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#5657 - 09/04/02 04:14 PM Bug Report: Navigation
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
On the pull-down menus, the "Discussion" link goes to the main page for that section of the site. Only once on those section pages does the Discussion link in the pull downs take you to the discussion pages.

This is unexpected and results in an additional page load. The pull-down menus should go directly to the sub-section clicked on from anywhere in the site.


Edited by MarcC (09/04/02 04:24 PM)
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#5658 - 09/04/02 05:09 PM Re: Bug Report: Navigation [Re: MarcC]
pda Offline
addict

Registered: 08/30/01
Posts: 621
Loc: Bergen County NJ
Climbing pulldown menu has misspelling - "Trip Repots"

Also - how about providing a selection for the old colors?

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#5659 - 09/04/02 05:22 PM Re: Bug Report: Navigation [Re: MarcC]
MurphysLaw Offline
gumby

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 2308
Loc: Hudson Valley, NY
Somewhat related to this is, when I respond to a PM, it often does not send me back to the PM in-box, so I can delete what I just responded to, or read the next PM.

And, in general, it is inconsistent as to which discussion board you will go back to, after reading a post.
In some cases, you can go back to the "master" board, which has NYC, climbing, biking, and hiking, and other times it's just climbing, still others it's just the sub-category.

But overall, good work Evan, and thanks!
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#5660 - 09/04/02 08:50 PM Re: Bug Report: Navigation- Macintosh [Re: MarcC]
rustyrabbit Offline
member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 168
Loc: village of new paltz
Not sure if this is unique to the Mac interface, but using OS 9+ and a current version of IE, and attempting to access the discussion section- this is the process:

Go to Lefthand gutter of main screen,
click on Discussion bar,
this opens up nine threads, 3 each in climbing, hiking and biking.
For climbing, the choices are Support Needed..., New Leader..., and ALIENS. I have to click one of these threads, see the expanded thread with posts, and then at the top of this page is the first place that I can select "Climbing Discussion" and see all the threads and new posts.

On Netscape Navigator on a Mac the font sizes don't scale- the typeface is tiny, even after adjusting things. I'm old, but my eyes aren't that bad...I don't want to have to get a PC or deep link! Otherwise, the appearance is nice, and I like the orange.

r.r.
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#5661 - 09/04/02 10:30 PM Re: Bug Report: Navigation- Macintosh [Re: rustyrabbit]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
That was how I first navigated to the climbing discussion - a royal pain. However, if you mouse-over the Climb menu item, you get a drop-down menu that has Discussion.... a somewhat more direct method.



However I agree that it is counter-intuitive to click on Discussion in the left nav bar and get 3 groups of 3 threads instead of direct links to the Climbing, Biking, and Hiking discussion main index pages. Alterrnatively, maybe list the top 3 threads (however "top" is defined) plus a direct link to each discussion main index.

Regarding the font size issue, some do scale, but in the stylesheet, most are defined as a fixed point size instead of relative sizing. Since Macs have different size pixels than PCs, a fixed point size will always be way smaller on a Mac. All web pages or style sheets should be coded in relative font sizes, and not absolute (ie: never use px or pt specifications) since pt and px don't scale as do em and percent. I have a reference to a great article on this and will edit this post to add the url once I find it.

As a public side note to Evan.....I hope it doesn't seem like we're nitpicking the new site to death. Overall I feel it is an improvement and I know it's a thankless task. I think everyone posting comments in this discussion section are doing so with an eye to making a great site even better.
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#5662 - 09/05/02 02:17 AM Re: Bug Report: Navigation- Macintosh [Re: MarcC]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
ah, that helps a lot.. but it doesn't seem to work in Mozilla! heeelp! ;-)

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#5663 - 09/05/02 02:21 AM Re: Bug Report: Navigation- Macintosh [Re: MarcC]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
The drop-down menu under "Climb" (or any of those other headings in that horizontal) doesn't appear on my system (Windows ME and Netscape), so I've been accessing the discussion board by hitting a specific thread under "Discussion" on the left side of the home page and then going to the main index--an extra page load from before.

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#5664 - 09/05/02 02:40 AM Re: Bug Report: Navigation (General Issues) [Re: Daniel]
markinthailand Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 84
Loc: Thailand
I'd suggest that the drop down menus be...ah...dropped. :-)

They don't work on all platforms (Win/Mac/Browser of your choice), and they mix interface metaphors (drop down menus within a web page of content? Poor human interface design, although snazzy IF (big if) it works).

