New Community Layout - Testing!

Herna - posted on 04/13/2011 ( 79 moms have responded )

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PLEASE SEE MOST RECENT POST REGARDING UPDATES as of 05/05/2011. Thanks! -Herna



Hi Wonderful Moms!



This is Herna ("Er-Na"), one of your community and customer support managers here at Circle of Moms. As you've already noticed, we are testing a new layout for the community page to allow moms to more easily engage on the site more, as well as to be consistent with the rest of the site. This new layout is only being testing in 5 communities at this time, so as you browse through Circle of Moms communities, you may run into it from time to time.



There are still a few features we are working on, and the developers are aware that there a few things missing. They will continue to roll out updates in just these 5 communities and we are in contact with the Community Admins to help us further develop the page before we move forward.



If you have any constructive feedback you'd like to give on how we can improve the layout, please feel free to send me a private message (PM) or email them directly to me at: community_management@circleofmoms.com.



Thanks,

Herna

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Krista - posted on 04/21/2011

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Voting Function - Please note that this is only a feature for those that clicked on the start a QUESTION button. You can click the start a CONVERSATION button so that you can view all the same features and layout for threads as before. Starting a Question allows Moms to receive open-ended responses as supposed to forcing Moms to select a predetermined answer in a Poll. You will soon be able to have the capability to sort these answers according to top rated, most recent and oldest. Right now, the default is being sorted by top rated.

Herna, there are some mothers on COM who couldn't find their own ass with two hands and a flashlight. And you honestly expect that they're going to know precisely when they should be clicking "Question" and when they should be clicking "Conversation"?

Cripes, three-quarters of the debates in the debating groups start off as questions.

This is utterly idiotic and needlessly complicated. All that we want is a simple, basic way to have our discussions, without all of these bells and whistles, and all of this complicated foolishness.

I love COM (as you can probably tell from my number of posts), but if these implemented changes are made permanent, I cannot see myself continuing my account.

I've said it many times before: fix the stuff that's broken (like the alerts), and then, for the love of Mike, STOP F**KING WITH IT!!!

Love,
Krista

Kate CP - posted on 04/21/2011

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Herna, you need to tell the developers that they need to STOP messing with things and work on fixing the things that are broken. Like the long load times...and they old conversations that keep popping up from up to 3 years ago. And the duplicate messages in the private messages box. And the obnoxious new pop up windows that tell me about posts in other communities that I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever. Or the broken ads...need I go on? Seriously, who do we submit a formal complaint to? It's like monkeys are just mashing buttons in a web developing programs and y'all are slapping the results online. It's awful. It makes the site hard to navigate, log into, and load.

This new layout makes it harder to navigate the site, not easier. You need to fire your focus group and find a new one because they are giving you guys AWFUL feedback. EVERY change your developers have made has sucked. I can't think of one good thing that the developers have done in recent history.

So to sum it up: stop changing crap and start fixing the stuff that's already broken.

Johnny - posted on 04/20/2011

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Oy, this is terrible. I now totally avoid this community because of the format. I like to peruse to see if there is a woman having similar issues breastfeeding that I had, to give some support, but I couldn't find it if I tried now. So there's no point.

If this gets introduced to debating communities, it will kill them quick. There's no way people will bother trying to follow it.

Why keep changing what isn't broken?

Carolyn - posted on 04/16/2011

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i think it needs to be reverted to its original layout until it is atleast somewhat functional and user friendly

This group helps alot of moms with something than can be particularly challenging, but is soooooooooooo important.

Wrong group to test this on in my opinion. maybe try one that is more discussion based instead of one where people are seeking facts, advice, and information on how to deal with breastfeeding issues that can make or break a breastfeeding relationship.

