Finding a user's name without typing -
How about adding a line to the user profile "basic information" so users can enter the name they prefer to be called. Place it right before Date of Birth on the profile edit page, so it appears up top when the profile is viewed.
When I submit a reply to a specific user's post in any forum, I usually want to include the name that user goes by . . . which most likely has not been included in the user's post. A directed reply can avoid confusion when there have been a number of intervening posts, and using a casual name seems more personal than a call sign.
Presently, I have to type the user's call sign (accurately) into the Callsign Search box in order to find the name. By design, that is going to be the user's official name, which too often leaves me wondering . . . does Michael go by Mike, Phillip go by Phil, John go by Jack, and Margaret go by Meg? It may seem a tiny dilemma, but flame wars have started for smaller and more forgivable slights than starting a post with a person's "hollering name".
In contrast to typing a call sign look up, it takes only two mouse clicks to reach a poster's "basic information" page and learn everything that matters, including the name that user goes by, if this suggestion can be implemented.
Gary, K9ZMD . . . Ridgefield, WA