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Suggested change to the layout of the Forum page

Travel Forums System Talk Suggested change to the layout of the Forum page

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1. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 401 posts) 36w

Hello,

On the right of the Travel Forum page, there is a section called ‘Recently active threads you have posted in’.

I would like to suggest that this become ‘Recently active threads you have subscribed to’.

My reasons being -

When I post a new entry to a thread or start a new thread, I automatically get subscribed. By leaving the subscription on, it indicates that I have a future interest in that thread.

The same applies if I subscribe to a thread I have not posted in. i.e. I have a future interest in that thread.

However, If I unsubscribe it indicates I have lost interest in the thread, but the ‘Recently active threads you have posted in’ section continues to gets high-lighted if any new posts are made.

This prompts me to look at a thread I am not interested in.

I feel it would make more sense to show the threads I still have an interest in. i.e. those I have subscribed to.

I hope this makes sense. A minor point, but an irritating one.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4429 posts) 36w

Might be a good addition, but for me it'd be a horrible replacement. I'm not subscribed to any threads, and don't ever want to be. (There's a reason we allow turning off that subscription checkbox (and then it stays off). A forum isn't time sensitive; push notification for it just doesn't make sense to me.)

3. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 36w

Quoting Sander

Might be a good addition, but for me it'd be a horrible replacement. I'm not subscribed to any threads, and don't ever want to be.

On some other forums it's possible to choose the method of subscription - e.g. on site; via email immediately; via email as a daily digest. If that was implemented, and you chose on site only, would that make a difference? You could then be subscribed on site (so it comes up on the right) but not get any emails.

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4429 posts) 36w

Quoting mojorob

Quoting Sander

Might be a good addition, but for me it'd be a horrible replacement. I'm not subscribed to any threads, and don't ever want to be.

On some other forums it's possible to choose the method of subscription - e.g. on site; via email immediately; via email as a daily digest. If that was implemented, and you chose on site only, would that make a difference? You could then be subscribed on site (so it comes up on the right) but not get any emails.

The threads I want to keep tabs on are exactly those I've posted in. I skimread everything that's posted on these forums (but not on every visit; especially not when travelling), and read more thoroughly all discussions in threads I post in (every visit). That's what makes the current implementation useful for me.
Having to, in your scenario, do a separate "subscribe" on threads I've posted in would be a big inconvenience due to "history" of all threads I've posted in but am not subscribed to (but would now want to be subscribed to), and (presumably) due to there then being some section of the site where on-site notifications would build up, completely uselessly, but which would almost certainly result in another push-based visible notification somewhere.

The concept of having no further interest in a thread is foreign to me. If I've posted in a thread, I always assume someone could ask a followup question in that thread (either directed specifically to me, or in general), and so I'll want to be able to swiftly see that such a thing happened so I can provide further answers.

It also just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to have things you're already being notified for when there's activity on them (that's what the subscription is for) called out again in a prime location that'll say "no new activity here; if there was, you'd already have known about it through email / separate on-site notification".

5. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 36w

Quoting Sander

Quoting mojorob

Quoting Sander

Might be a good addition, but for me it'd be a horrible replacement. I'm not subscribed to any threads, and don't ever want to be.

On some other forums it's possible to choose the method of subscription - e.g. on site; via email immediately; via email as a daily digest. If that was implemented, and you chose on site only, would that make a difference? You could then be subscribed on site (so it comes up on the right) but not get any emails.

and (presumably) due to there then being some section of the site where on-site notifications would build up, completely uselessly, but which would almost certainly result in another push-based visible notification somewhere.

I'm confused with this statement. You mention on-site notifications building up completely uselessly - however they're already doing that based on your own suggestion (i.e. on the right side of forums view, with it being bolded & a number indicating new posts). Has that on-site subscription now become useless to you?

6. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 36w

Quoting Sander

The concept of having no further interest in a thread is foreign to me. If I've posted in a thread, I always assume someone could ask a followup question in that thread (either directed specifically to me, or in general), and so I'll want to be able to swiftly see that such a thing happened so I can provide further answers.

