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Community Manager

SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

I wanted to update you on a new Forums project that we are working on here at SANE.

What is this project?

The current Forum platform needs a bit of an upgrade! The very simplified  explanation is that we are using outdated technology to run the Forums which means  that we have to maintain and update a different version of the Forums for each device (mobile, tablet, desktop).

Typically these days most websites and forums are ‘responsive’ which means they know what device you are using and automatically resize the site to fit the device and size of screen you are using.

In this project, we will be updating the Forums so they become ‘responsive’ (hence the project name being "Responsive"). What this means for us is that we don’t have to maintain three versions of the Forums. 

The purpose of this project, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, is to take advantage of new ‘responsive’ technology and also improve the information and services on the Forum.

Are there other improvements we can make?

During this project we also thought it would be a good opportunity to look at ways in which we might be able to improve your experience of the Forums and the information we provide.

The majority of these enhancements will be technical, such as making the Forums run faster and removing technical glitches. We won’t be redeveloping the Forums from scratch nor any making major functionality changes, the aim is the changes will be things that will assist you in your use of the Forums and will be based on user research and feedback.

 So, the first thing we need to do is find out from you, the experts, how we can improve the user experience.

How will we involve the Forums community?

During the project we will be talking with a number of people who use the Forums to find out what their experience is like. This will help us plan and design any enhancements.

We need to make sure we have a combination of people with different  perspectives. Differences will include:

  • Type of member (eg: someone who has never posted right through to people who have posted hundreds of times)
  • Location (a mixture of people from major cities, regional areas and rural areas)
  • People who use the Lived Experience Forum, people who use Carers Forum, those who use both
  • People who have never accessed the Forums before
  • Moderators

 Member research discussions

There will be different types of discussions with SANE Forums members throughout the project which will help to determine which enhancements are a priority and what can be planned for later down the track.

This research will be conducted by an independent researcher, John, who is contracted to SANE for the period of this project. John is an independent user experience research professional and a specialist in understanding how people use technology and then translating that information into user-friendly online systems.

Soon we will let you know in more detail about how you might be involved in these opportunities.

What is the timeframe?

The user research will start in a couple of weeks and continue for several weeks. The findings from the research will then inform the planning and design of enhancements. These will then need to be tested and slowly rolled out in the second half of the year.

We do not anticipate there will be any ‘downtime’ for the Forums so they should still be accessible throughout the project. If this changes though, we will let you know.

We will continue to update this thread throughout the project, so stay tuned. If you would like to get an email notification each time this thread is updated, hit the ‘Like’ button below and we will @mention you in each update.

We will keep this a closed thread so it only contains updates and opportunities posted by myself or @Lauz. If you have questions though, please email

Looking forward to sharing more!


Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out to @Shaz51 @Darcy and @Luv2contradance who 'Liked' the original post to get updates sent to them.

As you may have read above, we are involved in a project to upgrade the SANE Forums platform to take advantage of new ‘responsive’ technology and also improve the user experience for members and visitors. This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

During the project we will be talking with a number of people to find out about their experience with the SANE Forums. We will also be talking to people who haven’t come across the SANE Forums before, to get a variety of perspectives. This will help us to plan and design any improvements.

What’s involved?

You will spend one hour with our user researcher John, in an interview about your SANE Forum use. John is an independent user experience research professional who is contracted to SANE for the period of this project. He is a specialist in understanding how people use technology and then translating that information into user-friendly online systems.

During the research interview John will ask you:

  • questions about how you manage your mental health day-to-day (if you choose to disclose)
  • questions about how you use the SANE Forums at the moment, and about what keeps you coming back (or not coming back)
  • to visit the SANE Forums and observe what you do as you navigate around the site


The data collected will be treated as confidential and used for research purposes connected with this project. All information collected will be anonymised as part of the project. The information collected will be kept in a password protected file on the file hosting service “Dropbox” and deleted upon completion of the project (see SANE’s Privacy Policy

None of the Moderators or Community Managers will have access to the name or contact details of those who participate in interviews.

