As an experienced forum admin of gaming community forums seving the problems of hundreds of
users can I suggest that your forums are very poorly designed, to the point where it is my
opinion they obsuficate important information, make it difficult for inexperienced forum users,
to find similar issues, cause unnecissary repitition for posters in diagnosing line faults etc.
As for diagnosing line faults these should really be handled by your frontline support staff and
not the generosity of the community posters but hey ho.
At the moment all posters get dumped into a single Header Subject - this can quickly puch
ongoing issues down the board and make it more difficualt to find similar recent problems. Can I
suggest a couple of extry sub-headers (tiers) be created to help divide up peoples issues to
allow people to find topics more easily.
For example (I will expand the Broadband/BT Infinity section in this example) but the principal
applies to almost all forum sections really. It does take a little bit more forum admin (moving
topics posted in the wrong place) but I believe it would be a big improvement.
TOPIC HEADER BROADBAND
--ADSL/Copper Broadband Speed/Connection Issues
--BT Infinity Speed/Connection Issues
----Sticky - Commonly Asked for Information to Help Diagnose Line Faults etc.
------How to Test Your Line & Getting Line Stats
--------Quiet Noise Test
--------Home Hub Stats and how to interpret them
--------BT Wholesale Speed Test
--------BT Wholesale Availability/Cabinet Speed Test
------What is DLM and how does it affect me
------How do I book an Openreach Engineer Visit
----Current Issues (ongoing)
------Connection Keeps Dropping
--------Changing your DNS Settings (Sticky)
----Recently Solved Issues
--Other Broadband Queries
I really believe a bit of furum restructuring would help out so many users - please remember people are being dirrected here by frontline support staff - people who may be pensioners who have never even USED a forum board before.
I lost interest when you singled out pensioners as a group that might have difficulty.
As you will no doubt have seen even in the short time you have been using this forum, posters at present have problems placing their problem when there is only three sub-catagories to choose under the "Broadband" board.
If as you say the "pensioners" (a point which I happen to disagree with you on) and others who have never USED a forum have problems at present, with your proposed changes they would have to decide not only what main category their problem falls into but also what sub-category and then what sub-sub-catagory they should post in assuming they know what the sub-sub-categories mean.
There is also the problem of "Recently Solved Issues". Keeping in mind it is very rare that a poster marks it as solved. Are they all lumped into together or do they also get sorted out into a sub-sub-category. How long are they "Recently Solved" for before they again have to be moved into the "Archive". Are the posts also just lumped into the "Archive" or is it also given sub-catagories.
If you mulitply this across all the boards it will in my opinion indeed take "a little bit more forum admin moving
topics posted in the wrong place"
It may assist us if you could you post the names of the forums that you are the admin for so that we can perhaps see first hand how well they are structured and adminstered.
@ gg 30304 - I could but it wouldn't help you - you would be met with a page saying LOGIN/REQUEST MEMBERSHIP << the request menbership form would ask for your 'Gaming Tags' as used on our servers << and then there would be a staff discussion as to whether you were excepted << they are Clan Boards run for people on our servers our Members pay for which we-colocate via Burstfire...
As to the pensioner reference ... I take offence at your offence... I will be celebrating my 50th next year and am no spring chicken but still remain the person my remaining parent refers all her retiree friends to for tech support... and I'm pretty sure my mum would be left scratching her head at these boards.
And yes the poor layout will be a problem for any user age group who has has no forum experience.
(+) POINTS The search is very Good (if you know what terms you are of course looking for)
(-) POINTS ... Well those are all down to BT poor customer care really in the first instance and the fact that BT can blame Openreach and Openreach can blame Wholesale and all there is on front line support for customers (until you get to escalated support) is people in another country who read out scripts who will then direct you here.
Just my opinions - you can reviview the ideas among yourselves or carry on as is.
Off to work in Spain for a week so tata.
That's a pity I will not able to see how wonderful these forums are designed and administered. It sounds like it is a very closed forum where you have to meet a certain criteria of vetting before you are admitted. Perhaps they are not the sort of place somebody with no or little computer knowledge or ability would be able to post on or even find but I guess I'll never know as I would probably not get through the staff discussion as regards my being accepted. At least this forum is open to anybody regardless of abilty.
It was you who said pensioners would have a problem. Perhaps your mother and her retiree friends would have a problem but you should not judge everybody by their ability or lack there of.
That is called sterotyping and that is usually the sign of somebody who does not understand the type of person they are talking about, albeit that in its self could be classed as sterotyping.
The negative points you mentioned about the Bt, Openreach and Customers Services has nothing to do with the layout or design of the forum so I fail to see the relevance of you mentioning it in a post titled "Forum redesign would help users"
Thanks for your post! All feedback is good, and we are happy and grateful to receive it.
We are always looking at new ways to improve the forums and will certainly look into your suggestions
To be honest in my proposal you should be able to post under any topic - you still have a TOP tier for posting ??s in - its just that you have lower tiers that may have a solution to what your looking for - or a similar active thread you can join with a similar issue without having to go thru pages and pages looking for stuff.
Apparently I should have thanked you for posting this feedback, so thank you for your feedback.
Just to be sure I have understood your feedback are you now saying Forum users would just post anywhere because they will still have to look in all the sub-categories and sub-sub-categories for a similar active thread or a solution. If that is the case could you point out how that is going to help users?