Possible big site layout revamp coming

For discussion of the Subeta pet site, including new colours and other features.
User avatar
Seerow
Posts: 2793
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 08:47 pm
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 155383
Location: Mystery Island
Contact:

Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Seerow » 14 Nov 2012 09:47 pm

So this topic was posted in the Gold Account forums but I know not everyone here is a Gold Account member and I don't think they can see it. So I thought I'd make a topic over here.

Quoting Keith's topic:
Hi everyone, I just wanted to pop in and get some feedback from you on something we think is kind of awesome.

We're working with a company to give Subeta a fresh new design that gives us the opportunity to redesign a lot of the site from the ground up. A lot of features that will be getting entirely new exteriors include the wardrobe, forums, and a new dashboard page (replacing friend feed, suggestions).

Here is the link to the example. A few things to keep in mind:

1. This is an example layout. This has not been coded, or even moved toward that stage yet. We are still collecting feedback on the entire design, and still working on refining it before we move to that stage.
2. The dashboard will be the front page for all users. You can choose not to go there (and instead go to the news), but it will be the front page. I know this makes a lot of people nervous, but it's something we are doing in order to make the site more social.
3. This is going to replace all design elements across the entire site. This includes buttons, form elements, etc. This will create a unified look across the entire site, instead of the sort of hodgepodge of things we have right now.
4. I know I'm going to get a lot of "why work on this when you could work on the 500 things that are broken", but the site is fundamentally broken. It's hard to navigate for new (and even existing) users, it doesn't work in some browsers, there is no legitimate mobile version, half the themes do not work correctly. All of those problems (and more!) will be fixed when we roll this out.


Please let us know what you think, and thank you!
The screenshot confused me at first until I realized it was the top and bottom of the page shown side by side and not a really really site layout! I asked on the forums if Widgets/sidebar would still be there since it isn't clear from the screenshot and she confirmed that they would indeed be in the new layout.

Keith mentioned in another post that the navigation links at the bottom of the page would be contextual so if you were doing a wizard quests they would change to show other quests you could do, which I think sounds pretty neat. I do not like all the new icons, I think they are poorly designed and not needed. However the screenshot is very blurry so it is hard to tell what exactly they look like.
Wanna donate towards my drink gallery, the Golden Goblet.

User avatar
Aqua
Posts: 729
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 08:56 pm
Location: Imagination Land

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Aqua » 14 Nov 2012 11:22 pm

I kinda wish they wouldn't try to squish so much information into the updates page, or that they would do it a different way. Say, have a few updates across the top, with a more button, and then the friend stuff underneath, and maybe have it rearrangeable if you wish (a la Pixiv if anyone has an account there). I don't like this trend to have columns of info ( and of seemingly random width), and I can imagine it being especially annoying for someone without a wide screen. The other thing is that it doesn't seem very mobile-friendly (the current site isn't really either though).

Edit: Someone pointed out to me that it's probably the overload of speech bubbles that makes it look weird.. And they have a lot of different widths going on.

User avatar
Ierosbats
Posts: 543
Joined: 18 Jan 2006 10:27 pm
Gender: Male
Location: The Frigid North

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Ierosbats » 15 Nov 2012 12:33 am

I don't understand Subeta's attraction to clutter. Every time something gets revamped, a bunch of unnecessary stuff gets crammed in and it looks awful. Buttons get bigger, boxes get wider... who wants that? The pets page revamp still stings (leashes? really?). And for the love of god, enough of the HAs. I know they're a big part of the site, and I enjoy making them, but they don't need to be everywhere. On profiles, on the forums, in hovers, in news posts... It's too much. When the news page was revamped to its current version, the first thing I did was block the HAs. It doesn't help that 90% of staff HAs are awful, half-assed things. I realize they have bigger jobs to do than fiddle around with clothes, but if that's the case, don't add them to the news page when you know you'll be posting multiple times per week.

This dashboard thing just feels like bandwagon jumping, which I guess is no surprise. I think part of the reason things need to be revamped so often is that Subeta has a tendency to fall victim to trends (which as we all know tend to be fleeting). When you hop from trend to trend, things start to feel dated more quickly. Part of that is just the nature of the internet, sure, but when it's handled poorly I think it just comes across as desperate to be hip. I still think the dropdown navigation is awful and I avoid using it as much as I can.

