8 things wrong with the XF2 mobile experience

AndreaMarucci

Well-known member
I disagree completely at least in my case. I've a motorbike forum and all my members like a lot the mobile version of the forum (I'm using a custom theme not the XF one) so almost all of them have abandoned Tapatalk to use the browser and the mobile version of the forum. I think that all your considerations are correct but it all depends from your end users and from their IT capabilities and knowledge...
 

jmurrayhead

Well-known member
...and expectations!

Forums are not facebook and aren't for the same purpose. I can't find a facebook post from someone from 10 minutes ago, nevermind something useful they posted 5 years ago,

That's because facebook is built that way. There's no reason we can't have a UI experience like facebook but still be able to find posts from long ago. No one is suggesting removing the search feature or thread listings. We're mostly suggesting to bring in a display that is more intuitive to interaction and entices participation.
 

ichpen

Well-known member
...and expectations!

Forums are not facebook and aren't for the same purpose. I can't find a facebook post from someone from 10 minutes ago, nevermind something useful they posted 5 years ago,

Here's the thing. We all know this. We're all purveyors of forums and are (or should be) well aware of our target audience and our direct/indirect competition. No one here is suggesting that XF become FB or IG or any other acronym, and no one is disagreeing on the limitations of social media sites.

With that in mind most users do use or have exposure to FB and IG, and mindsets are formed in part due to this. Burying one's head and simply saying FB is cr*p, XF is the best go go is not the way to spur evolution.

I don't have much in the way of answers nor suggestions until I think about this seriously but I am able to recognize (in part due to feedback from my subs) that XF can be improved for the uninitiated.

Some workflow improvements that I feel should be part of base:
1. Posting improvements - Posting something should be the most Prominent item on any board. I should be able to post to any forum from anywhere without too much navigation or drilling into the hierarchy. Bonus points if you can figure out where my post should go and suggesting it to me (based on previous posts maybe? Content? Would be cool). I should be able to post from any position on the screen with little to no scrolling.
2. Reading improvements - I should be given *relevant* content not just a dump of all recent posts (maybe based on my most frequented forums/subforums, topics). I realize this is getting into complex algos but it's what we're spoiled with on social media sites
3. Too much - scrolling/text - definitely more UI/UX and can be improved drastically with some skinning but I'm putting it in there as it's always a complaint
4. Media Sharing - Gallery is too disconnected, embeds from gallery too complicated, how about a gallery of all thread images, how about not having multiple 'insert' buttons for media/content, kitchen sink is still way too complicated

I can add a slew of others, just off top of head fluff.
 
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diretur

Active member
1. Posting improvements - I should be able to post to any forum from anywhere without too much navigation or drilling into the hierarchy. Bonus points if you can figure out where my post should go and suggesting it to me (based on previous posts maybe? Content? Would be cool)
Have you tried this
https://xenforo.com/community/resources/quick-thread-by-addonslab.5559/ ?

I put one field in the forumhome, with the prompt "Beginner? Ask here". They type their question, and it goes directly into the beginner forum. I think this is what XF2 will be able to do (?). I increased my new threads quota a lot, and the mess of threads in the wrong forums has been reduced. Same for the mails "how do I post a new thread?" (this has changed dramatically already going from Vb3 to XF 8 months ago)
 

ichpen

Well-known member
Have you tried this
https://xenforo.com/community/resources/quick-thread-by-addonslab.5559/ ?

I put one field in the forumhome, with the prompt "Beginner? Ask here". They type their question, and it goes directly into the beginner forum. I think this is what XF2 will be able to do (?). I increased my new threads quota a lot, and the mess of threads in the wrong forums has been reduced.

I have tried it actually and looking at XF 2 Post New Thread (which thanks for the reminder and a perfect illustration of the fact that I had no idea existed on the front page) I'm still presented with a big regurgitation of forums/subforums and a wall of text. For sure it's an improvement but again it's backwards in my mind, Post New Thread -> spend 5 mins figuring out where it should go -> remember what I was trying to say -> post. I really think it should be more seamless i.e. Post New Thread -> type content -> XF suggests and defaults to a forum if I ignore suggestion-> hit post or something of that nature.
 

RobParker

Well-known member
That's because facebook is built that way. There's no reason we can't have a UI experience like facebook but still be able to find posts from long ago. No one is suggesting removing the search feature or thread listings. We're mostly suggesting to bring in a display that is more intuitive to interaction and entices participation.

The way to do that is to make good content more visible. Good is the key word there. Trending content where the equation for trending is built on things like ratings, etc. Reddit should be the model we aim for, not facebook.
 

jmurrayhead

Well-known member
The way to do that is to make good content more visible. Good is the key word there. Trending content where the equation for trending is built on things like ratings, etc. Reddit should be the model we aim for, not facebook.

I'll be open-minded to other platforms, but I personally find reddit difficult to follow.
 

Ingenious

Well-known member
@Mouth you make some good points, thanks to your wife and daughter. I tried to explain what a forum was to an internet using but non-forum user and it was quite hard... everyone is brainwashed by Facebook these days, yes, we can argue that forums are not Facebook, but that's missing the point in many ways. More people use Facebook than forums, so they get conditioned by it... resistance is futile and all that ;)

And just try explaining your forum to your granddad... that's quite sobering.
 

DieselMinded

Well-known member
if xf 2 was to debut 10 years ago it would win a Pulitzer Prize. A marvel of technology

in 2017 it's the best of "what was", it will not stand against "what will be"

what we all need to do is have a nice thread about where we see forums in 10 years its ok to be wild with expectations. once we get some ideas we can work towards tech thats somewhere between here and there.

most of todays marvels are scifi dreams of the past

71% of the usa, 61% of the UK internet use is mobile maybe it would be wise to develop with that in mind

IMG_4712.PNG
 
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Robust

Well-known member
I think there was too much in XF1. It overwhelms people. People like mobile apps not just because it feels right, but because it's limited in terms of what you see. Facebook, Snapchat, they are simple. XF2 feels a lot simpler to me, whilst not lacking features. I think it's just the design to some extent.

Some forum administrators are too conservative and then wonder why forums are dying. Times change, people get lazier, more impatient. They want to click on with something new instantly. Facebook and Snapchat have a very small learning curve for such people. Forums need to adapt to some extent to have *less* features, not more. There's too much stuff.

XF feels fine to me, but my opinion is a bit meh. It looks nice and I'm quite familiar with XF (I've been developing add-ons for the software for years now as well), so I'm bound to find this friendly. Show this to your wife or kid, as the OP said, and see what their feedback is. If they can't understand how to get around and how the system works, whilst being forum illiterate, then something needs to change to get modern.
 

Rudy

Well-known member
The rest of the issues seem to relate to the misconception that a forum is facebook/instagram/whatever. If someone's on a forum, they're there for a purpose and generally have an idea why they're there. They wouldn't come on to a forum and go "where's the content, what's a thread, what's a topic".
Exactly that. Anyone into the social media trainwrecks is not going to "get" forums right away. Yet with all of the forums I have run, now and in the past, few had issues accessing anything. Enthusiasts and hobbyists are the intended targets of forums, not general social media users. This whole exercise was like asking meat lovers to rate vegetarian recipes, IMHO...
 

Floyd R Turbo

Well-known member
push notifications cost money. That's why there are multiple paid addons for it, then TT which is a horribly coded nightmare
 
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