Feedback on our new website design please

by Neil Patterson

10:07 AM, 27th July 2017
About 2 years ago

Feedback on our new website design please

Make Text Bigger
Feedback on our new website design please

This time last week we unveiled a fresh Property118 website design and new functionality to improve Navigation, searching and the general user experience.

One of the new features we have added is a ‘hover-over’ function which appears when your mouse cursor is placed over a members name or Avatar. The date of when the member joined Property118 and how many comments they have posted to date is then displayed. We think this will be particularly useful to established members who like to report inappropriate comments. Sadly, some people join forums and post antagonistic comments to wind people up. For some reason they get a kick out of it! Where such comments are reported a view is then taken by moderators on whether to remove the offending comment, and in extreme cases to expel the member and block their IP address so that they are unable to create a membership profile using an different name and email account.

Inevitably there were a few initial ‘bug-fixes’ to deal with when we first launched the new website and we are extremely grateful to members who took the time and effort to point these out to us. Hopefully, these have now all been resolved. We hope you will agree that the text font is now much easier to read for example, and to make bigger for those with less than 20:20 vision. Other fixes were to ensure that comment links pointed directly to the associated comment as opposed to the article and that login issues were resolved. We are still working on some image cropping issues.

There may still be things you spot which are slightly annoying or could be improved upon further, hence we would very much like you to tell us what these are.

Please leave comments below and rest assured that we take all user feedback very seriously and will do whatever we can to continue to improve your user experience.

Daily Newsletters were paused whilst we were ‘bug-fixing’ but will now resume for those who were previously receiving them and for all new members.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Neil Patterson – Managing Director of Property118 Limited



Comments

Mark Alexander

20:40 PM, 6th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 06/08/2017 - 20:09The App will be an add on as an alternative to emails notifications and Nealetters. Don't worry, the website is staying and the App will link to it

Mark Alexander

20:45 PM, 6th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 06/08/2017 - 20:29That's much more helpful, thank you. Rest assured this will all be fed back to our developers.

Badger

20:54 PM, 6th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Here's what happens when I add a comment or reply:
========================================

I click on the 'Reply' link for the message that I want to comment on

If I am not logged in - NOTHING! Leaving me wondering what I have done wrong (but of course I have done nothing wrong)

If I am logged in I get scrolled to the bottom of the page (sub-optimal design)

I enter my comment text

I click on 'POST COMMENT'

I get dumped into my 'My Account' page (WHY??!?!?)

So now I have to navigate back to where I was so that I can continue to read the interesting thread that I have just contributed to - here goes (it's time consuming - you may want to grab a coffee while you wait):

Click the 'Left arrow / back button' on my browser (Firefox)

Be presented with the bottom portion of the page with the thread I was reading on it including the text that I just typed in suggesting that my message had not been posted (it has, but it doesn't look like it and I'm sure this is one reason why some people end up doubling and triple post messages on occasion).

Waste time figuring out why my message text is still there and narrowly avoid sending it again by clicking on 'POST COMMENT' again just to be sure.

Scroll back up the page looking for my comment.

It's not there.

Consider whether it never actually got posted in the first place (it did, but see above for the confusion that results)

Realise that was has happened is that the comment DID get posted but that the page needs to be refreshed to show it.

Hit F5 to cause the browser to reload the page.

Wait for the page to reload.

My comment is still not there.

realise that it has been placed on a new page (okay, this is somewhat fair enough - though by no means actually essential)

Anyway - navigate to new page

(if new comment did not cause a new page to be added to the thread) Scroll back up to see the new response that I just added.

Phew! Tortuous and frankly jolly tedious. Many times I have declined to contribute to a thread because of this long-winded behaviour (carried over to the new site from the old site)

Worse still - the website makes other users coming across new comments carefully match up time & date stamps and / or click on a link (thus losing their own current context) to access the original comment that they just read my response to.

-----------------------------------

Here's what should happen:

I click on the 'Reply' link for the message that I want to comment on

If I am not logged in I am offered a popup dialog in order to be able to do so.

