Bring back the old site

As a community we were told that the new site would bring more benefits. Well it doesn't seem that way to me. As far as i was concerned there was nothing wrong with the old site but it had to be "fixed". I am not a computer expert and I don't want to become one ( life's too short). With the old site I knew where I was and how to use it. I have adjusted my profile. I have tried unsucessfully to post. I have not been able for some time to even reply to posts. This is improvement? Its alright for the geeks but what about people like me? This site provides people like me with info I cannot get anywhere else. I felt that here people understood CLL. So I feel that something that meant a lot to me has been taken away. Although the site is working a bit better it feels that there is still some way to go and I doubt whether it will every be the same. I am inclined to just give up. Also the posts all now seem to be from the technical point of view, that's probably because they are the only ones who can get this site to work for them. So please bring back the old system.

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49 Replies

  • Thanks for airing your frustrations jangreen. Many of us share them - including the Health Unlocked Team, who are still fixing bugs when they wanted to be bringing in the new benefits they promised. Since the new site was launched, I've spent more time using it (when I could) and posting bug reports than anyone else in this community. Without a doubt, the site is definitely been much more reliable recently - and not before time!

    Would anyone that has tried to post, ask a question or reply and been unable to do so in the last week or so, please click on the "Recommend' button to the bottom right of my response. If there are sufficient responses, I'll post an item taking you through the process. *

    Did everyone get this email from Health Unlocked late last week?

    "We have been very busy at HealthUnlocked over the last couple of weeks as we prepared to release a major fix to the platform. What we released today will significantly improve the speed of the website in addition to eliminate many of the minor errors that some community members had been experiencing.

    Having improved the reliability of the website, we have already set out some of our next priorities:

    * repairing the issues with the daily and weekly email notifications

    * receipt of notifications of all new content in your community

    * improving the community activity feed and personal news feed

    Thank you for your continued feedback and support and for your patience as we work to release all these major fixes to HealthUnlocked."

    Full text:

    Please be patient just a little longer. The worst just has to be behind us, otherwise jangreen, you'll be sure to have many others voting with their feet (or fingers, keyboards/mice).



    * Using the Recommend (Like) button should be straightforward. The number should increase by one when you click on the Recommend button. If after clicking on the button you decide you really didn't mean to do that, just clicking again will drop the vote back one. Obviously you can't 'Recommend' your own content!

  • I didn't receive that email from HU Neil. sparkler x

  • Hi Sparkler

    Thanks for letting us know

    I am not sure how wide the circulation was but it should be out there now in this thread.

    There is more info on the upgrade in the chief technology officers blog it's not that prominant! in the email but is where the info is.

    For those who have not been receiving emails or notification please check your email settings under your name in the top bar.


  • I didn't get that email from HU either. And I have checked my email settings (under my name in the top bar), saying I wanted all email communications on offer .

  • Maybe it wasn't sent out to membership???

  • Hi Neil, I had to set up a new profile because I couldn't post from my other one and it didn't send me any email notifications. This one seems to be working but I only just set it up this week having registered originally as Debinoz last year. Seems to be working well and I'm finding it easy to navigate on my iPhone which is a plus given that's how I read most material these days. Thanks for all you're doing.


  • Hi Deb,

    I figured this was you (Debinoz) when I saw the similar username. :) You aren't the only person to have had notification problems. If you want to keep your old username, by all means contact HU help and see if you can get notifications working with your original username. and click on either email or chat under Contact Us on the right hand side.


  • Hi Jangreen,

    I was so sorry to hear how you're feeling. A big part of me agrees with you. The worst problems with the new site may now be sorted, but I do get very frustrated, knowing that it could be SO MUCH BETTER.

    However, although I'm not a computer expert at all, I can still post here, and people seem able to reply to me. (Well some have, I hope I haven't missed any). I certainly saw your post of this morning, and your question re stress, a few days ago. Are you still not able to reply to posts? If you reply to this post of mine, I'll post back to let you know I've got your reply. If that doesn't work, then there really does seem to be a problem for you. Could it be with your particular computer?

