Adobe website and forums navigation

Advisor ,
Sep 01, 2009 Sep 01, 2009

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Hello!

I'm not new in here, but Adobe changes the whole website and navigation from time to time and it's not getting better, unfortunately.

Perhaps someone of the admins can clarify this:

1) If I go to adobe.com, the page is in english. That's normal. If I log in and my native language is german and Adobe knows that I'm from Germany, then it would actually make sense to switch to german after login. But it does not.

2) If I log in and select a different language (german in this case), then the website appears in german. But if I go to the forums, it's english again. This is paradox.

3) If I'm logged in to Adobe, then I'm not automatically logged in to the forums. This is paradox too. At least to me.

4) If I'm in the forums I need to click "Login/Register" and it asks me for a screen name. I know a lot of english terms, but "screen name" does not makes sense since the rest of the world would call it "nickname". It also does not ask for a password, nor can't I register. I can just set the screen name. Well...

5) If I set the screen name to something like "Nobody", while my login name at Adobe is my real name, then the top line suddenly says "Welcome Nobody". If I then click on "Your account", it loads the page again and then it shows my real name again. Confusing.

6) If I'm logged in and chose german as language and then select forums, I won't be taken to the international german forums. This is paradox.

7) If I go to "Forums" and then below to "International forums -> German", then the page appears in german and says "Foren", which is german for "Forums". But there are no forums, it is only one forum. But for what? For all Adobe products? Confusing.

8) If I'm on that page from 7) then it's half english, half german.

This is what I could see by just browsing Adobe's pages for a few minutes. I actually don't want to know what will happen if I browse some more...

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Mentor ,
Sep 01, 2009 Sep 01, 2009

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Try click on the link the furthest to the right from the red adobe symbol - in my case it says United States (Change).

see if you can change setting there.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 01, 2009 Sep 01, 2009

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That's for the general Adobe site; not for the forum.  The forum software interface is, AFAIK, English only.

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Advocate ,
Sep 15, 2009 Sep 15, 2009

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I'm bumping this topic back up.

I just wanted to point out a (new) user that is unhappy with the website navigation. And yes I am running across posts such as this in other forums, the (new) users don't know to post here, so I think these posts need to brought to attention:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/492471?tstart=0

And incase the deleter nixes that post, here is what it says:

I have been a long time Adobe user and fan, but the website functionality has really gone downhill.  Why so many clicks?  It seems like so many product pages have links to what I hope is useful info, but it takes me to a general useful info page, then I have to find the product again, etc, etc.  Same with the help, if it links to the .com then I have to click, click, on and on before I find what I'm looking for.  And too many times, when I get to my final destination, the information is awfully thin, and not very useful.  How about some direct links to truly useful info??

I think everyone should be posting stuff like that in this forum since the mods seem to think it's only those of us who have been around a while that are complaining.

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Advocate ,
Sep 15, 2009 Sep 15, 2009

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Ozzwoman9 wrote on 9/15/2009 10:38 PM:

I just wanted to point out a (new) user that is unhappy with the website navigation. And yes I am running across posts such as this in other forums, the (new) users don't know to post here, so I think these posts need to brought to attention:

This forum is about the forum, not the general Adobe.com navigation. The

post you are linking to is already in the right place and should not be

discussed here.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 15, 2009 Sep 15, 2009

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Hi,

I've unlocked this thread because I believe these are valid questions to answers.

There are a few important things to note about international functionality when it comes to our Adobe Forums.

Re #1 and #2: If you would like for Adobe.com to display in your native language (let's say that's German), you need to click on "United States (Change)" at the top of the navigation. On the International Selector page, you need to select your language. Most importantly - if you want that selection to persist, you need to click on "Remember this choice".

Something that is important to note is that you must select "Remember this choice" for your language selection to carry over to Adobe Forums.

Re #3: Your login should persist between Adobe.com and Adobe Forums. I know there are some known bugs related to login, but we are currently working on some login-related functionality that may address this. John will share more details when they are available and when a launch date for that functionality has been set.

Re #4: If you are on a screen that is asking you to define a screen name, this is because you do not have one set within your Adobe.com profile. A screen name is required to be able to post content on Adobe Forums. Once you set your screen name, this will be added to your profile and you will no longer be prompted to do so.

