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Improving the WordPress.org support forums

  • Jen

    @jenmylo

    Community Organizer

    I think we all know that as helpful as the support forums are in some ways, in other ways there’s much to be desired. As we will be doing some work on improving wordpress.org this summer, let’s hear your suggestions for how we can improve the support experience here on wordpress.org. Thanks!

Viewing 15 replies - 31 through 45 (of 83 total)
  • email notification would be great 🙂

    Re Remember Me – There’s a check box by your name and password on the main page when you log in on the forums right now.

    Sort threads (by default, or optionally) by most recent replies, not by [profile-person’s] most recent replies (I hope that makes sense).

    YES! The posts you’ve replied to list should be in order of their most recent reply. Very much this 🙂

    I need to be notified by mail when a new reply get posted to a threads I have posted to

    It’s HUGELY difficult to find the answers to questions in the forums. Searches bring up so many possible threads; wading through them is a pain in the butt.

    One thing that might help is the ability to “vote down” a comment as “unhelpful.” If “unhelpful” votes exceed “helpful” votes, the comment would be hidden. This could get the unhelpful, conversational chit-chat out of the way for people who have a problem and just want to solve it quickly.

    Also, there needs to be a way to combine threads. How many times have we seen six or ten or 20 threads all covering the same problem? Rather than simply point people to another thread, can’t they be somehow linked? I don’t know. I guess I’m grasping here.

    Forums are frustrating right now, but I’ve seen worse elsewhere.

    I’d offer a small child[1] for a CSS change that would make followed links (topic) much easier to distinguish from unfollowed. Those of us who left the 20’s a long time ago would be very thankful.

    [1] not one of mine, but guaranteed healthy.

    Since I spend a lot of time in the admin side of things, it would be nice to see a dashboard panel with threads I am involved in showing the latest replies. This way I can stay in one window.

    @digitalmcgrath — you kind of already have one. Just click on “Member” under your gravatar image or “View Your Profile” at the upper right corner of the screen: http://wordpress.org/support/profile/6162228

    +alot for email notifications, and especially for plugin author topic notifications.

    How about a “vote up/down” mechanism for individual responses, so that the best answers float to the top? The ability to vote might need to be predicated by some sort of bozo filters — some minimum prior participation level, double-opt-in email verification, peer approval, etc. What many sites call a “reputation” level.

    Plugin authors could probably use some moderator-type abilities within topics related to their plugins: mark as closed/resolved/duplicate.

    And while it doesn’t directly impact the usability of the support forums, how about pretty permalinks? When you’ve opened several tabs of forum questions, it would make it easier to keep them straight.

    mrmist

    @mrmist

    Forum Janitor

    Moving to the next version (/trunk) of bbpress would dramatically improve the moderation side of things, making it much easier. Bulk deletes of spam etc. Lovely.

    I’m not fussed about email notification, but some indication on when the last post in each forum was from the front screen might be useful.

    Previously mentioned in this thread were –

    More FAQs – Experience suggests that FAQs and sticky threads are largely ignored.

    Ability to alert moderators / More moderators – The mod team has expanded quite a bit lately and I think that we are on top of things in that regard. The way to alert moderators is to add a “modlook” tag.

    mrmist

    @mrmist

    Forum Janitor

    We could also close the “Your WordPress” forum, as it doesn’t serve a useful purpose for troubleshooting, rather just attracting spammers looking for SEO juice.

    mrmist

    @mrmist

    Forum Janitor

    The idea of vote up/down was previously punted as part of a more general effort to improve community feedback levels. They can be useful, but more often than not are open to abuse, so it’d have to be handled delicately.

    @mrmist:

    Ability to alert moderators / More moderators – The mod team has expanded quite a bit lately and I think that we are on top of things in that regard. The way to alert moderators is to add a “modlook” tag.

    IMO, “modlook” is sub-optimal.

    1) It’s use is not clearly defined anywhere (that I know of?), although I think it’s mentioned in the Forum Welcome Message.

    2) It is used not just to report spam, but also for requesting thread closure, or for some action to be taken (e.g. the Ideas forum). I presume it would also be the way to report a thread as a duplicate.

