The Org Redesign - Main Thread

The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Pwolf » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:33 am

Since the org staff wants to wait to gather ideas in an organized manner, I've decided to take it upon myself to create what I think are the necessary threads to get the job done. I don't want to wait until the coding is done before we know what the website will look like and function. Lets start now.

This is the main thread. Please post here if you have topic ideas that need a separate thread. I would appreciate it if everyone would allow me to create new topics so I can keep track of everything easier. You will also find a list of threads for easier access. If you plan on checking these threads often, bookmark this page.

The Org Redesign - What's wrong with the org?

The Org Redesign - Design...

The Org Redesign - New Features and/or Function...

The org is our community, lets work as a community to make it better.
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Pwolf » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:40 am

See these threads for some ideas and concerns that have been previously expressed:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=101794

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=101989
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Pwolf » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:42 am

The site feedback forum, lost of good stuff there if anyone wants to look through them for ideas:

viewforum.php?f=16
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:17 pm

Starting these threads was a good idea Pwolf :up:

Easy navigation is my biggest concern, so I think we could use a separate thread for:
Headings/Structure

If I think of any more threads, I'll be sure to post here ;)

This is the current structure of the Members.Main Page:

My Account...
o View profile
o Edit profile
o Local downloads
o Download queue
o My journal
o Submitted banners

Search For AMVs...
o Super Search
o Newest Videos
o Newest Downloads
o Search by Anime
o Search by musician
o All Search Options

Fans...
o My Favorite Videos
o Opinions Given
o Interviews (10)
o Newsletter
o View Alert Log
o Modify Alerts

Editors...
o Opinions Received
o Enter new video
o Edit video info
o Upload A Video
o Bandwidth Usage
o Video Embedding

Community...
o Chat rooms
o Forum
o My journal buddies
o Search for members
o Site Store

Donate...
o Make a Donation
o My donation history
o Site donation stats

Guides...
o View all guides
o How to play videos
o How to use the site
o Everything A/V

Contests...
o AMV Contest List
o AMV Contest Forum
o Banner Ad Contest
o Logo Contest
o Viewers Choice

Site Help...
o Site Help Forum
o FAQ
o Site Rules
o Report a bug
o About Us
o Site Homepage
o Members Main Page
o Useful Files
o Logout

Quick Search For AMVs:

--------------------

global statistics...
* Members 836089
* Videos 142986
* Creators 49112
* Direct DLs 9127
* Indirect DLs 5841
* Local DLs 87211

'top' lists...
* Top 10% Videos
* Top Star Scale
* Top Favorite Videos
* Commented Videos
* Top 30 Anime
* Most Used Anime
* Most Used Music
* Most Under Rated

banner ad contest...
* Total Banners 21473
* Vote Queue 0
* New 7
* My Worthy 0
* My Unworthy 0
* Winners 4398

new journal entries...
new vid on the block...

----------

Pending Stars...
Daily Upload Stats...
Notices...
New / Updated Opinions
New Quick Comments
New Alerts


--------
It looks a bit scary when all expanded like that, but if there are a few main headings, and a bunch of stuff is rearranged/merged/grouped, it's not that bad.
I might get around to organizing it the way I would have it, but for now I'm just gonna post that there and let other people have fun :asd:

A concept mapping tool like VUE or the online bubbl may be helpful to brainstorm the structure of the site (BTW, I'm still looking for a tool like this with better online collaboration...). Plain text works too, but it's harder to move around and group ideas. Think about what it would be like if you scattered all those links out onto a table, then try to organize them. Just drag them around. You can make all sorts of connections you never thought of before, and eventually categories will start to form, perhaps even different/better ones than what we're using now.

Generally you want to have a small number of main headings (... using subheadings if needed...) and join categories of you can, I'm sure a lot of pages can be merged too. This is actually what I did when I proposed a new structure to the AVTech guide earlier this month (scroll down to post#11). Of course, that looks kind of scary too... but if there were pop-up menus, everything about AMV production can be broken into 5 parts, which is a good target number IMO. I'm not sure if the org can be broken into 5 categories though...

Also, Pwolf, maybe rename the Design thread to something like Design/Aesthetics to be a bit more clear and distinguish it from what I'm proposing (a mod may need to move a couple posts though).
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:48 pm

Oh, and maybe a separate thread for Layout,
Which is closely related to Structure, but quite different.

