We were pleased to see so many comments about the community on the recent thread about the Leader Board. We are always wanting to learn more about how we can develop the community and so have locked the previous thread so that all comments and suggestions about general improvements to the community can now be placed here on this thread.
Please comment here on any ideas, improvements or feedback you have about the Online Community.
Please note that although we take on board all your ideas, we may not be able to implement all of them.
As always, please be kind and respectful when commenting to each other.
I would like to see some help screens, even if they are in the form of a 'sticky' thread.
Perhaps RSS icons can be added to the forum groups and threads.
I also miss the ability to change screen colours. In the old system I could select a black background, which I prefer to the white. Firefox's reader mode does not work in the forum so I cannot use that to change the colour.
I believe the old system also allowed users to change the font size and that can be useful.
If any changes are to colours (including, for example, the buttons) then please remember to bear in mind people like myself who are colour-blind (I am red/green colour-blind but also have great difficulty with brown). I would be quite happy to see a different (and subdued) colour for buttons and usernames above posts.
caretwo said:I also miss the ability to change screen colours. In the old system I could select a black background, which I prefer to the white. Firefox's reader mode does not work in the forum so I cannot use that to change the colour.
Perhaps check 'Colour That Site :: Add-ons for Firefox - Firefox Add-ons - Mozilla'
Thank you but the add-on is written using legacy technology and will not work from Firefox 57 onwards.
In addition, and more importantly, allowing the user to change screen colours would (or should) be browser-agnostic.
caretwo said:Thank you but the add-on is written using legacy technology and will not work from Firefox 57 onwards.
caretwo said:In addition, and more importantly, allowing the user to change screen colours would (or should) be browser-agnostic.
I think with that one, living in hope seems to be the only option, although I find like others that it is rather disagreeable that those with visual difficulties are not being catered for directly at source as was the case before.
I suppose the analogy here is comparative to putting steps in the place of ramps for wheelchair users at a public service building, and expecting/advising wheelchair users to upgrade their wheelchairs.
It's not meant to be like that. It's meant to be like giving people who need them their own wheelchairs, when previously they had to ask for one at each place they went to, and what worked in one place didn't work somewhere else!
However, that's plainly not how it is for caretwo. May I ask anyone who wants to comment whether this site's design is a particular issue, even compared to say the main NAS site or other sites that you use? It's that comparison between sites that would be useful.
As an example, here's a government blog on changing colours. There's a link to a Firefox-specific page in the introduction. I notice that even the BBC have archived their accessibility pages, and no longer update them.
I cannot respond from any kind of technical perspective. I do accept that users have different colour preferences and requirements. My point of view will be one of several but I would still like to make it. I like the colour and format of the pink and bold. I have different eyesight problems in that I have blepharitis which means I get itchy blurry vision and then I have attention type focussing problems. So I do need something bright and bold and engaging. I do need something colourful and attractive to me. I do need something which clearly separates or indicates hence my bright name and a bright reply button. Something which stands out so I can't mistake where I am or where I press. Basically how it is now Does suit me and to dull or neutralise would make it harder and less attractive for me to use. However I have seen websites where it is white on black instead of black on white and this has been less strain on my eyes. Diverse in nature diverse in thought ..sorry if this complicates things further.
Not at all, but are you able to comment on other sites that you use, including the main National Autistic Society one, that are good or bad?
This is the only social media I am on and when I did try Facebook several years ago and seen the updates since , I found quite awkward. My extended family use Skype. The updates on that have been most painful, the change in style, colour ( a sort of luminescent turquoise) sound ( really grating ) wavy thing ( very distracting "in my face") on the front are really awful. As for the Nas site; I like the look, font etc I like the bullet points in the change of colour , I find it clear and concise, but I do find it hard to find what I want you have to search around a lot to find anything especially when it's not specific or trying to educate myself. For example I wanted to find out about courses or training for me as a newbie adult and I wanted to find out about possibilities of training someone to help me. But it took me a long time to find and even then I'm not quite sure. As others have said a quick bullet point or link to essentials like Samaritans/mental health, asd assessment, Pip &ESA detailed guidance , help for parents re school and behaviour, how to use this forum ie the main topics which are requested repeatedly when seeking help .. if that was on the front page there would be less desperate posts on the forum and the forum would be second point of call not first thereby taking the strain off us a little. Though we are all willing to help and support when we can. Yes its frustrating to have to log in all the time even whilst on the website or forum or switching between the two. Is that the sort of thing you mean?
