This New Format is Dreadful.

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

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  1. Oops - sorry Glenn, I missed this. I was one of those invited to beta test, before the first new roll out. At the point I tested it, very little worked. More recently, the invitation message was inaccessible and I no longer have my log-in details; my bad, I appreciate. There was no indication that new features had appeared to test, or of when the site was going to go live, as far as I know. Those others I've spoken to who participated suggested that they'd reported problems and many had not been fixed prior to roll out. So yes, I appreciate that members may have seen various prototypes with various degrees of functionality and had different ideas about the urgency of devoting their time to it. I maintain that I don't recall seeing a site-wide survey for how the new design should work, and since we all have different needs, I think that should have been important.

    Nonetheless, it didn't happen, and it's too late now (unless there's another roll back, which would be unfortunate). So we move on.

    Glad to hear that status updates are coming (though I still think it would be lovely if there was just a private thread that only the dev team can post to so that we know as soon as a fix is live). I'll look forward to them, and hope it helps us test issues efficiently.

    Incidentally, I've just resorted to desktop view on my mobile browser. It's still not good, but at least I can read my email this way. I look forward to hearing the mobile view has been fixed so I can get to a better compromise. Good luck to the team.
    decandido likes this.
  2. I was also asked to report on the beta test of the original PN 2.0. Not being a forum person I'm sure I didn't respond with the same level of technical authority that resides on the forums; but I distinctly remember reporting that it was just a poor copy of 500PX, was not community friendly and didn't have the ability to track comments. I never received a response and was never contacted again. To me the Emperor was naked. I can live with the new format but not with the dumbed down approach. I don't believe I've ever seen new software that wasn't more advanced than what it was replacing until this rollout... Mike
    decandido likes this.
  3. 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.

    Ninthly - edit post function can't be found . . . life's too short to chase around in ever decreasing circles.

    Enough - Gone . .
  4. Don't let the door hit you in the a__ on the way out.

    I'm sure Glenn appreciates constructive criticism and bug reports.

    As for me, I do not suffer fools gladly. Pnet seems to have been invaded by a lot of impatient 4 year olds who are stamping their feet and having hissy fits. If you can't give Glenn a reasonable chance, please go away and come back in a couple of weeks when the shakedown cruise is over.

    Some of you need to follow the advice given a long time ago by Alexander Pope:

    "Be not the first by whom the new are tried / Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. "
    glennpalm likes this.
  5. Mr. Evans - Checking your member page shows the following information: photos-0; critiques-0; followers-0; comments-0; photos-0. It seems for someone who readily offers such learned advice, you never actually use the site yourself.
    evgenybrook and gus_lazzari like this.
  6. Well, I agree with astral that the extra unnecessary space is a negative. It's not going to make me go away, though. I agree that we do need to keep it constructive; for all the comments I've made about how I believe the transition should have been handled, I do wish the development team the best in fixing this. We all want a working site, however we get there.
  7. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    well its crawling at a snails pace.

    login is only from the front page.

    where are the forums on the main menu?

    Perhaps you guys should go shopping for another package?

    The old format ran fine since I joined in 2004... why throw out the good for worse?

    you may lose all your participants faster than you can upload an avitar.

