Design Ideas: Discussions Brian D Sheehan April 06 2011 Discussions List Screen: “Started by” column Include a “Started by” column on Discussions screen Topic Screen: Treatment of Replies (1/2) • Remove all indentations • Left-align all messages Topic Screen: Treatment of Replies (2/2) • Replies should not be directed specifically towards a poster (e.g., “Reply to Stuart,” “Reply to Mark,” etc.) — rather, all replies should be directed to the discussion thread in general. • When a reply is posted, it should automatically be assigned as the last message in the thread. • Meaning, by default, all messages should appear in ascending order of date (original post first and most recent post last). • To address navigation issues that arise from long threads, I propose a “Top” button (see slide 6) and a page navigation system (see slide 7). Topic Screen: Navigation (1/3) New buttons at the top and bottom of each discussion thread: At the top of a thread: Static buttons bookending all threads At the bottom of a thread: See next slide for description Breadcrumb discussion navigation Topic Screen: Navigation (2/3) At the bottom of each message, include the following buttons: • Top: User directed to top of the screen (so that he/she can view either original post [if on page 1] or first post on active page). • Reply: Adds a reply to the thread – same as “Add reply” button at top and bottom of thread. • Edit: Edits the message — enabled for 15 minutes after a new post/reply. • Delete: Deletes the message — only enabled for message owner and moderator. Topic Screen: Navigation (3/3) Presently (and to my knowledge) there is no system in place to handle extremely long threads. This may not be a problem now, but down the road Discussions could feasibly contain 100+ posts. In order to address this, I suggest that we set a maximum number of posts per page and implement a page navigation feature similar to the graphic shown here. Note that the total number of pages is conveyed and the drop-down arrow enables a user to jump to a specific page.