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Introducing the Authors and Series views in Your books

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1timspalding
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 2:25pm Top



Blog post: http://www.librarything.com/blogs/librarything/2011/04/introducing-the-authors-a...

Starter conversation: http://www.librarything.com/topic/113266

I thought it a good time to restart the conversation. If I have time—I'm running around like a chicken without a head right now—I'll try to repost or rephrase some opinions from the first thread that haven't been posted here.

2DaynaRT
Apr 4, 2011, 2:21pm Top

first!

3Bookmarque
Apr 4, 2011, 2:33pm Top

you dork! ; P

4lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 2:34pm Top

> 2

Actually, Tim was first.

Fourth!

5AnnieMod
Apr 4, 2011, 2:35pm Top

The Permanent Link on the Authors page is leading to the memberseries page...

6clamairy
Apr 4, 2011, 2:35pm Top

But, originally his post said only 'second!'

Eighty-Seventh!

7sturlington
Apr 4, 2011, 2:36pm Top

Nice feature. Now I don't have to put the series names in my tags. Also, I was wanting to keep track of how many books I had by particular authors, so this is a pretty timely update. Thanks!

8DaynaRT
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 2:38pm Top

>4 lilithcat: Actually, Tim edited his post.

Maybe these new features will cause this related bug to get looked at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/84823

9DragonFreak
Apr 4, 2011, 2:39pm Top

Awesome! I can use that.

10stortemelk
Apr 4, 2011, 2:54pm Top

I love that it gives me a list of my Dutch series when I'm logged in on the .nl domain. Finally a way to see them all on one page (as the link on the home page always takes you to the English list).

11Collectorator
Apr 4, 2011, 2:57pm Top

I like it, especially the Series page. So much easier than the original.

12eromsted
Apr 4, 2011, 2:58pm Top

In the first thread, several people noted that the series list doesn't filter by collection. That option would be very nice, if possible.

For another big request, I'd be interested in seeing the author list display info on "other authors" as well as the primary author. That gets complicated fast, and I'm not sure exactly how I would want it to work. Perhaps equal counting for the author role or blank, whether in the primary or other slot and some way to separately display/count/link roles beyond author.

Of course, if we got this I would really want to have the option to update my old records with the single-line other authors field.

13brightcopy
Apr 4, 2011, 2:59pm Top

Speaking of which, pony alert:

Change the "English" (or whatever) button to a drop-down that lets you choose a language. "All" could possibly be pulled into the drop-down to save space. By default, it picks the language of the site you are on.

Like I said, a pony. I'm not sure how much use it would be, but then the same could be said about the "all" option.

14brightcopy
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 3:00pm Top

12> Personally, I think the series list being filtered by collection might confuse me more often than not. But I agree that it would be more consistent.

Of course, if we got this I would really want to have the option to update my old records with the single-line other authors field.

NOW you're dreaming. ;)

15timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 3:02pm Top

Yes. Collection selection is a bug. Fixing in a second.

16AnnieMod
Apr 4, 2011, 3:03pm Top

Tim, did you see #5?

17jbd1
Apr 4, 2011, 3:04pm Top

>16 AnnieMod: - #5 should be fixed. Try now?

18AnnieMod
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 3:06pm Top

>17 jbd1:

Confirmed. :) Thanks

Confirmed as fixed I mean.

19eromsted
Apr 4, 2011, 3:34pm Top

Looks like collection filtering is now working for the series list. Thanks!

20gilroy
Apr 4, 2011, 3:41pm Top

Now that everything has been pushed to the side, still can not access the series page or author page when highlighting a name. Not sure if this is an IE issue or a code issue. Tags work fine, so whatever change there is within the code between the two doesn't work.

21timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 3:48pm Top

Can you explain your bug in another way? I'm still in the dark.

22jjwilson61
Apr 4, 2011, 4:11pm Top

I was confused for a while that when I went to the Your Books tab it would show the list view but the drop-down would say authors or whatever I had been viewing last even though it was in the list view and not the author view. I also didn't see right away how to get back to the list view. Now I see that the List, Cover, and the Tag/Author/Series drop-down are a unit with only one of them active at a time.

Therefore I suggest that you remove the space between the List and Cove buttons and the drop-down. Actually, it would be more logical to incorporate the List view and Cover view into the drop-down.

23lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 4:34pm Top

I have just noticed that when I am in the "authors" or "series" view, the "search your library" box is truncated. As a result, it is not possible to change the search parameters.

This is on my work computer: Windows XP Professional/IE7.

24timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 4:35pm Top

Define "truncated"? It's falling off the page to the right?

25lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 4:40pm Top

> 24

Yes, the box is cut off. More in the "authors" view than the "series" view.

26timspalding
Apr 4, 2011, 4:40pm Top

Do you know what your screen dimensions are? It's fine for me at 1024. Are you running LT at 800x600?

27lilithcat
Apr 4, 2011, 4:47pm Top

It's 1024 x 768.

28brightcopy
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 6:04pm Top

22> Yeah, I ran into the same bit of UI weirdness. I understand why it's like it is, due to how it was developed and because of horizontal space restrictions. I'd expect it to be more like:







Perhaps "alphabetical" could be changed to "A-Z", "columns" changed to "cols", etc. to tighten up the horizontal width a bit. I think this would make it a lot more intuitive.

(ETA: The stacked book icon beside "Categories" is just a placeholder.)

29jjwilson61
Apr 4, 2011, 5:39pm Top

28> It would take even less horizontal room to label the drop-down as Views with the values List, Covers, Tags, Authors, and Series.

30brightcopy
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 6:03pm Top

29> Are you saying something along the lines of this?



Maybe you're wanting to omit the text "Authors" (or whatever is applicable) off the bar altogether, but I think it's good to have it there. It follows the convention for most everything else on that bar like on the Tags page where it has dropdowns.

Tim> Speaking of horizontal space: any reason you choose a more compact style on the Tags page like:

alphabetical | combined

but on the Authors/Series page its:

sort | alphabetical | combined

? I think the labels are a little unnecessary and the way it's done on the tags page looks more usable for a long-term use.

31leahbird
Apr 4, 2011, 6:20pm Top

i just want to go on record as saying that I FLIPPING LOVE YOU FOR THIS. the fact that i can now see series by collection (which, in effect, means i can ignore the books on my wishlist) is possibly the best perk that has come out other than collections.

thank you. thank you. thank you.

32jjwilson61
Apr 4, 2011, 6:59pm Top

30> No. Remove the List and Covers buttons from the page and include them as choices in the drop-down.

33paradoxosalpha
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 7:03pm Top

How about turning the List and Covers buttons into a single button, since it's a toggle? When you're in List view, there should be a Covers button, and vice versa.

34jjwilson61
Apr 4, 2011, 8:22pm Top

33> But it's List view OR Covers view OR Tags view OR Authors view OR Series view. Why have more than one button?

