Here's how to find your way around Forum Box.
This guide is for navigating around this site using the traditional "desktop view" on computers, laptops and Tablets.
A separate guide will be shortly be available for those using small mobile devices such as smart phones. The way this site looks and functions on small devices is a little bit different to using this site on computers.
1. Main Menu
The above picture shows you the Main Menu which consists of 8 words which when clicked upon will take you to separate pages on this site. On the right hand side of the menu are 4 icons which when clicked will provide different functions to members.
The Main Menu is permanently located at the top of the page regardless of where in the site you are allowing easy easy to the 8 different areas of the site and the 4 functions.
Here's is a description of each Main Menu item:
- Home - this is the homepage of the site and this is the page you should bookmark in your browser. The purpose of this page is to act as a welcoming page to new members and will in the future display some basic information about this site.
Dashboard - here you get a Twitter like feed of activity from across the site which shows not just new forum posts, but new pictures posted in the Gallery, or comments made about a Blog article. There is various other information here like stats about the site. Think of this area as like your car dashboard, if something is happening on the site, wherever it maybe, it will display here.
Help Articles - you're already in this section if you're reading this. This is where the help articles for using Forum Box and other information pages are displayed.
Forum - contains the Forum List page which contains all the discussion topics on this site.
Blog - members can post their own blogs here which is a bit like having their own mini-sites on Forum Box with the benefit that their blog articles are totally separate from forum discussions.
- Gallery - Members can create their own albums here and post their own pictures, a bit like Instagram or Snapchat, but on Forum Box instead.
Calendar - See who's birthday it is today or see if there is a upcoming event such as a political conference, as but two uses of the calendar.
- Members - want to find a list of members on Forum Box, or who our staff are? Here's the place to do it, as well as find out which members are online at this site.
To the right of the Members main menu item are the 4 functions as displayed by four icons. Here is a close up picture of them:
If you place your cursor over each icon, its label will pop up reminding you what each icon is. They are, from the left:
- Control Panel - this is where members can alter the settings for the site, including uploading their avatar/profile picture, adjusting which notifications they wish to see, setting their signature and following or blocking other members, to name just a few of the functions that can be done here.
- Notifications - this icon looks like a ringing bell and is where your notifications are displayed after setting which ones you want in the Control Panel.
- Conversations - this icon, which looks like speech bubbles, allows you to access the conversations function so that you can send messages to other members (a bit like email) and engage in conversation with them.
- Search - this icon, looking like a magnifying glass, is where you search for content on this site.
2. Sub Menus
The above picture shows the sub menu of the Forum main menu item.
Currently on Forum Box, there are sub menus for four of the main menu items, they are Forum, Blog, Gallery, Calendar and Members.
To access the sub menus, hover your cursor above one of the main menu items as mentioned above, but don't click on that item, otherwise you will enter the main page for that item. Keep your mouse cursor hovered over the main menu item and a drop down menu will appear, this is the sub menu.
Sub Menus contain different information and can change depending on how you use the site. As an example, if you create a album in the Gallery, a "My Albums" item will appear in the sub menu for Gallery. If you have not created any albums, you will not see this option in the Gallery sub menu.
3. Forum List page
To access the Forum List page which is the heart of this site and contains all the discussions, click on the word Forum in the Main Menu. We may also refer to this page as the Forum Index page, Index Page and Main Index Page.
The above picture shows the top of the Forum List page which is split into two areas, the main Content area where all the discussions are found and the Sidebar, which is on the right hand side of the page. All pages on Forum Box are similarly split into these two areas. Lets look at these two areas in more detail:
This area is arranged into sections (or categories, the terms are used interchangeably), Forums and Sub-forums.
Currently on Forum Box, there are five sections on the Forum List page, they are Current Affairs (which you can see in the above picture), Politics, Media/Telecoms & Entertainment, General Discussion and Site Stuff. These sections contain the Forums and Sub Forums.
The picture above shows the first two forums on the Forum List page within the Current Affairs section, they are the News forum and Brexit Forum.
Moving further down the page into the Politics Section and this section contains 3 forums called World Politics, National & Regional Politics and Political Subjects, as shown in the above picture. However, this section looks a bit different to the first section on the page and that is because this section also contains Sub-Forums.
Taking the first forum in this section as an example, the World Politics forum also contains 2 Sub-forums called European Politics and U.S Politics. Forums and Sub-Forums are organised in exactly the same way, as detailed below.
Forum and Sub-Forum information
Going back to the top of the Forum List page and using the News forum as an example, lets take a closer look at the information being displayed here.
This icon means the forum contains unread posts. Double-click the icon to clear all unread posts.
This shows that the forum has no unread posts.
The icons may change in look in the future, but the functionality of them will remain the same.
Forum links, descriptions and notifications
After the forum icon, is the actual link into the forum itself which is in orange writing. Currently all links on Forum Box are in orange coloured writing. So, to access the discussions in the News forum, click on the orange word "News" which will take you into the Thread List page for the News forum.
Below the forum link is a description of the forum and to the right is a red notification box displaying how many unread posts are in the News forum. If there are no unread posts in a forum, this red box will not appear.
Number of Threads and Posts in the forum
Scrolling further over to the right and you be shown how many threads and posts are in the forum, as you can see from the above picture.
If you move your mouse cursor away from this area, the information about the number of threads will disappear and you will just see one number, which is the number of posts in the forum. Move the cursor back over the area to see the full information being displayed again.
Last posts area
Scrolling further to the right of the page and the last section of information, as shown in the above picture, relates to the last post made in the forum.
Starting from the right hand side, the avatar of the last member to make a post in the forum is displayed. Click on the avatar to quickly jump to the last unread post for that thread.
Next to the avatar picture, is the title of the last thread which is a clickable link (all links on Forum Box are in orange coloured writing). Clicking the thread title link also takes you into the thread. However, if you wish to see a preview of the post without actually entering the thread, hover your mouse cursor over the thread title and a preview box will appear.
Finally, underneath the thread title link is the name of the member who made the last post in that thread and the date and time when they did it. If you hover your mouse cursor over the name, a small mini-profile box will appear showing you some information about the member. To see their full profile, click on their name.
The other main area on the Forum List page, or any other page for that matter, is the Sidebar.
The Sidebar is usually on the right hand side of pages and contains boxes which show various information depending on the page. Lets take a look at one of these boxes now.
The above picture shows the first box in the Sidebar on the Forum List page. It displays the last 5 threads which have had new posts. As with the last posts area in the main content section, this area works the same way with clickable thread title links, being able to click on member names to bring up mini profiles of them and hovering over the thread title links to get a preview of the posts.
There are various boxes all over Forum Box which show different information, so go ahead and explore them!
4. Thread/Topic List page
To post messages onto Forum Box you need to post them within existing threads (also called Topics, the terms are used interchangeably)) or create new topics yourself. To access the threads, you need to go into a Thread List page. You get to these pages by clicking on the forums in the Forum List Page, as described earlier in this guide.
Lets take a closer look at a Thread List page:
(rest of help article coming soon)
A help guide detailing all the other pages and various functions of this site will be published in the future.