NEW! Google Custom Search


New Feedback on CooksTalk Folder

RDA's picture

Hi everyone,
It'll be much easier for me to review and process your feedback on the new forum if we put it all in one central place. Please know that we are listening to you, though we may not be able to act on your suggestions immediately. Transitions take time and this one's only just begun.

Please have patience while we review the feedback and plan next steps for customization. The feedback I've received with specific likes and dislikes has been very helpful and I appreciate it.

Also, a reminder to keep it civil. Feedback: Bring it on. Give me the info I need to advocate on your behalf. Insults and attacks, well, there isn't much I can do with those.


ashleyd's picture

It can't be easy and at least (post #68061, reply #1 of 57)

It can't be easy and at least some of us appreciate the job you are doing. I know some of the things asked for will take some time, even if they are possible, but one of the things that agitates people more than most (and I've seen this through several changes) is the lack of information, which is interpreted as lack of interest from Taunton. So if I may give you a piece of advice, when you have useful info (good or bad)please let us know, so if it's going to be at least a month before anything happens then tell us, if the orange is hard-coded and will never be changed then 'fess up, so we don't hold out false hope, if you expect to have thread sequencing or numbering sorted within a couple of weeks, then let us look forward to it. Yes, I know technical deadlines have a habit of "stretching" and some things the techies promise they never actually do deliver, but some news, any news, would be welcome.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

MEANCHEF's picture

AMEN. Most of our complaints (post #68061, reply #23 of 57)

AMEN. Most of our complaints so far (except for the technical stuff just not working - like the number of new replies just being incorect) could be boiled down to a few.

As near as I can tell the chronological posting of messages is the biggest complaint - to most of us this means ALL posts in a discussion be posted from oldest to newest. I know Robin has indicated that this can be done, but the piece that is getting ignored is the linking of responses to the post being responded to. This is the part that I do not believe can easily fixed without unique message identifiers.

TracyK's picture

the piece that is getting (post #68061, reply #25 of 57)

the piece that is getting ignored is the linking of responses to the post being responded to. This is the part that I do not believe can easily fixed without unique message identifiers.

It could be fixed with a "quote this post in my reply" button... :)

MEANCHEF's picture

It could, but that puts the (post #68061, reply #26 of 57)

It could, but that puts the burden on the responder and will likely not happen a lot of the time.
There will be many post left hanging. If you were responding with "Yes, I agree" and forget to quote, no one will ever know what it respond to.
One way that it would work is if you hit the reply button, the system automatically quotes the post being respondede to. One negative is that there would be so much repetition of stuff and space wasted.

TracyK's picture

True. Though that happened (post #68061, reply #28 of 57)


Though that happened quite a bit anyway, when people would read to the end of a thread and reply after the last post, not necessarily responding to the comment that inspired the response.

Gretchen's picture

MC says "One negative is that (post #68061, reply #42 of 57)

MC says "One negative is that there would be so much repetition of stuff and space wasted."

I really hate those that do that--for the reason you give, and also, sometimes it can be quote after quote. Of couse, the poster can delete part. Depends a lot on the person posting, once again. I agree about the need, of course.

Gretchen's picture

Thank you. There are many (post #68061, reply #2 of 57)

Thank you. There are many real concerns scattered over a number of threads now. Maybe if you copy and paste those specific concerns to one document for your information (and ignore the ones with hyperbole) it would be more informative for you.

OR do you want to start a whole new thread and ask ONLY for complaints. That to me seems to be like picking at a scab, but we will gladly do as you want, if it leads to progress.
And yes, communication on progress is a good thing.

gardencat's picture

Thank you, Robyn. I agree (post #68061, reply #3 of 57)

Thank you, Robyn. I agree that communication is the key in any change or transition. That's why I was surprised that the change happened at the end of the week, with no one responding on the weekend. That allowed lots of emotions to fester.
I'm very frustrated by the loss of functions as described so well by others. If I have a sense of which ones can be addressed, that would certainly help.

