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Thank you guys for visiting this page.

For caring about the forum and being involved with Ultimaker.

In front of you is the fruit of your collected feedback and various personal meetings with some involved community members. Hopefully, to your liking.

Below you can find a list of what will be up next, and near the end of this post you can find the visuals. Depending on size, some of these points will gradually be implemented. Others will be emphasized. We are probably looking at a few weeks for the entire list.

 

Upcoming improvements

  • New wireframe with improved information density
  • New setup for subcategories (we're aiming at max. 3-4 subcategories for every main category)
  • Collapsable header, optional in your profile.
  • Read/unread tracking
  • Improved notifications
  • Logged in users will automatically land at the forum, new (non logged in users) will land at the community dashboard
  • Show which users like a topic or print
  • Better search
  • Thumbnail option when inserting images (full screen when clicked on)
  • Email notifications
  • Live filters, no page refresh
  • More replies shown in a topic detail page (20-25 instead of 10)
  • Speed optimizations (we're moving the database first, then the entire website to a new server, and then we will look into optimizing the website itself)
  • Private forum sections for hardware and software beta testers
  • Finalize and optimize gamification, including proper communication on how it works
  • Many minor frontend and backend improvements
  • Research: (note: this is yet to be determined. The above items are upcoming features) poll feature, chat feature, migrate likes from old forum topics, migrate topics users were following from the old forum (both categories and topics) and migrating user galleries

 

 

Upcoming improvements made visually

Without further ado: Below you can find some improvements shown visually. The main focus here are improvements on the category page, topic overview pages and topic detail pages. Click on the image to view it in full size. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the replies.

 

Category page
You can easily switch between 2 views, the category page or a topic overview page by clicking Category or Topic.

The category page is customizable. You have the option to change in which order different main categories are offered to you, and you can change the amount of topics displayed for each sub category. There's even the option to reduce it to zero, so the entire sub category collapses.

You can also expands or collapse an entire main category live, by clicking + or -.

5a330e5956e21_1.Community_Forum_Overview_cat@1x.thumb.png.0d60809b2ac06f41e52bc325bfb43560.png5a330e597e366_2.Community_Forum_Overview_cat_custom@1x.thumb.png.836d2d9e55b4fd001a15d0a64048c9f6.png

 

Topic overviews
This view also shows which topics are unread, indicated by the blue bar on the left and X unread to the right.

You have different options to create filters, and you can save your favorite filter for easy access. On the far right you see information regarding the latest activity, whether or not you follow this topic. If your own avatar is shown it means you have contributed to this topic in the past. The second visual shows the same view ranked on questions, in a specific sub category.

5a330e59c053e_3.Community_Forum_Overview_top@1x.thumb.png.7b632a8cd7c326131407355ca4868aa5.png5a330e59e729d_4.Community_Forum_Overview_to_cat@1x.thumb.png.46582d1be19887eea35652158f4a56ec.png

 

Topic detail
These visuals show the new topic detail pages, improved navigation and buttons.

Notice that a users profile also show their location and hardware. Visual 2 shows a topic detail page with unread replies. Visual 3 shows the unread reply notice to the top of your screen. A user will land here after clicking on '20 unread' on a topic overview page.

5a330e5a42431_5.Topic@1x.thumb.png.fc5017b966c5111678bcf8a94171a5f7.png5a330e5a74b11_6.1Topicunread@1x.thumb.png.9a9758dcd44317b0dc9370638049cd0a.png5a330e5aa375d_6.2Topicunread@1x.thumb.png.ec87b6f2ad520109024eb6b7929e5a35.png

Thank you for reading and being involved!

We are very excited about this. What do you think?

5a330e5956e21_1.Community_Forum_Overview_cat@1x.thumb.png.0d60809b2ac06f41e52bc325bfb43560.png

5a330e597e366_2.Community_Forum_Overview_cat_custom@1x.thumb.png.836d2d9e55b4fd001a15d0a64048c9f6.png

5a330e59c053e_3.Community_Forum_Overview_top@1x.thumb.png.7b632a8cd7c326131407355ca4868aa5.png

5a330e59e729d_4.Community_Forum_Overview_to_cat@1x.thumb.png.46582d1be19887eea35652158f4a56ec.png

5a330e5a42431_5.Topic@1x.thumb.png.fc5017b966c5111678bcf8a94171a5f7.png

5a330e5a74b11_6.1Topicunread@1x.thumb.png.9a9758dcd44317b0dc9370638049cd0a.png

5a330e5aa375d_6.2Topicunread@1x.thumb.png.ec87b6f2ad520109024eb6b7929e5a35.png

Edited by TheDeugd
  • Like 5

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As I indicated when I'm looking for unread stuff I look on the left. Now in the community overview (picture 2) the unread notice is at the right, saying XX unread or View Last.

