Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
korneel

Drastic Suggestion: please reply if you agree

Recommended Posts

Ok, I gave this some thought, and I'm going to do a drastic suggestion;

first of all, thank you Sander, thank you "TheDeugd" and thank you to the rest of Ultimaker who tried to improve a forum.

I understand the way you wanted to go. Sort of an interactive FAQ, a place where makers and builders and designers and users could find each other, to communicate, to suggest ideas and to work together.

so far, some things are great, some things are not.

the path you have chosen, to take a real forum offline, to wait for a week, then bring something partially back online (still missing access to PM's and access to portions of the old forum), collect feedback while live and improve on the go, is not one that works for me.

I thought the old forums where bad. the search sucked, in Internet Explorer, half of it simply did not work, some portions misbehaved but overall, it worked. it was an experience that could be improved. instead of improving, you've chosen a path of change. Remember the old saying.. change is good as long as everything stays the same.. You could have moved to new software while keeping the old look and feel then making improvements. A path that is very common amongst many companies and very successful. You choose differently.

Once again, I certainly don't want to sound ungrateful, but I have a very simple but drastic suggestion:

Please host a "real" forum. buy Vbulletin. buy any software. use open-source I don't really care as long as it's something trialed and proven. Give your community what it wants.. give the people bread and games. keep this and keep improving it. once it's done, and this is not an overnight fix I suppose, then start integrating things.

For me, this is not working. Looking through the community I am not the only one. I have to go through a lot of effort to help other people. for free. I have to login every single time. I have to wiggle my way through the weird interactions. I can't really attach pictures without a lot of pain. I feel that halfway through a reply when something doesn't do what I expect it to do I just close the window thinking "oh fuck it".

Honestly, I hope it's just me. I hope all the other people that were helping out feel very different than I do and they love this new interface and new forum. If not, more people will start closing windows.

Í'll check back in a month or so if I feel more at home :) till then, I'll just be a vagrant :)

  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not going to claim I don't get the reasoning why UM is moving in this direction, because I do. It is the same philosophy as their marketing points for the UM2... It is supposed to be easy and simple and you shouldn't have to be too technical to use it.

If that is the road they feel the have to take, so be it.

I've already voiced my concerns about this, as most users - who effectively use their printer - tend not to be beginners for long and will quickly start to miss interaction in a regular, forumy way. For me personally, it doesn't really work and a lot of things feel wrong, but there's little we can do about it. I just don't like the "lets take your handy and guide you around"-mentality, but everyone needs this in the beginning to get started.

That being said, I agree fully with your sentiment that there at least should be a regular forum out there, official or not. If UM refuses this, perhaps we can think of setting up one ourselves.

Edited by Guest
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree - the new version is offal. I've web site design and implementation for a living, and this is now a really terrible site.

It's so spread out with useless white space that it takes three times a long to scan the new posts, and offers no redeeming value that I can see.

I'll probably cut my visits by 75% and will miss some important information as a result. Bad job.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. Several months ago this was a great site for me to learn the basics about my UM2 and about 3DP in general. When I had an issue, the answer would be easy to find in past posts, or I'd ask in a new post, and somebody else would be quick to solve my dilemma.

Now it's difficult to do much of anything in here, which leads me to look for other 3DP info sources online.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Korneel, thank you for your detailed post.

I understand your feelings, and I would be happy to give you an equally detailed reply in return but in the basis I could be short: Sorry, but hosting a new (different) forum is not going to happen. We still have developers available, and we are going to use them to install the suggestions we have collected from you guys last few days.

A summary of the upcoming improvements:

- Filter: New since last visit.

- improve spam filter

- fix remember me

- a chatroom

- improve notifications

- store filter settings

- improve forum-search

There is more, but with these changes we are sure the forum will be much more to all of your satisfaction and expectations.

@blizz, you say the forum is aimed towards beginners, but the people who 'run' the forum are not the beginners and are used to a more 'forumy' way. Could you elaborate on what you mean by that? How is this forum not appealing to our core community (except for the obvious fixes that have already been suggested and noted)?

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so let's post it here, too.

Totally agree with all the previous critique of the new forum layout. To sum up, it is horrible in almost every aspect, except the beauty. That won't help, however.

Since, new posts feed is on it's way back, among some more vital fixes, please add to the list the ability to restore the subscriptions to the topics from the old forum. At least that. Maybe, it will make the new place at least a bit more useful again.

P.S. What's wrong with phpbb or vbulletin?