Will you be paid?

As an expression of our thanks SANE will offer you a $100 visa gift card for the interview.

Where will the interviews be held?

The interviews will be one-on-one. You can choose whether you would like to be interviewed in one of two ways:

  • In person (in a public location): We will meet you in a place where you feel comfortable, such as the local library or a quiet café.


  • Remotely (via video link): For those who prefer or live in regional or remote areas, we will provide you with a link that will allow you to chat and share screens through your computer (similar to Skype).


Who can be involved?

We need to make sure we have a diverse selection of people so that we have a range of perspectives and ways of using the SANE Forums. This will help us understand the different ways that people are using the SANE Forums and design improvements that reflect the community.

We are looking for a variety of people to be interviewed using following criteria:

  • demographics (age, gender, location etc)
  • forum experience (non-members, longterm members, etc)
  • forum access (mobile, tablet, desktop)


We will choose the participants based on ensuring we have the most representative range of participants for the research.

If you are not chosen, please know that it’s not a reflection of you personally or us picking and choosing who we want. There will be other opportunities to get involved later in the project – so stay tuned.

When will the interviews be held?

We will interview our first round of participants between 16 April and 11 May.

Would you like to be involved?

If you would like to be involved, please fill in this brief form indicating dates and times you would be available participate and tell us a little bit about yourself:

(Copy & paste this URL is the above link doesn't work

If you would like to receive updates on this project, please hit the 'Like' button on the original post and I will ensure you are @mentioned (and therefore get a notification) for all ongoing updates.

Thanks Smiley Happy

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out to @Naivete @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darcy

@Afford @NarelleMc @Minelli1984 who 'Liked' the previous posts.

I thought for this update I would give you an overview of the approach we are taking with this project.

 In around five weeks (date to be confirmed) we will ‘flick the switch’ over to the ‘responsive’ version of the forums. The new “responsive” version works much better on mobiles, and while it might take some getting used to, is more modern. You will notice some variations to the current site, which we will update you on before the change over.

 During May & June, we are also running the user research. Once this is complete, the research will be integrated into the ‘responsive’ version of the site.

 It’s hard to say exactly what this will look like at the moment, as we haven’t done the research, but what I wanted to explain in this update is how and when the feedback would be integrated.

 We are taking an iterative approach (part of what’s known as ‘Agile’), where once the responsive version of the Forum goes live, we will introduce enhancements gradually.  What this means for members and visitors is that you won’t see all the enhancements at once, but slowly released over time.

 Our aim is to give an update on new enhancements before anything goes live.

 This iterative approach means we can do small bits at a time, which allows us to get feedback on a small enhancement and make any tweaks / adjustments as we go.

 Another benefit of this approach is that it allows us to take our time in making sure we do the user research right and don’t have to rush to have everything done and feedback integrated by the same time that we move to the responsive platform.

If you’re interested to learn more about this approach, there’s lot of information on ‘iterative approach’ or ‘agile approach’ online to check out.


Looking forward to updating you more soon!

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out to @Naivete @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darias @Stafford @NarelleMc @Minelli1984 who 'Liked' the previous posts.

Over the next 3 weeks I will be updating this thread every few days to provide you with an overview of some of the visual and functional changes the Responsive version of the Forums will bring.

You will all be happy to know, the functional changes improve certain tasks and makes things a bit more accessible.

On that note, I will share the first functional change, which is that on the desktop and tablet version of the Responsive forums. is that the 'Login' process will be via a pop-up window (image 1), rather than taking you to another page and back again. Some of the icons look alittle different too (image 2). While the icons and location of the icons are the same on mobile, there will be no pop-up, it will just take you to another page to login.


Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 11.15.57 am.png



Login icons - carers.png

Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out @Naivete @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darias @Stafford @NarelleMc  @Minelli1984 who 'Liked' the previous posts.

