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Forums Other Housekeeping Need to sort out the hierarchy

  • Lady London 2,040 posts

    I’m getting confused. On the Forum I click and labd back on the website. On the website I click and land in the forum but more clicks are needed.

    It needs to be one hierarchy. The website stuff including the daily news items, needs to be in thw forum. This jumping to andvfro between the two, is doing my head in as the hierarchy is not a single hierarchy.

    This is not helped by the fact that any page openef on a mobile is completely dominated by an advertisement space that takes up most of the phone’s screen. I can cope with the loss of perspective this brings, if I’m navigating up and down within the same hierarchy. But when it’s hopping from forum to website comments and vice versa, especially as the button hierarchy is not clear and upfront, and loss of “place” knowing where one is because of the ad’s dominance, well I am not a fan.

    I should land on the Forum at all times with the day’s articles, and Recent Topics probably with the day’s chat thread as one of them, appearing on the page with no further clicks required (perhaps a bit of scrolling).

    I understand it’s a risk but right now it feels like I’m a Windows user that’s accidentally had to switch to a Mac – the vertical hierarchical structure I’m used to has gone.

    Rhys
    HfP Staff
    190 posts

    We are adding the day’s stories to the top of the forum, if that is what you mean?

    Not 100% sure what you mean by vertical hierarchy!

    Lady London 2,040 posts

    Not 100% sure what you mean by vertical hierarchy!

    Mac vs Windows, Rhys.

    Artists and creative professions like Macs.
    People in “organised” professions (of which there are a great many readers of HfP) like Windows.

    Rhys
    HfP Staff
    190 posts

    I’m on Windows!

    Lady London 2,040 posts

    I’m on Windows!

    Yes but being a journalist, you’re also creative ie you are not used to hierarchy, lots of us on here are more Windows than Mac types (terrible, terrible generalization….). We hunger after clear structure…

    Why am I standing in a hole and keep digging….:-) But I suspect a huge chunk of your readers are equally “looking for structure” and in professions, using software etc., that is highly structured. At least so far as navigation is concerned.

    Right now there’s not one structure and my head hurts jumping all over the place between website and forum on a mobile screen I can’t see much of…so losing “where I am”

    AJA 1,070 posts

    It’s taking some getting used to but I am getting there. I do agree with LL though, that the forums experience on mobile is not so great. The text when typing a post is tiny – not so bad on a PC with a 24inch monitor, terrible for my poor eyesight on my Samsung S20. I’ve found that the best way to jump between the website and the forum is to have each open in separate tabs. One slight negative is that I have noticed that the “home” button which used to be in the Content box just below HfP’s address on mobile has disappeared, to be replaced by a link to the “Forums” so that now requires a lot of scrolling in order to hit the HfP logo at the top in order to refresh the pages.

    Rhys
    HfP Staff
    190 posts

    Ok, got it. Would’ve been easier without the metaphor!

    memesweeper 1,252 posts

    Didn’t even occur to me to try and use it through one with navigation. As soon as the forums launched I put them in their own tab.

    Rhys
    HfP Staff
    190 posts

    Mobile is a real issue for us – it massively reduces the amount of screen real estate and consequently the discoverability of the site.

    Crafty 150 posts

    That means you’ve gone the wrong way about site design. All websites should be designed primarily for mobile nowadays.

    Lady London 2,040 posts

    Hi Rhys?

    Just a note to say thank you to Rob and particularly yourself for listening to the feedback about the forum. I can see lots and lots of little changes already.

    I remember the HfP site was a bit like this in the early days and gradually that has developed and improved so I am sure the Forum will too.

    And as Rob says being able to keep remarks on one topic all together in a really clear to find place on the forum will act as a magnet to advertisers.

    So just keep on going.

    The Savage Squirrel 567 posts

    I entirely agree. It’s pretty cool to see it improving and refining by the day.

    Aston100 1,388 posts

    Happy to see the forums.
    A little bit more fine tuning (notifications of replies and suchlike) and it’ll be good.

    Rhys
    HfP Staff
    190 posts

    That means you’ve gone the wrong way about site design. All websites should be designed primarily for mobile nowadays.

