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1timspalding
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 7:39pm Top

See blog post (http://www.librarything.com/blog/2009/01/new-home-page.php).

We're still working on it. It's also key that it shouldn't be too hard to change the color scheme.

2AndrewB
Jan 12, 2009, 7:36pm Top

Wow, that looks great!

3jbd1
Jan 12, 2009, 7:36pm Top

Ooh, flashy! I like it!

4infiniteletters
Jan 12, 2009, 7:48pm Top

Shiny. The blurbs on the bottom still look like ads, kinda. Any chance of getting some type of quote display for them, or even "see more quotes"?

5timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 7:49pm Top

Well, there is a quote displayed there. Don't you see it?

6jlspad
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 8:06pm Top

I can't see the new version - it won't let me log in - the button does absolutely nothing :(

I am logged in just fine on the old version, and can logout/log in. I'm using Firefox 3 on Mac.

Edited to add: I guess I can see it, I just can't use it.

7Mercenary_Roadie
Jan 12, 2009, 8:21pm Top

I only see the old home page. It doesn't matter if I use the links on the blog.

8lorax
Jan 12, 2009, 8:24pm Top

Oh, I like it.

9PhaedraB
Jan 12, 2009, 8:26pm Top

Only the old page when using FF3 on a Mac

10Joles
Jan 12, 2009, 8:26pm Top

*sniffle* I can't see the new one... but the blog pic looks very nice!

11bernsad
Jan 12, 2009, 8:31pm Top

The link to the new one won't work.

12laurion
Jan 12, 2009, 8:39pm Top

New front page is a breath of fresh air!

13timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 8:39pm Top

Sorry, some people were locked out of the new page. Now all can see it. If you don't, hit refresh on the page.

14_Zoe_
Jan 12, 2009, 8:42pm Top

It's definitely an improvement over the old one, but if possible, I think it should show more signed-in-homepage-like modules. The Current Activity that's listed on this new homepage doesn't really invite me to explore the site.

15lgaikwad
Jan 12, 2009, 8:44pm Top

Looks great! BUT, I can't sign in on the new page nor get to the old one.
When I click "Sign In," it just sits as if the button isn't connected. The lower right of the task bar says "Done." I'll check back later to see if it is working.

btw, I love librarything! Thanks for all you do with it.

16sabreuse
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 8:47pm Top

>5 timspalding:, the issue with the quote for me was that I expected the quotes to change as I either moused over or clicked the different logos; it looks either broken or like it's still a prototype. (And layout-wise, while they don't read to me as advertising at all, it took a bit of mental/visual gymnastics to connect them more generally with "buzz" as indicated further up the page.)

edit: Or is it still a prototype? I took the blog post to mean that it's actually up, but in A/B testing. I could be wrong.

more edit: But what I meant to say when I came into the thread was that I really like the new look overall.

17timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 8:57pm Top

>15 lgaikwad:

Try it now?

>14 _Zoe_:

We had a version with lots of little areas, but it was complex and fiddly. I feel like between the tour and the activity you get a flavor for the site. The activity is a good one for bang-for-the-buck—links to works, authors, members and reviews.

18timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 8:58pm Top

>16 sabreuse:

It's in A/B testing.

Doing a mouse-over on the logos would be good, I think. I'll look into. Non-trivial positioning. And we'll have to dig up what they said...

19sqdancer
Jan 12, 2009, 9:02pm Top

And we'll have to dig up what they said...

You mean you didn't frame them and hang them in your office? ;-)

20timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 9:05pm Top

It's embarrassing, but my wife made a giant collage...

21Mercenary_Roadie
Jan 12, 2009, 9:09pm Top

Tim,

Under the "CHECK IT OUT" area. The word "Sign up" in the second bullet should be a link to the sign up page.

22timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 9:26pm Top

>21 Mercenary_Roadie:

Good point. There IS no sign-up page. It's the same page. But clicking it highlights the area and puts the cursor there. It should be pretty clear.

23destaphiton
Jan 12, 2009, 9:28pm Top

Using FF3 on XP, no extensions, loaded the page and saw the new login field but msg in the top right said I was already logged in (as I usually am). Tried to login for the heck of it, nothing happened.

Then I logged out and tried to log in, could not log in either by hitting enter or clicking. Tried to load the old page, wouldn't load. Left a msg on the blog since I couldn't get to this thread.

Then on a lark I cleared cache and cookies, loaded the page, login form worked. Here I am!

Looks like 15 had the same problem I had and you fixed it.

Yay!

24Mercenary_Roadie
Jan 12, 2009, 9:30pm Top

Tim,

Much better.

25skittles
Jan 12, 2009, 9:32pm Top

can you make sure that the books in recent activity don't link to spam?

Perhaps that the members entering those books must be paid members (without telling anyone)?

or that the books showing are ones that already have 100+ copies entered? (again without telling anyone)

26timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 9:36pm Top

>25 skittles:

Have you seen any? It does to a check—the book has to have a cover, which means it has to have an ISBN.

27CarolO
Jan 12, 2009, 9:36pm Top

Nice - it still feels like LibraryThing while appearing fresh.

How often will the recent activity update? The more often the better...to keep from feeling stale or -worse- like there isn't any recent activity.

28fyrefly98
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 9:45pm Top

I like it! It's cleaner and definitely pops more than the old one.

I'm with #15 on expecting the quotes to change with a mouse-over - just having the one is strange.

Oh, and the recently-added changed on a refresh! Love that.

A thought: Could the recent activity easily be limited to one per user? Otherwise, if someone's importing books, or going down their catalog clicking stars, you get an entire box dominated by one or two users.

29rsterling
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 10:03pm Top

Looks nice. Still not crazy about the colors, but they're not preventing me using the site every day....

However, what's no longer there are the links to explore areas of the site: examples of members' profiles, etc. Is there any way this could be less like a locked gate, so people can have a look around - and understand how to have a look around - before they decide to sign up? One of the reasons I always avoided GR, though I've had a couple of invites, was that I couldn't check it out without setting up an account. I always liked that LT was open, so that I could send a link to friends, show them my catalog, etc. without them having to sign up or jump through any hoops.* Has there been a move away from that openness?

*(I mean, of course, when I had my library public. It's private now for unrelated reasons, but I plan to make it public again in the future.)

Edited to add: D'oh! I just realized the recent activity has live links to members, books, and authors, so there's no need for those kinds of links to members' profiles, etc. Still, I did like the encouragement to explore that the old homepage had more explicitly.

Edited again to add: I really like the addition of recent activity to the sign-in page.

30rsterling
Jan 12, 2009, 9:50pm Top

BTW, the link for the old version is not working. It might be nice to have access to the old one for a while: for one thing, it would help to have it for comparison when translating the new homepage, so that we keep things consistent.

31skittles
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 9:59pm Top

#26: No, I didn't, but I was just 'afraid' of seeing Vi@gra & fake book/works... much like the spam groups ... too many & they don't need to be seen.

I thought if there was an arbitrary number/quantity that it would be a better "block" but having a cover/ISBN works for me!

32staffordcastle
Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 10:13pm Top

I agree with what fyrefly98 said in #28 - it would be nice to have the recent activity scattered a bit more. Though I can understand that might be a bit finicky coding.

Also agree about the mouse-over for the quotes.

On the whole, I like it; the two dark red-brown buttons(?) for Sign In and Join Now are awfully dark, though.

33Thrin
Jan 12, 2009, 10:04pm Top

Very pleasing, fresh look. Just a minor quibble though: For some newcomers to the site the words "join...book club" and "Amazon" might be a turn-off.

34pmarshall
Jan 12, 2009, 10:18pm Top

I was very surprised to be faced with the new home page and I really like it. The only suggestion I have is to add more colour ro the stack of books. Thanks Tim et al.

35BGP
Jan 12, 2009, 10:19pm Top

Tim, I would include a handful of example profiles under "check it out" (a la the old home page)...

36Heather19
Jan 12, 2009, 10:23pm Top

I have to say I really like it. I'm almost always logged in, so I doubt I'll see it much, but I like it. And actually I accidentally saw the new home page for the first time today when my internet froze and logged me out... I was like "wooooah cool!". lol

*shrugs* I like the colors.

