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Our academic system rewards people who know a lot of stuff... but at the end of the day who do you want: the person who can figure things out that they've never seen before or the person who can rattle off a bunch of facts?

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Richard Rost             
12 days ago
One of the things that is difficult about running a website is that the experience that I have is often different from the experience that you guys, the users of the website, have. You are going to use the site in different ways than I do. And you might have insights that I don't.

So if you'd like to take a moment and give me your feedback - things you like and don't like about my website - that would be fantastic. Most importantly, is there any feature of the website that you don't like that you think needs to be changed or updated? Is there something I can add to make your life on my website easier or better and to improve your overall user experience?

It's the same issue with building Access databases - the Developer usually has a completely different experience than the end user does, and until you get feedback from the users, you really can't make the database perfect for everyone. And you, the Developer, may never use the database to the extent that the end users will.

Just like I don't come on my own website and watch my videos. I post them and I participate in the forums, so I know how that works well, but I don't watch my own classes. So any feedback you guys can give me would be very helpful.


Adam Schwanz             
12 days ago
I have a complaint, I feel like there's not enough tempvar videos, or badges ;).

In all seriousness though, I have no complaints as a user, everything is easy to navigate to and work with.
Sami Shamma              
12 days ago

As you know, I am one of a handful of people who have experienced your website in three different ways. Being the last appointed moderator, I am perhaps the only one of them who has experienced the modern website as a user. Now, as a moderator, like you, I experience it differently than regular users. But it's only been less than a year since I was just a paid customer. At that time, I had tow complains about the website. The first issue, which you have fixed since, was how my paid courses were listed. The second one, which I still experience every now and then, has to do with the other major part of your website, which is finding videos.

There are two parts to this problem. The first is the index location, which you have partially fixed by putting it as a main menu item where before it was buried under 'More'. Having said that, the 'index' is not indexed, and due to the positive aspect of your prolific production, it is an incredibly long document. All we have now is a simple page search that is part of the browser.

It would be very helpful if that index was actually indexed and a proper search feature was introduced, where the user could type their search words and a list of videos and lessons would be listed.

Now that it's coming up to a year since I finished all your courses, and I have made it my goal to watch all of your techHelp videos, finding those videos was a problem. I needed to export your video list to a spreadsheet sorted chronologically, maintaining the links so I could go down my spreadsheet clicking on the next video on the list to keep going. I believe you can enhance that user experience for regular users.

Than you Richard For all the things you do for us.
Richard Rost             
12 days ago
That's some very valuable feedback, Sami! Thank you. The Access index page should be indexed in the website's search engine, but it's only indexed for the keywords and phrases that actually appear in the index itself. It doesn't do as good of a job at figuring out context based on what's actually covered.

For example, if you search for "DLookup," you'll find what videos it's covered in. But if you search for "DLookup with two criteria," then it won't come up because that exact phrase is not in the index outline.

One thing that I've tried to make apparent on the search results page, both at the top and at the bottom, is a link that will take you to Google with that exact search criteria and search my site because Google does a much better job at indexing my site than my search index does. They're kind of the best at that. Maybe I should just make that more apparent.
Paul Kiener         
12 days ago
I believe that there were two features on the old web site that are no longer present.
(1) Opening a thread which I have previously read but there are more recent comments, the old web site would take me to the last comment that I read previously.  Currently, I have to scroll down and try and figure out where I had left off previously;
(2) At the bottom of a thread, there used to be a quick link to return to the main forum.  Currently, that link is displayed only at the top of the thread.  For instance, in this thread "<- Back to Captain's Log" is at the top of the thread, but not at the bottom as well.
Thanks for everything that you do!  Very much appreciated.
Adam Schwanz             
12 days ago
I think the first point was changed at some point for the moderators to not have to scroll up to read through peoples questions if we hadn't seen the post yet and needed to catchup on the information. Maybe you can change how that behaves if you have the moderator tag Rick :P
Richard Rost             
12 days ago
Paul - if you click on a Notification that there's a new comment, it should at least take you to the bottom of the thread. I'll look into that. I know it works for me... but that's one of the problems I have. Sometimes things will work FOR ME, but not for the normal users.

Also - adding the link to the parent Forum back to the bottom of the comments list is a good idea. You're right. It used to be there. Added to list.
Kevin Yip       
12 days ago
Hi Richardd, we need a way to quote another poster's message (or messages) when we reply to a post.  Some threads get pretty long with lots of posters, so quoting makes the discussion easier to follow for everyone reading the thread.  Quoting has existed since the Usenet days in the 80s and 90s, so I would say this is a pretty basic feature that should exist in every discussion forum.  Usenet allowed plain text only, much like this forum.  In plain text, quoting can be done by adding ">" and line breaks to the post.

I know you are super-busy so I rarely mention these things.  But since you ask, I answer.  

I would like the ability to edit posts as well.  I know this feature could be abused.  Some forums only allow editing within N minutes, so you may consider that.

Lower on my list is the ability to "favorite" or "follow" a thread.  Posters shouldn't have to post a message saying "Follow" (like some posters have done) just to follow that thread.  I know we see a red "New" indicator whenever there are new posts in the threads that we have read.  But that doesn't necessarily mean we want to follow those threads.  We need a separate "Follow" feature to differentiate threads that have new posts and threads we want to follow.

Further down on my list is the removal of certain character restrictions in posting, such as not being able to type dashes, colons, etc. in thread titles, or unicode characters in the body of a post.  Some forums have this kind of restrictions too, but this forum should at least allow characters that are used in Access, unicode and special characters among them.  When posters ask questions about Access, they should be able to type everything they see in Access.
Alex Hedley             
12 days ago
I'd make the Search bar its own row in the header, full width of the screen.
As there is so much content it's easier to search for something then page through everything.
(Multi value search might be handy too)
Richard Rost             
12 days ago
Kevin: thank you. All valuable comments. Some of that's already on my list (like following a thread instead of posting "following")

Alex: NO.

LOL. Seriously... I was thinking about making the search box bigger, but not full screen width... that's insane! :)

Multi-value (you mean phrases?) works fine IF you use the Google search option. LOL
Kevin Yip       
12 days ago
Google search is not very good at finding forum text that is dynamically generated by the scripts of a forum, because Google can't cache everything -- unless it figures out a way to run every possible script setting, which I doubt.  I often rely on the built-in search features of a forum to find exactly what I want.
Richard Rost             
12 days ago
Google's pretty good with my site. Forum posts don't usually change, so once Google spiders it, the page is in their index. It can take a few weeks to a month, but everything in the Forums will eventually show up on Google.

One way to do this without using input masks is use a password font

See? There you are. :)
Richard Rost             
12 days ago
But your point is well taken. I'm a database nerd. I should build a better, indexed search page for my own site. It's definitely on the list.
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