Edited by Guest
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed. Several months ago this was a great site for me to learn the basics about my UM2 and about 3DP in general. When I had an issue, the answer would be easy to find in past posts, or I'd ask in a new post, and somebody else would be quick to solve my dilemma.

Now it's difficult to do much of anything in here, which leads me to look for other 3DP info sources online.

Why is that?

Does the way the forum is categorized not make sense to you?

This new forum should be more obvious where to find the topics you are looking for.

All/Most of the old data is migrated, it is more efficiently categorized and the basic Q&A still works so what leads you to think you can't do much in here in contrary of the old forums?

Even though the forum search needs to be improved, the website search option (top right corner) works very well.

Looking forward to your reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@korneel I totally agree with your feeling. I haven't visited the forum except the feedback topic, while I used to check every hour or two.

I said the same as blizz, this close interacting structure you tried to build should appeal to new non-technical users. Search, ask questions, get answers leave. Kinda like yahoo answers. I doubt those people will stay and be contributing users more than 10% of the time, but that is OK! Those people need our answers and expertise.

The forum needs those people that answer the questions and for them to be there, they need to have reason to be there, their own posts and discussion that go into depths and explore our own dual extrusion etc. But that is the part where I feel this forum is missing the point. They don't feel like it's their forum anymore, just a place where you can answer questions. There were quite some news articles and products and methods I tried that I wanted to discuss, but opening the new forum made it seem so hard and not use full that I didn't share/discussed them.

I'd love the old forum with problem fixes, I don't feel at home here where I can discuss all about Ultimaker and 3d printing. I hope your upcoming patch helps or the one after that, but for now the same as Korneel, I'll just keep visiting the feedback part every now and then. I hope I won't miss too much.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, so let's post it here, too.

Totally agree with all the previous critique of the new forum layout. To sum up, it is horrible in almost every aspect, except the beauty. That won't help, however.

Since, new posts feed is on it's way back, among some more vital fixes, please add to the list the ability to restore the subscriptions to the topics from the old forum. At least that. Maybe, it will make the new place at least a bit more useful again.

P.S. What's wrong with phpbb or vbulletin?

I am not saying there is anything wrong with phpbb or vbullitin, we have looked at various solutions before we started this project. But the forum is part of a community-ecosystem we are building and for it to meet our requirements the best solution was to be custom made.

Merging those settings has been put on our list, since we also re-categorized the forums (in our opinions it makes more sense now, less double posts), some subscriptions may not exist anymore. Maybe that is not a big deal for merging, and we can do it, maybe it is. I can't tell you right now.

I can tell you it is on our list for feedback to improve your experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@korneel I totally agree with your feeling. I haven't visited the forum except the feedback topic, while I used to check every hour or two.

I said the same as blizz, this close i....., I'll just keep visiting the feedback part every now and then. I hope I won't miss too much.

Thank you for your reply. Helping each other is indeed a big part of our community, and with our new interacting structure we hope to stimulate this. Selecting a best answer gives credit to the 'helper', but also helps a future visitor.

On the other hand, this is just an added feature to the already existing forum.

By posting a new topic you can select 'Forum topic' and you can just post new products and methods just like you always did.

Our coffee thread is still there, so is the general discussion topic.

Do you miss something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know about those things sander, it's just that when I see this forum I don't see the information dense breeding place it used to be, I see a unclear design that has a low information density with notifications that don't work as I expect them, don't take me to the new post in my topic, so I have to search for the new content by hand etc etc. Also I feel like the community I knew isn't really out there reading everything for now, due to various reasons. This ofcourse is a vicious circle that I'll be happy to break when I start feeling comfortable with the layout and notifications and all the things that have been mentioned already

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another point:

I suppose your web designer fell in love with css transitions. But most of them are a perfect example for the unnecessary cognitive overhead I mentioned already. One (the worst) example:

In overview,  when scrolling down, the top bar first becomes blue (and so attracts attention) and just some fractions of a second later the "Ultimaker" line slides to the left and the whole blue bar slides to the top and disappeares.

What an incredible nonsense! You call for my attention to watch you something hiding epically which would simply disappear anyway due to my own (scroll down) action ...  

I'm sorry, but 90% of this fancy transition stuff just reminds my of dark PowerPoint times.

Edited by Guest
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Korneel, thank you for your detailed post.

I understand your feelings, and I would be happy to give you an equally detailed reply in return but in the basis I could be short: Sorry, but hosting a new (different) forum is not going to happen. We still have developers available, and we are going to use them to install the suggestions we have collected from you guys last few days.

A summary of the upcoming improvements:

- Filter: New since last visit.

