iLounge interface changes | iLounge News

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iLounge interface changes

We’re in the initial phase of tweaking the iLounge site interface to make all of our information easier to find and enjoy. This week’s change is a newly interactive menu bar with eight sections: News, Articles, Gear Guide, Help, Forums, Gallery, Downloads, and About Us. Check out the new bar and tell us what you think, how we could tweak it, and what you’d like to see us do next. Thanks for all of your support!

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Comments

1

Looks good. I like it better then the old interface.

Posted by kainjow on March 15, 2004 at 11:23 AM (CST)

2

Yeah, it’s better, but could you put a grey border on the menus? At the moment the white menus can get lost in the other white portions of the site.

Posted by Ben on March 15, 2004 at 11:49 AM (CST)

3

I find the fact that the menus are activated upon hovering slightly irritating; wouldn’t it be nice if you just clicked on them to expand, and then click on them once more to collapse?

It makes sense from a UI point of view. Having to click on them in order to expand, ensures that the menus will appear only for those interested (i.e. not for those who’re moving their cursor upwards to change tabs, minimize the window, etc. and who’re obviously not interested in the menus’ contents), and having to click once is a rather painless (read “not complex”) activity.

Plus, from a web-designer’s standpoint, it’s not that hard to implement.

Posted by Konstantinos on March 15, 2004 at 4:38 PM (CST)

4

Jakob sez:

> Drop-down menus are often more trouble than they are
> worth and can be confusing because Web designers use
> them for several different purposes. Also, scrolling menus
> reduce usability when they prevent users from seeing all
> their options in a single glance.

(See http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001112.html)

I agree with Jakob’s comments, and add to it that drop-down menus are also bad because mouse-over responses are inconsistent with the rest of the both the web’s and the entire computer’s OS UI guidelines in general. You don’t tend to get responses out of computers with mouse-overs, but with clicks, until some goofy designers decided to put that functionality into JavaScript.

Bad. So if a user clicks on it, expecting a drop down, they’ll get the drop down for a moment before it goes to the next page, and they’ll be confused.

And I don’t want to have to mouse-over every menu item to see everything - just clean up the layout of the front page and figure out a way to fit it all on there. Sites like Yahoo! have fit much more information on a single page and done it coherently. (Though as an aside Yahoo!‘s getting to be a bit over the top.) The “featured” and “site news” portions dominate the homepage, and are rather inefficiently organized. Under the iPod mini section repeating “iPod mini” isn’t necessary before each link - after all, it’s under that heading. Reduce it to “battery tests,” “photos,” “forums,” etc., so users can easily scan that. Tuck the picture in tighter and gain some room there.

Regarding story comments statistics, it’s nice to see the comments for each article, but there may be a better way of doing it on the same line to allow the entries to fit into a smaller space; fussing with that could yield some more efficiency without closing everything in so much that it’s cluttered.

And, the left-hand column doesn’t seem to match the nav bar links - something should be changed to make more obvious the purpose of that left bar.

Fixing those two areas alone should provide enough space for the current menu bar to be a more mature navigational system that doesn’t have any drop-down foibles.

Free advice from a usability nut, for what it is (or isn’t!) worth.

Mortimer

Posted by Mortimer on March 15, 2004 at 4:38 PM (CST)

5

can you change the font of the date and time to be consistent with the rest of the site please?

also the actvation of the drop down menus seems pretty convenient, but i’m a simple person and was used to clicking on what i wanted to see. if you leave it as is i suppose, i’ll get used to it…! still the best iPod site around : )

Posted by yinyang on March 15, 2004 at 5:44 PM (CST)

6

i liked it, noticed it immediatly. i have no problem with it, but on the note of the ui on the front page, it feels kind of cluttered…a little more streamlined would be nice, which u have started to do with this menu :)

Posted by draell on March 15, 2004 at 9:22 PM (CST)

7

Meh, mouseover drop down menus are a big usability no-no. they’re so annoying. at least make it so you have to click on them to drop down, although I like it much better to just see everything at a glance. Try consolidating some of your menu items.

Posted by saycheese200 on March 15, 2004 at 10:09 PM (CST)

8

Ahh the new gray border makes it much easier on the eyes thanks.

Posted by kainjow on March 16, 2004 at 12:29 PM (CST)

9

coding needs fixing:

when user is in gallery.ipodlounge.com/whatever the new interface bar will not work becuase it uses relative addressing. ie.  if you click on the forums button while in gallery.ipodlounge.com, you will be taken to gallery.ipodlounge.com/forums which does not exist.

absolute addressing works best guys :)

Posted by StinkieDMB in Pittsburgh, PA on March 16, 2004 at 5:07 PM (CST)

10

The bottom corners of the popup link boxes should be rounded, so it actually seems as if they are linked (rolled out from) the top part. At the moment the style doesn’t match - the popup bits are square, but the other bit has rounded corners. It might be hard to implement though.

Apart from that, cool!

Posted by Cozzie on March 17, 2004 at 12:26 AM (CST)

11

I would find it MOST helpful, if the most recent comments are listed first so I don’t ahve to scroll through 15 pages to see the most recent postings.

Is it possible to change this option?

I love the iLounge and this is one of the few things that annoys me.

Posted by BrightOne on March 17, 2004 at 11:31 AM (CST)

12

for the review section/gear guide, separate the generations of ipod.  When i look for a review, i don’t wanna look through ones if its not for my gen ipod. :)

Posted by Richie on March 19, 2004 at 12:46 PM (CST)

13

Don’t like the pop-up menus - they look cluttered and sloppy. Plus, I’ve never found menus like this speed up my browsing.

Posted by Simon on March 19, 2004 at 1:32 PM (CST)

14

The redesign is fine, it works for me and looks fresh… Some of you are a bunch of moaning feckers, are you frustrated designers or what? Could you lot do better? I’m sure some of you are really are talented, especially they Mac users ;0…

But stop acting like sad arses….

Posted by Tony Macaroni on March 19, 2004 at 5:30 PM (CST)

15

Tony: Cute troll.

Posted by Lou Pizza on March 20, 2004 at 9:58 AM (CST)

16

i owuld love to see a small text link to “the top of page” esp in the fourms..after i read althe way down on the last page and want to go back to the home page or choose a place on the fourm location of menu bar i have to scroll up quite a ways…not trying to wine but thought it would be usefull

Posted by rivlinm on March 20, 2004 at 4:37 PM (CST)

17

its great. thanks

Posted by Ed on March 20, 2004 at 9:32 PM (CST)

18

Yeah, it’s good, Jakob can stop whinging.

Posted by Nuke666 on March 22, 2004 at 3:27 PM (CST)

19

Is there an explanation of the various icons next to the thread in the forums?  If not, I’d love to see one.

The site loogs mahvelous…!

Posted by Bill S. on March 22, 2004 at 3:34 PM (CST)

20

I like the mousevers.

Posted by esra in PA on March 22, 2004 at 5:25 PM (CST)

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