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Can you please stop changing the layout/navigation?

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Vasil Michev
MVP

Just when I'm comfortably used to the next iteration, and you change everything all over again. How do I get to the page listing all my favourited spaces now? I have to browse the Communities instead, and select the spaces one by one, takes me 10 times more clicks to go over it. The Dashboard is no longer available (https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/custom/page/page-id/Community-My-Dashboard redirects to the Home page and is useless now).

32 Replies

Hi @Vasil Michev,

 

Favourited spaces are being phased out, simply put only a small handful of users were using them and got how they were used.

 

We are instead going to surface another community feature in their place called subscriptions. This will allow you to get email digest of areas you subscribe to. You can control how often you get these digests here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/user/myprofilepage/tab/user-subscriptions:notification-settin....

 

The problem with favourites was that they are not native to the community platform we are using and so it was very hard to do anything useful with them. We could only pull 25 of your favourited communities in one go and that is becoming troublesome now the community is getting much larger.

 

Hence why we deprecated 'My Home' because it was nearing its maximum capacity for the number of favourited spaces you could have. 

 

Moving to the concept of subscribed spaces will help us get the latest and greatest information into your inbox so you can deal with it at a time that suits you, as well as meaning you do not have to be actually logged into the community to get it. You will also be able to see your subscribed boards and threads here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/user/myprofilepage/tab/user-subscriptions:email-subscriptions.

 

I get from what you are saying that your looking for a quick way to get to the conversations you have favourited, but I am not 100% sure why it would take 10 times as many clicks to get to that content, I agree it may take a couple of extra clicks.

 

We do surface content from the spaces your a member of on the home page as well, maybe you could share with me a little more what it is you got from My Home that you do not think you will be able to get via either Subscriptions or using these feeds?

 

I truly appreciate the time your taking to share your feedback because its always valuable to listen to what our MVPs tell us. 

We may discuss pros and cons for each approach forever, but main point new navigation pushes to change the style of work with the resource. After that you spend time to become more familiar with new UI, make almost automatic some actions - and after that we have another new UI. That cycle continuous forever. Not only here, elsewhere. 

 

As for me previous approach was more suitable. One icon to shift on any of my places. Emails - they don't give full picture (post itself plus replies) and don't show exact content of the posts (lost of formatting in some cases, no attachment). RSS works bit better from that point of view. Thus if something interesting I open the page. And why to jump from email to site and back if I could see everything on site only?

@AS If I wanted to use email notifications, I would. I'm already part of a dozen forums/communities (TechNet/MSDN, Answers, MTC, EE, Spiceworks to name a few), if I subscribe for new posts on each of those my mailbox will simply explode. I prefer to browse the MTC instead, and the Dashboard was fine for this purpose.

 

Again, it's about getting to the Spaces I follow, not Communities, not Conversations. Home tab lists 4 per page, how many times do I need to press the "more" button to get all the results? Perhaps you can move that page someplace else and have it load a more suitable number of results?

Logged in today... tried to find a space I favorited... couldn't... looks like that heart is gone on purpose? Went to the link you posted, and all I see is a bunch of individual conversations I subscribed to.

 

While I very much like they idea of being able to subscribe to spaces (which I thought I already had done), I'm missing the ability to go browse the top-ish level things.

 

@AS - am I missing something else, or is navigating to the things I cared to have easy access to gone?

@Ivan Vasin

 

Lets see if we can come up with another way to meet your use case because, as I mentioned in my original reply, the feed used for My Home was going to become broken in the next month anyway so it had to go.

 

I take it that using the 'Conversations I started' or the 'Conversations I have replied' to on your profile page does not meet your needs?

 

So, the ask here is to have a list of all conversations that you have expressed some sort of interest in listed in perpetuity somewhere right?

 

This list must:

  • Know which spaces / discussions or individual posts you want to be able to review
  • List them in chronological order
  • Expand indefinitely without a need for you to click see more or next?

Did I miss anything?

@Ian Bruckner

 

The heart has not yet entirely gone but it has gone from the top right of the home page. It will be totally removed shortly.

 

Is your ask similar to @Vasil Michev?

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i don't need more stuff in my inbox, I just want to be able to scan through a Community/Space and if something looks interesting, readit and contribute if I can. Lithium makes this much more difficult than Yammer and has not provided me any compelling reasons to hang out for any significant period of time. I'm much less involved than I used to be for this exact reason.

@Dean Gross

 

Thank you for sharing, I am obviously sorry to see your not spending as much time in the community. What criteria are you using to identify 'interesting stuff'?

