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Apple updates Support Communities forum with instant search box, streamlined UI

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Apple on Thursday updated its forum-style Support Communities webpage with a new dual-purpose text input box that can both search and post questions, as well as and a fresh look more in line with other pages on the company's website.


Web cache of Apple's Support Communities webpage as seen on June 17 (left) and today.


As seen in the image above, the most obvious change to the Apple Support Communities site is a large central text entry box that rolls in search functions with question submittals. Until now, the two assets have been separate entities.

The new search box is also "instant" in that it dynamically runs searches for relevant discussion matches as users type in text, pulling up a list of possible hits from across the Communities website. Alternatively, registered members with a valid Apple ID can type in a question and have it posted to the appropriate forum by clicking on a large button labeled "Submit my question to the community."



Other changes include a new exploration feature that allows users to browse the Community pages by category and topic. Options include current and past devices, software, iCloud, developer forums and tutorials, among others. Forum views are also revamped, with a sliding carousel bar at the top of each page pointing to popular threads and discussions within that section.

Also built in to the revamped design are new sections like "People" that include search functionality. Another section offers quick links to discussions in which users are currently active.

Apple has been working on offering a more consistent online presence by building site design changes that incorporate more iconography and fewer text links.

The tweaks may be a reflection of the company's growing mobile device ecosystem. With more customers reaching Apple.com from iPhones and iPads, the new layout appears to be moving toward one tailored to touchscreen rather than keyboard and mouse input.
post #2 of 13
Amazing how long it is taking Apple to optimize their site for iPads and iPhones. You'd have thought they'd be the first.
post #3 of 13
And why is there still no "mobile" version of this support site?? I've never understood why it's a full desktop browser UI with no mobile UI to be found...?!! Certainly not optimized for mobile usage IMHO
post #4 of 13

Perhaps desktop users give more detailed/useful feedback.

 

Personally, I will not type out more than a paragraph or two on an iDevice, whether it be e-mail, a product review, whatever. It's possible that Apple is deliberately improving the feedback quality by not offering quick-and-dirty mobile interfaces. A "this sucks lol" comment isn't really productive to Apple Support.

 

A more deliberate, thoughtful, and well-written response will ultimately be of more use to Apple, but much of that type of reflection and comment authoring requires time and deliberation. iDevices are not optimally suited for such matters.

 

For sure, I often have a computer, iPad, and iPhone in the same room, but I may choose a certain device depending on the amount of typing I need to do. 

 

In the same way, I might have a penknife, paring knife, and chef's knife, and I will choose one tool that might be more suited to the job at hand.

post #5 of 13

It's pretty much crap.

We said that about the previous version but we got use to it.

Same here.

 

No Edit button.

Didn't have one fo iOS devices but now it's gone for computers also.

Likely it'll get fixed..

post #6 of 13

Another change by Apple  with the end result being no direct human support. All support will be done via Forum or Chat

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Another change by Apple  with the end result being no direct human support. All support will be done via Forum or Chat
source? 9to5Mac claims Apple is launching something similar to Amazon's mayday service this fall.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

source? 9to5Mac claims Apple is launching something similar to Amazon's mayday service this fall.

Amazon is going to lose a ton of money on MayDay, guaranteed. Watch their quarterly figures.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Amazon is going to lose a ton of money on MayDay, guaranteed. Watch their quarterly figures.

 

Where do you get that idea? You mistakenly believe Amazon needs a massive support staff to sustain Mayday. They have like 8 customers. The only reason they can do it is because their device ownership is so low. I doubt there are more than 1000 legitimate presses of the Mayday button per day, worldwide. All of which can be handled by as little as as 50 support reps. Apple on the other hand.....

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


source? 9to5Mac claims Apple is launching something similar to Amazon's mayday service this fall.

No, they're not. It would require more support reps than Apple currently has total employees. Whoever reported that is a moron. Won't comment on the validity of reposting it.

post #10 of 13
I read the article thinking, nice changes. Then I got to the last paragraph bad it asserted that the changes were probably because of touch screens. Personally, it just looks like a better layout, that's why they're doing it.
post #11 of 13
Quite honestly I thought Apple's Discussions were significantly more useful quite a while ago when you could simply browse through the ongoing discussions in the various categories. You could see who was posting and you could either answer a question, tag along with a relevant question in an ongoing discussion, or start a new thread. There was a real sense of belonging and you could almost get to know the major contributors to the discussions. I find the forums somewhat less useful and helpful in the newer versions.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdrums View Post

And why is there still no "mobile" version of this support site?? I've never understood why it's a full desktop browser UI with no mobile UI to be found...?!! Certainly not optimized for mobile usage IMHO

Because it's not needed. This is 2014, not 2006.
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Another change by Apple  with the end result being no direct human support. All support will be done via Forum or Chat
That seems highly unlikely. I worked for Apple iOS support last year and there was nothing but more hiring on the horizon and more emphasis on direct human help. They were just starting a big push to use their Remote Desktop type system for control of customers computers to help with iTunes issues. That is a very hands on, human based support paradigm.
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