new interface for WOS

when did the interface chance, not been on here in a little while and its the first time seeing it, and it sso awkward to use where before you could click on archive and select say games and you would get the full list from 0 to z now its in pages cant it go back to the full lits whoch was so mich nicer now its just like every oyther site which takes ages to find anything.
why did they cange what was a good working front end.

Comments

  • Can the screenshots be bigger? Are the magazine links coming back?
  • Fraser wrote: »
    Can the screenshots be bigger?

    This, but more than one pic too.

    The old layout let me choose to have inlay, loading screen and in-game shot all on display.

    Now it only shows one image at a time and needs to be scrolled through, in a tiny image window.

    Can we have an option to display these images in a ribbon instead, since it's one of the main things I'll look up a game for, to get a look at those images?
  • Fraser wrote: »
    Can the screenshots be bigger?

    This, but more than one pic too.

    The old layout let me choose to have inlay, loading screen and in-game shot all on display.

    Now it only shows one image at a time and needs to be scrolled through, in a tiny image window.

    Can we have an option to display these images in a ribbon instead, since it's one of the main things I'll look up a game for, to get a look at those images?

    I would like to see that as well.
    zxgraph page HERE

  • I agree too, those screenshots are so small it's almost invisible. I also don't mind seeing them all on screen at once. Scrolling every other second is either too quick or too slow, and i never really managed to click to select any of the images.
  • edited August 20
    Post edited by ASH-II on
  • That is better. How about an option to save which sections of the displays are open by default. I can't be doing with all this stuff that used to be up front now being hidden behind expandable menus. Leave them open and I'll decide if I want to hide something if it's getting in my way. With it collapsed, I have no idea if it's just one shot in there or one hundred.
  • I do think some of the changes and new features are great, though there are clearly still a few issues to iron out.

    I gave a bunch of feedback on the new look on this thread, and much of it was implemented (thank you).

    Anyway, here are 20 more issues/suggestions for improvement (some minor, some major)…

    1. Magazines
    No magazine/review links? (I'm sure they were up but now seem to have disappeared again?)

    2. Feeling of sluggishness
    I don't know if the new site is actually any faster or slower, but it feels sluggish and unresponsive, compared to the old site.

    3. Feeling of instability
    The old site also felt a lot more 'stable'. A page was a page - everything was solid, nothing changed. But the new site feels more unstable and 'flimsy' - everything is dynamic and you're never quite sure if things have finished loading or if anything is going to change. Psychologically, it's like the difference between reading a nice, solid hardback book, and watching lilly pads floating around on a pond!

    4. No longer on Google?
    Before, you could do a Google search for (say) "world of spectrum jet set willy" and you'd always get what you wanted in the top result. But now there seems to be no results on Google, and the top result takes you to Spectrum Computing!

    5. No search bar!
    Almost everyone who comes to your site will be searching for a game, so the search bar is absolute priority - the key focus of your site (like Google!). Instead, the site has no search bar, just a tiny magnifying glass which brings up a hidden search bar. I think this is putting a serious barrier to people finding what they want. We can't just start typing the game we want to search for. I would recommend giving high priority to the search bar, making it nice and big on every page, and make it the main focus of the homepage, along with helpful, instructive words such as "Search for games here!"

    6. Confusing search results
    If you do find the search bar and do a search, you have to wait a few moments, then you're taken to a very bewildering and technical-looking results page. The actual search results are hidden away down the bottom inside a banner labelled 'Software' which you have to click on to open up your search results. Too many clicks and too much confusion! All the results should be right there when the results page appears.

    7. Search results too large
    The search results are also really huge, requiring a ton of scrolling! They could be WAY more condensed! Most games have about 9 or 10 fields in the left column, but no fields (or 1) in the right column. If fields were balanced over both fields, most games could be only 5 fields tall, instead of 10, making results pages far easier to navigate. And since these are only search results, I think everything could much more condensed. In fact, you could even show them as a 'table view' by default, with a nice big button allowing you to toggle to 'expanded view'.

