Where to find lost forums :)

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Selene
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Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Selene » 09 Nov 2008, 17:29

Welcome! Lots of changes have been made to the arrangement of the forums, but everything we had is still here in one place or another. Attached is a pdf that gives a complete list of all forums and subforums with their new locations and links to each. Please download and save the document so you can have it handy for reference until you get used to the new arrangement. (Sorry the board doesn't allow posting of tables; I'd like to have posted this directly in this message, but apparently the coding necessary would create a security risk for the board. I will ask Kernos to create a separate page for it as he did for the smilie index, but for now, this should work.)

There are a few instances of name changes, but most have remained the same. Have a look around the board, click on category names to reveal forums, click on forum names to reveal subforums, and post as usual!

Hope you all enjoy the new layout!

Blessings,
Selene, Art, and Kat Lady
Field_Guide-110908.pdf
Download the guide to the new board layout
(113.5 KiB) Downloaded 669 times
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Philip » 09 Nov 2008, 19:13

This is wonderful Selene! I am so impressed! Bravo! :)

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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby OllieKing » 09 Nov 2008, 19:26

I can't find the Creative Bardic Pursuits sub-forum in A Path Through the Forest. I just get The Druid's marketplace and The Reading Room, but the link from the PDF file to things like Music and Arts and Crafts seem to work fine..

Still, fantastic job with the restructuring Salene. As a fairly new member, I much prefer this layout :) Well done!
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Kat Lady » 09 Nov 2008, 19:34

I can't find the Creative Bardic Pursuits sub-forum in A Path Through the Forest.
Hi OllieKing! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Next time you are online, try it again. You should have access now.

Please let us know if you have any difficulties accessing forums. I may have missed a few permissions. :???:
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Seeker » 09 Nov 2008, 19:58

Good stuff, gang - well done! :shake:
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby OllieKing » 09 Nov 2008, 23:55

I can't find the Creative Bardic Pursuits sub-forum in A Path Through the Forest.
Hi OllieKing! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Next time you are online, try it again. You should have access now.

Please let us know if you have any difficulties accessing forums. I may have missed a few permissions. :???:
Brilliant! All there now. Thanks :)
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Beith » 10 Nov 2008, 14:57

HI,

I can't find the In Memorium subforum that used to be under Health and Healing. The Field Guide says it's under Entering the Grove/The spirit of the Journey but I didn't see it there.

Could someone pls point it out?

Thx
B

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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Selene » 10 Nov 2008, 16:10

Hi, Beith,

It's under the Rites of Passage subforum under The Spirit of the Journey...sorry, the header row for the table doesn't show on the second page of the pdf...but I just tested the link and it works. It's at http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/viewforum.php?f=94.
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Beith » 11 Nov 2008, 14:57

Hi Selene,

Thanks very much for that. I didn't see the subforum when I went in there.

le dea-ghuí
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Brianna » 14 Nov 2008, 19:23

Hi,

I can't find neither the OBOD Bards forum, nor its German version the "Barden" Forum.

I admire the great work that was put into it, but to be honest, I think it's very confusing. Sorry to be a spoilsport.
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Selene » 14 Nov 2008, 19:30

Brianna,

The Bards forum is at the bottom of the index page. Just click the name "Bards" and all the subforums will appear, including Barden.
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Annaoj » 19 Nov 2008, 21:35

Hi,
When I first registered here, about a month ago, there were loads of forums. Now I can see just the Beginning the Journey and two under the OBOD Bard section. Is this because my permissions have changed (and I should not have been able to see all I saw originally) or is it something to do with the reorganisation?

I am sorry to sound dense, I don't really know what it is that I am asking. I find these boards quite confusing at the moment.

Thank you!

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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Selene » 19 Nov 2008, 23:23

Hi, Silverrain,

All the public and OBOD-only forums are still present, but some are now subforums under larger "superforums." The whole idea was to make the index page appear less overwhelming--we have a ton of forums and could see no good way (or reason) to eliminate any of them because of the diversity of subjects we discuss here, but the board had grown so much in so many directions over the years that our front page had gotten very cluttered and, for many people, overwhelming. So we were striving for a streamlined, cleaner look. If you click the superforum name, you will see all the subforums; in a few cases, there are sub-subforums, but the directory I've attached to the first post in this thread provides links to all the public forums, so if there's something that's eluding you, just check there.

