bigbadron
 moderator, 15325 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 13:10
Re: New site design
DarkLightHitomi:
Would be nice if rpol used square brackets instead of angle brackets, but as that is mostly a keyboard issue (square brackets are easier to get to, or equally difficult to get to, as angle brackets on all android keyboards I've used), I don't know how common that is all around.

There was once an rPoll on that very topic.  The results were:

Angled brackets, like HTML -- <b>bold</b>   62.1% - (235 Votes)
Whatever!!                                  28.5% - (108 Votes)
Square brackets, like UBBC -- [b]bold[/b]    9.2% - (35 Votes)


So that's what we have.
swordchucks
 member, 1367 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 13:51
Re: New site design
DarkLightHitomi:
I'm the opposite actually. I come to rpol for the readability, which is primarily about layout.

I'm definitely not saying that readability isn't a factor (and generally consider it an aspect of functionality since that's the basic function of the site), but the thing that sets RPOL apart from a forum or pretty much anything else out there is the functionality.

I also consider being able to do your own robust themes to be a part of functionality.

DarkLightHitomi:
Would be nice if rpol used square brackets instead of angle brackets, but as that is mostly a keyboard issue (square brackets are easier to get to, or equally difficult to get to, as angle brackets on all android keyboards I've used), I don't know how common that is all around.

You can use square brackets for most tags, but being able to use them for colours would definitely be nice.

The problem with rPoll results is that it's limited to the people that a) notice the poll and b) answer the poll.  I'd rather see both work, to be honest, since what's easy for me will vary by input device (my bluetooth keyboard is a real avacado about making it hard to do certain special characters).
Skald
 moderator, 767 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 14:09
Re: New site design
swordchucks:
The problem with rPoll results is that it's limited to the people that a) notice the poll and b) answer the poll.

H'mmm - not really.  I'm comfortable assuming a) that those who saw it and chose not to answer would fall into the "don't care either way" category, and b) the preferences of those who didn't see it would be distributed in roughly the same proportions as those who did vote.

Not comfortable assuming that those who didn't vote for whatever reason actually preferred the least popular option.  Not that I've got anything against square brackets. <grins>

But back to the question at hand ... I do very much agree with DarkLightHitomi that many websites try to cram too much in to one screen which results in utter confusion as the eye traverses it.  That white space (or whatever colour space that your particular colour scheme allows) is very important for readability.  On reflection, that's probably why the new look did appeal to me - while there might be less visible threads in the viewing area at one time, the overall look is less cluttered, easier to read and definitely feels right.

Most of the tweaks, I think, are to do with making sure information we rely on (group number, tags) is a) there (ie not gone missing) and b) where we might expect it to best sit.  :>
swordchucks
 member, 1368 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 15:46
Re: New site design
Skald:
Not comfortable assuming that those who didn't vote for whatever reason actually preferred the least popular option.

I didn't mean to imply that.  And... I was going to say some other stuff, but I went and looked at that poll and have the best reason not to bank on it: it's old.  14 years old.  A child born the day that poll closed is going to be in high school next year.  It largely predates phone-posting as a concept and if it's a question we need an answer to, then the poll should be redone.

As for the rest... I agree that keeping a clean, simple layout (or, at least, adding enough customization options that one can easily get a clean, simple layout) is the way to go aesthetically.  Functionality is still my #1, though.
locojedi
 member, 137 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 16:54
Re: New site design
Will the Wikis be integrated into the site now, or still remain sort of a separate beast?
Vinny
 member, 564 posts
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 10:28
Re: New site design
Obviously would be nice if we never had to change but I agree with the necessity and have no real problems with the new interface. Thanks for putting the work in jase :)
Skald
 moderator, 768 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 13:20
Re: New site design
Something else interesting with the polls ... I had a look at the two on age demographics and crunched some numbers:

The first one was in 2003 and had a split ~76% under 30 and ~24% over 30, while at the time of the second one (let's assume 2013 cos that's a nice round decade later vs the obviously wrong date that is showing on it for some reason) that split was ~60% under 30 and ~36% over 30 (the remaining % were not specified).

Which means we have an aging RPoL population (hey, it's not the years, it's the mileage) and the site needs to cater to them ... while we obviously also need to attract new blood and the site needs to cater to them ... <grrrins>

That's obviously simplistic (more over 30's may have joined the site than the number of under 30's have left ... or there's fewer joining now but everyone who's still here is now 10 years older), but it shows the difficulty in trying to design to make everyone happy across generational gaps.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1119 posts
Thu 13 Apr 2017
at 21:55
Re: New site design
Where do we find polls anyway?

