1 4 5 6 7 8 Previous Next 154 Replies Latest reply: Aug 8, 2011 7:19 AM by annexit Go to original post
  • 75. Re: New Format *****!
    Saxman Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)

    Topher Kessler wrote:

     

    I think you answered your own question. They do have more in mind, and this gives them a better framework to build upon. The Apple representatives who've answered questions here have made it quite apparent they're working on bugs, refining things, and looking to implement features. I figure they're compiling a huge list right now and will get the kinks ironed out at a steady pace, perhaps regularly or perhaps in batches. It's a major challenge (even for a huge company like Apple) to revamp a system like this and get everything right in the first go.

    1. That's the fundamental problem, why take a support discussion site & turn it into "more"?

    It's bad enough Apple doesn't provide enough help on its own (as the Help features within the OS used to do, years ago), but now, when we have to come here to look for answers, we have to jump & wade through more "stuff", to do so?  Why? As littennorsk aptly put it, "if I want to socialize, I'll go to Facebook", we don't need another social hangout spot...

     

    2. "A major challenge"?  Setting up a discussion forum? They're all over the web, and most work quite well, this is Apple, they've done far more sophisticated & complicated software than something like this. Why take what wasn't broke, & instead of tweaking it, change it completely, and not for the better?

     

    3. A "huge list of features"? I mean really, what did they not know ahead of time?  This is not inventing the iPod or  a new OS, it's a support forum/discussion board, one that has been around many years. If they didn't clearly know what they wanted to do, & all the features that would warrant such overhauling, then putting this into place was reckless, irresponsible, and disrespectful of we, their customers. As I said before, if this was still buggy, & they were that unaware of that "huge list of features" you mentioned, then this should have been a more limited, Beta release, so those who volunteered to be guinea pigs, would be the only ones having to deal with it, until it was really ready for release..

  • 76. Re: New Format *****!
    R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,175 points)

    Topher Kessler wrote:

     

    Ah I see...you're right it does follow the whole conversation, but perhaps it may still work since you mentioned the user you're watching does not post much?

    Basically, the biggest problem is the new format doesn't scale well for those trying to follow a lot of different discussions or those with a lot of activity. And among other things, once a topic reaches 50 posts or so, threaded view is no longer available & the topic is broken up into pages, at which point the "Latest Reply" link becomes unreliable. That is the closest thing we have to the old blue dots & "New!" text that made it easy to scan for new posts, & meager as it is it doesn't work when we most need it.

     

    Searching is like trying to drink from a fire hose -- way too many hits unless you are really good at constructing boolean search terms & can come up with enough unique terms. Sure, you can use the "refine the search" feature & eventually find what you are looking for, but it is time consuming & tedious.

     

    And by no stretch of imagination can this massive & complex new format be considered "intuitive." The word means instinctive, or obvious without conscious reasoning. Very little here is that, as evidenced by the need for the Tutorials.

  • 77. Re: New Format *****!
    Jim MacCormaic Level 4 Level 4 (2,635 points)

    Amen to Saxman and his welcome dose of common sense. By contrast, Mr Topher Kessler comes across as a rather arrogant apologist for change for the sake of change, irrespective of whether or not it brings actual improvements in terms of useability or functionality.

     

    Quite apart from the childishness of the design with its too-large font and its too narrow line spacing and its chat bubbles and all that, the most unwelcome aspect of the new format is this ridiculous added layer of social networking nonsense, summed up at its most basic level by the "Communities" re-branding.

     

    Then there's the pure-and-simple inaccuracies which are foisted on someone who's seeking help with a real-life problem. Even allowing for the fact that this thread, by its very nature, comes down to matters of opinion and personal preferences, the inadequacies of the new system are neatly summed up by the results which appear under "More Like This" on this page. The main connection between the thread being viewed and the so-called similar ones appears, apparently, to be the inclusion of a group of asterisks in the title of the original post.

  • 78. Re: New Format *****!
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,300 points)

    If I want to socialize I'll go to Facebook.