One of my biggest problems with Subeta is that I've always thought of it as a virtual pet site and that doesn't mesh with the official word from the top. In my opinion, the pets are the most successful aspect. Not necessarily in business terms (I have no idea what that breakdown is), I just mean they're the most enjoyable part and what keeps me coming back. I do make HAs, and I've become a reluctant battler, but most of my time is spent working on my pets. Keith has made it clear several times he doesn't consider Subeta just a pet site, and we see it again here. The revamp is to "make the site more social." I don't give a damn about that. I know many people do, but I don't, so to me all these revamps are frustrating and pointless. I have no trouble connecting with my friends, and no desire to connect with this site's strangers. Have you read the news comments/forums? Yikes.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

User avatar
AngharadTy
Zombie Queen
Posts: 5251
Joined: 08 Jan 2006 05:20 am
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 89833
Location: Tyland
Contact:

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by AngharadTy » 15 Nov 2012 01:45 am

I am going to have to lay many sacrifices at the Foghawk altar to get the parts that I don't like fixed. >.>

I also don't care at all about the social aspect. Most of the posts on the site are so far up Subeta's ass that the ones who even slightly question anything are rare and unique jewels even when they're poorly written. Of course, those posts are greeted warmly with "well if you don't like it you don't have to be here" and "they know what's best for us" and such.

This whole thing is like Facebook feeds but also there are pets somewhere (I assume). Terrible idea, and of course what I prefer doesn't matter, because I'm not part of the brownnosing masses. There's something about this that just feels like... I dunno... the Bieberization of society. Make everything more palatable and bubbly and sociable. How very nice.

Also. Better not fucking mess with the pet profiles. Any elements added should be neatly labeled so that I can turn them the hell off.
Image Image

User avatar
Cranberry
Posts: 1871
Joined: 30 Jan 2006 10:04 am
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 183848
Location: Canada

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Cranberry » 15 Nov 2012 02:17 am

Keith showed this to the staff first, a few days ago. My initial complaints seem to be echoed a lot here and in the GA forum thread... I'm just not into that Facebook Timeline/Pinterest/some Tumblr themes style with the multiple columns where nothing's lined up and boxes move around as they load. I find it confusing and messy looking and I'd like to kick whoever first invented it.

Luckily, it sounds like this dashboard thing is something I won't actually have to look at. Even though news updates will show on the dashboard, there will still be a separate news page. And Keith agreed to keep sidebar widgets, which I'm really happy about (the original design didn't keep the widgets; everything would have been on the dashboard only). Keith also says that the new layout is going to be much more easily customizable than the current one, so that's good, too. I'm thinking this dashboard thing will be, to me, like the friend feed page is now -- something I never visit, because I've added everything I want to keep track of to my sidebar.

I think it needs a few tweaks -- the sidebar looks a bit wide, for example -- but I do like how clean the layout in general looks (not the messy staggered dashboard content, but the base layout), and I'll be fine with it. I think it'll be nice to finally have a professionally-designed site where everything is uniform section to section rather than the mishmash of styles and bad code we have now. Like Keith said, the current site is pretty broken, so I'm all for anything that will fix that... as long as I get to keep my beloved widgets.

You all should post any concerns on the site itself, too. Right now nothing has been coded yet, so there's plenty of time to change things if a high enough number of people dislike them!
Image

User avatar
Wingsrising
Posts: 2682
Joined: 18 Jan 2006 09:31 pm
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 157670
Location: Iowa, USA, trying to stay warm

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Wingsrising » 15 Nov 2012 06:51 am

Last I heard, everyone hated the Facebook Timeline. So why does Subeta want to copy it?
Image

User avatar
Silverevilchao
Posts: 1586
Joined: 07 Jan 2006 09:04 pm
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 155477
Location: Home. :)
Contact:

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Silverevilchao » 16 Nov 2012 12:18 am

Dammit, I was going to start work on a new CustomCSS layout soon.

Anyway, while I like the relatively sleek art direction, it looks like something that would be hard to load on slow connections and would be relatively hard to look good with custom CSS. I'm also not at ALL fond of the comments showing up on the news page. If I want to see the comments, I'll click on the comments link.

At least Subeta's version of the "timeline" is actually more intelligible than Facebook's. The site news is on the left and updates from your friends is on the right. Facebook's is like...everywhere. Still can't figure out how the hell that works...

EDIT: Oh yes, one more suggestion: I really, really hope the CSS is less messy than it is for the current site. The CSS for the current site is so insanely cryptic and disorganized, which is why I've been putting off making a new CustomCSS layout to begin with.
Image

Griffin
Posts: 461
Joined: 08 Jan 2006 05:32 am
Human Avatar: 156329
Location: Mojave Desert

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Griffin » 16 Nov 2012 03:16 am

It's okay. I'm assuming this is a liquid layout and the rightmost column will drop beneath the center column in smaller resolutions/browser widths.

Actually I don't care what it looks like, the only thing I'm concerned about is that the current code is decluttered and made more efficient. Like, different divs on separate areas of the site should not have the same class/id. And it should be easier to overlay your pet in all areas of the site. And it may be my shortcoming, but so far I haven't been able to "reset" a pet page enough to remove this white space on the top of the page. Too many nested divs, too confusing. And for user profiles, I wish they worked like Livejournal layouts used to (don't know if they still do), where you can fully customize every aspect and textually place your widgets with %% tags or something. Should I make a wishlist of this stuff?

