[Feedback needed] Atlas, the next version of Neowin


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x-byte
Noooooooooooooooo! Why do people insist on having all that wasted space on the left and right hand sides? I have a widescreen monitor, I dare say quite a few people here do as well, so let us use that space!

Remember, people read websites in an "F" shape, not a "T" shape =\

I understand the reasonings behind making it easier for the developers, but what about the users? They should be your primary focus.

It is mostly for users as well. Because they have more control over the content and can present it the way which is best for the user. Would you like to have a different layout for each resolution? That would break the readability of the site considerably. As a little designer myself I really can't see me using a dynamic layout at all. It wouldn't work very well. And if it would the work to do so would not be worth it.
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Kushan
It is mostly for users as well. Because they have more control over the content and can present it the way which is best for the user. Would you like to have a different layout for each resolution? That would break the readability of the site considerably. As a little designer myself I really can't see me using a dynamic layout at all. It wouldn't work very well. And if it would the work to do so would not be worth it.

Who said anything about a different theme for each resolution? AT the very most, I'd expect maybe a different theme for each aspect ratio (i.e. 4:3 and 16:10), but not each resolution. Still, PLENTY of websites have dynamic sizing and don't just funnel everything down a centre column. Hell, look at the forums - they do it and they do it just fine, so why can't the main page? I'd rather have a practical website that maximised screen real estate than a pretty one that wasn't particularly usable.

Look, the fact that this is such a heated debate shows that quite a lot of people don't like the idea, so some kind of compromise SHOULD be made. After all, this will be a forced upgrade for EVERYONE, unlike previous updates where the old themes were still available.

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x-byte

I never said different theme for each resolution. I'm talking about different layout for each resolution because of the dynamic content.

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DaveLegg
Hell, look at the forums - they do it and they do it just fine, so why can't the main page?

Because forums and news are two very different types of content. We have designed the new front page to work perfectly at this width, and everything is sized to fit in and look "right" at the width we set. From the promos you see in the screenshots, to images and videos embedded into news posts. We want our content to look as professional as possible,and we do that by having a fixed consistent design to work to. Having whitespace down the sides of the page takes nothing away from the user experience, all the features work as intended etc, by adding that whitespace, the user experience gets worse, as you can see in the image Tim posted, things on the page just don't look "right".

I haven't counted exactly, but I'd say roughly 10-20 people have complained about this change in this thread. Considering the size of our member base, this is NOT a lot. It's widely accepted that most of those who are happy with a change won't speak up in support, as they see no reason to do so. Why should we create a feature for 1% of the community when it makes their experience of the site worse, and not how we wish to present it to them. As Simon posted earlier, if you really wish the site to be fluid, there are ways you can make this happen yourself, but this will be unsupported, if you experience any bugs due to doing this, we will not put effort into fixing them.

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Kushan
Having whitespace down the sides of the page takes nothing away from the user experience

If that were REALLY true, then why would those "20 or 30" people be complaining? Plus, I can't speak for everyone else, but I only knew about this when I read it on the front page this morning, so don't be so quick to jump. Still, if you want to really find out how many people do or do not like it, why not set up a poll? I think its only fair to the other users to see what the score really is before just deciding on their behalf. Like I said before, unlike previous updates, this one will be MANDATORY for everyone, so don't just roll it out without at least doing some surveys to see how people really feel.

AS I said, I don't care if the site LOOKS better, the usability is a huge factor for me and right now from those screenshots, that does not look half as usable to me as some of the older themes, not unless I turn my monitor on its side.

EDIT: I'd just like to stress that I really don't mean to **** on the developer's chips, I'm just telling it like I see it. You wanted feedback so I'm giving it, I'd just prefer it if you guys took that feedback on board instead of arguing about it =\

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DaveLegg
If that were REALLY true, then why would those "20 or 30" people be complaining? Plus, I can't speak for everyone else, but I only knew about this when I read it on the front page this morning, so don't be so quick to jump. Still, if you want to really find out how many people do or do not like it, why not set up a poll? I think its only fair to the other users to see what the score really is before just deciding on their behalf. Like I said before, unlike previous updates, this one will be MANDATORY for everyone, so don't just roll it out without at least doing some surveys to see how people really feel.

AS I said, I don't care if the site LOOKS better, the usability is a huge factor for me and right now from those screenshots, that does not look half as usable to me as some of the older themes, not unless I turn my monitor on its side.

People simply do not vote in polls about changing something if they are happy with the status quo, only those who are unhappy speak out about it, there's been a lot of research into that fact, so doing a poll would be meaningless. For the record, the previous update (Finity) was also mandatory.

