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What is the point of activity stream?


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On 8/5/2016 at 6:46 PM, ADKGamers said:

Verified with a ticket that it's not something that can be returned at this time, but believes it is being talked internally so should be added soon. 


Hopefully sooner than later, that was one of the things that we've been "living without" for a while now, but would love to have it back. 

that is really annoying

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
22 hours ago, russur said:

Not in 4.1.17? So bad :(

A pity as being able to select the subforums for the activity stream is a must for some communities. But while this is in revision, I have to say that the capacity of excluding subforums (rather than adding them in) would be even better, particularly when you consider some communities have many subforums and only a few of these are generally the ones people need to leave out. That's the way it's been in previous versions of IPB when it came to New Content too.

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  • 6 months later...

Sorry for necro-posting.

But nothing seems to have happened in 6+ months?

It is still not possible to create a stream that shows a list of topics (only topics, not individual posts) with new content since my last visit. 

With the amount of traffic and content we receive having the same topic show up in the stream each time a member posts in it, destroys the overview of the AS and makes it useless. 

Are there any plugins out there that creates the functionality where I get a "list of topics with new posts since my last visit, where each topic only shows once even if 50 people posted new replies in it"?



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19 minutes ago, opentype said:

It was shown in this picture in january 2016 how to do this already:


OK? And if both Alice and Bob has replied to the same topic since my last visit this topic is only listed once?

It is not super easy to test ;-) 

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Funny, "what is the point of this?" was my first reaction to Activity Streams, having just updated from 3.x to 4.x.

Initially, I found the interface design overly complex and visually unappealing, so I avoided looking at it at all.

After reading this topic and spending (too much) time with Activity Streams, I'm still not getting their main utility. Looks like a lot of work went into it, but it has usability issues that make me doubt I will use it at all. (Usability flaws below in orange.)

I get it that now Activity Streams incorporates every idea having to do with compiling an overview of every bit of content on the site. I'm not seeing much utility in any of it, except Unread Content (as a replacement for View New Content) and [Advanced] Search (which is named ambiguously as plain old Search and very much hampered in utility by not being able to search by author).

The ever-popular View New Content has been translated to Unread Content (a term that seems much less attractive to me), with the difference that Read Status appears to be set to Take Me to the Top of the Page -- another odd default choice contrary to what must be the priority for most users.

Changing the preference to Take Me To the First Unread Content does NOT seem to be persistent even after saving it as an Activity Stream called Unread Content (which I did with some trepidation, not having a clue what this means).

Is there a preference setting somewhere? If not, the lack of persistence in preferences is a serious flaw.

I agree with a poster up above who observed having EVERY new post in a topic in this Unread Content stream adversely affects its usability. Find something specific requires excessive scrolling and is very confusing, as you lose your place.

(Ironically, I had proposed the filters in 2011, beware of what you wish for.)




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19 hours ago, Ocean West said:

Still want a way to show all content that hasn't had a reply to - as a way for moderators to make sure they have first opportunity to greet newbies. 

My moderators would like this, too.

19 hours ago, Joel R said:

1. You can name the stream to anything you want.  

2. If unread is not taking you to the first unread item, then you need to report a bug.  


unread content 2017-06-24.png

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12 hours ago, crabpaws said:


unread content 2017-06-24.png

You can change those by saving a new stream, OR, by logging into your AdminCP, clicking System -> Content Discovery - Streams -> Unread Content, making your changes and clicking save which will save for all users.

It's ok to be taken back by a new way of doing things, but before declaring something a "usability fail" - it might be helpful to take some time and become familiar with it. The default settings are based on various feedback. You can change them as outlined above. :) 

"Stream-based" content discovery is how virtually every service on the web operates now. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. It's what people who haven't been around forums for 15 years know, expect and understand. Naturally, it will be a transition if you've lived in VNC for the past decade or more, but most who have given it a chance come to prefer it over the old VNC. 

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I did save my defaults as a stream, naming it Unread Content, and it did not save my preferences.

According to usability principles, default views should be set according to the most often used view or view of highest utility to the most users.

Surely, when looking for new content, one would rather be taken to the first unread content in a topic rather than the top of the thread. If the first post is unread, "first unread content" would embrace that use case as well.

As it is set now, the default view may be logical but not of high utility. This thinking occurs elsewhere in 4.x, such as in Reports, where the default view shows ALL reports, where most likely the mods would want to see open reports only. (In the case of Reports, there is no way at all to set preferences so they are persistent; every time a  mod views that list, the preference must be set anew. See  Reports need more streamlining

Don't show completed reports in main overview

Manage Followed Content is another example, with a default on invisioncommunity.com to Downloads. How many users are following Downloads? Wouldn't most be following topics in Forums?

Like Activity Streams, Managed Followed Content (and Reports) surfaces the database structure with an overwhelming amount of information, with tools of varying quality allowing the user to customize his or her own view. This requires extra steps from the user, who most likely wants one particular view (commonly an 80% preference) and may not have the patience or sophistication to fine-tune a view. I call this "designing from the database" instead of "designing for the user."

On one hand, there is design consistency in 4.x -- "designing from the database." Design consistency is desirable to some extent in UX. But when it comes to default views, usability design holds they should be governed by ease of use and utility to the user rather than logical consistency.

Edited by crabpaws
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