Decision on signatures

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] everyone :wave:

This is an important update on the signatures feature that we discussed before the switch to the new platform. Now that things are (mostly) back to normal following the changeover, we have been looking long and hard into the practicalities of bringing this feature back in.

Unfortunately, we do not believe we are able to support this feature while maintaining a good browsing experience for all of our users.

I understand that this will come as a big disappointment to those of you who are keen to see signatures back on the site (and I know there are many of you!) But I wanted to make a clear statement on this issue, even though I know this won’t be a popular post :sweat:

There are quite a number of reasons behind the decision that we’ve come to:

  1. Some users are still experiencing loading issues, despite all of the measures that we’ve tried to solve this so far. We are reluctant to add anything in which will place further demands on browsers, connections and/or ISPs, as this may exacerbate the problem.

  2. The Discourse signatures plugin that exists does not allow for advanced text formatting (text colour, different fonts, text size, text align). Instead, the formatting options would be the same as the ones on the profile pages and user cards (basically only bold, italic and emojis).

  3. Being a plugin and not part of the core Discourse platform, this feature would need to be updated separately from the main Forums site. We are concerned that this may lead to compatibility issues and possibly interfere with the functionality of the plugin and/or other aspects of the site.

  4. While we understand that the user cards / profile pages are a different system to what we had before and will take some getting used to, we have been encouraged by how well so many of you have taken to them. [name_m]Even[/name_m] using them to recreate popular topics like “Rate the Signature”, which has been great to see! :yellow_heart:

I’m sorry to disappoint some of you, but I really wanted to be clear and honest with you about the decision we’ve come to and why.

Please do use the space below to share your feelings on this :point_down:

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While I do know that this announcement will cause disappointment for some, I will say I’ve grown pretty used to the user card format now. I don’t know that I prefer it, as to me it feels like a comparison would be a bit like apples to oranges because of the different servers, but I do like them!

I think the timing may have been a little bit unfortunate as everyone is currently already going through completely new, and somewhat dramatic life changes that none of us have ever really experienced before, and this does sort of add to the stress of that - but I don’t think the fact we won’t have signatures any longer is entirely bad. It does seem a bit easier to use the forums now, and I did find some of the fonts and colours offered in signatures were a bit hard to read so I was constantly re-editing my own so it was legible, and on mobile, half of the fonts didn’t show up as anything other than [name_u]Arial[/name_u].

Also, if anyone has questions about the user cards, there is the user card tutorial I created last month to help out :point_right:t2: [name_m]How[/name_m] To Design Your User [name_m]Card[/name_m]! :slight_smile:

Hopefully not including them will help the site continue to be easy to use and eliminate/prevent further problems from arising!

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That’s the hope! Thanks, [name_u]Haley[/name_u].

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I 100% agree with this.

It is disappointing to lose the signature function, even for someone like me, newer to the community than many others. But I do completely understand, and we have certainly been making the user cards work well enough.

Thanks for the update, @katinka! I know it’s a tough announcement to make after everyone was hoping the loss of signatures would be only temporary, but I appreciate your sincere commitment to making this transition as smooth as possible, despite the downsides.

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That’s so lovely of you @elanorelle, thank you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Thanks for the update! I think the user cards have been working just fine, and the threads are much cleaner without signatures. I, for one, am totally cool with this. :blush::+1:

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I’m a little disappointed, but the new platform has definitely been growing on me. Aside from the occasional pop-up that won’t go away, it seems to be working really well!

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That’s so good to hear, @nvrsobr, thanks. It’s an ongoing project so we hope to keep improving it over the months and years ahead :slight_smile:

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I also feel the need to thank the mods, who have obviously been doing their best to get us used to the new platform and reply promptly to any inquiries. You guys deserve a huge shoutout!

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[name_m]Hi[/name_m]! Trying to get used to the new format. On mobile, I cannot read the full user cards & therefore can’t participate in any of those games. Is that normal for mobile? & [name_m]How[/name_m] do I set up my user card? Thanks :slight_smile:

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] @auroracallista,

Yes, the user cards only ever show a portion of a person’s bio, even on desktop. You need to click on the user card to be taken to the full bio (you can continue to write a reply while you do this; navigating around different pages doesn’t get rid of the reply box).

@leafsgirl44 very kindly made a tutorial explaining how to set up your user card and bio; here it is :point_down:

I hope that helps!

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I’m sad to see signatures go, but understand that there was no other option. I share the same sentiments that lots of other users have shared on various threads- I feel the loss of personality on the forums is what’s making it most difficult to adjust to the new platform.

I’ve haven’t commented in depth on one of these threads before, but I’ve been on Nameberry for 9 years now, almost half my lifetime! Nameberry has been a constant in my life, and I’ve come on the site every day for years now. The system change came at a pretty rough time for me (I’m graduating college, and given the current state of the world I’ve lost a lot of my constants!) and I’ve found myself coming on less and less because I just can’t get a hang of the new system, but I’m committed to trying!

Anyway- this is sort of off-topic, but I felt this was the most relevant thread to put this on. One of the features I use the most in recent years have been the polls. On the old system, every day I would go to the forums and answer every poll before I went to bed. It was a great way to engage with Nameberry without having to write coherent sentences :joy: I’m not sure if this has been addressed previously (apologies if it has!) but would there be any way to signify in the subject line of a post if it was a poll? Maybe an emoji or something similar. I understand if that’s not possible with this system, but I’d certainly find it helpful if it was!

And like others have said, thank you to all the mods, administrators, and everyone else working on this switchover- I’m sure it hasn’t been easy on you all, and everything I’ve read from you has reminded me why I’ve stayed on Nameberry for so long in the first place :heart:

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Thanks for such a balanced and thoughtful reply, @cameronmarie :heart:

The loss of NB-specific personality is something we are planning to address very soon. We’re a very small team, so our priority always has to be sorting out technical glitches and moderation issues, which is why things can take a little while, but we are listening keenly to feedback and we do want to bring some colour back in!

Adding an emoji to the subject line for a poll would be something for a developer to tackle, but I will certainly look into whether this is something that has been requested by other sites using this platform. In the meantime, good practice would be to write “[name_u]Poll[/name_u]: [name_m]Jack[/name_m] or [name_u]Jude[/name_u]?” (or similar) in the subject line, which some already do, and I’ll try and promote this more.

A huge thank you for sticking with us for so long, and for bearing with us during this changeover!

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