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I can't find anything! -- suggestion for future

Started by on Apr 05, 2018 – Contents updated: Apr 13, 2018

Apr 05, 2018 16:25    

I have been with b2evolution for more than 10 years. My skill level is "know just enough to be dangerous." On one hand, I like that this is a highly-technical service, because I am not limited in the same way more user-friendly platforms are. HOWEVER, the more you grow and change and add and fix, the more I can't find anything. It took me 30 minutes to figure out how to turn off comments, because I couldn't find the screen. I found references in the manual, but it was limited to the wording "as long as comments are enabled," but no where did it remind me where that gets done. Is it in the Front Office? The Back office? Collection? Site?

Truthfully, the problems really started when the "Collections" feature came along.

Today, I wanted to update my antispam blacklist. Took me way too long to find it. It seems obvious now that I know where it is, but remember, I'm not in this program every day. I don't have the sitemap embedded in my mind. Time and again, I know it's there, but WHERE? In the time I have spent clicking through the tabs in my blog's dashboard, I could have written 100 blog posts.

I desperately want to stay with b2evolution, but I'm growing ever more frustrated with this. How about a search box on the dashboard? How about a directory in the documentation?

I guess my plea comes from someone who may not be your target audience, someone who doesn't live and breath b2evolution. However, if you do want to keep the users on the lower end of the skill scale, remember we don't like to be lost.

Thank you for hearing me out.

Apr 05, 2018 21:27

I hear you. Sometimes I have a hard time finding a setting myself. And it reminds me every time that there is a tradeoff when you have a CMS that can be configured to virtually anything: many many many too many settings.

Creating a search box in the backoffice is even harder than keeping the online manual up to date. It would need a dictionnary in every language!

Please tell me where you looked first in the backoffice to find "comment enabling" and to find "antispam update" so we can better understand where people expect these features to be.

Apr 05, 2018 21:50

After reading this thread it took me a good 15 minutes to find it myself.

I expected to find it here: Collections > -COLLECTION-NAME- > Features > Comments

My thoughts:

Collections > -COLLECTION-NAME- > Settings > Common Settings > Comment recycle bin

Should be in

Collections > -COLLECTION-NAME- > Features > Comments

/--------------/
The following is VERY OBSCURED:

Collections > Settings > Post types > (Click Edit) > Use of Comments

Should be in

Collections > -COLLECTION-NAME- > Features > Comments

Would it hurt to make some 'Common Settings' available in more than one place?

Apr 05, 2018 23:25

ouch , big bag of hurt.

First part is ok but

Collections > Settings > Post types > (Click Edit) > Use of Comments
Should be in
Collections > -COLLECTION-NAME- > Features > Comments

Hell no! The settings are different for EACH post type! You cannot merge them together into a single setting for the whole collection.

Apr 05, 2018 23:54

Okay, but why not a link/hint that will take/point you to Collections > Settings > Post types > (Click Edit) > Use of Comments

just so that the user will know where else to find more related settings?

Apr 06, 2018 00:13

fplanque: you answered the "where did I go to look" question in your response. While I can't remember exactly where I went initially, under "comments" would certainly be logical. And I agree with achillis, links would help.

As for antispam -- first, as always, I started with collections (not there), then flipped through the tabs there: settings (not there), then features (not there), and darn it I cannot find it again. Oh right, there's ANOTHER settings spot, up at the top. There it is.

Today I wanted to change the link list in my sidebar widget for my Blogroll. Almost gave up. A minor "go to here" instruction at the in the widget description box would have been marvelous.

I do not envy the person/people who builds platforms such as these. Layer upon layer of improvement and change can make for some serious organizational complications. All I can advise is, whenever I am organizing, I start by putting all like things together. Pencils with pens, rubber bands with paper clips, envelopes with letterhead. I try to think about what it is I'll be thinking about when I go to retrieve the item. I also avoid, as best I can, putting the same "like" things in two places. Grocery stores around me are starting this. They have organic milk in a separate organic section, but then when I go to the regular milk section, there's a organic milk there too, and the brand I prefer! So I have to go back to the first section to put my first selection back. Don't put the same "like" thing in two places. Two "systems" might be a good place to start.

I consider things like plugins and widgets "like things," yet they are not together. And if I was thinking, "where would a plugin be," I would probably guess its a "feature." Nope, not there.

Now, all the moving around to rearrange the store sounds near impossible, so I get it if can't be done. And I do appreciate you hearing me out. Good luck!!!

Apr 06, 2018 02:38

@achillis There are *multiple* post types per collection. To which post type would the link go?!

@bloggerattwb sounds reasonable but how is "antispam" anything "like" a collection feature or a collection setting. The antispam list is a global system thing that you do not update separately for each collection and that doesn't even apply only to collections. It also applies to user emails, to private messages etc.

