th, 2013, 8:34 am

May 19th, 2017, 7:16 am

Well, Chris, you do deserve a good moment for your diplomatic service!
We refrained from using the "If it ain't broke..." axiom -- understanding that behind-the-scenes
technical issues needed to be overhauled -- so thank you for not resorting to the condescending
cliche reply we used to hear repeated endlessly by the tech reps at our old hosting service:
"People just don't like change. Pretty soon you'll love what we've done!" (We know you
wouldn't say that.)

The beta-test contributors here have laid out a pretty good list of necessary fixes. We've been
reminded that this is early in the process, and we've already seen a few tweak-sized repairs to
the original beta version (Including, delightfully, the partial return of text formatting), all of which
is very slightly encouraging. But as has been said, immense work remains to be done
to make our personal forums as attractive and comfortable as they have been, and still are
at the moment. The beta view of our forums, however, if we may presume to speak for many
of the other beta-testers here, is like a nightmare vision of what our homes would be like if
someone broke in, stole all of our furniture and carpeting, and painted all the walls and
woodwork white. Pardon us if we missed your answer, but will we be getting our choice of
styles back?



We know we, at least, would feel a lot less distressed and more confident about the rebuild
if we could see the individualized, colourful, easy-on-the-eyes version of our forums as soon
as possible. All the features and functions everyone's mentioned are important, absolutely,
but they're details relative to the overall look of our forums. How soon might we hope to see
those personalized graphic customizations installed in the beta versions?

Thanks again!
Reply

User avatar
Chrisw
Site Admin
Site Admin
Joined: October 1st, 2013, 7:41 pm

May 19th, 2017, 6:14 pm

Pardon us if we missed your answer, but will we be getting our choice of styles back?


The truthful answer is that I don't know for sure at this point, and I'd hate to say yes or no, and then see it changed later.
I will let you know as soon as I have a definite answer on that.
Reply

User avatar
Andy03
Joined: August 27th, 2010, 9:48 pm

May 19th, 2017, 6:29 pm

Chrisw wrote:
May 19th, 2017, 4:45 am
Um....where's the "print view" button? Did it get sucked into another 'arrow'?
Good question, but it doesn't seem to be swallowed by an arrow. I'll see if I can find out for you.
Thank you, as this "print view" function is one that I know I personally use a lot, and I'm probably not the only one. It would be really great to have that capability, even if it's grouped in a drop down button with other functions.

Chrisw wrote:
May 19th, 2017, 4:49 am
Andy03,

Your feedback is excellent. Don't stop now, you're on a roll!

By the way, the Quote button is the reply option just below the posts. That should probably change. It should say quote, not reply.
Ah, I see it now. And yes, it having the word "reply" instead of "quote" didn't make it outright obvious where it was. The word "quote" would likely help immensely in minimizing confusion. Particularly for people who may not be very tech savy or are new to forums, etc.

And thank you for your appreciation of the feedback I've provided. I know this is a great opportunity to give feedback during the beta, and hopefully everyone finding a happy middle ground of compromise between having a great platform and keeping the customization we all enjoy using. While I can't say I'm about to sign up for the beta test on my forum, I do appreciate the chance to view things here. Unfortunately the beta platform as it currently appears would not be beneficial for the members of my forum to try out, what with losing text customization, logos, and custom profile fields under their avatars, all things my membership rather enjoy having use of.

Hence why I am advocating so strongly for these items. They are widely used, not just on my own forum but likely pretty much every forum on this service, and so I'm sure I'm not the only person who would be greatly disappointed if these things disappeared completely. I think people could get used to the things that come along with change if they are not losing all of what they had. Maybe instead they have not only the options they are used to...but even better versions of those options. That's what I'm hoping for as this process goes on. Having the options we all enjoy, but perhaps better versions of those options.

And speaking of feedback:

Positives:
- I kind of like having the bell at the top with notifications there. Makes it easier vs being notified only via email or text (which were the only options on the previous platform). I hate the number of emails I would usually receive with notifications, which is why I eventually turn off all notifications because it's just too much. I was noticing you can elect to have them show up just here (in the bell), just in email, or both. That is very helpful, being able to be notified strictly on the forum via the bell.
- I noticed on the 'categories' (ie. network, freeforums.org platform, and general community) on the far right is a 'minus' sign and noticed that it has the capability to hide an entire category of forums. Then you can just use the 'plus' sign to open it when you want to view it. Nice little add on there.