WebPM, unless I have misunderstood your reply, it seems to me that you are trying to put the onus on users to find out whether colour changes work with the site (and for every site they visit if they change the colours in their browsers).
Functionality that existed in the old forum has been removed. I am not asking for every possible colour but simply a return to what we had (or something very similar).
I note that Network Autism still allows the users to choose from a small range of colours.
The government blog you refer to states:The Website Content Accessibility Guidelines specify that users must be able to select foreground and background colours. It is therefore important to generally make sure a website is as flexible and adjustable as possible. One step to achieving that is to always style background and foreground together.
I believe that sites associated with such organisations as NAS should be setting good examples for others to follow.
If the forum worked with Firefox's reader mode then some of us would not have a problem with the inability to select background colours etc., however, we should be considering all users regardless of their browser.
Regarding your comment:It's that comparison between sites that would be usefulthe obvious question is useful to whom? Certainly not me and people like me. Such a comparison is irrelevant to me. It seems like you are trying to justify the lack of background colour selection etc. by comparing the forum to other sites which perform badly in that regard; whereas you should be comparing the forum to sites which perform well in that regard or be setting the standard with the forum.
If I have misunderstood your reply, please accept my apologies.
Please be assured that the following statements are made for the benefit of all, and for the detriment of none.
WebPM said:It's not meant to be like that. It's meant to be like giving people who need them their own wheelchairs, when previously they had to ask for one at each place they went to, and what worked in one place didn't work somewhere else!
Previously the website was metaphorically 'wheelchair-access' friendly, i.e. colour screen options or "ramps" at source. It mattered not one way or another then about any other websites in respect of services here. Neither did it involve having to take any further 'steps' to comfortably use this site, which some people have not been able to do ~ practically, or comfortably.
WebPM said:However, that's plainly not how it is for caretwo.
The difficulty here is that as above stated, some people have been unable to take the necessary 'steps' to do as you suggest, being that their are no compatible 'colour-screen' apps for their browser systems. This is what caretwo and I were discussing above, and after having passed on your helpful advice for me regarding the getting of the app that was compatible with my system ~ he found that it was not compatible with his, to which I replied that that was unfortunate.
WebPM said: May I ask anyone who wants to comment whether this site's design is a particular issue, even compared to say the main NAS site or other sites that you use? It's that comparison between sites that would be useful.
The problem here again is that like the compatibility issues with the 'colour-screen' browser apps; people with autism are not being facilitated for as was inclusively the case before, being that those who can use more than one website are able to participate ~ whilst people who are only able to use this one website are excluded from this suggested activity.
I find that I am very much in agreement with caretwo on this issue:
I really wish there was a very straight forward way to make the background a different colour or decrease the contrast somehow, I find reading this site very hard on my eyes. Other sites that have greyer backgrounds are much more comfortable for me to look at.
I have just upgraded to Firefox 57 myself, and there is a "Dark Background and Light Text Preference" add-on that does page colouration also ~ down-loadable from:
Thank you, Deepthought, for taking the time to post the link.
I have had a good 'play' with the add-on and my initials impressions were favourable, however, after visiting a number of sites I have run into the problem of certain colour combinations working for one site but not another. The only way round this it to select different colour combinations based on each site. For me, this is not a practical option. This is a shame as I much prefer the black background.
As I said in an earlier post, by a site not implementing a choice of colour schemes, the onus is on users to find out whether colour changes work with the site (and for every site they visit if they change the colours in their browsers). I still believe that sites associated with such organisations as NAS should be setting good examples for others to follow.