I agree that a 14 year old poll has likely lost considerable accuracy. Still, making both brackets work would be the ultimate solution.

I also noticed that instead of lines, colored bars are used. I think the lines are better, especially on a small screen.
LoreGuard
 member, 631 posts
Fri 14 Apr 2017
at 01:37
Re: New site design
Any chance to see a variant of the beta site that would point at a read only copy of the current Rpol games. Or offer a game import like in one of your prior versions?

In general I have liked what I have seen.  I have tried flipping my device portrait vs lanscape comparing views and trying to contemplate what might make it better, which seems like there might be something but I haven't been able to put a finger on it yet.

One thing, which I assume just hasn't been touched yet was the formatting controlled under the edit boxes look like they need to be set up to wrap, based on available space so that it doesn't run the page size way right.  (Or might be a menu instead of formatting line if it gets smaller than a certain size.
jase
 admin, 3553 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 03:05
Re: New site design
In reply to LoreGuard (msg # 50):

No, but I can kind of do one better.  http://responsive.rpol.net is this site using the responsive design.  I've just posted this using http://responsive.rpol.net.

http://beta.rpol.net is an isolated testing area, you can do whatever you want there and it doesn't matter.  http://responsive.rpol.net is this site, so whatever you do will affect http://rpol.net.
nauthiz
 member, 516 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 05:15
Re: New site design
It's actually really helpful to be able to look at the same information presented in two different ways.

A few things that jump out immediately.

Is there a way currently to differentiate between a post topic you've read and one you haven't in a specific game/forum?  Not having the image cue to differentiate quickly is a bit disadvantageous in large forums like Community Chat.

Likewise, one of the things I didn't realize I used a lot until it's gone are the number of replies for a given post.  I think the way I most often use it is in the Advertisement forums to tell what's a new game/person looking for something vs an older one still searching/bumping.

In reference to an earlier comment, the image scaling works very very well now that I have a chance to see it in action.  There's a particular thread in one of my games that has several reference images of various sizes posted and always blows up the formatting when accessed on my phone.  The new code allows for a much easier time seeing not only the images but the text that goes along with them as well, so kudos on that.
byzantinex
 member, 94 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 13:28
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 51):

WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!! :D :D :D

1) First / Last links don't work, they open at the top of the page.

2) Bottom link doesn't work.

3) Game Menu and Main Menu links in the footer would be really helpful to avoid having to scroll all the way to the top.

Bottom, line SO EXCITED!!! THANK YOU JASE!!!
pdboddy
 member, 522 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 15:03
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 51):

Ooh, this is nice. :)
steelsmiter
 member, 1711 posts
 AWE, BESM, Fate, Indies
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 15:38
Re: New site design
That's cool, but for some reason, I clicked on deleted games and could not hide them with a second click.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1120 posts
Sun 16 Apr 2017
at 23:45
Re: New site design
Definitely nice to look around a populated site with the new look. Can't wait for dark though since I dislike light themes.

#   I still dislike having meta-post info stuffed between posts.

#   It would be nice if we could manually dictate the page width and then possibly zoom in/out.

I haven't been able to look on a desktop (mine doesn't have internet), but A) I like smaller text and manually setting size with zoom seems a good way to get just the right width and text size for me, and done right, it would do the same for everyone with one tool, B) I always hate how on my desktop I can't look at text files fullscreen without fiddling around with font sizes because having each line of text be 3-4 sentances long actually makes reading difficult even if the font size itself is reasonable to read. So making the page width manually overrideable could be beneficial to everyone.

#   I don't like the drop down menus, though I suspect they are a required evil in this case, I'd love for those suspicions to be proven groundless.

#   The page numbers at the bottom of the screen are stacked vertically for some reason, and each seems to have a really tall click box making the entire set about two screens tall (in landscape view, my preferred view).

Also, as screen size goes down, the larger those numbers should be (perhaps put in boxes). Modern touchscreens are less accurate than old ones (my pocket pc could accurately register a touch within a pixel of where I clicked, every single touch, which is impossible on modern screens), especially when people use fingers, and this makes it harder to click on a single character without accidently clicking on either of the adjacent characters.

It doesn't come up often for me, but when it does, I have to zoom in real close so I can click on the page number I want accurately.
swordchucks
 member, 1369 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 12:49
Re: New site design
DarkLightHitomi:
#   I still dislike having meta-post info stuffed between posts.

