Welcome to The Lab

Welcome to The Lab

Author
Discussion

JD PH

Original Poster:

2,663 posts

77 months

Wednesday 18th November 2015
quotequote all
Hi and welcome to the PH Lab.

You’ll be pleased to know we are going to focus our development team on forum and social features in 2016. We’ve got ideas from feedback, analytics and insight... and we're sure you do too.

So we are launching this new forum: the PH Lab. Here we'll regularly report on the larger projects we are working on, our regular releases on optimisation and fixing bugs, and suggestions from you.

You may not be aware but we test out our major concepts to the "PH Board", a private forum of 200 volunteer members where we seek feedback and comments on early concepts. If you are keen to join in and give us your thoughts on see early concepts in the pre-design and functionality stages you can apply by sending me a PM, as we want to expand the size to a manageable 500 representing a broad church of PHers.

This PH Lab forum, however, and the threads within it is where we will show everyone concepts that we are more committed to delivering, or are homing in on the release of. You can still feedback on these projects and help to shape the finer details, and on top of this we'd love to here your suggestions and discuss new ideas with you.

JD

Edited by JD PH on Tuesday 24th November 14:42

Roo

11,503 posts

167 months

Tuesday 24th November 2015
quotequote all
Oooooo. Where did this spring up from?

laam999

538 posts

129 months

Wednesday 25th November 2015
quotequote all
Decent mobile mode for forum?

AOK

2,293 posts

126 months

Thursday 26th November 2015
quotequote all
With the imminent launch of Lovecars, with websites like CarThrottle going strong and interfaces such as YT, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter being used more and more by the younger car community (lets face it, they are your only hope for survival), its good to hear that you guys at PH HQ have woken up out of your complacent comfort zone and are willing to drive some change. Better late than never.

I'm one of few people in my generation / circle of petrolhead friends (and I'm not that young!) who use PH, with most considering it a backward, archaic portal with a complementing user profile. Most of them will visit your classifieds from time to time and occasionally stumble across a thread, usually directed your way via Google rather than out of preference.

As things come to me, feel free to pay no attention:

- Need an App.
- Need to ditch this 1998 looking forum set up for a swish custom-built platform.
- Need more editorial / interactivity pieces, comment of the week competition (as an example), ability to like and follow, micro communities, inbuilt DM facility etc
- Classifieds are so mobile and tablet unfriendly, I avoid using them
- bring in new users by posting better content on the aforementioned media portals. Do you even have a youtube channel? If you do, why have I never come across it? If you don't, you should.
- hashtags (here... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashtag)

Good luck!

AOK

2,293 posts

126 months

Thursday 26th November 2015
quotequote all
Re-reading my previous tone, I hope it doesn't read negatively. I'm genuinely pleased to see you reaching out for change and I look forward to seeing the improvements roll out

Craikeybaby

9,292 posts

185 months

Friday 27th November 2015
quotequote all
This all sounds very positive!

My take is that PH doesn't need to become like the newer car websites - I like the forums as they are, I just wish they would work better and have less intrusive adverts! PH needs to keep its character, rather than morphing into another generic car website!

utgjon

705 posts

133 months

Friday 27th November 2015
quotequote all
AOK said:
- Need to ditch this 1998 looking forum set up for a swish custom-built platform.
I 100% disagree... Part of what makes this such a pleasant user experience is its simplicity!

jurbie

2,095 posts

161 months

Saturday 28th November 2015
quotequote all
If there was a 'like' button I would have used it on the last two posts.

Shaw Tarse

30,174 posts

163 months

Saturday 28th November 2015
quotequote all
jurbie said:
If there was a 'like' button I would have used it on the last two posts.
PH doesn't need a like button!

jurbie

2,095 posts

161 months

Saturday 28th November 2015
quotequote all
That was kind of the point I was making but to address the points made by AOK I would suggest PH should consider itself a sort of Radio 2 of car forums. PH shouldn't try to attract a younger demographic it should be the place where the younger demographic comes when it has grown up a bit and wants something a little more mellow.

saaby93

27,202 posts

138 months

Saturday 28th November 2015
quotequote all
utgjon said:
AOK said:
- Need to ditch this 1998 looking forum set up for a swish custom-built platform.
I 100% disagree... Part of what makes this such a pleasant user experience is its simplicity!
+ yes
KISS

mybrainhurts

89,739 posts

215 months

Saturday 28th November 2015
quotequote all
Genetically modified PH, eh?...have the riots started yet..? hehe

AOK

2,293 posts

126 months

Saturday 28th November 2015
quotequote all
jurbie said:
That was kind of the point I was making but to address the points made by AOK I would suggest PH should consider itself a sort of Radio 2 of car forums. PH shouldn't try to attract a younger demographic it should be the place where the younger demographic comes when it has grown up a bit and wants something a little more mellow.
That's quite a reasonable analogy.