If I am logged in a popup dialog appears that invites me to enter my comment text

I enter my comment text

I click on 'POST COMMENT'

The web site reloads the page with my new comment in context (i.e. attached to the message that I was commenting to but offset slightly (to the right) to make it clear that it is a response rather than a new message and aligns the view window so that I am presented with the page I was looking at when I made the decision to comment in the exact same pixel perfect place that it was before subject only to my additional comment.

(Please excuse brevity / terseness - time is short and I am being called for dinner. 🙂 )

Badger

21:00 PM, 6th August 2017
About 2 years ago

You should ask your developers to study the likes of reddit and, as previously mentioned, sites that use Disqus as a commenting system to see how thing should be done.

A Disqus licence will likely be too expensive for Property118 (it's worth asking though):

https://disqus.com/

but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't nick their ideas. 🙂

"Disqus - The #1 way to build an audience on your website"

Mark Alexander

21:05 PM, 6th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 06/08/2017 - 20:54Very much appreciated. Watch this space!

I'm not promising this will happen tomorrow but I do like what you are saying and I will see what can be done.

As I'm sure you will appreciate, we don't have big budgets. The forum is funded through donations and our own private funds Accordingly we use plugins to balance cost vs functionality but we do have some custom designed stuff done when funds allow

We did try The Disqus commenting plugin at one point but that too had its limitations.

Let's see what our website developers say.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Old Mrs Landlord

22:06 PM, 6th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at <a href="06/08/2017" rel="nofollow">https://www.property118.com/please-give-us-feedback-new-website-design/comment-page-7/#comment-93302">06/08/2017 - 20:54Badger, I'm so glad it's not just me this happens to. Life can be made very difficult for those of us who don't and won't use Facebook or Twitter or have smartphones. Once I found the login button I just remained logged in and don't have the problems but I don't suppose that will last. My main annoyance now is there is no direct 'Forum' button so if I want to see what other threads are active I have to reopen the 118 site, but t's a minor irritation I can live with. Your post at least reassures me the problems are not merely due to senility on my part.

Mark Alexander

22:16 PM, 6th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 06/08/2017 - 22:06I have already been looking into the Pro version of Disqus commenting Pro edition and will be discussing this with our website developers this week.

The Forum button and popular discussions link which previously showed to he right of post and pages is already in their work queue to be added back in. I hate to see white space!

Mark Alexander

6:21 AM, 7th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 06/08/2017 - 22:06Would it help if we had a "Visit Our Forum" button towards the top of our Home Page, in the white-space to the right of where it says Latest Articles?

Also, if your browser cache has cleared (you can force this by pressing ctrl + F5 on a PC) you will have noticed that we now have a floating Popular Discussions panel which fills the white space to the right of comments and links to articles. If this helpful and can you suggest anything to make it better? My thoughts are to give this a border and a header.

Also note the Related Articles links towards the top right of the right hand column. I think related articles could be very popular with readers but I think we are promoting these in the wrong place. It has been suggested that we put these below the main article and the comments. However, it has been suggested by others that this could result in people not realising that we have a comment section and missing them altogether. An idea I have had is to put an orange button with white text below the article and above comments which says "Show Related Articles". When clicked this drops down to show the related article titles, which are linked to the corresponding article. What are your thoughts on this idea please?

I really, REALLY like Badgers suggestions on how commenting should work. I barely slept last night thinking about this and also about how frustrating the current process must be for users. I hope we can afford to implement his suggestions sooner rather than later as I think it will encourage far more readers to participate in discussions. Last year Property118 served over 5 million unique user sessions. Imagine how much extra information we would all have available to us, even if only 0.1% of those unique user sessions resulted in comments where experience is shared.

Neil Patterson

10:38 AM, 7th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 06/08/2017 - 20:54Thank you Badger,
A Fix to be implemented very shortly will make sure you are not redirected off the page.

Badger

10:53 AM, 7th August 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 06/08/2017 - 22:16Ha! 🙂

I usually hate with a passion these floating panels (mainly because they are typically poorly implemented and intrusive) but I am delighted to say that I think the Property118 'Popular Discussions' one is done just right.

It is only a shame that there is not really enough screen real estate to implement the 'Related Articles' list in the same way.

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