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  • Board Needs Reorganizing!

    This board looks like a messy teenager's room these days. WAY too many forums. New users have got to be completely bewildered by it!!! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve/reorganize it? I'm all ears!
    website | products | support | youtube

  • #2
    I think what concerns me the most is that a lot of newbie questions I see would be best handled by decent documentation. I know when I first started out with HS3, the Quick Start Guide was appalling. A lot of the questions could/should be answered by decent documentation.

    The forums should be supplemental, not a substitute for documentation. And expecting users to provide guidance as to how to use HS3 in the most basic ways is not a recipe for a good end user experience.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mikedr View Post
      I think what concerns me the most is that a lot of newbie questions I see would be best handled by decent documentation. I know when I first started out with HS3, the Quick Start Guide was appalling. A lot of the questions could/should be answered by decent documentation.



      The forums should be supplemental, not a substitute for documentation. And expecting users to provide guidance as to how to use HS3 in the most basic ways is not a recipe for a good end user experience.

      A big part of the problem is this, exactly. The board has become your support desk.
      Madcodger

      This would be a lot easier if I knew what I was doing...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by macromark View Post
        This board looks like a messy teenager's room these days. WAY too many forums. New users have got to be completely bewildered by it!!! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve/reorganize it? I'm all ears!
        I would start by removing from the home page any link to plugins that don't work with HS3 or are not supported anymore. There are a lot of these right now.
        Then I would try to make the home page more compact by merging/removing things.

        Whatever you do please try to not change url of threads, because I use the forum for the support of all my plugins: each one adds some links to user guide threads within the HS3 web interface

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by spud View Post
          Whatever you do please try to not change url of threads, because I use the forum for the support of all my plugins: each one adds some links to user guide threads within the HS3 web interface
          Yes, please don't change any url. I bookmark any post that has helpful information.

          A suggestion - there are guys that post really helpful guides, have a knack for writing and have extra time on their hands. Offer them a consulting fee to write chapters for the User's Guide. The docs they write could be placed on a Dropbox folder so they could review each others work. It's a win win. Your customers get detailed documentation and Homeseer produces the documentation without any long term increase in employees salaries and G&A.

          - Robert

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          • #6
            I would recommend a wiki rather than a user's guide. I know it's been tried before and shut down due to spam, but surely that issue is solvable as there are thousands of wikis on the internet. How To's that are posted here quickly get lost in all the "noise".

            Cheers
            Al
            HS 3.0.0.548: 1970 Devices 1148 Events
            Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sparkman View Post
              I would recommend a wiki rather than a user's guide. I know it's been tried before and shut down due to spam, but surely that issue is solvable as there are thousands of wikis on the internet. How To's that are posted here quickly get lost in all the "noise".
              Can you restrict authors on the wiki?

              - Robert

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by spud View Post
                I would start by removing from the home page any link to plugins that don't work with HS3 or are not supported anymore. There are a lot of these right now.
                I have to disagree here. Many still use HS2 and still depend on those plugins and documentation/comments & previous support. Since obtaining support from HST for HS2 is next to impossible, the board has become the only remaining recourse.
                Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The single thing that has always made the board difficult to use, and does result, I think, in the majority of repeated (not only) "newbie" questions is the fact that the search function is limited to a single word. If one were able to search for a phrase things might begin to clear themselves in that regard.
                  Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spud View Post
                    I would start by removing from the home page any link to plugins that don't work with HS3 or are not supported anymore. There are a lot of these right now.
                    Then I would try to make the home page more compact by merging/removing things.

                    Whatever you do please try to not change url of threads, because I use the forum for the support of all my plugins: each one adds some links to user guide threads within the HS3 web interface
                    I would think that the way to handle this would be to setup a link at the bottom of the Forums titled Legacy Software/Hardware.

                    HS2 plugins/software would be under there as subforums but not listed on the main page.

                    Any hardware that goes discontinued or no longer stocked would get moved to here. Keep only current things on the forums main page.

                    I would agree with the merging/removing things but I doubt you can get any agreement on what things should be removed. Everyone will agree that things need to go but as is human nature, the things removed should only be the things that I don't care about.
                    --
                    Jeff Farmer
                    HS 3, HSPhone
                    My HS3 Plugins: CFHSExtras, Random, Restart, Tracker, WeatherXML, PanaBluRay
                    Other Plugins In Use: APCUPSD, BLOnkyo, Device History, EasyTrigger, HSTouch Server, PHLocation2, Pushover, RFXCom, UltraGCIR3, UltraMon3, UltraPioneerAVR3, X10, Z-Wave

                    Hardware: GoControl Irrigation Controler, Schlage Lever Lock, Schlage Deadbolt, Way2Call Hi-Phone, RFXCom RFXrec433 Receiver, WGL 800, TI-103, Z-Net, Pioneer 1120, Pioneer 1021, Pioneer LX302, Panasonic BDT-110, Panasonic BDT-210 x2

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mikedr View Post
                      I think what concerns me the most is that a lot of newbie questions I see would be best handled by decent documentation. I know when I first started out with HS3, the Quick Start Guide was appalling. A lot of the questions could/should be answered by decent documentation.



                      The forums should be supplemental, not a substitute for documentation. And expecting users to provide guidance as to how to use HS3 in the most basic ways is not a recipe for a good end user experience.

                      Agree here. Since I started with HS, I struggled so much in the beginning because of the lack of documentation and even the current documentation still referencing the older software.

                      The forum is a mess, but this is another example of misguided effort. If you have the ability to fix the forum, fix the documentation first. Once you have proper documentation to help new people out, then incorporate it into the forum.

                      Since documentation will probably still slide, I like the idea of having the legacy stuff moved to another sub forum and current stuff front facing. A wiki is a good idea as well to help supplement documentation, but not replace it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RJS View Post
                        Can you restrict authors on the wiki?

                        - Robert
                        Hi Robert,

                        I'm sure that's possible with some if not all Wiki software.

                        Cheers
                        Al
                        HS 3.0.0.548: 1970 Devices 1148 Events
                        Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wadenut View Post
                          The single thing that has always made the board difficult to use, and does result, I think, in the majority of repeated (not only) "newbie" questions is the fact that the search function is limited to a single word. If one were able to search for a phrase things might begin to clear themselves in that regard.
                          +1 Sometimes I cant even find my own posts and the search results return pages of unrelated content.
                          If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wadenut View Post
                            I have to disagree here. Many still use HS2 and still depend on those plugins and documentation/comments & previous support. Since obtaining support from HST for HS2 is next to impossible, the board has become the only remaining recourse.
                            My suggestion was not to delete the HS2 content, but to move it in a legacy section like CFGuy said

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Searching should exclude signature content. Too many non-relevant posts come up when searching for a keyword - a lot of people include their system configuration in their signature.
                              Mike

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