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Creating a cleaner and faster AboveTopSecret.com -- member input requested.

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posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 02:49 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Time constraints have prevented accomplishing what was discussed in this 10 month old thread - SEEKING MEMBER INPUT: ATS.5/3 - give your feedback
Not to mention, it's just me doing the work.



[color=6699FF]I GREATLY appreciate your tireless efforts. THX THX THX.


However, some promising new progress has been made.
New board home - screen shot
Site home page - screen shot
Recent posts page - screen shot
While the above examples show a dark-on-light execution, do not fear, logged-in members will have the option to select a light-on-dark alternative that will be much more fully integrated than the last time we tried that.


That was my first concern looking at those mockups.

I was reluctantly brought around to the light on dark pages. The research was evidently quite right. They ARE easier on the eyes and I'd greatly be ... troubled . . . to not have them as an option. Personally, I'd LOVE to be able to select the background colors and fonts but what you have is quite acceptable and much better than light on dark.

That reminds me--for a reference. In terms of simplicity--cleanness etc.--I'm no longer on the site but

www.freerepublic.com...

has always had the cleanest, simplest, most user friendly clickable options etc. It's just glaringly black on white.

The FR COMMENTS page lists all the replies one's posts have generated, with latest first. [color=6699FF]i would LOVE that on ATS


.
Also, with our new approach at a modern CSS3/HTML5 web app execution, all of those screen shots combined use only two image files -- we're greatly reducing the "weight" of ATS pages for faster loading, especially on mobile devices.

As the daunting task of propagating the new clean user experience into deeper pages such as threads, I need to know how much of ATS legacy features will break your heart if we loose or otherwise alter them. These include:


1) Mini-profile background images: Yeah, I love this one too. But the added complexity it brings to normalizing the visual design makes it hard to bring the new clean simplification to the display of threads.


I don't use the background image at all. Most of the avatars are . . . troubling to ugly to me, as well. LOL. Certainly the avatars could be smaller as far as I was concerned.



2) Signatures: A few of the newer/modern forum systems - and updates to existing systems - are doing away with signatures on posts altogether. This is another aspect that impedes creating a new, highly readable and clean design for the display of thread content.


I'd much miss the signature option. I could easier tolerate it being limited to 2-3 lines. I like having a signature. I suppose an option would be for users to be allowed to paste in their standard kosher signature at the end of every post.



3) Profile custom colors: This was one of the very first tweaks I added to the ATS code back in 2005... and I personally like it. But again... with two options for full-page background colors, this could be problematic.


I GREATLY APPRECIATE being able to have custom colors in my profile. Certainly I could live without it but it would somewhat annoy me and sadden me. I care a LOT MORE about that than I do avatars or background images. IF you disallowed custom colors, how about 4-5 options to choose from--as long as one was blue! LOL.



---- possible solutions to the above three is to offer two versions of each, one for the light option and the other for the dark option -- or only display those in the dark option... both add their own versions of new complexity.


Tolerable. I'd still prefer 4-5 options to select from.



4) MyATS favorite forums: I confess to having never used this... even though I spent a lot of time creating it.
How many use the favorite forums list on the left-side of the MyATS page? Would a better option, for those who use it, be to display new activity in your favorite forums in a list-view similar to that of recent posts?


Displaying new activity would be a fine option. That would be much better, imho.



That is all for now. Thanks for helping with your input.


[color=CC9966]yeah, I would MUCH appreciate NO moving gifs. Most of them are annoying and many are greatly irritating

THANKS FOR ASKING. Greatly appreciated. For a variety of reasons, this has turned out to be my posting home by a wide margin when it used to be 3-4th down the list.

So I much appreciate all the efforts to make the modding even-handed and more objective as well as all the efforts to tweak the software; overhaul it etc.

The improvements over the recent years have made a world of difference to me.

THX THX.


.
.





edit on 7/6/2013 by BO XIAN because: fix color tag with lower case and an addition




posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 03:08 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Very "Web 2.0". From a design standpoint, I like it. Actually, I like it a lot. And I hope the dark version is just the light version but inverted. (Light icons on dark background.) You guys do a good job on the design front. I remember last redesign (the design ATS uses now) and honestly I wasn't too pleased with it.

I do hope though that you'll do something different with the little "ribbon" at the bottom of the page. Maybe show notifications differently? Because half the time, I don't even realize I have a U2U. Other then that, I like the ribbon, except for the fact that it auto minimizes. Would be nice to be able to keep it extended.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 03:09 AM
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Originally posted by pillock
Kill the gif avatars please



Would it not be more caring and nice to suggest, "could we have an option to stop gif avatars please."

Some people like them, you do not! I understand! Just maybe, look for a way to please all the folk!

Otherwise we will go down pillock road and I am not sure if I would like that.

P



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 03:35 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by jiggerj
What ever happened to if it ain't broke don't fix it?


Who said it's not broke?

