bouncybunny - 1:30 am on Sep 30, 2010 (gmt 0)
Thanks for the history lesson Elsmarc. I knew there had to be reason.
So - That's the 'logic' it came from. It may be 'obscure' to you, but not so very long ago in human years (as opposed to 'internet years') it wasn't ridiculous
Sure. But to still (at least up to the vB 3.x version I last used) have this as a default for new forums is bonkers. To me, it's a sign of a technology approach wining over a usability design approach. Just because us techies can explain the logic behind a feature, doesn't mean it's useful. The first time I came across this, I just kept clicking on the box trying to make a post and thought that I must not have been logged in properly. And I've been a geek for years. ;)
Most of the forums I used to run were for non-techies. I used to have a 5-10 point "How to...", section which included things such screenshots of the posting box and the submit button, with instructions such as "type your message in here and then click on the..."
Patronising? Not at all. Patronising would be to assume that my user base has a background in software engineering and user interfaces. My forums were used people who could barely switch their computers on, who complained that they didn't know what a 'Control Panel' was.
How many forums actually have this kind of thing? My view on the problems with most forum software is that they spend more time adding 'features' (and CMSs for that matter), which only a small percentage of users will ever use, than they do on making the thing easy to use.
Apple's iPods are certainly not the most feature packed MP3 players on the market. But they are the easiest to use. Love them or not, this is the predominant reason for their success (yes, yes and the marketing).
First thing I do with any forum software is to disable most of its 'features'. I then re-enable them one by one, depending on the intended user base. Then I change the terminology for most of the links and buttons.
Works for me. YMMV of course...