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euanandrews

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#21855 9-May-2008 02:07
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I will possibly suffer the wrath of MF for making this thread, but here goes...

The point of this thread is to contribute to improving Geekzone...it is not a B@#*h thread...
I have honestly added my thoughts, and wish other Geekzoners do the same, in the hope it will improve the Geekzone experience for everyone...

The layout/presentation:
- There are so many straight edged boxes...how boring, how basic, such a lack of artistic design.
- Text - the whole site is just text, text text and more text...every link, every section...this site is far too text heavy...there need to be more graphics to 'pretty it up', minimize the text, break up/better use the space, give more graphical illustration of features/services available.
- User panel - does everything have to be through ugly text links?...a quick look at how other sites implement user features will highlight how basic and ugly the user features interface on Geekzone really is presented.
- Scrolling - left to right - its is preferable to have a site '100%' of the screen, as opposed to a set limit as Geekzone currently is...this mean no scrolling left to right on any size screen...
- Scrolling - bottom to top - a well designed site, will not have too much of their information displayed needing to be scrolled down the screen...a well designed site will have everything displayed without any scrolling, with the fewest links possible direct to the information desired.
- The utilization of space - there are many places on Geekzone where there is too much white space/unused space...
This is highlighted where ads are showen, the Geekzone logo header, the excess of text explaining features, the user features all being text links across the screen...
- Blogs - Geekzone is great letting users configure their blogs personally, and allowing google payment from ads, but the default presentation of the blogs is very ugly and basic....and while the controls are there for people to change them, they still require some knowledge of html/css...it would be much better if not only were the default blogs improved cosmetically, but simple '1 click' choices were given to users to change their look, just like a template...

Bugs:
This is what comes up in firefox firebug...
- GA_googleFetchAds is not defined http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=4&action=new_disc_topics Line 43
- GA_googleAddSlot is not defined http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=4&action=new_disc_topics Line 35
- GS_googleAddAdSenseService is not defined http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=4&action=new_disc_topics Line 31
- GS_googleAddAdSenseService is not defined http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=4&action=new_disc_topics Line 31
- GA_googleFillSlot is not defined http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=4&action=new_disc_topics Line 89
- GA_googleFillSlot is not defined http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=4&action=new_disc_topics Line 190
- GA_googleFillSlot is not defined http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=4&action=new_disc_topics Line 423

Edit: These are not really bugs at all, they are caused by the use of the adblocker extension in Firefox.

Personal statement:
Should I be the first, or maybe likely the most recent, to say, Geekzone, is in need of an cosmetic overhaul?
Its a great site, I love it, but its so bland, ugly, and basic.
Its full of bugs.
Its needs to change, upgrade, to remain the top tech site, compete with any upstarts...
If it does not, if Geekzone and MF get too complacent (being #1) they may well just be replaced by the next best thing...

I mean, come on...can someone give some design tips here!?!...this site is seriously lacking.

Final thoughts:
Am I just giving this site and MF crap?...No.
I say all this, to hopefully improve the site, and because I am brutally honest.

I have had my say, and will accept whatever comes my way as a result.
What I would like this thread to achieve though, is for people to add their thoughts how Geekzone could be improved, what needs to be fixed, how to bring Geekzone into the future and make it that much more enjoyable, and remain #1...

Lets all contribute to make Geekzone a better place...

Your thoughts and suggestions please...




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Mattnzl
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  #129574 9-May-2008 07:34
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I often browse GZ from low spec devices, so the "text heavy" rather than "image heavy" leaning is a bonus on mobile devices.
Left/right scrolling can be a bit of a pain on 800 pixel wide screens, but up/down is no problem.

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#129575 9-May-2008 07:42
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Being text heavy intead of image heavy has its benefits as Mattnzl exposed. This is one of the reasons why we haven't moved yet to something different.

There's an approved design that was created for us by Provoke. I can post a screenshot here later but modifying the site to use it is not easy - we will need developers and designers because this a custom CMS.

As for "bugs" I don't see this in Firefox. I suggest you stop ad blocker greasemoney scripts and see if it helps. It is certainly not happening on any machine I have running Firefox out-of-the-box install.

You say it is full of bugs - and I disagree. It may not have some of the features you want but I can certainly say these are not bugs - I can list three bugs only I am aware of and only one of them is visible really.




 

 

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#129576 9-May-2008 07:43
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Good post! Most has been discussed internally over the last 18 months, but perhaps an uprising will create some more movement







lurker
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  #129580 9-May-2008 08:10
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Just going mildly off-topic here, but one thing I think Geekzone is sorely lacking is some merchandise - I want a Geekzone mouse mat on my desk and a Geekzone mug to drink my beverages from. And of course a t-shirt. And a bumper sticker that says "Geekzoner - and proud of it". Etc etc.

