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The forums have been rolled back -- now what?

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by aliceingameland, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. GamerPET

    GamerPET

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    I'm glad we did a rollback.

    <3

    ----------------------------------------
    Now, to more serious stuff. One of the main points on making an upgrade was to have a rank system and a trophy system or something like that. Basically to "reward" people for doing stuff.

    https://xenforo.com/community/resources/master-badge.3905/

    Have a look at that. You can reward users various badges for various stuff you decide.

    Also,

    XenForo has a Thread LABEL system. Just enable it. It's pretty good. You can create labels on particular forums, you can force users to pick a label when they create a new topic, in case you want that... and you can even search & view particular labels in a forum.

    About the improved search! One thing that I would like is "Thread Searching". You currently have that disabled.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
    chelnok, Seneral and Ryiah like this.
  2. arkon

    arkon

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    I never use Unity forum search as it's way too slow, I always use google, just add Unity3d to the beginning of your search term and then your query, it's hundreds of times faster than this forum at finding things.
     
    hippocoder likes this.
  3. Obsurveyor

    Obsurveyor

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    Nov 22, 2012
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    Ranks, trophies and gamification of forums is toxic and absolutely shouldn't be added. They encourage really poor reasons to post, low content posts and lowers the signal-to-noise ratio in a forum.
     
    movra, chelnok, JoeStrout and 9 others like this.
  4. MV10

    MV10

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    Does anyone have an example of a Lithium deployment that looks and behaves like a normal forum? All the links I saw posted in the new-forum thread were approximately as off-the-wall non-standard anti-end-user. The high-popularity forum software all tend to have the same features and usage patterns because real-world users have learned what really works. I've run quite a lot of forums (and founded and helped run one of the busiest on the net, Viper Alley) and it's safe to say that anybody who knows anything about forums wouldn't touch Lithium with a ten-foot pole, based on what I've seen from them.

    It would be real interesting if somebody from Unity would answer all these "why?" questions. Sounds like a lot of people are familiar with XenForo (I am not) so why not figure out if it really can answer whatever Lithium was supposed to bring to the table?
     
    chelnok, Seneral, n00body and 3 others like this.
  5. orb

    orb

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    Not needed for Safari. Just install and start using Stylish.
     
    zoran404 likes this.
  6. MrEsquire

    MrEsquire

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    What if you do not wish to use Stylish or other plugins to clutter browser.. Users should not need to use 3rd party tools at all to view professional forum.

    Problem is, they don't hear the community out before making a change.
    Then when community sends rant messages, they realize it was not the way to go.

    Come on - you really thought people not going to ask for a Dark theme??
     
    zoran404 likes this.
  7. Moonjump

    Moonjump

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    There was a small outcry, but Unity made changes to improve things. The new forum was so far from useable, the only solution was a roll back.

    Having been using only other forums for the the last week, I am reminded of a few small problems with this forum.

    There is poor differentiation between posts, and the post information is hidden at the bottom and not clearly separated from the body text. I suggest having a darker colour header bar for each post and have the post information within it (the line that has username, day and time information, report, like, reply buttons (plus identify them as buttons) and post number).

    While not as blinding as the new forums, nor even as bad as immediately after the last upgrade, the forums are still a little too bright for my old eyes. Even just darkening the empty background space to the left and right of the posts would help, but an overall slight darkening of the colours would be very welcome.

    I would like it to automatically mark the forums as read when I go through the main forum page. This is the only forum I have ever used where I have to do it manually. I am OK with it not doing it when going direct to a post as the forums are a good source of solutions when developing (the reason it was so important Unity did the rollback), and don't want to lose track of unread posts when I am not in a position to read the forums immediately.

    Overall these are great forums, but that doesn't mean a little evolution couldn't help. But no more revolutions please!
     
    MV10 and MrEsquire like this.
  8. Moonjump

    Moonjump

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    That isn't always an option. Many use mobile browsers. I often use university computers that I cannot make changes to, nor have time to.
     
    landon912 and MrEsquire like this.
  9. rohitbhardwaj

    rohitbhardwaj

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    I can't view anyone's profile, Message display on screen - You do not have permission to view this page or perform this action.
     
  10. GamerPET

    GamerPET

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    Tell it to them :) They seem to think it's a good idea. That was one of the reasons they downgraded to the old forum.
     
