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Design of the submit (new thread) page

    Question

  • There is a very large number of posts in the forums that are of the wrong type and/or are in the wrong category or forum. I believe this is due to the design of the post submission (new thread) page.

    First of all, with respect to the type, many posters erroneously select Discussion rather than Ask a Question. This is bad both for questioners (many responders ignore discussion threads) and for responders (if they do answer the question they will not get credit). For me, since Discussion is almost always used erroneously, I would just get rid of it (but let moderators change non-questions to discussions). But, alternatively, maybe the Ask a Question and Discussion text could have a mouse-over that described the type, or there could be a How to Choose mouse-over.

    With respect to the forum selection, I don't think there is enough emphasis on the selection. At the very least the fonts are wrong. Instead of

    Post this to: Suggestions and Feedback for the Forums forum

    it should be

    Post this to: Suggestions and Feedback for the Forums forum

    But really, I think more substantive improvements could be made:

    1. Make the interface more consistent by always showing the Category and Forum boxes. The Forum box should be empty if no Category is selected.

    2. If the Category and Forum boxes are always present, there is really no need for the selected forum name. Much more useful would be a description of the forum. When both the Category and Forum boxes have selections, this description could appear in a box to the right of the Submit button (or perhaps above or below it).

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:54 PM

All replies

  • You may also want to add this suggestion to http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/17968.new-forums-design-suggestions-impressions-ideas.aspx

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    Wednesday, July 24, 2013 6:48 PM
    Moderator
  • As mentioned in the other thread, we will be addressing several of the pain points around the "Ask a Questions" page in our release next week. We will be making the language and the selected forum more discoverable when a user goes to submit a question. Forums currently does not support the concept of posting to multiple forums. This is something we have discussed recently. If we do end up allowing threads to be posted to multiple forums this would allow for the UI changes suggested. I think this would allow for more consistency across the site. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Forums Program Manager

    Friday, September 06, 2013 3:14 PM
    Administrator
  • As mentioned in the other thread, we will be addressing several of the pain points around the "Ask a Questions" page in our release next week. We will be making the language and the selected forum more discoverable when a user goes to submit a question. Forums currently does not support the concept of posting to multiple forums. This is something we have discussed recently. If we do end up allowing threads to be posted to multiple forums this would allow for the UI changes suggested. I think this would allow for more consistency across the site. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Forums Program Manager

    Why do you need to be able to post to multiple forums? I don't think that is a good idea. Sound like multi-posting to me, which in the (good old) NNTP days was a cardinal sin.

    I just wanted the Category and Forum boxes always to be present, to make the interface consistent regardless of whether you came from a single forum or from a group of forums.

    IMHO, the most important part of my suggestion is to show the forum description near the Submit button. (Note that this would not work if you could select multiple forums.)

    BTW, another thing I do not like about the submission page is the "Similar questions" feature. I do not initiate threads very often (I am primarily an answerer), but whenever I have I have found this feature worse than useless.


    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP

    Friday, September 06, 2013 3:47 PM
  • Why do you need to be able to post to multiple forums? I don't think that is a good idea. Sound like multi-posting to me, which in the (good old) NNTP days was a cardinal sin.

    Only because it was more often misused than used effectively.  In the old forums, the ones which were tied to newsgroups, I used cross-posting to "throw things over the wall", either to redirect miss-posted questions or to share common ideas where more expertise would be available where I was cross-posting to.  An example would be telling an OP that a question made in an IE NG was really better asked in the OS Networking NG and then, if sufficient clues about the OS were given, cross-posting to the relevant NG.  That way, OP was given a link to the proper forum and if anybody on the proper forum decided to reply via my cross-post, anyone in both NG could read it.



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Friday, September 06, 2013 4:26 PM