37bcobb
Jan 12, 2009, 10:41pm Top

On dial-up (v slow. AOL, XP-Pro, IE) it doesn't have any images for me, just a white box (on left with text) and pastel box on right with log in stuff. Asked for log in, even though tiny print at top indicated I was already logged in - as always - and didn't need to use it.

If this is a way to make it great for dial-up users (eliminating unnecessary graphics to make page loading beter) then, THANK YOU!

Just reporting in case it's an error, however.

cobb

38PortiaLong
Jan 12, 2009, 10:43pm Top

The stack of books on the left side of the top "box" doesn't display correctly for me on the new homepage - you can just see a tiny sliver of the bottom right part of the image in the upper left corner of the box. (That side of the box is mainly just white space - rest of the page looks ok.)

xp/IE6

39lquilter
Jan 12, 2009, 10:50pm Top

Needs a period after "Take the tour".

40manque
Jan 12, 2009, 11:35pm Top

Fantastic! Looks great! Kudos to the design team. A huge improvement over the old page.

41timspalding
Jan 12, 2009, 11:59pm Top

On dial-up (v slow. AOL, XP-Pro, IE) it doesn't have any images for me, just a white box (on left with text) and pastel box on right with log in stuff. Asked for log in, even though tiny print at top indicated I was already logged in - as always - and didn't need to use it.

The logged-in status is because I wanted to show it to members. Once members have commented I'll change it to "You're already logged in" or whatever. Until today you couldn't see the main page if you were signed in.

42veracity
Jan 13, 2009, 12:24am Top

Looks fabulous. A great improvement on the old one.

43Anneli
Jan 13, 2009, 12:36am Top

I am not sure (yet) what to think but one thing caught my eye: book pile picture is kind of dim (muted) compared to other pictures on the page.

44timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 12:38am Top

Yeah, it's intentionally "knocked back." I like it that way, but ... I hear you.

I think the effect is hurting IE6, though.

45jjmcgaffey
Jan 13, 2009, 1:31am Top

I like it. It's much less of a change that some of the stuff we were debating on the long thread, but it's much cleaner and more eye-catching (the old one was just rows of text. Which looked fine at the time, but comparing the two...).

I've always liked LT's color scheme (well, except when the beige went pure pink), so I like that the new page has pretty much the standard colors. I wouldn't mind experimenting a little, but the saturation is just about right (no strong colors as background, no faint ones on buttons or text). Again, very clean and easy to see.

46bookel
Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 2:17am Top

Nice home page. Text at bottom is too big for the blurb but that's just for me. The rest is proportionally accurate.

A couple questions: Is there a secure sign in?

And also I thought when I clicked the sign in page I had bookmarked (when signed in) it would automatically recognize I was signed in and would go to my home page. Now I have to make an extra click to get there. (I just bookmarked the home page though so perhaps that doesn't matter, but just wondered if the old home page recognized if you were signed in or not?).

(PS. Tim did you see my additional post re the header frames?)

47timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 2:20am Top

>46 bookel:

Well, the redirect is off now so people can look at it without signing out.

>46 bookel:

No, where?

48bookel
Jan 13, 2009, 2:26am Top

At the bottom here.

49anzlitlovers
Jan 13, 2009, 2:52am Top

I don't mind which one as long as I don't have to keep logging in. I like LT to remember me on my PC here at home.
Lisa in Oz

50bookel
Jan 13, 2009, 2:55am Top

Oh I see the redirect is turned off. 49 just click Home if you're already signed in (or Profile) and it'll take you to those places. I assume the redirect will be turned back on soon.

51timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 2:59am Top

I'm not sure actually. As it is now, if you are signed in, both the logo and the home tab take you to your home. I'm not sure the home page should be absolutely excluded from being seen when you are signed in. Rather, maybe the sign-in box should be clear you're signed in and give you a link to your home?

52Lman
Jan 13, 2009, 3:02am Top

I can't get this new home page to come up - in two browsers now Opera and FF - it must be me again. The old one shows, even after a reload; and I did get thrown out before and had to log back in... *sigh*

I might reboot my computer...

:(

53timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 3:05am Top

If you don't click the special links on the blog, half of all users get the new home page.

54pechmerle
Jan 13, 2009, 3:10am Top

"LibraryThing connects you to people who read the same things."

-- Tim, that's too limiting. One of the great virtues of this site is the exposure one gets outside one's typical reading patterns. I've broadened my reading in several directions after getting/seeing good tips from other members. So -- I think it should read just:

"LibaryThing connects you to people who read."

(That's also closer to the Google-like zen-simplicity the new home page seems to be aiming for.)

55bookel
Jan 13, 2009, 3:10am Top

Well, I always preferred to be redirected to my home page if I was already signed in... saved an extra click. But I've taken an extra step of saving my home page in bookmarks now, hopefully that'll redirect to sign in when I try tomorrow.

56andyl
Jan 13, 2009, 3:40am Top

One question I have is that the recent activity shows the title as retrieved / entered by the user. Would it be cleaner and nicer to show the canonical title of the work? Or would that be too expensive anyway?

I would also add "Find out what book events are taking place near you" to the bullets on the left. LT Local is something that is (or should be) a selling point. Also another bullet would make the left box look more balanced to my non-designer eye.

57sunny
Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 3:43am Top

Very well done! :-)

58reading_fox
Jan 13, 2009, 4:01am Top

Like it.

Shiney and matches the design of the rest of the site.

59Passer_Invenit
Jan 13, 2009, 4:03am Top

I like the look of it. I don't like the "Recent Activity" thing, though -- I don't want my activities on the site to be plastered all over its front page, as it were. Is there a way to opt out of that?

60klarusu
Jan 13, 2009, 4:11am Top

Wow! Shiny!

That's so much better - swisher but without losing the essential LTness of it all. Y'all did good!

61koffieyahoo
Jan 13, 2009, 4:39am Top

Like it.

Some small remarks though:

On FF2/Linux: The book stack doesn't follow the rounding of the border.

ON IE5/XP: I only see the top book of the book stack.

Also I I find it a bit messy that the login-box and the box with the book stack don't have the same hight. The same for the recent activity box and the box next to it.

Maybe also write "half a million" instead of 500,000. With respect to the quote a the bottom, maybe you could randomize over the possible quotes when a page is send to a user (or add some javascript to the page for this effect).

62timjones
Jan 13, 2009, 5:14am Top

I like it - a big, big improvement. Well done to all involved!

63lefty33
Jan 13, 2009, 9:05am Top

Looks great!

64Aerrin99
Jan 13, 2009, 9:08am Top

LOVE the new page. It's sharp and snappy and catches your eye!

Just wanted to chime in to agree with the suggestions for:

- Rollover or randomized quotes
- 'Half a million' rather than 500,000
- I also like 'people who read' a little more than 'the same things'
- The biggest draw to LT for me was the recommendation system - could this be highlighted a little by using the word 'recommendation', maybe in the 'find new books to read' bullet?

65_Zoe_
Jan 13, 2009, 9:11am Top

I'm not sure actually. As it is now, if you are signed in, both the logo and the home tab take you to your home. I'm not sure the home page should be absolutely excluded from being seen when you are signed in. Rather, maybe the sign-in box should be clear you're signed in and give you a link to your home?

I think this is sort of backwards. I guess I might occasionally want to see the sign-in page when I'm logged it, so it might be useful to have a link to it from my personal homepage. But I use my personal homepage multiple times during a session and want it to be as easy as possible to access.

I think the redundancy with the logo and tab is necessary because not everyone is aware that they can click on the logo. If the tab just linked to the sign-in page, that would definitely be my top choice of a tab you should eliminate.

66VictoriaPL
Jan 13, 2009, 9:24am Top

I don't like having to sign in every single time I come to LT. Is this bug?

I use FireFox on both a Mac (OSX) and a PC (WINXP Pro)

67angelikat
Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 11:21am Top

IE6 in XP does not like the new home page, although it does look really cool on the blog post! I like the recommendation at #5, it would be cool to be able to mouse over the blurbs at the bottom.

68Anneli
Jan 13, 2009, 11:27am Top

>54 pechmerle:
LibaryThing connects you to people who read

Yes, this sounds good to me, too!

