New Forums

I am generally not enjoying the new forums -- I find the discussion disjointed and hard to follow. In my opinion the old forums were much better or at least more functional.

That said I realize there is probably no going back. 

I am having particular difficulty trying to something that was at the core of my usage in the old format. In particular there was a url I could go to that provided a list of all unread posts across all forums. I was able to quickly scan them, view what I wanted to view and mark all as read for the next time.

There seems to be no easy way to do that in the new forums or maybe I can't see the forest for the trees.

47 Replies
Steve Flowers

On some fronts, I'd agree with Brian. I'm enjoying the people connection nature of the new community. But I miss the clear compartmentalization of topics and forums and some of the other nice features of the old forum. The highlight of read posts and the nice way to view New Posts were both really convenient for quick scanning. Everything seems to be dumped into two channels with a "relative to now" display model as the primary presentation mode.

The new community employs a different mental model. I'll get used to the new setup, but I think the clear hierarchical structure and "post read" tracking were really useful in the old forums.

Steve Flowers

Maybe the addition of a single structural view of all forum categories:

  • Building Better Courses: General Discussion
  • Articulate Presenter
  • Articulate Quizmaker
  • Articulate Engage
  • Articulate Online
  • Developer SDK's and API's

A list like this with some indication of activity level (Posts Today / Responses Today) within a linked table from the main community page might help to bridge the perception of structure. Add back in a "New Posts" view that provides a filtered list of the posts I haven't viewed (assuming that's being tracked) and I think we've got most of what the old forums provided.

Steve Flowers

Aha. So there is It's kind of hidden since you only see  that when you're at the forum level. It also only displays unread posts for that particular forum. I'm not able to tell if knocking off the querystring variable enables the display of all unread posts.

Either way, this would be a really nice feature to make a bit more obvious and functional across all forums:) In the old forum it was top / center.

Gerry Wasiluk

I know Articulate is looking at possibly making some changes and improvements as they see how things work.  Maybe Tom will comment on them.

I've contacted them a few times on the new forums, raising many of the same issues (here I thought it was just me !    )  and, to their credit, they have graciously--as they always do--taken my feedback serious and not given me "lip service."   What a great company!

On the plus side, the new tutorials and download sections rock.  

Robert Kennedy

I think there were probably other "criticisms" of the old forum too when it started.  As with anything else, its a work in progress.  Love the new look and I'm with Gerry on the tutorials and downloads area.  I've already filled up a folder .  With time, I think we'll LOVE this one way more than the other.

Jeanette Brooks

Thanks, guys, for sharing your candid feedback. Your points are well taken, and we appreciate that there will be some adjustments as we all get used to the new digs here. Though there are some tradeoffs between the new resources & features, and the past way of doing things, our intention is to provide a richer community experience overall with thenew site. We'll also work hard to listen and make improvements where that's possible. Thanks again for being part of things here.

Gerry Wasiluk

You know it was really hard to offer "constructive" comments on the new community and forums.  Don't want to be critical and non-supporting of folks who have become "friends."

Tom, Jeanette and David (and others at Articulate) must have spent a lot of long hours and weeks working on this new community to try and make them and us even more successful. 

For that, we are grateful and say a deep, heartfelt "Thanks."  If nothing else, the new community, overall, has a very warm and inviting feeling to it.  And that's critically important in building a community--maybe even Goal # 1.  And they succeeded on that in spades, IMVHO.

So it's sometimes not easy when you work long and hard on something to see anyone criticize your "new baby."

Again, it is a credit to these folks and to this company that they always welcome our comments and take them so professionally.  Rather than get defensive, they take all suggestions as possible "gold."  Bravo!

I think our comments come from the fact that the Articulate forums have been so successful.  They've become a part of our professional lives.  We like being here and we like to contribute to and (more importantly) to learn from them with new friends, acquaintences, and colleagues from around the world. 

As a community, we may even feel some "ownership" with the forums.   So any changes here are bound to be uncomfortable for some.  Maybe we just care too much.    (Gee, some companies would just die to have that problem with their customers.    )

So, in the end, my comments come from that and the fact  that I also need to represent the needs of my customers, the 200+ folks here at 3M who use Articulate products under our sponsorship and general guidance.  Most of them are SME developers, and I'm just not sure the new community and forums hits the mark all the time for what they need.

For the tutorials and downloads they certainly do.  For other things, maybe not so much.

Most of my folks don't care about recent posts, recent work, friends' posts, and recent conversations and the like.  They want to get to what they need quickly and then get back to their projects.  And it seems it's a few extra clicks here and a extra few clicks there to get to things.  And a few things seem far too text heavy now (e.g., like opening section pages with long lists). 

I prefered the old forums where you simply saw the areas right off the bat with a brief explanation.  It looked "cleaner" to me.

