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Visual indicator you've previously read a thread

Visual indicator you've previously read a thread
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  • Visual indicator you've previously read a thread

    Post #1 - January 22nd, 2016, 12:18 pm
    Post #1 - January 22nd, 2016, 12:18 pm Post #1 - January 22nd, 2016, 12:18 pm
    In most forums, when you're looking at a list of topics, there are typically two types of indicators that you've previously read a thread:
    * Thread you've previously read/thread you haven't previously read.
    * Thread that has had new posts since you last read it/thread that hasn't had new posts since you last read it.

    I can't remember how LTH indicated that, but another forum I read uses color (darker shade for unread/lighter shade of read) and text weight (bold for new posts/no bold for no new posts). Both of those features seem to have disappeared in the new LTH design.
  • Post #2 - January 22nd, 2016, 12:52 pm
    Post #2 - January 22nd, 2016, 12:52 pm Post #2 - January 22nd, 2016, 12:52 pm
    chgoeditor wrote:* Thread that has had new posts since you last read it/thread that hasn't had new posts since you last read it.


    I agree that I need to do a better job indicating threads with new posts. BR mentioned that this morning too. I'm working on that now.

    chgoeditor wrote:* Thread you've previously read/thread you haven't previously read.


    The old site had a "New" icon for any thread that had unread posts - (regardless if you'd read part of that thread or not. - I believe.) My implementation will use that same logic.

    Also, can you provide me with a link to the other forum you use so I can look at their implementation?
  • Post #3 - January 22nd, 2016, 3:16 pm
    Post #3 - January 22nd, 2016, 3:16 pm Post #3 - January 22nd, 2016, 3:16 pm
    Once in a thread, how do you know where you last read (consider a thread with many pages). I just reread somethings today that I read yesterday. Do you need to request unread posts at the start?
  • Post #4 - January 22nd, 2016, 3:53 pm
    Post #4 - January 22nd, 2016, 3:53 pm Post #4 - January 22nd, 2016, 3:53 pm
    chgoeditor wrote:In most forums, when you're looking at a list of topics, there are typically two types of indicators that you've previously read a thread:
    * Thread you've previously read/thread you haven't previously read.
    * Thread that has had new posts since you last read it/thread that hasn't had new posts since you last read it.

    I can't remember how LTH indicated that, but another forum I read uses color (darker shade for unread/lighter shade of read) and text weight (bold for new posts/no bold for no new posts). Both of those features seem to have disappeared in the new LTH design.


    This has been addressed. Here are the details.
  • Post #5 - January 22nd, 2016, 4:54 pm
    Post #5 - January 22nd, 2016, 4:54 pm Post #5 - January 22nd, 2016, 4:54 pm
    milz50 wrote:The old site had a "New" icon for any thread that had unread posts - (regardless if you'd read part of that thread or not. - I believe.) My implementation will use that same logic.

    Yesterday, the new site had a similar icon above post titles - an arrow, hovering over which gave the message, "There are new posts. View first unread post." Which was great.

    Today, that icon no longer shows up. (Perhaps just because you're working on it...?)

    P.S. This is my 3000th post on LTH. :)
  • Post #6 - January 22nd, 2016, 5:06 pm
    Post #6 - January 22nd, 2016, 5:06 pm Post #6 - January 22nd, 2016, 5:06 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    milz50 wrote:The old site had a "New" icon for any thread that had unread posts - (regardless if you'd read part of that thread or not. - I believe.) My implementation will use that same logic.

    Yesterday, the new site had a similar icon above post titles - an arrow, hovering over which gave the message, "There are new posts. View first unread post." Which was great.

    Today, that icon no longer shows up. (Perhaps just because you're working on it...?)

