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We’ve tweaked the HfP forums – this is what is new

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Thank you to everyone who signed up for the new HfP forums. We have had over 2,500 registrations so far which is great, and the daily readership exceeds the readership of the old chat thread.

We have rolled out a few changes today in response to your feedback. More tweaks will follow but we wanted to get these live before Christmas.

To see these changes you may need to refresh your browser cache. On a Windows PC, this is easy – press CTRL and F5 together. On an iPhone you need to go to Safari in the settings menu (don’t open Safari itself), then Advanced, then Website Data. Type ‘headforpoints.com’ into the menu box and swipe right on the result to delete the cached style settings.

For Android, go Settings -> Site Settings -> All Sites -> [search for headforpoints] -> Clear & Reset.

You can now toggle between the forum index and Recent Topics

A lot of people seemed to miss the (admittedly small) button marked ‘Recent Topics’. This lists all of the forum topics in order of when the last comment was made.

It is very useful for people who don’t want to cherry pick just one board, such as the British Airways board, but are keen to see what is active across the entire forum.

You can now easily toggle between the forum index:

….. and recent topics:

The text swaps over instantly without reloading the page, making for as slick an experience as we can manage.

We have added links to the latest news stories to the forum page

We have inserted links to our three latest news stories at the top of the forum:

This means, for people who are more interested in the forum than the latest miles and points news, you can set headforpoints.com/forums as your entry point to the site. You can be sure you won’t miss out on the latest news.

What is important to us is that there is a good flow between the news part of the site and the forum. We will soon add a direct link from the mobile home page to the forum for the same reason, to avoid you having to go via the hamburger menu.

We have also added, underneath the forum, links to the posts with most comments from the previous week.

You can mark a thread as a Favourite

To help you keep up to date with conversations you’re interested in we’ve also enabled a feature that lets you mark a topic as a ‘favourite’. You can do so by clicking the top right button at the top of every thread:

forum favourites

To view your favourites, simply go to your account page and select favourites. This will display a list of all your favourited topics.

You can just as easily unfavourite a topic.

Conclusion

Thanks again to everyone who has been leaving feedback both here as well as on the forums. The new changes should improve the usability of the forums further. If you have not already registered then you can do so here.

After Christmas we will do a further round of minor tweaks so please do leave any further feedback you have.

Comments (96)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TimM says:

    …and on a Mac (who still uses Windows?) open Safari -> Preferences -> Privacy tab -> Manage Website Data then select headforpoints.com and remove it.

    • Alan says:

      About 5x more than use OSX…
      https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share

    • Rui N. says:

      People who use computers for work.

      • WearyTraveller says:

        I’m a software engineer and have many software engineer friends who work in various companies. All use macs.

        I think mac users on a forum like this are considerably more likely as mac usage is often associated with higher income levels. With all due respect to windows fans out there 😅

        • Rui N. says:

          Yes, there’s many people making lots of money who don’t do any work. We’ve all seen it.

        • Magic Mike says:

          Not getting higher dynamic pricing because your phone or laptop marks you out might be a good reason to stick to Windows!

        • SueLoder52 says:

          You are beyond belief. Pitiful in fact. Consider what you have written and be ashamed

          • Mikeact says:

            Don’t get so upset….it’s a genuine comment..you may well not agree, but that’s what forums generate.

          • kitten says:

            Be consoled by the “More Money than Sense” characterization of iPhone users SueLoder52.

            TBF though, some Macs have been OK.

    • Mike says:

      er normal people

  • ringingup says:

    You really shouldn’t need to ask users to refresh the cache. The way you release should make that happen automatically.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    When will comments be fixed on mobile?

    Not sure about Apple but they look horrendous on Android. Any thread with comments is impossible to follow!

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Also, could of bugs (tested on Android):

      1. Choose “recent topics” tab. Hit any article. Go back in browser. Your presented with the main forum screen, not recent topics.

      2. Choose “recent topics” tab. Go to page 2 (or any page really). You’re presented with the main forum screen. Clicking the “recent topics” v does present you with page 2.

    • Andrew J says:

      Agree, all the quoting back makes it an impossible and unenjoyable read. I miss the general scrollability of the old daily chat – RIP daily chat, was a real USP for HFP.