35Heather19
Apr 4, 2011, 8:54pm Top

A little confused here. I went to the Authors view, and clicked Permanent Link. Then I went to the Series view, but the link in the address bar remained on memberauthors. I even clicked on "list", to see all my books, and it *still* remains on memberauthors. That's a bug, right?

36AnnieMod
Apr 4, 2011, 8:58pm Top

Nope -- the address above does not change when you move between different views because they are in their own frame on the page. Look at the same address even before pressing perm link - it does not change :)

So basically when you press perm link, you get the link to that exact view instead of to your catalog in general. If you reload the page, you will be in the perm link again.

37jbd1
Edited: Apr 4, 2011, 9:02pm Top

>35 Heather19: - the top URL doesn't change unless you click "permanent link" again (in which case it will switch over to whatever section you're on).

ETA - Thanks AnnieMod, you beat me to it :-)

38brightcopy
Apr 4, 2011, 11:11pm Top

34> AH, gotcha! So like this, right?



I can see it being that way. Only disadvantage I see as opposed to the way it is in 28 is that 28 seems more "discoverable" for new users to me. But honestly, I think this is a very subjective preference and either would be preferable to how it is now.

What do you think, Tim?

39timspalding
Apr 5, 2011, 12:03am Top

Honestly, I'm a fan of the current way.

This is, I think, an example of avoiding foolish consistency--when the "logic" of the options drives the development of a user interface that hides the main outlines of the functionality and obscures their relative importance of options.

In theory, list, covers, tags, authors, series and now Lexile measures are all the same--different views of your library. Or in theory covers and shelves are essentially a subset of "books," which are parallel to tags, authors, series and Lexile measures. Or maybe there are "books" and "categories."

But theory is theory. In the real world you call attention to things that are important, breaking logical consistency if you need to. The current system establishes that list versus shelf is the main distinction at play. It provides tags as another way of looking at your library, but it separates it slightly because it's a different slice of the data—a dislocation in just what is going on for the user. The others—authors and etc.—have been placed as they have been placed because they share the same dislocation with tags, and are less important and useful to most than the list and shelf feature.

I've used "Tags," "Authors" and so forth because "Categories" is an empty category. It's a term one creates purely in order to hold things, like the way a bookstore classification I recently reviewed created a category for "field sports" in order to include soccer but exclude chess and sailing. Empty categories are dreadful things, and should be avoided whenever possible--they are the coffee cup's "contents may be hot" notice of the classification world.

PS: I like "A-Z." I think people grasp the meaning immediately, so the space gain is without semantic loss.

40brightcopy
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 12:24am Top

39> This is, I think, an example of avoiding foolish consistency--when the "logic" of the options drives the development of a user interface that hides the main outlines of the functionality and obscures their relative importance of options.

It's really frustrating when you take the tack that when people disagree with how it looks that they must be some kind of foolish zealots.

For me, I looked at it and it says "Authors", yet I was looking at a page full of covers. I said "that's weird, why would it tell me it's showing Authors?" Then I said, "oh, it must just always show that even if it doesn't apply." From reading jjwilson's post, he did the same thing. First the "what's going on here, is this messed up?", then on to the "oh, I see WHY it makes a user (aka someone who didn't actually design the feature) think it's messed up."

I'm not following some UI dogma. I'm seeing things that make me think there's a bug on the page, and THEN figuring out what it is about the UI that would make me think that. THAT is when I figure out the inconsistency. I think sometimes you get as dogmatic about the way your brain decides to lay things out as you accuse others of getting about some "UI Religion." It's akin to the "Not Invented Here" effect.

41timspalding
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 12:39am Top

Sorry. I don't intend or mean to be offensive. Interfaces are art and organization like anything else. If I think something is a foolish consistency—an Emerson allusion, not me calling you a fool—I am referencing a body of thought about how UIs should and shouldn't work.

I am happy to be convinced and have been convinced on many occasions. I frequently take advice about such things, so the "not invented here" thing isn't, I think, a fair attack. Basically, I don't agree here. I don't think the trade-offs are worth it. I am happy to be corrected about the motives for your reorganization--not for consistency but because the current system is confusing. I find your concept of a "Categories" collection to be consistency at the expense of immediacy.

42brightcopy
Apr 5, 2011, 12:50am Top

41> Honestly, at this point I don't think there's any kind of argument I could craft to convince you, either to adopt an approach like in 28 or in 38. Hopefully it won't confuse people as much as it confused jjwilson and I. Or if it does they'll actually report it rather than just chalk it up as wonky and you'll see those reports and be swayed.

Oh, and one more thing.

Emerson: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".
Tim: "This is, I think, an example of avoiding foolish consistency".

Yeah, how I could I possibly take that as offensive? ;)

43rsterling
Apr 5, 2011, 1:02am Top

Can we at least get a better name for the button? I don't really like that it defaults to either one of tags/authors/series, etc. It's not really intuitively obvious that you could also find other information there. Is there some term that could encompass all of those, so it's clear you need to click the drop-down to get different views?

44timspalding
Apr 5, 2011, 1:05am Top

>42 brightcopy:

Because you know what respect I have for your big mind :)

The only one I could really see being attracted to would be more like

List | Covers — Tags | Authors | more...

I think there's a strong advantage to concrete things to press—nouns that you want to see, not nouns that represent categories you have to think about. The list of non-book views is going to grow a great deal. But the importance level falls off fast.

45staffordcastle
Apr 5, 2011, 1:07am Top

Not sure if this is something that can be fixed or not, but here it is: When I click on an author name to go look at his/her books, then hit the back button, it does not go back to the part of the page where I started. However, if I click on the "author page" link for that author, then hit the back button, it does return me to where I started. It's rather annoying not to get back to the starting point, especially when I'm far down the page.
Thanks for your attention, Tim! I like this feature!

46timspalding
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 1:09am Top

>43 rsterling:

So I'm dead set against coming up with a better name for the button. The fact that we have to raise the question is a sign there is no name that's good enough. The name should hit us on the head, or it's our attempt to label something complex and vague—and that sort of thing just won't penetrate the fleeting attention of a user. It's like a road-signage committee debating whether there's an English word for the queer but highly dangerous geological features that lie just around a curve. If you have to debate it, there isn't one that people will be able to reliably understand at driving speed.

But I'd be down with what I suggest in 44, or perhaps putting more stress on the divot by adding "more..." before it.

47jjwilson61
Apr 5, 2011, 1:10am Top

43> Yeah, it's called a view and it also encompasses List and Cover, but Tim's not going to change his mind.

Could you at least remove the space between the Cover button and the drop-down selector.

48jjwilson61
Apr 5, 2011, 1:17am Top

48> The fact is though that what is there is confusing. You see Author but see the page is in the list view. With a drop-down the displayed value is usually what is currently selected. Instead that Author (or Tags or Series) is a button that can be pressed. You've made a combination button/drop-down that is not intuitive.