I don't see how people can say its LESS usable, when all the features work in it. If you can use all the features, it's fully usable. To me, having the page the full width of a large monitor decreases usability, as the lines of text become so long.

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Kushan

Ok so people wont vote in a poll so the poll is meaningless, then what makes this thread any different? You wanted feedback and you're getting it, I'm sorry that you don't quite like the feedback but based on what you've just said, you should exepect mostly negative replies anyway?

Getting back to the issue, though - if you can't expand the centre column, well then why not do something else with that extra space? Nobody ever said you had to have ONE SINGLE COLUMN for all the news. Surely, with a bit of CSS jigger-pokery, you could make it dynamically expand to 2 or 3 columns if you have enough width on screen? Better yet, why not have a +/- button that can do that for you? I'm not a web developer so I really can't offer much in the way of constructive help, but I do know that I definitely don't like the way its depicted now and I'm not alone in that regard, so how about offering some suggestions that could benefit everyone?

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Vice

Might as-well just have locked this thread after the first post. People give you feedback but you ignore it so whats the point in even asking for it.

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DaveLegg
Ok so people wont vote in a poll so the poll is meaningless, then what makes this thread any different? You wanted feedback and you're getting it, I'm sorry that you don't quite like the feedback but based on what you've just said, you should exepect mostly negative replies anyway?

Getting back to the issue, though - if you can't expand the centre column, well then why not do something else with that extra space? Nobody ever said you had to have ONE SINGLE COLUMN for all the news. Surely, with a bit of CSS jigger-pokery, you could make it dynamically expand to 2 or 3 columns if you have enough width on screen? Better yet, why not have a +/- button that can do that for you? I'm not a web developer so I really can't offer much in the way of constructive help, but I do know that I definitely don't like the way its depicted now and I'm not alone in that regard, so how about offering some suggestions that could benefit everyone?

This thread is for feedback in general, not just to discuss the width, nothing here has been negative, and we've acted on some of the feedback we've had on our development sites already. You can't expect us to change EVERYTHING that is asked for tho, some things are design decisions that we have made, obviously not everyone understands or likes the decisions, but they were made for a reason.

I've said this before, but to save you having to read the thread: there is no way for the server to know the screen resolution of the client, and output extra information if they have a wider screen. There is also no way for CSS to do what you suggested, and have it add an extra column of news (where would the information for this come from anyway? The server wouldnt know it was needed)

Might as-well just have locked this thread after the first post. People give you feedback but you ignore it so whats the point in even asking for it.

We are not ignoring it, but the width issue is a design decision we took for good reasons, and are not shifting on. As I've said, we've had other feedback in here that we have already made changes as a result of, and other things like the font people don't like, we're looking into at the moment.

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Vice

But why take the button away if it is just going to make people annoyed at the layout? Why not just give us the button to expand the page like other sites do. You can still use the normal width locked for the default and everything will be just like it is now.

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null_

As a designer, I have to say that I'd much prefer the fixed-width front page vs a dynamic width, for a few reasons:

- It looks nicer, more professional

- You dont have to read long sentances across the screen, excerpts are easy to read when they are in shorter blocks.

- From a design/coding standpoint, it is a lot easier to control (e.g. there is no variable of how the design will look on certain resolutions)

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Kushan
This thread is for feedback in general, not just to discuss the width, nothing here has been negative, and we've acted on some of the feedback we've had on our development sites already. You can't expect us to change EVERYTHING that is asked for tho, some things are design decisions that we have made, obviously not everyone understands or likes the decisions, but they were made for a reason.

I've said this before, but to save you having to read the thread: there is no way for the server to know the screen resolution of the client, and output extra information if they have a wider screen. There is also no way for CSS to do what you suggested, and have it add an extra column of news (where would the information for this come from anyway? The server wouldnt know it was needed)

I never said anything about adding EXTRA information, just reordering the existing information. I mean, lets pick an arbitrary value of 16. Say there's 16 news stories on the front page (because that's how many there is now), why not enable the user to turn those 16 stories into 2 columns of 8? Even if you can't do that dynamically via CSS or whatever, a bit of PHP and some server side profile details could solve that issue, even I know that. There are plenty of websites that let their users customise their layer for their own convenience, why should neowin be any different? If anything, it's an incentive to sign up to the site.

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DaveLegg
Even if you can't do that dynamically via CSS or whatever, a bit of PHP...

As I said, the server has no idea of the resolution, even if it did, the resolution doesn't always relate to the browser size, so it would be unreliable to do that. At the end of the day, this is a decision we have made, for good reasons, and are not going to change.

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The_Decryptor

CSS3 Media Queries lets you change the site layout on the client side dynamically based on the screen/window resolution :p

...