69staffordcastle
Jan 13, 2009, 11:37am Top

The new page looked fine at home on Safari/OSX 10.4, but at work on IE6/XP, I only see one of the books in the bookpile (can't tell if it's the top book or the bottom one, but it's at the top left corner of the box) and the angled screen shot in the next box down has a grey background instead of the same as the rest of the box.
(dratted IE grumble grumble)

70staffordcastle
Jan 13, 2009, 11:38am Top

P.S. I agree about "half a million" - remember that in Europe a comma is the decimal indicator, so you're saying it connects you with 500 other readers.

71Heather19
Jan 13, 2009, 11:50am Top

I'm having the same problem as 38, with the stack of books picture. Seems like IE6 really doesn't like this new homepages.
*reminds self to condition self for a permanent switch to FireFox*

72hailelib
Jan 13, 2009, 12:06pm Top

So far I rather like it. Am viewing on OSX/FF.

I do agree that the box heights could be better matched and Staffordcastle's point about 500,000 is a good one.

73bookbeat
Jan 13, 2009, 12:18pm Top

I have to sign in every time I log onto the site.

74CarolO
Jan 13, 2009, 12:33pm Top

I use IE7 and I logout when I leave LT. When I return to LT I get LT's old login homepage...sounds like others are getting the new one but maybe I am misunderstanding? When I log on to LT's old page it opens my home page...just like normal.

The only time I see LT's new login homepage is when I click on the link at the beginning of this thread.

I don't know if this is a problem or not, it just sounds different then what others are saying so I thought I would share.

75fyrefly98
Jan 13, 2009, 12:35pm Top

>70 staffordcastle: but it's connecting you to very precisely 500 other readers - not a thousandth of a reader more or less. :)

76MarthaJeanne
Jan 13, 2009, 12:44pm Top

The thin white letters on dark background (sign in button) don't work well.

77sabreuse
Jan 13, 2009, 12:53pm Top

>74 CarolO:, unless they know to explicitly follow a link, half the people who go to the home page will get the new version and half get the old version. This is commonly done as a way of testing new designs to see if they're getting the desired results (things like more people signing up, vs. more people getting hopelessly lost on your site).

78timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 1:35pm Top

Changing: "LibraryThing connects you to people who read the same things."
To: "LibaryThing connects you to people who read."


Too Zen-like for me. I think the point is to have the "little lightbulb" go off. Whenever I explain LibraryThing to someone I see that--the moment they get that their books connect them to other people like them. I think it follows from the 500,000 and the word "Community" that it's a big communtiy of readers. The "lighbulb" is the thing.

I would also add "Find out what book events are taking place near you"

Yes. I think so.

I don't want my activities on the site to be plastered all over its front page, as it were. Is there a way to opt out of that?

Hmm... Not at present, although going private will do it. I'm interested that no user has requested this layout elsewhere. I think that it will be fun to do, and now I have the means to do it. When I do that, perhaps people will object.

On FF2/Linux: The book stack doesn't follow the rounding of the border.

Okay. I'll check that. FF people mostly move versions, though.

ON IE5/XP: I only see the top book of the book stack.

Thanks. Not supporting it. It's miniscule--less than 0.01% of the IE stats alone

See http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Browsers_statistics for more info.

'Half a million' rather than 500,000

Well, we're about to hit 600,000...

I think this is sort of backwards. ... But I use my personal homepage multiple times during a session and want it to be as easy as possible to access.

Right. It is. The home tab and the logo take you to your home page. You have to *type in the web addess* to get to the new, backwards page.

P.S. I agree about "half a million" - remember that in Europe a comma is the decimal indicator, so you're saying it connects you with 500 other readers.

We thought of that. The 500,000 is in the translation system, so it can be turned into an appropriate form.

The only time I see LT's new login homepage is when I click on the link at the beginning of this thread.

Yes, half of all users are getting the new one, half are getting the old. It's an A/B test. We're looking at the two populations and seeing how they differ. Do people sign up more with A than B? What's the browser mix, etc.

79_Zoe_
Jan 13, 2009, 1:40pm Top

I would also add "Find out what book events are taking place near you"

I'm not sure you should advertise Local so prominently, since it's only good in certain places. If Local had been the first thing I looked at here, I certainly wouldn't have bothered investigating the site further. ("Not a single upcoming event in Toronto? I guess this site is abandoned")

80Anneli
Jan 13, 2009, 1:44pm Top

>78 timspalding:
We thought of that. The 500,000 is in the translation system, so it can be turned into an appropriate form.

I hope so. In Zeitgeist thousands and millions have commas; this is from the Finnish site:
Tilastotietoja
Members 594,498
Kirjoja luetteloitu: 35,162,904
Tags added 45,688,928

81timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 2:08pm Top

>80 Anneli:

Yeah, those aren't. We need to do that feature. Some things are higher priority and some aren't. That's life with limited resources...

82klarusu
Jan 13, 2009, 2:21pm Top

Yes, half of all users are getting the new one, half are getting the old. It's an A/B test. We're looking at the two populations and seeing how they differ. Do people sign up more with A than B? What's the browser mix, etc.

I get the old page at home and the new page at work, is that because it's not user specific but some other kind of specific? Not a problem, just curious...

83timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 2:28pm Top

It's whether a CRC32 of the second and third pieces of your IP address times two are even or odd :)

84klarusu
Jan 13, 2009, 2:32pm Top

*nods intelligently and retreats to the beer fridge*

;)

85FicusFan
Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 2:37pm Top

Love the new look. Its bright, open, and updated, but still LT. Love the recent activity box.

Seems fine for me at work (OSX Safari), will have to wait for tonight to try it at home (XP FF2.XX).

ETA:

If I close the tab on my browser it logs me out, and I have to log in again. Really like it when it keeps me logged in.

86timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 2:44pm Top

>If I close the tab on my browser it logs me out, and I have to log in again. Really like it when it keeps me logged in.

It shouldn't have changed any of that. It's not tied into any of the code...

87jjmcgaffey
Jan 13, 2009, 3:01pm Top

A lot of people who normally leave themselves logged in (me!) are getting the new page and assuming they're logged out, since the redirect is currently off-line. I entered my login data several times before I realized I was still logged in and just had to click Home. It's temporary, of course, just while you're showing off the new signin page - hmmm, is redirect off for the old page too? But possibly a comment (in yellow) up by your user name saying that the signin page is showing by default right now? Or something. There's a lot of confused people just in this thread - the lack of redirect may actually be turning some users off.

88sastolfi
Jan 13, 2009, 3:05pm Top

Absolutely a step in the right direction. It looks great.

I'm wondering if you're thinking about architectural improvements as well? I poked around in LibraryThing for a long time before I joined, and was continuously surprised by the really cool features and projects I discovered. I think it would be fantastic to use the front page to prominently feature the things available to 'outsiders': Legacy Libraries, Common Knowledge, book search. At the same time, I have an intuitive feeling that documentation, tours, and press belong on an About page. I can imagine a 'Find out more' link just under the phrase 'LibraryThing connects you to people who read the same things.'

Again, I'm new to LT and didn't follow the last redesign discussion, so these are just my friendly suggestions. I know redesign is a lot of work - thanks for making things better!

89timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 3:13pm Top

Yeah, we're thinking about redesign, both color and user experience.

Tim

90koffieyahoo
Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 3:16pm Top

78> IE5/XP

Ah, yeah typo should be IE6/XP.

91FicusFan
Jan 13, 2009, 4:12pm Top


# 86: timspalding
>If I close the tab on my browser it logs me out, and I have to log in again. Really like it when it keeps me logged in.

It shouldn't have changed any of that. It's not tied into any of the code...

MY bad. I saw the sign in and assumed I had to use it. But it still has my user name in the top right and clicking on Home tab took me to my homepage.

Yeah, we're thinking about redesign, both color and user experience

Runs, Screaming into the distance. Argh.......

