News

suggestion re: five icons at top right

Discussion in 'Report Bugs & Ask Questions' started by Doody, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    i think the new icons are, as our british members might say, "twice too cute".

    imo, they are barely better than the five placeholder checkboxthingies that were there, and aren't likely to help people much unless/until they're told what they do.

    here are my suggestions, fwiw:

    "Simple Search" - delete it. there's a "Search" link millimeters above it.

    "Log Out" - delete it. why would anybody need or want to log out anyway? if you think it might be needed, make it available in the User CP page or something, perhaps.

    "Open Buddy List" - most VBB sites (cf. AVS Forum, MBWorld.org, 6SpeedOnline, etc.) show you your buddy list when you go to your "User CP". otherwise, there's no UI to get to them (aside from in PM). since buddy lists really can only be used for PMing, it's (IMO) a not-terribly-useful thing to give such prized real estate.

    that leaves the two items that really add value to the site (again, IMO). put them up there as text (in the same spot is fine) like the text links you have under the logo. "View New Posts" and "Mark All Forums Read".

    my two drachmas :)

    doody.
     
  2. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    42,378
    SFPD
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    I disagree about overall Icon usability. Granted, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as it always has been. The designs were done to be immediately associated (Icon-like) with an easy task as possible. Each "twice too cute" Icon is 15 x 15 pixels, with 13 or 11 useable pixels length- or breadth-wise within the borders of each black frame. Each square dot, no matter how magnified or minimized it is, is still a square dot that's all dressed up, and has someplace to go. Minimalist Communication with a hint of purpose upon mouseover.

    Buddy List Icon: The design is imitative of the most basic human form. One click opens a resizable 180 x 300 Pop-up window which indicates which buddies are(n't) online. No distractions & at the very least, at a glance, it prevents the board from being cluttered by "you've got email/Private Message/I just missed>where are you" silliness, while not losing the topic/thread one might be on when the thought of any F-Chatter smacks him upside the head.
    Buddy List>User CP>Buddy/Ignore List: Three Clicks (to edit, not see who is online on this board). Perhaps on other boards, a buddy list is visible after the 1st click to go to User CP, perhaps after 2 clicks, maybe 3. In either case, there would be textual distractions greater than the real estate taken up by the 15x15 pixel icon.

    View New Posts: N-Shaped, sublimally a cross between a lightning bolt and a checkered flag. After all, View New Posts is a winner.

    Mark all forums read: Eye, er, Eye've seen it all, er, eye believe you were the first to praise the "Mark all forums read" feature's usefulness, as well as the aforementioned "View New Posts" feature. Obviously, these have struck a positive chord with you. It is equally important to bear in mind that other users may just as enthusiastically use the other 3 features as you have found the 2 aforementioned features, yet those same individuals may never use your favored items. Everybody's different.

    Log Out: X (Ex). If one has a guest F-Chatter at their home, and the guest wishes to make a post, what is the host to tell the guest? "I'm sorry, but I'm permanently logged in, and the only way to log out is to delete all the cookies on my machine." On any Member Board, LogOut is standard - nay - de riguer. I've used it several times. Besides, if Gary Green (a guest or breaks) in your home and poses as Doody, you'll have a lot of explaining to do. I recall a thread where someone travelled to another continent and said they were still logged in - and didn't like it. That may have been on the old board.

    Simple Search: Magnifying Glass. Opens a pop-up which allows one to do the simplest of searches. The "Search" link takes you to an altogether different page, and also offers an Advanced Search feature which is on another page. If at first you don't succeed (Simple Search), try (Search), try again (Advanced Search). I successfully used Simple Search to find a thread earlier & regard it as a wise decision to include it & a no-brainer to use it.

    Envelope Icons on the left of any of the sub-forums are 16x16 pixels, and is duly noted there is no mouseover effect, as the indication of their purpose, be it:
    New posts | More than 15 replies or 150 views | No new posts | More than 15 replies or 150 views | Thread is closed | You have posted in this thread
    is at the bottom left of of any given sub-forum's page.

    Again, each of the Top Right Icons is 15x15 pixels. a mouseover indicates what each Icon is for. Offhand, the only change I'd make is to remove "Title: " ie change "Title: View New Posts" to "View New Posts", and, in said fashion, do so with the remaining top Icons. The address shown upon mouseover is also currently part of the "alt" which is helpful to those who cannot see images.
     
  3. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    sorry - i didn't mean to belittle the icons. as you point out 15x15 pixels is really tiny. given the screen real estate allotted, the icons are great.

    regardless, the icons are less useful than some of the alternatives, eg: losing three of them and converting the remaining two to text, which nobody has to mouse-over to be crystal clear about.

    that's all i meant to say. my issue with the graphics wasn't the graphics themselves - it was the overall UI approach. lots of users keep saying things are too busy and cluttered. "the less the merrier" perhaps :)

    doody.
     
  4. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Doody, thanks for listing that out... as a user of Safari, I don't get the mouse-overs, so I actually have been wondering what those icons were for... search was obvious, I figured the guy would go to User CP (wrong), and I had no idea on the rest. FWIW.

    Logout is available now on the main page... but I think it *should* be available on the User CP page... I looked for it there for a long while before I found it at the bottom of the main page. I agree that its not needed on every page.

    Given you have the space up there, I'd write out "User Control Panel" up there, instead of "User CP"... witness how often we have to answer "go to User CP".

    I otherwise agree with Doody... but want to ask:

    What EXACTLY do "View New Posts" and "Mark All Forums Read" do? I assume "Mark All Forums Read" bumps last login to be now? But what does View New Posts do?

    What I'd really like is a button "Backup Last Login" which allowed me to back Last Login to a previous value. Often I'll be in the middle of reading and have to go do something for 20 minutes... when I come back, Last Login has moved forward, and thus I no longer have the nice down-arrows to take me to where I last read in those threads.


    Brian
     
  5. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
    Advising Moderator

    Jul 20, 2003
    42,378
    SFPD
    Full Name:
    Dirty Harry
    Oh, no offense taken whatsoever. My real concern is with other users. Their priorities may be more centered around the other 3 icons.
    For instance, you're on my buddy list. You were added with one click under a post you made, as I, for one, find your posts mandatory reading - and quite frankly, words of one who possesses a style that can't be bought in a store - over poker, beer, scotch, or no vices at all - I think we'd have some good conversations.

    That said, as an exercise in the uh, "status symbol" I just clicked the buddy list Icon, and saw that you are online as I write my last post before turning in (@ 6 a.m.). - and did so without losing my place or track of my thoughts. Inobtrusive and confirmation that life is good - Hey, we are not alone! Rob has indicated elsewhere that the PM feature has increased in it's own realm - this may be due to the Buddy System saving the board from all the "hello/goodbye" manhugs afforded on the old board where confusion disguised as "simplicity" reigned supreme.

    I won't rehash the benefits of the Simple Search feature before I log out using the X Icon, but I will point out that the 2 features:

    View New Posts |Mark All Forums Read

    if in text buttons - would take up more space than the total of the 5 Icons combined. That's valuable estate whose value is increased in this wondrous site where information centered around Ferrari in all it's gory and glory is exchanged without strings attached.
     
  6. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2001
    6,099
    MA USA
    Full Name:
    Mr. Doody
    you're too kind, sir :). i guess the beers are on me next time i'm in LA ;)

    doody!
     
  7. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    There's no doubt that "Log Out" is needed... the question is whether its need on each and every screen... do you really do it that often. I suspect most do not. Thus, having one extra click to go to a page with Log Out makes more sense than cluttering every screen with it.

    As a software architect, I disagree that this is good user interface design. There's search buttons all over the page (at the top, just below the top, and strewn throughout the thread)... but there's no indication of distinction.

    Then there's three different search screens... that's a classic way to really frustrate a user. He goes to do a search... he looks around and sees a search button... it could be any of the three different ones... he gets a screen he's not expecting (its different than the last time he searched)... now he's disoriented and uncomfortable... he's looking for specific functionality and not finding it... now he's frustrated and trying to figure out how he got that functionality before... eventually, unsuccessful and frustrated, he goes back to where he was before and MAYBE notices a different search button... "Oh, that must be where it was"... nope, yet another interface... ARRGGHH... now he starts sweeping the site hitting search buttons until he finally (if he's lucky) stumbles upon the search screen he was wanting.


    If you have multiple search buttons, they should say something different... and the distinction should be clear. Or they should all go to exactly the same search screen.

    In any case, the simple search screen should have a big button at top and another at bottom that say and go to Advanced Search, and on that screen a big button at top and bottom to go to Super Advanced Search. Any button anywhere else that goes direct to either of those screens should consistently say "Advanced Search" or "Super Advanced Search", no matter how much real estate it consumes.

    FWIW.
     

Share This Page