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Bugging Out with 5/3

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posted on Sep, 5 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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I was anticipating the launch of ATS 5/3 and was excited about learning new features, as-well-as seeing how the site-designers chose to incorporate the standard features of the previous version of ATS.

At first, I thought I may not like the new ATS, because it seemed so.... different. Then I decided the best thing to do is to jump in and get comfortable. Afterall, how hard could it be to get acclimated to a new site layout?

As it turns out, so far, it is much more difficult than I imagined.

It is not more difficult because the new design is so alien that everything must be re-learned. It is more difficult due to all the bugs I am encountering, as-well-as some undesireable changes that may not be bugs at all.

The bugs and undesireable changes I've encountered:

1.
One the forums page - It seems the page is very long and the top half of the page is mostly empty, except for the site information on the left side.

The left side column extends half-way down the page and includes all the administration, member, and site performance information.

Once you scroll past the top half, you finally find the list of forums in their respective categories.


2.
When you enter a member's thread, you can see all the stars each post has gained, as-well-as the ghost star that allows you to give each post a star.

However, there is no list of stars on my own reply. We could never give ourselves stars, but we have always been able to see the number of stars each of our posts have garnered.

I liked knowing how many stars my posts received. Not for vanity or ego, but to see how many members agreed with what I had to say. I also used it to see which post members agreed with the most. It served me in a manner similar to the 'Ask the Audience' life-line from the game-show, 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'



3.

Signature Coding.

Have a look at my signature and you will see what I am talking about. Maybe it is not a big issue and can be corrected by doing a little work on my account information, but it is something I am not looking forward to.

I was only just beginning to understand how the coding works. That may not seem like a lot to a tech savvy person, but for the casual surfer, it is an unwanted task.


4.

Oh yeah, and then there is this:








I am sure you will notice other bugs or undesireable changes within the new ATS design. I just hope this is not the final version and these bugs will be exterminated before they drive away many veteran members.

Other than the bugs and omitted features, I think the new design is nice and may eventually become the preferred version.



edit on 5-9-2013 by esteay812 because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 5 2013 @ 06:34 PM
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Ugh, for the love of god please bring the old new topics firehose page back, this feels like ATS facebook edition. And trust me, that's not a good thing.



posted on Sep, 5 2013 @ 06:35 PM
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Folks, we've been tossing out sneak-peaks for months, have been opening this up to members for about a couple months, and have had an open member beta test for almost a full week.

Everyone got a U2U urging them to test the new site and provide commentary in this thread:
Open Member Testing: ATS.5/3 Final Release Candidate
If you didn't participate in an unprecedented open test and request for feedback, why are you doing so after launch?

Please stop starting new threads and use this one thread for your comments.


And for the purpose of communicating, yet again, the rationale behind the redesign, here is what was posted in the open test thread...

By now everyone should have received a private message with the username/password that enables access to the Final Release Candidate version of the new ATS.5/3.

This is the fourth round of user testing (first being staff-only, second being invited beta-testers, and third being an open-beta test to all members) and is intended to accomplish the following:

1) final testing of the site UX (user experience) on a wider variety of user scenarios

2) final refinement of of the color scheme of the two UI (user interface) options

3) establish an understanding of the new interface/structure for a less jarring cut-over

4) begin the offered opportunity for a member collaboration on new smilies


This open test is not intended as an opportunity to offer significant alterations to the UI/UX in any way. Months of work, preceded by months of research, and that preceded by months of analysis of existing "upgrades" to so-called discussion board frameworks (XenForo being the best of a lackluster bunch).



The Primary Goal

What you are testing is not "change for the sake of change." Two massively important factors have been the driving force behind such a significant re-think of what a discussion board platform should be.

1) While the number of in-bound new users (roughly 85% of all daily traffic) has remained relatively flat, the user-engagement (content/thread pages viewed) has been falling off for months.

2) Across the Internet, nearly all discussion boards are experiencing a very similar phenomena. The decline in engagement is seen everywhere, even in large long-established video game forums.

The reason, is relatively simple: the audience has changed. The percentage of people comfortable with the rigid/tight discussion board format is decreasing, while the percentage of people accustomed to the more open sensibilities of contemporary flat design is increasing. It's a clearly quantified (and has been) fact of life for online operators.


Our mandate at AboveTopSecret.com, for more than ten years, has been to create and maintain a venue that showcases the quality content created by our members. A big part of that mandate has been consistent attention to search engine optimization. Another big part has been the delicate balance of advertising to provide the revenue needed to support big traffic, our own advertising, and growth. But the biggest part of that balance has always been finding ways to push the boundaries of a discussion board platform so that new users have the best possible chance to discover your content.

Right now, discovery is falling. Action is needed.

So every decision from font-size to color to mobile responsiveness has been from the vantage point of "what best highlights the content." The content is first. The content is second. And the content is third.



I'm not saying your input isn't important

That's why this is the third time we've opened the development site up to members. But if we didn't place a high priority on ensuring your content is both discovered and lingered-over, all we'd be doing is talking amongst ourselves and no one would have encountered the long-list of content that you created, that became important on thousands of other websites and hundreds of news sources.

This IS for you.






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