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Apr 9, 2010 12:50 PM

New behavior of posts under Stories

The posts under stories used to appear in one long list, oldest at the top, newest at the bottom, exactly the same as threads on the boards. I can sort of understand changing that to break them up into pages, but why did you reverse the order so the newest post appears first?

As on the boards, many posts are replies to earlier posts, so it doesn't make sense to start with only the most recent two or three posts. And on any given page, if you want to follow the discussion you have to start at the bottom of the page and work your way up. That's very awkward and counter-intuitive - you read one post from top to bottom, then scan back up to the top of of it and further up to the top of the next post, then read it top to bottom - what a recipe for eyestrain!

I realize that there is a button that lets you reverse the order of posts to show oldest first, but the default appears to be set to "newest first" and even if I change it, every time I open a new topic, or even reopen the same topic a minute later, it's reset to newest first. It's such a pain in the butt that I've pretty much stopped reading Stories.

I apologize if this has been addressed already but a quick search didn't bring up anything.

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  1. I totally agree. I too have stopped reading Stories because of this.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Karen_Schaffer

      Can we really be the only ones bothered by this? It's driving me bananas! Why did they "fix" something that wasn't broken at all?

      1. re: BobB

        Agree. I used to read the comments on the stories regularly. Now I don't bother going to those pages as often.

    2. I second this. Very odd+annoying to change the settings everytime...

      1. Hi All,

        Thanks for the feedback. We are working on implementing functionality that would save/hold your chosen reading preference for oldest first, or newest first.

        This is how it would work; if you are not logged in, we will save it for as long as your visit lasts - until you close the browser or navigate away from the the site. If you are logged in, we will save it to your user preferences so the next time you come back you will see the oldest first (if that is what you chose for your preference).

        Our next launch date is still being worked out, but hope this feature helps to make reading the story comments enjoyable again.

        2 Replies
        1. re: CHOW HQ

          Thank YOU for the inside dope! I still don't understand why the change was made at all, though - even with a sticky "show oldest first" you still need to click Read All to see more than the first two or three, and even then you don't really get to read all, you only see the next page, and have to click again to get the following page, and so on. Before, all I had to do to see the most recent posts in a thread I've been following was hit End to go to the bottom of the page.

          We don't have this page-by-page behavior on regular threads (where after the first 300 or so it might actually be helpful), why add it to Stories, which rarely have enough responses to become unwieldy on a single page?

          Looks to me like a feature that was implemented just because the software allows it, regardless of whether it adds anything to the user experience.

          1. re: BobB

            Second this. Reading comments and participating on stories has become much less fun with these changes. Pagination is ok, the sorting is debatable, the default of showing only 3 comments kills it.

        2. It just struck me why it is that this new "functionality" may not seem so egregious to the techs working on it: when you're testing the site from a workstation connected directly to the servers, you click a link and you get a page, immediately. But for those of us who are connected over DSL circuits of varying reliability, you click a link, you get a page - eventually. Sometimes in a second or two, often in ten seconds or more (especially when "adlinks" is slow).

          So when I have to click four or five links to get the info I used to get in one, it's a MAJOR disincentive to casually check something out.

          Why did you take something that worked perfectly well as it was and turn it into this mess?

          1. I'm glad I finally found this topic. I hate the new changes too. I've switched over to "oldest first" many times and it seems to default to newest first the next time I go into a story.

            I also don't get why when I click "view all" posts, I still don't see all the posts. What's the point of having a view all option if it still picks the newest/oldest based on my settings at that moment?

            9 Replies
            1. re: queencru

              Good point - "view all" should mean view all, not view next ten or whatever.

              You know, chow techs - given how few casual chow users even know this board exists, let alone what it's for, I suspect that user dissatisfaction is much more widespread than this brief thread would indicate. Try putting a poll on the Stories page to see what users really think of this new behavior - I'd be willing to bet there are very few people who consider it an improvement over the previous setup.

              1. re: BobB

                Thanks Bob for the suggestion to put a poll on to the Stories page to see what users think about the new behavior, that is a great idea. When we post the poll we will be sure to let the thread know so everyone will have a chance to vote.

                1. re: CHOW HQ

                  I don't see any mention of this being fixed in the new release - is it planned at all? What about the user poll to see which Story display behavior people prefer?

                  1. re: CHOW HQ

                    OK, ChowHQ - it's been six months, did you ever run that poll? I so seldom look at Stories since the change I may well have missed it, but I'd still like to see the results.

                    1. re: BobB

                      I'm curious as well. I think it's a lot easier to miss everything over there with the new layout.

                  2. re: BobB

                    I agree with BobB. On top of all these, there's the fact that you even have to click a button just to read the whole damn answer if it's more than a few lines. What is the purpose of that? Why is that at all helpful to the user? If I want to stop reading someone's post, I'll stop reading; conversely, to collapse the post so that I have to be proactive to continue reading it makes me not want to bother.

                    1. re: tatamagouche

                      What's worse is that there is no "expand all" option, so you have to click all 25 comments separately. This is especially frustrating if the site is running slowly or if you're on a slower connection. At least have some preference in the account area where you can set it to show all, oldest to newest permanently, instead of requiring you to do all of this every time you go to a story.

                      1. re: queencru

                        This is classic site developer behavior (and I can say that, having been one) - add new features just because your new toy box (software toolkit) allows it, regardless of whether said features are useful, useless, or - as in this case - actually detrimental to the functionality of the site from a real user's perspective.

                        The new Story setup "does more things" and "looks cooler" - how could anyone not love that?

                        I always used to drill into my team - if the USERS aren't happy, it ain't working right!

                        1. re: BobB

                          I have to constantly drill this into non-tech savvy people, "just 'cause you were given a tool doesn't mean you have to use it"