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GRGridGirl

Hello UrbanPlanet Upgrade

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Daddy-O:

What's the good word on the upgrade? Is there a tricks and tips page to learn the new tools.

Ahhh.... change is good right?

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I'm still getting used to it myself. It appears to function basically the same, just looks different. If you have questions, please feel free to post them in the UrbanPlanet Info section of the main forums.

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Please let us know if you have ideas of how to make the experience even better. The basics of the site haven't changed, it just looks different as GRDadof3 stated above. Most of the big changes are behind the scenes, but I'm sure you'll find some new features that you can use as well. New features are scattered about and many are subtle, but I think most users will benefit from the upgrade at least a little. :)

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Please let us know if you have ideas of how to make the experience even better. The basics of the site haven't changed, it just looks different as GRDadof3 stated above. Most of the big changes are behind the scenes, but I'm sure you'll find some new features that you can use as well. New features are scattered about and many are subtle, but I think most users will benefit from the upgrade at least a little. :)

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Where can we find out what the new features are? I looked a little around the UP info boards and I couldn't find anything, but maybe I just missed it?

I gotta say that I really don't like the ads after the first reply on a page. It's highly annoying and multiple times I've had to tell myself, "oh, I think there's more, I need to scroll down".

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My only complaint is the resetting of my thread viewing history.. everything's flagged as being new again.

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What I really don't like is links not opening in a new page/tab.

~John

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What I really don't like is links not opening in a new page/tab.

~John

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I dont like how you cant cursor over forums and get the drop slelction like the old one, now I have to click through midwest, michigan, and then GR its purely a laziness issue that i need to deal with...

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My only complaint is the resetting of my thread viewing history.. everything's flagged as being new again.

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Where can we find out what the new features are? I looked a little around the UP info boards and I couldn't find anything, but maybe I just missed it?

I gotta say that I really don't like the ads after the first reply on a page. It's highly annoying and multiple times I've had to tell myself, "oh, I think there's more, I need to scroll down".

I don't have any documentation yet on letting users know what the new features are. Honestly most of the new features are subtle and IMO don't need documented as they can be figured out fairly quickly.

As far as the ads go, we had the same ads with the old site, there has been no change. I believe you're referring to the two 300x250 ads that are displayed after the first post. I may go down to a smaller size (i.e. 728x90) like is displayed in the header and footer, but the ads will need to stay. I don't believe most realize just how expensive it is to run a site like this and quite honestly ad revenue is down GREATLY over this time last year and certainly over two years ago. I would absolutely love to have less advertisements on the site, but reality just doesn't allow for that.

We do offer an option for those who really don't want the ads, and that is to upgrade to a plus or premium membership. The cost for a plus membership is $20/year and will get you ad free on the entire site. You can get more information here: http://www.urbanplan...p=subscriptions

My only complaint is the resetting of my thread viewing history.. everything's flagged as being new again.

I understand the frustration with that, unfortunately it was required as the underlying method of keeping track of read topics changed.

What I really don't like is links not opening in a new page/tab.

~John

I can likely resolve this issue. In the interim, you can override this locally by holding down the Command key on a Mac or Ctrl key on a PC and clicking the link. This will force tabbed browsers (i.e. Firefox and Internet Explorer) to open the link in a new tab.

I dont like how you cant cursor over forums and get the drop slelction like the old one, now I have to click through midwest, michigan, and then GR its purely a laziness issue that i need to deal with...

I realize that the menu needs reworking and I'm working on a solution. I do plan to bring back the old menu type.

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Neo,

Thank you for responding to and acting on our complaints and requests. I sure appreciate it.

~John

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I can't say there's anything about the new format that I think is better than the old format. Loads slower, doesn't go to the last reply I read in a thread and I like the the looks of the old format better than this one. Sorry to be negative but I could have done without any change :(

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^^ What he said: "I like the the looks of the old format better than this one."

To me, it appears that the upgrade was developed by someone with one a them double-wide monitors. Now I have to scroll back and forth to read an entire sentence or see who posted to a topic. Reducing the type size just makes things illegible. So at some point tonight I will have to experiment and find a Planet-specific setting, and use my existing one for the rest of teh intertubes.

Edit: The new format is including what folks have input as their "interests." That should be available as a profile feature, not on every post. Thanks.

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I can't say there's anything about the new format that I think is better than the old format. Loads slower, doesn't go to the last reply I read in a thread and I like the the looks of the old format better than this one. Sorry to be negative but I could have done without any change :(

The site has been faster for me and many other folks so I'm a little confused as to why it is slower for you. Granted it will be a little slower for the first few viewings as your browser caches the new images, html, etc, but after that it should be quicker.

^^ What he said: "I like the the looks of the old format better than this one."

To me, it appears that the upgrade was developed by someone with one a them double-wide monitors. Now I have to scroll back and forth to read an entire sentence or see who posted to a topic. Reducing the type size just makes things illegible. So at some point tonight I will have to experiment and find a Planet-specific setting, and use my existing one for the rest of teh intertubes.

Edit: The new format is including what folks have input as their "interests." That should be available as a profile feature, not on every post. Thanks.

I realize that not everyone is going to be happy with this new design, but on the other end of the spectrum, I've received many e-mails and have seen posts viewing the new design in a positive light. I do intend to address concerns however. I went through this exact scenario with the last major site upgrade. There were some who simply did not like the last design we had, so it will be impossible for me to create something that everyone loves.

I did address the interests issue however, that was a quick issue to fix. Interests only appear in profile view now, not in topics.

