HEY NEWBIES: How can we improve the registration process and information?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Diana, Apr 23, 2012.


    We're trying to make sure the registration process is as simple and informative as possible. So no matter how forum savvy or forum dumb a person might be, those first "Oh shit, I'mma newbie, what do I do first!?!" answers are RIGHT THERE for you as soon as you register.

    Obviously, for an old person like me, I forget what it's like being new. And I'm not always sure what is "lololol everyone should know __" from "omg omg I am so confused!"

    So I need YOUR HELP!

    Please take a look at the things below, and relate your experience when first registering. Anything you were confused by, had issues with, or suggestions you might have. It's super appreciated!


    <div style="background-color: #000000;text-align: justify; padding: 5px; color: #ffffff;font-size:12px;"><font face="Book Antiqua" size=6 color=coral><b>HEY NEWBIE!</b></font><br>
    Welcome to Iwaku!<br><br>

    Your account is currently marked as <u>NEW ACCOUNT</u> In order for us to make sure your account is not one of those annoying spambots, you must make <b>6 posts</b> on the forum to show you are a live human being, before you'll able to use all of the extra features of Iwaku. (The private messages and the Blogs!)<br><br>

    <b>ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS:</b><br>
    - Say Hello in <a href="forumdisplay.php?f=11">Member Central</a> if you haven't already. We'd like to meet you!<br>
    - Should you have ANY questions or need help, post a topic in our <a href="forumdisplay.php?f=12">Feedback</a> forum and someone will give you a hand.<br><br>

    Or feel free to jump right on in to a roleplay or get posting on the forums! No wait required!</div>

    The above displays to all new accounts letting people know they have to verify being human. We HAVE to do this because robots are getting so smart now. Is this message clear and understandable?

    Hi There! Thanks for checking out Iwaku!

    Iwaku wants to be a fun escape from reality with our roleplays. To help you get started, here are the first places to go:

    Make sure you validated your email address!
    Some email providers have problems receiving the validation email, so if you didn't get one - check your spam box. Validating your email allows you to post in all areas of the forum. We have problems with spambots so all members need to have a valid email address.

    Give us a Hello in New Arrivals and Departures!
    We'd like to get you know you better and welcome you to the community! You'll also find a thread there to give your roleplay partners notice when you're going to be away for awhile, and one to let people know when you've changed your username.

    The Iwaku Guide has everything you'd ever need to know!
    From stuff about the roleplays, to handy resources, a lot of a newbie's questions can be answered with the Guide. It also contains a quick blurb about the site rules so Staff won't come chasing you with a stick.

    Of course, if you wanna get started roleplaying right away, there's always the Roleplay Guide!
    The guide has everything you need to know for jumping in to an Iwaku Roleplay right away.

    Need help with anything? There's the Questions, Ideas & Feedback forum!
    If you find something broken, have a question, or just want to share some ideas, you can post there. If you want to talk to someone in private, you can message anyone with a Red or Blue name. They are the Staff Members and are happy to help.

    We hope you enjoy your stay here with us!

    May the Muse be with you,
    The Iwaku Staffers

    The above is a basic PM with links to our most important info sections!

    <div style="background-color: #000000;text-align: justify; padding: 5px; color: #ffffff;font-size:12px;"><font face="Book Antiqua" size=6 color=coral><b>You are now a full fledged new member!</b></font><br>
    Yay! You now have a fully activated Newbie Member account. You can now use all of the features of Iwaku and play to your heart's content. <br><br>

    <b>WHAT TO DO NOW:</b><br>
    - Fill out the <a href="profile.php?do=extra">Roleplay Resume</a> in your profile. It's a great tool to let others know what you're interested in.<br>
    - Check out our <a href=http://www.iwakuroleplay.com/content.php>Community 101 Guide</a> for anything and everything you need to know about playing on Iwaku.
    - If you made a mistake or want to change your User Name, you can do so <a href="profile.php?do=editprofile">here</a>.<br>
    - Should you have ANY questions or need help, post a topic in our <a href="forumdisplay.php?f=12">Feedback</a> forum and someone will give you a hand!</div>

    The above is basic must know info for any newbie and some important links. Is this clear and useful?

    Aside from the above messages that are directly sent to new members, we have the COMMUNITY 101 GUIDE which is supposed to be the basic guide to Iwaku.

    And the ROLEPLAY 101 GUIDE as the basic how to roleplay on Iwaku intruction.

    Are those two guides useful and answer all questions, or are they missing anything and a little out of date?

    ...And if you have any addition suggestions or comments, we would love to hear them!
  2. I think a link to prefix list at some point would be useful. It's a link in the middle of the Roleplay 101 page, but it took me a while to find, and some of them confused me for a while.

    In the global sign up list, it has the whole "jump in any time" and such tags. I think it would be useful to have on the these prefixes on the above thread. (Mostly, I don't understand why "need players" and "need chars" are different).

    The tags are really useful once you get used to them, but I was really confused when I started!

    (I was also really confused by the three different messages because they said slightly different things, and I get easily confused.^^)
  3. I'm pretty new, and there's a great possibility that you already have done what I'm going to suggest - and if that's the case, I'd love a link to it!

    Registration was really easy and all the links to get my account verified and become a member were extremely helpful. The only thing I can't seem to find is a guide to using the forums. Allow me to explain, I read the Wiki about the different forums etc., but I'm still confused on how to manage the forums.

