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Wide open: What to do with your home page?

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Edited: Apr 24, 2013, 5:32pm Top

This is a wide-open question. Let's all respond without anger or fear. I'd appreciate it if members posted one or two messages and then hung back for a while to let others chime in.

Basic question

* What do you think about the current home page?
* What do you like and/or use from it?
* What do you want from a home page?

Why I'm asking

In general, I think the home page is a failure. A lot of users have turned off most of the elements. Others don't use it. It's too slow.

The upcoming "currently reading" feature will add another box to the home page. There's already too much.

We currently show "Connection news," which is something like a Facebook feed of reviews, ratings and additions from your connections (friends and no). We would like to expand this. At GR—and Facebook—this TAKES OVER the home page. The home page is a stream of updates. I don't this fits with "LibraryThing is not one thing" and "LibraryThing doesn’t push." ( See http://www.librarything.com/blogs/librarything/2013/04/what-makes-librarything-l... )

My tentative plan

I'd like to split the homepage up, into a simple "dashboard" and various modules, like "updates," "news," etc. Shifting between them would be controlled on the left, the way Talk allows you to shift. You'd be able to customize your own dashboard. (That does nto mean the defaults are unimportant. Most people will not customize it, and defaults communicate basic information about LibraryThing to new members.)

The trick is, of course, that LibraryThing is different things to different people--more than most sites.

So, what you do think of your home page? What does it do for you? What doesn't it do? Where do you want to see it go?

Apr 24, 2013, 5:41pm Top

My favorite features are:

1. The search your books field. This is sometimes the fastest way to get a search started.
2. I like the 10 most recently added books. I don't know why, I just do.
3. I like the library thing news field and the from the blogs section.

I also like....
1. I find the authors born/died on this date interesting,
2. (especially when I was newer), the group suggestions. It sometimes leads to a group I'm interested in.
3. I like that I can see if there are new talk posts, but I always go to the talk page to read them.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:42pm Top

I agree that the slow-loading makes me less likely to use it. I mostly just use it as a link to ER, and sometimes when I want to go back and edit a -recently added- book. Occasionally I'll click a talk post from there, if I happen to wind up on it (after leaving a profile comment or adding a book or something (which incidentally is super annoying, I'd prefer to go back to where I was, but that's irrelevant)). But the lag in loading, plus there being a little bit of a lot of stuff, it's kind of eh.

I'd like to see what people are adding & rating/reviewing, but not huge annoying FB feed style. I'm not sure otherwise. I mean I like a lot of the things it can offer, upcoming local (though there's rarely anything in my area, but still), random tidbits, etc, but the way it's currently presented is too overwhelming (hence people turning things off). I like the idea of separating things to different pages we could easily navigate around, then it wouldn't be so ...like it is. lol.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:43pm Top

I like the dashboard idea. I like the "this date" section but I rarely look at it since it is toward the bottom of the page and I forget that it's there.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:44pm Top

I use Recently Added if I need to access one of those because it loads faster than Your Books.

I use the Collections module once in a great while and the Talk module once in a great while. Seems to me I used to use them more, but now I tend to start sessions with my bookmark for the Talk tab, rather than from my home page.

I used to enjoy Tag Watch.

On the right, I do notice if new blog posts are indicated.

On reflection, I don't really go there much anymore at all, unless it's for my Recently Added, and then I tend not to take the time to scroll down. I think I used to scroll down for Tag Watch, then other things on the right would catch my eye, such as On This Day.

I have no interest whatsoever in What's Hot or the other ranked lists. Nor am I interested in Recommendations. I realize the last makes me an outlier, but there you are.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:45pm Top

2 > al.vick reminded me that I do use that page to search my library, again because I feel it loads faster than my Your Books page.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:47pm Top

I haven't modified my home page at all. I like it mostly as is. I would like to be able to click to my comments without having to go to the profile tab. Preferably in the top right where I get the indicator that I have a new comment. It took me forever before I figured out where to find my old comments/messages because the link to it changes to my newsfeed when there's not a new comment.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:49pm Top

I never ever use the home page. ever. I do sometimes go there by clicking on the logo by accident, though.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:52pm Top

I ignore it.


Nothing. I wouldn't mind a general page that made it easier to click through to various subpages. My biggest problem with several pages is that if I want something specific I have to wait for the whole thing to load even if what I want to do it is use it to go somewhere else.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:54pm Top

I check the Home Page once a day to see if there are any new blog posts under From the Blogs.

Once in awhile, I like to look at Topwishlisted books and What members are reading.

Otherwise I don't use it at all.

Edited: Apr 24, 2013, 6:28pm Top

* What do you think about the current home page?

Honestly, I don't much. I don't ever really use it. The only times I do is when I want to search for a book in my own catalog and don't want to click on Your Books and wait for it to load before I can type in the box.

I just went back to it recently to see if the CR feature was added yet and only then noticed that the blog posts module might have made it easier for me to quickly get to those.

I find the multi-column layout hard to wrap my brain around as well. Both two columns overall and in each module sometimes multiple columns.

* What do you like and/or use from it?

Aforementioned catalog search. But not really. I'd rather just have a box next to the site-wide search for that.

* What do you want from a home page?

I was thinking something along the lines of your dashboard idea. As I mentioned, I find multiple columns to be really less than ideal. It looks spiffing, but I just don't think it's natural. (BTW, this is why facebook's Timeline was a terrible change.) Whatever the design is, I'd really like it to be similar to Talk in that I can just scan from top to bottom (or newest stuff at the top). At least as an option if not the only way.

I wish I had more of an RSS type view. It would look like this:

* Early reviewrs: The April ER Batch is up! We've got 3,420 copies of 112 titles this month. Take me to the books!
* New features: LibraryThing has added enhanced support for linking to and filtering by books available as ebooks and audiobooks. Find out more here.
* Blog: Mark the bookstores and libraries you’ve visited
* Featured author: Teresa Trent (member mys54), author of A Dash of Murder
* Connection News: timspalding reviewed: Zeus: A Journey Through Greece in the Footsteps of a God by Tom Stone (read review)
* New feature: LibraryThing now has a Friend Finder to identify and invite the people you know on Facebook and Twitter.
* Local: Brian Kimberling at Common Good Books, Wednesday, April 24 at 7pm

Does this make sense? It'd be a lot like the Home page now, with the ability for me to tell it which things I want in it with what verbosity. But (where it makes sense), it'd put those in a format we're used to seeing in Talk, in RSS, in our emails, etc. A stack of items that we can read in order.

Maybe some fancy code to know which ones are "new" since the last time you visited the page or whatnot.

I just think I'd be far more likely to do it. Part of it is I can have a feeling that I "read it all". With the Home page now, there's always something somewhere. Parts of it are always changing here and there each time it's loaded. I can't read it top to bottom and know that I'm not missing something somewhere because it's shifted around.

This could possibly work with your left sidebar navigation idea (ala Talk). It would just be the "Everything" view.

Okay, will try to keep my trap shut for a while unless asked.

ETA: Another idea I had was the option to turn on some mini module that shows up on the top of Talk that lets me see the first X unread lines from the listing above. I stay in Talk most of the time I'm on LT. It requires me to actively go check these things. But a module I could turn on at the top of Talk would let me remember to see what's up and would probably surface a ton of stuff I might have missed. Note that I said this was an OPTION. Please no stack of messages for people to make sure I know how much they'd hate it. :D

ETAA: Tim, do you actually see this? This is what happens when I have to limit my posts. :D Anyway, I meant to mention one thing I really wish it'd do is fold in stuff like "A new cover has been added for your book The Lord of the Rings" (especially if it's a high res cover). Things that I might be interested in. I think I have a whole other old thread on this kind of thing.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:55pm Top

I find the home page to be too cluttered. The only things I use on it are the search, recently added, and local events. Everything else I prefer to look at on their full pages.

Personally I'm not interested in Connection news. Anything that would turn the homepage into a stream of updates would probably make me less likely to visit LibraryThing when I'm not jus. One of the things I've always liked about LibraryThing is that it doesn't force me to use it as a social networking site when I don't want to. While I enjoy following chat threads and such (though I rarely comment these days), what I most appreciate about the site it the ability to catalogue and organize my book collection. That's still the main thing I want.

Since everyone seems to use LibraryThing differently, it would be nice to be able to customize what shows up on the home page. That seems like the best solution and a solid plan!

Apr 24, 2013, 5:56pm Top

* What do you think about the current home page?

I don't generally use it

* What do you like and/or use from it?

The search is ok, the recommendations are ok (although I still don't know why it makes some of the suggestions it does since some are very random), easy access to ER books and giveaways are good. Nothing else is interesting.

* What do you want from a home page?

I don't need a home page. Just give me access to add books and my profile and that is good enough for me.

Apr 24, 2013, 5:59pm Top

I use the home page for Recently Added, Your Collections, and Your Zeitgeist.
I also have Recently Added by Other Members because that is a source of inspiration to me at times.
The two sections Library Thing News and Tips and Announcements won't go away, but I would make them if I could. The News is always about Early Birds and I don't do that. I had hopes that Tips would actually become tips from user-to-user as we discussed, but as it is it is not of use to me.

Whatever changes are made probably won't impact me much.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:01pm Top

The things I primarily look at/use the most on my homepage are the Connection news and the groups/talk "box" below that. I also look at the news, announcements & blogs on the right side. I do like the "on this date" module, but rarely look at it because it is down near the bottom.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:03pm Top

I like "Recently added" and "LibraryThing News" and I like knowing how many Early Reviewer books I have won and how many left to review. Other than that, even though I've got other stuff on the page, I seldom look at it, and even less often do I scroll down to see the stuff that's not visible at the top. The page as it is is too unbalanced - a huge long tail of stuff on the right and much less on the left. I may be missing it but I can't see where to make some of those things that I never look at/don't care about go away.

To tell the truth, I often go straight to Talk and don't look at home page at all. I use Profile even less.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:04pm Top

I have never customized my homepage, so I can sit here and look at it right now as I read this and tell you what I use and don't use. Honestly, I don't use most of it because I come to librarything to add books, do reviews or use the reading groups talk page. I do like to have the Reviewers and Giveaways on there somewhere.

Mostly I use librarything because it /isn't/ complicated or graphic heavy. It has information available easily and I can arrange my library how I like it. I have always found Goodreads to be entirely too frustrating to put up with other than to post a review. I basically use goodreads only because it connects to facebook and I have never been able to get librarything to do that, though I know some people have.

I guess I haven't given much thought into what else I would like to see on the homepage because I simply use it as a way to get from point a to point b. Just don't make it tacky with graphics and all kinds of fancy frills. That's not what this site is about for me.

I'd love to help brainstorm though.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:04pm Top

I probably use the homepage most frequently to get to ER information.

I also look at Recent Recommendations and Connection News.

Like al.vick, I like the little images of my most recently added books, though I couldn't really say why.

I sometimes look at Hot Reviews, or recent blog posts.

A lot of the sections seem important in theory, but not in practice. E.g., I care about news/announcements, but I found out about this thread on Facebook.

I like Hot This Month, but the actual Hot This Month page is much better than the homepage module.

I used to use the Talk module, but got rid of it when we lost the ability to choose different views there and on the Talk page.

I'll have to think more about what I actually want the page to do.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:10pm Top

I rarely, if ever, use the home page. I honestly don't care about most of the sections on the page, and, for those I do care about, I generally navigate to from my profile page or from bookmarks.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:10pm Top

I love the homepage and always start there. I love the covers on Recently Added, the listing of Collections and the counts. I think the Tips and Announcements don't get used enough. It has had the same thing forever. I like What Members are Reading list, the Top Wishlisted books.

I don't trust Hot this Month because of the weighting so only skim it quickly. I Don't look at what Recently Added by Other Members it looks bad, and there is similar data under Connection News (and it has covers). I also have Members With Your Books turned off.

I Skim Hot Reviews, but mostly don't care. I also have Local turned off, it is a waste of time and space -- who knows what it lists as attractions (like I care what is happening in Andover).

I like the Talk Forum Pane and the Your Zeitgeist and Early Reviewers. I wish I could turn off Member Give Away, have no interest in that. The rest I don't really care about or scroll down to see. I do miss Tag Watch.

I can't really see the purpose of listing all the Tags used. Don't care about Author stuff, or Group Suggestions.

I don't think it loads too slowly. I do like that you can turn stuff off, and that you can rearrange the order of where things appear.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:15pm Top

I am surprised at how much I do use the Home Page, for new addition searching (to add reviews or covers), looking at recently added, JBD's area, Recommendations. I seem to use it to navigate the rest of the site and it is usually the first page I turn to for most things.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:15pm Top

How I Use the Home Page

I primarily use the home page to see the Hot Reviews (especially, I confess, if one of mine is hot!).

I sporadically use it for Connection news, but I never actually look at the list on the home page; instead I use the link to go to the Connection News page where I look at books recently added by my interesting libraries, as this can be a source of interesting ideas.

I occasionally use it for Books Recently Added for the reason given above that it's quicker than Your Books and also that it's nice to see the covers.

I definitely use it for LT tips, news, blog posts.

I ignore almost everything else, as I use my profile page for Members with My Books (one of my all-time favorite features of LT!) and Your books to access Collections and Tags. I go to Talk directly.

What I Want from a Home Page

I don't really know, because I don't use the existing home page much. My first stop (i.e., my bookmark) on LT is Talk, and I go from there to Your Books or my Profile. I'm not sure what would make me go to the Home Page first, but it certainly wouldn't be a news feed. However, as long as it's customizable, I'm fine with features I don't use being included. One of the things I really like about LT is that there are so many different ways of using it that people can use it in the way that suits them best!

Apr 24, 2013, 6:20pm Top

I like the home page, but definitely need some improvements.

I like the Books Added, though I wish it was books last Updated, or be able to show books (covers) in a specific collection, like Currently Reading or TBR lists. A lot of times I'll add books that I want and then later update them when I actually get them, but they won't appear on my home page.

News/Tips/Blogs sections would be my next favorite. I've recently started watching various forum threads, so I like ready access to those, and I like seeing the counts of my collections

Besides that, I don't really focus on anything else.

thanx for listening.

Edited: Apr 24, 2013, 6:33pm Top

I like the home page a lot.

The things I use it most for are (especially the top five):

1. Accessing my collections—it is quicker to select a collection from the home page than to access Your Books first, then use the drop-down.

2. Searching my books.

3. Editing recently added books.

4. Selecting one of my top tags.

5. Access Recommendations.

6. Check for LT news or blog entries.

7. Check Hot Reviews.

8. Occasionally check Connection News, my zeitgeist, Recently Added by other members, and Group Suggestions.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:21pm Top

I always come to the homepage first. I think I have done some customizing and rearranging, but it's been so long that I can't remember what I've removed or moved around. I have lots of different things on the page that I look at, but only a few that I'd consider essential and would really miss if they were moved or placed more than a click away:

1. Connection News: FWIW, I'd love the addition of an easier way to comment on items that show up there. It's the one thing at Goodreads that makes me reluctant to give up my account there.

2. Talk: Set to show my groups only.

3. LibraryThing News/Tips and Announcements

4. Search Your Books

Apr 24, 2013, 6:28pm Top

I don't use it because my primary interaction with the site is through Talk. One thing that turns me off about it is that I can't set a different criteria for the Talk module on the home page than for the Talk tab. On the Talk tab I use Groups & Posts, but this is too much for the Talk module so there I'd like to be able to set just Your posts or maybe Favorited posts. The criteria in the two places should be separate because they serve different functions.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:28pm Top

I used to look at Tag Watch regularly, but since we lost it, I hardly ever click on the home page. If Tag Watch returned, or Currently Reading actually showed who's reading (I really don't understand why clicking on the number of people reading takes you to the work page), I'd use it for that.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:30pm Top

I LOVE the zeitgeist and collections modules. Also the blog stuff on the right. And homepage is the only easy place to get to the ER stuff that I've found.

I do like recently added with the covers. I miss tag watch as well.

And I search from the home page as well for reasons mentioned above.

Also, unrelated but still... I wish the profile page was also customizable.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:33pm Top

I use it all the time, and it's my point of entry. I use Recently Added (set to maximum covers) and Search Your Books for navigation, I consult "On This Day (Died)" almost every day. (I don't care about birthdays of dead people.) I check Connection News a couple of times per day, and I sometimes enter Talk through the homepage module (but more usually through the Talk page). I look at Hot Reviews on the homepage also, far more often than I do through Zeitgeist.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:36pm Top

I really don't use the home page. I think the dashboard idea is a good thing to do Net Galley uses the dashboard format.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:42pm Top

What would be most helpful to the visually minded - and is something which all sites fail to do when consulting their users, for some reason - is a series of homepage mockups for us to vote on. I won't nitpick over individual features but I would gladly chime in if I saw a layout that really clicked for me.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:48pm Top

I most often look at the recent automatic recommendations and at the connection news (which for me is all "interesting libraries", I don't use friends here.) If it had Tag Watch I would use that ALL THE TIME.

Apr 24, 2013, 6:56pm Top

I rarely go to the homepage I have talk as my bookmark. The only things I really use the homepage for is ER, hot reviews & blogs. Would love to have a better currently reading section so I don't have to go into my library to get to those.
In connection news I would rather see what everyone is currently reading than what they recently added.(or both)

Would love a place where you could see who else is reading the same book you are even if that is only in your connections.

I agree tag watch working would be great I've only heard about this feature I don't think it has every worked since I started LT in 2009, so either fix it or remove it.

Edited: Apr 24, 2013, 7:00pm Top

The home page is usually my first stop when I visit the site.

I use the Recently Added section for quick access to those books, and I use the "search your library" box for quick access to my other books. I also use the Early Reviewers links and it is where I check for new posts on threads I have contributed to (it's only recently that I have started using the Talk tab, after seeing the posts explaining it to the newcomers from Goodreads).