Just a quick update to let you know that we have filled the current allocation for the initial round of interviews with forum members. 

However, there will be another opportunity in the second part of the project in the coming weeks.

For those who put their hand up for the interviews through filling out the online expression of interest survey, we will keep you name on file is an opportunity arises.

We had an overwheling response - so thank you to all those who volunteered 😊

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out to @Naivete @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darias @Stafford @NarelleMc @Minelli1984  who 'Liked' previous posts.

Time for another update on the Responsive version of the site.

 In this post we are looking at our profile pic, settings, subscriptions and profile.

For those on desktop and tablet, you will see you profile pic, username, notification bell, logout and Help all on the righthand side of all pages within the Forums. While for those on mobile,  you don’t have an image of an avatar, just the notification bell at the top left.


There are some slight changes to this on new responsive site.


On all devices, on every page, you will find your avatar at the top right of the page (nothing new for desktop and tablet users). 



When you press on your profile pic, you will see a new and improved menu.

 Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 3.00.48 pm.png


 There are two big pros to this menu change:

  1.  Mobile, desktop and tablet all have the same experience, meaning on mobile you will have full access to things you didn’t before, like your settings and subscriptions


2.  You can easily access your subscriptions, something we know many people struggled with before


We are quickly getting close to our switch over time, which at the moment looks like it will be either the last Tuesday of May or the first Tuesday of June. We will keep you posted 😊

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out to @Naivete @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darias @Stafford @NarelleMc @Minelli1984 who 'Liked' previous posts.

 For today’s update, I’m excited to share some information about the mobile version of the new Responsive site.



The mobile version probably has the most amount of differences to it, compared to the current version. So I will take you through some of the big ones.


1. When you arrive at on the homepage, the images with the four people featured in it are no longer there. Instead, below the organisation’s banner, you will see the Forums blurb and the banner images advertising upcoming events in both forums.


 2. The Register and Login location has moved and is now at the top right of the screen, which is the same as desktop and tablet version.  




As previously mentioned – on mobile you will now be able to access your profile and your subscriptions. You can access this by pressing on your username and pic.



3. Previously you could access all the Discussion Topics through a drop down under the heading for each Forum. Now you can scroll down the jump into one forum or the other to get the full version of the discussion topic list

This is the view you see from the landing page of the forums, which will give you access to all of the Discussion Topics. The list below is the most recent new discussions (which is what you see on tablet and desktop currently)



View of the Forums, which is reflective of the desktop and tablet version.



4. Previously, it was only on desktop or tablet versions of the site you could see the first 100 characters of a thread, but now this is available on mobile as highlighted under 'Time for a new conversation'


You will also notice a new feature, which is replicated on desktop and tablet version (& that we will go into in our next update), that now you can also see who started the thread & the date they started it, as well as who posted the most recent post in that thread and when they posted it.


5. The ‘Latest comment’ module is at the bottom of each forum

6. You can now quickly access the Community Guidelines and the Getting Started section, which isn’t possible in the current version


 Because the responsive mobile version has so many more features and reflects the desktop and tablet version of the forums, we will be officially retiring the Forum app as of June 5. It was removed from the app store some time ago now, but for the small portion who still use it, it will no longer be accessible.

So that's it for another episode of Forum Responsive update. We hope that you're as pleased as we are with the new responsive platform! 

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out to @Naivete @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darias @Stafford @NarelleMc @Minelli1984 @Sherry who 'Liked' the previous posts on this topic,

Today I wanted to give you a sneak peek into what posts look like.

In my opinion, this is the biggest visual difference between our current version and the responsive version.

This is what a thread looks like on the Responsive version of the Forums:

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.28.56 pm.png

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.29.07 pm.png


As you can see, the main differences are:

  • The LIKE button is to the left of the post
  • Reply & Quick reply are more to the right
  • Each post is its own box to separate it from the rest (rather than a line above & below)
  • After the first post it shows how many responses there are and gives you an option to go to the next discussion or return back to a list of discussion topics
  • The name and profile pic appear slightly differently. Images are now in a circle and the username is next to, rather than under, the image
  • The date appears on the right of a post


You may also notice that ‘Report Inappropriate Content’ and the ‘Edit’ button are not within the post. You can now find them in the drop down menu to the right ‘Post Options’.