  11. rsodre

    rsodre

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    Do you really need to upgrade the forums?
    Is there any benefits?
    Everybody loves this one, just keep it!
     
  12. Teila

    Teila

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    Styles are fine but not everyone wants to use them.

    The biggest problem is that if I were browsing to check out Unity's famous community and was blinded by the mess we saw last week, I would probably not even stick around long enough to install styles.

    It wasn't just the color or the white space. It was also a very cluttered crazy front page. It did get better, but still, far too much "stuff" on one page.

    Look at the new website styles coming out. They are very clean. You start at the top, and leisurely scroll down through lovely bands of minimalism. The messy tons of buttons and flashy boxes is out of style.

    Here is a nice example: https://unity3d.com/

    Notice how space is used efficiently but the blocks are large, not a bunch of small icons. You see dark and light colors, nothing blindingly white. Some of the text is too thin but most of it is okay. I wish Unity would drop that ultra thin gray font. It is horrible.

    I fail to see how those new forums match that website any more than this one does.

    In fact, the clutter on the forums we had last week was the antithesis of the Unity website. One is flowing, clear, organized, not cluttered. Your eyes are drawn to each block.

    The Lithium forums, on the other hand, was an ADD nightmare. So much going on, too much script on the front page, too many side boxes. Too many blocks of recent/latest/most liked/best/read this first.

    I prefer to have a clean interface and then click on New Posts or Watched Threads at the top of the page.

    And those notifications on the new forums...Yikes! I could not turn off the task bar notifications without totally turning off notifications. So mingled at the bottom of my task bar were Skype messages, email messages (most of the from the forum it seems), Slack messages, and Unity forum notifications. They would flash on so quickly, and then I was trying to figure out which message from where had popped up. It was not fun. lol Since I need Skype, email and Slack for my business...and I need to keep my sanity by not having to try to figure out who sent the message, the first to go would be the Unity forums.

    Ugh, so glad things are quiet now. :) The new forums were just stressful. Stressful to look at, stressful to use, and stressful to read.
     
    Seneral and Ryiah like this.
  13. orb

    orb

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    It could be worse.
    (From the "I learned HTML without ever actually looking at a webpage" school of web development.)
     
    Ryiah, Peter_Unity, MV10 and 3 others like this.
  14. Teila

    Teila

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    OMG...to quote my daughters. lol
     
    hippocoder likes this.
  15. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

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    And 0 (QC) in publication process. In the final process of publication there is no quality control nor visual control. There is not one specific final artist responsable for the final Unity quality that approves or not the publications of the content. If there was a QC in the chain the forum problem was not happening.
     
    Teila and hippocoder like this.
  16. bocs

    bocs

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    Can you change your own profile? I get an error too, can't change signature or avatar.
    If you "Log out" it says, you can't cause your not signed in.
     
  17. adamt

    adamt

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    A lot of what people seem to be upset about are features that do exist, but just aren't exposed through Unity's implementation of Lithium. Either that or they're upset with the styling, which is literally just CSS. That people think the spacing of the content or the font weights are immutable features of the new software misunderstands the nature of the web. I'll grant you that there are probably some things that just aren't there (I'm not certain Lithium offers "multi-quote"), but it's also software that's extensible, so anything that's lacking and would be a huge win to keep could be added by Unity developers or someone they hire to do the work for them.

    As a moderator, I'm sure there are things that drove you nuts having to re-learn/find all over again. That's Unity's problem to solve during this new "bun back in the oven" phase, and I really hope they do. Much of what you wrote about here are things that Lithium offers (I've used their forums in the past), but the new theme just didn't expose them in either a meaningful way, or at all.

    I think a lot of times when new pieces (specifically, applications like forums, knowledge bases, wikis, etc.) of a website are added, it's easy to assume the existing styling of the surrounding website should be inherited. Unfortunately, forums are different beasts and content is king. I have my fingers crossed that Unity is going to expose the missing functionality and give us something that's both powerful but ultimately, usable.
     
  18. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    Well it would have been months of that. Because Unity had yet to even get a web developer on board for it, then a huge list of engineering to do. Should this not be done without making the community suffer needlessly?
     