    I agree with you, that people on this site certainly understand CLL, and provide info that's not easily found anywhere else. And it's not just info, it's a concern for each other, and sharing of experiences, and emotional support, even if we've never met one another. That means a lot. And I don't think all that has been lost. The people are still here. Some are more technically minded and some more emotionally minded, (if that's the right word), but I feel that all types are welcome and all voices are heard. We need all types - the techies, the non-techies, and those in between. I must admit that my brain skips over a lot of the posts with complicated technical details, and abbreviations that I don't understand. Yet many people appreciate the technical stuff, and find it really helpful. Maybe it's up to the "non-techies" amongst us, to add some other posts that we can relate to better.

    I've just noticed that Aussie Neil has posted a thing about sharing feelings, as well as replying to the post of yours that I'm also replying to. So, there is hope....

    Anyway, I'd better finish now. I do tend to ramble on, once I've got started.

    Thanks for sharing how you were really feeling. Please don't give up....


  • Neil,

    I did not receive the "upgrade message" AND only four e-mail notification between 1st & 7th.



  • Hi jangreen

    I am sorry you are still having difficulties with using the facility. It has not been a smooth transition and yes HU have much work still to do to rectify a few issues ahead of considering the installation of promised improvements. But they are committed to this, the unexpected problem encountered preventing notifications is taking the team a long time to rectify which has set everything back by a few weeks. HU have assured us "tagging/search etc are still waiting patiently at the front end to be re-implemented properly. They should be very early

    fixes in the road map."

    For those who have not been receiving emails or notification please check your email settings under your name in the top bar.

    Thanks Neil for providing the link to last weeks email by HU within this is the blog by Adam Neilson, Chief Technology Officer explaining why, even if after the event:

    Perhaps it would have been better/easier for us to if we had received this ahead of the switch-over. HU have set high objectives for the new platform time will tell.

    It relies on us supporting each other and providing understandable information.

    Here in the CLL community we are discussing how to improve our own presentation of information to make it more relevant and readable. We hope that with a little more time and improvements by HU to search/tagging function and archiving we can get there together.

    Personally I have been really encouraged by the increased activity and numbers able to contribute to conversations and questions that are helping members learn about and live with their CLL at various stages. This now exceeds posting activity at it's peak before the update.. Of course if people are still unable to do so properly I hope Neil's question and use of recommend will identify this.

    I am sorry if all this has and continues to cause you distress. Our Macmillan on-line community functions a little differently and can appear more supportive/social - you will find several supporters you know there to. If it all gets too much just drop in and join us at: if you are continuing to experience problems accessing and navigating this site let us know the specifics and we will endeavour to assist.


  • Hi jangreen

    Hang on in there....please! We need you.

    I have been through upgrades with a few different CLL forums over the last 3 years and the transition is always really frustrating and upsetting. I can relate to what you are saying.

    I am sure that things will continue to improve and if we all stick together, we can continue to support one another......we will survive!!!

    Sending you a huge e-hug

    sparkler x

  • I have to say this site has failed to impress me since the upgrade, the navigation doesn't appear logical to me and I find it slow and erratic loading very frustrating. The only saving grace is it is all we have in reality. I know there are other forums out there but this one has the people I know and can relate to and that is the only real reason I continue to use it but I do much less frequently than I used to.

    Email notifications seem sporadic to say the least and like I say when I get here I find it difficult to navigate. Software engineers don't seem to practice what they were taught in University and the testing budget for this upgrade must have paid for one hell of a party!!


  • Who else is finding navigation confusing? Click on the 'Recommend' button below this reply and I'll do a post on navigation if there's sufficient interest.

    Neil (who agrees with Kirk; navigation also took me a quite a while to adjust to)

  • Tags and searches are the worst ... navigation is terrible...

  • Adam Neilson's blog that Nick referenced above (link repeated below) might be heavy reading for those of us that aren't interested in the whys of Information Technology and just want our site to work.

    In a nutshell, HealthUnlocked's Chief Technical Officer said that it was impossible to continue with the old site; it just couldn't support the larger and increasingly multilingual community. To use a more familiar example, it's like a tour company starting out with one 12 seater minibus. That might work for a while and as the tour groups grow larger, they can squash up the seats making it a 14 then 16 seater, add a luggage trailer and turbo charge the engine. They can't buy more 12 seaters, because the larger tour groups want to travel together. Eventually, they just have to buy a larger bus and hire translators. There's no going back; they've got bookings a year ahead for larger tour groups and they have to service their loan for the new bus. Plus customers are cancelling because they don't like being squashed in together!