    P.S. This is my 3000th post on LTH. :)


    I jettisoned the icon in favor of the background color (there's a link to this change a couple posts up from here). I wasn't happy with the arrow icon from the start and I underestimated how important a larger visual cue would be.
  • Post #7 - January 24th, 2016, 11:38 pm
    Post #7 - January 24th, 2016, 11:38 pm Post #7 - January 24th, 2016, 11:38 pm
    milz50 wrote:
    nsxtasy wrote:
    milz50 wrote:The old site had a "New" icon for any thread that had unread posts - (regardless if you'd read part of that thread or not. - I believe.) My implementation will use that same logic.

    Yesterday, the new site had a similar icon above post titles - an arrow, hovering over which gave the message, "There are new posts. View first unread post." Which was great.

    Today, that icon no longer shows up. (Perhaps just because you're working on it...?)

    P.S. This is my 3000th post on LTH. :)


    I jettisoned the icon in favor of the background color (there's a link to this change a couple posts up from here). I wasn't happy with the arrow icon from the start and I underestimated how important a larger visual cue would be.


    But isn't the whiter background color simply signifying "this is a thread you've looked at"? As opposed to "there are new posts in a thread you've looked at since the last time you looked at it." I miss the indicator that there are new posts in a thread I've looked at since the last time I looked at it. Unless I'm missing something.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #8 - January 25th, 2016, 12:02 am
    Post #8 - January 25th, 2016, 12:02 am Post #8 - January 25th, 2016, 12:02 am
    riddlemay wrote:But isn't the whiter background color simply signifying "this is a thread you've looked at"?

    The white background indicates that there are no new posts. A gray background indicates that there are new posts. There's a chance that I miscommunicated before or we're misunderstanding each other. If so, let me know.

    If you want to unread posts, click on the gray ones threads.
  • Post #9 - January 25th, 2016, 7:21 am
    Post #9 - January 25th, 2016, 7:21 am Post #9 - January 25th, 2016, 7:21 am
    milz50 wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:But isn't the whiter background color simply signifying "this is a thread you've looked at"?

    The white background indicates that there are no new posts. A gray background indicates that there are new posts. There's a chance that I miscommunicated before or we're misunderstanding each other. If so, let me know.

    If you want to unread posts, click on the gray ones threads.


    Oh! OK, I get that now. Thank you--sorry if it was clear and I just misunderstood.

    So--I thought I read somewhere here that clicking the the thread title of a thread that has new posts will take me to the first unread-by-me post in that thread. But doing so is taking me to the top of the thread, not to the first unread post. What is the right way to go to the first unread-by-me post?
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #10 - January 25th, 2016, 12:28 pm
    Post #10 - January 25th, 2016, 12:28 pm Post #10 - January 25th, 2016, 12:28 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I thought I read somewhere here that clicking the the thread title of a thread that has new posts will take me to the first unread-by-me post in that thread. But doing so is taking me to the top of the thread, not to the first unread post. What is the right way to go to the first unread-by-me post?

    As a data point, when I click on the thread title, it takes me to the first unread-by-me post, not the top of the thread. (Unless I click on page number 1 in the topic listing.) So it appears you're doing it the right way. I don't know why you're getting different results from mine. (FWIW, I'm using Google Chrome in Windows 10.)
  • Post #11 - January 25th, 2016, 2:48 pm
    Post #11 - January 25th, 2016, 2:48 pm Post #11 - January 25th, 2016, 2:48 pm
    janeyb wrote:Once in a thread, how do you know where you last read (consider a thread with many pages). I just reread somethings today that I read yesterday. Do you need to request unread posts at the start?


    milz50 wrote:It was difficult to visually identify unread forums or topics. Now unread forums or topics will have a light gray background.


    I'm still a little confused. The way I used to read posts, I would go to the topic (Culinary Chat or Beyond Chicago for example) and read the most recent unread (by me) post. Unless I'm doing something wrong, I have to mark "unread posts" first and then there will be a list of posts from various categories. So here I'm asking about unread posts as opposed to unread forums or topics. If I want to read the posts I haven't yet read within one category, how do I do it?

