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Author Topic: Suggestions for CH (And some reasons as to why we suggested these)  (Read 16071 times)

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CBMatt

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And what about registration numbers nosediving because new users can't find their system info and just want help ? ? ?

I have a feeling that most of those members would be the ones who post once or twice and then never come back because they either gave up and/or got help somewhere else.  If registration takes a bit more work, there's a significantly higher probability of getting people who are more serious about getting help here.
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Raptor

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DarkBlade made some good suggestions, actually. They should be easier to implement and more user friendly..

unlovedwarrior



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    1. Hardware/software details have to be filled out when registering.  Omitting this data is not an option.  If a user is unsure of how to obtain said information, they may be directed towards a tool such as SIW or Everest.  If possible, a good method would be the ability to save information for multiple computers. Then, when somebody posts, they can choose which computer they're talking about. Much like the billing plans on a site such as Amazon.

    maybe something like on this page


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    Unfortunately I'm having to do many of these changes manually so it's going slow (my PHP skills are null) but have started out with a potential start to the solution. Users who are now creating a message (not replying) will have a message displayed above the message box that says:

    Asking a question? Click here to add your system information to the message.

    If the user clicks "Click here", text similar to the below example will automatically be entered into their message box. This information is pulled from the browser user_agent so if the user is on the computer they're asking a question about key information such as OS and browser will be typed in for them.

    Example test:
    I'm running Windows XP and the Firefox browser. My question is

    From that point the user can finish typing their question.

    It's a start. Unfortunately the user_agent can't pull system specific information so still working on possible solutions for that.
    Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.
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    Sid, regarding the suggestion about CCleaner, it would be a great idea. However, unfortunately I don't think most users would take the time to download a third-party app if many are not spending the time to read the read me first posts.

    CBMatt, Mr. Hope is still a work in progress, not a small task and with me bouncing around from one thing to another takes awhile. ;) However, I definitely welcome any scenarios or FAQ's that are not already answered. The beat (updated a month or so after originally posting) is still up at:

    http://www.computerhope.com/cgi-bin/mrhope/mrhope.cgi

    Not sure how he could be implemented into the forums (as far as users doing it before posting). But a log or things he's stepped them through could definitely be logged or even better sent to the forums. But good idea, something maybe for the future once it's more complete.

    My only problem with filling out specs upon creating an account is where to store the data, unfortunately I'm not that great with PHP and new to SMF so implementing something like that would unfortunately take me personally a lot of time if at all possible.

    Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.
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    Example of user using this new feature.

    http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php/topic,36120.0.html

    If you happen to see a post where the users did not list their OS information but should of that has been made late today or any time in the future mention it, let's see if this helps as far as getting more users to at least post their  os information.
    Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.
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    Zylstra

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    Two things:
    Do you think it would be a good idea or a bad idea to sometimes redirect a user to the Mr. Hope BETA to see what they get?
    (Actually, you might put it on the oh.htm page as a BETA once you think it works well enough)

    Also:
    There is a way to make it so users can input their system information, or any information. You might remember when I suggested that users would be able to register their computer experience level. The modification allows you to make anything required or not required on the registration page, However, It would get terribly annoying if we were constantly going to look at their profiles.

    Check with the SMF Forums, and see about a way to allow users to put more information in their posts (same way as you carry information from one programming file to another, CGI) by using either a Java, Flash, or ActiveX type of program.

    I dont think Rob_Pomeroy has Internet at this moment :( , but if he does but I think you might be able to find him on Skype (you never know) and ask him about possible solutions (since, as you recall, he was very giddy about helping with this forum and website)


    CBMatt

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    CBMatt, Mr. Hope is still a work in progress, not a small task and with me bouncing around from one thing to another takes awhile. ;) However, I definitely welcome any scenarios or FAQ's that are not already answered. The beat (updated a month or so after originally posting) is still up at:

    http://www.computerhope.com/cgi-bin/mrhope/mrhope.cgi

    Not sure how he could be implemented into the forums (as far as users doing it before posting). But a log or things he's stepped them through could definitely be logged or even better sent to the forums. But good idea, something maybe for the future once it's more complete.

    My only problem with filling out specs upon creating an account is where to store the data, unfortunately I'm not that great with PHP and new to SMF so implementing something like that would unfortunately take me personally a lot of time if at all possible.

    I definitely sympathize when it comes to Mr. Hope.  It's obviously a BIG task, and it will take a long time to get him to the point of actually being truly helpful.  Although I like the idea of using him in conjunction with the board somehow, we probably won't be doing that anytime soon, even if we were all working on it.  I still like the idea, though.

