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WebmasterWorld Feedback Days Forum

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >   posting off  
Why do you want to change this place, actually?
Yes, why are changes needed?
idolw




msg:4139749
 6:50 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Having looked at the Feedback Days forum I went again to this post: [webmasterworld.com...] and read it again.
What it lacks is the reason for changes.

So here are my questions: why do you want to make changes to the site?
Did the forum lose its pace lately?
Not enough new members coming?
People complaining that it is boring here?
Anything else?
Or is it the need of monetization?

If it is the last, why not just add some ads?

I think we need some explanation why you think the change is required.

 

idolw




msg:4139774
 7:16 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

OK, just found this one: [webmasterworld.com...]
I guess the post may be deleted.

subexpression




msg:4139801
 7:47 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

A well-funded business is preferable to a hippie commune.
I'd much rather have quality at a price than the confusion which marks many online communities.
What's the axiom...you get what you pay for?
Well, I wish that were always true.

Is webmasterworld to become another "Expert's Exchange" where questions are answered by paid professionals, or a better version of what we already have here?

If the premium subscription doesn't offer much, then I can't see it succeeding.

My advice
  • Invest in a better search engine which produces more relevant results
  • Hire a user experience team to audit the site, point out navigation problems and interface inconsistencies
  • Conduct user experience research...surveys and usability participant studies
  • Hire graphical designers to implement the new interaction design created by the user experience team
  • Create a style guide for standardization of site components
  • Develop standards-compliant markup, CSS, and modern object-oriented Javascript to best emulate the graphical design
  • Optimize data tier - update RDBMS
  • Discard obsolete CGI in exchange for JSP, ASP.NET(C#), or PHP
  • Adhere to Section 508 Accessibility Standards
  • Hire SEO professionals to improve ranking, and obtain advise on the cost/benefit of paid advertisements


There's a lot to do...and none of it is cheap.

Brett_Tabke




msg:4140009
 12:05 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

this is a relevant thread as well idolw. You ask some good questions there that I don't address in that other thread. To all of those questions, the answer is yes. I will be addressing that a bit more in a forth coming post either later on.

shinyblue




msg:4140075
 1:37 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

When I look at places like Get Satisfaction and Stack Overflow, they have a newer look to them. This forum is several design decades out of date - not just in looks, but in user experience.

But a lot of the core users are so used to it and they will grumpily defend it and resist change. So I think you might have to think about whether you try to keep the old folks happy or stay relevant to new folks.

I stopped using the forum a few years ago, but if it were revamped I might use it again because I used to come here a lot. But heck it looked old even when I started reading it which was 5 years ago or more. When I would recommend it to people I would say, 'I know it looks crappy, but just give it a chance'. That's not a great introduction but the look turns people off. It's not welcoming. The homepage is overwhelming, unless you are a hardcore news junkie. If you were just a newbie looking for help, I think you would get scared and go somewhere that looks friendlier. People feel safer in their tribe. And the tribal feel of this website does not match the current mileau. It's like the rest of the internet is moving/growing/changing and this site is off in the corner grumpily yelling "you kids get off my lawn" and not changing.

I stopped reading it when all the homepage posts seemed to be "news" rather than "interesting post about something". I don't really care about news, I'd rather learn something I can use or that intrigued me. I hate news. It's like empty calories.

Er, I'm rambling. Well, there's my feedback. I'm excited to see what this forum might turn into!

wyweb




msg:4140077
 1:43 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

But a lot of the core users are so used to it and they will grumpily defend it and resist change...

I guess you can count me in that crowd.

londrum




msg:4140085
 1:47 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

looking good isnt the be all and end all of a successful site. craigslist is probably the most useless looking site on the web, but does okay.

but this site is different to craigslist -- its all about knowledge. people come here to find stuff out, not to buy stuff. they come, learn, and leave. and i'm guessing what this whole overhaul is really all about is trying to find ways of earning the site more money.
tarting up the site to look nice and adding a load of bells and whistles to it isn't going to make people part with their money -- although it will probably cost the owners a lot to do it.

ang_bain




msg:4140117
 2:13 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I really like this site...it's simple and easy to use...i have found answers to many questions here...i would love to see what you get on the subscription side but is priced a bit high..why don't you have a much lower general membership fee say around $10 that everyone pays...

