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Forum Thread

New Thread Listing Design Feedback

Marmotto 478 February 20, 2014 at 02:08 PM
Hi everybody, thanks so much for being such great contributors to the Slickdeals community and taking the time to help us test the new Thread Listing design.

Please use this thread to let us know what you like, what you're missing, and what improvements you think could be made to the new design. It's still very much a work in progress so any feedback is good feedback.

Community Wiki

Last Edited by Schooby April 29, 2014 at 12:58 PM
We will be doing a rollback this afternoon.
It will be almost as it was originally with the exception of the category icons will need to remain as text but will be on thew left-hand side again. Color will go back to what it was before etc...
So you should see this change within the next few hours.
~Schooby



Some steps to simplify the look again
As you will read through the thread developers and most staff at SD have analysed the "data" and "data" tells them they are getting more revenue since they switched to new layout. So your feedback is welcome but only if it fits the "data".
You can use the ad block addon to help bring back the forum list to look better. Thanks to the other posters for these suggestions.
Add these custom filters and the site is much better.
  • slickdeals.net##*.postedrow_v2
  • slickdeals.net###hottopic_rightcol
  • slickdeals.net##table#threadslist .threadthumbcolumn
  • ||static.slickdealscdn.com/images/concat/concat-thumbs3.gif
How to turn off the thumbnails
Quote from mdownie View Post :
With so many comments about the thumbnails in the new thread listing design, we have decided to give you the option to toggle them on and off. The new option is shown below. It is at the very bottom of the Edit Options screen.


Thank you for your patience as we try out this new design in beta. You've been selected for a first look at this beta because we value your opinion.
Please bear with us as we collect your feedback and make improvements!


A message from bryantq:

Quote :
Thanks for all your feedback everyone.

I wanted to chime in and say that -nothing- is off the table, and all of your requests and suggestions are heard loud and clear - however what we're doing is testing and collecting data. Sometimes we have to try things to know if the ideas work or not.

Certainly the status-quo is more comfortable to everyone, but that feeling should never impede the idea of making improvements and progress. Lets try, and if we fail, we learn and try to improve again. I have always believed the community could tolerate and even participate in this process, so that we find ways to take the feedback and build a better website/community for everyone;

Our goal is to test fast, get data fast, and make improvements fast. We'll ask ourselves what are our goals, what do the users want, how can we achieve this, and does it match what we're seeing in the data. We'll always hear from those who have something to say - and it's important to us to hear that, but we also need to consider those who don't say anything (the other 10 million people who use Slickdeals), which is why the data is the best way to see how everyone acts/responds. Maybe we'll find newer users are okay with it, and veteran users aren't and that's okay. If that's the case, we'll make some feature changes for our veteran users because they're equally as important to us. Unfortunately it takes some time to collect enough data to be sure ~ right now only 25% of users can see the new design.

For example, the reason why we removed certain things like the wiki icon was that it was practically never used.

Originally in this test, we also removed all the mini pagination (Page 1 2 3 4 5 - Last Page) because that also wasn't used much, and after further feedback from users, we found out all they really wanted was the Last Page link. Truth be told people didn't really care about jumping randomly to page 2, 3, 4, or 5 (in a 500 page thread or a 7 page thread), but it did distract and clutter up the list.

People have asked, "why did you do this?" I can tell you some of my goals with the design. First of all, it started with adding the score to the thread list. The score is probably one of the most important aspects of the site, and while thumbs were a good initial indication of quality, they did not help a user distinguish between a +20 deal and a +500 deal (which would both appear as 5 thumbs up).

Furthermore, we needed to convert the category icons to text: the reason for this is that it is very hard to maintain unique icons for all of our new categories (in a 12 by 12 pixel icon, how do you show the difference between a tv and a monitor, ?); and the old icons didnt match all the categories we had. Furthermore, the icons limited us to the length of text in there... we couldn't write "Electronics" for example and still have an icon, so what's the point if eventually half our icons were going to be text only anyway.

We added thumbnails, etc because it helps identify what is in a thread at a glance. Usually this turns into catching people's interest and helping them find what they're looking for. I think we have some ways to improve this such as cleaning up the way they're displayed, playing with size, and if the data suggests we should, perhaps giving the option to hide them as users have requested.