92kageeh
Jan 13, 2009, 5:20pm Top

I miss this part from the old page:

Check it out

* Members have cataloged more than thirty-five million books.
* Show your books: on a shelf or as a list.
* Books: Middlesex, The Horse and his Boy, Programming Ruby, Stitch 'N Bitch, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Don't Waste Your Life
* Interesting people: avaland, sylphette, Busifer, Irisheyz77, wafflehouse
* Tags: wwii, Victorian, philosophy of science, vampires, theology, dogs
* Check out the LibraryThing blog to see how rapidly—and openly—it's developing.
* If the buzz page doesn't convince you, you cannot be convinced. Go away.


It's that kind of stuff that really draws in the unitiated because it's friendly and intriguing. The new page is too business-like, in my opinion.

93timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 5:25pm Top

The A/B tests are crushing. The new page wins like hell—sign-ups, books added, members who enter a non-test amount of books. Crushing.

94collsers
Jan 13, 2009, 5:27pm Top

>91 FicusFan:

Don't worry, I did the same thing. I just came in here to see if anyone else was being forced to re-sign-in, read the thread, and said "oops"

95timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 5:30pm Top

It should be good on IE6 now. One of the images was removed.

T

96staffordcastle
Jan 13, 2009, 5:32pm Top

IE6 now showing the bookpile (yay) but the screenshot next to "check it out" is MIA.

WinXP

97Carnophile
Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 5:50pm Top

I liked the larger book pille in the old one. It looked more like a...y'know... large pile of books. This is extremely minor, though, overall I like the new one fine.

>93 timspalding: Are you saying that in less than 24 hours there's already a noticeable difference? Whoa!

98FicusFan
Jan 13, 2009, 5:50pm Top

How long has the new page been up to have 'Crushing' results ?

99infiniteletters
Jan 13, 2009, 5:57pm Top

I think if you're already signed in, then it should have a clear note near the sign-in box (along with the top of the page).

100bookel
Jan 13, 2009, 6:04pm Top

I also noticed the sign in box is very low-contrast. Even though a colour is used to define the rectangles, I'm seeing it more often on websites and it is, to be honest, hard to see sometimes.

101bookel
Jan 13, 2009, 6:49pm Top

The box heights at the top match when you increase the font size. But then the word "read" on the bottom sentence overlap the bottom book in the stack.

102Heather19
Jan 13, 2009, 7:59pm Top

The IE6 problem in msg 96, about the screenshot not being there, is happening to me in FireFox.

And I DEFINITELY agree with msg 92... That interesting look into LT, the specificness of it, instead of random stats or whatever, is what really draws people in. IMO.

103rsterling
Jan 13, 2009, 8:27pm Top

Screenshot? What screenshot? (FF3)

104rsterling
Jan 13, 2009, 8:31pm Top

P.S. By the way - Yay, Alana!! After putting up with all of us a few months ago, you deserve a medal. This is really nice, and while not a radical change, I think it does reflect some of the the suggestions and discussions from that earlier thread. Thanks for your hard work!

105rsterling
Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 8:38pm Top

Here's a technical question about recent activity: it seems to update quickly, indeed each time I refresh the page. Is there any way, though, to force it to select from a wider range of users, so that it's not dominated by a single user's activity? Also, is this set up so that it only shows activity that includes adding a rating to a book? All the activity I've seen so far has ratings, nothing simply for adding a book or reviewing it (without rating it). Would that mean that activity by those who don't add ratings would never show up?

106rsterling
Jan 13, 2009, 8:53pm Top

Another suggestion for something that would help new users get a feel for the site: perhaps you could put the links for random member, work, and tag on the sign-in page (and why not add author too)?

107timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 9:14pm Top

>106 rsterling:

Well, it does link to essentially random works, authors and profiles. It's just that they'r epeople who are on the site doing things now. Isn't that better?

I'll look into changing the "What is good?" but I'm worried that members want--not surprisingly--to have the home page describe all the ways LT is great. But the result of adding frosting, then cherries, then jimmies, etc. is to make the home page confusing and overdone. The goal isn't to explain LT in a screen. The goal is to explain enough that it snags interest--to take the tour, go exploring a little or--best of all--sign up.

T

108timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 9:41pm Top

Some A/B data:

Since the pages were put up and ready--late this morning, since there were various problems with the new one that prevented users from signing up.

*Old homepage:
391 users
2,797 books
7.178 books/account
32 accounts with more than 40 books
171 profiles with no books

*New homepage:
469 users
3,953 books
8.447 books/account
42 users with more than 40 books
179 profiles with no books

As you can see, LT user stats are a great winnowing. The majority of LT sign-ups don't use the site for real. (The number goes down over time; many users create their account but don't enter books for a few days. And, after all, these stats are to-the-second, including people who signed up five minutes ago.) Very high non-use is a common pattern on social sites. Ours are strongly affected by the fact that, for server-load issues, most of our non-English domains are locked--you have to be a user to see the pages, even if you have no interest in becoming a user.

The overall stats show a clear advantage for the new home page. It's bringing in more users, and they're doing more. I played with the "real users" level (20, 40, 60, 100) and it's constant--the new home page creates more of them. There are even more "connections" (friends, etc.) made and group messages posted. (These numbers are lower, so chance it also possible.)

109_Zoe_
Jan 13, 2009, 9:47pm Top

What about median books per account? With fairly small numbers of users, it seems like it's easy for one or two people to seriously affect the mean.

110timspalding
Jan 13, 2009, 9:49pm Top

Yeah, although setting the cut-offs at 10, 20, 30, 40 etc. shows that. I don't put much stock in the averages or the total books. But I think the number of sign-ups and the number who input a "real" number of books--enough that they tried system and if it isn't for them, hey, no problem--those I think are significant.

Oh, can't do median easily. I'm using a single MySQL statement to calculate it, and there's no median function. I don't have to write a script.

111klarusu
Jan 14, 2009, 4:38am Top

Wow! That's a really quick, positive impact. It always amazes me how much of a difference something that is, in essence, superficial has on perception and action. Glad you put the numbers up!

112_Zoe_
Edited: Jan 14, 2009, 7:31am Top

>110 timspalding: Yeah, I agree that the data as a whole are meaningful. I just had to object in principle to the pieces of that data that were less so :)

113jjwilson61
Jan 14, 2009, 10:19am Top

I'm sorry, but I can't make sense of those numbers. The users is the number of users who actually logged into the site from each page? Or is that new users? And books is number of books in the libraries of people who logged in via each page? Or is it books entered in that time period by the users who logged in via each page?

114timspalding
Jan 14, 2009, 1:08pm Top

Sorry, it's new completely users--the books they have added, etc.

115lorax
Jan 14, 2009, 1:19pm Top

Any way to know what the total population that hit the page in each case was? (391 and 469 out of ?)

That's really interesting, though -- I knew there were a lot of non-"real" users but had no idea it was that high. I wonder if a lot of it is people thinking they can't even look around without signing in?

I do think that, if it's not a significant increase in load, limiting the member activity to one per user would be a good idea -- for one thing, having one person show up five times makes the site look small, for another, if they're doing something like adding all their Harry Potter books it makes the site look non-diverse.

116jjwilson61
Jan 14, 2009, 1:36pm Top

So your saying that in less than a day the average new user added 7 or 8000 books to their library?

117staffordcastle
Jan 14, 2009, 1:41pm Top

That's 7.178 or 8.447. There's a decimal in both of them.

118alanapost
Jan 14, 2009, 2:03pm Top

104: thank you very much for the compliment, and thanks to everyone for their super-helpful input and positive feedback during this process. I'm really glad to be part of a community that values the growth and development of the website in this way!

119jjwilson61
Jan 14, 2009, 2:07pm Top

117> Ah, that makes more sense then. The way it was lined up with the number just above it that had the same number of digits but *did* have a comma instead of a decimal made it hard for my eyes to see it.

120lquilter
Jan 14, 2009, 3:18pm Top

still thinking over the tagline on:

    A community of 500,000 book lovers.
    LibraryThing connects you to people who read the same things.

Listening to tim's interest in making the "connection" explicit rather than general, but still trying to get rid of the semantic confusion ("people who read the same things" -- as whom? each other? implied you is only implied). Coming up with:

    LibraryThing connects you to people who read what you do.

or

    LibraryThing connects you to people who read your books.

or

    LibraryThing connects you to people who love your books.

or

    LibraryThing connects you to people who share your bibliographic passions. (-;

121Thrin
Jan 14, 2009, 4:07pm Top

or

LibraryThing connects people who read the same books/things

122timspalding
Jan 14, 2009, 4:14pm Top

bibliographic passions

Sounds like something available on the hotel's "adult" channel.