cheers
Ang

Old_Honky




msg:4140122
 2:16 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with shinyblue the site has been badly in need of a revamp for ages; at least since I first saw it.

idolw




msg:4140130
 2:26 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Well,
I do not use facebook because it is nice but because my friends are there.
I do not use google because it has new look but because it knows how to answer my questions.
Bing has extremely nice pictures on their homepage (which I enjoy watching) but is useless in my mother tongue so I do not use it as my default search engine.
I use WebmasterWorld not because I think it looks cool with its obsoloete design but because it has what I need - answers to my questions.

wyweb




msg:4140134
 2:27 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thank you.

mergen




msg:4140139
 2:32 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, why the change? Isn't it working fine as is? What is it that you want to change?

Every once in a few months, I login and research to see if there are answers to any of my questions. If the answers are there, great. If not, great. Maybe you want to capture people like me into becoming paid members?

subexpression




msg:4140261
 3:49 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

looking good isnt the be all and end all of a successful site. craigslist is probably the most useless looking site on the web, but does okay.

but this site is different to craigslist -- its all about knowledge. people come here to find stuff out, not to buy stuff. they come, learn, and leave. and i'm guessing what this whole overhaul is really all about is trying to find ways of earning the site more money.
tarting up the site to look nice and adding a load of bells and whistles to it isn't going to make people part with their money -- although it will probably cost the owners a lot to do it.


We all exhibit to a certain degree the natural desire for proportional symmetry, color balance, and familial sociological constructs/metaphors. Whether it be finding a potential mate, purchasing a home, or finding an online community. If you're attempting to find a potential mate, then "looking good" isn't a bad idea. Though similar socio-economic backgrounds increase the probability of a "hookup", the initial attraction is purely physical. The smokin' hottie will elevate your heart rate unlike any other criterion. It's biological. To deny this fundamental component of the human psyche is a critical error.

There are always exceptions...hoarders who live in mountains of filth and prefer this lifestyle, ascetic deprivation as a means of enlightenment, and postmodern counterculture which intentionally rejects modern progress to absurd extremes.

Wherever civilization flourished in human history, it has been invariably marked by the development of art, literature, poetry, and stylistic architecture. With intellectual sophistication comes the blossoming appreciation for aesthetics.

I was recently shopping for a new smart phone. I noticed that each year, designs became more progressive, refined, streamlined, and ultimately more usable. Why? As the human interaction model ages, it becomes more mature and discards poor features in exchange for a cutting-edge UI experience.

When hiring new interaction designers, my user experience team tests new applicants by giving them the task of mocking up a redesign of Craigslist in 60 minutes. Granted, the redesign will be mostly cosmetic, but the better interaction designer will focus on both usability and aesthetics. Given their background in cognitive psychology and human factors, they tend to focus primarily upon navigation, discoverability, and common user interface metaphors rather than graphical design.

Though I agree there is an artistic component to UI design, creative web design is often mistakenly thought of as "artistic". Don't be confused. It's a design process which builds on established web metaphors and stands on the shoulders of our UI forefathers.

Being "artistic" should never be the goal of an interaction designer. This is the proverbial "cart in front of the horse". After the design is vetted, with extensive research, peer review, surveys, participant usability studies and stakeholder approval, the next stage is graphical design...the "skinning" of the new interaction design.

As the web matures, websites should also progressively move forward. Capitalism is driven by the better mouse trap. It shouldn't be any surprise that folks would leave for a more pleasant UI experience.

Should we be progressive, or live in caves? (nice false dichotomy, isn't it? lol)

subexpression




msg:4140267
 3:52 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thank you.


You're welcome :)

LifeinAsia




msg:4140276
 4:00 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

While I agree with the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" line, I also feel that "just because something works don't mean it ain't broke."

There are few things that can't be improved somehow. On the other hand, improved does NOT always mean better.

So instead of just making changes for change sake or because a few of the "owners" decided a change should be made, the decision was to open the process up to the community and find out what the users thought was broke or needed improvement. Not all people will agree that any particular existing feature is broken or that a particular missing function is needed.

And even long after the changes are made (or not made) there will probably be lots of loud, grumbling posts about why a certain change was made (or not made). :)

subexpression




msg:4140306
 4:15 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Beauty is skin deep...but ugly is to the bone!

