New layout for the forum is really bad

58 replies

Grannular

Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 180

I am actually surprised David and Chris hasn't had some input into this thread. Sid did comment but only at the very beginning

aklrunway

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 May 2011

Total posts 168

Agreed. Not at all a fan of the new site and barely visit anymore. The old one was much, much better and easier to navigate. The old content always seemed better and more relevant as well. I can't relate to much of the new content now.

Sibelius

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 81

Originally Posted by aklrunway

Agreed. Not at all a fan of the new site and barely visit anymore. The old one was much, much better and easier to navigate. The old content always seemed better and more relevant as well. I can't relate to much of the new content now.

I'd put it this way: the old site emphasised the "Traveller". The new site places more emphasis on "Executive" and has greater focus on so-called luxury living (golf, booze, cars etc) than on travelling as such. I too find this disappointing and a step away from what I see as the core business (and strength) of this website.


Last editedby Sibelius at Oct 02, 2019, 09:38 AM.

Sibelius

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 81

One more thought: of all the current posts ("Latest Discussions" and "Most Viewed") in the Community section, not a single one is on "Lifestyle" or luxury living issues. That in itself should be of significance to the editors: your most committed readers (ie. the ones who actually take the time to contribute to the Community) are by-and-large much less interested in "Lifestyle" issues compared to "Travel" issues.

I know there are other analytics issues such as hits-per-page and so on, but in terms of actual reader engagement, travel seems to be the core reason people come here.

S

Member since 13 Sep 2013

Total posts 99

Like what one of the previous commenters said.... it's better to do one thing and do it really well, than to do many things just ok. It's a shame that the site is moving to the later.

I find all the additional content horrible. The new content seems to assume that all business travelers like golf, whisky and cars.

sunnybrae

Etihad - Etihad Guest

Member since 21 Jul 2019

Total posts 3

Originally Posted by S

Like what one of the previous commenters said.... it's better to do one thing and do it really well, than to do many things just ok. It's a shame that the site is moving to the later.

I find all the additional content horrible. The new content seems to assume that all business travelers like golf, whisky and cars.

Well said, S! I feel like I'm being side-swiped by jags and SUVs, whacked on the knees by golf clubs, drowned in whiskey, manacled by 'luxury' watches and hounded by American Express, all at once. But that's just me, I suppose.

Sibelius

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Aug 2017

Total posts 81

Here's what's hopefully a constructive and positive suggestion: swap the positions of the "Life & Style" and the "Community" sections. So the forums are back up at/near the top of the homepage, and the "Life & Style" stuff that's (frankly) peripheral to why most people come here is at the bottom, rather than the other way around.

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 331

OK, I'll chime back in as a member that posts fairly regularly. Here are the main issues that I personally see as 'critical'.

1. Posts that disappear or don't appear at all.

2. Editing tools. The option to bold, underline, italicize simply don't work.

3. Articles are separated entirely from Community Posts, making Posts only of interest to those who have replied.

4. Articles with comments are no longer easily accessible once they disappear off the Home page.

5. Internet Explorer (v11) is no longer supported as a browser. You cannot LOGIN with it. Way to lose users / members.

6. Reports to Bug Discussion are infrequently addressed or unanswered.

7. People seem not to realize that there is a 'Community' hyperlink in the header bar and complain of excessive scrolling.

8. Issues with font size, article headline prominence and amount of white space.

9. LIVE scrolling option (latest posts) is buried under Community page. Should be on Home page (and be smaller and responsive).

10. Things that used to work, don't. ie. Attachments in posts.


CONTENT: I personally am not a lover of 'lifestyle' articles, but I do understand the direction that is being taken and can live with that. Occasionally, there are some 'lifestyle' items that spark my interest. Certainly, there are times when a 'filler' article or two is required when the days travel news is sparse. However, what I do take objection to is the constant barrage of Amex lifestyle ads disguised as articles. I am not at all interested in how XYZ makes their card work for them, particularly when there is little mention of comparison of Amex card types and benefits. It appears there is an over-emphasis on the bio's of people who use the product and are of limited value. Similarly, I would not welcome articles about what XYZ buys at Woolworths. I would personally have a preference for enduring lifestyle articles on subjects such as luggage, destinations, airports, transport services, hotels etc. In short, I'd suggest a ratio of somewhere in the vicinity of 80% travel / 20% lifestyle mix to keep everyone happy.

The site is primarily a TRAVEL site, with an emphasis on business and premium class travel. Let's keep it that way.

DESIGN: Personally, I don't mind the new iteration or appearance of the website. It is consistent with current graphic design philosophies but I do acknowledge the dislike of excessive scrolling and white space expressed by many members. It does require some tweaking, though.

The main problem here seems, to me, to be the chinese wall between ARTICLES and Community POSTS. The old iteration of the site melded these well. The new one doesn't. Perhaps, a re-examination of the layout is what is really needed? It would also be appreciated if some response could be shared by Raj or David to acknowledge the concern of members.

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Mar 2015

Total posts 156

It's very obvious that almost all posters don't like the current layout.

I guess we should also consider that the “ advertising “ is a critical part of the founders revenue and we have to respect that.

However the previous version had ads but not as many or so large and thus made it “friendlier”.

No doubt David and Chris will be closely watching the discussion and trying to satisfy both sides.

The biggest challenge is that if they lose readers/ members then ad revenue will follow.

Striking a happy balance is whats needed and I sincerely hope it's found soon.

I'm sure we all hope for that.

coastflyer1 Banned

coastflyer1 Banned

Member since 20 Jul 2019

Total posts 14

No suprise to see no moderators on this thread, say the smallest disparaging thing about someone here and they are all over it like a rash, but when real issues pop up nowhere to be seen. Unfortunate to see a once great site get slowly taken over by advertising/paid articles masquerading as articles for the past 1 and a half years, as mentioned above the profits being pushed for wont eventuate if people stop visiting.

Journeyman

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

Member since 11 Sep 2015

Total posts 12

When David took the cash it took a nose dive. Soyanara ET!

cebeckey

Member since 09 Aug 2019

Total posts 1

For me the key points are:

1. Community is now at the bottom of the landing page. This is possibly exacerbated by the loss of scrolling main stories - they now take a lot more space as each one needs their own tile so while its under the main stories (which isn't a bad spot for them) those stories take up much more real estate than they used to.

2. There is a lot of white space in the community area. I would be happy with side ads if we could shrink down the gaps

3. Searching is quite bad. I now search austbt + search term in google to find articles and discussions that I've read previously that I wanted to find again.

4. I'm interested in the lifestyle area articles but much more in the community posts. There is potential to re-balance these.

5. I only use et on my desktop. So all feedback is from that point of view.

Rod H

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Mar 2015

Total posts 156

Looks like this thread has been taken away from the main page. Difficult to find it now!!

aggie57

QF

Member since 04 Apr 2014

Total posts 136

Yeah, something's rotten in the state of Denmark. I'm really not getting a good feeling about how this feedback is being handled.

Last edited by aggie57 at Oct 04, 07.39 AM.
Last edited by aggie57 at Oct 04, 07.40 AM.
Last editedby aggie57 at Oct 04, 2019, 07:40 AM.

Grannular

Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 180

That's a really disappointing response. To hide from the feedback and then remove it from the front page "Most Viewed" is pretty poor in my opinion.

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