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Forum layout - Category preview vs All Discussions?

edited January 2012 in The forum
Has the forum reverted back to it's old layout. This morning (PST) I had category layout, now everything is combined again like it was before....
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Comments

  • Yes, we (the mods) have been debating whether we like it or not. Opinion was split so we reverted back to see if anyone noticed :-)
  • Huw, i have to be honest i don't like it. this is the first time i've seen it and i'm not impressed. :-)
  • LOL.... I wasn't a big fan of the 'original' look, and at first I wasn't too thrilled with the 'new' look, but it grew on me & I eventually liked it better than the original. However, if no one else notices, then I guess I'll have to get use to the 'old' look again... ;oP
  • I never liked the new look from the start, so I was hoping there'd be a load of comments saying how wonderful the old look is and that it should stay :o)
  • What would be nice is if there would be a function/feature where we as members could opt for which version we want to use. I know that's asking a bit much, and no matter which way things go there will be some people that like it & some that don't. What I don't like about the old look is it's too much stuff in one place - which means I as a user have to filter through a bunch of posts that I'm not at all interested in. When it was categorized I could open the categories I wanted to follow and skip the rest...

    Anyway, whichever way it goes, it goes, but I still feel the need to let my voice be heard. :o)
  • When it was categorized I could open the categories I wanted to follow and skip the rest...
    You can still do that to an extent using the sidebar.
  • I like not having to hit "All Discussions" every time I visit the site.
  • Love the old look.
  • edited January 2012
    ^^^^^ I like this old look much better and I think it should stay too. =D
  • True, I just need to adapt to a new way of browsing. Not ideal, but I'm not going to cry over it. I will evolve!
  • @Huw The old look was wonderful and I think it should stay that way. How's that? But seriously, correct me if I'm wrong. The new look could be achieved by clicking on the forums tab and the old look could be achieved by clicking on the discussions tab thus giving everyone what they wanted. Correct? That's how I always did it.
  • The old look displays more threads.
  • Like the old now new better
  • I think all the announcements should stay where they are now (at the top) and then the rest should be categorized as it was yesterday. That way people can easily skip sections that don't pertain to them (such as shopping in countries they don't live in) I didn't like the categories at first but it definitely grew on me and made it a lot simpler to find what your looking for. My only problem with it was when I'd post something in photography section, I felt like no one saw it cause it was at the very bottom :) But I understand why, its sort of the least important topic hah
  • When I saw the "New" - i.e. with categories - I didn't like it. But having used it over time I now prefer it to the current. It just seems easier to find stuff in terms of interest groups etc.
  • Both the old and new looks had their positives... but what I really like about the old look is that it gives us "most recent" posts. With the new look, some thread groups had slower turnover than others, so somethings disappeared from the main page faster than they did on other thread groups. And that kind of got confusing.

    2 thumbs up from me....
  • Old look works nicely.
  • Is there any way to provide a permanent link to the look that doesn't get chosen for the final main page look, as an optional theme? There are aspects that I like about both looks; having access to both would be beneficial.
  • THANK YOU!!!!

    This default format is SO much better.
  • ^ Yep, I agree.
  • I really dislike this layout. In my opinion, it's an unorganized mess. Navigation was a lot more user-friendly when the discussions were sorted by category. Though, I agree, some form of customization or another would be ideal.
  • I prefer this layout, was getting tired of hitting "All discussions" every time i loaded the page...definately prefer to see the most recent threads at the top
  • I never used the categories and always clicked the 'discussions' button when I got into the forum so I'm all for the revert. I would like to be able to sink any threads so they stop topping the list though no matter what category they are in.
  • As someone relatively new to the forums, I like the old way, which for me was the new way. :-) The categories made things very organized, and I could see the top threads at a glance within a heading. I have to agree, that this way is quite the chaotic mess.

  • Keep the old look, please!
  • Yea! I can stop hitting the ' All discussions' button now and still have easy access to posts in most recent date order.
  • I do much prefer the "All discussions" layout but tbh I didn't find it to be that much of an effort to click the button to change it whenever I loaded the page. Clearly there are people in favour of both versions; as others have said, would it not be possible to set a personal preference as to which layout is displayed?
  • Much preferred the new look that we've just lost to the old look that we've just had replace it.

    There's little point in having categories if they're not used and now its just a jumble of topics headed by half a dozen 'announcements' that once read are of little value.

    As has been said, a simple toggle that allows us to choose our preferred option would seem like the ultimate solution.

  • Glad to see the 'all discussions' look back, especially on the mobile, where the grouped (new?) look was scrolltastic.

    ^ agree that a toggle would be useful, since that page is clearly already bulit somewhere, its just a question of linking to it so those who want it can get it.

    On my laptop the announcements take up the whole screen and I have to scroll down to see the more useful stuff, which isnt ideal. Maybe they could be trimmed? Now we have thread-merging, there are already some other 'master threads' which are not 'announcements', i.e they just keep resurfacing when needed, so maybe other master threads could be treated like this too, rather than always being at the top.

  • edited January 2012
    I was one of the proponents of 'category view' because I thought it organized the discussions so that members could easily tune out categories that didn't interest them (i.e. shopping threads in other locales). The ordering of the categories also allowed us to give precedence to the more popular categories.

    The 'All Discussions' view, as we know, simply shows the most recently updated discussions, which is good to view trending conversations. However the category view did have a preview of the most recently updated discussions in the respective categories, so IMO it partially made up for that shortcoming.

