The Cunning Use Of Flags For a Better ATS
There is a new feature on ATS we've hinted about, and some members have already noticed: Thread Flagging
. The new flagging tool appears on all
threads, and looks like this:
Very similar to the ranking systems on DIGG
, it enables you to flag
threads you feel are important or interesting. Once you've flagged a thread, you cannot re-flag or remove your flag... you can only flag once:
Conquering The Web With Flags
While this might seem like a simple ranking system, it's a major aspect of giving our members
control over new and important pages on ATS.
Before, during, and after the "Dark Matter" redesign, we engaged a lot of people for comments on the overall design, look-and-feel, and user
experience of ATS. While we had a lot of positive comments on the new design, and forum layout on the board home page, we still have a significant
problem for novice users, and users wanting to quickly gauge what's important on ATS -- the discussion board layout is designed for experienced
users... not new users.
So we've been tackling the problem of:
1) How to better present the ATS home page, forum groups, and forum thread lists.
2) How to do #1 without "editorial bias" in a way that reflects the membership
3) How to do #1 and #2 without time-consuming effort so it's always fresh
The solution, Flags!
Each member who flags a thread increases its overall importance as compared to threads with fewer flags. We're developing brand new "home" pages
1) Site home
2) Forum groupings
3) Forum thread listings
The new pages will provide a "short hand" version of what's hot, new, and important from all of ATS, down to individual forums. Your flags will
have the most important influence on what is included in these new pages, and how the content is ordered and structured.
For the first time, you our members, will have direct influence on what appears on the home page. (timeliness and thread post-count will also have an
Over the next two weeks, we'll be working on the design and layout of these new pages (we're not altering existing pages), and making any needed
refinements in the flagging system.
After that, the ATS content presented to users who come to these new home pages is completely up to our members.