New site interface

Suggestions on improving the site or comments in general?

Re: New site interface

Postby NoPunIn10Did » 13 Jun 2018, 17:16

Following up on this:
joe92 wrote:Further clarification needed. Are you suggesting:

A. To create a completely new design for the entire website? A complete overhaul, a new everything.
B. To redesign the existing layout so that it works on mobiles?

Here's something I shared with Dipsy off-thread, but might be worthwhile for others to think about as we engage further in this discussion.
NoPunIn10Did wrote:Say you need a new kitchen. Your current one is old and has all sorts of problems not typical of a modern house. Nothing is technically up to code, but it works most of the time. And while it's your kitchen, and you love it, it admittedly looks really shabby to visitors.

You could:
  1. Hire contractors on a case-by-case basis to fix breaks and problems, accepting that your kitchen will grow into a chimera of assorted repairs and workarounds. Additionally, hire a decorator to spruce the place up.
  2. Hire a team to totally remodel the kitchen. They'll have permission to remove walls and cabinetry, and they will rework some of the plumbing and electric systems in the vicinity. While they'll be focused on the kitchen, they'll have permission to make changes to adjacent rooms as well if needed.
  3. Hire a team to build a new house on your property while you live in the old one.

The changes Dipsy has been making recently are more the equivalent of #1 from my metaphor. It's a piecemeal approach; continuing down this path would roughly equate to (B), the mobile layout redesign from joe92's post. To be clear, there's nothing actually wrong with that; each improvement is an improvement, and even small changes can make a big difference. It's just that there are limits to how far #1 / (B) can go to improve the kitchen / site.

What joe92 referred to as (A), the complete overhaul, could be interpreted either as #2 (remodel) or #3 (new house) from my metaphor. Avalanche already tried to hire a team to build a new house / game, but maybe that was the wrong approach entirely. What we probably need is a thorough remodeling. It would be more than just small fixes, but it wouldn't be a total replacement.

We don't need a new house; we like our house. We don't really want to move out of our house.

But at some point, we might need a new kitchen.
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Re: New site interface

Postby joe92 » 13 Jun 2018, 17:31

NoPunIn10Did wrote:Are you referring to their barebones geometric art approach to the map?

I'm not referring to the map. The map is pretty good. The way it draws the orders on as you enter them is particularly nifty. The aesthetics of the map are minimalist but that didn't stand out to me as a bad thing as I used the site. It just looked different.

I'm talking about the general layout and the navigation through the site. That minimalist approach of the map is found everywhere on the site. It makes the parts of the site not related to the map non-enjoyable to use on a desktop. It's very easy to use as a mobile user, but frustrating as a desktop user.
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Re: New site interface

Postby super_dipsy » 13 Jun 2018, 17:53

joe92 wrote:I'm not referring to the map. The map is pretty good. The way it draws the orders on as you enter them is particularly nifty.

Interesting. Without going off on an irrelevant tangent, would it be worth us making the 'toggle arrows' thing stay when you are entering your orders? So if people want to see arrows as they order, they can? I think my javascript skills could cope with that...
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Re: New site interface

Postby joe92 » 13 Jun 2018, 18:04

super_dipsy wrote:Interesting. Without going off on an irrelevant tangent, would it be worth us making the 'toggle arrows' thing stay when you are entering your orders? So if people want to see arrows as they order, they can? I think my javascript skills could cope with that...

I responded on the new thread you made for this :)
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Re: New site interface

Postby ColonelApricot » 14 Jun 2018, 03:59

rd45 wrote:What I would be inclined to do here would be to pull back to 10,000 feet, and imagine for a minute that you were building a completely device-independent version of this whole site from scratch. If you were doing that, the first thing you'd want would be a bunch of user stories, in a format like: As a [user role], I need to [perform some function] in order that [I get some desired outcome].

Examples
  • as a newcomer to the site, I need to register a user ID, in order that I can log in
  • as a registered user, I need to join a game, in order that I can play in it
  • as England in game 1234567, I need to send a message to Germany, in order that I can plan moves
That will give you a whole long list of stuff that people do here. Some of that stuff would be really easy to code, some of it... not so much. But then you do the magic part, which is you pick out some small & relatively self-contained subset of those user stories, and call that subset your minimum viable product / MVP.

The point of MVP is that it's simple & attainable, but it's already sufficiently feature-rich that people will actually use it. Get it out there & get people using it, and ask for their feedback. Then you iterate. Based on user feedback, you pick out the next set of user stories that you're going to implement, and you put them in your next release.

I can attest from personal experience that the user story/ MVP approach works really well in getting the optimum value from limited resources.

You do need to write your stories really well so that they can be properly evaluated as to cost/ benefit. This forum comprises the ideal community to provide the evaluation data: a good sample of users to poll for benefit and some RL technicians to provide an effort assessment. That leads you to a community-driven prioritized work backlog that gives you best bang for buck (there may not be actual $$ involved but volunteer time is still valuable).

Clearly there is no appetite for "building a new house" but this approach certainly gets you a new kitchen that is useful and that can be continually enhanced.

You see, jumping into a full mobile UI redo may not necessarily be the highest priority. You can't know that until you have determined what the community tells you is the most important. Maybe it's a couple of features in the UI only.
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