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Update October 13: Forum Appearance and User Capabilities


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October 13 Update:  The electric blue has been toned down, in the hopes that this improves the readability of the forums.  The vendor has been super responsive and we are working on a couple more things. 

Here are a couple of updates.

Some people are finding they are logged off repeatedly.  Remaining logged in relies on cookies to function. If a user does not check "Remember me" when logging in these cookies are only retained for the current session. If the session times out then they will be logged out. Therefore users could experience being logged out during the day if they do not choose this option or if they are using a browser/browser plugin that blocks/deletes cookies.

There is another cause for the logging off and that one will be fixed but not right away.  It's complicated.  Hang in there.  

Regarding post numbering:  Post numbers are no longer a feature as they do not provide an accurate reference. The post number for a post may be different for each user  if posts have been hidden/unapproved for example. Users can reference specific posts using the share link next to each post which will always link to the correct post.  

I added the Spoiler feature onto the toolbar.  The icon looks like an eye.  

 

ORIGINAL POST

With the updated forum, some members have posted that they don't like the new interface and that the user capabilities have been curtailed.  Here is your chance to provide specific and helpful feedback as to what you think might make the difference. 

I have not yet spoken to the vendor about this because I'd rather have constructive thoughts rather than go in with a panicked expression and waving hands.  When the vendor and I have spoken, I can come back with some information and I hope some changes that will make the boards easier to read and user settings available--

I probably won't fight very hard for things like, "I don't like blue--everything else on my computer is pink!" -- there are too many other things to square away.

Please post your constructive thoughts or ideas here in this thread. 

Here are some of my thoughts, now that I have seen some screen shots:

Re: Appearance:

It looks to me like a couple of people might be seeing the mobile (phone) format on their PCs.  (That has happened to me with Facebook in the past and it is annoying...). So I'll find out how to get that fixed.

It looks to me like some people have their screen brightness set to "full on"--and when I set my screen brightness to full on, I about go blind.  My desktop and my laptop are both set about halfway down the slider, and my phone at an even dimmer level (on the laptop and phone, it saves a lot of battery use to do that). It might be worth trying out, reducing the screen brightness. 

One screenshot had the list of topics, and the blue font did seem like it could use more contrast...do you think it would help if the blue font used in the List of Topics view were a darker shade?  

 

Re: User Settings

In my "civvies" I didn't modify too many things, and when I checked the settings in my account, all the things I cared about setting were there...so please let me know what settings are AWOL.   

 

Thank you for providing the feedback you can; I hope we can make some tweaks to improve their usability.

--Helpdesk

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32 minutes ago, Helpdesk said:

It looks to me like some people have their screen brightness set to "full on"--and when I set my screen brightness to full on, I about go blind.  My desktop and my laptop are both set about halfway down the slider, and my phone at an even dimmer level (on the laptop and phone, it saves a lot of battery use to do that). It might be worth trying out, reducing the screen brightness. 

One screenshot had the list of topics, and the blue font did seem like it could use more contrast...do you think it would help if the blue font used in the List of Topics view were a darker shade? 

 

Yes, I do think it would help some if the blue were a darker shade.

On my laptop I have the nightlight feature turned on, and brightness set a little less than half. It makes the site viewable for me, but there's still a very weird glare type effect that I can't get to go away.  Lowering the brightness any more makes the screen too dark.

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The light blue thread titles are most difficult for me. They're almost painful, though that seems weird. I have tried adjusting the brightness of the screen overall, but it just makes the screen dimmer, it doesn't change the color or its effect.

For reference, I'm seeing the same color @Wilrunner3 posted in this thread: 

.

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The light blue font, in addition to the acres of white space in the new format, makes it VERY difficult to read. Seriously, this is causing eyestrain, it's not just "I like pink better than blue" or I don't know how the brightness control works on my laptop. There used to be an option to switch to the default mode, where the type was navy blue instead of pale blue, and that was MUCH easier to read. This light blue seems to to have been the "customized" choice for WTM, chosen by the web designer. I worked for many years as a graphic designer and I'm frankly appalled that any professional would design something that literally causes eyestrain in readers. Readability is priority #1, if you don't have that, the rest of the "design" is pointless.

Edited by Corraleno
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1. Eyestrain - I've also tried reducing my brightness but it really gives the site a washed out look. I don't know if the background is too bright/white or if the font isn't bold enough. I actually find myself squinting when reading the boards.

