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Thread: Looking for input about "home" page layout

  1. #1
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    Default Looking for input about "home" page layout

    Howdy folks :)

    In order to make the "home" page more attractive to new and existing members, I am seeking your input. The "home" page is the page visitors will be taken to from searches, so it's got to make a good first impression. I have attached an image that shows what one possible new layout would look like. The "BT history" is completely up in the air, meaning that anything could be placed into that "block" if something else is better suited for it. The recent threads and the RSS feeds are interchangeable amongst any of the 3 bottom blocks. The top block should be the welcome to BT message posted below (feel free to add or subtract to it), I'd like to keep it around 600 characters (as it sits there are 719).

    Any and all ideas are welcomed, after all it's your house

    BrainTalk Communities is an online community designed to promote education, awareness, and support primarily for neurological conditions (alzheimers, ALS, multiplesclerosis, parkinsons, cerebralpalsey, autism, etc etc) as well as other general health related problems (chronic pain, emtional pain, etc etc). BT as it's affectionally known also has the goal of fostering better communication between patients and their medical professionals (docs, nurses, pharmacists, etc etc). Friends and family of patients suffering from any condition are welcome to post their quetions here, or offer support for others. Likewise we encourage those in the medical fields to chime in with their knowledge, experience, and insight.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Question: Why can't I post links or pictures?
    Question: Why can't I have a signature, avatar, or profile picture?
    Question: What's wrong with my account?

    Answer: You are in the "registered users" user group. This group is very limited in what it can do. This will annoy spammers to no end Just keep posting once you have been registered for 30 days and have made 11 posts your account will be "unlocked".

    It's really easy to put someone on ignore and it's strongly recommended that you do so with people who's posts you don't like.

    Step 1 - log in
    Step 2 - click on the "settings" link
    Step 3 - click on the "edit ignore list" link on the left side of the screen
    Step 4 - type (or paste if you copied and pasted it) the username of the person you want to ignore
    Step 5 - click the "ok" button on the right of the screen

    Easy peasy and will lower your blood pressure. One important note though, this won't hide quoted posts. It's an oversight on the developers part and it's not an easy thing to "fix." So if someone quotes someone you have ignored, you'll see the quote.

    Alternatively when you click on a person's name and view their profile page, underneath their avatar, there is a option that says, "Ignore this person". Click that link and then click the yes button.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Ging's Avatar
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    I think the welcome banner is very good, I wish more people noticed the forums at the top . Maybe if they were in a color or bolder print maybe, this lets people search for the place they will find the most support for their particular issue. I go all over as I find one medical problem often brings another weather it is physical or emotional , this is the place that gave me comfort in my darkest days. what ever you do , I will stay with Braintalk as long as it is up thanks to all who reach out to make it a welcoming place. Ging

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member tic chick's Avatar
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    hey mike and everyone !

    as usual, just my ideas...

    since the home page is the page that searches will come to, i agree that a "welcoming" home page is very important.

    since the email interviews and all the other stuff about bt is so small in size and some still a work in progress, i think that whole left side could be used better. links to the that page could be listed along with other topics, which i'll list.

    i shortened the "welcome to BT" to about 500 words, here 'tis for perusal:

    Welcome to the BrainTalk Communities!

    Affectionately known as "BT", we are an online support community designed to promote education and awareness of various neurological conditions and general health realated concerns.

    Our goals are to foster better communication between patients and all their medical caregivers and to invite friends, family and caregivers to voice their support, experiences and questions concerning people living with any medical condition.

    We also encourage all medical professionals to join our dialog with their knowledge, experience and insight.
    on the left side, since people are coming here for the first time, i think we should have a click-on list of all the forums so that visitors would be able to click on the forum subject they want. there could be a click-on link for "list of all forums", "bt interviews and history" (or other name, it would have it's own page so that when everything is finished it would be one readable page), FAQ's, TofS, Smilies (please have a permanent link to smilies, not everyone has bookmarked it and new people would enjoy it). I'd like to see the click on links to terms of service, faq's and the registration page bolded and titled, "Please Read before Registering" and have it above the list of all forums.

    i liked rose's idea of pics, also. any chance of getting a pic a week on the home page of some nice scenery where any bt member lives?

    that's about it for now,
    jeannie
    Last edited by tic chick; 10-15-2012 at 06:10 PM.
    Here's to good women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
    "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
    "Don't go there unless you know the way back." TC
    "...there will be an answer. Let it be." Paul McCartney

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I like tic chick's revision!