    My second question concerns unread forums or topics, I realize that these will have a light gray background. However, when I look at Beyond Chicago, all the topics are white which would indicate I've read them all and I haven't. Thanks in advance for trying to explain this to me.
  • Post #12 - January 25th, 2016, 3:02 pm
    Post #12 - January 25th, 2016, 3:02 pm Post #12 - January 25th, 2016, 3:02 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:I thought I read somewhere here that clicking the the thread title of a thread that has new posts will take me to the first unread-by-me post in that thread. But doing so is taking me to the top of the thread, not to the first unread post. What is the right way to go to the first unread-by-me post?

    As a data point, when I click on the thread title, it takes me to the first unread-by-me post, not the top of the thread. (Unless I click on page number 1 in the topic listing.) So it appears you're doing it the right way. I don't know why you're getting different results from mine. (FWIW, I'm using Google Chrome in Windows 10.)


    I think I may have figured this out. The very first time I click on a "gray" thread title, I am taken to the first unread post, as I should be. However, if I click on that thread title subsequently--now in its white state, since no additional posts have been written since my last look--I'm taken to the top of the thread. My mistake was assuming that every time I click on a thread title of a thread I've visited, I'll be taken to the first unread post. Not so. Only the first time, and only when that thread is a gray one.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #13 - January 25th, 2016, 4:58 pm
    Post #13 - January 25th, 2016, 4:58 pm Post #13 - January 25th, 2016, 4:58 pm
    riddlemay wrote:The very first time I click on a "gray" thread title, I am taken to the first unread post, as I should be. However, if I click on that thread title subsequently--now in its white state, since no additional posts have been written since my last look--I'm taken to the top of the thread. My mistake was assuming that every time I click on a thread title of a thread I've visited, I'll be taken to the first unread post. Not so. Only the first time, and only when that thread is a gray one.

    Another way of saying what you're saying is this.

    When there are new posts since the last time you visited, the title appears in gray, and clicking on the thread takes you to the first post that has been created since then (i.e. since the last time you visited).

    Once you have done that - once - there are no longer any new posts. From then on, the post background is white, and clicking on the post title takes you to the first post. That remains true until someone creates another new post, in which case it switches to gray and clicking takes you to that post.

    In other words, there are only new posts (posts you haven't read) if any have been created since the last time you visited the topic.

    HTH
  • Post #14 - January 25th, 2016, 5:19 pm
    Post #14 - January 25th, 2016, 5:19 pm Post #14 - January 25th, 2016, 5:19 pm
    You asked how other forums address the issue. Check out how Flyertalk.com indicates read/unread/new posts since you last read the thread.

    I think the problem is that you're trying to reinvent the wheel when an elegant, well-understood solution already exists, while at the same time trying to solve two problems with one visual indicator.

    Go to Google.com. In the search box, type LTHForum. Scan the list of results. How do you know which page you've already visited? Because it's in a different color. The near-universal way of indicating that you've previously clicked on a link is to change the color of the hypertext, not the background color surrounding it.

    I'm unlikely to remember that gray means I've read something and white means I haven't (or vice versa), particularly when I've read half the threads on a page. And making a color signify two things -- that it's been read and/or there are new posts -- is less informative to me. If I see a multi-page thread appear, I'm unlikely to read it from the beginning. But if I see a multi-page thread appear and can see that I've already read part of it, I'm more likely to open it.
  • Post #15 - January 25th, 2016, 5:49 pm
    Post #15 - January 25th, 2016, 5:49 pm Post #15 - January 25th, 2016, 5:49 pm
    chgoeditor wrote:I think the problem is that you're trying to reinvent the wheel when an elegant, well-understood solution already exists, while at the same time trying to solve two problems with one visual indicator.

