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Gripes with the message board interface

1. "Click to Submit" button: Buttons are self-explanatory. Clicking causes the effect on the label. A "reply" label, precisely indicating the effect, would be better.

2. Ambigious "(optional)" note: It's not clear whether the optional clause belongs to both the full name and email or just the later.

3. No link to discussion front page: How can I go from the CityDesk to the FogBUGZ forum?

4. White lines in new topic/reply: It seems odd that the subject field gets a line of white space while the identification fields has to stick to the text area. Having the subject stick to message area followed by a line of white space and then the identification would seem more natural.

5. "Reply to this topic": Are there any other topics it would seem natural to reply to? I'd say "Reply" would do.

6. "Choose a forum:": There's headline saying "Discussion Forums" and three links to forums. Saying it's possible to choose between them is unnecessary.

Yes, this is largely nitpicking, but why refrain from perfection :)?

David Heinemeier Hansson
Sunday, October 14, 2001

Oh, and is there a good reason why the message width is limited by a table cell, apparently to around 600 pixels? Shouldn't people be able to "vote with their browsers" by resizing their window if lines are too long or too short? Remember, you don't know what size font people are using.

(Oh, sorry, you do -- because you impose your choice on them. Though I think the size is not specified.)

So even if, say, 70 characters per line were optimal, you don't know what that is in pixels.


Philip Newton
Wednesday, October 17, 2001

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