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”BuddyPress is confusing”

  • I hear this all the time from everyone from “stupid users” to professional colleagues with 10+ years of experience in web design and UX. And I have to admit that they are right. Even I, as someone who has used BP and installed it for clients for almost 2 years, sometimes find myself on a BuddyPress site and am confused or unsure about where I am or where to post something. The Buddyvents site is a good example. It took me a long time to wrap my head around where I should be posting bug reports and feature requests… which aggravated Boris to no end (LOL… sorry Boris). I kept posting in the feed instead of the forums. And I wasn’t a member of the proper groups in order to be doing forums postings. But I didn’t know that etc. If a veteran BP user can get so confused, imagine how a newbie feels?

    I think some of the main points of confusion are:

    – The concept of Forums being tied to Groups (no one “gets” this)
    – The serious disconnect between commenting on a blog post or forum topic in the feed vs. in the original
    – @mentions (99% of users are like… WTH is that?)

    Overall I think there are a number of modules (groups, forums, feed, blogging) that just don’t integrate well and there’s just too much going on. I’m just curious if these UX issues are something the team is concerned about and working on. I think BuddyPress is fantastic but I think it really needs to be streamlined and simplified and could benefit GREATLY from some simple low-cost user testing.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

  • modemlooper


    I do not understand why people have these problems. BuddyPress has similar features as Facebook and Twitter and both those services have millions of users.

    You said:
    1 The concept of Forums being tied to Groups (no one “gets” this)
    2 The serious disconnect between commenting on a blog post or forum topic in the feed vs. in the original
    3 @mentions (99% of users are like… WTH is that?)

    1 Groups in BuddyPress are like Facebook fan pages and yes Facebook fan pages have forums.
    2 You can turn it off in the admin and force users to comment on the original post and not activity
    3 @mentions are the basis of Twitter with millions of users who have no difficulty using the service. Also Facebook uses @mentions when you post status updates. You type @ then there name and they get notified about the message.

    One last thing, BuddyPress is not really an out-of-the-box software. You should figure out what functions you want for your users and then use those. Having everything can be too much.



    @takeo I think buddypress is great! When I see people say this system is confusing it just make me confused on how they could be confused. The system is very straight forward. Do you want forum click yes and install bb press done next topic. Want groups click yes done next. For me Im running a 70+ plug-in wp-ms 3.1 bp running a chat script. Not to forget being the leader of the whole thing then some one is using less then 30 plug-ins on single site saying this is hard. Really.Go run a phpbb 3.0 forum and try to install a social network there with a cms. To hard? “3 @mentions (99% of users are like… WTH is that?)” More like 0.3%. Wake up to 2011. We move forward why spend 2 years simplifying a system for just a small number. I dont know a line of php but I can run my site.

    @all welcome to 2011

    I have long thought BuddyPress was confusing, and so I decided to take on the task of building a theme that would solve every issue I have with BuddyPress. It can be downloaded at

    1. Groups and Forums are combined in an INTUITIVE way on my theme. It finally makes sense!
    2. @mentions are gone. In their place is a TRUE Facebook wall on every profile. Post on friend’s profiles and status updates with threaded comments. You’ve got to try it to see how sweet it is :)
    3. Stripped out all of the nonsense that adds to BuddyPress’ general chaos, and what’s left is a simple and enjoyable experience.

    @josh101. @mentions are confusing to 99% of users, for real. I have built lots of client sites and literally *every* client asks me WTF are @mentions. I tell them how it works and they say why doesn’t it just work like Facebook, and I pretty much have no response because I agree with them. Hence, :)

    Looks awesome.. Will give the framework a go!

    Closing this thread -newly created group for community theme promotions can be used to promote and group together offerings at:

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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