 

Is it:

 

  •  Discussions on a specific topic?
  •  Discussions on a specific product?
  •  Discussions you have previously engaged with?

Really looking to try to help address this but I need some hard information on what exactly it is we are not delivering so I can work with the team to identify how we might help you meet this.

 

Again I would like to re-iterate that we can not continue with the 'Follow' and My Home UI in the way it was working until now as it would have started to miss more and more content as the number of potential sources increased. 

 

 

@AS,

Conversations I've started and Conversations I'm following (I'd like to be able to follow a conversation, and be opted in to follow if I reply... as for monitoring a conversation, I'm never going to distinguish between something I reply to and something I want to follow even if I don't reply)... those are useful for sure. But those seem more like an indicator of my activity than an indicator of things I want to follow. It would be neat to see them integrated into the Notification Feed page.

 

 

However, that's still missing an easy way for me to jump into topics I want to follow. Some sort of dashboard (at the top of the notifications fee maybe) that lists my spaces and an indicator of # new conversations / comments / likes / mentions / answers / blog posts. I'd use something like that to "check in" as it were, instead of filling my inbox. Maybe selecting the space on the dashboard them would filter the feed to just those entries... and further selecting an indicator would further refine the filter. But then I could 

 

I use "checking in" to mean... Anything going wrong in "my" communities for other people that might also be going wrong for me? Any questions I can answer for other people? Anything cool someone else has done that I can try? Any new product announcements?

 

It'd also be where I start my search for help on new queries of my own. Right now, there's no longer a way for me to easily get to a specific space /community to have my search results filtered based on what community I am in.

 

Honestly, now that I'm poking around, I realize there's a "My Communities" page, and I found I joined a few communities that I've forgotten about I wish I hadn't of forgotten. When I "favorited" spaces before, I thought I was signing up to be alerted. When I wasn't getting emails, I figured out how to do that for a few spaces. There's quite a few communities/spaces I'd like to be able to "monitor/check into" for which I'm not all that interested in being notified about.

@AS it's simple, I log in once or twice a day and I want to see what's new, or follow up on any threads I've participated in.

 

Ideally, I would be happy to have a proper page that lists all the new posts in all the spaces I care about (NOT communities, as those can span a 20+ spaces and I can only care about a one or two of those). And only the spaces I care about. With a normal pagination of at least 10 items per page. Even better if I can filter for just new items since the last day, or my last visit.

 

The next best thing will be for me to be able to get to all the spaces I care about with a single click. Not to have to drill down in a dozen communities to expand a dozen more spaces.

 

The notification menu already takes care of the "conversations I started/participated in", I'm happy on that front.

@Ian Bruckner

 

Thanks, I take it you do not feel that the area in your profile for 'Conversations I have replied to' and 'Conversations I have started' delivers that?

 

I am also taking it from your comments that the feed on homepage and the feed in each individual space doesn't pull this together in a way you feel is easy to dig into the conversations?

 

I am not going to give you answers on all these points today I will need to take them away and reflect on how best we can meet your needs. 

@Vasil Michev

 

Thank you for taking the time to feedback, just like @Ian Bruckner I will take some time to reflect on your comments and see if there is some really good or cool way we could give you all or some of the things you have outlined. 

Correct, @AS - basically, I'm missing something that ties it all together for me.

 

The "My Activity" section on my profile is good for me to find something I've done... and conversely good for me to find out what you've done (should I follow you? Can I trust your advice? What topics might you be able to answer on if I have a query I mention you in?). Those are great things, and I'd hate to lose them. 

 

Nothing seems to provide for "here's what's going on in your spaces".. such as indicator of # new conversations / comments / likes / mentions / answers / blog posts. 

 

The feed on the homepage doesn't pull that together, and neither really does the feed in each of the spaces. What's there isn't bad, but it doesn't really show me what's changed since I last visited. On the homepage feed, I'd like to see a representation of my followed spaces and (and on the homepage for each space) also some concise counters (above) that when a space is clicked (because I see a counter that says "9 new unanswered questions, 89 comments, 1000 likes")... bring me to the space's page... and then if I clicked a counter on a space's page, the feed would be filtered do that selection... that'd be very helpful.

 

FWIW, I like the icons and what they represent on the notification feed page. For each of those counters on each space, perhaps a way to say "notify me" (in my notification feed)... and another for "email me"

@ASI will typically go to Community Space for a Product/Service that I'm interested in an start skimming the questions. When I see one that I know something about, I'll answer it.  I'll also go back to see the answers that other people have added to a conversation I have been part of.

