Standardization of "left nav" design
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LibraryThing's design needs a lot of help. One thing it needs is just standardization--the same sorts of things need to look the same on different pages.
I've just completed a standardization of the "left nav" on LibraryThing. The "left nav" is what we call LibraryThing's secondary, left-aligned navigation, used on Talk, Groups, Recommendations, More and so forth. At root the PHP and HTML code for this nav was the same across the site, but major differences crept into how the navigation was displayed.
I've gone ahead and standardized it, basing it on the one used in Talk, which fastens itself to the very left edge of the page. But I added a blue "call out" by the selected item, which was previously just bold. I think this helps somewhat.
Some of the old "left navs":
Here are the new ones.
You can see the new left nav here:
http://www.librarything.com/profile/timspalding/stats/library (slightly wider, breaking the standard)
Let me know what you think.
It doesn't do anything unless you're in a topic. I suppose that is how it should work? I dunno.
More options did not work for me until a refresh either...
I always wonder why 'favourite messages' are there instead of in 'my world' but that's another discussion most likely.
Very nice Tim.
Even with a hard-refresh, the "More options" link on the main Talk page itself doesn't seem to do anything (on a thread page it breaks out and shows the various options, but not from the main Talk page). Others seeing the same thing?
Same here - Chromium Version 25.0.1364.160 Ubuntu 13.04. Works on a topic page, not on Talk
add: and when I hit edit my message doesn't show just a blank box - albeit with the correct options underneath.
Wonder what it will do...
And now I can't edit my message either - tried to add FF 20 and Mac OS...
It showed a blank box with correct options but when I hit saved it did not appear...
10> I don't think Tim wants the nav bar to float. He could do it easily of he wanted. It's a design choice.
Can anyone else edit their message - properly?
ADD: OK now it is working... WT.. ?
19> It's probably caching. Sometimes it gets a little out of whack when a new change is pushed.
"More options" doesn't work. What's under there?
I guess I can't really comment until that's working and I know what's there!
Favorite Messages and Ignored Topics.
But only if you are in a thread. On the main Talk page it doesn't work.
On the main Talk page it doesn't work.
That's silly. It's not intuitive. If it's there, it ought to work.
Based on the comments above (including from Jeremy, I think it's a bug at the moment :-)
Commenting on the overall look-and-feel, I like both the consistency, the blue font, and the blue call-out. Nice.
The more-options thing is a bug—I only changed the look. I suspect this changed because the showing or not showing is based on a style. I'll look into it.
Is anyone else having problems saving. This really shouldn't have changed anything there.
Looks fine, and good to have standardization. Personally, I liked the look of the black/white/grey/highlighted box navigation (more modern/clean) better than the blue links, but that's an aesthetic thing.
Ditto for personal preference, but making them the same on the various pages makes sense.
Yeah, agreed with 30, the other look was a bit sleeker. But this is alright.
I like them, particularly that they are all the same, giving a common look. However, in the "stats menu" the "Helper badges" page doesn't seem to have been updated and the "Librarything Local" has a gap between the side of the page and the menu.
This is using Chrome on Win7.
Also not updated here yet:
30> Yeah, basically repeating that comment and the personal preference thing. I loved the white slider-bar looking highlighty bits, though it wasn't necessarily immediately obvious.
Snort. Well, a blog post, SOTT, a vendor who wants me to tell them what percentage of a list of ebooks we can enhance, setting up a trip to New York to meet with two companies, etc. Two sharing features may come out today, but they're dependent on an outside company approving something.
Also not updated here yet:
I don't like blue callout box to the left. It draws my eyes out to the lefthand wastelands where nothing happens.
Not a big thing, I'm likely to get used to it, but I thought I'd mention it as others didn't seem to like it either.
Yeah, I'm not real happy with that little blue box. Not a huge complaint, just a small annoyance.
I'd have to agree that I like the other box better. I do think part of the problem with the little blue call out is that it is smushed there against the edge of the window and just blends into the edge of my browser window. I think a bit of padding at the edge of the box would make it more noticeable and useful.
I think the last two messages show the problems in designing for a large site. Basically, one person finds it draws too much attention to itself. The next feels like it doesn't stick out enough. Whaddyagonnado? :D
I would prefer that it not be there at all. Much too eye pulling.
Just the bold that we have had until now. I don't see the point of the blue square.
I don't mind the blue. Back when there was a neon-toothpaste highlight box, I hated it with a fiery passion, but the blue sidebar isn't nearly as obtrusive.
I don't find it obtrusive at all, it doesn't bother me in the least. I just think the other style that Tim replaced everywhere was a much sleeker, more pleasing look.
48> Me, too.
But I also recall having to relearn several times that the white bar highlighting bit indicated which page I was on and wasn't a header/label of some kind. I love the way it looks, but it really isn't necessarily immediately obvious what it means. The blue links with the blue flag are much more common in navigation language on the web, I suppose.
(And I just realized another possible reason the little blue flag is a good design choice - it echoes the darker section of the header of your own posts in talk threads.)
Seems like several people preferred the look of the black and gray font with the box rather than the blue links with little blue rectangle. I wonder how widespread that preference is. Poll? Maybe with a side-by-side comparison of a before and after for the same page?
#51 by rsterling> Yeah, but you'll have to start a brand new thread. And phrase it PERFECTLY. ;)
The other aspect is simply time. ANY change always sticks out until your brain has time to tune it out. As it stands, in talk we're used to seeing a sidebar chocked full of blue links all the time. Yet we tune it out for the most part. I think in a year, people won't even notice.
52 -Yeah, I don't have any major objection to it (the new design), and don't notice it much. I just think it's not as pretty/sleek/modern. If LT wants to modernize its visual design, I think the previous nav was a step in the right direction, while this revision looks more dated (eta: mostly because of the dominance of the "blue link").
Why is there a "cursor: pointer" on the entire .leftnav div? I keep clicking on what I think is one of the links, but instead am just clicking on the empty space to its right.
I too find the little blue box a little weird. I mean, the option we've selected is in bold -- isn't that enough?
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