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Jun 14, 2012 04:45 PM

New on site: Chowhound dropdown!

We're happy to announce that we have streamlined the way users can access Chowhound boards. We like it, and hope you do too. You will see a triangle dropdown on the top navigation (where it says "Chowhound Discussions") and if you are not logged in, you will see the most trafficked boards on the site. If you are logged in, you will also see your saved boards listed in alphabetical order. We hope these shortcuts help you move around the site more easily, and that you get to where you're going faster.

In a week or so, we will be removing the "Choose a Board" box at the top of the thread pages, but wanted to give everyone some time to get used to the dropdown first.

Thanks, Meredith

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  1. I am also liking the "related discussions" and "most recent discussions" being on the side. With the related discussions being right at "eye sight" perhaps it will cut down on the bane of local boards "where can I find a good.....?" clueless, questions. The most recent discussions, is nice as it shows some real time activity on the board in an easy way. Bravo for the changes!

    1. I like the drop-down box for navigation and the removal of the "Choose a Board" box at the top of the pages. However, the drop-down box has room only for 8 1/2 boards, plus the navigation title, on both sides of the box. So if one has saved more than 9 boards will it be necessary to select "My Saved Boards", have a new window open, and then select the board of interest? Or will the drop-down box be dynamically sized to reflect all the saved boards? (Plus, the final board listed being "cut in half" horizontally at the bottom of the drop-down is visually annoying.)

      37 Replies
      1. re: janniecooks

        Thanks for noticing the bug of the board name being 'cut in half.' We noticed that too, and we'll hopefully be fixing that soon!

        As far as Saved Boards go, there's no limit to the number of Saved Boards you can have, but only 7-9 will end up displaying (depending on the length of their titles). We did a little research into this, and *very* few users have more than 8 saved boards, so this change doesn't affect most people. So you're correct that if you have 10 boards saved, you'll need to select "My Saved Boards" to see them all.

        Saved Boards appear in the dropdown in alphabetical order, which is also something to consider if you have more than 7 or 8 of them. There's currently no way to change this. The good news is that there's less of a reason to have boards like "Manhattan" or "Home Cooking" as a Saved Board now, since they are always going to be in the left column of your dropdown you should choose Saved Boards that are not also among the most popular, to maximize your dropdown capabilities.

        Hope this makes sense, and let us know if you have other questions/suggestions.

        Dave MP

        1. re: Dave MP

          Dave, thanks for the good idea to use the most popular boards listed in the left side of the box and not save, for example, home cooking - a classic case of "why didn't I think of that"! Thanks again, and I second the bravo on the new navigation.

          1. re: Dave MP

            I dislike this new feature. Really do.

            As janniecooks also says, the cut-off at 8 1/2 boards is very annoying and the inability to have any more than that is, in my view, a misconceived decision by CH.

            My 2¢.

            Then, there was this:
            What happened?

            1. re: huiray

              Hi huiray,

              Thanks for your thoughts. As I mentioned above, the cut-off problem is a bug that I hope we can fix very soon. I agree that this is annoying, and certainly wasn't intentional.

              Also, you can still have as many saved boards as you want, but you'll only be able to access 7-9 in your dropdown. If you want to see all of your saved boards at once, you'll be able to do this through your profile page. Just select "My Saved Boards" in the dropdown, and you'll be brought to that page, where you can click any that you like.

              Most registered users (over 99%) don't have more than 8 saved boards, so we made this change with that statistic in mind.

              Finally, I'm not sure what you are referencing in the link you provided. But let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks!

              Dave MP

              1. re: Dave MP

                Yes, I'm aware that I can have more than 8 saved boards, thanks. I was referring to the drop-down menu, however.

                The link I posted indicated that back in Sept 2011 it was NOT the intent to have those tabbed boards "go away".

                1. re: Dave MP

                  Hi, Dave:

                  From my perspective it wasn't broken, and now you've fixed it. The change has added clicks, and the worst kind--the ones you have to go looking for.

                  Ironically, IMO the change gives the site a *less* polished look and feel.

                  My 2 Cents,

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      agreed. more clicks and now a painful blue.

                      can you guys at least match the darker blue that the other links are displaying?

                  1. re: huiray

                    Another no...extra clicks to get to my saved boards and not seeing all my saved boards is going (has already) make me spend less time on this site. FWIW
                    I don't post often but read almost daily.

                  2. re: Dave MP

                    Dave- thanks for the explanation. How does this make my user experience better if I have to go searching for boards, and I have less easy access. It appears that the functionality doesn't solve any problems, but really just takes away easy navigation, especially for people that have more than 8 boards save, who I would suggest are probably your biggest users. Just because we are small, doesnt mean that we do not actually use and contribute more.

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      I concur.

