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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > macnn's new dress; on your machine by 1pm (EST) today!

macnn's new dress; on your machine by 1pm (EST) today! (Page 5)
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Dec 14, 2005, 04:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW
Now having said that, I will reiterate that the site needs a favicon. This is by far the most glaring problem on the new site! I mean come on ... where are the priorities of designers and developers of the new Macnn?

OAW
It's on effgee's list to get done.

     
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Dec 14, 2005, 04:57 PM
 
What's so arrogant about that ? Seriously.

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Dec 14, 2005, 05:06 PM
 
Overall, I really like the design. At first I found the portal and different layouts confusing, but after playing around with it for a while, I feel quite a bit more comfortable.

Here are a couple thoughts I've had after reading this thread and looking at the design:

1) The "font/layout options" drop down is inconsistent and really doesn't work well. In order to select one of the options, you have to click on the text itself. You can't click on the whitespace to the right of the text. Similarly, the text is the only part of the list that highlights.

Compare this to the Forums dropdown right below it. Here, the highlighting is complete and consistent, and I can click anywhere on the line to select the option. It would be nice if both select fields worked like this.


2) A possible idea to combat the branding vs usability issues concerning the vertical text: have you thought about replacing the text with images? It looks like you already have images picked out for each section, why not scale them down, make them stick out a little more, and only show these on the closed tabs? You could then add the text to the currently selected tab and just rely on the images for the other ones.
     
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Dec 14, 2005, 05:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW
I'm not seeing any major "usability" issues on the new site either. Someone made the suggestion that we need "bread crumbs" to know our place on the site and that is a good idea. Perhaps when the secondary menu is displayed the current page could be underlined or highlighted or something along that line. As I've mentioned before, it would be nice if the Font/Layout settings would take effect immediately and not after you navigate away from the site and then return. But this just seems like a bug and not a design flaw. The purpose of the default Layout settings is not exactly intuitive but once you realize it only affects how the page is displayed when you click the the primary navigation menu then things fall into place. Besides, once it is set most people will probably never fiddle with it again. But other than those little things I don't see any major problems with the site.

Now having said that, I will reiterate that the site needs a favicon. This is by far the most glaring problem we are facing! I mean come on ... where are the priorities of designers and developers of the new Macnn?

OAW

Usability problems:

1) User has to now go to /news to get news. This section is accessible through the "articles" subsection of "Mac News". What is the difference between an article, portal, and headlines page, and why should I care? This whole distinction is very confusing. This design puts the burden on the user to understand the difference. Why not just call the portal "home" and move it to its own place in the section headings, move the articles to what is now "mac news", yank headlines (what is this for?!), and leave everything else currently a subsection of "mac news" as is?

2) Text on links in upper right corner is difficult to read without turning head sideways

3) User has to carefully target subsection links from disassociated main section link headings. This is very confusing.

4) Why not make the whole upper left bar a clickable target returning to home/portal, and remove the link to macnn in the bar to the right of this? Why is this duplicated?

5) I suppose the macnn part of the upper right bar is supposed to provide us with orientation that we are currently in MacNN... why is it also clickable? We are already there. Same goes for all section headings. Why don't they provide orientation as to what section the user is in?


OAW: the new design may not be unusable to you, but you are an experienced user. Try to be empathetic to users less web savvy than you.
     
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Dec 14, 2005, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Goldfinger
What's so arrogant about that ? Seriously.
Someone asked a legitimate question regarding usability, and he answered with nothing but snide retorts and an escalation of non-sensical excuses why he wouldn't answer the question. His tone is one of utter contempt for the users here. That's how I read it, anyway.

edit:
besson3c, I completely agree with you. I outlined earlier in this thread (and the feedback one) the confusion of redundant links and terminology affecting the usability of the site.
( Last edited by Silky Voice of The Gorn; Dec 14, 2005 at 05:27 PM. )
     
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Dec 14, 2005, 06:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Silky Voice of The Gorn
Someone asked a legitimate question regarding usability, and he answered with nothing but snide retorts and an escalation of non-sensical excuses why he wouldn't answer the question. His tone is one of utter contempt for the users here. That's how I read it, anyway.
There it is.

tooki
     
OAW
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Dec 14, 2005, 06:27 PM
 
Besson3c,

I feel you on the criticisms you've outlined. And while I agree that the navigational aspect of the site is rather disjointed, I suppose I don't feel like it rises to the level of being "unusable". Perhaps I feel like this because I only really look at the news sections of Macnn and iPodnn and the forums. It certainly isn't the most intuitive navigational design ... that much is clear. But it doesn't completely suck either. Let me put my 2 cents in on the things you mentioned ....

