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WebmasterWorld Feedback Days Forum

  posting off  
If it's not broken, don't fix it
keep it simple... please

 10:43 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

My two cents would be something like this:

First things first: Don't change things that work. If it's not broken, don't "do a Microsoft" and add stuff that eventually makes something that "just works" fancy, more complicated, and eventually ... broken.

If it's not broken now, then it works. Don't fix it.

Keep the simplicity in navigation, look, and lightweight design.

Don't add lots of bells and whistles. We've done extremely fine without that sofar, so please don't introduce anything "nice to".

For any new thing suggested, be very critical - is this *really* a need to, or is it just nice. Nice is wrong. Don't do it.

Added: Oh, and please... Don't add javascript / AJAX stuff. Or flash. I have a solid feeling lots of members here surf with that stuff turned off.

[edited by: claus at 10:57 pm (utc) on May 25, 2010]



 10:52 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

One after my own heart...

Can't recall how many times I've recently said "if it ain't broke don't fix it".


 11:24 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Make that three... I happened to visit Sean's webmaster forum the other day, and noticed that he had added all kinds of bells and whistles. Had not visited there for months.

Looked really nice and all, but did not make me want to stay a minute longer. I'll probably visit there again sometime this year. Have been here twice today already...


 12:05 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I fourth that.


 12:13 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



 12:20 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

> if it ain't broken...

That was my first thought too. But I imagine only the closest insiders here know if the system is broken or not.

Stuff can LOOK GREAT and still have grown to a point where what was once an easy maintain becomes a LOT more difficult to keep up with.

On the other hand, seemingly "no brainer" "common sense" "fixes" can inadvertently creat their own nightmares.

So "Go Slow" might be the best advice.


 1:19 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

IMHO WebmasterWorld is PERFECT. Nothing is missing here.


 1:26 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



 2:31 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with the OP wholeheartedly. It's right and proper that WebmasterWorld has sought the opinion of its users at this point, but on the other hand, I worry about the admins sitting around twiddling their thumbs desperate to do something, *ANYTHING* to "improve" the site. Any changes that do happen should be fully thought through, not of the "this might work" variety and hoisted upon unwilling users.


 2:39 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Another Amen. I depend on this site for sane,real-world and (relatively) unbiased information.

I would hate to see anything that would interfere with that!


 7:22 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I feel a bit bad saying that all I want is for the Status Quo to be preserved, especially when there must be one or more unsaid reasons why Brett wants to change things, and not just "progress"

But in the form it is now, it's been wonderful to use and it functions in an entirely relaxed, polite, and slightly understated way that makes asking for advice and receiving help a positive pleasure.

I also would love to see more of the same. When something's so good, then fiddling with it is more likely to make it worse than better...


 7:28 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree. Just ads if needed (or one ad, to keep it simple) could be added


 7:44 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree, if needed ads are ok.


 8:41 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The fact that premium services are now in the mix leads me to believe that money is an issue.

Unnecessary page loads are often a tremendous drain on server resources. I suggest the "facebook" inline editing model should be adopted. Instead of an entire page load for every mouse click, an XMLHttpRequest (AJAX) script could submit and refresh content without much wasted bandwidth.

Furthermore, inline editing and AJAX-driven content are elegant features.

Many long-term users here have a sentimental attachment to the old visual style. But friends, it's time to box up your bell bottoms and send them to the Salvation Army. This site's table-based layout is circa 1990's. For this forum, which is intended to demonstrate web mastery, to look haggard and frumpy sends a rather contradictory message.

Why are we discussing cutting-edge technology information inside an obsolete table-based layout, with deprecated <font> tags, <link> tags, element attributes, <center> tags, among others, and CGI (Common Gateway Interface, which puts a tremendous load on the server)?

Aesthetic appeal is extremely important. The Facebook model demonstrates this, yet maintains a minimalistic, utilitarian look & feel. I personally hate Facebook because of the frivolous and useless conversation that proliferates therein.

Why update the look & feel? Well, I decided to try out a new restaurant today. The food was tremendous, but the decorum was less than desirable. The furniture was mismatched, the color scheme was gaudy, and the service was confused and unorganized. I'll probably go back again, but there are several other, better restaurants which have the full package.

For someone to walk in off the street and see that crap hole of a restaurant, they might be tempted to turn around and walk out. Click the back button...quick!

Aesthetics are vital for the survival of a website in the new millennium. All of you seasoned webmasterworld veterans need to understand that the site owners want new visitors...and it isn't going to happen with lava lamps and shag carpet.


 3:25 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree that bells and whistles attract new customers, but the ones who stay don't usually care about the fancy stuff. I like how stripped-down this site is compared to others. Sure, the html behind it may be dated, but it works and looks the same in all browsers with no effort.