The #1 email complaint we get from visitors over the past couple of years is the dark background. For those accustomed to the contemporary design aesthetic popular for the rest of the web, our color scheme is a surprise.

Also, nearly 25% of all our traffic is now from some kind of mobile device (phone or tablet). So we need to make sure ATS properly "auto-reconfigures" for mobile users.


You know how us old folk don't like change. I like ATS just the way it is, but I do understand.

Just want to point out that you might lose some of us. A few years ago I switched from Yahoo to Google because I just couldn't handle Yahoo's busy front page. Google remains what it always intended to be - a search engine first and foremost, with its front page nice and clean.
edit on 6/7/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 04:10 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Thank you for posting this thread! I like the new design. I love the 'Recent Posts' section of ATS, but I have a suggestion for a section to add, if it's possible. Besides the Recent Posts, could we also get a section to click on for today's new topics? I feel that this feature would better help us stay up to date on breaking news. Thank you SkepticOverlord for asking us.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 04:57 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
1) Mini-profile background images: Yeah, I love this one too. But the added complexity it brings to normalizing the visual design makes it hard to bring the new clean simplification to the display of threads.

I have no idea what a mini-profile background image is.



2) Signatures: A few of the newer/modern forum systems - and updates to existing systems - are doing away with signatures on posts altogether. This is another aspect that impedes creating a new, highly readable and clean design for the display of thread content.

I enjoy having a signature. This is ATS not IKEA. The idea of something being "highly readable" is a little bizarre. If you have eyeballs and brain functions within normal range, one either reads something, or one does not. The only thing that makes things hard to read on a website, is massive text walls, unbroken by even the merest attempt at paragraph use. Other than that, layout is only important if you are going for a site design of the year accreditation.



3) Profile custom colors: This was one of the very first tweaks I added to the ATS code back in 2005... and I personally like it. But again... with two options for full-page background colors, this could be problematic.

I dont think I have ever used this option. Of course, I assume that this is the background colour setting for our profiles? Personally speaking, if the general background colour of the site turns to light grey, I would want the option of making my profile background black.


---- possible solutions to the above three is to offer two versions of each, one for the light option and the other for the dark option -- or only display those in the dark option... both add their own versions of new complexity.


4) MyATS favorite forums: I confess to having never used this... even though I spent a lot of time creating it.
How many use the favorite forums list on the left-side of the MyATS page? Would a better option, for those who use it, be to display new activity in your favorite forums in a list-view similar to that of recent posts?

This is how my day at ATS begins. Login, tools,to check for replies, messege alerts and so on , then back to MyATS, to look first for activity in threads in which I have posted, on the right hand side, and then I use the left hand side of the MyATS screen, to check for new threads in the forums in which I am most interested. I literally use this function for upwards of ninety percent of my activity on this site. I love having my fave forums, with a small collection of current stories and topics being discussed for each one, right there in my ATS page. I have quite a list of faves, and its much easier than looking all over the site directory for them !


That is all for now. Thanks for helping with your input.

Thanks for doing such a bang up job of keeping this site running!



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 05:23 AM
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1 considered for mobile type users perhaps add a link to assist mobile connection. So as some come on usual site from phones they are prompted to click something taking them into a mobile interface of site while site remains intact for computer or non mobile interfacers...



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 05:44 AM
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My only suggestion for a 'cleaner' site ... get rid of 'karma' and stars. I don't think anyone pays attention to 'karma', and stars and counting contributes to group think .... IMHO.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 05:47 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
4) MyATS favorite forums:

- I never use it.
- I don't use 'friends' and 'foes' either.
- THe new search engine doesn't work for me so I bookmarked the old one.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 06:08 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I like the new style and even though I would definately miss the colors, I would easily adjust.

Avatars are fun, some of the Avatar creativity on this forum is the very best I've ever seen. Any new format though, I would also adapt. Would be empty to go without them though. IMHO.

Signatures. Have/have not, no difference for me.

Having the profile colors help the members like me that change their avatars every so often. But then again, all depending on your new format, I would adapt.

I always use My ATS and love the way it is now. A scroll down recent post style on the left could be a good idea.

Highest respects for asking the membership its opinion !!



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 08:23 AM
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Create a 24/7 Interface Broadcast Deck .
Option to post without having to type anything .
InterfaceJockey positions needs to be created .





edit on 7-6-2013 by 23432 because: a



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 08:56 AM
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reply to post by BO XIAN
 


I greatly respect the opinions of folks who are not appreciative of the avatars/background images. Thinking about this, I was wondering....could folks not just rely on the "disable" feature to turn off those images? And make it a default setting for mobile users?



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Time constraints have prevented accomplishing what was discussed in this 10 month old thread - SEEKING MEMBER INPUT: ATS.5/3 - give your feedback

4) MyATS favorite forums: I confess to having never used this... even though I spent a lot of time creating it.
How many use the favorite forums list on the left-side of the MyATS page? Would a better option, for those who use it, be to display new activity in your favorite forums in a list-view similar to that of recent posts?