Maedl's picture

Robyn, the orange color is (post #68061, reply #4 of 57)

Robyn, the orange color is HORRIBLE. It's so difficult to read, and for anyone with even a slight visual impairment is a nightmare! I find the color palette generally unappealing--reminds me of what packaging used to look like in Soviet food stores: unappetizing and totally unappealing.

The posts are too jumbled. I have to search to add a reply. I have to spend too much time separating posts and figuring out who wrote what.

Get rid of the moving parts that make everything jump around and distract attention. If I want to read something I'll read it--otherwise, I will adjust the screen so I can blot out all the trashy distractions.

If you have readers who have not used HTML, the explanation of HTML tags is totally useless. For people who have used HTML, the explanation is not needed.

Did any design people have input into this site revamp? If they did, perhaps you need new designers, and if they didn't, they need to have a chance to make suggestions. A site shouldn't be designed by computer techies!!!!!

I don't see any way to post pictures. Since food is visual, this seems to be a major omission.

The comment box is too small--very awkward.

Need I go on? Please help fast!

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect
Heather's picture

Margie, you can increase the (post #68061, reply #9 of 57)

Margie, you can increase the size of the comment box by pulling down on the right bottom corner.

As for pictures, I think you can attach them to an original post but not with replies.

assibams's picture

For me the biggest complaint (post #68061, reply #5 of 57)

For me the biggest complaint is that, unless the member has a picture in the profile, it is really hard to distinguish one post from the other or rather see who wrote it, and where it begins and ends.
While I don't particularly like the yellow/orange it doesn't bother me as much as most others, but I sure would welcome a nicer color.
Also, the site is hard to navigate, maybe just because it's all new, but the old forum was easier to hop around between topics and folders.
Why the button to post had to be renamed into 'save' is beyond me *g*
I miss being able to minimize the size of the topics bar and have the threads on a larger portion of my window. Now the posts are so narrow which calls for a lot of scrolling. Not fun on a smallish laptop screen.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Herm Albright

dorcast's picture

Thank you Robyn. I think (post #68061, reply #6 of 57)

Thank you Robyn.
I think you'll notice that our threads really become conversations. This format is so jumbled and nonsensical to me, that it is extremely difficult to follow a thread. I would like to see that a reply goes to a particular post.
Clicking on "new" brings you to the middle of a thread, and you still have to search to find the other new posts. I feel like I am missing a lot.

This layout makes scrolling and searching way too time consuming for most of us to use this forum as we used to. It also feels that too much space is wasted on a page, again, making it difficult to follow a conversation, and slowing the process too much.

I would like to be notified when someone replies to me.

Obviously this change was made for a reason, presumably a financial advantage for Taunton. Of course this is understandable, you are a business and must make decisions that keep you competitive. I'm sure you have noticed in the past few days that you have an avid following, and though we use this forum for free, have much invested in it. I'm sure our participation sells subscriptions and special issues, and gives you the numbers to sell ads on this site. As more and more defect from here, everybody loses. As Ashley said, lack of communication is an issue. This seems to have been launched with no input from a loyal group, who now feel lost and abandoned.

Pati's picture

Okay, Robyn. Here is a new (post #68061, reply #7 of 57)

Okay, Robyn. Here is a new one. I was going to respond to you by copying one of my responses from another thread. Then I changed my mind. Unfortunately, there is no way that I can see to cancel a comment without proceeding further. My choices are: Preview and Save. I guess I could use "Save", aka post, leaving the box empty, but that is rather confusing to the reader.

Additionaly, I would like to see the light orange changed to something with more contrast to the white page for reading ease. The old color scheme worked well for me but if Tauton wants something more modern, choose colors that are more restful to the eye.

And, please bring back the spell checker.

Gretchen's picture

If you didn't post, just (post #68061, reply #8 of 57)

If you didn't post, just change to whatever you want. It will go away.