I'm only experiencing this on my phone, not my PC.  I like it on my phone since I'm not having to zoom as much to read posts.  However, if there was a "force" option in user setting somewhere, that might be the best of both worlds.

As a real item, it took me entirely too long to figure out that "Post a new topic" at the bottom of the thread is actually the "post a reply" button.
pdboddy
 member, 523 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 14:26
Re: New site design
In reply to swordchucks (msg # 57):

Well, now I know how to reply to a thread...
byzantinex
 member, 95 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 14:39
Re: New site design
In reply to pdboddy (msg # 58):

That made me nervous, b/c I think if the subject is different it makes a whole new thread?

I've just been hitting reply to the last message and deleting the "in reply to" text. :D

Either way, I've been using the responsive.rpol.net site exclusively since jase made the above announcement and I love it!
Luctius
 member, 9 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 15:26
Re: New site design
For some reason, the thread name and post number stick more out in this design, for me atleast.
In addition, on the pc, I don't like how the side menu shrinks the available message area, since that is the main purpose of this site I would make rather have the menu harder to reach than shrink the message area to about 1/3rd of the screen. Having the message area run until the end of what the header is now would create a better balance in my opinion.

That said, I think it looks good. (firefox: 1900x1080).

This message was last edited by the user at 15:31, Mon 17 Apr 2017.

LoreGuard
 member, 632 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 21:58
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 51):

This is really nice being able look at the established games from this view (the new one)!

I agree that something to make the threads stand out which have new messages in them would be great.  (could be an icon such as the fireball or could be something like underlining, bolding, or anything like that to make it stand out.)

I also noticed the view all option for a thread has appeared to have vanished, will that be coming back at some point?  It was very helpful for searching threads for things.

Question: would it be reasonable for a user preference that would force the layout to use the template for the narrowest screen for the header (having all the menus iconized at the top) and force the space underneath to be the two column with poster info the left and information on the right if someone liked that formatting? Sort of a Legacy layout option?

p.s.
When the Main menu turns into a dropdown (semi-iconized), it seems like its options don't work, is that just me?

This message was last edited by the user at 22:01, Mon 17 Apr 2017.

locojedi
 member, 141 posts
Mon 17 Apr 2017
at 23:51
Re: New site design
So... apparently I'm going to have to just get a newer phone. My old phone is a ruggedized stallion and I'm loathe to give it up because it's been through everything and keeps on tickin'. But I'm unable to upgrade the firmware nor upgrade the built in browser (firefox) it's an old android phone (G'Zone Casio). I also have tried using the new site design in Operamini which I was able to download and get working. My problem seems to be with menus in general and drop-downs or graphics buttons. The menu either opens with the page in full, blocking all the content (most annoying is the menu hides the input boxes for login and password.

Also, there are other issues. For example, when looking at a game, only the first thread in a topic is displayed, no others. In Opera mini, only the text links work, anything with a button or an image is unresponsive. It makes further testing nearly impossible.

Is there a chance, when you're finished with the responsive upgrade, to point it to rpol.net, and have the old layout still available at something like old.rpol.net? Since you're doing just the opposite now for testing purposes, it seems like that ought to be a possibility. That way those of us who prefer the old site layout could still use it, and it would deprecate well on older hardware and devices...

I don't mean to be negative or sound whiny. I had a strong feeling that my phone wouldn't handle more modern layouts. I just don't want to have to give up the best darn cell phone I've ever owned! ;-) I fully realize I'm in the minority. Perhaps I *AM* the minority, and that's ok, I'm not one to stand in the way of progress. This new site isn't the only one that breaks badly on my device.

BTW, I'm typing this on the computer, and on the PC (Linux), it's working just fine. I see a couple of the issues others have pointed out, but I'm not getting anything different from what they have on the PC. The smatrphon is a totally different story though.

Also, can screen-shots be posted in this forum by linking them off-site? Maybe if I showed what I'm seeing it would be easier to understand.
jase
 admin, 3554 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 18 Apr 2017
at 01:12
Re: New site design
Did I mentioned the site's really really unfinished and stuff will be broken/missing all over the place?  You're mostly seeing the framework for how the site will look/function as a whole, no one page is done.  So if something doesn't work anywhere then it needs attention.  If something specific doesn't work on one particular page then it probably hasn't been done yet.

LoreGuard:
p.s.
When the Main menu turns into a dropdown (semi-iconized), it seems like its options don't work, is that just me?

