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New Changes to ATS (Almost Version 5.0)

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posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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Right now Conspiracy Masters has its own board.

The Official Launch of the AboveTopSecret.com Conspiracy Masters Initiative

I would guess that the new link at the top of the page will just link to that board.




posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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I still want to know what a TinWiki is.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by Serum39
As a designer and usability tester for over 10 years, I really think you need to stop and listen to what people are saying more.

As a designers and tester I'm sure you also know people are never satisfied, and want something different every other day.

Are the recent changes really that bad? The most popular recent topics are on the top of the index page, and the active threads/recent posts are on halfway on the page, on the left...

Many forums I visit don't even have a seperate list of recent posts on the main page, only the forum list itself.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by Serum39
As a designer and usability tester for over 10 years, I really think you need to stop and listen to what people are saying more.

My first official Human/Computer heuristics project was way back in 1989... so I've got you beat.




Remember, sites of this nature should be designed, no offense to anyone, should be designed for the lowest common denominator. Simple.

Keep in mind that the development of ATS 2k6 is not yet finished. This is a live and dynamic environment where it's impossible to test the pieces in a vacuum.

Very large and complex discussion boards represent the most difficult heuristic challenges among all types of websites:
1- The information is diverse and complex
2- The feature set will have a different meaning for each user
3- The content hierarchy will be different for each user
4- The content relationships are often impossible to connect
5- Very tall pages result in meaningful content throughout the entire scroll
6- There is no "fold" (almost 5.a really)
7- Identity is often blurred by a sameness of structure dictated by BB software
8- Users like to customize their appearance

And, adding to that is the always difficult problem of presenting something new to thousands of people who are used to how it was before... and even before that.

You should have heard the clamor for my head when I color-coded the forums and introduced the color coding in the Recent Posts page. Now that users have grown accustomed to knowing what type of content is associated with which color, I was nearly lynched when I proposed removing it out of bandwidth/performance concerns.

The old domain home page with the modular displays of recent posts where auto-generated includes from these files:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...
As I mentioned, that is an obsolete feature that isn't up to date with the most current set of forums available. In addition, you'd be surprised how few people visit that page and use it to access the discussion board.

Almost three months ago, I added new code that tracked how people enter and interact with ATS. Nearly 80% of all new visitors hit our domain with a link to a thread from a search engine. From there, of the people that remain to look at more information, it's about a 50/50 split between clicking on the forum home, or clicking on the recent posts page. The percentage of users clicking from the main domain home through to a thread (from that list you enjoyed) was less than 1%. While it may have been an accidentally helpful feature for you (and a few others), any interface designer will tell you to ignore user paths that represent less than 1% of typical activity.

As a matter of fact, 78% of all clicks from the old primary domain home page were directly to the board home page. I can't ignore the possibility of being able to remove an extra mouse-click for an average of 46,000 people every day.



If its aint broke, dont fix it. That said- keep up th egood work guys.

So... as you can see. Best practice research was indeed employed prior to considering some of the most significant aspects of the structural redesign. And, it looks like it has helped. Page views (of thread content pages, not the board home) are up over 30% since the redesign.

There are some things we could do to improve some items as I watch the usage patters in our user path data. But the early numbers seem to indicate a very successful overall redesign.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:58 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I still want to know what a TinWiki is.


TinWiki is an ATS project that is similar to wikipedia.

Tin is for the tinfoil hat
Wiki is a collaborative Web site set up to allow user editing and adding of content



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I still want to know what a TinWiki is.


tinwiki.org...

William One Sac is your Wiki-Master.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by masqua

me
Why is it that viewing this thread automatically shunts me into PTS?


I'm still winding up in PTS when I click on this story from the homepage.


I don't know how SO wrote the script, but perhaps when you first logged in, you logged in on PTS, so the main cookie is a PTS cookie. The Board Questions & Business can be accessed from every forum (ATS,BTS,PTS), so you view this forum in your default forum; PTS. But again, this is pure speculation.
You could try to log out, and delete the ATS cookies, and then log in again.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:08 PM
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You should have heard the clamor for my head when I color-coded the forums and introduced the color coding in the Recent Posts page. Now that users have grown accustomed to knowing what type of content is associated with which color, I was nearly lynched when I proposed removing it out of bandwidth/performance concerns.


Deffinately a good idea to keep that. I am sure the first few days with that feature removed would be chaos.

Its the little things on ATS that you don't even realize that we appreciate the most.

With a board so big your never going to keep everybody happy, the members of the site have to trust the staff to keep us going in the right direction and I see no reason why to ever doubt them.

The one thing I find myself still looking for is what members recieved recent applause. I assume this has been removed.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:10 PM
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I like the tinfoil hat on the Wiki puzzle ball.

Pretty cool....

Who's idea was that?



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

tinwiki.org...



Welcome to the TinWiki, the first full-feature Wiki dedicated exclusively to all the topics that inspires the authors to consider "tin foil hats".


That's cool and hilarious.


Now, I'm just waiting to see what becomes of that mysterious abyss called ATSNN.



[edit on 2006/3/8 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:13 PM
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Hmm.. so far not so crazy about it...

The buttons definately look better.

I am having the scroll problem ocassionally when going into certain topics...

Also I prefered when the latest threads were broken into topics instead of massed together - as I rarely bother with PTS discussions - they are mostly I'm right u are Wrong troll sessions imho....