I don't mind the site's layout but I would be interested to see any new design in the works. I'd agree some elements are bland which doesn't concern me but I guess you should always try to attract more visitors/participation by keeping up to date. I find the current front page quite good for presenting a link to everything in a clear manner, I hope nothing gets buried in a redesign.


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  #129581 9-May-2008 08:14
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As Tony says those topics were discussed before in our Moderators' meetings (when all those moderators who keep locking threads, deleting spam and banning good people come to Wellington to drink, dine and have fun). This reminds me we need another one, perhaps this time in some Pacific Island resort?

Seriously, about the merchandise - I thought of that before, but never imagined anyone would actually buy it. Perhaps we should do a small run to see how things go?




 

 

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zocster
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  #129582 9-May-2008 08:19
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I would agree with freitasm here in regards to the need for a designer to implement changes, as .net CMS is pretty difficult to implement if you're not already in that field.

I prefer text content than graphics, and prefer to have the screen not 800 pixel wide.

freitasm
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  #129583 9-May-2008 08:26
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The two final options, with the second one being the one we can work on. The idea is that moving to this design will allow us to implement everything with CSS, makingit easy to create a mobile and print versions from there:














 

 

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zocster
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  #129584 9-May-2008 08:28
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WOW!!! much much much nicer

chiefie
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  #129603 9-May-2008 09:27
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Second one is definitely have that "home" and "looks familiar" feel to the current style.

I too prefer more text-oriented, beside "rounded corners" are too common and is nothing too "wow" about anymore. Web 2.0 has hit plateau. Anyhow, if you want "rounded corners" CSS3 supports rounded corners without graphics.

I do like to see a more advanced option for those with CSS knowledge in us, to further customise the Screen, PDA, and or Print style sheets. So the whole look, layout and feel can be tweaked and adjusted to our taste after we logged in? Not so much of full customisation but perhaps flexibility to allow some adjustment at certain area. And this could be an offer for GZ subscriber only, with the option to hide advertisements (so to better the layout tweaking etc).

Anyhow, certainly looking forward to see GZ moving (or leading) into Web 3.0 with user-CSS-customisation layout hehe.




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RedJungle
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  #129611 9-May-2008 10:30
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we will need developers and designers because this a custom CMS


I do both, and would be happy to lend a hand - I'm familiar with classic asp through to .net 3 so wouldn't be a stretch.




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Nightwyrm
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  #129615 9-May-2008 11:08
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freitasm: The two final options, with the second one being the one we can work on. The idea is that moving to this design will allow us to implement everything with CSS, makingit easy to create a mobile and print versions from there:

Ooh, pretty.  I definitely prefer the first of the two - there's something cleaner about it.  My only want for GZ would be a mobile rendered version (m.geekzone.co.nz?), but it sounds like that's already being considered.




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euanandrews

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  #129640 9-May-2008 12:27
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I can understand the reasons of a site being more text orientated, so to better viewable in mobile browsers etc, but in many cases, less text can be shown to achieve the same result/get across the message of the feature...so I still think there are many cases where much of the text could be cut down/is not required...

As for the bugs, ok I could have worded that better, the site is not full of bugs, I don't actually see anything, what I listed is just what shows in Firebug, I shall disable adblocker to see if that removes the errors...

Out of those 2 possibles, I like the second one better...much nicer, great work.
I don't like that big advert up there though, but thats just reality, thats how sites make their money, its prime real estate so fair enough.

Great work MF, glad to see my comments/thread were not just rubbished, ya listening and open to suggestions and progress is being made, always a sign of a good operator.

Phew....I'm still a member, haven't been banned yet Cool




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

euanandrews

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  #129642 9-May-2008 12:35
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I can confirm that, all the 'bugs' I listed were to do with the adblocker extension in Firefox.




HTPC: Silverstone LC16M | abit IP35 Pro | Intel Quad Q9400 2.5GHz | Corsair 520HX | Samsung SH-S203D DVD Writer | NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 512MB RAM | 2 x 750GB Western Digital Caviar GP HDD | 4GB DDR800 RAM | D-Link DWA-547 Rangebooster N 650 Desktop | Blackgold BGT3540 | Microsoft Remote Control & Remote Keyboard for Windows Media Center | Windows 7 64bit

Mobile: Nokia N97, Nokia N900, Samsung Galaxy S, HTC EVO 3D, iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S III (current)

sleemanj
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  #129651 9-May-2008 12:46
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If this bug (going back in Opera causes problems with ad iframe recursion effect, maybe others) could be fixed, that'd be great..

 

 





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  #129665 9-May-2008 14:02
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I like design two. The first one makes me think State Insurance for some reason (Maybe it's that shade of blue).

I have used GZ in many browsers including (But not limited to) IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Mozilla and the Nokia Phone Browser and never come across any bugs

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