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What Does Everyone Think About The New Site Layout?


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#181 Aardvajk   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6181

Posted 10 January 2011 - 04:26 AM

I have to say that I'm unhappy with the new site. I liked the old one, and while it definitely needed improvement, I wouldn't call what we have now anything more than a step in the right direction.

1. De-emphasis of the forums - For some reason the forums feel even more hidden away than they were before. It takes an extra click to go through the drop-down menu now, and the recent topics menu has been moved all the way down the main page. So much emphasis is being placed on the Careers and Articles sections, even though GDNet does not excel in those areas. Looking at the Careers page is pretty pathetic, and the articles section hardly ever has real technical content. I thought the new site would focus more on the forums, which are GDNet's strongest feature.

2. Web 2.0 - I think it's easy to see that they went way overboard in this area. Every page feels cluttered with tons of junk that isn't even that useful. Why are there sharing buttons all over the place? Why is so much space wasted? What is the point of friend lists? Why are there status updates next to the forum listing? It's like all this stuff was added just because they could. GDNet is not Facebook, and it is not Twitter. I don't see why it should be trying to emulate them either.

3. Death of GDNet+ - I think you guys are really shooting yourselves in the foot here with this one. You've cheapened GDNet+ significantly by giving everyone journals and avatars, when instead you should have been trying to add as many new things to GDNet+ as possible to make it more attractive and a more viable source of revenue. I mean, this is now listed as a primary feature of GDNet+:
"Up to 500 personal messages (10x more!)"

Seriously? You're touting an increased MAILBOX SIZE as a selling point? I've been subscribing to GDNet+ for years now, but I think when the renewal comes around again I'll be dropping it.

4. Widescreen Users - Why have we squished everything together, when everyone and their mom is moving towards widescreen monitors these days? It just makes no sense at all. So much horizontal space is lost, which in turn increases the vertical space required to read anything. Very frustrating.

5. Losing the Rating System - I know the rating system has always been controversial, but what you have now is completely pointless and should not even exist. No more down voting removes any incentive to keep your posts to community standards. As long as you don't do anything explicitly bannable, you can get away with whatever you like. Additionally, voting on posts and not users leads to run-away inflation for users who post a lot. Want more reputation? Just post more! It emphasizes quantity over quality, which is never a great idea. Finally, the rating is so hidden now that it might as well not even exist. The way I see it, you should either do it properly, or just remove the feature entirely if you feel GDNet users shouldn't be worrying about ratings at all. One or the other; not this middle ground.

6. Sane Defaults - I like that notifications are now very customizable, but someone wasn't thinking when the defaults were set. I started receiving emails for all sorts of useless events here, such as a user adding me as a friend. So much so, in fact, that GMail started putting everything coming from GDNet into the spam folder. Another questionable default is that of allowing people to be friends with you; apparently the default is to let them add you as a friend without you having any say in the matter. Now that they're friends, I have no way of getting rid of them, so they're not really friends as much as they are fans at this point :rolleyes:

Some of these problems are expected from a new software product, and I'm sure some will be fixed in the months to come. Unfortunately, I think a lot of them are explicit design decisions that have already been made. Hopefully not everything is set in stone at this point.


Couldn't agree more and certainly won't be paying for another year of GDNet+ unless a lot of the issues above are addressed. Having looked around the new content, my current feeling is that this is the death of gamedev.net and time to start looking for a new site.

Sorry if that is harsh but GDNet has been a very big part of my development life and I'm very unhappy to see it effectively gone now.

Sponsor:

#182 megabaki   Members   -  Reputation: 126

Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:14 AM

Code blocks are not formatted with new layout.
line1line2line3line4
<br /><br />Feedback button does nothing for me.
And my control panel menu (under my logged in name) is stuck open. It doesn't close.

#183 UltimaX   Members   -  Reputation: 467

Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:18 AM

I have to say that I'm unhappy with the new site. I liked the old one, and while it definitely needed improvement, I wouldn't call what we have now anything more than a step in the right direction.

1. De-emphasis of the forums - For some reason the forums feel even more hidden away than they were before. It takes an extra click to go through the drop-down menu now, and the recent topics menu has been moved all the way down the main page. So much emphasis is being placed on the Careers and Articles sections, even though GDNet does not excel in those areas. Looking at the Careers page is pretty pathetic, and the articles section hardly ever has real technical content. I thought the new site would focus more on the forums, which are GDNet's strongest feature.

2. Web 2.0 - I think it's easy to see that they went way overboard in this area. Every page feels cluttered with tons of junk that isn't even that useful. Why are there sharing buttons all over the place? Why is so much space wasted? What is the point of friend lists? Why are there status updates next to the forum listing? It's like all this stuff was added just because they could. GDNet is not Facebook, and it is not Twitter. I don't see why it should be trying to emulate them either.

