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Sort functionality for What's New

Discussion in 'XenForo Suggestions' started by Grover, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    (Title should be: )
    What's New: give forum-names their own column and make that sortable!

    For me the 'What's New?' function is one of the most used/important functions of forum software. At least, it used to be, because I found this convenient function to become almost useless for me in XenForo, like I expressed earlier here:

    Instead of -or in addition to- user options to exclude forums from What's New, I am requesting Sort Functionality on the Forum Name for the What's New results screen. I don't know if it is even possible (because of resource/performance issues maybe, I have no clue?), but it would be really beneficial for the value of use of this What's New screen if we would be able to sort this overview on the forumnames.

    As I said, comparing to vBulletin (and please no comments about the value of comparisons and that XF needs to be unique![​IMG]) the What's New is a bit of a step backwards, because XenForo does not provide us with a separate column for the forumnames. Granted, in vBulletin it also was not possible to sort this overview, but at least we could see much easier to which forum a new thread belongs.

    Especially now on XF.com (the only XF powered site I use at the moment) I almost never use What's New anymore and that's a pity.

    Obviously the What's New results are displayed in the same way as a normal thread overview in a forum: the focus is on the Threadtitle (left column) and Poster (far right column), because those values are displayed in Bold. This works for the regular threadlist, however it just does not work so much in practice when it comes to the What's New overview. Let me explain why:

    The reason is that when you are inside a forum and view the threadlist, you already know in what forum those threads belong, because... obviously you are already in that forum the moment you look at the threadlist for that particular forum. Dûh. But... when I am using the What's New I am not in a particular forum. In fact, I want to know in which particular forums new threads can be found: that is the reason why I am using 'What's New' in the first place: to give me that global overview! Unfortunately XenForo uses the exact same layout for the What's New results as the Threadlist, so it becomes really hard to see in what forums the new threads belong to. Since this is the goal for me to use this essential function, this XenForo function does not lead me to that goal anymore. The layout used here is not beneficial for the function at hand and I believe it can be re-evaluate to make it more useful.

    Please do [like] this first posting if you think it is a good feature suggestion for XenForo
  2. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see my own Custom What's New options.
    The sortable by Forum would work on many boards, but I think I'll still have to click around too much on Xenforo.com.
    Interesting idea though.

    Custom What's New for me at Xenforo.com
    (1) Everything but Off Topic
    (2) Off Topic only.
    (3) Addons only (new addons since I last checked).
    (4) My followed topic
    (5) etc. ..

    I wonder if you click What's New ... at the top if there were some options for me to store my own clickable "Filters".
    - one Filter could be "Sort by Forum".
    - 4 filters I would use I've outlined above.
    Morgain and ankurs like this.
  3. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your support Digital Doctor. I am glad this thread is picked up now, because I believe the suggestion is rather important for not only the workprocess of staff on our forums, but it will also benefit the end users (members).
  4. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    I believe some kind of global ignore filter has been suggested, didn't read your whole post but I think it comes down to the same thing. I agree that some kind of ignore subforum/thread functionality would be useful.
  5. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    The reason is this: my staff is using the What's New to get a global overview of our entire forums and then they are using their Moderators tools right from there.

    vBulletin 3.8 makes this very easy, because it conveniently puts the forum names inside their own column and right next to that column our Moderators are presented with their thread-tickboxes. Really great interface that is in full support of our Moderator duties:

    vB 3-8 mod what's new.png

    I guess it's also possible in XenForo to perform Moderator duties from the What's New list? If so, then I would like to know from current XenForo powered admin/mods how they are experiencing Moderating through that overview. I am a little bit worried that without a dedicated column for the forum names it will become harder for our Staff to easily see in which forum a thread is posted. Therefor making it less easy/efficient to Moderator their stuff from this list.

    (As I said as a normal user I already experience the What's New to be problematic right now with all these large amounts of forums available, without any easy way to see in what forum the listed threads belong to)
  6. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    Actually there are forum names (they are also clickable) and moderating is a breeze even from whats new. "Recent Activity" doesn't have these same options though.
    It may not be a dedicated column but its still pretty in your face, imo
  7. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your screenshot. Yeah, I know that the forum names are listed. But you see, on vBulletin 3.8 the interface is a bit better when it comes to supporting our Mod tasks. I am not talking about the great Mod-function overlay of XenForo, but as I said: when you look at the above vB 3.8 screenshot you see that both the thread title and the forum name get the emphasizes, because they are displayed in large fonts. When we are moderating our forums from that overview, this is exactly what we need to know: the threadtitle and more importantly the forumname.

    However in XenForo the emphasizes is on the thread title and the last poster name, but the poster name is really of the least of interest to us as Moderators when we work from that overview. The forumname is buried under the thread titles in a very small font so I don't agree it's pretty much in your face. On the contrary: our eyes need to search on every single thread to which forum it belongs.