For webmasterworld to be all about WEB MASTERY, this site's current state severely contradicts this!

Would you get financial advice from a homeless man?
Would you go to a dermatologist who had acne?
Would you hire a physical trainer who was an obese tub of lard?

...seriously folks

  • hire user experience researchers
  • hire interaction designers
  • hire graphic designers
  • spend some money and do it right

rocknbil




msg:4140710
 8:09 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

they have a newer look to them.


Which misses the entire point about most of the content discussed on this site. It's still about content, it's always been about content, and it's always going to be about content.

I go to a site looking for something. I don't give a crap about the award winning design. All I know is it annoys the crap out of me that it is taking forever to load, or some BFA Design graduate's idea of "good design" has rendered the type in 9px #757575 on a textured background making it illegible, or has committed a million accessibility atrocities in the interest of that "holy grail", that "modern" cloud of "Web 2.0."

This is about the 50th post here I've seen about "upgrading the look" or "hire a designer to design it" or "spoof up the colors" - well go ahead and do that, I won't mind a bit, but **news flash,** that's not going to change conversions, increase traffic, encourage activity. That is not why they come.

Ask yourself, TRUTHFULLY, have you ever gone back to a web site, just to let it's beauty shine down on you, just because it's so damn beautiful you simply HAD to see it again?

Hell no, you haven't. In fact, if your problem wasn't solved, you'll forget it even existed before the day's out. You're more likely to return to an UGLY site just because it was so damn ugly you had to re-experience the horror.

No one cares about pretty "web 2.0" designs except the people who design them and the site owners that publish them. These are the ones who scream the loudest about design, about how much a design sucks, and they do so only because they have a vested interest in justifying their own career. I say this without reservation because I am one, I do have a BFA in Art and spent 10 years in the print industry, and 17 refining my understanding of what the web is "supposed" to be about.

Your visitors care about one thing, and one thing only: solving their own problems.

And this site does it well . . . if there's any changes to be made here, this should be their directives.

</rant>

LifeinAsia




msg:4140795
 8:44 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ask yourself, TRUTHFULLY, have you ever gone back to a web site, just to let it's beauty shine down on you, just because it's so damn beautiful you simply HAD to see it again?

rocknbil- please, Please, *PLEASE* give me permission to use that quote when talking to clients! :)

rocknbil




msg:4140821
 9:06 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

LOL . .. "All yours," the concept isn't even mine anyway, like most great things, learned from those that came before me.

subexpression




msg:4140922
 10:27 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Which misses the entire point about most of the content discussed on this site. It's still about content, it's always been about content, and it's always going to be about content.


Ever heard of content presentation?

I go to a site looking for something. I don't give a crap about the award winning design. All I know is it annoys the crap out of me that it is taking forever to load, or some BFA Design graduate's idea of "good design" has rendered the type in 9px #757575 on a textured background making it illegible, or has committed a million accessibility atrocities in the interest of that "holy grail", that "modern" cloud of "Web 2.0."


If the page is taking forever to load, it could be a number of reasons: server traffic, your lousy computer, your browser, your lousy computer, your slow internet connection. I never have problems with slow page loads. All pages load lightning fast on my machines.

Sounds like the people who render type in 9px in greyscale with 508 violations need to hire an interaction designer to sort out their problems...my point exactly.

This is about the 50th post here I've seen about "upgrading the look" or "hire a designer to design it" or "spoof up the colors" - well go ahead and do that, I won't mind a bit, but **news flash,** that's not going to change conversions, increase traffic, encourage activity. That is not why they come.


I stay away from webmasterworld because it's ugly, clunky and doesn't inspire confidence. I only rejoined recently to post for WebmasterWorld Feedback Days. Shoddy-looking websites are a traffic deterrent. I don't know how you live, but neatness is important to me...where I shop, where I eat. I quickly lose my appetite if the locale's decorum is crusty and dilapidated.

Ask yourself, TRUTHFULLY, have you ever gone back to a web site, just to let it's beauty shine down on you, just because it's so damn beautiful you simply HAD to see it again?


"Hey subexpression, TRUTHFULLY, have you ever?"
"Hey self, of course! There's nothing I enjoy more than basking in the radiant beams of heavenly website light."
Yeah, aesthetics are important to me. When the website is both usable and beautiful, I'm ecstatic with glee welling up from my inner Lawrence Welk bubble machine.