    As for the system specs...like Zylstra suggests, I bet you could find some solutions on the SMF forums.  There has to be someone who has done something very similar to this and could make it a lot easier for you.  I understand that your abilities and time are limited, but the work may have already been done for you.  With some luck, you may only have to follow some simple steps.

    And there's something else I'm wondering.  Many forums have a tooltips feature that lets you preview the content of a post by overing over the subject line.  Do you know if SMF supports this?  This could help cut down on a lot of wasted time and we wouldn't have to get sucked into so many posts with generic and/or misleading titles.  Just a thought.


    Example of user using this new feature.

    http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php/topic,36120.0.html

    If you happen to see a post where the users did not list their OS information but should of that has been made late today or any time in the future mention it, let's see if this helps as far as getting more users to at least post their  os information.
    Although not major, that is a step in the right direction.  Do you think it would be possible to have some textareas show up after clicking on that link?  Kinda like the Additional Options link...when you click on that, you're presented with some checkboxes and options.  Perhaps clicking on the "Click here" link could present the poster with several textareas asking for certain specs.  I don't like this as much as the registration, but perhaps it would be easier?  Or would it actually be harder?

    I'd like to thank you for attention on this matter so far, Nathan.  I appreciate you looking over our suggestiongs and trying to address this with us.  He'll never say it, but Raptor appreciates it too.  I swear, he's a big ol' softie on the inside.  Heh.



    Do you think it would be a good idea or a bad idea to sometimes redirect a user to the Mr. Hope BETA to see what they get?
    This could really go either way, I think.  If we did use Mr. Hope, perhaps it would be best to keep it optional, as I'm sure some people might get confused or frustrated.  However, it could help give someone an idea of what information to provide.  Even if it's just something like "I tried Mr. Hope and he told me to do this, this, and this but none of it worked."


    However, It would get terribly annoying if we were constantly going to look at their profiles.
    I agree.  But perhaps the information could be included on the side underneath the avatar and user quote.  Wherever it is, it should be easily accessible.  Maybe the information could be hidden and then activated by clicking on a link (much like when clicking on the Additional Options link).  The information will load with the rest of the page, but it can be concealed/revealed by using javascript.  Perhaps it could be included in the signature somehow.  From the beginning, I have had my computer specs in my signature because I knew that whenever I had a problem, the information would be asked for, and I didn't want to have to keep posting it.

    When registering for GeeksToGo, you are asked to provide your OS and it is displayed underneath your avatar.  We can surely do something like this on a slightly larger scale.  It would be a lot nicer, I think, if we could save info for multiple computers, but I know there's only so much we can do.  And if storage/space is an issue, we could look into my above suggestion to Nathan.
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    Zylstra, technically right now Mr. Hope is in the alpha stage, which is why it hasn't been mentioned anywhere but the forums. I'm going to try to go into overdrive this weekend and I'll see if I can get it up to at least beta where I think it's more suitable for all visitors to try.

    As far as a mod, there are a few mods that look promising unfortunately installing mods with SMF seem to be short of impossible. I've not yet been able to install one mod successfully. Starting to see what Saviour meant about installing mods with this forum system. I'm sure my lack of PHP skills and limited time however don't help. ;)

    Finally, I'm sure Rob would be more than happy to help and maybe he could come up with a good solution. My issue is that it would have to be a solution external of the server. Most solutions I'd imagine require some form of access to the Computer Hope server, which I'm unable to do.

    CBMatt, I did see a possible solution on the SMF forums that would of been nice to implement, however it wasn't a mod it was something they did internally. There are some other solutions however all of them had some additional text boxes, still debating if adding even more text boxes to fill out is the best solution. Always try to keep with the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle.

    However, I do like your idea of the link also pulling down additional information about what the user should post ie: RAM, CPU, other information. I don't know if it would be harder or not but I assume it couldn't be that hard. That's just JavaScript / HTML stuff which is fairly easy for me.

    Finally, I like the idea of having the system information under the profile on the left side. I agreed with Zylstra on how much of a pain it would be having to open peoples profile's just to see system specs and then how disappointed you would be if they were not there. I'll also look into that as a possible solution. I'm sure it will take a mod, but maybe it will be a simple mod. ;)
    Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.
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    CBMatt

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    You've definitely got my vote of confidence, Nathan.  Having no experience with SMF or PHP, I guess it's pretty easy for me to say that something sounds like it'll be easy.  But you're a resourceful guy and I'm sure you can pull it off.  At the very least, I think it's worth a shot.
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    you rock, somebody cares 8)