New Forum - Issues, Criticisms and Ideas

Member for

4 months

Posts: 87

Hi all,

Firstly, I'd like to start by saying I'm the new community manager for the forums and I've been reading a lot of your criticisms and making notes. I'm Khalem, an assistant editor on AFM/ Combat Air and Air International. Along with an active Key Aero contributor who will be looking after the forum.

This thread is set up for users to provide their criticisms (hopefully creative criticisms), issues they've found with the new-look forum and ideas for how it could be bettered.

From reading some comments already, it seems a lot still has to be done. In the coming weeks I hope to work with others to make this forum, easier to read, better and more user friendly.

I look forward to being a part of this community.
Thanks,
Khalem (Community Manager)

Original post

Member for

20 years

Posts: 303

Hello Khalem,

I'm sure you'll have a busy few weeks ahead and I'll start this thread with my initial findings.

1) I'm sure you know that 49 years old posts do not exist.

2) How do I reset the "new posts count" to 0 (zero)?

Member for

4 months

Posts: 87

Hi Christer,

It will be and I am noting everything that is criticised or suggested. I will note down and pass on what you asked and we'll get that changed as quick as we can. I know 49-year-old posts don't exist and have seen a couple myself that I have noted. I'm not sure how to reset the post count but I will get back to you on that.

Khalem

Member for

4 months

Posts: 87

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your suggestions, I've noted them and will pass them on to developers.

Thanks,
Khalem

Profile picture for user Blue_2

Member for

9 years 11 months

Posts: 5,065

Khalem, firstly, good luck!
Bob has covered most of the issues in his post above. I use this forum really as a work diary for the Meteor restoration project I am running. I use the project's Facebook page far more, and really only keep this page running as not everyone in the demographic Key's aviation publications target use Facebook, so this keeps them up to date with the project and has brought much needed parts, documentation and contacts my way. By messing with a much loved resource, this forum, Key appear to be driving these people away. User friendly it isn't, and it's far from pleasing to look at. From my project work diary point of view, the mandatory appearance of the first post in the thread at the top of each page is at best distracting, at worst a pain in the backside which ruins the flow of the diary for those maybe catching up from a couple of weeks previously. I miss the like button too; it's a good indicator of what sort of readership the diary has without people having to go to the bother of writing a response, and of if what I am writing and showing is the sort of thing the readers want. Also, can we go straight to the last post/page please, rather than page 1?
Finally, bring the PM system back. It is an incredibly valuable resource to those of us at the coalface of aircraft preservation!
If you are in any doubt about the strength of feeling about this, take a look at the comments left by others in my work diary. They ain't impressed, and it's not just a bunch of grumpy old men not wanting to accept change, trust me...

Member for

20 years

Posts: 5,392

Khalem,

Some suggestions in no particular order:
1. Add a "report post" button to alert moderators of a spammer or inappropriate post content
2. Add a search function for keywords, post authors, Etc.
3. Add the ability to "ignore user" and un-ignore user
4. Add the ability to modify user profile beyond the ability to change password and avatar. Include time zone, font size, notification preferences, Etc.
5. Many posts are hundreds of pages long. Add the ability to skip to a specific page at the top of the displayed page. This keeps the user from having to scroll to the bottom of the page to find the >, < or >> buttons.
6. Add icons to the comment entry block so the user does not have to be an expert in BBCode. Include things like font style, font size, bold, italics, insert link, Etc.

Member for

4 months

Posts: 87

Hi all,

Just a comment to let you know your points have been heard.

Blue_2 - Thanks for your comment, the negativity surrounding the forum's user-friendly status has been noted and we (myself and the development team) are working on fixing that issue with the comments users are providing. I will add your comments about the like button etc to that list. Also, we are looking to remove the post at the top that sticks each time you go to the next page so you can wave goodbye to that soon.

djcross - Thanks for your list, I have noted them and will pass them on to the development team when I can. Bear with us! :)

Kind regards,
Khalem

Member for

15 years 5 months

Posts: 1,567

Must admit I agree with all of the above suggestions. This is not a particularly user friendly format.

Profile picture for user dogsbody

Member for

15 years 1 month

Posts: 132

A lot of scale modelling forums have now switched over to Tapatalk as a hoster. While it took a little bit to adapt, it wasn't much of a chore, even for an old git like me.
This one the other hand, is quite bad and not too useful. Way too much wasted space.

I especially dislike not being able to access my old postings.

