[WPMU DEV Forum] Simplify "Ask a Question"

I was just looking at this forum/support area with fresh eyes. I feel sorry for newcomers. Take a walk with me and see what I mean…

Start at /forums/forum/forum-name.

Click "ASK A QUESTION" … because when in a forum subsection and clicking New Topic, chances are high that we will always want to add a topic about the section we're in.

But here… that simply goes to /live-support.

Go to Live Chat Support (not what we asked for but that's all that's available) > Get Support >

Feature Request or Technical Support? Well, I wanted to "Ask a question".

Try Feature Request and it asks for the product. So no, I guess asking a question in a support forum is Technical Support. Makes sense, we're in the Support category. But let's say in this case I was in section "Features and Feedback". Feedback implies a comment, not necessarily a request for a feature.

Those of us who use this forum understand the tricks: To "Ask a Question" in the "Features and Feedback" section, post a "Feature Request". But to "Ask a Question" in other sections, go to Technical Support > Create a Ticket. I didn't really want to create a ticket, I just wanted to ask a forum question…

Let's go with it. From there, to ask a question in a specific Support section, pick the "topic", then narrow down the focus. Note that "Features and Feedback" isn't one of those sections – why are all of the other sections there and not this one?

So the user might try > I want to start a community discussion. A modal form then opens … showing a different section than the one we were in, probably the last section where we posted a note for the community. However now we're in the members forum, not support.

Perhaps this can be simplified… If we click Ask A Question in a specific forum section, just open the right dialog for that section so that we can post there quickly. If we want Live Support = Chat, there is a Support menu item for that. If we're in the All section and click Ask A Question, sure take us through the inquiry because it's unclear what kind of question we want to ask.

I know this forum is a mixed purpose forum/support area. It's not doing either job well. And I know work is being done to improve it. But we've posted a LOT of comments over time about this forum, and you guys are working on a LOT of other things. Please treat your own website and this forum like a product, slap a version number on it, and do small periodic updates. Saving everything for a major rollout? Great – tell us about it. But right now the pain continues and there's no view of relief in sight.

Thanks as always.

  • Timothy
    • Chief Pigeon

    The forum update is currently in planning and will follow hosting and then our next major Hub upgrade.

    Currently, we’ve spent the last 12 months-ish planning and upgrading our forum from an old stand-alone bbPress version (can-o-worms) to the current iteration of bbPress as a plugin, we’ve tons of custom stuff going on under the hood, so it wasn’t easy. This was done to enable that future path of updating and addressing various forum issues we’ve gathered over time as well as bringing some new exciting functionality that we believe our members are gonna love.

    Saving everything for a major rollout? Great – tell us about it.

    I know, I know, I’ve gone on about needing this upgrade for a long time and that we’re going to be working on it. Well, we did work on it, and we’re actually currently beta testing our upgrade script, we’ve been doing this for the last couple of months, a database this size isn’t so easy to wield.

    We do see our website as a product, the forum was a different beast because of its heritage. Once our instance is upgraded you still won’t see any major UI changes until post-Hub 2.0 but rest assured that it is coming.


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