2. I'm also being logged out erratically. I can be fine all day but want to read the boards before bed and find that I have to log in to do so. Weird because I've haven't done anything different between visits to cause it.

3. Another weirdness is the likes. Some visits all I can click on is "like" but not the "confused" or "sad". Then there are visits when everything works as it's supposed to. 

Thanks for asking!

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1 hour ago, Innisfree said:

The light blue thread titles are most difficult for me. They're almost painful, though that seems weird. I have tried adjusting the brightness of the screen overall, but it just makes the screen dimmer, it doesn't change the color or its effect.

For reference, I'm seeing the same color @Wilrunner3 posted in this thread: 

.

Would you mind letting me know what kind of device this is?  Phone, tablet, laptop?  Thanks.

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24 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

The light blue font, in addition to the acres of white space in the new format, makes it VERY difficult to read. Seriously, this is causing eyestrain, it's not just "I like pink better than blue" or I don't know how the brightness control works on my laptop. There used to be an option to switch to the default mode, where the type was navy blue instead of pale blue, and that was MUCH easier to read. This light blue seems to to have been the "customized" choice for WTM, chosen by the web designer. I worked for many years as a graphic designer and I'm frankly appalled that any professional would design something that literally causes eyestrain in readers. Readability is priority #1, if you don't have that, the rest of the "design" is pointless.

Readability is the total point.  Please know that I wasn't meaning to imply that people didn't know how to dim their screens.  It makes a difference for me in my civilian account, so I thought I would mention it for those who didn't know about this.  It doesn't work for everyone, and I will bring that to the vendor's attention.

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13 minutes ago, Helpdesk said:

Would you mind letting me know what kind of device this is?  Phone, tablet, laptop?  Thanks.

I just started seeing that same garish blue color in Innisfree's screenshot for thread titles both on my laptop with Chrome and my Samsung/Android phone where I view it in the default web browser (not Chrome, nor an app).

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I don’t know if this is related to appearance or not, but I’ll toss this in there if this is something fixable:

Can the posts be numbered in a thread?  Back on the old (I don’t know the word—platform?) platform, all the posts in a thread were numbered.  

For years, I’ve copied the links to many, many threads for future reference for my homeschool.  

I used to be write next to the link: “Refer to posts 10, 33, and 51 in this thread.”  But now that the numbers are all gone, when I go back to an old thread that I’d kept, I have to read the whole thing and try to figure out which posts were the ones I needed.

And if there’s a thread I’d like to save currently, I have to copy the link and then cut and paste the entire posts that are particularly helpful.

 

I’m not sure if numbering posts counts as appearance or not, but if it does and it can be added, that would be wonderful. I also liked getting a sense of where I was on a thread. Was I on post 10 and still had 40 to go to the next page? Or was I on post 48 and there were only 2 to go?  

Numbers would be especially helpful now that I keep getting logged off non-stop now.  If we had numbers, I could see what post I’m on in my open tab before signing back in, and then I could just scroll down to where I left off.

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2 minutes ago, Garga said:

I don’t know if this is related to appearance or not, but I’ll toss this in there if this is something fixable:

Can the posts be numbered in a thread?  Back on the old (I don’t know the word—platform?) platform, all the posts in a thread were numbered.  

For years, I’ve copied the links to many, many threads for future reference for my homeschool.  

I used to be write next to the link: “Refer to posts 10, 33, and 51 in this thread.”  But now that the numbers are all gone, when I go back to an old thread that I’d kept, I have to read the whole thing and try to figure out which posts were the ones I needed.

And if there’s a thread I’d like to save currently, I have to copy the link and then cut and paste the entire posts that are particularly helpful.

 

I’m not sure if numbering posts counts as appearance or not, but if it does and it can be added, that would be wonderful. I also liked getting a sense of where I was on a thread. Was I on post 10 and still had 40 to go to the next page? Or was I on post 48 and there were only 2 to go?  

Numbers would be especially helpful now that I keep getting logged off non-stop now.  If we had numbers, I could see what post I’m on in my open tab before signing back in, and then I could just scroll down to where I left off.

YES.  I really miss the numbered posts in each thread...

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34 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

1. Eyestrain - I've also tried reducing my brightness but it really gives the site a washed out look. I don't know if the background is too bright/white or if the font isn't bold enough. I actually find myself squinting when reading the boards.

The problem is that there is not enough contrast between the background and the light blue type, so our eyes are straining to separate the type from the background. Dimming the brightness helps with the huge amount of white space, but it does nothing to fix the contrast problem. If the type were black or navy, then you could dim the screen to minimize the glare from all the white space and still be able to read the text.

