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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Community Members,

We are excited to announce that we are live on our new forum platform! We’ve worked hard over the past few months with a leading design and product firm to deliver a cleaner, faster and more engaging experience for you. Our goal is to provide modern design and technology to make the site run faster, smoother and more reliably. All of the valuable content within the community is still here, even though the layout may look different.

A Consistent Experience Across All Devices
The site is optimized for all screen sizes, including mobile. All features are available and ready to use on all devices.

Speed and Reliability Are Key
No one should have to wait for information. This site has been built to be much faster and more reliable, period.

New Homepage Experience
Your home page now features the most active forums, trending discussions, featured showcases, and top contributing members. This will help keep you up to date on what’s happening in your community and eventually become a very personalized experience for our members with all the great content you love surfaced effortlessly for you.

Search
We have introduced new search algorithms, powered by an industry-leading AI platform, that will help you find information faster. We plan to roll out new features to continue improving search, and to power many additional areas of the forum.

Due to the volume of content, our search platform may take some time to complete indexing. During this process, you may see a limited number of posts until indexing has been completed. We appreciate your patience.

Easy to Use and Navigate
We have made the design clean and simple to use. Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.

Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts. On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics.

Clicking the list icon next to “NEW” will bring you to the full forum listing.

You can also navigate by clicking the 3 vertical dots.

Clicking on your avatar will give you a drop-down menu for all things related to your account.

Dark Mode
We have introduced Dark Mode. One of our favorite features allows you to access the site with a power-saving, and easier on the eyes dark mode. You can access it in the drop-down menu under the 3 vertical dots.

Bookmarks
Now you can bookmark your favorite discussions! Bookmarks are a handy way to remember and easily find great content or stuff you want to read later.

We also wanted to make it easier for new users to understand the lingo of forums. We have cleaned up various language to more commonly recognized phrases including:
  • Following - Thread subscriptions, and Watched are now known as Following
  • Conversations – Private Messages or PMs are now conversations and can be accessed from the user avatar drop-down in the main navigation
  • Showcase – Showcase is designed for users to "showcase" items/projects through the use of uploaded images, text descriptions and custom content categories. It’s a way to visually and textually provide detailed information on the content you wish to share. The showcase would be similar to a catalog, whereas the gallery would be like a photo album. It can be accessed from the drop-down menu with the 3 dots.
These are just a few of the great new functions and features to try on the site. Take a tour and look around! If you have any questions, please check out the HELP section for some quick FAQs about the new platform, Help Section

Please let us know what you think about the new experience, your feedback is important to us.

Thank you all for your support during this amazing journey!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hello!
I will be here today as we begin to unpack from the move to this new software update. You may have a lot of questions or comments, or may need help orienting yourself to some of the things that look different around here. I hope I can help with that orienteering, and I hope I can help you feel comfortable navigating around.

My name is Gerrit, and helping people orient themselves as long as I can remember. I was born in Europe, raised throughout parts of the US, and now am in Canada with the Vertical Scope H
Q. Orienteering has been something I’ve done for most of my life, and was both the first merit badge earned, and the first one I taught within the Boy Scouts (yes I did that whole thing too). Quickly and accurately finding my way around is such a cornerstone of my life that my first tattoo naturally had to be a compass to help me navigate. (Though I did leave it up to the artist to make it less basic that something that looked like it’d need some sort of seasonal coffee drink) and it is all of these skills that I hope to bring here to you now.

Orienteering is never an easy skill, but with me as your guide through the site I hope that we can explore this brave new look for the site together. I won’t always have an immediate answer to your question, but I will work to find you the most accurate information together.

-Gerrit
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Please don't be afraid to explore and test out things to see how they work on the site. You can also see our FAQs here!

Although you can certainly use the "insert image" icon to upload an image to your post, you can also just drag and drop it to the text editor or even copy/paste it into there!



You can easily share videos just by adding the URL directly into the text editor!


Gif links from sites like giphy.com will display automatically just by adding the gif URL directly in the text editor. Try it!


I am also a huge fan of the dark mode for the community, it’s much easier on the eyes. What is your favorite feature?

I will be here to answer questions and to help you navigate, as needed.

