The (lack of) use of the search function and the "like" and "solution" buttons in a topic

I have been wandering around the forum for a while now and I notice that many new users have signed up recently. Unfortunately, some of them make little use of the search function before they ask a question.

That is not a problem in itself, but it is very disappointing if you see the same question entered in a slightly different form 5 times in one week, even while that question has already been answered many times in the past.

I personally think that this does not help the willingness to have to enter the same answer again and again. Sometimes it is even causing to be a bit grumpy in the reply, especially if one doesn’t realize it always takes time to help another and even is a bit ungrateful if it isn’t helping instantly. We all do this voluntarily, unpaid and in our own time.

Perhaps it is an idea to mention this more explicitly in the welcome message?

In addition, I see relatively few questioners (not only the new ones by the way) using the “like” and the “solution” buttons while it is so easy and nice to use them.
Why? Because it is of course always nice if, as a helpful co-forummer, you get a heart from the questioner if he is helped by or happy with the answer.
Or, if you have submitted the correct solution, that this also shows as such under your post.

I think using these buttons helps to keep answering the same questions, even though it sometimes takes quite some time.
Maybe this is also worth mentioning in the welcome message?

Just my 2 cents …


In my opinion the layout of the page is inviting too much to start a new topic, if the search function was 3 times as big and 3 times bolder, and the “new topic” button only visible after using the search function, a lot of questions would not have to be asked and it would minimize the New Topics.
And about the Welcome message, where do I find it? ( this was an example question, do not answer this question).
We can blame the users and of course, they make the new topics, but only because they are invited by the page layout.

My best guess will be u clicked it away within 1 second when u joined the forum.

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And see it never again, that’s the problem.
With search, I probably can find it, but this is what I mean, people click on what they see first, so make Search bold and beautiful

First post in Notifications, it’s on top.

U are right. But peeps also make posts with like how to add an Arduino with 433 and then make a seperate post for how to add an Arduino with 868. What u wanna do about it?
Or make 7 posts in 7 different topics about the Horstmann thingie. Don’t get me wrong m8, i get ur point. But we can never make it the way we all like it me guess.

See my post, change the page layout
For me this discussion stops here, thanks for replying, let’s keep it positive.

Gonna ask @Bram if he can do some magic there, keep u posted.

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First part: don’t agree with that. You can make it page big, then still it isn’t used. Only facilitating topics with complaints about it.
Second part: partially agree. It forces to press search, yes, but then it will be clicked away, just like the welcome message. But it would make ppl more aware indeed.

It’s no rocket sience: Search results for 'welcome' - Homey Community Forum
Link number 4… :stuck_out_tongue:

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After working as a UX analyst for a couple of years I can tell you from experience that what JPe4619 suggests would in fact work. Rocodameishe and PetervdK, you do what a lot of developers also do: make assumptions about what people tend to do. And yes, some people will do what you say they would do. But a lot of people are going to do what a page design wants them to do. It’s called neurologic design and there are complete studies about it. You can influence the unconscious mind of people to make them do things the conscious mind will think they do rationally. So just changing a color, font or size of things could make a drastic change to the behavior of people. More then most people think.

For the record: i am not a developer. I am just a forum member like everybody else. I am member of a lot of forums and when i am new somewhere i always read, search and read more before asking a question from which i know i am really not the first one to ask it.
That is because i understand how forums work and i hate asking a question blindly for the 1000st time because i know that will be a nuisance for the people who are willing to help and that put their time and effort in it for free.
Somewhere over time those helpers get fed up and will be less helpful than they used and want to be.

I was just compairing your reaction to what a lot of developers do. No harm intended. And I’m also like you, reading and searching before asking. But I just wanted to point out that despite us, there are a lot of other people who tend to do things differently. And studies have proven that about 97% of those people can be influenced by the way design and layout is set up.

When I get the time today I will make a screenshot of the current design and show a redesign with some minor changes. Which might improve it all (no guarantees, a/b testing is always the best course of action).

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As promised a simple change to try and get the search more priority over the “new topic” button.


Looks very good, @Bram should have a look at this.

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Athom are not the creators or providers of the software which runs the community forums.

As far as I am aware structural change to the UX are not possible.

You are totally right. I just found out it is just a paid membership of

So no luck PetervdK.

Guess we have to do it by just changing the welcome text / rules. But that is not going to do much I think. Maybe if we exchange some text by pictures it will. But I’m still sceptical about it.