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Third time trying to suggest stuff is the charm?

Team Player
Message 6 of 6

I recently joined the community because a change in policy made online chat support unusable for me.


I have found the very few people I've interacted with so far to be friendly and willing to try and help.


I have also found this to be hands down the worst forum experience I have ever had. And I've used many, and even ran one for a while. As someone who's been a QA engineer/manager in previous roles, it is uncomfortable for me not to post some of my gripes/suggestions here. So here goes.


1) Why is this community completely unrelated to an existing TalkTalk user account? The duplication adds another hurdle to what is already a daunting process for people unfamiliar with how things work online. SSO anyone?


2) Once I had created my account, I subsequently sent a post (somehow - I can't even remember how I managed that now). And was then asked to confirm my email address so the post could be displayed. The first response to that post said I needed to supply the landline in my profile for my account to be identified. Why not do all this as part of the sign-in process?

This bit-by-bit method not only took several hours, but also made me feel like I was being stupid for not knowing I needed to supply this 'obvious' information. Every other forum I can remember walks you through the required details first and then says 'We will send you a confirmation email so you can activate your account.' Makes a lot more sense, right?


3) It initially was really hard to work out how to send a post. I only managed to start this post (in the wrong place) by using 'search' as suggested, clicking on the (irrelevant) post returned and then seeing a bubble with "This post is very old and is probably no longer relevant. Do you want to start a new post?" Yes; that is seriously how I started this topic!

Now I understand the layout better, I get a nice 'Start a new post' button on this particular sub-section. But this isn't the case on the main support pages.


4) I still have no idea how to see the overall layout of the site. All I am able to do is show 'Latest Posts' or use search. Is that as much structure as there is, or am I missing something? Why mandate tags if there is (it seems) no way of using them?


5) The menu and banner at the top of every screen. It takes up all of the screen real-estate. I have to scroll down every single time the page changes before I can find I've still not located the page I want. I am using a large PC monitor; there is plenty of room.


6) Notifications. I have a badge indicating that there are 2 'things' awaiting my attention on my profile click. When I click on it, there is absolutely no indication where to go next; just a menu. As someone with forum experience, I eventually realised that the notification bell at the top needed clicking on. As a new user I wouldn't have got that in many hours of frustration.


7) No support for picture attachments. While I can understand this from a moderation and security point of view, it makes answering some support questions pretty hard. I even took some screenshots prior to making this post and for my initial support call. Without the hassle of publishing a document with them in, that was yet another waste of time. And for a new user? Possibly not even an option.
(Interestingly, there is an 'insert image' button on the chat window itself. Although even I have no idea what the 'Source' field is supposed to contain. File path? URL? Who knows.)


😎Layout. There are several places (the profile 'wizard') springs to mind) where the information doesn't fit into the screen vertically (and I have a darn big monitor). This means the buttons for save, accept, whatever are off the bottom of the window. Simple; scroll down right? Except this scrolls the parent window behind the wizard. The only way I managed to accept some of these forms was to actually zoom out on my browser. I have never in well over a decade of using the internet had to use this 'trick' to simply see all of the user interface. I wonder how less experienced users would get on here?


8a) Happy that the last bullet point turned into an emoji. 


9) Menus. The menu layout and meaning is incredibly confusing and unhelpful. A relevant example that springs to mind is locating this feedback group. It is located in 'Community' (fair enough, I suppose) -> 'The Lounge' (?) -> 'Community feedback'. The last one looks fine. Although I personally think this should be the first item in the top level. But the problem is that it is at the bottom of a list of completely non-community related items (Entertainment, hobbies, gaming, etc.)
And the only way it is visible is by using a scrollbar. In a menu?!? That is a seriously cunning way of hiding this option, and I shall store it away for further use on applications I don't really want people to like. 
I'm happy to provide further feedback about the menus if it'll be helpful. I think they are dreadful.


10) When I tried to post this, I got a message (highlighted with a yellow background) saying that I needed to correct the highlighted errors in order to post. After looking for more yellow highlight for a while I gave up.
It was only because I took a long phone call with the screen still open that I eventually noticed the 'Posts in this community require at least one tag' highlighted in dark red (which still looks like black to me unless I look really hard) in a location I hadn't even been looking in that I spotted the problem.


11) Why is my order of posts setting not retained? I've been mightily confused by the order, and eventually managed to find a way of switching to chronological order of posts. Which then reset when I logged back in. And I can't even find how I set that option previously to reset it now.

