New look

Hi all,


You may have noticed we've changed the look of the main site a bit. What do you all think? Good thing? Bad thing? Don't care? Wondering what the hell I'm talking about?


Post early, post often!


Chris.


Oh, oh, oh!! FIRST POST!! *runs back to his corner*


What the hell are you on about Chris?


Well, other than removing the big flowery title image, what's new? I can't say one way or the other if I like that change. I wasn't a huge fan of the old image, and now it's all open-like... which is good and bad.


Do go on . . .


Is there nothing else new?


I didn't like the image itself, not the fact it was there. With it gone, it's open, there's more space for everything else, which is good. Helps with page load times too (I'm capped faaar too often for my own good, silly Aussie internet).


On the other hand, knowing what it WAS like, it seems almost a touch empty. Not too bad though.


The banner is the primary change. More subtly -- though perhaps more importantly -- there are now links directly to the indices for various types and genres right on the home page, which I hope will get new visitors where they are going quicker.


Links, links everywhere and more than I can click...


the heading now looks a little bland and 'times new roman-ish'. it looks as if the name is almost apologising for being there. maybe leave a stripe of the original pic in there? or centre the name...


however, i do like the fact that it's smaller and more is seen on the page before having to scroll down.


also brilliant idea putting links to listings on the home page...


hope that helps some :P


I think that the header is too plain now. My first thought was that the page had failed to load properly.


LOVE the new links to the indices - great idea :D


I am not a fan of the 'Regular Columns' - certainly not on the front page.


Maybe we could have a 'reader listings page' where as readers we could indicate the listings we have read/are reading/follow, the ones we like/dislike or any story developments we would like to see happening/currently enjoying? This sort of thing would also help me to keep track or what I have read and have yet to read as I slowly work my way through the listings. I am not one for writing a review - I lack the confidence - but I would like to be able to give feedback other than a tick or star rating.


And while I am at it -- THANK YOU -- for all the hard work you put into the site. I think that it is brilliant and a great resource :D


NiSp -- yeah, it is a bit plain. I'm hoping we can find some way to work the graphic back in. Just not as large as it was (is my personal opinion on the matter).


Miladysa -- you may not be a fan of the Regular Columns bit, but the authors who post there are. Most see a bump in traffic while on the home page. :-) I'll give some thought to the features you've requested -- a couple of them are probably easy to implement, depending on how I do them. In the meantime, though, be aware that all members have their own page that shows stuff. Yours is http://webfictionguide.com/members/Miladysa Also, I encourage you to review stuff. Very few members are, and it's a shame. Don't feel you have to write a technical discussion, or anything. Write about what you liked and what you didn't, write about how the story made you feel -- that's as valid as anything anybody else might say. And I think most authors prefer to hear something to nothing. :-) Also, a lot of the site features are built around the stuff members put on the listings (ratings, reviews, recommendations), so everything you do helps improve the site for everyone.


Chris.


I'll even help you along the way and volunteer my story for review. It's short! Really!


Oh, and for what it's worth, personally, I've got more clicks from off the forums here than from the main WFG site. This is since my relaunch. Oh well.


Yeah, we're working on ways to improve our page rank in Google and to streamline the user experience. I don't think the paged listings are working that well, so I'm mucking about with some new ideas on how to present things, with the goal of making it easier to find and track stuff.


That "own page" was quite a shock! I had no idea *!*


Interesting to learn about the Regular Columns too - personally I have always avoided them with a vengeance because I do not wish to know what's happening in a story I have yet to read or am part way through. Their position on the front page makes that a little difficult.


I will have a go at reviewing - I have read my way through a number of the listings and I would like to give some feedback :D


Chris,


Chris,


For what it's worth, I like it. It is much cleaner. I like the "quick links". It might be nice to make it ewasier to link back to the site from all the member's sites by adding a link graphic on the first page.

I have now been to many other sites like WFG and this is by far the best. It is the best run and the community is the most responsive, (If a bit color-phobic), and the most supportive of it's members. As this costs me exactly nothing, I appreciate anything you guys do. So thank you.


I miss the top banner- the header looks worryingly beige without it.


I'd have to agree with apocalypsenovel that we, the freeloading members, are totally subservient to all your design decisions- from where it is now, I think you'd have to work pretty hard to make it look bad. Although the last site that promised me a 'streamlined user experience,' was a blank page with only two functioning links...


I'll get started on that version. ;-)


You only THINK he's joking....


For what it's worth, I think the site looks too bare and nondescript without any sort of header graphic. We've got all the pretty pictures of other people's websites but no identity of our own, as it appears now. What I dislike even more is how tiny the header text is at the moment, like NiSP said, it looks like its apologizing for even being there.


Whether or not that image itself was pleasing, or too "old womanly", has been a spot of disagreement for awhile. I liked the banner design and certainly prefer it over nothing, but I don't think that's a surprise to Chris. :p


Milaydsa, for what it's worth, I've never used the "What's happening" column to talk about what's actually happening in the story, rather what's happening on the site, for instance after my all too common hiatus's i'll make an announcement i'm back there. I tend to agree with you; for someone who doesn't read the story, plot points can potentially ruin it if they do choose to read, and people who do read will know (or find out soon enough) already, so I don't personally see the point.


Back on topic though, I agree. New image, old location. I wouldn't have quite said 'old womanly', but now that it's been said, yea, ok, that's pretty right.


@ Spotty


"I've never used the "What's happening" column to talk about what's actually happening in the story, rather what's happening on the site,"


That makes sense to me and I think it is a great way of using those columns :D