- improve spam filter

- fix remember me

- a chatroom

- improve notifications

- store filter settings

- improve forum-search

There is more, but with these changes we are sure the forum will be much more to all of your satisfaction and expectations.

@blizz, you say the forum is aimed towards beginners, but the people who 'run' the forum are not the beginners and are used to a more 'forumy' way. Could you elaborate on what you mean by that? How is this forum not appealing to our core community (except for the obvious fixes that have already been suggested and noted)?

Hi Sander.

I would love to see the more detailed reply.

I felt bad writing the topic. I am not one to complain but try to see the good and try to offer constructive improvements. If I'm wrong, I've learned to admit that over the years..

I understand you are going to improve this system. fantastic. But nowhere in your post do I detect the least bit of worry around my core message; This new system is alienating people that loved going here. Ofcourse there will always be people complaining. There will always be room for improvement.

In my opinion, when designing for a system, that's what you go for. a solid base, with room for improvements. The solid base is not there at the moment. If I log in and try to find new posts, I have to dig through a lot of spam posts.. I have to log in again every single time. There is no way for me to visit the old forum that was publicly advertised even though it was promised. There is no more chat.

honestly, there is nothing here that is better than before. sure, some stuff is not worse. Search was not working before, it still isn't.

I'm not saying you should go to a new forum. I'm saying, why not put the old one back while you work on improvements to get at the bare minimum feature parity.

It was great having a usable forum hosted by Ultimaker where people could be free to express their questions, thoughts and customizations. While making posts on the old forum was not always fun (using Internet Explorer was hell, you had to use Firefox or Chrome) and there were a lot of weird things, it did get me through. I tried uploading a print here. failed. tried different method. failed.

well, perhaps I'm simply wrong. or to old to understand these new things :) I'll check back in a month when\if the fixes have been applied :)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

@Korneel, that is actually now you name it, also how I feel. @SandervG we are trying to get a core message/feeling across, to warn you guys for what we are feeling that is happening, and the replies really don't address that. I mean I know how to open a new topic, or that the how's your day been topic is still there. It's not about that, or the things we miss or dislike, it's about the vision and how I think it is backfiring on you.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with all this, the baby was thrown out with the bath water. I don't have much confidence that things will get fixed back to "usable", based on the youmagine lack of progress over the past year. I cringe at the amount of resources being spent on this (um company and us end users having to tell UM basic things like "keep track of read posts") I would be fine with going to a new place that uses real forum software with real forum features, there is already a basic google group, but that not very active. Please make sure you let people know where the new site will be. This forum is a huge train wreck.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Korneel, thank you for your detailed post.

I understand your feelings, and I would be happy to give you an equally detailed reply in return but in the basis I could be short: Sorry, but hosting a new (different) forum is not going to happen. We- ..... -different method. failed.

well, perhaps I'm simply wrong. or to old to understand these new things :)I'll check back in a month when\if the fixes have been applied :)

I will give you a more detailed reply then. The intentions of my reply is find the reason of your discomfort or the discontent with the new forum. In my opinion I could influence your feelings in 2 ways, either explain why we did why we did and create understanding and insight, or change whatever creates your feelings and turn them into more positive ones.

I have already tried to explain why choices were made and that this forum is part of a larger concept. That is also the same reason why we can not migrate back to the old/another forum. Instead, we will make this forum better.

In that case, we are all happy, no?

In order to successfully do this, we need an overview of the things that are lacking. We have already started developing these new features so we should experience improvement (hopefully) this week.

In regard of your reply you address a few reasons of why this forum does not do the trick for you. For example;

You have to dig around through spam; A better spam filter is in the works so you shouldn't have to worry about this for long.

You have to log in every time; another fix that is on our developers desk atm, you shouldn't have to worry about this for long.

Chat: Something that we are looking into too and will most likely be implemented soon in a rather basic but functional way.

A filter on last visit + notification improvements are also in the works.

Maybe it is difficult to envision it now, but by taking away these obstacles we think the forum will be more like home for you.

There is no reason to compare it to the progress of YouMagine. Ultimaker and Youmagine both operate as separated organizations and have our own tools at hand.

I do understand the train of thought, but we are pushing for fast progress so it shouldn't something to worry about.

We understand the feeling you are trying to get across. Which, for some users is a slightly dissatisfied feeling. My attempts are to acknowledge them, and work with your feedback. Work with your feedback so in return hopefully to change your feelings towards more positive.

My apologies if my replies have been to pragmatic.

