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Simplify the post area

Along with the post controller, the post page is a huge abomination... lol

So many options, so many things in a single screen that is difficult to cope with them all.

The vertical disposition looks somehow sub-optimal, this could be one of the few places that IMO would benefit from a sidebar[1]: I'd see the textarea moved on the right, the attachments still below, the options and a button for both polls (when applicable) and drafts on the right with the options.

Drafts may use ajax (who has javascript disabled can be presented with a link to the profile page[2]) to be loaded in a smf_popup and then picked from there with pagination and all.

Just a thought before going sleep. O:-)
Yeah, I'm taking inspiration from IPB interface. O:-)
Yes, I know, I'm one of you, though I feel it's not fair to force the interface to be clumsy just because few (because let's face it we are a (very) small minority) don't want to use javascript, it's not a matter or removing the functionality, but present it in another way
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Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #1

Why not put most of the things in dropdown like the gmail interface. Sometimes I feel gmail has placed more than desired options into dropdown, but it seems inspirational to do something similar. For e.g

One can place the bold, italic, underline, strike etc into one dropdown and name it as 'Style'.

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #2

Quote from: Joker™ – Why not put most of the things in dropdown like the gmail interface. Sometimes I feel gmail has placed more than desired options into dropdown, but it seems inspirational to do something similar. For e.g

One can place the bold, italic, underline, strike etc into one dropdown and name it as 'Style'.

I hate the Gmail style, to be honest. They've hidden away some of my most-used formatting behind two or three clicks. It's tedious to click several times every time I want a specific formatting value, and I haven't memorized the keyboard commands for Gmail yet (have you ever looked at them, they're really esoteric!).

I wouldn't mind the ability to collapse (and remember the collapsed state, of course) the editor buttons in case someone didn't need/use them, or always just used the [bbc] formatting, but I think simplifying the available formatting displayed would be a mistake.

I like the idea of condensing some of the post screen, though. It's stayed virtually untouched since the SMF 1.0 days, and probably since before then (YABBSE? YABB?).

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #3

Roughly what I have in mind[1], options could or could not be collapsible. Details are not the concern of the image, it's just a general idea.
Not that I'd be able to make it look like that! :P
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Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #4

I'm not sure I'm seeing the goal here.  Why would you want to go from an already vertically aligned page to one with a side bar given you'll just have to drop it down for mobile anyway?

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #5

Because as it is now you don't have anything at hand. Any time you have to do something the mouse wheel should be at hand.
On my laptop (see attachment) I don't have the wheel, if I want to attach something I have to use the browser scrollbar (let alone if I want to change a setting).
How far is the "load drafts" area from the post area? Honestly, how many times do you even remember there is a "load drafts" area?

Dunno, to me have everything as close as possible is better than having to scroll all over the place just to find what you are looking for.
At low-res it may be collapsed via js to use less space (yes, it's another click, but heh, to me the drafts are already a click and a scroll away, so no big difference, apart from the fact that scroll is a pain).

To recap, my theory is that people use what they have in front of them, if they can see a button it's likely they will use it, if they don't see a button it's unlikely they will go around looking for it.

It's a proposal, if it is not accepted there are two paths: 1) I'll improve it, 2) I'll create my own theme[1]. :P
with blackjack and hookers. :P
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Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #6

Why is Load Drafts not there with the other post buttons anyway? Seems like a silly decision.

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #7

How often are those checkboxes used?  I'd guess very rarely.  So mostly this is to get two buttons up higher right?

Why not move the shortcuts text to it's own line, or put it up higher between the edit window and the message icon line and use that extra space for the buttons.  Put Save Draft, Load Draft, Add Poll float left and leave Post and preview float right so that post and preview don't have people accidentally pushing the other buttons.

Then leave the check boxes down where they are.

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #8

I rather like what eman posted  :)

I find on my laptop that most of those options are off the bottom of the page, but I have lots of white space on either side of the text box.  Seems like a waste of good real estate, a left over from 4:3 aspect screens as well.

I'm not sure what good some of the those check boxes are, I'd vote to drop some of them.  I understand the don't use smiles and ... well TBH that is the only one I get  :P , the rest of them don't really belong on the post page IMO.

Could also add the old "more" button with load draft, add poll, attach file (or somehow make the d&d area also have the browse button, seems having two controls is not necessary)

I'm sure almost no one knows there is the load drafts area below, it was a goodie that was added, but during one of the times no one was doing any work on the UI.

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #9

I agree with scripple and Spuds here, it might be more useful to pare down the checkboxes than move them to a more noticeable place.

Honestly, the idea of using all the screen real-estate is nice, but it doesn't fit the current trend in web development for massive whitespace and fixed-ratio websites suited for 1028x768 screens. This would likely wind up crippling the post box for standard screen resolutions more than benefiting those with widescreens (and probably not those at all, if the forum's theme is fixed width anyway).

Move up the Load Drafts and the poll options, keep the rest below and think about removing options that no longer make sense.