    FPires, Seneral and Ryiah like this.
  19. IsaiahKelly

    IsaiahKelly

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    Wait.. So you're saying Unity should democratize this process?! That would seem to go against their company motto: "Unity - democratizing game development, totalitarianizing everything else." :p

    I don't think anyone really has a problem with switching platforms (forum software). However, the issue with the latest "upgrade" was they promised "shiny new features" and instead we lost features and usability! What we gained was new features no serious user ever wanted or needed. The bizarre theme choices where just the icing on the cake.

    The roll-back was for damage control, but a lot of forum users have already lost even more trust in Unity because of this. Now everyone is going to be even more resistant and suspicious about every new change, instead of getting excited for them. It's all just adding to their ongoing PR troubles. Not wanting them to ever change the forums now is a great example of this lack of trust.
     
    landon912, chelnok, Seneral and 2 others like this.
  20. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    That was only my initial impressions; afterward I kept finding more and more stuff that was broken/missing and not something that could be just tweaked with styles.

    Relearning/finding is one thing; it's to be expected and I had no issues with that after the last forum change. Poor and missing functionality is something else entirely. Since this whole thing happened, people have been bringing up other Lithium forums, and I haven't seen anything to indicate that it's anywhere close to XenForo in terms of quality and functionality.

    Also the tech is objectively worse; I compared the same topic on the new and old forums, where Lithium displays 20 posts using 11.7K lines (after removing whitespace) in 3.38 seconds, using 4.48MB:

    Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.27.20 PM.png

    Whereas XenForo displays 50+ posts using 4.8K lines in 1.51 seconds, using 1.75MB.

    Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 1.29.32 PM.png

    So it's not even a fair comparison, with XenForo loading well over twice the content, and still easily winning. XenForo did have more CSS warnings, but that's not really anything to do with XenForo per se, and could be easily fixed.

    --Eric
     
  21. ivendar

    ivendar

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    I'm glad we have this forum back. Much better to read and to follow topics. Thanks for rollback.
     
    theolagendijk and Sonnenspeer like this.
  22. Teila

    Teila

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    And no way to ignore a user in a post/thread. While that may not be important for coding threads, it is for discussion threads. Without ignore, certain discussions could not be had, and I don't mean religion and politics which do not belong here, but discussions about diversity in games and new bold game mechanics. Too often someone would enter the discourse and get angry, feel slighted, become pushy, or at times abusive. Yes, we can report to the mods, but that is very intrusive in the thread. Easier just to use ignore.

    I won't use a forum without an ignore and there were several others bothered by this too when we were suddenly thrust into an environment where people took advantage of the fact that we could not ignore them. Ugh.

    From my research, this is something Lithium does not provide. There are a number of requests out there dating from several years ago and while Lithium played lip service to the requests, they have never done anything about it.
     
    Socrates, JoeStrout, Seneral and 2 others like this.
  23. Ippokratis

    Ippokratis

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    Hi,
    Still cannot see other people's profiles, it is a useful feature because it allows you to review other people's contributions to the forums in a single place.
    Any plans to restore it ?

    Edit : For similar matters regarding forum functionality, which moderator must be notified ?
    Edit2 : It works now :)
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  24. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    @aliceingameland

    Bugs with profiles
    PMs can't be used

    Both were fine before rollback (left note on slack too).


    edit: now fixed
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  25. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    I'm very happy that we've been (temporarily) rolled back. I hate to be negative about new things, because I'm sure the new forum system had its advantages, but I just disliked using it so much I was considering kinda checking out on the whole forum scene unless I was selfishly posting content for my own gain.
     
    Ryiah, Seneral and theolagendijk like this.
  26. MV10

    MV10

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    I'm still baffled they're actually planning to go back to Lithium.

    You arrive for the first time at this forum and you basically know how everything works without thinking about it. There were minor things I didn't like but it's still comfortable and familiar.

    You land at a Lithium forum -- any Lithium forum based on what I've seen -- and you instantly know you're in for a struggle. It's like the forum version of being subjected to a tier-1 tech support phone script. "Try rebooting."

    Forums are like word processors and spreadsheets: they're a solved problem. Nobody is out there saying, "Jeez, you know, Excel is alright but I really wish somebody would throw spreadsheet software into a blender and change everything."

    If the marketing trolls (they're always trolls) crave analytics, add them, but significant deviation from a correct forum implementation is clearly not going to end well.
     
    landon912, chelnok, vis2k and 10 others like this.
  27. Tzan

    Tzan

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    There are 3 "Forum" buttons at the top of the page here and all three send me to the locked forum.
    I'm using Firefox 41.0.1

    I didnt want to upgrade to higher numbers because they are turning off access to plugins.

