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New PL Forum Search Needs Improvement & Vision Communication


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#1 dustinfaddis

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 07:40 PM

What happened to the advanced search options for this forum? I am receiving mostly 0 search results even for a single search term. In addition, Karma points appear to be phased-out or replaced with stars.

:unsure:

A repetitive occurrence for experiencing NEW PageLines changes. Come on guys. Many people have voiced similar frustration, over and over. If you are going to make "improvements"/changes which negatively effect the user experience, then inform us before we make such an experiential-discovery. If you do not anticipate such changes, just qualify with a email statement or forum announcement.

E.g., "Hey PageLiners', as you can see we modified the forum design. As we created this new template, we had to make some sacrificial decisions. As a result, you may experience poor search results. This is the result of starting a-new and the search feature will improve as our database catches up with new submissions. We made this change so that we would have a more unified PageLines website. As you may know this our 3rd change to our member forums and for some of you may come as a relief. Some of you may despise change, so we empathize with your dis-like and encourage you to hang in there. We strive to make a highly integrative website so we can minimize any future negative experiences when we introduce new products and features. If you are not finding your search topic, simply begin a new topic as this will help us re-build and get your issue resolved asap. All the Best, PL Team"


In other words, please let us know what you are up to and what features you are working to re-integrate or build back.

I like the new forum design, but search-ability took a huge step back. You might as well remove it until it becomes useful.


Dustin's Suggestion:
A PageLines communications department is needed to help prepare and guide users and customers through the new change. If PL has a coms department, you guys are failing. With all respect, you need to assess your points of contact and refine your update messages so we(users) know what tools we need to accompany our future experience. I define tools as "knowledge associated with PageLines vision and/or new changes".

Hope this comment helps.

I appreciate PageLines & the community that adds value to PageLine's products. All the Best.

#2 Rob

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:11 PM

The search in the new forum has received dozens of very positive comments as have the new forums themselves. I am sorry you don't like them.

Announcements were made for weeks before the change in the old forum, and it was frequently discussed.

The new search has the ability to search generically by forum or by members. However, it automatically defaults to searching a very narrow range of topics which may yield small volume of results, primarily because the search criteria isn't being properly selected.

If you first search for one thing, like Boxes, and then try to search again for 500px, you're likely not to get good results. On the flip side, using the little button inside the search box or, the breadcrumb, you can broaden the search parameters and will get more results.

As for the Karma points, that was a plugin of our previous forum. That forum received daily complaints from clients and staff alike about the terrible search results, and the karma was merely a reflection of the people who clicked "Accept" which most did not do.

Working in this forum, which I do 7 days a week supporting our clients, I can honestly say this is the one and only complaint about the search, the new forums and the lack of the old karma system. Hopefully, it's simply a matter of time for you to become accustomed to it. I doubt we'd go backwards as we definitely outgrew our previous system.

We certainly want you to be happy, which is why we also now offer the Plus accounts, with LIVE, our live chat. Thousands have signed up for that already and daily we help several hundred people with quick fix solutions. Perhaps you should try that too! I'm sure you'd enjoy the experience.

#3 dustinfaddis

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 09:20 PM

Announcements were made for weeks before the change in the old forum, and it was frequently discussed.

The new search has the ability to search generically by forum or by members. However, it automatically defaults to searching a very narrow range of topics which may yield small volume of results, primarily because the search criteria isn't being properly selected.

If you first search for one thing, like Boxes, and then try to search again for 500px, you're likely not to get good results. On the flip side, using the little button inside the search box or, the breadcrumb, you can broaden the search parameters and will get more results.

Working in this forum, which I do 7 days a week supporting our clients, I can honestly say this is the one and only complaint about the search, the new forums and the lack of the old karma system. Hopefully, it's simply a matter of time for you to become accustomed to it.

We certainly want you to be happy, which is why we also now offer the Plus accounts, with LIVE, our live chat. Thousands have signed up for that already and daily we help several hundred people with quick fix solutions. Perhaps you should try that too! I'm sure you'd enjoy the experience.


That's good to hear announcements were made on the Forum. Since I'm not on the forum everyday as you are, my suggestion for email communication regarding specific PageLines changes is emphasized. I've experienced a general update email, but nothing detail-specific which would address a major change in the forum function and data.

Really? I'm the only who has noticed a big change in the search results?! And, to redirect you back to the details of my comment, my Suggestion is not in regard to the "new forums", I happen to like the new forum. My frustration is with the new search capabilities. I think my perception is reasonable in noting that the previous search capability returned more results. The fewer results seem rather noticeable.

