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Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

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I think one huge page of forum sections can be pretty confusing for new forum users, so I figured I'd propose some changes to the RSOF layout, along with a couple of other tweaks.


FORUM HOME PAGE




The aim here was to make the forum homepage appear more compact and help new users find their way to the area of the forums they're after.

I particularly see people getting confused about which forum sections relate to the game they play (RS3, OS, Classic to a lesser extent). If the forum homepage had macrosections for each game, this could help make browsing the forums feel more logical.

Since there are also sections which relate to all the games, these would be separated into their own macrosection, such as 'Specialist' (for CLF, HLF etc), 'The Lounge' (the Off-topic, compliments etc) and the Moderator forums. Having the 'Community Support' sections more obviously available could also be very handy for people looking for help.

These macrosections would be closed by default to maintain compactness.



OPENING A MACROSECTION



(Right clicking the image, copying the location and opening it in a new tab may help visualise it since it's a large image and the forum imgur function restricts the size and makes it hard to see)


Upon opening a macrosection, the default would be to display all the sections within that macrosection, like the current forum layout. This way new users are made aware there are many forum sections with various uses.

It would be nice to have 'Hot Threads', 'New Threads' and 'New JMod Threads' options too for people who don't want to spend time browsing every section to see what's new and interesting.

Note: I forgot to put the marketplace section in the screenie above. The RS3/OSRS marketplaces would be in the RS3/OSRS macrosections respectively.
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26-Jan-2017 15:32:37 - Last edited on 27-Jan-2017 09:22:40 by Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

Forum Moderator Posts: 10,882Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
HOT THREADS AND NEW THREADS




I realise the development of these is wishful thinking, but a quick comment anyway :P

I'm not a particularly avid Reddit user, but I often read it and almost always do so through the Hot Topics and New Topics functions. For the average user who doesn't feel like spending an age checking through each section to see what's new, being able to quicly see what the current hot and new threads are is really handy.


Comments on their implementation into the RSOF:

- It would be annoying to mix new/hot topics from all areas of the RS forums. We have a lot of sections across different games so the focus of the new/topics section would get quickly diluted. Therefore, it would be good to have hot/new topic areas for each macrosection at least.

E.g. The image above shows a hot topic area for the RS3 macrosection. This would ideally only compile hot threads from sections within the RS3 macrosection.

- Locked or hidden threads should be automatically removed from hot/new topic areas.

- I know little to nothing about coding, but I'd assume that creating a Hot Topics section with its own system for determining what threads are 'hot' would be much more difficult than creating a New Topic section.
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Clam Enigma's evil twin | Council of the RS
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26-Jan-2017 15:32:47 - Last edited on 27-Jan-2017 08:27:39 by Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

Forum Moderator Posts: 10,882Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
MOVING SOME SECTIONS AROUND




I shifted around some sections to better work with the layout proposal.

1 - Offtopic, Forum Roleplay & Stories, Forum Games, Compliments and Rants
These are currently all in 'The Lounge' section. Since they are relevant to all users regardless of the version of the game they play, these would form the base of the new 'The Lounge' macrosection.

2 - Goals and Achievements
Similar to those above, this is a bit of a shared section which could fit well in 'The Lounge'.

3 - Website and Forums
Another section that is independent of the version of the game you play. Its purpose wouldn't really fit into a macrosection called 'The Lounge' though, so I've left it in the RS3 suggestions area for the time being.

4 - Community Home
This section is a bit tricky as it kind of focuses on RS3 but doesn't always. It also contains the Forum Help and Mod Review threads, which ideally should not be found in a macrosection dedicated to a specific game. That said, if Forum Help and Mod Review were made available from all pages (perhaps as a link under the search box) that would solve that issue and also be a useful change.

Without changes to how Forum Help and Mod Review work, Community Home could fit well in 'The Lounge' macrosection so I've put it in there for now.


5 - Events and Competitions
It feels more logical to have this in the RS3 Community section so I've moved it there.
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Clam Enigma's evil twin | Council of the RS
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26-Jan-2017 15:32:52 - Last edited on 26-Jan-2017 16:10:12 by Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

Forum Moderator Posts: 10,882Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS AND IDEAS


1 - Remember which macrosections a user wants open by default
Vera said:
As a result, that's my only suggestion: to have tic boxes, or even locally cached information (cookies) of what macrosections each login account likes to have open by default. It's annoying enough having to expand macrosections when I log into a different account, and it would be atrocious if I had to do that every single time I logged in.


2 - Allow favouriting (or hiding) of individual forum sections
Olllivander said:
Ideally though, there would be some functionality that would let individuals hide individual forums rather than complete categories. Even better, allowing individuals to favorite certain sections and have them appear at the top would be perfect imo.
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Clam Enigma's evil twin | Council of the RS
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26-Jan-2017 16:07:15 - Last edited on 20-May-2017 07:32:15 by Calm Enigma

Loki
Sep Gold Premier Club Member 2011

Loki

Posts: 53,088Emerald Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Reserved.

Will add a more detailed response when I wake up as it's 2:15am. ;)


Although I fully support this. It looks great and I think it's a good idea for the forums. Maybe also reintroduce the Welcome forums for new players... I understand it didn't work so well last time, but that's because everything was so hard to find... if the forums were changed to look like this, then players would easily find what they're looking for.
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26-Jan-2017 16:16:49

Chow Chow
May Gold Premier Club Member 2006

Chow Chow

Posts: 9,327Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I very much like this proposal.

I specifically support the need for sections to be collapsed by default and for section to have pictures associated to them. This particular suggestion could actually be the answer to solving a majority of the confusion that new OSRS/RS3 forum posters have.

It also appears to be user friendly for active forum users, where all of the sections under the macrosections are in a very similar order to what we currently have. Such that we don't have to go too far out of our way to familiarize ourselves with where to go.

I must say though,... That couch looks lonely without a potato. ;)

p.s. I don't see the Marketplace getting any love. :( (I imagine that it will! Your images do do a good job in demonstrating what is being asked :p)
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27-Jan-2017 00:26:11 - Last edited on 27-Jan-2017 00:37:34 by Chow Chow

Iceberg
Sep Member 2008

Iceberg

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Big support!

The only thing I'd argue is that community-led support should appear at the top above all else, but I think that this suggestion is fantastic and would be a great improvement to the RSOF.

Edit: Here's your couch potato @Chow



... or rather: potato couch :P
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27-Jan-2017 00:35:26 - Last edited on 27-Jan-2017 00:36:49 by Iceberg

Calm Enigma

Calm Enigma

Forum Moderator Posts: 10,882Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Thanks for the positive comments so far :)

Loki said:
Maybe also reintroduce the Welcome forums for new players

Perhaps, but I'm not sure how it could avoid the same problems it ran into last time. A quick visual (perhaps video) guide that is automatically played through when a user first logs into the forums would be better imo.

Chow Chow said:
It also appears to be user friendly for active forum users

I suspect some active users could be a little annoyed by having to open each macrosection upon returning to the forum home page, rather than just scrolling down a completely open list. I'm not sure I want to suggest this, but perhaps a toggle between the old and new layout defaults could be nice for some users.

Chow Chow said:
p.s. I don't see the Marketplace getting any love. :( (I imagine that it will! Your images do do a good job in demonstrating what is being asked :p)

I had a feeling I'd forgotten something! :P Thanks for catching that. I haven't edited the open RS3 macrosection picture to add the marketplace in, but I've left a note at the bottom of that section to explain that I forgot to add it in :3

Iceberg said:
The only thing I'd argue is that community-led support should appear at the top above all else

I did consider this tbh but I've never seen a forum with player support at the top, it feels more natural to me for it to be at the bottom. However, since it's a macrosection it would be immediately visible upon opening the forums regardless of its posittion. Having it at the top or bottom wouldn't really impact its visibility. (It would definitely be more visible than it is now :P )
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C.E.

Clam Enigma's evil twin | Council of the RS
W
arring League

-•¤{
Wicked
Fury
}¤•-

27-Jan-2017 09:21:22 - Last edited on 27-Jan-2017 11:52:18 by Calm Enigma

Loki
Sep Gold Premier Club Member 2011

Loki

Posts: 53,088Emerald Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Calm Enigma said:
Iceberg said:
The only thing I'd argue is that community-led support should appear at the top above all else

I did consider this tbh but I've never seen a forum with player support at the top, it feels more natural to me for it to be at the bottom. However, since it's a macrosection it would be immediately visible upon opening the forums regardless of its posittion. Having it at the top or bottom wouldn't really impact its visibility. (It would definitely be more visible that it is now :P )
Yeah... I've never seen any forum where the support is at the top... :P
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Adam
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Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.

27-Jan-2017 11:45:51

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