[Closed] Do you like the new forums experience?
@billiejay Thanks for posting this hon, and to everyone who shared feedback.
Just a few updates we've done today based on feedback:
- Switched the like button to a heart and 'Thanks' wherever we were able to. (If you do a hard refresh in the browser you'll see it: Cmd+Shift+R on Mac)
- Updated the forum list on the home page to include topics instead of replies
- Increased the number of replies shown for each topic
- Increased the number of topics shown per category on the forum home page
We're always looking to continue improving your experience - please keep the feedback coming!
A few more updates - and thanks again everyone who has shared feedback so far. Please keep it coming:
- A 'New' button has been added when viewing topics in a forum. Pressing this button will take you to the last unread reply
- The 'My Profile' section in the sidebar has been removed as there is already easy access to your profile from the top forums bar
We are also aware of the timezone issue. This is a little more complex to resolve so it may take a bit.
1. The forum listing views have been simplified (see screenshot)
2. The user details on the topic page and replies have been simplified some.
If you do a hard refresh (Cmd+Shift+R on Mac, or Ctrl+Shift+R on Windows) you'll see the simplified update.
Thanks everyone for the feedback as we work to improve your experience here! ❤️
Thanks everyone for your feedback so far, we've been steadily making improvements all this week to address issues that have been reported. I hope you've found things a little better and have started to acclimatize to the new experience.
We've made one more change to simply forums. This will be the last change for a little bit, so we can let things settle down.
We've consolidated the 'Crossdressing Advice', 'Private Forums' and 'Get Involved' categories into the Crossdresser Heaven Lounge, and moved many of the less busy forums into sub-forums.
This creates a cleaner first page experience, and also lets us show more posts on the first page.
Thanks for being part of the Crossdresser Heaven community, and thank you for caring so much about the place we all call home ❤️
Today's update was focused on bug fixes:
- Removed the duplicate forums menu item in a member's profile
- Added the correct forum activity indicators when viewing a member's profile
- Updating link coloring so links now show in forum posts
- The email notifications for forums are now more descriptive and include a link to the reply as well as the name of the person who posted.
- The activity section of the member profile has been cleaned up to remove features we don't use (such as dislikes)
- Forum notifications will now show in the top right notifications bell that is present across the site as well as be listed on your profile notifications page.
@cdh Today, the orange notifications bell showed that I had 5 items. I clicked on each one and 4 of them left me hanging at the top post. One took me to the relevant post. I have no idea why it would be inconsistent like this.
The old forums sent out new post notifications with just the member's ID. The new forums sends out just the post text with no ID. Have both together would be more useful.
@cdh Sorry, Vanessa, but I am confused. Screenshot of what happening?
Some bell notifications left me stranded at the top of the topic, some don't. Of the two recent notifications from you, one went to your related post, the other one left me at the top. Once I click on a notification, it gets deleted, so there is nothing left of which to take a screenshot.
@cdh Me again 🙂
I'm probably going to keep making the odd observation / comment over the next few days as I spend more time on the revamped site, so apologies in advance for that.
One thing that seems to have disappeared is the 'Has thanked' / 'Been thanked' data, which I quite liked. Has all of that been lost, or reset?
I AM a serial 'thanker'. I think it gives others that little boost of recognition when they've taken the time to comment on someone's post, or in particular when they've made the effort to welcome a new member.
What I'm NOT welcoming though is that now, whenever I DO thank someone (and as I've said, I do that a LOT), I get a separate notification on my Wall to that effect FOR EACH SEPARATE THANK YOU. That seems completely unnecessary, and is just a source of massive clutter.
If it's like this on everyone's walls, people will just stop thanking others ... purely to avoid these constant notifications. That would be a very undesirable outcome on a site that prides itself on being so supportive and welcoming.
On a separate point, at the moment there's a mismatch between the data on the new forums (which currently shows, correctly, that I've written 895 forum replies since joining on July 1st) and the same data in my profile (currently showing only 867 replies), so is that something that needs updating?
The info on the profile seems frozen in time, and isn't updating as I post replies in the new-style forums.
