Author Topic: While we're talking web design...  (Read 3309 times)

Z000

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While we're talking web design...
« on: November 17, 2009, 10:07:36 PM »
To go along with the polls in the Discography forum, I thought I'd put a request for the new site design.

Would it be feasible to add a user-submitted content feature? Say, if you have a user account (the forum accounts probably wouldn't translate over, but could potentially be tied to your site account), you could click a "contributions etc." link that would present a form to fill out. This form could be as detailed as the submission forms on Discogs.com, or as simple as a big text box for people to write things in. These submissions could either be sent directly to admins for review, tagged onto the release pages like comments, or added to a page or forum where users can discuss and vote on them.

Another nifty idea would be if viewers could rate songs and releases. I don't know how useful it would be, but I think it'd be neat to get a thumbnail sketch of how much a specific song or release is liked by fans.

Carl

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2009, 11:42:58 PM »
1) user content: Yes, I'm thinking of having users being able to contribute the content for a discography item - the easiest way to do this would be to sent in to be moderated then edited/approved within the content management system (posting information in the forum still requires massaging etc onto the site). Part of the reason for the redesign is to structure the site so less of the burden is on Aaron and I for the actual updating of content (as we're clearly failing to be timely with it).

2) ratings: It may be possible (and I've thought of it) but that'd probably require some custom coding by me most likely.  If enough people want it maybe we could set up a fund drive down the line or something but that won't be in v1 of the redesign.

Thanks for the input!

btw once the gremlins are ironed out from the polls I'll put up a news link on the main page to get a bit more attention for them. If anyone thinks of new/different values or questions let me know.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 11:52:45 PM by Carl »

LABRUTE

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2010, 10:02:30 AM »
First of all, congratulations for lasting this long! (15 years is it?)

I'm a regular visitor here and I do so mostly to get the latest news re remixes, new tracks that are available out there. I don't use the discography so much unless I get into collector mode where i have a sudden need to complete part of my collection. I have to say that being on the web everyday, and visiting a lot of websites for work and on a personal level, I would love for your site to be more easy to navigate and more pleasant to look at:

- it's easy to judge but I'm aware that I am not aware of the limits of your current resources (practical and financial).
- but it seems to me that the site is cluttered and a visual simplification of your main menu would be very helpful.
- For example, in the center column, on top (right under the words ..::U2Wanderer.org::..), you have your main menu describing each section. The same links are repeated on the left side column, without the titles you give each section. You duplicate the info for what reason? Also, adding titles to your section (i get the ''each page should be titled using the names of U2 songs'' concept which i don't like personally - doesn't look very professional; it's a little childish) just makes the page look heavier, especially since you don't have any pictures to illustrate anything (which is fine but when doing that, a lighter layout and original design of the page should counterbalance the absence of pictures).
- The same is true when you click on discography, you have all these sub-sections that are listed on the left side (singles 80-90, singles 90-00, etc...). When I make a research for a specific single, I know the name of the single and roughly the time period when it came out, but mostly the name or actually which album it relates to. I would rather see a general ''singles'' tab to click and then a full list of titles, separated visually by album & time period.
- The ''news & updates'' is great, to the point, with dates and such, I think that works very well.

I could go on with suggestions but I think you get the point. Basically your site works more as a database, which is good - that's what it is meant to be - you are collecting data, and when needed, the information is there. But if it could be more rich and comprehensive visually, it would make it even more pleasant to visit and easier to navigate.

Voila!
L.

Aaron

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2010, 01:03:45 PM »
15 years indeed.  14 since we really went public with it - but it was up and public on the internet in March 1995 as part of a class project I was working on for my Computer Science 2772 course.  :-)

Resources?  Financial there's little.  I lose money each month on the site just paying for the basics.  We have long avoided advertising of any sort.  Practical resources?  Right now it's only what Carl and I can do as the site isn't set up to accept updates from just anyone...so right now it's in our hands as to how much gets updated.  We have set things up on the news bits side to act as a blog which has more contributors than just us (Brad keeps things up to date there).

One of the things we are likely doing away with is the multiple sections.  I have a feeling coming out of this new update you'll see:  Discography, Videography, and Lyrics, as well as the forum.  :-)

LABRUTE

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2010, 04:15:40 PM »
so does that mean you agree or disagree with the comments made?  :P :D

God, Part II

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 05:17:37 PM »
Well, I don't agree with one of your comments--one person's "childish" is another person's "fun".

Carl

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, 08:42:55 PM »
so does that mean you agree or disagree with the comments made?  :P :D

Some of the comments aren't really relevant to where the site is headed (it'll be 4 sections when it relaunches, at least to begin with) - e.g. the clutter of the menu, though overall they are good critiques of the current design (which has been around since 2003/2004 or something).

The singles by decade shouldn't confuse people to much - I think most people that are digging into the disco are collectorish know what album/decade a single is in. There will be more dynamic options for sorting/displaying when it comes out, once it's all in a relational database we can create custom views pretty easily.

Work on the site has been slow because:

1) I'm no longer the fanatic U2 fan as I used to be (overall their output this decade doesn't do as much for me).

2) Now that web design/development and sysadmin stuff is my dayjob I'm more likely to spend my hobby time biking, hiking, reading, eating out, hanging with friends/etc than staying up late coding.

Aaron

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 10:26:43 AM »
and the "sections" as song names thing? dates back to our time on u2.org back in the 90s.  it's the last hold over from when i worked with paul anderson on that site.  that's why the discography has such an odd url - u2wanderer.org - it came from the section name at u2.org where were were u2.org/wanderer/

i don't necessarily agree or disagree with any of the comments.  I'm taking it all as constructive criticism.  As carl mentioned as we go forward many of these things will become a non-issue anyway.

and carl?  you have spare time?!  heh.  we need to talk soon.  but i've been lacking on the spare time of late.  sigh budget time at work.

Carl

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Re: While we're talking web design...
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 01:47:52 PM »
oops, erm, I mean - oh crap.  :P

I find it utterly bizarre that I'm communicating with you mainly via this forum, I remember when I had to twist your arm to even log in haha.  Feel free to give me a ping when you're more freeish.