How would you improve the experience here in our iPhone and iPad forums?

chris

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#1
Over the past few years, the site has undergone many different transitions from the software used to the layout of the topics. All of which have been focused on providing the best possible experience for members and guests.

I know we can do a better job, but I need your help.

How would you improve the forums here at eiC? What do you like, dislike? How can we make this a better place for iPhone and iPad discussion.

I welcome any and all feedback.
 

chris

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#2
I know a lot of folks come and go. What keeps you coming back or worse, what makes you leave?

How can we improve? How can we keep you coming back? What would make folks who lost their way come back?
 

ivantwilliams

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Jul 14, 2009
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#3
I always come back to EiC to keep abreast of latest developments with iOS, Apple and EiC in general.

I will say this, in my BlackBerry days, I worked for a forum, and we implemented certain things to help keep the forums fluid, and to help bring more visitors. In doing so, we prevented 'Off Topic' type forums from showing in the 'What's New Thread' section. For a while it was also not listed as searchable either. Initially I didn't agree with it, but after a few weeks or so, I could see the how effective it actually was with user traffic, and thus getting more technical conversation going amoung the visitors. It even reduced the volume of spam users, etc.

When I visit the forums, well most forums actually, two things I do FIRST are:
1. Check 'Watched Threads'
2. Check 'What's New?'

To me, it is most annoying to see a lof of posts from the 'Off Topic' type forum. And I say that, maybe because I'm more of a tech person, and hence want to see issues, and where issues for users\visitors have been worked on\resolved, versus general chit-chat.

Does that make sense?

All that to say, Chris you're doing a great job, keep it going.

Also, as a side note, I do think on the main website there should be a login button. The benefits of this are of course one can leave a comment to a blog post without having to 'log in', since they have already logged in ;)


Ivan
 

chris

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#4
Both excellent ideas and they have been things I have considered. I'm going to research both and see how I can make those happen. The removal of Off Topic is something I've wrestled with in the past, as I think it was John (iPhonewarrior) who also recommended removing it. While Off Topic is important to any site, I'd like to see more on topic iPhone related discussion. I too get uncomfortable at times with the balance.

The website login is an interesting one -- there is some integration now between commenting and forums. I've always been in search of the magic bullet of one CMS/Forum. Hence my brief fling with vBulletin 4. I think we're close with this integration, but can do more. I'm going to check with those better at coding and see how that could happen. Worse case, I'm sure I could use a Register/Login button that links to the login area.

Thanks for taking the time to offer feedback. It's greatly appreciated.
 
Dec 10, 2009
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#5
I don't use the app, since the majority of my interest is in JB and tweaks. I have bookmarked the "what's new" page and put it on my springboard.
I don't see threads/ or posts I've made unless someone else responds to it, even if I just posted.
Is that intentional or am I just being nacassistic? ;)

Also, the ability to post pix directly from device when not using the app, without having to use photobucket or tapatalk.
 

ivantwilliams

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#6
...based on snowtrooper1966's comment, I have to agree with the part about seeing 'my posts'. What I mean is this:

1. I post a NEW thread.
2. I then click on 'What's New?'
3. I'd expect my thread to show up, and at the top or near the top, too. It does on other forums, albeit not sure of the version\type being used etc.
4. Yes, since I'm subscribed to it, I do see it in my subscription list. But, I should still see it when I go to What's New, no?
 

patrickj

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Sep 2, 2007
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#7
I feel 50/50 on Ivan's point on off topic posts. I find I enjoy 'techie' and on-topic threads but also many of the off-topic ones - though I do agree that in an ideal world the balance would be better / more tilted towards on-topic.

I like the recent trend to posting threads for new site blog posts. I think these could and should lead to more good discussions in their threads, but many of them don't seem to get much attention. Maybe if each thread had an excerpt from the post or a bit of summary info perhaps that would spur more conversation on those threads. It feels like they deserve more conversation.
 

chris

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#8
I feel 50/50 on Ivan's point on off topic posts. I find I enjoy 'techie' and on-topic threads but also many of the off-topic ones - though I do agree that in an ideal world the balance would be better / more tilted towards on-topic.

I like the recent trend to posting threads for new site blog posts. I think these could and should lead to more good discussions in their threads, but many of them don't seem to get much attention. Maybe if each thread had an excerpt from the post or a bit of summary info perhaps that would spur more conversation on those threads. It feels like they deserve more conversation.
I was thinking the same thing. Initially, I had the full excerpt, but Google was ranking the forum repost over the site itself. I'm going to see if I can do excerpts or even maybe test full posting again.

Should these go in 'News' or should we just dump them in the 'iPhone' category?
 

patrickj

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#9
I was thinking the same thing. Initially, I had the full excerpt, but Google was ranking the forum repost over the site itself. I'm going to see if I can do excerpts or even maybe test full posting again.

Should these go in 'News' or should we just dump them in the 'iPhone' category?

I think News sounds like a better location for them.
 

fury

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Oct 23, 2007
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#10
It's a little nit picky, but I miss the home button-ish "square" that used to be inside the circle of the logo on the site. Made it much more distinctive. It's still there on the app.
 

chris

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#11
It's a little nit picky, but I miss the home button-ish "square" that used to be inside the circle of the logo on the site. Made it much more distinctive. It's still there on the app.
I like nitpicky. Seriously, comments like this are super helpful.
 

fury

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#12
I see the colors changing right before my eyes.
wink2.gif


I would suggest that the header color be darker than the menu background color. It would match up better with the page background being darker than the content background.
 

chris

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#14
Any thoughts on my observations, Chris?
I'm not sure it makes sense to include a post from an OP if they click on what's new. Don't suppose it would hurt if it were to include that post. That's messing with core functionality and code -- which is always something of concern for me -- since I like to keep things clean allowing for faster upgrades.

Many of your issues regarding mobile could be resolved in the next release, as a mobile version has been planned. My expectations are very high for this release. This won't be a simple mobile template, but something that feels like an app, bringing the complete experience. That's what I'm hoping for and based upon what I've seen from the developers, I'd be surprised if they delivered anything less. They set a Q2 delivery date for the beta, so that should happen sometime before the end of June.

I'll look into the "What's New" and see what options I have there...
 
Dec 10, 2009
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#15
Both my observations are just minor annoyances, really.
It's just that I'm on here so much daily, the culminitive affect of having to, for example switch back and forth between the site, photobucket/tapatalk and camera roll can be cumbersome.

For my experience, it would be great to streamline that process.
I'm sure it would save a few nanoseconds of my time :D

How will a mobile version will differ from the app?

Thanks for all your dedication and continued efforts that make this my favorite spot on the 'net!
 

chris

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#16
How will a mobile version will differ from the app?
We use XenForo to power our forums and the developers behind that software are going to offer mobile support with the next version. A lot of forums use a mobile template. Regardless of the forum software, there are usually a good number of user compromises that have to be made. We had something similar in the past here at eiC, both previous and after our move to XenForo. Having the actual developers of the board software getting behind a mobile release should result in a full featured mobile experience.

How will it differ from the app? All forum categories will be present and accounted for... ;)
 

chris

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#18
(y)
So a mobile version would likely include functionality such as direct image upload?
This is a quote from the developer who was asked this very same question.

That's unlikely, as the biggest mobile market (iOS) has no capacity to upload files through the browser, but after the mobile style is done, we couldtake a leaf out of Facebook's er... book, and create an app that wraps around the mobile style (which is what the Facebook app does withhttp://m.facebook.com) and provides those facilities that the browser can't support.