    Also, since this is the page newcomers will see, why not call attention to something special about this place? It's been around longer than most message boards of its type.

    tic chick's first sentence in the main paragraph might start out this way:

    Affectionately known as "BT," and in existence since [1993?], we are an ...

    I suspect it takes real determination for a board to last this long on the Internet. We have a right to brag about it a little, seems to me.

    That's almost 20 years!

    Something that isn't just text would enhance the page too. Good photos, for instance. Another board does that but they rotate the same few photos all the time, and that gets boring. Interesting colors would help too. Maybe an enlarged version of the logo could be worked in somehow?
    Last edited by agate; 10-15-2012 at 09:53 PM.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member tic chick's Avatar
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    agate,

    i was thinking about the bt logo being a bit small also!

    mike, could it be made to go a bit lower? maybe to halfway down the tabs at the top (home, forum, etc.)? and i like agate's idea of putting the year in the welcome statement!

    jeannie
    Here's to good women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
    "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
    "Don't go there unless you know the way back." TC
    "...there will be an answer. Let it be." Paul McCartney

  6. #6
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    Hi Mike, I just finished paying a social media expert to give me tips on getting more traffic so I will just tell you what I learned (for free, of course haha)! Pictures are great and human interest content that is compelling. The heart and soul of BT is the forum pages so perhaps you could have a feature post and also, a featured old user (someone who is willing to write a little blurb about what BT means to them with a photo). I think the content has to change on a regular basis and be interactive. I know it's a lot of work, but you have legions here who would be willing to give you content because we all love our friends here. Anyway, good luck with this ... oh and one more thing about driving traffic to your home page: use your facebook page to get people to come here, so post your new articles from the front page to the FB page, but make it so that if readers want more, they have to come here.
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


  7. #7
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ging View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I think the welcome banner is very good, I wish more people noticed the forums at the top . Maybe if they were in a color or bolder print maybe, this lets people search for the place they will find the most support for their particular issue. I go all over as I find one medical problem often brings another weather it is physical or emotional , this is the place that gave me comfort in my darkest days. what ever you do , I will stay with Braintalk as long as it is up thanks to all who reach out to make it a welcoming place. Ging
    I don't quite follow you here :( When you said "I wish more people noticed the forums at the top." ... do you mean the "Forum" tab/button?
    Question: Why can't I post links or pictures?
    Question: Why can't I have a signature, avatar, or profile picture?
    Question: What's wrong with my account?

    Answer: You are in the "registered users" user group. This group is very limited in what it can do. This will annoy spammers to no end Just keep posting once you have been registered for 30 days and have made 11 posts your account will be "unlocked".

    It's really easy to put someone on ignore and it's strongly recommended that you do so with people who's posts you don't like.

    Step 1 - log in
    Step 2 - click on the "settings" link
    Step 3 - click on the "edit ignore list" link on the left side of the screen
    Step 4 - type (or paste if you copied and pasted it) the username of the person you want to ignore
    Step 5 - click the "ok" button on the right of the screen

    Easy peasy and will lower your blood pressure. One important note though, this won't hide quoted posts. It's an oversight on the developers part and it's not an easy thing to "fix." So if someone quotes someone you have ignored, you'll see the quote.

    Alternatively when you click on a person's name and view their profile page, underneath their avatar, there is a option that says, "Ignore this person". Click that link and then click the yes button.

  8. #8
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tic chick View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    agate,

    i was thinking about the bt logo being a bit small also!

    mike, could it be made to go a bit lower? maybe to halfway down the tabs at the top (home, forum, etc.)? and i like agate's idea of putting the year in the welcome statement!

    jeannie
    I can't change the logo a lot without distorting it. I don't have the original images used to make the banner. We could design a new banner though ;)
    Question: Why can't I post links or pictures?
    Question: Why can't I have a signature, avatar, or profile picture?
    Question: What's wrong with my account?

