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I miss the information density of the old BirdForum. It had the best user interface of any online group I ever experienced. (2 Viewers)

peterpeterpumpkineater

Well-known member
RIP old BirdForum format. This new one is probably good for smartphones and people who can't handle having all the info in front of them, but it is a downgrade for me.

I despise conditional menus and information bubbles. Needing to "mouse over" things to see all information is annoying!

Is there any way to remove all the excess space between lines? I like to see as many thread titles per screen as possible!

RIP literate people who use computers instead of cell phones to access the internet!

Ugh. I loved the BirdForum user interface. I hope I'll manage to tolerate this new version. Not so sure. I may not be coming around here as often anymore.

Best wishes to the next generation.

--AP
Americans literate...what next!
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
You can do this by mousing over the avatar of a member.
Yes, Steve, but in the old BF this information was displayed automatically for every person who posted in the thread and you read it out of the corner of your eye. It is significant information, as it helps people judge the weight they put on the comment of that person. (And we make different judgements - 'member for ten years, 5,000 posts' might signify 'experienced expert' for some, but 'loquacious old fart' for others. That's OK.) But it was useful, which presumably was why it was put there by the people who designed the original site.

Also, I liked to see the poster's declared location under the avatar - it's especially important in respect of the person who started the thread, but also later you could see at a glance if someone from the relevant region had replied. In the present mouseover version, the word 'From' is irrelevant or even wrong, in my opinion - I'm not 'From Nara, Japan' and my posts are often not from there, either. What's wrong with the old 'Location'. Or even 'Based in'? And some people have multiple locations, and it might be interesting if there was a possibility of specifying this, or even birding areas in which they were interested. It would be far more useful than 'Well-known member' - what is the point of these descriptions, anyway? (In fact, having grown up in Britain, when I first saw 'Well-known Member' next to my name, I gave it quite a different interpretation.)

A lot of the changes, as several people have mentioned in this thread and others (I have made this point elsewhere about the photos and thumbnails in the Bird ID forum) involve more clicks for information that used to be 'just there'. Mousing over the avatar of a member and reading the information requires moving your mouse (you don't have to click, but it's effectively the same) and waiting a second and then using more time to read. And you would have to do this for each individual poster on a thread to get the important information (to some (a lot) of us) that, to repeat, was 'just there' before.

To end on a positive note, I like the fact that when I am writing this reply, I can scroll up and see all the other posts, and avatars and thumbnails (unfortunately just a square cutout from the full photo), which wasn't possible on the old version (sometimes for complex threads, I would open BF twice in separate tabs, just to be able to see what I was doing.)
 

Alexis Powell

Natural history enthusiast.
United States
...A lot of the changes, as several people have mentioned in this thread and others (I have made this point elsewhere about the photos and thumbnails in the Bird ID forum) involve more clicks for information that used to be 'just there'. Mousing over the avatar of a member and reading the information requires moving your mouse (you don't have to click, but it's effectively the same) and waiting a second and then using more time to read...
Yes, this is my biggest gripe with the new BirdForum and all websites that have been universally dumbed-down for smart phones. I want the highest information density possible in a single view. The old version was exquisite in that regard.

Here's something of a (minor?) irritation that could perhaps be fixed. Optimality for quickly and comfortably scanning a forum for what is new in the context of what hasn't changed has been greatly compromised by moving the names of the threads in subforums with the most recent post to the far right side of the row, where it is hard to quickly read and where there is no room to show a preview of the beginning of the last post (as I think was visible in the old version). For example, when I go to the Binoculars Forum, I see the names of the subfora along the left side of the screen (Leica, Nikon, Swarovski, Zeiss...) and then, for each subforum row there is a huge blank space, and then, way over at the right side of the screen (for each subforum row) I see the number of Threads, number of Messages, the avatar of the most recent poster, and then a snippet of the title of thread with the most recent post along with the time and name of the poster. The huge blank space in the middle of each row is annoying and makes the page tiring to scan. I presume the big blank space is there because smart phones have tiny narrow screens. In fact, the consequent information density is so low that I can reduce the width of the BirdForum window in my browser to half the width of my laptop screen (to bring the left column next to the columns on the right and remove most of the empty space between them) without losing any information. It's like going back to the old days of using computers and software designed around 640 x 480 pixel monitors! I'd be much happier if, like in the old version, what is now empty space could be populated with the name of the most recently active thread and a preview of the beginning of the last post in that thread. I would also appreciate if a preview of the last post could be added to that similar empty space within each subforum.

