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Offline Strolen

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Frontpage rebuild
« on: August 01, 2009, 05:35:58 PM »
Nothing much to say except give me your opinion on the direction and what you want shown.

Is continually being modified.

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Offline Pariah

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 02:18:44 AM »
Having not seen the site in a month, I can say that the frontpage seems less cluttered/semi-eyesorey now, I thoroughly approve.
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Offline Michael Jotne Slayer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2009, 08:44:20 AM »
Avatars on the mainpage has been talked about for a long time, the way it is now it seems messy.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2009, 10:24:49 AM »
Criticism is AWESOME.

Ways to fix it is THE AWESOME LLAMA!!!

:)

I think we have all definitively figured out that I cannot design worth a hill of beans so I am throwing darts at the wall without direction. People don't like, I definitely need to hear that...but without suggestions I will just try another mess and see what happens.

Keep letting me know though. This is a stepping stone to eventually get something useable.

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Offline Pieh

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 09:07:11 PM »
OK, a few things. I would get a few more opinions first, but personally I would like to see Recent Commented and Recent Submissions near each-other.

I don't so much care about Golden Submissions, but Recent HoHs is nice to see, if there's going to be Golden on the main page, it should be one random one, and it shouldn't be a top-shelf feature (not sure how to phrase what I mean).

Random Submissions is a good feature, as is recent promotions. Get rid of icons, we use a lot of weird icons for the forums and they don't generally flow well with the main page.

WE NEED A READILY VISIBLE SHOUTBOX ON THE MAIN PAGE! I can not stress that enough. We need a little place, seperate from the chat, to yell random tidbits at each-other. It was a great feature of the last version that I'm pretty sure we want back.

Get rid of the Hunting.. Creating.. Lactating.. (There's 3, I don't remember exactly what they were at the moment) links a the top. Maybe replace with search bar or obvious link to forums, or link to my next suggestion. I suggest a separate page for your I Am... stuff, for someone who is new to the site and doesn't want to click everything looking for some help.

Finally, I hate to say it, but I really liked the way the Citadel looked before. This setup really feel like a step backwards in usability and user attraction. I hope some better minds than mine will speak up and help get this place shining once more. Strolen, I admire you and appreciate all the work you've done with your site. This place is marvelous. We will make it perfect.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009, 03:14:51 AM »
What Pieh and MJS said, except this:

1. The new site is a major step forwards in terms of code and usability. Some of the features, like the recent pages, is worth the upgrade alone.

Designwise it is a step backwards, though I was less than enthusiastic about our previous Princessy site. The question we need to ask ourselves is this: What is most important? Design or usability? I'd prefer both, but at the moment that seems to be outside our grasp. (In some projects I am involved in that step costs millions and millions of dollars alone, requiring thousands of hours from the design and code staff).

2. Yes, at the moment the front page seems cluttered. The avatars don't belong, I am pretty sure of that, and I'd like some more blank space... Room to breathe and to find out where I want to go and what I can do.

3. Instead of avatars, you could go with icons representing user levels. These would have matching colour schemes... preferably.

The stuff that is working on the home page right now iiiis:
- The header (down to, and including, the navigation menu)
- The footer (it only needs some pixel shifts right and left, to center it all... And you need to remove the search box from the footer)

Parting words:
Right now the main site looks like something the admins cooked up, to spread out commentary beyond just what everyone else is commenting on. Do you really need those categories? I say you need "Most recent subs", obviously. That list could even be longer. I remember well my annoyance at having spent 20 hours writing a sub, only to have it drowned in a deluge of MoonHunter and Scrasamax entries.

You don't need more than one random golden.

The hall of honour feature is nice, but make the icon smaller.

What about a "featured monthly graphic"? Some cool fantasy oriented graphic from the archives, or submitted by skilled artists such as MJS?
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Offline Michael Jotne Slayer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2009, 10:51:59 AM »
The main page has alot of potential just waiting to be fulfilled, no doubt about that.

Avatars are messy, but AG's suggestion was a mighty good one. Some symbol representing the level would be sweet.

Goldens should be restricted to one random at the time.

Recent subs list should be a bit longer, aye. We want authors in the spot light for some time after they submit their pieces of art. An idea(just throwing it out there) could be to have the 10 or 20 newest showing and in addition a random 10 of last 50 for some additional sirculation value.

I like the colour setting of the new page, and it could become very usable. As for design I think a cool looking inked dragon in the top left corner would be more than enough and pretty cool. Using ink and no colour would add to the old pargament feeling I think this site should have.