I sometimes look at the connection news, suggested groups, LibraryThing announcements and blog posts but I am not really interested in the other items in the right-hand column (on this day, the author stuff, lists of books and featured reviews).

Apr 24, 2013, 7:04pm Top

I would prefer to have LT open to my profile page and then navigate from there to what interests me, rather than having to skip over the home page, which I find both too general and too cluttered.

Apr 24, 2013, 7:07pm Top

I mainly use my homepage on my iphone, and only for a couple of uses.

1. Quick search my books function- usually while in a bookstore
2. Talk- to keep up on my threads during boring conference calls

I have also used it to get quick links to the Early Reviewers books and Recommendations, but not often.

I don't like the extra fluff in it. I rarely check it for blog posts, tags, or other information. One thing that I think is missing from the site as a whole is a clear "admin" info section. I know Tim et al always post in Talk, and usually a link to a blog or something in Home, but I believe that information could be more prominent somewhere on the site. Things like updates, links to talk threads, and polls could be utilized here. Not everyone is a talk fanatic, and not everyone checks talk threads on a regular basis (gasp!). Some update communication can be pretty far down in talk threads pretty quickly. Non-regular users need a place to go where admin-stuff is clearly listed. Promote the hard work you do more clearly.

Apr 24, 2013, 7:34pm Top

I like trivia, so I like the author birth/death info; I like the info presently presented, in fact, though I'd like to be able to move it around to reflect my interests. F/ex, I want Hot Reviews up top. Can't be done now, or at least not in any way I understand how to do.

Apr 24, 2013, 7:43pm Top

The current homepage layout is too busy and lacks visual impact. I have never customized and have only just now after reading this thread realized just how many features I had never noticed because I had never scrolled down that far. I like the idea of customization. I think I like the dashboard idea. I have no interest in Connection news. I don't like this particular aspect of GR either. I find Recent recommendations kind of off base, probably because my library books are all over the map.
I like:
Library Thing News
From the Blogs
Local Events

Quite honestly I'm not sure if I'd ever scrolled below that point until today. Way down at the bottom I discovered some other stuff I like:
On this day
Most wishlisted

My favorite use for Library Thing is cataloging my library and tagging my books according to when and where I read them. I also like LT contests and activities like the Edible Book Contest, Secret Santa, Spine Poetry and Flash Mob legacy libraries. There is a fun sense of being part of a global book loving community that comes from participation in these.

I only recently joined GR and have no intention of entering my library over there all over again. I joined because of their phone app and I only use it on my phone. I use it for entering new books I'm reading. I like their app's bar code scanner feature and I like the progress feature - I like recording how far along I am in a book - strangely satisfying. I'm also interested in trying the feature that allows you to access public domain books through the app to read on your phone. But in general I feel a lot more kinship with LT - I feel like it's where my books live - and I feel much more like a member here, because of the activities/contests in which I've taken part.

One wish list item for the home page would be a feature that provided fun facts/quotes about books or authors contained in your library :)

Edited: Apr 24, 2013, 7:54pm Top

* What do you think about the current home page?
* What do you like and/or use from it?
* What do you want from a home page?

I don't have anything on my home page turned off. I don't look at most of it, but it's all on. I don't often go to the homepage, though. I have LT set to open to the talk page when I first open my browser, because I like lurking in Talk.

My favorite element of the homepage is "Members with your Books" because I frequently check that whenever additions are made to my library, or every couple months as additions are made to other peoples libraries over time, and look at the "What should you borrow" module from their profile pages.

The only other modules I look at with any consistency are the LibraryThing News module and the From the Blogs module on the right.

I do like the My Zeitgeist module as well, not that I look at it often but it's a lot neater than what's in the stats on the your library statistics page, and it's a lot faster to click the link there to get to that page than going through the tabs and stuff. I like the quick glance at top tags, also.

I wish the recently added module was replaced with a set of books that I chose, whether it be favorites, or recently read, or even a particular series I'm in the middle of (so I can tell which book is next to pull off my shelf, or borrow from the library, or buy from the bookstore, without going somewhere to look it up) I love the line of little pictures and stuff, but knowing which books are the ones I recently added doesn't do anything for me.

For the featured LT author on the home page, again, I wish it had more bearing on my books, perhaps a link to my LT authors or something.

Apr 24, 2013, 7:58pm Top

* What do you think about the current home page?

Functional and I can customize it however I like.

* What do you like and/or use from it?

TALK, OnThisDay, Connection News, Announcements
I've removed all the other sections.

* What do you want from a home page?

The ability to customize.

Apr 24, 2013, 7:58pm Top

I use the home page as my Home Page, so it is the first thing I see when I log on the internet. I see the notices and my latest activity first. I like that. I

Apr 24, 2013, 8:02pm Top

What do you think about the current home page?

What do you like and/or use from it?
I mainly use the Talk links "Your Groups" and "Your Posts". I have a wide-screen, and the grid at http://www.librarything.com/talk is just too spaced out. I use Search Your Books a bit too. I rarely even glance at the rest.

What do you want from a home page?

  • I would significantly simplify the layout by adding more white space. I would add images (author images and book images) always.

  • I would emphasise news, i.e. things that are new or different.

  • I would make it more book-centric - perhaps a large section that had a javacript slider (with a long delay that you could turn off) that had several sections such as a Recommended Book of the Week (calculated from my library, of course, and a book not previously recommended), Book Discussion (a book from my library that has had lots of touchstones this week), Reviewed (a book from my library that has just had a review added), Interesting people (someone with a similar library that has not been suggested to me before, updated weekly), etc.

  • I would add a live-updating news feed that you could toggle between "My friends" and "My books". Friends would tell me everything my friends were doing on the site, books would tell me what non-friends were doing with books in my library.

  • I would add a quick links section for easy access to the rest of the site.

Apr 24, 2013, 8:05pm Top

I would like a quick "add books" field similar to the "search your books."
I glance at the Local Events, though I get emails to inform me of author events.
Home Page defaults, but I immediately move to Add Books or Your Books.
I get on LibraryThing to add books or to look up something about my books.

Apr 24, 2013, 8:21pm Top

The only thing I use is the search function for my own library, it's the quickest way to find anything there.

Apr 24, 2013, 8:24pm Top

Like others here, I use it mainly for the search box, but I also like connection news and recommendations. I agree with others, too, that there is just too much going on. I have a background in user design; will be interested to see what you do and how you go about it.

Apr 24, 2013, 8:38pm Top

I'm happy with it. I don't use the events much, mainly because there's nothing interesting locally. I guess I use connection news a lot and find it, Recently Added by Other Members and Hot Reviews convenient to have in sight. Members with your books could be redundant with the profile, but it's nice to have it in the wide form instead of squeezed into a sidebar.

Apr 24, 2013, 9:06pm Top

* What do you think about the current home page?

I dislike it. I click straight onto my bookmarked Talk groups whenever I log onto LT. The home page is stale and too cluttered with things I almost never use.

* What do you like and/or use from it?

I read the LibraryThing News. Sometimes even *that* tells me to just "move along" and there's "nothing to see" there. I periodically scan the hot reviews. I sometimes check my ER status starting from the Home Page. That's about it.

* What do you want from a home page?

I want something that's more like the front page of a newspaper. I'd like headlines that make me want to click on them to learn something new. For a home page, I'd like changing content, not just an index to the rest of LT.

Apr 24, 2013, 9:08pm Top

I only see it when I've been logged off and have to log on again. When it's in front of me I look at collection news and occasionally at the blog posts.

I didn't know that it has a faster way to search my catalog than loading Your Books. I might try using that.

Apr 24, 2013, 9:19pm Top

(I just found the ER section because of this discussion, thanks!)

I use Connection News and the Talk module the most. I don't participate in Talk as much as I used to, so it's great to have a a quick view into it so I can jump in to just one conversation. Connection News finds me entirely new books to read semi frequently - I will often click through to books that have 4 or 5 star reviews.

I always start at the home page!

Apr 24, 2013, 10:16pm Top

I'm on LT primarily to do two things: add and/or edit the books in my library, and participate in talk. Since neither of these two things can really be done on the homepage, there is no reason for me to stay there.

Apr 24, 2013, 11:15pm Top

I use the home page fairly often (more than once a day). It's a good place to start a search; I like recently added, connections, and On this day; sometimes I look at hot reviews. I've turned off some modules, so don't have a problem with it loading slow. I also use it to access ER and "reviews" (of books I have), although that's been less interesting lately with all the mass uploading. I only use the profile page to access my LT author button, or (rarely) comments.

Apr 25, 2013, 12:00am Top

What do I think about the home page.
I like having it. I start LT from my home page. It loads faster than my catalog and I could probably make it even faster if I would just turn off the modules I don't use but I'm afraid ill miss something :-)

What do I use from it.
I look at the news, tips, blog posts and talk. I like the recently added, connection news, talk and I loved tag watch when we had that. I use the search box, both my catalog and the site search. I still find my catalog search to be a lot slower than the site search so I use that mostly.
I like that I can customize it.

What do I want from the home page.
Maybe a cleaner, less cluttered look. Definitely not a Facebook type feed experience.
Would love, love, love an add books module right there on the home page and would like to see the tag watch come back.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 12:20am Top

* What do you think about the current home page?
I like it, but I tend to use only what is "above the fold" and forget that there's more.

* What do you like and/or use from it?
I use Search Your Books, Collections, Recently Added, and Connection News.
I love Connection News. I really like how LibraryThing pulls in people with similar libraries, without having to "friend" people... and then I can stalk their reading and look for the 5-stars to crop up.

* What do you want from a home page?
I would prefer to have a home page that is primarily news -- Connection News, Announcements, Blog Posts, etc.
But I would like quick navigation to my books. This is currently provided by areas on the home page (Search Your Books, Collections, Recently Added), but would be even better if included in the site-wide navigation.

(And I want TAG WATCH back, please!)

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 12:43am Top

Tons of thanks for all the feedback on this. I particularly enjoy getting such a diversity of opinions from so many different members.

As with many such features, there's no way to satisfy everyone. For example, I'm of the opinion that the Talk module doesn't make a lot of sense on the home page; you can just go to the talk tab for it. Of course, it's clear some people value this element. I suppose it will end up optional.

I should have added some discussion of your profile too. Some people seem to use their profile as a "home page." I really want to change this--to have profiles be for others to look at you, not both them and you to look at you. And I want to kill the tab.

Cue bloody screams, I know.

Apr 25, 2013, 12:55am Top

And I want to kill the tab.

Why? I really hope you don't. I use it constantly.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 12:58am Top

Well, tell me why. Something about your profile page is making you use it like a home page. Something is lacking in the real home page. What is it?

Apr 25, 2013, 1:22am Top

I go to the profile to click through to ER (but now it's on my home page!) and to see if I have successfully removed the books I've recently read from Currently Reading (and that is COMING to the home page?) so yeah, then it will just be for comments.

click on name to go to profile would make sense and save us having the tab.

Apr 25, 2013, 1:40am Top

Cue bloody screams

Hell's bells, I still miss the Tags tab.

Apr 25, 2013, 2:10am Top

Home page - I do use it, possibly because I'm still fairly new here and haven't found all the sneaky shortcuts used by the old hands. I have customised it because, if I'm honest, it scared the living daylights out of me when I first started. All that information - how was I ever going to make sense of it all?!

I like the recently added. And, as someone further up said, if it could become recently updated, that would (for me) be even better

I look at the connections news. I do like the way that can be customised so that you can limit what you are shown by type of information (added, rated, reviewed). And I do like the way it's not a "friends" thing, but includes the watched libraries, and the most similar libraries. I like the "members with your books" but that is something that rarely changes significantly.

I have talk on there, but in limited view form. But I usually end up on the talk tab after reading the first thread.

I will admit to being less bothered by the stuff on the right. The who's reading what being probably the most interesting. Also, not having a fancy pants wide screen monitor, it does make the things I'm interested in on the left seem rather cramped.

I think that the home page should be constantly updating, and not just a set of signposts to the rest of LT. Otherwise, what is there to keep you coming in through that page?

Apr 25, 2013, 2:12am Top

I like the home page and I use a lot of features. Sorry I can't better explain.

Apr 25, 2013, 2:19am Top

What I look at when I'm in my Home page; these are REALLY important to me:
- connection news
- mwyb
- I check that my "recently added" show up ok
- I use the "search your books" feature (a lot, actually)

I sometimes check:
- group suggestions
- my Zeitgeist numbers (I use this mainly to access "distinct tags"; for some reason this is more logical to me than using the tab on "Your books" page, heaven knows why...)
- top tags
- my collections numbers

I also have but very rarely do anything with them:
- on this day
- top wishlisted
- what members are reading.
You could almost say that these last items I only have there just to keep the page from being almost empty...

Everything else is turned off.

PLEASE don't take away the Profile tab, or if that's a must for you, then please create links to profile from other places, like my name on Home page (beside "customize this page" link)...
Why I use my Profile page? For example, I check my starring criteria :)
I like to remind myself who I have on my member connections and in what "capacity" (interesting library or private watch list? - yeah, my memory is terrible...)
That's also always the way I check have I updated currently reading ok... I know there are other ways to do that but I like to check that everything's ok from my profile page.

Apr 25, 2013, 2:27am Top

#54 by timspalding> I'm of the opinion that the Talk module doesn't make a lot of sense on the home page; you can just go to the talk tab for it.

I use the Talk module religiously (mostly with the "Your groups" filter) and didn't even know till reading this very post that threads from "Your groups" could be accessed from the "Talk" tab. There are a number of possibly reasons for this (not sure which is correct): Finding it by chance on "Home" first? Expecting it, if anywhere else, to be in "My Groups"? Having gone to "Talk" before, drowning in a sea of inapplicable "75-books" posts, and not noticing that the links at left that might have gotten me something more useful? I only found it under "Talk" now because I was afraid I might lose it. (And personally I don't like how wide it is there.)

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 2:47am Top

Opinion: If there's one thing missing from LibraryThing it's a comprehensive "discover" section—a place that gives you entre to books coming out soon, recommendations, lists, and so forth. (Tag watch is a "discover" concept too.)

I'm uncertain if these are home-page modules, or a tab.

Apr 25, 2013, 3:04am Top

I have a suggestion. If you want to get rid of the Profile tab, give us the option to have our profile show up as the home page if we want. There is a lot on the profile page that I use constantly. Much of it is either not on the home page or a lot harder to find there.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 3:11am Top

I also think it's quite busy and has too much information.

I use it for the news (LT blog and stuff), potential groups and enjoy reading about 'on this date'; I go straight to the Talk tab, so don't use it there.
I don't think I'd like a stream on info like a social network, that's not what LT is about (for me...).

New books coming up from authors I own would be a great addition, and maybe information about any new features added: I know there's always a thread about it on Talk, but I might miss them.

Don't get rid of the Profile tab (did I miss that?), I use it loads .

Apr 25, 2013, 3:24am Top

I use/like/love:

1. The search your books box
2. Recently added
3. On this day

Yeah, that's it. My actual home page is Talk, I always start here and mostly it's the only thing I touch during a given day. (However, respondents to this thread will be self-selecting on that preference, of course).

What I'd love to see, in addition to 1-3 above, is more Talk (or get rid of it entirely, I will probably use the tab anyway) and what my connections are currently reading.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 3:30am Top

I use:
1. The search your books box
2. Your collections links
3. Talk (forums) - But mainly the Your Posts 'tab'
4. Recently added (although I mainly use 'Add books' for that

I like the news/informative stuff on the right, there I check:
Links to ER and MG
From the blogs
Top wishlisted books
What members are reading

I would miss the talk module were it to disappear from the home page. For me, the homepage is one page where I get a bit of everything, including talk. I'm the kind of person who'd forget to check the talk tab.

Apr 25, 2013, 3:39am Top

I use my home page to see if there are new Talk posts or new recommendations. I also look at the LibraryThing news and From the Blogs. I see my home page as a quick way to find all the things I'm interested in, so as a sort of dashboard with handy links to all the areas of LT. For that purpose, there is a bit too much scrolling needed now, especially for the right column.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 4:43am Top

Since I clear my cookies most days, I logon and am thrown onto my "home page" and tend to use that as my epicentre on LT. I check my talk from there (usually, my groups, my posts only) I also use it as my search point for "books in your library" and then the general LT wide search. If I get the infrequent PM I like the facility to tab to my profile.
I do glance at some of the other areas. Who was born/died this day and Hot reviews (I have even bought so books because of this feature)

Overall, I guess I will adapt to any changes Tim/the LT community will recommend.
Though I don't think the page is too cluttered.

My only, slight peeve, is the time it takes to get back to it (home page) after I have read a thread.

Apr 25, 2013, 4:55am Top

The homepage is always what I look at first, and I usually check it a couple of times a day.

I use the search box. I also like seeing my recently added books, and the total number of books I've catalogued.

I look at Recent recommendations, Connection news, Librarything news and blogs, and Hot reviews. Every so often I look at Hot this month, Members with your books or Talk module, and I'll occasionally use the collections or tags section.

I don't mind the clutter of the page, because it is familiar clutter and I know where to find the information I want. But I do dislike having more in the right hand column than the left - I want to be able to move some of those sections to the left to even things up! As it is, it means I rarely scroll down far enough to see whatever is down the bottom of the right-hand column.

I'd also like to have the option to show covers for Recent recommendations.

Apr 25, 2013, 5:49am Top

Yes, the home page has always felt like a mish-mash, a kedgeree, a mélange – I can’t find le mot juste

I like “Search your books”; this is where I usually start searching.
The list/hierarchy of links top left is a very useful starting place for navigating the site.
I also like the ribbon of recently added books ; these are often books that in the nature of things I’m accessing/updating/correcting.
Curiously, the “customize this page” link I’ve used/explored only very little. Somehow it doesn’t cry out for my attention; maybe I’m just passive and tend to accept things “the way they are”.