                      In addition, the drop-down menu items (the 9 boards plus the "all boards" on either side of the drop-down) do not have control-click [nor, presumably, right-click] properties for calling up one's computer/OS sub/contextual menu to allow opening one's selection in another tab or window. One HAS to allow the current browser window to go to the new selected board(s). This is another limitation in my view, as I have always found it very useful to have different threads open in separate tabs or windows. I usually end up choosing 'My Profile' or "Chowhound Discussions" or "Chowhound" just above the OP panel contextually just to get to another tab or window before I navigate to the desired board or another thread. So the number of steps/clicks needed to open other boards/threads in a separate tab is no different than before.

                      BTW, @Dave MP or Engineering: The shrinking of the "directory tree' or "path" to the thread being viewed, shown just above the OP (as I mentioned above in this post) is now so small, and in a color so pale it is hard to see, that when the change occurred recently I initially thought it was gone as I didn't even notice the current tininess of it until a little later when I finally noticed it.

                      1. re: huiray

                        What browser are you using? I use Chrome and have all the right click options working fine. I also like to click open into multiple tabs.

                        1. re: Quine

                          Yes, it works in Chrome - but I usually use FF. I run an all-Mac household. Most used is a 17-inch MBP Dual Processor. On FF the list of boards *within* that drop-down menu do not have contextual menu availability for me - all other links on the page do, including the "Chowhound Discussions" link from which the drop-down descends.

                          1. re: huiray

                            I'm using Firefox on a Mac, and am successfully right-clicking (and command+clicking) my Saved Boards, to open them in a new tab.

                            1. re: Dave MP

                              But, I think what he is saying that if you right click "recipes", "blog" or "chowhound discussions" themselves (without dropping down yet) can you launch that in a different tab? I can, but it seems huiray cannot.

                              1. re: Quine

                                No, I was saying that I could not double-finger-touchpad-tap or control-click/control-tap (both equivalent to right-click on a PC) on any of the boards including my saved boards within the drop-down menu that appears when I hover my cursor over "Chowhound Discussions" (and then move my cursor down into the drop-down menu). I could do so for every other link on the page, including the "Recipes", "Blog" and "Chowhound Discussions" links themselves [i.e. not the drop-down menus], the threads under "Related Discussions", etc.

                                However, as I write this, I now can control-click/control-tap etc within that drop-down menu for some of the boards. Something changed between when I first posted and now. I am pretty sure it did not work for me this morning and previously, at least for the "saved boards" I previously clicked on - but I can't swear I tried every selection in the drop-down repeatedly and persistently. However, now after a *lot* of repeated trials on my FF, control-click works erratically for the 1st board in the menu ("All Boards" and "My Saved Boards") and the 4th board on both sides; does not work for the 2nd and 3rd boards on either side except on two tries, I think; and works for the 5th to 9th boards on both sides. This pattern persists after restarting FF, dumping the cache and restarting FF, rebooting the computer, etc. BTW this pattern also holds for me (in FF) for selections within the "Videos", "Recipes" and "Blogs" drop-down menus too.

                                Interestingly, on an old version of Safari, when I control-click on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd boards on either side of this drop-down menu I get the contextual menu for Adobe Flash Player. Control-clicking on the 4th through 9th boards give the expected contextual menu for "open in a new tab" etc. Same thing for the 1st through 3rd selections in the drop-down menus for "Videos", "Recipes" and "Blogs" (which has just 2 selections).
                                [In FF I don't get the Flash contextual menu when I control-click on the 1st, 2nd & 3rd selections in the drop-down menus - either I get the proper contextual menu (for the 1st selection, sometimes) or nothing happens]

                                In Chrome, the correct contextual menu is called up for all boards/selections in the drop-down menus.

                                1. re: huiray

                                  That is surely crazy making. I personally use a laptop but hate the touchpad, bad for the hands, etc. wireless mouse for me.

                                  1. re: huiray

                                    Yes, I'm having some trouble getting the menu to drop down and getting a response when I click on the desired board name as well. Just noticed that if the banner ad has not completely loaded, none of those work. And on pages where there is no banner ad, the links work fine.

                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                      I'm seeing this too now (but only in Firefox). It seems like it might be that when there's a flash ad, the bug is happening, but when there's no banner ad (or a non-flash banner ad), it's not.

                                      Melanie and others, am I correct that you were *not* seeing this bug in Safari or Chrome?

                                      1. re: Dave MP

                                        I'm seeing it in Firefox, haven't checked Safari or Chrome.

                                    2. re: huiray

                                      This appears to be a bug with Flash Player which is specific to Firefox on Mac OS. We've verified it in Firefox 13.0.1 with Flash Player 11.3.300.257, the latest release for both. We have logged a bug with Adobe which you can track here:

                                      1. re: Engineering

                                        Thank you.
                                        Please do update us here on progress as it occurs, if you could.

                                        1. re: Engineering


                                          I'm running FF 16.0.1 now, and the Flash bug is still present. Has there been any response from Adobe?

                                          1. re: huiray

                                            Comments on the bug can be viewed at the bottom of the report linked in my previous post. Based on Adobe's notes there from August, this bug will unfortunately not be a priority for their team unless it receives more attention (eg "votes" for the bug on that page). If you have an Adobe account, feel free to vote for the bug on that page.

