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Posts: 69,799
Topics: 547
Registered: ‎04-01-2009

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

I would like to add my voice to the above open letter  

All the most relevant points have been made above. 

Most changes I have gotten used to but failing all else, GET RID OF THE MOST RIDICULOUS BANNER I HAVE EVER SEEN. 

I frequent other forums  both mobile and those of personal interest to me. None have anything like this community. 

It would seem the changes were made on a Friday night in the pub. 

To make such wholesale changes without asking members to beta test them was folly and one could even say arrogant. 

Please in future, don't ask for our ideas and then carry out changes without at least implementing some of them  

Whoever checked that banner and ridiculous search box (about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike) should have gone to Specsavers! 

Community Manager
Posts: 5,030
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

Hi everyone, 

 

First of all, we'd like to thank you for taking the time to put together all your thoughts, concerns and suggestions. Although most of the points in this letter had been raised in separate topics, we understand they are very close to your hearts and we'll try to address everything we can.

 

The homepage redesign had been a work-in-progress for a long time, and it followed many discussions we held on the community earlier, also via private messages, as well as outside the community on our end. Several teams have been involved in this project, and we have updated most you privately throughout the development period, sharing screenshots of what it will look like and answering any questions you had. 

 

We understand you wish you could have been involved more during this development phase, but due to technical restrictions we were not able to give access to a selected group of members prior to the launch to test the homepage, which is why we shared screenshots and details instead via messages. In the background, we are still working on creating a beta testing space for members to try out any future features we're working on, and if/when that is ready we'll let everyone know. In the meantime, we are working on other ways to keep you involved in other feature changes we might start working on.

 

One of the most recurring comment you have all raised was regarding the absence of a board structure on the homepage. Although this might seem arbitrary, it actually follows a logic that I'll try to explain as best I can. Although you are all very familiar with the forum and know your way around, as well as how to find information, visitors and newer members might have more difficulty doing so. This current structure encourages anyone to search for information and look at the latest queries and news before posting, avoiding a number of posts you have in the past found repetitive. 

 

Without the board structure displaying on the homepage, there are other ways to navigate to the boards:

  • If you really need to see all the boards, they are available in this topic, one click away from the homepage.
  • The boards can be bookmarked.
  • You can navigate to the topics you're after from Unread posts, or the Latest topics.
  • If you're an avid community user, you can simply type the name of the board you're after in your browser's search bar and based on your browsing history it'll be one of -if not the- first result(s).
  • You can use the breadcrumb trail at the top of threads to go to its related board.

That being said, we're very soon going to have a more in-depth conversation about how you use and navigate the forum, so please keep an eye out for that topic and help us understand your individual perspectives better there. Smiley Happy

 

Regarding the design team not responding to your comments, be assured that we have passed on all your concerns and suggestions to them, and will do so as well with this letter. The design team, and most other teams within the business, aren't active on the community. This is what the community team is here for: we act as a bridge between all the members and the different areas of the business, so any message or feedback we get from one end, we pass on to the other. Your feelings on the banner have been duly noted and as we mentioned previously, as and when we have more information on the next steps based on your extensive feedback, we will let you know.

 

The navigation bar at the very top of any community page, was exactly the same as the one at the top of any other O2 page. When the navigation bar was updated there, we aligned ourselves which is why this was changed and had nothing to do with the homepage changes. The community was the first step of the new design for O2 online pages. If you recall, last month, we shared with you some news around some changes on the O2 shop website. It now has the same module-based layout, the same header, a similar top banner, and the arched separations instead of straight lines. If anything, we are more in line now with the rest of the O2 website than ever!

 

I hope this clarified at least some of the points you raised here, and thanks again all for taking the time to collate all your comments in this topic and the other feedback threads. As you know there weren't any design changes to the community for a long time, but we are now in a much better position to update the community and improve it. It's an ongoing process, and some changes can take much longer than others so please bear with us as we work our way through your feedback and continue planning the next steps. Everything you tell us is being duly noted, and we are not forgetting about any of your feedback, we are simply addressing what we can when we can. Smiley Happy

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Posts: 6,742
Topics: 100
Ideas: 2
Registered: ‎11-04-2012

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

Now that's a discussion topic, @Mi-Amigo!