PS My foot is now fine. The bee was cremated after a brief memorial ceremony. Its ashes will be scattered under its favourite flowers.
@ellyd22 thanks hon.
Hmm... right now it's all or nothing to someone's activity on a profile, and there's no way to just have topics and replies go there. For now I'll turn that integration off. I agree that it will quickly overwhelm things if all thanks go to the wall, and see if we can work on a better solution.
I agree, thanks is so awesome. It makes me smile whenever I get one too ❤️
Unfortunately the old thanked data wasn't able to be migrated, though it's still visible on the legacy forum pages.
Good catch on the mismatch. It pulls from the old forums, we'll need to figure out how to get that from the new forums going forward.
What you see in the new forums is what will contribute to the stars and member title (Illustrious member, etc.) so that's counting correctly.
I'm glad your foot it feeling better.
Thanks again for all your feedback. While we won't be able to address everything in the short term, I'm hoping that we'll get enough changes in to make you feel like the new forums are moving in the right direction. ❤️
@cdh It's an incredibly, incredibly minor and infinitesimally niggly point but sometimes you have to hit the thumbs up button repeatedly before it registers 'thanks'.
God, I really feel like I'm scraping the barrel with that one.
I am a horrible, horrible person.
In other news, I'm SLOWLY getting used to the changes in the forums and am at the point of being able to navigate my way through them without using obscene language.
I see this as a positive sign.
@cdh Aaaannnddd ... *deep breath* ... here I am again 🙂
Thing 1: People seem to have a different status in the forums and articles sections. Not sure why?
In the forums I'm a 'Prominent member' but in the 'Articles' I'm an 'Active member'.
Is member status calculated separately in each section of the site? Why not just have a single status which is simply determined by your total replies across all sections?
Thing 2: When a new member joins I often go and look at their profile before commenting. That gives me a chance to find out where they're from, and a little bit more about them, so I can tailor my reply and make them feel more welcome.
For speed, having read their profile I usually click on the 'Forums' tab on their profile page to navigate back to their original intro post.
BUT everyone now has two 'Forum' buttons.
I'm guessing that one of these is for 'Legacy' forum posts and that the other is for 'New-style' forum posts, but in the case of newbies the 'Legacy' one (mortar board icon) is always going to be redundant. If you click on it for new members it just gives a 'Nothing to see here' message.
I understand why there are two buttons, but since they're BOTH called 'Forums' it could cause confusion!
I'm enjoying watching the 'bedding in' process as you tweak the changes and improve everyone's user experience.
Thanks again 🙂
@ellyd22 Yah the status is separate unfortunately between forums and articles. The only thing I can suggest is ... commenting more on the Articles to match status 😂
It's on our list to only show the new forums on someone's profile. I agree this isn't ideal. Working on this one.
Thanks for all the feedback hon, and for being part of bringing the new forums to life!
@cdh You're welcome.
I'll get to work immediately on those article comments. Just the 900 to go until I'm all caught up. Shouldn't take too long.
I hope that whatever happens, old forum posts can still be archived so they remain accessible. They're an absolute treasure trove of information and I regularly trawl back through them. Over the coming months I'd been planning to use them as an information source for a project I'm working on*, so it would be a blow if I could no longer access them 🙁
*Should this come to fruition, all due credit will be given to CDH
@ellyd22 I'm confident that almost 100% of the posts and replies from the old forums have migrated over to the new forums.
However we plan to keep the old forums accessible for the foreseeable future - you can find them under 'Legacy Forums' in the forum dropdown.
It would be nice to have the option to mark unread posts as read without having to step into each post individually. I am aware that there is an option to mark all unread posts as read, but I am thinking an option to individual posts as read from the unread list.
@billiejay One thing that is unnecessary is for us to confirm that we want to subscribe to a thread using the yellow gadget at the top of the topic. We're all adults here, so I am sure we can manage without this step.
I see that the checkbox below a comment doesn't seem to need confirming, so there are two different ways of subscribing.
@billiejay I have to say, I used to LOVE getting those notifications that someone had thanked me for something I'd written. It might seem a bit sad, but it made me feel valued.
