SITE UPDATE: 3 May 2020

64 Replies, 6889 Views

Evening everyone.

In recent months we've seen participation on the forum vastly decrease - once upon a time probably the most popular discussion forum for enthusiasts in our region, most of our users now just post on groups and pages on social media instead. That said we do still have a significant amount of viewers, a lot of whom just do not post. Of our 646 registered users, just 62 are actually active, so we've lost a lot of members along the way, but we still have a lot of long-term users (those who have contributed since the website's early inception back in summer 2012!) and we want to do more to try and retain those users, as well as welcome new users to contribute and bring back the 'spark' that NEB once had.

As I mentioned yesterday, we're really hoping to use the current pandemic as a time to give NEB a bit of love and attention. We're going to regularly promote our news articles and Bygone Era submissions on social media to help drive more traffic onto our website, and we hope that by doing this it will encourage more new users to join.

We're going to make more of a conscious effort to keep the fleet lists and fleet news up to date. Both Go North East and Stagecoach's latest news is now up to date. The news is one of our best resources, and the archive of this news is really what sets us apart from most other enthusiast groups. We're still trying to find a reliable source for Arriva North East fleet news for us to be able to backdate our records (can anyone point us in the right direction for this?)

The biggest change that we're going to implement is a new-look forum. With improved mobile optimisation and user-specific colour/layout customisation, the new forum will include a number of new features:
  • new index page, which is brighter and depicts sub-forums more clearly by use of imagery, and makes it easier to see which threads the latest posts have been made in
  • new forum 'feed' page, which will allow users to preview the first post in newly created threads, so if it is of interest, they can read further.
  • 'like' system re-implemented
  • new notification system, which informs users when they receive a private message or when another user has quoted their post.
  • new calendar system, which we can upload details of bus rallies and events to (once things go back to normal!) or even key dates for service changes etc.

We've tried to fix some of the various bugs reported over the past few weeks too.

Our approach with the new theme is to give the forum more of a social media 'feel'. We appreciate it's a big step from the board we've been used to, but a growing number of enthusiasts in our community are younger, and have not grown up with discussion boards and forums. By implementing some features commonly found on social media, we hope that this will encourage more younger enthusiasts to join our community and contribute to our discussion forum.

We'd encourage everyone to add an avatar/profile picture - our only request is that you try and ensure it's equal in height x width dimensions otherwise certain areas of the forum go slightly odd.

The biggest step-change for the forum is by moving away from our traditional 'monthly' operator threads. Discussion should now be shared in individual threads unique to that topic. This, like social media, means that if there is a particular topic that users would like to join in on the discussion, they can. Rare and odd allocations can be split into unique threads by day rather than monthly, should users still wish to report these (the inception of popular website "bustimes" has rendered these threads largely useless, as most enthusiasts use this to check rare allocations now rather than post them on our forum, but we appreciate there may still be users who'd like to discuss these allocations or share their photos). We have unfortunately lost in excess of 30,000 'rare & odd working' posts from Go North East, as I clicked the wrong button and we didn't have a backup of the database from today.

We hope everyone likes these changes. Feel free to leave us any feedback below, or to comment with any bugs you stumble across.

Dan.
(03 May 2020, 9:13 pm)Dan Wrote: Evening everyone.

In recent months we've seen participation on the forum vastly decrease - once upon a time probably the most popular discussion forum for enthusiasts in our region, most of our users now just post on groups and pages on social media instead. That said we do still have a significant amount of viewers, a lot of whom just do not post. Of our 646 registered users, just 62 are actually active, so we've lost a lot of members along the way, but we still have a lot of long-term users (those who have contributed since the website's early inception back in summer 2012!) and we want to do more to try and retain those users, as well as welcome new users to contribute and bring back the 'spark' that NEB once had.

As I mentioned yesterday, we're really hoping to use the current pandemic as a time to give NEB a bit of love and attention. We're going to regularly promote our news articles and Bygone Era submissions on social media to help drive more traffic onto our website, and we hope that by doing this it will encourage more new users to join.

We're going to make more of a conscious effort to keep the fleet lists and fleet news up to date. Both Go North East and Stagecoach's latest news is now up to date. The news is one of our best resources, and the archive of this news is really what sets us apart from most other enthusiast groups. We're still trying to find a reliable source for Arriva North East fleet news for us to be able to backdate our records (can anyone point us in the right direction for this?)

The biggest change that we're going to implement is a new-look forum. With improved mobile optimisation and user-specific colour/layout customisation, the new forum will include a number of new features:
  • new index page, which is brighter and depicts sub-forums more clearly by use of imagery, and makes it easier to see which threads the latest posts have been made in
  • new forum 'feed' page, which will allow users to preview the first post in newly created threads, so if it is of interest, they can read further.
  • 'like' system re-implemented
  • new notification system, which informs users when they receive a private message or when another user has quoted their post.
  • new calendar system, which we can upload details of bus rallies and events to (once things go back to normal!) or even key dates for service changes etc.