Structure is how the website is organized: what links go where
Layout is how the Structure is presented: sidebar, top, right, bottom, etc...
New Features and/or Functions would be things that help with the Layout

I've never designed a website before, but I think it makes sense to construct the site in that order.
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Pwolf » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:29 pm

Phantasmagoriat wrote:Oh, and maybe a separate thread for Layout,
Which is closely related to Structure, but quite different.

Structure is how the website is organized: what links go where
Layout is how the Structure is presented: sidebar, top, right, bottom, etc...
New Features and/or Functions would be things that help with the Layout

I've never designed a website before, but I think it makes sense to construct the site in that order.


I consider layout and structure part of design.
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Phantasmagoriat » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:52 pm

Pwolf wrote:
Phantasmagoriat wrote:Oh, and maybe a separate thread for Layout,
Which is closely related to Structure, but quite different.

Structure is how the website is organized: what links go where
Layout is how the Structure is presented: sidebar, top, right, bottom, etc...
New Features and/or Functions would be things that help with the Layout

I've never designed a website before, but I think it makes sense to construct the site in that order.


I consider layout and structure part of design.
Alright, I just bring this up because I think the thread is going to skip around a lot. It may be difficult to have back-and-forth discussion when there are people talking about aesthetics, and others talking about menus. But I guess it depends how much discussion the thread generates too.
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Pwolf » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:54 pm

Phantasmagoriat wrote:
Pwolf wrote:
Phantasmagoriat wrote:Oh, and maybe a separate thread for Layout,
Which is closely related to Structure, but quite different.

Structure is how the website is organized: what links go where
Layout is how the Structure is presented: sidebar, top, right, bottom, etc...
New Features and/or Functions would be things that help with the Layout

I've never designed a website before, but I think it makes sense to construct the site in that order.


I consider layout and structure part of design.
Alright, I just bring this up because I think the thread is going to skip around a lot. It may be difficult to have back-and-forth discussion when there are people talking about aesthetics, and others talking about menus. But I guess it depends how much discussion the thread generates too.


It would be nice if there was a subforum for all of this... :roll:
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Kai Stromler » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:17 pm

Phantasmagoriat wrote:This is the current structure of the Members.Main Page:

My Account...
o View profile
o Edit profile
o Local downloads
o Download queue
o My journal
o Submitted banners

Search For AMVs...
o Super Search
o Newest Videos
o Newest Downloads
o Search by Anime
o Search by musician
o All Search Options

Fans...
o My Favorite Videos
o Opinions Given
o Interviews (10)
o Newsletter
o View Alert Log
o Modify Alerts

Editors...
o Opinions Received
o Enter new video
o Edit video info
o Upload A Video
o Bandwidth Usage
o Video Embedding

Community...
o Chat rooms
o Forum
o My journal buddies
o Search for members
o Site Store

Donate...
o Make a Donation
o My donation history
o Site donation stats

Guides...
o View all guides
o How to play videos
o How to use the site
o Everything A/V

Contests...
o AMV Contest List
o AMV Contest Forum
o Banner Ad Contest
o Logo Contest
o Viewers Choice

Site Help...
o Site Help Forum
o FAQ
o Site Rules
o Report a bug
o About Us

There are 46 subheadings in this list. This is way too fricking many, even set up collapsable like they are currently. Some of them can probably be merged, some are dead content and need to get out of these buttons and over somewhere else. The discussion of what's going to remain of these should probably take place in addition to the discussion about how they're presented.

What follows is an attempt to purge these menus down to a more reasonable size. The .org has a lot of functionality, which is a good thing, so it's not going to be a huge reduction. I normally have such tabs open as to see 17 of the 46 available buttons; if the below was implemented as-is, I'd have 13 buttons of 28 to 32 visible.

My Account... (original)
o View profile
o Edit profile
o Local downloads
o Download queue
o My journal
o Submitted banners

My Account... (new)
o My profile
o Local downloads
o My journal

Merge View and Edit to a view/edit control on the profile page. If the layout on the queue page was cleaned up, it could easily be integrated into the local downloads page (suggestion: above the videos already downloaded). Banners would be associated with the banner contest. further down.

