I've been working on a Tableau Server issue (ownership changes affect embedded passwords in workbooks) so I'm trying to catch up. It was during this catch-up I noticed a big problem for those who aren't in the forums daily/hourly. On page FOUR I come across Tracy's post Tableau Conference 2014 - Finding Sessions Thread . Cool. But that reminded me that there's these other posts Tableau Conference 2014 - Finding Sessions Thread, TC14 Interactive Schedule..., Tableau Conference 2014 Viz, & Tableau Conference, off-site discussion. These are all very similar but spread waaaaaay out! Extremely inefficient. Some of the above ones I haven't seen before, all just because I didn't log in one or two days and then become far behind in what's new in the forum. This issue is a great example of why we need specific categories for topics and NOT just a single stack where everything gets thrown in as is currently happening.
We're used to this because it makes sense...
When one goes to a standard forum they are able to easily see where new posts or updates have been made to threads in the categories they're interested in. Examples:
Ideally, I should be able to enter a category, say Tableau Server, and just server questions will be there, not a bunch of other posts that have nothing to do with Server. Then at a glance I'd know of any new topics because they would be in a different format since posts I would have read would be in another format. A single click on the Last Activity (Latest Reply) of the topic would take me directly to the last post I haven't read, instead of having to open the topic and then click on the Latest Reply (this Latest Reply option isn't available in Ideas). Of course having richer info on the screen like other forums do with icons would greatly help sift through what I have and have not done. Example:
Just saying there are multiple threads with the same though and so super easily lost in the singular column of the current forum format.
The current Categories does not work. Period. The first biggest issue is that they are OPTIONAL! No!!!! Second, MULTIPLE categories can be selected! No!!!!
Side note: Groups add to the confusion
Groups can be ambiguous as well and adds to the confusion. Look at this that I found in the generic Groups (when you click on the Content tab):
The poor user is posting questions here instead of the Forums and no one has helped him with any of this. (And why is TabWiki an Interest Group and a Specialty(?Ideas, Viz Talk, etc.) group?)
There's a lot being thrown at a new user...I even think for more experienced users as well
When I enter the forums I see this:
It's great because I can to go the exact location I'm interested in. What would be better is if I clicked on the Forums image and it takes me into a similar looking page but one that contains the various categories...preferably with some information on that category similar to this (don't necessarily need to see the # of viewers but I certainly wouldn't complain if it was there):
Clicking on a category would then drop me into the category forum of user postings: