I’m excited to report that we’ve released a pretty meaningful change to the design of the DepositAccounts.com (DA) discussion forum. The new community forum is more streamlined with a cleaner layout (we hope!).
I’m sure it will take a couple of days for some of you to get used to, but our goal is that it will help improve and simplify the user experience for everyone.
Just like the old forum, you can access the new community forum from any page at DA. Just select the "Forum" drop-down menu in the top navigation bar.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the new forum has been simplified into just four subforums. This consolidation seemed logical based on how the previous subforums were being utilized and should help readers view and digest the forum posts more quickly and efficiently. The new layout should also make it easier and quicker to post - all that you have to do is to click on the "New Post" link that’s listed for each subforum (or you can also still do so while reading within the subforum).
Under each subforum heading, the latest post is listed. If you want to see all of the latest posts on one page, like many of our readers do, just click the link on the bottom of the page called "View all recent posts on a single page." This page can also be accessed using the Forum drop-down menu in the top navigation bar of the site.
Under the list of the four subforums, five of the most popular posts are listed for each subforum. Popularity is based on the number of votes that a post receives. The intent of this section is to highlight a few of the posts that readers are finding most helpful.
Below is an overview of the four subforums, including how they relate to the old subforums, some guidelines for posting, and a mention of some of the enhancements that are being introduced with this design:
Subforum: Promotions, Deals and Rate Changes
This subforum is very similar to what the old forum had. Just like before, post any deal or rate change for a bank or credit union in this subforum. In this design, we made it easier to identify the institution when making the post. Instead of entering the URL of the institution, you just have to start typing in the institution’s name. DA’s auto-fill tool should find the institution before you finish typing.
Another change is the location of these posts. After these posts are published, they now reside in our hub page for that particular institution. The hub page holds all the information we have for an institution including the rates, financial information and branch locations. We have added a new section called "User-submitted Promotions & Notices." When you generate a post in this subforum, the post goes here.
Please don’t post general news about an institution in this subforum. Any news article about an institution should now be submitted to the Financial News subforum. For example, if the WSJ reports on Bank of America reducing branches, that article should be submitted in the Financial News subforum.
Subforum: Financial News
The new Financial News subforum covers several of the old subforums including "Credit Cards," "Budgeting and Taxes," "Investments," and, of course, "Financial News." If you find any interesting article or information piece on the Web that has some relationship to or impact on banking and/or saving, please post about it and discuss it in this subforum.
This subforum is one of our most active, and you’ll note some of the most significant design and functionality changes in this one. First, we have made it easier to share news articles. If you want to do a quick post, after initiating the new post, just copy and paste the web address (URL) of the news article into the field requesting the article URL. Then click the "Auto-fill Title" button. DA will automatically grab both the title and the summary of the article from the URL you entered. If you would prefer to enter your own title and summary/commentary on the article, it is just as easy to do so in these free-form fields, and we certainly encourage it.
In addition to posting changes, the Financial News subforum has some changes in the listing of the posts. The most obvious change is the addition of thumbnail photos and brief summary snippets. DA grabs a photo from the article that you’re sharing and includes the first couple of lines of the summary snippet that was entered to go along with the post.
Another important change is the title of the post. It’s now a link that points directly to the news article without requiring the additional click that the current process requires. If you want to read the full summary and/or commentary submitted by the user or if you want to read comments, you’ll still be able to click on either the "read more" link or the "comment" link to the continue the discussion on DA.
Subforum: Ask The Community
If you have a question that has some relation to banking or saving, please post it in this subforum. This allows you to take advantage of the knowledgeable and helpful DA community.
At the top of this subforum, a list of frequently asked questions is featured (this list should be evolving over time). Feel free to use this and the search box to review past questions and answers, as well.
Site feedback and off-topic (i.e. non-financial) information should be submitted to this subforum. In addition, this subforum would be the place to share your financial experiences that aren’t necessarily "news" and don’t pertain to a particular bank product or promotion. For example, if you have been hit by identity theft, this subforum is the place to share your experience of what happened and how you handled it and what other members can learn from your experience. Or as another example, last year DA member me1004 described his experiences around the issue of some banks and credit unions requiring social security numbers for beneficiaries on POD accounts.
Useful Features Remain
The new community forum (hopefully!) retains most all of the useful features of the old forum.
You can still receive email notifications for each post. This notifies you when there’s a new comment in the post. Just click the "Subscribe to Comments" button that’s right next to the "Publish Comment" button.
If you want to send a private message (PM) to another user, just click on their user name. A box opens up with a "Send PM" button. This box also shows information about the user such as the number of forum posts that the user has submitted and the total rep points that the user has accumulated.
You can vote up a post or comment. The posts that receive the most votes will be highlighted in the "Most Popular Posts" section on the front page of the community forum. Also, the headers and footers of the forum posts are now more standardized with each other and with the headers and footers of the blog posts to make interacting with the posts a more consistent experience.
Comments are now threaded. This makes it much easier to follow back and forth conversations than before.
Each Subforum also now has a search box displayed that allows you to search within that particular subforum.
Thanks for Your Contributions!
We so greatly appreciate the contributions of all the blog and forum users who have helped make the DA community a great place for savers. We hope that the new forum will help continue to build this great DA community!