Additional Suggestions for Improvement:
- Maybe look into a different method of highlighting thread announcements. I know on the old platform it is a different thread icon (the letter "i" inside of the round thread icon). Here the thread icon is just the 'speaking bubble' image, then each announcement/global announcement has this orange box next to the thread name. Maybe a different thread icon with something unique inside the bubble? Or perhaps altering the size of the "orange box" next to the thread name? Instead of the full word 'announcement' or 'global announcement' find initials that make sense like A for announcement and GA for global announcement? I don't know, but maybe there might be a way to simplify it while still keeping these threads noticeable.

- The "edit,delete,report' arrow...oh the arrow....many people (myself included) aren't too sure about this arrow. Most are citing how hard it is to see. I noticed however next to the orange "post reply" button on the top/bottom of threads there is this box next to it with a wrench and an arrow (topic tools). Maybe that's a good middle ground, creating a similar box for the "edit, delete, report, mod/admin" options and putting it where the current arrow is for these post options? Find an icon that can represent 'post tools' and set it up that way. I personally don't mind the look of these boxes that you click the arrow next to the icon and get the drop down of options. Reason being is that its much more noticeable, and even if I do have to take an extra step to select something, at least it's easily seen on the screen.
Reply

User avatar
Chrisw
Site Admin
Site Admin
Joined: October 1st, 2013, 7:41 pm

May 21st, 2017, 4:31 am

Andy03, I like you more every day ")

By the way...
Thank you, as this "print view" function is one that I know I personally use a lot, and I'm probably not the only one. It would be really great to have that capability, even if it's grouped in a drop down button with other functions.
Thanks for catching that. It's coming. Your feedback saved it from falling off into the dark cyberspace.
Reply

lefrenchquarter
Joined: February 2nd, 2014, 5:11 pm

May 21st, 2017, 7:09 pm

I can't get the categories to work : they appear in the ACP (forum list) but not in the Forum index

I managed to do that with the other forum I tested
Testing my signature
Reply

User avatar
Andy03
Joined: August 27th, 2010, 9:48 pm

May 22nd, 2017, 3:47 pm

Chrisw wrote:
May 21st, 2017, 4:31 am
Thank you, as this "print view" function is one that I know I personally use a lot, and I'm probably not the only one. It would be really great to have that capability, even if it's grouped in a drop down button with other functions.
Thanks for catching that. It's coming. Your feedback saved it from falling off into the dark cyberspace.
Glad to hear its been put into the queue for adding!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With having several posts about recommendations, I felt it was likely going to be beneficial to me to compile together a list of everything that I've reported and what it's status is.

Positives Noticed on the new Platform:
~ Better smilies/emoticons already installed.
~ Notification bell in the corner, helps minimize need for notification emails.
~ Being able to hide forum categories from view, and then re-open them when desired.
~ Bullet List/Number function when creating posts.

Improvements Made:
~ Appearance has been changed since original complaint. The Support Forum went from only being capable of showing 3 forums on the main page to being able to view about 5. Possibly still some room for improvement, but the changes made has definitely helped in minimizing visual discomfort.

Improvements Pending:
~ Print View button in the works after found to be missing.

Previously Reported Issues with an Unknown Status:
~ The ability to be able to view profile fields and custom profile fields under the avatars next to posts (location, other board defined fields).
~ Being able to customize our avatars between a round vs square appearance, and being able to increase the file size limit from 6 KB (as it is here) to what we're more accustom to on the old platform (my forum personally allows for avatars to be up to 1024 KB). In general, being able to be certain we can customize our avatar's physical appearance, and file size.
~ The ability to customize our boards by uploading a logo to the header (people are reporting currently they can't which is causing concern to me personally as well).
~ The post options arrow in the corner of posts is difficult to see in it's current format, as reported by multiple people. Personal recommendation is to either create a button like is being used for "topic tools" (icon with an image and arrow next to it, a bit more noticeable) or pulling those options back out to being visible along the top of posts like it previously was.
~ Text customization when posting, like colors, font sizes, maybe options for different font styles, the center, left, and right, etc. (many people appear to have reported this issue).
~ The quote function currently has the word "reply" instead of "quote" and so it doesn't make it outright obvious what it's purpose is. The word "quote" would likely help immensely in minimizing confusion.
~ Thread announcement/global announcement icon appearance. Currently a large orange rectangle, personal recommendation is to look into finding a way to simplify the look.
Reply

lefrenchquarter
Joined: February 2nd, 2014, 5:11 pm

May 22nd, 2017, 11:43 pm

lefrenchquarter wrote:
May 21st, 2017, 7:09 pm
I can't get the categories to work : they appear in the ACP (forum list) but not in the Forum index

I managed to do that with the other forum I tested
Fixed


Still, cannot upload banners ? It seems you managed to do it here, how did you do that ?
What about custom BBcode (in which we could insert html code) ?

