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Comments/Questions on New Layout


Comments/Questions on New Layout

A couple things I noticed right off logging in this morning and seeing the new layout.


1.  How do I know which message threads I replied into?  The folder icons were very handy to see which threads with new messages were ones I replied in, and I would go check them out first.  I don't see any indication on the new system as to which I commented in.

2.  How do you know how many new messages are in a thread?  The new message count was handy in seeing which ones had lots of activity since I last read them, and which did not.  This point also ties into #3 below.

3.  How do you jump to the first unread message?  I could click on the New number and have it jump to the first unread message in that thread and begin reading the new stuff right away.  I don't see a way to do that in the new layout.  Also, going back to number 2 above, I don't know how many new messages there are to be able to count back messages to see where to begin.  Not knowing if there is one or a lot, I don't see how to know for a long thread whether I should jump to page 2 or perhaps a page 4 to begin reading the new messages.

4.  I liked that in the old layout, there was the top level view of all the boards that showed me how many new messages there were.  (Reference my thread Odd numbers for new message count).  With the new layout I have no way of seeing by the count which threads got new activity.  So a board like Feedback which has rare activity, I had a way of seeing when it got new messages.  Now I can't unless I go in, open the tree structure on the left, find the thread, click into it, and see if there are any messages that have a bold title.  Before I could glance and see where I could go.  Now I have to drill into everything to see whether there is new activity or not.


Not seeing these features I relied on in the past looks like it will make it difficult to manage the way I participate in the forums.

Message 1 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

All good points raised.

1. We'll have to explore this more to see what's possible now with this layout.

2. We may be able to add this column back to the board listing.

3. Go to My Settings (now found under your username/avatar menu) > Preferences > Linear Layout > choose Jump to first unread post in a topic

4. As mentioned here, we are rolling out our design and structure changes in stages. When things are complete, there will be one section for Discussion Forums where you could see everything from the forums all at once again. You would also find your floated discussion boards there. In the renovated community, you would not want to see everything on one page considering the amount of groups we have in the community.



Message 2 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

Well, my immediate reaction is that another website has ruined a good clear layout by trying to look clever.


There are fewer items on the screen.


There is no neat table layout.


It is hader to scan through the topics to see one of interest. 


There is no clear indication of which topics have new messages.


The text font is now larger so a message is easily more than a screenful.


I can see that I will have less desire to read it.


Poor showing.

Message 3 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

I'll add another comment.


5.  The forum no longer shows message numbers.  It used to say message 5 of 10.  I would often refer to those numbers in messages saying things like "Altenbach in message #3 told you .....".  Now there is no such point of reference.  And any historical messages saying stuff like that now have no meaning as there is no way to know which was message 3 or 5 or 99 or .....

6.  I'll second Rod's comment about text size.  It is larger than it needs to be.  I had to set my zoom to about 80% to make it look more natural.

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Message 4 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

RavensFan wrote:

5.  The forum no longer shows message numbers.

To add to this, I used to use the link that was part of the message number in order to link people to a specific post.  I will have to message around some to see how I could do that again.


RavensFan wrote:

6.  I'll second Rod's comment about text size.  It is larger than it needs to be.  I had to set my zoom to about 80% to make it look more natural.

And I will Third it.  If the font was about half the size, it would work well for me on my laptop.


And another comment:

My signature has now been truncated!  The NI Week section of my signature no longer shows up since I am guessing the large font made it all too large to fit in the area for signatures.

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Message 5 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

My first thought was "This is way too big!"


Next was RavensFan's number 2. 


And I agree with most of the other comments posted so far.


I will wait for the complete roll out before final judgment, bu tthe initial impression is highly unfavorable.



Message 6 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

OK.  One thing I do like: The threads now list the date and time of the original post.



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Message 7 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

Regarding the above:

  • Message # of # missing - we should be able to add this back
  • Signature truncation - it's not a font size issue. If you set a font size for your signature using HTML, it still is cut off. It may be due to the space allowed for the signature is just limited to a certain height. We will have to follow up on this.
  • "There is no neat table layout." -- Rod, can you comment further on what this means exactly?

Overall, I do want to mention that the reason some functions have gone "missing" is not because a decision was made to remove functions from our old layout style. As stated in the announcement here, with this particular update we now have a responsive design for the community. The new skin being used has a completely recoded base from what was used previously. There may be functonality that is not visible "out of the box" on this skin. Some of these items we may be able to add back in at the click of the button, others may require some significant time and work to add back to the layout. Unfortunately, we missed some of these items during the design phases and some items did not come up during our user testing. Rest assured, we will be reviewing and considering any feedback we receive, investigating potential solutions, and making quick fixes as soon as we can. Please continue to provide input as we work through these items in the coming days and weeks.


Also, please be aware of the other upcoming changes: The NI Community renovations are almost here!


Thank you,

Message 8 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

LiliMcDonald wrote:

Regarding the above:

  • "There is no neat table layout." -- Rod, can you comment further on what this means exactly?

Good Evening Lili,


Thank you for your response.


What I was meaning is that the previous layout of the topic listing was reminscent of a spreadsheet layout with all relevant information in a row across the page. One could read down a column to see, say how many new messages in the topic, or when the latest comment was made. Now there are several rows of text per topic, in a block at the right hand side of the page and scanning down a column is no longer a simple task. In addition the over sized text has greatly reduced the number of topics that will fit a screenful, so more scrolling is needed. 


On another point, there is still no easy way that I could find to display the time of messages in 24hr format. The Am/Pm format is non preferred in much of Europe. A previous version of the format controls permitted Unix style %H:%M descriptors,  but no way to remove the U.S. format time. When can the time be displayed in 24hr format?


I hope that you will be able to restore some readability quickly. Perhaps as a first step you can reduce the font size?







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Message 9 of 174

Re: Comments/Questions on New Layout

I agree with most of what the others said and I think that we've gone backwards in terms of usability.


The two showstopper issues for me are:


  1. The lack of the main page with the floated boards. I used this to know where there's new content and without it I'm basically blind.
  2. The lack of the folder icons on the threads in the board view. Likewise, this was used to indicate threads I replied to, which are therefore more important. Without it, I'm liable to miss those.

Without having those two back in, the way I use the forums would probably change considerably, and not for the better.


As for the other things, zooming out to 90% does seem to make the board and thread view better, but I still find it quite poor compared to the old style. The boards were easier to scan when things were vertically aligned with less separators and the threads were easier to read when the post metadata was separated from the content (and it's not as if I don't have the space with the current design - on my 1600x900 screen I get ~180 pixels of empty space on either side of the content).

Try to take over the world!
Message 10 of 174