As I wrote above I tend to be passive and accepting, and then grumble to myself in the event of change.
So, trying to think proactively for once: keep the user interface clean and reasonably simple. Avoid bells and whistles, the graphical fashion of the month; avoid “busyness”. And certainly avoid frequent changes to the user interface; few things inspire more user fury …

Apr 25, 2013, 6:28am Top

Something is lacking in the real home page. What is it?

A place to edit freely, with html, where we can put links to the things we access regularly.

I also much prefer the MWYB display on the profile (narrower, with more names showing by default).

And there are all kinds of things on my profile that I want to get at sometimes: Member Connections, Helper Badges, whatever.

And yet these aren't generally the kinds of things that I want to see on the Home page. I'd say the main problem with the current Home page is that it's not dynamic enough. If you want to make it interesting, continue showing new content. I think this is why many people pay more attention to Talk. And yet I still want a convenient way to access specific static content when I'm looking for it. Trying to move all the static content from the Profile onto the Home page would just lead to a duplicate of the Profile page, and we'd be right back where we started.

Opinion: If there's one thing missing from LibraryThing it's a comprehensive "discover" section—a place that gives you entre to books coming out soon, recommendations, lists, and so forth. (Tag watch is a "discover" concept too.)


Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 6:45am Top

I've only been skimming most of this discussion, but that question of Tim's about "Why are you using your profile page like a home page?" really made me think, because I do do that. And it's not because I don't like the home page. I do, but, thinking about it, in my mind the home page is really a page full of lots of nifty, interesting things to go and look at when I'm bored, but the profile page is where the basic stuff is right there in front of me, easy to find. If I want to know how many books are in my To Read collection or my Wishlist collection, and then to click through and look at them, well, that info is right there at the top, in a nice big font, and so are my most-used tags, and, if I scroll down a little bit, there's my friends' libraries, should I want them, and a nice, clean little review of my most recent activity. I also go there a lot to check that my "currently reading" books show up correctly, and occasionally just to see what random books from my catalog it might pick out. And I'll usually click through the profile page if what I really want is to get to my reviews or stats, or whatever. Of course, I could do that through the home page, too... I don't know whether I go to the profile page entirely through force of habit, or simply because it's less distracting and doesn't make me have to look at a bunch of little "loading" animations as I go.

Honestly, the only utilitarian thing I use the home page for, most of the time, is the search box, and even then, I'm more likely to search for things in my catalog view, instead. The home page is mostly more of a place to browse through what's happening on LT and idly look over my account.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 6:59am Top

OK note me down as another who doesn't really use the Home page and who uses the profile.

Member connections are easier to find and use on the profile. Profile comments are of course on the profile page too. Oh and I agree with Zoe about the MWYB on the profile too.

I think I would agree with bragan (in #73) when they say that the home page feels more about what is happening all over LT and less about me personally.

Apr 25, 2013, 7:18am Top

#54, 56 Tim I don't use my profile page as my home page but I use it WAY more than the official home page. Why? For several reasons. First, exactly because, as you put it, it's where people look at me. I can update it to show what I've read recently and where my reading threads are, so people can see what my reading tastes are like. (It is also a handy way for me to get to my current reading threads.) Secondly, because I LOVE Members with Your Books. So I would REALLY miss the Profile tab!

Why can't the profile both be where people look at us and where we look at us?

Apr 25, 2013, 7:18am Top

And note me down as someone who uses the Home page a lot.

Really like:

Recently Added
Connection News
Local Events
Talk - I generally access interesting threads from here
LibraryThing News
From the Blogs
On This Day
Search box and library stats

and agree with #73 and #74 that the Home Page should be more about LT and more general stuff, while my profile page is all about me and my books.

Really want Currently Reading back

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 8:04am Top

The only things I go to my Profile page for are profile comments and the link to my reviews. And occasionally I check to make sure nothing needs updating.

Apr 25, 2013, 8:05am Top

The Home Page is my entry point to LT so I use it a lot. I have a quick link on my browser to my LT home page so I can always get there quickly and easily. I must have re-arranged it from the default but can't remember how to do it now.

I have my Collections at the top and use that to go straight to a particular one, next Recently Added as I like to see the covers and often want to revisit them for editing. Next I have Talk and use that rather than going in by the Talk tab. Below that is My Zeitgeist, which is my entry point to the Series page. I don't really take much notice of MWYB, which comes next or My Top Tags or Recommendations.

To the RHS I have LT News, Tips and Announcements, Hot reviews, which I often read, also On This Day. Of the many sections below I only really use ER, so I don't know why it is so far down!

I hardly ever go to My Profile - I know all about me - except for the occasional Comment, which I will have been alerted to by the yellow banner on my Home Page.

I like my current Home Page and I wouldn't like to see an all-singing, all-dancing one but perhaps, if sufficiently, and easily, customisable, I could cope with some changes...

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 8:08am Top

#63 agree. Also no one place to look for links of where to go for things : lists, wiki, ER, stuff like that, in one links section.

ETA: I go to the profile page for comments. That's the only place you can get to them, no?

Apr 25, 2013, 8:09am Top

I use the profile page to get to comments left for me. that's the only place to get to them, no?

Apr 25, 2013, 8:12am Top

Yes, bloody screams if you kill the profile tab. It's hard enough to find things, why make it harder? How else will I edit how people see me? How else will I read my comments? My member gallery? How else will I get to my personal links? The Home tab is about LT. The Profile tab is about ME. I'd rather the Home tab go away than the Profile tab go away. Getting rid of the profile tab says that who *I* am is unimportant.

Apr 25, 2013, 8:30am Top

I got out paper and pencil to list what I liked and didn't like about the home page. Found I liked it just the way it was. I usually only go there first thing, but it's a nice overview about whats going on and I would truly hate to see it changed. Unless I could customize it to be like it is now....Maybe what people need is a customizable home page. A template and a list of items that you could put in each section... something like the way we can customize the way we view our libraries...

Apr 25, 2013, 8:32am Top

PS. What I would like to see are links to all the great places that aren't visible...and you have to stumble across them. Would a newbie know how to get to cover guess? (for example)

Apr 25, 2013, 8:35am Top

I mostly use the "Profile" tab to get to the sub-tabs that are visible from the home page and the profile page. I use the profile tab to do this because it loads faster than the home page.

How about you get rid of the "Profile" tab BUT make the username in the upper right corner link to the profile instead of the home page? I've never understood why both the username AND the LT logo should both link to the home page.

Apr 25, 2013, 8:38am Top

I use the home page daily. I don't delve into Talk very often (definitely not daily), but when I do I star the threads I want to follow. Then I can easily catch up on those threads daily without having to leave the home page.

I also like the Connection section to see when someone I know as added a books, etc.

I also check for blog updates or announcements.

And I agree that searching my catalog from there is often easier then switching to "Your books."

When I did Early Reviewers the home page was also the easiest way to keep track of those.

Apr 25, 2013, 8:39am Top

> 83: That's why I use "profile" as a second "home" page. I left myself a private message there, containing links I find useful. Give us a way to add such links on "home" and I would probably use "profile" a lot less.

Another thing I like about "profile" is the extended list of member connections (as compared to those mentioned on "home").

I guess I could live with "home" and "profile" sharing a tab, since there is a top link to the other one on both. It would mean an extra click every time, but okay...

Apr 25, 2013, 8:45am Top

I always go to the Home page when I go to LT. I use a few things:

1. Search-- my usual way to search my own library if I'm not already in "Your books"
2. Recently Added-- I think this looks pretty! I always adjust it so I get the longest row of covers that will fit on my laptop screen.
3. Your Zeitgeist/Your Collections-- like with Search, this is often the quickest way to get to a lot of features/parts of the library
4. Recent Recommendations-- I don't often click, but I like seeing it there.
5. Connection News-- I love this! Probably my favorite feature on the home page. I have it set to friends and interesting libraries only, and adding and reviewing only. It's a great way to see what people I like are reading and reviewing, and it often gets me to add new books to my want list.

The right column stuff I don't use as much, but I'd never know the blog was updated if "From the blogs" didn't exist. Most things there I just occasionally glance at, but I didn't remember/realize that "Group suggestions" was there until just now.

Apr 25, 2013, 8:54am Top

> 86 I left myself a private message there, containing links I find useful. Give us a way to add such links on "home" and I would probably use "profile" a lot less.

I know Tim says lots of people have turned off many homepage elements, and my own homepage is customized to eliminate or downscreen much of the default content, but I like this idea for an additional homepage component: Customizable links to other pages in the site.

So, for instance, if I like to look at CK Zeitgeist, I could have a link on my homepage that goes straight there. Or another one straight to the LTER books I've received page, or to a particular legacy library I've recently been consulting a lot. And these would all be together on the homepage. What I'm trying to picture is how the interface would work to make it easy to create such links. (I'm thinking of another site that does it with a persistent "Quickbar" at the top of the screen, but I don't like that as much as the idea of a little patch of the homepage.)

Apr 25, 2013, 9:00am Top


I like the "Members with your books" and the badges on my profile.

But you can kill the Profile tab if you bring back tag watch. :-)

Apr 25, 2013, 9:01am Top

I find the home page too cluttered.
Here's what I use :
- The search your books field (fastest way to find one of my books)
- The 10 most recently added books - most useful this one as I often forget if I listed the last book or not...
- The forums but I guess I could access them through Talk if it wasn't on the home page
- From the blog

Apr 25, 2013, 9:03am Top

>86 Nicole_VanK:, 88

I would love to have a place on the home page to put links to the LT features I want to access easily.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 9:08am Top

> 56

Part of it is habit. I joined LT long before there was a home page, so simply got used to navigating from the profile page.

When you started the home page, I tried it, and I don't like it. Far from having anything "lacking", it's just got too much stuff on it that I don't care about*, or that is easier and more logical to view in other ways. I go to the Local page, for instance, for information on Local events, and go directly to the Talk page.

My profile page is much cleaner.

*I don't use Connections, I don't care about Hot Reviews, Recent Recommendations, Featured Authors, Members with your books, Your Top Tags, On This Day, Hot this Month, Author Chats, Group Suggestions, Featured Legacy Libraries. The Tips and Announcements section seems static and hasn't had anything of interest to me in yonks.

Apr 25, 2013, 9:20am Top

There's only four things I really use the Homepage for...

...checking for new blog posts
...The born/died today list
...quick link to my ER win page
...making a quick check for new messages in threads I've posted to when I don't want to visit each group

The Connection news was good back when ER books got added to the ER catalog BEFORE the list was posted and we'd all go take a peek at what books were coming, but now that it seems they're added afterwards, I pretty much ignore it beyond a quick glance.

I have to agree with people who've said links to stuff like COver Guess, the LT store, or other "I may not use it often but I'd like to be able to find it fast" type pages would be great.

Apr 25, 2013, 9:23am Top

It's pretty rare that I go to the Home page, unless by accident. I usually go to Talk first to see what's happening, or click on Talk if I get the homepage by accident; or else I go to my catalog, add books, or profile, depending on what it is I'm wanting to do.

I think what I would have preferred is not to have separate home and profile pages, but rather to keep the profile page as the main landing page (as it used to be), but make it more customizable: where users could customize what modules they wanted to see (visible but private) and which ones they wanted to display for others (public).

I think I have almost everything turned on on the home page, but I rarely scroll down to look at much of anything.

What I like and/or sometimes use:
* like: search box -- I like knowing it's there and I use it occasionally. I'd probably use it more if I were on the Home page more, but better would be a quick way to search my books from elsewhere on the site. This should be available on our own profile pages as well, like it is when we're looking at others' profile pages.
* use sometimes: recommendations -- I'm mildly curious what's popping up there, though lately I confess I've only clicked through if I see a dodgy promotional member recommendation.
* like: the visual display of recently added.
* look at very rarely: the Local module.
* used to use/like: the links to the blog. I used to occasionally check the blog to see if there were new features, and since the blog tab disappeared I liked having a quick feed of recent posts on the homepage. Now that's below the fold for me because of Tips and Announcements, so I'd kind of forgotten about the blog.
* occasionally use: Talk module. If I land on the Home page when I go to LT, then I sometimes scan down to the Talk module just for a quick look at what's happening, but then I very quickly just click to the Talk page.

I agree with others that there's too much going on on the Home page, not enough white space, and not enough there related to how I actually use LT to make me stay on it for any length of time. If there were an add or edit books module there, maybe I'd use it as a short cut.

Apr 25, 2013, 9:25am Top

The Tips and Announcements section seems static and hasn't had anything of interest to me in yonks.

I think there's a general misunderstanding of this section. It's a place for stuff we really want people to see. By default, stuff there is supposed to last until you dismiss it. It should probably just give up after a while, but it's not designed to be Microsoft Bob, giving you tips and tricks about how to LT. It's really a part of "LibraryThing News" that you can dismiss when you read it.

However, it's clear people don't dismiss that much from it. The stuff just hangs around. A problem.

Apr 25, 2013, 9:31am Top

I don't use the profile page much, but I do sometimes look at my connections and the numbers in my collections there.

To be honest, the Home page is like Facebook. It makes me feel guilty and overwhelmed, like I'm supposed to be paying attention to all this information that is constantly changing. Even radically editing the home page and trying to be very careful about friends and interesting libraries, there's a lot there and I just can't take it all in (nor is that what I want to do with my life).

But I'm afraid there's going to be a quiz someday. So I'm trying to drop the course, which means drifting by there as little as possible.

The Profile page is calm. It only changes if I change something.

Maybe there's a Facebook user/Facebook rejecter dichotomy here? Maybe there's no way to make some people use a dynamic interface like the home page?

Apr 25, 2013, 9:32am Top

I think there's a general misunderstanding of this section. It's a place for stuff we really want people to see.

The problem is that people aren't going to look there if you don't change it enough to be interesting. You regularly post stuff you want people to see on FB or Twitter; why should I bother looking for it on the homepage?

Apr 25, 2013, 9:33am Top


You regularly post stuff you want people to see on FB or Twitter; why should I bother looking for it on the homepage?

Now that really annoys me. I don't use Twitter; why should I be expected to use an external channel to see what Tim "wants people to see", when an internal one sits idle?

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 9:39am Top

98> Agreed.

Of course if aulsmith is right those of us who don't do facebook and twitter won't see it on the homepage either. I certainly don't. I expect to see stuff in Talk if Tim wants me to know about it.

Apr 25, 2013, 9:40am Top

I visit the home page because that's the page that opens when I goto LT. I can't say I look at it that much.

I DO look at the connection news/Reviews my contacts have written. I occasionally glance at Hot reviews, and other such bits.
The Search your books is occasionally useful, although not so useful that I'll goto Home just to use it.

I edited various sections when it first came out, but haven't looked at it since and no longer remember what I turned off, or what bits you can or can't turn off.

I do think there should be an important announcements page as you log in. And I'd like a new features update, and the current connection news seems to mostly work. But none of that is why I'm visiting LT so I'm not likely to spend much time there.

Apr 25, 2013, 9:43am Top

Just to add one more thing, and that's all -- partly because it's hard to envision a way I'd actually use Home more, so I'm not sure I have much of a stake in this:

I think maybe the fundamental thing that doesn't really work about Home is that it's trying to mix up two different things: it's trying to be both a LibraryThing homepage and a personal(ized) homepage. I like the idea of having a page with lots of info about what's new on *LibraryThing* (recent talk discussions, new features, early reviewers,things members have recently added, hot reviews, author chats, as well as trivia about books, etc.). That's what I'd expect to get when I clicked a "home" link or site banner. I might be mildly curious about some of that stuff, especially new features, talk posts related to new features, early reviews, etc. -- enough either to stick around or occasionally click there. Then there's the personal side: my own recent activity, info about my catalog & books, info about my connections, about local activities near me, ways of adding or editing books etc. -- in a sense, My LibraryThing. All of that seems natural to a profile page, though some parts/modules people might want public, and other parts not (again, customizable would be better).

So I don't know, maybe a better distinction between LibraryThing info/home/news in general and "My" LibraryThing could work -- whether as 2 different pages (home and profile) or as two different parts of a dashboard. At this point, I doubt you can scrap the homepage entirely, since some people do use it. But you could make the profile page better, more functional.

Apr 25, 2013, 9:51am Top

> 98, 99

Double, triple agreed. I don't use either of those channels. LT is my |f| and |t|. (I guess I care more about books than daily personal details.)

Apr 25, 2013, 9:53am Top

Things I want in a home page:

Overview of my books (zeitgeist, collections, tags),
Searching AND adding,
Recommendations (Recent Recommendations, Hot This Month, Featured Authors, Hot Reviews, What's being read),
Community (Talk and Suggested Groups)

Apr 25, 2013, 10:02am Top

The problem is that people aren't going to look there if you don't change it enough to be interesting. You regularly post stuff you want people to see on FB or Twitter; why should I bother looking for it on the homepage?

The section is more "you must do this!" than "here's some fun news." It's the place where, for example, we tell people that Facebook won't work unless they reauthorize.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:02am Top

I'd think "you must do this!" would be a profile comment.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:08am Top

I was just thinking today how strange it feels for me that I have to go to a specific group to find out what all is changing about the site (Especially since my natural reaction to change is pretty negative, I need information, not surprises). I do follow Lt on FB and T and am constantly surprised that new features are shared on there first (it feels like that to me, because I don't have stuff set up so I see New Features group posts). Why not have a section with changes on the homepage or the blog or whatever. Presumably every change is an improvement, else why do you do them, so share them.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:14am Top

> 106 you have to go to a specific group

This thread appears on my homepage, because I watch "Talk about LibraryThing" and I have my Talk module on my homepage set to "my groups."