Finally, some other improvements included trying to make the design "responsive", which means that it adjusts automatically based on the amount of space you have in your browser window. If you have a lot of space, we can display more detailed information, larger text, etc. If you squeeze the browser window narrower, you will see things disappear to accommodate that smaller window. We also added the right column in for people who had large monitors: right now that's pretty empty, but it'll give us room to add cool features like boxes that show: threads you last visited, and forum leaderboards, or even custom things for different forums.
Quote :
Overall, we're trying to make the site more streamlined, responsive for multiple screensizes, and friendlier/more intuitive for newer users.

TL;DR: Ultimately, we're hearing your concerns and requests (from adding an option to turn off thumbnails, to restoring the paperclip icon)... we're taking notes, and figuring out the next plan of action.

So I ask for your patience as we work on these things. Rest assured, we hear you.
=====================================

Notable Changes From Previous Version to Beta:
  • Added the ability to view the score number, fire icons, and popular flag directly in the forum view. This is probably the most important addition for deal forums.
  • Created a responsive layout. Depending on the width of your browser window, you will see more information. If your viewport becomes narrower, things will automatically disappear to save space. These include: avatar photos, thumbnails, replies/view counts, etc, all the way down to a mobile friendly view.
  • Condensed the replies and views count into one column to save space.
  • Added thumbnails so users can quickly see them.
  • Moved away from category icons to category text, because as we introduce new categories this gives us flexibility. For example, the old set of icons limited us in terms of character length and description.
  • Added small avatar next to users name.
  • Removed non-essential icons such as attachments, wiki icon, etc. After looking at usage logs and feedback, these icons were largely useless, so we removed them to clean up the page.
=====================================


Reported Bugs / Feature Requests:
  • Threads appearing multiple times [Resolved Feb 27]
  • Personal sticky flag missing [Resolved Feb 27]
  • Last column is messed up when announcements are there [Resolved]
  • Avatars are annoying because some are animated [Resolved ; removed avatars until we can stop avatars from animating]
  • First Unread link is missing [Resolved ; Did not restore additional link due to user feedback and the fact that the unread bubble and envelope icons also serve this purpose]
  • Unread messages bubble missing [Resolved ; Restored unread message bubble and link to first unread]
  • Last Page / Pagination is missing [Resolved ; Last page icon restored to last column under last activity, pagination will not return since users mostly only needed the last page link]
  • Thumbnails appear in non-deal forums, which is bad because they rarely have thumbnails. [Resolved ;
  • Ipads require a double click on everything [Resolved ; This was a byproduct of the ignore button on hover... Thus, we had to move the ignore button to a submenu (see below)]
  • Ignore Thread button missing [Resolved ; Restored ignore thread option with new submenu]
  • Page shifts around when thumbs are available[Resolved]
  • Cannot filter by category by clicking icon anymore! [Not broken; You can still click on the category below each deal to filter and see only those categories.
  • Icons dont always appear, or appear only after click or hover[Resolved]
  • On wide monitors, there is too much white space in the middle (between title and reply/views [Resolved; adjusted the look for wider monitors, and added a right column to fill space/make room for additional future features]
  • Paperclip icon is missing [Queued ; Will restore this to the new submenu]
  • Link that appeared on replies count to show who posted is missing [Queued ; Will restore this link]
  • Right column doesn't always disappear [Queued ; Will fix, appears to only break for IE8]
  • Frontpage / Popular Flags too obnoxious [Queued ; Will first try making the colors more subtle]
  • Add ability to turn off thumbnails [Under evaluation ; Will likely add function to hide thumbnails for veteran users]
  • Hard to read categories / Move to left [Under evaluation ; Adjusted font color/spacing. Will try moving to the left in future]
  • Expand Post feature missing. [Under evaluation]
  • When making a reply and returning to the forum, it shows 1 unread (my own post) [Under evaluation; This isnt particularly due to this test, but a bug nonetheless]
  • When users use either os based or browser based zooming, the author/date line can overlap the category text.
  • Category links dont filter to the same category as displayed.
=====================================

Current testing / rollout schedule:

Phase 1 - Private Beta (~300 of top contributors)
Feb 20 - Mar 12
COMPLETED

Changes / Fixes Made:
  • Fixed duplicate threads appearing
  • Feedback link fixed
  • Restored the "Unread Bubble" count that appears on top of the envelope - This area also links to the first unread post. In an effort to reduce redundancy and clean up the design, this is where this function will live.
  • Changed avatars to be rounded and applied a generic user icon for people who do not have an avatar, to create consistency of design.
  • Removed Thumbnails in all forums except for Hot deals and Deal Talk
  • Fixed header/table alignment issues
  • Added the "Sticky" flag for personal stickies
  • Added ability to remove stickies by clicking on the flag.
  • Restored ignore icon which now appears on hover.
  • Based on user feedback and usage data, expand post functionality is removed.
Phase 2 - Private Beta Round 2 (~1000 of top contributors)
Mar 12 - Apr 1
COMPLETED