Pati's picture

Hi Gretchen. I didn't post. I (post #68061, reply #11 of 57)

Hi Gretchen. I didn't post. I wanted to delete it altogether. If I just deleted the comment I would still have to select "preview" or "save" to get rid of the "Reply to comment screen" and go back to Discussions, right?

Gretchen's picture

No, just go wherever you want (post #68061, reply #12 of 57)

No, just go wherever you want to go--to another thread, to another site, etc. If you don't post and go away, it doesn't post --and goes away.

Pati's picture

Gretchen, thanks. I tried to (post #68061, reply #14 of 57)

Gretchen, thanks. I tried to go to Home but it didn't work. Now it does. I think it was probably because my computer was processing something in the background and was working slowly.

Heather's picture

Robyn, thank you so much for (post #68061, reply #10 of 57)

Robyn, thank you so much for listening.

My biggest complaint is the ordering of posts. As Dorcast said, we have lengthy conversations here. It is almost impossible to find the new posts when I return to a long thread. It is also very difficult to see who is replying to whom. Some of the new replies are marked as such and some aren't. No one here has time to scroll through long threads searching for new posts.

That reminds me that there is much too much scrolling required. I have wrist problems so this is a big issue for me. When I reach the end of the thread I have to scroll and scroll to get back to the top of the page. Can you add navigation at the bottom please? Actually, what I'd prefer is to have the active thread list on the left in a separate box (as it used to be) so that it stayed in place as I scrolled down through the thread. Then it would be right there when I want to go to another thread.

There is a lot of wasted space on the left, with only a few of the active threads listed. Could the text be compacted and more thread titles added?

And the orange? Very hard to read.


DJHinAZ's picture

I just wanted to add my two (post #68061, reply #13 of 57)

I just wanted to add my two cents... my absolute biggest complaint about this new format is the ordering of the posts. I agree with everyone that this new ordering just leads to too much scrolling and trying to find the latest posts is far too difficult. It is this annoyance that makes me stop reading here.

On a more minor note: I don't like how pictures can only be posted in the initial posting. If you were to go back and look at some of our old threads, several people would post photos as the thread winds around various conversations. Prime example: look at the Doodabug Needs Help thread. That reached over 1000 posts, and I have no idea how many photos were in that thread.

Another minor nit: it would be nice to know to whom I'm sending this, without me saying "this to Robyn". We actually USED that feature in the old forum.

Biggest thing, though, is the ordering. I think you (Robyn) said you can fix that? I really hope that's true...

Pati's picture

I was on the Gardners' formun (post #68061, reply #15 of 57)

I was on the Gardners' formun last night. Their moderator said that the order can be changed to list by date order. She asked people to respond with their preference (date order or as it is currently). I didn't respond because I rarely go there and wanted the regulars to have what they preferred.

RDA's picture

That's right. I've been (post #68061, reply #18 of 57)

That's right. I've been working on this with Kate from OTF this am to duplicate what she did.

TracyK's picture

In googling I've seen (post #68061, reply #19 of 57)

In googling I've seen something about making all posts in a topic "nodes" instead of having the first post in a topic be a "node" and the rest "comments". It's all Greek to me but maybe it makes sense to y'all? :)

RDA's picture

It's just semantics. Posts (post #68061, reply #21 of 57)

It's just semantics. Posts are nodes - you comment on an original post (or forum topic), but you reply to someone else's comment. And, to actually send your reply out to the world, you hit "save." Why isn't it called "post?" I have no idea! That'd be too easy.

TracyK's picture

Hmmm. Still greek I (post #68061, reply #27 of 57)

Hmmm. Still greek I guess!

Still, it seems as though taking away the distinction between "comment" and "reply", and having all responses on the same level (displaying chronologically from oldest to newest) would help enormously.

bwf17's picture

Robyn, I cannot find where (post #68061, reply #50 of 57)

I cannot find where you stated you have been using recent replies and topics to keep up. I tried this today, but now my problem is the entire message is truncated and when I click on the message to read it in its entirety, it just dumps me in the middle of the thread and I am lost again.