Esther - posted on 04/22/2011

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I think it's all been said before but as a loyal and active COMs user I too am getting utterly discouraged and turned off by the constant changes that seem to only make things worse and the apparent inability to fix the problems that have been created by all these "updates". Rather than implement yet another unwanted, unnecessary change that is likely to just make matters worse once again, can you guys for the love of god, finally fix the problems that need fixing? Like the alerts that have become completely useless since they don't tell you anymore HOW any post was rated, just that it was, and the link that doesn't take you to the new/rated post anymore. Herna, you mentioned that it's all working just fine in firefox and Google, but I'm an old-fashioned Internet Explorer user. Surely IE is still WIDELY used among COMs users. Why on earth don't you guys make sure things work in IE? Please please please stop with the changes and just deal with the havoc that has already been wreaked by previous updates. If not, I think I will have to throw the towel in the ring and just start giving Cafe Moms a go.

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79 Comments

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[deleted account]

Is anyone else's page not loading correctly at all now? When I come to BF moms the whole page is white. There are posts, but they are spread out across the whole page and it says the page is loaded, but with errors.

[deleted account]

AND: Why is the 'What do you think?' in that lovely, lovely black, that I missed so much, but everything else is still crappy grey?! Now it's not just hard to read anymore, but all that jumps out at me is 'What do you think?'. Do I really have to elaborate why this is a really, really bad thing?!

[deleted account]

Yeah Sara, I often see something I want to reply to but mightn't get the chance for a few days. I normally do come back to it though. Not anymore I guess...

Minnie - posted on 05/19/2011

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I am getting annoyed by more bells and whistles being added. These pop ups in the right hand corner of my screen bring me back to the first page of each thread if I close it.

-Just trying out this all-new "what do you think?" dooflickie...

[deleted account]

Nope, Daniela. I don't have them either. So even if we wanted to go back to help moms who's posts got shoved to the back, we can't. Grrr..

So, really, is ditching this new layout and going back to the one we already knew and loved not an option?? I've been pretty patient so far, but it's running very thin.

[deleted account]

And where are the other pages gone?! Does everyone else still have them, I'm stuck with page one.

[deleted account]

Dang, went out of town and was hoping to come back to things being back to normal :P...
What is the "what do you think" thing about? Can you now post to a thread without reading the whole question or seeing other posts? Seems like one more extra thing to cause clutter.

[deleted account]

I'd like to be able to skim through all the posts quickly again. Not happening until the old layout is back. Maybe I'm just a little slow...

Esther - posted on 05/07/2011

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Feedback isn't necessarily positive. I don't see Herna saying she got positive feedback, just feedback. As to the support, I think she only intended to say that we are supporting COMs by being active on here and providing the feedback, negative as it may be.

[deleted account]

Feedback you've gotten. Support? Every single person that has posted about it on THIS forum.... hates it. That isn't support.

[deleted account]

Hello Herna,
Despite your comment about positive feedback, I haven't seen any. It seems to me that the response has been overwhelmingly negative. The new format is ugly, clunky and intimidating.
I also get the distinct impression that it doesn't matter what we - the users - say, we will get no imput. We will, in fact, be ignored.
I fear that we will be lumbered with this horrible new layout. I fear that new mums, who come to this community looking for support will be intimidated by the clunky layout. They will no longer come. “Breastfeeding Moms” will lose its special place in the “Circle of Mums” community.
Speaking personally, providing support in this community is something that has given me great joy. However, the new format is so difficult to use and time-consuming that I fear the experience will become a chore. If we are lumbered with this new format I will have to lessen my participation, which will be sad, as I feel I have a lot to offer.
Herna, I do hope you read this and can make a detailed response. The community was working very well the way it was set up.

Herna - posted on 05/05/2011

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Hi Everyone,

Some quick updates! The development team has informed me that they have removed the difference between "starting a conversation/post" vs. "starting a question." The buttons are both still visible at the top for now on the community page, however they function just the way they used to. No more voting mechanism, no more change in the thread layout. We know that this was very confusing for a lot of members, so we've decided to remove it all together.