    Chrome works ok, posting from Chrome now.

    Edit:
    I just saw on the last page someone mentioned Clearing Cookies, that fixed it.
    I always forget about those darn cookies.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
    JoeStrout, theolagendijk and Teila like this.
  28. FPires

    FPires

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    Pretty much this. Unless it's an absolutely necessary change or something that is objectively an upgrade to the end users, do we really need to change? Because I'll understand if it's the former, but one week in the new forum and I can absolutely tell you that it's not gonna be the latter.
     
  29. JBR-games

    JBR-games

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    Same issue here with cookies cause i have zero reason to ever want to go back to the new forums lol
     
  30. pKallv

    pKallv

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    I second that, this is a very good forum.
     
    theolagendijk likes this.
  31. l0cke

    l0cke

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    I would strongly recommend to leave forum as is and invest money into something, what is really needed. For example decent terrain engine (current was hopelessly obsolete 4 years ago), or improving stability.
     
  32. Ippokratis

    Ippokratis

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    Now what ?

    Now I want to share what I didn't like:
    • The new forum was not equally functional with the old one, missed content and was vastly inferior in terms of readability. It was approved though and given to the users as such. Bad decision.
    • Some mods didn't understand user and senior mods complains, probably because they have little experience with the former forum functionality. Keeping calm is a good thing, understanding what is wrong is better. E.g. explaining the missing quote functionality in 4-5 consecutive posts .
    • Senior mods complains during the beta phase was not taken into consideration. Bad decision.
    • Delay the backroll to the functional forum until the reaction from the community grew enough.
    • Asset store traffic (traffic, not sales) fall by half during the transition period according to my analytics.
    • Besides a pic from a tweet from David Helgason that I cannot find now on twitter, I have not seen a blog post saying "Sorry, we screwed it up because ___________ , now we plan to __________________. No acknowledge of mistakes.
    What I liked :
    • The forums are fully functional again.
    • @SaraCecilia and @aliceingameland delivered prompt support - to the extent the new forums structure allowed them to do so.
    • The integration initiative. There is a little treasure of info that is scattered all around forums, wiki and answers, it is a good thing to gather it somehow.
    • @Eric5h5 and @hippocoder attitude.

    And what I do not like:
    • Frustration : I am left with the impression that people having little experience with the unity ecosystem can turn a switch at any time and make a change that will mess up everything due to lack of experienced supervision. Thin fonts on white background ?
    • Lack of trust : It is difficult to trust a company that does not acknowledge its mistakes. With big and bold letters. I dislike blood and torches but acknowledging mistakes is important.
    • Lack of attitude : The bigger Unity gets, it becomes more and more impersonal. I seriously believe that having a "personality" is important for a company, it served as a distinctive feature in the past and now gradually gets lost. I appreciate attitude, I see little.
    Kind regards.
     
  33. GamerPET

    GamerPET

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    I got the same feeling... and probably this is why I was more frustrated... not mainly because of the forum itself (which was incredible bad) but more about ... on how this whole thing was managed. Like how did they manage to do this huge move. How did this passed from the numerous good people that work at Unity. Was there no one who said "guys no, this is bad!".

    Let's say that they don't care about the functionality ... they just wanted something that "looks" integrated with their other pages... you know, corporate identity & stuff... but how do you put a forum that looks & works like that on A LIVE SERVER with a LIVE & HUGE COMMUNITY.

    I got a feeling that if they do something this bad with a forum/community which lot's of time is a pretty straight forward thing, they can mess with other & more important stuff, like the Unity engine itself.
     
    mgear, Ryiah and ArcticHorse like this.
  34. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

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    The great intrigue was the Ranking mechanism ...
     
  35. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I'm not positive how completely accurate this is but I have the feeling the majority of Unity don't use the forums. For those that do actually use the forum though how many of them have the time to verify that the next incoming forum solution is in a state of readiness? Or have the weight in their evaluation to stop management from pushing it through? :p
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2016
    landon912 and MV10 like this.
  36. Ippokratis

    Ippokratis

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    It is not realistic - or beneficial - to expect that every unity employee would be active in the forums.
    But it is very difficult to change successfully something without being part of it or without taking into consideration feedback from people who are part of it - as the "new" forums showcased.