Chris

Member for

3 months 2 weeks

Posts: 3

Khalem, I have already commented on another thread to no response. I am pretty annoyed!

I have been a member of this forum for close on 15 years with thousands of posts to my profile, I am also a subscriber to AFM and Air International (albeit I am now seriously considering cancelling the subscriptions due to this debacle!)

The forced Password reset has locked me out of my usual 'Fedaykin' account. The email I use for forgotten password doesn't work so I am now locked out of my account and forced to setup a new one.

I feel very sorely treated as a customer who has spent many years as a paying customer to Key Publishing!

Can you contact me via the email on this account to get my password reset on my proper 'Fedaykin' account!

I am seriously considering phoning Key Publishing HQ on Monday to give them a piece of my mind!

This needs to be resolved! I am prepared to give the benefit of the doubt and stay as a paying customer if my password can be sorted out on my real account but my patience is sorely tried by this!

Fedaykin

Member for

9 years

Posts: 64

Khalem, When will the PM function be reinstated?

Member for

12 years 11 months

Posts: 134

How to take something that works and then turn it into something that does not.

Wow, even the feedback link does not work due to an incomplete mail address, nice one.

I doubt if I'll be visiting it much, the WS788 thread was something really worth following but it's been unusable but the upgrade.

Member for

4 months

Posts: 87

Hi all,

Apologies for the late reply, I have been away from home this past weekend.

Furious Fedaykin, as I said on your previous message we will help you gain access to your original account ASAP. We wouldn't have been able to provide the assistance over the weekend anyhow as no one would have been in the office.

As for everything else, I will be updating this thread later with the changes and additions the developers will be making to the forum as per your comments and I have passed new ones on.

Please bear with me as I am just a bridge between the user and the development team.

Kind regards,
Khalem

Profile picture for user Bruce

Member for

20 years

Posts: 8,425

Thanks Khalem for doing everything you can.

I think we just have to treat it as a work in progress for now. Last time the forum was updated (which was also a disaster for different reasons), the mods had the chance to try out the new software in advance. We mad a number of recommendations to assist the developers before it got anywhere near the target audience. In the end, it was a software failing that caused most of the problems there - particularly in having to deal with a large database. Right now, in this case, you don't know if you have that problem, as we cant access most of the old posts!

I suspect that you are using a standard forum software, merged into the Key.aero pages. Hopefully, most of what we have asked for can be switched on relatively easily.

Bruce

Profile picture for user jamesm

Member for

3 years 1 month

Posts: 95

Huge thanks for all the constructive comments received so far. Our main aim was to protect the superb content in this migration but we've taken on board all sensible comments and suggestions about look and feel and now have a working list that will go into development. Khalem will keep you updated on these as they progress. It's our aim to maintain this Forum for you and by you and to bring it in-line with our content so that we can combine the enormous expertise of our journalists and Forum users on to one platform. But I would like to take this opportunity to remind all users of our Code of Conduct and reiterate that abuse and insults - both on or off this forum, including targeting of personal social media accounts of staff, won't be tolerated. Watch this space for improvements and please keep the recommendations coming !

Member for

4 months

Posts: 87

Evening all, just a quick update from me,

A full update on forum changes and what developers are doing as per your comments will come tomorrow. I was hoping it would come today but tomorrow is looking more likely.

I know you're all disgruntled with how the forum looks and how it works but these are things that because of your comments we can seek to change.

I hope you all have a good night,
Regards,
Khalem

Member for

3 months 2 weeks

Posts: 3

OK, slightly less furious now Khalem.

I look forward to that email.

Fedaykin

Member for

4 years 7 months

Posts: 5

For me the most urgent update is a search tool for forum content. After all, the fundamental rationale for this migration was to preserve access to that priceless content! The search tool in the "sticky" header searches the whole web site, which is no help as it stands. Rather than add a second dialog, giving the existing one a drop-down filter selector to choose "Whole site", "News", "Forum", etc. would be truly useful.

Member for

11 years 8 months

Posts: 163

I'm probably rehashing what's already been said, but here's my tuppence worth.

Really don't like the new look. It's very busy and the moving header is awful. The 'dynamic' font again is busy and half of the page is blank -' scrunched up ' posts are much harder to read. As for my account - have I missed them, but I can't find my photo albums at all?

I agree the site needed an update, but this is horrible.

Cheers

Member for

4 months

Posts: 87

Fedaykin - we're looking into getting your access back now so hopefully we can get it back to you by tomorrow at the latest.

Regards,
Khalem