 

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #10

ehm... actually what I posted fits better a 1028x768 than what we currently have, but heh. :P
And Spuds said he likes what I posted. :P

I like to learn from smart people that have successful products, so the attached is WordPress posting interface at 1024x768: not one, but two side bars! And still you need to scroll just a little bit to add tags. Of course adding new categories would push further down the tags screen, but then you can collapse anything and have everything on one page. And when you resize to 800 or less some parts are moved below! :D <= responsive! ;D

Quote from: scripple – Why not move the shortcuts text to it's own line, or put it up higher between the edit window and the message icon line and use that extra space for the buttons.  Put Save Draft, Load Draft, Add Poll float left and leave Post and preview float right so that post and preview don't have people accidentally pushing the other buttons.
That may be an option too, though the reason I added them there is because these buttons are something completely unrelated to the "post" action, also someone mat want to create addons that add stuff to that list of "additional actions", and use the area next to the posting buttons could become more difficult (in terms of positioning, think about adding three or four more buttons, the two sets may end up clashing).
But it's an option, and a valid one.
Maybe the shortcuts link could act as separator:
Code: [Select]
|                                                              |
|                     textarea                                 |
|                                                              |
----------------------------------------------------------------
| load drafts | add poll | whatever button |
shortcuts: shift+alt+s submit/post, shift+alt+p preview or shift+alt+d save draft
                                 | post | preview | save draft |

Quote from: scripple – Then leave the check boxes down where they are.
Let's put it another way: anything that is not on the same screen is not used by the vast majority of the people. So, if the checkboxes are not on the same screen as the textarea, most likely they will never used, so it's just a waste of space keep them.

So, about removing checkboxes:
Notify me of replies. <= sort of useful I think
Lock this topic. <= useful (even though every time I want to post a locked topic I forgot about the check and come back to lock it later)
Return to this topic. <= this should be removed IMHO. There is already a setting, give the option at each post level is kind of overkill to me.
Sticky this topic. <= same as "lock"
Don't use smileys. <= this is a pain IMO. It requires an entire column in the db for what? I don't think it's worth the hassle, but more feedback is very welcome.
Move this topic. <= never used, reasoning of lock and stick may apply.
Approve this post. <= should be useful.

That leaves notify and approve. Of course that is what *I
think, but I'm just me and so not really a representative sample of the forum population.

That said, notify is not really that important either

Even the message icon could go somewhere else (and honestly the subject too, how many times you change the subject of a message while replying?).

 emanuele is too tired for re-reading the post...sorry.
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Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #11

Ugh.  Wordpress.  I tried that and couldn't stand it.  It all looks like "My first website" and pushes out add-on breaking updates every two weeks it seems.  :P  If you want to emulate them in a good way write a good "Elkarte's Famous 5 Minute Install!!!".  I think that's the big draw of wordpress.  Easy to install for beginners.

Since you're asking for the views of others on the checkboxes, I don't think I've ever used any of them.  I don't see the point of disable smileys.  Do smileys work in code boxes?   I think the proper way smileys should be disabled is that code boxes and preformatted text should not be parsed into smileys.

I'm not sure on the shortcuts as a separator.  If you want two rows fine, but I'd not put the shortcuts in between.  Especially given that shortcuts are now hidden on mobile.

And funny you should mention the subject.  My forum members mentioned not even noticing you could change the subject of a reply the entire time I was running SMF.  They only noticed on Elkarte because of the subject blanking bug.

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #12

Why disable smiles on a specific post ... welll
1) one
2) two
3) three
4) four
5) five
6) six
7) seven
8) eight
9) nine

Hey what happened to me 8 ???????  hey what happened to my '?'s

Those are the reasons why I've had to disable them in a post, when the parser thinks something should be a smiley and its not. Its funny,  the only one I use is smileys, and the only ones that Eman uses are the other ones that I never use (from the post page), guess thats why there are so many options.

I was just using wordpress the other day, on this server in fact.  htop with elkarte and it rarely shows more than 1 or 2 % cpu usage, then I was testing wordpress and boy-o-boy did the cpu notice when it was running, bit of a cpu hog.  Anyway, it does show that a side X side layout can work,  scrolling down the UI to find options seems a bit backward to me, so I do think eman is on to something there.  I also like the idea of being able to add buttons / checks with a hook, its something we can't do today (descriptive links is an example).

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #13

Well if you're going to go the sidebar route and let people add check boxes and buttons I suggest you make each button on the sidebar fill a single line of the sidebar otherwise you're going to run into lots of ugly button placement.

Re: Simplify the post area

Reply #14

Quote from: Spuds – [...]
8) eight
9) nine

Hey what happened to me 8 ???????  hey what happened to my '?'s
The 8 is one of the reasons I would change the code to 8-). :P (And actually is the reason I pushed the implicit lists with number, O:-))
hmm... okay. When I have these kind of problems I tend to either use nobbc or change something in the text, because usually I tend to have many smiley around the post, and disable then in the entire post just for a list would look odd.

Quote from: Spuds – Its funny,  the only one I use is smileys, and the only ones that Eman uses are the other ones that I never use
Actually, I don't use any of theme, never. Most of the times I answer from the quick reply[1], so I don't even see them.

Quote from: Spuds – I also like the idea of being able to add buttons / checks with a hook, its something we can't do today (descriptive links is an example).
Heck, I thought I added something there... ohhh, no it was on that branch I lost somewhere... :(
Remember one of my dreams is to get rid of the post page entirely. Norv turned it down, but... maybe... O:-)
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