This past week I had a skype call with a colleague in Sierra Leone who’s going to be a thematic coordinator on my forum. He shared his screen so I could introduce him to discourse and walk him through all the features and answer his questions. We’re finding that Discourse is reasonably user friendly but that alot of complex features are hidden away behind that simple interface - so a one-on-one intro for key people is turning out to be pretty essential.
My reason for posting this topic and my question is about the fact that discourse is painfully slow for him on his slower internet connection. I was able to observe this directly during our skype call. When he clicks on a link, say to the speech bubble notification menu, it seriously takes 10-20 seconds for that menu to pop up. That is a crazy long time and a significant burden. There is also no progress indicator or anything - so he has to be verrrrrrry patient while waiting for something to happen after clicking.
While gmail (which we also use alot) downloads emails and makes them available on the client side for handling, it seems that discourse does not do this at all. Rather it is going back to the server to get updated content when you click on say the notifications menu.
We are trying to get people to keep discourse open in another tab in their browser, like email. But if it’s going to take 10-20 seconds every time to see what’s new and relevant to the user, we have a serious problem.
The alternative, to turn on email notifications for all activity, is not really ideal for coordinators since we want them to get in there and manage/organize discussions and also model good behavior for having productive (and, dare I say it, civilized) discussion by quoting multiple people in replies, starting new related topics etc.