123staffordcastle
Jan 14, 2009, 4:17pm Top

"people who read your books" and "people who love your books" both sound rather intrusive - the "same books you do" version works better.

(Those are MY books, thank you very much ... )
:-)

124Carnophile
Edited: Jan 14, 2009, 4:48pm Top

125Carnophile
Jan 14, 2009, 4:49pm Top

LibraryThing connects you to people who read what you do sounds like someone is reading an unauthorized bioghraphy of me.

How about,
LibraryThing connects you to people who read what you read.

126fyrefly98
Jan 14, 2009, 4:52pm Top

"LibraryThing connects you to people who will come over to your house, crash on your couch, and read your books. Oh, and maybe ask for snacks."

127sabreuse
Jan 14, 2009, 5:02pm Top

Yeah, "people who read your books" made me wonder if I forgot to lock the front door this morning...

128DaynaRT
Jan 14, 2009, 5:04pm Top

What about connecting people to books rather than to other people.

That may be my anti-social side talking though.

129lquilter
Edited: Jan 14, 2009, 5:13pm Top

... lol. what a lot of paranoid & possessive people we have here. well i already knew that. actually the general take on those versions had occurred to me, but i didn't think it would to anybody else ...

... also, what a lot of horny book lovers we have here.

I really like Carnophile's version (#125), which nicely says what I wanted to and couldn't get at quite with my "people who read what you do" version:

LibraryThing connects you to people who read what you read.

Fellowship-y in a specific not general fashion, yet not Big Brother/Peeping Tom-ish.

130Carnophile
Jan 14, 2009, 5:48pm Top

lquilter, you did 95% of the work; I take 50% of the credit! (Rubs hands with evil glee.)

131FicusFan
Jan 14, 2009, 6:50pm Top


FYI.

I tried the new HP on my home computer last night. It is on a PC XP, FF2.XX.

on FF there is a box to the left, that runs the whole length of the page, and it squeezes the web page when it is open. It has links and other favorites in it. You get used to the web page being narrower if the box to the left is open. No Biggie.

What I noticed happens though is the icons at the bottom of the page (the Ad-like thingies) get pushed right, but the quote doesn't move. So the NPR quote ends up with the pointer pointing to a different and incorrect Icon.

132PortiaLong
Jan 14, 2009, 7:08pm Top

LibraryThing connects you to people who read what you read.

Yes! I really like that one a LOT better. (Whomever takes the credit.)

133SqueakyChu
Jan 14, 2009, 7:46pm Top

--> 123

I agree. I don't want others reading or loving *my* books until I give them permission to do so! :)

134timspalding
Jan 14, 2009, 8:15pm Top

on FF there is a box to the left, that runs the whole length of the page, and it squeezes the web page when it is open

God, I hate those things. You know that you can dismiss it, though, right?

135timspalding
Jan 14, 2009, 8:17pm Top

LibraryThing connects you to people who read what you read.

How about "read what you do?"

Blech. I don't like any of the formulations. They also rely on the idea that people read webpages. It's like trying to analyze whether dragonflies or bumblebees fly better. It's not what's better when you think about it, it's what's better when you spend absolutely no time thinking about it and it just kinda hits your eyeballs and bounces off.

136kathrynnd
Jan 14, 2009, 8:23pm Top

Tim, every time I close my browser (FF) I'm signed out of LT, or at least I have to sign back in again on my return. I don't remember this happening yesterday. Has something changed? This used to happen when changing from one account to another, but now it is happening when I am staying in one account.

137timspalding
Jan 14, 2009, 8:31pm Top

Look in the top right. You're still in. I was showing people what the signin page looks like.

138Thrin
Jan 14, 2009, 8:33pm Top

Do we really *need* to say "LibraryThing connects you to, etc., etc."
when elsewhere on the same page we have "Find people with eerily similar tastes"?

139timspalding
Jan 14, 2009, 8:38pm Top

Again, what will get the "lightbulb" going?

It's not waiting until the last sentence on the page.

140Thrin
Jan 14, 2009, 8:59pm Top

Move "Find people with eerily similar tastes" UP the page perhaps (to take the place of "LT connects you to, etc.")?

141Carnophile
Jan 14, 2009, 9:16pm Top

It's like trying to analyze whether dragonflies or bumblebees fly better.
Lol, one for the quote file, I'm sure.

>138 Thrin:, 140
I think the "eerily similar tastes" thing is good too.

How about

"Find people with eerily similar tastes, see what they're reading."

142Thrin
Jan 14, 2009, 9:22pm Top

"Find people with eerily similar tastes, see what they're reading."

Oh, I like that, Carnophile.

143DaynaRT
Jan 14, 2009, 9:33pm Top

Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way to see what someone is reading...like an easily updateable widget on their profile page, for example. *coughcough*

144Thrin
Edited: Jan 14, 2009, 10:28pm Top

#143 Point taken, fleela, but there are many ways one can find out what others are reading through some of the "What are you reading now threads, much of the "recently added" (though, obviously, not all these are being read right 'now'), the group reads, etc., etc., and even through posting comments on other LTers profile pages.

I think we can use the word "see" in its sense of "find out".

145_Zoe_
Jan 14, 2009, 11:06pm Top

I think I actually preferred "the same things". Now I can't stop thinking of it as a site for stalkers.

146FicusFan
Jan 14, 2009, 11:38pm Top


#134
Yes. My point is the icons at the bottom move, and the quote doesn't. If someone has it open it looks like the quote is from Lifehacker and not NPR.

147Rynooo
Edited: Jan 15, 2009, 6:22am Top

I like the new design but totally agree with some of the other comments: once you're signed in, the site home page is redundant.

It bugs the hell out of me that there's now an extra click to get on to my personal homepage.

There's absolutely no point in landing signed-in users on there.

Looking forward to the functionality changing back.

148Carnophile
Jan 15, 2009, 7:00am Top

Glad you like it, Thrin. I have a feeling fleela's 143 was directed at Tim et al to prompt them on some sort of "Currently Reading" widget.

149Carnophile
Jan 15, 2009, 7:01am Top

While we're redesigning the home page to attract new users, we should come up with a jazzy new slogan.

LIBRARYTHING
Bibliographic passions. All night, every night.

150rsterling
Jan 15, 2009, 11:30am Top

I think the extra click is temporary, from what Tim said in 47:
"Well, the redirect is off now so people can look at it without signing out."

151lquilter
Edited: Jan 15, 2009, 11:33am Top

Bibliographic passions. All night, every night.

Why just at night? some of us like to ... read ... in the light, too.

152Carnophile
Jan 15, 2009, 12:34pm Top

Good point! A silly oversight on my part.

153markbarnes
Edited: Jan 15, 2009, 4:09pm Top

Great much better!

Some observations:

  1. Why not have the 500,000 auto-update, as on the Zeitgeist?

  2. I'd change the margin-top: 10px in div#primary-content p to margin-top: 0 to better link the headings with the description

  3. Likewise, ul#maintabs li should be border-width: "0 1px 1px 0" not "1px 1px 0"

  4. The log-on box is taller than the 'home for you books' box on FF3/Windows. Likewise Recent activity and Check it out are not the same height (this CAN be done with a little imagination and CSS)

  5. The become a member is very slightly confusing as there's no refresh. Why not: (a) Ask for a password twice as almost all registrations do this an almost all login's don't, and (b) Use a lightbox effect, moving the registration box to the centre of the page.

  6. As someone else suggested, make the logos down the bottom link to their quotes to by clicking. Even better, 'move' the quote along the logos via javascript every 20 seconds or so.

  7. Add other types of activity to the recent activity box (new groups, new posts, CK, etc., new memberships). Obviously only reasonably important activity should be listed, but it would give more of an impression of the site as a whole.

  8. I quite liked the links to example tags on the old page. Adding tagging to recent activity would provide this back in.