--AP
 

tenex

reality-based
In the present mouseover version, the word 'From' is irrelevant or even wrong, in my opinion - I'm not 'From Nara, Japan' and my posts are often not from there, either.
Excellent point.

Yes, this is my biggest gripe with the new BirdForum and all websites that have been universally dumbed-down for smart phones. I want the highest information density possible in a single view. The old version was exquisite in that regard.
I agree, but realize that this is the direction everything is moving today, not just websites but software and operating systems as well. Instead of having a simplified mode that accommodates narrow screens etc, they just sacrifice the efficiency formerly available on real computers. Today's designers may not even remember that. (Or their code is so complex they can hardly maintain it anyway, and a dual interface would be unmanageable.)
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Thanks to all involved in this massive exercise (y) (Steve, Ollie et al)

Personally, I'm waiting for everyone else to sort all the glitches out and flatten the learning curve, and whilst I'm another who doesn't like change, I'll get used to it I'm sure. (Looks like adjustments are being continuously made, which is another reason not to moan overly, or in a negative manner.)

I'm assuming that change has to happen, and some of that may be future-proofing, including perhaps the ability to perhaps have advanced features moving forward which wouldn't have been possible on the old set up. (I'm responsible for a website which will have to change at some point, don't relish the thought at all!) So cheers πŸ˜‰
 

peter.jones

Registered User
Supporter
It's not really "dumbed down" for smartphones, when you consider we are birders, and typically spend a lot of time accessing the site when outdoors / away from home / travelling.
 

Loud Green Man

Well-known member
Some enjoy the vociferous song of the Lark and searing glow of a Summer meadow while others the whispering trills of a Siskin as Winter’s first snow drifts through the cedar.

LGM
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Thanks to all involved in this massive exercise (y) (Steve, Ollie et al)

Personally, I'm waiting for everyone else to sort all the glitches out and flatten the learning curve, and whilst I'm another who doesn't like change, I'll get used to it I'm sure. (Looks like adjustments are being continuously made, which is another reason not to moan overly, or in a negative manner.)

I'm assuming that change has to happen, and some of that may be future-proofing, including perhaps the ability to perhaps have advanced features moving forward which wouldn't have been possible on the old set up. (I'm responsible for a website which will have to change at some point, don't relish the thought at all!) So cheers πŸ˜‰
Can’t fault this post at all πŸ‘

Maybe one of the advanced features could be some embedded facial recognition type software on the identification forum that people can load up their images to - it would have to be more sensitive than Merlin though given all the impossibly unclear images we get but oh the relief at the end
of endless arguments over ambiguous photos and undignified races to be the first make an ID πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Really ? You are disgusted that we move the site into the 21st century, and make it easier for people to access on the move with a Cell phone or tablet?
Your Disgusted that we made it quicker, easier to interact with other platforms, easier to back up so data isn't lost, gave members far more options to load video and photographs to the site, etc etc etc, maybe you were disgusted when man started flying or went to the moon ?
Steve - lol (patience of a saint ! 😁 )

I just wanted to give a heads up from my perspective as someone who has been on this site ~90% of the time (for many years) via mobile phone (Samsung Note 3). As such I suppose I am the target audience.

Fun fact - my mobile phone is more powerful than the computer I did my Masters on - and it fits in a pocket/jacket/handbag - and takes photos/videos/sound recordings - and I can draw all over the touch screen - and more !

First up - thanks. πŸ‘

I would hope that people express their views constructively - but as you have said before - you are old enough and wise enough to let go of that expectation, and let certain things slide by - like water off a duck's back.

Long story short - there are some pluses and minuses to the change (I have major problems using 'any' formating/ controls of the tool bar at the top of posts, and I am unable to copy/ post links - I will detail these in an appropriate new thread).

None of these hold and pull down menus seem to work on my phone - so I miss going to 'my posts' with one click.

Perhaps it will be most useful to you if I impart 'how' I used to use the old site. As far as I can see hardly anyone is giving you this type of feedback.

Mostly I would just click on today's posts, and work my way through whatever I found interesting/ had interacted with before. Sometimes I would have a specific sub-forum in mind and go straight to there, or want to make a post/ start a thread about something or other, and go directly there. Sometimes a gallery preview photo would catch my eye first, and I'd drift into there for a while.

By far though (~80%+ of the time) my usual pattern was just to browse through today's posts until I reached the end/ ran out of time.

To me - this was the beauty of BF - stumbling upon something that I was not normally focused upon, or even aware of. The other beauty was discovering new people/ expertise/ interests/ perspectives.

