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Easy wins / quick fixes

Those little things.... post your pet peeve

12:58 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:June 15, 2003
votes: 5

I'm starting this thread as a place to post quick fixes. Meaning SUGGESTIONS for changes that makes a difference without requiring a lot of work (suggestions; as opposed to discussion of changes)

Ie. We all know that quite a few voices have advocated going from table based layout and HTML formatting to a CSS based layout. However, that is NOT an "easy win" as that will require a major software overhaul. So, name those little things that should be easy in stead. That is, relatively easy as far as we know...


Remember, these are all suggestions. Feel free to disagree, but post your own suggestions in stead of discussing in this particular thread. This thread is for suggestion posting only.

To get the thread started, I'll post a few of those items I've noticed myself, as well as a few I've picked up in the threads:

  • New logo: Change nothing but the logo and the user experience will be different. Easy.

  • Move "user navigation" apart from "site navigation" (top of page): Put "control panel", "log out", and "subscribe" on same line as member name and "[inbox]". Makes things a lot easier.

  • Move logout link far right on page (or move it far right in top page navigation list): Most websites have the logout link in the upper right hand corner. A convention, just like the door knob is usually to the right. Makes things easier.

  • Rename "announcements" to "site news", "news" or similar

  • Move "glossary" link next to "library" link (top-of-page)

  • Remove "PubCon" link from on-site-navigation top-of-page: Or put that link after a <br> on a new line or something. To make things easier to find.

  • Rename "Sticky Mail" to "Personal/Private Message": It makes it easier for new users to figure out what it is all about.

  • Make member name link to user profile and remove the link "user profile" left of posts: A web convention; you click a name to view the profile. Also, it removes page clutter.

  • Make thread title editable: Sometimes you make a typo and you see it only after you've hit submit. Or the headline isn't really right for the subject. Or something.

  • Rename "Meta Description" to "Description" in the "Start New Thread" form: Makes things less confusing.

  • Rename title "New Discussion" to "New Thread" in the "Start New Thread" form: Consistency in terms.

  • Rename "topic" to "thread" in links bottom of page ("Message Thread Options"): Consistency in terms.

  • Remove "start new topic" from "Message Thread Options" bottom of page: Otherwise it's being hit by accident in stead of reply. New topics should be started from forum front page or from recent post list.

  • Move "Reply to this topic" far left so it becomes the first link in "Message Thread Options" and rename to "reply": Stimulate discussion: It's the option you would want to see used, so it should be first.

  • Rename "e-a-friend" to "email link to thread" or similar

  • Rename "flag it" to "add to favorites" or similar

  • Rename "recommend" to "vote for homepage": it gets confused with "e-a-friend" as it is

  • Make Login page redirect to referring page: For convenience when logging in from thread to answer a message. Stimulates discussion.

  • Remove "Home" option from "Global options" link set bottom of page: To reduce clutter - one inch below is the same links

  • Make a sticky link to posts out of the "#:4140..." link in the left side if possible: Linking to a post in stead of a thread is a great asset in a forum context.

  • Make some kind of of option for posting formatted code: This might not be one of the easiest but relative to it's importance I'd say it should still be considered an easy win.

  • Change green and pink post highlights to colours with less saturation: Most other colours on the forum are not very intense. On the background, those two catches the eye way more than intended. The idea is great but it's slightly overdone.

  • Remove grey background color from horisontal bar that is between posts (make it white as the post): In stead make the top table row border a tad darker grey. In one stroke it changes appearance to be less "table-like" and a slight bit more "modern".

  • Change the colour scheme to monochrome, except highlights: Some cell backgrounds have a higher "B" value than "R" or "G" in the RGB color scheme (two last digits in the hex scheme are higher). Making it all greayscale, except for post highlights etc will instantly "update" the design. Quickie.

  • Add "last post by" to Recent Posts List: By popular demand.

    I'll stop here... I hope members will post their pet peeves, great ideas, and then some...

    NOTE: This is NOT a discussion thread. This is for posting ideas and suggestions. It does not matter if you agree or not to what others have posted.

    Post your own suggestions in stead of discussing those of others. Let the moderators do the discussion and selection, and let us users concentrate on suggestions. There are lots of other threads for debate.

    [edited by: claus at 1:23 am (utc) on May 31, 2010]

  • 1:13 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)


    WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

    joined:Dec 9, 2001
    votes: 132

    - Move the link for "My Threads" to the main navigation instead of having it hidden away in the control panel.: I don't know if that would be easy or hard to implement but it's something I've often wished for.
    2:45 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

    Senior Member

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    joined:Nov 27, 2003
    posts: 1648
    votes: 2

    oh, good - somewhere to put the trivial point that bugs me so much!

    I usually use Reply Post Notifications to know about thread changes.
    Could we have the link in the email go direct to the new post the email was caused by?
    I know the fragment is already referenceable, as I have seen it done before, so there is no extra work there - just change the email writing job to send a slightly different url.
    3:46 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

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    twitter has recently been added as an icon below the username. add other services like facebook.

    change 'report msg' to 'report post' or 'report message' or 'this is spam' to help clear up its use. Craigslist has made the term 'flag this post' mean something different that its use here, so clarity would help.
    7:33 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

    Senior Member from US 

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

    joined:Nov 29, 2005
    votes: 756

    This is one of those "hot spots" visual studies. Where one decides if left/right or left/vertical or combination of both and/or ad inserts right v inline... Dang few of us will agree on most.

    Biggest problem is that no site knows the browser width in use, and in these days of widescreen monitors, unless "totally fluid" in presentation, the site can get messed up really bad. Unlike TV or FILM the WEB still has no rules of dimension because the end user is not forced to receive the info in a fixed manner.
    And can change their fonts/size/colors in browser...
    I'd opt for LOGICAL first. Pretty it up SECOND and do that fluid (are you listenin' Brett?).

    There's a reason why bing and google and even hoary yahoo still look good and get the job done. And Webmasterworld, too. I also know that Brett and co. are working on customization (that was a promise when they took it away last year) and have no doubt that css/divs will be next rollout (and won't make a hill of beans difference in PERFORMANCE). But there is a LIMIT to begs for pretty (that's a euphemism for "bells and whistles" which is also a euphemism for Web 2rhea that I can live without).

    Not looking for ajax, js... see no benefit for what essentially is a database driven forum. The only thing I WANT is a truly fluid css design I can zoom up, customize (colors/fonts) in my browser whether full screen/half screen, or even quarter screen.

    THAT (my way of thinking) is real examples of how to get'er done.

    Meant to address this:
    change 'report msg' to 'report post' or 'report message' or 'this is spam' to help clear up its use. Craigslist has made the term 'flag this post' mean something different that its use here, so clarity would help.

    What's wrong with "report" and forget all the other clarity? Saves a few bits of bandwidth and means the same thing. Let's not overwork an already functioning bell that has no whistle.

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