    No, it just means that mobile is extremely constraining. It is very hard to be creative on mobile because you simply don’t have the space. For example, menus on mobile become hamburger menus – you lose a lot of discoverability that way.

    Barraclough 61 posts

    Hi Rhys?

    Just a note to say thank you to Rob and particularly yourself for listening to the feedback about the forum. I can see lots and lots of little changes already.

    I remember the HfP site was a bit like this in the early days and gradually that has developed and improved so I am sure the Forum will too.

    And as Rob says being able to keep remarks on one topic all together in a really clear to find place on the forum will act as a magnet to advertisers.

    So just keep on going.

    +1

    SteveJ 979 posts

    No, it just means that mobile is extremely constraining. It is very hard to be creative on mobile because you simply don’t have the space. For example, menus on mobile become hamburger menus – you lose a lot of discoverability that way.

    I think that’s actually the point Rhys. You design the mobile site first, then you work on the desktop site only using features that worked on the mobile side. You may have more options on the desktop, but you ignore them if not available on mobile. That way it’s one experience with mobile optimisation front and centre in the approach.

    John 1,000 posts

    No, it just means that mobile is extremely constraining. It is very hard to be creative on mobile because you simply don’t have the space. For example, menus on mobile become hamburger menus – you lose a lot of discoverability that way.

    I think that’s actually the point Rhys. You design the mobile site first, then you work on the desktop site only using features that worked on the mobile side. You may have more options on the desktop, but you ignore them if not available on mobile. That way it’s one experience with mobile optimisation front and centre in the approach.

    That’s why the web is such a poor experience now. But I realise commercial sites make more money from mobile users

    Crafty 150 posts

    It’s just reality. I know that HFP has a higher desktop to mobile ratio than most websites do, but even at 50-50, it’s only going in one direction and you should design for the future not the past.

    The Savage Squirrel 567 posts

    No, it just means that mobile is extremely constraining. It is very hard to be creative on mobile because you simply don’t have the space. For example, menus on mobile become hamburger menus – you lose a lot of discoverability that way.

    I think that’s actually the point Rhys. You design the mobile site first, then you work on the desktop site only using features that worked on the mobile side. You may have more options on the desktop, but you ignore them if not available on mobile. That way it’s one experience with mobile optimisation front and centre in the approach.

    To play devil’s advocate – just because you’ve crippled your experience by using a terriblly constrained device for browsing web content, why ever should desktop users be forced to have the same bad experience?

    Amazon and Facebook may be tax dodgers but they continue to dominate the internet world in the age of mobile for a reason. They don’t cripple their desktop sites by making them constrained to do only what their mobile sites can…

    SteveJ 979 posts

    To play devil’s advocate – just because you’ve crippled your experience by using a terriblly constrained device for browsing web content, why ever should desktop users be forced to have the same bad experience?

    Amazon and Facebook may be tax dodgers but they continue to dominate the internet world in the age of mobile for a reason. They don’t cripple their desktop sites by making them constrained to do only what their mobile sites can…

    I beg to disagree. There is not a thing that you can do on one of those desktop sites that you can’t do on mobile.

    VerdantBacon 141 posts

    No, it just means that mobile is extremely constraining. It is very hard to be creative on mobile because you simply don’t have the space. For example, menus on mobile become hamburger menus – you lose a lot of discoverability that way.

    I think that’s actually the point Rhys. You design the mobile site first, then you work on the desktop site only using features that worked on the mobile side. You may have more options on the desktop, but you ignore them if not available on mobile. That way it’s one experience with mobile optimisation front and centre in the approach.

    To play devil’s advocate – just because you’ve crippled your experience by using a terriblly constrained device for browsing web content, why ever should desktop users be forced to have the same bad experience?

    Amazon and Facebook may be tax dodgers but they continue to dominate the internet world in the age of mobile for a reason. They don’t cripple their desktop sites by making them constrained to do only what their mobile sites can…

    Amazon have a market cap of 1.8 Trillion USD and pay almost no tax, they can afford to develop their desktop, mobile and app sites separately from each other.

    While I think HfP is the bees knees and deserves to also be worth nearly 2 trillion dollars, I don’t expect the same level as cross platform polish as Amazon, yet 😉

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