Forum Interface vs. Activity Interface

I'm not sure exactly what category this question goes under, so forgive me if I picked the wrong one...

Now that my site is up and running, I'm getting feedback on what people like and don't like...

1) They LOVE the ease with which you can put pics, links and vids into the Activity stream. I do too. It's simple, easy and really quite elegant!

2) They HATE the cumbersome, non-intuitive interface of the Forum proper. Unlike the interface in the Activity stream, you have to learn a specialized interface, which is different for each type of use (pic, vid, link), understand some rudimentary HTML, insert the right code in the right place in the right way...

Can you say DISASTER?!?!? Particularly because most of our users ARE NOT sophisticated web users. Many have trouble just signing up for the site, much less using it.

So...

A) Am I doing this right? Is there something about sitewide forums I need to know that I'm missing? Is there a way to make the Forum work like Activity, insofar as adding content goes?

B) If not, is this more user-friendly method coming? Can we lobby bbpress (I think it's their app) to make this more like Buddypress (assuming I'm attributing the right interface to the right party)? Or am I just screwed on this front?

I hope this made sense, and I would appreciate any help you can provide.

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings Karl,

    Thank you for your feedback and great couple of questions.

    A) Am I doing this right? Is there something about sitewide forums I need to know that I'm missing? Is there a way to make the Forum work like Activity, insofar as adding content goes?

    You are doing this right to the best of my knowledge and cumbersome is a great description of the current situation and I believe it would take a major coding rewrite to change this to make it different.

    B) If not, is this more user-friendly method coming? Can we lobby bbpress (I think it's their app) to make this more like Buddypress (assuming I'm attributing the right interface to the right party)? Or am I just screwed on this front?

    Now this is where you totally lost me. Is this a WPMU Dev application?

    I believe it is my mistake to find out exactly what WPMU Dev application you are referring to.

    Please advise.

    Cheers, Joe

  • karl_s
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Hi Joe!

    You told me what I didn't want to hear, but what I expected to be the case.

    I remember reading on the bbpress site some time back that they are in the process of upgrading their somewhat clunky forum software (I called it their app above) to include such "modern" things as forum threading and whatnot. I'm hoping they'll also upgrade the interface to be more like the Activity feed (which I believe is the Buddypress front end for the old (bbpress) back end).

    In any event, the Activity feed is great and people love it. It's so intuitive and fun to use. But the Forum interface is more like traditional WP, and loading in vids and pics is a bear by comparison. It's just not user friendly at all, particularly for the cybernetically challenged.

    Gah! I guess we're stuck with it for now.

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings Karl,

    Sorry to be the barer of bad news but it is better then beating ones head against a lie or impossibility of course ... lol

    And yes you are correct that in this case we are currently stuck with it in the fashion that it works until someone takes the time to do a major recoding.

    Thank you for being a WPMU Dev Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

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