Changes / Fixes Made:
  • Fixed various text and line formatting issues.
  • Restored the Ignore feature and moved it to a new dropdown menu - http://i.imgur.com/dejynkK.png
  • Added the ability to sticky a thread from the new dropdown menu
  • Removed avatars from "last poster" until we can fix the animation issue.
  • Added a right column for screens larger than 1600px to help with excessively wide forum display with lots of white space.
  • Expanded the views, and reply counts for extra wide monitors to help take advantage of that space.
  • Added an unread count next to views and replies as a test, since most new users don't know what the bubbles are on the left. Saying "XX unread" in the listing is very clear/intuitive.
  • The new unread link wasnt working, so we fixed that.
  • Made a change to number formatting so that "1,500,000" turns into "1.50M" in order to save space.
  • Adjusted when thumbnails appear and disappear so that it requires a larger screen (1200px or more)
  • Icons werent always appearing in certain browers, this is now fixed.
  • Restored "Last Page" link, which now lives in the far right last activity column.
  • Adjusted spacing around thumbnails, title, and categories
  • Increased title size from 13px to 14px.
  • Forum jump dropdown removed from top of page due to its redundancy with the main menu forum navigation.
Phase 3 - Public Testing (~25% of all visitors, random mix)
Apr 01 - Apr 15
IN PROGRESS


Changes / Fixes Made:
  • [Apr 01] Adjusted Font Size from 14px back down to 13px
  • [Apr 01] Fixed padding in various areas
  • [Apr 01] Made "Last Page" link appear for all threads with >1 page (previous legacy version required at least 5 pages to appear)
Phase 4 - Public Testing (~50% of all visitors, random mix)
Apr 15 - Apr 21
PENDING

===================================
FAQ:

Why can't I opt out anymore?
Opting out was only available during the beta phase. During our testing phase, we need to collect data, and to ensure valid data, we need to make sure users dont switch between the two experiences and skew the data.

These changes are terrible! I've told you they're terrible! Why haven't you changed back or done everything I told you?
We greatly appreciate your feedback, and while we're listening and evaluating them, we also need to "hear" from the other millions of slickdeals users who havent said anything. In order to do this, we collect data on usage. For example, we'll compare activity, views, clicks, etc from users in the new version vs the old.

Well, by now you should've seen that everyone in this thread hates it! Change it back already!
Typically, the people who are upset are the only ones who complain. People who aren't upset go on with their daily lives, so its pretty normal for a feedback thread to be negative (unfortunately). That being said, we are monitoring the data on a daily basis, and so far the data is showing that the new version actually is working the same or better. We need to collect more data to make sure we're 100% positive it is correct because the comments here are so vocal Smilie

However, even though the data might show the new version is better, we're still listening to your feedback and will still find a way to improve the new layout so don't worry Smilie

This post can be edited by most users to provide up-to-date information about developments of this thread based on user responses, and user findings. Feel free to add, change or remove information shown here as it becomes available. This includes new coupons, rebates, ideas, thread summary, and similar items.

Once a Thread Wiki is added to a thread, "Create Wiki" button will disappear. If you would like to learn more about Thread Wiki feature, click here.

1,437 Comments

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Joined Aug 2004
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#61
Hi everyone! Some people asked to know why we did the change. I made a comment in the wiki showing you some of the new features.

Also, we'll keep a running list of people's bug reports that we've confirmed and will fix!
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Last edited by bryantq February 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM
#62
Quote from medicchick View Post :
Please bring the first unread button back to all threads, not just those over 5 pages.
Thanks for the heads up on that. I use the 'first unread' constantly. To fix it I can just switch to 'show 5 posts per page' and that should push anything with 25+ posts into the 'fixed' category. Minor work around until the beta's fixed.
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#63
Here's what I wrote in the wiki to continue the discussion:

Thank you for your patience as we try out this new design in beta. You've been selected for a first look at this beta because we value your opinion.

Please bear with us as we collect your feedback and make improvements!

Known Bug List
  • Unread Messages Bubble Missing
  • Various formatting issues in non-deal forums (Wasted space for thumbnails, etc)
  • First Unread link doesnt always appear
  • Thread Ignore Button Missing (will be available on hover)
Message From Bryantq:

Some people have asked "why the design change" because they feel it wasnt an improvement. As the designer of this change, let me please point out to you some of the important features of this new design.