User avatar
Foghawk
Posts: 369
Joined: 03 Jun 2007 08:58 pm
Human Avatar: 254768
Location: a narrow dusty room
Contact:

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Foghawk » 20 Nov 2012 02:19 am

Preliminary remarks: "variated": not a word.

Substantive remarks: There are a lot of things I could say about this, but... hrm. Ierosbats is right. Griffin is extra right. The timeline is dumb; the layout is overblown; I'd probably flog anyone who suggested to my face that navigation should go at the bottom of a page.

But, honestly? I'm glad Subeta is turning over its design issues to experts, because the staff they have right now clearly isn't cutting it. Keith is right; the site is fundamentally broken. I can't count the number of errors I've tried to wrangle—I don't mean browser-compatibility hacks; I don't mean questionable design choices; I mean mistakes. The site's tried to incorporate too many toolsets over the years, and it's always been sloppy and haphazard. I'll be glad of a clean, unified design, even if it frankly sucks.

Not that I won't overhaul the whole damn thing when it comes out... but I'm okay with this.

(I am glad they're keeping the sidebar widgets. If anything those ought to be beefed up. Also... does this mean we'll finally, finally have a dynamic inventory? There's just no excuse anymore; that thing is a travesty.)
Image

User avatar
Seerow
Posts: 2793
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 08:47 pm
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 155383
Location: Mystery Island
Contact:

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Seerow » 20 Nov 2012 03:28 am

Just wanted to point out that it looks like the navigation is still along the top like it is right now in drop down menues. The ones on the bottom seem to be contextual based on the page you are one but main navigation would still be done on the top.

I'm kinda curious as to why this was only posted in the GA forums instead of announcements or site feedback. Would get far more feedback that way.
Wanna donate towards my drink gallery, the Golden Goblet.

User avatar
AngharadTy
Zombie Queen
Posts: 5251
Joined: 08 Jan 2006 05:20 am
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 89833
Location: Tyland
Contact:

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by AngharadTy » 20 Nov 2012 04:41 am

I disabled the dropdowns because I hate them. Hopefully with the sidebar widgets, they'll also have an option to keep the sidebar, or add a decent exploration one.
Image Image

User avatar
Seerow
Posts: 2793
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 08:47 pm
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 155383
Location: Mystery Island
Contact:

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Seerow » 20 Nov 2012 06:41 am

My dropdown aren't disabled (mainly cause I wasn't sure how to do that!) so one of my big concerns was still being able to have widgets. I use the Notepad one as my navigation, I have it formatted basically just like the old one with a few additional links. Staff seemed confident that widgets were here to stay, lets just hope that actually holds up. It still worries me that they aren't shown on the preview.
Wanna donate towards my drink gallery, the Golden Goblet.

User avatar
Cranberry
Posts: 1871
Joined: 30 Jan 2006 10:04 am
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 183848
Location: Canada

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Cranberry » 20 Nov 2012 07:09 am

That's because they weren't originally included (so they didn't make it to that mockup), but we made such a fuss that they will be, haha. I love my widgets. Keith said that he had originally not wanted to keep widgets because most users just use the default ones and don't add anything new... but he's decided that that's probably a fault of the UI. He's going to make it so people can quickly and easily add new widgets in the new layout.
Image

User avatar
Cranberry
Posts: 1871
Joined: 30 Jan 2006 10:04 am
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 183848
Location: Canada

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Cranberry » 22 Nov 2012 11:49 pm

Sorry for the double-post, but Keith posted a mockup of the forums.

You can see the "hovercard" over on the side, which is one of the default widgets. We'll be able to add many different widgets to that bar, like we can in the current layout. And on the forums, you can see some shorter posts, which are kind of like the /me thing in IRC... if you want to do a short action like "Cranbery laughs so hard she cries" or something like that, you can do one of those instead of taking up all the space of a normal post (with your signature and full HA pic and all of that).
Image

User avatar
Seerow
Posts: 2793
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 08:47 pm
Gender: Female
Human Avatar: 155383
Location: Mystery Island
Contact:

Re: Possible big site layout revamp coming

Post by Seerow » 23 Nov 2012 12:17 am

I posted more details on the thread, but I actually like the new forums layout. I also like how the sidebar is coming along and it's nice to see what some widgets could look like.

I do not really like the tiny posts but that's possibly because I just don't get their usefulness. I can just see forums being spammed with "Username lols!" all time which seems stupid. But *shrug* who knows.
Wanna donate towards my drink gallery, the Golden Goblet.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests