posted by Kroc on Wed 30th Jan 2008 20:47
Conversations Anybody miss me?

Let's hear people's positive, constructive feedback on the new site & design.
I've waited a long time to see this, and Adam has worked very hard.
CSS people, let's be heard!

Keep the "I hate..." remarks to another thread, k thnx ;)
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Comments:
Indeed.
by aaronb on Wed 30th Jan 2008 21:16 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I did not like the 4.0 site.

But 4.1 is a great improvement. A nice clean theme.

The only change I would make is a make the text black or a darker shade of grey to make it more easy to read. I'm not totally sure if its the font or colour that is making it harder for me to read.

The comic section is great. Humour (even Thom's) is what the site needs more.

This 'Conversations' section is welcome. I can remember the forum before it went up in flames and spam.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Indeed.
by Laurence on Mon 4th Feb 2008 23:43 in reply to "Indeed."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I did not like the 4.0 site.

But 4.1 is a great improvement. A nice clean theme.

This 'Conversations' section is welcome. I can remember the forum before it went up in flames and spam.


I whole-heartedly agree with all of those 3 points

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 30th Jan 2008 21:37 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

v3 was so right in my eyes, that it was hard to accept anything else. Now this new design has landed, it has given OSNews a worthy update. I hold this site in very high regard, therefore my criticisms are brought out of my love for it, and the good times spent here.

1st. I'm now psychologically harmed by this character counter ticking away below me as I type. If you want to make people nervous, just tell them they have a limit. If you had a group of people auditioning, and some you told them they had a time limit, and others you didn't, the psychological effect would be immense. The same is with commenting - if you want to encourage thoughtful, well spoken comments, then for the love of the english dictionary, please remove the 8'000 cap. Even if it was a billion, it's still psychologically the same thing - a limit imposed on you that you have to be constantly reminded of.

If you must have a cap, make it appear ONLY when in the last 100~200 letters, and I would personally raise it to 16384 or 32768, for charm, of course. ;)

2nd. People are complaining about readability. I do also consider this an issue. The summary text should be 13px, not 12px. As much as OSNews has a technical audience, used to smaller font sizes, the rest of the site design does not compliment small text so well in the main space. It also definitely requires more line height, I've been playing with 1.25em line-height and 13px font-size. This relaxes the reading a lot. It's not just the font size that can be varied, when a font doesn't look right larger, there are other choices, such as choice of font, font-weight, line, letter and word spacing, as well as justification. All these options should be explored as I feel that 12px isn't a workable font-size for the bulk of material that will be read.

These larger sizes will also look more natural and right with better block layout of the text. There are a number of very simple things that will make a huge difference right here.

a) The "Linked by" text, should align with the title.
b) The star should have the same space to the left, as it has to it's right
c) The summary text is far too close to the topic icon, and the fact that the summary text then wraps around it is a disaster! Come on, let's get serious about typography here!
d) Look at the vertical whitespace between the title and sub line, and the sub line and the summary text. The summary text is too tight against the sub line, and should ideally align to the top of the topic icon.
e) Sometimes there's middot between the recommended count and the comment count, but not always. Rather odd. I think the choice of divider between these pieces of information is weak, and that perhaps the comment count / link could be aligned to the right, so that as you scroll down the home page, it's more readily apparent.
f) The overall design of the article summaries are left-weighted, and more should me shifted to the right to even things up. As mentioned above, maybe putting the comment count (or recommended count) to the right side, maybe the topic icon could be placed in the top-right as it then would fit vertically within a space where there would be no summary text intervention.

3. That's a real non-footer you've got there ;) Each piece of information has a different context there, and could be organised as such. Some of these lines are information to different people and could be organised accordingly.

4. The menu at the top, the lighter grey bars above and below are not as sharp as they should be IMO.

5. These dotted lines don't know what they're doing with themselves ;) I think these are somewhat undecided elements and along with some other areas of slightly lax and weak design statements could be tightened up a lot. It's great what you've got, because no doubt it's been a struggle so far; but where the design has shoehorned in some places, it lacks a cohesive statement - for example the blandness of the add comment page.

6. The website has the same {title} for every page. You make my back button cry. Firefox 3 has a page title grep feature that lets me find pages in history just by typing in words in the title into the location bar. You're going to break this feature for me! Every page should have a unique title, ideally with the unique part first, and then the OSNews statement afterwards - if you've ever right-clicked your back or forward buttons, you'll know why.

I'll think of some more ideas...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Alex Forster on Thu 31st Jan 2008 06:28 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Alex Forster Member since:
2005-08-12

Wholeheartedly agree with the point made about the page titles. I've noticed for a while that the titles do not seem to ever change. It makes using tabs, bookmarking comments, etc very difficult.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 31st Jan 2008 10:51 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I've been told that the page titles thing is a bug, and will be fixed ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 31st Jan 2008 11:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It already appears to be fixed ;) .

Reply Score: 1

Too blocky
by prince_seth on Wed 30th Jan 2008 22:10 UTC
prince_seth
Member since:
2006-11-22

This is a marked improvement over the 4.0 site, however I I find the design to blocky and too contrasty.

What I mean is that I find myself aware of the layout instead of the content. When I look at the site I see rectangles, orange, and green. I have to concentrate to read the information, and not be aware of all the shapes and colors.

The layout is just way too distracting imho.

Reply Score: 1

Menu bar "wraps"
by samuellb on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 12:53 UTC
samuellb
Member since:
2006-11-11

The menu bar "wraps" with the default font on Ubuntu (and this causes the "Logged in as..." box to move down a bit). This seems to happen because the default font is slightly larger than Arial (some characters are 1px wider or so). Maybe you could put the "Submit News" link below the RSS button to free some space for the menu bar.

Other than that, I'm happy with the new design ;)

Reply Score: 1

Bugs
by brewin on Mon 4th Feb 2008 04:45 UTC
brewin
Member since:
2005-06-30

I've noticed a few problems. I don't know if they've been mentioned already.

1. For a comment that has been modded down to oblivion, the title box turns white while the text stays light gray and therefore barely legible.

2. All the timestamps for news and comments remain GMT even when the timezone is changed in preferences. The timezone changes, but the actual time does not.

Here is a screenshot showing both problems. (Note: it is still Feb. 3 in CST)

http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/4044/osnews1kl9.jpg

This is in Firefox 2.0.0.11.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bugs
by Laurence on Mon 4th Feb 2008 23:40 in reply to "Bugs"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I can't comment on the time stamp as I never pay any attention to them, however the other bug doesn't appear on my screen (Slackware 12 - Firefox 2.0.0.7)

Same page on my screen:
http://www.armyofcrabs.com/snapshot4.jpg

Reply Score: 2