    I want answers.

     

    Exactly my point. That is the reason why I became involved in these forums: they were no-nonsense forums where one could easily ask a question and - very important - also very easily could keep track of one's subscriptions/topics one was involved in and share knowledge (that is, about Apple products).

     

    Now we've regressed to a social networking site. I choose not to visit those - ever.

     

    And, if the "feature" I read about earlier (that the "like" will turn into a pre-teen like popularity contest with the "lucky" ones popping up everywhere) actually is implemented, I am done here because this site will turn into something I do not care to be part of.

  • 79. Re: New Format *****!
    Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,340 points)

    Saxman wrote: ...(above)...

     

    1. Apple provides PLENTY of support. In fact, Apple's support and customer satisfaction is one of the highest rated of all PC manufacturers. You walk into an Apple store and you have folks right there helping you troubleshoot. In addition to Apple's provided support, they host these discussion forums. That's a heaping load of support.

     

    2. You missed my point. The major challenge is revamping a forum to a larger and much different product, while keeping the same "discussion" idea going and not losing user data (posts, accounts, etc.). If you've ever been involved with a project like that you'd understand the complexity involved, and be less prone to assumption.

     

    3. Again you missed my point. As with any new software you'll have kinks (that you don't know ahead of time). I dont think I should have to explain any details of that. The software works quite well from what I've seen, even though some features are in need of attention, but to expect otherwise is to expect too much perfection.

     

    Frankly one could argue perfection about any product or service to counter the option for change...Heck one of the most fuel efficient cars was the VW Beetle, or the Honda S600, so why do we need to "change" to get all these new hybrid vehicles with all the electronic gizmos and bells and whistles? One could argue that's a silly waste of time and resources when we can all buy old Honda S600s and get ~60MPG.

  • 80. Re: New Format *****!
    Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,340 points)

    My goodness you're off the mark. Your interpretation of disagreement as arrogance is ridiculous. That's conversely similar to calling anyone with an issue about the new forums a bunch of whiners that need to get over themselves, and is a rather silly point of view to take. Additionally, I've never once apologized for Apple at all.

     

    I welcome this change to the forums, and am discussing the reasons why, especially when some things are claimed that are not true, such as the inability to ask a question when the way to do it is right there.

  • 81. Re: New Format *****!
    R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,175 points)

    I want to point out that in order to find Topher's last post (which hopefully this one follows) the "Latest reply" link was of absolutely no help. For some reason, clicking it takes me to the top of page 4 of the 6 this discussion now has. There wasn't even any indiction that it was page 4 -- none of the page number links were highlighted.

     

    This I believe is a good example of the scalability problems I mentioned earlier. I probably should have made this a reply to that but frankly, I have no idea where it would show up if I did that.

     

    Can someone please explain to me how all this engenders a sense of community to the new forums?

  • 82. Re: New Format *****!
    Sekoya Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)

    Topher Kessler wrote:

     

    3. Again you missed my point. As with any new software you'll have kinks (that you don't know ahead of time). I dont think I should have to explain any details of that. The software works quite well from what I've seen, even though some features are in need of attention, but to expect otherwise is to expect too much perfection.

    Tons of people complain that every single link you click on requires you to click away (and first wait for it being rendered) a security warning. Confirmed in a lot of different browsers. How can you miss such a big bug?

     

    Such obvious bugs as no way to jump to the last post as the number of pages (the 1 2 3 etc.) did not contain a simple 'last' option are basic design features that one wonders whether people really had used a beta of this somewhere or whether the release data was much more important than getting some of the basic details finished.

  • 83. Re: New Format *****!
    Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,340 points)

    R C-R wrote:

     

    Basically, the biggest problem is the new format doesn't scale well for those trying to follow a lot of different discussions or those with a lot of activity. And among other things, once a topic reaches 50 posts or so, threaded view is no longer available & the topic is broken up into pages, at which point the "Latest Reply" link becomes unreliable. That is the closest thing we have to the old blue dots & "New!" text that made it easy to scan for new posts, & meager as it is it doesn't work when we most need it.