The only thing I can suggest while keeping the current layout is to add shadows or something to the true buttons and leave the true drop-downs as plain outlines and make your combo button/drop-down more like a button (with shading).

49timspalding
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 1:21am Top

I'm not completely against 38, but only if the book options--list and covers--are extracted from it. Making the list and covers options just one more view among many is like removing the "Your library" button because, logically, your library is one among millions. It's a catalog. The primary way to experience it is through the books. If the catalog treats the list of books as just another possible slice of the data it's traded consistency for a maddening lack of a button to do the thing you want to do 95% of the time.

Once removed, however, I can see a number of ways of making the "view" option clearer. "View" as a label is one. Saying "View: Authors" is another. Doing "Authors | More (divot)" is another. Etc.

50timspalding
Apr 5, 2011, 1:20am Top

You see Author but see the page is in the list view

You also see the Covers button. And you see the sort you're not choosing. And etc. etc. But some are selected—blue—and some are not. Selection markers—here, color—is a valid way to show when something is happening and when it isn't.

51rsterling
Apr 5, 2011, 1:26am Top

New users often comment on LT being confusing. When this feature launched, several people said: where is it - I don't see authors anywhere. I think something besides it defaulting to one name would be less confusing. Maybe tags | authors | more could work. Or "views." But in general, I think making a less confusing interface outweighs the difficulty of finding a name. I'm sure we can come up with something.

52jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 1:36am Top

49,50> No comment on my suggestion to make a distinction between things you can push and cause an immediate change (buttons) and those you can't (ok, you can "push" the text of the collections drop-down but it just opens the list, it doesn't change the display immediately, unlike what happens if you push the text next to the "view" drop-down).

53Heather19
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 1:49am Top

46: "So I'm dead set against coming up with a better name for the button. The fact that we have to raise the question is a sign there is no name that's good enough."

Er.... the fact that multiple people have asked for a better name is a sign that *we need a better name*. I don't see how asking for a better name means that nothing else is good enough.

51: AGREE AGREE AGREE!
Tim has said, in the past, that features should be intuitive (to a point), that things shouldn't take forever to figure out. LT as a whole is confusing, newbies always complain about that. Please please *please* lets not make it any more confusing just because of a knee-jerk reaction to keep the feature the way it looks now.

I'm not a newbie. But I *can* think like a newbie, especially when it comes to "understanding" something. Opening up my catalogue and seeing a list of my books, and then seeing a button that is set to "tags", is *not* something I can easily understand. It's also not easily understandable that the button is meant to take you to different places, because it really just looks like it doesn't work at all. Why would it say "tags" when I'm not in tags? Why would it say "authors" when I go to the author-page and then click into list view to see all my books? It's not intuitive or understandable at all, it's frustrating and lacking common sense.

54timspalding
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 1:57am Top

>53 Heather19:

I'm sorry you think it's a "knee jerk reaction" let alone to keep something the way it is now. I think it's perfectly obvious at replacing common obvious nouns, like "tags" with abstract feature-names, like "views" or "categories" is a step toward consistency at the expense of intuitive use. What the heck are "views"? Nothing at all until you click on it. What are "categories"? I suspect most people would imagine they're subjects, or genres, or maybe collections. Are authors "categories"? Not at all.

Opening up my catalogue and seeing a list of my books, and then seeing a button that is set to "tags", is *not* something I can easily understand

Nonsense. It's not "set" to tags. Tags is an option. It's not highlighted. There's also a covers option that it's equally not set to. Instead, "List" is highlighted. It's a list of features. Some are highlighted. Some aren't.

When this feature launched, several people said: where is it - I don't see authors anywhere

You've drawn your conclusions from what is literally the least normal use-case—describing a new feature to people used to an old UI. Your solution is, I gather, to redesign the site so that instead of authors being visible, they're described as a "category."

55rsterling
Apr 5, 2011, 2:02am Top

When this feature launched, several people said: where is it - I don't see authors anywhere

You've drawn your conclusions from what is literally the least normal use-case—describing a new feature to people used to an old UI.


I don't think so. I think the fact that authors, series, whatever is not immediately visible, i.e. that it's hidden, means that for the average careless user it's not going to be obvious that it's there - especially for users who already are overwhelmed.

The difference between list and covers is that BOTH are visible. You don't have to click on a drop down to figure out that you can see covers.

56jjwilson61
Apr 5, 2011, 2:04am Top

Tim, could you comment on my posts 48 and 52?

57rsterling
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 2:06am Top

Here's an idea: have it default to a button that only has the pictures (the icons for authors, and tags, and series etc. but not the words).

Anyway, generally whenever I've seen dropdowns on a site it's to select an option within a category of some kind. I don't think I've ever seen a dropdown that switches a button from one thing to another. To me, it is just not intuitive.

58Heather19
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 2:09am Top

54: Right, but "lists" is highlighted to show you are on "lists", and "covers" in an option directly beside it, in the same little box-thing, showing that that's the other option. It's not intuitive that "tags" is one option of many. There's a little arrow, but many people don't notice that. Earlier I had to deliberately point it out to someone before they saw it. Seeing "lists" and "covers together, one highlighted and one not, is easy to understand. Seeing "tags" with no highlighting *or* any other options, is confusing.

And it's even more confusing when I go to "series" etc, and then deliberately go back to my catalogue by way of "list", and it still shows "series" in that box. No, it's not highlighted, but it's still there, prominantly there, and it's not intutitive that it's simply an option. It *looks* like it's saying "this is set on series".

I'm sorry if this is not how it's supposed to look or not how I'm supposed to see it, but that's how it looks to me. And I'd bet real money I'm not the only one who sees it that way.

edit: And I guess if I bet money I'd win, since rsterling just said "it is just not intuitive" while I was typing this.

59rsterling
Apr 5, 2011, 2:09am Top

58 It *looks* like it's saying "this is set on series".

Yes. On the other hand, it doesn't, to me, look like it's saying: it's not the catalog that's set on series, but rather this button, should you decide to click on it again.

60timspalding
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 2:23am Top

Look, I've already said it would be nice to add more examples--like tags and authors and "more."

it is just not intuitive

The problem is this. Design is choosing. You can't just make it better through criticism and an act of will. You have to suggest things which work better. Everything has trade-offs.

I've suggested a few. Others have suggested a few. It's my feeling that we can add to this in some way that makes it clearer, while keeping the things you want as labels. It's my opinion that hiding all the things you want under "views" or "categories" is completely rational and totally opaque. "Categories" simply isn't a "intuitive" container for "Authors." And if you think a term has escaped the attention of a half-dozen smart, wordy people for half a day AND that the term is "intuitive," you must posit we are all drunk, because intuitive words don't lie in hiding that way.

I find it discouraging that I offered specific changes here. I said I was in basic agreement with 38, except that I didn't want to see the two book views subordinated because they were as important to the page as the steering wheel is to the dashboard. I offered a number of other suggestions, also undiscussed. So put up or shut up. If you have a better solution, describe it.