We carried the visual simplicity idea into the OBOD members' forums as well...it isn't that your permissions have changed or that you were once seeing something that you weren't supposed to; we just thought it would be simpler if people didn't have to see the forums they don't have access to. Thus, Bards can see the Bards forum and all the general access OBOD forums, i.e., OBOD General Discussion, Camps and Festivals, and Groves and Seedgroups. Ovates can see all these plus Ovates, and Druids can see everything the Ovates see plus Druids. Everything is still there, but if you can't get into it, you can't see it. Likewise, our non-OBOD board members can't see the OBOD only forums--they can't read them, so why clutter up their index pages?

I'm sorry you're finding things confusing--changes always are at first, I guess--but I hope once you've gotten more familiar with the new arrangement you'll like it better. :love:
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Annaoj » 19 Nov 2008, 23:38

No no, I am not complaining. It's just very different to boards I am used to and I am not on here all day (yet) to really get the feel of the place. Also I find that in Firefox at least I have to do lots of scrolling to see the whole page. I'll get used to it. Your explanation of sub-categorising etc makes sense. Thank you!
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Spiritunicorn » 25 Nov 2008, 21:36

Am I allowed to say that I do not really like this change?

It reminds me somewhat of those old fantasy art websites from the early days of the web where you have to 'Walk down the cliff side path' or 'Wander through the forest of enlightenment' to get to sections of the site that more usefully would have been called 'Art gallery', 'Guest book', 'Contact Us' etc...

Generally when I am scanning through the many and varied forums that I lurk on I prefer to spend more time reading posts than attempting to navigate a confusing layout of boards with very non-conventional and undescriptive names. I feel this is made worse here by the description text for each branch of the forum that appears to try to teach you about Druidry, rather than telling you what boards you may find contained within.

As a game this is good, as a useful and accessible web tool I find this rather lacking.

Bright Blessings,
Dan Greywolf /|\

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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Fox » 02 Feb 2009, 15:08

After living with the board for a few months, I have to say I agree with the Dan (see quote below).

I still have to scan through the headings each time to find the Creative Pursuits subforum, as I just don't associate it with any of the poetic forum headings. (I've just had to remind myself where it lives ... "The Path Through the Forest" ... okay, if you say so ...)

Having worked with websites - both designing, testing and using - for many years now, may I make a few suggestions?

1. Rethink the headings to make them more prosaic and descriptive. Sorry, but that in my opinon is the single biggest change you could make to help people find their way around the board better. For example:
  • The Field Guide = About this Board
  • The Philosopher's Roundhouse = Discuss Druidry (The Common Quest then becomes a single subforum and The Podcast page gets moved somewhere else)
  • Spirit of the Journey = Druid Living, with the other subtopics being subtopics to this.
  • The list goes on ... (on a journey into the forest, perhaps?)
2. Get rid of the long descriptive text for each subheading on the board home page. Put it onto the subforum page if you think it is really important. I hate to say it but much of it seems like poetic waffle that doesn't really help the user work out what is in the subforum. It is reflective, poetic text, not descriptive text, and as such doesn't belong on the main navigation page where people are just trying to work out where to go next, not ponder the mysteries of Druidry. If you REALLY need some descriptive text, a single line should do it.

As it is now, the long paragraphs make it more difficult to make a choice, instead of easier.

3. Once you delete the long paragraphs on the home page, there should be space to put the subforums into a vertical list, which would make the choices much easier to scan. But there may be technical reasons why this can't be done. In any case, taking the long paragraphs away will make it easier to locate and digest the subforum choices.

I append an example image of a slimmed down board home page. I wonder if others think it is an improvement?
druid.jpg
druid.jpg (96.59 KiB) Viewed 6647 times
Am I allowed to say that I do not really like this change?