 

And @EmilieT's robust response explains some of the Why's...

 

And the Forum Search Bar has improved, but still lags the Forum Content by an hour or more, as recent duplicate posts about Notre-Dame in Paris demonstrate.

 

It's all in the timing upside down

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty. Douglas Adams.
Posts: 4,623
Topics: 95
Registered: ‎13-02-2019

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

[ Edited ]

Thank you @EmilieT  for your response to the Open Letter to the Design Team and for saying that this wll be forwarded to the Design Team.

 

I would like to reply to your comments. Please note, these are my personal opinions and not on behalf of the Community members.

I note your comments about new members navigating the Community.

I used the Community after the changes were made. I used the search box to see if there was a reply to my question about unsolicited charge to my 02 and was shocked to find it did not provide what I wanted. So I decided to register. Without a normal home page, it was with difficulty that I found my way around so that I could create a thread [not knowing if it was in the right place] and ask my question. It was only thanks to the friendly and helpful advise which I received that made me want stay as a member and to contribute. A decision which I have never regretted.

 

My reason for raising this bit of personal history is show that new members could be experiencing similar problems and further to this raises the question "how many give up?"

 

I mentioned earlier in this topic, a rival communications company`s community, and to clarify as what I am referring, it is this: community home page. I have never subscribed to their services nor used their forum but the clear banner, navigation tools, and simplicity in the layout of their home page, gives both those enquiring and the users ready one-click access to whatever they are seeking, as well as providing a useful and workable seach box. Something, which sadly 02 Community does not.

 

I also note you say that members were provided by pm with screenshots. If that is the case, then surely it would be possible, as the Open Letter suggests, for screenshots of any suggested changes to be posted on a thread before the changes are foistered on the users - that is the members.

 

In my personal opinion, much could be done to alleviate my concerns and frustration. The fact that, as you said, the likes of the Designers rely on the Community Managers to act as a bridge does nothing for me to feel any different. Although my comments may have been passed on, the fact that there is no reply from the Designers makes me feel like I am being treated like a spoilt child who cannot get his own way rather than someone with the experience of dealing with designers, publicity and what I would have thought all would be committed to "meeting the customers needs".

 

I, personally, sincerely hope that all members of the Community will be constantly updated on the work being done, will be informed when draft proposals are put forward, and tht screenshots will be posted of suggested changes - all before any changes are made. All of which would go a long way to alleviating the concerns.

 

Thank you

animated-elephant-image-0278
Some people see things as they are and ask "Why?"; I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?"...
Robert Kennedy.

Posts: 69,799
Topics: 547
Registered: ‎04-01-2009

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

We did get screenshots (well, some of us) and to be fair, I did like what I could see.

 

What I didn't realise or comprehend from the screenshots, was the enormity of the header.

 

The screenshots are as below ::

 

Screenshot 20**Personal info** at 10.12.00.png

Screenshot 20**Personal info** at 10.12.25.png

 

Screenshot 20**Personal info** at 10.12.38.png

 

Screenshot 20**Personal info** at 10.12.47.png

 

Just a screenshot of the header itself which obviously didn't show as taking up half a page.

 

This screenshot at a later date probably did but at that stage it was a done deal.

 

O2 community - signed out homepage copy.png

 

It is difficult to get a fair idea as the screenshot is of a full page which can't be seen without scrolling anyway. The amount of scrolling isnot really acceptable to myself and most 'regulars'.

Posts: 71,597
Topics: 677
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

@EmilieT 

 

I was one of the people who received PM's and screenshots. I remember being extremely concerned about the proposed changes and made my feelings clear about it in my responses to you and @Marjo 

 

All that aside, receiving PM's and screenshots is not the same as testing the new layout.

 

It's similar to being shown a picture of a car and when you receive it, find you can't drive it properly.

 

So my comments remain as already posted.

 

Change should benefit all users. I know this massive change may have improved the experience for some. It hasn't improved for the regular users. Hence the open letter.