Actually, it doesn't just seem sad. It is sad.
I'd got used to having a quick check on thanks / replies / notifications over breakfast, and then again when I got home from work. And it was very easy to see if someone had replied, and navigate directly to that. Perhaps I'm doing something dreadfully wrong, but it all seems far less easy and intuitive than it was.
I always try to write something back to people who have taken the time to reply to me, but now I'm finding it much harder to keep track of conversations. The new design is making me feel more than a little out of the loop.
And I'm also finding that there's a bit of a disparity between the things that pop up on the home screen under 'Latest in the CDH forums' and what you get when you click on 'Explore the Forums'. It's the latter that seems to display the most recent posts rather than the former, although to be honest 'Explore the Forums' gives you a bit of a mix of very recent things and others that are rather older.
Bottom line: I'm worried that I'm regularly missing content that I might otherwise have engaged with.
I feel it's appropriate to insert a 'confused' face at this point.
@ellyd22 you will get notifications in the orange bell at the top when someone thanks you.
Let me know if you're not seeing this.
You can also subscribe to each topic to get notified when someone else replies - we unfortunately couldn't migrate over the previous topic subscriptions.
There are two 'Most Recent' views.
One shows the most recent topics, the other shows the most recent replies (from what could be an old topic). If you're on the forums you'll see both of those on the sidebar.
When looking at the forum summary screen you'll see 'Recent Replies'
If you want to make sure you're not missing anything you can go to Recent Topics: https://www.crossdresserheaven.com/community/recent/ (We just updated this to be topics, not replies).
This will show you all the most recently posted topics.
I know the new setup is a bit different from the old forums. Hopefully with time they'll become a little more intuitive to navigate.
@cdh Again ... thank you SO much for the time you're taking with these replies. I know that you and the team have done ALL of this to improve the site and make the experience better for the members.
It must be disheartening when horrible ungrateful people like me are a pain in the derriere and keep bothering you with various niggles.
Vanessa ... I'm so sorry.
It's not meant in a negative way at all, and I really want you and the team to know that.
Know that I LOVE what you're trying to do, and I totally ADORE this site and everyone that uses it.
PS. In other news, I've just trodden, barefoot, on a drowsy bee that was crawling across my carpet. It stung me, so I've experienced instant Karma for criticising your well-intentioned changes.
However, in your face, Karma! Since I'm a chemistry teacher I knew to instantly apply bicarbonate of soda to the sting.
Always remember girls: 'bicarb for bees, vinegar for vasps'.
@ellyd22 Hi hon, it's a pleasure dear, and it's no worries at all.
Oftentimes it takes a little while to improve a new feature so it works well for most folks. You've helped us make a few tweaks already which I think will benefit everyone on the site!
Also - ouchie! Glad you knew what to do!
@cdh *Laughs* Well, thanks again.
My foot has now returned to its normal size, so no problem with heels in the coming days. Otherwise, that would have been a worry.
Sadly, the bee isn't looking too well at this point.
@billiejay Uh, that isn't the point, BillieJay.
We don't need to have to confirm that we have subscribed to threads. It should be enough to just subscribe. Confirming adds unnecessary work for each topic.
Subscribing sends out an e-mail.
We have to read the e-mail.
Then we have to click on the confirmation link.
Then the link takes us to the topic wherein we are told that, yup, we subscribed.
Then we have to return to our e-mail notification.
Then we need to delete the original confirmation e-mail.
Just let us confirm, one-and-done, the way it used to be. If the new CMS can't do that, then submit a request to add it, please.
@billiejay always been a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", kind of gurl...but then, I really don't know all the motives about the upgrade....I was finding my way around just fine and found it easy to navigate; so now, just like everything else lately, this "old doggie is going to have to prove she can still learn new tricks"....woff, woff...!!!
@billiejay I mean I'd like to be more specific to help you understand my issues but it's just all so confusing. I'd always spend some precious time on the forums every day. It's important to me to be part of something where I can feel I'm connecting with those of a like mind. The old forums were perfect. I had no suggestions for improvement at all. Now I have no idea what I'm doing. I'll probably persevere for a while as this is so important to me but I'm not confident I'll ever get comfortable with the new forums.
