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i wonder…. are there just too many categories in discussions now? i mean, while it’s great to have so many options, there are 27 forum categories to post to!!!

if i was the center of the universe, i would narrow it down to maybe five or six— “website help”, “sewing advice”, “share/classifieds”, “off-topic chatter”, and “sewing clubs”. i find that most boards have these broader categories, and then one uses the post title to make it more specific. that way the discussions homepage is far less cluttered. and it might generate more activity in each forum as well— if i’m already honed in on “website help-my profile”, i miss posts in the 10 other “website help” sub-categories that i might actually have an answer for.

whaddaya think?


11 Posts Sign in to add a post

  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    Aug 12, 2009, 05.29 PMby wzrdreams

    COMPLETELY AGREE. I’m think the organization of the Forums/Discussions is actually HARDER to navigate now than it was before. There is even more clicking to get into the sub-categories and then to the individual topics. It’s kind of annoying to use. Plus, I hate how much vertical space is wasted. I would love to see a list on the main page with all of the most recent individual thread/topic titles, organized into a simpler set of categories (the ones you suggested would be GREAT). I really don’t care to see who is the author of the most recent reply since that info will be in the post.

  • F73ae75c85bfa0c3044028abd57f1c9a2953cd72_large

    Aug 12, 2009, 05.44 PMby elainemay

    i’m with you on this one— having to go a level deep to see the subtopics makes it difficult. you have to do too much clicking to even find a topic. it’d be easier if you could just look at the top level page and see what all the recent threads are.

  • Strickliesl_large

    Aug 12, 2009, 05.56 PMby buzzybee

    I fully agree! Less is more. Having to select a main category and then having to select a sub category discourages me from wanting to casually post. I was lured into spending lots of time replying to peoples posts very easily on the old websites forum, as all of the topic headlines were directly visible at one glance. All I needed to do was scroll down a bit to see whether there were any new posts. Also: The information how often a topic has been looked at and how many replies there are is not as important as the headline of the topic and how current it is (when was it posted).

    3 Replies
    • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

      Aug 12, 2009, 08.03 PMby wzrdreams

      Also not important: the avatar of the last poster. Seriously, I don’t want to see my face a bunch of times just because I just posted to 3 threads, plus, it wastes vertical space.

    • Strickliesl_large

      Aug 13, 2009, 04.07 AMby buzzybee

      sorry wzrdreams, I marked your comment as inappropriate, instead of replying to it! I can’t undo it!
      But I can copy what you wrote:

      “Also not important: the avatar of the last poster. Seriously, I don’t want to see my face a bunch of times just because I just posted to 3 threads, plus, it wastes vertical space.” Written by wzrdreams at 08.03 pm on 12.08.09


    • Strickliesl_large

      Aug 13, 2009, 04.25 AMby buzzybee

      Could someone from web admin please remove the “marked as inappropriate” from wzrdreams comment?

  • Sewionista_logo_neu_large

    Aug 12, 2009, 07.34 PMby julietta

    I also agree. It was much easier to find topics on the old forum. The categories you mentioned are all what we need. But I like that the topics are now ordered by most recent activity.

  • Bssquare_large

    Aug 12, 2009, 07.45 PMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    yay, i’m not alone!

    you know, i just noticed there is a box to the right side of this page: “discussion categories”, with seven broad categories listed. i clicked on them, but it just takes me to the main forum page with the mind blowing 27… maybe if each link took us to just that category?

    1 Reply
    • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

      Aug 12, 2009, 08.01 PMby wzrdreams

      I noticed that too. Again, I AGREE.

  • Avatar_large

    Aug 12, 2009, 08.52 PMby benedikta

    Hi Everbody,

    Similar to other sites there are seven category under which our members can place their topics. We do not create the topics ourselves, users create them to address all the issues that they want to talk about them. I think if you orient yourself looking at the main categories on the right hand, then go right into where you want to go and look if your topic is covered, you may be able to find what you need. It may need a bit of getting used to, but in the end it is actually not very different from our old site.

    1 Reply
    • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

      Aug 12, 2009, 09.50 PMby wzrdreams

      Those 7 categories aren’t linked to anywhere other than the main page. We still have to click into the individual Forums (who creates those?) in order to get to the list of topics. On the new site there is only 1 topic for each forum listed on the main discussions page. Unfortunately, this does not make navigation easier than before.