I hope this has been of some use; it certainly took a long time to write and I had to do so several times because it seems the post was either lost or deleted or possibly not even sent. (Probably my bad. Finger trouble. Or apathy ad absurdium.)


12) I now write all my posts to this site in another editor and paste them in, because I'm fed up of stuff just 'vanishing into the void.'



There. I've tried (again) to post a diatribe about stuff I feel could be improved. I clearly have too much time on my hands. In my day job, I would have earned something from this. You're welcome.

It's aardvarks all the way down..

Community Manager
Message 1 of 6

Hey @PhilAardvark 

Sorry for the delayed reply, totally my fault i was under the impression we'd closed this board asking users to share any feedback in existing boards however none the less, thank you all the feedback and detail. I'll do my best to answer your points:


  1. Correct, sadly we don't have SSO yet but this is something we want to achieve in the near future
  2. We did this previously but the majority of users disliked having to give all their information upfront and so we stopped mandating this. ultimately SSO negates the need for this and once we deliver SSO we'll know who you are.
  3. Thanks for the feedback, we'll take that onboard and see if we can make it clearer in our next update. 
  4. You can access all the forum areas here, this is linked to from the home page and the same is accessible from every page in the form of the global header under community. 
  5. Agreed, this is however aligned, taken from the wider online design system we're built too but i do get your point and looking at ways to reduce the dominance of it 
  6. We do have an open defect for this with the vendor of the platform, appreciate it's frustrating and working on it. 
  7. You can add pictures and videos however if you've not verified your email you wont have access to that until it's verified. I can see that you have so just look for the camera icon in the editor
  8. Yes the forum supports emoji  keyboard shorthand 
  9. Thanks we'll look to see if we can enhance the menu, this board is now closed actually so feel free to put any feedback in any of the board and the team will pick it up. 
  10. We mandate labels in post to help with filtering and to identify issues which is common in forums. 
  11. ALl your display preferences can be managed in your settings which is within your profile, click your avatar ion the top right and select my settings
Stephen, Community Manager

Message 2 of 6

@StephenF are you going to respond to the op's post or what? You ask for feedback but very rarely provide any follow what's the point?


Community Star
Message 3 of 6

Yes, @PhilAardvark, that massive reply footer has been the topic of much conversation behind the scenes  - so far in vain, as you can see. 

Gliwmaeden2, a fellow customer.

Message 4 of 6

Thanks @Gliwmaeden2 

That's interesting, and much of the non-UI stuff now makes a lot more sense to me. Thanks for the explanations. 


But talking about the UI, I also have to add:

13) The 'Reply ->' footer box. Because the screen real-estate is already massively cluttered with banners and headers and this footer, when creating a post this box (just for one button which is presumably redundant anyway as you are already replying to something) obscures the end of the main window. Which contains the 'Cancel' and 'Post' buttons.

I'm fairly sure now that after typing my message I've hit this 'Reply ->' button thinking that this would send the reply. But of course  it doesn't. Well, I know this now, although I completely expect to forget about it again if I don't regularly use this forum.

When you are in the process of typing a reply, shouldn't the 'Post' button be more prominent than something that looks similar but which actually loses everything you have entered so far?

It's aardvarks all the way down..

Community Star
Message 5 of 6

@PhilAardvark, just picking through some of the above....


The community is not only for customers. Some are ex customers and sometimes people are simply making enquiries, so there needs to be a way of posting that doesn't link in with an ongoing service. A verifiable email address suffices.


Adding the landline number to your profile area is only essential for identifying your account when posting in the help area of the forum and requiring staff help, rather than comment from fellow customers. 


Adding screenshots or images to a post varies from device to device, but if there's no obvious camera icon, use this, along from the fonts in the message you are typing:



One click takes you to recent images; select one image; click done, and the image will show in your post.


Other than in the initial phase of lockdown, when phone and Chat support all but collapsed, the community is not the first place most customers turn to for emergency help - there is no staff cover overnight, at weekends and only a little for Bank Holidays, so bear that in mind if you have an incident that needs attention at these "inconvenient" times! 


Even now, phone and live chat support hours are limited, as detailed here:


I am not tech savvy - all my internet interactions are by intuition, and habit. For many people that's the only way in - having confidence to explore and browse. Most skip the instruction pages.


Having said that, the management team is at the mercy of the speed of responses and solutions from a third party, so despite extensive feedback, layout and navigation challenges may yet take some time to resolve. It's not for want of trying from CSs and the management team on here.


Guidelines for the community:


Gliwmaeden2, a fellow customer.