    8. Searching the archive is a pain
    In the archive, there's no quick and easy way to search games by title - the new system takes a lot of clicking and waiting, including having to click on a box saying "filter" with the game title field hidden inside it.

    9. Number of results
    The archive shows ten results by default. Seems laughable compared to the nice big pages of the old archive, with hundreds of games. I know you can change the number of results shown, but it's just giving the user more work and stress - we have to look for the button, worry about how many results to show, worry about how long it will take to load, worry about whether our results will be saved beyond the current session (for me they keep reverting to 10).

    10. Images too small
    I firmly agree with the others here that the images are too small now on game pages. The image is barely taller than the banner headings, making the interface look giant by comparison, and the image too small! The old site had two nice big images that were the primary focus of the page - they made it attractive and lively. But the new page feels graphically sparse and a little lonely. I would make the left menu much smaller (narrower and less tall), and make room for bigger images. The whole reason we visit the site is because we love games. We love the pretty images. Too much text seems too serious.

    11. Link rollovers
    When you roll over links, the colour changes slowly from blue to green. It's hard to see the change - and it makes you feel really unconnected to the link. This may seem like a trivial issue but I think it's critically important. This is the user's key way of knowing what is a link and what isn't. We need that clear, instant sense of interaction when we roll over a link. Otherwise, it makes people not want to click links, if we're not entirely sure it's even a link. If I were you, I would strongly recommend make an underline appear when you rollover links, to give a clear visual cue that you're over a link, and a strong feeling of interaction.

    12. Archive rollover
    This is a bug: If you rollover links in the selected column (in the archive), it doesn't change colour at all.

    13. 'Releases'?
    The 'Releases' drop-down box shows all the releases of a game. I can see why it's useful to 'hide it away' when there have been a large number of releases, however, in most cases, there is only 1 release (ie 1 line of text) so hiding it makes no sense. Arguably any game that has 3 releases or fewer shouldn't have the releases hidden away as it's just making the user do more work having to reveal it. Also, I find the title 'Releases' a little ambiguous. Would 'Release history' be more descriptive?

    14. 'Change Request'?
    Whenever any user views any game's page, they will see three blue info boxes: 'Releases' 'Files' and 'Change Request'. Now this last one is actually not for them - it doesn't contain information for the general public. But since it's placed in the same blue drop-down banner as the other info, we instinctively assume it contains information we might want to look at! This function should NOT be placed alongside the regular information in the same style, with equal prominence. It should be outside the main box, in grey (indicating more of a serious/admin feature). I would just have a small link leading to a separate change requests form on another page, with a field for game title (automatically filled in, if you've clicked through from a game's page).

    15. Games in a series
    If you go to, say, any Dizzy game, it lists all the Dizzy games on the right, but it's not clear that this is a series of games - the heading just says "Dizzy" which is a very vague description. It should say "Series of games" or "Dizzy [series]" or "Part of a series of games"

    16. People pages
    Go to any developer's page (eg David Whittaker) and you'll see two tabs - the first (default) tab is titled "About" and it literally JUST says the guy's name! This is pretty ridiculous since his name is already written twice in big letters ABOVE this. The other tab is actually where all the info you want is hidden. I would abolish tabs here and just show all the information by default.

    17. Red field text
    Some of the form boxes (like the search bar) have red text. This instinctively looks like there's been an error. Even though I tell myself it's not an error, whenever I search for a game and see the text appear in red, I always instinctively think there's some kind of problem with the database!

    18. Blank fields
    On game pages, sometimes fields such as 'Publisher' or 'Release year' are blank. I assume this means they're unknown? Or could it be a database/page error? I think it would be more satisfying to have the word 'Unknown' written in feint gray, just to confirm the information is unknown.