    If there were a guide that explicitly told me:
    1) Yay! You've started a thread, what now? (How to receive notifications when someone responds to the thread.)
    2) Yay! You've commented on a thread, what now? (How to receive notifications when someone responds to my response.)
    3) Yay! You've subscribed to a thread, what now? (What subscription means and how to manage it.)
    4) Woah, what does it mean to 'mark the forums as read'?

    After fiddling around I found that I could subscribe to threads and I would be notified when a response is posted - is that the only way to track responses? Or are there other ways to "manage the forums", if that makes sense?

    I don't know if I'm getting my idea across - but if I've left you in even a foggier haze than when I started, feel free to contact me!
  4. Thank you both! These are excellent suggestions and I will put them to good use ASAP. >:3
  5. For me the guidelines were very clear and following was no problem. It might be easier for me since I like to be adventurous and sneak around to get to know the site.
    Thanks for the concern, though! ^.^
  6. For me the registration process was easy and informative and the forum itself has a good layout but perhaps a link to the BbCodes would be nice in one of the pm's:)
  7. Selenite haz memories.

    In fact, I still keep the first message I got in my inbox ever. And let me say, I liked it more when it said,

    With Insanity instead of May the Muse be with you.

    But I like things changig, otherwise they get boring.

    Right. To the point. One thing that was hard for me to find my way around at first were my subscriptions. Not because of subscribing itself; that was easy, every thread has a drop down menu to subscribe even if you have not posted there at all. What was hard for me was finding the Button that would lead me to the dashboard with all my threads of interest. I had a tendency to click 'My Profile'at first, and then, I realized I should have clicked 'Settings'. Even though I wanted 'Subscriptions'. So I had to remember that it was, Settings first, and the find the holy link at the side columns/boxes that said subscriptions.

    I know. Once you get a thread with unanswered posts, it will appear on the page that says 'Settings'. This only made it all more confusing. And after checking out the thread, it would be gone from the Settings page, which meant I had to remember to click once more the Subscriptions button, etc, etc, etc.

    You wanna make lives easier?

    Add a link or replace a button. If I had to chose, I'd add a button that linked me to the Subscriptions, somewhere up there in the Iwaku banner, between Notifications and Logout.

    Actually, I'd add it in the drop down menu that you get when there are no more notifications. Yes, below the Inbox link. Chances are I'd like to review my subscriptions instead of send PMs. Especially if I'm a newbie. So, if I have no new notifications, I'd click Notifications, and from the drop down menu I could get to chose either Inbox or Subscriptions.

    ...Does that make any sense?

    Everything else was pretty clear and obvious for me, except forum organization- but that has been changed already, so ignore the last bit.
  8. Could you just have a button with the threads that you have subscribed to? Also, for some reason, no matter how much you subscribe to discussions, it will never appear in your notifications.
  9. This sounds like a strange bug problem. Do you mean your subscribed threads that have new posts aren't showing up in your Notifications like they are supposed to?
  10. I am still new to the site and I think the start up was simple and helpful enough. But I think when you have to prove your human there should be some more links or something to help you. I mean I still have not done my posts and I was confused because I was not sure exactly where and what posts to make. So maybe some more info when proving humanity. Thanks
  11. I think the registration process was straightforward and easy. And I say that as one who did it just a few days ago.
  12. Another memory.

    Lately I've been greeting new members.
    Then I went through this Nostalgic Phase, and said, ''oh, what was of my good old intro thread from when I joined Iwaku?''

    So Selenite went for a Graveyard excursion. Kitti, I'm sorry, I know it's your territory.

    (reading this isn't really necessary)
    Anyway, as I browsed, I kept thinking about what a difference it makes the way a new member makes that intro post. Some people post like ten words with cero emotion; those get the least replies and go almost unnoticed. Others fill the small questionnaire, which is good, sort of average. Already existing members read this in a second and soo get to know how well they relate to this newcomer.
    Am I right or not?

    Then there are those who post other stuff in another way, talking about themselves a little bit. Sometimes you get pretty awesome posts there, and a lot of replies. These guys make friends fast and are soon integrated to the community- and I mean much much faster than those who post a single line, or even worse, those who don't even post an intro thread at all.

    So, returning to my nostalgia.
    I was so, so sure my post was this little paragraph of blah, blah blah.
    Oh my, oh my when I saw it. It's pretty lame, honestly. If I had to re-register to Iwaku, I'm pretty sure I would post something REALLY, really different. But what I remember the most is that it took me a while until I realized you guys had the questionnaire up for the newbies to use. I posted this lame line, and ignored the sticky post that challenges you to say hello and not mention that you are 'new to the site but not new to roleplay'. And I went, awwwwwwwwww, because by the time I realized about this invaluable resource, months had elapsed.

    Better intro threads make us member want to answer more. I remember I thought I had a lot of replies in my own. It was one of the things I won't forget that easily- how welcomed I felt when I joined. I thought nobody was going to reply, and I got all these strangers being so friendly. How nice! After I dug up my intro from the grave, I realized they were only five replies, and that they matched in enthousiasm to my post. *sighs*

    Long story made short:

    I mean, the better the intros, the better we know each other and make friends faster. This is important to keep our numbers rising!
    I also noticed that not every newbie says hello.

    I wonder, if they get the questionnaire in a more obvious way, would they post an intro thread? would they allow us to welcome them like they don't think we could?

    Suggestion: Include a link to the questions post, (or the questions themselves!) somewhere in that very very first PM us newbies get when just registered.