The Design of Software (CLOSED)

A public forum for discussing the design of software, from the user interface to the code architecture. Now closed.

The "Design of Software" discussion group has been merged with the main Joel on Software discussion group.

The archives will remain online indefinitely.

Good Forum Design

Good design.  Funny that should be mentioned.  I find it extremely annoying that I have to either hit the back button, or the recent topics button to go back to a list of topics posted in this forum.  Perhaps a button that would allow me to go to the next topic in the same listing order as the main page?  As someone else stated earlier, in my experience alot of poor design has come about from inertia; this comes to an extreme when a requirment changes radically in the middle of implementation.

_Marlon_
Marlon Bailey Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
This forum is badly designed. The most annoying thing I find is that it is extremely hard to scan the posts for a specific topic - something to do with the font or lack of spacing.
asdf
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
I think you are both totally wrong. It is one of the best forums I have ever used. It is simple, and I never have to sign up. If you want it different, just use your favorite RSS reader and read them that way!

The fact that I do not have to preview means I will proof read before I post - increasing the number of good posts

You know what? All of this really works - since this place has some of the best information about software development around with very little spam or junk postings.

One other thing I think nobody notices. Each posting loses 'weight' as it gets older. It will take more and more posting to keep it on top.

Finally - I am usually not one who posts about forum design. Since I have seen to many forums dominated by this topic when the subject of the forum has nothing to do with it.

Steve
Steve Wiseman Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
I like this forum so much that I had a programmer clone it for use as an internal message board at work (a non-profit organization that has nothing to do with software).  I proposed it to our IT person.  She didn't like it -- not enough bells and whistles for her taste.  Dumbass.
No-one you know
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
OP, are you kidding? This is the best forum ever. No distracting junkiness and no spam. Sure, they could add a next topic link but that seems such a small complaint and I for one would never use it. I don't like leafing through topics, I only go to specific ones of interest directly from the list.

My RSS viewer does display the first words in addition to the topic title which might make a difference. But note that the feed does not contain the number of comments which I'd appreciate them adding (i.e. slash:comments)!
Ben Bryant
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
I love this forum system so much, I've cloned it almost entirely when I wanted a message board:

http://www.photographica.org/forums/photo_feed

The design really is a good one.  There is too much geekware out there with ratings, threads, and all other masses of garbage.  KISS baby.  Always KISS.  If you want a forum to grow, you have to make it brain dead to participate.
Cory R. King
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
"The fact that I do not have to preview means I will proof read before I post - increasing the number of good posts"

Maybe it works for you, but I don't think it works in general. I post typos all the time. And I usually go back and re-read my stuff. There's something about seeing the text laid out as it will be on the actual page that makes me more likely to notice typos. For some reason, I don't see them in the textbox where I've typed them, even if I go back and proofread.

On other forums, I use the preview function, and it often helps me notice typos. I think it's a great feature for a forum.

"One other thing I think nobody notices. Each posting loses 'weight' as it gets older. It will take more and more posting to keep it on top."

Huh? The topics on this forum can't be kept at the top by any means. The topics are kept in their original order, and their order isn't affected *at*all* by new posts.
BenjiSmith Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
I cloned this board also. It's a great design. That stuff with the avatars and the smiley faces and the BLINK tags and all that junk - well, it's wonderful if you are five years old.
Scott
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
I second the complaint about not being able to find a particular post. Joel's rationale is that the browse already takes care of it. But if you are interested (e.g. because you have posted an reply) in a post, and try to find it a few days later is really annoying.
blablabla
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
We have produced a discussion forum product that follows the design of the JoS forum as well. The only design changes that we felt we needed to make to the user interface were:

1) Switching the order of the 'Other recent topics' and 'Reply to this topic' buttons. The order of the buttons in the JoS forum has always seemed wrong to me.

2) Allowing for both a business and personal web address for each poster. With the JoS forum, I can never decide whether I should put my company web address or personal blog address in the Home Page box.
Mike Green Send private email
Saturday, January 28, 2006
 
 
Hmmm... "Good"? I'm not so sure. It's about as fancy as a news reader. If you like plain vanilla, then sure - it's great. I can't say that I have any particular praise for it though.

I don't mind signing up for something decent. It's not that much of a problem.

The one good thing here is that you can post something anonymously if it's a sensitive topic, like complaining about your employer or something. I've seen a lot of people do that, and I can understand why.

Personally, I like to be able to post images or format things for emphasis (bold, larger font, etc.). It can just make reading a bit easier at times.

But there's nothing wrong with these forums - they're just very plain. I don't think that they would have so much appeal to a general audience. The best thing about the forums here is the content - a lot of very smart people post here - that's what I like and what keeps me reading.

Cheers,
Ryan Smyth Send private email
Saturday, January 28, 2006
 
 
"The best thing about the forums here is the content - a lot of very smart people post here"

But that is to a large extent a *result* of the design of these forums.

People don't understand that most of the shortcoming they *believe* that these forums have are very specific design decisions made by Joel and have actually led to the quality of the discussion.
pwb Send private email
Monday, January 30, 2006
 
 
I like this forum and its simplicity, but I wish it would respect the font size selection in my browser.  The type is a couple points too small for me to read comfortably.
Adrian McCarthy Send private email
Monday, January 30, 2006
 
 
> I like this forum and its simplicity, but I wish it would > > respect the font size selection in my browser.  The type is > a couple points too small for me to read comfortably.

Odd that I hadn't noticed that before.  I think it is because the font sizes are specified in pixels, px, instead of one of the scalable alternatives, such as em, %, etc.

Inaccessible and bad design in my book.  You're stuck if you're using IE, but Firefox will still let you override the settings using CTRL++, CTRL--, for what it's worth.
David Burch Send private email
Monday, January 30, 2006
 
 

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