A new forum experience is coming to College Confidential this November!

After working with an extensive testing group (comprising both moderators and active community members), we are excited to announce that we will be introducing a new forum experience to College Confidential in November.

Here’s what to expect:

  • We're making conversations easier with a platform that's simple, intuitive, and user-friendly.
  • Our new forum features allow you to customize settings and notifications so you can be updated on the latest happenings, just the way you want it.
  • Easily find new topics of interest and keep track of the discussions that you posted.
  • Enjoy the new CC Forums with improved page speed.

https://i.postimg.cc/zXp08SFR/Final-Solution-forum-post-shorter-version.jpg

Try out [the new site](https://discuss.qa.collegeconfidential.com?utm_source=cc&utm_medium=forum_featuredpost&utm_campaign=charlie) and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Use your email address and password to log in. If you don’t have a College Confidential account yet, please register first.

It has always been our goal for our users to have the best community experience and we hope you are excited as we are for the [the new site](https://discuss.qa.collegeconfidential.com?utm_source=cc&utm_medium=forum_featuredpost&utm_campaign=charlie)!

***If you created an account between 8/19 and 10/21 you won’t be able to test the new site as a signed in user. The site will be available in view-only mode until we go live. *

@CCadmin_Jon talks more about this change in his post here: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/2199036-please-test-the-future-of-cc-forums.html

Having used this site for 4 college searches, I’m on my 5th and can’t stand to be on this site any more. It’s impossible to find anything or to see recent comments over those from 2012. The ads are so intrusive and make the site so hard to read and navigate. I’m sure your traffic is a fraction of what it used to be. Don’t blame your competition; it’s that your site is so awful. I hope you do sit in front of it like a consumer and see what it’s like. This should be a UI/UX case study for what not to do. Bye, now – off to Reddit.

Perhaps I am one of the last few users of a desktop machine, but I find the new look pretty bad on a full-size monitor. Maybe 55% of the available space is being used—there’s a lot of blinding white, on either side of the feed and between entries in individual threads. And is the huge blank space at the top of a thread the result of my ad-blocker? I thought it was a blank screen, until I scrolled down.

On the other hand, there are zillions of colorful little circles, but they don’t add much value, in my mind (avatars, indicating who has participated in a thread).

The font is fine: the type face is easy enough to read, the color is dark, etc.

I know people were asking for more info on the Forums front page, so they could find things, but I think this goes too far. Every single forum, dozens of institutions (not always in alphabetical order! And why are the musical theater schools all listed, but not those for other categories?), recent threads (with avatars)—it’s pretty overwhelming, visually.

I should read through threads to see how it feels, but when it’s all old posts, I’m not very motivated. Sorry!

I was a big critic of last year’s redesign. I just tried out this new redesign and like it.
Thank you.

Looks promising;

Seems possible to subscribe to a whole forum again.

Only checked on PC so far, will check phone and tablet.

Did some testing by exploring and posting. I found it easy to post once I figured out what I had to do to post a reply but it wasn’t as clear as past versions. I have been on CC for 10 years, with 4 kids going through the college search process. I would like to be able to see more in a page view-not so much white space. I know your response to that has been that many folks access CC on their cell phones. I use PC, Mac and iPads.
Overall, don’t love the new version. Sorry.

Doesn’t seem to be much different to me, in terms of usability. More white space, more required navigation, just like the last redesign. Colorful pictures/avatars that serve no function.

Pretty much what I expect to see from “designers” who make it look pretty as opposed to folks who use a system to accomplish a function.

After 25+ years of leading technology projects, it’s too familiar.

I’m a UX professional, so my personal opinion is intertwined with my professional one, but personally I love the new forums and the site layout. It solves some common problems I have with the current system. For context, I am on a desktop with a 32" monitor, browsing at about 125%. I almost never browse CC on mobile, but I did check out the experience on mobile.

One of my complaints about the current forums is how difficult it is to find them, as they are nested under large categories and you have to essentially already know where they are housed in order to find them. With the new layout, it is far easier to see all of the forums that are offered, which may drive traffic to some of the quieter ones (and also help people figure out which forum is the best for their query). I also very much like the presentation of the forum organization on the left and the latest posts on the right - I feel like prior systems prioritized one or the other, but this one allows you to browse in both ways.