TracyK's picture

On a more minor note: I don't (post #68061, reply #17 of 57)

On a more minor note: I don't like how pictures can only be posted in the initial posting. If you were to go back and look at some of our old threads, several people would post photos as the thread winds around various conversations.

You can still post photos within threads using HTML tags, but they have to be online somewhere else already (photo sharing sites, facebook, flickr, etc).

TracyK's picture

Hi Robyn -- My chief issue, (post #68061, reply #16 of 57)

Hi Robyn --

My chief issue, after living with it for a couple days, is with the way the messages display. Even a strictly chronological list of responses would be better than the current display, which technically is threaded but comes across as random. The indents to indicate where someone is replying to a message are all but invisible.

I also think you might be able to add design elements (boxes or a grid) that make it more clear.

Another issue is that it's difficult to quickly identify WHO posted the comment, as the usernames are in a smaller italicized font, and below the avatar space. Aligning the user name with the top of the cell (flush left with the avatar), putting it in a larger font, and making it bold would go a long way. This would also cut down on the scrolling a little, as it would tighten up the vertical space (currently there is a built-in gap to the right of the avatar, kind of a waste of prime real estate!). And of course numbering posts would be helpful.

I've done some Googling of other Drupal forums, and there are several that seem to accomplish these things. Some also seem to have a "quote post" function, so that while they do not automatically indicate the number of the post to which the person is replying, it would be easy to demonstrate that by quoting the post to which the person is replying.

Here are a couple of the other examples of Drupal forums that I've found that might help in seeing what we're asking for: (the green and white are horrible, but the structure and message/thread display much friendlier)

AnnL's picture

Tracy--these are awesome! (post #68061, reply #20 of 57)

Tracy--these are awesome! Much better than what we have now. Good detective work! You rock! :-)

"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

kathymcmo's picture

1. Robyn, the highest (post #68061, reply #22 of 57)

1. Robyn, the highest priority for me is to list the posts in chronological order so that one can follow a link to the first of the new posts in a thread and all the posts below that are new ones. I would really like to hear this week if that is possible to change, and how long that will take.
2a. Second priority for me is a tie--make the sidebar with the thread titles scroll independently so that when I finish reading the new posts in a thread I can go right over to the sidebar to choose which thread I want to read next, without having to scroll all the way back up, or, what I've been doing lately, hitting the back button in IE.
2b. Tied with that is wanting the ability to address a post to a particular person and to be able to easily refer back from a reply to the message that is being replied too. E.g., if I read a new message that says, "Kathy, I totally agree with what you said" I'd like some way to quickly go back to what I said so I know what the replier is talking about! Maybe you can somehow add a header in every post akin to Reply to message posted on 12/12/09 at 8:23 a.m. so that I could track my way back to the post.
3. I'd like a designer to audit the new format and find ways to compress the information more efficiently. I understand the need for negative (white) space but there is too much here, and it causes endless scrolling, so I'd tighten up the leading in the discussion sidebar with the thread titles, so that more active threads show, I'd tighten up the post areas (my vote would be to get rid of the avatars) so that more posts show on a screen, and if you have successfully achieved my 2b request, then increase the width of all the posts so that more of the screen is utilized horizontally.

There are other things that would be nice-to-haves but these four things in my view are essential.
The other thing that is essential is addressed elegantly by AshleyD, namely far more transparency in communication from you/Taunton about what is possible to change, what is not, and how long various things will take to implement. That would go a LONG way towards calming our angst. There are serious PR needs here that are unmet, although today seems like maybe we're starting to head in the right direction.
Thank you for trying to help us get back whatever key functionalities from the old site that we can, I truly appreciate it.

MEANCHEF's picture

Can you explain why feedback (post #68061, reply #24 of 57)

Can you explain why feedback was never asked for PRIOR to making these changes? And why the new forum format was never tested prior to going live?