    • Travel Strong says:

      Interestingly, replies *were* nested in the first few hours of the forum – I am sure of it! This layout was perfect for the chat thread, but I assumed it was turned off because for all other threads a traditional forum layout was preferred /sensible.

      • Rob says:

        We turned it on, everyone complained, we turned it off. Takes 10 seconds to turn on as it is built in.

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Just need to add the grey background for quotes on mobile. Right now they’re all white, the same as regular text. You cannot see where a quote ends and the reply begins.

          Means browsing the forums is next to impossible!

          • Lady London says:

            Italicizing quotes may work too.

          • Rhys says:

            Probably because your cache hasn’t refreshed. They should be the same on both mobile and desktop, ie grey background

        • Redeyedonkey says:

          The quoting and the way it looks (hard to immediately see it’s a quote on my screen/devices anyway) is the main thing ruining the chat thread for me. I think for that thread nesting is way superior to quoting and so on but for the main forum as noted above it probably makes more sense to have it as is (though maybe with clearer/better formatting of the quoting).

          • Rob says:

            I am tempted to allow nesting on the chat thread, but it needs IT work for just one board so we will need to wait until the first week of January.

          • Rob says:

            There is something about quoting that is odd — different browsers are displaying it differently. Quotes are meant to be in grey.

        • Jonathan says:

          Everyone seems to of missed these first few hours on day 1 (or forgotten).

          Maybe turn it back on for say 24 hours and re-gauge the feedback to decide what to do longer term?

        • memesweeper says:

          Well, I’ll complain that it’s gone! Nesting *please*!

          • Lady London says:

            Hey memesweeper re your mcol make sure you present, if you can, to outwit them on survivability.

    • Rob says:

      You asked for nesting to be turned off so we turned it off.

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        I certainly never asked for that.

        Right now it’s unreadable on mobile when there are replies involved.

        • ChrisC says:

          Ditto.

          By “everyone” I think Rob meant a few people who shouted very loudly.

          Nesting wasn’t given a proper chance to be used properly.

          Turn it back on and give it a couple of weeks to see how it goes,

          • Rhys says:

            Nesting doesn’t make sense on a forum, fundamentally. The whole point is that you are not discussing 50 different topics in a single thread. You have a new thread for each topic.

            Neither does having a chat thread, to be honest.

            If it was up to me I would’ve ripped the plaster off a long time ago 😉

          • ChrisC says:

            But the chat forum is still being used to discuss 5O different things!

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Rob is right, nesting on a forum is fundamentally very silly.
            In fact it is silly even on the chat thread.
            Lets say a chat thread is 12 pages long by the evening. You read it at lunch when it’s 9 pages and come back later to see what’s new.
            Having to scroll through every answer on the entire 12 pages again picking apart every sub-thread to see which topics have new replies by individual timestamp is absolutely CRAZY. Yet this is exactly what people are asking for?!

            Maybe people didn’t do this and just read the last 3 pages? OK, then it means you were missing much (most?) content of the daily thread as afternoon replies to morning questions came in, and the functioning was SO bad you weren’t even aware that this was the case!

            . It’s very hard to construct an argument how replies nesting rather than hitting the end of each thread is ever better.

            It’s hard to think of a better example of resistance to change – even when the thing being replaced is so obviously riddled and flawed. It’s an example of where a bit of “beningn dicatorship” may be necessary to force people to adapt to change, or worst case, lose a few contributors, but gain a load more for whom this format will work much better – not least anyone contributing in the evening – at which point it was generally pointless posting or replying to chat as answers and even new posts would never be seen – just take a moment to think what a HUGE flaw that was! Did it and will it generate a lot of protest – NO as anyone contributing regularly was by definition mainly a daytime contributor – evening ones quietly lost interest and left; and now they will quietly and gradually come back.

            If the quote function is not working properly; then this need fixing – not going back to such a fundamentally flawed system.

  • SteveJ says:

    Android is:
    Settings -> Site Settings -> All Sites -> [search for headforpoints] -> Clear & Reset

    • ambient says:

      Rob/Rhys, not a complaint just constructive feedback as I think we all know you are doing your best to keep everyone happy, however today’s changes have unfortunately *degraded* the experience on an Android device significantly.

      The new article summaries are malformed, this is unfortunately knocking out the alignment of everything else and making everything difficult to use. And somehow the “next page links” (the numbers are at the bottom) are linking you back to the forum homepage.

