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Sub forum dropdown vs listing on forum home

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by resonansER, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. resonansER

    resonansER Well-Known Member

    I think that the display sub-forums in the column is a relic of the past. Also, again intuitively much easier when the sub-forums are displayed in this manner, as Kier planned.
     
  2. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    A dropdown that is often passed by without the user realizing it is a dropdown is far from intuitive. Relic of the past or not, a grid or list of subforums that is easily accessible is much more intuitive, if somewhat more bulky.

    The current dropdown menu is more a cosmetic feature than it is a feature of usability, but that is just imo.
     
    GeeksChat, Shelley and principia like this.
  3. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Nope, not an opinion imo you hit the the nail right on the head. The current dropdown of subforum serves exactly that, cosmetically focused without practicality. The aim for the subforum dropdown was to save space and reduce clutter and therefore any usefulness of the subforums was compromised. Severely.
     
    principia and Digital Doctor like this.
  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    What functionality has been lost exactly?

    Infinite levels with the correct nesting.
    A single click to go to any sub forum, no matter how many levels down it is.

    I'm struggling to see exactly what doesn't work with the default system.

    I far prefer the dropdown to having numerous sub forum icons & links displayed on the forum home page.
     
    aiman.h.kallaf, mrGTB and resonansER like this.
  5. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Exactly.
    The current default setup has many problems - the main one being visibility.

    Can someone show me how the default xenforo settings would look for this real life example ?

    recreational.flying.columns.for.subforums.jpg

    Now that is one sexy forumhome.

    I guess a major issue here is ... what is the main goal of the forum home ?
    I think it is for new members - the key members of your site. Showing the new members the list of subforums is helpful.

    Note - Xenforo.com only has one subforum !
     
  6. principia

    principia Well-Known Member

    its the lack of not seeing what submenus are behind this symbol. specially for new user who do not know what kind of threads are in the forum. my user missed them from the beginning after switching to xf.
     
  7. adgsteve

    adgsteve Member

    I think you've touched on the crux of the problem. What may seem obvious to you and me may not be so obvious to users who aren't as computer literate. On our old vB forum a lot of members never figured out the "Go to first unread post" icon. So I'm sure there would be a number of users that I would have to draw a picture with circles and arrows to explain to them that there are sub-forums there. So the grid listing would be helpful for those members.

    I think it's a matter of perspective, and depends on your target audience. A forum for webmasters or developers would be different than a gardening forum that might have a lot of members who aren't very computer savvy. Often when I'm talking about different features of the forum I get looks like I'm speaking martian. I kind of have to break it down to the lowest common denominator for some people, even if it's less efficient.

    But that's just my 2 cents worth :p
     
    principia and Alex like this.
  8. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Agreed, I like the way sub-forums work in XenForo. Also, in the past sub-forums in vBulletin listed below main forum had severe limitation done that way and hence why people used a mod to line them up vertically below one another to fit more sub-forums in (but that then created a huge gaping void with too much forum retail space used). Go check TheAdminZone to see what I mean by that? Now the drop-down is displayed inline, so no unwanted space is created at all, and it's fast to access sub-forums via the drop-down menu list with pretty much one click still.

    Far as I'm concerned they are spot on and allow for large sub-forum listings.
     
  9. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

  10. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    Well, I see AdminZone are using some-kind of two column method there to make things look better. Here is another example then.

    Snap1.jpg
     
  11. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Too sparse for sure !
    sparse.forum.home.jpg
     
  12. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    Bare in mind the modification that controls this is infact in my mind has it limitations. For sure, that screenshot at adminaddict is a poor poor example how to number your columns vs x amount of subforums.

    And if memory recalls, this modification was always a little quirky on vbulletin board when trying to juggle a satisfactory column layout.

    Also, Icons are not necessarily needed to distinguish new posts have been made. Font-weight: bold; would work without the need for the icon. But yeah, that example is a poor space usage of space, 2 columns of 3 subforums would have been the way to go with that one.
     
  13. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Q: which method is better for a mobile style ? hmmmmm......
     
  14. resonansER

    resonansER Well-Known Member

    That's right!
    I use different forums engines since 2006. Start with the finest vbulletin 3.x.x
    And even then I do not particularly enjoy sabforums on the main page. Once I got to know xenforo, I appreciated the convenience of working with forums engine.
    And you can argue a lot about what is useful and what is not, but there is the notion of "intuitive interface". I have experience in maintaining the forums of all sizes (I have 7 domains)
    So work with xenForo = this is intuitively easy way is with sabforums and many other things.
    Everyone can express their opinions, but I see what I see.
     
  15. Bossman

    Bossman Member

    Although I can see the merit of the new drop-down display style, I think it would be best if there was a style option in the Admin Panel that would switch between the two.

    This could be especially helpful for large vB forums making the transition to XF (who are the most likely to have the subforums displayed as a list on the homepage).

    Also, I think we should never underestimate the power of laziness. Just because we might know or find it more elegant to use a drop-down doesn't mean that a lot of other people do as well. Some people are just too lazy to move their mouse over to open the list and would rather just click the link their interested on the homepage.

    So, again, I believe a style option in the Admin Panel to switch between the two display options would solve this small "issue".
     
  16. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    That would certainly be nice the optional route. In the meantime I myself am restricted to not deploying subforums to my site. Your never quite 100% sure (with subforums dropdown menu) on index which forum have the new post in so your guessing.
     
  17. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Just to add to this - my sub-fourm traffic has dropped dramatically since moving to XF as they are no longer plainly visible on the home page.

    I'd love to see an option in the ACP for sub-forum listings to show them as either a Drop-down menu or a bulleted list.

    Cheers,
    Shaun :D
     
    johon, jadmperry and Marcus like this.

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