It's better already in picture 4.

I'd have to play arround with it before I can really tell if it matches the ease of use of the old forum

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Hi @Titus and @ultiarjan,

The blue bar on the left indicates that there are unread messages.

If there is no blue bar there are no unread messages.

When you want to know more details about the unread messages you can look to the right and see the amount of unread messages.

You don't think this is clear enough?

Edited by Guest

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I like the way it's set up in the pics. The blue bar (are you spying on me? I made a script that does that exact thing on another forum :p) makes it easy to scan for new posts. By having the additional info on the right you keep the left side of the page constant so to speak, making it easier to scan for threads you're looking for.

What I'd like to see though is an indicator showing which thread you have participated in. I often scan through a page looking for a thread I've recently participated in to see if it has updates. Personally I don't like subscribing to threads, the constant reminders drive me nuts. For another forum I have it set up so that a bar is added to all threads I've posted in and whenever that thread has new replies the bar changes colour and becomes a little bit fatter.

But you also need a third state, unread threads that you have not participated in.

edit: Not sure if any of that made any damn sense, my mind is wandering today...

Edited by Guest

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And can you share the look of the overview  page for mobile?

 

We can't yet.

We had limited time between building and testing the latest cycle, and looking forward building these designs and interfaces. Therefor we did not have the room to look into the mobile pages yet. Once we do have them, I will share them with you.

Depending on how things evolve, we may not have time to work this out.

If this UX works, we will go ahead and continue the philosophy in the mobile version too.

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I like the way it's set up in the pics. The blue bar (are you spying on me? I made a script that does that exact thing on another forum :p) makes it easy to scan for new posts. By having the additional info on the right you keep the left side of the page constant so to speak, making it easier to scan for threads you're looking for.

What I'd like to see though is an indicator showing which thread you have participated in. I often scan through a page looking for a thread I've recently participated in to see if it has updates. Personally I don't like subscribing to threads, the constant reminders drive me nuts. For another forum I have it set up so that a bar is added to all threads I've posted in and whenever that thread has new replies the bar changes colour and becomes a little bit fatter.

But you also need a third state, unread threads that you have not participated in.

edit: Not sure if any of that made any damn sense, my mind is wandering today...

 

I am going to quote the topic overview text:

' If your own avatar is shown it means you have contributed to this topic in the past.' :D

(in the visuals it is a green 'A')

..And you're welcome! ;)

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@sandervg You are right about the blue bar(i like that), what I meant was that I dislike it not being there somewhere on the first two images. As I described in our meeting

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The reason for not implementing the blue bar in the category overview is because if there would be just a single message the entire category would be blue. It would probably just be blue the entire time, so we don't see the added value. Can you relate?

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Depends on how frequently you check right?

I check every 30-180 minutes.

I'm not saying it should be the blue bar, it could be some other clever thing, but look at the old forum, there was something like it and it worked great for me.

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If there would be "mark as read"-functionality then its perfectly okay to add the status to the category overview.

I smell a little "it's too much work to implement so we're not going to do it" here.

I know it's a development challenge - I told you as much during our meet - but that single feature is the only one I'm looking for in the forum. Without it it is still not possible to just visit the overview and scan for activity without having to look at the topics with last activity. This means you can't use the sorting.

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If there would be "mark as read"-functionality then its perfectly okay to add the status to the category overview.

I smell a little "it's too much work to implement so we're not going to do it" here.

I know it's a development challenge - I told you as much during our meet - but that single feature is the only one I'm looking for in the forum. Without it it is still not possible to just visit the overview and scan for activity without having to look at the topics with last activity. This means you can't use the sorting.

