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Hall of Fame Super Blue

Forum navigation

Dan / Tim

On the old NetPro site when you were in a sub-forum of a major category eg sub-forum = Lan Switching & Routing,  major category = Network Infrastructure, you had the option to navigate to other subforums within the same major category. So from Lan Switching and Routing i could straight to Wan Routing and Switching without having to go back up to the major category.

This functionality is available on the new site but only within the overview tab. Personally speaking i work from the discussions tab and i'm guessing so do most of the regualr contributors. Would it be possible to have the links for sub-forums on the discussions tab so you can move easily between the sub-forums. As most regular contributors have specific areas of expertise i suspect this would be very useful for a lot of us. And could the link take you directly to the discussions tab of the relevant sub-forum rather than the overview tab.

It would be good to hear from others as well to see if they think it would be useful and also if they do indeed mainly use the discussions tab.

Thanks

Jon

27 REPLIES

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Jon,

I mainly use the Discussions tab, because from there you can see all discussions (active, inactive) plus other information. The usages I have found for the Overview tab are:

a. quick view of what's going on (who responds to what)

b. when a thread becomes lengthy, I can jump to the last post from the link found in the Overview tab.

However, I use the Discussions tab more often as you do and sometimes feel the need for the feature you request. I have found 2 workarounds for this:

a. To use the 'History' feature on the top right of the page (you need to set Discussions tab as 'default tab' for each section for this to work)

b. Have multiple tabs open in my browser for each section I am interested in (this is actually faster)

Kind Regards,

Maria

Message was edited by: marikakis

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Forum navigation

Hey Jon,

Excellent idea for sure my friend! You have my vote

I am always in the "Discussions" tab as well so this would

improve the navigation.

Cheers!

Rob

Re: Forum navigation

Hi all,

I am with you on this one, but maybe there is a small problem. The Navigation on the left of the Overview tab seems to be a part of the whole Overview tab, and it fits there because not much else is included in this tab. If this Navigation part could somehow be moved/duplicated to the Discussions tab where exactly could it fit? The Discussions tab has a lot of information and at least I can't see very easily where exactly it should be placed. Maybe the box above Discussions could be squeezed a bit (mostly white/empty), so it can fit there or maybe the LeaderBoards could be pushed further down the Discussions tab. I don't know.

Kind Regards,

Maria

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: Forum navigation

marikakis wrote:

Hi all,

I am with you on this one, but maybe there is a small problem. The Navigation on the left of the Overview tab seems to be a part of the whole Overview tab, and it fits there because not much else is included in this tab. If this Navigation part could somehow be moved/duplicated to the Discussions tab where exactly could it fit? The Discussions tab has a lot of information and at least I can't see very easily where exactly it should be placed. Maybe the box above Discussions could be squeezed a bit (mostly white/empty), so it can fit there or maybe the LeaderBoards could be pushed further down the Discussions tab. I don't know.

Kind Regards,

Maria

Maria

Agreed that there is no obvious space to put it. It would need to be visible from the top of the page rather than have to scroll down i think. It could fit in the box above but there is also space down the right hand side - perhaps it could be put above the Leaderboards ?

I used to have multiple tabs open all the time on the old site but i kept getting locked out of NetPro and had to get Dan to unlock my account so i'm a bit wary of that

Rob made a really good point in that just removing having to go up to go back down again would speed things up.

Jon

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Forum navigation

Hey Jon,,

Thanks for opening up this thread (+5 buddy!)

The "lockout" issue is a symptom of overuse

Have a great weekend,

Cheers!

Rob

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Jon,

Thanks for being tactful enough to not say that 5 Communities in the 'History' is not enough for your broad expertise. It's enough for me and I am also not aware of the 'lockout' issue you are both referring to. I see that Jon is also active in the security sections, which reminds me a Networkers session I was listening to about CCIE exams. The speaker from cisco was advising the audience to not lock themselves out of the routers, and someone asked if this happens often. The speaker replied: "Yeah, it happens all the time. Especially in Security! Those guys lock themselves out all the time!"

Kind Regards,

Maria

VIP Super Bronze

Re: Forum navigation

Absolutly 100% agreed with Jon.  I have been looking for a way to get from one sub-category to another without going back up to a major category just like the old Netpro, but have had no luck.  As a mater of fact, I was just about to write about this issue when I saw Jon's post. Thanks Jon,

Cheers,

Reza

Re: Forum navigation

Hi all,

An idea came to me about how to overcome the problem of where to put the navigation assistance requested feature. As you may have seen, when you put your mouse over someone's avatar, a mouse over pop-up box appears with some summary information about person's profile. Also, at the top right of the site you can see the (New, Account, History, Browse) features. Maybe the navigation could be placed and occupy very small space within each major section by taking advantage of a combination of those two features (and simultaneous manual setting of Discussions tab as 'default tab' by each user that prefers the Discussions tab as default).