Re #5: I think this may have to do with #4. Usually it is the screen name that is shown in the Welcome text at the top of the page.

Re #6: There is an important distinction to make between the language of the user interface and the language that a person uses to submit a post. For example, you can navigate Adobe Forums with the user interface in German, but the only place where discussions take place in German is within the  German International Forum. The user interface of Adobe Forums (meaning: the navigation - not the content that is submitted by users) is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese. We have International Forums for France, Spain, Germany, and Japan. The content and discussions within those forums is meant to be the native language. For the majority of our forums, the discussions take place in English. The exception to this is for Japan, which has its own set of product forums.

We don't make any assumptions about what forum you wish to see - so even though you have your language preference set to German, we choose to show you all forums -- not just the German International forum. This is especially important due to the fact that we do not have product-specific forums within each international forum, so we didn't want to force people to a place where there was limited content.

Re #7: We streamlined some of the International forums when we migrated to the new Jive platform, as many of the international forums on the previous platform had very little activity.

Re #8: This is one of two situations. You may be navigating the German International Forum with your language preference set to English (again, you need to choose the "Remember this choice" on the International Selector page). Or, you have your language preference set to German, and you are viewing forums where the content is in English.

Hope that helps!

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 15, 2009 Sep 15, 2009

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Hello, Kanguyen,


Yes, that does help; any sign of goodwill to us users is certainly most welcome.


Thank you for unlocking this thread. I noticed this afternoon that it had been locked, in spite of having valid and interesting questions that had not been addressed, simply because of a single debatable post. As I did not have the time to do it today, I was going to open tomorrow a second one retaking the subject, but now it will not be necessary.


I remember that some time ago, when describing the difficulties of a Spanish-only speaker with these forums, I did test the language change. This is what I posted then in a now "archived" (locked) thread:


I invite you to consider how a Spanish-speaking user of an Adobe product who  never heard of these forums is supposed to obtain help in them. (In what follows  I will speak of a "he" not because of my machismo, but just to keep the text  simple). His obvious first step in trying to obtain any kind of help would be to  visit one of the Adobe sites in Spanish, such as Adobe Spain. He will find there  a button labeled "Soporte" (support) with a dropdown menu where he may or may  not notice a "Foros" (forums) link. Assuming that he does, and that he knows one  can obtain free and quick help if forums, if he clicks on it, he will be taken  after a considerably long time to a page that is fully in  English, as it is in fact the index page of these forums, http://forums.adobe.com/index.jspa.


Obviously,  he is in trouble, but we will assume he is not one to be easily defeated. So, as  his question is related to Photoshop, he clicks on the blue Ps icon, only to be  taken to another page fully in English. And the story will repeat itself if he  tries to proceed any further. So if he finally finds his way to the right forum,  he will be faced with just the two following alternatives: he either gives up,  or he posts his question in Spanish -provided he can get through the login  procedure for first visitors.


Assume now that he still doesn't give up  (or that his question was related to one of the Adobe products not having  special icons). He may notice there is an INTERNATIONAL FORUMS link down in the  non visible part of the page, which perhaps looks to him sufficiently close to  FOROS INTERNACIONALES as to guess its meaning and click on it. He will find four  countries listed there (with their names in English!): France, Germany, Japan,  and Spain. He may be learned enough to know that Spain is English for España,  and click on that button in relief. However, he might not be, or live in one of  the many other countries where Spanish is the official language, and so think  the Spain button is not for him.


Well, let's now assume that, by whatever  means, he finally manages to press the Spain button.  Marvel of marvels! At long  last, a page with a large fractions of its texts fully in Spanish! But wait...  there are some disturbing factors. "Last post" (in English) is from "5 days ago"  (again in English; and I am quoting from the page where the above process took  me some minutes ago, which is the opening page of the forum in Spanish). And the  7th thread, from "1 week ago" has 0 "Replies" (in English). Not really very  promising.


At this point, exasperated by the number of things on the page  he can't decipher, he may notice a button at the top that reads "United States  (change)" (all in English), and he may be clever enough to guess this may be a  way to get everything written in Spanish. So he hopefully clicks on it, only to  be taken to a new page fully in English where he is supposed to know what he has  to do. Assuming he goes through the long list of places - languages (fully in  English), he may be clever enough to notice there are only two entries  associated with "Spanish" (quite a different word from Español!). If he chooses  one of them, he will be taken out of the forum and to one of the Adobe Store  sites -for example, back to Adobe Spain.