48/52

Well, the distinction is evident in whether there's a divot. Things with a divot are menus. Things without a divot are buttons.

61Heather19
Apr 5, 2011, 2:19am Top

Okay, so... let's brainstorm. What's the best way to say "catalogue statistics" or "list of certain things in your catalogue" that is both short enough and more intuitive then "categories"? Anyone?

62keristars
Apr 5, 2011, 2:25am Top

What about "filter"?

63rsterling
Apr 5, 2011, 2:26am Top

I joined this discussion pretty late, I'm tired, and I haven't thought of anything better than "views," or instead a graphic rather than a term. I apologize if I somehow hit a nerve by making a suggestion and explaining that I don't find this button/drop-down intuitive. But several people seem to be suggesting the same thing/problem/broad recommendation. It might take a bit more discussion to get a good term, but I don't see why there would be opposition, in principle, to that suggestion.

I'm not talking about intuitive words, anyway; I'm talking about intuitive interfaces. I expect that a drop down would have sub-categories. Authors and series are not sub-categories of tags. It's not intuitive that a drop down would change a button. I don't like the word categories. Views might work. My problem is mostly with the dropdown/button combo thing, and that it isn't obvious what it does, or how it works, to me or apparently to others.

Generally, I love the feature, and the access to all this new data, and the new stuff you added on the left hand side (perma links etc.). I just think there might be more intuitive way to get there.

64jjwilson61
Apr 5, 2011, 2:27am Top

I think View is perfectly intuitive. When you go from List to Cover, it's a totally different view on your data and when you go to Tags it's yet another view. If I saw a control labeled View in my catalog I wouldn't know intuitively what it meant but I'd press it and seeing what it does it would make sense.

I can understand the desire to have a really obvious way to get back to the main views but the consequence of separate list and cover buttons is to split one thing into three ways of specifying it which is even more confusing to me.

65Heather19
Apr 5, 2011, 2:29am Top

I think View is perfectly intuitive, too. Doubt Tim would, tho.

Aaaand it's past bedtime (well, for having work in the morning). Dangit. I want to stay and see if anything gets resolved!

*sigh*

66timspalding
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 2:49am Top

The problem we have here is one of accumulation. Tags is a very obvious button by itself; you want tags, there's a tags button! If all we had were tags, hiding it under some other term would make no sense.

The problem comes about when there are more things, and both space and relative importance declines. Tags is important. Authors is probably of equal importance. Series... well, pretty soon you're getting to stuff that while formally similar is totally dissimilar in how often people will care to use it.

The rationalistic approach is to find terms that embrace everything you want to embrace. The mixed approach I favor welcomes breaking strict box-in-box-in-box logic to highlight the most important features. I'm hardly the only one. Take a look at something like Amazon. Early on they had a few key tabs--for books, for CDs, etc. Now they have a hierarchy on their home page, but it is a slightly bogus one. The key stuff is pulled out of its logical order and the terms aren't fully embracing. Magazines aren't actually books. Staplers and post-it notes aren't computers. But they compromised between logic, popularity and rapid semi-logical finding. That's the task we have here too.

I know you think I'm being dogmatic, but I am in the absolute center of all UI designers when I say that over-rationalization is a serious danger. The catalog isn't a logic test. It's a tool. Subordinating the main use of the catalog to a menu, under which will sits a dozen other "views," including Lexiles and character names is a travesty of logic over design. It makes perfect "intuitive" sense once you know that you're taking part in a logic game. And it makes the catalog much harder to actually use because the main thing you do is now a menu option among many menu options, not a button that's there in every "view."

This sort of logic would produce a car with three controls--acoustic, climatic and motive. The last of the three would be a menu, labelled "directionality" under which were menus for going forward, going back and going side-to-send, under the last of which was a menu for going right, and another one for going left. All I'm being dogmatic about here is the importance of a big, fat and central steering wheel. It makes no logical sense that a device to control small increments of the front two wheels' angle is elevated, unless you appreciate that importance in actual real-world use trumps logical hierarchy.

67Talvitar
Apr 5, 2011, 2:38am Top

At the moment my catalogue view has buttons labeled as List, Covers, and Series (as I was playing with the series function yesterday -- these are great new features, by the way!!).

It really does _not_ look "intuitive" like that. Yes, I know there's a drop-down arrow beside the button, and yes I know that it is not activated as it is not highlighted, but still...

However, changing the button's name to "View" might not be the best solution. List and Covers are views also! What about "More views"?? Would that work? It's a bit longer than "series" etc. but not _that_ much longer, and "More views" would (I think) be a clear indicator that there's really something here, come and check, press the dropdown arrow and see! :)

68timspalding
Apr 5, 2011, 2:40am Top

I won't change the button to "more views." If I did you wouldn't know which you were on. But I'd considering adding the words before the divot. Is that what you mean?

Also, I think we need "more" not "more views" simply for space reasons.

69rsterling
Apr 5, 2011, 2:47am Top

Honestly, I don't know anything about UI or over-rationalization, except in so far as, from a user's point of view, I find something about a UI confusing.

I've tried to articulate what I find confusing, and others seem to be having the same or similar issues. I have made specific suggestions. I have commented on others suggestions, including at least one of Tim's. I favor "Views" or "Other Views." As I said above, "Tags | Authors | More" (or something else involving "more") might also be clearer than what we have now. I'm not particularly a fan of the drop-down/button combo; it just doesn't match with my experience of how navigation, buttons, and drop-down menus work (note: I'm not talking about my abstract idea of how something logically should be organized). I don't think anyone here is simply criticizing without making suggestions. But several people are saying that something is confusing - and making suggestions about how to make it less confusing.

70Talvitar
Apr 5, 2011, 2:50am Top

>68 timspalding:: ok, I see your reasoning about the change, I didn't think it that way...

"More" is the word I think we need here, some way or other.

By the way, I have to ask... what does "divot" mean? Every dictionary I check just gives me defitions about "pieces of turf" :D

71rsterling
Apr 5, 2011, 2:51am Top

I won't change the button to "more views." If I did you wouldn't know which you were on.

What do you mean here by "which you were on"? Do you mean what page you were on? That only applies when you're looking at the tags, or authors, or whatever. The button, as selected, is still visible in exactly the same way if you then switch to covers or lists, which means that it's not showing you which page you are on in those cases. Or is it showing you what button you are on, i.e. what button you have as default?

Maybe this is the source of the confusion. The button is used both to change views between list / cover / tags|authors|series, and to display which page you're on among tags / authors / series (but not between list, cover, tags|authors|series). Maybe it's just doing too much, as a button?

72timspalding
Apr 5, 2011, 2:52am Top

Heh. It always sounds to me like a Hebrew plural.

It's the little down-triangle, indicating other stuff is available.

