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Official New Design Thread

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by :: kna ::, 2 May 2005.

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  1. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    I'm personally preferring V4 Dark too tbh.

    I'm slightly confused: do you mean the banner ads themselves? ie Ultra, BFG, XFX etc. Or do you mean you don't like the colours that surround them?
     
  2. sadffffff

    sadffffff Minimodder

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    The Pope: Really? :D Thats GREAT NEWS! seriously, i was worried i would have to change my day to day downtime activities :p. cant wait for the return of news commenting, love love love love it.

    i can ignore the bright stuff well enough with the dark theme, ads dont bother me. hopefully the thread layout will go back to the way it was with the avatar and info to the side with the vote in that thread. plus one guy mentioned having the posts take up the blue area to the side after the ads are done, which would be nice too.

    *a bit of a sigh of relief*
     
  3. sadffffff

    sadffffff Minimodder

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    by banners i think he means the colors around the "HARDWARE MODDING COLUMNS GAMING FORUM NEWS" buttons. i think
     
  4. :: kna ::

    :: kna :: POCOYO! Moderator

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    Just addressing a couple of points which I've seen raised:

    A step backwards is a common mentality from some people, however I think the issue here is that no-one is actually certain of what a step 'forwards' entails, or indeed where that step is supposedly taking us. We have had a team of people, many skilled in design and content working on this for some time and can assure everyone this is very much a 'step forwards' in terms of what we are trying to achieve with the site.

    We reviewed hundreds, and I mean hundreds of other sites before deciding on this design and can say without question it pulls in ideas from some of the most popular sites on the net, whilst keeping many of our roots which made bit-tech unique.

    Lots of people have raised design issues and I am very disappointed to feel that many of you seem to imply this was done with no design consideration or skill at all, whereas in reality it was done by people with a long history in design and media/website layout. Ideas were pulled not just from the Internet but from magazines, TV, advertising and other media. The redesign of bit-tech is absolutely grounded in not looking like the same old website you see everywhere else.

    I would like to address those who say "I will certainly read it less now" as kneejerking, because I can go and pick you 5,10 15 sites right now which I can instantly suggest as less graphically pleasing as ours which are a hundred times more popular then we are. If you truly, honestly believe our site is unreadable then I'm afraid you really must have something wrong with your eyes or, as I would imagine, you are simply overreacting.

    Finally, colours is a big issue and people are obviously getting used to some of the bold choices. This has not done 'childishly', 'fisherprice' or 'retro', colour coding sections is a design fundamental to help readers associate sections or themes. It seems to me if a site doesn't look like it was made entirely using the Alien Skin Plugin or a 1999 'Matrix' Ripoff, people assume it looks childish. For those who actually ventured out of General Discussion and into the site, one of he biggest complaints was "I can't find anything" which is the primary issue we wanted to address.

    Whilst I realise this explaination will do nothing for many peoples perception of the site, after all I can't force you to like it, hopefully it tries to explain the thought process as to why we finished on this design.

    Also, for the majority of you who weren't here when the design was changed last time, people said exactly the same thing then, citing their dislike of features which seem to be very popular now :confused:
     
  5. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    Well, though it's a slightly dangerous thing to do, I might be able to suggest a light at the end of the tunnel for some users: all of those colours are just CSS. We have some very talented codies on our team, and as part of the on-going work on the site, it MAY be possible for them to offer some sort of "skinning" control over things like this.

    Meaning you could change the "Popsicle" approach for all blue if you like (someone suggested that in a jpg earlier). Of course, there are plenty of challenges to overcome in order to offer that. PLUS I'm not much of a codie myself, so I suggest these things without full knowledge of how doable they are.

    But I could suggest it's an outside possibility...
     
  6. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    If Kna seems a little grumpy from all the "feedback" it is because he is our principle Art guy, and had a heavy influence in our New Look. It would be simple if you could blame *me* for the banners, and Kna for the colours etc. However, as I mentioned earlier, this new look was not the arrogant, selfish brainchild of a single person: it has been the baby of 14 very hard-working bit-tech staffers for over 6 months.

    There was almost an inconvenient amount of internal debate over the smallest of detail: no single aspect was merely decided on the whim of one person; it was thoughtfully percolated across the broad spectrum of experience & taste of our team.

    History will judge this design: I believe it will lead us to bigger and better things, where will we rival much bigger sites for readership and ultimate be able to do more cool stuff that you guys will want to be involved in.
     
  7. Herbicide

    Herbicide Lurktacular

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    Well, it's er.. different!

    I've got to say I like the categories schemes, though for some reason I always feel a forum should be kept some distance from the site it's attatched to.

    Anyway, bit v4 (Dark) sorts the forum garishness out for me, but I did like the old style's poster-info-down-the-left approach, it looks that little bit neater really.

    Well, it shows you're really working on this place, though I didn't know I spent so much time here! :worried:

    - H.
     
  8. Leeum

    Leeum What's a Dremel?

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    I can't say i liked the layout etc. of the forums first time it was up but i'm getting used to it :) <3 the main site though :D
     
  9. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    Any idea why you feel this way Herbicide? Bringing the bit-tech site & forums closer together was one of THE prime motivators for this redesign: there were literally tens of thousands of readers who were viewing the forums and not once checking out the website (not even once a month)

    This fact REALLY hit home when there was a thread in here once when someone mentioned the site, and someone (honestly) replied with "there's a website attached to these forums? I thought bit-tech was JUST a discussion forum" ...!!