I'd even go so far to consider having subforums in the same areas as the tutorials are in--or provide some meta or cloud tagging for that.  How powerful would it be for a customer having a problem with, say, animations in Presenter, to see just the posts on that topic and maybe find an answer quickly without posting.  Instead, we still have long laundry lists, as we did before, of every possible topic in Presenter or Quizmaker or Engage, etc., to wade through.

Tom showed the new community to us MVPs (now super heroes) a couple of months ago.  That was great and we were impressed and offered some feedback and comments.  But that's not the same as living with the changes and kicking the tires. So I just wonder if a small, focused, customer alpha or beta test may have helped?

I think, in the end, that you have to design for the lowest common denominator (and then provide enough features for the power users).  Consider a new user of Articulate (and maybe even someone new to developing e-learning).  Would they be successful and adroit with the new community/forums and finding the Articulate resources and answers they need? 

Not sure that I can answer that yet.  But I have faith the Articulate folks will try and do the "tunings and tweaks" and other things to try and make that answer "Yes."  No other software company that I know of is so dedicated to our success after the sale.

Zara Ogden

Gerry Wasiluk said:

Oh, more thing.  Call me silly again for this .  But I liked the old feature of being able to see who was in the forums.  Made me feel connected with them.


Oh I like that too...and kinda miss it.

I am finding a bit of an adjustment using the new site when it comes to learning how to locate and read everything BUT...

I really Like the new emails I get better and I like how I can access more stuff more often and not bother Jeanette or David via twitter when i have lost a link or file. I also like that i have "friends" it make me feel more active and involved and a part of a community not an outside contributor.

Tom Kuhlmann

There are always a few bumps in the road when transitioning from one place to the next.  Some of them are technical and some are more a matter of personal preference.  It's kind of like the ribbon in PowerPoint 2007.  When it first came out, I didn't like it.  But now I do find it works better for me.

Our goal is to help those who make an investment in our software get the most out of it.  We've got some exciting plans for the community.  Here's what I like best about what we have in our community now:

  • Product tutorials: I'm excited that the product tutorials are all together.  It's easier to send people to a specific place.
  • Getting started tutorials: I also like the "how to build a course" tutorials and all of the free assets.  I think for new users it will be a great way to learn more about the tools in a real world way and a little about designing courses.
  • Verifying answers: Being able to mark questions answered is a big help.  I had a few people at the conference talk about this.  
  • Free downloads: There's a great downloads section.  We'll be adding a whole bunch more stuff in there.
  • More ID support: David & Jeanette have a blogging area so they can flesh out more of their demos and tips.
  • Free workshops: We'll be adding free workshops to the community.  Anytime we do sessions at conferences, those things will eventually find their home in the community for those who can't attend.  I'm also hoping to get some guests in there as well.
  • Great people: Articulate makes good elearning software, but what I think is most special is the user community.   Ultimately the community is not about the technology, it's about all of you connecting with each other.  I really appreciate how active everyone is and how willing to help.  

We are committed to make this the best experience we can.  So we'll collect some feedback and make the tweaks we can.  Thanks for your patience and for all of your support.

Gerry Wasiluk

Two more things . . .

1) Really like how when you reach the end of a thread you can easily post to it.  Very encouraging and inviting to a user.  Nicely done.

2) Also, is there a way to unsubscribe from a thread after you've posted and you left the "Subscribe to replies to this post" checked?

Far too much e-mail this morning from not doing that for posts I entered.  It's pretty overwhelming the amount of e-mail.

If I add another post to a thread I added to previously, and then uncheck the subscribe option, am I then unsubscribed?

Be nice if there was an option instead to get a single digest version of threads that you are subscribed to.

Adam Schwartz

Gerry Wasiluk said:

2) Also, is there a way to unsubscribe from a thread after you've posted and you left the "Subscribe to replies to this post" checked?


Gerry - at the top of the page, you'll see an "Unsubscribe from replies" link.  You can click that to turn off notifications for that thread. This is also indicated in the footer at the bottom of every email you get.

Conversely, you can use the same link to follow a thread you haven't posted in.

A @work

Gerry Wasiluk said:

Two more things . . .

1) Really like how when you reach the end of a thread you can easily post to it.  Very encouraging and inviting to a user.  Nicely done.

2) Also, is there a way to unsubscribe from a thread after you've posted and you left the "Subscribe to replies to this post" checked?

Far too much e-mail this morning from not doing that for posts I entered.  It's pretty overwhelming the amount of e-mail.

If I add another post to a thread I added to previously, and then uncheck the subscribe option, am I then unsubscribed?

Be nice if there was an option instead to get a single digest version of threads that you are subscribed to.


Oh yes, digest versions of threads would be awesome!

Gerry Wasiluk

Thanks, Tom.

IMVHO, filtering and manual sorting is an "okay" solution, along with not subscribing to every thread.

We use Lotus Notes Connections here for some social media stuff.  And as bad as that program is, at least it has an optional digest feature for rapidly staying up-to-date.  fooks here like that.

We get beat up pretty bad here for all the e-mail our LMS has to generate, so I'm bit senstive to that subject.