  9. Have the recent activity update, 'live' - that is have a new activity fade in every 20s.

  10. For some reason one of the books says "added, rated", and all the others say "rated, added"

  11. I wonder whether the 'forgot' link should be nearer 'sign in' as opposed to 'join now'.

  12. When you click 'sign-in' after 'join now', the box stays orange.


But seriously, a great improvement on the last version!

154MarthaJeanne
Jan 15, 2009, 4:47pm Top

The thin white letters bother me more every time I see this. They shimmer, and I find them very hard to read.

155alanapost
Jan 15, 2009, 5:05pm Top

@153: thanks for your suggestions and comments! The maintabs segment is part of the non-retouched header, so any trouble with that is a legacy type issue.

We are working on some tweaks to make the sign-in area a bit more intuitive for people who have been having trouble with it, as well taking the community's suggestions on the quotes area. Tim will probably update once these things go live.

156bookel
Jan 15, 2009, 5:25pm Top

I thought the original sign in before the home page change was better print wise? At least make it higher contrast and make the print thicker.

157amandaellis
Jan 16, 2009, 6:27am Top

It's so pretty. Don't forget to change the magazine logos to hyperlinks so we can read your press clippings!!

158koalamom
Jan 16, 2009, 6:23pm Top

Nice. It really shows what is going on inside to someone who might want to join.
Good job.

159sixteendays
Jan 16, 2009, 9:04pm Top

I think it looks brilliant!

160Heather19
Jan 16, 2009, 11:09pm Top

Can't get over how pretty it is! lol

161FicusFan
Jan 18, 2009, 12:23am Top



There have been some changes, which are good - saying if you are logged in, and giving you buttons to home page and library.

There are quotes at the bottom for each icon when you mouse over it, but the one showing is not lined up. The one for the Boston Globe - where the pointer was, linked to the NY Times LT Blog post. Also when the quote changes it doesn't move under the correct icon.

162timspalding
Jan 18, 2009, 12:43am Top

Thanks. We're working on it.

163BGP
Edited: Jan 18, 2009, 2:51am Top

Not to be a pain, but... Will our user homepages be reinstated as the default homepage for users who never log out?

If no, that's not too big of a problem (I can just change my bookmark), but, as a frequent user, I think the current setup just adds an unnecessary step to my LT-related activities...

Also, I want to echo the recommendation for having a Zeitgeist-like automatic daily update for the number of users on the site. Round numbers are, how should I say it, "infomercialish." The real, raw ugly data? That's intriguing.

164timspalding
Jan 18, 2009, 3:50am Top

Not to be a pain, but... Will our user homepages be reinstated as the default homepage for users who never log out?

I don't know. I am undecided on it. I'll let you know soon.

Also, I want to echo the recommendation for having a Zeitgeist-like automatic daily update for the number of users on the site. Round numbers are, how should I say it, "infomercialish." The real, raw ugly data? That's intriguing.

For the number of users? It's raw. It's not updated daily, but it's raw. All that data is raw.

You can see how many users are online at the moment in the footer.

165MarthaJeanne
Jan 18, 2009, 4:01am Top

Oh, much better! Thank you.

166Noisy
Jan 18, 2009, 6:30am Top

If only you could make that 500,000 into a ticker ...

167Carnophile
Jan 18, 2009, 8:01am Top

I assumed that the low-ball 500,000 was a margin of error given spam accounts, unused accounts, a certain family member of Tim's who has created like 20 shell accounts for amusement purposes, etc.

168PhoenixTerran
Jan 18, 2009, 9:46am Top

Is the quote bubble at the bottom supposed to be centered? 'Cause right now (OSX/FF) it is right aligned.

169SqueakyChu
Edited: Jan 18, 2009, 10:05am Top

'Cause right now (OSX/FF) it is right aligned.


Same in IE6/XP.

170Talbin
Edited: Jan 18, 2009, 10:40am Top

>164 timspalding: - Not to be a pain, but... Will our user homepages be reinstated as the default homepage for users who never log out? I don't know. I am undecided on it. I'll let you know soon.

Tim - I really, really hope you decide to have the user home page be the default. Now that I know you're undecided, I'm just glad I'm part of the 50% still getting in the "old" way, and thus have a few more days/weeks of having my home page as my default.

After all the uproar about the user home page being the default, you really want to go "back" and make something else the default? Why? It doesn't really make sense.

Edited to fix the first paragraph.

171skittles
Jan 18, 2009, 10:51am Top

Re: home page default

When I realized that my bookmark was defaulting me to the new home page, I just changed my bookmark to the page that I wanted.

In my case:

http://www.librarything.com/home/skittles

just go to your home page & bookmark it, then move the bookmark where you want it in your dropdown for bookmarks (FF).

172Talbin
Jan 18, 2009, 10:57am Top

>171 skittles: Oh yes, I know. Before the personal home page, I had my LT bookmark go to my profile. I just think it's extremely ironic - and actually sort of strange - that after all the uproar about the personal home page being the default for logged in members that Tim is actually thinking of making something else the default. Especially when it's something as not-useful to a current member as the new login/home page. I'd really like to know why he's considering it.

173timspalding
Edited: Jan 18, 2009, 2:32pm Top

So:

1. The previous change was to make it so that, when you sign in, it takes you to your "home" page, not your "profile."
2. This has not changed, not a bit. We can call this the "default." And it hasn't changed.
3. This hasn't changed. It hasn't changed. It's not ironic, it's un-ironic. It's the same damn thing.
4. Before now, there was no way to hit the site homepage, with sign in, sign up and sign out, if you were signed in. Rather, any attempt to hit librarything.com would redirect to librarything.com/home/YOU. So, there was no way to see it, and reaching the tour was also hard. If you remembered that that page had links to something you wanted to check out—like terms, or info on organizational accounts, you had to find them elsewhere or log out.
5. Now, it is possible to hit that page. If you are signed in, it tells you. However, the "home" tab and the logo both now link to your home page, not to the site home page.

174pythagoras
Jan 18, 2009, 3:51pm Top

Tim

Are you going to put a link to librarything.com on librarything.com/home/YOU?

175timspalding
Jan 18, 2009, 3:53pm Top

No, that would send people into the stratosphere, no doubt.

176Talbin
Jan 18, 2009, 5:27pm Top

>173 timspalding: Tim - I must be really misunderstanding something, because now I'm confused, and I think that also you misunderstood my message.

Here's what I understand:

1. Before the new Site homepage was introduced, people who were already logged in went right to the User homepage when going to www.librarything.com.

2. When the new Site homepage was introduced, 50% of current users are now directed to the new Site homepage, whereas the other 50% continue to use the site "as it was." (I'm in the latter category, it seems, which means when I go to www.librarything.com I go directly to my User homepage - which I think is a wonderful thing.)

3. A few of those 50% who go to the new Site homepage have asked, in this thread, if - when the new Site homepage goes live - they would be directed to the new Site homepage or if they would go to their User homepage. In #164, Tim answered, "I don't know. I am undecided on it. I'll let you know soon."

4. Then I must have mucked things up in #172, because given the response in #1-3 in post #173, there is a big disconnect.

#1. Yes, I know the profile was never the default. I was just trying to say that I set my bookmark to go there so I could avoid the old LT homepage and go directly to a place I wanted to go. Once the User homepage was introduced, then I got rid of that old link because the first place I want to go on LT is MY User homepage.

#2. Yes, I know it hasn't changed. I know the default has been to go to the User homepage. However, I understand that the 50% of members who are being directed to the new Site homepage must then click through to get to their User homepage.

#3. I guess I misunderstood something, because it really sounds as if something has changed for people who now see the new Site homepage - the change is that they first go to the Site homepage and then must click through to their User homepage. Perhaps "ironic" was the wrong word to use. (Or at least the word which pissed you off, for which I most certainly apologize.) But I personally thought the introduction of the User homepage was brilliant, and the perfect place for users to land.

#4-5. Okay, this makes sense. Unfortunately, as someone who is in the 50% using the site the old way, I haven't experienced it myself. Given this information, though, and given that users have really "taken" to using their User homepage, wouldn't it make more sense to flip it around - find some way to make the Site homepage more easily accessible from within LT while keeping the User homepage as the "landing pad"?