Apr 25, 2013, 10:17am Top

It's pissing me off that I'm missing LT info because I don't fb or twitter.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:17am Top

Haven't read anything other than Tim's first para, but I see this is about the Home page. As such, it's something I don't use so I don't think I'll have any useful input.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:20am Top

> 108

You and me both.

What on earth would a section labeled "Announcements" be for if not to give members information? Oh, wait, it's to tell people how "to identify and invite the people you know on Facebook and Twitter."


Apr 25, 2013, 10:26am Top

Adding my voice to those who DON'T fb or twitter

Apr 25, 2013, 10:27am Top


Don't care. I don't use Twitter. I don't like the idea of there being LT stuff that you communicate exclusively through an external channel. I don't care if you use the blog, Talk, or the homepage module, but using only Twitter is not cool.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:28am Top

Not the Profile Tab wars again!!! I really don't understand what's so irksome about that tab. Profile is my navigational base on LT because it has everything I need presented in the most economical manner. The history on one of my computers sends me to the Home page; I immediately click on Profile, not waiting for Home to load.

I'm just not that interested in what's available on the Home page (without the above-mentioned Tag Watch and an informative Currently Reading)! And, for the things that DO interest me that are available on the Home page, I just don't like the way they look there. For instance, the MWYB is a lot of horizontal text on white. It jars me that it looks different from the Profile, where I've developed a basically geometric sense for the list, don't need to read to know who's where.

I love looking at Connections, but I do it in longer intervals, so that I can look forward to larger chunks of novelty. On the Home page, the news drip in constantly, item by item, the window is rather small (I have hundreds of connections), meaning that I could miss lots, meaning I'd have to click on Connections anyway. ALSO--and this is important--there are no shared books checkmarks! Basically, it's not useful in that form and there, for me.

In contrast, Profile is just perfect: my library is central, the collections and tag info; my beloved MWYB is visible on the side, I have the links to stuff I use most: Connections, Stats, clouds, and the visitor map which lets me see whether I have scored a hit from the Antarctica (not so far, alas).

Also, the Profile is my takeoff page for what housekeeping I do on LT, Combining mostly. For that purpose I check on my fave authors, I check on shared books if there's unusual activity, and have a temporary list of catalogues that need working on (currently, the Woolf library).

Apr 25, 2013, 10:29am Top

>98 lorax:,99, etc.

I can't say anything about the facebook part, but the relevant twitter posts consist simply of a brief description of a new feature e.g. and a link to the thread in New Features here. I think Tim also mentioned this thread too. They generally come after the New Features post. I would call it a parallel channel to the New Features group - not a superior one in terms of information.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 10:31am Top

>112 lorax: - There's nothing like that. We often link to Talk threads, blog posts, &c. on Facebook and/or Twitter, but there's nothing "exclusive" that only gets communicated that way.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:31am Top


Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 10:32am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:33am Top

Maybe the best way to improve the home page is to supply your twitter and fb posts directly to us there.

I think I might be going into a rant here, but wouldn't a site owner want the Site Itself to be the Source for all news and comments? Sure, advertise your wares elsewhere, but just give them bare details. Make them come to LT to get the real skinny. Make sure the people who are Building this place get first go at your ideas and plans.

I feel cheated.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:34am Top

115, ok, but really. sniff.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:37am Top

>118 Collectorator: - That's exactly what we do. Links back to Talk/the blog/&c.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:42am Top

Exactly. We sometimes post links to the more important blog and new-features posts. That is all.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:45am Top

I very rarely use my Profile Page - normally only if there is a comment or I am adding a new thread to the about me section.

I do use the home page and most of the time it doesn't take long to load. I go there for the tabs for connections; reviews and recommendations (I know that those links are also on my profile). I also look to see if there is anything new in the News/announcements/blogs sections; look at Hot Reviews; Member Giveaway and once a month check out ER (but that can be from a Profile comment).

It is also a good place to get to some personal book stuff.

When there were separate sorts for the Talk page and the Talk module I did use the Home Page talk module but not so much now

I'm another person who really misses Tag Watch.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:54am Top

All right, everyone who misses Tag Watch, let's find some GR refugees and get them to ask for it. ;-)

Apr 25, 2013, 10:57am Top

What was Tag watch? I've seen its absence mourned, but it had long since kicked up its heels before I arrived.

Apr 25, 2013, 11:01am Top

>124 Helenliz:

To quote from the wiki:

Tag watch. Tag watch provides a fun way to discover new books on topics you might be interested in. Edit this module to add a tag, or list of tags, and every time someone on LT applies that tag to a book, you'll see it here!

Apr 25, 2013, 11:05am Top


Pick a tag or tags you're particularly interested in. Then Tag Watch will show you when someone adds that tag to a book - this was a great way to discover new books in an area of interest, or new libraries sharing your interest (when the same person applied the tag multiple times in a short time period). It worked really well for relatively specialized tags. (I imagine it would be pretty useless for something like "fiction".) It was one of the neatest and most innovative things about LT, and I miss it all the time.

Apr 25, 2013, 11:11am Top

125/126> I'm imagining it looked a bit like the recently added by connections, but was recently added by subject topic. About right?

Apr 25, 2013, 11:19am Top

Tag watch does indeed need to come back, but it's prominence in members' minds is owing to the lack of a more general "discovery" piece. One of its virtues was in showing you new books. If we actually showed new books in you interest-area, that would be pretty good.

Tag watch was taken away because the feature was developed without regard for its impact on server load. Like many such features, its load grew as LibraryThing grew--somewhere in between linear and exponential. I want to bring it back, but I can't just turn it on again.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 11:22am Top


Don't tell me what I'm thinking.

A "new books in $interest-area" would be really cool, and bring back part of what tag watch did for me. But as I mentioned, tag watch was also cool for finding new members who shared a particular interest area - for me, "members with your books, recent" might find new SF fans, but tag watch would turn up new members with a lot of birding books.

Apr 25, 2013, 11:23am Top

#128 - Not just the books but also the members who added the books. I'm sure I added a few people to interesting libraries/private watch list on the basis of Tag Watch.

Apr 25, 2013, 11:26am Top

>129 lorax:-130

Good points. The same applies to member discovery. Tagwatch is hardly the silver bullet. It seems so because the clip is low.

Apr 25, 2013, 11:31am Top

The 3 things I use my home page for most are

1. Search options – love the ‘search your books’ box – which would also come in handy on the profile page

2. Connection news is fine, but covers a very broad field (my connections don’t necessarily share my interests)
That’s mainly why I am a Huge Fan of Tag Watch – which actually showed me topics I was interested in – please resurrect!

3. Recently added is very visual and helpful for editing the latest batch of books, check which covers are still missing and to make sure I’ve added the whole lot – definitely a keeper

All other sections I keep for their news/trivia value.
Sections I have turned off permanently: Recent recommendations / Early reviewers / Author chats / What is being read / Featured legacy library

PS Would never have noticed this ‘Talk’ topic if it weren’t for Facebook.

Apr 25, 2013, 11:36am Top

No time to read all the posts above. I also don't know diddly about programming, etc. So I'll just tell you how I use the home page now and what I wish.

As of now, I use my profile page every day. I check comments, see if my currently reading is up to date, start my group checkup from there. My home page is rarely used. I go there maybe three times a month. I use the "search your books" feature the most, to quickly check if a book is in my library already before I add it. I also check the latest blogs from there. The rest of the info is nice to have when I want it, but I hardly ever look at it.

I think it would be great to have a panel on the side to click various features when we want to see them. I wish that my groups were on the home page, I would use it more then, also, I would love to see some sort of integrated "currently reading" feature which connected me with others who are reading the same book I am. To be honest though, I'm not sure I would do anything with that information. :)

Apr 25, 2013, 11:38am Top

I do not use the home page, but I use my profile page as my portal to the rest of LibraryThing.

My profile says what I think is important about LibraryThing.
The home page says what LibraryThing thinks I should find important about Librarything.

Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 12:41pm Top

The profile page is the only way I can get to my comments. I use them to help me keep track of what I won in ER and MG to see if I've received it or not. I archive once I've received the book. If after a couple of months I don't get it, then I contact the name linked in the message. If this feature were added to the home page or in the upper right, that would be great. And not as part of a pull down option either.

I'm sure there's another way to get to my comments. I just haven't figured it out yet. It took me forever to find them in the first place. Until I discovered the profile page, I just waited until I had a new comment indicator so I could click that.

Apr 25, 2013, 12:54pm Top

I always use the home page.

What I like most:
  • Talk - I can go to a thread with one click
  • Hot Reviews
  • Connection news
  • Recommendations
  • On this Day
  • Featured Legacy libraries
  • Tags - I've sometimes noticed errors in my tags and can edit them from the home page.

    Reorganize maybe, but I would be unhappy if you take it away.
  • 137RBeffa
    Apr 25, 2013, 1:16pm Top

    This will be short - I like the homepage (it is where I always start) and the profile page. I like having the short talk area there for a quick look. Some elements I'm not crazy about such as featured authors. The ability to hide certain modules would be a plus for me, but overall I am happy with both pages. I would like to see more real LibraryThing news put up in the upper right corner. That area is underused. Tagwatch was good. I'm not a big fan of hot reviews mostly because they get skewed by fanboy thumbs up. I wish reviews in general were given more cred on LT along with ratings. Both heavily influence my reading dos and don'ts.

    Apr 25, 2013, 1:21pm Top

    I never knew I could edit sections of the homepage. Definitely less clutter, though I would have to think about what parts to edit out.

    Apr 25, 2013, 1:39pm Top

    > 137 The ability to hide certain modules would be a plus for me

    It's there already: "Customize this page" right next to your username.

    Apr 25, 2013, 1:44pm Top

    >128 timspalding: I'm glad you're thinking about discovery, but I hope you won't try to focus exclusively on one main "discovery" system. There are all sorts of different ways to come across new-to-us books that we might be interested in, and I think the result will be a lot better if you approach it from multiple different angles.

    Apr 25, 2013, 2:02pm Top

    >140 _Zoe_: There are all sorts of different ways to come across new-to-us books that we might be interested in

    Perhaps the match.com approach, a series of interview questions designed to gauge your reading personality:

    Who do you like better? __Elizabeth Bennett __Anne Elliot

    Should Jane have returned to Thornfield Hall? Y/N

    I think the description of the workings of a whaling ship in Moby-Dick are: __Absolutely necessary to the novel ___Extraneous and needed to be cut out

    Stretching the truth in a memoir for literary effect is: __perfectly okay __a mortal sin

    Molly Bloom?: __yes, she said, yes I will yes __no

    Apr 25, 2013, 2:05pm Top

    >139 paradoxosalpha:
    jeez. thanks. It had been so long since I did that I had forgotten about it.

    Apr 25, 2013, 2:25pm Top

    I use the homepage a lot. My top 10 is:
    - Search your books
    - Talk: Your groups
    - LibraryThing News & From the Blogs
    - Connection news
    - Recently added
    - Members with your books
    - Your Zeitgeist, Your collections & Your top tags

    I visit my profile to check:
    - Your comments
    - (number of books in) Collections
    - Favorite authors (quick links to author pages)
    - Member connections
    - Helper badges

    Apr 25, 2013, 2:43pm Top

    This thread grew to over 140 posts before I got to it, so I may well be repeating someone else, but it really bugs me that when a new recommendation pops up, the module gives me the "(1 new)" notification for days. Please, please, fix that! Once I've gone to the recommendations page and clicked the "Show 1 new recommendation link" the recommendation isn't new anymore!

    Edited: Apr 25, 2013, 4:20pm Top

    I use both the Home Page and my Profile page multiple times per visit, and I usually visit multiple times per day.

    I don't have much to add that wasn't said above but wanted to get that in. Agree generally that some bits of HP is probably better on the Profile page, and vice versa. But they each have their place and I don't want either to go away.

    The new ideas are also intriguing and would be useful to me: ways to find new LT features, content, new books, new groups or discussions. And especially, that customisable page (see >88 paradoxosalpha:) for linking to areas / aspects of LT to which I want easy access: yum!

    ETA reference to post number

    Apr 25, 2013, 8:54pm Top

    Tag watch was taken away because the feature was developed without regard for its impact on server load. Like many such features, its load grew as LibraryThing grew--somewhere in between linear and exponential. I want to bring it back, but I can't just turn it on again.

    Slice & dice, distributed, parallel process pipelines of tags with cocktails of good enough and best parallel processor algorithms, at first, queue and batch process off line and then do it real time, kind of like water simulation ?

    Apr 25, 2013, 11:23pm Top

    Features I Use That I Want to See Kept
    -- Your Top Tags
    -- Your Collections

    Other Features I Use
    -- Recently Added
    -- Connection News
    -- Talk (Forums)
    -- Members with Your Books

    Apr 26, 2013, 12:41am Top

    * What do you think about the current home page?
    * What do you like and/or use from it?
    * What do you want from a home page?

    I use the home page as my primary entry point and center. I use my profile for a few, specific jobs - checking how I star, checking comments, getting to my Wiki page (rarely), and even more rarely MWYB. If there were a Note module on the home page where I could enter some of the stuff in About my Library, I'd basically go there for comments. Oh, and to add pictures to the junk drawer so I can link them in Talk.

    On the Home page - I use (top-down)
    Search box (and numbers of books, in that box)
    Recently Added (mostly checking if covers are right, but also it's a pretty)
    Your Collections (it's quicker than waiting for Your Books to load; also quick check on numbers of books, in All Collections)
    Your Zeitgeist (for access to Tags, mostly)
    Talk (constantly. This is my primary access to Talk - what I do is look at Your Posts and read all the new ones, check Your Starred, then go back to Your Posts, choose a short thread, and use that to get into Talk. After that I navigate via the group pages. I haven't gone to the Talk or Groups tab twice in the past six months)

    LT News (glance at it, anyway)
    Tips and Announcements (I'd never noticed that little gray x to dismiss. Now I have - see how long I can remember it. Not very useful, but I do glance at it.)
    From the Blogs (look for the little bold New, or look back to that post I read and what did it say?)

    I also have
    Recent Recommendations (yawn)
    Local Events (ditto - either too far or uninteresting. The new filter reduces the uninteresting, a bit)
    Connection News (occasionally interesting, but I usually don't scroll down that far. Nor am I interested enough to move it up)
    Your Top Tags (occasionally useful for getting to tags I want to check on)
    MWYB (I'd forgotten that was there)
    What Members are Reading (scan for checkmarks. Mostly bestsellers that don't interest me)
    Top Wishlisted Books (ditto)
    Group Suggestions (look at occasionally, usually when I'm bored and want amusement. Some really odd choices there...)
    Early Reviewers (OK, that one's useful, about once a month. To check my list of received/requested, not so much to see the list (I usually go there from Jeremy's profile comment).)
    Member Giveaway (very seldom look. I get enough books through ER - I owe so many reviews...)
    Recently Added by Other Members (not very interesting, Connection News is more so)
    Hot This Month (I suppose I've looked at it once or twice)
    On This Day (I keep thinking it should be interesting, but it just isn't)
    Featured Legacy Libraries (ditto)

    Home loads faster than Profile, for me (may be a function of going there so much!), and much faster than Your Books.

    If you do a dashboard sort of thing, let people put the modules they want on the front/general page. I'd have my 5-6 (does Stats/Memes count?) things from the right side on there, and maybe the announcement modules (the top three on the left). All the rest could be elsewhere, and I'd look at them occasionally. Maybe something like the Views for the catalog?

    I can see how people think the profile is the center, but it doesn't do what I need (mostly the Talk module, and the Search box). I don't feel the Home page is about LT - not the right side, anyway. It's all my stuff there (of what I look at, at least).

    I'd squawk if the Talk module went away, or the Search box (unless it just went up next to/under Site Search). I'd be delighted if there were a place for quick links and notes-to-self. The rest (of my top ones) are useful, but I'd find workarounds if they insisted on going away or being elsewhere (mostly by going to my profile - Tags are one-click accessible there, too, for instance).

    I will be happy to see Currently Reading, especially if I can filter it to books I've cataloged. I'd be delighted to see Tag Watch or something similar back - and more like that would be great. Not that I need to discover more books! (looks around at the boxes of unread books, waiting for reading so I can decide whether to keep or dump them...)

    As I said above, I don't really care much about Connection News - I glance at it now and then, and enjoy it when I do, but it's not something that's important to me. And adding more stuff - more updates - would make it _less_ interesting; I'm mildly interested that someone I've marked as Friend or Interesting Library has added or reviewed a book I either have or want, I'd glaze over if it told me every time someone updated the number of pages they'd gotten through in a book. I muted the Goodreads announcements in Twitter (I had a couple people I was following that kept announcing rated, pages, etc) - for the rare interesting comment, it wasn't worth seeing all the junk. If CN expanded like that, and couldn't be filtered down, I'd probably hide it.

    Apr 26, 2013, 1:10am Top

    The way I use LT, mostly connecting from an iPad or over a relatively slow connection from work, there's no advantage to a page with lots of little modules on it, so I generally have two or three different LT pages open in separate browser tabs, and ignore the home page altogether. The profile page I only use actively for links to elsewhere and occasionally if someone sends me a comment. I might get into the habit of using the home page if I had the combination of big screen and fast Internet, but even so I think I prefer a clean, simple interface with one type of information per page.

    Edited: Apr 26, 2013, 1:19am Top

    Oh boy. I didn't realise you could customise each module shown on the home page. Now that I've changed Top Tags to show 200 tags, and Recently added to show titles instead of covers, I think I'll use the home page much more often. I used to use the Talk module there but now I'm getting into the habit of using the Talk tab for that.

