Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Logic of the site structure needs help, and bring back Forums by situation please!

Is there someone dedicated working to try and improve the new site?
I would like to give some feedback as I find the logic of the UX unclear and the website difficult to work with.
I would guess that your traffic and active membership has declined since the change of site, is that right?
It seems that I am in backend admin mode rather than user mode alot of the time (ie 2 screens parallel when entering content).
I recognize that the site is now mobile-responsive but there are some bugs in viewing profiles, scrolling etc on a desktop.
Also,is it possible to bring back the Forums and groups functionality to be able to go from home page immediately to a group (unruptured annies, PED members etc) as this would help usability and most of the members are with specific circumstances and would like to talk to others with the same.
As soon as there are several months’ /years worth of topics, it will be very difficult to search find and follow specific topics and it would be much easier by group.

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Actually traffic and membership is up (likley due to our ability to use google words that one of our team was able to get a grant for) Page views are up as is average time spent along with unique views. Growth has been a tad over 12%/month since the change.

The split screen is left where you enter Right is how it will appear. The reason for this is because a feature called one box is enabled. If you enter a link what appears is an image of that site as well as “intro” the other advantage is when using the links or up load buttons rather than seeing the HTML that is produced the actual product is show on the right. This enables embedding of swf and flv (Adobe Flash) links in oneboxes. The main reason we added this feature was for the BAF to embed their videos and webinars in their educational posts. There will be additional uses as time gores on including some "reddit type exchanges as well as wiki posts.

The groups will not be returning They were well underused on all the sites (not just this one) with fewer than 10% of members participating. A lot of support which is the main purpose of this community was missed and a lot of post regularly not replied to in the groups. The serach function is very robust and when used will give plently of direction. Although getting people to use it is tough. You will be seeing some mini how to use discourse lessons soon.

We certainly however can add more categories such as “unruptured annies” etc if requested. However with more than 12,000 posts to recategorize that would be very difficult to anywhere but forward. However we are certainly more than willing to work with volunteers (as we all are) to categorize old posts if we add more categories.

The flow of this site BTW is stack exchange pretty much the new “metro” consequently its “intuitive flow” (which frankly I’m getting used to more slowly than I’d like) is the same as most new sites and the direction of the "internet in general. What you are seeing here is the new “standard”

Mobile is an issue. If you one is using Android, it is only fully functional with a “chrome Browser” Any android version before Marshmallow (which are all unsupported) or still using a native browser is going to be a bit glitchy. That however is nothing we have control over. I can’t address any issue with IOS, because I just don’t know it well enough yet.

You might want to try one of the Discourse apps:



I am in the process of writing A Bens Friends App that will have these apps deep embedded in as well as several other features, but I don’t have a time table as I’m recovering pretty slowly from my last dance with the surgeons and am having trouble carving out the extra time (That and I haven’t written an app in a long time)

But lets start with categories. Just start a list with you replies of what you want to see and we will run them by your mod team. Along with the “category” please list what you think should be the main discussion topics.


What kind of treatment did you have? Hope youre recovery is going ok .
Thanks for the detailed explanation.
what is the CMS you are using on the site? It is an open source or did someone develop it for you?
I work in digital markeitng so I am familiar with website development, analytics, etc. I am currently developing a new ecommerce site on Drupal CMS for my company to cover 18 markets so i have been through the whole process and I know it’s not easy and no one is ever fully satisfied! :slight_smile:
However I am really struggling with this site. I think if you have to explain to a user how to use a site, and you have to spend time developing user guides and explaining to people how to do things, it’s not efficient for you or optimized for the user. A site should be simple logic for anyone to use without explanation.
Traffic of course will increase if you are able to use adwords. How much traffic from SEO, what was the change? How is the stat for returning user views? And bounce rate?I wouldnt put time of page views up necessarily as a good thing, it could be people are more confused and thus spending more time. What are most viewed pages?
the split screen is good for a webmaster but maybe more confusing for the average user, dont you think? I see many comments that they cant figure out the site, and I have some friends from the old site with whom I correspond by email as they have given up on the new site.
I dont see the point of seeing all the analytics about a user in the members page - again , this is something maybe useful for the webmaster , but what a user wants to know if the profile of the person and how to contact them - not how many times they’ve visited the site, how many messages they’ve sent ,etc.It seems often I am looking at a back-end screen that is one for the admin, not a user.
If you can create new groups, that would be great and I dont think you have to link old posts to the groups. It can start from fresh. Though I would be happy to help categorize old posts if help is needed.
Establishing Groups / Topics by curren treatment method options make logical sense as people are either directed by the doctors to treat via clipping, endovascular or monitor. There were good groups in the last site where I got most of my info and made contacts including:
Unruptured anniesPED & endovascular methods Clipped annies I guess there was nother group of ruptured annies as well, right?
International / Non USA resources was also a good group - I am american but living in Switzerland and there are no support groups here that I can find, and I know there are others searching (such as Maya77 who I have connected with)

I am happy to give more input if it helps , and see what I could do to lend a hand -
Cathy Stidwell

Hi, Cathy, would love help!! Can you email me at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■?

Hi Cathy3

This is Seenie from Moderator Support. Earlier you had a reply from TJ, also from Moderator Support. We (and the lovely Meli) work across the entire Ben’s Friends network of thirty communities, supporting moderators and whoever else needs help, and stepping into the breech du jour. None of us have a BA, although TJ and I share an affliction called Psoriatic Disease.

TJ is, amongst many other things, our chief technical advisor and platform guru. I’m not nearly as technically adept as he is (although they tell me that I have other good qualities :wink: ). When I put my mind to it, I can learn to “play” in whatever online environment they give me, and I have. I will tell you very honestly though, that I, too, had a lot of difficulty getting comfortable on the new platform. You mention the logic: my feeling is that logic is where my difficulty was (or is). I have also wondered about the aesthetics and the layout of the pages: it doesn’t “feel” intuitive to me, although others started on the new platform and said “Thank goodness, this is much easier than the old place we used to have”. Honestly!

So continuing on with your comments about logic, what other observations could you give us that might help us make it easier for others who are having difficulty getting comfortable with the new way of doing things?