edubya

New Look for GardenWeb Topics

Emily H
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

Hi there,

There has been an update to the look and some functionality of the topics that were originally part of GardenWeb to make them consistent with the user experience and look of Houzz as a whole, including the ability to post a single thread to up to three relevant topics.

Change can be a challenge to get used to, but we are certainly listening to feedback you may have on what is difficult for you with this update, what you miss, need, or even what you are enjoying about it.

Please feel free to leave feedback here. Thank you!

ETA: Main consistent feedback posted so far:

  • Links opening new tabs (Resolved)
  • Missing the alphabetical list of topics (Now Alphabetized)
  • Missing page numbers at the bottom of topic pages for navigation (Now in place)
  • Missing the activity page showing the latest posts in all the topics in one place
  • Concerns about spam and irrelevant topics with cross-posted threads (Suggested topics when posting are now opt-in instead of opt-out)
  • On GardenWeb.com you should now see some additional links on the left navigation to get to different sections of topics more quickly.
  • The time stamp on the forum browsing pages are now clickable and will go directly to the comments.

Comments (963)

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    2 years ago

    I don't even know where to begin!!

    1. The Houzz formatting is NOT user-friendly. It is difficult to read because it is so monochromatic. And clicking on a post brings up a whole new tab, which is entirely unnecessary.

    2. Accessing the forums - especially the Garden Web forums - is also not nearly as user-friendly as it was before. You have to scroll down a lot before you even encounter the garden forums and they are all mixed up with the old GW Home forums. It's almost like they have become afterthoughts

    3. When I enter Houzz, it takes me to my topic selection (which I was forced to select, although I visit dozen of gardening forums daily and don't really have a preferred topic) and I would much prefer being able to select where I want to go and when. So I want back the general GW screen with options to select All Discussions, Garden Web forums, Home forums or Houzz forums. Not some arbitrary topic that YOU made me pick!!

    4. I have no interest in who posted the most often or even who posted at all (other than thru my notifications) so that is a useless feature. But I did make great use of the All Discussions heading which would take me to whatever current discussion I was interested in and that has now vanished!!

    5. Why do we need any tagging with the old GardenWeb forums?? They were very topic specific, especially the garden ones. All anyone needed to do was pick the most appropriate forum and post!! Why do you need 3 when one does the job more than adequately?? Tagging to any of the Houzz forums has completely ruined the Landscape Design forum as all manner of posts that have absolutely nothing to do with landscape design show up there......probably because the poster cannot find the proper forum to post to to begin with. Fix that!!

    6. Houzz management seems bent on eliminating any trace of GardenWeb whatsoever. And this is meeting with a lot of frustration and disappointment by long time GW members. Before the Houzz acquisition, GardenWeb was the premier gardening discussion website but it is deteriorating under Houzz management and their constant need for change and members are leaving in droves. I am not at all sure why you need to have a "consistent user look" across all the possible forums. The GW gardening members seldom venture into the Houzz side of things - we are not interested in any Pros other than those horticultural experts who have participated there since back in the days of Spike and we are not interested in any of the retail stuff you are pushing so hard. Plant people are plant people and for the most part, not the slightest bit interested in "home improvement" when they have questions about specific plants and gardening in general. Why can't you just leave the gardening forums the way they were?? What you have done now is NOT an improvement!

    Finally, I really think you need to examine all the recent posts complaining about the changes you have/are attempting and not just wait for feedback here. Since the formatting change made earlier today, discussion activity on the GW side of the site has dropped dramatically..............longtime members DO NOT like it and they WILL leave!! Many have already and many more are threatening.

    You are making a huge mistake...........

    Emily H thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    Top Answer
  • bpath reads banned books too
    last year

    Gardengal, depending on the device I'm on, forums can be all lumped together or grouped. I prefer grouped. Before the latest update, I saw Hobbies, Family, home, and more.

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  • cpartist
    last year

    Sorry Gardengal but before the latest update, they were NOT all grouped together.

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    last year

    They have always been grouped like that for me.....and I have been a member of GW since 1998!! It was always an either-or situation - either Garden Web forums or the Home forums. Just the two groupings.

  • Lavender Lass
    last year

    I miss that!

  • bpath reads banned books too
    last year

    Lavender Lass! Where are you hanging out these days? I hope all is going well for you and your DH.

  • cpartist
    last year

    I miss that too. Note that it had Garden forums, Home forums and Other forums.

  • matthias_lang
    last year

    I had a notice that a James Herron had posted on this thread 12 hours ago. Why can I not find that post?