FWIW, I've never seen the drop downs on the "climb" link, etc. I'm runnin Mac OS X and Explorer.

How about just plain links? No fancy java stuff, just a link.

As others have noted, the new design with the drop down menus forces uses into several more clicks to get to what they want. A design shouldn't place more barriers in front of users!

Mixing two seperate places for the same navigation options (top and sides) is confusing! Please decide on one or the other. A menu (list) of links all down the left side which persists would be fine--no need for links at the top, and users would see it all the time. This is becoming a pretty standard metaphor on the web, and works fine. You can have sub-links, etc., as PLAIN (not pull down) links, in a smaller font, etc. That way people can, in ONE click, jump to what they want. ALSO, you don't "hide" your content. You've got a lot of GREAT stuff on this site--DON'T hide it under pop down or whatever menus that not even all users see.

You've got a GREAT start on a redesign, and lots of space on the first page, use it! :-)
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#5665 - 09/05/02 05:28 AM Re: Bug Report: Navigation (General Issues) [Re: markinthailand]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Apologies in advance for going into techno-geek speak......

.....and an important disclaimer: I am now pretty far removed from the nuts & bolts of coding. I can understand the issues and code based on background, but I may be totally wrong about specifics. I'm also not able to test on every platform/browser combination. So with that, here's my understanding of what might be happening.....

It looks like the pages are coded for IE 5.x and above supporting CSS 2.0 and DOM 1.0 on Windoze. Regarding the drop-down menus, the implementation is via the document.style.visibility attribute. There's a JS function that sets it as either "visible" or "hidden" depening on onmousein and onmouseout events.

From what I was able to find out from some quick look-ups, the problem is that in Netscape Navigator, the valid attribute values are "hide" or "show"...and that's in NN 6. NN4.x doesn't support the visibility attribute at all, and the current NN version for Mac OS 9 and above is 4.7. Also, the way IE supports DOM 1 differs depending on platform and differs from the engines in other browsers. Let's not even get into Opera, Lynx, and Mozilla.

Also, it looks like in other browsers you need to use the document.getElementById(id).style.visibility method, but gunks.com appears to be using the document.all(elmnt).style.visibility method. I can't find any browser sniffing in the code, at least at the page level - it may occur way up-front or in a php and set a cookie accordingly - I didn't/can't check that much - but since folks using a config other than Win/IE are reporting they can't see the drop-downs, I'd guess that it isn't occurring. The point is that the current code appears that it might exclude classes of users.

I agree - use JS/CSS 2/new technology to enhance the experience, but don't make it a requirement to easily get to content. As far as supporting different browsers, web designers should not forget that AOL (accounting for over 20 M users) now owns Netscape. It will no longer be adequate for a general interest site to ignore NN - at least if it expects to get any traffic. I know there are issues about buggy, non-standard html and js support in NN 4.x and agree that that version should be given a quick and merciful death, but for a variety of reasons, people are still using it, and it isn't that difficult to code around it so that a site degrades gracefully.

Here's at least one related link:
http://www.codestyle.org/javascript/dom/css/visibility-HorizontalMenus.shtml


Edited by MarcC (09/05/02 06:07 AM)
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#5666 - 09/05/02 06:01 AM Re: Bug Report: Navigation (General Issues) [Re: MarcC]
Anonymous
Unregistered


1. Thank you for your JavaScript info (it has been noted and put on my to-do-list).

2. As for AOL, the last two versions of NS view the site perfectly. And from a web designer’s point of view -- AOL is the enemy because they do nothing but purposely not go by the standards as to empower their own horrid product.

3. I'm working as fast as possible to fix all errors ~ and I am truly sorry if its not fast enough.

4. One Man != God

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#5667 - 09/05/02 12:35 PM Re: Bug Report: Navigation (General Issues)
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
>AOL is the enemy because they do nothing but purposely not go by the standards as to empower their own horrid product.

I thought that was Microsoft?

Minor observation - many of the "Features" now have virtually the same name as Climbing Forum sections (Routes, Gear, Trip Reports) This is confusing, and may be behind some of the problems with the pull-down vs. the sidebar selections.