  • Bssquare_large

    Aug 12, 2009, 09.41 PMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    umm, benedikta… LOVE the hat. your avatar looks like summer.

    the seven main categories on the right hand side are definitely great— but, for example if i click on “website help”, it takes me to 11 sub-categories. then, if i choose the sub-category “photos” because i’m not interested in the other 10 categories at that time, i miss all the other posts i might otherwise respond to. it’s broken down so much now that all i really do is look at the newest post for each sub-category on the main page, i never even get to the longer listings of posts.

    although this way definitely narrows the topics down and is helpful in finding if your specific topic is covered, it doesn’t help much in connecting with other people’s posts. at least, i think :)

    1 Reply
    • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

      Aug 12, 2009, 09.59 PMby wzrdreams

      Benedikta’s hat does rock!

  • Photoge01_large

    Aug 13, 2009, 02.45 AMby gedwoods

    Hmm, reading the posts there seems to be some confusion… Benedikta, we completely understand that the threads within categories are generated on topics by users, but the argument is that the list of Topic Areas is really 27 long – these are grouped on the overview page into 7 categories, but these 27 Topic Areas are not determined by the users, they are fixed by the site and its structure. And I am inclined to agree with the comments above, there are really too many subcategories. There are 11 subcategories in Website Help alone! I’m often confused about where to post a new thread, as there is lots of overlap between some of these subcategories (for example, between “Share→Project Chatter” and “Website Help→Projects” – what is the nuance here? I can see the context is different, but from a practical point of view, a lot of the discussion could go into either one).

    It seems to me that some of the categories were more useful as a beta site exercise than in the final site. The 11 sub-categories in Website Help were great to assist in the debugging and problem-solving process, but as the problems with the new site get ironed out, it would seem way too many for regular operation. Maybe you could group these into 3 or 4 categories, rather than the 11 currently used. Just looking at the list, I could see, say “User-defined content (Projects, Patterns, Techniques)”, "BurdaStyle-defined content (Blog, Terminology, Photos), “Members, profile and directory” and “Discussion forums” as four likely areas, possibly with “Getting Started, Getting Involved” as a fifth area. My titles might not be right, but the problems are likely to be similar within these areas.

    There seem to be 5 subcategories under BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs – perhaps 3 or 4 could be used instead? Like “Meetings and Promotion” – those seem to me linked topics, “News, Updates and Questions”, and “Finding a BSC” as a third. Again, just a suggestion.

    “Report as inappropriate” seems to me another beta site issue – this could easily be subsumed under “Best Practices”, which is a great title, BTW.

    And what’s the difference between “Website Feedback→Request a Feature” and “Content-What’s Next” – I see a subtle one, but the two discussions could be merged with little loss in the long term.

    Let’s see, if you followed all my suggestions :D, that would bring the number from 27 down to 16, a somewhat more manageable number. I just don’t have time to follow up threads from 27 categories, but I might, just barely, be able to keep track of 16 (or a large subset)!

  • Bssquare_large

    Aug 13, 2009, 01.55 PMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    gedwoods you always make sense of what’s in my head :)

    anyway, i also want to say the idea of the boards as they are is great— just a few too many tentacles….

    i need to go make coffee.

  • 73d1bf970e4b23be45881163e39fbc819a318352_large

    Aug 14, 2009, 08.54 AMby queenvanilla

    Of course there always could be trimmings, but I don’t think I agree on that there’s too much (other than ‘Website help’ – pah!). But it would be great it someone could add a description to every sub-forum to inform about the difference – or cut away forum if there’s none.

  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    Aug 14, 2009, 07.07 PMby wzrdreams

    Here’s an example of how micromanaged the Discussions are; the main category “Burda Style Sewing Clubs” has six (6) sub forums, but only three (3) topics total in the entire category. To me, that makes the sub-forums completely irrellevant an unnecessary, and it definitely increases the amount of clicking and page loading just to view the topic titles inside the forums. Many of the Forums only have a few topics ( I know this will grow in time, but that makes it all the more important NOW), so I don’t see the point in having them sub categoriezed at all. If the Forums are a necessary part of the Discussions page architecture, I request that we be able to go into each main category and see a longer list of all the topics in the subforums. Please.

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