Some Procedural Stuff

So, we’re at the end of our second week with the brand new design here at Metroblogging DC, and we’d definitely like your honest feedback on what you think is great and what you think you could live without, or what you miss from the old site.

I know that we certainly miss the Submit A Story option from the old site. I understand our coder is hard at work on a replacement for the old system. In the meantime, please feel free to email story suggestions to tbridge at gmail dot com. The Powers That Be are hard at work at making some of the currently non-functional things, like the various home page views, actually functional.

In the meantime, add your comments on our new look here, or, if you’d prefer, email them to me at tbridge at gmail dot com. I’d be glad to talk with anyone about the new changes here.

6 Comments so far

  1. RumorsDaily (doorframe) on March 22nd, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

    I love when people ask for feedback!

    1. It’s too wide. Like, way too wide. My browser’s open at like 1000 pixels right now and my scrollbar says I’m only seeing about 80% of your webpage. Ditch some of the mandatory gray space on either side of the page.

    2. When you try to click on the icon that indicates that a story has comments, you have to click on the actual number within the icon. It would be easier if you could click on the entire icon. The other icons work this way, the comments one should as well.

    3. On comments, you display both a username and a nickname. What’s the point of having a nickname if you’re just going to go ahead and display the username too? Nobody needs to see the username, it’s just administrative, stop displaying it.

    4. My nickname should be linked to my personal webpage, not my user account information here at Metroblogging. If you want to add an icon people can click on to see the user account information, that’s fine, but people, I think, are more interested in a personal webpage than user account info. I know i am.

    5. The shade of gray you use in the BLOCKQUOTEs is a tad too gray on the white background.

    6. Personal preference – I don’t really see the point of ranking entries on a star scale. Why would I do this? Why would I be interested in others rankings? I’d ditch the whole thing. I know I might be the only one who feels this way.

  2. Carl Weaver (carlweaver) on March 23rd, 2008 @ 12:32 am

    Right on, RumorsDaily/doorframe. I think it’s way too wide as well and also makes it difficult for people to leave comments. The banner I would like to see with some info about the site is an ad. Gray = uninteresting. It’s the color of DC for sure, but let’s be serious – the design is boring.

    Otherwise, we have some great writers but it’s annoying because of the design.

  3. fedward on March 24th, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

    Normally I avoid piling on, but as that seems to be the specific request here:

    1. My snark about the low-contrast grey text still stands. Light-grey-on-white and medium-grey-on-light-grey are both bad.

    2. In web lingo: the assumed viewport is way too wide. Comments are the right width, but article text has too much line length. Also the wide viewport shoves the skyscraper ad column out of the visible window. What’s my incentive to resize my window? Ads? I’ll pass.

    3. Click targets for comments still haven’t been fixed. The hover effect makes it look like the whole balloon’s supposed to be the click target, but no, you have to click the number.

    4. What’s with all the unimplemented features with prominent links? Why are there links to "most active," etc if they’re just going to link to fail dogs?

    5. The fail dogs. Ugh, the [expletive deleted] fail dogs. They’re not funny. They’re childish and make the site look very amateurish.

  4. RumorsDaily (doorframe) on March 30th, 2008 @ 7:14 pm

    Any progress getting made on changing any of these designs quirks?

  5. RumorsDaily (doorframe) on March 30th, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

    Oh, hey, new suggestion:

    I follow more than one MetroBlogging site, and when I click on "Manage your subscriptions" I only see subscriptions for this one site. When I’m at DC, I see DE, when I’m at LA, I see LA… but never both. It would be nice to see everything that I’m subscribed to regardless of what city it’s based in.

  6. Tom Bridge (tbridge) on March 31st, 2008 @ 1:37 am

    There are definitely improvements coming, as Sean wrote in his post about the launch. I think they’re working on getting a new narrower template in place to handle the viewport issue, but I don’t think anything’s been done to change the grey/white contrast issue.

    I really, really want them to fix the comment bubbles, and I’ve just filed another bug report with hopes that it’ll get resolved soon. We’re 55 sites sharing a single programmer, so it’s kinda tough to deal with these things as quickly as I’d like. I wish we had more local control over these things.

    Re: faildogs and failed features… I don’t know what to say. Why have the text there if there’s no feature to back it up? Better to just leave the space for the upcoming text than to have it there taunting all of us.

    I’m not sure what subscriptions do yet, lots of this manual hasn’t been written yet. We’ll see what happens.

    Wish I had better answers for you. We’re getting there, but it’s taking time.

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