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Modal Quotes And The Usability Of Usability Forums


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#1 DCrx

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 11:16 AM

I'm used to the quote behavior from other forums. You highlight the text you want to quote, then you click the quote button, and (if there's text highlighted) the proper markup brackets the passage.

So what's with the modal quote box?

#2 cre8pc

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 11:49 AM

So what's with the modal quote box?


I justed quote you with the highlight and hit quote icon. Don't understand your meaning :)
What skin do you use for these forums? Some of them are indeed different.

#3 DCrx

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:57 AM

Ah ha, I'm using the blue skin. I can just switch skins.

Intriguing concept though -- skins that change the behavior of controls. Of course, they wouldn't be "skins" that way, but still.

As I look, the blue skin does have the selector -- all values in the dropdown are empty except one, which reads Skin Selector. Clicking it does, as one would expect, nothing.

Edited by DCrx, 04 February 2010 - 07:02 AM.


#4 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 08:44 AM

Yep, that whole "skins do different things" bugs me. Not real usable, imo. I think it's a holdover from a long ago issue.

#5 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:25 AM

That feature was actually taken off all the skins at one point, to attempt to corral problems with over-quoting. (People who would top-quote an entire previous post just to add a couple of lines in response below...)

It was then put back in...but incompletely. Which blue skin are you using, DCrx? I could probably go in and put it back.

The skins are a mess, though -- they're supposed to be cascaded from one base skin with alternate CSS files, but that relationship was broken a long time ago.

#6 DCrx

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:32 AM

Which blue skin are you using, DCrx?


I have no names in the empty dropdown. Was there one called "blues?"

#7 A.N.Onym

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 09:57 AM

In the blue skin, you can
- select the text
- hit the "Fast Reply" button
- click the "Add Selected Text as Quote" button

#8 Guest_joedolson_*

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 10:31 AM

No names, eh? There are three blue skins: Cre8 Blues, Cre8 Blues Liquid, and Cre8 Blues Traditional. But the fact that the dropdown is empty is a bit weird...I know that some of the skins aren't available to everybody, but that's a bit ridiculous!

It's well past time to give all the skins a good going over, but (speaking for myself) the time to do that has been more than a little bit limited...

#9 Pete

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:53 AM

I am missing something?

Whatever skin I choose, I can see no way to quote someone, apart from selecting some text, pasting into a reply and surrounding with BBcode quotes. (Using Firefox on a mac)

I'm sure there used to be a way to automatically quote in your reply.

Nor do I see a way to reply to a specific post, the reply buttons are only at the top or the bottom of the topic.

#10 A.N.Onym

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 05:17 AM

In both orange and blue skins, you can quote someone quickly by
- clicking the "Fastreply" button
- selecting the text
- clicking the "Add the selected text as a quote" button that would *appear* under the fastreply textarea.

In the full reply window, the quote button only adds the brackets, but not the actual text from the other comment.

As far as I remember, the modal reply functionality was removed to reduce the walls of quoted text, where novice members would quote entire previous posts to ask something about only one sentence. I suppose it'd help to let 500+ posts members have the modal quote functionality, but I'm not sure who would like to do this.

Which you could've learned, if you'd read the thread from the very start :lol:

And there's no way to reply to an individual post, because the posts are only sorted by time.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 06 September 2011 - 05:22 AM.


#11 DCrx

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 06:32 AM

the modal reply functionality was removed to reduce the walls of quoted text


That's fine, but nonstandard. Interesting point that you reduce usability for certain things. Nobody wants an ejector seat control that's too easy to use.

Edited by DCrx, 06 September 2011 - 06:32 AM.


#12 Pete

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 08:12 AM

In both orange and blue skins, you can quote someone quickly by
- clicking the "Fastreply" button
- selecting the text
- clicking the "Add the selected text as a quote" button that would *appear* under the fastreply textarea.


Finally, I see. The quote button doesn't appear unless you select some text. Kind the opposite way round to most forums.

As far as I remember, the modal reply functionality was removed to reduce the walls of quoted text, where novice members would quote entire previous posts to ask something about only one sentence. I suppose it'd help to let 500+ posts members have the modal quote functionality, but I'm not sure who would like to do this.

Which you could've learned, if you'd read the thread from the very start


Well, I did read from the very start, I just don't know what "modal quotes" or "modal reply" means, I now have the orange skin and I now can see how it works, thank you.

#13 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:04 PM

There's a QUOTE function?????

#14 cre8pc

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:06 PM

The ability to quote entire posts was removed years ago at the request of the members. It became a pain in the neck to follow threads because people would reply with the entire discussion in quotes followed by what they had to say.

I use the Blue Liquid Traditional skin (a replicate as close as we could get it to our old VBBulletin board). To quote, I click on the quote icon (right before hash tag icon), paste in a section I want to respond directly to, click the quote icon again to close the quote.

Alternate is to cut and paste content first, then highlight it all and then click the quote icon.

Usability here has evolved for years based on user feedback, as well as our efforts to eliminate spam and spam tricks which have been the downfall of many past leading forums.

