I previously published some mock ups of possible discussion template enhancements. I have now simplified these and have a build for testing here: Demo Discussion.

Before I start you will note the changes have been simplified to increase the possibility of pushing this back into the product build as soon as possible (as it then has to be tested, automation completed, translated, supported etc). So of course there are bigger things we could have done but have held back on for now to try and get some simple things improved. You will also note the restriction of Domino to display rich text in a view so again there are better ways of doing things if this capability existed so we have done our best to work with this limitation (actually I have some code to display rich text in a view but would not be comfortable putting that in a build template for support and unknown potential performance reasons).

There are also small bugs to be worked out like the hide/show of collapse/expand can get confused, however please, please, please help me test this so when we upgrade the discussion forums on this site we do not have a repeat of the problems users suffered previously (many thanks in advance).

Ok we settled on two areas to tackle - all documents view and viewing the discussion thread. First off:

All documents view:

1) Expand links are gone on the right and replaced by "author" name. This may need reviewing - do you think date should go here instead - what's the most readable?
2) Author name "common" name not hierarchical - on review we may need to reverse this as large organisations prefer this detail in order to determine which "John Smith" has responded - thoughts?
3) Two lined header links down to one (page 1- x looked a bit random positioned previously and was not consistent with rest of app)
4) expand/collapse now has the usual notes domino meaning of collapsing/expanding view - which it does (default is collapsed so user see's more topics) - this is a sticky setting - previously was hiding.showing preview text
5) From 4 above more topics are now visible because responses are collapsed by default
6) Preview text has been removed as 1 click will take you to the full text and the entire discussion thread anyway. It was more important to show more topics on the main thread and increase response speed

Existing template view:

A picture named M2

New (by default) collapsed

A picture named M3

New Expanded
A picture named M4

Discussion Thread:

Previously it was hard to see the entire conversation. If you entered a response you only saw the responses underneath but could not see the main topic or any responses above. We have improved this by always showing the main topic and all responses in a hierarchy. It is also always clear where you entered the conversation by that entry being highlighted in the response list.

In addition when you responded to an entry you only saw the blank response form. Now the form is inserted into the conversation so you see full context and the text you are responding to.

A picture named M5
A picture named M6
A picture named M7

comments powered byDisqus