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Neutronbeam
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:00 pm

I'm scared...kill it, kill it with fire! Mommy....
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Aether
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:02 pm

I would also like a dark theme option.
 
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:18 pm

Just woke up one of my computers and saw the old version of the site cached. I screenshot the entire front page so I could remember it. The site currently looks like a pre-alpha test. How does anyone produce work like this for money?
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bthylafh
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:20 pm

Aether wrote:
I would also like a dark theme option.


Field expedient solution: a browser extension such as Dark Background and Light Text.
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:26 pm

Hance wrote:
The front page needs borders, a darker color option and denser information. Before I could hit the home page and see hot forum threads and latest news with out scrolling or clicking. Running a 4k monitor I have massive white borders on each side of the page, almost 1/3 border, 1/3 content, 1/3 border. Image

Holy **** is that what it looks like on desktop? I'm traveling so I've only seen it on a phone.
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Redocbew
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:43 pm

It looks like a(mostly) stock wordpress theme to me. It's almost as if ETL and base functionality was part 1 and design was part 2. Except that part 2 never really happened. I don't want to speculate too much though. Like I said, redesigns are hard, and every project is different. I don't want to be the guy who pretends he knows what it was like to be in the trenches on this one.
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meerkt
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:11 pm

jensend wrote:
Allowing people to see the conversation develop at a glance and see where they have something to say is vital.

Integrating the comments into the forum could facilitate alerts.

asking people for their website and then linking their name to that website is a recipe for trouble ... and be credited by search engines for getting linked from TR).

Indeed encourages spam, but probably no search engine benefits, due to "nofollow".

I don't want to see avatars in article comments.

Perhaps make it controlled by an account setting, account-less cookie, or URL parameter?

FireGryphon wrote:
I screenshot the entire front page so I could remember it.

This is more effective. :)
Last edited by meerkt on Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:18 pm

Redocbew wrote:
It looks like a(mostly) stock wordpress theme to me. It's almost as if ETL and base functionality was part 1 and design was part 2. Except that part 2 never really happened. I don't want to speculate too much though. Like I said, redesigns are hard, and every project is different. I don't want to be the guy who pretends he knows what it was like to be in the trenches on this one.


Here are the steps of the redesign as seen from the trenches.

1) Hey guys, a redesign is coming soon
2) Ok, we're eager to help, let us know when we can check it out and make suggestions

*months pass*

3) Surprise dick punch

That said, progress was made today. I can't speak for the rest of the team but I have a little bit of content planned for each day of the week and I'm hopeful that the site will continue to improve over the next couple weeks. Posting content will help me understand the new setup better and make further suggestions for refinement. Believe it or not but the insightful commentary in this thread is a moral boost. Personally, it means a lot to see that even though folks are reeling along with me they're still in the fight.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
Redocbew
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:27 pm

You should check if an athletic cup counts as a deductible business expense.
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.
 
anotherengineer
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:32 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
Hance wrote:
The front page needs borders, a darker color option and denser information. Before I could hit the home page and see hot forum threads and latest news with out scrolling or clicking. Running a 4k monitor I have massive white borders on each side of the page, almost 1/3 border, 1/3 content, 1/3 border. Image

Holy **** is that what it looks like on desktop? I'm traveling so I've only seen it on a phone.


yep, that's exactly what it looks like on a desktop.
edit - minus the photobucket logo
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anotherengineer
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:36 pm

drfish wrote:
Redocbew wrote:
It looks like a(mostly) stock wordpress theme to me. It's almost as if ETL and base functionality was part 1 and design was part 2. Except that part 2 never really happened. I don't want to speculate too much though. Like I said, redesigns are hard, and every project is different. I don't want to be the guy who pretends he knows what it was like to be in the trenches on this one.


Here are the steps of the redesign as seen from the trenches.

1) Hey guys, a redesign is coming soon
2) Ok, we're eager to help, let us know when we can check it out and make suggestions

*months pass*

3) Surprise dick punch

That said, progress was made today. I can't speak for the rest of the team but I have a little bit of content planned for each day of the week and I'm hopeful that the site will continue to improve over the next couple weeks. Posting content will help me understand the new setup better and make further suggestions for refinement. Believe it or not but the insightful commentary in this thread is a moral boost. Personally, it means a lot to see that even though folks are reeling along with me they're still in the fight.


So was this an external company?
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Waco
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:58 pm

drfish wrote:
Redocbew wrote:
It looks like a(mostly) stock wordpress theme to me. It's almost as if ETL and base functionality was part 1 and design was part 2. Except that part 2 never really happened. I don't want to speculate too much though. Like I said, redesigns are hard, and every project is different. I don't want to be the guy who pretends he knows what it was like to be in the trenches on this one.


