ETA: Sorry, off-topic, a bit, but it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve used bbcode… and it’s been awhile since I’ve been on Stack as well, so this is definitely going to force me to relearn the tag systems. I’ve pressed the clear mental cache buton a few times since then.
Actual design suggestions coming soon. And… seriously hope my epic spoiler didn’t cause any broken devices.
It’s not a design request so much as a feature request, but I’d really like to see a way to bookmark posts and comments for later reading.
Sure, you could use the favorite option, but it’s not really a favorite if you haven’t read it. But I guess it could be used as a workaround.
No, I’m thinking more of an internal Pocket or Google Keep. Something that lets us save posts, comments, and maybe even snippets of text linking back to their in-house origin (via Discourse), rather than depending on these external apps and services.
Perhaps this is something more for meta.discourse than bbs.boingboing, but I’ll just leave it here for now.
Discussions in forums and comment threads are difficult to follow if you try to come back later and read more (Slashdot probably being the worst). Most forum systems offer tools to help, but it’s such a hassle that I tend to just read through once and never come back even if I comment myself (that’s been my modus operandi on BB for years).
I have only looked in here a handful of times since it was opened as a preview a while back, and I realized that I should probably figure out if there’s already a system in place before suggesting anything. Turns out that if you go back to an old thread, it remembers where you left off. And replies are offered inline below the post being replied to (like Disqus), but also chronologically with every other comment (like the old BB system).
So it seems like my big annoyances have already been covered, which is pleasingly surprising considering how every comment system and forum in existence doesn’t make any sense to me (the one that did was WebEx, from quite some time ago, which acted in similar ways to this).
That said, using relatively large text, lots of white space (making everything less dense visually), and then lots of structure surrounding each individual comment isn’t the greatest, IMO. Increasing that density makes it easier to understand the structure of a discussion and to read through it quickly if you want to (i.e. reddit, where of course most comments aren’t actually worth reading…) With your average BBCode type forums it’s hard to quickly parse each comment and you have to advance more slowly. This is better than that, but could be even better to the point of being actually really good with some tweaking.
It may be that this is more noticeable on small monitors - I have been exclusively using a 13" MBP the past four years or so, and recently hooked it up to someone’s 27" monitor and was amazed at how much easier it was to read the internet. I suspect most web developers have 27"+ screens (and probably more than one), and will only test usability there and then on mobile devices.
To do that, click the bookmark button at the bottom right of every post. You can find your bookmark posts on your user profile under “bookmarks”.
Yes, Discourse goes to great lengths to always remember your last read position, consistently, all the time. Note that Discourse also assumes you are more interested in a topic than usual if you browse it for a long time, or if you reply to it. You can change these behaviors in your user preferences.
Right, there is in effect one level of “threading” on demand, if you click through. This applies to both quoted blocks (try expanding the one directly above ↑ here) and replies docked to the bottom of posts.
It feels a little clunky for some reason. I think it could be because people are playing around with headings and formatting, but there are definitely too many different font sizes, types and line heights going on (bulleted lists are in “adelle, serif” 14px w/ 18px line height, but normal posts are adelle,serif 16px w/ 24px line height).
Maybe the serifs on the fonts are bothering me. Hrm.
It reminds me a lot of politico’s old forum system where they would cross-post their articles and then pull the first 20 replies from for their articles. That just turned into an awful shouting match where people would repost over and over and over and use ridiculous images and font sizes to get heard. That probably won’t happen here because a lot of the reposting was due to pagination, but I think it might be affecting my reaction.
Well, I’m not a fan of the fact that it’s hard to keep up with replies to others, but I’m not the only one whose pointed that out. Nor am I fan of the continually loading page. But overall, I like this so far.
I’m having some nav troubles with the infinite scroll too. It seems really useful for some things – like getting moved to latest posts, replies, etc., magically. But unintuitive for other things, like using text searches to highlight all the posts by or replies to a particular author