    I do not expect from someone who is web designer to be part of this community in order to design the new forum but I am surprised that the new design was approved.

    The person that approved it might be brilliant in his/her work as a manager/director otherwise but clearly has not used the forums as most active forum users do.
    Of course, it is unrealistic to expect from a manager/director to be active in the forums.

    But the choice was really poor in terms of usability. It would be enough to take into consideration the opinion of senior mods to avoid the fiasco. Forum is not just a cosmetic part of the Unity brand face, is a valuable tool many of us uses daily to solve problems, to find / give work, to promote assets. Or, as seen often when updates are planned in engine components, e.g. Shurinken, ask users opinion. He/she didn't get this feedback and broke the tool.

    Everybody may do bad choices, having feedback helps avoid - fix them.
    The "new" forums was a bad choice.
     
    Teila likes this.
  37. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    I'd like to see a graphic redesign for Unity anyway. The light/thin/flat/cyan/magenta thing is kind of weak/lackluster, doesn't tend to read well on many displays, and more importantly doesn't suggest "awesome game engine!" Honestly it comes across as something designed in a committee where nobody was really inspired and everybody kind of settled on "I dunno...like...'modern' and stuff, I guess." Make it more engaging/strong/bold.

    --Eric
     
    Moonjump and Teila like this.
  38. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    You don't like white, black, cyan, and magenta? :p

    trapped.png

    Just happened to spot this image while searching Google. I decided the text in it was very fitting.
     
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  39. MV10

    MV10

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    YOU DAMNED KIDS, GET OFF MY VGA!
     
  40. Quatum1000

    Quatum1000

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  41. Teila

    Teila

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    Try clearing your cache. A lot of people are having the problem and clearing the cache usually works. Your link goes to these forums for me. :)
     
    Quatum1000 likes this.
  42. Quatum1000

    Quatum1000

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    Bingo! :)
     
  43. Andy-Touch

    Andy-Touch

    A Moon Shaped Bool Unity Technologies

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    Not sure where 1400 came from; Unity is almost at 1000 employees. :)
     
    aliceingameland likes this.
  44. arkon

    arkon

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    It's still bad.
     
  45. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

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    ~1000 and no final QC.
    Is not important if they are 100, 1K or 1.5K there must be more control on the final production quality. All factory has 1 or more than one capable QC in the assembly line.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
  46. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Future-proofing our statements based on your hiring policies? Or we just assumed @hippocoder had the right number. :p
     
  47. orb

    orb

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    I guess @hippocoder just forgot Amiibos and plushies don't count.
     
  48. ArcticHorse

    ArcticHorse

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    Thank you. If I have to do it, at least I'll know how. Sounds 1-2-3. : )
     
  49. ArcticHorse

    ArcticHorse

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    The forum is very important to me for a number of reasons--it's nice to know we're part of a community--but my main reason it's where I go when I have a problem and then it is the number one focus of my life--I need properly working notifications and anything related to finding things easily and being able to read them comfortably that helps me solve my problem.

    This has always been for me a problem solving place. I'd be happy to betatest any new forum. I think a number of us would say yes to a betatest. I agree these forums should stay and be developed on.

    I remember going through the horror of the IL2CPP upgrade on ios and I needed these forums daily---they worked for me then. I also have tried to check in sometimes as I can and look for posts with 0 answers and have tried to help.

    I don't think I've ever cared how many posts I made or whether I'd get a badge or new name or anything like that.

    I only care about solving problems and seeing how my assets from the asset store are evolving. And where Unity is going. That's all. This forum does that very well.

    When I click on Alerts and show all---all I get are alerts about responses to this thread. I'm still looking for alerts to threads for assets I bought---is it possible no one is posting in those threads any more or do alerts only reflect from the date the forum was rolled back?
     
    Teila and Ryiah like this.
  50. Teila

    Teila

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    Are you still subscribed to those threads? Click on Watched Threads and see if anything in is there. Unity's forums are set up so you will stop getting alerts until you check the threads. So...you may have a bunch of threads you are subscribed to and haven't read...so no alert. Go visit them and you will start getting the alerts. :)

    I actually like that the Unity forums do this. The barrage of notifications and emails from those new forums were really intrusive.
     
    ArcticHorse likes this.
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