3. Death of GDNet+ - I think you guys are really shooting yourselves in the foot here with this one. You've cheapened GDNet+ significantly by giving everyone journals and avatars, when instead you should have been trying to add as many new things to GDNet+ as possible to make it more attractive and a more viable source of revenue. I mean, this is now listed as a primary feature of GDNet+:
"Up to 500 personal messages (10x more!)"

Seriously? You're touting an increased MAILBOX SIZE as a selling point? I've been subscribing to GDNet+ for years now, but I think when the renewal comes around again I'll be dropping it.

4. Widescreen Users - Why have we squished everything together, when everyone and their mom is moving towards widescreen monitors these days? It just makes no sense at all. So much horizontal space is lost, which in turn increases the vertical space required to read anything. Very frustrating.

5. Losing the Rating System - I know the rating system has always been controversial, but what you have now is completely pointless and should not even exist. No more down voting removes any incentive to keep your posts to community standards. As long as you don't do anything explicitly bannable, you can get away with whatever you like. Additionally, voting on posts and not users leads to run-away inflation for users who post a lot. Want more reputation? Just post more! It emphasizes quantity over quality, which is never a great idea. Finally, the rating is so hidden now that it might as well not even exist. The way I see it, you should either do it properly, or just remove the feature entirely if you feel GDNet users shouldn't be worrying about ratings at all. One or the other; not this middle ground.

6. Sane Defaults - I like that notifications are now very customizable, but someone wasn't thinking when the defaults were set. I started receiving emails for all sorts of useless events here, such as a user adding me as a friend. So much so, in fact, that GMail started putting everything coming from GDNet into the spam folder. Another questionable default is that of allowing people to be friends with you; apparently the default is to let them add you as a friend without you having any say in the matter. Now that they're friends, I have no way of getting rid of them, so they're not really friends as much as they are fans at this point :rolleyes:

Some of these problems are expected from a new software product, and I'm sure some will be fixed in the months to come. Unfortunately, I think a lot of them are explicit design decisions that have already been made. Hopefully not everything is set in stone at this point.


I do have to agree with this.

I also miss the IOTD on the front page too. I loved seeing that. People should be proud of their accomplishments and other people like seeing the progression, new ideas, implementations, etc.
Please bring this feature back.

Finally, I would gladly pay for a GDNET+ membership if #3 was addressed.

#184 Khawk   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 1362

Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:33 AM

By the way, where is the developer journals sub-forum? I used to take a look at it sometimes. I see that there are now "blogs" appearing on the right of main forum page but they don't seem to be quite the same thing (for first, they also aggregate other blogs out of gamedev).


Developer journals no longer have their own sub-forum. To access what I think you're looking for, go to the menu at the top and click on Community -> Developer Journals. This is a hub page for the journals. From there, you can see the latest updates, filter by most popular, most commented, highest rated blogs, etc.

Also, from any page click the View Latest Content link in the top right corner of the page (next to the RSS button). From here you can filter by all the latest updates since you were last logged in and across the entire site by clicking on a section's tab (Developer Journals, for instance).

#185 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:34 AM

Code blocks are not formatted with new layout.

line1line2line3line4
<br /><br />Feedback button does nothing for me.
And my control panel menu (under my logged in name) is stuck open. It doesn't close.


This should be fixed asap.

source tag no longer exists? edit: code tag now has functionality of the old source tag. I wonder which languages it supports highlighting for.

one

two

	line 3 indented

int somethingToCheckHighlighting = new int(5);

edit: are you sure they don't work, or was it just recently fixed?

triple edit: Is there a way we could get the dropdown menus for Features, Community, etc to dropdown on mouseover? It would take out an extra mouseclick. It's a small change, but I think it would make it feel a lot less tedious.

#186 Khawk   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 1362

Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:39 AM

(re: IOTD)
It was better in the old format where for all the images you had only one thread with all the comments in one place.
Right now this "feature" is pretty much useless, because each image has it's own comment section.



It's interesting to hear that perspective. Our view is that it's better organized. So we can better understand your perspective, can you please clarify how giving each image its own comment section makes it a useless feature?



#187 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:02 AM

It's interesting to hear that perspective. Our view is that it's better organized. So we can better understand your perspective, can you please clarify how giving each image its own comment section makes it a useless feature?



I think he is trying to say, not very politely, that in the old IOTD, the comments where by what now seem to be "albums" and now are per image. Before, the comments were about the overall subject and now it's hard to find a place where to make a general comment that isn't necessarily related to one particular image of that album.

In short, the feature of commenting albums (as in FB) is missing. :)
I like the Walrus best.

