My only frustration with Discourse is that it is hard to follow a particular conversation within the thread. For example, with Reddit, it is easy to follow which comments go toward which conversation. On the downside of Reddit’s format, it only has a benefit for the first couple of layers of responses, and after that it goes back to being untethered and disorganized, but it is nice at first to easily follow a thread until it gets long.
Other than that, I mostly like this forum software. A lot of the listed frustrations are fairly easily resolved with some training in how it works. I’ll see if I can help with some insights to try to make the experience a little better and less frustrating.
For example, there are 2 ways of scrolling. There is a normal grey colored scroll bar, and if one uses that, then yes, many of the listed frustrations with scrolling are accurate, however, if instead one uses the teal scrollbar, then none of the listed scrolling frustrations apply. You can immediately scroll anywhere in the thread, including to the top and bottom regardless of whether they are already loaded. It is indeed possible to scroll as one would expect by using the applicable scrolling option. The teal one is to move anywhere in the thread, and the grey one is to move a little more slowly to a more a recent comment without scrolling fast all the way to the top or bottom or to a specific post number.
Searching works pretty amazingly in this forum software too. If I want to search for something within a few dozen posts of where I am on the screen then I can use the browser’s search/find option. If I want to search the entire thread, then I use the forum’s search and select “in this topic” and I get a lot of other advanced search options too. I can use these to almost always find exactly what I’m looking for anywhere in a particular thread or the entire forum. I used to hate the forum search too, but once I learned I can use either or both and how to use them, I’ve come to really like the forum search. I use it often. If you want to use the browser search just hit Ctrl+F twice and you’ll still be able to use it for any text currently loaded in your browser. I usually use that if I know something I’m looking for was within a few dozen posts, otherwise the forum search works even better.
I can’t say I’ve experienced or fully understand some of the other frustrations such as viewing a discussion topic or tapping the wrong key, or the browsers back button not working, as those all appear to work for me, though I may just misunderstand, but I can relate to the frustration of things not working the way we expect or wish they would. I don’t know how much control Wyze has over most of those things since they are simply using a contracted piece of software, but I imagine Wyze is always open to the idea of improvements. Is there a different Forum Software platform you had in mind to suggest as an alternative to Discourse?
In the meantime, something I found helpful to resolve most of my initial frustrations with the software was to go through the training with that bot trainer thing that messages us when we first create an account. It helped me understand how to scroll and use search and everything as well. After I figured that out, I came to like a lot of things I previously thought I disliked about it.
Still, I agree, there could certainly be some improvements, and your comments are very helpful to indicate that some of the functionality needs to be improved so it is more intuitive to people and not require training for everything. I think that would be pretty valuable feedback for the Discourse software team to understand and design some things better so they work more naturally and obviously. Great feedback.
I’d consider leaving that feedback to the software makers: Contact the Discourse team | Discourse - Civilized Discussion and if they make updates those would be passed on here as well!