[RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

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rechosen
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[RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

Post by rechosen » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:51 pm

The "Default style" option under "Board settings" does not behave as many users (including me) expect. It sets the default style for newly registered users, but not for guests. This issue has been raised multiple times in the tracker by users in various degrees of confusion, but has always been invalidated with reasons along the lines of "that's not how it works" (see PHPBB3-6214, -6536, -6661, -6684, -7797). I understand that that's not how it works, but apparently it is how many users expect it to work (again, including me).

To prevent this confusion in the future, I propose to add a description to the "Default style" option along the lines of the following:
Newly registered accounts will view the board in this style by default. To change the style in which users who are not logged in view the board, change the board style of the anonymous user.
The linked "anonymous user" is optional, but convenient. Probably even more intuitive would be to enable the board administrator to set the guest board style in the same place as the board-wide default style, but that would also break the logic of the ACP somewhat.

On a side note: another thing that confuses me about the "Default style" setting is that it does not change the style for users who never set a preferred style in the board preferences. In my view, those users are using the default style as opposed to a user-specified style and should therefore see a different style if the board-wide default style is changed.
Use case: suppose a manga fan forum gets increasingly popular and decides to introduce a custom manga-themed phpBB style. The only intuitive way to make their existing userbase actually see this new style without requiring each of them to set it manually is to enable the "Override user style" option, but that forces all users to the new style. This may annoy users who don't like the new style or can't use it well due to computer or browser constraints.

Final note: this confusion may also apply to "Default language", though I am not certain if the behavior of that setting is the same.

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DavidIQ
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Re: [RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

Post by DavidIQ » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:10 am

I agree that it is confusing that there is a default style but it does not get applied to guests unless you change the guest user's set style (why do we even do this???). I just took a look at the style area in 3.1 and it seems we have multiple ways of deactivating styles, uninstalling styles, and activating styles via links AND buttons. This might have changed but we certainly should be looking at simplifying things there.
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Pony99CA
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Re: [RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

Post by Pony99CA » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:43 am

It shouldn't be too difficult to implement a feature that changes the Anonymous user's style when the Default Style is changed, right? It's one SQL Update statement.

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hanakin
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Re: [RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

Post by hanakin » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:58 am

DavidIQ wrote:I agree that it is confusing that there is a default style but it does not get applied to guests unless you change the guest user's set style (why do we even do this???). I just took a look at the style area in 3.1 and it seems we have multiple ways of deactivating styles, uninstalling styles, and activating styles via links AND buttons. This might have changed but we certainly should be looking at simplifying things there.
Agree. and maybe the redesign that was proposed in for the backend could handle the multiple interaction locations?

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PayBas
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Re: [RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

Post by PayBas » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:49 am

I'm gonna revive this, because this confusion is going to continue forever.

We could add a selector right beneath the current "Default style:" called "Default guest style:"


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John P
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Re: [RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

Post by John P » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:29 pm

Isn't a default style then default.
should there be also a default admin style and a default moderator style?

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PayBas
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Re: [RFC] Confusing "Default style" setting

Post by PayBas » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:44 pm

John P wrote:Isn't a default style then default.
should there be also a default admin style and a default moderator style?
We are not adding an option, we are just making a current feature more logical.

There are only 2 settings. The default style for ANONYMOUS, and the default style for everyone else.

Many users get confused, because the default style for "everyone else" (logged in users) is not the same.

I did a search and found many many topics and tickets on this issue. I think this option will reduce the amount of confusion (and consequently, the number of support questions on this topic).

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