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What would make it better?
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Chris_WebMD_Staff posted:
Hi members!

I'll start by saying that I know everyone would like the old boards back, but they are no longer available. And honestly, they were not working well anymore, which was why we needed to implement something new.

We want to make the reading and interacting on the new forums less confusing, and in order to do that we need you to tell us exactly what you find the hardest to do. Give us as many concrete details as you can.

  • Is it hard to read because your board/conversations move too fast?
  • Is it because the What's Happening Now feed only shows what's new?
  • Is it because you can only see 15 posts at a time on the What's Happening Now page?
  • Is the page too cluttered?

Tell us exactly what makes it hard or confusing and how you'd like it to behave.

We will pass all of your comments and suggestions along to our engineering and management teams and keep you informed about what changes are coming.
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smileysmom responded:
For me, I think that having different colored backgrounds on various sections would help... the all-white makes things hard to see and stand out. Yes, having more than 15 discussions would be helpful - and instead of the "more discussions" link at the bottom of the page, just have the page numbers. When you click the current link it brings you right back to the page you are on then you have to scroll down again to get to the subsequent pages. This new format does take time to get used to but a lot of the changes are for the better. The biggest thing I miss is having more than 15 discussions per page and being able to see who made the original post... I might remember that member X talked about something but I don't remember what she named the post so I have a hard time finding it.
 
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daisy729 responded:
I will be in the minority and say that I do like a lot of the new features. However, I do miss a few of the old ones, I haven't found a spell check when I'm posting my messages like we had in the old format. Also, I kinda miss the emoticons.

With that said, the only big downfall for me is the layout, it's very busy and almost infomation overload. For me, pretty much everything on the right side of the screen (member stories, popular discussions, helpful tips, resources, etc) can go. It's very pretty and colorful, but I don't think it's practical for reading.

I wish we could see more than 15 posts at a time as well. This board used to be very busy and more that 15 discussions could be going on, and I think some get lost in the mix.

That's about it for me. They do run a little slower than before, but I figure that's because the bugs need to work themselves out and my post shows up a few minutes later.

Thanks for asking for input. I know you guys had to make a change, that format you had before was antiquated and was probably hard to maintain because it was so old. It's hard to know what is going to be really popular and what people won't like, so I love it that you guys are open for input, so thank you :)
 
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mel07430 responded:
  1. Need to have signatures back
  2. Should not allow people to create their own exchanges. We end up with duplicates and people are confused on where to go.
  3. Bring back our old posts
  4. Bring back the smilies!
One thing that would be good is that when you are looking only at the discussions we should be able to see if there are new replies to check out. In the old one if you read all the replies you could tell because it didn"019t say NEW next to it any longer, it just showed the # of replies.
I find that I keep going into the discussions over and over to make sure I didn"019t miss anything.
 
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leftcoastgirl responded:
Now that I'm getting used to the new layout, I also like many of the new features. But I do think it would help if the page were less cluttered and if there were more discussions listed on the page at once. I find that when I look at my screen, I'm only reading a very small percentage of what's on it - the rest (spotlight member, multiple ways to navigate to discussions and tips pages, etc.) is wasted on me.
 
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mel07430 replied to mel07430's response:
Ok so my post got totally messed up! It was supposed to be a numbered list and it inserted wierd numbers throughout the text! I dont spell didn't like that (didn"019t) LOL
 
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An_222843 responded:
I'd rather see the original post instead of the latest post on the first screen. Also, I kinda miss the signatures - I'm always trying to figure out how old the little ones are that we're discussing as at this age, there's a big difference between a 12 month old and an 18 month old...

Thanks for asking! Overall, I actually like the new boards. The picture quality is better and I haven't had any big issues.
 
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KityKatK8 responded:
Having signatures would be really helpful. I guess the member stories is supposed to replace that, but I don't want to become a member of any of the exchanges due to privacy concerns (perhaps ironic, but still I draw the line somewhere). Besides, I don't think the member stories posted on the side corresponds to the post you are currently reading. Signatures within the message help to determine if the situation being discussed is normal or concerning.

Having spell check and the faces back would be really nice.

