So leave the categories within the category color coded and searchable by group. My main frustration with that page, is if you click BASH, I intuitively want to see the right column ONLY show recent bashes, but still have access to the tabs on the left column. Instead it applies a filter to everything within that category, and makes it full page.
You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about the way people think and act generally Andrew. Obviously the site is set up wrong for you - or more accurately, for your perception of a new member, but I’m not so sure it applies to everyone.
I’m not sure your music shop analogy works either. I mean, it’s not a music shop, it’s a forum. People act differently on forums compared to real life, and most people know the way that forums operate.
Personally I think it’s good that the home page shows the latest conversations in chronological order. As a new member on a forum, that’s exactly what I want to see, it allows me to check out the general level of conversation and topics, see how often people are posting (i.e., is the forum dead or thriving), and get a feel for how things generally progress. If there is something I specifically want to know, there’s a search button on most forums.
Having said that, the only way that we can know what people actually want is to ask them, so it’s all conjecture until that research is performed.
As a former internet marketer of “dubious” methods, if I wanted people to come to this forum, I’d contact people whom I know are definitely the type that are going to join, stay, and become a valued member of a home recording forum. i.e., people who are already members of other recording forums.
@holster said earlier he thought it would be possible. Whats the status on this one Bryan? Are you still debating whether to make this change? Figuring out how to implement it? Getting cold feet on it?
When you go to the home page, click on “CATEGORIES”… this will have that split view that I was talking about. Check it out and let me know what you think. I’m curious to see if everyone would want that view by default.
It’s possible that you can set your own view as a user also. I’ll let you know what I find.
Bryan, the category view doesn’t really help organize anything unless it holds the categories in one column then the threads in another. The problem is that you have to continuously hit your back button or tab to the category page again to access the list of categories.
If I’m hearing others correctly about the format, the problem is that people intuitively want category organization from the home page of the forum.
Just my .02 on the forum look: I like the default view as is. Now, maybe I have got used to it and change would take some adapting to. Anybody who chooses to look around will find what they need. I found the forum fairly intuitive once I poked around for a bit. Earlier I mentioned sending out an email survey to your current members to find out what people would like … AJ just mentioned research and that’s what I was talking about. The key is to come up with good questions, obviously.
Many sites have that feature, so I’d hope this forum platform allows for it. That seems like the best solution.
@Stan_Halen, my concern is that seeing everything will only work as long as there’s only about 20 of us who post. The mishmash of activity in the everything view is good because you never miss anything, but with a larger user base, you’d miss too much.
The split screen on the category view sort of does let you see the same thing because the right side of the screen shows ‘latest’ threads. But the category tabs (which I think is the first thing someone notices on a forum) are easier to find.
Think about it. If avid didn’t categorize their forum, and at least let people post bugs and complaints and feature requests in a dedicated section, the ProTools part of their forum would be completely over run by angry rabid disgruntled users threatening to sue them and others who are threatening to switch to Logic lol.
I don’t know about that…I’m no engineer, but I think the forum needs to be better organized. I like the idea that you showed earlier in this thread. That, or something similar should be the first page that anyone sees when they come to this site. Most people won’t know that they should click on the “Categories” tab to see the site layout, especially newcomers.