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Community redesign coming...

By sMoRTy71 ·
OK, I figure now is a great time to post some of the comps from our upcoming community revamp/redesign.

Not going to go into a ton of explanation about these comps. I want to get everyone's reaction without any prompting about how things might work.

So here goes:
Start a thread / Ask a question
http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tr/community_demo/redesign/ask_start.gif

View a discussion post
http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tr/community_demo/redesign/view_post.gif

Unified Discussions/Tech Q&A door
http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tr/community_demo/redesign/community_door.gif

View a TQ&A question
http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/tr/community_demo/redesign/view_question.gif

Please let us know your thoughts. BTW, I didn't make these comps, so you can't hurt my feelings (don't you love a challenge?).

sm

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looks good, but . . .

by apotheon In reply to Community redesign coming ...

There's always a caveat.

I especially like the arrangement of options for the page for creating new discussion threads: it helps to kinda throw the options in the face of the person getting ready to post so that he or she will perhaps pause long enough to make something approaching intelligent decisions.

The overall appearance is pretty good, too, though I'm not the world's biggest fan of the color orange for a website -- maybe that could be altered. Just to satisfy the Great Apotheon, of course.

One thing that occurs to me as a potential issue: it looks a bit image-heavy, particularly in basic site functionality (menus, et cetera). Not only do images slow down page loading -- they also make it difficult for people with "special needs" (read: nonstandard browser setups) to make use of the site. I'd like the chance to look at the page designs both in a text-only browser and in Firefox with styles turned off, but that's not going to happen when your mock-ups are available only as GIFs, of course.

Oh, yeah, and GIFs suck for a number of reasons, both technical and "philosophical". Have you tried PNGs?

. . . and why aren't you guys making the content area scale to window size so that the site looks better and makes better use of space at higher resolutions?

edit: First post! Woohoo!

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I just KNEW it

by jdclyde In reply to looks good, but . . .

that I should have just put in a one liner, and then gone in and edited it to get in first! DRAT!

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I concur.

by deepsand In reply to looks good, but . . .

Visually way too busy. (Although, it pales in that regard to Wired magazine.)

Blue & Orange, or Blue & Red are not good combos. for easy reading; they result in eye strain.

Also, the vertical delimiters need to be more saturated. The eye uses these as "stops" when scanning a line; they are what tells the brain to have the eye do a "line-feed w/ carriage return."

And, for the same reason, the "white space" bordering said delimiters needs to be increased in width.

If you want to know what makes for easy reading, i.e. copy that comports well with the eye-brain physiology involved, take a look at newpapers that were set by the oldtimers.

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At a glance

by jdclyde In reply to Community redesign coming ...

I like it.

One thing that "erks" me is the spacing used on the screen. I don't mind that the ad section with all the other links is bigger, but the far right pannel should be merged into that instead of taking up half the screen with ads and links.

Discussions. I like the way it highlights the current post. Or at least I THINK that is what is intended? It shows your reading 2 of 135, but the highlight points at the fourth post. I ASSUME this is just because of screen shots getting put together from different times?

TQ&A / Discussion Bravo! This will make it much easier for people to direct the post to the right section by choosing if it is a discussion or a technical question.

Multiple catagories. Again, I like it. For the people that category lurk, it will make more discussions/questions easier to find as they come along.

TAGS, consider a dialog where you could maybe choose from the top 20 tags? If they are not typed in everytime, that would help standardize tags. How much distortion is there from one person typing windows and the next person typing win9X or windows98 or windows 98 or some other variation? The idea of actually being able to look up discussions by tags could become more useful, and to be honest I have NEVER even tried to do anything with following tags. I would not make them optional though if you want this feature to grow.

Community door. please tell me you didn't forget the "posts by my contacts" AGAIN! X-(

Also, please explain the "save" button?

View Questions. This looks pretty, but looks like it lacks the FUNCTION that a Q&A should have. The asker should be able to reply directly to proposed answers without having to rate them, to allow for followup questions and answers. This has been something that has bothered me for a while that if someone is almost correct with their answer, you still have to slam them with a harsh "REJECTED" to reply to them. This lowers their percent accepted rating because they sometimes would put in two or three posts if the question asker replies to them directly instead of putting their reply in the origial question.

Over all, I think it is pretty, but am not thrilled that only half of the screen is dedicated to the questions and discussions that bring us to the pages in the first place.

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Good catch

by sMoRTy71 In reply to At a glance

That is the current post highlight. Mock-ups are just a little off.

There will be a Posts from my Contacts view. Right new to the Suggestions tag (next to Hot and New tabs in the left column).

The save button is to save things to your Links and/or Workspace.

We are changing how you rate TQ&A. More on that functionality soon.

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okay, I have to say it...

by Jaqui In reply to Community redesign coming ...

if you haven't fixed the non closing of questions issue having the unified doorway will be a complaint. why answer questions when they never tell you if they solved the problem and how?

The bright white backgroud, with the luminosity of a monitor is a good source of light to read a book by.
mybe switch it to 10% black, so it is not as luminous. the brightness is actually hard on the eyes.

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Can't design manners

by sMoRTy71 In reply to okay, I have to say it...

We've struggled with the issue of people asking questions without providing feedback. We are planning on limiting the number of open questions that are allowed (i.e. if you want to ask another, you need to give feedback on your open one(s).

Ultimately, it comes down to manners. Unfortunately, we'll never be able to solve that problem with software.

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true...

by Jaqui In reply to Can't design manners

but that promotes them closing the questions when they are solved, so it does serve the purpose.

and for the colour idea, I copied the veiw post and made the white a bit darker of a grey, to show the difference.

here:

http://jaqui-greenlees.net/images/view_post.png

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gets rejected

by jdclyde In reply to true...

can't get to the pic.

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then

by Jaqui In reply to gets rejected

we;ll have to go this route:

http://jaqui-greenlees.net/veiw_post.html

it's odd, my av is in that folder as well and it's displaying so there shouldn't be an issue with the png.

the html is just the images. :)
I put the original under the new for easy comparison.

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