OMG i live by MyATS favorite forums, please dont take it away,
i dont care if you change its looks, but i rely on that list.

Love and harmony
Whateva



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 09:38 AM
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New board home - screen shot
Site home page - screen shot
Recent posts page - screen shot

Looks good!


1) Mini-profile background images:

Substitute avatars?


2) Signatures:

Unnecessary


3) Profile custom colors:

Would still be nice. It's how I find my posts.


4) MyATS favorite forums:

I don't use this feature.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Please don't take away the custom colours, the avatars, the signatures!, mini profile pics!.

OMG!!! You're going to take away AboveTopSecrets personality and individuality and colour and flavour!

And you're making it all grey and white! It's horrible! Horrible!!!

I also hate how you've taken away the colour of the different threads!

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please don't do this!

I love ATS how it is. And it's fast enough too.

Maybe the home screen, the layout, is better, with more info on more threads and more thread topics... BUT OMG EVERYTHING ELSE PLEASE DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've seen so many more great threads that I've missed by checking out people's signatures. So many quotes I've learned. Opinion changing quotes. Quotes of learning. !!!

I know you're trying to constantly change and improve the website, but sometimes once you've really reached a good thing, it's time to sit down and say "Don't fix something that ain't broke". Sure the homescreen could be improved how you showed it, introduce the new layout of the home screen, but god not the colours! I do like the dark theme.
edit on 7-6-2013 by DaRAGE because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 09:57 AM
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Well, if you're going to have two skins make the dark one black. That would be terrific. Spooky-like. The appearance does have a lot to do with the appeal.

I belong to another forum that switched to a light skin and due to the subject matter, BEER, it started out with a Germanic skin. Then they went all ****** Lite and totally ruined the feel of it for a lot of the membership.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:18 AM
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MyATS is my literal homepage, set to autologin. That's where I begin my ATS experience. As others, that's my base. I have over 24 forums "favorited" there, and when read, I check the current topics.

Obviously, I've tweaked the sig space to link to four different forums, but heck, it was just a space that needed attention. I'd be missing that.

As far as avatars/background profiles, there is a bit of redundancy there. How about just one avatar spot, bigger than avatar (170x240) but smaller than backgrounds (180x480). Right now we get 225kb to play around with, so in that neighborhood is fine, and don't see it being a problem on mobile devices. (Besides, my smartphone handles ATS just fine, as is.)

Avatars are a key feature of ATS, yet unless you are logged in, you can't see them.

The biggest issue with mobile access is the dang tiny keyboards. I'll surf on mobile, sure, but I usually refrain from typing anything lengthy until I get to a keyboard. Tablets too, too small of a keyboard, and mostly useful for surfing ATS, or short quicky comments.

I'll pause with saying that a default mode that's vanilla and plain would be great, but allow users to turn on other features as they see fit. On the profile, give the option for everything to be turned on or off, and allow users to adjust. The plain is great for people just surfing in and around, the guests. Don't forget about your core members that really enjoy all the features.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:39 AM
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PLEASE get rid of the signature line. Mine is making fun of signature lines though I doubt anyone gets it. I don't care if people have one line available, but the multiple colors and self promotion are annoying and pointless. It seems half the time there is more content in a signature line than in a persons individual post. Also when I say one line I mean of text. The banners irritate me and make the site look clunky in my opinion.

I know nothing of the favorites thingamajig so I don't care at all.

Keep avatars and allow GIFs. This is a key part of the experience and people whining about it should just turn them off. I have this weird problem with names. I can remember an avatar, but never a name.

Keep custom text color. It really helps when scrolling and recognizing others.

Get rid of the background image in the avatar.

I'm actually liking the new layout for the most part. It's nice to see that ghastly "DENY IGNORANCE" banner gone. I feel like the top bar where I'm seeing recent posts could use a little more pizazz, maybe a slightly thicker border? I'll be really happy if there are a few different background settings. I like having a darker background. I do not like the fade thing going on at the moment though. It's a neat effect, but it feels a little 1995.

This is a weird one, and most likely there is already a fix but how can I resize my window and not have half the stuff on the page go into hiding? Is that a site issue or a Domo issue? When I'm here I always have Netflix playing in a small window to the side, and I'd like to not have to scroll with my smaller window. (It's not even all that small-don't make jokes guys).

Would it be possible to have a "drunk mode"? At a certain time I have to type in a tricky recaptcha? I think that would help the mods immensely.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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So are all changes going to be NSA approved, or are we going to say ( The Dogs be Dammed ! )

I guess they all ready know what's going to happen.



posted on Jun, 7 2013 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by pillock
 



Kill the gif avatars please


My gif avatar and mini profile background is shocked by the thought of losing such a wonderful and enjoyable life here on the pages of ATS.

I like the suggestions involving options to turn rich graphical features off via user/device preferences



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