This New Format is Dreadful.

Discussion in ' Site Help' started by alex_es, Feb 9, 2017.

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  1. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Please DM me your Browser and OS - we would like to recreate as testing here SSO (single sign on) appears to be working.
    yayusa likes this.
  2. posting a photo to a thread is difficult; also why is there even an option to upload a really small "thumbnail" sized photo?
  3. The old site was a little dowdy, but distinctive and appealing. Can't say that about the new site!
  4. I had a real issue with being logged out for a while, then just an apparent one when being redirected to the photonet landing page. It appeared that I was logged out, but navigating away from that page revealed that I wasn't.
  5. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Our navigation is actually streamlined from 9 main navigation tabs on old site to 3. If you include Workspace/Member Center its 10 to 4. There was significant overlap on 1.0 that made it difficult for new members to navigate. Yes - we know, that if you get used to a site for a number of years you know exactly where everything is - we certainly get that BUT we would get emails from new users daily asking where X is, where Y is (very basic functions like how do I upload a photo, where is it visible in the community, etc) and if you want a community to grow - you need new users to understand where everything is without a manual because we know that no new user is going to read a manual to use a site - it must be intuitive. We have 3 tabs now - Explore = Galleries, Learn = editorial articles, and Community = Forums. Then of course Member Center = Workspace. (which you could argue is the 4th tab)
  6. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Your browser should log in info, no?
  7. by the way, can't say whether this was a coincidence or not...but after all my complaints somehow my galleries were deleted (with all the photos I've posted for 10 years plus). So I asked for my money back for 2017-18 and anything else I can get. I would recommend this to anyone having problems - vote with your wallet. When problems are resolved - and I doubt this will happen in a reasonable amount of time - perhaps return. I would consider returning if they revert to the old site...but they clearly will not do that. So after 10 years I can say goodbye - but Glen, do send the money as you promised.
    gus_lazzari likes this.
  8. Glenn: I think we're talking about a manual mostly for those of us who know the old names of things. It shouldn't need to be long.

    With the proviso that I never actually looked at the home page on the previous site (except to look at the image ticker occasionally), I can comment on the new front page (partly because I seem to end up back there more often, which isn't good for navigation).

    The "Community" links take me to the main forum page, presumably like clicking on "site and community help" at the top of this page - it just takes me back to the same view as "forums", possibly with an attempt to link to part of the not-very-long page. Bit of a waste of space. Not that most of this navigation is there at all on mobile.

    "Learn more" on the front page takes me to... the front page. Presumably trying for the "discover" tag, but since it's already on the screen, all this really achieves is - after wasting the front page on a large picture - splatting something over the middle of it. There's also a "join us" link even though I'm already logged in, and blatantly have joined us.

    Discover, develop and discuss take me to the three sub-headings further down on the same page. In fact, since they're horizontally aligned, they all take me to exactly the same place. That's approximately nine ways of getting to three places, so far.

    As for the main links under the image: "Discover" talks about the "community", even though the "community" link at the top is for the forums. So does the "develop" section, despite not having any links to the forum. Discuss photography encourages you to post a photo for critique, even though photo critiques are under the "discover" tab, and the single biggest resource of useful photographic information on the web, the forum archive, is shown under "member posts", which we can only hope isn't photos of members, as it were.

    After that, there's "Today's popular articles" with no apparent articles, followed by a number of very large, very low-resolution images. (Oh wait, they are articles, but the size of the image was swamping out the text. This isn't me being facetious, I genuinely thought it was a gallery or something.) Since the images are more than one screen high on my 1920x1080 window, skimming them to find an interesting article isn't exactly trivial. Finally we actually do have a gallery, but only of three images.

    Oh, and there's a search, but it only searches images, which is something I never want to do. The forum page does have a search dialogue, but it doesn't appear to do anything.

    So... yes, it's a redesign, and some people may prefer the look but I really wouldn't be under any delusion that it's less confusing to navigate. And it's really not unfamiliarity - I've worked out how to get to the threads and mostly stay there. And that's ignoring javascript-less browsers (which don't work at all) and mobile (that doesn't work properly).

    In other news, is there perchance an ETA on a fix for the paragraph breaks? *Sigh*.
  9. I found today that unless I was logged on I could not reach the forums. Took me a long to time to realize this. Surely this needs to be fixed?