73Talvitar
Apr 5, 2011, 2:55am Top

Thanks Tim! So it's basically what I called "drop down arrow".
Live and learn :D

74rsterling
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 2:59am Top

Ok, some more suggestions:

1) How about if the button only showed "author" "tag" or "series" when you're in one of those views. When you're in "list" or "cover" view, it shows something else - icons or a general term or some combination of terms (tags, authors, more). That would preserve the button's function of showing you where you are when you're in one of those special views, but eliminate the confusion that it doesn't show you where you are if you're looking at list or cover view.

2) Alternatively, drop the idea that the button needs to show you where you are,and instead, put a title/label over in that left-hand column of the tag, authors, or series view, above the grey "More" label.

So, I can't do fancy graphics stuff like brightcopy, but the idea of 2 would be something like this:

If you've selected authors, the left column of the page looks like:

AUTHORS (or YOUR AUTHORS?)

More

Author gallery

Author cloud

Permanent link

75Noisy
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 5:03am Top

>39 timspalding:, 41, ..., 66

Tim, you're wrong. I don't think you're being dogmatic, as much as WRONG.

What brightcopy mocked up in message 38 was perfect. Do that and everyone will shut up, but until then you'll have a lot of very unhappy people about a crap implementation of an excellent feature. It's just one tiny thing, right? Why so stubborn?

76reading_fox
Apr 5, 2011, 5:52am Top

Have to say the picture in #38 looks very good to me.

Having a divot next to tags implies some tag related functionality. I would expect it to list all my tags or some a-z groups of tags, or something like that. It really is not an obvious place to look for series or authors. I do like having them away from the memes which was equally unobvious.

77gilroy
Apr 5, 2011, 7:21am Top

#21

When on the tag page, I hover my mouse over a tag. It creates a gray box around the tag, along with a line underneath it that allows editng of the tag or going to the tag page. I can move the mouse to the line beneath the tag and click on the items.

On the author page, I hover the mouse over the author name, it creates the gray box, and I get the line underneath like normal. However, if I move the mouse off the author name, the box and line disappear.

This also happens on the new series page.

78lorax
Apr 5, 2011, 10:13am Top

32>

Remove the List and Covers buttons from the page and include them as choices in the drop-down.

NO. Change List/Covers to a toggle, maybe. But 99.99% of the time I want List view, and don't want it to be buried in a drop-down with obscure fringe options.

79lorax
Apr 5, 2011, 10:15am Top

49>

Yes, exactly.

Also, the List (or, I suppose, Covers) view is fundamentally and profoundly different from the tags, authors, or series views; it gives you one entry for every book, and one book for every entry. None of the others do that, and they shouldn't be lumped together.

80Aerrin99
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 10:23am Top

I agree that the current UI is not intuitive. I'd like to see something like See: Tags with the drop-down arrow at the end.

But I'm going to be a heretic here and suggest that part of the problem is that 'Your Books' is not actually the intuitive place to see these things at all. I've always thought it was weird that I went into 'Your Books' to see a list of my tags. My tags aren't books. My tags are how I organize my books.

I think that this is part of why 'Tags' and 'Authors' and 'Series' don't seem to fit with 'list' or 'cover'. List and cover show you books. Tags, Authors, and Series show you-- tags. Authors. And series.

Consider for a moment how un-intuitive it is to get back to your catalog using those buttons once you're on the tags or series or authors page. What do you click? Your Library? Toggle 'tags' off? No, you have to click 'list'. It took me quite awhile to figure that out.

I know this is so unlikely to fly that it is probably not worth the time spent typing, but where /I/ would put it is in a top tab that drops down into Tags, Authors, Series (possibly even Books). It could say Your: Books and then have the dropdown arrow that leads to tags, series, authors. It's probably also a more sensical places for statistics and other things that often feel buried and lost to me.

The reason I spend the time typing, though, is that I think looking at the difference might help understanding of where the problem is - and why one thing is not like the other. In that respect, I do agree with Tim that Tags, Authors, and Series don't belong in a list with list and covers, and that they aren't really 'views' either.

So! There are my thoughts on the matter.

81brightcopy
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 10:30am Top

I've mostly let the conversation pass me by and just read, for various reasons. But the whole "What does 'Categories/View' mean? That's a nonsense word!" type argument is a bit weird. I say that because I wonder, what does "List" mean for a page where you can either get a list of books, a list of tags, a list of authors, or a list of series?

It just looks like applying a certain argument post hoc only to the parts where it agrees with your initial decision.

82jjwilson61
Apr 5, 2011, 10:45am Top

66> This sort of logic would produce a car with three controls--acoustic, climatic and motive.

The problem with this is that the controls of a car are not intuitive. They may seem to be because we've all watched our parents drive since childhood, but I don't think an aborigine who had never been exposed to automobiles would intuitively know how to drive one.

I agree that web sites should be designed to be easy to use and intuitive, but those are often contradictory goals.

83jjwilson61
Apr 5, 2011, 12:23pm Top

I agree that what is called the List view of the library should be easy to get to. I disagree that the Covers view should be prominent, but I understand that others may not agree.

What I have a problem with is that the combined button/drop-down is confusing and I'd like to see something done about that. I had some suggestions above about making the buttons more button-like that were ignored above, and I agree with the suggestions that modified what the button is labeled when the page is in List mode.

84caffron
Apr 5, 2011, 9:26pm Top

I have to agree that the divot is confusing for more options. I say that not "as if" I were some theoretical user, but as I was on approaching it myself. It took a minute for me to get at what the drop-down was trying to do. I tend to click and explore, so it's not like I didn't get over it, but not every user will be as adventuresome as I am. The site can be overwhelming for new users, and I think part of it is that often creators are...well...creative. They tend to try things out, explore. Others just want stuff in their face without having to think about it so much.

I see these options as various ways to explore a library, to view it by something. I do get where Tim is coming from in terms of not trying to find the perfect abstract noun to describe the views/groups/categories. Still, I think looking for a noun may not be the best approach anyway. I think the most helpful label before the drop-down is not a noun, but a verb, with the noun the object of that verb. I want to "view by" or "explore" tags, authors, etc. An action verb makes it clear that I am in charge of selecting a choice; it invites me to be an active participant on the page. It might sound hokey, but it's not just about usability as some abstract goal, but manipulating the psychological impact of the page so that it both empowers and encourages the use to interact with it.

85infiniteletters
Apr 5, 2011, 9:56pm Top

I vote for having the menu to see Tags/Authors/Series/Lexiles relabelled when in List View or Cover View.

The label could be More, Views, See, Filter, etc.

If a menu item is in use, then display that category ((Tags, Authors, etc)) in the toolbar instead of the label.

Please do not put List and Cover View into the menu _unless_ the screen resolution is very small. At that point, it could be collapsed to save space.