Search For AMVs... (original)
o Super Search
o Newest Videos
o Newest Downloads
o Search by Anime
o Search by musician
o All Search Options

Search For AMVs (new)

This should be a button on its own, taking the user to the current 'all search options' page. The quick search box needs to move up the page as well, but this has too many options and they are all duplicated on the 'all search options' page. (which will get a post of its own later.)

Fans... (original)
o My Favorite Videos
o Opinions Given
o Interviews (10)
o Newsletter
o View Alert Log
o Modify Alerts

Fans... (new)
o My Favorite Videos
o Opinions Given
o Alerts

The interview and newsletter pages are dead content (newsletter, no updates since 2007, interviews, no updates since 2004) and need to be moved out of the main menu (see comments on the Community submenu below). There is no reason why 'modify alerts' isn't a control on the alerts page. (at least AFAIK, but it would have to be a really weird reason if the implementation was actually dependent on that.)

Editors... (original)
o Opinions Received
o Enter new video
o Edit video info
o Upload A Video
o Bandwidth Usage
o Video Embedding

Editors... (new)
o Opinions Received
o Enter new video
o Edit video info
o (Upload A Video)
o Bandwidth Usage
o (Video Embedding)

Most of the options here are actually useful; this is one of the core sections of the .org and, being established, has not seen a lot of feature creep. It might be possible to get rid of the upload and embed options here by adding Upload This Video to Local and Generate Embed Code For This Video controls to individual video pages, but I can also see the utility argument for keeping them split out to where they are now.

Community... (original)
o Chat rooms
o Forum
o My journal buddies
o Search for members
o Site Store

Community... (new)
o Chat rooms
o Forum
o Search for members
o Fun Stuff

Journal buddies is a duplicate of a control that's on the journal page, and should stay associated with that. The new Fun Stuff option subsumes the interviews and newsletters page from Fans... above, plus the Site Store. I don't have a design for this, but as a raw idea, this might be a good place to revive the old AMV wiki, but add in more .org-specific content. This helps clean up the main menu without losing the content that gets moved off, and also creates a DIY space for people to add stuff on their own that they feel the broader community might find helpful or interesting. This would be extra work to oversee, but it's worth considering whether this is a tradeoff worth taking.

Donate... and Guides... remain unchanged.

Contests... (original)
o AMV Contest List
o AMV Contest Forum
o Banner Ad Contest
o Logo Contest
o Viewers Choice

Contests... (new)
o AMV Contest List
o Banner Ad Contest
o (Logo Contest) -- seasonal
o (Viewers Choice) -- seasonal

The Contest List should lead with a link to the contest forum. The Banner Ad contest should lead with a link to My Submitted Banners (moved from the account menu). If the logo contest or the VCAs is not currently running, there is no reason to have these buttons on the menu; site history including a collection of past logos and results of previous years' VCAs should go on the Community->Fun Stuff anchor page alluded to above.

Site Help... (original)
o Site Help Forum
o FAQ
o Site Rules
o Report a bug
o About Us

Site Help... (new)
o FAQ
o Site Rules
o Site Help Forum
o Report a bug
o About Us

Just a minor reordering here, intended to reduce RTFM questions; the FAQ is actually really good content-wise, but needs internal navigation work.

Making these cuts gets us down to 28-32 submenu options, depending on how much gets preserved and what time of year it is. I would also vote for this and other interface posts getting split out into a separate structure/layout thread.

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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Panky » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:54 pm

Fixing the site structure/layout is quite a job, considering you have to take in mind backwards compatibility with other browsers, and check for problems with fixed or variable width/height with each of them. But what should come first is the organization of the main menu, which, like I expressed in another topic, doesn't look like a main one at all because it contains so many links it's counterproductive. What Kai is saying is probably for the best, you have to sacrifice a few links to make the rest of them more important. And I also agree with merging a few pages (like edit one, recvd ops one, related to your videos, etc).
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Kai Stromler » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:46 pm

And now...search.

