1 2 3 4 Previous Next 45 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2013 8:30 AM by Dustin Smith

    Fix The Forums List.

    Shawn Wallwork

      The forums are broken, and are in desperate need of repair. But instead of just harping on and on about it, I thought I'd start this discussion so we can list all the specific ways they are 'broken', otherwise Tableau wouldn't know what needs fixing. I'll kick off the list with a couple of things that need fixing:


      1. Search does not return a full set of results.
      2. In the My Content section 'Text Filters' and 'Tag Filters' don't return a full set of results.
      3. The search box (in the banner) requires multiple logins and re-typing the search (after getting past Gladwell's face for the Nth time).


      OK, that's a start. Vote for any of these or add your own. But be nice, positive (at least more than I've been lately). Ultimately, let's all help Tableau fix all the stuff that got broke when they farmed out the forums.



        • 1. Re: Fix The Forums List.
          Jonathan Drummey

          Thanks for starting this thread, Shawn. I like this post so much I'm posting from my phone, which I very very rarely do because the site is not optimized for mobile. Here are a number of additions to your list:


          - No Google search

          - Older inline images get lost and aren't  displayed. I've seen posts where the image was added the day before and it shows up as an empty space.

          - Have to click on a link and relocate editor to attach a file.

          - Can't upload/attach files to Ideas.

          - sorting search results is broken. I have no idea what sort by date does.

          - sorting Ideas by most recent created date doesn't work

          - pasting links to Ideas in a forum post results in an invalid link

          -If you have multiple tabs open and have not logged in, when you do log in you are taken to the most recently opened tab, which is not necessarily the tab you have connected to.

          -Having to click on a separate button that reloads the editor, etc. to add an attachment.

          -Every workbook gets turned into a .zip. They are already .zip!

          - mobile site. Not a high priority for me, really.

          - no option to add tags to posts

          - no ability to +1 answers (and hopefully promote them in search results)

          - when looking at a user and the list of threads they have contribute to, the list is sorted by the most recent update by any user, not that user.

          - per user RSS feeds show all posts to the user's posts, not just those user's posts (this is an old issue, I mostly gave up on the RSS feeds and use email notifications instead)

          - Forums set file created date to the 18th of month on Mac/Safari. This makes it a pain to find the file I just downloaded.

          - Feedback from Tableau such as “still under consideration” and “in the trashcan” for Ideas would be nice

          - Knowledgebase has fancy navigation that makes it hard to just grab a link

          - No known way to promote posts/threads into KB articles

          - tagging users in a post is more difficult than it needs to be.

          - forum site in general is slower to load than I'd like it to be.


          I've got a few more thoughts, I'll add those later.



          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Fix The Forums List.
            Jonathan Drummey

            A distinction that I think is important to make is that there's a lot more friction for responders, particularly hard-core responders like Joe, Shawn, Alex, Richard, Dimitri, Tracy, myself, etc. We *know* when an answer is out there (sometimes one we wrote ourselves) but we can't find it, easily link to it, etc. and get frustrated. And there are enough other points of friction in the forums interface that burnout on the forums is a distinct possibility, because we can run into the friction multiple times in a single post, such as follows:


            - get an email or new RSS feed link

            - click on it to go to the forums site, wait for it to load

            - download the attached workbook (if there was one), go through extra clicks to open it because it's a zip file

            - login and wait for the page to re-load (and if the page we opened wasn't the last page opened, we get sent to that page and then have to find the original thread)

            - go through multiple pages (see Shawn's note about search) just to search for a prior answer, and maybe find it (or not)

            - compose the response (where the editor gets a bit flaky on slow internet connections)

            - click on a link that loads a new page with the attach a file button (wait for it…) just to attach the workbook we edited/created

            - finally, click "Add Reply"


            Multiply that by a few to several posts per day, dozens of posts per month, and the friction adds up.


            Whereas the questioners, by and large, do a search on the forums or internet, don't find an answer, then post a question, and usually get a response within less than 12 hours. The typical questioner doesn't experience the friction in the same way, and the forums might be "good enough" for their job to be done. And someone who is just browsing the forums, who isn't necessarily familiar with the ongoing discussions and content, won't run into some of these issues at all.


            Tableau is my favorite piece of software, and helping users on the forums is satisfying on a variety of levels, and I fully expect to keep doing so. And I'd like to see some evolution to something with more the ease of entry and discovery like StackExchange.

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Fix The Forums List.
              Jonathan Drummey



              I had a long-ish bus ride, and there was a bit of copying & pasting going on - I'd been saving up some suggestions! Here are a few more:


              - The trending content area on the the forums home page has shown the same content for at least two weeks, and in any case I could never understand how it defined what was trending or not.

              - The daily email on people I'm following hasn't been showing up for a few/several weeks now, I'm not sure if maybe I turned it off or something on the system did. In any case, the email determined the posts to link to based on the post, not the person I'm following. For example, since I'm following Richard Leeke, if someone posted a something to a thread he contributed to two years ago, that could show up in the email.

              - As a forum thread loads, there's a set of buttons in the upper right that has Follow and Bookmark and something else on it, then as soon as the post finishes loading the Bookmark and other buttons go away and the Follow button remains. This just seems like poor UI design.

              - The Advanced Editor opens up in a new page, rather than in place. This means that if I'm responding to a long thread, I lose all the other posts in that thread and can only see the particular post I'm responding to, which makes quoting more difficult.