Specific requests like that help me greatly in improving the experience for you guys.

Thanks!

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^^ What he said: "I like the the looks of the old format better than this one."

To me, it appears that the upgrade was developed by someone with one a them double-wide monitors. Now I have to scroll back and forth to read an entire sentence or see who posted to a topic. Reducing the type size just makes things illegible. So at some point tonight I will have to experiment and find a Planet-specific setting, and use my existing one for the rest of teh intertubes.

Edit: The new format is including what folks have input as their "interests." That should be available as a profile feature, not on every post. Thanks.

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I suppose my biggest complaint with the design would be colours. UP Yellow and Blue seemed to run all throughout the page before, but now in the threads it's just all shades of blue. If there were splashes of the yellow on more than just the top, I think the layout would feel a bit more alive and less boring.

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I suppose my biggest complaint with the design would be colours. UP Yellow and Blue seemed to run all throughout the page before, but now in the threads it's just all shades of blue. If there were splashes of the yellow on more than just the top, I think the layout would feel a bit more alive and less boring.

This is something I am planning to tweak, but my first order of business is making sure all of the actual bugs with the system are ironed out and major issues are addressed (i.e. the new navigation menu that I implemented yesterday afternoon).

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Neo,

I concur, the site is noticeably slower for me. I've been on it a few times, and it appears to really chug when it attempts to load.

I wonder if what we're really seeing is slower render-time for end users?

All I know is that for me (on 2 different computers) it's considerably slower.

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Neo,

I concur, the site is noticeably slower for me. I've been on it a few times, and it appears to really chug when it attempts to load.

I wonder if what we're really seeing is slower render-time for end users?

All I know is that for me (on 2 different computers) it's considerably slower.

It could be the speed of your actual computer, sure. There are an amazing amount of items that must load in your browser, but having said that, I'm using a two year old MacBook Pro for example, and the speed is improved over the previous version of the site. A couple of staff members have also concurred that the site loads speedily for them, though another staff member has also stated that it is loading slow for him. The fact that it is loading fast for many concludes the thought that it is an issue with the actual site/server and that it is either the speed of your Internet connection or the speed of your computer in rendering items in the browser.

Some browsers are also slower than others. Firefox, Chrome and Safari are going to be quicker than Internet Explorer.

I will go through when I get some time and try to compress some of the graphics on the site a little more (I did this on the previous version as well). This should help a little. I can't say I'll get to it today or this week, but I will get to it soon. There are other items that have greater priority.

Thanks!

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The biggest problem I have with the urbanplanet forum is eye strain. I don't know who decided that black text on a white background was a good idea, but I can't stay long on the forum because of it. It probably harkens back to ink and paper. But with our computer monitors ability to display near perfect white, I would prefer ink and paper any day, concerning eye fatigue. Like so many other complaints, you cant satisfy all. But to have a feature where the users can change the color scheme of the forum themselves would be ideal. An idea that I have would be to use the color yellow across the user name bar that stretches across the screen, and use the shade of blue used currently in the username bar, maybe a shade darker, and place that behind the text. This would resolve the issue of tslater's as well.

Murch's Rules http://www.acm.org/c...s3-3/color.html cf2.jpg

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The biggest problem I have with the urbanplanet forum is eye strain. I don't know who decided that black text on a white background was a good idea, but I can't stay long on the forum because of it. It probably harkens back to ink and paper. But with our computer monitors ability to display near perfect white, I would prefer ink and paper any day, concerning eye fatigue.

Murch's Rules http://www.acm.org/c...s3-3/color.html

  • Avoid the simultaneous display of highly saturated, spectrally extreme colors.
  • Pure BLUE should be avoided for text, thin lines, and small shapes.
  • Avoid adjacent colors that differ only in the amount of BLUE.
  • Older operators need higher brightness levels to distinguish colors.
  • Colors change in appearance as the ambient light level changes.
  • The magnitude of a detectable change in color varies across the spectrum.
  • It is difficult to focus upon edges created by color alone.
  • Avoid RED and GREEN in the periphery of large-scale displays.
  • Opposit colors go well together.
  • For color-deficient (color blind) observers, avoid single-color distinctions.

cf2.jpg

I'm a little confused by your post. You say that black text on a white background isn't easy to look at, yet it is listed as one of the best colors according to the chart you placed in the post. I'm also using the exact same shade of black and the same shade of white as the old version of the site, nothing changed. I don't see where I'm going against the 'rule of thumb' list regarding UI here, but maybe I'm reading your post wrong?

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Well I have really no complaints about the new look - I think it's great.

However...

I do agree about the colors and the eye strain - if the basic colors haven't changed - maybe it is due to the new blue shades that are making things seem brighter than normal. Fortunately, I have a laptop and can adjust my brightness very quickly.

I'm not sure what to really suggest here to fix it as far as colors. Maybe a darker gray in the background would do the trick to level out the brightness.

Overall - love the changes - I don't have any problems with it loading slowly. My best advice for people would be to clear their temp internet files and cookies - chances are your browser's trousers are getting a little too full? :lol:

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I have one other small suggestion. On the forum page with a list of all the topics - I think the titles of the topics should be in bold so they can be a little bit easier to read.

As far as the color issue again...

Does anyone else notice that when someone responds with a quote how that is in a darker shade of blue. I think that should be the background color of every post - I find that much easier to read...and perhaps the new quote color could be an even darker shade of blue.

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After doing a little research, black on white is probably the best choice for the majority of people, but for me it is to much contrast.

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