We've tried to fix some of the various bugs reported over the past few weeks too.

Our approach with the new theme is to give the forum more of a social media 'feel'. We appreciate it's a big step from the board we've been used to, but a growing number of enthusiasts in our community are younger, and have not grown up with discussion boards and forums. By implementing some features commonly found on social media, we hope that this will encourage more younger enthusiasts to join our community and contribute to our discussion forum.

We'd encourage everyone to add an avatar/profile picture - our only request is that you try and ensure it's equal in height x width dimensions otherwise certain areas of the forum go slightly odd.

The biggest step-change for the forum is by moving away from our traditional 'monthly' operator threads. Discussion should now be shared in individual threads unique to that topic. This, like social media, means that if there is a particular topic that users would like to join in on the discussion, they can. Rare and odd allocations can be split into unique threads by day rather than monthly, should users still wish to report these (the inception of popular website "bustimes" has rendered these threads largely useless, as most enthusiasts use this to check rare allocations now rather than post them on our forum, but we appreciate there may still be users who'd like to discuss these allocations or share their photos). We have unfortunately lost in excess of 30,000 'rare & odd working' posts from Go North East, as I clicked the wrong button and we didn't have a backup of the database from today.

We hope everyone likes these changes. Feel free to leave us any feedback below, or to comment with any bugs you stumble across.

Dan.

It's certainly better than the last update! (I reverted straight back to the older version as soon as I figured out how)

One thing that I've noticed it's pretty difficult to read the sub-forum names, it might better to have these below the images rather than on top of them.
   

I personally love the fact the Discussion threads are no more, it always felt awkward posting in case you 'interrupt' other conversations. Hopefully that means I can post about the X21 NSAs to my heart's content without annoying certain people! ?
(03 May 2020, 9:42 pm)streetdeckfan Wrote: It's certainly better than the last update! (I reverted straight back to the older version as soon as I figured out how)

One thing that I've noticed it's pretty difficult to read the sub-forum names, it might better to have these below the images rather than on top of them.


I personally love the fact the Discussion threads are no more, it always felt awkward posting in case you 'interrupt' other conversations. Hopefully that means I can post about the X21 NSAs to my heart's content without annoying certain people! ?

Wow... We weren't expecting your approval!

Thanks for the feedback on the visibility of the sub-forum names. One for us to ponder on.
(03 May 2020, 9:44 pm)Dan Wrote: Wow... We weren't expecting your approval!

Thanks for the feedback on the visibility of the sub-forum names. One for us to ponder on.

See, I'm not just full of negativity! (as some would have you believe). Although, if I find anything I don't like, I'll certainly bring it up!

Don't know if it's related to the update, but Tapatalk notifications seem to be coming through instantly rather than with a massive delay
(03 May 2020, 9:49 pm)streetdeckfan Wrote: See, I'm not just full of negativity! (as some would have you believe). Although, if I find anything I don't like, I'll certainly bring it up!

Don't know if it's related to the update, but Tapatalk notifications seem to be coming through instantly rather than with a massive delay

I'm sure you will! Wink 

Possibly. We've refreshed all of the forum plugins etc so that could have helped it on a little. Deleting 30,000 posts by accident would have also reduced some strain from the forum database somewhat!
(03 May 2020, 9:54 pm)Dan Wrote: I'm sure you will! Wink 

Possibly. We've refreshed all of the forum plugins etc so that could have helped it on a little. Deleting 30,000 posts by accident would have also reduced some strain from the forum database somewhat!

Well, at least the posts you 'accidentally' deleted weren't essential.
(03 May 2020, 10:02 pm)streetdeckfan Wrote: Well, at least the posts you 'accidentally' deleted weren't essential.

Indeed!

We've made some changes following your feedback:
   
(03 May 2020, 10:06 pm)Dan Wrote: Indeed!

We've made some changes following your feedback:

I noticed as I was having a look about that it changed. Looks much better now!
I would have gone with a slightly lighter shade of grey, but that's just me being picky! 

   
https://ukbuses.co.uk/

The most up to date fleetlist I’ve found for Arriva is on this website


Sent from my iPhone XS using Tapatalk
Can we have the view "unread posts" button back please?, it was quick and easier than clicking about 3 times before you actually get to what you want.

Not keen on the mobile version so I've had to change back to the old version.