Here are the steps of the redesign as seen from the trenches.

1) Hey guys, a redesign is coming soon
2) Ok, we're eager to help, let us know when we can check it out and make suggestions

*months pass*

3) Surprise dick punch

That said, progress was made today. I can't speak for the rest of the team but I have a little bit of content planned for each day of the week and I'm hopeful that the site will continue to improve over the next couple weeks. Posting content will help me understand the new setup better and make further suggestions for refinement. Believe it or not but the insightful commentary in this thread is a moral boost. Personally, it means a lot to see that even though folks are reeling along with me they're still in the fight.

Wow. Whomever was hired for this should be fired and replaced with someone competent. This is stuff covered in Don't **** Up Production 101.
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just brew it!
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Re: Something's different...

Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:12 pm

Can we get the HoB ported over to the new host ASAP?
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
brucek2
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:41 am

What this new front page tells me is that community is no longer a valued part of what Tech Report is about. Well, the owners of course are free to do as they choose, but the express reason for my bookmark here was all the user comments and the ease of finding the good ones. With that gone, to me it now it looks just like any other random tech blog, with even more unwanted extra white space to boot.

I don't mean to diminish the value of the strong reviews. I will still come back when I know there's going to be one I'll want to read. But the thing is, strong content like that is not a daily affair. (The writers may always be strong, it's just that there isn't blockbuster news for them to write about every day.) So now instead of a place I could reliably enjoy daily, it's been converted into a place I can visit on occasion when I'm willing to put up with a lot of extra scrolling to read the writers I still respect.

I don't know who signed off on the overall creative brief for what this redesign was supposed to accomplish but I really do not see eye to eye with that person.
 
Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:50 am

It's WordPress so isn't it possible to provide a selection of different themes that users can try out? After a while, make the most viewed theme as the default one.
 
rechicero
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Re: Something's different... (new)

Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:16 am

drfish wrote:
I appreciate suggestions more than complaints and I've already passed along many requests from this thread as well as many of my own thoughts.


I really want to be able to suggest improvements. But the only useful suggestion I can think of is "fire whoever you contracted, start from scratch". I can't find any good change, not one. Everything I liked about TechReport is gone, almost everything I dislike about other sites is here.

I could write you a whole list of things that I don't like, of course:

Organization of elements
Pictures-text ratio (the shortbread entry in news is really sad)
Info density
Lack of wide theme
Lack of blue theme
Lack of personalization in threading (you had many options, now you have zero)
Lack of "list of contents"m in articles
General layout

Of course, this pretty much summarizes "all the layout".

This guy took all your personality away and made you just yet another site. It looks so amateur, like using a template.

I really hate saying you this, but this is no TechReport anymore. Techreport was for people that appreciates your writing and CAN read.
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:37 am

After three levels of replies in the new comments, they become completely obscured when viewed on my iPhone - they're actually indented completely out of the viewable area. Viewing them in Firefox in a 2560 pixel wide window, it's down to 7 words per line. :roll:
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rechicero
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:38 am

SecretMaster wrote:
Pagey wrote:
I genuinely hate to say it, and I mean no rudeness/ill will whatsoever, but I'm out if this is to be the new UI/design for any length of time. I know a lot changes have gone on behind the scenes over the years, and especially recently, but this feels very much like "nail in the coffin" kinda change.


That's pretty silly for a change that is mostly superficial. The quality of reviews remain the same. The forum and community remain the same. I'm sure the same frontpage comments will remain more or less unchanged.


The quality of a review means little if it's so inconvenient to read (or to find!). I've been reading TechReport since... forever. I quit reading other sites because of changes like this: they simply stopped being enjoyable.

I don't say I will stop coming here (although confirming the dead of news.x can be a problem for me... that's pretty much what I was reading), but of course I can understand ppl that feel that way. If you change everything hoping for grabbing new traffic, you need to accept that you might grab that traffic (or might not), but for sure you are going to lose part of the traffic you already had.
 
wof
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:08 am

It's just terrible.

The site feels like one of those top 10 cities / cars / celebrities ad sites.
Hope it gets fixed or even better reversed soon.
 
Starfalcon
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:20 am

Well, I waited to say my piece, I don't know what has happened to the TR I knew but damn it breaks my heart to see the damage done here. I've been here a long time, and seen many things happen over the years....but I don't even know what to say about these terrible changes wrought on the site I used to know. Just looking at that page just makes me not want to come back here anymore. TR has been my homepage since the early 2000's and honestly I am going to change it to something else now. TR has meant a lot to me over the years, and I hoped it wouldn't die anytime soon...but it may be happening before my very eyes.

Well at least I have my memories of how this site used to be, and maybe it is better this way instead of just coming here one day and finding out TR has been shut down during the night.
 