First, I would like to preface that these design changes were meant mostly for deal forums only. The fact that some of these bled over into the non-deal forums will be fixed (ie the wasted space for thumbnails in non-deal forums will disappear)

Notable Changes From Current to Beta:
  • Added the ability to view the score number, fire icons, and popular flag directly in the forum view. This is probably the most important addition for deal forums.
  • Created a responsive layout. Depending on the width of your browser window, you will see more information. If your viewport becomes narrower, things will automatically disappear to save space. These include: avatar photos, thumbnails, replies/view counts, etc, all the way down to a mobile friendly view.
  • Condensed the replies and views count into one column to save space.
  • Added thumbnails so users can quickly see them.
  • Moved away from category icons to category text, because as we introduce new categories this gives us flexibility. For example, the old set of icons limited us in terms of character length and description.
  • Added small avatar next to users name.
  • Removed non-essential icons such as attachments, wiki icon, etc. After looking at usage logs and feedback, these icons were largely useless, so we removed them to clean up the page.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#64
Quote from Curtieson View Post :
Thanks for the heads up on that. I use the 'first unread' constantly. To fix it I can just switch to 'show 5 posts per page' and that should push anything with 25+ posts into the 'fixed' category. Minor work around until the beta's fixed.
Thanks, I'll give it a shot.
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#65
Quote from Curtieson View Post :
Also, by taking away the little category icons, I don't mind that much but by turning them into text it really doesn't work in the Gamer's Lounge. They have locked the categories in at a 2009 time period so using the logos worked...but marking all new 'Next Gen' threads with the last gen console names; I'd rather not have any categories at all. But it is significantly more hidden at least.



We can revisit the pagination and the categories in the gamer's lounge. Actually if you have suggestions about categories, please submit a separate thread in the Site Issues and Suggestions forum - once we move to this new layout, it makes it a lot easier for us to add or change categories, because it will be text only and we dont have to create icons etc.
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Joined Aug 2004
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#66
Quote from Tipper55 View Post :
Don't like it and at this point, I don't see what you are trying to "improve". A little re-arranging, couple of bells and whistles that's it - just leave it the heck alone.

A ridiculous amount of white space to add photos, that do absolutely nothing to help with navigation or aesthetics.

Much prefer store icons, especially when they were easily used to sort. Now the sort function appears to be gone.

The ignore button is gone. Seriously I don't care what's on sale in California and the nearest Rite Aid is 800 miles away.

I don't need or want cutesy. Don't need pictures and avatars everywhere, if I did, I'd visit WUC.

If you are trying to make this more mobile friendly, it needs to be kept computer friendly at the same time. I would suggest.

Removing who was the original author of the thread, as well as the thumbs up ratings and the reply/viewed counts. These may be important to Hot Deals, but they seem somewhat irrelevant for the Drugstore/Grocery threads.

Then the page numbers, last page, first unread etc. can be made a little more prominent and viewer friendly.
Thanks for your feedback. To be honest this design change was mostly intended for the Hot Deals forum. I think as we finish getting feedback for that forum, we can discuss making custom modifications for the drugstore forums as they are a unique beast.

Quote from J03 View Post :
One thing I think is huge is the removal of "thread start date" as a sort item at the top. I think it's the single most important sort option for catching the best slick deals. I think it should be at the top by default instead of "last post." Can someone clue me in on the significance of "last post?" A decent amount of time it puts promising looking threads at the top where half the deal items are already OOS. I end up clicking on it excited about something until I realize the thread is 10 days old... The new beta has it as the only sort option available without opening that side box.
This still exists, but is on the left next to Title. Are you not seeing it?
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Last edited by bryantq February 28, 2014 at 11:42 AM
Joined Nov 2007
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#67
Thanks for the clarificaton/context Bryantq.

My opinion from a purely visual standpoint:

So having checked out the Hot Deals Forum, I actually like the changes. Even the images of the product on the left side of the thread. Although sometimes the pic doesn't jive. Like in the Chipotle deal that's got 40 plus TD's you see a pic of the coupon. But really, what good is that pic? It should be a Chipotle logo. Could be a lot of work to maintain this.