86lquilter
Edited: Apr 5, 2011, 11:36pm Top

I'll cast my 2c on the water thusly:

Put 'em all in one pulldown menu, and highlight the default / main choices with typography & those little list-item horizontal rules. For example:

VIEWS : *current* VIEW
LIST
----------
covers
tags
authors
series
lexiles

For me, once I had been using it to navigate, I had problems going back to LIST -- it started to seem non-intuitive, and I wondered why it couldn't just be in that same pulldown. So it wasn't a problem of an old-timey user cranking about the new options; it was more that the new options made me aware of a different possible organization.

87birder4106
Apr 6, 2011, 9:07am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

88birder4106
Apr 6, 2011, 9:07am Top

I agree with >38 brightcopy: and >75 Noisy:

89TLCrawford
Apr 6, 2011, 11:08am Top

I like it the way it is. List and covers refer to all individual books in my library. The others all refer to groups of books in my library. The group of books with a certain tag, the group of books written by a certain author or the group of books labeled as a certain level of reading difficulty.

90hailelib
Apr 6, 2011, 12:15pm Top

I agree with TLCrawford.

91brightcopy
Edited: Apr 6, 2011, 12:28pm Top

Mockup of jjwilson's suggestion:



Mockup of rsterling's suggestion, with a little extra stuff of my own:

92rsterling
Apr 6, 2011, 12:38pm Top

91 - Thanks. Like the "More" button.

What I had in mind though was that only the page you were on would show on the left, rather than having Tags, Authors, Series, Lexile Measures all in that column. If you're on authors, it just says, in large font, Authors, then with the author gallery, link, and cloud below. When you're on Tags, it just shows the heading Tags.

The other option (not necessarily exclusive) would be for the toggle/button to be set on whatever page you're looking at if you're looking at authors, series, tags, etc. So that the button would show "authors" if you're on the author page, but "more" if you're in list or cover view.

93brightcopy
Apr 6, 2011, 12:49pm Top

92> Right, that was why I labeled it "extra stuff of my own". If you feel like it changes your suggestion enough, I won't take offense if you ask me to take your name off it. :)

94jbd1
Apr 6, 2011, 12:57pm Top

I agree with Tim and the others who've argued that List and Covers should be separate from these other views.

I also agree that we need to make a change for the Tags, Author, Series, ... views (with Lexiles already there, and others soon to be added).

Why wouldn't it work to have something like Tags, Authors, and a "More Views" divot"?

95brightcopy
Apr 6, 2011, 1:07pm Top

94> Why wouldn't it work to have something like Tags, Authors, and a "More Views" divot"?

If you clarify that, I'll mock it up. I'm not sure if you mean have a button for Tags, a button for Authors, then a button called "More Views" that has its own divot. And I'm not sure if these would be in the same group box as the List | Covers box or its own box or what.

96jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 6, 2011, 1:14pm Top

94> You mean like have the 2nd block of buttons be List, Covers, Tags, Authors, and a More Views drop-down? I would think that would get too wide for some resolutions but I'm not the guy doing the mock-ups.

ETA: bc beat me to it.

97brightcopy
Edited: Apr 6, 2011, 1:20pm Top

And just to clarify my position, I think List and Covers should be separate buttons like they are now. That's basically what I said in 38, though I provided a mockup of jjwilson's suggestion to roll them all up as one single divot. I just prefer to add a third thing to that button strip since the catalog now has a third type of view. I think even the incredibly simple change that jjwilson suggested that I mocked up as the first image in 91 would be a big improvement.

98jbd1
Apr 6, 2011, 1:30pm Top

No I think List and Covers should remain together, and separate from whatever we decide for these other views (i.e. there should be no change whatever for them). They're different things, as TLCrawford and others have noted, from the views we're currently discussing.

For the new views, I would suggest (and Tim and I talked about this last night a bit so he can probably visualize it better than I can explain it) having a toggle for Tags and Authors, with a divot to indicate that additional views are there (and whether we put a "More" note on that, or whatever, we'll have to decide).

99lquilter
Apr 6, 2011, 1:39pm Top

> 98 They're different things, as TLCrawford and others have noted, from the views we're currently discussing.

Yes, there are important distinctions b/w Lists/Covers and the other views. But you can't see Lists/Covers AND one of the other views at the same time, which is frankly what one expects from the current layout. Everything in the horizontal bar is "pick one and apply it to the current view", EXCEPT the Lists/Covers AND the "other views" pulldown. Yet these two menu items, (1) L/C and (2) Other Views, interact with each other in an exclusive way: You can't have both items selected.

If the two sets of library views are kept horizontal and distinguished, then I suggest using greying out or some other formatting to make it clear which is the "active" view, and which are the inactive (but chooseable) views.

100jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 6, 2011, 1:43pm Top

The fact is, is that Your Books can only be shown in one of the List, Cover, Tags, etc. views. Maybe you can make a distinction between the first two and the rest but you can still can't select List and Tags at the same time, or Cover and Authors. So I understand and agree that ease of use wins out of logic sometimes it still needs to all be presented as one group of controls.

I also still think that the non-standard combo button-dropdown is confusing.

ETA: And this time lquilter beat me to it.

101jbd1
Apr 6, 2011, 1:42pm Top

>99 lquilter: - that's right, that's the confusion we need to avoid, I agree.

102brightcopy
Edited: Apr 6, 2011, 1:53pm Top

I think had the new views (I'm just going to call them "More" as a collective group) been added at the same time the "Covers" button was, they would have all wound up like in 91 figure 1 (possibly even more like fig 2). I think the argument that the List and Covers views are more closely connected than the More view is shaky, especially based on what so many people are saying here. List and Covers are very different views in both how they look and how they function. I agree that this new More views selector is very different from either of those two. But I disagree that those other two have such a stronger bond that they should be in their own clubhouse where the other one isn't allowed, especially when that way of doing it confuses even veteran LT users.

103_Zoe_
Apr 6, 2011, 2:10pm Top

having a toggle for Tags and Authors, with a divot to indicate that additional views are there

If there are going to be a couple of quick buttons with the rest in a drop-down, I'd like to be able to choose what those buttons are.

104jjmcgaffey
Apr 6, 2011, 2:39pm Top

Finally speaking up - I don't mind List and Covers separately (I never use Covers, or very rarely, but it doesn't bother me). I really want some kind of label attached to the rest of them - See: (Authors/Tags/...) or Views: or More: or... (in order of preference). The divot just isn't enough of a marker that this button has such different things under it - as someone said above, a divot on a labeled button usually has sub-categories, not entirely separate stuff.

The advantage of using See: is that it doesn't label them as a group, it merely indicates that there's something more there. The verb helps.

105timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 1:20am Top

I've made some changes, combining what Jeremy and I spoke about--adding Authors to Tags--and by segmenting the controls into 2-3 regions. Let me know what you think?

106jjwilson61
Apr 7, 2011, 1:31am Top

105> It's better. I still think you should lose the space between Covers and Tags because it's confusing to push a button in one block and have it turn off (change from blue to white) a button in a different block.

It's also confusing to look for the Tags view by clicking on the divot next to Authors (one would expect that to reveal choices having to do with subsets of authors).