 

So now we have tested it, the 'general' consensus is we don't like it.

 

On a personal note my problem remains with the over large banner and navigation around the forum. The navigation IS now a 3 click process

Explore the forum >>>> taken to another pages written by yourself >>>>>find the section you want and click on that. When everything was on the homepage it was one click.

 

I know you have given alternatives to that. It's still longer than what we were used to.

 

I probably use this forum as much (if not more) than anyone else. I am online from 6.30am until 1am, spending time in all sections of the forum. If I'm not posting I am reading forum related topics.

 

Despite my age, I am not against change. However, I am against change simply for the sake of it.

*The Game Is On*


Posts: 10,294
Topics: 83
Kudos: 1,115
Blog Posts: 2
Registered: ‎22-08-2016

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

Like @Cleoriff I also received screenshots of proposed changes and, like @jonsie, I also liked what I saw but didn't realise the size of the Banner nor how much scrolling would be involved in moving about the forum. This could only be ascertained in actually using the forum. 

 

The forum should be for ALL users not just one section. We all use the forum differently. New users will not navigate the forum in the same way as regulars who are replying to queries. And the new layout has not stopped questions being asked that could often be answered by viewing either a previous thread or one of our Guides.

 

While I'm primarily in Off Topic, I do respond to non-technical questions. Though as I'm unable to access my clipboard (problem reported), this has become more difficult. I also read every post, whether I can personally respond or not. I learn things that way. Just because I don't post on every thread doesn't mean I haven't read them. Just that I either don't have the expertise to reply or have nothing new to add to what has already been said and to post would be adding unnecessary information. Not helpful to the question poser nor to anyone viewing the thread.

 

I agree with @Cleoriff that the alternatives you mention @EmilieT  to navigate the forum take longer than previously. But, again, you can only know and respond to this BY ACTUALLY USING THE FORUM not by screenshots.

 

So, like @Cleoriff my response remains unchanged and I back @Mi-Amigo's Open Letter 100%.

 

I have never had a problem with change, that's life. Nothing remains the same; life doesn't stand still and that's as it should be. But change has to be beneficial. To ALL not just the 'lucky' few. If it's not of benefit to all, then it's not a benefit just a change for change's sake.

Lover of all things Samsung. Currently using Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128gb

Posts: 11,181
Topics: 250
Kudos: 421
Registered: ‎11-01-2014

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

[ Edited ]

A Quote:

 

'ALL PROGRESS ISN'T FORWARD' Smiley Wink

 

Source: (unknown)

 

NB: I am not 'A Regular' ... so ... didn't take part in any of the pm's (private messages) that have been mentioned in the above  ^  ^  ^  posts ... ... ... I generally 'run amok' in Off Topic + ask the occasional technical question about my phone / laptop ... ... ... I read on The O2 Community widely ... ... ... give kudos usually when seen from the perspective of the op (original poster) ... & ... post 'Accept as Solution' when my question(s) as op have been expertly & quickly answered in a way I can understand ... = ... I am a permanent Tech Novice (it's my age etc) ... ... ... at all times have I found This Friendly Fraternity a pleasure to be considered a member of ... = ... I've been a member of The O2 Community for just over 5 years ... ... ... other members, including myself, gain knowledge by looking at other op's questions & the 'well good' quick answers generally by one of The Regulars

 

To end with 2 very good pertinent quotes from the same person (I do hope he won't mind, as I havn't fore-warned him)

 

'Google is Your Friend' ... & ... 'The Only Stupid Question Is The One Which Isn't Asked'

 

by @Bambino who is a well respected very, very high-end Regular on The O2 Community ... ... ... no offence what-so-ever intended by not mentioning any other Regular's names

 

Thank You Cat

*possum si vollo* *per ardua ad astra*



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Community Manager
Posts: 5,030
Registered: ‎18-04-2018

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

Good morning everyone,

 

I understand that you were maybe hoping for a different answer, and we're trying to be as open and transparent as possible on the changes and the reasoning behind them. I hope that you understand that I was not dismissing any of your comments, and simply putting them in perspective with what we know on our end. 