Well, never mind, you think, at  least he will now have everything in Spanish. Unfortunately, not so. Assuming he  manages to find his was back to the forum in Spanish, on getting there he will  see that everything is just the same as before. Even the button in the top row  still reads "United States (change).


Now I would like to ask the patient  reader who has followed me to this point the following question. Assume for a  few seconds that Adobe was a German company, with all original versions of its  products in German, with an excellent set of sites and forums in German, and you  were trying for the first time to get help in English about how to use one of  its products. Would you survive through the process I have just described if you  change "English" to "German" and "Spanish" to "English"?


I am relatively certain that I did check the "Remember this choice" option, but could be wrong. Unfortunately, I do not have time to retest now, and I'm not sure I will have it tomorrow, but I promise to do it and to post my results here as soon as possible.


Thank you again for your consideration.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 15, 2009 Sep 15, 2009

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I've unlocked this thread because I believe these are valid questions to answers.

You mean our intrepid "moderator" got it wrong?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Hello Kanguyen,


This is a step by step account of my attempt to change language, using Explorer under Vista.


1. Once logged in in this forum, I clicked on the United States (Change) button; chose Spanish (Spain) as my language, and checked the Remember this choice option. I was then taken out of the Forums page and into the Adobe Spain site, at http://www.adobe.com/es/.


2.On that page, I chose Soporte>Foros (Support>Forums), and was taken to the list of forums at http://forums.adobe.com/index.jspa, this time mostly in Spanish.


3. In there, I chose this forum. The result is a strange mixture of English and Spanish (and I'm obviously not counting the names of the topics, as I wouldn't expect these to be translated). For example, the forum name (Forum Comments), the name of the Announcement, and the names of the sticky topics are all in English.


4. I then closed my browser and came back, and I was taken to the same page I have just described, not to the one fully in English.


In short: either I forgot to check the Remember this option alternative in my previous tests, or things have been improved since I performed those tests. As I said before, I am reasonably certain that I did check the button (nothing to lose; one can always undo that action afterwards by changing the language again), but I have no way to ascertain if I did.


And although things are much better now, there are still things that could be improved. For example, I think that the Announcement is sufficiently important to justify translating not only its title, but also its content.


And thank you again.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Claudio,

I know you have been a long proponent of having more support and participation from Spanish-speaking employees within the Adobe Forums. The general philosophy behind these forums is that they are user-to-user forums, and there is not a specific mandate for Adobe employees to participate in our forums with the exception of our Software as a Service forums (Acrobat.com, Photoshop.com) where the forums are the primary support channel for those products. As many of you know, there is participation by Adobe employees in many of our Forums but this is not the case across the board.

I definitely understand the need you have expressed in your previous threads where a non-native English speaker is looking for help and how it can be very frustrating to try to navigate a site in your non-native language. In general, when it comes to languages, there are certain areas of Adobe.com that are translated and other areas that aren't.

The same goes for Adobe Forums. You have mentioned some specific things you expected to be translated - like the names of the Forums themselves - but again, I need to stress that there is a very clear distinction between content and user interface. Some examples of content would be: sticky topics, announcement, forum names, forum posts/replies, etc. and unfortunately those things are not translated because they are considered to be content from the standpoint of the application, and content exists in a singular language - which is whatever language utilized by the person who created it.

Examples of user interface are the static things you see on the page - text that is part of a button or some Forum functionality, like the menus on the page or the links in the right sidebar to create discussions. Those items are translated in the various languages we support.

The navigation issues you describe where a user goes to Adobe.com are part of the Adobe.com functionality and is separate from Adobe Forums. Your comments are definitely valid, but unfortunately I can only speak to the way our Forums platform interacts with Adobe.com and how the language selection carries over -- which you have now experienced firsthand through your investigation this morning.

We discussed the navigation of non-native speaking customers in the Forums at great length with our User Experience team when we designed the new Adobe Forums, and there had to be a balance between making assumptions on the way someone wants to navigate the site as well as providing predictable way to carry over the language preference from Adobe.com within the constraints of all the sites/technologies working together. We had discussed many of the points that you brought up.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and hope that helps.