    Also, recently I had some posts to which people replied, yet I did not get a notice.

    Are those two problems related?

  • bpath reads banned books too
    last year

    HU-677788882258946830

    I am not making this up, that is the username and public display name. Appeared Saturday July 14 on Home Decorating, Design Dilemma, and Dining Room. no pictures, no one has any idea what they want. Here is the post:

    "

    We took a walk out between our living room and dining room and now have no idea how to decorate the space to make it functional AND attractive. any Advice would be sooooo appreciated! We’re try stumped!!

    "

    Houzz, perhaps you need to add some instructions for new users?

  • Villain Rose (Zone 11 Qld Australia.)
    last year

    I have a couple of questions too!

    I used to browse through all the gardenweb discussions, under latest, and they were all there in order. I did a couple of posts yesterday and they didn't show up. They did show up under their right topic though. Can anyone please explain this to me? And how can I browse through all the forums at once, or do I have to go through all the topics? I feel like I am missing half of it and miss what I used to do!

    Trying to find this using houzz topic. I simply can't find it under the topics. Can someone also explain to me where it is. Or am I just missing it? I would like to read a bit more about this new format, but really feel like I have to search a lot?

    I am a fairly new member, and I found the old format extremely easy to use. I am finding with this new format that every post is not easy access, and that you have to search a lot, or am I doing something wrong?

    Thank you in advance.




  • Sherry
    last year

    Villain Rose, I also used to browse all topics. The only way I have found now is to log out. Then all topics show up like before. You have to click "no thanks" on the banner ad for Houzz that floats up now and then. If I want to comment, I just log back in. I wish they would fix this.

  • Villain Rose (Zone 11 Qld Australia.)
    last year

    Sherry, thanks for your reply. Well, I hope they fix it as well. I can't believe I have to log out to access all the posts. I did try it, and it does work so thanks for the temporary solution. But what a hassle! That definitely needs to be fixed!

    Lucky I came back into this post and saw your answer, as it still hasn't shown up on my notifications, and you replied an hour ago. So that's not real quick either.

    So now can anyone please answer the next question of where do I find the using house topic? Still stumped with that one!

    I used to really enjoy this website, there are a lot of very helpful, knowledgeable and nice people that post on here. But I am not enjoying it as much as I used to. Everything seems a hassle to find, and things are not working as they should.



  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    last year

    Villain Rose, this thread is posted in the Using Houzz forum, so you should be able to scroll up to the top and click on the small grey Using Houzz label to get to the Using Houzz forum.

    Otherwise, try this,

    [Using Houzz forum[(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/using-houzz-dsbr0-bd~t_28565)

  • Villain Rose (Zone 11 Qld Australia.)
    last year

    Thanks beckysharp for your reply and the link.

    I searched and searched for the using house forum under topics and simply could not find it. So had to go through all the forums to find one with the small grey label to put this under the right forum.

    So if it is with the topics can someone please let me know where? I would have thought that would be common sense that you could access it, where all the other topics were.

    Sherry, I still haven't got your post in my notifications yet.

  • Sherry
    last year

    All of them don't show up for me either. This one is, but others don't. Sometimes I go to my home page, click activities, then click comments, to remind me which I commented on. I can then check and see if there are new comments on the thread.

  • Chessie
    last year

    Villain Rose (Zone 11 Qld Australia.)

    You have to make sure your are in the HOUZZ domain to access the Using Houzz board.

    So, at the top, click on Houzz Discussions. That will take you here:

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/home-and-garden-discussions-dsbr0-bd~


    From there, look for the "All Topics" link over on the left, near the bottom. Click on that. Now scroll down and look for "Using Houzz" - the list is alphabetized, and on my pc it shows up on the far right column.


  • bpath reads banned books too
    last year

    Emily, is there a way to follow a thread without commenting on it? I had hoped that "Like" served that purpose and would send me notifications of activity, but it did not. And "Save" isn't really what I want to do, either.

  • bpath reads banned books too
    last year

    Instead of "Hi, HU-264837432637489, what are you working on?", can the "new post" box say, something like, "Hi, (username), ask a question or start a new post here." Not that exactly,but something to prevent threads Like this one that just say "wanting to add guest house", so the first few comments have to impatiently ask just what the user is asking.

  • deegw
    last year
    last modified: last year

    bpathome, for me, a comment doesn't guarantee that I get a notification. Sometimes they come right away, sometimes hours later and sometimes not at all.

  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.
    last year

    My experience has been that notifications may be sporadic at times.

  • Chessie
    last year

    Yup there is definitely a separation between the two domains.