Hugs, Chrissie xx.
It is quite a change Chrissie.
I’ve seen from previous posts you’ve made how important this is to you, so please stick with it, it will get easier.
I’ve not had anything to do with the new site, but you want any help with anything, feel free to drop me a line.
Happy to help if I can.It would be a real shame if you decided to give up with it
@chrisfp99 Stick with it, Chrissie. All it takes is familiarity and practice. You will be up to speed in no time.
One of my favourite expressions is: Nothing is more constant than change. Here the changes are meant to give us all a better experience on the forum. I can see that already. Just take your time learning by doing. If you get stuck with something, just ask for help.
@billiejay I feel it is way to cluttered like most other websites almost like I was at work. Was so simple before. Hard to really find anything as there is now so much. Made the mistake of subscribing to some forum topics and then unexpectedly started receiving emails on my phone and laptop every time a topic was posted. Another thing to monitor and wont be subscribing to any more (not sure why I would want to anyway). Guess I am one who doesnt see the need to change things just for the sake of changing.
@billiejay I don't mind change. But, what use to be so simple and clean has become cluttered and messy in my opinion. The update seems to me to have made the pages look busy, small print, unneeded information (TMI) and complicated. I have noticed you have listened to suggestions and have been updating the new format over the past few days, thank you. Hopefully these updates will help the over all feel and look of the new format. Yet part of the charm of CDH was its simplicity, which is now gone. I will admit the forum did need updating and one was to improve the overall speed of recalling longer threads. Breaking it in to pages I'm sure will help. It's just that now the forum has a more corporate feel and look as to how it's presented. Before it felt like I was visiting communal neighborhood of friends getting together just talking and sharing. I'm sure over time we will forget the old format and conform to the new standards, Change is inevitable, and all will adapt and evolve to embrace the new. Most importantly, we should all thank you for the time and effort you and your team have put in to this update, I'm sure it isn't as simple as we all might think it was. Even though I'm still on the fence, I thank you for your efforts and a job well done.
@billiejay Do you have to subscribe to a topic to see new replies? If so that would be bad. I dont want all the new replies to show up on my e-mail, especially on my phone. Increases the chance that someone who I dont want to see what I am looking at will. Is there a way to stop the e-mails?
@stephaniewyo You don't have to subscribe to see replies.
They will show up if you visit the thread, or if someone is replying to you then you'll see them in the orange bell notification.
If you do subscribe, then you can always unsubscribe by going to 'My Subscriptions' that is under the top 'Forums' menu.
@billiejay I like it. The old forum was simpler, but the new forum is faster. The new updated forum doesn't seem to be everyone's cup of tea, but in time, hopefully, we will get more used to it. I like the fact that we can delete our replies if we wish, not just edit them. I love the new extra features. ❤️
I would hope that CDH and TGH will now be as close functionally as possible. There were some menu differences that required a bit of attention for those of us who go back and forth between the two sites.
I have also noticed a count difference between the number of Posts under my photo at the left side and the Forum Replies shown in my Profile. Shouldn’t they be the same?
@flatlander48 Hi hon, yes the goal is to make tgh and cdh as similar as possible. Time constraints sometimes thwart that goal, but we're working towards that.
The number of replies shown in the profile is currently not counting any posts on the new forum. That's something on our list to fix.
I was a couple of days late getting to the new forum, and so there were already comments and bits to fix, so I haven’t previously commented.
What I would say is that this is quite an ambitious and impressive upgrade.
I work in IT, so I may be used to this type of change than some, but I really do like it.
I’ve also been extremely impressed with the speed that Vanessa and the team have dealt with comments and bug fixes etc.
From my own experience I know that often the things that look like they would be easy to fix often take the most time and work.
I would say to anyone that has struggled to just stick with it. It will get easier.
I do think though that, while the post asking for comments is great, I maybe would have left the poll for probably two weeks to give people more time to get used to the changes.
Having it on day one means that inevitably, most answers were going to say “Still getting used to it”.