Now that is something that should work everywhere.  I'd actually noticed it too but wasn't sure if it was my phone.  Thanks for that, should now work (might need to do a deep refresh to get the new CSS).


That said I've also fixed the missing "new message" icon as well as the "bottom" link (plus new/last links from the game menu).


Can have an "old" website but it'll be stuck in time at the current version.  As things get added to the functionality to the site it won't be updated to reflect these changes.  Some things could just be a visual oddity but others could break entirely (e.g. if the back-end database schema changes significantly).  As much as I don't want to alienate anyone I can't really do nothing because of ancient phones, browsers or operating systems that the manufacture no longer supports.
LoreGuard
 member, 633 posts
Tue 18 Apr 2017
at 15:35
Re: New site design
In reply to jase (msg # 63):

I've noticed in several cases the User/Account icon seems to be lower than it should be.  I first noticed it on the front screen when I wasn't logged in, then also noticed it showing up now even when logged in.  Only seems to be a problem when it is the icon. (so narrower layout)

I also noticed that in the Rmail screen, the thread details looks messed up, it takes up multiple lines, but each row doesn't appear to expand size to fit the data, and the data doesn't use up the horizontal space it is given.  The private messages screen looks much better, so I suspect the rmail one just hasn't but updated yet.

However, I will note that since the Private Messages screen has numerous columns, its width is important.  One the screen I just looked at I noticed that comment data runs over into the (this game) menu, appearing to overwrite some of it.

At least based on teh current layout, the horizontal space seems important, you might potentially consider having it fold the side menu items up sooner (or might need to work up a different layout from the table, potentially multi-line list?)

Basically for the Private Messages screen, I like the layout with side menu at the max size, but probably would feel like is should switch to the drop down menus at the top somewhere close to half the size difference that it currently takes to get there.  At least that is my initial reaction/feedback.

If instead, the messages screens are going to look more like the main game thread screens, it seems like there is extra lines between the thread name and the details information, as well as following the thread details information.

Wondering, for the narrowest layout, I'm wondering if, although it might not be the most efficient use of space, I'm wondering if you indented the post information just a small distance, for instance the normal paragraph indent distance, if it might give a visual cue not related to coloration on what parts are posting.  [that is just a thought to throw out there, still contemplating merit myself]

At first I was going to ask that if in the narrowest framework, would it be possible to have the "(GM, # posts)" and the "Profile|Info|Rolls" floated over to the right, similar to how "quote | reply | edit |delete" are floated in the main post?  However, then I looked at a different thread, and realized that is where the images are, so that explains that a lot.  However, I wonder if it would be possible to in the narrowest layout, if it would be possible to have it only display the name, GM/player #posts and time information and Image, but if someone clicks in that metabox, have it open a menu, displaying the Bio information at the top of the menu, and the different items like profile, info, and rolls as options that would take them to those specific locations?

Actually, in all the layouts, could you float the msg ## over to the right above the "quote | reply | edit |delete" links in the main post part?  (but in the same small font)



P.s. - Just tried replying to a thread where I am a GM and I noticed it forced me to type a new subject.  It seemed to not pick up the default subject from the prior message.

p.p.s. - Just verified, it is when you do the Post a Reply from the This Thread menu that it behaves that way, clicking on the reply link in a specific post does seem to pull in the Subject from the post.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:01, Tue 18 Apr 2017.

ninthbit
 member, 697 posts
 Steampunk Advocate
 My profile has goodies
Thu 20 Apr 2017
at 19:48
Suggestion
If I could make a suggestion...  Adding an "apple-touch-icon" would be a nice addition.  When the site is saved to the launcher, it's not getting an icon.

I already have one here if you just want to copy it:
http://www.evilknights.com/rpol/apple-touch-icon.png

The site just needs a simple tag, eg:
[Link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="http://responsive.rpol.net/apple-touch-icon.png" /]
jase
 admin, 3556 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 12:11
Re: New site design
LoreGuard:
P.s. - Just tried replying to a thread where I am a GM and I noticed it forced me to type a new subject.  It seemed to not pick up the default subject from the prior message.

I'm actually thinking about removing the subject for each post.  98.1054444205959% (can you tell I've crunched the numbers?) of the time the subject is left unchanged so I'm thinking it's pretty redundant/pointless.

ninthbit (and yay for non-standard html!) has quite inconveniently contradicted me, but on those rare occasions that you do need some sort of title then there's a few ways to do that.  (c;