    I'd like a quick way to get to my CR book details pages. At the moment the best way to do this is via my profile, although I've found I'm actually adding a direct bookmark to my browser toolbar. A CR module on the home page would be nice.

    I also like the idea of a customisable RSS-esque feed on the home page (brightcopy @ 11). For example, I don't want to see when other members I'm following add a book, but I'm interested when they discuss a book, via a review or a touchstone on Talk. It'd be nice to combine following stuff on Talk with following stuff elsewhere on LT (like reviews), in one place.

    Edit: I just realised about Connection News, which is kind of what I've been looking for. So probably ignore my last paragraph.

    Apr 26, 2013, 9:57am Top

    >63 timspalding: "Opinion: If there's one thing missing from LibraryThing it's a comprehensive "discover" section—a place that gives you entre to books coming out soon, recommendations, lists, and so forth. (Tag watch is a "discover" concept too.)

    I'm uncertain if these are home-page modules, or a tab."

    I would like a discover section. Still thinking about how I feel about the home page and what I'd like to see there, so I can't offer up an opinion on the home-page module versus tab. I see advantages/disavantages to each right now.

    Apr 26, 2013, 10:33am Top

    If you want to lose the 'profile' tab, I'd make the username link in the upper right go to your profile. That's actually expected behavior IMO. Most places, a click on your username takes you to your profile.

    I liked the earlier idea of controlling what you get in your feed, but having most of it go to one place. I start on the homepage, but rarely look at it, because there are far too many sections I have to check for new activity, and most of them involve scrolling. If they all came into one feed, I'd probably see a lot more (and also be more judicious about what I really want to see).

    Even better if I can control the volume somewhat, like I can in G+. I want to see 'less' hot reviews, but 'more' connection activity.

    Apr 26, 2013, 10:36am Top

    #152 by Aerrin99> And if not, they should get rid of the HOME tab. Current ways to get to Home:

    1) login (takes you to home by default)
    2) click on the Home tab
    3) click on your username
    4) click on the LibraryThing logo

    It's really a bit overkill. But yeah, I'd be fine with getting rid of the Profile tab as long as click on the username took you there.

    Apr 26, 2013, 10:42am Top

    I think they can get rid of both, personally. Logo to home and username to profile are pretty standard web practice.

    Apr 26, 2013, 11:19am Top

    It's really a bit overkill. But yeah, I'd be fine with getting rid of the Profile tab as long as click on the username took you there.

    Yes, that's clearly going to happen.

    Apr 26, 2013, 11:28am Top

    I anticipate problems, given the number of people who say they use their profile as their main landing page.

    If you do go down that road, I think you're going to need more than just the username link for the profile. There will need to be other prominent links to it. It may be intuitive for many people (including myself) that this is what the username link would do, but remember that LT has a wide range of users with widely varying levels of web-proficiency and social media use. What might be intuitive for some will not be for others, particularly on a site that's already difficult for newbies to navigate.

    Apr 26, 2013, 11:40am Top

    I think people will adjust. Just keep the profile tab for a month, but have it link to a page explaining the profile tab is going away and now you should click on your username.

    I don't really think it's a problem for newbies, as just about every site I can think of works this way (clicking the username). I think I can think up about 100 things that'd be more difficult for newbies at LT than this. :)

    Apr 26, 2013, 11:46am Top

    Yeah, it's natural website behavior, has been for ages. Plus, are we really going to say "well we can't change this ever, people will get confused!"? That's opposite to how technology works. New stuff happens, and people learn how to use it. If they're confused, they can ask, just like they can ask about everything else.

    Apr 26, 2013, 12:50pm Top

    Abby put it best in an LT call yesterday—change the home page first. Once they like it, and it gets them to where they want to go, the profile won't be as central. As it is now, the profile is still pretty necessary—for example, as the way to get to your gallery and LTER.

    Apr 26, 2013, 12:53pm Top

    So, no interest in distinguishing the static place where we go to get to particular things from a more dynamic place where we go to see interesting new stuff?

    Apr 26, 2013, 12:54pm Top

    No matter what the homepage is, we still need a direct way to get to the profile. Which is why the top right corner link should go there. It should already, but regardless, we will still need to do things with our profiles, and like it or not some members will still want their profiles to be their main access route. A direct way to get there is vital, on any site.

    Edited: Apr 26, 2013, 1:00pm Top

    So, no interest in distinguishing the static place where we go to get to particular things from a more dynamic place where we go to see interesting new stuff?

    No, I'm interested in that. It's definitely one of the major ways of "slicing" this discussion.

    There's a real tension here. If you read the above, you'll see members are all over the place with the current UI. Some want it to tell them what's going on on the site, some what's going on now for them, some want it to be a static way to get to certain places. If, reading all the above, you see a really clear development directive, you missed your true calling in sorcery or at least management consulting.

    Apr 26, 2013, 12:58pm Top

    A direct way to get there is vital, on any site.

    Yeah, I agree. It's surely the name, as on Facebook and etc.

    Edited: Apr 26, 2013, 1:17pm Top

    The only things of interest on the home page for me are:

    a) the "your groups" list of latest talk—it's a handy alternative filtering, contrasting with librarything.com/talk which is where my LT bookmark takes me.

    b) the list of latest LT blog entries, because most entries are useful and interesting (things related to Early Reviewers being the main exception) yet I would never ever remember to read it if the list wasn't there.

    For accessing my own books and stuff I always use the profile.

    Edited: Apr 26, 2013, 2:01pm Top

    When we first got the Home page I really thought that I wouldn't use it very much and continue to use the Profile. However, I now love the home page and use it a lot while rarely visiting my profile. (This is true both for my personal account and for the Organizational account I help maintain.) I look at all the modules at least occasionally and I do move them around from time to time. For myself, I use the searchbox on the left and the Recently Added and Connection News the most but also glance at the News, Blogs, etc. in the other column. The layout works for me and I don't really see it as too crowded but that may be because I'm so used to it. For the other account the most used are Recently Added and Recommendations and occasionally the Talk module.

    ETA: I also use the Your Collections module for both accounts.

    Apr 26, 2013, 3:01pm Top

    I feel here as I did in the "discovery" thread. You won't find a fit for everyone. One size doesn't fit all. But we all know how to work around what we have and my feeling is that it should just be left for awhile. I don't want LT remade to fit users of fb, goodreads, amazon - if I liked their formats I would have gone there in the first place. It seems like there must some really good fixes that could be put on the home page, or the profile page - making places on LT that are almost invisible - unless you 1) know they are there and 2) have either stumbled across them or have been told about them - more visible. These could be fixes that don't require a total remake.

    Apr 26, 2013, 3:28pm Top

    164> The Your Groups view of talk is available on the Talk page as well. Just look in the left-hand column.

    Apr 26, 2013, 3:30pm Top

    Re #165 When we first got the Home page I really thought that I wouldn't use it very much and continue to use the Profile. However, I now love the home page and use it a lot while rarely visiting my profile.


    #166 I don't want LT remade to fit users of fb, goodreads, amazon - if I liked their formats I would have gone there in the first place. It seems like there must some really good fixes that could be put on the home page, or the profile page - making places on LT that are almost invisible - unless you 1) know they are there and 2) have either stumbled across them or have been told about them - more visible. These could be fixes that don't require a total remake.

    I have to add my agreement to both hailelib and mysterymax. I'm concerned that LT is being revised to accommodate fb, twitter, etc., and losing sight of its original goals. I'm not one of those who are worried about change, and the changes I've seen since I started using LT have always been improvements. I'm trusting Tim and the gang to do a good job that will keep us all happy.

    Apr 26, 2013, 3:55pm Top

    * What do you think about the current home page?
    So far I'm fine with it. I have the flexibility to add or remove items. It's primarily an anchor point for to to get started. I'm not into pretty borders, fancy type and wierd colors. Just the data. . .
    * What do you like and/or use from it?
    I use the following parts of it:
    Tabs at top
    Profile, stats and and cloud next line down
    Your Collections
    Top Tags
    Members with books
    On this day
    Legacy Libraries.

    I look at the others but don't use them.

    * What do you want from a home page?

    Simply a place to start. Combining my profile info and comments on it would be nice.
    Facebook drives me nuts as it is never stable and it keeps changing the way it works. When they do change, they never tell you or if they do it is buried so deep you can't find it. I only use it because some vendors I deal with have dumped their web sites and FB is the only game in town. . . not nice!

    Apr 26, 2013, 4:39pm Top

    Aw, I love the homepage. It's all right there on one page - no links to follow, no pages to wait to load. I did customize it to suit my needs though.

    I check it several times a day: to search my books (it seems faster than the 'Your Books' tab), do a quick check of talk posts, connection news, zeitgeist/tag/collection info, recently added books, on this date, new blog posts, members with my books, what members are reading....

    The one improvement I would love to see is the connection news stream being made a bit longer; 10 entries isn't much, especially when one person enters a large batch of new books.

    Apr 26, 2013, 4:44pm Top

    There are so many replies here, but I really hope you see mine. I took a Web usability course last semester and for my final project I redesigned the LibraryThing homepage and did a paper prototype test of the design. It is by no means perfect, but I think it might be a good starting point for your official design team!

    I posted my report on Google Docs https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_re7pJxfu_OMHBYdHpkVEYtVFE/edit?usp=sharing

    Apr 26, 2013, 4:48pm Top

    Ha! Excellent. Will look at.

    Apr 26, 2013, 4:53pm Top

    What grade did you get? ;)

    Edited: Apr 26, 2013, 5:10pm Top

    I think I would like one book per contribute in the connection news.

    Apr 26, 2013, 6:05pm Top

    I like the home page and use it as a daily launch into LT.

    I rearranged some sections when it first came out, but what I like/use most are:

    recently added - although I agree with comments that it would be nice to also be able to see other activity in my books, especially when a "wishlist" book is acquired and is moved to "your library"

    talk (forums) - I never use the talk tab anymore, so much easier to access from here

    connection news - I've edited the settings to allow me to see 24 items. I've gotten several book ideas from here.

    Tag Watch - I loved this and miss it enormously. It led me to several interesting libraries (which I now monitor in connection news) and lots of books about topics I was specifically interested in. PLEASE BRING IT BACK!

    I also scan Hot Reviews and sometimes will notice a post on LT news, but little else of interest in the right hand column.

    I'd forgotten until reading this thread that I could search my books from the home page. Much better than going to "My books" first. I'd like to have a "my books" search available at the top of ALL pages, similar to the site search.

    I also use the Profile page regularly, and go there to check collections, tags, MWYB, and to access stats/memes. I also keep lists of recently completed and upcoming books, in addition to currently reading, on the profile.

    I don't care where you put it, but I would like to have a visible portal to some of the other features, such as cover guess and lists. I'm not a newbie, but I don't know how to find them unless someone gives me a link.

    Apr 27, 2013, 1:23am Top

    FWIW, I have changed the name link. It now links to your profile, not the home page. This makes sense even if we never get rid of the profile tab. Names should link to profiles.

    Edited: Apr 27, 2013, 3:49am Top

    Home page is the hub of LibraryThing. It is the page I use most often, and it's my LT Information Central.

    • I launch into the home page.

      • Check Talk (Forums) for activity in "New Features", "Bug Collectors", Recommended Site Improvements" and some interesting book groups I'm following. Good overview of what's going on.
      • Check Connection News. Follow only a few "connections", but the books they're adding often provides tips.
      • Hot Reviews not so much for tips, but always interesting opinions.
      • TagWatch used to be the most interesting feature, not only on LT but on all book sites I visit. An unending stream of interesting and accurate tips for new reading. I'll join sjmccreary's appeal for it to be restored. As for now, I often check for it - just in case.
      • Local
      • News, Tips and Announcements, From the Blogs. Rather static, but do check them anyway. (They're rather less useful for us on the "international sites", since they're nearly always highlighted in yellow - not just when there's actual news. LT thinks any tiny change demands a new translation, and highlights whole blocks as yellow for untranslated.)

    • Search your books is my basic choice for finding things in my library fast. (Using the "Your books" search box for very specific searches.)
    • All the rest:>

      • Scroll through it about once a week. Usually not of immediate interest, but often find something worth inspecting.
      • Recent recommendations: Keep it folded. Scan it when desperate for something new, but the recommendations are most often too general for my taste.

    • Like: Page can be customized
    • Missing: HTML freetext block (like About My Library in Profile): I keep putting things like "notes to self" and links that really belongs on the Home page onto Profile because this is missing

    Apr 27, 2013, 4:39am Top

    >176 by timspalding, YAY thankyouthankyouthankyou!! :D

    Apr 27, 2013, 4:40am Top

    176> Lovely!

    Apr 27, 2013, 6:03am Top

    I use the home page as my default page.

    I use it to get a quick review of talk.

    I used to use it for tag-watch, which I loved. Granted, a comprehensive "discover (books)" would *probably* replace the functionality of tagwatch, but I'm not sure. My LT books has a *lot* of stuff: the kids' books I read to my daughter, the random fiction I read, the books I'm given to review, all the stuff I have read in various phases over my life, crap I started and hate. Tag-watch let me keep up with a discrete & limited set of concepts. It wasn't LT deciding what would be relevant for me. It was me deciding what would be relevant for me.

    I glance at "Tips and Announcements". And, it's probably been said, but if this is just supposed to be "announcements", then it should be re-titled. "Tips" is the part that makes one think it will be a rotating list of "tips".

    I sometimes glance at the various hot reviews, hot this month, etc. "Hot reviews" does get me to reviews of interest sometimes, which is nice. I rarely discover books this way (*sometimes*) but I do like to read a well-written or funny review.

    I'd like a "your friends' reviews" -- seems like a good adjunct to connection news.

    I use the Home Page as my access to the Early Reviewers & Member Giveaway stuff.

    I use connections news periodically when I'm looking for something new, or just curious, and then I will usually click on one or two folks of particular interest to see what they've been reviewing lately.

    Apr 27, 2013, 7:23am Top

    I have little to add, but I wanted to follow this thread to see what develops. I like the links to blog posts and ER., announcements. It is where I go when I want to know what is going on with LT in general instead of the little corner where I usually hang out. I enjoy Hot Reviews and to see what is going on with members I don't usually follow, like most wish listed and recently added. So, basically I like what we have.

    Apr 27, 2013, 8:49am Top

    I don't use my home page much: my main LT entry points are My Books, My Library Statistics (I bookmarked my cover stats page) and Groups.
    I visit my home page mostly for 2 things:
    1) to take a quick look at the covers of my recently added books, while I'm working on something that would make re-sorting my library unconvenient
    2) to find new Members With Your Books, which bring new opportunities for book combining in areas where I will probably feel competent.

    Apr 27, 2013, 12:24pm Top

    Apr 27, 2013, 12:25pm Top

    I should look through this thread, make a list of the most important elements, and then secretly pre-set all of you to have exactly the things you want by default.

    We'd release the feature and you guys would all shout with one voice "It's PERFECT! You made exactly the right choices!" :)

    Apr 27, 2013, 12:27pm Top

    I would like the home page to send 100 unique free books to my house every day.

    Apr 27, 2013, 12:29pm Top

    I set my browser to go directly to my profile page by default, but I do glance quickly over the homepage for every log in. It's not the most practical but there are certain aspects of it I do like. In order of preference, what I use are:

    Your Zeitgeist
    From the Blogs
    Recent Recommendations
    Featured Legacy Libraries
    On this Day ...
    Members with your books

    Everything else I've taken off if the option allow.

    For me, the greatest quality this site offers is the recommendations based on your library. I've discovered some wonderful works that way. Maybe the recomendations could be displayed more prominently on the home page?

    Also, perhaps various colour schemes to choose from?

    Apr 27, 2013, 12:30pm Top

    >184 timspalding: would that not violate t'internet rule that no matter what you do someone will complain about it?

    Edited: Apr 27, 2013, 1:51pm Top

    We'd release the feature and you guys would all shout with one voice "It's PERFECT! You made exactly the right choices!"

    Now that would worry me ;-)

    Apr 27, 2013, 12:45pm Top

    My browser is set to take me to my home page; I like and use:
    -last ten books added
    -Talk/Forums: it is from the home page that I connect with and track all of the threads I am following
    -Your Zeitgeist
    -Early Reviewers
    -Hot Reviews

    Apr 27, 2013, 1:05pm Top

    >185 norabelle414:

    We've got a few bags of ARCs. They're mostly crap. Send your address ;)

    Apr 27, 2013, 1:06pm Top

    184 > Nice try, but then you'd have to re-institute Tag Watch ASAP.

    Because then, it would be perfect!

    Apr 27, 2013, 1:07pm Top

    >184 timspalding: would that not violate t'internet rule that no matter what you do someone will complain about it?

    Yeah, I no longer believe in universal internet rules. So far LibraryThing has escaped Rule 34!

    Edited: Apr 27, 2013, 2:04pm Top

    I always get 34 and 37 mixed up: is 34 the one about Paris Hilton? Or the one about Amazon dominating the market with a ponzi scheme?

    ETA I realised late there is a real rule 34.

    Not sure there's much difference in what I was thinking, though.

    Apr 27, 2013, 2:23pm Top

    >192 timspalding: Don't tempt the internet, Tim!

    Apr 27, 2013, 2:53pm Top

    #192 by timspalding> Yeah, I no longer believe in universal internet rules. So far LibraryThing has escaped Rule 34!

    I have a greasemonkey script for that...

    Apr 27, 2013, 6:51pm Top

    192> 608 members have catalogued Rule 34 (so far) so not a complete escape

    Edited: Apr 27, 2013, 7:00pm Top

    I haven't read through this thread yet, so sorry if my suggestions are repetitive. These are my two main thoughts right now:

    1) The home page is too cluttered. I don't know where to look first.