I can see how old timers might dislike the images of the product. But I can also see how this would appeal to the noobs and/or prospective new users who stumble onto the site. I'm sure for the SD crew it's a fine line between keeping the OG members happy while trying to attract and retain new users and I don't know how you strike a balance.....but I do think it will be aesthetically appealing to prospective new users and even the old timers. I say this given my early experience with the site years back. I remembered seeing long thread titles and feeling like the whole process was a bit offputting, overhwelming even. Yeah, I've adapted over time but what if you could snag that new user quicker? IDK..just a thought.

The avator that shows up on the right side of the screen gots ta go though, IMO.
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Joined Jan 2009
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#68
Quote from deals4mykids View Post :
I like the idea of avatars popping up instead of user names... I reckon it would be better if people used their own photos as apposed to animations.
To many creepers on SD. Nono2

I still like the old way best.
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#69
Quote from Roland Deschain View Post :
Thanks for the clarificaton/context Bryantq.

My opinion from a purely visual standpoint:

So having checked out the Hot Deals Forum, I actually like the changes. Even the images of the product on the left side of the thread. Although sometimes the pic doesn't jive. Like in the Chipotle deal that's got 40 plus TD's you see a pic of the coupon. But really, what good is that pic? It should be a Chipotle logo. Could be a lot of work to maintain this.

I can see how old timers might dislike the images of the product. But I can also see how this would appeal to the noobs and/or prospective new users who stumble onto the site. I'm sure for the SD crew it's a fine line between keeping the OG members happy while trying to attract and retain new users and I don't know how you strike a balance.....but I do think it will be aesthetically appealing to prospective new users and even the old timers. I say this given my early experience with the site years back. I remembered seeing long thread titles and feeling like the whole process was a bit offputting, overhwelming even. Yeah, I've adapted over time but what if you could snag that new user quicker? IDK..just a thought.

The avator that shows up on the right side of the screen gots ta go though, IMO.
The avatar next to a user's name isnt really that important to us - but we only display it if you've got a large enough monitor. Often times as we get bigger and bigger monitors, we end up with lots of extra space - so its kind of a perk;

We can detect if you have enough space, and if so, we can show you more information.


I could see how animated avatars would be annoying though. I'll have to think about that.

Also I'm going to think about how it looks (maybe they should be rounded avatars, and we should probably have a default user icon so it doesnt look so inconsistent, etc)
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Joined Feb 2007
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#70
Added the ability to view the score number, fire icons, and popular flag directly in the forum view. This is probably the most important addition for deal forums.

Unnecessary.... people like to browse new deals and can glance to the right for same info for HOT or popular which by default are the ones at the top mostly


Created a responsive layout. Depending on the width of your browser window, you will see more information. If your viewport becomes narrower, things will automatically disappear to save space. These include: avatar photos, thumbnails, replies/view counts, etc, all the way down to a mobile friendly view.

Good as long as layout is clean and responsive


Condensed the replies and views count into one column to save space.

Fine

Added thumbnails so users can quickly see them.

Unnecessary

Moved away from category icons to category text, because as we introduce new categories this gives us flexibility. For example, the old set of icons limited us in terms of character length and description.


Fine

Added small avatar next to users name.

No good


Removed non-essential icons such as attachments, wiki icon, etc. After looking at usage logs and feedback, these icons were largely useless, so we removed them to clean up the page.

Good

You left off product pictures..those need to go...less pictures and easier layout are my vote.
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#71
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Added the ability to view the score number, fire icons, and popular flag directly in the forum view. This is probably the most important addition for deal forums.

Unnecessary.... people like to browse new deals and can glance to the right for same info for HOT or popular which by default are the ones at the top mostly
I think you have a misunderstanding about how people use the deal forums. Today they are sorted by last activity (post). Scores are paramount for evaluating a deal, which today users can only judge a deal by thumbs. A 5 thumb deal could have a +40 score and a +300 score. This differentiation is important. Furthermore, in the hot deals forums, they have no idea whether its a fire deal or a popular deal.
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Joined Dec 2007
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#72
I hate the original color scheme of Slickdeals. I can't stand to read the site unless it has the Midnight theme. So, I reverted back immediately.
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#73
AWFUL! Unless you go back you'll lose people with this strange foolishness
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#74
An element of the old layout that i prefer is to have thread start dates be listed as 'today' & 'yesterday' for the recent threads, vs just the date. It's easier for me to quickly scan for new content via the old method.
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#75
Quote from Doctor_Wu View Post :
An element of the old layout that i prefer is to have thread start dates be listed as 'today' & 'yesterday' for the recent threads, vs just the date. It's easier for me to quickly scan for new content via the old method.
Me too. That's definitely coming back.
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