However, you have helped to inform me of the new placement of the Search Settings, to the right of the search box, which is what I was familiar with in the previous forum. I have tried using the search setting to "obtain broader results", but I am not finding the same results for search words which I previously used in the old forum. Hence, why I am replying to your comment.

As for signing up for a paid service, I can not allocate my budget for such services. If I were able to pay for services, I would have already hired a Pro. But, I chose to take the long route by teaching myself and doing my own work. Of which value, I perceive PageLine' has used in its marketing from day one. I'm glad you have "thousands" paying for that professional service. However, as the PageLine business model works to maintain a residual income, I hope this community forum will always obtain updated functioning and maintain historical data to help resolve common design preferences.

My perception of a community forum is one of which "users" can obtain specialized help from other "users" and not specifically from a "paid professional" or "moderator". I value a forum which provides a historical reference to interactions and resolutions to issues of which education can be obtained for "free". And, I think the PL business model values that because they have marketed the forum as such.

In addition to limiting the quality of Search, the current Forum change appears to have removed some of the historical data which I have previously utilized as a member of this community. As such, PL has taken a step back in providing me, a PL user and advocate, from receiving added value.

#4 Henry Perkins

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 10:16 PM

Hi Dustin,

Thank you for providing us with more perspective on our support system and transparency in communicating company vision, and product changes, improvements and advancements.

The forum, being our primary stage for providing support to you and other clients, is always evolving and growing. There were several issues with the previous system that did not allow our support team to efficiently provide solutions to our clients. In the same respect, we received a lot of feedback about our previous forum software being slow, unsearchable and an overall pain in the ass.

However, I do believe that you are not the only person experiencing issues with the new search functionality. You just happen to be the only person speaking up about it. I would like to know examples of search terms you are using to find answers to problems you are having that are not getting the desired results.

On the issue of communication, it is something we are aware of, and we are working toward mending our lack of transparency on the subjects I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The recent switch from Vanilla to Invision Power Board was the first step in achieving this objective.
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#5 batman

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:01 AM

Hi Dustin
I would like to give my opinion, I'm just a "user" who likes help and learn at the same time, with a very bad English.
:unsure:

In this world of internet, which I participated only two years ago, I have found that very few people help or thanked without a profit unfortunately, so what you say would be great, but in practice impossible.

About the new format seems to me much more professional than the previous one:
Some examples:
- The way to explore content from the community to monitor and share options are many and very friendly.
- It is very useful to have the list of members, The Moderating Team and I can see who is online to wait a moderation´s answer if I´m on line trying to help in the new forum.
- The new format is much faster than previous.
- It has a variety of options to configure the Profile.
- Follow topics options are excellent.
Among other things....

I know it's true what you say about the New PL search form and to me it is very important because I look for answers in previous post, which users do not use normally, but a Google search with the keywords + Pagelines solves the problem, at least in my case.

Anyway I think everything can be solved with time and this is a newbie´s opinion only.

Regards
Carlos

#6 Danny

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

Can you provide the search keywords you having been using please.

Can you go into greater detail what this "Historical Reference" is please.

#7 batman

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hi Danny
Sorry for write again in this...
I discover now that If I use the funtion "additional filters can be used to find discussions" all works very fine.
This topic helped me (a newbie) to investigate and find the solution.
:)
What I said above about the New PL search is solved and I do not need any more the Google search.

#8 Rob

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 09:01 PM

The PageLines Forum is a fully moderated format, however, we do not stop others, such as Batman (Carlos) from helping others when they can. We welcome members helping members, however, to ensure that any topics are answered in a very timely manner, we provide a team of professionals, ensuring you get an answer. Compared to other members-only, unmoderated forums, where people may wait weeks or months for an answer, in this forum, your questions are answered 7 days a week.

I am sorry if you feel my answer was in any way inappropriate or inadequate. Our Plus program is actually an extremely cost effective, inexpensive service that provides much more than just live chat. Each month, members get a free section or plugin that is otherwise equally more more expensive than the service, in addition to other benefits. We endeavor provide value for money for our clients, not only in the Plus program, but even in this forum, by having a team of professionals, developers or moderators here daily to support your needs.

Very unlikely that our customers would prefer to have an unsupported, unmoderated forum where help is only provided by other users.

As others have asked, please give us some sense of what search criteria you're looking for and we'll be happy to help you find the best possible results from your search.

#9 dustinfaddis

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:05 PM


However, I do believe that you are not the only person experiencing issues with the new search functionality. You just happen to be the only person speaking up about it. I would like to know examples of search terms you are using to find answers to problems you are having that are not getting the desired results.