Anyway, sorry if I really misunderstood. I hope I make more sense now.

177timspalding
Jan 18, 2009, 5:38pm Top

1. Before the new Site homepage was introduced, people who were already logged in went right to the User homepage when going to www.librarything.com.

True.

2. When the new Site homepage was introduced, 50% of current users are now directed to the new Site homepage, whereas the other 50% continue to use the site "as it was." (I'm in the latter category, it seems, which means when I go to www.librarything.com I go directly to my User homepage - which I think is a wonderful thing.)

No. When the site homepage was introduced everybody went to the site home page--50% to the old version, 50% to the new version.

3. A few of those 50% who go to the new Site homepage have asked, in this thread, if - when the new Site homepage goes live - they would be directed to the new Site homepage or if they would go to their User homepage. In #164, Tim answered, "I don't know. I am undecided on it. I'll let you know soon."

Right, but not the part about the 50%.

#1. Yes, I know the profile was never the default. I was just trying to say that I set my bookmark to go there so I could avoid the old LT homepage and go directly to a place I wanted to go. Once the User homepage was introduced, then I got rid of that old link because the first place I want to go on LT is MY User homepage.

No, it was. Before the user home pages, people went to their profile. When the new home page was introduced X% of users screamed bloody murder because now they'd have to click once more every time they entered the site. But, as usual, the people who found it better, didn't write. After a few months, the profile-first people stopped caring or actively preferred the new home page.

#2. Yes, I know it hasn't changed. I know the default has been to go to the User homepage. However, I understand that the 50% of members who are being directed to the new Site homepage must then click through to get to their User homepage.

All users who go to www.librarything.com and haven't signed out since last time will find that they are on www.librarything.com, not www.librarything.com/home/THEM. That is, the site is now giving you the URL you have requested--www.librarything.com is the site home page--not denying it to you and forwarding you to your home page.

#3. I guess I misunderstood something, because it really sounds as if something has changed for people who now see the new Site homepage - the change is that they first go to the Site homepage and then must click through to their User homepage. Perhaps "ironic" was the wrong word to use. (Or at least the word which pissed you off, for which I most certainly apologize.) But I personally thought the introduction of the User homepage was brilliant, and the perfect place for users to land.

Yes, if you are intent on bookmarking the site homepage you will get, mirabile dictu, the site home page. If you would rather get your homepage you will get that.

Ultimately, sites work both ways. Facebook forwards you automatically to your home page if you're signed in. I just think that it muddies the issue--URLs should be stable unless there's a clear reason for them not to be.

178fyrefly98
Jan 18, 2009, 6:22pm Top

I like that the quotes move now, but it looks like there's an image or something that's blocking me from clicking any of the links at the bottom except "Help/FAQ" - on Safari 3.2.1 / OS 10.5.5.

179Rynooo
Jan 18, 2009, 6:26pm Top

I still question the purpose of the site homepage in terms of registered, signed-in users. There's not really any useful functionality on there. The redirect to the user homepage makes sense as it's full of useful, personalised information.

Granted I'm not really that bothered as I've changed my bookmark, but would wonder what the reasoning is for the change in functionality.

180Talbin
Jan 18, 2009, 7:04pm Top

>177 timspalding: Tim - Thanks for the detailed explanation. I appreciate it.

181_Zoe_
Jan 18, 2009, 7:43pm Top

On a completely different note, I'm really not a fan of the Christmas-coloured buttons.

182lquilter
Jan 18, 2009, 7:57pm Top

fwiw i would personally like to be able to click the site logo and go to http://www.librarything.com/ -- that's what seems intuitive to me.

When I am logged in and go to the site the first time I like being redirected to http://librarything.com/home/lquilter/ by default. But if I click on the logo, I want to go to http://www.librarything.com/ without being redirected.

183timspalding
Jan 18, 2009, 8:11pm Top

On a completely different note, I'm really not a fan of the Christmas-coloured buttons.

The War on Christmas continues.

184Heather19
Jan 18, 2009, 8:51pm Top

..... Okay, I was going to post a really stupid message, but then I realized that I have different urls bookmarked on different browsers. FF takes me to MY homepage and IE takes me to the homepage. So nevermind. lol

And not to add to the War on Christmas or anything, but I do think those colors look a little.... strange. Just because they *are* so connected with Christmas.

185jlelliott
Jan 18, 2009, 8:57pm Top

-183 I came here to say just that. The page looks nice, but those buttons look completely out of place. And I love Christmas.

186lorax
Jan 18, 2009, 9:23pm Top

181-185>

I have to say that "Christmas" was way, way, way down the list of associations for me for those colors. I mean, the colors for Christmas are green and red, sure, but that doesn't mean that ANYTHING that includes green and red in the color scheme -- along with other colors -- automatically invokes Christmas to me.

Then again, I didn't get the "Oh no, fall colors!" complaints about the nice earth-tone color scheme that was kicked around earlier, so my seasonal color associations may just not be as strong as some people's.

187BGP
Jan 18, 2009, 11:25pm Top

>182 lquilter: Not a bad idea, lquilter.

188hnau
Jan 19, 2009, 4:10am Top

>168 PhoenixTerran:/169

The quote is not only right aligned, it does not scale or move to the left when you resize the browser to a width

189bookel
Jan 19, 2009, 4:39am Top

I concur, definitely right aligned in Firefox. It's even further to the right than the top header with tabs, and there is blank white space on the right.

190seoulful
Jan 19, 2009, 9:43am Top

Haven't been able to access since you introduced the new home page.

191timspalding
Jan 19, 2009, 11:01am Top

>Haven't been able to access since you introduced the new home page.

What?

192jlelliott
Jan 19, 2009, 12:36pm Top

Sorry to reiterate, but I have to say again that the green in the "sign in" box and in other text on the page is jarringly ugly (in the context of the other colors on the page). I was going to mention in earlier but I didn't want to be nitpicky with the brand new page. Now it is really emphasized in the "sign in" box, so I must speak. Rethink this color! Maybe a green closer to that in the star ratings would be more harmonious?

193markbarnes
Jan 19, 2009, 12:58pm Top

Tim, to get the quote aligned you need to add a left:-300px to #quotes

194BGP
Jan 20, 2009, 12:32am Top

>192 jlelliott: "...the green... is jarringly ugly..." -jlelliott

Jarring, at the very least...

195staffordcastle
Jan 20, 2009, 12:34am Top

>192 jlelliott: "Maybe a green closer to that in the star ratings ..."

Now that would be jarring. In small quantities, as in the stars, it's fine, but in a block as big as the sign-in buttons, it gets into the poke-your-eye-out category.

196timspalding
Jan 20, 2009, 12:40am Top

>192 jlelliott: etc.

Do you mean the "home page" and "your library" buttons or the headlines above them?

197BGP
Jan 20, 2009, 12:45am Top

>196 timspalding: The buttons.

198BGP
Edited: Jan 20, 2009, 12:48am Top

And, just to echo the others, for users in Vista using FF 3.whatever, the caption balloon at the bottom is still right-aligned...

199Atlas
Jan 20, 2009, 8:09pm Top

It's ugly. I hate it. I want the old one back. However, regardless of which link I use in the blog post, the ugliness persists.

200bookel
Jan 20, 2009, 8:42pm Top

The words sign in and password before you sign into LibraryThing are very thin. Can you thicken / bold them please? And make them a bit bigger font?

201Heather19
Jan 20, 2009, 9:42pm Top

The tiny little links under the sign-in box, the ones that start with "forgot", are so small they are hardly readable. I had no idea what they were until I clicked on each of them.

202timspalding
Jan 21, 2009, 2:02am Top

LOVE the new page. It's sharp and snappy and catches your eye!

Love the new look. Its bright, open, and updated, but still LT.

It's ugly. I hate it. I want the old one back. ... (T)he ugliness persists.

I have to say, of all the things to talk through with members, design is by far the hardest.

203BGP
Jan 21, 2009, 5:29pm Top

>202 timspalding: *Cough* Our criticism is intended to be constructive (most of it, anyway).

204jlelliott
Jan 21, 2009, 5:52pm Top

-196 The buttons themselves, but I see that there is quite a bit of that green (forest green?) text on the page as well. It just seems very out of place on the largely pastel page. I think the new page is attractive over all, and I don't normally care much about color, but that color looks out of place.

