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jeff

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I've been working on a new layout for the front page. More tinkering to do, but, it's coming along.
Have a look, then I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please feel free to post here.

The left sidebar contains the most recent threads from SOYP. The center "Featured Pens" slider contains my selections for the featured pens. We used to just show one, but I think it might be nice to show several at once. The posts section in the middle has a tab selector for several things. The right sidebar is pretty similar to what we have currently.

I'm also thinking about a good way to use the open space in the header (next to the logo). I thought about putting a photo slider up there.

Here's the page: Draft of New Front Page
 
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dpstudios

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Well done Jeff. Photos, color, movement, and info. Everything needed for a home page to attract new members and to entertain and inform the old. Looks good.
 

Curly

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Saskatoon SK., Canada.
Looks good.

A suggestion for the space beside the logo would be the Annual and Summer Bash, MPG, etc., or any other group gatherings that come up. Groupe buys could also be there too.
 

SpinRight

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IAP Headquarters
Looks good.

A suggestion for the space beside the logo would be the Annual and Summer Bash, MPG, etc., or any other group gatherings that come up. Groupe buys could also be there too.
That's kind of what I was thinking. Sort of an important news section. Thanks for the idea!
 

mbroberg

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I like the look! I also like the idea of using the upper space to make announcements of interest.
 

cjester

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I like it. I think another photo slider would be a little busy. I like some white space next to the logo. I agree that that space would be good for events and announcements.
 

edman2

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Greenbrier, AR. USA.
Like it! I would suggest an adjustment on the timing of the slide movement on the featured pen section to give more time to look at the pens.
 

BRobbins629

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Richmond, VA, USA.
I almost got used to the more minimalist version. To me, it’s a little busy but looks like I’m in the minority. Would also slow down the scroll of featured pens.
 

VA Jim

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Charlottesville VA
Jeff,
I guess if there was one thing about the current homepage I would miss is the wide photo slide. It's 8 pics wide and you can drag it. Guess I'm impatient, but autoadvance on the pics always seems glacial - not just here - on most sites. I really like being able to drag through a number of images and if I see one that interests me I can open it in a new tab. When the slide is only two images wide, dragging isn't much of an option.
(Interesting - just had a 'how about that'. On the new page Member photos - if you click & hold one of the pics, you can drag back and forth across the whole page and the pics keep scrolling.)
Few things to look at.
1) Guest/not logged in. When I access as a guess/not logged there are no images above the center section - just the words "Featured Pens" (I've tried with both Firefox and Chrome & same thing - no images).
2) Left side images & Featured images. These appear to be 'thread' linked (whereas the member photos are 'media' linked). Point is that the left & feature images are large and load slower (e.g. left side: rose-wood-ebonite-pen is 1000x750 and Featured: another-attempt-at-the-stained-glass-theme is 980x1080). The member photos are all thumbnail 300x300.
Just had a thought - could the no Featured Pens showing be a function of the images coming from threads? (i.e. you must be registered/logged on to view...).
I've attached screenprints of what I'm seeing. Curious if someone else might try viewing not logged in.
See, you ask for comments & get a missive!
Jim
 

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jeff

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Jeff,
I guess if there was one thing about the current homepage I would miss is the wide photo slide. It's 8 pics wide and you can drag it. Guess I'm impatient, but autoadvance on the pics always seems glacial - not just here - on most sites. I really like being able to drag through a number of images and if I see one that interests me I can open it in a new tab. When the slide is only two images wide, dragging isn't much of an option.
(Interesting - just had a 'how about that'. On the new page Member photos - if you click & hold one of the pics, you can drag back and forth across the whole page and the pics keep scrolling.)
Few things to look at.
1) Guest/not logged in. When I access as a guess/not logged there are no images above the center section - just the words "Featured Pens" (I've tried with both Firefox and Chrome & same thing - no images).
2) Left side images & Featured images. These appear to be 'thread' linked (whereas the member photos are 'media' linked). Point is that the left & feature images are large and load slower (e.g. left side: rose-wood-ebonite-pen is 1000x750 and Featured: another-attempt-at-the-stained-glass-theme is 980x1080). The member photos are all thumbnail 300x300.
Just had a thought - could the no Featured Pens showing be a function of the images coming from threads? (i.e. you must be registered/logged on to view...).
I've attached screenprints of what I'm seeing. Curious if someone else might try viewing not logged in.
See, you ask for comments & get a missive!
Jim
Jim - thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.

