How easy is it to use this site?

From 1 (very difficult) to 6 (very easy), how easy do you find using this site?
Think about finding your way around, replying to discussions, posting different kinds of content, changing your preferences and profile and so on.

  • 1
  • 2
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  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

0 voters

Eventually, we’d like everyone to be giving a ‘6’ (very easy) to that question. But we’re not there yet, so, how can we all make this place easier to get around?

This discussion is a place to share ideas for making it easy to use this space. We’ve had some ideas, but we’re keen to hear your suggestions too - post 'em below!

Idea 1 - Change welcome message & bot tutorial

When you first log in to the site at the moment, you get a private message from @HelperBot, our resident robot. That message looks like this:

Thanks for joining, and welcome!

  • I’m only a robot, but our friendly staff are also here to help if you need to reach a person.

  • For safety reasons, we temporarily limit what new users can do. You’ll gain new abilities (and badges) as we get to know you.

  • We believe in civilized community behavior at all times.

  • Why not get started by sharing your biggest challenge when it comes to getting involved in community repair here?

Enjoy, and don’t forget to introduce yourself here too!

If you’d like to learn more about using this site, select below and bookmark this personal message. If you do, there may be a :gift: in your future!

Bookmarking that message will start a tutorial that covers: replying, posting links, formatting, quoting posts, mentioning people, using emoji, searching and flagging/reporting posts.

How can we make this welcome message better? And how useful/obvious is the HelperBot tutorial?

1 Like

The structure of the categories is not easy to view and not obvious. As everything must fit somewhere in these categories, communication on what they are and how they fit together should be part of the initial communication.

Great tool ! Some difficulties I had :

  • I think there are too many different types of information mixed together. Make Categories ?
  • I’m a bit confused to see posts in different languages in the same page.

Besides, Is it possible to have smaller communities in the platform ? For instance, the Montreal community.


Also, can badges be disabled? I dislike this gamification trend.

1 Like

Agree with @ssebti that more structure would be helpful. We’re working on that (we just didn’t want to create too much structure too early.)

Re @Panda’s comment, shall we arrange a vote on gamification/badges @james? I feel very ambivalent about them - sometimes I like them, and sometimes they annoy me.

Yep, also agreed with @ssebti and @Panda re: the structure. The existing structure is still very much a suggestion at this point. We’re hoping this is something you can help us with over the next few weeks. As @Janet mentioned, we’re keen not to ‘over-structure’ it this early - we feel that creating too many categories and subcategories so soon would risk creating tumbleweed spaces, making the forum seem inactive and confusing new members. We’re also keen that the structure evolve alongside the community itself, responding to the needs and priorities of members.

Here’s the logic behind it currently:


Category - description

Subcategory - description

Forum structure

Repair in your community - an area for conversations about planning, organising, running, evaluating and new ideas for repair events. The idea here is to connect people with others in their area and facilitate practical peer support around running/attending/improving repair events.

UK - an area for UK-based members to meet and have conversations specific to repair events in the UK (e.g. finding others in the area, Fixfest UK, insurance products, legal issues etc.) and home to the Restart Party Kit.

España - an area for conversations specific to repair events in Spain and home to the Restart Party Kit in Spanish.

Italia - an area for conversations specific to repair events in Italy and home to the Restart Party Kit in Italian

[Other countries as membership of this forum grows]

Electronics Repair - an area for conversations about the wider world of repair, such as repair in the news, sharing personal stories of repair, sharing interesting articles/links about electronics. The idea here is to help people bond over a shared interest in electronics and repair as well as contextualise the work we do (linking local repair to global issues).

Repair on the airwaves - an area where we’ll publish our radio show and podcast

Small Talk - an area for miscellanous conversations that don’t fit in the other categories, but are still important for community building (like the ‘Introduce Yourself’ thread)

Help & Feedback - an area where members can ask for help using this site or offer feedback on ways to improve it.

Does this ^^ make sense for our current needs? What changes might you suggest?
EDIT: let’s fork this topic into a fresh discussion here - it’s a wiki post, so you can make edits directly.

Also, a quick note about seeing different languages in the same feed - I agree this is confusing. There’s a slight limitation with the software, meaning it’s not possible to stop discussions from sub-categories appearing in the parent-category’s feed by default. That said, I’ve now adjusted the settings to group the feed by sub-category, which should mean the different languages appear in blocks. Does that improve things a little @ssebti?
EDIT: I’ve changed this back now, as it buried posts made in that category unfortunately. We’ll have to think about this further…

In terms of badges, more than happy to take a vote. I take the point that while some like them, others find them annoying or arbitrary. One positive I’d add is that they can help new members get a quick understanding of who’s who in the community (in a more visual way than looking through stats around number of posts etc.)
EDIT: here’s the poll/discussion

Another update on this - I’ve added a script that should mean categories don’t display posts from subcategories by default (i.e. like this, and not like this) - it’s a bit limited though, so doesn’t always work.
It’s possible to do this manually for any category by selecting ‘none’ in the subcategory filter at the top:


That’s cool !
Besides, is it in your plans to localize and in oher languages (french…) ?
I know that many of our Quebec Restarters are not comfortable in english

1 Like : I found the Language switch in the parameters ! That’s hot !

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Of course @ssebti! We would love for you to help us localise the content :wink: the Italian, Spanish and eventually Norwegian language “how to” material will all come from repair groups themselves. And we’re looking into how to involve groups in the localisation of the Fixometer interface too.

In the discussion forum, our idea is keep topical conversations by topic, so for example, Italians are welcome to go ahead and have a chat in Italian in the “Right to repair: policy & activism” category. (The rest of us can use machine translation if we want to follow along.) But this way, the conversation does become truly global.

More here in this thread

And “groups” (found in the top-level menu) will be used to help people have super-local conversations in their own language. We’ve already created one for London and can create one for Québec.