    Then again, I can understand why the poster name get's more emphasizes in XenForo in these kinds of overviews. So instead of actually changing the layout (by including a new column) of this What's New overview I would already be helped very much if this overview has the ability to be sorted on forum name (without any new column). Again, not only for our Staff but also for regular users: it will make this overview much more convenient to use for both parties.
  8. FredC

    FredC Well-Known Member

    I suppose i can see your points but for me personally i hated and never used "Whats New?" on vB4 and cant remember to much regarding 3.8.. I guess its just different strokes here because i now use "Whats New?" almost exclusively. But then again ive never done any type of moderating from these pages on vB or XF
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I have never performed any moderating from the "What's New" page.
    I can't see how you can without reading the post to see whether it requires action.

    Even from the title alone, you can't arbitrarily decide that it's not in the correct forum.
    Shelley likes this.
  10. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Exactly what I thought.

    What's new (for me anyway) is about a simplistic layout, easy to read subjects titles that (if I'm interested from the title) I'll venture into. I'd hate to see it bloated with unnecessary features.
  11. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I guess most moderators do not use the What's New for moderating purposes, exactly of the reasons you've pointed out. This raises the question why it is available in 'What's New' in the first place? Even if my Moderators only use it now and then (for moderating purposes), the most important thing of this suggestion is improvement of the value of this overview for both regular users and moderators. If you have Moderator A who is managing Category A, with Forum A1 until A6, including several sub forums, then I think it would be really handy if he/she can press a sort-button so that he/she only sees the new posts from all those forums he/she manages. This saves this moderator from going through all the forums and sub forums manually step by step on the actual forums. Now, with this current What's New overview, everything is displayed unordered, 'mixed up'. The order is on the Last Message time only and we (both regular users and moderators) are therefor forced to use this overview in a certain way.

    I believe more flexibility will improve the usefulness. That's why suggestion like these: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/exclude-from-whats-new.4351/ for example come up now.

    Not sure why people would call such wishes/requests for added value/improvements unnecessary features or even 'bloat'.
  12. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I've said it before but what might be a feature to one person is bloat to another.
    It will be impossible to please everyone when it comes to the default out-of-the-box configuration.
  13. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Sure, I understand both. And I even will understand it better when people come up with good arguments as to why (as you did with your valid point about not moderating from the What's New) they think something is unnecessary/bloat.

    I fail to see why adding a convenient [Thread Display Options] (like in the thread listings) slide-down -with inclusion of the category and forum name- for example would add to any bloat.
  14. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    In line (and consistent) with this suggestion I put out this one before: [Suggestion] Sort Watched Threads.
  15. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I explained above.

    For me (my personal opinion) Is that the what's new landing page is a page/feature that should be easy reading, easy to find threads of interest and not riddled with feature set implementations that could potentially destroy the layout structure of the data where it becomes hindered with features/options that (My opinion here) destroy the easy to navigate, view pleasing layout it is today.

    To call it "almost useless" imo is a little harsh. I can certainly click, land on the what's new page, and within a second, click a thread link that peaks my interest.
  16. swatme

    swatme Well-Known Member

    so what threads really showing in whats new?
    only new threads?
  17. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Threads with new replies, relative to you.
  18. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    What exactly do you mean by 'relative to you' Brogan?

    The New Threads overview lists all unread threads, unrelated to the user. As the description says: 'These are all unread threads from XenForo Community.'

    Exactly because this whole overview is unrelated to the user I am requesting tools to make it more related/relative to the person who is using this overview. Introducing sorting options will make this overview more useful/valuable, because then people can actually make this overview more related to them/their interests.

    Or maybe I misunderstand what you mean by 'relative to you'?
  19. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I see 0 pages of threads in What's New.
    How many do you see?

    As I said, it's relative to the user, depending on which posts they've read.
  20. Grover

    Grover Well-Known Member

    Exactly because threads are not quite easy to find now with this basic/non-flexible overview we are requesting added functionality that can provide us with an overview that will add more value related to the person who is using it. There are valid reasons why suggestions like the above and the likes as this one: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/suggestion-exclude-forums-from-search.624/ and this one: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/exclude-from-whats-new.4351/ or this one: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/suggestion-ignore-filter-system.1841/ come up.

    I stated it is almost useless to me. So in relation to the way I (and certainly a huge amount of my memberbase, because our platform is divided into 4 'categories' who are basically all unrelated) use this overview, this What's New overview is in fact almost useless, if I find myself hardly.... use it anymore. It's not a harsh statement, it's simply a fact I (and many others, see here for someone who also find's it's in fact 'completely useless' to him/her on a vBulletin powered website he shows in his example) experience in my day-to-day use on Xenforo.com
    The more categories/forums a platform provides that you are not interested in (and XenForo.com is a good example of that now with all kinds of categories and (sub)forums that I am not interested in), the more the need for personalization/categorization features will arise.

    I am therefor happy to see the developers confirming/understanding this need: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/suggestion-exclude-forums-from-search.624/#post-44716. Anything (being it adding a column, or sorting options or excluding options or a combination of them) that gives us a more useful/valuable What's New overview I welcome.

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