If I have missed anything from your original posts or something you want to know, please feel free to ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@SandervG it is nice to say over and over that you have a vision and so, but if the majority of the community you are trying to build up is of the opinion that they do not like your vision - and to me it looks like that! - than it might be wise to reconsider.

If the people just walk away because they are of the opinion that they do not fit into the UM vision, the whole community will die. I personally agree with all the others here and think that switching off the old, established forum and replacing it with what I would consider a barely working proof of concept was the wrong way. If you want to change something, make it better, not worse.

I do software projects myself and know that management of change and customer adoption are the most critical things in introducing new stuff. You have failed in both in my opinion! Secretly developing this new community and then, apparently without any previous user tests or fall back plans switching over to THIS has not worked.

You still have the old forum, why not switch it on again while the developers get the necessary time to implement all the changes that you got from this - lets called it what it is - rough beta test at the customer site? Then try again in half a year with an even better community software.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your reply and contribution.

Indeed, there are some community members who have outspoken opinions about not liking the current forum, and it is much appreciated as it will help us make it a more complete forum for everyone. But it is not the majority nor is it, -in my opinion-, aimed at our vision, but more at the lack of some functionalities, interruptions in their workflow. I am sure that once these new features are implemented it will be a completely different experience.

I don't believe the community will die, we still have the same soul and participants as always. The housing, the structure in which we used to navigate has changed. But not the community.

Like I also replied to Korneel, we are going to work along with the community members who are up to it, to improve the forum and include the features they are missing. But we are not switching back to a new/different forum.

See it as an opportunity to collaborate, contribute and be part of creating the ideal, customized structure.

I would also like to reply on your comment about developing it in secret and releasing it unannounced.

I don't know about your involvement prior to this new forum, but in fact the new forum, its functionality and the development has been mentioned and discussed on our previous forum.

I understand that whatever I say won't change anything about your opinion or some others, I am hoping the changes we will make, -based on our communities feedback-, will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, mentioning and discussing something is not the same as developing something together.

Developing something together is best done through iteration (This is me talking with a Software Engineer hat on); You launch a beta product (and tell people it is a beta product), without taking away existing stuff. People will then tell you 'A doesnt work' and "I like B". You use that feedback to create a new version and show that again. Repeat that x times and then you release the new version instead of the old one.

Most of the missing features have been discussed at some point. If I remember correctly, a lot of users abhore the idea of points and badges (and to be honest, in its current implementation, I dont like it. I do like the way stack overflow implemented it! It could be its just that its unclear how the points / badges work and that the points dont seem to be addded correctly)

Edited by Guest
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would also like to reply on your comment about developing it in secret and releasing it unannounced.

I don't know about your involvement prior to this new forum, but in fact the new forum, its functionality and the development has been mentioned and discussed on our previous forum.

 

I have not said that you released it unannounced. I said apparently untested and I stand to that. Whatever was discussed on the old forum, it has apparently not helped to test BASIC functionality like jumping to replies, mail notifications, etc.

I was - in my opinion - a very active member in the old forum. And I am seriously considering walking away because of statements like "whatever you will say won't change my opinion". When the new forum started, I was very excited about it. I then saw that it had many flaws and tried to contribute with constructive error reports. But over the last days bugs and odd behavior in the system changed that more and more. And your reactions do not help there. This 'the bridge is not ready yet but we still drive over it full throttle since we are cool and know it better' attitude "destroys the vibe" as somebody earlier said here ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • Introducing Ultimaker Cura 3.6 | Beta
      Ultimaker Cura 3.6 | Beta is available. It comes with new features, bug fixes, and UX improvements. We would really like to have your feedback on it to make our stable release as good as it can be. As always, you can download the beta for free from our website, for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
        • Like
      • 95 replies
    • Print Core CC | Red for Ruby
      Q: For some users, abrasive materials may be a new subject matter. Can you explain what it is that makes a material abrasive when you are not sure which print core to use?
      A: Materials which are hard in a solid piece (like metals, ceramics and carbon fibers) will generally also wear down the nozzle. In general one should assume...
        • Like
      • 30 replies
    • "Back To The Future" using Generative Design & Investment Casting
      Designing for light-weight parts is becoming more important, and I’m a firm believer in the need to produce lighter weight, less over-engineered parts for the future. This is for sustainability reasons because we need to be using less raw materials and, in things like transportation, it impacts the energy usage of the product during it’s service life.
        • Like
      • 12 replies
×

Important Information

Welcome to the Ultimaker Community of 3D printing experts. Visit the following links to read more about our Terms of Use or our Privacy Policy. Thank you!