- You dont have to read long sentances across the screen, excerpts are easy to read when they are in shorter blocks.

...

For some people, for others it's harder.

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DaveLegg
CSS3 Media Queries lets you change the site layout on the client side dynamically based on the screen/window resolution :p

Which isn't supported by all browsers. We want to give ONE single layout to all users, so that if theres an issue, we can easily find and fix it. Allowing users to create their own will just invite a world of bugs that will be hard to replicate and thus to repair.

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Kushan
As I said, the server has no idea of the resolution, even if it did, the resolution doesn't always relate to the browser size, so it would be unreliable to do that. At the end of the day, this is a decision we have made, for good reasons, and are not going to change.

You kept saying resolution, I never once mentioned it. Kind of proves that you're not really listening. All I said was let the USER decide if it should be 1, 2, 3 or more columns by a handy-dandy +/- button on the website. So if they went to another computer and logged in it might be a bit wider than their screen, but a quick press of the - button would resolve that. Simple, so why not? Give me a valid reason as to why you couldn't do something like that. And more to the point, why ask for feedback if you're blatantly going to ignore it? There's CLEARLY an issue here as many people are complaining, at least show that you're trying to resolve it instead of berating us all about how we're wrong.

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TakeNothingBack

Looking fantastic. Very clean.

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Calum
[...] And more to the point, why ask for feedback if you're blatantly going to ignore it? [...]

I'm sorry, but I have to say this - wouldn't ignoring something not be commenting on it at all? Yes, it would. I see people providing feedback and I see developers commenting on every single issue. So, please consider again, how are they ignoring the feedback? They are not; they are simply telling you why that change isn't feasible and you are discussing it with them to try to make them add this change in. It seems to me, the ignorance is evident in comments which state developers are ignoring feedback seeing as I have witnessed them comment on every issue. Dave even said they have already made some changes based on the feedback from this thread.

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DaveLegg
You kept saying resolution, I never once mentioned it. Kind of proves that you're not really listening. All I said was let the USER decide if it should be 1, 2, 3 or more columns by a handy-dandy +/- button on the website. So if they went to another computer and logged in it might be a bit wider than their screen, but a quick press of the - button would resolve that. Simple, so why not? Give me a valid reason as to why you couldn't do something like that. And more to the point, why ask for feedback if you're blatantly going to ignore it? There's CLEARLY an issue here as many people are complaining, at least show that you're trying to resolve it instead of berating us all about how we're wrong.

Width and resolution are very related.

I have given reasons why we dont want to offer 2/3 columns, we want everyone to be experiencing the same view of our website, it simply will not look good with extra columns of news on the page, not to mention making the code more complex and causing more load on the server to allow that. Obviously you'd want the news ordered down the page, newest at the top, but in the HTML, you would have to have the left column, then the right column, so that means some funky ordering of the news on the server side, again, causing more load. Ignition is designed to make the load on the servers far lower, so that the site runs much faster, and stands up better when we have a popular article on the page getting thousands of hits.

I'm not saying anyone is wrong for having an opinion, I'm saying they're wrong for labouring the point when we have explained time and again why we have made the choice to make this release fixed width, and explained that we will not be changing it. With every change we do, people complain, if we changed things to keep people who complain happy, we'd still be using the original skin Neowin launched with. Only a tiny fraction of the users of Neowin have spoken out against the changes, probably not even 1 percent, that does not make this a "clear issue"

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macster

The design looks clean.

As long as the content is good reading and news is updated. I will keep coming back :D

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+Anarkii

I heard rumors that you guys are going to let subscribers tier 2 beta test the new layout today... ;)

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NienorGT

How much it cost already to upgrade to Sub??

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DaveLegg
I heard rumors that you guys are going to let subscribers tier 2 beta test the new layout today... ;)

I have no idea where you got that from, but I hadn't heard anything about it.

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xaross

prefer this version of layout... the new one is not well balanced ...

colors to solid and need a better combination

advertisement position :( suckz

and some other stuff

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Chasethebase
prefer this version of layout... the new one is not well balanced ...

colors to solid and need a better combination

advertisement position :( suckz

and some other stuff

1. I think that the new version is very well balanced and cannot see where you're getting that statement from.

2. The current version of the site is still using solid colours.

3. Advertisement position is almost identical except for the header ad being separated from the header itself (Much better)

4. Care to explain?

Also Neowin and others, great job on Atlas, and I think this might be interesting here, multiple colour schemes [see Fig.1]? And another point, the images for the news articles don't seem to be centered with the article itself, will this be adjusted so it is [see Fig.2]?

Fig.1

30kqczo.png

Fig.2

90rf5f.png

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