#188 Mussi   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2091

Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:03 AM

It's interesting to hear that perspective. Our view is that it's better organized. So we can better understand your perspective, can you please clarify how giving each image its own comment section makes it a useless feature?

I'd compare it to cross-posting. There's no central discussion point for the IOTD posts it seems, comments will be scattered over the different images.

#189 Evil Steve   Members   -  Reputation: 1987

Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:04 AM

edit: are you sure they don't work, or was it just recently fixed?

I think there's some odd problems with code tags; I noticed another code snipped splattered [size=1] all throughout the post...

Steve Macpherson
Systems Programmer

Rockstar North


#190 Ezbez   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1164

Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:05 AM

It's awesome that images get turned into links when you quote. Too many forums you see the same picture three times in a row because the people below quote it and add a one line comment.

#191 Lucas Daltro   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:10 AM

Awsome ;)
Congrats
"Call me crazy in a world where genius create bombs" .: -=|J.Ð.|Gä(/)ëÐ맡gÑ||=- :.

#192 Overdrive   Members   -  Reputation: 187

Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:14 AM

As a plus: fast reply system is great.
MINUS: too light. Please include a darker theme that we can switch to
MINUS(i said it before, i need to say it again): IOTD is pointless if the comments for an album are per picture, not per album. In my opinion it would be better to just keep all comments in one place.

#193 Khawk   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 1362

Posted 10 January 2011 - 08:45 AM

owl and Mussi: Okay, that makes sense. We can look into a way to have a sort of "parent" IOTD comments system setup.

Overdrive: Have you submitted your IOTD comment through the feedback button? That would be the best place to get it logged.

#194 SteveDeFacto   Banned   -  Reputation: 109

Posted 10 January 2011 - 09:37 AM

Main thing that's getting on my nerves now with the new site is the fact that I have to go though more layers to get to the forums.

#195 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 364

Posted 10 January 2011 - 09:57 AM

Main thing that's getting on my nerves now with the new site is the fact that I have to go though more layers to get to the forums.


See SiCrane post.
*sigh* This should be a sticky already lol
I like the Walrus best.

#196 gunning   Members   -  Reputation: 751

Posted 10 January 2011 - 10:13 AM

While we're at it, can we change the slogan to "GDNet, following the crowd since 2011."? GDNet has lost it's identity. Bland. Boring. Web 2.0. For a game development site, where's the creativity? Where's the do-it-yourself attitude? Let the new generation enjoy this site.

#197 Francois Soft   Members   -  Reputation: 98

Posted 10 January 2011 - 10:20 AM

I like the old layout better. Easier to find things.

Nerd's Quote: "If you stare at a computer for 5 minutes you might be a nerdneck!"

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"After 10+ years FrancoisSoft is back? Yep, and we're here to stay. It'll be a good time!"
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#198 Serdar-X   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 10 January 2011 - 10:34 AM

I like the old layout better. Easier to find things.


+1

#199 vrok137   Members   -  Reputation: 241

Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:06 AM

I must say, there are certain aspects of the new GDNet design that I like, and others that will take quite a while to get used to:

1. Site layout - As many others have stated, the new layout definitely has a Web 2.0 field to it. I loved the old layout, it had a very professional/wall-street-like feel to it, so much so that the simple act of making a post sometimes intimidated me (I know, call me weird). When I read content from sites like Mashable, I enjoyed poking fun at how many like, tweet, and digg icons a single page had, now that the GDNet site has a similar feel, I'm left kind of holding my tongue. And I agree that forums need to be better emphasized on the site than they currently are.


2. User profiles - I'm impressed. User profiles in the old site felt like a trip back to the 90's, and features such as the friends and PM's were in dire need of improvement. Overall I'm impressed, but I'm not so sure if it was a good idea to give everyone access to avatars, as it kind of detracts from the professional feel of the forums.


3. Rating system - I like this new idea about rating posts instead of users, but I still understand the significance of being able to see the individual rating of a user directly from their posts. With such a rating system, I was able easily to tell whom within the community was most helpful and/or knowledgeable on a specific subject. Sure the rating system turned into a race to the bottom when it came to heated threads, but I believe overall it forced users into constructing well-written, no BS posts, and I think that is why GDNet had such high quality content coming from the forums. I would like to see a better compromise between these two features, I find them both useful. I also find the join date of a member to be a more valuable attribute than their post count, in general I have never been fond of community forums that emphasized a user's post count directly within a post (I know, a lot of forums do this, which is why I enjoyed visiting GDNet in particular).

I'm positive I'll grow to like this new Gamedev, I just hope it continues to maintain its professional appeal which made it stand out from the rest.

#200 Atrix256   Members   -  Reputation: 510

Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:11 AM

The "Recent Threads" section is a lot less prominent than it used to be but is basically the only thing i come to the site for.

It would be nice if it were pushed back up near the top




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