Clearer path to forum — Bulb Community

Clearer path to forum

One way to improve the user-friendliness of the site: simplify the path to the forum. Unless I'm mistaken, at the moment you have to click on MyBulb -> Click on Community -> Click on Ask the community a question -> ... and then there's nothing there, until you notice the tiny and illogical "Help & Support" top left, which injects you into the forum. Why not simply a big phat Forum button on the same page as "Ask the community a question"?


  • edited October 2016
    You make a great point. At the moment you have to click on the Community button in the top of any Bulb page, then Community again. We have a few changes in mind, which might go some way to making it more center stage, but there's definitely more we can do.

    Firstly, we're thinking about getting rid of the categories and just have all threads on the main community page. That way everything's in one place and you see it a lot earlier. When we have more traffic it will make more sense to have categories, but it's a bit early for us still.

    I also want to make it easier to post on the community without having to log in first. I'll have to think about how best we can do this. But I think we can do something.

    We have a couple of problems that we're trying to contend with, though. There's limited space in the top navigation bar, so having a dedicated button there is more difficult. Personally, as the resident Community guy, I'd love to have it plastered everywhere, so if you agree then let me know and we can think about how we prioritise what we put pride of place and what we put in slightly less prominent places.

    The second is that "Forum" seems a bit jargony to me. Obviously, I've been using them since I was wee and calling it a "forum" for just as long. But the feedback I've had from people who don't use them so much is that they perceive a "forum" as somewhere where nerds like me go to argue with strangers on the internet. Whereas a "community" is much more inviting. It seems like you have the opposite opinion, though. Do you think it would be clearer to call it the "Forum"?

    There's also a bunch of style changes and usability changes to the community that I want to make, so if there's anything you think that doesn't look right, or would make it easier to surf the community, let me know. I want it on my radar too.
    • Nowt wrong with the term "Community", any more than I am a member rather than a customer :) So stay with Community.
    • You say "you have to click on the Community button in the top of any Bulb page, then Community again." My point is that doesn't get you to the forum, sorry, community page, only to the Ask the community a question page - and there the thread stops unless you randomly click on Help & Support. Or am I wrong?
    • So a possible solution is to place, on the Ask the community a question page, a button that says "Community" - or alternatively, have "Community" in the menu bar inject you straight to the community page, and put the Ask the community a question button at the top of that.
    • Coolio. Glad to hear it. I do love being validated :)
    • That page is the community main page, if you scroll down a bit there are buttons for the categories. That's the one that we're going to be doing the redesign for. We'll probably make it look something more like this page -
    • Sounds like we're on the same page here
  • Oops, it didn't occur to me to scroll down!!!! Now that's interesting - why not? Because there's no hint that something lies beyond the horizon? Because other websites present their contents on one screen so there's no need to scroll down? Because I resent being forced to scroll down by the over-large graphics you use? You have to admit that the website is a little bit Fischer Price (like the building your office is in....). Why not make things a bit more compact to we don't have to scroll?
  • Yeah, I'm just looking at that page now and one some screen shapes & sizes the transition from the "Ask the community a question" block to the next one makes it not that clear.

    Fischer Price is one way of describing it :) Simple and easy to navigate is what we aim for. So reducing unnecessary clutter and making it clear what you should be looking at in each section of the page/site is what we're trying to do. We're always happy to improve it though if we every miss the mark. And we agree, this Community page could definitely be improved.
  • I'm using the iPhone to answer this, and what I've noticed is that the site layout is biased in favour of mobile devices. Here everything is within reach, unlike on the laptop where you have to scroll.
  • Just a quickie: why are some of the posts in the wrong order? On my laptop, your 12:40 post appears second in the list instead of in chronological order at the bottom. Little programming glitch? Makes life a bit more confusing...
  • Mobile vs desktop: If you look at the community on a mobile it shows you a dedicated mobile version. This is cool, but not very Bulby, so we'll be looking at making it more on brand at some point. It's good to know that you find it more functional. We'll do our best to get the best of both worlds.

    Post ordering: selecting a post as the answer bumps it to the top. It's supposed to make it easier for anyone coming along later to find the answer that solved the question, but I don't think it's super useful. It would be better to have a link near the top along the lines of "this question has been answered, click here to jump to the solution". I've got it down as something to look into when we redesign the community.
  • Mobile vs desktop: basically as little scrolling as possible (just make your graphics smaller - it's not as if you have a lot of contents!)
    Post ordering: Yeah, I've been clicking "Did this answer the question" thinking it simply provided you with a kudos point or something. If it changes the order of posts, that's really not useful for subsequent users trying to follow a thread.
  • Righto, less scrolling is better. Noted!
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