RAC Forum homepage refresh

  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Hi everyone

    We’re looking to give our wonderful community a little facelift and would also love to hear any ideas and feedback for longer term development.

    In the next few weeks we’ll be updating our RAC Forum homepage. The plan is to make some small changes to make it easier to navigate around, easier to promote popular posts at the top of the page, to improve overall accessibility, and to make the mobile view better.

    The changes include:

    • Making the search bar more prominent, to encourage people to use search before posting, as their question may already have been answered here.
    • Reducing the number of sections. This is so that there’s less complexity and fewer clicking or tapping for people to find what they’re looking for.
    • Removing the two navigation rows at the top of the forum - this is to make it less cluttered (especially on mobile) and fix a common issue whereby a user taps or clicks an item in the navigation bar and is suddenly taken away from the forum, to a new website. We will have a link to the main RAC website for those who are looking for other services.
    • Using a carousel of promoted community threads and posts at the top of the homepage, just below the search bar. This will be used to ‘pin’ urgent posts at the very top, as well as to celebrate the best of the community! It will also be used for our RAC promotions.
    • Links will be coloured orange so it’s clearer and also provides better accessibility for those using screen readers.


    We’re aiming to get this live in a few weeks but, of course, it all depends on how quickly the developers can build things, and also how quickly marketing teams can produce new imagery etc. Also….. Christmas is looming! So it may be that even if it’s ready to go, we hold off pressing the ‘launch button’ until the New Year.

    I’ll keep updating this post with news!

    This homepage refresh is about making some quick changes just to get the RAC Forum looking a little bit brighter and cleaner.

    But it doesn’t have to stop there. It would also be really helpful to hear from our members what kinds of community forum features you’d like to see here. Are there features in other communities we could implement? Some of the ideas I have are around badges and levels, a VIP area for our regulars to hang out, an ideas board to suggest stuff that the RAC should look into offering its customers, more videos, an FAQs section, even a blog!

    I won’t say that “anything is possible” because that’s obviously not true…! But would love to know what else we’d like to see here. 😀
    Last edited by Marc; 09-11-22 at 11:18.
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  • 9 Replies

  • Snowball's Avatar
    Hi Marc,
    On the face of it, the overhaul looks good. Although, in order to make the forum attractive to the widest possible audience (prospective members) I would suggest that simplicity should generally be the key.
    Too much “wizardry” might put some limitation towards a bias for younger posters. For example, I am aged 87 and, whilst I consider myself reasonably computer-literate, I would not rate myself as being anywhere near to the abilities of the younger generation. But, even at my ageing years, I do think members such as I can still make interesting and valuable input to the forum.
    Kindest regards, Snowball.
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Thanks @Snowball for the feedback, much appreciated! 🙏

    in order to make the forum attractive to the widest possible audience (prospective members) I would suggest that simplicity should generally be the key.
    Yes I completely agree! That is the main aim of this work. Reducing the number of sections, doing away with the two rows of top navigation.... that should make it simpler, less of a mission!


    I am aged 87 and, whilst I consider myself reasonably computer-literate, I would not rate myself as being anywhere near to the abilities of the younger generation.
    Wow I had no idea, what a fantastic age to be! I'm sure abilities and generations are not set in stone though.


    even at my ageing years, I do think members such as I can still make interesting and valuable input to the forum.
    That's wonderful @Snowball and your input is really appreciated.

    Thank you again for the feedback. If anything else springs to mind, please do add it here.
    Next week I should hopefully have a (very) basic design to share. 🙂
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Got a pic to share with everyone! 😀
    This isn't the 100% definitive final version (the icons will be different for one thing) but it gives an idea of where we're headed.

    Desktop version


    Name:  New homepage desktop.jpg
Views: 7946
Size:  25.1 KB
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Another thing the design I just shared above 👆 doesn't show is an optional banner advert for the biggest promotions, for occasional use.

    Will post mobile view in a sec
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Mobile design

    Name:  New homepage mobile.jpg
Views: 7888
Size:  24.7 KB

    (again, not 100% finalised, but v close)
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    A quick update on the homepage refresh.
    It's good news. We're testing it this week and, fingers-crossed, it looks like it could well go live next week. I will be posting more info about timings when it's confirmed! 🙂
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Hi folks
    Good news! We've got a launch date 😃
    The new community homepage will go live at midday on Wednesday 7 December.
    There's no 'downtime' during the work, but I expect that we might see one of two strange bits and bobs for a couple of hours, such as odd/broken text formatting, a broken image perhaps.
    I will be posting first thing on Wednesday morning and will update on progress through the day 👍
  • miksola's Avatar
    I anticipate that for a couple of hours, we may see one or two peculiarities, such as damaged images or bizarre text formatting
    spacebar clicker
  • Mark07's Avatar
    Community Manager
    I anticipate that for a couple of hours, we may see one or two peculiarities, such as damaged images or bizarre text formatting
    spacebar clicker
    I think we're ok now, the refresh happened a few years ago. 😉

    Thanks,
    Mark.

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    Welcome to the RAC Community! Start here 😀
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