 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, we REALLY need some way to easily hide stuff that we have already read. It is tremendously tedious to scroll through the same posts over and over

Thanks for the extra context @Dean Gross, I am currently considering the feedback and will see how best to address it shortly.

 

re: being able to hide read content we have discovered the underlying platform makes doing that very difficult. We have been looking to see if we can add unanswered as a filter to the activity view, as soon as I have more to share on that ill let you know. 

Thanks, I'd like to suggest that you loan some of the smart devs on the Yammer team to Lithium :) Yammer figured this out years ago and it is one of my favorite features of that app.

Hi,

so, if I am understanding it well, the "heart" has been removed or will be forever. This is sad, I think.

The "heart" was a quick way to reach the favourites spaces. I am visiting this community daily and mostly active in the Office International Spaces. But I have some other spaces favourited too and the "heart" allowed me to quickly change from one space to another. This was a great feature.

Now, I would have to navigate through the main pages, which makes a lot of clicks more. Additionally, the TechCommunity website is relatively slow for me in general, most of the pages take ~5 seconds to fully load.

I don't think, that subscriptions can replace the "heart" feature. This, as subscriptions are based on posts, but sometimes I want to know, what's new in my space in general. Yes, a workaround could  be to add links to each space as browser favourites, but I would prefer to have it my profile. There is a "My bookmarks" feature in my profile. I did not use it yet and as far as I know, I can only bookmark posts. Maybe a suggestion is to be able to add spaces to the bookmark list.

Best,

Mourad

 

@AS, speaking as someone who is reasonably active in this community, I think this is a terribly retrograde step. It stops people who are active in a set of spaces quickly accessing those spaces. I don't care to receive any more email than I already get from the MTC. Go ahead if you must, but I can tell you now that this will stop me contributing to this community as I have done to date.

 

TR

@ASif @Tony Redmond leaves, that will be a huge loss to this community.

Actually, if people like @Vasil Michev and @Juan Carlos González Martín reduce their commitment to the community because UI changes interfere with the way they review posts and try to help people, including escalating to relevant engineering groups, that would be a much bigger impact and loss to the community than if I left...

Hi all,

 

Thanks again for your feedback, I am going to look into how we can solve this for the power users.

 

The old system only let you favourite boards but the new subscribe will let you subscribe to a whole product, an individual space within that product or an individual thread within that space.

 

I had incorrectly assumed that the extremely low views of the old 'My Home', i.e. less than 0.0001% of users in each day visited it, meant no one was really using it and the users I had spoken to were not MVPs so my apologies for not sufficiently canvassing on this change before committing to it. 

 

I am going to use this as an opportunity to hopefully come up with an even better solution that will not only allow you to get to the content your most interested in quickly but possibly, in the future, allow you to make your community front page the new 'My Home' rather than the generic page we show today.

 

Basically giving you the ability to customize what content gets surfaced to you and how. This is going to be a bit of a longer term project but for now I will look into how we can at least re-create something very similar to the old heart menu.

 

I will give you an update on timeframes as soon as I can. 

The MVP program maintains statistics about the people who contribute to the MTC. You would be well advised to talk to the major contributors to understand how people navigate within and use the MTC. Telemetry is notoriously exposed as fallible when compared against the real-life activity of people who add (or try to add) value.

Hi all,

 

Again I just wanted to take a minute to thank you all for your feedback, it's always greatly appreciated.

 

I have been speaking with our developers about this and we are, initially, going to revert this change while we have a re-think on how best to do this while also ensuring that we meet the ongoing needs of our MVPs and other regular contributors. The feedback you have given above around this feature will be taken into account and factored into our future design.

 

I will update this thread as soon as we are ready to release this update.

 

Thanks again for your patience. 

And the heart is back.


Great. Perhaps the next time the team who maintains the MTC considers some fundamental change in the UI, they might contact some of the more active users to learn what's good and not so good in the UI?

Hi,

thanks, @AS and to the team :)

Best,

Mourad

Aaaaaand it's gone again...

Hi,

I just checked and it’s still there. We did have an issue with the site this morning which may have caused you to load a cached version.. to check either clear your temporary internet files or open an “in private” browser.

Let me know if your still not seeing it.

Thanks! That's going to make navigating as easy as it was... though maybe not as engaging as it could be... evidenced the by fact that I was able to completely forget I "joined" several communities or spaces and never saw heads or tails of them again. Looking forward to seeing what you eventually come up with!

Completely agree with this.


@AS it's simple, I log in once or twice a day and I want to see what's new, or follow up on any threads I've participated in.