      I have taken a screenshot of the misalignment problem if you’d like to see it and let me know how I can send it to you.

    • Alan says:

      Yep, pretty much the same as iOS 😂 Windows wins for ease here!

    • AJA says:

      Thanks for this. On my Samsung android phone it’s slightly different and a lot more clunky.

      I clicked on settings. Then searched for “sites and downloads” which brings up a sub menu titled “Internet settings” and a button beneath it called “sites and downloads” Scroll down until you find “Sites and downloads” again. Then click on “Manage website data”. Then scroll until you find headforpoints.( I can’t seem to search.) Then click the radio button and finally the delete bin!

    • Lady London says:

      Chat forum/thread (should be one and the same) would be better nested.

      The rest, the subject-specific topics, will have a very long life in some cases. So quoting makes sense.

      Rob already knows there is a task to do to consistently ensure delineation and containerization (eg by font/italics/possibly positioning/possibly color) across devices.

      Hint : Android is growing faster than i-things and Microsoft. Mobiles/tablets are growing faster than pc’s.

      That is my totally biased feedback.

      • Harrier25 says:

        Which is fine until you want to do something slightly more complicated than surf the web or read emails, then you need a Windows laptop because phones and tablets suddenly become totally useless !

  • SueLoder52 says:

    I have to say that on my Android phone the Forum page looks terrible. The little square pictures overlap with the text and below that two sections of text overlap each other! Looks like a very amateur first attempt at a Web page, I’m afraid.

  • ambient says:

    Please ignore above. Second attempt at clearing cache has improved things somewhat.

  • Danny says:

    “We’re not sure about Android phones ….”

    So you have and paid for IT support for this project and they can’t help with this simple statement, a bit slapdash!

    • Rob says:

      Was meant as a joke, since stats show that very few people read HfP on an Android device due to our demographics.

      • dougzz99 says:

        Branding over functionality is your demographic 🙂

      • Ladyshopper says:

        Oh dear, I’m buggered then! Read the forums on an Android phone and use a Windows PC.

        Almost feel like I should apologise for reading the site!!

      • Mikeact says:

        I for one, have been on Android since day 1.
        Is that really true ‘Very few people use Android on here.’ ?
        If so, I am amazed.

        • Rob says:

          It goes, in order (I won’t give exact numbers): Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei, OnePlus. Samsung is the only Android brand to have 3%+ market share with our readers. Even Google Pixel is sub 3%.

          In the last 7 days, out of 128,000+ ‘sessions’ on the site from a mobile device, a grand total of 7 were done from a Blackberry and 10 from a Windows phone.

          • Magic Mike says:

            I am sure there’s a surfeit of Apple users, but “very few” people using Android surprises me.

            The order of OEMs more or less matches device market share in the UK – https://gs.statcounter.com/vendor-market-share/mobile/united-kingdom – Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, Xiaomi, Google – although given the demographics it’s not surprising Google comes higher (more expensive devices) and Motorola doesn’t appear at all.

            I would guess you have Apple at 70%, Samsung around 20%, and everyone else in the last 10%. But that still would still make Android almost a third of your userbase.

            If it’s even more skewed to Apple then wow.

          • Magic Mike says:

            (correcting myself) …a third of your _mobile_ userbase…

      • Sundar says:

        Come on, Rob, I use an Android phone 🙂

        Yes, the grey/comments inline is a bit off but not the end of the world…Forum is a great start and the topics covered are quite diverse/wide, yet focussed because of the forums. So great going there !

        Is there a “Follow” option or is Favourites a way of doing the follow ? Likewise, is an email trigger enabled for a follow/any post in a followed thread ?

        • Rob says:

          Emails are currently disabled. We will think about it when things settle and we have a feel for the volume.

  • memesweeper says:

    “To see these changes you may need to refresh your browser cache.“

    This is not necessary and 99% of readers won’t do it.

    To avoid this have the site (and forum) scaffolding CSS *either* in files with short cache-controls set or (better) a new file name on each CSS change. Use ETAGs to limit the impact of short cache-controls on server load (although a decent CDN will handle that for you). @Rhys if this sounds like white noise, pass this comment to your IT guy who will ensure it happens.

    • memesweeper says:

      Sorry 99% is an exaggeration… I meant to say 99% of iOS users won’t. Quiet a few PC users are habituated into ctrl+F5 / shift+refresh to try and fix things …

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