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 3.41.22 pm.png 

Some of these options are new and some already exist, but have been added to this menu.


Edit post: You will only see this option if you are the author of the thread. This allows you to edit the content whenever you like.

Mark as new: Many of you would have noticed that if you haven’t viewed a post before, it shows a little [New] label next to the title within a post. By choosing this option, it doesn’t remove the label.

Favourite: On the current version, this appears as a star within the post. Using this option will add it to a list of posts you want to keep easy access to within your profile.

Subscribe: This simply subscribes you to the thread the post is within.

Permalink: This provides you with a very specific URL, which not just links to that page, but specifically to that post. When you select this, the URL changes slightly (the last few numbers) so if used again, it will take you straight to the post.

Print: This was previously an option represented within the post as a printer icon. This will print the specific post.

Report Inappropriate Content: This option use to live under the username of the author of the specific post. It still serves the same purpose. It will open up a new page for you to insert information on a post that you feel is inappropriate.

It did take a little getting used to, but it’s so interesting that now when I come back to the non-responsive version of the Forums after playing with the Responsive version, the non-responsive version feels really clunky and crowded!

Later this week I will update you on responding to a post and starting a new discussion Smiley Very Happy

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi @Sherry @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darias @Stafford @NarelleMc @Minelli1984 who 'Liked' previous posts on this topic.

This is just a short (but exciting) update that we will officially be moving to the responsive platform on

🥁🥁🥁🥁DRUM ROLL🥁🥁🥁🥁

Tuesday 5 June

At this point it will be at 2am AEST - we will confirm this soon and there will be information in the Forums banners to keep you updated.

We are allowing up to an hour of down time, meaning that the site won't be accessible until 3am AEST. There is a good chance it won't take this long - so it might be accessible sooner.

Super excited!

Re: SANE Forums Responsive project: Information, updates & opportunities

Hi everyone,

A special shout out to @Sherry @Nessy @Appleblossom @Shaz51 @Luv2contradance @Darias @Stafford @NarelleMc @Minelli1984 who liked previous posts 😊

Today I wanted to give you a sneak peek of:

1. What a list of theads / discussions look like

2. What posting is like


1. List of threads / discussions

What I really like about the list of discussions is the added info you get. Now, not only do you see when the post was last updated, but you can also see who started the thread and on what date, AND who posted the latest update and on what date

 Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 2.46.21 pm.png

As mentioned previously, mobile is very similar, if not identical, to the desktop and tablet version; This isn’t an exception. On mobile, you can now see the first 100 characters of a discussion / thread. So you can get a quick preview of the content before choosing to view the whole discussion.


There’s a couple of new symbols you will notice too.

The image of the pin on the right, means the discussion / thread is pinned to the top of the list.

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 3.16.25 pm.png 


The image of the lock means you can read the discussion / thread, but can’t respond (like this thread)

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 3.15.15 pm.png 


2. What it's like to post

In terms of posting, most of the functionality options are exactly the same, but they look a little different. The biggest change to the icons is the ‘Insert image’ icon. It now looks like a camera.


There’s also slightly different process to uploading images. This is the screen you see when you choose the 'photo' icon to upload an image:

Screen Shot 2018-05-27 at 11.04.32 am.png

 But it’s still quite intuitive and if you look at the top of the screen, you have the same options as were previously offered.


Excitingly, mobile gives you more options that there is currently



Including to upload an image.



You will notice the ‘insert video’ icon is no longer there. We found that most people copy & paste a Youtube link directly into the post anyways – which you can still do. 


Only a week until we migrate over to the Responsive version. I’m really looking forward to you being able to use it 🤗

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