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Categories or tags based navigation ?

  • Hello !

    As I don’t like the classical forums layout, I want to make something newer and original ( almost all BBPress forums have the same layout, except some original ones like 9rules, Punaji etc… ), I’m almost done with the design .

    And as I want it to look more “web 2.0″, I decided to hide the categories list and to force the user to use only the tags for navigation .

    What do you think ?

    PS : Sorry if this is the bad place for this thread !

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

  • johnhiler
    Member

    @johnhiler

    Is there a link we can look at? :-)

    I don’t have finished the template ( I only made the design in The GIMP ), so I don’t have it online now ( because I need more ideas, and this is one of those ) .

    I want only know if users prefer to navigate with the classical categories or with the bbpress tags ( I think it offers a more attractive way, an infinite number of “categories”, and users are free to create their own ) .

    Both? I like categories when I want to troll things like themes or ‘requests for help’. And then tags are great when I think I want to know everything about Joe Schmoe, regardless of which category.

    sbouazza, send a screenshot of your forum :)

    I think is a best idea.

    It would work fine. :)

    I hacked mine so users would tick on tags that are pre-defined, using only one forum. I thought it would be more suited for the target users who might not be familiar with the whole concept of “tags”, and I think it is working as expected.

    The way I could think of in how to enter tags in the first place is pretty silly but ah well…

    You’d be letting users enter the tags themselves, so it’ll be logically nicer.

    It is not finished yet ( I must review the font colors, the background which doesn’t match the header etc… ), but here’s a screen-shot : http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/8343/forumscreenshotgr1.png .

    BTW, tags will not be seen by search engines like duplicate content ?


    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    I think that site naviation really depends on how much traffic your forum has, how much you want it to have, and in what route you want your traffic to reach its destination.

    The typical forum layout comes from catering to new visitors that want descriptions of each category, and from repeat visitors wanting to check if there are updates to that category without having to click into that category.

    Tags don’t offer either of these options inherently.

    If tags could visually signify if there are new posts for the visitor inside of them, maybe with emphasis or italics or reordering them to the front of the cloud, that would be a neat idea.

    bbPress tends to take a different approach on forum/topic importance, by emphasising on the most recently replied to topics right on the front page. I consider this more of a feature of a slow moving bulletin board more than for a large one. I know some large technical forums that would show 20 different posts on every page refresh with this type of last reply based concept.

    Tags are interesting because they are user editable and provide a wiki-esque style of topic organization. 99% of users will obey this, but it still requires a bit of moderation and attention. Using categories that users cannot edit allows for you to legitimately categorize your data, rather than have it free flowing any and everywhere. Also, how do you compensate for the “New Topic” screen where there is a category drop-down? If your authors aren’t familiar with the concept and meaning of your forums categories, yet they are forced to choose one, this will result in topics being put into the database almost at random, making it difficult for you to moderate them.

    I see how this idea can be appealing, and I see how it could work in some instances, but I think this type of idea is more suitable for a WordPress type blog/CMS than for a forum.

    The typical forum layout comes from catering to new visitors that want descriptions of each category, and from repeat visitors wanting to check if there are updates to that category without having to click into that category.

    Of course, my goal is to break that “tradition” and create something newer and, as you said, wik-ish .

    Tags also are really great for moderating topics, you can immediately find duplicate topics and close them .

    The forum will be managed BY the community, so using tags for navigation and giving the users the right to create them freely will not be a problem ( tags spam ? the spammer will get a kick in the ass :P ), and the moderation team will do its best to prevent tags abuse.

    If tags could visually signify if there are new posts for the visitor inside of them, maybe with emphasis or italics or reordering them to the front of the cloud, that would be a neat idea.

    Good idea, noted .

    Well, thank you all for your responses, I’ll try to finish the template then I’ll invite users to test it and give me their feedbacks .

    I didn’t see someone else using tag navigation on his forum, so maybe I will be the first to use it :-) ( or to loose )

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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