    In Adam's final paragraph he says:

    "We feel very privileged to have a very vocal and committed community who we can rely on to let us know what they want and will work with us to achieve it."

    HealthUnlocked acknowledge that they failed in their communications with the site upgrade and they are working to improve that. They also subjected us to a very poorly tested release that was unbearably slow and we've all suffered because of that. Hold HealthUnlocked to what the CTO has stated above. Tell them what isn't working (but don't waste your energy asking for the old site back; it won't happen - see above). Use the 'Help' menu to report problems you are having with this website. (Help menu is to the middle right of the green menu bar or use the link below.) HealthUnlocked Support have generally been responsive to my bug reports but if you aren't getting any joy, escalate your problem to Nick or me and we'll do what we can.

    Likewise think about what improvements you'd like and be prepared to air them later when HealthUnlocked have got their priority planned work out of the way.

    Support (problem reports)

    HealthUnlocked Chief Technical Officer's Blog:


  • Neil I have just tried the help and it doesn't give me what I need. I have upgraded my profile but some posts do not stick and it keeps saying 45% complete - what odes this mean?

  • See:

    Does this answer your question?

    (Good to see you are doing this - I hope that means you are going to stick around?)

  • Thank you all for your responses. Its obvious that many share my feelings about the site. Its not that I want to stop technical/medical posts and only want "feelings" post that's not what this site is about. Its the only place that that sort of info is available to ordinay patients.BUT THE SITE HAS TO WORK.

  • I've tried to avoid responding to this however, I'm concerned that a really good resource is getting a bad name. I've read though these messages and the HU CTO's blog entry, which I thought was disappointing at best. I too did not receive the email referred to.

    I've spent nearly forty years in IT and I'm sorry to say I'm quite disappointed at how this has impacted the users, especially those less IT-aware. People should not have to be techies to use this. This feels like troubled projects I've seen in the past, normally caused by inappropriate time schedules, scope creep and lack of testing.

    What is done is in the past and cannot be undone, however, it is my opinion that HU management need to be clearer in future of planned changes and review with a range of users.

    Now, so far, that is all negative. I hope the site gets sorted soon for the less technical. Also just to be clear, If you need a guineapig in future I'm holding my hand up as a testing volunteer for future changes, the offer has been made.


  • I have to agree, that since the new upgraded site, I feel it's just too difficult to use and often have'nt got time to go all round the bushes to post a reply or even just read a post. I also feel that this is such an important support vehicle for us CLLers, it should not be compromised by making it too difficult to use, I'm in deep mourning for our old crowded bus, that at least got to where it said it was taking us!

  • Hi Molly, I really do sympathise. I've been trying to keep positive about the changes to this site, but can hardly believe how long it's taking to get it working properly. I realise we can't go back to our old bus, but surely the new one can be made more efficient and user-friendly than this one!

    I've just sent you a personal message as well, because I can't be sure you'll see this one - notifications being so erratic. And I wanted to let you know you're not alone...

    thinking of you,


  • Perhaps the powers that be are taking note. No we cannot go back but we cannot go forward if we are being lead up a blind alley.

  • Hi Jangreen, Yes, the longer the problems go on, the more this new site does seem like a blind alley. I kept hoping and assuming the "experts" would soon get things sorted out. But not so. Maybe they need to scrap their "new" upgraded site and start again, from scratch. I think a lot of us have a load of ideas for completely different design etc. And we have some very experienced I.T. CLLers on the site - maybe they could be part of it.


  • Hi Paula

    A timely comment, HU last week contacted members with an Invitation for User Experience Testing with HealthUnlocked.

    Inviting the participation in user experience testing of new features

    and designs for the HealthUnlocked platform.

    As they develop further features and designs they're keen to get feedback on their work before they build it. This will help them know that what they're’rebuilding is easy to use and fit for purpose.

    This is a step in the right direction.


  • I was so glad to hear this, Nick. Certainly a step in the right direction. But do you think they are really taking on board the various problems people have been having? Or is it worth us trying to sum up the specific things we wish could be improved, and tell them again?


  • HU have notified us today of a development that may help with things.