Cuhulin
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:51 am

Starfalcon wrote:
Well, I waited to say my piece, I don't know what has happened to the TR I knew but damn it breaks my heart to see the damage done here. I've been here a long time, and seen many things happen over the years....but I don't even know what to say about these terrible changes wrought on the site I used to know. Just looking at that page just makes me not want to come back here anymore. TR has been my homepage since the early 2000's and honestly I am going to change it to something else now. TR has meant a lot to me over the years, and I hoped it wouldn't die anytime soon...but it may be happening before my very eyes.

Well at least I have my memories of how this site used to be, and maybe it is better this way instead of just coming here one day and finding out TR has been shut down during the night.


Yes, might I suggest just a bit of patience? I’m not going to ask that you read 7 pages of posts, but it is clear from them that the site being put up in this shape is not the intent of the people left with TR. From all that is written, a designer was hired to modernize the unseen parts mostly. Unfortunately, the designer changed the front-end in a particularly amateurish way, IMO then put up an unfinished product on a most unfortunate day.

It’s Wordpress, so it can be customized - probably to what you, I, and most people seek. For the sake of the community, can they have a little time, if not on the home page - I understand not wanting to see this when you log onto the net - but as something to check on and see if the surgery was successful.
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tanker27
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:27 am

PerfectCr wrote:
I love TR. Been reading since '01. But the site looks like a bad Wordpress theme from '08. :o


Nice to see you still lurking PerfectCr! 8)
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tanker27
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:29 am

FYI Still getting that error, even after killing cookies. I even get it in incognito mode:

AJAX error
Something went wrong with the request and the server returned an invalid reply.
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drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:04 am

First posted updated with further tweaks that have been made.

Regarding the overall sentiment in this thread, I can tell you that even though the redesign is far from ideal for most of us, it represents the best chance TR had to start growing instead of continuing to shrink. It's a matter of potential degradation vs. inevitable disintegration. At least this way we have a shot.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
meerkt
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:08 am

Thanks drfish. How's the design (or shift to WP) expected to help with growth?

tanker27 wrote:
AJAX error

I get that too on "mark all as read", but I only tried that because you mentioned it. What other functionality is affected?
 
Yan
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:10 am

I actually dreamt that I checked TR and that the old layout was back. :-)

Everybody agrees that the new format is unacceptable. If it's not possible to make noticeable improvements quickly -- within a few days, certainly no more than a week -- then the changes should be abandoned for now and the old format should be restored.

If you have to change the layout, then do so, but only when the new layout is actually ready!
 
drfish
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:24 am

meerkt wrote:
Thanks drfish. How's the design (or shift to WP) expected to help with growth?


The best I can say is to repeat what I was told, it's all about SEO. Apparently the old design had some major shortcomings in that department. Beyond that, there are still some other forces at work and the redesign is simply part of the long term plan. I would have given more care to the short term plan, but all I can do now is adapt and mediate.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
juzz86
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:29 am

You're doing a fine job from a tough spot mate and it's appreciated, thankyou.

I don't mind the new look so much personally (I actually find the article body far easier to read in this layout), bit generic but you'll fix all that up when you get the keys back.

Stick with it, all good 8)
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sconesy
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:39 am

I feel bad for you guys having to duck and cover from all the fanmail the last two days...hopefully the team and the community sticks together and helps create a site that emphasizes the community and the conversation the way TR always has.
 
leor
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Re: Something's different...

Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:53 am

Former (and occasionally current when I have to be) web designer here. So yeah, don't break production 101... pretty epic face plant while getting punched in the dick and choking on your gum... that happened, but we're here now so what can we do?

First off, Wordpress as a CMS doesn't really limit anything people have been asking for, it's just a bit less flexible than other options so some things might require more effort/creativity to implement. It seems like we're building a backlog of stuff to do here, so I'm going to make a guess at the priorities that will drive what gets done and what might not (given everything costs money).

1. Keep the site from dying/enable growth
This as the highest priority is potentially at odds with keeping the community happy, as the goal is to get new eyes on the site and those new eyes likely expect something different than we're used to.

2. Make sure everything works

3. Keep the community that's kept the site alive happy
So how can we achieve #1 without too badly compromising #3? We should organize our requests by things we don't like but can live with, and deal breakers. Also wherever possible, the old look and feel should be retained, that can be as easy as, when implementing a dark theme, just use the same exact blue we are all familiar with (new users won't care either way). If an effective balance between #1 and #3 isn't achieved, all this effort will be for naught. The success of this endeavor will hinge upon a mix of the passion and energy the old guard brings, and catering to the masses at large.

Information density isn't really a value in current web design, but I think this site strikes a decent balance. https://www.theringer.com/
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