-- kanguyen

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 18, 2009 Sep 18, 2009

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Hello Kanguyen,

Early in the morning yesterday, when I still had several hours left before logout, I wrote a long answer to your message, although I didn’t really have the time for it. Unfortunately, when I tried to post it, I found that I had been logged out, and I was absolutely unable to relog for the rest of the day, apparently because the Adobe site (adobe.com) was down. Compared with this, the announced Server Maintenance notice seemed like a bad joke. In any case, I will have to try to remember all that I wrote and was lost.

I must have begun by thanking you for your long and detailed reply to my previous message. With the increasingly deteriorated atmosphere around here, one tends to forget how very nice it is to interact with someone willing to listen to arguments, and to try to understand what one says without resorting to disqualifications. Which unfortunately seem to be replacing arguments in this forum. However, let’s get back to our conversation.

No, I have never asked for more participation of (Spanish speaking) Adobe employees in the forums in Spanish. I come from the traditional Adobe (pre Macromedia fusion) forums, where we were constantly reminded that no Adobe personnel participated officially or regularly in the forums, and that the forums were not a way of addressing Adobe. Therefore, I couldn’t have asked for the forums in Spanish what the original (US English) forums did not have.

What I did ask for, and for several years, was the appointment of at least one Spanish-speaking moderator in those forums, and for more attention from Adobe Spain to them. Sadly, no moderator was ever appointed in those forums, and the now single forum in Spanish still hasn’t got one. On the other hand, a surprising side effect of the new forums format is that the forum in Spanish is now listed in the Adobe Spain site, as in all the other localized forums, under the International Forums label. And I say surprising because for years there was no mention of the forums in Spanish in the Adobe Spain site.

I have just checked, and although the language problem is solved for users who change it checking the Remember... option, it is still there for newcomers seeking help for the first time. I would think that, typically, such a Spanish speaking person in trouble would naturally look for help in www.adobe.com or in www.adobe.com/es. In the first case, s/he would get a page fully in English, with no provision for changing to another language. In the second, the page would be in Spanish, again with no provision for a language change. In either case, going to Support/Soporte > Forums/Foros would take the newcomer to http://forums.adobe.com/index.jspa , fully in English, and then the story would then continue as described in my previous message. As an ignorant in such matters, I cannot help thinking if it is really so terribly difficult to make the forums.adobe.com software to somehow “remember” where the user is coming from and act accordingly. Explicitly: that if the user clicked on the “Foros” menu in the Adobe Spain site, s/he is taken to the index in Spanish. Naturally, with similar solutions for other languages.

I thank you for explaining the user interface/content difference. It is a valid and powerful argument against translating everything; and I certainly wouldn’t expect messages written in other languages to be translated to Spanish. However, there are some things that in my opinion are important enough to deserve the extra effort of specially translating and manually inserting. I am thinking, for example, of the different Announcements (text included) and the titles of the Stickies, plus perhaps some of the FAQs. No doubt, it would be easy to find natives willing to provide the required translations for Adobe personnel to replace in the proper places. I would do it gladly in the case of Spanish, and Pierre would probably be willing to provide the required French versions.

I agree in that the solution that you adopted for the language change problem is probably the best within the existing constrains, although I still think it wasn’t working as today when I performed my previous tests. However, I would like to ask you to consider what I said above about the transition from the Adobe Spain (or whatever) to the Forums index page. (In this paragraph, I have used the plural form of “you”, for which you don’t have in English a separate word as we have in Spanish).

Finally, I want to stress again that grouping all Adobe products (including all the ex Macromedia ones) in just one single forum, as in the Spanish case, makes the use of that forum far from easy. If you couple that with a far from perfect search engine, you end up with a nearly unusable site. This hasn’t happened yet in the forum in Spanish because the number of posters is very low. I hope that this number will grow in spite of the difficulties, but then the problem will become increasingly noticeable.

Claudio.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 20, 2009 Sep 20, 2009

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Kanguyen, here is a link to what I wrote in the Forums in Spanish just before the implementation of these new forums: 405. My predictions seem to have been very accurate.

And here is a concrete proposition of mine to solve the newcomer's problem I have mentioned in my previous messages: 429. I have no idea how easy or difficult it would be to implement this change, but I' sure it would be most useful. And of course similar changes would also be useful for French an German speaking newcomers...

