Why do we have to hit the hamburger to find the Reaktor forum on a phone?

colB
colB Member Posts: 752 Guru
edited February 2023 in Social Club

@Matt_NI

I tried to access the Reaktor forum on my smartphone from the main community front page.

Couldn't find a link.

Eventually (days later!) I discovered that the only way in is via the 'Hamburger button'. No other way that I could find unless there are Reaktor related posts in the recent posts section.

Lots of big ol' shiny icons for stuff like 'member benefits' and 'Ask the community' etc. lots of flashy buttons and banners for promoted articles, but If I want to go to the part of the community that I know might actually be able to help, I have to hit the hamburger?

If you click 'ask the community' then you do get a category drop down with Reaktor as an option. But that makes it more likely folk will ask the same questions over and again instead of discovering and browsing the forum for existing discussions, and maybe even joining the Reaktor community!

It used to be relatively simple (by NI standards) - just scroll hit the 'Komplete' section, then hit the Reaktor sub-link... please bring back direct links to product family sub forums!

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Comments

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,079 admin

    Curious to understand why clicking on the hamburger menu to show all the categories is less painful than scrolling looking for it?

    The reason why on mobile you don't have the categories displayed immediately is to save space so it's easier to get around especially as we are onboarding more and more users. The reason why the product categories have been replaced on the homepage is because nobody used them. People were relying on search the most and using the quick links on the right side.

    We could change the layout easily but we'll first look at usage of this version.

  • Gee_Flat
    Gee_Flat Member Posts: 906 Guru
    edited February 2023

    Crazy!

    I just made an interesting discovery using responsive design mode for iPhone 11 in Firefox.

    On the landing page, try turning the phone horizontal and scroll to the bottom. Do you see all the links then?

    Anything below 801 px and the links are gone. @media is hiding those links.

    Maybe it's on purpose.

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 752 Guru

    I guess I'm old (like so many other synth software types!). The hamburger is usually a last resort for me when navigating a site, unless I'm looking for stuff that's settings or account related. That strategy has never been a problem before.

    People were relying on search the most and using the quick links on the right side.

    So quick links to centre stage would seem like the best option? A direct quick link to the Reaktor sub forum would have been ideal for me!

    I'm not trying to be negative or critical here (that's just my default interwebs communication style). I'm really just posting my user experience. Which isn't as good as it was back before you changed to this forum platform (new one is very slow to refresh on my phone, and lacking in features for authoring posts) and then is even slightly worse with the latest update

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,079 admin

    Quick links did not have category navigation actually. It was just discussions / my discussions and the same thing you see on the right side right now.

    I got the feedback down though and we'll definitely tweak the mobile version along the way. We always prioritize desktop a bit more because it accounts for 80% of sessions but you can expect changes at some point.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,462 Expert

    I can sympathise with the OP 100% because it is not just an "old person" thing, from a usability point as both someone that does design, testing and is just a user of the forum, it is less than intuitive and not well tested, IMO.

    I just dont bother on the forum on mobile anymore as it's a little "crippled" IMO and yes, having to press hamburger then the category then the forum is more clunky than just clicking a link listed at the top of the page. Also, not all sub forums can be accessed in there (like "Tech Talks".... How do you access that on mobile).

    Desktop usage % makes sense since these are all desktop and hardware devices, people use their computers with it BUT I actually use the mobile version WAY less now compared to the old forum because the experience is just not as good and every time you click BACK a page it has to do a full reload instead of just loading the cached page. Every other forum I visit displays the last page immediatly from the local cache. Call it a first world problem but when it's annoying to use, you just don't bother using it.

    IMO, the new "See member benefits.... Answer Questions" buttons that take up all that realestate are kind of a waste of space and I would prefer a nav menu instead, not sure that is the echoed sentiiment of all users, especially on mobile devices as these are only useful really for an absolute noob user. On PC I just hide all that and strip the forum back to how it use to be on the old forum to make it easier to use and I see other experienced users also doing the same.

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,079 admin

    Actually I also see that on horizontal it almost reverts back to the desktop version ... it looks like the responsive design isn't well tweaks. I'll report back and hopefully sort this out.

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,079 admin

    @JesterMgee I don't know necessarily disagree with the easy of accessing a main category straight from a tile on top of the page vs clicking on hamburger menu but we're talking about Reaktor which was never a main category to beginning with. Before, you'd had to either scroll all the way down or click on Komplete and then Reaktor.

    On the hamburger, you either click category to see all of them or go straight to a product category since there is quick links for these. Mind you, the category page is messed up like I shared on another thread.

    I'll explain the thinking a bit more though if you're interested. We did heatmaps of the community on tons of sessions and realised that a small fraction of users were using these tiles to navigate (if at all) which leads us to think about using the space to solve another challenge. On the other hand, we saw that users struggle to understand what they can do / create an account. After looking at other spaces, we decided to go for another approach which is showing exactly what users can do. We made one version for guest and one version for members. I agree that this is less useful for some of you that are in the community all the time and know exactly how to get around and where to go.