Hell no, you haven't. In fact, if your problem wasn't solved, you'll forget it even existed before the day's out. You're more likely to return to an UGLY site just because it was so damn ugly you had to re-experience the horror.


Nah, if my problem wasn't solved, I'd assume those on the forum were inexperienced and I would have to solve it myself...as I found myself constantly doing when I frequented WebmasterWorld in years past.

No one cares about pretty "web 2.0" designs except the people who design them and the site owners that publish them.


Logical fallacies grow like mold on phrases like "no one cares", "ask anyone, they'll tell you", or "it's common knowledge that _____."
For that matter, you know full well that there's a good handful of folks here in this forum who do care about elegant content presentation...and no, we're not involved in designing WebmasterWorld, nor are we the site owners.

These are the ones who scream the loudest about design, about how much a design sucks, and they do so only because they have a vested interest in justifying their own career. I say this without reservation because I am one, I do have a BFA in Art and spent 10 years in the print industry, and 17 refining my understanding of what the web is "supposed" to be about.


I have no vested interest in redesigning WebmasterWorld and have no intentions to try and "win the bid for the contract", but as a user, I do care about how much a design sucks. Also, you spent 17 years refining your understanding of what the web is "supposed" to be about...and you haven't grasped the concept of rich web applications yet? And, who's supposition are you allying yourself with? Certainly not mine. What I suppose and what you suppose are vastly different. "Supposed" to be...who's supposition?

Your visitors care about one thing, and one thing only: solving their own problems.


This is yet another absolute statement - "one thing and one thing only" - that's pretty exclusive.
You'll have to retract that statement in light of many users on this forum who have already indicated otherwise.

And this site does it well . . . if there's any changes to be made here, this should be their directives.


I have no emotional investment in this website. I'm viewing it from a purely objective point of view...and it's inevitable that I'll encounter backlash when making positive suggestions on the vast array of improvements which can be implemented. Only you can answer the question why you're emotionally invested in keep the site in it's current crusty state.

This boils down to claims of policy, rather than claims of fact. My warrant is that many improvements can be made to positively reinforce the presentation of good content. Granted, presentation without content is superfluous. And conversely, content without presentation is a butt-ugly eyesore.

Let's all be friends, OK? :)

TNL_Nick




msg:4140928
 10:30 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I, too, wonder if this place needs a change. Maybe we can keep the old look as a selectable skin, especially if the redesign incorporates avatars, images signatures, and the like? Let us have the minimalist effect _somewhere_ on the Web. :P

In keeping with that sentiment, please introduce a subscription to kill ads if you decide to run them. People who use the currently existing subscriptions, of course, would be ad-free - but I'm talking about an option of about $1 to $3 a month.

I wonder if this whole thing started because Webmaster World wants to run ads but feels awkward about introducing them.

Visi




msg:4141011
 11:37 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not sure how user design relates to the site. I use it for information, input from my peers and to discuss current issues. Text is text and can only be presented in so many ways.

Could the search features be improved, no doubt about that, and most annoying is having to read through 200 posts to find relevant input. Can we filter threads by user, or status?

shinyblue




msg:4141029
 11:54 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Redesign doesn't mean it has to be bubbly and shiny. It could be more useful, easier on the eye, and friendlier. This forum may be all about content, but we are still visual creatures.

subexpression




msg:4141050
 12:07 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Visi,

You're right - combing through heaps of posts to find relevant content is frustrating and a big time waster.
Results seem to be ordered descending by date only. But can't be filtered.
What you can do is click on the "Advanced Search" link, start your search over with the author's name.
The search script WW uses can make joins on post content text, author, date, forums, and library...but cannot search on user information.

subexpression




msg:4141065
 12:20 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

shinyblue,

I agree wholeheartedly.
Oh yeah, and I like your websites :)
Very clean, uncluttered, and visually compelling.

Right, I hear folks say, "content, content, content!"
But content presentation is equally important.