Finally, I would like to quote here something I posted in that same thread on May 9, shortly after the implementation of these new forums, and certainly before some of our new moderators were appointed:


Sadly, I am spending most of my time in these forum testing and reporting, and also vainly pouring a little oil over stormy waters, trying to regain rationality on some discussions. More sadly, the Comments forum is nowadays looking almost like an expanded twin of the darker side of the L****.


I am reposting this to show that some of us (there were several subsequent and related posts by different users commenting on this) were worried by the increasing deterioration of the atmosphere of this forum since it started, and that we did try to remedy this, unfortunately with no success.

To be frank, I think that the "Still no supervision..." thread has many posts worth keeping and remembering, and that's why I tried to refloat it after it was archived/locked with the rest. What happened with my attempt is a good example showing that not all the present aggressiveness comes from us users.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 21, 2009 Sep 21, 2009

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Claudio,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments about site navigation for non-native English speakers, as well as you how feel our forums should be structured. I will ask John if he can give some thought to the Spanish forum structure.

When it comes to the way Adobe.com handles language selection, this is shared functionality across multiple areas of Adobe.com as well as related systems like our Forums, so there are some limitations around how we can influence those shared services. The navigation of a user to the Forums is in the same vein - and our User Experience folks are the experts on this. We had several very lengthy conversations about this navigation prior to the Forums launching, and the experience that you see now is the one that was decided upon.

That said, I have forwarded your comments to the User Experience team and have asked them to look at your ideas. Regardless of the final outcome, I thought it would be nonetheless helpful for them to have heard your comments and to factor that in should they be working on any changes that may touch on navigation and international experiences.

Hope that helps.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 21, 2009 Sep 21, 2009

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Hello Kanguyen,


Of course it helps to know that one's suggestions are not simply dismissed or disqualified! Even if there is not positive outcome of the steps you took, they are gratefully acknowledged. Thank you for reminding me of how things used to be in these forums.

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Advisor ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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7) If I go to "Forums" and then below to "International forums -> German", then the page appears in german and says "Foren", which is german for "Forums". But there are no forums, it is only one forum. But for what? For all Adobe products? Confusing.


This is one is very annoying, at least for me. Everything mixed up here. There are so many topics in one forum. How to sort out to products?

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Advisor ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Besides, deleting unwanted posts with direct words, like the ones from Ozzwoman9, is not OK.

Censoring is a moderator's sport, but you should not exaggerate.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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I don't think there were any posts from Ozzwoman deleted. She tried to

post three times at the same time that this thread was being locked.

They made it through to email, but never made it up onto the forum...

Sounds to me like another Jive bug!

Harbs

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Harbs. wrote:

Sounds to me like another Jive bug!

The biggest bugs are sentient beings. 

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Advocate ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Yes it was posted on the forum.

Yes it was deleted.

Seen the screenshot.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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What screenshot?

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Advocate ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Of the post before it was deleted.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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The points raised by Maik are very important for non native English speaker users, and even more so for non English speaker users; and so Nanguyen's response is most welcome. Moderation/censorship issues are also very important, but the many messages posted here on this are unnecessarily interrupting this thread. I would therefore like to invite the English and non English speaking users who feel they must continue posting on moderation/censorship issues, to do so in one of the several threads already active on the subject.


Thank you for your understanding and help.

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Advocate ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Yes, I did have some posts deleted. There was a conversation between myself and a moderator and I would like to thank Kanguyen for stepping in on this one. Now enough said on that subject, this is not a game.

I post the above comment by a (new) user. I have seen other posts in other forums with users commenting on how the navigation in this place is horrible, etc. I cannot find a lot of these posts as I believe some where deleted, moved, or have been 'lost' somewhere and I could no longer find them using the search feature.

Anyway, these (new) users do not know about the forum comments and are posting such things in the software forums. This kind of feedback and issues then go unnoticed.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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Sorry. I don't know what I wrote which gave the impression that I thought this was a game.

FWIW, I think you had valid points, and didn't see anything which warranted being deleted. I also agree that locking this thread was un-called for.

Now back to our show...

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Advocate ,
Sep 16, 2009 Sep 16, 2009

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The "game" I was referring to was the one the moderator was playing, not you

Now, back on topic...

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