We will continue to test out the new community homepage layout in a few more communities and asking for more feedback.

Again, we thank you for your continued patience as we work through this process, and appreciate all the feedback and support you've given the last couple of weeks.

Cheers!

Herna - posted on 05/03/2011

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Hi Ladies,

Apologies if I've been MIA, as I've been out of the office sick and haven't logged in from home. I'm waiting on the development team to find out what the next steps are from what constructive feedback we've received so far. As soon as I know what the game plan is, I will do my best to inform the communities.

Best,
Herna

[deleted account]

This forum takes a LONG time to load. Unlike all the other ones that haven't been screwed w/ that load instantly....

[deleted account]

I've just noticed that we can't edit our posts in the new layout. At least not if it's in a 'question' post. Not sure about the other type as I didn't check it out.

Just another problem to add to the rest of this nonsense....

Minnie - posted on 04/23/2011

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After reading the difference between conversation and question format I am still wondering how this feature is an improvement.

And still no paragraph spacing.

Nikki - posted on 04/22/2011

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The biggest problem is that you keep asking for feedback, well ever since the colour changes on the site there has been a LOT of feedback, but no one listens, ever. The consensus on the feed back is that we don't like the changes, it's not user friendly and we want the glitches fixed. What's the point in asking for feedback if you do the exact opposite?

Johnny - posted on 04/21/2011

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I've noticed that it takes about 3 to 4 times as long for me to load communities or threads that are utilizing this new format as anything utilizing the old format. That's both in Google Chrome and Firefox.

[deleted account]

Well... if all the communities change to the new layout then I will probably have to suspend my account and not be a part of this place anymore. IT sucks!!!!!

Krista - posted on 04/21/2011

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Voting Function - Please note that this is only a feature for those that clicked on the start a QUESTION button. You can click the start a CONVERSATION button so that you can view all the same features and layout for threads as before. Starting a Question allows Moms to receive open-ended responses as supposed to forcing Moms to select a predetermined answer in a Poll. You will soon be able to have the capability to sort these answers according to top rated, most recent and oldest. Right now, the default is being sorted by top rated.

Herna, there are some mothers on COM who couldn't find their own ass with two hands and a flashlight. And you honestly expect that they're going to know precisely when they should be clicking "Question" and when they should be clicking "Conversation"?

Cripes, three-quarters of the debates in the debating groups start off as questions.

This is utterly idiotic and needlessly complicated. All that we want is a simple, basic way to have our discussions, without all of these bells and whistles, and all of this complicated foolishness.

I love COM (as you can probably tell from my number of posts), but if these implemented changes are made permanent, I cannot see myself continuing my account.

I've said it many times before: fix the stuff that's broken (like the alerts), and then, for the love of Mike, STOP F**KING WITH IT!!!

Love,
Krista

Herna - posted on 04/21/2011

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"Do not Promote" - is a new feature for admins and moderators only. I'm confirming on how this functionality works for the new Questions layout and will be sure to let admins and moderators know.

Viewing communities on a mobile device - A mobile version of the site has been brought up to the team, and they are discussing this option as well so that Moms can also enjoy engaging in communities on the go more effectively.

Links - @Sara: Could you let me know what web browser you're using so we can figure out why the links aren't converting for you?

Voting Function - Please note that this is only a feature for those that clicked on the start a QUESTION button. You can click the start a CONVERSATION button so that you can view all the same features and layout for threads as before. Starting a Question allows Moms to receive open-ended responses as supposed to forcing Moms to select a predetermined answer in a Poll. You will soon be able to have the capability to sort these answers according to top rated, most recent and oldest. Right now, the default is being sorted by top rated.

Constant changes - You are all absolutely right, we are constantly updating and refining the site, and we really appreciate your patience through all the changes. As we make Circle of Moms a better site for all of our members, we often test features with various groups. We receive hundreds of feedback a month and record everything for our team to see so that they can implement it as much and as quickly as possible. We don't always get it right the first time, but we are always finding ways to improve. This is why your constructive feedback is so crucial and important to us.