    2) A news feed/update feed would help create a sense of community on the site that would make the site that much more of a (book-based) social network. People are more likely to stay loyal to a site or join a site in the first place when they feel a sense of belonging to a community on that site. An update feed that allows for "likes" and/or comments and chatting about books members are reading allows for those spontaneous online friendships that would make LT more than just a book-cataloging site. (If members would prefer not to have their books or statuses commented on by other members, a feature that would allow disabling of comments would be nice.)

    Thanks for reading our input!

    Apr 27, 2013, 7:13pm Top

    i know i'm new here and there is a *ton* to explore but until reading some of these responses i had no idea some of this stuff was on the homepage. not that it isn't obvious once i take the time to look at it all, but there is so much to see i just never got to (for example) "on this day" which is pretty cool, actually.

    i like the idea (if i understood it correctly) from tim's original post of really cleaning up the homepage and then having tabs on the left to get to talk or recommendations or connections or groups.

    i don't use facebook so don't know if this is exactly what people don't want from there, but i really liked there being an ongoing feed of updates from the people i was following on goodreads. (this was always my primary way of seeing reviews and hearing about new books or authors to be on my tbr pile.) if this is something you click on to see, it shouldn't annoy people who don't want it, as they just wouldn't click on it.

    Apr 27, 2013, 7:28pm Top

    >42 markbarnes:

    (sorry, i responded earlier without reading the entire thread)

    i *love* what markbarnes (42) wants in a homepage.

    Apr 27, 2013, 8:12pm Top

    I much prefer the way my collections are listed on my home page, and I use it regularly. I don't like the way collections are all bunched together on my profile page. However, I'm one of those members who has a lot of collections, which probably annoys Tim, but works very well for me. If you only have a few, you probably don't much care. Change anything else about the home page, but don't mess with the collections listing and the ability to have it prominently placed. Please and thank you!

    Apr 27, 2013, 8:13pm Top

    Another here who loves the suggestions in post #42. Those are very well thought out. White space is very important for making a site look clean and easy to understand. Right now I find the home page overwhelming, featuring many items I simply don't care about. Additionally, I think the suggestions in post #42 would help modernize the home page's look; that alone would attract more users to the site while enticing those already here to stay loyal and/or spend more time on the site.

    Apr 27, 2013, 10:26pm Top

    white space makes me feel manipulated - it means someone else has decided what I'm going to look at, instead of being able to decide for myself

    Apr 27, 2013, 10:32pm Top

    #202 by sjmccreary> That's one of those kinds of statements where you really want to try to give the poster the benefit of the doubt and HOPE they were being ironic/sarcastic...

    Edited: Apr 27, 2013, 10:52pm Top

    Nabokov had a student who said he liked to skip parts of books he was reading, "to get his own idea about the book and not be influenced by the author."

    I think I have a sense of what sjmccreary means, though. Excessive use of white space can feel patronizing, like when someone reads something out-load too slowly.

    Apr 27, 2013, 11:27pm Top

    Tim - Have you given much thought to what so many people said is their one and (almost) only use for the home page - searching their own catalog? I was one of those people. I'm not sure what the solution is. I wish that somehow the site-wide search window just always knew what I wanted and did it.

    Apr 27, 2013, 11:32pm Top

    I'm feeling really old right now. I simply don't get all the concern for appearances. I didn't join LT because I liked the look of the home page. A modern home page will not make me more loyal than I already am. (Impossible. I'm already extremely loyal.) White space doesn't improve my understanding.

    I feel like I'm missing a gene or something.

    Apr 27, 2013, 11:44pm Top

    #206 by MerryMary> Well, it's not just appearances, it USE. I feel like far more people on this topic have simply said "I don't use the homepage" or "I just use it for the catalog search box." I also assume that Tim looked at some webserver stats on how much the page was visited. A lot of work goes into it, especially keeping it updated as other parts of the site changes. If people aren't really using it on the whole, that work is kind of being used inefficiently.

    Apr 27, 2013, 11:52pm Top

    >205 brightcopy: I wish there was a "Search your books" box on every page, at the top. I want to search my catalog for a book far more often than I want to search for anything else on LT.

    Apr 28, 2013, 12:05am Top

    #208 by seabear> Yeah, I agree. That's what I wind up doing more often as well. I wish the "site-wide" search worked better with searching your books. Right now, clicking the left sidebar option to search in your books on the site-wide search page redirects you to your catalog. I kind of wished it'd just display the matches like the other searches do with the links being links to the book pages. And I wish that's where the box at the top-right went by default.

    But as with everything, I'm sure plenty of people will (legitimately) not like it that way. I wonder which is more prevalent.

    Apr 28, 2013, 12:08am Top

    I must say that I find it very odd that people use the "search your books" box on the home page. I always use the one in my catalogue, because I can restrict the search to "titles/authors", "tags", or whatever.

    Apr 28, 2013, 12:15am Top

    #210 by lilithcat> I find that for me the Home page (at least the top part with the search box) comes up about 2 seconds sooner than Your books does. And that's not even counting if it has to reindex, which it does often. Or if I did something foolish like setting it show 200 books the last time I was there.

    Another big reason - it also avoids having to remember to set back to All Collections when you've changed it. Sometimes I stare at the screen dumbfounded for a few seconds when searches from the catalog don't return the book I just knew should be there. Eventually I figured out the change the collections.

    I find that the vast majority of my searches are simple searches for a book title where I don't need to search authors, tags, or whatever.

    I put up a poll thread about how often you search for your own books vs for others. New thread to avoid the "way down in the thread" problem:

    Apr 28, 2013, 12:19am Top

    >211 brightcopy: A thousand times yes to inadvertently being in the wrong collection. It drives me crazy. I'd rather accidentally have an extra search result or two occasionally and then have to refine the search rather than so often getting no results because of something like that.

    Apr 28, 2013, 12:31am Top

    I always use the one in my catalogue, because I can restrict the search to "titles/authors", "tags", or whatever.

    I find that—most of the time—I'm looking for a known item. It's not that hard to tree it.

    Apr 28, 2013, 12:34am Top

    #213 by timspalding> "Tree it"?

    Edited: Apr 28, 2013, 12:43am Top

    Mark Twain, "An Encounter With An Interviewer":
    "How do you spell it?"

    "Spell what?"


    "Oh, my goodness! what do you want to spell it for?"

    "I don't want to spell it; I want to see what it means."

    "Well, this is astonishing, I must say. I can tell you what it means, if you--if you--"

    "Oh, all right! That will answer, and much obliged to you, too."

    "In, in, ter, ter, inter--"

    "Then you spell it with an h"

    Why certainly!"

    "Oh, that is what took me so long."

    "Why, my dear sir, what did you propose to spell it with?"

    "Well, I--I--hardly know. I had the Unabridged, and I was ciphering around in the back end, hoping I might tree her among the pictures. But it's a very old edition."
    I've always presumed it was a metaphor from hunting raccoons.

    Apr 28, 2013, 3:36am Top

    My wish is for a homepage to be:

    1. minimalist as a starting default, like the typical search engine UI
    2. it would have a piano tuning fork icon to access a configpage
    3. the configpage has a slider from min to max for info density
    4. at each level of info density it is possible to add,remove module/panel
    5. for each module/panel there is a tuning fork icon to fine tune it
    6. now that LT does local time, can it do weather?
    At first I used to use the homepage, not using it I missed out on knowing the winning entries for the edible books competition. What I normally do is type in the browser address bar, it expands to a list of options and auto completes. Perhaps there should be a LT news ribbon ticker at the top or bottom. I'd like a fixed width of 80-characters for talk postings, narrow like newspaper, magazine columns.

    Apr 28, 2013, 3:47am Top

    171> I really liked the single switchable search box suggestion.

    Apr 28, 2013, 6:46am Top

    206> AMEN to that! White space is an advertising gimmick. White space is wasted space. I love changes that make things work more smoothly. I hate change just to change the way it looks!

    Apr 28, 2013, 8:07am Top

    I don't understand the anti-white space crowd. To me, there needs to be a certain amount of white space or it's too confusing - there's too much to look at. Nowadays most websites have too much going on. I think LT has just the right amount of white space.

    Apr 28, 2013, 10:20am Top

    I stripped my Home page down to the bare essentials: Talk, LibraryThing News and From the Blogs. I wasn't using the other features on the page and the density of screen content was off-putting.

    If I were to add anything, I would love to be able to put Currently Reading and Most Recent Activity from the Profile tab onto the Home Page, green bar/right side.

    If I were to change anything, it might be for a less anemic font.

    That's it. Im all for keeping things simple :-)

    Apr 28, 2013, 12:43pm Top

    >219 Morphidae:

    Thank you, Morphidae. We were asked for input. I gave it and was dismissed immediately. I would appreciate if people would think about what I was saying a little bit more. Cluttered web pages are just unsophisticated web design. Period. Ask any experienced web designer; look at the best-designed web pages out there. They have white space (i.e., are not cluttered). The current home page is BUSY; it's OVERWHELMING. It's jam-packed with information that doesn't really have to be there. What's the goal of the site? Is it just a book-cataloging site? Is it a cataloging site that ALSO strives to have a lively online community? If the answer is the latter, I cannot recommend enough tightening the focus of the home page to allow for chatting between LT friends about the books they have shelved/are reading/want to read (e.g., comment box below the listed book); it would make the site more fun. Do that, and have some of the necessary tabs ("Talk," "Groups," "Profile," etc.), and that could very well be all you need.

    There simply are not enough opportunities to talk on this site; there are only groups. Some people are not interested in participating in groups, for whatever reason. Sometimes all you want to do is make a quick comment about something you see friend X is reading/has read/wants to read. Right now, all anyone can do is send a PM. Most people aren't going to bother doing that, so the site continues to remain more anonymous than it could be.

    Apr 28, 2013, 1:43pm Top

    White space isn't "wasted space." its an active part of a page design and serves to help the eye to navigate a page quickly and efficiently. I always think of http://www.aldaily.com/ in debates about white space. Great site, great content, and I go absolutely blind trying to read it, so I never spend as much time on the site as the content warrants.

    Apr 28, 2013, 1:51pm Top

    I do love the forum posts box. It makes it so easy to see what's been going on since last I was on LT. But I also love the On This Day. Those are the two things I check first when I get on LT. I wish I could move some of the green ones to the grey side, though. What I like about the green side is most of the boxes let me see what's going on in the LT community without having to go search for it, so those are the boxes I mostly keep, but that results in my right side being twice as long as my grey side and, frankly, more cumbersome, too. I would like to be able to spread some of them (for instance the hot reviews and the member giveaway?) over to the left to give them a little more room so the text wasn't scrunched up.

    Apr 28, 2013, 1:58pm Top

    Coming in late, but I would like to add my two cents' worth. I primarily use the home page to get a quick sense of the what's going on with the community here: new posts in Talk, what members are reading and wishlisting, blog posts, and my Early Reviewers' status. If I need anything else, I go straight to my catalog.

    I really enjoy seeing what members are current reading because it alerts me to popular books, new books, books with a movie/tv adaptation -- iow, books I might like to read but maybe weren't on my radar.

    Edited: Apr 28, 2013, 2:03pm Top

    What do you think about the current home page?

    I think it's a little busy and therefore I have tried to eliminate the elements that are not of interest to me.

    What do you like and/or use from it?
    On the left side I have
    Talk Forums
    Recently added
    On the Right side, below the LT News and Tips and announcements, I have Hot Reviews, Hot this Month, and What Members are reading.

    What do you want from a home page? Mainly I use it as a starting point to get where I want to be
    Collections gets me to the set of books that I want to work with
    Talk Forum - when I want to check threads
    Recently added - I just like to be able to see the covers of the last few books that I have added
    Hot Reviews - to show what others are reading
    I would suggest that it would be helpful to be able to have all the modules, but if there was the ability to collapse them so that only their titles showed maybe we'd be able to expand just those we're interested in.

    Edited: Apr 28, 2013, 2:17pm Top

    Basic question

    * What do you think about the current home page?
    * What do you like and/or use from it?
    * What do you want from a home page?

    1. I think the current home page is cluttered and confusing, with a lot of duplication. Its difficult to for me navigate because I am not a person who does well with a lot of visual clutter, I get overwhelmed and irritated by it.

    For example, there are three ways to go to my profile - by clicking my profile photo, by clicking the profile tab, by clicking the word profile in the header. Why have three elements that do precisely the same thing all taking up space on the page? This same factor holds for any number of elements on the page.

    This results in a very "noisy" interface. I counted, even if I turn off every single module, there are still 40 different things I can click on that page, many of them duplications. Once I start adding modules it becomes worse.

    2. I like that the page is customizable and that it is possible to turn down the noise to some degree. I very much like the idea of having modules that I can add or not add. But the modules don't actually give me good access to the elements I want to use. So I do not really use the home page, I just use the tabs.

    3. What I want from a home page is the ability to collect the things I want to do or keep track of in one place and be able to see if anything has recently changed that would warrant me going to look. For me personally those things are:

    1. Look for a book. Ie - search on a title and see information, reviews, other book data to let me decide whether I want to add it to my library (or realize that its already in there!).

    2. Check recent activity in my groups - I do like that the forums feed shows how many new comments there are, and who commented last and when. I find that a useful feature. I also like the ability to star topics. I would like the ability to set a sort or filter and have it stick until I reset it.

    3. See what my friends are doing. This is the biggest problem for me with the current home page, connection news and hot reviews seem to be feeds of what everybody who is currently active is doing. Or at least if its something else I haven't figured out my settings yet. Sometimes that might be interesting. But, especially on a busy day, I don't want to keep track of what everyone is doing, I want to be able to see what my friends are doing, and communicate with them about it.

    4. Browse reviews and collections. This is/was my favorite way to meet new people. I think a well written review can tell me a lot about whether I want to get to know someone, and at the same time tell me a thing or two about the book! :-).

    I have more to say but that will do to be getting on with as I need to go put gas in my car and do Sunday errands now.

    Apr 28, 2013, 2:56pm Top

    I got an A. :)

    Apr 28, 2013, 3:18pm Top

    Apr 28, 2013, 3:27pm Top

    >226 bunwat:

    #1 was very interesting! I hadn't really thought about all those things that don't factor into the customizable stuff--mostly cause I can't change them--but you're right; that's the stuff that makes the most clutter, precisely because we can't change them. I don't really need any of those blue links just under the tab; if I want them, I can click on the profile tab, and they all show up there.

    Apr 28, 2013, 6:53pm Top

    Late to the conversation but I use the home page as my main access to LibraryThing. I like being able to search my library from here or access my collections. I always check talk through this page, rarely going to the talk tab. I like that my most recent additions are right there and that any new blog posts or announcements show up here. I especially like that the home page is customizable and I turned off stuff I wasn't interested in. I don't scroll to the bottom very often, but I do use the home page to access the Early Reviewer pages. As for what I'd like to see? I don't really have any suggestions - I like the way it works right now.

    Apr 28, 2013, 9:03pm Top

    As a newbie user, I haven't really looked too hard at the Home page until seeing this topic. My first impression is an echo of the complaint that it's cluttered and overwhelming. It seems to be a hodgepodge of Things - some Things are about me, some Things are about other users, some are about groups, some are about books, some are about the site...either it needs to be organized better, or maybe not all of this needs to be grouped together on one page. Otherwise it seems easier to bypass the homepage and go directly to more specialized sections to see what I want to see - which is how I've been using the site so far.

    Edited: Apr 28, 2013, 10:20pm Top

    I wish I'd noticed this thread sooner... for what it's worth...

    - I always start from the Home Page -- that's my LT bookmark.

    - I constantly Search (My) Library from my Home Page, and often access the Site Search from there

    - I regularly use the recently added, without covers.

    - I use the Talk (Forums) feature as my primary way of accessing Talk. (I use the Groups Page next, and the Talk Page least of all.)

    - I use the Connection News and the Hot Reviews a bit but not religiously.

    - I use the Your Top Tags feature regularly. I have a large library and it takes way too long to load the entire Your Library every time I want to work on tags -- it's much quicker to go in through Your Top Tags. (Tug of the sleeve to those that miss the Tags Tab...)

    All the other things I either access from my Profile (Collections, MWYB), or from their own proper pages (Recommendations, Zeitgeist, Suggested Groups, Legacy Libraries), or simply don't use at all.

    A dashboard with flexible modules as suggested seems a great idea, as even the Home Page feature I use take up a lot of 'real estate' in an inefficient way..

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 7:46am Top

    >219 Morphidae:

    There is a very good reason for white space, and white space is definitely not wasted space.

    If a homepage (if a written page) is too cluttered it is potentially distracting, especially for individuals who have visual of focussing (tracking) issues.

    And as an example, I teach German at the college level. I always make sure that my quizzes, exams and assignments have enough white space and are not too cluttered because it tends to eliminate students accidentally missing or skipping a question (or misreading a question). And why do you think that at university, most professors demand that term papers be double spaced? If you had to read 40 single spaced term papers, not only would this likely give you a headache (you do have to concentrate more with single spacing than double spacing), it would also increase the chance of you misreading something (and while this is not that much of a problem if you are reading for pleasure, it is rather problematic if reading a paper that needs to be graded).

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 7:45am Top

    >226 bunwat:

    Bun, I would really like both an update feed as well as seeing what my LT friends are doing (mostly their reviews). It does really seem difficult to browse reviews (unless I am doing something wrong, which would not be a first).

    Yes, make the search engine easier to use, and have the ability to click on a book where the title might be interesting without it automatically being added to one's library.

    I would also kind of like to know who voted for my reviews, not just the number of votes, but their user names (although that is not a major issue for me and I could imagine some individuals not liking this).