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#5668 - 09/05/02 06:46 PM Re: Bug Report: Navigation [Re: MurphysLaw]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sad but true, the discussion board is a pre-packed piece of software which we have been purchasing since day one. The product is UBB.Threads and please also make your comments (as they are good) to their forums. This way they can make software better equipped to the user, as we are also trying to do

UBB Threads

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#5669 - 09/05/02 06:59 PM Re: Bug Report: Navigation (General Issues) [Re: markinthailand]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well I've taken time out of my day to view the site on Netscape (NS) 4.7. And yes, I'm to sorry its horrible. Truly I feel your pain, but send most of your anger to NS for creating a product that DOESN'T FOLLOW standards. But now back to the topic at hand.

I will begin redoing the site tonight for users that aren't viewing the site right. The upper drop down menus will be dropped and the left hand menus will be open 24/7. Perhaps when I get some more time I'll even give the user an option as to which they'd prefer.

I would now like to state something about the dual menu system (drop down and side menu). They exist and mimic each other for ease of use. View the site in a browser such as IE 6.0 (blah blah MS blah blah) and it looks and works wonderfully.

And finally, for all the users on any platform who have the ability to update their browsers, IE to 6.0 and NS to 7.0, PLEASE DO SO. The browser will enhance your experience on this site and many more.

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#5670 - 09/07/02 03:17 AM Re: Bug Report: Navigation (General Issues)
markinthailand Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 84
Loc: Thailand
First off, thanks for even having this forum to discuss the changes, and thanks too for asking for input and responding. It isn't easy balancing all the things you have to do with this site!

Here is some additional feedback on the interface (I used to do human interface design professionally, so its an obsession. )



======
The upper drop down menus will be dropped and the left hand menus will be open 24/7.
======

Great! Try and get it so you can jump just about anywere from the first page. It is challenging, especially so you don't overwhelm the user with too many choices (you're probably familiar with the 7 +/-2 rule--people can only keep 5-7 things in short term memory, so choices have to be limited to 5-7, but you can get around it by "chunking" items like sub menus, etc.).

=======
Perhaps when I get some more time I'll even give the user an option as to which they'd prefer.
=======

You could, I guess, but I think if you get a design that works, you won't need to have that option--save your work for other stuff!

=======
I would now like to state something about the dual menu system (drop down and side menu). They exist and mimic each other for ease of use.
=======

I can understand that. However, human interface studies (video taping people using dual menu systems) show that that type of redundant navigation usually confuses people and ends up slowing them down since cognitive loads (7 +/- 2, for example) go way up. In other words, it is actually NOT easier to use. People THINK it is, but they aren't timing themselves (it pretty amazing to see this in action!). I'd bet you could drop the dual menus with enough work on navigation.

=========
View the site in a browser such as IE 6.0 (blah blah MS blah blah) and it looks and works wonderfully.
And finally, for all the users on any platform who have the ability to update their browsers, IE to 6.0 and NS to 7.0, PLEASE DO SO. The browser will enhance your experience on this site and many more.
=========

Java, cascading style sheets, etc., are nice an all, but a website like this should work on ANY browser. How about lynx?

It is a really challenge (I feel your pain!) to do it, but try stripping the site down to the bare essentials--links and straight up html code. It will make your job easier, and allow more people (like AOL users) to enjoy the site. I've found in some of my design jobs I can elimitate a lot of "extra" stuff with enough work--and have the advantage of cleaner code and a more inclusive site. You could always go to a fully dynamic site that detects the user's browser and platform and then serves them a page designed for that browser. When that works, it is fantastic--but is a LOT of work.

Keep up the good work! Great job so far.
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-markinthailand

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#5671 - 09/09/02 01:09 AM Re: Bug Report: Macintosh/Speed
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
howdy,
the macintosh version remains, um, interesting. I ended up just typing in the long form address to access the main page of the discussion after three frustrating minutes. None of the new features work at all in Mac 9.2 with Explorer 5.x

i am often not in front of a high speed connection. Furthermore, i look at the sign at school, in internet cafes all over the states/europe/middle east, and on three different computers at home. The first days of the new site were very fast. However, it is really loading like a dog since then. I thought it might have been my connection while i was in turkey, but here in new york, the speed is well down as well. Does anybody else share this? I am afraid that updating all the browsers on all the computers i work with is simply not an option.

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#5672 - 09/09/02 01:11 AM Re: Bug Report: Navigation Macintosh [Re: MarcC]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
ps: i have to refresh EVERY single time now: it loads, goes blank, and then i have to refresh to where i was before...

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