107brightcopy
Edited: Apr 7, 2011, 2:01am Top

I don't really get tags being a dedicated button and the others being a divot. Maybe it's because I'm much less tag-oriented than some users (especially Tim and Jeremy).

108Heather19
Apr 7, 2011, 2:13am Top

Hmmm. I'm honestly not understanding how this look is any better then the other one. Tags is a seperate "tab" thing now, but there is still the main problem of it not being obvious that "Authors" is only one option, that there are other options if you click on the little arrow that many people don't see/understand. I definitely don't get why Tags deserves it's own tab when Authors/Series (and now Lexiles) have to be drop-down chosen.

109Talvitar
Apr 7, 2011, 2:17am Top

>108 Heather19:: I totally agree.

(It's a pity that there's this much dispute over what's basically a matter of getting _one word_ on a tab right... The features themselves are so much fun -- I've been playing with series/authors the whole morning; I really like those views!)

110timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 2:34am Top

It's better. I still think you should lose the space between Covers and Tags because it's confusing to push a button in one block and have it turn off (change from blue to white) a button in a different block

The point is that there are two orders of clustering now. The list/covers and tags/authors are now in the same block visually.

It's also confusing to look for the Tags view by clicking on the divot next to Authors

There's a tag view button. It's not under the divot.

Tags is a seperate "tab" thing now, but there is still the main problem of it not being obvious that "Authors" is only one option

It's not obvious except that there is a divot there. There and elsewhere the divot means that there is something underneath the divot.

that there are other options if you click on the little arrow that many people don't see/understand

Sorry, but the save element is used multiple places here--collections, columns, etc. While the divot is small, it is a common UI element.

definitely don't get why Tags deserves it's own tab when Authors/Series (and now Lexiles) have to be drop-down chosen.

It's a question of priority. List, Covers and Tags are used far more. Authors is also used a lot, so it is the default there. But that can be changed.

Again, while I recognize that logic demands we organize our kitchens alphabetically, in fact we put our knives close to hand and our punchbowl in the back of the cupboard.

111rsterling
Apr 7, 2011, 2:43am Top

I don't have a strong opinion on tags being separated out as a separate button. I probably will use it more than the other options (authors, etc.), so it's fine this way. I can see some benefits there.

The other thing that's changed, I think probably for the better, is that the toggle-able button reverts back to default (authors) when you're in list, covers, or tags -- in other words, that it's only "live" when you're in one of the sub-pages (authors, series, lexiles). So it's only being used to show what page you're on when you're in one of those sub-pages, and it doesn't appear to be "on" when you're not on one of those pages. Not sure if that explanation is clear, but I think that's changed, and if so, I think for the better.

However, is the idea of renaming the toggle-able button that controls the drop-down completely off the table? I haven't counted, but it seemed a good number of the contributors to this thread favored that.

112rsterling
Apr 7, 2011, 2:47am Top

(Ooooh, cool: Melvil. Is every work included? If not, is there a way to find out which books aren't yet categorized?)

113timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 2:50am Top

>111 rsterling:

That's true, that has changed. I can see it both ways, frankly.

>112 rsterling:

Announcement tomorrow.

114rsterling
Apr 7, 2011, 2:54am Top

111, 113. It does, though, remember what which option in the drop-down you were on when you go back to the catalog after being on another page.

115justjim
Apr 7, 2011, 3:10am Top

We have a punchbowl?

116timspalding
Edited: Apr 7, 2011, 3:23am Top

Ultimately, I don't know what else to say on this topic. People disagree about it. It depends largely on the tension between use and clarity, concrete vs. abstract, and so forth. User interface work isn't simple, and it's exceptionally hard to do it by committee. Small things—like how the buttons are grouped—can change the feeling in large ways.

I want to make sure people understand that I do appreciate all the input here. Some members have really gone out of their way to work on this. For what it's worth, I have often changed things in a major way after member input, and this time there were some changes too. But I didn't go with the most popular request—to subordinate things under a "view" label, or something similar.

Anyway, I plan to spent more time fleshing out the various options than rearranging their positioning.

117_Zoe_
Apr 7, 2011, 6:41am Top

Ooh, I really like the Melvil view!

118DaynaRT
Apr 7, 2011, 8:08am Top

Ooh, I really like the Melvil view!

Holy bat nipples, Batman! This is great!

119clamairy
Apr 7, 2011, 8:24am Top

#117 & #118 - Aaahhhh!!!

120Bookmarque
Apr 7, 2011, 8:52am Top

Nerd alert!

121lorax
Apr 7, 2011, 9:28am Top

Oooh, I see you snuck Melvil into the dropdown views option. Cool. The numbers aren't collection-aware, though, which is a little confusing when it says you have three books in a section and only two are showing below it in the catalog view; still, it took me about one second to figure out what was going on, so it's only minor confusion.

122Talvitar
Apr 7, 2011, 10:29am Top

Ok, I need help...

Catalogue view -> authors -> combined.

Why do I have four entries for Alistair MacLean?

Altogether I have 31 books in my library: this "combined" view shows
Alistair MacLean (2)
Alistair MacLean (1)
Alistair MacLean (1)
Alistair MacLean (27)

If I click on any one of them, it takes me to catalogue view with all 31 books... so I have no way of knowing what causes the "separation".

Is there a problem or is there a really good reason for this?

("variants" only gives the one entry with 31)

123Musereader
Edited: Apr 7, 2011, 10:42am Top

#122, There are lots of things that can make it list seperatly, refer to http://www.librarything.com/topic/113266#2618706, What you need to do is pick one standard and copy it into all the others.

124brightcopy
Apr 7, 2011, 10:47am Top

Again, while I recognize that logic demands we organize our kitchens alphabetically, in fact we put our knives close to hand and our punchbowl in the back of the cupboard.

I'd say this is more akin to insisting that that the top drawer have all the cutlery, the second drawer be completely empty, and the third drawer have all the ladles and spatulas. And then people question it and they're told that they're just being foolishly consistent because they insist on an Every Drawer Should Be Used paradigm. ;)

But I'll drop it to, as it's obvious that ultimately this decision is being based on what looks best to you, not necessarily what users are vocal about. As it is your site, that's your choice.

125gilroy
Apr 7, 2011, 10:47am Top

Tim,

Do I need to move my bug listed in #20 and expanded in #77 to its own thread? It seems to have gotten lost in the UI discussion.

126Aerrin99
Apr 7, 2011, 11:10am Top

I also find the tags-authors-divot a little baffling. I'd much rather see the space used for the 'tags' toggle used instead to say 'View' or 'See', then tags, and the divot for more.

That little bit of text makes it clear to me that whatever is in the next space (tags, authors, lexiles, etc) is going to show me something else, outside of my strict catalog space. It's not going to continue to show me my books. It's going to show me my tags, my authors, my series, etc.

I don't think the confusing part is hiding things behind the divot - it's hiding inconsistent things behind it.

127timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 11:15am Top

>125 gilroy:

I still don't understand it. On the tag page it stays on the last tag you selected if you move off it and don't move to another. On series and etc. it doesn't. What is the downside of this exactly? Just keep your mouse within the box if you want to view or click items in the box?

128jjwilson61
Apr 7, 2011, 11:22am Top

116> But I didn't go with the most popular request—to subordinate things under a "view" label, or something similar.

I don't think that *was* in the end the most popular request. Did you follow the discussion after the first few posts?

129timspalding
Edited: Apr 7, 2011, 11:25am Top

That little bit of text makes it clear to me that whatever is in the next space (tags, authors, lexiles, etc) is going to show me something else, outside of my strict catalog space. It's not going to continue to show me my books. It's going to show me my tags, my authors, my series, etc.

That's the way it was before. I'm happy to revert it. But we're getting into Aesop's donkey and the selection bias inherent in such conversations. There's a general inventive for people to write when they don't like something, and not when they do.

I don't really see what "See" adds. Every single button, from collections to the sort options, could have "see" before it. They're see-ing options. What I've done instead is cluster the various seeing options together visually--wider padding and borders around it.

130_Zoe_
Apr 7, 2011, 11:25am Top

I don't think that *was* in the end the most popular request.

There's a general for people to write when they don't like something, and not speak up when they do.

This is why we have polls.

131gilroy
Apr 7, 2011, 11:26am Top

127>

Its not sticking so that I can move the mouse the small distance from author name to the author page link. I try to move the mouse from the name to the author page link and the box, with the author page link, goes away. I can click on the name for the list of my books, but I can't go to the author page.

In the tag page, it sticks around for the short distance from tag name to the link beneath the word.

132timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 11:34am Top

>130 _Zoe_:

Yeah, but you ought to be the first to admit that polls lose their force when in a thread that has already had a lot of self-removal, or when you ask 50 different questions.

Mostly, I think UI is the hardest thing to crowdsource.

133timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 11:34am Top

>131 gilroy:

Hmmm. Weird. Can you repeat your system?

134_Zoe_
Apr 7, 2011, 11:37am Top

>132 timspalding: Meh. I still think it's better to have a summary of the thread participants' perspectives than not.

135jjwilson61
Apr 7, 2011, 11:45am Top

131, 133> That sounds like a problem that people had on some browsers with those boxes in the early days of the tag page. Didn't you just reuse the old code?

136gilroy
Apr 7, 2011, 11:47am Top

>133 timspalding:

Windows XP. Both IE 6 (work) and IE 7 (home)

137Talvitar
Apr 7, 2011, 11:56am Top

>123 Musereader:: basically, I have. I've checked every MacLean entry in my library -- in the end I copied the author's name, just to avoid all possible discrepancies. I also went through every book details page just to make sure everything looks ok.
Did not help.
However, when I click on the "Maclean (2)" author page: http://fi.librarything.com/author/macleanalistair-3
First "MacLean (1)" : http://fi.librarything.com/author/macleanalistair-4
Second "MacLean (1)": http://fi.librarything.com/author/macleanalistair-5

The one with number 27 goes to what I think is the correct page: http://fi.librarything.com/author/macleanalistair-1

I don't understand LT's systems enough to understand what all this means... this actually doesn't bother me much (at least the "variant" page shows only one entry with the correct number, and even in the "combined" page clicking on the author's name shows the correct listing) -- I'm just curious as to why this happens :)

138timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 12:01pm Top

>132 timspalding: Meh. I still think it's better to have a summary of the thread participants' perspectives than not.

No, I agree. It can be helpful.

131, 133> That sounds like a problem that people had on some browsers with those boxes in the early days of the tag page. Didn't you just reuse the old code?

Yeah. I didn't include the rather awkward code that sets up timers--keeping things open after you leave them. I will have to add them back. They seemed and seem so ugly code-wise.

Good memory.

139jbd1
Apr 7, 2011, 12:24pm Top

Announcement of the Melvil Decimal View now live at http://www.librarything.com/topic/113698

Also see the blog post.

140rsterling
Edited: Apr 7, 2011, 1:21pm Top

More suggestions:

1) HelpThing links: I may have suggested this already, but can we get "help" links or little question mark icons on these new sub-pages, so we can have dedicated HelpThing pages for them? Several of these features are big enough to warrant their own helpthing page, I think. Help links could go into the left-hand column or at the top.

2) Title bars: I like the title bars you have on the lexile and melvil sub-pages. Can we get those on the author and series sub-pages too? (For example: Your Authors; Your Series.)

3) Left-hand navigation: for consistency, and also so we can have easy access to relevant links, can we have a left-hand column on the lexile and melvil subpages, with permalinks and links to other relevant pages, like the main lexile page (http://www.librarything.com/lexile) and the main Melvil page (assuming there is one)?

Bugs:
* In the Melvil sub-page, if you're looking at the classification for 0XX, if you click on the link next to Wording: General works; Information sciences, it goes to a n/a page. It seems to be using -10 rather than 0 as the code, in that link.
* In other language versions of LT, there is no text in the Melvil classification boxes, just the number. (Correction: there is very little text in these boxes. The Italian site seems to have no text; the German site has some. I would expect at least English text with the yellow highlight, to say it needs translated.)

141jjwilson61
Edited: Apr 7, 2011, 1:25pm Top

137> Oh. That's author splitting. Someone has decided that each of those books are actually by different authors, even though they have the same name.

The Alistair MacLean author page, http://www.librarything.com/author/macleanalistair, is split into three different authors. If that's wrong you'll have to fix it on the author page.

142rsterling
Apr 7, 2011, 1:24pm Top

Another bug: If you ever click on the lexile sub-page, then the URL in the browser navigation bar stays at http://www.librarything.com/memberlexile/MEMBERNAME even if afterwards you click on tags, cover view, list view. Shouldn't switching to list, cover, or tags change the url to
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/MEMBERNAME ?

143timspalding
Apr 7, 2011, 2:47pm Top

No, it's a framed solution. We don't refresh the whole page every time.

144rsterling
Apr 7, 2011, 2:49pm Top

So then is there any way to keep it from changing the main page's URL in the first place when you click on "lexiles"?

If you're in /catalog/ then you click on tags, you stay in /catalog/, but if you click on lexiles, the url switches to /memberlexile/.

145macsbrains
Apr 7, 2011, 7:10pm Top

Minor, minor thing - when I add additional columns to my author's view, the column widths are not uniform and the right-most one is skinniest.

Not a big deal, but it looks weird, and it's only happening by author, not by tags.

146timspalding
Apr 8, 2011, 1:16pm Top

What browser and OS are you on?

147macsbrains
Apr 8, 2011, 3:03pm Top

>146 timspalding: Vista - both IE8 and latest firefox. Tested at work too with same OS & browsers and got the same results. It's only the right-most column. It's as if it's not taking into account that there's a scroll bar.

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