    Apr 29, 2013, 7:47am Top

    I've been thinking about this, and I'd like the ability to not only choose what to see, but where to see it. I think, given the choice, I'd move some of the more static things (MWMB, Zeitgeist, Collections) to one side and have the regularly updated things (recently added, connection news & talk) occupying the same vertical column and over a larger proportion of the screen.

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 7:53am Top

    Reviews by friends (and Interesting Libraries, Contacts, Private Watch, Top 50 similar...) appear in Connections News.



    As you see, you can choose to view all activity, or only books added, or only reviews, or only ratings (and that separated by Connections subgroups--Friends or Interesting or Contacts etc.)

    I don't care about the design of the Home page as long as I don't have to use it (currently I don't), or as long as I can determine what appears on it.

    Apr 29, 2013, 8:43am Top

    >234 by gundulabaehre, Nothing ever adds a book to your catalog automatically, I'm not sure what you're talking about there. No title you ever click on will magically add it. Even when you click on the "add to your library" button on a work page, even that nearly always just takes you to the Add books page rather than immediately adding it.

    Apr 29, 2013, 8:50am Top

    >237 .Monkey.:

    I am still trying to figure this site out, so I probably just made a mistake.

    Apr 29, 2013, 8:55am Top

    238> Which "search engine"? I'm wondering if you're talking about the Add Books page.

    Apr 29, 2013, 9:19am Top

    #238 by gundulabaehre> there's definitely a pretty steep learning curve. we've all had to trudge up that hill. but it's worth it!

    Apr 29, 2013, 9:34am Top

    >238 gundulabaehre: I know exactly what you're talking about! It happened to me a few times too; but then, of course, when I tried to replicate it to figure out exactly what happened, I couldn't do it again! I figured that it was either a little glitch or a rookie mistake on my part :-)

    Apr 29, 2013, 9:35am Top

    > I always make sure that my quizzes, exams and assignments have enough white space and are not too cluttered because it tends to eliminate students accidentally missing or skipping a question (or misreading a question).

    Probably makes sense for a quizz, an exam, or even someboy/entity's home page. You want to make sure that every reader absorbs all the information. But the term "home page" is somewhat misleading in this case. LT is a catalog, and a workspace for cataloging. Information density has value. Nobody wants the entire catalog or the entire page, but as much information as possible should be available without too much leafing/clicking.

    That's my view, at least.

    Apr 29, 2013, 9:47am Top

    I've only been using LT a few weeks now, so I'm mainly in the Your books and Add books tabs. However, there are several things I like about the Home page and only a couple I don't like.

    What I want out of the Home page:

    - direct links to Collections Stats page and Lists page (or perhaps the option to select from a list of Quick Links to display
    - a snapshot of recent activity from the LT community (personally, I like the Top 10 lists)
    - a feed of my connections' recent activity (I don't have many yet, still lurking about)
    - important site announcements (nothing huge, space-wise, but at least a headline with link near top of page)


    - the modular design: the ability to activate and deactivate the different modules on the Home page is priceless. This makes the page customizable to MY preferences (instead of the thousands of other members or the powers that be). But it also allows me to change my mind, rearrange, test out modules to see if I like them / if they're useful, etc.


    - the Top 10 lists of what's being read, what's hot this month, etc. For me this is a fast, easy way to see if anyone's reading anything of interest to me.

    - Zeitgeist and its customizable options

    - "Connection news" because it has a small cover with the member's name. However, I'd like to see a larger image or have the option of using a medium-sized image (like, 100px or 125px height) in this section.


    - No book cover included with Recommendations. I really dig the information-focused design of the site but, when it comes to selecting a new book, I'm super visual: I have to see the cover before my interest is piqued. I'd like to see a medium-sized image (like, 100px or 125px height) or have the option of using a medium-sized image in this section. Right now, the text link recommendations are pretty much useless to me (and the #2 reason I haven't given up Goodreads completely; the first being my friends/groups on GR).

    - "Members with your books" section doesn't do anything for me. It's too dry (or perhaps I don't "get" a good way to use it). Frankly, it's too much work to find connections in this section. This is one of the couple areas I'd say GR beats LT. GR makes it super easy to find/make connections, to see if that person and I have enough books in common to validate a friend request or follow. All you have to do over there is click someone's username then click a "Compare Books" link right under their "About Me" box. There's a percentage similarity, a breakdown of # of books in common, a book compatibility test, and a list comparison of their rating and your rating for the same book, for each book on your to-read / read shelves.

    Not a dealbreaker, just a suggestion:

    - Early Reviewers and Members Giveaway should be links along top of the Home page instead of a module. Perhaps after the Authors link in Home text link menu?

    P.S. Tim, I'm quite pleased with LT. You and employees do great work here! What LT lacks in the social aspects, it more than make up for in cataloging. I'm hoping once I overcome the initial overwhelm I felt upon viewing the Talk page, I'll find those social bits here, too. Because I'd really love to give up GR completely at some point.

    Apr 29, 2013, 9:53am Top

    >238 gundulabaehre:, I think I am talking about the "add books" page. It takes some getting used to, but at least with LT, I can add my own cover images (I have a lot of old books with no covers) and I can edit my book page as I see fit (and half star ratings, yay).

    Tanya, I am glad I am not the only one who has experienced this, but I am now wondering wether it was more a rookie mistake on my part than a glitch (I am really not all that computer literate).

    Apr 29, 2013, 9:58am Top

    > 243

    No book cover included with Recommendations.

    The difficulty, of course, would be deciding which book cover would be shown. With Connection News and the like, the site knows the specific edition the person added or reviewed. But with a recommendation, there's not generally a specific edition, and with a book in the public domain, there may be literally thousands of possible covers!

    Apr 29, 2013, 10:21am Top

    #244 by gundulabaehre> Ah, I thought that was it. The Add Books page can be a big clunky and is perpetually on the edge of being rewritten.

    The thing about the search results you get is that there isn't really a lot more to look at by clicking on them. Those are just the raw results of title/author/isbn (*) that the source is returning. Those are not yet linked to entries in LT's catalog. That only happens when you actually click a result to finish adding it to your library. Then LT tries to crank through its calculations to figure out which pre-existing book in its catalog the one from the source matches up to.

    The key thing to pay attention to are if the title, author and ISBN look like the one you want. Hopefully the publication info will as well if you care bout that. Otherwise, you'll have to edit it after the fact. But I find publication info to be a bit of a crapshoot anyway.

    * Asterisk here because there is technically a few other facts that come from the library (or whatever source you are using) that you don't see in the search results. Also, the cover you see there is always the AMAZON cover for the ISBN of the result. It doesn't come from the library if you are using a library source. Yes, it can be very confusing.

    Apr 29, 2013, 10:31am Top

    >246 brightcopy:

    Thanks brightcopy, for explaining, I'm still a bit confused (lol, like normally), but this has certainly helped some.

    And the fact that you can edit your books after you have added them is wonderful.

    Apr 29, 2013, 11:33am Top

    >247 gundulabaehre: If you're just trying to look at books in general and not add them to your catalog, then you need to search from the box that's on the top of every page. Then you can click them and see the details about them, and decide if it's something you want on your wishlist, or whatnot. But the Add books page is specifically for adding to your catalog, and like brightcopy said, there's no more info to be gleaned by clicking on a title there.

    Apr 29, 2013, 12:19pm Top

    Another late bell ringer here. I'll follow Bun's lead and stick with the answering the original questions.

    Basic question

    * What do you think about the current home page?
    * What do you like and/or use from it?
    * What do you want from a home page?

    1) While I've fussed and fudged and messed with the home page quite as much as I can, and it is my bookmark here, I don't find it gives me what I really want. I do have many of the modules turned off, and the ones I have open are often compromise solutions. It's overly busy with too much on it even when pared down. I'd like some sort of option to create a hierarchy -- stuff about the site in one place, stuff about other people's activities in another, stuff about what I'm doing in a third -- so that whatever my particular goal for a visit is, I can go to the area I want and get it done. The current system means I often spend several seconds just trying to find the right box before I do anything. And sometimes I just skip it all and miss out on things because instead of being able to look over what I want and find it, I have to distract myself from my purpose to find what I want. Unless I'm here just to browse, it annoys me.

    2) Since I'm only keeping a personal catalog that doesn't change much, I use my home page mostly for keeping track of site news and what other people -- in particular, people I know or am in conversation with -- are doing. So I use the sections that relate to those purposes, although I don't find them very handy for that because the filtering system requires a lot of anticipation and set up, and has to be reset frequently (and, honestly, tediously). I suppose I am spoiled by Google+, where I can set up groups of people I am following or converse with regularly and one-click a filter to see what they've done recently.

    3) I want a home page to connect to other people. I have a profile where I can keep up with myself and what I've done if I actually need to do that. I'd like a home page that is more of a constantly updating newspaper, telling me about people's reviews, the books they are adding (and where they are adding them), a quick way to enter a conversation in a group or elsewhere. All of that could be in a tabbed page as I described above, so that others who use the home page differently could chose to see what they want first.

    The usership here all have slightly different purposes for the site, which can be grouped, but it's obvious we all have different purposes here or different desires for the site. Of course, a high level of customization would go a long way toward making everyone happy, but that may not be possible. Perhaps by grouping user desires into some basic categories, we could find a decent compromise and get most of what we want, which would help us live with the things we don't like so much.

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 12:41pm Top

    #243 flying_monkeys

    to see if that person and I have enough books in common to validate a friend request or follow. All you have to do over there is click someone's username then click a "Compare Books" link right under their "About Me" box. There's a percentage similarity, a breakdown of # of books in common, a book compatibility test, and a list comparison of their rating and your rating for the same book, for each book on your to-read / read shelves.

    This isn't quite what you're used to, and it doesn't do everything you're used to, but if you click on someone's username (from Talk, or from Members with Your Books, or anyplace where you see the name), you go to that person's profile page. In the right hand column, there is a Books You Share box. It tells you the total number you share, and you can click to see all the books. You can use the settings icon at the top right of that box to choose how you display the books, i.e., in what order. I choose Popularity (low to high) as I find that seeing how many more obscure books we share gives me insight into whether I might be interested in that person's library.* This is actually one of my all time features of LT. You can also choose to view by Author or Book title, and you can view the books in the person's catalog so you can see ratings if that person rates and you've chosen that as one of the columns you view in your library.

    You can also choose how you view Members with Your Books, so that you can see raw totals or weighted totals (so that it reflects the comparative sizes of your libraries) or even recently added books.

    *For example, you and I share 52 books.

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 12:58pm Top

    In terms of LT usage, it seems there are two camps: those who use the site primarily as a book cataloging platform and others who use it more as a social networking platform. There are specific tabs to address each of these functionalities, but when it comes to the home page it seems that trying to fit all that and more is creating a dense screen that limits accessibility to each (which is why people are setting other pages as home pages instead.)

    Perhaps the answer is that there should be fewer, cleaner tabs: e.g. Your Books + Add Books = Book Catalogers' Home Page, Groups + Talk = Social Readers' Home Page and "THE" Home Page serving as a menu of quick button links to the features like Local Events, Zeitgeist, etc.

    Right now learning and curating a LT account is quite a bit of work and admittedly more work than I'd like as I would rather be actually reading; but that doesn't mean I'd like to see fewer features, just simpler functionality.

    Apr 29, 2013, 1:52pm Top

    >251 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I don't think that's quite right. Everyone here is a book cataloger, turning the homepage into just another Your books page wouldn't benefit anyone, we already have that page and it'd just be losing all the info on the home page. And everyone who's in here now are the people who also actually use Talk. What's needed is a way to de-clutter it so that it's actually useful to everyone, not just some people.

    Apr 29, 2013, 2:35pm Top

    252 > Everyone here is a book cataloger

    You may be surprised to learn this is not so. For example, ther is a regular in one of my talk groups who hasn't cataloged any books. She just likes the talk groups, and is a great participant. She has said she has no interest in cataloging any books.

    Apr 29, 2013, 2:57pm Top

    253: " For example, ther is a regular in one of my talk groups who hasn't cataloged any books. She just likes the talk groups, and is a great participant. She has said she has no interest in cataloging any books."

    Oh the heresy!!!!

    Apr 29, 2013, 2:57pm Top

    I'm not a cataloguer.

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 3:03pm Top

    #255 by bunwat> Who cataloged your 500 books, then? :D

    (And are they free this weekend?)

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 3:04pm Top

    255: - but you have close to 500 books registered here, so I'd call you a cataloguer :)

    Apr 29, 2013, 3:06pm Top

    255> But you want books on LT, right? At least the ones you're reading/have read? And I believe I've heard you talk about the joys of the right cover (could be wrong about that, though). There's a wide range of interest in the precision of cataloging - some people are cataloging rare books and want to record every bump and ding, as well as the history of the book; some want the correct edition and cover; and some just want the book. Or a mixture of same - I want the correct edition and cover of books I have now, and just-the-book (preferably, without any edition information - generic edition) for things I read years ago and have no idea as to what the edition actually was. If you want your books listed and correctly identified (as to cover etc), you're a cataloger in the LT sense.

    There are a few who actively don't want to list books (but are good LT citizens, like the one PhaedraB mentions), and more empty and almost-empty libraries that belong to authors and the like who only wanted to spam their books, or pure spammers. Unfortunately it can be hard to tell them apart, if you haven't encountered the good Talker in Talk - so they may get unwarranted nastygrams on occasion.

    But the vast majority of people with LT accounts are catalogers, in at least a mild sense. Including the ones who only catalog and never use Talk, so don't see these threads. I have no idea how such a person would use the Home page, or if s/he would at all (rather than bookmarking straight to their catalog(ue).

    Apr 29, 2013, 3:21pm Top

    Here's my two cents worth ...

    1) I think the homepage is cluttered. High information density is fine, but multiple layers of navigation along with competing pink & green backgrounds plus a mini-profile wrapped in a rounded box is confusing.

    2) Despite the design criticism, I always start on the homepage. I like seeing the covers of my recently added books along with the my collections info. I also catch up on talk topics here, but I wouldn't mind it being removed—you're right, it doesn't make too much sense on a home page.

    3) I would like to see my feed on the front page, along with appropriate covers. There is a lot of cover art on this site—why not showcase it better? I'd love to see a shelf of my "currently reading" covers or "to be read" covers.

    I'm excited to see the changes!

    Apr 29, 2013, 3:25pm Top

    Maybe there's lack of definition in the word "Cataloguer" that's causing the conflict. I keep track of my books because 1) I like to discuss books and keeping the notes of my reading makes that easier 2) I like finding new books 3) I'm tired of buying duplicates so keeping a list helps with that. I tend to think of cataloguers as being concerned with editions, publication dates, the entire contents of their library (my whole library is not here and likely never will be), and other items of information that are mostly irrelevant to me (if I know, great. If I don't, I don't worry about it). So, yes, to me there are at least levels of cataloging going on here, with "hardcore" people, people who just "list", and even people who don't put a single book up. Perhaps with a definition of what constitutes cataloging and what tools they need separate from what someone else who doesn't consider themselves as cataloging need is the dividing line.

    I'd also say it's a little unfair to thrust a label on someone else who has stated they don't accept the label...but that's another discussion for another place and time.

    Apr 29, 2013, 3:40pm Top

    If you want to say that keeping an annotated list of the 500+/- books I've read over the last six years or so makes me a cataloguer then fine, I am one. I'd say that's stretching the definition a fair bit. I dont own most of the books on my shelves, i just read them. I like to be accurate as to the edition and format I read but I think what I'm doing is a lot more like a detailed reading journal than a catalogue. But whatever.

    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 3:48pm Top

    Cataloging, at its heart, is just putting your books into a catalog. From there you can have a wide variety of how much detail you care about. But some people don't even put their books into LT at all. Those are the "non-catalogers."

    ETA: What is now labeled "Your books" used to be labeled "Catalog". Maybe that would make the terminology clearer. :)

    Apr 29, 2013, 4:28pm Top

    Given the initial cause of the comments about cataloging (msg 252) - yes, we're using the LT definition of cataloger, which is someone who lists books (at any level of detail), on LT (or elsewhere, I suppose). There are people who don't read, and people who read but don't care to have any record of the books they own or read - those are not catalogers. Anybody who wants a list of their books (for varying definitions of "their" - owned, read, both, whatever) counts as a cataloger for LT purposes.

    Yes, there's levels - I think of the ones who care intensely about completely accurate editions etc as "librarians", which is at least as inaccurate* as calling anyone who lists books a "cataloger". But you have to have some terms...

    *There are people who work in libraries who have to do that for work and don't do it for their own books. There are people who work in libraries/have degrees (MLS?) in library science/whatever who do it at work and for their own books. And there are people who have never worked in a library or gotten a library degree who do it for their own books, just because they want to.

    Apr 29, 2013, 4:58pm Top

    Potato pohtahto. However you define the term - the relevant question is what does that mean for the home page? Is the point that most users add a book at some point and therefore it should be possible to do that from the home page? Or that it isn't necessary because the add books page does that? Rather than being drawn off into "LT definitions" of words...

    Apr 29, 2013, 5:13pm Top

    I think many join to catalogue and stay to talk whether they get round to cataloguing or not

    Apr 29, 2013, 6:09pm Top

    As a tangent, tell me what you think about font sizes.


    Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 9:42pm Top

    I use the home page all the time because it never occurred to me to start elsewhere. I guess I just am not that flexible. The past couple of days I have tried starting from Talk, but it is too overwhelming. What I like best about the home page is "Recently Added Books", "From the Blogs" and the Search for Your Books place. I occasionally look at the Recommendations and the books recently added, hot this month etc. I confess I have never been tempted to customize it because having stuff on there I rarely look at is better than missing something because I have deleted the module.