  • Chessie
    last year

    No idea what you are talking about.

  • patriceny
    last year

    How about adding a "follow" button. Or making the "save" button actually work/do something.

    I'm sick to death of seeing people just writing "follow" as a comment.

    I get an alert that there is a new comment on a great thread - so I open it up to see some brilliant mind just wrote "follow."

  • havingfun
    last year

    Hey, emily..... are you there? the latest changes have kicked me off again? i have checked, i have no way of correcting. but everything i put a comment on? it normally emails me when there is a comment. but now it is not. not for about 3 days.

    To the people complaining about design dilemmas? houzz took over so they will probably drop the garden web duplicate. about things not always being correct? someone has to complain if they do they will normally change it. but often those are new people and i personally hate to be mean to them. also lately it looks like houzz is combining things and putting topics in various places. since they are computer experts, i do think they are going to make many mistakes, half do to lack of knowledge, half due to lack of caring.

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    last year
    last modified: last year

    My notification updates aren't working automatically as they were until yesterday or the day before. Now I have to scroll back up to the top of any page and click on Stories & Advice > GardenWeb Discussions to get an updated number in the little green circle. Otherwise the number doesn't update.

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    last year

    Beckysharp, I, on the other hand, have been getting it updated, but it is also stuck on 1 -- saying there is 1 new notification, when there isn't, and I've marked all as read! This also for the past 48 hours.

  • havingfun
    last year

    to not lose;

  • havingfun
    last year

    dear emily and all present. forgive me, my email has decided that houzz is spam! omg! it is the only thing that comes to that email, i thought i was going to have a heart attack! lol

  • Chessie
    last year

    You get HOUZZ emails??? Yikes. That would drive me nuts!

  • havingfun
    last year

    that is how i know what threads i am on? i do not know much about social media. i have an account set up just for houzz, it does not lead back to me at all. (last big tussle). if i go in my feed, i get where everyone I follow has been. i have few reasons for following but, it is still too many for me to weed through.

  • Chessie
    last year
    last modified: last year

    If I post on a thread, any later posts activate the notification icon at the top. I just check that. I get too much email already - and checking email to check activity on a forum - that's way too much work for me!

  • Denita
    last year

    ^Me too Chess. @havingfun, you can change your settings in Your Houzz so you only receive DM via email rather than all the posts and responses.

  • patriceny
    last year

    Now something in your delightful new program is no longer playing nicely with Firefox. This error message appears after I open any thread.


  • aprilneverends
    last year

    ..just to add that I, too, receive notifications now sporadically at best, and it became really hard to follow threads. Been going for days already. Maybe couple weeks.

    Grand design(c)


  • havingfun
    last year

    april as i did you might wish to check your actual email account? i know we are used to blaming houzz, but this time twas not their fault.

    denita, i like being notified.

    patrice - my fox is ok, maybe update yours?

  • aprilneverends
    last year

    I do check my account. Sometimes I get notifications,and sometimes I don't. Lately, it's more frequently when I don't.

  • havingfun
    last year

    well you might wish to check with houzz, sometimes, you have to correct your settings when they have been playing.

  • DLM2000-GW
    last year

    that's the point of this thread, havingfun and besides that many are still unable to contact Houzz in any other way.

    I do get email notifications for certain things. All of a sudden though my email notifications for a thread no longer bring me to the post noted in the email. The first line or so shows in the email and the See Comment option brings me to the thread but not the comment anymore.

  • havingfun
    last year

    dlm, pardon me, i was not trying to be rude. i know april and was just trying to offer what has worked for me in the past. there is actually one better place called working with houzz, emily checks there most. if you don't feel heard, i normally cross over to where it does not belong.

    do wish me to leave? i thought we were all beginning to play well together, i am not used to a division, where people can't play together. well, except for the known bullies. if it is my speech pattern, that is well known on houzz. i often have brain burps-due to unusual ailment causing lack of oxygen. so if you accept every thing i say in the manner that i never mean to injure or insult. if i have done such, i apologize.

  • DLM2000-GW
    last year

    havingfun no apologies are necessary - you did not come across as rude and hope I did not come across as snarky! There are still multiple threads going on about problems with Houzz although they are dwindling - in part because some issues have been resolved and in part because people are giving up and moving on. But beyond that, people who HAVE contacted Houzz directly are not hearing back. I'm sure they are inundated with messages but if that's the reason for delay then they need more staff, simple as that. Don't leave your members hanging, customer service 101. Some issues have been addressed directly in this thread, others completely ignored.