Kind Regards,

Maria

VIP Super Bronze

Re: Forum navigation

Hello Maria,

I looked at the page to see where possibly the navigation assistance feature could go.  I think an area right across from the "Discursion" and "Filter by Tag Group" section which is right above rating, votes, views, replies tabs may be suitable place if there is enough room.  I personally think this feature is more important then other sections like Action, Notification and Popular Discussions and those could be eliminated if there isn't enough room at the top.

Again, that is just my opinion

Thanks,

Reza

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Reza,

It's good to hear your opinion and up to now that's what we all do. In my opinion, we need to consider the needs of all types of users (regular posters, regular viewers and discussion authors). Admittedly the improvement of the navigation will benefit all users. However, if we eliminated the Actions sidebar box for example, we might face the risk of not having Discussions to navigate, since this box is used for opening Discussions and for other tasks of the authors. Also, I think the LeaderBoards are the advertising part of the site and I consider those the first candidate for movement. Even Jon who finds himself in many of those is willing to move them if that improves navigation for him (which shows how important his original request is for him).

In any case, I would be hesitant to change the design of the site/pages. Web page design is a task more difficult than it seems at a first glance. That's why I proposed some mouse-over pop-up box (like those that pop-up when you put your mouse over an avatar or a username) . To make my proposal more specific, I would suggest the following: a mouse-over pop-up box that would list the subsections of a major category when putting our mouse over e.g. the 'Network Infrastructure' link (and other similar major categories) found at the top of e.g. the Wan, Routing and Switching section:

Cisco Support Community>NetPro>Network Infrastructure>WAN, Routing and Switching

Kind Regards,

Maria

VIP Super Bronze

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Maria,

Correct me if I am wrong, but if you add a link like you proposed below

Cisco Support Community>NetPro>Network Infrastructure>WAN, Routing and Switching

When you are in one forum (WAN Routing and Switching) you still have to click on Network Infrastructure and then to another forum (LAN Routing and Switching), which would be no different then just clicking on Cisco Support Community and then to the other forum.

Would this be the case or I am missing some thing?

Thanks,

Reza

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Reza,

With 'mouse over' I don't mean clicking. You just position the cursor above the link and the box magically appears. If you move the cursor away, box disappears. The difference is that you only have to click on a link within the pop-up box, and you are not actually going back (only target page is actually loaded). That is only one click to go from the WAN to the LAN. Or were you guys expecting to go there without any clicks at all?

Kind Regards,

Maria

p.s. I didn't propose a new link. The link already exists on the page. I only proposed the additional mouse-over functionality for the link. You would still be able to click on it if you like (same way it happens with usernames). The advantage is that the design of the page doesn't have to change. The downside is any time needed for the pop-up box to appear, but that should be less than going back. In any case, let's see what Dan has to say on this one. In the historical thread about the new site he was saying that the widgets on the Overview tab can be manipulated very easily, but it's not so easy to add widgets to the other tabs.

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: Forum navigation

Maria

Or were you guys expecting to go there without any clicks at all?   - You mean that can be done !!!. If so it gets my vote

Jon

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: Forum navigation

Also, I think the LeaderBoards are the advertising part of the site and I consider those the first candidate for movement. Even Jon who finds himself in many of those is willing to move them if that improves navigation for him (which shows how important his original request is for him).

On a more serious note, yes if moving the leaderboards down was the only way to get the additional navigation options then i would be very happy for this to happen. I like the idea of a popup as well but as you say Maria, probably best to see what Dan has to say.

Jon

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Jon,

Maybe I was a bit cruel with the leaderboards. Besides potential boosting of morale of contributors, my opinion is that those make the pages look better from an austhetic standpoint. For those reasons I tried to find a way to keep them there.

As for the seriousness of your requests, you are an exceptionally generous member of the community Jon, and I think all your requests should be seriously considered, even the toughest ones!

Kind Regards,

Maria

Re: Forum navigation

Hi All,

Figured I'd let this play out a bit before jumping in   It is true that widgets at the discussion level are hard coded so adding a HTML box like you see on the "Overview" tab isn't a simple drag and drop of the widget.  The leaderboard was a customization we had built in the system.  If implemented the two solutions proposed so far are:

1.  A Mouse over on the breadcrumbs which displays the sub-communities and  links directly to the corresponding discussion pages

2.  A HTML widget in the right navigation which displays the sub-communities and links directly to the corresponding discussion pages

I really like option 1 better but this might make it an insiders only feature.  It would be very hard for us to identify and train casual users on it's availability and what it does.  Also, this probably means we should then have this feature for all the bread crumb levels in order to keep a consistent UE.

