I just can't seem to like the new Qt Forum. I want to, but I really can't.
I usually go to qt.io and then sign in. This gets me to a page with a "Qt Forum" link, which I click and there I can see that I need to login again (?!). If I click on the "Login" link, I get to a page that only displays "Alternative Logins" with a tick button of sorts. I don't know about you, but this means nothing to me.
Still, after clicking on the tick button, I can see that I am now logged in and I can see what the Qt Forum has to offer. I am happy with its contents, but when it comes to the way the information is presented to us, I must confess that I find it very frustrating. So much space is wasted! Why do we have those big icons? What purpose do they serve besides wasting space? If we look at the "Qt Development" category, we can see that 3 sub-categories are listed while 9 others are not. So, we have to click to see what those other sub-categories are, in which case we get to a page with loads of wasted space and icons. They are so much into your face that it's almost 'difficult' to tell (at first glance) what is what until you realise that there is a description just above those big 'icons'. Why not have a simple and efficient list?!
If you click on one of those sub-categories (Tools, for example), you get a list that takes more vertical space than it really ought to. Also, why do we need to know about the markdown tags on that page? To have that information on that page takes a significant part of the horizontal space while it's really useful only when creating a new topic or replying to an existing one (and indeed, the markdown tags information is available when clicking on a topic link).
Anyway, I prefer to stop here. In the end, I am always eager to try new versions of everything, but here I feel like qt.io and its forum in particular could have done better when it comes to user experience...
As the layout is a question of taste, I will not argue about it. It probably could be made more tight, but as the general layout on qt.io has space around items it is like that on the forum too.
We should look at the layout together with the content. As there are a lot of less active sub-forums, we should really be thinking (at least I am) of how to make the number of subforums more manageable.
As a side note, you do use the unread, recent posts and ignore/watch features that we have? they make following the forums a lot easier.
As for the login, yes the general OAuth icon is problem as we don't use other login methods. Changing it so that it would directly jump to the Qt Account page would require hacking at the forum core, and I do not want to do that. Maintaining a custom hack is a pain when updating. That is something I do not want to push onto our admin. I will look into what can be done to make the login simpler.
And as for having to log in to www.qt.io separately, we use Qt Account as the central identity on qt.io. We don't have full Single Sign On, as creating that would simply be too resource consuming (honestly even most major companies don't have true SSO in their internal systems, just too much work). Central identity and login is what we can handle. This means that every service will ask you to log in, but once you are logged to Qt Account, the login will be an automatic redirect back.
First, thanks for taking the time to reply.
Regarding the layout, I agree that it's a matter of taste, but it's also a matter of good sense. Here, I really feel like it doesn't make sense to waste so much space and, therefore, 'forcing' people to scroll up/down more than they actually should. The same with having to click here and there too many times to get where we want.
I have used the Unread feature a bit, but I wasn't aware of the Ignore/Watch one. I will have to check it out, although truth be told I really don't feel like getting so involved with the forum because of the unnecessary frustrations I currently get from it. So, so far, my participation is somewhat selfish (e.g. vent my frustration, get some help).
Thanks for trying to make the login process simpler. I like things to be as simple as possible and, right now, I feel like there is plenty of room for improvement, but I am sure you guys are doing your best in that regards.
Well, the forum is about getting help with Qt and finding answers.
Venting once in a while is ok, how do we otherwise know where to concentrate our work :)
I'll talk with our designer (who honestly is a bit overworked, and I try not to push too much work on him on top of what he already has) and see how we could improve the layout.