If my browser is maximized, the text in this forum is difficult to read.
I end up resizing my browser window to 1024x768 to narrow the paragraphs enough to keep my eye from getting lost. My 17" monitor is 1440x900...and the elastic nature of table cells distorts the paragraphs.
I consider this a usability issue.
I'm a big fan of fixed-width layouts.

shinyblue




msg:4141075
 12:33 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

@subexpression thanks!
I agree about the fixed-width too. I have a high resolution and I have to resize my browser window to make readable paragraphs.

wyweb




msg:4141081
 12:40 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

the elastic nature of table cells distorts the paragraphs.

Yes it does.

I consider this a usability issue.

Or even accessibility. Definitely agree here.

Thenatos




msg:4141343
 5:27 am on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Kill the bloated old school code. JEEZ what a waste of bandwidth. How many font tags does this page have?

I love the content and the community here but "The Webmaster in this World" has been on vacation when it comes to the site.

Hell, I have a site I haven't touched in 8 years too, but then it's not Webmaster World either.


<--post example from this page-->
<!-- top --><tr bgcolor="#cccccc"><td rowspan="2" valign="top" width="10%"><a name="msg4140306"></a><font size="3" face="verdana" color="#000000"><b>subexpression</b></font><br><font size="1" face="verdana" color="#000000">New User</font><br><a href="/profilev4.cgi?action=view&amp;member=subexpression" target="_blank" title="view member profile"><img src="http://www.webmasterworld.com/ay/profile.png" border="0" vspace="4" alt="View member profile"></a><br><a href="/sticky-sendmsg.cgi?action=reply&amp;member=subexpression"><img src="http://www.webmasterworld.com/ay/e.png" border="0" vspace="4" alt="send member a local msg"></a><br><a href="/printerfriendlyv5.cgi?forum=142&amp;discussion=4139747&amp;serial=4140306"><img src="http://www.webmasterworld.com/ay/pntr.png" border="0" vspace="3" title="print msg" title="print msg"></a><br> <font size="1" face="verdana"><a href="/postv5.cgi?action=report&amp;forum=142&amp;discussion=4139747&amp;id=4140306">report msg</a> </font><br><font size="1" face="verdana" color="#000000">joined:May 26, 2010<br>posts: 15
<br>#:4140306</font></td><td align="right" nowrap colspan="2" height="14" bgcolor="#cccccc">&nbsp;<font size="2" face="verdana" color="#000000">4:15 pm on May 26, 2010 <small>(utc 0)</small></font></td></tr><tr><td colspan=2 bgcolor="#f5f5f5" height="120"><!-- post 4140306 --><font size="2" face="verdana" color="#000000"> <br> Beauty is skin deep...but ugly is to the bone! <br> <br>For webmasterworld to be all about WEB MASTERY, this site's current state severely contradicts this! <br> <br>Would you get financial advice from a homeless man? <br>Would you go to a dermatologist who had acne? <br>Would you hire a physical trainer who was an obese tub of lard? <br> <br>...seriously folks <br> <br></font><ul></font><li><font size="2" face="verdana" color="#000000">hire user experience researchers <br></font><li><font size="2" face="verdana" color="#000000">hire interaction designers <br></font><li><font size="2" face="verdana" color="#000000">hire graphic designers <br></font><li><font size="2" face="verdana" color="#000000">spend some money and do it right <br></ul><font size="2" face="verdana" color="#000000"><!-- /post --> </font><br></td></tr><!-- post end -->

subexpression




msg:4142006
 4:01 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thenatos,

Kill the bloated old school code. JEEZ what a waste of bandwidth. How many font tags does this page have?


haha - I totally agree! :D

Table-based layouts use far more characters than div-based layouts.
WebmasterWorld needs money...no doubt about that...yet, their biggest cost is paying for bandwidth. Why not cut down on the unnecessary bloat and save some money?
Also, the WebmasterWorld table-based layout is not accessible for non-visual browsers (Section 508 Accessibility).

They can eliminate all the <font> tags entirely...set a global CSS styles for text, and voila! Saved bandwidth.

As I've said before, it's a bit of an irony that WebmasterWorld hasn't quite mastered HTML & CSS.

rocknbil




msg:4142179
 6:55 pm on May 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you know how many times that argument has been raised over the years? Hundreds. Yet most of the argument here is about presentation. Ah well . . . .

Ever heard of content presentation?


I say this without reservation because I am one, I do have a BFA in Art and spent 10 years in the print industry, and 17 refining my understanding of what the web is "supposed" to be about.


You'll get it. Someday. You're just not ready.

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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