On the issue of communication, it is something we are aware of, and we are working toward mending our lack of transparency on the subjects I mentioned at the beginning of this post. The recent switch from Vanilla to Invision Power Board was the first step in achieving this objective.



@Henry, thank you for your considerations and honesty. I find your comment refreshing.


The keywords I recall are:

nav bar arrows

menu arrows

menu alignment

nav bar alignment

branding alignment

menu

button color

button



On various searches, I selected "Search In": "live content" or "archives". I always selected "title and content"; as well as, "Forums". And, at various times, I selected different "Find in Forum" settings. I also tried selecting "Help Files".


I've since submitted individual posts in the customizations forum to resolve my search impairment.


Although, updating us as to the details of what to expect with the future quality of searchability would be helpful. So, if you have knowledge into this vision and or know where I can read the details, I'd love to know.


_____________________________________________________



@Batman good to hear you are navigating-well the search. I do appreciate your consideration & empathy. I hope your pursuit of your creative goals is rewarding and that you find success in making Gotham safe.

_____________________________________________________


@Rob, once again, I feel as if you and I are not tracking in harmony. As such, I'm urged to respond to you in detail.


I understand you are a Moderator and probably feel a great bit of ownership in this forum. You state, "Very unlikely that our customers would prefer to have an unsupported, unmoderated forum where help is only provided by other users." I perceive that your statements are not contributing to this context.


And, based on the sentence construction and your phrase, "our customers...", I perceive that you have removed me from the context of "our customers". The use of the word "other" would have prevented the possible implication.


I hope you still consider me as a "customer".


Nonetheless, I perceive that your comment has shifted focus to an irrelevant hypothetical situation.


I feel compelled to qualify: My statement is based upon a desire to interact in a community of cohorts, who can help one another learn customized tools which under some business models would be deemed as "paid services and/or products". I perceive that this sort of cohort environment is a way which not only adds greater value to PageLines awesome products, but adds greater value by increase a quality of loyalty to PageLines.


In your first post reply, I apprehended your articulation of an "affordable" service. I am well-aware of the paid service, so please stop advocating the product. I perceive such repetitive comments to be "salesy". Once again, if I could "afford" a professional service, I would have done so already. Although, I have purchased 3 section tools in the past ten months, two of which occurred within 30 days.


In this moment in time, PageLines Plus is not "affordable" for me. So kindly withhold from advocating the paid service. And, kindly update your perception that I am a "paying customer". Otherwise, your communication sounds un-welcoming.



In regard to your comment,


"And, As others have asked, please give us some sense of what search criteria you're looking for and we'll be happy to help you find the best possible results from your search."


I'll follow your prior post instructions and submit a new specific topic as I feel this topic is concluded via Henry's response.


I do appreciate your work on the forum, I'm sure you want the best and I perceive that you are trying to ease any frustration I communicated with the new change. I do encourage you to carefully consider the structure of your words and use of hypotheticals and generalizations when responding to posts. I only say this because I have felt un-settled by your prior comments. I sense that you may have just responded quickly without fully empathizing and responding to my specific details. Whatever the case(s), I'm moving on and will consider your future posts anew.


_______________________________________________________



@Danny, please reference my keyword list in response to Henry above. In regard to "historical reference" I am speaking about the apparent loss of my post topics and replies from the Vanilla forums and before Vanilla (I think posts migrated when we went to Vanilla, not sure exactly). They are not listed in my current Profile. Seems like they were lost in the migration.


#10 Simon_P

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:31 PM

No posts were lost in the migration, unless you posted during the 4 hours or so of the actual move.

The search system in invision is very good, it does not use a 'search database' that needs updating, it searches all posts full text. But we went one step further and we are using the built in sphinx search engine plugin. Sphinx runs every 15 mins and catalogs every post and every reply making the search instant.

Searching for 'menu bar' will search for posts with the words menu AND bar.

#11 dustinfaddis

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:42 PM

@Simon, thanks for providing the "how it works" information. So, it does not pin point compound words and phrases, much like a google search? Is it best to search one word at a time?

The "lost posts" I'm referring to are topics that I started which were bookmarked in my profile. Much like they are now. But, I do see those topics in my "Profile Content". Perhaps their not "lost", just not directly linked to my profile anymore? Maybe I'm overlooking them?

Thanks for the info.

#12 Simon_P

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 05:47 PM

Not sure, do you remember a post title?

#13 dustinfaddis

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:11 PM

Not recalling a post title :/