    As for you leaving - heavens no! And especially not as a reaction to anything I've said! I think there are still major differences in approach between the 2 groups and I don't see those going away. The mindset and culture of Gardenweb is very different than Houzz and we are the ones losing our culture, not the other way around. We are adapting where we must but it's not always easy as we try to cling to our familiar way of interacting. But that's a big generalization and paints everyone from either GW or H with a broad brush which is not fair or totally accurate but hopefully you know what I mean.

  • havingfun
    last year

    thank you for your generosity. this is just one of many cases i have noticed of late. i really do not know how we got here, but i do wish everyone would just stop. I know hopeless wishes on my part. i guess that is why our farmers, must now have their own dating site. they can not date city girls.

    i guess, what i wish to say is buck up. houzzers welcome you, and as a whole we are very nice and not aggressive at all i will let you know a secret - after the big election snafu and all of your argument threads, many of us are terrified of you all. houzz itself is not as wonderful as we would like her to be. but i imagine they figure that our grousing is outlandish since they are the only ones who have a site like this.

    from what i have heard of social media, this is the only place i will ever go.we are a pretty accepting bunch.

    so all you petunias come play in our onion patch.

  • Chessie
    last year

    "i guess, what i wish to say is buck up. houzzers welcome you, and as a whole we are very nice and not aggressive at all i will let you know a secret - after the big election snafu and all of your argument threads, many of us are terrified of you all."


    No offense, but what a bizarre post. Who are you referring to? Original posters from GW?? How do you tell the difference? Is there an identifying icon?


    And farmers have their own dating site because someone got the idea that they could make money with it. Pretty much the same reason that HOUZZ ate up GW.

  • mayflowers
    last year

    Havingfun, you must be referring to GW's Hot Topics, the political and current events forum. You may know that Houzzers have caused a lot of disruption on that forum, which used to have serious debates and discussions which are all but impossible now. Houzzers sought THEM out! So when they return to your chat threads in the Houzz Other forum to complain about Hot Topics, understand that no one is forcing them to participate. This has been ongoing for two years now. Everyone is so "mean" there that they just can't stay away!

  • nhbaskets
    last year
    OMG. Tonight I've got a mess on my iPad using Safari. When I click on a thread it instead brings me to this.
  • Karen S. (7b, NYC)
    last year

    Chess-yeah,


    I get Houzz emails, of people thanking me (I'm on multiple plant forums, was / am a GW person). Don't know why, as it seems a total waste of time & energy. I think it started last March, or at least after the last Houzz upgrade.


    I contacted Houzz directly after I couldn't get back on site after the latest upgrade. They answered promptly w/ several suggestions. After a week or so, I wrote again & they answered again in a day or 2.


    I since figured out how to get back on & they addressed my question re: minimum age for participants here (if any). I was shocked to hear it was 13, I seem to recall for GW it was 18, they didn't want minors on.


    Anyway, while I too was very unhappy at the recent changes & especially when I couldn't get back on, once I provided a different email addy & was able to recall the user name houzz GAVE me, I got back on.


    Chezz yeah, my appeal to them got me answers, several times & in a timely fashion too.

  • havingfun
    last year

    chess, yes, i have met quite a few who keep getting upset that people did not post on gw where they would get more help. i find myself constantly pointing out that they are the same. but there are many who have melded fluidly. and there are threads like this where where people are feeling things are a problem. things we take as normal. so i am just trying to reassure people that we are not trying to be mean to them. hope i said all that right, long convos is where i lose things.


    mayflowers, the election caused major problems over here, as i am sure for you all too. I was sad to see good friends go. and some, well you can keep them with our appreciation.


    if you hang around long enough, you will find that the under 18 crowd is rarely here. sometimes they come trying to be funny and we normally ignore them. my guess is that we are a minium of 5o and 7-0% female. and many never show us the real outside of their homes. it may be their room but not their home I suuspect.

  • cpwrapidreader
    last year
    Would you like me to design this for you? Have any of your people actually tried this new GW.?
  • DLM2000-GW
    last year

    ^^^ Huh?

  • boomer6303
    last year

    I use to open Houzz just about every day to see what was new. Now I open it maybe once a month. I have always been open to changes because sometimes they are good, but this change is not very friendly to users - or at least me. I would not be upset if you went back to the prior format. :)

  • zen_man
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Hi Emily,

    I just now tried to arrange a couple of inline photo thumbnails side-by-side in the GardenWeb Annuals forum, and still couldn't do that. I wanted to confirm that the feature hasn't been added yet before bringing it up again. I hope you consider my suggestion to add that feature. Details are in my separate message here in this forum.

    ZM

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