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Subject:poor designs, but
Summary:What i've seen there, was below my expectations, but...
Messages:7
Author:Nagy Ervin
Date:2009-12-17 18:33:26
Update:2009-12-22 01:49:52
 

  1. poor designs, but   Reply  
Picture of Nagy Ervin
Nagy Ervin
2009-12-17 18:48:15
I've just looked around the new design proposals, but no one caught my attention at all. All of them (without exceptions) are giving back the old look and feel, with jost some "shiny things". But i believe, that is not only the designers' "fault". I tried myself to create a new design for the site, but when i saw the templating system and the constraints in the site elements, i gave up. The menu system is very hard to design for because it uses tables (vertical arrangement or drop-down menus are by start out of business).

I believe, that's the first "problem" with the new site designs.

The second problem is, that it SEEMS that many of the contestants are rather programmers than designers. I saw two design proposals which were a bit more intuitive, but even those had many positioning glitches, such as weird-looking tabs, icons, links, site modules not standing were they should be. (I tried designs with Firefox 3.5.5).

I suggest replacing the table-based menus with flat unordered lists which are a lot easier to design, and give more flexibility (including multi-level menus (e.g. for class categories, class browser)). I know, i'm asking a lot of things here, but this is the only way to make the site even better, and contestants may do a better job.

Keeping with the old, waiting for new.


  2. Re: poor designs, but   Reply  
Picture of Manuel Lemos
Manuel Lemos
2009-12-17 21:45:45 - In reply to message 1 from Nagy Ervin
It seems your main problem is that you did not read the blog articles that were posted to explain how to make a design that addresses your intentions.

For instance, the navigation bars can be laid out vertically. You just need two clicks. No CSS tricks are necessary. That was explained in at least one blog post and even in the screencast that shows step by step design editing features.

http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/104-Submit-your-site-red ...

http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/110-Screencast-of-how-to ...

Still some people complained of not knowing how to make the navigation menus vertically way before the contest submission ended.

I explained them that tables are necessary to guarantee that tabs have all the same height determined automatically by the content of all tabs in the navigation bar.

I also explained how to change the layout and they submitted some designs that use navigation bars with vertical layout.

I really do not understand why you waited for the submission period to end to complain about difficulties like that.

Other than that, this contest was opened to let everyone participate regardless if they are developers or designers. There is no prejudice of the abilities of anybody in providing appreciated designs.

Everybody has equal opportunity to participate. What is important is that the most appreciated design will be picked by the majority.

  3. Re: poor designs, but   Reply  
Picture of Roberto Aleman
Roberto Aleman
2009-12-17 23:06:01 - In reply to message 1 from Nagy Ervin
poor designs? if that is your opinion because not sent a design?

  4. Re: poor designs, but   Reply  
Picture of Nagy Ervin
Nagy Ervin
2009-12-18 13:58:20 - In reply to message 2 from Manuel Lemos
First: I'm sorry if i offendded anyone in any way, it was'nt my intention.

I realy appreciate what you are doing here, i'm visiting your site nearly every week, since design contest had started (and before, for reading articles about classes, searching for classes, etc.)

"I explained them that tables are necessary to guarantee that tabs have all the same height determined automatically by the content of all tabs in the navigation bar."

I accept this, but tabs are not the only way to create navigation on a webpage, however this is not important.

"For instance, the navigation bars can be laid out vertically. You just need two clicks. No CSS tricks are necessary. That was explained in at least one blog post and even in the screencast that shows step by step design editing features."

"I also explained how to change the layout and they submitted some designs that use navigation bars with vertical layout."

Sorry to say, but these descriptions and some of the site features are pretty hard to find (please forgive me the fact that don't have the time to search on the site back and forth - i am the worst kind of internet surfer you may know about). For example, to use the designer, i had to access PHP Classes from the newsletter i am receiving. If i can suggest,it may be better for users to get a box on one side of the page, where relevant information is linked. If this feature is for premium users and is already implemented, just forget this suggestion.

"Other than that, this contest was opened to let everyone participate regardless if they are developers or designers. There is no prejudice of the abilities of anybody in providing appreciated designs.

Everybody has equal opportunity to participate. What is important is that the most appreciated design will be picked by the majority."

I agree to 100% of this, and i'm sorry again.


Thank you for your patience and sorry for this long reply


  5. Re: poor designs, but   Reply  
Picture of Manuel Lemos
Manuel Lemos
2009-12-19 03:05:29 - In reply to message 4 from Nagy Ervin
I am not sure what you are suggesting. Do you mean to have a box with user defined links to pages they find relevant? If so, where in the site do you think that it should appear?

  6. Re: poor designs, but   Reply  
Picture of Nagy Ervin
Nagy Ervin
2009-12-21 08:56:03 - In reply to message 5 from Manuel Lemos
No, i'm not. User defined links are useful for each individual user, they may be not interesting for any other.

What i meant there is, that it would be great to have links to relevant information created by either You or the system (the system will be the better option - you may have to implement it). It may be somewhere near the current page title, but even the bottom of the page would be okay.

I will make an example of what i've suggested:

Let's say the current content is the blog entry about the design contest (now i'm presenting a hypothetical situation in which the proposal stage is still running).

and somewhere on the page, in a box (or any other way you wish):

Related:

- Important information - something people have to know before getting involved (link emphasized if you see fit)
- Posts in this category - gives a list of all blog entries about the design contests
- Related forum posts - gives a list of all forum topics related to the design contest
- My design proposal - gives access to the designer tool

This analogy can be easily applied to any other sections of the site which is organized (and i assume they are), and also, helps a _lot_ in SEO.




  7. Re: poor designs, but   Reply  
Picture of Manuel Lemos
Manuel Lemos
2009-12-22 01:49:52 - In reply to message 6 from Nagy Ervin
This is still not clear where to put such links. Are you saying to put in all pages, the home page, the blog pages, what?

You see, there is no such thing as the "current content". The site carries many parallel activities. What may be the current content for you, it may be something else for others.

If you mean the current content as the current page the user is seeing, that would be a different thing.

Regarding your blog example, some links you suggest are already in the page, or were already in my to do list for adding the. Lets see:

- Important information - Usually this is in the post itself. I could grab all the post links but that probably be more links than which you consider important.
- Posts in this category - The blog system supports multiple categories per post. It is on my to do list to show links to pages that list articles of each category.
- Related forum posts - Each blog post has comments that are actually managed as forums. They already appear listed at the bottom of each post page.
- My design proposal - This is specific to each blog post. Read the comment above on "Important information".