We also reduced the number of skins. There used to be about six or so but maintaining them became a hassle, as each had its own hacks and any changes we make have to manually be made to each individual skin. To stay focused on conversation and less on forums maintenance, I cut the skins down.

#15 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:10 PM

"Clearly you've never been to Singapore." (Cf. Captain Jack Sparrow)

I see only two skins in my little drop-down thingee in the lower left-hand corner.

If I use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, I see NO quote icon before the message hash link in the upper right-hand box of anyone's message.

When I quote people I type in the QUOTE directive, using the "=" option to add their screen name.

I, personally, much prefer the standard behavior of VBulletin but that's just me.

Edited by Michael_Martinez, 06 September 2011 - 01:13 PM.


#16 cre8pc

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:13 PM

How to quote

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#17 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:15 PM

Ah. I was looking for a quote icon in each individual post (the feature you disabled).

"Welcome to the Caribbean, love!" (Cf. Captain Jack Sparrow)

#18 cre8pc

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:20 PM

I see only two skins in my little drop-down thingee in the lower left-hand corner.


Yes. Used to be many more but are removed as per above. That said, I still have them and they can be returned (Just more work for me!) :cower:

On the wish list are a bunch of new skins that Liz found that go with Invision. Haven't had time to explore them yet. Maybe they have VBB options.

We haven't made any serious changes because when we moved from VBB to Invision, we did it because Invison had far more abilities and offered us better control. It was worth it to pay for a back end at the time because this place was huge and getting tons of traffic. In the process, the Tech Admins of that time made lots of hacks to customize each skin as per membership wishes. Then, we realized, maintenance because a long term issue.

Today, I opt for fast/easy because the moderators who are left have so little time, are still volunteers and they would rather be out in the community itself rather than spending their limited time on back-end stuff.

#19 cre8pc

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:34 PM

Does this face look like its been to the Fountain of Youth?

- Jack Sparrow's father

Depends on the light.

Jack Sparrow


:nanadevil:

:offtopic: (Love Johnny Depp!)

#20 Pete

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:41 PM

The ability to quote entire posts was removed years ago at the request of the members. It became a pain in the neck to follow threads because people would reply with the entire discussion in quotes followed by what they had to say.


It's a pity because this way you don't see which member or which post the quote is from, which is often useful to get more context. It means searching back.

But with the normal quote function, there is not just the name of the member you are quoting, but a link back to the post. Very useful.

But I think you did the right thing by cutting down the number of skins. I can't think why you need more than one even.

#21 A.N.Onym

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 08:36 PM

I believe that if we had one of the skins (bright ginger or VB blue), sooner or later one would show up and say "hey,I like how the forums look, but I'd prefer a *different* theme.'. That's why having two skins is the minimum :infinite-banana:

Edited by A.N.Onym, 06 September 2011 - 08:36 PM.


#22 Pete

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 01:59 AM

I believe that if we had one of the skins (bright ginger or VB blue), sooner or later one would show up and say "hey,I like how the forums look, but I'd prefer a *different* theme.'. That's why having two skins is the minimum


Of course they would, but will they be so sad if they don't get a different one? As opposed to a forum whose content and administration has the full attention of a crack team not distracted by having to faff with several skins every time there is an upgrade.

When I first joined this forum, I didn't know there were different skins I could use. I'm sometimes a bit wary of sites that offer the user ways to change "the brand image", it's like having a lack of confidence in what you present.

It is designed well, it functions beautifully as a forum and whoever did the design should be proud of it and just present that one skin, take or leave it. I bet nobody would leave just because they couldn't play with having different skins.

#23 A.N.Onym

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 03:21 AM

To me, it's a matter of preference and forum admins giving us a chance to feel comfortable, while browsing the forums. It's similar to a site having an option with a AAA script to change font size. It's not required, but it's nice to have. I don't see why it shouldn't be appreciated, given how rare the upgrades happen (or so it seems, since I haven't actually fiddled with the skins myself. Maybe if Elizabeth called me up in the middle of the night every time there's an upgrade, I'd be more attentive to this matter :infinite-banana: )

For example, while I'd accept and make myself browse the bright redhead skin (or rather, try to hack local user styles for it to remove the images), I appreciate a choice of old VB colors. Sometimes, I wish we had more other functionality (such as quick, post-specific comments, a way to share links easily, etc) on the forum, but it is what it is.

It's true that almost nobody would leave, but it's also true that a sizable portion of the audience would be dissatisfied, just a bit. And, from what I gather, forum admins do make an effort to make us feel at ease here. I'm sure, if they had more time, we'd see more usability/forum thingies and smilies around here. Now, if they decide keeping two skins isn't worth the time, then it'll change. It's up to them, though :emo8:

Edited by A.N.Onym, 07 September 2011 - 03:29 AM.


#24 Michael_Martinez

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 12:55 PM

I ever cared for or worried about skins.

I can still put words into your mouth:

Michael Martinez is the most clever poster on this forum.

Disclaimer: This is a fake quote. Pete didn't say that.





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