 

So I guess we're good then because these functionalities will be there :) on both the category page and topic overview pages there's a mark all as read function. And in both views you can also select 'unread' in a dropdown. A worrying thought is speed of course, we're going to spend serious time to optimize the speed. Here's more info on the dropdowns:

All topics (standard selection)

 

  • Ideas

  • Questions

  • Answered questions

  • Unanswered questions

  • Following

  • Unread

  • Topics I've been active in

 

All categories (standard selection) (this dropdown only shows up on the topic overview pages)

 

  • Shows all categories and subcategories

 

Since last visit (standard selection) (this dropdown only shows up on the topic overview pages)

 

  • All time

  • Past month

  • Past week

  • Today

 

Latest activity (standard selection)

 

  • Most liked

  • Most viewed

  • Most commented

 

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Hi Blizz, Like @theDeugd says (and is shown in image 1 and 2), there is definitely a 'mark all is read' option.

I am very sorry to hear we come across as 'lazy', I would have hoped by now we would have made a different impression..

You can still look at the overview by clicking 'topics' and you have the mark on the left.

That is valuable, no? Plus the filters offer you a lot of options too!

Anyway, we will take your advice at heart and see if we can add it on the categories too.

Would you happen to have a suggestion on how?

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All topics (standard selection)

 

  • Ideas

  • Questions

  • Answered questions

  • Unanswered questions

  • Following

  • Unread

  • Topics I've been active in

 

All categories (standard selection) (this dropdown only shows up on the topic overview pages)

 

  • Shows all categories and subcategories

 

Since last visit (standard selection) (this dropdown only shows up on the topic overview pages)

 

  • All time

  • Past month

  • Past week

  • Today

 

Latest activity (standard selection)

 

  • Most liked

  • Most viewed

  • Most commented

 

 

Can these things PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be linkable, or somehow fast accesable. I'd hate to open up the main page, and click twice. Rather open it at once, or only click once.

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Hi Guys, small update:

Most likely in July we will get to see some improvements again :)

I will keep you all informed, thank you for your commitment!

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Looks better, but ...

What you see and where you have to click

I am also a left-to-right-person. It's common (and I'm used to it) to have the main clicky thing to enter a thread (from the overview page) on the left side. The main clicky thing for me is usually the button to jump to the first unread posting within that thread. It is - sorry to say - nonsense to have a certain information on one side of the screen while the button (or link, whatever) that closely relates to that information is on the opposite side of the screen. Look-here-but-click-there is a bad concept.

Colours

As for the looks in general - not sure if that could or already can be done in the user settings - but I'd prefer a theme with a bit more contrast (like, between fore- and background, especially if the background also serves as dividers between postings, sections of the overview pages and so on).

Wasted space

To me, the new design still takes much to much space (especially height-wise). I know that somebody must have told you that simple dividers (like, say, lines) are pure evil and a clean design can't have them and a clean design just needs a little space therefore and ... no, I have no idea. BUT I want to be able to see a bit more than ~20 threads on an overview page without scrolling.

The page flipping thing below the start posting

Why is it there, by which I mean, why is it THERE? It should on the very top and on the very bottom, and only there, not somewhere in between. And why should it be that way, you might ask. Because ANY person in the internet is PAVLOVed to that degree that that person will - when seeing that thing (does it have a name?) after a bit of scrolling - think that the end of the page is reached and will therefore, without even spending a single thought, click on the forward button or on the number of the next page. I must say, I am not a friend of PAVLOVisation in general, but here it is not a bad thing - in real life you flip the page when you reach the end of it, you'll grab the lower corner of that page (or the upper corner if want), but you don't just grab the middle of the page to flip it (you could, but you would sooner or later come to the conclusion that it's too hard on the pages and then buy an e-ink device or stop reading altogether, watch TV all the time, become a drug addict ... in that order).

Material crap and animations

It's close to freakin me out if things start to move that shouldn't (because I didn't do anything to cause any object to move) or if - while scrolling - objects move at different speeds (to create some illusion of perspective and depth and whatnot). It is irritating and distracts my mind from gathering the info that I want to know ... and if there is even so much as a tiny stutter while scrolling through internet forums (because of useless animations, Id' like to think) on my was-close-to-top-of-the-line-gaming-machine-not-sooo-long-ago, I start to swear and scream and curse (with only my next-door-neighbours listening) ...

For now, this place only slightly knocks on that door. Could we leave it that?

EDIT

This was meant in response to the general forum feedback thread ... but might fit here as well

Edited by Guest

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Hi @jens, thank you for your elaborated feedback and taking the time to write us.

In the other thread there is very often referred to our old forum, as not being perfect but functional and serving the needs, so we used that as an inspiration on some levels, together with other forums online and our conversations with our community members.

