Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Dec 2012 00:32 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Now that the holidays are upon us (happy holidays!) and the year is about to end, we at OSNews thought it time to finally lift the veil a little bit on the next version of OSNews - OSNews 5. I've hinted at this next version of OSNews here and there in the comments, but we think it's time to make it all a little bit more official by taking in some initial feedback.
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RE[2]: Feedback
by Moochman on Thu 27th Dec 2012 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Feedback"
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Luckily, the text is actually a dark grey, so I could make it black instead, like so:

Does that improve things? I really want to avoid going all-white for the background :/.

Maybe a bit. But actually, what I forgot to write in my previous feedback is the question: Why don't you just allow users to tweak the color scheme for themselves? If you're already offering a "night" mode, I imagine it shouldn't be too much trouble to offer a few more alternative color schemes or even to allow more detailed per-user/per-HTML-element customization.

I just can't get the current logo to look right on the smaller size I require it - so I went with all text instead. I'm indifferent about it, though - if an actual designer can get the logo to look right at the same size as the text 'logo' is now in the mockups, it could easily work.

Agreed on the idea of taking on an actual graphic designer. Unfortunately I am not one. Anyone else reading this want to volunteer their talents?

Anyway, at the very least I would suggest you could try filling the current logo with all-green and with the font size of the word "news" increased. I think that could look quite decent even at smaller sizes.

Don't worry too much about the items currently in there - I specifically designed it to be able to hold more items than it actually will, all for future-proofing.

Fine and good, but seeing as you are playing the role of UI designer as well as graphic designer these things are important to define as best as you can *now*. Otherwise some technical "features" will in all likelihood fill in the blanks for you, in a manner that in all likelihood will be sub-optimally usable.

Think about what the actual needs of your users are, not about some abstract concept of "future proofing". Learn a lesson from KDE 4 and don't ignore current usability concerns in the name of an abstract ideal of future flexibility.

The 'support' one should actually read 'support OSNews' - it's a page where you can become a member (pay a little bit and remove ads), donate (perhaps), stuff like that. I just can't find a good single word for it though, so for the time being, I just stuck to 'support' - even though it's clearly suboptimal ;) .

Why not space the menu items out more so you can fit more than one-word item names, and call it "Support OSNews"? Seems simple and unambiguous enough to me.

The current UI of having other news items listed along the right-hand side is much more useful, if a bit distracting/cluttered.

Won't happen ;) . Getting rid of the second column is a core aspect of the redesign, and I don't want it back in.

OK if you're that set against it. But please at least take a cursory look at e.g. Ars Technica and the Verge, both of which make good use of this extra space.

It needs some kind of "Search" button for touchscreen users, and IMHO it would make more sense at the top since that's the current established convention on web pages.

I just think it needs to be above the fold, and not necessarily at the top. Putting it at the top would introduce a non-standard item to the top-right menubar (they're all text links, not input fields), which I don't want (it would look hideous). I can play with moving it above the user menu, though. Made a note to try this out.

Above the menu sounds good. Or again, check out Ars Technica -- they make putting it in-line with the menu work visually even though it is indeed another kind of element.

I prefer cancel to be on the right, but I have no hard feelings about it. I wondered when someone would bring this up ;) . This is easily addressed.

Glad you are responsive to this. It would be more consistent with the rest of the web. ;)

I really, really, really don't want to go back to individual thumbnails (god those things are ugly and ridiculous, esp. since many people don't change it and you just get loads of default icons), so I'm going to look for a different solution. I'm currently drawing blanks, but hey, I'm tired.

Why not only show avatar icons if they're available, otherwise don't show anything? That's how The Verge does it and it seems to work fine there.

One more thing: The "Submit News" link doesn't have anything to do with the user profile and so shouldn't be buried inside the user menu. In fact this is an incredibly important function that you want to encourage the use of, no? I should think it's at least as important as the "Support OSnews" function, seeing as content is the number one priority of a user-content-based news aggregation and editorial site. So why not put it in a highly visible position, for instance in the top-right menu, perhaps in a brighter color to emphasizes it (like the "Subscribe now" item on Ars Technica)?

Cheers for listening, looking forward to the next update. ;)

Edited 2012-12-27 18:08 UTC

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