In terms of layout, just have page numbers down at the bottem so I don't have to go there and click on discussions to get all the discussions. Then I can have more than 15 without a fuss. I'd say the posting area is too narrow. I guess you need all the other stuff on the page, but I don't!

I still think there are too many exchanges in general for useful decemination of information - but that may sort itself out -
 
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bcfrost816 replied to KityKatK8's response:
signatures, signatures, signatures!!!!!! I loved those, helped so much when you are reading people's posts. And now, it's like we have to keep saying the same thing over and over again "my LO is 14 months old..." or "this is my second pregnancy.."

Also, I loved the differant emoticons, I wasn those back! And definitely more than 15 posts per page, things get lost and its hard to keep track.
 
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roni090909 responded:
The pages are way too cluttered. I would like it to go back to just the heading of the post. I don't need to see the first couple of lines, if I want to read it I will click on it. I like it when it shows who wrote the post, not who replied. I know I can click on See All Discussions but this is a pain to do all the time when switching boards or hitting the back button. Maybe this could be a setting that we could choose for all of our exchanges. Also, maybe a little color change would be good. The all white screen is very blinding. The signatures would be great to have back too.

Thank you for taking the time to get feedback from us.
 
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roni090909 replied to roni090909's response:
I forgot the smilies. I would love to have those back.
 
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katieb426 responded:
Definitely want the signatures back. It's too hard to go look up people to remember the important (but brief) information.

It would be nice to only see the titles of the posts instead of the first few lines. I think that clutters up the feed too much.

I don't like how it defaults to the What's Happening Now feed. That one is way too confusing to look at.

I love having the exchanges I visit most right there on the left hand side. I also love being able to watch my discussions to see when someone new posts something.

I don't like that when I post a discussion or reply, it disappears for a while. Although, I understand this may work itself out in time.

Thanks for listening to our specific concerns!
 
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cduffy responded:
Bring back the signatures!!!!!

Also, I think it would be helpful to have more than 15 discussions on each page. And we need to be able to see who the original poster was, not who the last poster was. Something I like from another message board site is this: it says "post created by xx" and then on that same post also has a "last commented by xx", that way you get to see the original poster AND who the last commenter was.

Something that I liked about the old format: it was nice that you could come back to the board after being on other websites, and it would tell you if anything was "new" under a particular discussion that you had already viewed. I liked that feature, and it is helpful to be able to see in an instant if you need to go back into that post to read new posts on it, or if you have already read them all.
 
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Juliannasmom responded:
I am starting to get used to the new board now and there are certain things that I do like about it.

I would love it if the signatures came back. It really was helpful when reading someones post to know if their LO was 13months or 22months old. It makes a big difference.

I miss the smiles too.

The thing I miss the most is when the post would tell you if there was a new reply I hadn't read. I find myself going into the same post many times because I'm not sure if there is something new or not. I liked how with the old board it would say NEW if there was a new post or just state the number of replies if I had read everything.

Thanks for listening to our concerns!
 
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cheeezie25 responded:
Here are some of my thoughts in response to your questions:

Is it hard to read because your board/conversations move too fast?
-No, not at all. I think that conversations are actually moving more slowly with the new format.

Is it because the What's Happening Now feed only shows what's new?
-No, this was same with the old board, so I don't think that is the problem either.

Is it because you can only see 15 posts at a time on the What's Happening Now page?
-Yes! You don't see as many new posts and you need to scroll alot to see all of the front page posts.

Is the page too cluttered?
Sort of. I don't think the problem is with the amount of content so much as the layout of the content. None of the separate sections (e.g., Helpful Tips, Popular Discussions, etc.) are deliniated by borders or colors so they all just tend to blob together on the white background. I have actually clicked on the wrong links a few times because it is so hard to see when one section ends and another begins. I also personally am not a fan of having bits of the post conversation show up under the title on the front page... it takes up too much room, and if I like the title, I will just click on the link anyway.

One other dislike is that the most recent poster's name shows up under the post title on the main page. I find that this makes it more difficult to track posts that you may want to follow. I don't think it would be bad to include the name of the last poster, but I think the name of the original poster should also be included for consistency.

Also, I miss the sigs too. And just FYI... I noticed this by mistake, but the coding for the smileys are still here ( :P :) :O ), but you just have to type them out, although I would prefer to have the buttons back.


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