 

It's clear that you would have preferred to test the homepage hands on before anything went live, and as I said we wanted to do this as well for you. However, as this is very challenging to setup from a technical standpoint, we were not able to give you this opportunity. We are still working in the background to try and get this setup for future platform improvements we're working on, and until hands on testing is something we can offer to a group of members we will use screenshots to work with you guys on changes. 

 

The search function that a few of you have referred to as problematic is a Lithium feature, which we can definitely ask more clarification on to try and understand better how it works. 

 

The sign-in and posting prompts not being clear or in the right place is part of the feedback we've already taken note of so thanks again for raising it earlier. Regarding the example of another community you've shared, it does display the board structure which we previously had, and is now available in the explore the forum topic available from the top of the homepage. I do understand you find that other forum easier to navigate, in relation to the other points previously made, and we can certainly add this to the rest of the feedback.

 

We have heard your points around the navigation, and the lack of board structure, which you've made very clear in several topics now. We did take it all on board, and the other ways to navigate the forum were merely suggestions. This aspect of your feedback is still under review, and we will let you know more once we have more information on the next steps. However, just to clarify, the boards list is only one extra click away; you previously clicked on a board right from the homepage, now you click into the explore the forum topic and then into the board. 

 

As for the design team not responding directly on the forum, many teams within the business have some dealings with the community, and help us help you. If all the teams were to interact with customers directly on the community, it would quickly get messy, and we would loose track of what has been responded to, when, and by who. One of the responsibilities of the community team is to make sure that every piece of feedback from customers on the community gets to the right team, and vice versa, which ensures a much smoother line of communication.

 

I just want to assure you all again that we have heard all your points, and are working our way through your feedback. You've noticed we've already implemented a few further changes based on it, but  some changes do take more work and time which is why you might not hear on some of the points you've raised as quickly as you hear on others. Smiley Happy

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Posts: 4,623
Topics: 95
Registered: ‎13-02-2019

Re: OPEN LETTER TO THE DESIGN TEAM

@EmilieT 

 

On a purely personal level, and not as a representative of the members who were consulted in respect of the Open Letter, I would like to thank you for your frank and honest reply to my comments in your reply to my response to your first post on this thread.

 

The following are my personal opinion.

 

Firstly, you wrote "until hands-on testing is something we can offer to a group of members we will use screenshots to work with you guys on changes". Although this falls short of the request in the Open Letter, to me, personally, at least this is a step in the right direction in that, as you imply, to work with us - the regular users, which, to me, shows a degree of co-operation and consultation which was asked for. If this work with us is prior to any changes being implemented.

 

Secondly, the search function. I was pleased to read you have pointed out this is a Lithium feature and will "definitely ask more clarification".

 

Thirdly, other forums and navigation. As I raised this, I am pleased that this has not been dismissed but has been added to the feedback. My concern is that although you say this is similar to the "display the board previously had" but argue the case for the present system with the additional click or clicks. This is one area where you and I have a difference of opinion, but that said, I also note you commented that navigation and board structure is "still under review" and am optomistic that a solution which is acceptable to all parties can be found and reached.

 

Fourthly, response from other parties. I am sorry but this is one area where we disagree. Talking to any of the users would not be "messy", but more to the point, personally, I find being ignore an insult. To illustrate this, you may recall that a series of tests were posted on Off Topic which I replied to with a light-hearted request as to what these tests were. The op ignored me. I subsequently highlighted this in a thread on the Discussion and Feedback board. Thanks to you taking this on board and making inquiries you not not found out what these tests were for but posted a reply to my query. That was much appreciated, but the key point is that could have been avoided if the op had at least had the courtesy of replying to my initial question on Off Topic, rather than leave it to you to respond.

 

Lastly, yes, I, personally, have noted a few changes - most notably the addition to the message box informing me of how many pms I have received. For me, this is most welcome and shows that when feedback is taken notice of, a solution can be found.

 

I look forward to hearing what future proposals are in the offing before they are implemented.

 

Thank you again for your reply

 

Mi-Amigo

animated-elephant-image-0278
Some people see things as they are and ask "Why?"; I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?"...
Robert Kennedy.