It's appropriate that I write this up the day after Halloween, because the main search page looks like it was designed by the unfortunate combination of too many Skittles and too much tequila. Look at this:

Image

I'm color-blind, and even I can tell that this is too many colors and zero coordination. It doesn't match in with the rest of the site, and the colors appear mainly to be used to separate the too many and too poorly-explained options. If I was in charge of fixing search, this is a clumsy MSPaint look at what the page would look like:

Image

The search and browse options are separated and clearly delineated, reducing confusion. Quick search should usually be powerful enough, and in any case we already suggest Super Search on every regular search page. (Though "For more control over your search results, use the Super Search" might be better phrased as "Not what you were looking for? Try the Super Search", less stuffy.) The reason for the deprecation of Super Search (which is still useful) is below.

Image

Look at the stats on this thumbnail. Super Search, just the options, not any of the boilerplate at the bottom or the framing that the site necessarily does, is nearly 1200 pixels tall. It is too damn big, page-physically, and is populated with a ton of options, most of which nobody puts any values into. It is potentially confusing and intimidating to new users, and it doesn't have to be. If the options in Super Search were collapsible, the content of the function could be preserved in an interface that starts out looking like this MSPaint impression:

Image

With this, the user can open up tabs and see if entering stuff there is helpful, or if the defaults need to be changed. It doesn't crush their screen, and they don't need to think about the fields that don't matter to them.

If one of the objectives of the redesign is to get more viewers in, it makes sense to fix up the search options. The content of the search interface is fine, but the presentation needs some working over, either along these lines or along lines that someone else will come up with later.

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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:34 pm

I don't see the current point in separating "Newest Videos" and "Newest Downloads." If someone's uploaded info but doesn't have a vid up for download they don't want it to be seen. If you're looking for new videos, you don't want an info page, you want vids you can download. Make "New Downloads" into "New Videos" and only use that one option.

2nd point - to kai's last post... I don't think burying things in expandable menus works from a design perspective. You hide shit and nobody wants to go through the hassle to open it to learn what's where - you may as well get rid of it if you're going to hide it. I think a good option would be to have a lesser version of the super search that utilizes the options most commonly used by people. (under normal circumstances) Nobody searches by file-size, number of collaborators, min/max star ratings, or min/max percentile. Those are useless search metrics unless you're compiling lists using the super search or doing some sort of data mining.
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby dokidoki » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:31 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:2nd point - to kai's last post... I don't think burying things in expandable menus works from a design perspective. You hide shit and nobody wants to go through the hassle to open it to learn what's where - you may as well get rid of it if you're going to hide it. I think a good option would be to have a lesser version of the super search that utilizes the options most commonly used by people.

Well, I wanted to give it a try anyway. Updated supersearch.
It works like the menus. Everything defaults to open, but stays open or closed based on a cookie. I made it so only the items that take more than one line need opening. (I changed #collaborators and ?preview a little to fit on one line)

Also, based on a conversation I saw in IRC, I changed the video link shortcut a little. (you'll have to hover over one of the following urls due to phpBB shortening)
http://www.a-m-v.org/video/3684 still works, but now you can put descriptive text after the URL if you want.
http://www.a-m-v.org/video/3684/RightNo ... gThisTitle works, but
http://www.a-m-v.org/video/3684/FreeNachos works too.

Other sites do this kind of thing too.
http://kotaku.com/5585447/this-chun+li-has-tiny-thighs
but really
http://kotaku.com/5585447/you-can-write-anything

Note: I have to get ready for a con so I don't know how much else I'll be able to change on the site in the next two weeks. Thanks Kai (and others) for the suggestions.
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:57 pm

I don't have usage stats to back this up (not sure if you do) but There's just so much there that I don't think people really use. File type? Year premiered? participation? Really? I can see how this is good to find stuff you know something about, but not as criteria to find stuff that fits a general theme... maybe that's the problem though? Using it the right way. Supersearch is good if it's only used for finding that one thing you think you remember details about, but it's far too complicated for finding things that fit a general criteria - which is how I think people tend to use it. As I mentioned in the other thread, the video you find is treated like a discrete end point here instead of a jumping off point for other things you might like. I think the design should be more web (average node has V > 2, ideally > 5) and less flower (average node has V < 2 or even = 1) . That way people wouldn't need to use super search except to find "that one video." Use the recommended videos options to suggest mover vids from the point of download in addition to the member main page.
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Re: The Org Redesign - Main Thread

Postby Kaream » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:00 am

Easy navigation is my biggest concern.
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