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Why dont we get the list of boards when we click on "Boards"

jen kalb Feb 21, 2007 05:58 AM

(1) Its so damn counterintuitive - who in the world is going to know that the little triange (chevron) does anything?? Im repeatedly fining myself in "Latest Posts" unintentionally, just where I dont want to be.

(2) For those of us who use hot posts extensively, there ought to be an easier way to make a new post. Right now , lets say I am looking at my home board, outer boroughs. through the "my latest unread posts view". There is no way to MAKE A NEW POST (other than a reply) from that postion. Instead, I have to navigate out of that view, remember that I cant click on Boards and must use the triangle , navigate to the OTHER view of outer boroughs and post.

Cant you create a way to make a new post directly from the HOT POSTS view? Just being able to access the list of Boards without clicking on the right spot on the red menu bar would be a help.

thanks

  1. Jacquilynne Feb 21, 2007 06:41 AM

    1) is because the navigation bar is consistent across both CHOW and Chowhound. All of the words take you to the main page of that 'section' of the site--in the case of the word 'boards', that's the front page of Chowhound--while the arrows take you to the menu for a given a section of the site.

    2) is an interesting idea. On the 'all boards' view of hotposts, each post has a board listed, and the name of the board is a link to the board index, which contains the 'add new topic' button. If that feature were still there in the individual board views of hotposts, would that make the process of getting to the board to post sufficiently easier? Or do you think an Add a Topic button on that page is necessary?

    -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

    12 Replies
    1. re: Jacquilynne
      jen kalb Feb 21, 2007 11:40 AM

      (1) Well, its seems to me valid to consider whether the front page of chowhound be a list of random posts rather than a list of boards. or if its a list of random posts, whether its the hot posts or latest posts view.

      For one reason for concern just look at the post right below this.

      (2) lets say I am in hot posts view in outer boroughs, my home board. why should I have to navigate anywhere else to make a post on that board . If I remember, I can go down to the bottom of any thread and click on "Back to the Board" which will take me to a screen where I can post. But then, I have fallen out of hotposts view. I believe I than have to go back via the red bar options to get it back again.

      Its too easy to fall out of the Hotposts format as we are set up now. Seems to me it ought to be a view option as stable as the colors.

      1. re: Jacquilynne
        a_and_w Feb 21, 2007 04:22 PM

        No offense, but consistency with CHOW is not a persuasive argument. Please consider making chowhound user friendly first, then making CHOW consistent with chowhound, not vice versa.

        1. re: Jacquilynne
          Robert Lauriston Feb 23, 2007 10:42 AM

          In what sense is it consistent? The CHOW and Chowhound home pages (http://chow.com and http://chowhound.com ) have radically different formats.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            Chris VR Feb 23, 2007 12:23 PM

            It's consistent in the sense that clicking on "Stories" brings you to CHOW's home page. Clicking "Boards" brings you to Chowhound's home page. The idea, I think, is those pages are entries into the variety of content in that area. I just don't agree that a random assortment of recent posts provides the best entry into Chowhound's content.

            1. re: Chris VR
              Robert Lauriston Feb 23, 2007 12:57 PM

              Chow has four main sections (recipes, feature stories, blogs, podcasts & video), each of which gets probably no more than 10 items a day. So a set of lists of the most recent additions to each section constitute a useful overview of what's new on the site.

              Chowhound has around 60 boards which collectively get probably more than 10,000 posts a day, so a list of most recent additions is, as you say, a random assortment.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                Robert Lauriston Feb 24, 2007 08:50 AM

                Thinking about this more--Chow and Chowhound are *not* consistent.

                http://www.chow.com contains sidebars for each of the main sections (Recipes, Stories, Blogs, Videos and Media). Each sidebar has a link to that section's main page followed by a selection of the latest items in that section.

                http://www.chowhound.com does *not* contain links to the approximately 60 main sections (boards). It has only a selection of the 70 most recent items from all boards.

                To be consistent with Chow, the main page for Chowhound should have the Boards list, followed by a selection of recent items.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  Jacquilynne Feb 24, 2007 11:10 AM

                  The navigation bars are consistent, as are the page footers. The stuff that comes between those two is customized for each site.

                  1. re: Jacquilynne
                    jen kalb Feb 24, 2007 04:11 PM

                    consistency concerns me a lot less than usability. Thats why I started this thread. And consistency is in the eye of the beholder. If I click on "my chow" I get what I want, my recent posts. To get to what I want on the Boards, I cant click on the word I have to click on the triangle and then look for exceedingly small text ref to hotposts. Ive now fixed this with a bookmark directly into unread posts on outer boroughs and navigate around from there, but I suspect that for a newbie this set up is extremely confusing.

                    1. re: jen kalb
                      Robert Lauriston Feb 25, 2007 09:57 AM

                      If when you clicked Boards you got something like the attached screen shot, I think it would be more consistent with what happens when you click Recipes, Stories, Blogs, or Videos, in the sense that you'd get a page where you can easily drill down to any of the subsections.

                       
                      1. re: jen kalb
                        m
                        MsMel608 Mar 9, 2007 04:42 PM

                        jen kalb,
                        you are correct!!
                        It is most confusing to a newbie.
                        I used to get email notification that there was a new post to something I had posted. ( I no longer get those... don't know why). Now when I log in, I have to try to remember the number of posts I need to check on, as well as "which" board I posted "what" on.

                        1. re: MsMel608
                          jen kalb Mar 9, 2007 07:18 PM

                          Well, to check on threads you have actually posted on click on "My Chow" and it will give you that.

