I have now made 2 screenshots to illustrate what I mean. Here I have only
illustrated new thread form, not new topic form. The difference is the
caption of the "reply" button. Hope someone could give me some feedback!
>Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 17:35:06 +0200
>From: Inge Solvoll <inge@...>
>Subject: Forum usability issues
>I just browsed the usability page on tikiwiki.org, and it doesn't seem to
>be a very popular page. Maybe the problem is that programming nicer
>interfaces is boring, while programming new flashy functionality is fun? I
>think so, at least I know I feel that way :)
>I now run 2 sites using Tiki 1.7, one personal and one semi-commercial.
>The by far most commented issue with the Tiki GUI is the forum GUI. Almost
>all my users have problems finding their way through it and I know for a
>fact that I have lost a lot of visitors because of that.
>These problems are mentioned in the TikiUsability page, but I would like
>to remind the mailing list too, because I find this to be very, very important.
>Topic listing of a forum:
>- There should be a "New topic" button. This button should replace the
>"Show post form" button. "Show post form" is a message that contains
>unnecessary, complex and incomplete information that the normal user
>doesn't understand and doesn't need to know.
>- The "Hide post form" button increases the complexity of the screen and
>should be removed.
>- When the post form is shown, the buttons "preview" and "post" should be
>replaced by "preview", "send/ok/somethingBetterThanPost" and "cancel",
>"cancel" adapting the functionality of the "hide post form" button. These
>buttons should be at the bottom of the post form, not at the top.
>Thread listing of a topic:
>- There should be a "New message" (or something similar) button. This
>button should replace the "Show post form" button. It is important that
>the buttons for new topic and new message are not the same. Users have
>difficulties understanding and navigating in tree structures. Therefore we
>must make it very clear to the user what the buttons do. We cannot rely on
>the user's understanding and interpretation of where he is in the
>structure at the moment.
>- Otherwise, same as above.
>I also think that these buttons should be regular HTML buttons, not links.
>Buttons are more visual and easier to spot and understand. Crucial
>functionality like forum posting should have buttons, other less important
>functionality could have links.
>My bet is that the changes mentioned here would take 1 hour of an
>experienced Tiki programmers time. I believe it's worth it :)
>In general, I know from experience that it is very very smart to let the
>user feel "at home" in an application. If the buttons are at the same spot
>as in other applications, the user gets happier instantly. It feels good
>to recognize patterns. So, when designing dialogs and forms, check out how
>the same forms look in Windows, or at ebay or yahoo. It gets much easier
>that way, and we don't have to reinvent the wheel.
>Right now, I don't have the time and Tiki system knowledge to do these
>things myself. But I hope other Tiki developers will agree with me that
>these are very important issues that should be a part of the next release
>(1.8) and will cause a significant improvement in usability. I would be
>very happy to see these changes made, and I believe you will satisfy a lot
>of other users as well.