Feedback wanted: Utility of right column "Recent Discussions"

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by Amin Sabet, May 27, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I've been tweaking the tabs, Navbar links, etc, mostly with a goal towards eventually producing a mobile-friendly version of the site. If you visit FredMiranda.com or PentaxForums.com from your phone/iPod/tablet, you'll see examples of what I'd like to do with this site.

    If I can make the sites user friendly on mobile from a phone, I can stop paying the high monthly cost of our forum app. Those who like using an app would still have the option to use Tapatalk, which is now free and provides the same functionality. More importantly, those who don't want to bother with an app would have a mobile-friendly site to use.

    The major obstacle to making the site mobile-friendly is that I use a product called vBadvanced CMPS to put a "Recent Discussions" column on the side of each thread. I personally use that column to find the most recent posts while viewing any given thread, and I'm sure a lot of members use it that way too. However, I'm thinking we could all get used to going without that and instead using the "New Posts" and "Today's Posts" links under the Navbar (replacing the Active tab), which is the way almost every other forum works.

    Regardless of whether we keep Recent Discussion in a column of the thread view, it will remain a column on the site Front Page.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran

    758
    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I have a strong preference for using the "Latest Discussions" column. It's one of the features that (favorably) sets these forums apart from the others.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I usually navigate the site from the "latest discussions" menu at the right as I can quickly see which threads in bold are new to me. I have almost never navigated from the forum menu page.

    As long as it is still available on the front page, I will have no difficulties in switching. Also, using the new posts thingie at top works well, too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I, too, really like the "latest discussions" column on the right. To me, it makes navigating these sites infinitely quicker and easier than the other forums I've hung out on without such a feature. I've recommended something similar to other site administrators elsewhere.

    Do what works for the sites as a whole, but here's one more data point in favor of keeping the right column...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    does the move to eliminate the "latest discussions" bar from the right have anything to do with the number of columns allowed on the right side? If so, I think it would make more sense to ditch the latest member ads (and this from a guy who visits the classifieds every day).

    Or is it some other layout issue?
     
  6. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
  7. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    No, having anything in the right column makes it very hard to make the site mobile friendly.

    Sent from my VS980 4G using SeriousCompacts mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I never use the right columns, in fact I find them (whether classifieds or recent discussions) intrusively annoying ... but then I'm an outlier at the best of times :biggrin:

    However I didn't know tapatalk was free again now, which is handy as I can now use it for APUG too (so, not only an outlier but a cheapskate ...)


    Unfortunately that won't work, because the link you have copied is "one time only".

    I use the following as my bookmark link for SC: https://www.photographerslounge.org/search.php?do=getnew&exclude=27,79;contenttype=vBForum_Post , which gives all the new posts since last visit (and is automagically transformed into a unique one-time link as per wt21's post every time you use it)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    I use the Recent Discussions column all the time. I used to use the New Posts link but I find it doesn't seem to show new posts fast enough when the forum is busy and lots of people are engaging in different threads. The New Posts link will show no new activity (sometimes for a long while) while the Recent Discussions column will show a few new posts in various threads.
     
  10. Agree
     
  11. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    How peculiar, James ... I don't see that at all
     
  12. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    Old school desktop here (XP)
    I don't use mobile though that may change when I fire up on ipad
    I don't use the right Latest discussions but the Active button on top - now disappeared
    Since that has gone I'm forced to use the Latest Discussions but that means to view it I have to go to home page or to an active thread - its not visible on forum menus
     
  13. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    You don't see the "New Posts" link?
     
  14. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I don't see the behaviour you describe
     
  15. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Use it all the time, and love it. Have been using the browser (and not the app) to view SC and its sister sites on my tablet and mobile for a while now. On a tablet it's not much of a problem. On a mobile the side bar in particular becomes very narrow, but I make do with it.

    Would it be possible to have a mobile-specific version of the forum which automatically has the same content, but a different layout? I know some wordpress themes adjust the number of columns to the type of viewing medium.
     
  16. TraamisVOS

    TraamisVOS SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2010
    Melboune, Australia
    oh... I dunno. [​IMG]
     
  17. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    well latest discussions and new posts are not the same thing....it threw me off as well. New posts will drop a thread down to the bottom once you have read it whereas "latest discussions" keep whatever has the most recent comment on top....it's just that if you have read it, it won't be displayed in bold type. The differences are subtle, but more than enough to confuse me and wonder why they weren't showing me the same list of thread titles in the same order. :doh:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    I use the right column all the time as it allows me to jump from topic to topic without having to go to an index page. That said, I could get used too not having it. I'd be curious as to how it affects Pages Per Visit though, particularly to non-registered visitors.

    You should be able to code the page so that the right column disappears for mobile users but is visible for desktop/tablet users.
     
  19. pictogramax

    pictogramax SC Top Veteran

    979
    Aug 18, 2011
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I too use the right column all the time and would be sorry to loose it. It's so handy to keep up with fluctuation of comments. Can it be moved to left (or center or whatever) to become the main dish, while classifieds or featured would move to allow it?
     
  20. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    I use the Recent Discussions column all the time
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.