However - I am sure I will get used to it - keep up the good work!

p.s. - How come we still have to log into the different sections seperately? - that's still a little weird / non user friendly...



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
I'm not havng that problem.


Go to the home page, find the link to this thread in 'Discussion Boards Recent Posts' on the left side and click on it.

Every time I do this, I still wind up in PTS looking at the nice yellow background.




posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 04:39 PM
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I hope you guys get paid for all this work!!!

And yes, the bottomline is you cant please everyone. I hope my comments did not take away from the appreciation I and others have for all the hard work you guys put into this site. Thanx!


lol.. Seemed you went out of the way to "put me in place" -- typed a book!
All you needed to say was- stats are showing us "xyz". It's all good. I defer.

Just keep up the great work!

Peace



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 09:15 PM
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When I walk into a public library I do not want to find shelves with all the book's titles and backpage summaries blanked out to be replaced by a barcode number. I want to walk in, over to the Medical Conspiracies SHELVING UNIT, and see at a glance if anything new has come in- and to glance over THE TITLE of the new item to decide if I want to invest the time neccesary to pick up the whole book and maybe check it out. If I have to glance at every single title with no subject order or go over to the computer catalog- well, time to go to work. Forget it! Bye!

The 'Dewey Decimal System' of the old ATS Home Recent Posts was the best thing going on this site. I would come to glance at the Recent Posts by subjects, to read subjects I enjoy and ignore those I don't, and to glance at the ATSNN headlines to decide if I needed to carry the baseball bat to work that day.

This new format looks like a typical 'Big Boreds' (sic) layout. Not fast, not easy, not convenient, and thank you NO, I do not want to enjoy the privacy of my very own My ATS Cubicle. I want to know what Others Are Saying about Ancient And Lost Ciilizations without (click, click, click, wait) surfing through multipages of income-generating banner display website.

Yes this a long disappointed rant from someone who loves ATS. Try these 'improvements' in a Beta version and take a POLL before switching formats? I would so bail instead of constructive criticising if there was anywhere else to go (there isn't, I looked, Hon). This is my last post on the subject, so let me be perfectly clear: organize the lower left 'recent posts' thingy by subjects- please!



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 09:28 PM
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Is the recent applause section Kaput?

Please tell me that section is being revised and will be back better than ever.



Membership rewards.
Membership rewards.
Membership rewards.

ATS grew and is great because of rewarding outstanding contributors.



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by Chakotay
Yes this a long disappointed rant from someone who loves ATS. Try these 'improvements' in a Beta version and take a POLL before switching formats? I would so bail instead of constructive criticising if there was anywhere else to go (there isn't, I looked, Hon). This is my last post on the subject, so let me be perfectly clear: organize the lower left 'recent posts' thingy by subjects- please!


um... read my long post above... I did apply extensive research before considering new design options.
- About 78% of all domain home visitors clicked through to the board home
- Less than 1% of domain home visitors clicked on the direct thread links
The data indicates your usage pattern is very rare. Sorry.



New update. The "Hot Topics" and "Hot Discussions" at the top of the home page for each board now reflect threads specific to that board.


More additions/changes coming.



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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Given that a few (mutants?
) people seemed to be using the legacy domain home page to view forum-specific recent posts, I looked for a simple solution to achieve a similar result under the new system.

Here's a prototype page:
www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Mar, 9 2006 @ 08:48 AM
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May i say the changes are wonderful, and i am now more proud than ever to be a member of this fine high tech community.



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 03:00 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by Chakotay
Yes this a long disappointed rant from someone who loves ATS. Try these 'improvements' in a Beta version and take a POLL before switching formats? I would so bail instead of constructive criticising if there was anywhere else to go (there isn't, I looked, Hon). This is my last post on the subject, so let me be perfectly clear: organize the lower left 'recent posts' thingy by subjects- please!


um... read my long post above... I did apply extensive research before considering new design options.
- About 78% of all domain home visitors clicked through to the board home
- Less than 1% of domain home visitors clicked on the direct thread links
The data indicates your usage pattern is very rare. Sorry.



New update. The "Hot Topics" and "Hot Discussions" at the top of the home page for each board now reflect threads specific to that board.


More additions/changes coming.


Actually after reading this particular post I get the layout, But to be honest i was lost for two days , Until Umbrax was kind enough to give me a link to this thread. Now while a change of this caliber shouldn't be that big of a deal, seeing as how it actually makes things more efficient. I came back to this site after 10days of taking a vacation, My mind almost shut down
I was like "where are the damn colors and the recent post" and had a hard adjusting to this minor change
, i know it seems like a dumb complaint, but my advice would be to send out a u2u about the new layout for all of us who usually take the "for dummies" explanation of things. but now that i finally get it all I can say is
thanx for keeping this place growing and evolving and thanx for keeping bozos like me on our toes



BTw take it easy on chakotay, ATS is our home on the internet, and coming home and finding it redecorated tends to make us feel like walked in the wrong door.


[edit on 12-3-2006 by bordnlazy]



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 01:27 PM
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All the new changes apparently took place only days after I joined. Therefore I did start here with the old version, several days later, I swear It was changing before my eyes. Confusing at first, but all is well now!!

btw Glad to get Serpo off of the top of the page.



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