Daniel Haynes

Latest posts by Daniel Haynes

Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 20:20

Hello everyone,

Lots of good feedback here, for which many thanks.

In brief:

Fairygirl - it’s grand that you can upload images. I love it when we can resolve issues for you ourselves and they don’t have to be passed on to the techies - I wish that was the case a bit more often!

Verdun - preference for the same edit tool noted, thank you

Top bird - good question re: pinch and zoom - we’ll check this

Chicky - Yes, maybe one day we’ll look back and laugh (I think that will be at least seven years in the future in our case, though) 

plant pauper - “Boys are stupid”. Some of them are, certainly.

sanjy67 - my understanding, following the discussion we had today, was that hovering is only possible on desktop, not on tablet or smartphone (do please correct me if I’m wrong). So, we’re focussing in the first instances on changes that we can deliver for all users. I do hear you (and all other users who have raised the issue), though - so it’s not fallen off the radar!

philippa smith2 - if you’re finding the forum difficult and/or annoying to use then it’s probably we who are “behind the times” rather than you! 

Fishy65 - Many thanks. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll have a much better omelette in time for the weekend…

KT53 - point taken and I can only apologise that you’re struggling with the brightness. We’d really rather not revert to the previous scheme, but I will promise that we’ll look at any making any necessary revisions sooner rather than later, if there’s a consensus on the need for change once this next batch of fixes goes live.

Yviestevie - This will be looked into, yes - can’t make any promises at this stage, but please be assured it’s on the list for consideration.

fidget bones - Yes, 5Mb sounds right. I’m very surprised to hear you were able to load images larger than that previously - I thought there was always a limit. Nora will follow up on this for you tomorrow.

Thanks again,

Daniel Haynes
Editor, gardenersworld.com

Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 18:07

Fairygirl - thanks for this. Re: amending posts / having second thoughts etc it's worth adding that we (site admins) can also remove individual posts on request, if a poster regrets something they've published.

The idea of a 'Preview' function was discussed today - I'm afraid the response to this was that it would take too much resource at present, so it's not something we can add in the forseeable future. I'm hopeful we can manage a basic 'Edit' function before very long, though.


Your new-look forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 17:55

Hello everyone,

In case anyone misses it, I've started a thread on the next round of forum fixes here:


Daniel Haynes
Editor, gardenersworld.com

Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 17:37

Shrinking Violet - Ha! I do try to make myself a jargon-free zone, but clearly I'm more prone to it than I like to think!


Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 17:30

Hello KT53. Yes, that all makes sense. The team is looking into exactly how this would work - my view is that it should only cover the last post created. Whether this would be time limited would be something we'd need to discuss further.


Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 17:26

Thanks, Shrinking Violet.

Yes, there was much discussion of the issue of colour scheme today. While I would like to have addressed it this week, I do feel that colour is something we have to take real care over and not rush into. It could be that a new scheme, quickly implemented, could be unpopular and annoy users further.

The team did actually work within industry-standard accessibility guidelines on the current design. One of the chief considerations is the tonal contrast between text and background.

Accessibility for all is absolutely a priority for us, so any changes we make will involve consultation with you, the audience, and in particular those users who find the forum difficult to use after the forthcoming changes.

We think that appropriate care and consultation is the best way to get this right, particularly given how unpopular the lack of beta testing on the release last week turned out to be.


Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 17:14

Much appreciated, Shrinking Violet. Do you think we've identified the right priorities for those changes to be made this week?

Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 17:04

Many thanks, Hazel and Joyce21!

Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 16:59

Thanks, Verdun.

Update on improvements to forum

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 16:53

Hello everyone,

We had a productive meeting with the technical team today about the improvements we can realistically build and release to the site this week.

Our priority is to resolve those issues that you’re most unhappy with as quickly as possible. So, we’ll have two developers working for two full days on the following fixes:

Spacing / excessive scrolling
We’ll be significantly reducing the amount of blank vertical space in the design, in order to increase the number of thread titles visible on each page. We’ll also tweak the spacing of the quote tool, which many of you are currently finding excessive.

Pagination links
These will take up less vertical space and we’ll add pagination to the top of the page as well as the bottom

We’ll remove those instances of the Jubilat font that many of you have told us you find difficult to read, and it will no longer be used for thread titles and usernames

Colour scheme
We don’t want to rush into a colour scheme changes this week - it’s important we get it right. So, we propose that we make the changes listed above and monitor the response. If, after a period of ‘getting used to it’ a significant number of users are unhappy with the colours, we’ll look at changing them. If that happens we’ll present you with some options, so you can tell us which you prefer - we won’t just put it live with no warning!

Our hope is that all of the above will significantly improve your experience of the forum while we then work on other improvements:

1) Pinch and zoom on images
2) Edit post function - building this on the new system isn’t a simple job, we’re told, so we’re not rushing into it this week - in the light of recent events, we don’t want to rush-release something that is unstable and doesn’t work properly!
3) Notifications tick box - this will relate to your stated preference in the setting area
4) Notifications - this is currently erratic / unstable, so further time needs to be spent on this

So, that’s the plan!

After the two days of coding, the changes will be prodded, poked and tested to check they’re stable, before being released to the live site. We’ll be going all out for this to happen before the weekend - late Thursday at the earliest, but possibly Friday.

I very much hope that you’ll be happy with the outcome. Please remember that this is a process - we won’t have a perfect forum this week, but it should be considerably easier (and more pleasurable) to use. Further tweaks will quite probably need to be made, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!

As ever, please don’t hesitate to leave your questions, constructive comments and suggestions.

Thank you for bearing with us.

Daniel Haynes

Editor, gardenersworld.com

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