Edit: IT'S ALIVE!!!
Also, please note the new "jump to top" and "jump to bottom" links! Right hand side of your screen!
Hello fellow travelers:
For those who have not run across my few postings already, I'm Kate, the web producer in charge of our overall website redesign.
I want to thank all of you who provided detailed and extremely useful feedback for how to improve our travel forums here. All change is jarring, but sometimes not all of the change equals an improvement to usability or community, and we absolutely acknowledge and understand that in this case.
Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to specifically address a complaint I've seen sprinkled throughout these posts about the new forum, which is that we solicit feedback but aren't actually reading it, or that reported issues have not been solved yet, and therefore we aren't paying attention or reading comments, and no changes will be made. This is 100% false. We are a tiny, tiny web team (three of us, and only one of us doing any technical work) working on a website that comprises of around 27,000 assets. The forum is but one part of this massive website. We work closely with an equally tiny IT team comprised of developers whose main focus is not our forums or even our website, but the many, many components of our internal operations systems. Needless to say, we are stretched incredibly thin, and even thinner now with this major website redesign and getting everything working the way it should. We are taking all of this seriously, but we are not a big company and not a big team working on one heck of a massive website.
Now, the main thing I want to tell you: we hear you, we understand, we agree, and we're making improvements.
1) "Classic view." Many of you have written about the loss of "classic view" being among the biggest pain points of the new forum. This is coming back. We are in the final stages of this work, and will be relaunching it soon. Stay tuned!
2) Usability issues. There are some major usability issues just with reading and responding to posts in different country forums, in that you have to jump all the way back out to the main landing page of forums just to choose another country forum. We've put our heads together for a solution to this issue, and are currently sketching it out with our developers.
3) Bug fixes. Paragraph breaks don't work, bullet points are wonky, we need a "back to top" link at the bottom of long strings of replies, etc. These have been reported, and they're in the queue.
4) All those dang country forums. We're exploring this and chatting internally about it. This is going to take some time to work out, as there are many moving pieces to this puzzle and many things to consider. But we are talking about how to ease the pain here.
Again I want to thank those of you who have taken the time and energy to detail your thoughts about the new forums and how to improve them. And of course, I need to thank Elaine for starting the "Website ReDesign - Let's Talk about What We Like" thread, and to everyone who took the time to contribute to that. :o) That is awesome, and it's great to read all the kudos for the overall site redesign. We worked really hard on this, and we really love that you guys love the new look and feel.
Again, I must beg: please be patient, please know that we're paying close attention, and that we're getting to things as we can with our tiny, hardworking web team. We love this community, and we want it to be as useful and fabulous for everyone as it was before the restructuring. We're working on it.
Thanks again, and happy travels!