ETA: Another vote for numbered posts, and fixing whatever issue causes the site to log us out all the time. 

Edited by Corraleno
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I'll add the numbering to the wish list. I don't know why they dropped that or if it is something they can/will add back in.  (Just as a reminder, we are not the only users of this forum software, and don't control its complete destiny--but I can ask.)

20 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

The problem is that there is not enough contrast between the background and the light blue type, so our eyes are straining to separate the type from the background. Dimming the brightness helps with the huge amount of white space, but it does nothing to fix the contrast problem. If the type were black or navy, then you could dim the screen to minimize the glare from all the white space and still be able to read the text.

This is what I have already sent in a request.  

 

21 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

fixing whatever issue causes the site to log us out all the time

and this.

 

54 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

Another weirdness is the likes

I will add this to the list.

 

1 hour ago, cintinative said:

I am not receiving followed threads via email.

I checked your settings and they look right from my end so I have put this on the list.  

 

Thank you.  I hope to have some of these issues addressed soon.

 

3 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

blue were a darker shade

On the list.

 

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27 minutes ago, Garga said:

And if there’s a thread I’d like to save currently, I have to copy the link and then cut and paste the entire posts that are particularly helpful.

I don't know if this will help you or not, but you can link to an exact post by clicking on the three little dots in the upper right corner of a post (same ones now used for editing or reporting) and select,"share." That link gets you back to that exact post in the thread.

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1 hour ago, Helpdesk said:

Would you mind letting me know what kind of device this is?  Phone, tablet, laptop?  Thanks.

All three. Android phone, Kindle Fire, laptop. It used to just be that bright blue until I had signed in, but now it's all the time.

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1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

I don't know if this will help you or not, but you can link to an exact post by clicking on the three little dots in the upper right corner of a post (same ones now used for editing or reporting) and select,"share." That link gets you back to that exact post in the thread.

Ooooo!  Thank you so much for that tip!!

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1 hour ago, RootAnn said:

I don't know if this will help you or not, but you can link to an exact post by clicking on the three little dots in the upper right corner of a post (same ones now used for editing or reporting) and select,"share." That link gets you back to that exact post in the thread.

Thank you!  I didn't know this!

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1 hour ago, purpleowl said:

I hadn't posted in here before because others had already mentioned the painful light blue - but today I have dark blue! It's on my phone and on my laptop. It is SO much better - thank you!

Thank you for the thank you!  I will tell the vendor that this made a difference, as well.  

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  • Helpdesk changed the title to Update October 13: Forum Appearance and User Capabilities

Thank you for the easier to read forum. My eyes are much happier now.

Regarding, the logging out. The box to remember me is always checked for my account but it doesn't always appear to work. The last few days, however, I've found that if I ignore it asking me to log in and just click on the board I want to read, I'll find that I am in fact already logged in. I don't know why "Home" thinks I'm not there but "Chat" does but it's nice to know I can skip the log in step.

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Glad the "eyes" have it. 

Regarding the log-in situation,I have the same thing going on in my civilian account and a couple of other people have mentioned it to me.  I will ask the forum provider about that in my next round of questions.  

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On 10/7/2020 at 3:01 PM, Helpdesk said:

October 13 Update:  The electric blue has been toned down, in the hopes that this improves the readability of the forums.  The vendor has been super responsive and we are working on a couple more things. 

Here are a couple of updates; I'm still working on one or two more items.

Some people are finding they are logged off repeatedly.  Remaining logged in relies on cookies to function. If a user does not check "Remember me" when logging in these cookies are only retained for the current session. If the session times out then they will be logged out. Therefore users could experience being logged out during the day if they do not choose this option or if they are using a browser/browser plugin that blocks/deletes cookies.

There is another cause for the logging off and that one will be fixed but not right away.  It's complicated.  Hang in there.  

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for getting them to change the blue. I noticed right away how much easier it is to read.

This morning I was logged off while reading a thread. I couldn't understand why I was suddenly unable to quote or like posts until I reached the end of the thread and saw the message to either sign in or create an account. The odd thing is, at the top it showed me logged in as Lady Florida, and I could go to my account settings. 

One other thing I haven't seen mentioned is the sidebar on threads telling you who's participating, top posts, etc. If this is going to stay can we at least have an option to turn this off in our settings? I don't want this forum to look like facebook. Really. 

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