    I think it needs to be revised, or at least expanded. For example, when I come across a spam post, I tag both “modlook” and “spam”. Or, if I’m in the Ideas forum, and come across a post that is a rant or support question (i.e. not an idea), I tag “modlook” and “not an idea”.

    In other words: it would be great to have some standardized way for us users to provide the moderators with more information/detail, that would hopefully make your job easier.

    @Chris_K I know how to do it on the forums. I was referring to some way to see threads I am following from inside my self hosted WordPress administration site.

    mrmist

    @mrmist

    Forum Janitor

    It’d be neat if there was more seemless integration between the forums, codex, and other areas of login / profile on the wordpress.org site as a whole. Currently to log in to everything I have to log in numerous times, even when areas share usernames.

    I’ve actually already been hacking the forum styling, etc.. to make things a little easier.

    Some comparison images (they’re around 1 – 2mb each, so you know before clicking).
    Scroll right of the image to see the original (ie. what you see now).

    Profile Page
    http://img97.imageshack.us/img97/5184/profilewp.jpg
    Thread List
    http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/9808/threadlistwp.jpg
    Post List
    http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/9471/postswp.jpg

    The above is accomplished by using a combination of CSS overrides and a jQuery based Greasemonkey script. Of course not everyone can see the edit, delete and spam buttons (but i wanted to show how i have it to make my time here easier on me).

    Anyway, that said, here’s a run down of what i would like to see changed / updated.

    Styling:

    • Increase overall font-size (too many little pieces of text)
    • Rethink the use of colours throughout the forum.
    • Lose the round buttons, or at the least reduce the roundedness (it’s easy enough). See the “Add new” button as one example (if you’re using IE then you’ll have no idea what i’m talking about).
    • Give the support status input(in the new topic form) it’s own row in the form table.
    • Switch to using flexible width (you can still have fixed margins, just let the width run the length screen so those with bigger screens can utilise the extra screen space they have). This won’t help me, i’m on a small screen, but i do sometimes use another screen and i’d like to be able to use the extra space (surely others do to?).

    Threads:

    • Please allow the profile to sort in the same way as a forum lists it’s posts, by last reply.
    • Rating thread system (use the same as i’ve seen on WordPress.com), either “This post/thread was helpful” or “This post/thread was not helpful”. I don’t personally think members should have a rating system (but threads should).
    • Remove sticky and closed topics from “No replies” view
    • Add paged links to thread listing (see my above image i’ve done this via script for the moment).
    • Add report this post button with very simple text box, click report, small box appears and you type in a brief reason for the report (no html support or anything needed, it should just be simple text), no need for all that modlook tagging business.
    • Stop automatically converting links, if i write http://example.com then it should just say that and not link (there’s a link button if i want it to link – or i can type in the a href etc..)
    • Append posts modified by anyone not the original author with a “Last editted by” message with the users name.
    • Add “Quote” button to posts, so we can quote without having to copy -> paste.
    • Add “Request Close” button to posts. This could work like report, just it’s a simple request to close a thread.
    • Add merge threads functionality?

    Bugs:

    • Any page where you see pagination twice, the element holding the paging links often has the same ID.
    • Invalid/inconsistent markup in registration page and possibly profile/edit profile pages (can’t remember without looking and i’ve already spent long enough on this reply, lol).

    Styling concerns are not really so much an issue for me, because i just restyle using a script, but i think it wouldn’t hurt to give the style some love (maybe use the twenty ten theme as inspiration, it has great typography and readability – better then the forum), and i’m sure whatever you guys whip up will look better then my CSS hacking.

    Thread tracking, and keeping track of threads in general has got to be the biggest issue for me, i can only echo what others have said (although i don’t see a need for email notification, that’s what mailing lists are for imo – if it is added though please don’t auto subscribe me to every thread i reply to, i hate that on other forums).

    I’ll also echo the login issue, i’d love to login into the forum, and automatically be logged into everywhere on WordPress.org where the same login is used.

    I’m sure there’s a whole bunch more, i’ll post back when i recoup some energy to write another epic reply…

Viewing 15 replies - 31 through 45 (of 83 total)
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