Public vs private labels?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by Lala, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    Hey.

    About a third of our users are registered members. 30 or so forums are private, members only, one forum is public. Chatrooms are all private. Articles are all public. A bunch of other pages are mixed - some are public, some are private, some are both, e.g. members can read or post while guests can only read, or guests can only read public content while members can also read private members-only content on the same page, etc.

    It's a mental health site. Completely anonymous, but members are still sensitive about privacy, need to know if what they are posting, on any of the pages, will be public (visible to anyone) or private (visible to members only).

    We need to label these things somehow, maybe on "submit" button, that what you're about to submit will be public/private. Maybe color the button differently, or add text/graphic to it, or something like that.

    I don't want to reinvent the wheel though, wondering if some system like this exists already on other sites, maybe on forums, or on social networks, or on whatever other platform, so that we can plagiarize it and offer our users a familiar interface.

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

    2,636
    887
    +1,896
    It will depend on the forum software you're using. You left out that piece of information :(
     
  3. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    At the moment I'm not looking for a tech solution, but rather for understanding whether it's a unique feature or something common. For example, "contact us" link is usually somewhere in footer, with an envelope icon, that's how users expect it. If this private/public posting thing has a standard look as well - I want to mimic it, for easier user experience.

    From the tech standpoint - changing the button (or whatever we need changed) for our one public forum should be doable on any forum software, and the rest of our pages (those that need these labels the most) are plain php.
     
  4. Somniloquent

    Somniloquent Enthusiast

    136
    88
    +111
    I have a community that's a mix of public/private forums, but I haven't heard of changing anything about the 'submit' button depending on privacy.

    Usually there is an opportunity to give a brief one-line description of each forum, which could include whether it's public or private. You could also make a sticky or put a notice at the top. I don't think there's a standard way to handle it.
     
  5. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    The issue is mostly with non-forum php pages. For example, when a user uploads their drawing to our art gallery, they want to know if it will be visible to members only or to unregistered visitors as well. Or they are posting a comment on someone else's drawing and want to know who will be able to read what they wrote. And I can't mark the whole page as public or private because drawings are public while comments are private, and users don't care about these nuances till they're about to post something. They could go read FAQ or log out, see what the page looks like to guests, and log in again - but that's a needless hassle, we have quite a few pages like this. Marking their "submit" button (or textarea, or something like that) would be easier for them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  6. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Moderator

    4,725
    807
    +1,863
    Well that in the footer stuff like contact us is put is more of a forum thing normal sites also has that information in the top. You see more of that with forums even custom themes does not alter this its all based on the original theme. Users will not look the same way to the UI as admins do the site needs to function with a few clicks, if they need to click to much they will go away.
     
  7. Maddox

    Maddox Moderator

    1,210
    407
    +922
    mysiteguymysiteguy is correct that giving us the name of the forum software would be of help as different developers offer different ways of handling permissions, so knowing what software you are using will help to determine the best course of action.

    ;)
     
  8. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

    2,636
    887
    +1,896
    I don't know of any standard I've seen anywhere concerning public disclosure of a post, but if it were me I'd consider something universal. Maybe consider a "caution" yellow or orange for public, green for private. I'd consider using something such as the below graphic next to any submission button when it will be public, with the image linked to a page letting the user know this.

    C275l.jpg
     
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
    • List
  9. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    Thank you!
    You're right, an icon is better than color: clearer, better for the blind, and can be linked to the FAQ item explaining the issue. A yellow caution sign might be too aggressive for a mental health site, I'll go with a monochrome icon: caution, or lock, or globe, or one of those.
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.