What you say about looking and clicking left/right is similar to the old forum, which apparently seemed to work back then. Also, the amount of threads you see has even increased compared to the old forum. Personally I consider that as an improvement.

There is a balance to find between cropping everything close to each other, and making it pleasant to read and I think we found a good balance now.

Why would you want to see more then 20 threads before scrolling, if that would make the overview cluttered? 20 is a good start I think.

Having different theme's could be something to look into, I'll write that down.

But don't expect to see this in our upcoming 2 launches.

I am not entirely sure what you mean by 'The page flipping thing below the start posting'?

Do you mean the pagination? Why it is on top of the page too?

In our research we found that, especially when you have already read a thread and you are looking for a certain post or page, you often don't want always want to scroll all the way to the bottom before you can navigate back and forth. Sometimes you already recognize a page by the first post.

.. is this what you meant?

'For now, this place only slightly knocks on that door. Could we leave it that?'

So.. this is a good thing then?

Thanks again for sharing your feedback, have a great day!

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I haven't been a frequent guest in the old forum ... so I don't know exactly where the jump-to-first-unread-posting button was. I just do know, that it's on the left side on any other forum that I frequent a bit more often while on the right side you'd find a means to jump to the very last posting (not the first unread). For me, that's a well-proven concept for several reasons, I consider rather objective

 

  • As has already been told, pretty much all Westerners read from left to right. Also, pretty much any teacher and/or style guide (for texts and such, if you were in the business of writing stuff) would advice you to start a sentence/paragraph with the important whateverthing that you're going to talk about. In internet forums, where you follow a certain topic, you'd want to know if there are news (or no news). So, that is an important information and should be seen where you naturally start reading - on the left side. That's what your blue bars on the left side of the thread overview pages are for. Good so far.
  • The second important aspect is a more general question in the field of ergonomics (don't believe me, I could be making that up ;)). When you have to look at some indicator (say, for example, that blue bar mentioned above) to gain a certain information and when there - depending on that certain information - an input may be required (say, for example, clicking somewhere because the blue bar told you there are new postings) and when that input itself also requires eye-hand-coordination (as is the case with a computer mouse / cursor and touch devices) ... THEN it is always a good idea to have the indicator (blue bar) and the input (button, link, could even be the blue bar itself ... one could click on it, you know?) close together while it is bad idea to have these two elements far apart. No need to go into the Why, is there?

 

Or is it already that way and I just misunderstood?

(Man, that where many words to communicate a very very simple and basic concept ... language barrier, I tell you!)

I choose a bit more than ~20 as this is what I see on other forums and what works for me. Better wording might have been a minimum of 20 or no less than ... something like that. It just shouldn't be less (for me).

With the page flipping thing, I meant that bar that is below the first posting of a thread and then once more at the bottom of that page; that thing with page numbers on it, indicating where (on which page) you are and where you could go ... in that structure:

[go to first page] [go to previous page] [go to page number x ...]  and so on.

I get that a user shouldn't be forced to scroll down all the way in order to navigate between pages. That's why it should be on the bottom AND top of the page - that is ABOVE the first and BELOW the last posting. One reason for that is that any person used to internet forums is used to it that way - it is just very very common. Another is that "below the first posting" is some very undefined level of height (as first postings, as well as any others, can vary greatly in length). On ANY of my devices I can easily scroll to the very bottom or very top within tenths of a second, but I cannot scroll to "below the first posting" that fast ... I cannot even find "below the first posting" that fast. Is it really hard to understand?

The stuff about animations and such - I tried to say: Don't make it worse :D

(While for me, personally, it could still be even less, none at all to be precise ... but hey, that's just me)

Edited by Guest
  • Like 1

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I'm not sure if this was discussed, is planned, or that I'm sounding like a broken record.

But with the new update it took me a while to find the "view last" reply button ALL the way over to the RIGHT. I read titles, at the left(as most people read from left to right, so I'd rather click at the left too :)

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In the final stage we are going to add the last replier too, so that will be added to the overview. So you'll not only know when the last post was made, but also by whom.

Instead of view last, you could also click the pagination to go to the last page?

Currently the information is categorized so most of the meta-tags and detailed info are right and global info about the thread is left.

Since we yet have to make this last replier change lets see what the end result is going to be. Maybe it will remain the similar though, I think it already is pretty clear and fast.

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