                        2. re: janniecooks

                          We've updated the names of a few boards to shorten them....probably the one that most people will notice is a change from "General Chowhounding Topics" back to "General Topics."

                          This means that all board names will appear on a single line in the Chowhound dropdown menu, which should solve the problem with the bottom board name getting cut off. If anyone is still seeing this happening, let us know!

                          Another result of this is that there's now room for users to have up to 9 saved boards in their dropdown. They will still be in alphabetical order.


                          Dave MP

                          1. re: Dave MP

                            Yes, the "General Topics" shortening helped. But now five of my saved boards appear in bold type (larger & thicker font) in the drop-down menu. What's the reason for it? Due to their taking up a little more space, the bottom board name in my panel is slightly clipped at the bottom.

                            1. re: huiray

                              I, too, am curious why some boards are bolded and some are not...


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                No board names appear in bold on my drop-down menu, and none are clipped at the bottom, nor were any last night after the adjustment to board names.

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  Philadelphia, Greater Boston, Southern New England, and B.C. (including Vancouver) are all very slightly (almost unnoticeably) bolder than the other entries for me. Not sure I would have realized it if it hadn’t been pointed out.

                              2. re: huiray

                                Same here. All but 2 of my boards are bolded, and the last one is cut in half.

                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                  We're aware of the bold bug, and should be fixing it soon. carolinadawg and huiray, it might be helpful to know what browser you're using (and whether you have the same issue in a different browser)

                                  1. re: Dave MP

                                    Yes, it does seem to be browser-dependent too. The problem tends to persist on an older version of Safari. Firefox and Chrome do not show it, at least in recent days - I can't swear that it was never there on these latter two browsers.

                                    1. re: Dave MP

                                      Running Chrome and no bold or clipping. Not even when you first changed it.

                                      1. re: Dave MP

                                        WinXP/IE8, in both columns of the drop-down.

                                        1. re: Dave MP

                                          Win XP/IE6 on one computer, will have to check the other computer.

                                    2. re: Dave MP

                                      That's an interesting case of the tail wagging the dog, but thanks. it also improves the display of the Hot Posts "Switch Boards" pull-down.

                                  2. When I jump on Chowhound, I'm here to see unread posts for a small selection of favorite boards. The dropdown would be SO much more useful if I could choose my saved boards and then go to the dropdown menu and ONLY see unread posts for those boards.

                                    1. Is it possible to have the drop down work on an iPad?

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: carolinadawg

                                        Yes, it doesn't seem to work on a touchscreen environment. I still rely on the "choose a board" selection to navigate. Not sure how I'll navigate on my tablet once that's gone.

                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                          We were made aware of the issue in and hope to have the iPad dropdowns working correctly soon. Our apologies for inconvenience until we do.

                                          1. re: Engineering

                                            Typically on web sites, when you see an indication of a drop down menu, you click on it to have it open up. Having it automatically open on mouse over is normal, too, but if you click on it by habit it should not do something whacky if nothing is selected.

                                            To be specific, if the mouse pointer is above "Chowhound Discussions", and you click on it, it should either open the list of choices or do nothing. Right now, clicking in that scenario brings up the "Latest Chowhound Posts" page. That sort of behavior is not standard, in any sense.

                                            This is a very picky point, and either way one can get used to the way things work, but in my opinion it generally is better to make things behave in a more standard fashion. User interface 101 and all that... :)

                                            1. re: RB Hound

                                              Hi RB Hound, Are you referring to the iPad dropdown or desktop? If desktop, what do you mean by "above Chowhound discussions"? If you click the "Chowhound Discussions" button, it takes you to the homepage. If you scroll down to the top of the dropdown, the first option is "See All Boards," and clicking that takes you to the all boards page. Just want to make sure I understand what you're referring to. Thanks.

                                              1. re: mudaba

                                                Desktop/laptop computer, and I am talking about it going to the home page ("Latest Chowhound Discussions"), not the all boards page (I have since edited my post). From an interface point of view, a drop down menu generally has no option for the title of the menu - clicking on that title should open or close the drop down. You've made it a mouse over menu, effectively an "overload" option. My point is that this is not very standard behavior for web sites.

                                                Like I said, one can get used to it, but it's...abnormal.

                                                Edit: in the first 3 choices for menus (Videos, Recipes, and Blogs), clicking on the menu title takes you to the first item in those menus. Clicking on the "Chowhound Discussions" menu does not take you to the first item in that menu.

                                                1. re: RB Hound

                                                  Sounds like the fable of The miller, his son and the donkey.

                                                  Poor Powers that Be, the more you try to make things nicer, better, or easier, the more you get complaints of how you should have done it different.

                                                  1. re: Quine

                                                    Double, double, toil and trouble...

                                                    1. re: Quine

                                                      Oh, come on - I was very clear that it was a "very picky point". I hardly think it is a show stopper. Besides, most people in software design like to have feedback.

                                            2. Took me about 15 minutes to find it and another couple of days to get used to it. But I LOVE it. Much clearer. Fewer clicks to get where I want to go. Great improvement. And I thank you.