-Gerrit
 

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2,717 Posts
-thread nagivation could use First & Last buttons next to the Prev/Next buttons.
-from the list of new posts, don't see an obvious way to jump to the firs unread post of a thread, the link with the thread title jumps to the first post in the thread. Or perhaps everything has been reset as being unread.
-can't see a way to mark all posts as being read
 

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-thread nagivation could use First & Last buttons next to the Prev/Next buttons.
-from the list of new posts, don't see an obvious way to jump to the firs unread post of a thread, the link with the thread title jumps to the first post in the thread. Or perhaps everything has been reset as being unread.
-can't see a way to mark all posts as being read
To follow up, it seems multipage threads keep "1" and "last page number" as part of the truncated list of pages you can directly jump to, so first/last buttons would duplicate hitting those. And the links in the "new posts" list do take you to the latest unread post, now that I've gone to a thread that's been updated since I already read it.

And now I see the "Mark All Read" button on the New Posts list page.
 

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I noticed that you can't see who's reading a thread now. I don't know why that matters but it's something I always look at.
 

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Steve, I believe there is a setting for that in your preferences.
 

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I like the new speed, but not the overall look and layout. Keep in mind, I preferred Classic View after the last upgrade.

I'm not opposed to change, but often wonder why it needs to be so drastic, and all sites wind up looking like this.

Mike
 

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Organization of the webpage itself needs a little tweaking. Now I only view the webpage with a 32 inch curved monitor, so your results may be a bit different. What I see at the top of a fresh page, this one as an example, is the lettering is over other lettering and the "Search Community" box completely blocks some lettering.
The wide gray spaces are also just a bit off.
Home>Forums>General Site Information>Site Something is blocked by the Search Box and has My Tractor Forum superimposed on top of that.
We Are Live - Community Feedback is split in half lengthwise by two different shades of gray along with the "Jump To Latest" box and the Follow box.
 

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I find the speed to be lacking. Also don't care for the large "Kindergarten" font resulting in wrapped lines and short pages that take more time to traverse. The first thing I had to do was to switch to dark mode whereas on the old forum I liked the dark font on a light background.
 

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Really hate the Recommended Reading at the bottom of every page. I'm using a phone, and I just want to blast to the bottom to open the current posts in a thread. When I scroll to the bottom, I then have to scroll back up to try and find posts in the actual thread I'm trying to read.

This is one of those "features" that irritate me on similar sites. Adding extra stuff to a page wastes a lot of my time.

I'll also echo the comment above about way too much white space.

Also, there isn't enough visual clue to break up posts and other areas in a thread (such as the Recommended Reading).

I also just noticed that you need a button for Edit at the bottom of a post. The feature is hidden behind a tiny pulldown near the time of the post.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Organization of the webpage itself needs a little tweaking. Now I only view the webpage with a 32 inch curved monitor, so your results may be a bit different. What I see at the top of a fresh page, this one as an example, is the lettering is over other lettering and the "Search Community" box completely blocks some lettering.
The wide gray spaces are also just a bit off.
Home>Forums>General Site Information>Site Something is blocked by the Search Box and has My Tractor Forum superimposed on top of that.
We Are Live - Community Feedback is split in half lengthwise by two different shades of gray along with the "Jump To Latest" box and the Follow box.
The site is optimized to format to fit most monitors. A wide format curved monitor is more unique here. If you can post a screen grab of what you see it may help me see more about how its displaying for you.
-Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I like the new speed, but not the overall look and layout. Keep in mind, I preferred Classic View after the last upgrade.
I'm not opposed to change, but often wonder why it needs to be so drastic, and all sites wind up looking like this.
Mike
With regards to moving from XenForo to vBulletin specifically, there were several factors considered when moving away from VB:
  • vBulletin does not support IPv6, leaving a security gap in registration and spam management
  • VBulletin relies on third party plugins that get more and more unsupported with each passing year
  • VBulletin skins do not properly respond to mobile devices (which is a significant and growing portion of site traffic).
  • The most stable VB version is 10 years old and is only updated with security patches. Newer versions are known for very difficult bugs for usability (inability to post pictures for instance)
  • VBulletin's response time is staggeringly slow at best, even with the most recent server updates we've performed
  • Use of VB still requires us to lean on a third party for major updates and fixes should something break in the core software
-Philip
 

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Really hate the Recommended Reading at the bottom of every page. I'm using a phone, and I just want to blast to the bottom to open the current posts in a thread. When I scroll to the bottom, I then have to scroll back up to try and find posts in the actual thread I'm trying to read.
Hey Mike, are you using the browser view on your phone? When I look at mine, at the top of each thread I see a button labeled Jump To Latest that takes me to the last post in the thread. Its also available in the non-mobile view, just discovered it this morning.
IMG_546FD5409D3F-1.jpeg
 

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Thanks Philip. That post was really more of a general one regarding look and feel. I do understand why the update was needed. I'll keep posting specific feedback, hopefully that will help.

Mike
 
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