    19. Make everything 90% the size!
    I feel strongly that the whole site just looks SLIGHTLY too large. If you made everything 90% the size (except images - make them bigger), it would look so much nicer IMHO.

    20. Feature suggestion: Timeline
    I wanted to round my suggestions up to 20 so here's a little idea… at the very top of every game page is a timeline showing where the game was in time! :-) (Maybe most people will think this a stupid idea but I love timelines.)

    Timeline.png

    Hope my suggestions are helpful. I'm certainly not grumbling here. I love WOS, and I can only imagine how difficult it must be putting together and maintaining a huge site like this. I just wanted to log a few (more) issues that bug me! :-)
  • To add to the above, I find searching for titles a bit of a hit and miss affair. Try searching for "NOMAD" or even "N.O.M.A.D". I get a totally different game. Not sure how the search is implemented but perhaps titles like "N.O.M.A.D" need to have aliases like "NOMAD" that are searchable because that's how humans would search for it.
  • I'll try to address all of the points, but I might miss some out!

    Firstly the inlay/loading screen/screenshot option. I am going to be looking at this, but I also have to consider new items we have.

    We have the capability of listing all screenshots for a game - particularly of use is mapped games. Inlays - we have hi-res ones ready to load with the new database. They are being matched to the titles at the moment. And it's not just inlays - we have many, many hi-res images. So this poses a slight problem with page loading speeds...
    How about an option to save which sections of the displays are open by default. I can't be doing with all this stuff that used to be up front now being hidden behind expandable menus. Leave them open and I'll decide if I want to hide something if it's getting in my way. With it collapsed, I have no idea if it's just one shot in there or one hundred.

    This leads to another problem - at the moment, clicking to expand the box kicks in a script to load the images. If the boxes are already open, the images would load with the page. On a mobile, this would be a disaster. We are looking at options here though, and one of them is remembering user settings.
    Are the magazine links coming back?

    Yes they are - the are being matched to the titles at the moment.

    Initially, I put the filter on the games lists to act as an interim infoseek (the infoseek page went in last), so that filtered searches were possible - it seems that not many people want or need it.

    The infoseek page has expanded on what it searches. There is the capability (not used at the moment) to search the SPoT database, which we now manage, magazine indexes, and book chapters - these details aren't all there yet - but it shows how much more infoseek is capable of returning. Clearly, listing all results, with images, would be a problem with potentially thousands of results. not just for the end user, but the server too. We've recently upgraded the server to better handle this.
    Not sure how the search is implemented but perhaps titles like "N.O.M.A.D" need to have aliases like "NOMAD" that are searchable because that's how humans would search for it.

    I get the feeling that might be my code :)
    Before, you could do a Google search for (say) "world of spectrum jet set willy" and you'd always get what you wanted in the top result.

    I've reduced the google searches deliberately as the database isn't the one we will be using when the new one is finished. Although there is no real reason not to, it was just a decision I made a while back. It will return :)
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  • Lee Bee wrote: »
    2. Feeling of sluggishness
    I don't know if the new site is actually any faster or slower, but it feels sluggish and unresponsive, compared to the old site.
    I'm usually quick to point out when something is s#!t, but at least for the forum I have to say that after the last maintenance/server upgrade (or whatever the H it was) the site feels a lot faster. That was a GOOD improvement.
    If the comment was about the main site, I'm sorry - I rarely use it ... but so far haven't found the speed a problem. But yeah, overall the new design is terrible.
    Website: Tardis Remakes / Mostly remakes of Arcade and ZX Spectrum games.
    My games for the Spectrum: Dingo, The Speccies, The Speccies 2, Vallation, SQIJ.
    Twitter: Sokurah
  • Not sure how the search is implemented but perhaps titles like "N.O.M.A.D" need to have aliases like "NOMAD" that are searchable because that's how humans would search for it.

    I get the feeling that might be my code :)

    Thanks for the clarification Fog!
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