    You probably noticed already but nothing is set in stone and we're not set in our ways thinking this is THE way. We just testing things and see what sticks for most users. Since we do have the ability to have different version for different roles (guest, members, mods, admin) maybe there will be a chance for us to rethink the one for members, or maybe even have one that is more specific to power-users.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,462 Expert

    Yeah I am sure it will change, it's all just feedback but obviously some of us that do use things like the forum a lot and are probably older and "set in our ways" more (or just use to the muscle memory and flow of things) any change that makes something even a little less convenient is less desirable, problem companies have tho is if they ask 100 people what they would like they will be 150 different answers to the question so I will always point out what I feel when appropriate, but rarely cry about it.

  • colB
    colB Member Posts: 752 Guru

    Thanks for working on this Matt!


    Your post raised a couple of thoughts (and please note that I am just speculating here basing on exactly zero data or knowledge of the actual facts :))

    I would guess (probably wrongly) that the vast majority of community site users know exactly where they are going and bypass the front page, going straight to whatever sub-forum they normally frequent. If those users are at the front page, they are there for something that is not part of their normal usage - so they won't be trying to go from the front page to their regular sub-forum.

    The other type of users are customers or potential customers who are not (yet) part of the community. They are maybe (do you have stats for this?) a smaller or significantly smaller proportion of daily traffic to the community section of the site... BUT those folk are much more valuable in the context of the front page of the site. I guess the trick is working out which are most important, and what they need.

    So there are:

    potential customers

    existing customers who are not community users

    and community users who are at the front page for some extracurricular activity


    My concern is that the front page has been tweaked to 'improve' usage by that last group based on activity maps - existing community users. Maybe they are not the important group for that part of the site?

    Of course, you probably factor in the status of visitors when building the maps, based on their normal usage, membership, or lack thereof etc... Only thing is that for me at least (not that I'm typical but...) I'm as likely to be logged out when doing anything other than posting to the forum... so you would have to be collecting IP data etc. to factor that in?

    It seems fascinating for sure, and bloody difficult :). Probably enough depth for an academic thesis of some sort!

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,079 admin

    @colB The data we got was also done with guests though so the behaviour wasn't necessarily just with members. So let's say it was done with data across all types of users.

    I think you are right when you say that if you are on the front page then you're likely landing there from a specific link or are pretty new to the community. I remember when we talked to some users last year about usage, it was quite frequent that they would say the homepage isn't something they use as much and usually bookmark specific area. Interestingly enough people were quite set in the area they were using. Someone into Traktor would rarely cross-over into Reaktor and so they would just save Traktor area and visit that page only. In that sense, the homepage felt "less of a thing" for a regular user.

    I forgot to mention but another reason why we prioritized converting new users into members / letting them know what they can do is also because we use the homepage in wider communication (i.e Newsletter) that is being sent to a lot of non-community members. The thought was that these users would need to understand what they can do as opposed to see product categories.

    With that said, we're lucky to have the ability to build a homepage that is different from guest and members and so perhaps there is some work we can do there to make it more enjoyable for everyone.

    It's definitely not as easy as it looks that's for sure, there's so much to consider and so many different use cases. We also have limited resources and sometime simple changes could still take us some time.

  • Gee_Flat
    Gee_Flat Member Posts: 906 Guru

    Not a big deal to me. I've never used this site on a phone... I think easy navigation is essential, but pandering to the whims of every voice is unnecessary.

    I see this forum as a privilege, not an entitlement. Even if I am a pain in the arse. 😀

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,079 admin

    100% and we gotta find the balance between it all. We wanted to make some pretty radical changes vs the last forum and position the community in a way that made sense for us as well. Now, we just need to keep collecting feedback and make tweaks so everyone enjoys participating.

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 545 Pro

    Each area of the Forum should be shown.

    Not a general area that has nothing to do with the Forum.

    Look at any Forum for any company, and it is usually a link to the Forum from the main page and then categories of that forum on the forum page.

    If you want new users or anyone interested to find what they want you typically do not navigate a site like this ever! This is beyond backwards. Lol

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,079 admin
    edited February 2023

    The product categories are linked from the main page, not sure where you get the idea that they are not. On mobile, there is a hamburger menu and on desktop they are on the side bar on the right.

    Everything you see has to do with the community, on top it's literally just CTA showing you what you can do (which plenty of communities do)

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 545 Pro

    Yes that is the problem. It takes a person completely away from the subcategories and starts completely over.

    You can't simply (for instance) click from Traktor to Traktor Beta and back.

    Also the Forum is kind of hidden as even being a forum, my opinion is it is very scattered. I saved bookmarks but would rather navigate from the same page not be taken to all categories to find subcategories? It is weird. And hard to explain.

    Also where is the forum (or strange home page) link from the Traktor main page on mobile? I looked and could not find it at all?

    Maybe it is my phone?

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