    It is also slow.
  10. Ooh - I no longer have the option to edit other people's posts (or my own, to fix up the line breaks). Progress. :)
    <br />
    Quick test... line break? (Using the BB editor. Is there documentation on the accepted markup anywhere? Apparently the old <br> and <br /> don't work. Oh wait, they do, I just need to refresh the page after the post. Which is just weird behaviour.)
  11. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Your galleries were not deleted - I see over 1700 photos in your portfolio but to suggest that they have been deleted because of your complaints is completely inaccurate.
  12. I don't mind the new look as long as it's more secure than the old site, so I won't receive endless SPAM.
  13. Interesting, Michael. I never received any spam relating to the email address I used on the old site (I have a site-specific email address), and certainly no internal messages. What were you actually seeing?
  14. G-P

    G-P Administrator Staff Member

    Please read this thread - hopefully it will help you understand the need for change.
  15. Glen,
    I have been browsing the new site for several days, and it is definitely more useful than last year's effort. As far as the aesthetics of the new site, I don't want to comment on the aesthetics of the website, I would reserve it for the photos.
    Here are the good things about the new site that I find:
    1. The forum page is more clean and organized. It is very easy to find different threads, even the oldest ones, which I enjoy quite a lot. Also, before clicking on the link of a member's posting used to take me to the start of the long thread instead of the particular post. Now that issue is resolved in the new site.
    2. The like feature is great. It helps me to agree to someone's post without posting a reply and wasting screen real estate.
    3. Member profile page is more informative (but not My Portfolio page). For example, I can instantly see how many photos are editor's pick or Photo of the Day/Week and quickly check out those photos. Before, I could only tell the member is a recipient of POW, not see the specific photo that was selected and read the associated discussion.
    4. I can see who the member follows. That way, it is easier to find more photographers of my interest.
    Now the bads
    1. Scroll, scroll scroll, just too much scrolling. The old site could give me a lot of information on the front page without rolling the mouse. Now the front page as it opens has no information, only a cliche image of someone shooting into the clouds which really doesn't inspire me (hence defeating the purpose, at least for me).
    2. This is partly continuation of 1. If I have to find any new updates, e.g. the current PoW, I have to scroll down. If I want more updates, like read the latest articles, I have to scroll even further. Part of the reason I have to scroll so much is because too much space is wasted by graphics that don't even look good. Some are scaled up and look fuzzy and ugly. Scrolling (or swiping if you are mobile) is bad for ergonomics and is a test of patience. I takes away from the joy of glancing through the latest updates. I think, the front page can be improved to look more professional and less flashy.
    3. This brings me to the "My Portfolio" page. It has way less information than it had before. Valuable real estate is being taken by large thumbnails of the photos (again more scrolling). I miss my personal daily feed showing the photos uploaded by my favorite photographers, any new comments etc.
    4. At least let the members customize the looks of their own Portfolio page to turn off the graphics (make gallery listings plain text), or add info that they want, like list of recently uploaded photos by followed members, or new postings in their forums of interest. In summary, when I visit my personal page, I don't want to stare at my own creations only.
    5. The text box for posting comments in the forums is too narrow. I like much more the box that opens up when editing posted comments.
    6. All the old emails in my inbox are gone. This is a huge issue for me, because I had conversations over many years.
    7. In safari browser which I use, I cannot access the inbox or the alerts from the "My Portfolio" page. They are only accessible from the forums page.
    8. Parts of the menu overlap with each other in the iPad mini, making parts of the website impossible to navigate to.
    9. It can be slow at times, although performance has improved to some extent. Optimizations put in by your developers are showing up.
    10. If I edit an old post, the line breaks are all gone.
    11. This is a major point in my opinion. You are one of the oldest, most inspiring sources of photography on the internet that has lingered on in spite of all the new photo sites springing up. You are here from the early nineties. Where is all that info. You should highlight your roots, not in the tiny "about" link at the bottom. It should be everywhere, reminding/inspiring new and old members alike. For example, Philip Greenspun's travel diaries inspired me immensely when I first joined PN. I don't find that stuff anywhere in the new site.
    Part of the complaints by the members has to do with the familiarity with the old site. I noticed you mentioned the necessity of navigating a website without using tutorials. Well, I can navigate the new site without tutorials after playing with it for a few hours, and so will many people I am sure. However, each person is different. I suspect, there are photographers who are just as bad with computers, as they are good with their photos. Or, sometimes you are just too impatient to relearn something that you have been using for the past 10 years. So yes, tutorials and FAQs would be great, preferably video tutorials (don't be ashamed to have a tutorial section ;)).
    I am sure, with time people will get more used to the new site, but you need to keep up with incorporating the user suggestions. Thank you for your efforts!!
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  16. Add me to the list of those who preferred the old site. It was so easy to navigate to any forum, to bring up the last 24 hours of photos, and to do anumber of things. The new format seems to get in my way, not make things more accessible. And when browsing recent photos, is there any way to visit the folder that the photo lives in? There were breadcrumbs in the old look, but where is that in the new format?
    richard_barron likes this.
  17. The new interface is new. That is its only apparent virtue, it is new and different.
    It is not facile. It is not clear. Huge amounts of screen space are wasted with large boxes. Drivel. Wasting our time and eyes.
    It is slow. Firefox wanted to block it for lack of a proper certificate. This last is not a problem.
    What is a problem is that it is poorly organized. That fact that there are colorful, huge boxes occupying the screen does not help anything.
    You know, most of the people who read this site in the past can actually read, and they are for the most part pretty good at reading.
    That skill of being literate is not much help in encountering the new look. Trying to find what used to be was pretty futile.
    Little buttons work just as well as huge ones. Better when they actually have html in them.
    So, what is the organizing scheme? What was the point of the change? How does the collection of huge boxes help the members locate photos, discussion, etc.
    The old organization pretty much put the entire site up at the top of the first screen, via well known and accepted drop down menus. The fact that there were other indicators below was nice, and in the end dupicative.
    Sorry, folks. This was not a welcome surprise today. Not helpful. My time is precious, and life is short.
  18. In the "new car" thread, Glenn suggests one issue was that the number of administrators who understood the old site was a problem. I wonder whether the two years apparently spent designing the new site could have been spent documenting the old one and training the admins. Still, it wasn't, so we have a new framework. There ARE some new features (highlighting threads with new posts is nice), but given how much currently doesn't work (after a week) I'm obliged to ask how many admins "understand" the new system, too.