The only thing I’ve spotted that’s not been brought up (as far as I know) is something that happens when not logged in, so would probably be seen as minor.
If I’m alone in a coffee shop I may view the forums but not log in as I don’t want to log in using public Wi-Fi.
When I did that yesterday, I found that when looking at the recent posts section it handily shows part of the latest reply. I could tap on that and it would take me straight there. However, if I then tried to scroll up or down, I was taken back to the beginning of the topic, so I couldn’t view the previous message without scrolling through everything else.
This doesn’t happen when logged in.
Thanks again for all the work that’s gone into this, and for the site in general. it’s of great value to a lot of people
@lucyb112 thanks for your kind words dear. It's been quite a task to upgrade, and I'm hopeful that we're setting up the community for a fast and sustainable forum experience in the future. It's wonderful to be appreciated for all the hard work ❤️
Thanks for the feedback on this, we've got a little more work to do on the logged out experience (such as styling and layout shift issues, which I suspect are causing the behavior you're seeing). I'm not able to reproduce the exact behavior myself, but it does something a little different (and also weird) with scrolling. So we'll start there when we have a chance to address the logged out experience.
@cdh The good news is I'm really beginning to warm to the new forum now that so many tweaks have been made. Thank you again.
The bad news is that I have one more observation.
Honestly, I'm actually starting to annoy myself at this stage 🙁
I think that having an option to 'dislike' someone's post by clicking the thumbs down icon is an unwelcome development, especially as the data on how many 'dislikes' someone receives is now being recorded on their profile page. Why make a point of gathering negative information about someone?
I'd get rid of that button entirely.
Just because you CAN have it, doesn't mean you SHOULD have it.
We're not rating YouTube videos here, but dealing with peoples' feelings. If someone doesn't like what someone else has said, then they're free to say as much in a reply ... and politely explain why. They'll get the message. A button is a very crude solution; it doesn't need to be there.
I haven't received any 'dislikes', touch wood, but if I did I'd actually be pretty devastated. Surely it's better simply to let someone 'thank' a post if they like it, and hold their tongue (or trigger finger) if they don't?
I can see girls being driven off the site completely after racking up a few 'dislikes'. It would be very hard not to take it personally.
A lot of people come to CDH for support and validation, and gathering this type of data could easily be another source of rejection in their lives.
@cdh It's when you hover over the thumbs up. You get a choice of blue thumbs up or red thumbs down (incidentally, the blue thumbs up is often unresponsive on a PC and it's a bit of a lottery whether or not it registers 'thanks' after you click on it).
I've just checked and the thumbs down option is still there, even on the message that you've just sent 🙁
I'll try and apply your fix, once I've figured out how to clear my cache.
I'll send a follow up message to let you know the outcome 🙂
In the Profile there is then an activity summary which includes a blue 'Received thanks' circle and a red 'Received dislikes' circle. I've taken a snip of my own activity summary for reference so I know I'm not hallucinating. I can send it to you, but don't seem to be able to add it here.
Meanwhile, thanks YET AGAIN for responding so quickly.
@cdh Hey Vanessa
Update as promised.
Okay ... so I cleared cache and cookies. The thumbs up and thumbs down icons on each post have been replaced with a single 'Thanks' heart. Yay 🙂
BUT it's had no effect on the 'Activity Summary' on my profile page. Although there's now no way for someone to physically dislike a post, the summary retains a redundant red 'Received dislikes' circle.
@ellyd22 Hi hon, it currently gets confused it you click too quickly on the heart.
I agree with you about the dislike, this should now be updated so it doesn't show anything about dislikes on the profile page.
You've got a keen eye dear, thanks you continued feedback!
@cdh Vanessa ... I'm just glad that you've continued to put up with me.
The 'Activity Profile' now looks spot on.
In just one week, largely due to the efforts of your team and the way in which you've responded so positively and speedily to constructive feedback, I've done a complete U-turn regarding the forums 'makeover'. You've ironed out all the niggles and ended up with something that looks and feels wonderful.
I'm starting to love it, and I'm so, so impressed with you all.
Hold on while I select some suitable icons.
So ... I've gone from this
Don't worry though. If I see anything else, I'll still say.
You made my day dear!
Thanks for sticking with us, and helping us to get you to
And there is a whole community on Transgender Heaven who will never know the issues you encountered because we fixed it for them before we launched there (a few days ago) as you were reporting them 😁
That is so sweet 🙂
I'm really glad to have helped, but all of YOU did the donkey work. I'm very well aware that the amount of effort that goes on behind the scenes is phenomenal. I'm sure it's largely unthanked, but you can rest assured that it's definitely not unappreciated.
You've probably picked up by now that I absolutely ADORE this site, and TGH.
Without them, I would still be hiding who I am. Without them, I wouldn't have received the support and encouragement I needed to come out to my family this summer. I can honestly say that these sites, and the friendship of the girls here, have transformed my life.
That really is no exaggeration.
I am eternally grateful for everything that CDH and TGH have done for me.
If there is anything that I can EVER do in return, just let me know.
And that isn't just the Margarita I just had talking (it's Sunday evening, cut me some slack) 🙂
Hugs to you and your ever-wonderful team.
Now that the icons are available, I feel compelled to keep using them.
@billiejay I'm still persisting...
Two things that throw me with email notifications are 1) it doesn't tell me who the reply is from, and 2) when I click on the link it takes me to the top of the topic, not the message I've just been notified of. These issues mean I can't even tell if someone is replying to one or my posts/comments.
So far I think I like it! It does seem to operate faster. And I am curious where i can find more info on the member ratings badge thing under the name, maybe I have just never noticed it before? Oh, and where is the "Thanks" button?
Overall so far, I do think i prefer it over the old version!
@kimberlylynn me, too. I've been active on the Ambassadors' forums, but generally feel I'm too busy on the site to look at the rest... maybe if it were easier (it seems like this format may be) to attract my attention...
and still, when the Ambassadors key in on... something... I've always flocked to see why (Ms (Micro) Managing Ambassador...)
As far as I can tell so far, when you click into the topic, it takes you to the last page of replies (if there are multiple pages) - but those are the oldest. To see the most recent replies, you have to click back to Page 1. Perhaps this is intentional, but seems a bit counterintuitive?
@cdh Earlier this thread had 3 pages. When I submitted a new message, when I exited it went to the 3rd page by default which is where the earliest messages are. You would have to specifically select page #1 to go where the newest messages are.
However, for this one, since it was a Reply, it did show the parent messages.
@cdh Just the difference between a new, independent message and a Reply.
When the message is posted, if it is a Reply, it shows up as it should with the parent messages.
If it is a new, independent message, after posting you are left at the initial page of the thread. Those are the only 2 conditions that I have observed so far.
@cdh Hiya, this appears to be resolved. When I clicked on this topic from the main CDH page, it brought me to Page 1 of this thread. Earlier it was bringing me to Page 3 and I'd have to scroll back to Page 1 to see the OP. Looks fixed! 🙂
I don’t understand why multiple recent messages, from the same thread need to appear. Seems that all it does is make the page longer. Similarly, in the Recent Replies at the right it squeezes out other entries. Right now it shows 5 entries and 3 of them are Well I Swung For The Fences…
@flatlander48 Can you provide a little more details hon?
I understand the 'Recent Replies' in the sidebar on the right don't seem super useful (may look to remove those, but want to give it soem time to see if there's more diversity of items as responses pick up.
Are there other places that you're seeing multiple from the same topic show up?
Is there a way to change the number of entries that are displayed by default? Across various situations, it appears to be 5. In other forums this is selectable as for slower transmission speeds relatively few is good. However, I would like to display at least 10 by default and probably higher, rather than Load More Entries.
I didn't get a look at it until this morning, it is completely different and change often takes a bit of time to get accustomed to. As soon as I saw the 'thumbs up' logo I knew that is how we now say thank you. I will be going through it today to get a better feel of how everything works, but it is definitely faster!
Ms. Lauren M
I do like it, but I'm a little slow when getting on board with change, not that it's bad, just takes me time to understand. Thank you for doing it though, I'm sure once I get use to it I'll love it!