     

    Searching is like trying to drink from a fire hose -- way too many hits unless you are really good at constructing boolean search terms & can come up with enough unique terms. Sure, you can use the "refine the search" feature & eventually find what you are looking for, but it is time consuming & tedious.

     

    And by no stretch of imagination can this massive & complex new format be considered "intuitive." The word means instinctive, or obvious without conscious reasoning. Very little here is that, as evidenced by the need for the Tutorials.

     

    I guess it depends on your level of involvement and what specifically you need to get done. While it is "bigger" than the previous forums and there are a number of new and different features, the basics are quite straightforward: Sign in, select a "community," and ask or respond to a question. That procedure was the very first thing that popped out at me about the new layout, with the list of communities right there and the big buttons to ask and submit questions.

     

    I dont think the tutorials are evidence that it's not intuitive. Instead, most just explain many of the hidden settings (a feature that even older BBS forums could have benefitted from). Apple offers very similar tutorials for all of their programs and devices, so by this reasoning you could claim that all of Apple's devices are not intuitive either. Unfortunately for any system there will be people who don't get it or who have an alternate view and understanding, no matter how simple it is. Having the tutorials will help that.

  • 84. Re: New Format *****!
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,300 points)

    the basics are quite straightforward: Sign in, select a "community," and ask or respond to a question.

     

    Maybe you only post one answer and are then done; if not, that is where the problems start:

     

    Once you've responded to a question, it is but impossible to find new content/additional posts at a glance. I just spent twice as much time trying to catch up on the topics I'm involved in. This will not be a doable situation for me in the long run.

  • 85. Re: New Format *****!
    Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,340 points)

    Sekoya wrote:

     

    Tons of people complain that every single link you click on requires you to click away (and first wait for it being rendered) a security warning. Confirmed in a lot of different browsers. How can you miss such a big bug?

     

    Such obvious bugs as no way to jump to the last post as the number of pages (the 1 2 3 etc.) did not contain a simple 'last' option are basic design features that one wonders whether people really had used a beta of this somewhere or whether the release data was much more important than getting some of the basic details finished.

     

    I agree with this and some complaints by RC-R and others. I think there are styling issues and a number of usability issues that need to be addressed. There is a lot of unnecessary white space in this new layout, and large threads do get tough to follow; however, that was also the case with the previous forums. To an extent, it does take getting used to the differences. I've been able to follow numerous long threads here, and in the previous forums it got daunting at times trying to find who was replied to as well.

  • 86. Re: New Format *****!
    Sekoya Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)

    Topher Kessler wrote

    the basics are quite straightforward: Sign in, select a "community," and ask or respond to a question.

     

    That procedure was the very first thing that popped out at me about the new layout, with the list of communities right there and the big buttons to ask and submit questions.

    The procedure now is first scroll the whole window so you can see enough of the discussions forum list. Then scroll in that list. How is that an improvement, particularly since the right side is filled with absolutely useless stuff (what the chances that any post in there will either be usefull to you or is something you can and want answer, I'd say very close to zero).

  • 87. Re: New Format *****!
    Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,340 points)

    There definitely should be more indicators on the posts and discussion lists (there's plenty of white space to take advantage of for this). I do hope Apple includes that, but despite this there are options to help out, including homepage widgets and email notifications that I've found to be quite useful.

  • 88. Re: New Format *****!
    Sekoya Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)

    Topher Kessler wrote:

     

    but despite this there are options to help out, including homepage widgets and email notifications that I've found to be quite useful.

    I wonder why Apple simply did not create an actually useful default homepage. Then people would just use that and not complain about how cumbersome it is to sort through all the options (and trying to understand them).

  • 89. Re: New Format *****!
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,300 points)

    Well, I won't worry about a lack of features at the moment - I'm in a "holding" pattern if you will. If the 'like' feature is implemented, I am done here.

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