    I think it makes sense to have the site & forums as close together as possible: you read a review, you post some comments, you read some logs, you enter a competition... it's all good
     
  10. Dodge

    Dodge What's a Dremel?

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    ok I havnt bothed to read all of the previous 250 posts but skimmed over most of it.

    I was thinking I like the layout of the new site, looks alot better than the old one, I can see why youve done that colour thing for each section, just not to sure about the bit at the top (just my oppinion though) but it hardly going to kill me...

    Then when the forums came along I thought it looked ODD and ive think ive just realised why. On the main site the webpage isnt full width and theres adds down the right hand side but the way it is they dont appear to be to intrusive. With the forums they are 100% with the adds down the the right hand side. I think its this which makes it look that ODD part.

    Also, on the news page you have quicklinks to other sites, when looking at it, it just appears to be one big mass blob of text, i know youve probaly tried this but what happens if you put a small say 2px gap between each one, as most of them run over two lines you can then tell the diference between the second line and a new link.

    EDIT:

    Light > Dark
     
  11. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    Good point - RTT *was* going to beef up the spacing a little tbh. I'll get him to do it asap today
     
  12. Barry

    Barry What's a Dremel?

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    Got to say I love the new design, the bright colours are great the top menu layout is tip top, its hard to get away with a top menu with to much listed on the page without it looking clutered you its been pulled off nicely, the banner ads are not intrusive at all like on most other sites, the only thing that I dont like is the quick links look like it could do with more padding on the left side of the div and is it just me or has the modding link got a blue boarder on the right instead of purple?


    Edit: The 2 buttons (hardware and about) need a space as they are right on the edge of the page
    :):)
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2005
  13. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    I'll be honest, I never go to the main page. And it's cool to see that you guys have a larger vision of where you want BT to go. Do you think that sharing this "roadmap" would help quell some of the discontent? I'd be interested in hearing it where you see this in a few months/years. It's also cool to know that you are drawing talent from other areas then just the net.

    At this point, I still see BT as a forum with a main website rather then a website with discussion, like Anandtech. Not that their discussion is any good mind you.
     
  14. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    Thanks for the positive feedback Barry. I took a look at the Quicklinks, and I'd say it's an optical illusion of sorts produced by the line-wrapping on the right: the left edge is lined up just fine.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "Modding link", but everything looks fine to me mate
     
  15. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    I'm very interested why you feel that way JJ: is it because you "discovered" the forums first, rather than being a regular reader of the site THEN wandering into the forums? Is it because there's more "action" in the forums and we don't write enough content on the main site perhaps? :D
     
  16. ou7blaze

    ou7blaze sensational.

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    Everything is all well I like the quick reply feature and um yeah.

    Only critisizm is the seriously annoying ad on the right side of this screen, I don't mind 2 on top but one on side annoys the hell out of me coz it makes the forum width smaller .V.

    Anyway apart from that details are quite good.

    Colours might need a final tweak.

    Anyway good job on the update and nice smooth transition :)
     
  17. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    The former, I found the forums first. In the time that I have been here the content has improved a lot. I have had my favorite hardware review sites for a long time now and rely on them for bench marks and things. But BT leans more toward modding and has a gneral "lounge" feel. The entrenched review sites seem well placed in the market, are you thinking of taking them on? I think I'll start paying more attention to the site content and the reviews there. The news is kinda wierd, mainly due to the fact that I always use the news thread to see what GOO has dug up. Is that expanding too?

    As for the ads, all I can say is, look at any other site and it's worse. It took me a long time with the adblock extension to finaly be able to actualy read anandtech with out getting seasick.
     
    Last edited: 3 May 2005
  18. The_Pope

    The_Pope Geoff Richards Super Moderator

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    I hope Tim can forgive you for that, since you admitted you rarely read the main site :D We have, in fact, been writing reviews of equal quality to the "entrenched" review sites for AGES now.

    Do you want to list your Top 5 or Top 10 sites?
     
  19. jezmck

    jezmck Minimodder

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    google for [site:bit-tech.net whatever]

    the colour surround isn't particularly noticeable however, maybe just a little more vertical space around ads?

    Things I'm less than fond of:
    • the style of the quote/new topic/etc buttons - look a little childish
    • the fact that the posting box isn't all visible without scrolling (at 1280*1024)

    Things I do like:
    • The Modding/News/Columns/etc page design - very smart
    • The different 'ident-banners' for the different sections (though not sure about the front-page image, could be good if it changed occasionally).
    • The About page layout.
     
  20. Atomic

    Atomic Gerwaff

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    Not really as the avatars and personal info on members isnt at the side of the post like it was. Id say its not far off what it was before.

    Me: Good job guys, Love the search function of the main site, the buttons are very neat, the 'bits' section has a great name :hehe: (whos idea?), Only ~45KB of images on the front page too, certainly an improvement on before!

    Weird seeing peoples names rather than nick on articles/reviews tho!

    I'm not overly keen on the new forums style as its different from the default vB but I'll get used to it quick enough.
     
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