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Suggestions Needed

#1
Hello community! 

We are, for the first time in six years, reconsidering some of our board layout. We're still a tight knit, small forum, so we don't need a huge number of boards. However, we're making a goal to shuffle a few things around and will probably a board or two in the process. We need suggestions on what you think needs improvement. I've done as many mockups as I can, and something just isn't quite sticking yet. Finna 

The main problem we're having now is that project journals are kind of shuffled throughout the forum. That was actually something the original Makestation solved with its initial layout. We had designated sections for ideas, creativity discussion, and project journals, and these boards would contain just about any niche. The issue was that ALL project journals went into one board. You'd visit that one board and you'd see almost any topic imagineable. 

We ended up splitting them out by the topic (media, technology, writing, etc.) and putting a project journals sub-board in each category. It kept things a little more organized at the time. We're looking into some other improvements, so I wanted to get an idea of whether you guys would use these, and most importantly, for inspiration from the community. Current ideas in the pipeline: 
  • Threadmarks. This is a specialized table of contents for project journal threads you create. If you write an update or another post, you can hit "add threadmark" when you add the post and it gets added to your table of contents. No feature exists within our forum software for this, and there is no plugin. We will have to write our own. I will happily do so, but I want to get an idea of whether or not people think it's useful before we go ahead and give it the green light.

  • Project Journal list in profiles. Profiles have been heavily revamped in recent months on the forum. Ideally, we want the community to be as profile-centered as possible, so we've been adding new features for them. This would also require a special plugin, but if they'd be useful, we will write one. 

We are a creative arts forum, and project journals are integral to what our mission is. Right now, they're kind of in the background, but as we approach 20K posts, we have more members and more content to bring them to life. We need suggestions, and the MS staff is ready to hear ideas and inspiration!
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#2
What is really missing is such an everyday corner, such as a topic like today ....

Things that touch and move us, even something personal that is on the soul of one or the other, would also be quite good,

Sir Stirling Moss has died at the age of 90 after a long illness, with the dashing British motor racing legend passing away at his Mayfair home.

The great motor-racing driver and one of the most lionised figures in the history of British sport, 'closed his eyes' in the early hours of Easter morning.

Lady Moss was at his bedside as he died, having nursed him through a long illness, at their Mayfair house. She told the Daily Mail: 'He died as he lived, looking wonderful.
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#3
As sad as Sir Stirling Moss's death is, there's already a "Sports" sub-forum that covers it Tongue :
http://makestation.net/Forum-Sports

In fact, when I'm done with this post, I'll probably start a topic right there.

But, yeah, making a good layout is not easy, and the journals are a good example of that. Right now, we don't have all the journals in one place, because they're spread out among the art/media/writing forums. However, if we made a dedicated place for all the journals, then we'd no longer have all the art stuff in one place, and we'd no longer have all the writing stuff in one place (because we'd be moving the journals out of those forums, which would lead to the bizarre situation where "Writing journals don't belong under Writing"). There just isn't a perfect way to do it: it's all about making trade-offs between competing priorities.

I eventually decided that, if I had something that could be spread across multiple forums (which the journals are a good example of), then it might be better to use a thread prefix than a dedicated forum. So, my suggestion for the journals would be: either keep the current sub-forums, or replace them with a 'Journals' thread prefix (depending on which option best suits your particular needs)
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#4
(April 12th, 2020 at 11:43 AM)Kyng Wrote: As sad as Sir Stirling Moss's death is, there's already a "Sports" sub-forum that covers it Tongue :
http://makestation.net/Forum-Sports

In fact, when I'm done with this post, I'll probably start a topic right there.

But, yeah, making a good layout is not easy, and the journals are a good example of that. Right now, we don't have all the journals in one place, because they're spread out among the art/media/writing forums. However, if we made a dedicated place for all the journals, then we'd no longer have all the art stuff in one place, and we'd no longer have all the writing stuff in one place (because we'd be moving the journals out of those forums, which would lead to the bizarre situation where "Writing journals don't belong under Writing"). There just isn't a perfect way to do it: it's all about making trade-offs between competing priorities.

I eventually decided that, if I had something that could be spread across multiple forums (which the journals are a good example of), then it might be better to use a thread prefix than a dedicated forum. So, my suggestion for the journals would be: either keep the current sub-forums, or replace them with a 'Journals' thread prefix (depending on which option best suits your particular needs)

Sorry I missed it
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#5
Thanks for the suggestions @Kyng Smile

We more or less came to the same conclusion. We wanted to, at the bare minimum, keep all writing under writing, keep media under media, and so forth, so we ended up with multiple project journals boards. What we're considering now is having "virtual boards" that display threads based on thread prefixes. We would have to write a plugin to do it, so it won't happen anytime in the near future. But the idea is that you'd have threads displaying in their normal boards, but you'd also have a separate "project journals" board that aggregates all project journal prefixed threads from all other boards, and displays them there.

I'm surprised something like that doesn't exist already, but sure enough, there isn't a plugin for it. Might go on the list for us to add here if I can get some time to get around to it. Finna
Saturn-Moon.com - Our next project...
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#6
(April 12th, 2020 at 12:58 PM)Darth-Apple Wrote: Thanks for the suggestions @Kyng Smile

We more or less came to the same conclusion. We wanted to, at the bare minimum, keep all writing under writing, keep media under media, and so forth, so we ended up with multiple project journals boards. What we're considering now is having "virtual boards" that display threads based on thread prefixes. We would have to write a plugin to do it, so it won't happen anytime in the near future. But the idea is that you'd have threads displaying in their normal boards, but you'd also have a separate "project journals" board that aggregates all project journal prefixed threads from all other boards, and displays them there.

I'm surprised something like that doesn't exist already, but sure enough, there isn't a plugin for it. Might go on the list for us to add here if I can get some time to get around to it. Finna

That would be a very good idea :-) Finna
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