Originally Posted by besson3c
Usability problems:

1) User has to now go to /news to get news. This section is accessible through the "articles" subsection of "Mac News". What is the difference between an article, portal, and headlines page, and why should I care? This whole distinction is very confusing. This design puts the burden on the user to understand the difference. Why not just call the portal "home" and move it to its own place in the section headings, move the articles to what is now "mac news", yank headlines (what is this for?!), and leave everything else currently a subsection of "mac news" as is?
Agreed. The "portal" view as a subsection is downright counter-intuitive. Given the content of the view it certainly should be its own section since it contains content from all the other sections. As for the secondary navigation menu, it does still need to contain "Articles" though. That particular menu needs to allow the user to navigate among the various modes of the News subsection. While it can duplicate the "Mac News" link in the primary navigation menu, this is only the case if you have your default news layout set to "Headlines + News". Now this in and of itself is another one of those counter-intuitive elements of the site. If "Articles" view is the same as the "Headlines + News" view .... then why not call them the same thing? That "default news layout" applies to what mode on the News subsection you go into when you click the link on the primary navigation menu. Everybody might not want to go into "Articles" mode by default ... so it needs to be there in the secondary menu for such users to be able to get into that mode.

Originally Posted by besson3c
2) Text on links in upper right corner is difficult to read without turning head sideways
I suppose I don't find it difficult to read at all. In all honesty, the first thing that came to mind when I saw the section headings was the fact that the Forums section is called "nnforums" instead of having the "nn" at the end like all the other sections. Again, not a big deal but why the difference?

Originally Posted by besson3c
3) User has to carefully target subsection links from disassociated main section link headings. This is very confusing.
Again, it seems like a pretty run-of-the-mill mouseover activated submenu to me. You see that all over the web and its a pretty standard navigational approach. Besides, you always have to "carefully target" links in a point-and-click user interface like a web browser. I guess I'm not getting what you find so confusing about this?

Originally Posted by besson3c
4) Why not make the whole upper left bar a clickable target returning to home/portal, and remove the link to macnn in the bar to the right of this? Why is this duplicated?
Well you can't have it both ways. In #1 above you said Portal should have its own place in the section headings which is on the upper right ... but here you want to put it on the upper left and remove the Macnn section link in the upper right. And I'm not sure the entire blue background of the upper left bar needs to be clickable. The macnn (and iPodnn) image is plenty large enough to click.

Originally Posted by besson3c
5) I suppose the macnn part of the upper right bar is supposed to provide us with orientation that we are currently in MacNN... why is it also clickable? We are already there. Same goes for all section headings. Why don't they provide orientation as to what section the user is in?
So you can click it again. And the impact on your day is what exactly? And the other sections (ipodnn since that's the only other one that seems to be functional) do provide orientation. The section you are in is displayed wider with an appropriate icon. I'm not sure what you are getting at here?

Having responded to your concerns, here are a few more items I will add to the list that may or may not have already been mentioned ....

6. All of the links in the primary navigation menu in iPodnn besides "iPod News" take you to Macnn pages. Again, a tad bit counter-intuitive. If the navigation links don't take the user to iPod specific content then perhaps they shouldn't be there? Or then again, if iPodnn doesn't have enough content to be a full-fledged section on its own then perhaps it should simply be a sub-section of Macnn?

7. When is the Forums section going to get the new look and feel? It seems as if the intent is to have it integrated into the overall network of sites but it currently seems remarkably out of place. At a minimum I would expect to see the the forums section share the same (and hopefully soon-to-be-improved navigational elements at the top of the page.

OAW
     
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Dec 15, 2005, 02:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by effgee
Well, aren't you the only one who saw right through me?

Here, I'll spell it out for you ... in order for us to have an even remotely meaningful discussion on topics like "design elements", "usability", "accessibility", etc., I would have to provide you with a lot of background information on this project - a whole lot.

Large portions of this "background information" are of a nature that I either consider to be confidential (e.g. "who decided that A, B or C will/will not be done"), and/or simply none of your business (e.g., "the overall budget of this project"). I have answered questions where I was able to, and have not done so wherever I would have had to give any such information in order for my answers to make sense.

I am having a hard time believing that the four of you (besson3c, tooki, TETENAL and you) walk around in whatever capacity it is you earn a living in, divulging internal information about your employer/clients to anyone who happens to ask. If that works for you, then that is your prerogative and perfectly fine by me - just don't expect everyone else to conduct themselves in a certain manner simply because you think it is the right thing to do.

Alas, this is my final "contribution" to this particular bitch-fest, so feel free to provide the folks here with any additional irrefutable conclusions of yours whenever they happen to pop in your head.
Well more BS, you can state so and so with out divulging internal information. Here is a example

Question did you think about doing any public testing?

Answer, I wanted to you yes but unfortunately for reasons I can't go into I was prevented.

Now that gives a answer and reveals nothing, much better then being a sarcastic smart-alecky twit.
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Dec 15, 2005, 08:15 AM
 
So.. wasn't today the day the forums were supposed to get the new look? Or is that tomorrow?

cheers

W-Y

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Dec 15, 2005, 09:18 AM
 
No, there was a change of plans so it's going to take longer. But the result will make many people happier.
     
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Dec 15, 2005, 09:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nick
No, there was a change of plans so it's going to take longer. But the result will make many people happier.
Hmm, sounds interesting.
     