I can understand those who lament the loss of that daily thread density. From memory it was around ~25 thread lines (1 page) on my 5.7" (145mm) Full HD 1920 x 1080 screen. This was packed, but readable - often I would have to expand the size of the print (two finger stretch swipe) if I wanted to click on something precisely.

The new site gives me about 5 or 6 threads on the screen at one time. A page consists of 10. The extra room is appreciated as I don't have to expand the page - things are big enough to click on without inadvertently hitting 3 things at once.

(When I viewed the new site on my 15" laptop - it did indeed look a bit strange and sparse compared to the old one).

I wonder if the functionality exists to select something like a 'desktop view' for those using those platforms, to bring back the density (or something like it) that they liked ?

Back to the phone - there are some handy new features - such as attaching pictures/ files directly from my phone storage - this is much simplified.

As far as keeping track of threads read etc - well this conversation does my head in ! Isn't it all very simples ? If there is a new post, the thread appears in bold - if not, it's normal. You even get a rather handy notice while composing a post that someone has newly replied to the thread you're on. Great.

The site also seems snappier now (not that the old one was diabolically slow or anything).

I will need those serious issues sorted, but overall, I think a change is as good as a holiday ! Thanks.




Chosun πŸ™…
 

Ries

Well-known member
I miss the suggested related threads on the bottom of the page! Was great browsing!
Is this possible in the new board? I can't retrieve threads with the search function or Google that did pop up under related threads... Was one of the best functions here in the previous version, great info browsing. So if it's possible, I'd love it, you'd make my Christmas present! πŸ₯³
 

Steve

Surfing
Staff member
United Kingdom
Is this possible in the new board? I can't retrieve threads with the search function or Google that did pop up under related threads... Was one of the best functions here in the previous version, great info browsing. So if it's possible, I'd love it, you'd make my Christmas present! πŸ₯³
I think we can add related threads.
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Your opinion is duly noted. I have removed my illiterate comment from a photo you posted on the Gallery. Profuse apologies for sullying your post; I was unaware of your bigotry. I shall be civilized and steer clear of you in the future.
Sue - I think you are over-reacting to what was a kind of joke by the person you are responding to.

I thought it was a given that Britons, Irish, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, West Indians and other native English speakers made fun of the English of the other members of the group, and that we all understood this. This 'making fun' isn't some kind of negative discrimination, but a kind of bonding, like when you tease a child or friend.

Have you never heard the saying 'America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language'? This is attributed to various people including Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and William Churchill.

Britons often say that Americans don't understand irony, and I think your post may be a real-life example. The comment you are responding to means the exact opposite of the interpretation you have given to it. It's someone poking fun at their own (also joking, so it gets complicated) 'bigotry' against Americans and their/your use of our common language. It's a friendly comment since it's humour directed against the writer himself or herself, and not you, so it isn't and shouldn't be interpreted as offensive.
 

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Sue - I think you are over-reacting to what was a kind of joke by the person you are responding to.

I thought it was a given that Britons, Irish, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, West Indians and other native English speakers made fun of the English of the other members of the group, and that we all understood this. This 'making fun' isn't some kind of negative discrimination, but a kind of bonding, like when you tease a child or friend.

Have you never heard the saying 'America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language'? This is attributed to various people including Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and William Churchill.

Britons often say that Americans don't understand irony, and I think your post may be a real-life example. The comment you are responding to means the exact opposite of the interpretation you have given to it. It's someone poking fun at their own (also joking, so it gets complicated) 'bigotry' against Americans and their/your use of our common language. It's a friendly comment since it's humour directed against the writer himself or herself, and not you, so it isn't and shouldn't be interpreted as offensive.
I think that's being very generous - but anyway, good on you.

As this is the 2nd thread Sue has 'arced up' in, and as some of that flak/misinterpretation/whatever, has been specifically fired across my bows for giving a 'HAHA' to the post in question - it is pertinent to respond.

I won't speak for the original poster, but I will give my take on it/explanation of my reaction (hopefully the mods allow these explorations and clarifications as we navigate this new emoji world here etc).

I found it funny - in a deadpan, well-timed delivery way.

I took it as not applying to ALL Americans .... only those it is applicable to.

To understand this it helps to be outside the nut house looking in.

From my particular perspective there's:-
  • the whole banjo playing /deliverance thing
  • there's the whole gun thing
  • there's the ~56 million people who specifically voted FOR Trump and all the horribleness he stands for
  • there's the ones who like to drive really slow in the ultra fast lane.
  • there's the people George Carlin talks about
  • there's the people Borat and Eddie Murphy met in Coming to America - as well as the ones featured in Trading Places
  • as well as any one of the gazillions of crazy crazy clowns (as has been coined)
  • and much more that is taboo and verboten to mention !