I'd say, sure make it prettier, but keep as much of the core functionality the same, if you can.


 4:05 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

If it's not broken now, then it works. Don't fix it.

Keep the simplicity in navigation, look, and lightweight design.

I fully agree. If money is an issues, well, ads can't be avoided.


 4:28 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The problem with the "old wine" bias is that long-term users grow accustomed to features whether they work or not. The user interface can be completely deficient, yet the "old wine" bias kicks in, and they will prefer it.

Biases aside, research is the key. Human participant usability studies and surveys should be conducted.
Forum users should be surveyed and tested as well as guests who have never used webmasterworld.
This data would prove invaluable.
It would dissolve biases and prove that "Old Wine" is nothing more than "old whine"

I'm curious, what is a "bell" or "whistle"? I hear this term tossed around quite a bit by folks who want the old crusty interface.


 7:39 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nice saying. If it ain't broke don't fix it. On the other hand, if something can be improved, improve it. That's what I spend most of my time on, improving things. That's what the redesign is all about, isn't it?


 7:57 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right on dbell154, well said.

Glib clichés never have convinced me of anything.

I've been working for a user experience team for a major software company for years, and we encounter this sort of mindset often. But, since we're in the "strategy & planning" group, we influence the improvements of our products on many levels.

In many companies, the maiden voyage build, version 1.0.0 is always dearly loved...and dev teams cling to it like their beloved blanky or teddy bear. They fear change.

User interfaces should never be designed by users, developers or stakeholders. An objective user experience team with human factors psychology is the best unbiased way to move forward in the competitive world of software.


 8:00 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Agreed. If it's not broken, don't try to fix it.


 8:06 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yea if it isn't broken don't fix it. But this site is broken on so many levels (not all) of design, it needs to be fixed.

And if you're a web developer and surfing with javascript turned off, how are you able to surf the web? Javascript is used on so many sites these days, you must be crippling. That is unless you only surf WW.

Flash I can understand, and don't expect web devs to use unless necessary.


 8:25 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I fully agree with Claus!


 8:30 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

Well said that man!



 8:35 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)


The best motto to live by for anyone in web development/design/engineering.

Now, if only our bosses/executives/marketers would understand that - our lives would all be so much more wonderful. ^.^


 8:36 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

"and it isn't going to happen with lava lamps and shag carpet..." lol

i agree with claus but *also* with those suggesting a cleaner more modern appearance. facebook, google, youtube are all simple, minimal designs, and they look clean and modern.

the greys/lilacs and slightly offwhite backgrounds make this site look dated. i have been coming for ages and will still come regardless of how it looks, but imo the next generation of webmasters will come more readily if the site also matches their expectations.

look at sitepoint. i love the design and even though i prefer the content on ww, sp makes a very professional impression on me because of the slick way it looks; and because of that i frequent it too.

a bit of modernisation would really keep membership fresh.


 8:41 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Isn't SitePoint just a simple vBulletin build?


 7:34 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)


Well, your join date is the same date you chose to make comments in this thread - all disagreeing with the original post. That's a bit thought provoking, wouldn't you say?

So, it's more than a bit hard to take your comments seriously regarding what works and what doesn't.


 7:48 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)


I was a user over 4 years ago...stopped using WebmasterWorld.
I received an email about "Feedback Days" and decided to create a new account and post my thoughts/suggestions.

I've noticed that some senior WebmasterWorld users are a bit hostile to new users...posts get deleted, our expertise is doubted, and our sincerity is in question.

For the record: New user does not equate newbie.
Bringing more than a decade of webmaster skills to the table should be welcomed, don't you think?

If you have a technical disagreement, let's discuss it.
There's no need for ad hominem.


 9:14 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Oh well...

In my book, Ad Hominem would not be to point out that a fresh new one-day-old user isn't credible when discussing user experience on a site. After all user experience can't credibly be discussed by people who are not users. It misses the point. Even if the user in question happened to be a user 4 years ago.

OTOH, Ad Hominem would be calling other members "Old Wine", "old whine" etc. in order to discredit their legitimate viewpoints. Also referring to current status as "their beloved blanky or teddy bear", "crusty old interface", "lava lamps and shag carpet", comparing it to a "crap hole of a restaurant", and referring to other members viewpoints as "glib clichés" is certainly derogatory.



 9:46 pm on May 30, 2010 (gmt 0)


After all user experience can't credibly be discussed by people who are not users. It misses the point. Even if the user in question happened to be a user 4 years ago.

My expertise is user experience.
I am trained to quickly call out the glaring issues with an interface, and also know when research is necessary.

Ah, you don't like my creative metaphors. Oh well. It isn't targeting anyone individually.
It's colorful, meant to be fun & light-hearted, but not derogatory.

We're all adults here, right?
Let's all agree to be tolerant of one another...and laugh when appropriate :)

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