Can't see to find out how to skip to the last post in a section either?, was on the Northern trains thread and clicked on the tab and it took me to page 1 and couldn't figure out how to skip to the last one. (On the new version)
Ooo Friend, Bus Friend.
(04 May 2020, 1:38 am)Michael Wrote: Can we have the view "unread posts" button back please?, it was quick and easier than clicking about 3 times before you actually get to what you want.

Not keen on the mobile version so I've had to change back to the old version.

Can't see to find out how to skip to the last post in a section either?, was on the Northern trains thread and clicked on the tab and it took me to page 1 and couldn't figure out how to skip to the last one. (On the new version)

If you're on the desktop site, you can just click 'Last Post' on the forum page and it will take you to the last page but on the mobile version it doesn't look like there's a quick way
(04 May 2020, 1:38 am)Michael Wrote: Can we have the view "unread posts" button back please?, it was quick and easier than clicking about 3 times before you actually get to what you want.

Not keen on the mobile version so I've had to change back to the old version.

Can't see to find out how to skip to the last post in a section either?, was on the Northern trains thread and clicked on the tab and it took me to page 1 and couldn't figure out how to skip to the last one. (On the new version)

(04 May 2020, 2:20 am)streetdeckfan Wrote: If you're on the desktop site, you can just click 'Last Post' on the forum page and it will take you to the last page but on the mobile version it doesn't look like there's a quick way

Suggest trying to stick with the new theme, folks, as the old one will be removed in time.

The 'last post' is also visible on the mobile version too and there's a cookie that remembers the last post in that thread that you've viewed (when going direct from the index page). We're going to add a 'first page' and 'last page' option on mobile which will make navigating from the sub-forum a bit easier.
Is there view unread posts option? Can't seem to find it!
(04 May 2020, 8:24 am)idiot Wrote: Is there view unread posts option? Can't seem to find it!

For desktop viewers, on the right hand side. For mobile viewers, right at the bottom of the page.
Excellent Dan, much better than the previous layout.
Give us a like @ Facebook/TransbusNK53TMZ
(04 May 2020, 10:39 am)Dan Wrote: Read more: https://northeastbuses.co.uk/forum/showt...#pid242488
Yea I've just read it after trying to navigate way round new site. I personally feel it's very messy and the amount of threads is really overwhelming and some dont even have any posts or very few. So if I wanted to post something, I'd have to scroll through pages of threads to see if there is one about a certain topic, if not then create a new thread that may only get a few responses? Sorry not liking it. Least beforehand you could have a quick dip and see if there was anything new or quickly post something
Is there anyway to get the unread posts back towards the top of the page? 
I've seen the comments about it being at the bottom of the page, but I find it is quite easily missed when scrolling past everything else.

The red arrow thing is quite intrusive too.

I've also just noticed that to get back to the previous page, you need to scroll back to the top of the page. 
Quite clunky in a popular thread.


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'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(04 May 2020, 10:46 am)JP6004 Wrote: Yea I've just read it after trying to navigate way round new site. I personally feel it's very messy and the amount of threads is really overwhelming and some dont even have any posts or very few. So if I wanted to post something, I'd have to scroll through pages of threads to see if there is one about a certain topic, if not then create a new thread that may only get a few responses? Sorry not liking it. Least beforehand you could have a quick dip and see if there was anything new or quickly post something

I've moved your feedback over to the site update thread.

It will take some adjustment to get used to the new format of different topics by different threads, but it really does give readers the chance to participate only in the discussion that they'd like to be involved in. For example, if streetdeckfan wants to discuss Next Stop Announcements but that really isn't your cup of tea, you can see the threads you have unread posts for and then only click on those threads, marking the others as read without being forced to read them (whereas previously you'd have been forced to read them in the latest thread). Each of our viewers will have different opinions on what constitutes as 'latest news' and this takes away that source of conflict.

Following the earlier feedback re mobile view - each thread now offers the ability to skip to the first/last page on mobile view.
(04 May 2020, 10:51 am)Andreos1 Wrote: Is there anyway to get the unread posts back towards the top of the page? 
I've seen the comments about it being at the bottom of the page, but I find it is quite easily missed when scrolling past everything else.

The red arrow thing is quite intrusive too.

I've also just noticed that to get back to the previous page, you need to scroll back to the top of the page. 
Quite clunky in a popular thread.

Cheers, Andreos.

It's "all or nothing" with the unread posts thing, so the user stats, board stats and latest threads would all have to be at the top too on mobile view which is why it wasn't put there originally. If it was in the side menu (the three lines where you navigate between news, photos, fleet lists etc), would that suffice? We'll have to take the unread posts feature offline for a few hours to be able to do this.

We're not too convinced by the red arrow scroller so we'll look into its removal.
Thanks for pointing it out Smile