    They have reported that they are currently in the testing stage of a new 'Show more' button that will be placed on the bottom of all feeds (personal profile news feed and community's activity feed). This will allow you to see more activity all the way back in time, removing the feeling of hidden content and allow more of the alley to become visible..

    This may also aid with tracking conversation threads and accessing recent information while search and tagging remain broken.


  • Good move; this will also help when notifications aren't working - provided of course that the updates are captured!!

  • Lets hope its easy to use and not something else just for the "techies" personally I just want the site to work, which finally it does seem to be.

  • Hi I am sorry to be negative but its seems to me that the site will get more complicated and less use to those of us without an IT background.

  • Hopefully introducing User Experience Testing will prevent complication, i.e. keep the site working the same, with any added features unobtrusive. For example the new 'Show more' button should not change the way the News feed and Latest activity pages work for those that don't want to use this new feature, but just provide a button that when clicked, will give another page of older items for those that want to check back further.

    I can see this 'Show more' button would be very useful for high volume communities - there are occasional times when it would be useful on this site!

  • I think the 'Show More' button will be good, as there have been many times when I have wanted to look further back in Latest Activity. I do wish all activity showed up though. Of course if there wasn't so much wasted space in the design and layout, more could be fitted on to a page!

    I didn't like the 'back to the top' button at first (how daft is that) and now I think it's really good, especially on a long thread, of course.

    sparkler x

  • I also think the "Show More" button will be good.

    And I agree with you Sparkler, re the wasted space in design and layout. I would prefer narrower columns myself (much easier to read), and a smaller font. Like is used on Facebook - where they get a lot more onto the page (not that all of it on FB is useful though). But maybe some people's eyesight isn't so good, or they find different things easier to read.

    P.S. I find the fonts on the home pages are easy to read - it's the bigger fonts/sizes on other pages that are harder work (for me, anyway).


  • ...this has to be mobile device capable, it isn't close!

  • I would support Chris as above.

    The e-mails received about posts or comments only provide a few sentences.

    Thus to get the complete information requires a web page to be downloaded.

    This web page may look nice, but is in many colours and with lots of added extras which all take up bandwidth on many people's basic mobile device or poor internet connection.

    A 'fancy' website looks good, but the developers MUST remember that not everyone has a 100MB home connection or the latest 4G phone...

    For a start I would suggest that notifications of comments added to a post include ALL the comments. Then a person on a mobile device can decide if they wish to proceed to download the web page.


  • Thanks again for letting us know of continued problems with mobile devices. Of course we will forward your observations withthin our next report to HU for answers on progress.

    We are hopeful that HU will soon clear the bug that is jamming 150,000 emails for notification and correct that aspect of the service to allow them to work on other urgent fixes. They have assured us are in their plans at the head of the road map.

    Of course part of our report to HU will include a link to this thread for reference to community member difficulties identified to the group.

    Please continue to report your specific issues to HU through the support centre too to allow each to be followed up individually by HU.

    I confess I am becoming very disappointed by the difficulties we are all experiencing, meaning less time spent supporting each other. In answer to Paula I can only hope fixes are sooner than later for it is taking it's toll.



  • I did not get the letter, I do not get the notifications I indicated that I wanted, and while I have tried to be supportive during the changes, I find that this site is usually "work" to use. Funny that I ended up on another HU site for breast cancer in India (I'm in California) and they are having issues also. Their advisor was the person who told me how to check my settings - the ones which still don't work, and I was able to tell him about some of the features this site has that they didn't know were possible. It makes me think that the people at HU just haven't figured out what services they offer and we are all getting bits and pieces.

  • Hi Pat

    Thanks for dropping in with your interesting feedback..

    One thing that is not helping admins is that the admin community enabling admins to share information and help each other with supporting individual communities was taken away during the switch-over. At a time when it is most needed, This has isolated all HU communities.

    Maybe we could collectively investigate communications within other communities then we can write together to their administrators for their response..

    Each community's membership list is no longer available too, replaced with a search facility!! How do you search for your own community members if their site avatar and identity are not known too you??? How can everyone be included in message circulations and discussion. this is further isolating individuals within support communities..

    Investigating the help facility I am not sure what help it is providing ?. Before I went on Holiday there was a green feedback tab on the screen does this still exist for I can no longer find it??