But what's to say the younger demographic who are currently not represented strongly on PH do decide to move over when they're older and wiser? Surely they'll just stick with the platform they are comfortable with and already have 'friends' on, just like the 20-something year olds who started using PH in 1998 have done.

I find PH's real gem is its vast catalogue of invaluable knowledge stored in the forum, but I fear much of the younger generation merely 'lurk' for this info or just arrive to it by typing their question into Google... they don't feel inclined to join the 'community'. And surely that's what the main objective is... i.e. building a community with plenty of interactivity?

AOK

2,293 posts

126 months

Saturday 28th November 2015
quotequote all
Shaw Tarse said:
PH doesn't need a like button!
Please, expand on this opinion. It's useful on so many levels, both for the user and website.

Out of interest, how do you find new threads to read / engage with on PH, other than going through the sub sections individually until you find a topic of interest? The closest thing (I know of) is the "What's New" tab...



... sadly though, I'm not that into Global knives and assisted suicides. Nor am I a Newcastle supporter, and I don't have pressure issues in my heating system (for the moment). So unfortunately, I'm left to manually sift through my favourite sections until I find something of interest.

Through the power of likes (and hashtags) newer platforms actually bring engaging content to you, rather than you having to search it out for yourself. Clever algorithms aggregate your previous interactions and show you new content you're most likely to engage with (and enjoy).

Read this if you're interested, regarding the Edgerank algo that Facebook use... http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/facebook-like-button...

Hooli

32,278 posts

160 months

Monday 7th December 2015
quotequote all
saaby93 said:
utgjon said:
AOK said:
- Need to ditch this 1998 looking forum set up for a swish custom-built platform.
I 100% disagree... Part of what makes this such a pleasant user experience is its simplicity!
+ yes
KISS
+ a lot more. Please don't ruin it so it becomes st like other 'modern' interfaces.

HammyUK

129 posts

61 months

Monday 7th December 2015
quotequote all
It doesn't need to be "modern" but it needs to be far easier to navigate around!
Even just going through threads with multiple pages is a total arse. Posts jumping pages, pages not going in order, etc.
Search function is a bit crap in comparison to others.
The ability to choose a "skin" as not everyone wants a glaring white background.
PM's are a given on any forum - add threading to the messages too and you have a winner there.
Lets be honest - whilst there is any swearing on Radio 2 - the real world is different so blocking the likes of st, bks, are, etc is like being at Grandma's house and being told off. Do the school run - far worse is coming out of the kids mouths going in the gate.
A "What's new" or a "latest posts" is needed too as trawling through every subsection is a waste of time if you're just popping in for a quick nosey.
Oh - did I mention making the thread pages chronological? 1 being the first page, etc. Can the "next" button actually take you to the next page for once?
This is the biggest bugbear here and the one thats stopped me until recently from actively using the place - it is a total and complete ballache.

JD PH

Original Poster:

2,663 posts

77 months

Monday 7th December 2015
quotequote all
Hi all,

Thanks for all the thoughts and feedback, although I'd just like to request that this sort of discussion occurs in Website feedback as, well, that's what it is for! The Lab forum is here to discuss specific upcoming projects and developments that are approaching launch - any ideas, suggestions or just general feedback (like this) is much better off being posted in the Web feedback forum!

Thanks

JD

V41LEY

2,551 posts

198 months

Thursday 10th December 2015
quotequote all
JD PH said:
Hi all,

Thanks for all the thoughts and feedback, although I'd just like to request that this sort of discussion occurs in Website feedback as, well, that's what it is for! The Lab forum is here to discuss specific upcoming projects and developments that are approaching launch - any ideas, suggestions or just general feedback (like this) is much better off being posted in the Web feedback forum!

Thanks

JD
JD - you might get more relevant comments if you open the box and share some of the 'specific upcoming projects and developments' or are they secret ?

JD PH

Original Poster:

2,663 posts

77 months

Thursday 10th December 2015
quotequote all
V41LEY said:
JD - you might get more relevant comments if you open the box and share some of the 'specific upcoming projects and developments' or are they secret ?
Hi,

Not secret at all! As soon as there are projects ready to be shared they'll be put in the lab.

Our release / development process is as follows:

1) Idea suggested in Web feedback (or thought of internally etc)

2) Outline proposal / initial scope of work carried out

3) Shared with private "board" forum for review (shelved, adapted or green lighted accordingly) - to apply to be a board member please PM me!

4) Progress shared with board through to near completion

5) Project shared in "Lab" forum for more broad review + Beta testing

6) Project fine tuned based on Lab feedback

7) Released!

I hope this helps you understand the process - also it is worth noting that there will obviously be ebb and flow in terms of projects as some are much bigger than others.

JD

Corbeliere

452 posts

79 months

Thursday 17th December 2015
quotequote all
One feature that I would like is this. When I look at my stuff, in particular my old posts, it would be nice to go straight to my post rather than trawling backwards through later posts to find mine.

Cheers and Merry Christmas.