    I still think there will come a time when the activity on the forum will become too high such that 'All Discussions' becomes unmanageable, particularly if you aren't able to view the forum several times a day.

    Anyhow, for those that prefer the category view, you can bookmark this: http://www.bricksetforum.com/categories/discussions

    I should also mention that there is a true category only view, which is accessible by clicking 'categories' in the right hand navigation, or by using this link: http://www.bricksetforum.com/categories/all
  • edited January 2012
    Btw, rather than 'old new' or 'new old' or the like, please refer to them as 'all discussions' or 'category view', so we can be clear about the view being referenced.
  • edited January 2012
    This is much better, you get all the latest updates in one place.
    It was getting a tad annoying to have to click 'Discussions' everytime I visited the site.
    Long live 'all discussions' and down with 'category view'!
  • I noticed, but thought i might be going mad as no one was talking about it
  • I often view this forum on my iphone, it's pretty much impossible to sift through posts now whereas the category view made it very easy to quickly see what was of interest. I'll definitely have to bookmark the categories link above on my phone, but I have so many damn bookmarks it'll take me ages to find it each time :( Ah well, can't make everyone happy! :)
  • As part of the latest update, you can now choose which categories to see in the all discussions view. By clicking through @rocao's link (http://www.bricksetforum.com/categories/all), then choosing 'Unfollow' on the options menu next to each category. Previously you could only do this for top pevel categories, ie: you could unfollow 'Shopping', but now you can unfollow 'Shopping Elsewhere' for example.
  • edited January 2012
    Brilliant feature!
    Goodbye 'Shopping USA/ Canada'!
    Fed up of hearing what great deals there are over the pond!
  • ^ Oh yeah? Well, goodbye 'Shopping UK'! I can't stand hearing about a wonderful product like LEGO being offered at such awful prices! ;)
  • edited January 2012
    rocao said:
    I still think there will come a time when the activity on the forum will become too high such that 'All Discussions' becomes unmanageable, particularly if you aren't able to view the forum several times a day.
    I agree, but I think that time is already here.
    I also tend to agree with the rest of what @rocao said.

    I'll compare the forum layout to collecting LEGO.
    > The 'All Discussions' is like putting all your colored bricks into one box - makes it a chore to find the blue ones when you only need them.
    > The 'Category' view is like separating your colors - need a red one, ah there they are in the red box.
    Organized vs chaos.
    I favor organzied.


  • ^ yeah but what do you do when you only need a 1x2 plate in red, that is a big sea of red you have to search through! :)
  • Ideally, I'd go for an "All Categories" view, but with the ability to have settings on your account to skip certain groups when in the "All Categories" view. Given the option, I'd just skip everything in Shopping, as well as General->Buying And Selling. Sadly (for me), those are some of the most active groups on the forums.

    FWIW, that's what LUGNET used to do way-back-when. You could basically view individual groups, or view everything, and had "skip-filter" settings to strip out certain groups or sub-groups if you didn't care about (say) those guys who discussed Mega Bloks or philosophy or talked in Italian!

    DaveE
  • ^ You can. See my last post.
  • ^ Woot! I thought I had looked everywhere for that option, but couldn't find it!

    DaveE
  • @princedraven / @Legogeek
    Dont forget though that if you want to browse a particular topic you can still click the subject headings on the right, and if you want to drill to a particular item you can use the search (which is apparently working now).
  • edited January 2012
    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK - thanks for the tip. I am aware of this feature, and may have to get used to using it... but realistically, that is even more work than those of you that were always selecting 'All Discussions'

    @Matthew & @davee123 - As for the option to 'Unfollow' certain topics or subtopics, I'm not really for that.
    Here's why.... I've mentioned the reason I like the 'Category' view before, but the other thing it does is give me the chance to quickly take a look at all the topics, including the one's I'm not interested in (ex, Shopping Elsewhere), per chance there may be something I'd like to actually read. If I 'Unfollow' a topic, then I would be completely blind as to what goes on there. There have been several times where I've seen something on the UK discussion, checked it out, and benefitted (btw, I'm in the US).

    For me personally, I just like the cleaner look of the 'Category' view, and I like the fact that discussions are categorized by a theme. It makes my time on Brickset more pleasant and effective.

    Perhaps I'm in the minority.
    No matter what methods are available I'm sure I will adapt, but I do feel I need to endorse the method I favor. ;o)
  • @Legogeek - I agree completely. As I stated earlier, this version, to me, seems like a jumbled mess with no logical approach to presentation. Chronological order is, in my opinion, a poor way to organize ALL posts in a community with this large a variety of topics.
  • edited January 2012
    ^^ I completely agree with this. I quite like the ability to "skim" all the categories, where they're relatively well organised, and then read what I fancy.

    If I exclude certain themes from my filter, I don't know what I'm not seeing (if you get me)
  • I'm pleased that it's back to its original layout. I understand why topics are placed into forum categories - but on a discussion where I have an interest in nearly every forum, it's easier to load up something akin to "view new content" and open up all of the threads I'm interested in new tabs than trawl through each forum individually. This method means fewer clicks for me. :)

    The sidebar has the categories if I wish to view a specific forum, and that's good enough for me.
  • It looks like, just like the moderators', your opinions are mixed about which view is preferable...
  • @huw - I also like the organized look. Some of the topic are of no interest to me... like the shopping UK and elsewhere stuff. This way I have to read every thread title.
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