The downside to option 2 is it takes up real-estate.  If we put it directly below the leader board do you think it would still be valuable?

Any other suggestions for a solution?  I will also check with our UE group to see if they have any ideas and will let everyone know what I find out.

Cheers,

Dan

Cheers, Dan
Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Forum navigation

Hey Dan,

Hope all is well

Right below the leader board would work for me I think. As I move around

here more and more it seems fairly natural.

Cheers!

Huff

PS:We'll test the email feature here my friend.

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Dan,

I think we should let your UE group play out a bit before jumping in with other suggestions for a solution.

Regarding the disadvantages of option 1: If you actually didn't keep the view consistent (say make the 'Network Infrastructure' link black like the username links associated with pop-ups), it would be easier for users to spot that something different is happening up there compared to the rest of the links. Also, I think this additional navigation feature will mostly benefit regulars with broad expertise that are really slowed down when trying to answer questions all around NetPro. I think those guys will figure the trick themselves, but we could spread the rumour just in case. As far as I am concerned, the History feature is enough for me anyway.

If you ask me, I don't like placement of navigation on the right side of anything (no matter if its on top, bottom or middle). I guess this is a matter of taste. And shouldn't you then put the navigation of the Overview tab on the right side to have a consistent view?

So, it seems I like my pop-up idea better! Anyway, let's see what Jon and the others have to say. Another parameter on the equation might be how fast you could have this navigation feature ready. Some members have been asking for it since day one.

As for any other ideas: At the top right of the site I can see (when logged in) the (New, Account, History, Browse) menus. Maybe you could add some menu with similar size somewhere on the top left of the page (visible even for user Guest). A problem with this might be how to make it 'major category' aware. I think the other existing menus are the same no matter where user is around the site.

Kind Regards,

Maria

Hall of Fame Super Blue

Re: Forum navigation

Maria / Dan / Rob

Firstly Maria, many thanks for the kind words in your last but one post, means a lot.

As for where to put it i kind of agree with Maria that a consistent interface is quite important so it would be nice if it could be standardised. I also agree with Rob in that if i had to scroll down the page i would be happy to do that.

I'm really not that concerned with the leaderboards being visible without scrolling and i have to scroll to see most if it anyway but i take Maria's point that it can be motivating.

Perhaps Dan if you come back to tell us what is possible and we can go from there. If it's not viable then fine, i'll get used to the extra click but then i'll be hassling you to speed up the site a bit

Jon

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Jon,

Why do I feel like this is a no-win situation for me   Let me see what we can do and I'll get back to you.

Cheers,

Dan

BTW: We are working on the performance.  Clearly we can't fix this overnight but I can assure you we are working on it.

Cheers, Dan

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Dan,

Jon's idea about the improvement of navigation might have a pleasant side-effect on site performance and bandwidth utilization as well. I mean, I sometimes click on some tab or go back to the homepage just for the purpose of navigation. This probably translates to some useless traffic towards and from your web servers. You also have some caching, but site content changes quickly. I don't know how many users navigate a lot across the sections though.

Kind Regards,

Maria

Re: Forum navigation

Ask and you shall receive....

https://supportforums.cisco.com/message/3038269#3038269

Thanks for all your feedback on this.

Cheers,

Dan

Cheers, Dan
Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: Forum navigation

KOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!

Re: Forum navigation

Leo,

Is that a technical term I'm unaware of?

Glad you enjoy the new navigation.

Cheers,

Dan

Cheers, Dan
Hall of Fame Super Gold

Re: Forum navigation

dbruhn wrote:

Leo,

Is that a technical term I'm unaware of?

Glad you enjoy the new navigation.

Cheers,

Dan

Sure is.  It's up there along with "karamba" and "kawabanga".

Re: Forum navigation

Hi Dan,

The navigation is great and matches well with the look and feel of the rest of the site. By the way, I think the site is very beautiful in an elegant and classy kind of way. The cisco corporate website is lagging behind!

Kind Regards,

Maria

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Forum navigation

Hey Dan/Tim and the whole CSC Team,

I agree with Leo!! This is a great improvement for sure and very Kool

Thanks for your continued hard work and dedication in support of the

CSC. It's very much appreciated from this end!

Cheers!

Huff

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