13 Replies Latest reply: May 5, 2011 11:49 AM by WZZZ
Mr Endo Level 4 (1,005 points)

This is feedback for Apple.

 

Isn't it irritating when people ask you an entire question in the "Subject" line and then don't write anything in the body?  That's what the new Support Communities allows you to do.  Not only is it a breach of email etiquette, but it makes it very hard to skim the topic list.  The subject line should be limited, like it was before.  It will be better for the power-users who actually like reading and answering questions.

 

nathan

  • Don Archibald Level 10 (101,340 points)

    Hi, Nathan -

     

    This has been brought to the Hosts attention. Suggestions made to them as a fix include: limiting the available length to something like 80 to 100 characters; making it clear on the forum (discussion) page that the "Ask your question" box is intended for the title of their question, not for the question itself; and others.

     

    Although the new design was beta tested for several months with the help of 2 or 3 dozen regular members of Apple Discussions, not all deficiencies became apparent during that testing, particularly those involving possible behavior by folk new to these forums.

     

    Other things are becoming apparent now that the new design has been put into real-world use. It is still a work in progress, and things are gradually getting fixed. Apparenty the software being used, Jive SBS, is not as flexible as one might want, and the Hosts/Managers are working to find ways around some limitations in it.

  • Tuttle Level 7 (29,470 points)

    It will be better for the power-users who actually like reading and answering questions.

     

    There are also advantages to seeing the question in the subject line. Much better than titles like "Heeeeeeeelp!!!" or "Is this NORMAL?????" or "What's the matter with my MacBook Pro?," imo.

  • Mr Endo Level 4 (1,005 points)
    Although the new design was beta tested for several months with the help of 2 or 3 dozen regular members of Apple Discussions, not all deficiencies became apparent during that testing, particularly those involving possible behavior by folk new to these forums.

    Don,

     

    Thanks for the reply.  I can see how this sort of "deficiency" would not have come up while testing with 2 or 3 dozen regular contributors.  Regular contributors are most likely to be good users in the first place!

     

    nathan

  • Mr Endo Level 4 (1,005 points)

    Tuttle,

     

    I can see your point, but I don't think that people whose subject is "Heeeeeelp!" will become any better at posting questions if they are limited to write 200 characters instead of 80.  I think those people, given the current huge limit, are still posting useless subjects.  Those peopel are also, IMO, violating email/discussion group etiquette, but in a different way.

     

    nathan

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,727 points)

    Yeah, but now people are using subject lines like:

     

    Help!!!!!  I'm stuck and don't know what to do!!!!  I pushed something and now my MacBook is showing weird stuff on the screen and I can't click on my Dock!!!!!  And iTunes keeps playing "Love Shack" by the B-52s!!!!!

     

    Not a whole lot better than the old subjects...  except, of course, that such a subject would scream to me to stay away and let those with more patience try to help. 

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,855 points)
    Don Archibald wrote: ...Although the new design was beta tested for several months with the help of 2 or 3 dozen regular members of Apple Discussions...

    It was? I'd like to get my hands on them!

  • Tuttle Level 7 (29,470 points)

    Exactly!

  • Tuttle Level 7 (29,470 points)

    No offense, but etiquette schmetiquette. The only etiquette that's enforceable here is "Be polite." That's good enough for me wrt rules.

     

    (I think your point is valid, but in the end, this is just an aesthetics issue, imo.)

  • littleshoulders Level 6 (9,525 points)

    Tut, I guess I would only start to worry if user's were able to insert YouTube videos and/or .jpgs into the subject line....no, wait a minute, that might be interesting now that I think of it

  • rccharles Level 5 (7,581 points)

    I do not find the longer subject lines bad in themselves.  I use the subject lines to decide what post to read. More information gives me data to make my decision on. I tend to skim the longer subjects for the keywords anyway.

    WZZZ wrote:

     

    Don Archibald wrote: ...Although the new design was beta tested for several months with the help of 2 or 3 dozen regular members of Apple Discussions...

    It was? I'd like to get my hands on them!

    Maybe Apple ignored their comments. Likely!  Maybe Apple selected only Apple fan boys and girls.

     

    This seems better than they were an incompetent bunch to say the least.

     

    Robert

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    Hum.... I don't like it myself with more than one line, so

     

    Why not see if the Discussion list can just show 80 characters?

     

    Leave the "title" as is (for now) but don't post or show the whole title unless or until you are actually in the thread itself.

     

    Stop-gap measure and would make it more palettable.

  • Euchre Level 4 (1,275 points)

    I've got to completely agree with the OP here. This is a disastrous mistake.

     

    For those that think this is somehow an advantage (people basically posting the whole question in the subject line), why not just put a Reply button in the topic list and do away with the actual thread view? Aha! maybe now you get it? This breaks the logical structure of such a forum. In the old Discussions I saw topics where people would start just typing the whole question in the topic, but it got quickly truncated and the poster would move on to the correct field and start typing the whole thing. Even that awkward result was preferable to a topic that wastes space and disrupts the ability to quickly discern if its one you can readily answer.

     

    As for why this got missed in testing - indeed, many (if not most) experienced users would not think to do the most absurdly awkward things that new folks do. Next time around, they ought to ask a few really new users to try it, maybe even some that have already done poorly with the old system. The latter would really be your target market for improvements after all, wouldn't it?

  • WZZZ Level 6 (12,855 points)

    It's painful to have to read those huge topics, but it doesn't appear to happen that often.

     

    Much better, anyway, than having to read a full page post packed with run-on sentences, no punctuation, all lower case in stream of consciousness text message-Twitter speak. I'd rather scrub my toilet out with a toothbrush than try to read one of those.