I would like to recommend that there be a user interface provision for viewing the list of existing communities during the process of either creating or joining a community. As of this writing (15-Feb-2008) users are taken directly to a single-community form without necessarily seeing the existing list.
At present, there are only two ways to view the list of existing communities -- (1) by using the "More" button from the topmost-homepage "Featured Communities" frame, or (2) by entering the keyword "community" into the "Search" field. Neither of these list mechanisms work very well with the current "create" or "join" process flow in the user interface.
Ideally such a list would include a brief description and possibly membership (count or list) for each existing community. This way users could first review the list of existing communities for appropriateness, possible redundancy, and naming conventions before joining or creating a community.
If there is a bugs/upgrades/suggestions database being maintained, please add this item to the heap. (And in the meantime perhaps add this information on how to list all existing communities to the FAQ.)
-- Bohdan Shmorhay
I've also thought that the paged listing of communities was a bit awkward, that is slow for reviewing the breadth of communities. I would like to have the slider scroll much more widely through the list. I suspect that there may be a performance issue with displaying a lot of thumbnail images with the listings, so perhaps the solution is to have an abbreviated listing with just the titles and short descriptions. This 'quick' version might work well for the pages that Bohdan refers to.
The same concept would also be desirable for the listings of pubcasts and videos. With the growing number of submissions, one likes to be able to scan rapidly to find interesting content.
I just want to thank all of you for your feedback, and detailed accounts of the issues you guys have come across. Were definitely listening, and I would like to let you guys in on some of the stuff were working on. Currently, were going through our major pages and giving them a sort of touch-up or revamp. Our latest victim was the Community pages, and our motivation behind that, was to provide a hub for users to keep track of the discussions and communities they have participated in, as well as their blogs and media (Hope you guys liked it, if not feel free to post or PM me suggestions). Next in our crosshairs is the browse page. The means of navigating our content is cumbersome to say the least, and the browse page doesn't help too much with that. Were trying to come up with the most accessible way of combing through all categories of data on our site i.e Communities, videos, users... in a way that doesn't crash my browser. You guys can expect this update in the near future. In the meantime, if you guys have any suggestions for us web guys, just drop us a line, well be watching...
- Alex , Flash Developer/Web Designer
SciVee - "make your complaints about our site known!"