              Ok, that's enough suggestions from me for now, I'm looking forward to seeing what other people come up with!



              2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                Richard Leeke

                I'm nowhere near as active on the forums at the moment as I used to be, so lots of the points of "friction" aren't fresh in my mind - but reading Jonathan's lists I can relate to almost every one of them. I would classify most of them as irritations, so as per Jonathan's comments, it's probably only those of us that have ever spent an unhealthy number of hours per day on the forum who have been driven to distraction by them. (Shawn: think of this as Tableau's way of telling you to get on your bike and get some fresh air and exercise - they're only thinking about your well-being. )


                The big one for me is the search. There is a treasure-trove of old material buried away in these forums, but since the redesign, it's just impossible to find it. I always used to use the forums as the quickest way of finding examples of techniques I've used in the past if I know that I've posted about them. These days I often resort to trawling through the literally thousands of old workbooks I have on my laptop with a file search utility looking for phrases I think I remember having used in sheet names. I just wish I'd set up my own samples library.


                I think the biggest annoyance for me is that you can't even search the forums with a Google search any more. That always used to be my back-stop when I couldn't find anything on the old forum site. The new site appears to deliberately block Google from indexing it - so all searches just return a single result saying that the content description is not available due to the site's robots.txt file - which is a mechanism used to block search engines from crawling the site.


                I just don't get the rationale for doing that.


                One thing we shouldn't lose site of, though. The new site was a genuine attempt to address a lot of significant shortcomings in the old forums. Significant effort went into setting up the new site, and it brought a lot of good new features. It's just a shame that the search and some of the navigation let it down.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                  Jonathan Drummey

                  Two more items:


                  - Once every two to three weeks someone else and I double-post as we work on the same question at the same time, some sort of "I got this one" flag would be nice. Richard and I just did this, which made me think of it.

                  - Related to that, some sort of triage/moderation queue could be good, for example being able to quickly (like a couple of mouse clicks) enter a standard response like "You attached a .twb, which doesn't have data. Please attach a packaged workbook (.twbx) with sample data, here's a link to the documentation for doing so. [link here]" However, if moderation imposed too much overhead, then it's not worth it to me. Better tagging of users and topics would get most of the way there, at least in my mind.

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                    Alex Kerin

                    If a user uploads a tbw, they should be instantly warned that it should likely be a tbwx.


                    Agree with all of the points made above - nice job.

                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                      Jonathan Drummey



                      One more from this morning: Clicking on the thumbnail images of in-line pictures opens a pop-up, those pop-up images don't resize for browser window, they can be larger than the window, which is definitely a problem when browsing on a phone.

                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                        Joe Mako

                        I agree with all points raised.


                        Would Tableau consider dumping Jive and going with something like http://www.osqa.net/ ?


                        Also, how do I get the profile pic used in these threads to update to the one that I set on my profile?

                        2 of 2 people found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                          Joe Mako

                          I can confirm, attachments and embeds are an option with OSQA.

                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                            Dustin Smith

                            Hi Everyone,


                            We've been watching this thread carefully and thank you - it's awesome..  And yes Shawn, absolutely everyone of these is a "helpful answer" in my book.


                            Regarding the interest in considering another forum solution, Jive as an external community platform is actually incredibly flexible.  More importantly a good chunk of the things we're working on right now (that correspond with things you've listed) aren't necessarily Jive issues so much as other independent systems (search, etc.) that we need to improve the integration on.  The things that are Jive related were customization settings made early on in the implementation that we're now changing.


                            So in other words, the low-rider Toyota pick-up that keeps bottoming out - that's not Toyota's fault - that's the owner's fault (i.e. me ).


                            Hope things add a little clarity.



                            2 of 2 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                              Dustin Smith

                              Hi Joe,


                              From your profile page hit the 'Edit profile & privacy' link on the right hand side:


                              On the Profile Photo and Avatar page, check the right hand side and select which image you want to use:



                              If you're seeing something altogether different inside of your profile, let me know.




                              P.S.  Now you've got me thinking I should update my profile picture to be as classy as yours.  Wonder if I've got a bow-tie around here somewhere...

                              2 of 2 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                                Dustin Smith

                                Hi Shawn,


                                Appreciate you running with the metaphor .  We're definitely looking at all the options.



                                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                                  Dustin Smith

                                  Hi All,


                                  I wanted to give an update on some progress we've made this week regarding this awesome list of feedback.


                                  1.  As of Friday, 1:55 pm PT we opened up the Tableau Community site to both Google and Bing crawlers.  It will take some time for every post and response to be indexed, but I'm already getting some good results: http://bit.ly/VioH5s


                                  2.  Image and document attachments should now be enabled for Group discussion responses.  Shawn - this should address your frustration earlier last week in trying to help George with the certification study guide.


                                  3.  We are working to improve two critical areas of the site search itself

                                       a.  Frequency of content indexing (goal is real time)

                                       b.  Scope and accuracy of the queries.


                                  Obviously this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I wanted to stand by my word that we're working to improve things as fast as we can.




                                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: Fix The Forums List.
                                    Jonathan Drummey

                                    Hi Dustin,


                                    I tested out a couple of searches and I'm starting to see results, thanks!


                                    Will image and document attachments be enabled for Ideas as well?


                                    Finally, one more bit of friction from today - in the advanced editor, there doesn't seem to be any <pre> tag available. This would be helpful for pasting in formulas.



                                    2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                    1 2 3 4 Previous Next