There's also the magnificent - the John Muirs, the Richard Pryors, the Gene Wilders, the Bonneville Salt Racers, heck even The Martian, and the Space Cowboys - and they were just movies ! Then there's Elon Musk, Chris Isaak - on and on ad infinitum (including the many wonderful people here)

And then there's the ones I have encountered in person on travels etc
  • the 2 blokes high in the himalayas who I swear hadn't washed for 2 months, and took what precious little breath there was up there - away. And not in a good way !
  • or the two high up in a NZ mountain shelter, which we had arduously tramped to (strange Kiwi word that) - where all we wanted was to enjoy the serenity and the silence ..... only to have these loud Americans (well and truly flying the flag for the stereotype) bang on (it was much harsher than a prattling, or a rabbiting) - it was obnoxious and offensive to the sensibilities - loudly and incessantly about everything under the sun. The final straw was the "toona fish" samich. Well that was just it ! My friend and I broke out in our best (I don't even know what you call it - but it's very Ozzy - which I would normally write Aussie, but honestly it really grates & does my head in to hear Muricans going on about AUH-seas. Just say Ozzy folks - as in Ozzy Ozbourne - but without the bats ! 😲) - the English would call it a p*$$take.

And so off we started - oh man is that toona dawg ? Is that a toona dawg samich ?! Oh man - I love toona dawg samiches ! What else ya git in thar ? Pig ham ?! Oh man - have you got a pig ham and tomaytoe samich ?! I lurve pig ham and tomaytoe samiches too !!

And on we went - eventually the gobsmacked Americans were stunned silent - I'm pretty sure they thought we were quite mad !

I think it's a big overstretch to take all this stuff personally. For sure the other Western countries have their equally embarrassing counterparts. Here we've got rednecks, yobbos, boofheads and bogans - and even a few redneck bogans ! The Poms have their chavs and scousers, etc

How about we all just get along ay ?
I hope u r ok ? .....





Chosun πŸ™…
 
Last edited:

SueO

Well-known member
Sue - I think you are over-reacting to what was a kind of joke by the person you are responding to.

I thought it was a given that Britons, Irish, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, West Indians and other native English speakers made fun of the English of the other members of the group, and that we all understood this. This 'making fun' isn't some kind of negative discrimination, but a kind of bonding, like when you tease a child or friend.

Have you never heard the saying 'America and Britain are two nations divided by a common language'? This is attributed to various people including Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and William Churchill.

Britons often say that Americans don't understand irony, and I think your post may be a real-life example. The comment you are responding to means the exact opposite of the interpretation you have given to it. It's someone poking fun at their own (also joking, so it gets complicated) 'bigotry' against Americans and their/your use of our common language. It's a friendly comment since it's humour directed against the writer himself or herself, and not you, so it isn't and shouldn't be interpreted as offensive.
Your write. I over-reacted. Shouldn't have responded. Wish I knew who Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Winston (William) Churchill were. ;)
 

MacNara

Well-known member
Japan
Your write. I over-reacted. Shouldn't have responded. Wish I knew who Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Winston (William) Churchill were. ;)
Sue - my post above stands. The reply by Chosun Juan has nothing to do with my comment, and I find it rather unpleasant.

I grew up in Britain, but have lived most of my life in Japan. Almost all of my friends who are not Japanese are American. Wherever we are from, we have met great people and unpleasant people from any ethnic or racial group we have met (in significant numbers). But I still think that the post you originally responded to was just a self-deprecating joke. Sorry about getting Winston's name wrong, if he's one of your heroes, but just as I was typing, my wife called to make sure that I was getting dinner ready, and it was an auto-typing thing.

It's been a very strange year. In various English-language newspapers it has been often stated that Japanese wear masks all the time. But this is only if people have a cold or flu. Like most humans, Japanese like to see each others' faces. I have been surprised at my own reaction in that I find it to be much more unpleasant going out when almost all people have half their face hidden than I would have guessed before it became a reality (just - I miss seeing people's mouths even when I'm just walking past them).

I hope you are in a good place (mentally as much as physically) wherever you are in California; I hope that if we all hold on for a little longer, we'll get back to where we were a year or so ago.

(Truly) best wishes to you.
 

snowyowl

Well-known member
The old version had an autofill feature so that when filling in info about pictures in the gallery I didn't have to retype the same info for each picture - example - Equipment Used; example - Location. Since I use the same cameras and lenses for all of my shots, it was great' I would start to type and a list would come up of the equipment that I had used previously. Very useful feature.
 

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