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Dec 15, 2005, 09:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nick
No, there was a change of plans so it's going to take longer. But the result will make many people happier.
Will we see this change before we see Microsoft release Vista?

cheers

W-Y

“Building Better Worlds”
     
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Dec 15, 2005, 10:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nick
No, there was a change of plans so it's going to take longer. But the result will make many people happier.
No more database errors!

     
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Dec 15, 2005, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nick
No, there was a change of plans so it's going to take longer. But the result will make many people happier.
Whew! Thanks for letting us know...I was holding my breath until now.
     
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Dec 23, 2005, 05:55 AM
 
So far so good.
     
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Dec 30, 2005, 11:48 AM
 
So I take it this is now a 2006 project?
     
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Dec 31, 2005, 12:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Agasthya
So I take it this is now a 2006 project?
Like Longhorn, it will be a 2007 or maybe 2008 Project
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Jan 2, 2006, 08:10 PM
 
anything to report?
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 12:33 PM
 
So, is it safe to assume that the forum change is on hold for a while?
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 12:55 PM
 
Why change the forum when the main site has so many issues?
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 01:03 PM
 
Guys, I'm assuming that what was proposed was to simply change the vBulletin skin, not to replace vBulletin with different software. A new look, nothing more.

Personally, I think this ought to be pretty low in the list of MacNN priorities. There are several usability issues that have been discussed at length pertaining to the main site, and technical issues (e.g. the stylesheet not loading, and the page coming up with black text on a gray background with a bunch of broken links).

Fixing the technical issues with the forum would be splendid too, although it has been working well for me lately.
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 01:04 PM
 
"Branding."

Though as many have agreed, the forums are currently looking kinda dated. And no, the forums won't be undergoing any radical changes, just some fresh paint really.

tooki
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c
e.g. the stylesheet not loading, and the page coming up with black text on a gray background with a bunch of broken links
Actually the stylesheet loads fine. The problem is, the image server is retarded and starts giving errors after a while, and one of those images is the background image for the main content in the new design.

tooki
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 01:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
Actually the stylesheet loads fine. The problem is, the image server is retarded and starts giving errors after a while, and one of those images is the background image for the main content in the new design.

tooki

Why don't you guys put the images on the same server, and have something like Squid cache the frequently accessed images?

It's been ages since I used Squid, and I was using it for a different purpose, but just mentioning this in case you guys don't know it exists.
     
OAW
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Jan 3, 2006, 05:42 PM
 
Looks like the new favicon has been deployed. Now onto the navigation issues ....

OAW
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 05:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW
Looks like the new favicon has been deployed. Now onto the navigation issues ....

OAW
Nice work effgee...as always.
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 08:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c
Why don't you guys put the images on the same server, and have something like Squid cache the frequently accessed images?

It's been ages since I used Squid, and I was using it for a different purpose, but just mentioning this in case you guys don't know it exists.
Moving from the separate servers to a single one makes no sense; in no case could that improve performance. The problem is simply that the image server uses a buggy web server application (very high-performance, i am told, though to me that's irrelevant if it isn't reliable). Keeping the server separate, but switching to non-buggy software, would be ideal.

tooki
     
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Jan 3, 2006, 08:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
Moving from the separate servers to a single one makes no sense; in no case could that improve performance. The problem is simply that the image server uses a buggy web server application (very high-performance, i am told, though to me that's irrelevant if it isn't reliable). Keeping the server separate, but switching to non-buggy software, would be ideal.

tooki

But moving to a cache-type system would move the performance bottleneck elsewhere, that's the point. In some cases it could possibly improve performance, if the image server was slow to respond for whatever reason, or several hops are needed to reach the server and there is network lag. Is my logic sound?
     
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Jan 17, 2006, 02:11 PM
 
( Last edited by Nick; Jan 17, 2006 at 07:01 PM. )
     
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Jan 17, 2006, 02:16 PM
 
Heh, what is that, a tease?
     
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Jan 17, 2006, 02:35 PM
 
how wide is this design going to be??? lol

Loads of people here went ape when apple.com went wider after MWSF. Are you TRYING to tip people over the edge here Nick!!??!?!

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Jan 17, 2006, 02:48 PM
 
"[ Too-Wide Image Removed -Tooki ]"

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Jan 17, 2006, 04:22 PM
 
Sexy. I cannot wait for 2 or 3 lines worth of teasing.
     
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Jan 17, 2006, 06:01 PM
 
i liked my teaser better:

     
Nick
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Jan 17, 2006, 07:02 PM
 
But your teaser doesn't do anything for the 30" display owners
     
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Jan 17, 2006, 11:57 PM
 
I happened to stumble across a screenshot of the forums and I have to admit, they look good.
     
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Jan 18, 2006, 12:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by mdc
I happened to stumble across a screenshot of the forums and I have to admit, they look good.
Well, post it up here, let's take a look!
...
     
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Jan 18, 2006, 05:12 PM
 
This one is the publically available one.
     
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Mar 1, 2006, 07:37 AM
 
Hmm, I remember when the 'NN Forums were going to get updated with a new look. I've almost forgot about it now though...
     
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Mar 1, 2006, 10:29 AM
 
Yeah I keep forgetting.

They need to slick this place up.
     
 
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