It reminds me somewhat of those old fantasy art websites from the early days of the web where you have to 'Walk down the cliff side path' or 'Wander through the forest of enlightenment' to get to sections of the site that more usefully would have been called 'Art gallery', 'Guest book', 'Contact Us' etc...

Generally when I am scanning through the many and varied forums that I lurk on I prefer to spend more time reading posts than attempting to navigate a confusing layout of boards with very non-conventional and undescriptive names. I feel this is made worse here by the description text for each branch of the forum that appears to try to teach you about Druidry, rather than telling you what boards you may find contained within.

As a game this is good, as a useful and accessible web tool I find this rather lacking.

Bright Blessings,
Dan Greywolf /|\
yr pal, Fox

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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Donata » 02 Feb 2009, 17:03

I agree that for me, the new format is still confusing.

I can't find the right subforum easily, so I usually just click onto 'view new posts', so may miss things, and may post at times in the wrong forum.

I'd really like to have all subforums/subfora listed on the index page so I can easily find them. A complete listing would take up about the same amount of space as the descriptive paragraphs do now, and for me, would be far more useful.

Or at least, as with 'Arts of the Seer', itself a sub forum with many subforums of its own, a notation that it has its own subforums. Even here, the listing of the sub/subfora of Arts of the Seer would take up less space than the descriptive paragraph - which is somewhat redundant IMO since the names of the forums in The 'Otherworld' are fairly self descriptive.

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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Selene » 03 Feb 2009, 04:04

Let me give this some thought, Fox, et al. I know we can't put the subforums into a vertical list--the software won't allow that, that I know of--but it may be possible to do something to help. I'll consult with the other admins and the Office to evaluate the situation...we wanted to make the board more user-friendly, but it it's not working we may have to try something else. However, we do have to keep in mind the number of complaints we received about the old arrangement and the number of people who've said they like the new one. I'll keep you posted!
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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Fox » 03 Feb 2009, 10:45

Let me give this some thought, Fox, et al. I know we can't put the subforums into a vertical list--the software won't allow that, that I know of--but it may be possible to do something to help. I'll consult with the other admins and the Office to evaluate the situation...we wanted to make the board more user-friendly, but it it's not working we may have to try something else. However, we do have to keep in mind the number of complaints we received about the old arrangement and the number of people who've said they like the new one. I'll keep you posted!
May I suggest some user testing?

The simplest thing would be to put up a few screenshots of alternative homepages and just have people vote on which they think is the clearest/like the best/find most useful.

Alternatively, focus it more, showing the alternatives to people (say, 5 volunteers) who have nothing to do with the board. They won't have any vested interest and their confusion or clarity would be a better indication than people who are "in the know".

Just my tuppence worth.
yr pal, Fox

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Re: Where to find lost forums :)

Postby Kat Lady » 03 Feb 2009, 11:28

May I suggest some user testing?

The simplest thing would be to put up a few screenshots of alternative homepages and just have people vote on which they think is the clearest/like the best/find most useful.

Alternatively, focus it more, showing the alternatives to people (say, 5 volunteers) who have nothing to do with the board. They won't have any vested interest and their confusion or clarity would be a better indication than people who are "in the know".

Just my tuppence worth.
Fox, we did user testing before we brought this board online and incorporated many of the suggestions. We did not, however, use volunteers who have nothing to do with the board as we wanted the members' opinions since they are the ones using it. And we had a sampling from brand new members through ones that had been here since the initial board was online.

In addition, we a limited to what the board can do technically. We have added some things but have found in the past that adding too many "bells and whistles" creates problems with response time etc. So there may be some things we can do about the general layout without compromising the Board integrity. But others we are not willing to even attempt because of the size of this board.

The reason we removed many of the subforums from view was because of numerous complaints that the board was "cluttered." We thought making it more like a Windows based format where you have tabs then add'l tabs would resolve the issue and people would learn just where their particular favorite tab was in time.

The descriptions are primarily for newcomers to help them become used to not just the board, but OBOD druidry at its basics.

Now, that said, I am not against making changes to make things easier. Heck no! Our goal is not to make this a place of confusion, but a place of companionship. But in the end, no matter what is done, some people will really like the changes, some will not.
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