Hi again, everyone! This post is related to the one posted earlier this week about our recent site upgrade.
That upgrade changed two things: (1) our member avatars and (2) our forum display and searching/filtering capability. This post focuses on the latter. Please read my earlier post to learn about our new default member avatars and how the avatar shape has changed. (Hint: It's now a rounded square versus a square! )
As for the forum changes, they were made to make it easier to search the forums and to find the hottest (trending) forums or those with the most recent comments. Now, rather than seeing the long forum directory when you click on "Forums/All Topics" in the main navigation line, you'll see a page that looks like this:
Notice that the "Recent" button is highlighted, and the filter (above that button) is showing "All". This means that what you're seeing is a list of ALL of the forum topics on the site, ordered from the one with the most recent comment to the one with the least recent comment. This list will always include all of the forum topics on the site.
Now, if you were to click on "Trending", the list of forums would change, and you would see the "hottest" topics on the site at the immediate point in time - as determined by a complex formula that incorporates recent page views, likes, and comments. The "Trending" list will always be shorter than the "Recent" list, as it does not include any topics that haven't had recent views, likes, or comments.
If you were to click on "Following", you'd get a list of any forum topics that you had opted to follow.
Now, if you would prefer not to sift through all of the topics on the site, that's possible too. If you hit the down arrow to the right of the box above the "Recent" and other buttons, the site forum directory will reveal, as shown below:
From there, you can select any forum category you want, and just see the topics in that category. (So, basically, this box serves to filter the topics on the site.) As an example, I selected "Outlining and Flooding Q&A", and doing so resulted in a reveal of this shorter list of topics related to outlining and flooding:
Note that any featured topics (determined by me) will always sit at the top of the list, and will be indicated by a blue "Featured" button to the right of the topic's name. There are two topics that are SO important to the proper functioning of this site (i.e., "Posting Images - Please Read Before You Post" and "Important Reminder about Copying and Posting Characters without Permission") that I have featured them in every forum, so they will appear at the top of every list.
You can, of course, select any other forum category you want and focus your search for forum topics that way.
What's more, you can also search all topics or any filtered topic for desired keywords by entering a keyword or phrase in the white "Search" box above the directory filtering box (see photo above).
And that's it in terms of new forum features! I've been working with the new forum layout for the last two days, and I have found it to be a much easier and more powerful way to find relevant forum topics on the site. I hope you will too!
If you have any questions about this upgrade and how the new forum displays and filtering/searches work, please leave me a tagged comment below.