:)
Testing my signature
Reply

User avatar
Chrisw
Site Admin
Site Admin
Joined: October 1st, 2013, 7:41 pm

May 23rd, 2017, 3:30 am

Andy, nice summary.
Lefrench, hold on to that thought.

Both of you... I'll reply in detail tomorrow :)
Reply

User avatar
Tempest586
Joined: January 21st, 2016, 9:14 am

May 23rd, 2017, 12:32 pm

Can I ask a silly question?

I take it this new look Support forum is running on the new platform.
Will a similar styles be added for all forums once the platform becomes active?
Our own feels a little outdated and I like this new look.
Reply

User avatar
Meadow AFCW
Joined: November 7th, 2012, 10:42 am

May 23rd, 2017, 10:45 pm

Feedback part one

Front Page - Aesthetics

It looks quite good after some tweaks. I only have four sections on my forum so all can be seen without scrolling. We could do with losing the gap between the thick banner and the forums but I guess that’s a placeholder for ads.

Front Page – Detail

No birthdays showing – I guess that that will be sorted in the final tweaks. Wording of that needs to be changed though, the current wording just doesn’t make sense.

Mobile view

Very good, a vast improvement on the current version. 8/10 – see below

Posting

Not bad but room for improvement. As others have said, the drop down arrow is too easily missed and needs to be changed to something more obvious. The reply button below posts needs to be changed to quote otherwise some folk are going to get confused between quoting and just adding another post.

The actions bar above the post box is very good, but why do the emoticons have a separate button away from everything else? They should be in the action bar with everything else.

Also, I haven’t managed to get the emoticons to work on my mobile. The pop-up box is way too big on a mobile screen which is why I marked the mobile view down. When you’ve got that and the keyboard showing, you can’t see anything else. Possibly a scroll down list rather than a box across the screen. In fact, I’d suggest that only a few emoticons are offered as a default with the option to add more.

Attachments

Is it possible to be told before attaching the maximum limit for attachments? Both file size and pixels preferably. Nothing worse than posting an image and being told it’s too big. I’m guessing that file size is the issue but all my image manipulation software works in pixels.

Avatars and User information

Like others, I don’t like the round or oval frame. Square or rectangular please? Customisable User information is a must and I see that that is partly in place (or is that a carry over from the existing forum?).
Last edited by Meadow AFCW on May 24th, 2017, 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reply

User avatar
Meadow AFCW
Joined: November 7th, 2012, 10:42 am

Yesterday, 4:19 pm

Feedback Part Two

ACP

Looks fine but the option to put extra BBCodes should be there – Spoiler, Strike and Youtube are all used on my forum.

Also we must be able to have our own logo in the banner. I spend ages each May creating a new one to incorporate the club badges of the teams represented.

I’ll need guidance on Extensions as I know absolutely nothing about Tapatalk, nor do I have any intention of using it myself.

Moderation

This is the interesting one. I was very excited to find a list of IP addresses used by each member as I know that the bane of my life has a few spare logins tucked up his sleeve for the next time I ban him. Then I saw the names of other people using the same IP address and realise that this was wrong. Then I looked at my own IP history, and again the other user posting from the same IP address just had to be wrong, I know he lives 120 miles away.

What was common in both instances was a Cloudflare IP. Now I use Virgin Media, EE mobile and occasionally Talk Talk WiFi. I’ve never used a VPN so why am I shown as using Cloudflare?

This function would be a useful addition if the IP addresses were actually correct – known location inaccuracy notwithstanding.

Overall

Not bad – I could live with it.

Edit - need to have hyperlinks opening in a new tab.
Reply

User avatar
Meadow AFCW
Joined: November 7th, 2012, 10:42 am

Yesterday, 8:44 pm

Re the IP address - here's the recent administrator log.
Nomads IP.JPG
Nomads IP.JPG (51.09 KiB) Viewed 8 times

It's Cloudflare, I don't use Cloudflare, an IP check confirms Virgin Media. Get rid please?
Reply