                          Not obvious why it works on a different theory, but hey it works.

                          We are much luckier here where the discussions are threaded than on CHOW proper where you cant tell what relates to what.

                          1. re: jen kalb
                            m
                            MsMel608 Mar 12, 2007 05:51 PM

                            I'm a little Johnny-come-lately. I figured this out after I did my post.
                            Thanks.

          2. c
            ctal Feb 21, 2007 08:12 AM

            I can't answer any of your questions, sorry, BUT...I am new to the boards and THANK YOU flor clueing me in on that little triangle!!! You're right, it is counterintuitive....I knew there had to be a way to get a board listing, but heck if I could find it!

            1. Chris VR Feb 21, 2007 03:07 PM

              It seems to me that there's a desire to stick to the guns of consistency here simply because that's how it works for readers of CHOW. Just because it SHOULD make sense doesn't mean that it does, as all the feedback on this setup has shown. Not one user seems to understand that the arrow is the way to get to the list of boards until it's explained to them. This really should say that the design isn't working and should be reconsidered. It's not in the site's best interest to make it hard for users to find the list of boards (especially for visitors who are new to the site).

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chris VR
                limster Feb 21, 2007 07:34 PM

                Ditto. Best to make the entire site as user friendly as possible, to both CH and Chow users.

              2. Candy Feb 21, 2007 04:27 PM

                It ids because they want you to get used to navigating the crappy alphabet soup on ther right hand side. I have posted this question in the past. CNET doen not care like Foodnetwork what the users want, just what they want to push and in this case it is Chow which I refuse to look at. Of course this will be taken down ASAP

                1 Reply
                1. re: Candy
                  jen kalb Feb 22, 2007 07:11 PM

                  Im not going to get into why I think the above statement isnt totally fair, but Id just like to point out that the alphabet soup isnt even visible all the time. Its not going to help a newbie navigate around once he clicks and wanders into a board. so that cant be it.I

                2. Carb Lover Feb 23, 2007 08:33 AM

                  I agree that clicking on the tiny triangle is counterintuitive and awkward. Clicking on "boards" should take users to the board list.

                  If the designers are intent on keeping the triangle, then at least make it bigger. My mouse sometimes misses the tiny symbol which makes navigation clumsy and makes me less inclined to spend time on the boards.

                  And is there a way to make the board list appear more quickly after I click on the triangle? The delay always has me wondering if I didn't click on it properly. These little things do make me enjoy the site less and less...

                  1. Chuckles the Clone Feb 23, 2007 10:24 AM

                    I'm sure you guys know this, but the first rule of user interface design is
                    "don't invent something new". With the corollary, "minimize user astonishment".

                    The triangle thing is something new. Open/close triangles are used extensively
                    in existing user interfaces. But not like CH uses them. They normally have a
                    closed and an open position. But the CH menubar one is *already* in the open
                    position. The normal thing a user would expect by clicking on a triangle in the
                    open position is that it would close something. But in this case it opens. ???

                    And as far as astonishment goes, clicking on a link labeled "boards" that goes to
                    someplace other than "boards" is flat-out wrong.

                    It's good to be consistent with Chow. So maybe Chow needs to be re-thought too?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                      jen kalb Feb 23, 2007 01:27 PM

                      Chuckles I think my lotus notes has those triangles, up and down, or little pluses and minuses (dtto adobe acrobat) and it took me a long time to understand their function. There are a significant number of otherwise competent people who confuse opposite symbols (the elevator door comes to mind), have trouble with logical opposites and dont always "get" what little icons and symbols generally mean. Word labels and a bigger size (so you can actually see what an icon depicts) helps.

                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                        Robert Lauriston Feb 23, 2007 01:34 PM

                        CNET didn't invent using a static down-pointing triangle for "display submenu." I've been seeing that in Web applications for a few years--e.g. Liferay.

                        Though since the Mac uses modal triangles to mean something very different it has always seemed like a bad choice to me.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          Chuckles the Clone Feb 23, 2007 02:19 PM

                          But the mac uses them to mean *exactly the same* thing.
                          Disclosure triangles:
                          http://developer.apple.com/documentat...

                          Lotus Notes calls them "twisties" and they behave as per apple guidelines.
                          I'm guessing more people are familiar with Lotus than with Liferay?

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                            Robert Lauriston Feb 23, 2007 04:36 PM

                            The ones in Liferay are static, work just like Chowhound. I've seen them elsewhere. They're not common, but they're nothing new.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              Chuckles the Clone Feb 23, 2007 11:13 PM

                              Ah yes, I see your point. The CNET folks didn't invent them like
                              I thought but borrowed the idea from this "Liferay" thing. Yes, I missed
                              that originally. I was wrong.

                              Still, that doesn't make them right. Ever walk into some restaurant way
                              the heck out on the edge of the map that's trying way too hard to do it
                              like they do in France or the big city but just gets it horribly wrong. There's
                              a place out in Winnemucca NV, lovely place I stop there all the time
                              has the best food in town, but they serve a basket of white sandwich
                              bread with a saucer of olive oil. They saw it done like that somewhere,
                              but missed the essential functionality.

                              That's kind of what we've got here -- winnemucca wonder bread olive
                              oil triangles.

                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone
                                Robert Lauriston Feb 25, 2007 09:58 AM

                                The nav bar triangles are now dynamic.

                      2. jen kalb Feb 23, 2007 01:50 PM

                        actually, I move my cursor over the little down-pointing arrows and it says "clear" - signifying nothing to me at all.

                        what sense does that make?

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