• Dec. 24, 2014, 2:17 a.m.

    So, here's this thing I'm pondering around for some time now and would like to hear opinions on.

    Basically I am considering turning Misago into flat board starting from 0.6.

    What this means is that Misago would be less like classic forums like phpBB3 or xenForo or SMF, and more like "new wave" boards like Discourse, Esotalk or Vanilla.

    Making this decision would mean certain changes to way users interact with site. Most noticeable ones would be option for making forum home an list of threads in all accessible sections instead of classic list of categories and forums. Second change would be "Start Thread" button located in navbar instead of forum view, bringing in ability for starting thread from everywhere in Misago.

    From forum owners perspective, changes would be less noticable. Labels would be dropped and content hierarchy would be limited to two or three levels (categories with forums and subforums or just forums and subforums). Threads made within subforum would be displayed on parent's threads list as well.

    The reason I'm interested in heading into that direction is very simple: if your board is only starting and has little traffic and/or narrow specialization, changing board index from forums list to threads list may increase users engagement, and this is good thing.

    Naturally, there would still be option to display forums list on board index instead, and switch between would be possible at any time.

    This changed approach to content would also open certain interesting UX options impossible on boards allowing for n-th deep content trees which I would love to explore.

    So, I'm very interested in what you guys have to say about this. If I've decided to go this way, work on this change would most likely happen in sync with final overhaul of Misago 0.6 UI, which means there's at least half of year for making call there.

  • Members 9 posts
    Dec. 25, 2014, 3:40 a.m.

    I very much like the idea. It's more natural if somebody want to start a conversation to just start it with a button instead of have to pick a topic first. Jeff Atwood has a very good blog post about this (which I can't find unfortunately) in connection with the design of Discourse.

  • Members 1 post
    Jan. 11, 2015, 9:23 a.m.

    Personally, I find the "new wave", "flat" board design fairly odd, as I've never really noticed a problem with the classic way to begin with, and I've been on many forums in my time - small, large, old and new alike, so that's saying something.

    Though, so long as I don't have to have a forum set up to view a topic list upon entering if I so please, then I have no objection to this.

  • Jan. 11, 2015, 8:54 p.m.

    It's not going to be user preference that I can already tell you for sure.

    There will be setting in settings.py for site admin to make decision which way he want's his site, but you shouldn't look at is as preference, more like entry point for you start off with building your site from.

  • Members 4 posts
    Feb. 17, 2015, 7:15 a.m.

    This is a presentation issue, and hardly it justifies deep structural changes. Forum owner can create an alternative index page that shows recent posts (in all forums) and some other highlights. Original page with list of forums can be hooked to "/forums".

    Add a dropdown with three of your most popular forums right there in the navbar. Or you can allow select forum to which this message will be posted to on the next page.

    Whom are you competing against? Is it Discourse or vBulletin 3.8?

  • Feb. 17, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

    Structural changes are hardly deep, de facto only thing that needs to be done on code side to "flatten" forums tree, is to add extra constraints to queryset behind "parent" select in admin form. Rest of stuff is in templates, and those will be rewritten anyway to offer more customisability via CSS, and due to need for Ember to have its own templates.

    Also while it is presentation issue, it has certain gotchas as n-deep forums tree requires different UI patterns that flat one.

    There's no page dedicated to posting in 0.6. Just like in Discourse when you want to post message, editor slides up from bottom of viewport for you to compose new thread or post/edit reply.

    I also don't see what issue would dropdown with forums solve here?

    My first aim is to reach Python/Django devs looking for good forum software based on techs they are familiar with. Having Django under the hood brings extra bonus of making Misago good starting point for build community site.

    Competition with PHP software is out of question. That software is so far easier to get started with for unexperienced guys that it will beat other tech any time.

    As for other options, I am looking at ideas and solutions they bring to table, but I am not really obsessing about being ahead of any of them.

  • Members 4 posts
    Feb. 17, 2015, 10:22 a.m.

    Situation before: Users need to go to a specific forum first, then they click "Start a new thread" button there. This is difficult.

    Your solution: Get rid of forums, place "Start a new thread" button to the left navbar.

    My suggestion: Don't get rid of forums, Place "Start a new thread" block to the left navbar with a button and a dropdown. Allow users to create a thread in one of the three most popular forums.

  • Feb. 17, 2015, 6:11 p.m.

    You are throwing different stories into one box:

    • Start thread button went into navbar because its faster way of getting into discussion. Hiding that behind dropbox will actually increase friction in UX.
    • You say that forums are going away. They aint, they will still be there. The only change here will be forum displaying threads from its subforums by default, and no option for creating subforums in subforums.
  • Members 1 post
    April 8, 2015, 7:01 p.m.

    I'm not a fan of the "flat board" concept. I like the organization and structure found in a traditional board.

  • April 8, 2015, 7:17 p.m.

    Thats ok, you'll still be able to display categories list on forum index instead of threads, if you wish so.

  • Members 11 posts
    May 14, 2015, 3:05 p.m.

    The way you're describing it sounds fine by me. As long as I could have an index/forum home with either option I would be happy with these proposed changes.

    Sometimes I might want both at the same time depending on the type of forum I was running. Something like a compact list of a few forums listed at the top with the most recent threads below them.

    My main dislike of the "minimalist" forums was always how they were laid out inside of individual forums/threads. Once I'm actually inside of a thread I prefer the UBB.classic/vBulletin/Xenforo/IPB type of layout. Typically on those forum systems I'm entering threads via the "new posts" links and not using the forum to navigate between individual forums anyway.

  • May 16, 2015, 5:40 a.m.

    My idea is that there will be setting in settings.py between board index being threads list or forums list. Those views will be aware of their status and will provide little extra information if they are index (most likely there will be forum stats in header in index view, but I don't aspire for more than that).

    On side note, there's most likely will be just three threads list (threads, threads in category, private threads), each providing filters for narrowing it down, like all, new, popular, subscribed, reported, unread, but availability will depend on main list type (so you'll won't have "popular" private threads for example).

  • panorama_fish_eye

    Thread has been unpinned.

  • Feb. 25, 2018, 5:42 a.m.

    Unpinning this thread as this change has obviously happened with Misago 0.6 back in early 2016