    Answer: You are in the "registered users" user group. This group is very limited in what it can do. This will annoy spammers to no end Just keep posting once you have been registered for 30 days and have made 11 posts your account will be "unlocked".

    It's really easy to put someone on ignore and it's strongly recommended that you do so with people who's posts you don't like.

    Step 1 - log in
    Step 2 - click on the "settings" link
    Step 3 - click on the "edit ignore list" link on the left side of the screen
    Step 4 - type (or paste if you copied and pasted it) the username of the person you want to ignore
    Step 5 - click the "ok" button on the right of the screen

    Easy peasy and will lower your blood pressure. One important note though, this won't hide quoted posts. It's an oversight on the developers part and it's not an easy thing to "fix." So if someone quotes someone you have ignored, you'll see the quote.

    Alternatively when you click on a person's name and view their profile page, underneath their avatar, there is a option that says, "Ignore this person". Click that link and then click the yes button.

  9. #9
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
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    Ok so I haven't done a "widget" (that's what the sections on the home page are called) listing forums yet. However I have written up a code that will display 8 random users avatars with a link to their profile. These will change every 24 hours. If they don't have an avatar they won't be displayed on the page. Keep in mind this is a first draft and I'm not entirely sure what I can display in this widget. I also don't have all of the rss feeds set up as this is just a test forum to get the basic layout looking right.

    This is what it looks like on my test site ...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Question: Why can't I post links or pictures?
    Question: Why can't I have a signature, avatar, or profile picture?
    Question: What's wrong with my account?

    Answer: You are in the "registered users" user group. This group is very limited in what it can do. This will annoy spammers to no end Just keep posting once you have been registered for 30 days and have made 11 posts your account will be "unlocked".

    It's really easy to put someone on ignore and it's strongly recommended that you do so with people who's posts you don't like.

    Step 1 - log in
    Step 2 - click on the "settings" link
    Step 3 - click on the "edit ignore list" link on the left side of the screen
    Step 4 - type (or paste if you copied and pasted it) the username of the person you want to ignore
    Step 5 - click the "ok" button on the right of the screen

    Easy peasy and will lower your blood pressure. One important note though, this won't hide quoted posts. It's an oversight on the developers part and it's not an easy thing to "fix." So if someone quotes someone you have ignored, you'll see the quote.

    Alternatively when you click on a person's name and view their profile page, underneath their avatar, there is a option that says, "Ignore this person". Click that link and then click the yes button.

  10. #10
    Administrator/SYSOP Mike Weins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    952
    Blog Entries
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donna Thomson View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Hi Mike, I just finished paying a social media expert to give me tips on getting more traffic so I will just tell you what I learned (for free, of course haha)!

    <snip>

    ... oh and one more thing about driving traffic to your home page: use your facebook page to get people to come here, so post your new articles from the front page to the FB page, but make it so that if readers want more, they have to come here.
    Thank you very much for the information :) I'm very tight on cash otherwise I'd be consulting a few different folks on getting BT back on track after the years of neglect from a certain someone. In regards to our Facebook page ... it rarely gets any visitors unless BT goes down. I never liked FB so I never learned how to make the best use out of it to promote a site like BT. I'm learning though
    Question: Why can't I post links or pictures?
    Question: Why can't I have a signature, avatar, or profile picture?
    Question: What's wrong with my account?

    Answer: You are in the "registered users" user group. This group is very limited in what it can do. This will annoy spammers to no end Just keep posting once you have been registered for 30 days and have made 11 posts your account will be "unlocked".

    It's really easy to put someone on ignore and it's strongly recommended that you do so with people who's posts you don't like.

    Step 1 - log in
    Step 2 - click on the "settings" link
    Step 3 - click on the "edit ignore list" link on the left side of the screen
    Step 4 - type (or paste if you copied and pasted it) the username of the person you want to ignore
    Step 5 - click the "ok" button on the right of the screen

    Easy peasy and will lower your blood pressure. One important note though, this won't hide quoted posts. It's an oversight on the developers part and it's not an easy thing to "fix." So if someone quotes someone you have ignored, you'll see the quote.

    Alternatively when you click on a person's name and view their profile page, underneath their avatar, there is a option that says, "Ignore this person". Click that link and then click the yes button.

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