    Edited: Apr 30, 2013, 9:18am Top

    from #249> "Perhaps by grouping user desires into some basic categories, we could find a decent compromise and get most of what we want, which would help us live with the things we don't like so much."

    This is good thinking.

    I would fall into the category of hyper-cataloguer who only wants to use Talk for topics related to LT. I barely even read books. I just collect and catalog them. I don't care about so.many features here. What I want is more access to the data of LT, so I can be more efficient in my obsession as a "Combiner!"

    eta: For the readers of LT, there should be a spot that says things like, "soandso read 148,000 pages in their lifetime, 35,000 pages last year, has read a stack of books as tall as the Golden Gate Bridge, and is currently reading 4 nonfictions and 3 novels!"
    For people like me, "whoandwho combined 59 works today, separated 32 works, added author DOBs 5 times. She added 6 Important Places and made 7 "contained in" contributions! Last year, she made 47,862 CK contributions!"


    Apr 30, 2013, 9:55am Top

    >268 Collectorator: And what about for the many of us who do both of those things? People keep acting like there's this huge division down the middle of people who do This or That, and for the most part that's largely untrue.

    Apr 30, 2013, 10:18am Top

    269. Ok! I give up! :)

    Apr 30, 2013, 10:20am Top

    >269 .Monkey.:

    It's a bimodal distribution. We're just arguing over the size of the Bactrian camel's humps.

    Apr 30, 2013, 10:41am Top


    Edited: Apr 30, 2013, 12:41pm Top

    #250 Thank you, rebeccanyc!

    I knew there HAD to be a way to make that work better. Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I've been so focused on moving my library over to LT that I haven't really had a chance to dig into most site features. (I didn't discover Power Edit until four days into importing / cleaning up imports LOL.) I'll definitely edit those settings in Books You Share.

    Apr 30, 2013, 8:14pm Top

    I'm still cataloguing my stuff, so I use the homepage to reorient myself about progress. Recently added is important to me, I like to take a glimpse at the way my collections are changing and I always check up on the groups I'm watching. However, I have no idea yet how I will use the site once I go back to reading...

    May 1, 2013, 6:36pm Top

    * What do you think about the current home page?
    I'm fairly comfortable with it as is, but there's always room for improvement.

    * What do you like and/or use from it?
    Things I use regularly: Link to blog posts, News, Announcements, Your top tags, Your collections, Recently added (love this)

    Look at occasionally: Recently added by other members, Recent recommendations, Connection news, Members with your books, On this day

    Things I don't use much: Talk (it's easier just to go to the Talk tab), Member giveaways, Author Chats, What members are reading, Hot this month, Early Reviewers (usually go to this direct from the blog post), Local events, Top wish list books

    * What do you want from a home page?
    I want it to be a hub from which to get to any part of LT. I usually am on it a couple of times per session, though not always; sometimes I just go direct to Talk or to Add Books.

    I like your ideas on revising the home page, in #1 above. Loading time is an issue; it's one of the slower pages to load, though not nearly as slow as Your Books (I do have a fairly large library).

    Something I would love would be a module on the home page that listed the Talk Groups I'm in with a the number of new posts in that group (this being a link to the group's page). All I want is the number. This would make it so much more convenient to read Talk!

    And I want TAG WATCH back!!! Pleeeease, pretty please with cheese on it!

    May 4, 2013, 11:35am Top

    If you'll give them tagwatch back, I'll promise not to use it. ;)

    May 5, 2013, 3:33am Top

    I'm going through this carefully, checking off everything someone says they like a feature a lot or some. I'm also tracking new feature suggestions, general use/disuse and like/hate. Wow. It's taking me a while.

    Two basic tensions I notice:

    * Between a "static" home page and a "moving" one. Some people want a home base from which to go off and see stuff, some want a "newspaper."
    * Between stuff about you and stuff going on on the site. (Most starkly this is "about me" vs. "about LibraryThing" but there's obviously an in-between—things like connection news that are about others, but others relative to you.) So, on the one hand you have people saying that the home page needs to be constantly different or people won't visit it, and people who want a launching pad and eschew the sorts of things that would be different—a FB-like feed, for example.

    May 5, 2013, 7:38am Top

    Maybe the things "about me" belong on the profile, and the launching pad items belong on the home page.

    May 5, 2013, 7:48am Top

    #278 by Collectorator>
    yes, that's a good idea. perhaps the change of the homepage is more closely related to changes on the profile page than we originally thought.

    Edited: May 5, 2013, 10:44am Top

    278-9: Yeah, I think that's what I was trying to get at in post 101 above.

    On the other hand, since some people do seem to use the home page just for "my" stuff/activity, maybe the answer is 2 different view options or parts of the homepage. Personally, I think the "my stuff" part of the homepage and the profile should be more or less 2 versions of the same thing, just with a distinction between the version I see and the version I show to others. The basic info and features on each should be the same.

    Here's one suggestion: Tim talked about a navigation bar on the left that would control modules. So, divide the home page into different "views" or "sections," each with different modules. (Each view/sub-page should have a own distinct URL, not just be ajaxed in -- so that we can navigate directly to the view.) Have those views or sections be switchable on the left, and also provide an option for a custom view so that people can mix and match modules from different "views."

    The leftnav would thus contain links for several different views that you could switch between; you could set which of these was your default:
    My stuff/books
    (with all the modules about recently added books, search box, new add/edit books module, zeitgeist for tracking my activity, link to lists, link to personal wiki page, recommendations, tag watch, Local, etc.)
    (ETA: anything found on the profile page should also be found here, e.g. viewing comments, ability to edit what others see on the profile, adding pictures, etc.)

    My connections / interactions
    -- modules for Connection News, Talk, list of my groups, mwyb (or mabye mwyp in "my stuff"?) - basically for all the "social" side of LT.

    LibraryThing news/home
    -- links to blogs, announcements, ER, hot reviews, hot this month, etc. (all the stuff on right hand side)

    Customized view (or "launch pad"?)
    -- a view where you can add and move around modules from any of the above.
    (or maybe "Mixed" view would be a better term, or something like that: there could even be a default mixture, not unlike what we have now, but with the ability to add more, take things away, move things around, including between the left and right columns.)

    Another possibility would be a "Helpers" view or "My Projects" view, which might contain modules relevant to combining, CK, uploading pictures, group projects on the wiki, etc. Not sure if that would warrant its own view/sub-page, though, or whether it would go with "My stuff."

    Anyway, just some thoughts.

    May 5, 2013, 10:43am Top

    As an aside, LT *really* needs a list of features, either all its features, or at least most of them. This doesn't need to be on the homepage, but the homepage should contain a link to a sitemap or something listing all the features.

    There's a bunch of stuff that's really hard to find.

    May 5, 2013, 1:10pm Top

    "There's a bunch of stuff that's really hard to find." Amen to that!

    May 5, 2013, 1:30pm Top

    >281 rsterling: Hear, hear!

    I'd rather have a site map or feature list than my current collection of browser bookmarks.

    May 5, 2013, 1:39pm Top

    >281 rsterling:-283 But where is your sense of adventure? I figure LT is like a cluttered used bookstore -- you poke around and suddenly find marvelous treasures.

    May 5, 2013, 1:54pm Top

    the idea about the "about me" or "relative to me" being on the profile page makes sense to me. i've never used my profile page at all, except to get messages that i see pop up in the upper corner of the homepage, but i would definitely use it for this. and this lets the option of the homepage still being static for those who want it. i probably wouldn't use it almost at all, as long as i could get my connection news and my talk information from the profile page, though.

    Edited: May 6, 2013, 8:57am Top

    Hmm. Does it really make sense to put "me-stuff" on the public Profile page, while putting site maps and static navigation stuff on the private Home page?

    Sounds backward to me.

    May 6, 2013, 9:14am Top

    286, I take it to mean that the "me stuff" is stuff that you want others to see that pertains to you. It's not "me stuff" like stuff I care about.

    This is sounding crazy. Let me try with an example.
    I care about my books that have had a CK entry made to them. That would be for the home page.
    I make tons of CK entries on all kinds of books, resulting in a weekly stat. That would be for the profile page.

    Site maps and static navigation stuff would go on the home page in a selectable/collapsible module because I may or may not want to display it to myself.

    May 6, 2013, 4:59pm Top

    Here's one suggestion: Tim talked about a navigation bar on the left that would control modules. So, divide the home page into different "views" or "sections," each with different modules. (Each view/sub-page should have a own distinct URL, not just be ajaxed in -- so that we can navigate directly to the view.) Have those views or sections be switchable on the left, and also provide an option for a custom view so that people can mix and match modules from different "views."… you could set which of these was your default

    That's the basic plan. The only difference would be that the "Dashboard" would be the default for all. You can decide what goes on it.

    I'm not entirely convinced on the URL scheme. I think it's going to use the hash method—that is, the page you want will be after the # of the URL. That allows you to ajax stuff in but also have stable URLS.

    Your categories are the sort of things we're thinking about. Here's one proposal:

    Dashboard (LINK)
    Your feed (LINK)

    About you (LINK)
    Recommendations (LINK)
    Statistics (LINK)

    Books (LINK)
    Reviews (LINK)
    Community (LINK)
    Helpers (LINK)

    Edited: May 7, 2013, 1:12am Top

    287, 288 > Well, if Home and Profile is going all modular, how about letting each user decide what goes on their Home (private) or Profile (public) page? Judging by the discussion so far, tastes differ.

    Edited: May 7, 2013, 1:36am Top

    You will certainly be able to decide what goes on your dashboard. I don't think we're going to make it possible to move things between the other sections—you won't be able to move the reviews modules onto the recommendations page. But you'll be able to move them on and off your dashboard, and edit the preferences elsewhere.

    As for the profile, yes, but it's not going to happen first. Home page first.

    May 8, 2013, 5:16pm Top

    I'm pretty new to LT and am rushing to add hundreds of books as I pack them before I relocate in July. So I haven't paid much attention to the home page so far. But I very much would like to see the Search Your Books box be available at all times, regardless of where I am on the site.

    Thanks (and thanks for creating LT!).

    May 9, 2013, 3:05am Top

    >291 GS_2013: Amen to that!

    Not that I don't use or don't need the other search boxes. I do. But the Search Your Books box is magic.

    Edited: May 9, 2013, 4:19am Top

    Just throwing out an idea here... would people prefer that the Site Search box that's on every page default to searching their books?

    Perhaps the function of that box could be context sensitive -- if you're in talk, it defaults to talk, if you're in a catalog it defaults to that catalog (yours or someone elses) -- or would that be too confusing?

    Hmm... one problem: if the site search box did a search of your books, you'd probably want the results to be displayed in a standard catalog list, in which case it's not easy to change the search after the fact as you can with the site-wide search.

    Perhaps it could have a dropdown to select the main options - Your Books, Works, Talk (possibly others) - and then after showing the results the search term would still be there so you could change the option.

    May 9, 2013, 4:39am Top

    nod see the single switchable search box sugestion in 171 this so does not suck.

    Edited: May 9, 2013, 5:08am Top

    293, 294 > No. "The Search Your Library" and "Search the Site" each have loads of options as is. Which is - not certainly, but probably - why they work slower and deliver more ambigious results than the "simpler" (more foucused, really) "Search Your Books". Combining all types of search into a "Do Everything" button is not the way to go.

    Edited: May 9, 2013, 5:27am Top

    293> No! And certainly not context sensitive. There are plenty of special context sensitive search boxes on the various pages. The general search box should be simple and predictable.

    I like being able to search quickly for a book or author at the top of any page. (I usually chose a tab at random that I had opened, but now no longer need.) Any time saved by being able to change the first search up there would be undone by having it search something I didn't want the next time because I had forgotten to check what it was set as.

    Edited: May 9, 2013, 5:36am Top

    The Search site box already has a Your Books option after you've done the search, which I think does exactly the same thing as Search your books from the home page. My suggestion is basically to make that the default, with the option then to change to a site-wide search, instead of the other way around. (The suggestion was inspired by #291, who wanted Search your Books available everywhere, and geitebukkeskjegg seconding it in #292.)

    E.g. As it is now, if I want to find Leviathan Wakes in my books, I can enter that in the "Site search" box on any page, then click the Your Books link on the search results page (and I don't even have to wait for the results to load fully). If most people want to search their own books more often than the whole site, that search box could search their own books first, with the option after that to search the full site.

    I'm not suggesting adding more options, just changing the default -- if that's what most people would want -- and perhaps changing where those options are displayed, to make them more immediately accessible.

    Personally, I'm happy enough using the Site search box and then switching the results to my books afterwards. I.e. I wouldn't vote for this suggestion, but I wouldn't vote against it either.

    May 9, 2013, 5:34am Top

    If I'm on a page that is about myself (home, profile, your books) I already have a search box for my books available. If I'm on some other page I probably want to check out a book that someone mentioned without using a touchstone or that I read about somewhere else.

    May 9, 2013, 9:32am Top



    May 9, 2013, 9:53am Top

    Also no.

    May 9, 2013, 10:11am Top

    293> No

    May 9, 2013, 10:17am Top

    Here is an example search box from a site that I visit that I like:


    The part that stands out to me is having the options drop down. Allowing you to select exactly what you want to search.

    May 9, 2013, 10:57am Top

    I wouldn't want the main site search box to default to searching my books. But I do think it should have a drop-down. I've never really liked the 2-click search system for anything but works, and I think it's confusing for new members.

    May 9, 2013, 11:16am Top

    As I recall, Tim's response when this has been brought up before is that having a drop-down on the search box is too fiddly, and Tim hates fiddly. Tim wants LT to be the IPhone of the Internet.

    May 9, 2013, 11:21am Top

    I think the Comicvine thing gets it right in an important way.

    May 9, 2013, 11:40am Top

    I like it too. Not just a dropdown, but a dropdown that allows multiple filters. It's fiddly, but it's fiddly in a useful way. And the bottom ones with Check all and Uncheck all help a lot. It also makes it really obvious what you will and won't be searching - no subtle highlights or marks scrolled out of view.

    May 9, 2013, 12:08pm Top

    Ideally I'd like to keep the site search just as it is, up in the corner of every page, AND have a Search Your Books box on every page, perhaps to the left of it.
    I want quick-and-dirty searches right up top, not something I have to pull down, or choose options before I can even enter my terms. I know there are ways to search you own books from the site search and from the Your Books tab, but those are available only after taking other steps first.

    May 9, 2013, 12:15pm Top

    308 > "I want quick-and-dirty searches right up top, not something I have to pull down, or choose options before I can even enter my terms."


    May 9, 2013, 12:45pm Top

    wouldn't your options be saved with a cookie? thus not having to reinput them all the time?

    May 9, 2013, 1:34pm Top

    You wouldn't have to enter anything. Either it would always default to the current search or the last search you specified would stick.

    May 9, 2013, 1:58pm Top

    >311 timspalding: Either it would always default to the current search or the last search you specified would stick.

    Er. Actually, that sounds like I often would have to change something.

    Like the comicvine functionality, but it's quite the opposite of the home-page search box's über-simplicity.

    Edited: May 9, 2013, 2:20pm Top

    I am happy with the way things are now with regard to search. I usually use the top right box to search LT. If I want to search my own catalog and am not on my home page, I just click "my books" and away I go! Even that is not really necessary, as mentioned above because the general search gives you the option on the results page to narrow the focus to "your books". I think anything more "fiddly" ends up being more work even though it appears on the surface to be more convenient.

    Best wishes,


    May 9, 2013, 2:58pm Top

    Don't know if anyone brought this up, but I find it mildly odd that I can search someone else's library from their profile page, but not my own.

    May 9, 2013, 3:23pm Top

    "Don't know if anyone brought this up, but I find it mildly odd that I can search someone else's library from their profile page, but not my own."

    I agree.

    May 9, 2013, 3:34pm Top

    It goes to the point—the Profile is intended to be "you as other see you" not a launch pad for you. If that's failing—and in some ways it is—then the problem is the lack of a good homepage not the presence of you-directed functionality on a page that's designed for others.

    May 9, 2013, 4:05pm Top

    Perhaps clarify that intended function by naming the revised page Public Profile, and perhaps the revised home Private Home Page.

    It's clear to me, and has been for awhile, but it seems not to be self-evident, especially to visitors and new members.

    May 9, 2013, 4:34pm Top

    I've read many of the posts on this topic and perhaps I am a dissenting voice but I like the home page as it is - I like all the little bits and pieces and all the information that is accessible in this way. If you change it all please ensure that we do not loose that depth of connectedness. Incidentally I have been doing some internet searches of late for corporate information and I find that the drop down boxes with a list of what you will find is the most helpful to get to where one wants; companies putting in real information get my vote. Something that I find missing in LT ( but perhaps it is there and I have just not found it) is the info on the 700 odd libraries from around the world through which LT accesses catalogue information. I am fascinated by the diverse spread of these libraries and the fact that in Africa there are only 2 participating libraries . Does the new Library in Alex contribute? ( though I think its book holdings are pretty thin)- excellent as an electronic location What about a map showing where the 700 libraries are located?

    May 9, 2013, 6:00pm Top

    I never use the search box in the upper right corner. I made a bookmark button for the main search page that I use for everything.

    May 9, 2013, 10:00pm Top

    fix the cigarette lighter

    May 10, 2013, 1:18am Top

    I used the comicvine search field and want to use it again.

    I cannot even look at the ugly two-faced LT search fields.

    May 10, 2013, 8:25am Top

    > 317

    You can rename the home page to whatever you want, but that wouldn't make me use it.

    Edited: May 11, 2013, 4:57pm Top

    @timspalding :
    #316 It goes to the point—the Profile is intended to be "you as other see you" not a launch pad for you.

    If others see a search box to search in my library with, I don't see my profile as others see me.

    May 14, 2013, 6:17am Top

    Less than one week away! :D

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