I've put the album slider in the center and increased the number of photos. Let's see how that goes over. I predict 50/50 love/hate :p I had it that way originally, but there seemed to be too much horizontal scrolling going on in that center pane.

The no images as guest was a permissions issue. Should be fixed now.

You are correct. The left and center images are full size and resized on the fly. The album slider is using pre-generated thumbnails. When I select a featured pen, I have the option of providing a URL to the image, or uploading a fresh one. I can upload a reasonably sized one for the center slider which would speed up rendering of the page. Unfortunately for the sidenav images, they come from the first attachment in the thread and I can't control that. I recognize that 10meg+ images are unnecessary, but it's a tough sell to ask that they be resized when people are used to being able to upload whatever comes off their phone to social media.
 

jeff

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Like it! I would suggest an adjustment on the timing of the slide movement on the featured pen section to give more time to look at the pens.
I slowed that down. I originally had it slower, but I got impatient while I was testing it.
 

jttheclockman

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NJ, USA.
I thought most were in agreement to have some sort of introductory notice as to who we are and what we do and a notice to make newbies welcomed and encouraged to join. Not sure yet how I feel about all that info in the center. Sort of takes away from the forum "Whats New" To me that is where the welcome thing comes in. I like the extra featured pens. It does add color.
 

1080Wayne

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Brownfield, Alberta, Canada.
Different scroll speeds on the member photos and featured photo are a bit disconcerting . Also , why both blue and a black `Whats new` buttons ? `Latest activity` also seems redundant . I like the way the page presents on my laptop .
 

jeff

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I think it is very good. What is the difference between What's New and Recent Posts please? Thank you.
What's new has multiple tabs. The new posts tab there should be the same as the new posts feed in the center box of the new front page.

That answer is "mostly" correct. There is some variability depending on user profile settings.

What would people like to see on the front page in the "latest from our forums" section? Chronological new threads? New posts? Posts you haven't seen since your last visit?
 

jeff

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Different scroll speeds on the member photos and featured photo are a bit disconcerting . Also , why both blue and a black `Whats new` buttons ? `Latest activity` also seems redundant . I like the way the page presents on my laptop .
Good question on the buttons. The top one opens the What's New menu. The lower one is the default tab that shows new posts.

What would be a more useful menu structure? I can change anything.
 

jeff

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Different scroll speeds on the member photos and featured photo are a bit disconcerting . Also , why both blue and a black `Whats new` buttons ? `Latest activity` also seems redundant . I like the way the page presents on my laptop .
Even if I set them the same, the scroll speeds are unpredictable due to several factors. The best I can do is move the two sliders away from each other.

How would you recommend they be arranged?
 

jeff

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I thought most were in agreement to have some sort of introductory notice as to who we are and what we do and a notice to make newbies welcomed and encouraged to join. Not sure yet how I feel about all that info in the center. Sort of takes away from the forum "Whats New" To me that is where the welcome thing comes in. I like the extra featured pens. It does add color.
I have not forgotten about the welcome notices.
 

TonyL

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Alpharetta, GA 30004
What's new has multiple tabs. The new posts tab there should be the same as the new posts feed in the center box of the new front page.

That answer is "mostly" correct. There is some variability depending on user profile settings.

What would people like to see on the front page in the "latest from our forums" section? Chronological new threads? New posts? Posts you haven't seen since your last visit?
I like New Posts to be relative to my last visit.
As far as What's new - whatever your present settings are fine with me. I really over 95% on New Post.

Maybe if we measure the average visitation frequency period across the entire forum, the resulting average duration/time interval can serves as the refresh period for What's New? Maybe it can be dynamic? This is not anything that I have any expertise with.
 

jeff

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I'll be tinkering with some layout changes this weekend. Both on the Test Page and throughout the forums. Post here if you see something you like or hate.

Right now the Main Forum List is in two columns. Nothing has moved between categories. Just trying to compact the layout a little.
 

mark james

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I also like the 2 column format. I really like being able to place media in PM's, and have the message saved for editing. It is much easier to look for links to add after I find them. I'm also used the dark format.
 

jeff

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I like it . Works well with latest posts on the side . Have always wondered though if there is much value in showing thread and post counts .
Just for fun, I turned those off. I've wondered over the years if there's any value to showing those.

Comments anyone?
 
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