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Create a global 'Post' button, always visible on any page and any screen size, guiding the user to post any content type

RobinHood

Well-known member
#1
I often find it frustrating when I'm browsing a forum and suddenly I think of something I'd like to post. You should be able to quickly and easily post any content type available to that particular forum using the same process each time instead of having to first visit a specific section of the forum for that content type and then figure out how to post something to that area.

On a stock install this may be new threads only.
On a fully tricked out 1st part install, this should be a new thread, a new resource, or new media to the gallery.
For any other site this may also include a new blog post, new article etc. Any other content type added by an add on.

Reddit has dealt with this quite nicely on both their website and in their mobile app.

1. On the website you tap the pencil to initiate the process:

1505056858127.png


2. You then select the content type:

For forums, this would change depending on what you have installed. Options could include:

Post:
  • Thread
  • Resource
  • Media to Gallery
  • Calendar Event
  • Blog
  • Article
etc.

1505056902347.png


3. You're then presented with the option to select the relevant community if it's a thread (in our case, which sub forum you'd want), then add a title and the post.

This could be categories in the gallery or tailored in other ways for other content types.

1505056970760.png

4a. When you activate the 'Select a community' field above, you get a live search list of communities (forums), a long with recently visited ones.

We'd probably want to skip step 3, and go straight to 4a, and end up on a dedicated page for the setting of the actual thread title and post itself.

1505057145644.png


4b. If you search, you get a live autocomplete list of available communities.

This uses partial matching even if the search term is towards the end of the name. See the heXen example below.

1505057207629.png


Having this global post button will encourage users to post more and make it much easier to figure out how to post.
It will expose additional content types to the user each time they post, which they may not be aware of.
When new add ons are installed that make new content types available all users will see this every time they post.

Step 4a could also be auto populated with the sub forum or content type for the part of the site the user is currently browsing.

Nav bar mockup:

1505058231404.png
 
Last edited:

Sim

Well-known member
#3
Having this global post button will encourage users to post more and make it much easier to figure out how to post.
While I generally agree with making it really easy for people to post a new thread, the danger with including a "Post thread" button on thread pages is that people will use this when they instead meant to reply to this thread. I've seen plenty of people start a new thread instead of replying even on XF 1.x where there is no quick option to create a new thread!!

If anything, I think renaming the button to "Post new thread" on thread pages with a "Reply to this thread" button next to it may solve that issue - the reply to this thread button would simply jump down to the quick reply box.

But then, what about new media or new resources or other custom content types? Even if you have a popup asking for what type of content to add, what do you call the button? It can't be "Post thread" or something misleading because it won't be universally understood that you click on that button to upload new media as well!

If anything, perhaps a new main navigation menu option "Add new ..." with all the different media types available as menu options ... New thread, New media, New resource, New {custom content type}, etc ... that makes more sense to me to have it in the menu rather than in a more contextual location such as a button at the top of content. I don't think an "Add new ..." button is necessarily intuitive enough? Perhaps it would work.

Either way, I do support the idea - it is a very common use case to see a member land on a thread after clicking on a link in an email or somewhere else and then decide to add their own thread or upload some media or something - making it easy for them to go from content pages directly to adding new content is a really good idea I feel.
 

RobinHood

Well-known member
#4
Valid concern, but if done right it would be fine. Clicking the button would always start a workflow for posting new content and it would make that clear, so it would be immediately obvious what was going on, and easily cancellable to get back to whatever page you were just viewing.

If users try to use it to reply to an existing thread even when there's a reply button next to each post and a visible reply box at the bottom of each thread then there's no hope for them anyway. Just delete their account and put them out of their misery. It would be best for everyone.

/s

;)
 
#5
2. You then select the content type:

For forums, this would change depending on what you have installed. Options could include:

Post:
  • Thread
  • Resource
  • Media to Gallery
  • Calendar Event
  • Blog
  • Article
etc.
why this is supposed to be selected by user,should be sensed by URL scheme - whether its a forum/thread/resource etc reducing hassle of a step.
 

Sim

Well-known member
#6
why this is supposed to be selected by user,should be sensed by URL scheme - whether its a forum/thread/resource etc reducing hassle of a step.
There already is a "New thread", "New media", "New resource", etc button for most sections - but that's not what is being discussed here. The point isn't that it works out what you want based on where you are A) because you then impose the additional step of making the user go to that section of the forum before they see the button", and B) you are assuming you know what they want, but it is perfectly reasonable for someone to get inspiration for a new thread after viewing a media item.

The point of this suggestion is that they can create anything from anywhere - and because of all the different content types, that means that there absolutely has to be the additional step of asking which type of content.

There are two patterns:
  1. Visit the relevant subsection (Forums / Media / Resources / etc) and then click the button to create the content. This is what we currently have.
  2. Provide a mechanism whereby the user can create any type of content from any point and will be guided through the process
The number one question I get asked by newbies is "how do I start a thread" (or "how do I upload a photo") ... anything we can do to make that as simple as possible is a good step forward.

Even if there isn't a global button - just adding "New thread", "New media", "New resource", etc menu items to the main menus would help - because we can then access that from anywhere (albeit hidden behind a menu) and the sticky menus make it easier to access them from the bottom of a thread.