    I am afraid this all is raising doubts in my mind about how HU are addressing the shared need of this facility and ensuring people in need can support each other. We came together to make a difference to our community and Healthunlocked appeared to offer a wonderful platform to support our endeavor. My concern is now that it appears to be hindering rather than helping us in our pursuit of this.


  • Be nice to be able to contact other admins, but I'm not sure how we'd do that. I totally agree that losing the Admin Community happened at the worst possible time. HU were going to reinstate it and I'd have thought it wouldn't be too hard, after all it is just another community and HU know the members. For security, there would need to be some exception coding to keep the content hidden from non-members; we wouldn't want spammers knowing information that would make it easier for them for example.

    We've already provided feedback to HU on how broken the new membership lookup process is.

    HU advised me that they removed the feedback 'hand' because it didn't work, another instance where user testing could have avoided embarrassment...

    HU have updated some of the Help section to cover new features, but the coverage is brief and I don't know how helpful inexperienced computer users would find it. The section on reporting inappropriate content remains, but we still don't have a Report button.

  • Hi Neil

    By accessing the communities directory and clicking on the about us section of each individual community you gain the user name and avatar of each community admin.

    When I visited London ahead of the switch-over for a presentation by HU on what promised in the new facility several of us did manage to hook up and share. I must get back in touch to find out their experience following the switch-over. In the meantime will read what's happening inside other communities and how they are coping.

    Thanks for the update about the missing green feedback button.(I must clear all from my mail box following my return) Thanks again for dropping in are you still on leave?


  • Nice to know how we can contact other admins, but that would be tedious compared to being able to set up a group PM!

    Be very interesting to hear how other communities have managed since the new platform launch.

    I'll probably be back home Tuesday; timing is flexible.


  • Has anyone noticed that the 'Show more' feature on 'Latest activity' and 'News feed' appeared about a day ago? It was implemented as Forward and Back buttons at the bottom of those pages from memory. I say from memory, because now I can't see it - I've been trying different browsers so it could be that it needs a newer browser to work; I forgot to check which browser I was using at the time, or was it just a dream?


  • And now we have a "Show more" button across the bottom of the 'Latest activity' and 'News feed' pages. Works for me.

  • Yes. I see that now and it works for me too :-)

  • Hi thanks for all your comments.I agree that the page design with large margins (I;m sure large than the old site) do not help the end user.


    Do you all know about this facility? It is the place where the Feedback button took you before it disappeared. You can leave suggestions and vote for things others have suggested.

    I was trying to make it a link....... Not sure what I've done now.....I'm just messing around as a distraction activity!

    ...and I did create a link - yey!

    sparkler x

  • Well done finding and linking this sparkler; this is where the green feedback 'hand' took you. Unfortunately HU abandonded it by removing the feedback 'hand' because "it didn't work".


    Note that the last activity was a month ago, so read it if you are interested, but don't add to it, as it will most likely be ignored. Still, for those that are interested, it shows that many have the same issues with the new site as our community.

    As Nick said above, "Please continue to report your specific issues to HU through the support centre to to allow each to be followed up individually by HU.". Nick is also sharing this thread with HU,so there's no need to duplicate what you've written here (unless you are after a personal response).

    Some problems I noticed with the feedback site is that some respondents complained about multiple issues under one (inaccurate) problem title, so when others voted for that, were they voting for all the mentioned problems or just one? People didn't page through all the responses before adding their own, so there are multiple complaints about the same issue, but again, often with poorly descriptive titles. This certainly made analysis difficult, but HU certainly got a good idea of the main concerns and used them to set priorities, which they still mostly haven't got to because they are still trying to get activity updates and notifications working reliably. Sigh...


  • Oh dear.....bit deflated now. So I left comments there today, only to be ignored. Sigh. Some I had left previously, whilst it was still functioning, got a response from HU, which was good. I wish I'd known it was no longer active!

    At least I made a link.

    sparkler x

  • Despite that page no longer being active, HU did respond to my comments by email and for that I have to applaud them. :-)

  • I was so glad to hear that, Sparkler. Good to know that your comments (which you probably took a lot of time to think through and write), haven't just disappeared into cyberspace.

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