Both: I get it that "Look there for more" info/links would help. Will keep this in mind for the future.

Maybe at the end of each settings page there could be a "Related settings" section . And by "related" we actually mean "People who came here expected to find this (although it would really have no business being here)"...

...and we'd fill that up based on user feedback.

Apr 06, 2018 06:46

@fplanque just a note like so:

The word wrapped in bold is a hyper link that will take you here:

Collections > Settings > Post types

A notice could be:

Additional comment settings are available in Post Type Settings

Or

Related comment settings are available in Post Type Settings

Or

You can set related comment settings per Post Type here

Or

something similar that makes sense to you

You could actually cleverly make it seem like the Comment settings are in the same place with a panel: Comment Settings by post type that has a link to Collections > Settings > Post types

Apr 10, 2018 01:46

We will add something to Features > Posts and to Features > Comments to point to additional settings depending on post type and NOT on collection.

Any other settings hard to find in the most intuitive place?

Apr 10, 2018 13:27

Knowing that I don't know the level of complication of what I'm suggesting, from a layperson's perspective, here is a peek into my intuition:

Collection - Posts - Special. Special is a meaningless term for finding the URLs that make up the list used in the Universal Item List widget. Some sort of direction/footer that points users to the "Posts" tab for this would be extremely helpful, since hiding under posts are also pages, intros, and special.

Rethink the distribution of settings under the "Features" and "Settings" tabs. Why not move all collection-specific settings for Posts, Comments, Categories, Skin, and Widgets out of "Settings" and "Features" where ever possible, and into a tab under each, Posts, Comment, Category, etc. named Posts Settings, Category Settings, etc.? Where not possible, add some kind of universal "see collection settings for more Posts settings."

I look for "media" under files. Took me a long to time to find the media directory URL.

Again, the complication started when the Collections feature was added. And I still don't have an understanding of which settings are Collections based, Site based, or Single Item based, and thus, I don't know where to start. I have one blog. Maybe the real problem is that there is not a simplified dashboard option for simple-minded users like me.

Apr 10, 2018 13:41

Addition:

How about thinking in terms of an outline style for the Dashboard -- creating the visual sense that broad, universal settings (antispam) are at the top with single-item settings at the bottom. That could help me a lot, especially when it comes to understanding the impact of each change. Instead of tabs across, think tabs or directory links down, much like the typical directory. I'm not really thinking something so drastically different, but rather some kind of layout change wherein the user can grasp that he or she is entering a new level and getting deeper into the detail. Or he or she is moving up a level, getting broader into the detail. Am I making any sense?

For instance, I expect the upper most file menu (in the black bar at the top of my dashboard) to contain all the universal settings. Now that I realize that Antispam impacts EVERYTHING, I know to "go to the top." Once I get into the Collections tab, though, it starts getting muddy for me.

Apr 10, 2018 13:41

Addition:

How about thinking in terms of an outline style for the Dashboard -- creating the visual sense that broad, universal settings (antispam) are at the top with single-item settings at the bottom. That could help me a lot, especially when it comes to understanding the impact of each change. Instead of tabs across, think tabs or directory links down, much like the typical directory. I'm not really thinking something so drastically different, but rather some kind of layout change wherein the user can grasp that he or she is entering a new level and getting deeper into the detail. Or he or she is moving up a level, getting broader into the detail. Am I making any sense?

For instance, I expect the upper most file menu (in the black bar at the top of my dashboard) to contain all the universal settings. Now that I realize that Antispam impacts EVERYTHING, I know to "go to the top." Once I get into the Collections tab, though, it starts getting muddy for me.

Apr 11, 2018 01:21

@bloggerattwb The data structure of b2evolution is *not* a tree. Many things are intertwined.

Think of it like sorting things by color and also by shape and also by use. How do you make a tree with that? Where do you sort an Orange? It's going to be under color "orange", under "round" and under "fruit".

So if we made a tree structure, we'd have many settings 3 times in the tree... which might make sense for you... (not for me) ... but multiplies the complexity of the code by a significant amount. Many more bugs to be expected if we do that :/

I think I should make an abstracted drawing of the data structure so you might understand it better.

Apr 11, 2018 02:12

While I appreciate the offer, there's no need to create such a drawing for me. I'm only trying to explain what the challenge is for people like me. I understand the challenge well enough. And I do think your time would be better building the understanding (maybe via creating such communication) for the masses. I also think, however, out of color, shape, and use, I'd be looking for things according to use.

Thank you very much for giving this so much thought. It means a lot, and please know that my input is only meant as an intention to improve the user experience.

Apr 13, 2018 02:22

Yes I was thinking along the lines of a drawing that would be part of the manual, for everyone to look at.


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