Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

Advocate

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

I agree! But WHY is that?

Apparently some users must have used the search function to be able to find a sometimes 1 year old thread to post in, even if that thread is about a completely different problem. Prior to that they have created an account successfully. So obviously it's easy to create accounts and posts, still it seems they cannot find the information they are looking for.

 

Is it perhaps not clear enough that they can start their own thread? Or do they feel that's a too big of a task?

Maybe the button "New Message" isn't obvious what it actually is. Perhaps "Report your problem" might be a better name for this button.

 

What is different on this forum compared to other forums?

I don't know, but maybe the fact that users can post in old threads about a different problem. That will confuse all future readers of that thread, including people like myself who read all new posts daily.

The more I think about it, it appears a bad idea that users can post in old threads. If this wasn't allowed, they could be forced to create a new thread and set a subject that describes their problem. I think all readers would benefit from that.

 

And don't forget: most readers here are guests, not registered users. So simple non-confusing threads would benefit many more than only registered users.

 

EDIT: I found a great example on how confusing it can be to start a thread:

You can start a new thread very easily. Choose from the category the correct board where you can discuss about your issue. In the board you find an orange button called "New Message".

Answer:

Thank you for your reply but I still cannot work out how to start a new thread! Too many buttons and nothing ( that I can find ) to lead me to starting a new thread It cannot be that dificult, how about a simple tutorial? Your reply is not clear.

Superuser

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

I guess that forums are perhaps a little old-fashioned to some people, who are more used to the Facebook/Twitter types of media, so it may not be blatantly obvious how to start a new thread. That said, often when people ask a question in an old thread, they could have found the answer at the top of the thread, or even a couple of posts back from where they posted themselves. I guess the question has to be, do we want loads of new threads of very similar topics and questions, or do we just want to keep the boards more compact, with lots of similar questions in the same thread? Either way somebody has to answer the questions, and I don't really see much of a difference whether it's a new thread or a question added to an old one.

I guess, to avoid resurrecting very old topics, threads could be closed after, say, one month of no replies. I don't know any other forums that do that, but it might be worth some consideration for here.

I'm guessing that people find the old threads from the Related Topics section at the bottom of the boards. Maybe that could be modified to only show threads which are less than, say, three months old? You wouldn't want to limit it too far, otherwise certain useful information may be missed.

I think there's a danger in using "Report Your Problem", as not all threads relate to actual problems. Further, that may give users the wrong impression that reporting problems on the forum will get straight back to F-Secure, rather than them submitting a support ticket.

To be honest, I don't think there's a perfect solution to any of this. This kind of forum, for specific uses, with specific problems, will always have a lot of repetition as there's not really a lot of scope for varied discussion about an internet security product. It does one job, and that's really all there is to talk about. :)
Advocate

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

Good points. My example of a new button name was not the best I admit. "Start New Thread" would be more clear than current "New Message".

And my point on creating new threads was mainly to prevent users to add completely new problems to existing threads. If they don't find a relevant thread they sometimes seem to just pick one and add a new problem to it.

F-Secure

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

Hi everyone!

 

Returning to this old discussion with a bit of a wrap-up, we've made (and are still making) many changes to keep our members more informed.  Thanks to your insights and suggestions, we've initiated a three-prong approach at guiding our new members in the correct direction, by 1) revising the welcome email text, 2) creating the "how to post" spoiler, and 3) adding the text "did you remember to include product & platform details [if known]" before the Post button when starting a new thread.

 

We're also adjusting the "Mark as Solution" politics, by only allowing the OP and moderators to mark a solution, and sending a one-week reminder to the topic starter to accept a solution or provide more details.  Also, multiple solutions will no longer be allowed - old topics with multiple solutions will remain as is.  This is all in the works, so stay tuned!

 

And keep the feedback coming Smiley Wink

 

// Chrissy

Has somebody helped you? Give Kudos as a way to say "thanks!"
Has your issue been solved? Mark the post using the "Accept as Solution" button to let others know.
Advocate

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

Wow, that's a lot of great improvements Smiley Wink

 

One thing you could brainstorm about: Why does many users post in existing threads instead of starting new ones? Even if the existing thread is about a different problem.

F-Secure

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

I assume they end up here from a Google search, or similar manner. We're working on a process for closing old threads - this should be happening soon Smiley Wink
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Superuser

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

I think there is also the consideration that we do have visitors who only have a basic grasp of the English language, if any at all, so it may be more difficult for them to search the forums before posting.

 

There is, of course, the further consideration that some visitors simply can't be bothered to search before posting.  Strangely, this seems to apply to mobile security users more than any others.  dunno.gif

Advocate

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)


Chrissy_T wrote:

Thanks to your insights and suggestions, we've initiated a three-prong approach at guiding our new members in the correct direction, by 1) revising the welcome email text, 2) creating the "how to post" spoiler, and 3) adding the text "did you remember to include product & platform details [if known]" before the Post button when starting a new thread.

 


 

 

@Chrissy  A late comment because I still think this could be improved:

The "how to post" is great but I can't see it anywhere when starting a new thread. Is it perhaps only visible to first time posters?

But I suspect if you "made it" to the page for starting a new thread, you're unlikely to click a link on "how to post". 

 

So another idea could be to have the text area(form) pre-loaded with this text from the "how to post". Or shown as a pop-up or something. Or shown below the text area instead of the "did you remember...":

 

Describe your problem in detail. Where applicable, please provide:

- The name and version of the F-secure software you are using,

- The Operating System and service pack related to your request,

- Type of hardware used (more relevant in mobile related questions),

- Relevant (error) logs and screenshots where you have blurred private information from them.

Protect your identity!  Please remember that this is a public forum, and is available to anyone to view.  Therefore, you are strongly advised not to post personal details such as phone numbers, email addresses, or security / subscription codes, as this could lead to your privacy being compromised.

F-Secure

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

Hi! Good suggestions, as usual, but I'm not so sure they will be possible to implement without a lot of development. But I'll see if there's something we can do Smiley Wink
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Advocate

Re: Show information to new members (to avoid confusion)

I've checked it for you (at least I think so) Smiley Wink

As long as you split each line of text with HTML line separators, it'll work with replacing the "did you remember" text below the text area. If a single line of text is too long it will be printed on top of the Post button, at least the first line will. So just limit the number of characters for each line and it should work.