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Today a new thread appeared on our forum asking where the "Follow This Topic" button went. After a little digging, I find that the perfectly logical button with text has been replaced with a totally illogical bell icon.

Why make a silly change like this? What purpose does making a change like this serve? Where is the logic in connecting a little bell icon to be the place where you click to follow a thread? It makes no sense.

Those of us out here in the trenches moderating these forums have to field all kinds of questions from members about how things work. A change like this spawns a whole new round of questions that we have to answer! I don't mind helping members understand important changes, but substituting a bell icon for a button with text makes no sense to me at all. It also caused me a good bit of time tending to this today that could have been spent on something productive instead of this nonsense.

Just because you CAN change something doesn't mean that you SHOULD change it.


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  • The Bell Icon: The Bell Icon
Rich Melvin
Original Post

Replies/Updates (8)

I was wondering what that icon meant too, and when we'd get it explained to us. Fortunately, I haven't had anyone ask me about it yet, but it caused me some confusion today. It would be nice to know of feature changes (very specifically) BEFORE they are rolled out, because, as you said, it has historically taken me lots of unplanned time to explain them to members when they hit by surprise.


Knowing in advance is always nice. My minor beef is that it was added to an already packed community menu β€” causing a shift in the menu item next to it which β€œword wrapped” to a second line  I got an alert from a member after hours and had to β€œdisplay:none” the item as a quick fix  

I kinda take a different view of the feature makeover. I think it calls attention to a nice feature that’s always been there and is under utilized. Pretty easy to figure out what it is. 


I kind of like the feature change too; I just hate that feature changes always come un-pre-announced (in any specific, tangible way), which catches me and members by surprise. Then, I have to invariably drop other paying work to scramble to figure out what's been changed and to communicate that to members before I get a rash of questions that then take more time. It's a real time suck when these roll-outs occur. I'd love to see all feature changes fully announced at least one week prior to rolling them out.


Hi Rich -

In the last release, we made many changes as part of the Kinetic Design update that we posted about a couple of weeks ago.  This was a very major UI update for everyone, but especially those on on current version (Version 2).  For those of you on our older version (Version 1), the impacts were more minimal, but one of the universal changes was to simplify the follow system by reducing the myriad follow buttons we have everywhere in favor of a single "follow" button/icon in the main nav menu.

You are right that we should have communicated that particular point better, but it was not a frivolous change.  It was all done as part of an overall design strategy (again, mentioned in the blog post I referenced above).  

Thanks for the feedback.  We are announcing all changes in advance, but we definitely could have announced the new follow design (especially for v1 customers) better!

Ted @ Crowdstack

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