    Bear with me, but I'm still not clear I'm solving 2 problems with one indicator...didn't the old site work the same way? Isn't the "new" button on the old site equal to the Gray background on the new site? Or did you have this same concern with the functionality on the old site? If you need to check out the old site as a refresher, it is currently hosted at diningdb.com/bb

    I'm not trying to be difficult, I just haven't used the site too much in the last year as I've been working on the site performance and redesign. Thanks for the help/advice.
  • Post #16 - January 25th, 2016, 6:44 pm
    Post #16 - January 25th, 2016, 6:44 pm Post #16 - January 25th, 2016, 6:44 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:The very first time I click on a "gray" thread title, I am taken to the first unread post, as I should be. However, if I click on that thread title subsequently--now in its white state, since no additional posts have been written since my last look--I'm taken to the top of the thread. My mistake was assuming that every time I click on a thread title of a thread I've visited, I'll be taken to the first unread post. Not so. Only the first time, and only when that thread is a gray one.

    Another way of saying what you're saying is this.

    When there are new posts since the last time you visited, the title appears in gray, and clicking on the thread takes you to the first post that has been created since then (i.e. since the last time you visited).

    Once you have done that - once - there are no longer any new posts. From then on, the post background is white, and clicking on the post title takes you to the first post. That remains true until someone creates another new post, in which case it switches to gray and clicking takes you to that post.

    In other words, there are only new posts (posts you haven't read) if any have been created since the last time you visited the topic.

    HTH


    I do get that now. But what I'm used to from just about all other sites is that clicking the thread title will always take me to "where I left off" (whether that be the first new post, or the very end of the thread if there are no new posts). So it took me a while to figure out that LTH works differently.

    (The way LTH works in this regard now may in fact be analogous to how it worked before. But if so, the new look is so different that whatever I "learned" about LTH's behavior before now has to be learned anew.)
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #17 - January 25th, 2016, 6:52 pm
    Post #17 - January 25th, 2016, 6:52 pm Post #17 - January 25th, 2016, 6:52 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I do get that now. But what I'm used to from just about all other sites is that clicking the thread title will always take me to "where I left off" (whether that be the first new post, or the very end of the thread if there are no new posts). So it took me a while to figure out that LTH works differently.

    I use a dozen forum sites regularly, and none of them work the way you describe "just about all other sites" working.

    < shrug >
  • Post #18 - January 25th, 2016, 8:54 pm
    Post #18 - January 25th, 2016, 8:54 pm Post #18 - January 25th, 2016, 8:54 pm
    MMV, obviously. Anyway, I'm sure we'll all get used to the way the new LTH works. (And even come to like it.)
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #19 - March 30th, 2016, 8:42 am
    Post #19 - March 30th, 2016, 8:42 am Post #19 - March 30th, 2016, 8:42 am
    On this subject, could I ask for a little more differentiation in the color selection between the unread post and the hover text? It's sometimes hard to tell whether I've scrolled beyond what's already read. Perhaps change the text color as well as the background on unread posts, and only the background for hovering? It's a small change that would improve usability.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #20 - March 30th, 2016, 3:29 pm
    Post #20 - March 30th, 2016, 3:29 pm Post #20 - March 30th, 2016, 3:29 pm
    JoelF wrote:On this subject, could I ask for a little more differentiation in the color selection between the unread post and the hover text? It's sometimes hard to tell whether I've scrolled beyond what's already read. Perhaps change the text color as well as the background on unread posts, and only the background for hovering? It's a small change that would improve usability.

    I agree. There are actually THREE colors used when listing topics - one for topics with unread posts, one for topics without unread posts, and one when you hover the mouse over a topic - but all three use shades of white/gray that appear virtually identical. Perhaps there is some way the differences could be made more noticeable, either greater differences of shading, or use of colors (along the lines of Joel's suggestions), or something? TIA...
  • Post #21 - April 2nd, 2016, 6:03 pm
    Post #21 - April 2nd, 2016, 6:03 pm Post #21 - April 2nd, 2016, 6:03 pm
    Actually there are FOUR shades of grey. Read, unread, mouse over read and mouse over unread. The only way I can deal with this is to keep the pointer to the far right away from the threads, and once I see where I want to go, only then move the mouse over and click. I would again ask what the shortcomings of the old site were. I am unaware of them.

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