Yes, the list of colleges is very long, but it’s also at the bottom of the page. (However, I would consider whether there’s some way to collapse and expand the list, perhaps in alphabetical sections like A-C, D-F, etc.)

I also really like the navigation once you click into a forum; the streamlined look allows more discussions/topics to be listed at once, so I can look at a glance and see what’s risen to the top. I also like the drop down box at the top left that allows you to change what forum you’re in, which makes navigation through the forums easy (especially if you’re like me and you like to context switch a lot).

One thing I will say is that there’s no label over the second column - the one that has the avatars of 5 users displayed - so I have no idea what that column is. Are those the most popular users in the forum, or the most recent ones? A column label will help there. Also, a minor thing, but it would be nice if the New Topic button followed you as you scrolled down the page, as the topic listing can be quite long and we encourage people to look for similar topics before posting a new one. (Alternatively, you could have a “back to top” button that follows users as they scroll. Actually, that might be better, as the forum navigation drop down is also up there).

I love that there’s a cute banner announcing someone’s first post. That’s super helpful, especially as a moderator, as I always check whether a person is new to the community.

My favorite part by far, though, is the in-topic experience. I love the progress bar on the right side that shows how many replies you’ve read vs. how many there are left to read. The different elements (who posted, the date posted, text) are all clearly separated from each other. I will miss the variety of reactions at the bottom of each comment (to not just “like” but also say you agree, that it’s helpful, etc.) but to me that’s a small price to pay for this functionality. The reply button also follows you throughout so you can reply at any time. I also love that the notifications bell chases you as well so you can decide what notifications you want as you reply.

And oh, the posting experience! A rich text editor! An automatic preview to the right that I can show or hide as I please! The ability to still see the thread, and scroll through it, as I am composing a message!

I have poor eyesight, so I usually browse at 125% or 145%. I agree that there is a lot of unused white space in the experience that could be used to stretch the forums out, reducing the number of lines in each reply and potentially increasing readability, without affecting text scaling (at least superficially). However, white space is also useful in helping people organize information and thought, so some should definitely remain. Also, as noted, the white space is required to make this render properly on mobile phones.

I briefly tested the site on my phone (a Galaxy Note 10+). It looks fine, and would be fine if I just wanted to scroll/read or do some basic stuff, but I certainly wouldn’t want to do extended browsing that way. I think that just depends on what your design intent is for mobile use.

Overall, I like the new system. I’ll check back in with other feedback if I have any.

I wish college majors was above premed, law, business because majors are an undergrad concern.

There is still no answer as to why there is a long list of Musical Theater schools. A total mystery.

There has been less usage of the site since COVID…

I was looking forward to the new forum because this one sucks but holy cow - SO much scrolling. My thumb got tired and I wasn’t 1/4 of the way down.

OMG. ‘New’ is NOT improved.

If I type a message in landscape, I can’t see anything except the keyboard.

The thread trees were useful for a reason.

You are CHASING AWAY YOUR READERSHIP. All caps because you haven’t been listening. @RichinPitt is so right.

I have hundreds of CC pages in my personal bookmarks of useful ideas/advice/things I’ve picked up over the years.

How on earth is anyone going to find the wealth of info generously provided by members over the years?

I am incredibly disappointed.

The last update a few years ago reduced my usage by 90%. This iteration will probably be the end of me here. Too difficult to navigate. So long.

I can’t even figure out how to post on College Confidential!!! I can only reply to other posts. There is no intuitive way to do it. I think that’s why most college forums are using FB now for specific majors and schools. This site is so hard to use! I also can’t find anything.

They replaced the dialogue box at the bottom of the thread (which was very intuitive) with a ‘Reply’ button next to the Share, Bookmark, and Flag buttons (which is not intuitive at all.)

I think the attitude was, “Let’s just change everything to conform to a consultant’s advice. Some people will complain. But eventually they’ll all figure it out.”

Thank you! I was so confused!

But pretty colored buttons with numbers in them and lots of white space and…

@CCadmin_Jon, Why did I get this? I don’t have time to generate traffic for this website and I have no interest in having a bot suggest I PM students. If I wanted to send a PM I would have already done it.

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I agree. This type of pop up is not needed. I didn’t get one and I’ve also responded to that poster. Perhaps it’s because I did tag another member. But that should be my choice.

And PM? That also should be my choice…and I don’t need a suggestion pop up to do so.

Is this really worth the band width it is taking up!

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