It's not foreign to me, and I guess the OP as well. I've returned to threads to unsubscribe - often they're more "chatty" ones that I no longer want to receive emails for (even more so since the notification emails changed from telling me what's been written to simply telling me something has been written).

Quoting Sander

It also just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to have things you're already being notified for when there's activity on them (that's what the subscription is for) called out again in a prime location that'll say "no new activity here; if there was, you'd already have known about it through email / separate on-site notification".

That's already happening with what you suggested on the right side of the forums view. If there's been no new activity on those threads being displayed, they still show but not bold and with no number. Again, I'm a little confused whether or not you think that is now useless?

Also, with a choice of having just on-site notification, or notification by email (whether immediate or a digest one) I would suggest that those receiving email notifications would largely ignore the on-site notifications, so it would be largely used by people using on-site notifications, which is already implemented in a small kind of way.

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4429 posts) 36w

Quoting mojorob

I'm confused with this statement. You mention on-site notifications building up completely uselessly - however they're already doing that based on your own suggestion (i.e. on the right side of forums view, with it being bolded & a number indicating new posts). Has that on-site subscription now become useless to you?

I don't consider the numbers before "recently active threads" to be the type of on-site notifications being used by any kind of subscription service. Maybe my experience with subscription services differs from yours, but the UI I envisioned based on your suggestion would be something closer to the current private message system; individual messages building up in an inbox.
If the box we already have is what you think of when you say "on-site notification", and if that box continues to not grow beyond 10 threads, then yeah, I could be in favour of that. Sounds like systems are being conflated though; maybe what we all really want is a way to toggle individual threads on and off for appearance within a prominent location showing recent activity, optionally automatically tied together with existing actions on threads like posting or subscribing to them.

8. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 36w

Quoting Sander

I don't consider the numbers before "recently active threads" to be the type of on-site notifications being used by any kind of subscription service. Maybe my experience with subscription services differs from yours, but the UI I envisioned based on your suggestion would be something closer to the current private message system; individual messages building up in an inbox.

I think referring it to a "subscription service" is confusing, as that normally means things like feed digests. I'm only really talking about what it seen on some of the major forum software - normally implemented within a profile or "control panel" area, where the page has a list of subscribed threads - bolded and brought to up when new posts have been made.

Perhaps having the top 10 on the right hand side, and a link through to a subscriptions page showing all may be an approach.

Quoting Sander

If the box we already have is what you think of when you say "on-site notification", and if that box continues to not grow beyond 10 threads, then yeah, I could be in favour of that. Sounds like systems are being conflated though; maybe what we all really want is a way to toggle individual threads on and off for appearance within a prominent location showing recent activity, optionally automatically tied together with existing actions on threads like posting or subscribing to them.

Sounds like you're almost referring to what happens on facebook, where subscribed threads (i.e. posts you've either initiated or replied to) show up on the page you go to when you log in. They update in (almost) real time rather than needing to reload the page.

9. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 401 posts) 36w

If I can interject my two pennies worth.

What I should have said in my original post is that I object to being notified of a post being made when I have specifically ( by unsubscribing ) asked not to be notified.

It's not the whole section on the right that is my issue, it's those little green boxes with a number that jump out and demand to be clicked on, even though I asked not to be notified.

I mentioned changing it from recent posts to recent subscriptions, only because it seems more sensible to me. I really don't care either way as I never look at them unless there is that annoying notification beside a post I have no interest in. Posts I am interested in, I am subscribed to and get an e mail, which is sufficient for me.

How about not having the green box with a number & just bring the most recent to the top. No highlighting needed.

Steve

10. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 36w

Quoting hasbeen

How about not having the green box with a number & just bring the most recent to the top. No highlighting needed.

I would rather it showed a list of threads subscribed to, whether or not I've made a post in them. I'd agree on a thread not showing if either I haven't subscribed to it, or unsubscribed from it - but that also takes us back to the subscription models I was mentioning, giving the user control over if they want to get emails (and how) when subscribed to a thread.