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 11:31:01 AM »
Aye, I also enjoy the pergament-ish feel of the new site. Inked dragon gets a kudos from me! Perhaps with some artistic ink blots to go with it!

Could you make an inked dragon for our upper left corner, MJS? Pweeeeaaaaseeee?

:D
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 06:27:32 PM »
For Submission ICONs, perhaps one depending on Submission type? I know that would be a lot of ICONs though.

Eg. NPC, Weapon, etc.

Or better yet, Author selectable from a common pool.
   
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 08:55:46 PM »
Excellent comments so far. Let me throw out a couple things for comment if you don't mind.

I am not ready to commit to anything but will redesign a little bit sometime this week. I am in the process of a major redesign that is rather, well, significant. Lets just say I based the color scheme on this photo and leave it at that for now: http://www.cumbavac.org/images/MAstainedglasswindow.jpg

From what I have heard, I think we are having difficulty matching what we (experienced Strolenites) want and what first time visitors need or expect in this new web 2.0 world. The "I am..." things are very important for the first time visitors to have immediate direction. Those pages currently suck but they are, hopefully, going to turn into good resources for their focus. Web 2.0 is an ugly buzzword but it is where we are right now and there are some solid homepage design styles that are working well and look nice. I just can't do it.

So keep in mind, if you never visited this site before and you have an interest in roleplaying, what kind of information would you want shown to you and what do you need explained to you about the site? We have to use the homepage to answer some very basic questions about the site.  Maybe I can swap the read post play with the explore, search, lactate portion. Will play a little bit with it during the next iteration and see.

I think I am at about 80% convinced to have different homepages if you are logged in or not so now I will have 2 pages I need to get right. Great, more design challenges. ;)

I will update as we go working off your comments as best I can and hopefully we will find something that is close to the format we all want.
Thanks again for all your ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Offline Murometz

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 09:56:19 PM »
I like the recent changes already. Thanks strolen for the continued tinkering. Much appreciated! Also, what they ^ all said.

Perhaps Random Golden should just show a sub or two at a time, and take up a bit less space overall.

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 03:02:07 AM »
I believe good design comes from incremental improvement, not just accidentally bumping into one. :)
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 09:00:47 PM »
Next iteration ready for comment. Tried to incorporate some of the easier suggestions and looking forward to the thoughts pushing towards the next try.

Thanks again for helping me work through it!

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2009, 04:40:28 AM »
I love the blockquotes with thin black border, white background on the title and the pergament background on the intro text. They are easy to read and make for a clean design.

The current design is very business like, but we do need some nice graphic to emphasize our true nature.
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Offline Michael Jotne Slayer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2009, 05:45:32 PM »
Strolen: Great job! Looks splendid :up: The most recent and more recent feature seems to work, thank you.

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Offline Strolen

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2009, 08:28:25 PM »
It is very plain right now but I am happy that we are going in the right direction. Will do some more subtle changes this weekend and continue to move us forward.

(feel free to suggest changes to ANY other page as well. Going to try and mess with the main category frontpages a little using similiar style ideas that we are doing on the main front and see if we can find something good there too. Any other ideas are always welcome!)

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2009, 01:46:41 AM »
It isn't immediately clear that "more recent subs" is the continuation of "most recent submissions". I can see the need to have less focus on yesterday's arrivals, but I feel the need to... number them in some way. You know: The most recent sub is #1, the one before that is #2, etc.
However, numbering them can misguide the Strolenite into believing it is some form of quality ranking, which led me to think that perhaps small font italicized timestamps would be better.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2009, 03:20:39 AM »
I miss the quick links to stuff such as golden submissions and the like.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2009, 02:30:29 PM »
Made a script to slap icons on each sub based on the main category. Wanted to see how that works out and how you all feel about it.

If you don't like the graphics, find me new ones? Need a similar style for all the graphics as I don't want hodgepodged mixed graphics for each type. Know what I mean?

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2009, 06:35:19 PM »
Some of them work, specifically NPCs, systems, lifeforms, and perhaps dungeons.
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2009, 07:08:30 PM »
Oh, yep. He did it. He changed the header graphic.

All these graphics can be placeholders for way cooler ones that you come up with. Post the link to the graphic I should use (hopefully they are free to use like the ones I have been grabbing or we ask permission, no problem.)

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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2009, 03:58:20 AM »
I like it!
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Re: Frontpage rebuild
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2009, 02:24:40 AM »
The new "most recent submissions" list is excellent.
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