    you have my email address.. let me know when you are operational again?
  8. But I read forum posts every day and sometimes respond. Does that count?
  9. Mr. Evans - The problems on the forum side are minor compared to the absolute boondoggle on the picture side. After a week I still can't access about 90% of a rather extensive portfolio (about 1500 pictures). There are many more, perhaps hundreds of members (anyone who used hidden files under the old system) who are experiencing the same problem. There are problems with navigation, tracking comments, tracking replies to your comments, changing personal information, wrong screen names and on and on. We're not just talking about some small tweaks or getting used to a new system but unhappiness with the complete revamping of a system that was already working reasonably well, replaced by a system that is not working well at all.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
    , frigo, Not Here and 4 others like this.
  10. As a new member in 1999, I had no trouble navigating the old format. I see very little that is intuitive about the new format.
    richard_barron likes this.
  11. I know the problems are more extensive outside the forums, which makes it more frustrating for many. What bothers me is the lack of patience of some members. The new software appears to be using the v2Bulletin platform, which is one of the most powerful available. I am the member of another site that has been using that platform for several years. Once properly installed, personalized and optimized, it is an excellent platform and virtually trouble free. However, it takes some time for a new manger to navigate the complexities of setting it up. The developer's site has 51 tutorials on various setup procedures. Eventually, the old PNET platform will no longer work properly with the latest systems and browsers. There is an old adage: I wept because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet. Here's an example of that in computer software terms. Over a year ago the Canadian government, after months of development and testing, rolled out a new program to manage the federal government's payroll for over 250,000 public servants. Called "Phoenix", the new system has been a disaster. Thousands of employees have not been paid in several months. Others have been overpaid. The current estimate of overpayments is over $17 million dollars (but no one is really sure of the amount). Even those who have been receiving their pay in what appears to be the right amount have also reported problems with errors in various deductions, expense reimbursements and retirement savings contributions. NONE of last summer's temporary park workers (mostly university students on vacation) have been paid for their two months of work and now are in arrears with tuition payments and rent. In the case of the Canadian government and of PNET, we can see Murphy's Law in action. "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Those frustrated and impatient to see the new PNET forum working properly should remember two corollaries to the main axiom: "Nothing is as easy as it looks," and "everything takes longer than you think."
  12. Beno, I don't say this to dis Glenn because I believe he's trying really hard under trying circumstances. But puh-lease! We've waited between 3 and 4 years for the launch of this redesign which we were told well over a year ago was imminent, probably closer to 2 years. It was unsuccessfully "launched" several months ago and quickly withdrawn. Now it's been rolled out to somewhat better effect but still it feels like there has been an insufficient amount of actual user testing and specific user feedback in the creating and testing process.
    The hardest part for me to comprehend is that users weren't brought in more directly for the planning and necessities. The new site feels like it was designed by people who didn't regularly use a lot of key features of the site and didn't really understand the ways in which a lot of us use it and what actually made it so unique.
    None of this is to take away from all the hard work and dedication Glenn and many others have put into it. And it doesn't come without recognizing that no launch is going to be perfect or even near-perfect. That's NOT the problem! The problem is that so many functions haven't been thought through and haven't been made clear by a FAQ or anything resembling such. This was rolled out with about an hour's specific notice that the site would be down for a day and then launched anew. From there, we were totally on our own, left to this ridiculous series of inquiries and back and forths being responded to as best he can by ONE administrator, an administrator who can't possibly be expected to have personal experience with regular use of all the many functions of this site. It was obviously an extraordinary task. But it feels to me like some basics were skipped that so far seems to undermine the entire conception of the site as a photography sharing site and that's a shame. We could have given so much more input had we had another serious beta testing period and realized in advance what was missing and what wasn't working, but I assume now there's no turning back and the road seems perilous in terms of what this site seems to be turning out now to be.
    mark_l|6, Jack McRitchie, and 4 others like this.
  13. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    I think people need to be more patient. This is a very idiosyncratic site and squeezing all that functionality into a mainstream, yet flexible, framework will take time. Hopefully not too long.
  14. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    duplicate post
  15. There's no point in being more patient since the owners/administrators of the site don't seem to realize that the old format worked reasonably well and that the new format is is almost completely dysfunctional and there's no fun in being on the site anymore, except perhaps to complain.

    For cripes sake, you can't do the most basic things anymore. For instance, I wanted to scroll through all the pictures in some of my galleries to find a few specific pictures, but it's impossible to do because the thumbnails are just these little slivers of the pictures and I can't identify the pictures I'm looking for from the thumbnails. If I do click on a picture to see if it's one of the ones I'm looking for, I don't seem to be able to go back to the gallery view, I have to go back to "my portfolio," which makes the whole thing so time consuming it's almost not worth doing.
    mike_hartley likes this.
  16. Was the invitation to beta test the extent of user involvement? I spent six years as a systems analyst, nine as a database analyst, and one as a technical writer. In our system design life cycle, the development staff identified user requirements, worked with end-users to develop the interface and navigation, and created unit and system test scenarios based on the system requirements in collaboration with the business users, who ultimately ran the system through its paces.
    fluppeteer likes this.
  17. Thanks Robert, you gave me my first hearty chuckle in this whole fiasco. I was asked to "beta test" the original rollout, made my comments (the same ones that Fred G., Jack, many many others, and myself are pushing now), and never received a response or any further emails. I likened it to telling them the Emperor was without clothes and they didn't appreciate the message. In short, the beta test obviously was just for publicity, the 1st rollout was a disaster and this one is below average; still months behind what we would expect to see as an improvement over 1.0... Mike
  18. Is this is the official position?
    YAYUSA and GordonB like this.
  19. Hi Glenn. Sorry if I'm failing to spot the obvious, but have any updates been posted? (I tried searching for posts by you, and there was nothing obvious.) Those of us trying to work out what features to test would, I suspect, love to know what's been changed recently.
  20. Incidentally, having ranted about the massively over-size images on the home page, they're now better. :) Good work.
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