    Anyway, we're here, there are business reasons for the switch, so it appears we have to report and wait for the bug fixes. It would have been nice if the aesthetic redesign and the framework change had been decoupled, though!
  19. "So I asked for my money back for 2017-18 and anything else I can get. I would recommend this to anyone having problems - vote with your wallet" decandido
    Agreed, if they can't make *old links work in "Google" or even from my simple website, then
    I stand shoulder to shoulder with "decandido" in formally asking for a recently paid subscription reimbursement.
    * "Your connection is not private" and "404 Page Not Found"

    How hard is it to allow old links to access archived Pnet pages?
    You know, like did when they modernized their website !

    Finally, good luck getting new & younger visitors to pony up experienced technical input or monetary contributions...
  20. I absolutely loathe it - so much so that I am unlikely to visit again.

    Firstly - the landing page is so "in your face" that it is clearly intended to appeal to Mums and Toddlers, not people who are seriously looking for a solid, no frills photo site, where content is paramount.

    Secondly, Mums and Toddlers websites which are designed by people who don't actually use them (this is a leading example) require the user to learn new symbols and pictograms for features which are easily explained in one word (which can be translated into different languages, unlike symbols). Also, they take up too much space. (The use of pictograms here while eiting a post is fine BTW).

    Thirdly, endless scrolling. Rather than the page content being compact and maximum use made of a page, we now have lots of borders . . . I have to use the mouse more which hurts my wrist more.

    Fourthly, I hate it. Really really hate it.

    Fifthly, the simple(!) pulldown navigation has been replaced with something I do not understand and which I an not prepared to take the time to learn. I am not going ta adapt to the stupid, over-designed layout which has been made so complicated and horrible that I don't want ever to come back . .
    Sixthly, Flickr lost a lot of users by alienating the serious contributors in a vain attempt to make the horros more attractive to people whose opinions really mattered - the contributors. Pnet has just taken a big step in the same direction.

    Seventhly, I absolutely totally and completely loathe it.

    Eighthly - in an earlier post: "now it looks like every other forum on the web. And this is bad? I think not." I humbly submit that it does look like every other forum on the internet - dumbed down is not a great thing . . . . and there are much easier ones to navigate.

    Enough - Gone . . .
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