A day or so ago I had a few spare minutes so I signed in to the Community and took my first look.
I was underwhelmed. I saw a busy page, a pretty page, including headings for TV, Internet Phone and Lounge but mainly I saw a reverse chronological list of Trending Topics.
Then what? The headings are reasonably descriptive and I'll follow them at some point but, where is the discussion structure, the hierarchy? Perhaps it's there but it is not immediately obvious to me.
Now, a few days later, I went back to the Community and was still disappointed at what I was seeing here.
I do not like the discovery approach to navigating web sites. I do not want to have to learn what is what and what is where by trial and error. I want a site structure and navigation buttons that take me from place to place in a logical way, without my having to hunt for them..
I was sitting here, staring at the home page, wondering where to go next. I wanted to see the discussions but all I saw was the Trending Topics. This wasn't really helpful. I wanted a listing of threads. I' wanted to find an appropriate thread to post some comments ( the ones I am now posting here), but could not immediately see where I would do that. Remember, I didn't want to have to hunt to find it. I want to be led there.
I also changed some of my details and preferences.
Looking at the home page now I cannot immediately see how I got to the preferences/options pages. Oh, now I remember - I had to mouse over everything on that page to jog my memory - I had clicked on the user name.
After I changed the settings (picked an avatar, changed some privacy settings), there was no link on any of those pages to take me back to the Community home page and no breadcrumb, either.
I managed to create a comment. I am not sure where I did it. Then I discovered a spelling mistake but couldn't see an edit button. So I posted a second comment, commenting about the spelling mistake. I have no idea where either comment actually went. [Edit: It seems I commented on my status.]
I am now looking at my activity and the only comments showing there are the automated just joined the community and the one commenting about being unable to correct the one with the spelling mistake. The comment with the actual spelling mistake isn't showing up.
In all this, there is no link back to the Community's home page. [It feels a bit silly using the antiquated term home page, but I am not sure what else to call it.]
I clicked on a few things, got to the Lounge and there was what I was looking for - the navigation breadcrumb, Home > All Places > Lounge. Clicking on Home took me back to the home page.
OK, I just posted a question and, my (fictional) first name and last name were used to identify it, not my screen name. Is this because I am logged in or does everyone see it? Well, it seems that was because I was logged in. Once I logged out, only my screen name showed up. Good.
Now, in trying to log in again, I find that my browser's ability to remember login data is disabled - clicking in the Username field does not bring up the username that I use. This is a regrettable trend that I have noticed from a number of web sites, such as the Community, where it is hardly necessary, in contrast to financial sites, where I find it quite acceptable. This is not so good.
Even if I cannot edit the actual post, at least I can edit the tags. Good.
There does not seem to be a place for posting general, Community-related comments, only ones aimed at TV, Internet, Phone and Lounge - oh wait - maybe that's it. I'll try it. Yep, that seems to be the place. Lounge - cute name. I hate cute - it obfuscates.