Please continue to post suggestions or questions here or PM me directly.

Thanks Ladies,
Herna

Minnie - posted on 04/21/2011

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I have to say I'm on several forums and have NEVER seen a forum make as many updates and changes as this one. Not even Yahoo! Answers.



Why? Why not have a simple layout of posts in a nice order without flashy dooflicky images everywhere, silly question format and voting options- it's just TOO MUCH. I don't use half of this site's features.

Amy - posted on 04/20/2011

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I would like to add that when I'm using my iPhone it is much harder to read now then the other groups. I most definitely have to turn my phone sideways in order to get the text large enough to read because if I hold it the regular way by the time I expand the text so it's readable the words run off the screen. However in the whole scheme of things the other ladies have some very valid points.
I do have a queston about what the arrows are at the side of the comments are for, can someone explain please?

[deleted account]

Herna, the message seems to be clear - we don't want the new layout! There has been NO positive feedback.

[deleted account]

That's what that voting thing is about?! I'm the same Teresa, I have to make myself come here and look through some of the posts. It's really hard work looking at this layout. And you are all right - it has been dead here, hardly anyone is trying to help anymore. I don't understand their obsession with improving this super-great new layout. It's horrible, there is nothing to fix here - bring the old one back ASAP. Please.

[deleted account]

Can we fire the management team and get a new one that will stop changing things? We don't want these changes and they don't care...... Great community manangement. @@

[deleted account]

Thinking about it some more. This voting system will make debating communities stop functioning. If posts aren't in the correct order then no one will know what is going on. Or I guess members will just have to know to start a conversation not a question?

[deleted account]

So if your post doesn't get "voted" on then it could be pushed to the end and no one will see it? That's very discouraging.

[deleted account]

Ditto Kathy. Doesn't matter how much you 'fix' it. The whole way it looks is not the same and I really, really don't like it. It is SO hard for me to just read the topic titles like this. I've been avoiding this forum because of the new look.

Herna - posted on 04/19/2011

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Hi Ladies,

I'll try my best to tackle each of your feedback as best as I can, so please bear with me.

1) The community_management@circleofmoms.com email is correct. I put a period at the end of it by mistake in my post to close the sentence, so it linked with the email by mistake. Apologies for that.

2) If you'd like to include a link, please make sure http:// is included at the beginning. For example: http://www.circleofmoms.com/breasfeeding... - devs are looking into seeing how they can make links convert automatically if you just start the link with www...

3) It looks like paragraphing doesn't work for many...which I think means when you type "enter" or "return" on your keyboard, it doesn't give you a line break. Could you ladies please let me know what web browsers you are using so that we can look into it? I'm able to do it using Firefox and Google Chrome, and wanted to try and duplicate the issue so we can fix that as well.

4) Sorting of responses - This is where I think there is most confusion and we're trying to figure out the best way to explain this to everyone.

If you notice at the top of the community page in the box where it says "Create a New:" You have two choices, to create a CONVERSATION, or to create a QUESTION.

After you've created a conversation, there have been no changes made to the layout of the thread. Everything has been kept the same, and you are still able to sort through responses from Oldest or from the Most Recent.

However, if you created a question, this is where things get confusing. This layout now includes a voting mechanism for responses. The responses are automatically sorted according to how the answers are rated, the top being the most approved by Moms. So you don't have a way to sort these answers. If none have been voted on, the site just automatically sorts it according to the most recent answer.

5) Request for bigger text boxes have definitely been heard, and they're looking into it now.

6) Including the date of the original post is also something on the list that will be coming up.

Hope I covered most of it, and hope this all makes sense. We're still compiling a list of constructive feedback from members, so please do continue to let us know how you think we can continue to improve.

Thanks,
Herna ("Er-Na")

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