I also see that there are roll-over changes in the endorsements now, but the quote box is too far too the right in relation to the logos (at the far right it points at nothing, at the far left it points at the middle logos).

I sympathize with the fuzziness of design (everyone has the right answer, they just all happen to contradict), but it seems to be coming along!

205pingling
Edited: Jan 22, 2009, 3:47am Top

One more thing about buttons - labels in Polish are too long to fit on them. So there's "Strona główn" instead of "Strona główna" and "Twoja bibliot" instead of "Twoja biblioteka". Either the text should be smaller or buttons larger... I can't think right now of any shorter translations of "Home" and "Your library".

206timspalding
Jan 22, 2009, 3:03pm Top

>205 pingling:

Really? Think outside the box. Home could be you, your library could be library or books or catalog...

207rsterling
Jan 22, 2009, 3:56pm Top

We've passed 600,000 members now...

208koalamom
Jan 22, 2009, 7:05pm Top

Wow and how many books? I've added 1400.

209staffordcastle
Edited: Jan 22, 2009, 7:07pm Top

According to the bottom of the page, 35,469,599 and counting!

P.S. Jumped to 35,469,620 while I typed and submitted :-)

210koalamom
Jan 22, 2009, 7:09pm Top

It's never ending and neither is the number of people reading them.

211CarolO
Jan 22, 2009, 8:09pm Top

I know I am the gazillionth person to mention this...

I would really like to see the recent activity be all different people. When I logged in just a moment ago, 5 of the 10 activies was done by one person...it makes the site look smaller or less used when one person shows up multiple times. The other day it was 9 out of 10 were the same person.

212timspalding
Jan 22, 2009, 11:02pm Top

>211 CarolO:

Yeah, I need to work on the algorithm.

213the_red_shoes
Jan 24, 2009, 3:39pm Top

I hate the new home page -- just like I hated the new profile page. Is LT trying to turn into GoodReads or something? I really dislike where LT is going. What happened to the emphasis on cataloguing books?

214pingling
Jan 24, 2009, 3:50pm Top

>206 timspalding:

Well, as for "Twoja biblioteka" it can be "Twoje książki" (i.e. Your books) but the first button is more problematic. In Polish there's no short word that means something similar to "homepage". THE translation is "Strona główna" and it's a standard for vast majority of Polish sites. Can be "Str. główna" as it fits the space perfectly :)

Unfortunately Polish is a very "descriptive" language and usually requires a few words where in English one is enough.

So right now I'd propose "Str. główna" and "Twoje książki" - I can't change it myself. And I do hope they are NOT dependent on tabs' labels.

215BGP
Edited: Jan 24, 2009, 5:29pm Top

>213 the_red_shoes: I wouldn't say hate, but I really do believe that users should be directed toward their user home pages when they log in and when they've remained logged in. I understand Tim's dilemma, but, so far, I think the best solution is the one presented by lquilter in post #182.

216timspalding
Edited: Jan 24, 2009, 7:27pm Top

I hate the new home page -- just like I hated the new profile page. Is LT trying to turn into GoodReads or something? I really dislike where LT is going. What happened to the emphasis on cataloguing books?

LibraryThing has ALWAYS been about both the cataloging and the social aspect. We have always had members with a mix of interests too. And indeed the idea of LibraryThing is to both do and to transcend personal cataloging--ie., BookCollector or Delicious Library. If all you want to do it catalog your books, you'd probably be better off with one of those offline PC apps. We're trying to do more.

What do you dislike, specifically? I'd note, by the way, that LT is telling you what was cataloged recently, not who was online recently. We're showing book covers, not the who-is-cute boxes.

217bookel
Edited: Jan 24, 2009, 9:44pm Top

How about define the edge of the sign in area -- the narrow rectangles where you type in your username and password (give contrast) please? The difference between pale yellow and white is minimal.

Look it's not just me, these points about contrast and font size are for all who have trouble with them. Can't it be consistent with the rest of the site? Other boxes have shadows to define a couple edges, to make it darker. The old sign in boxes seemed better, but whatever. People don't like change, obviously. But it would be nice if their concerns were listened to.

218timspalding
Jan 25, 2009, 1:44am Top

>217 bookel:

Urgh. Check out http://www.librarything.com/topic/47257 and the original designs and tell me members weren't listened to!

Other boxes have shadows to define a couple edges, to make it darker. The old sign in boxes seemed better, but whatever. People don't like change, obviously. But it would be nice if their concerns were listened to.

Can you explain what you mean? Which boxes are you finding don't have definition—the whole sign-in box (ie., starts with "Already a member?") or are you talking about the edges of the actual input fields themselves? (The latter is largely browser dependent.) What is your problem exactly--you can't find where to type in your username, or you find it hard to read the words there, or what?

219bookel
Jan 25, 2009, 6:57am Top

When you search your own library the search box is defined by a darker line at the top. The sign in / username box doesn't seem to have any darker line to define the white and yellow which makes it harder to tell where the box is. Sorry Tim, just gets annoying when no one responds. :/

220Rynooo
Jan 25, 2009, 8:47am Top

Tim, regarding colour contrast: check out http://www.accesskeys.org/tools/color-contrast.html

The tool checks page element colour contrast against W3 accessibility standards.

If you run the test on the new homepage, the grey-on-beige labels flag up as fails.

You might also want to run it through the w3 markup validator - there are quite a few errors.

http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://www.librarything.com

221lquilter
Jan 25, 2009, 10:19am Top

... maybe I missed this comment earlier, but the bottom menu links don't work.

I am logged in, but the page I was on was taking a while to load, and I wanted to go to wikithing; so I hit the site home page http://www.librarything.com/ -- and the links don't work.

Is that intentional? And if so is it still under consideration? Because if so, I want to cast my vote agin it.

222fyrefly98
Jan 25, 2009, 4:58pm Top

>221 lquilter: I mentioned that in #178, but I think it got passed over. My guess is that it's something with the way the page doing the quotes that's "covering" the links.

223bookel
Edited: Jan 25, 2009, 6:12pm Top

May I also note the pale grey words (number of copies, go to page; touchstone writing here, etc.) on many pages is very pale and hard to read -- at the same distance that I would read the ordinary text. But then who cares?

I apologize Tim if I ever sounded harsh and untactful. That's not me in real life. In reality I really dislike conflict and politics, and wouldn't say anything at all. I'm going to keep out of it from now on.

Keep up the good work on the site. :)

224HeathMochaFrost
Jan 25, 2009, 7:11pm Top

> 221 I don't know if any of the bottom links on the new page have been fixed, but for me, using FF3 and XP, all seem to work EXCEPT Common Knowledge.

225timspalding
Edited: Jan 26, 2009, 2:40am Top

the links don't work

They work now. Apologies for them not working. As fyrefly98 suspected, they were being covered.

More generally I need to rework the quotes. The problem is that the page was designed in theory, but not developed. I had to do all the development and my time is limited.

You might also want to run it through the w3 markup validator - there are quite a few errors.

I also ran some other websites through. Amazon 1,520 "errors," CNN 41 "errors," NYT 368 "errors," Google 8 "errors," etc. It does point out a few legitiate problems with the quotes area--problems we already knew about. Otherwise it's what these validators always doing, a irritating scold who keeps says "it's just noise!" at a rock concert. I have no use for the standards crowd who have been telling the web it was misbehaving for a decade while the rest of us were creating the web. At some point the way the web actually *is* is the standard.

Sorry, but you hit a broken-record there... :)

When you search your own library the search box is defined by a darker line at the top. The sign in / username box doesn't seem to have any darker line to define the white and yellow which makes it harder to tell where the box is. Sorry Tim, just gets annoying when no one responds. :/

I still just don't understand this. Explain to me simply. The sign-in box does not have a top border to it but the catalog search box does? This isn't true, so what can you mean?

226sqdancer
Jan 26, 2009, 2:43am Top

The sign-in box does not have a top border to it but the catalog search box does? This isn't true, so what can you mean?

Yes, Tim, it is true. The sign in box has the pale gray border (which is likely barely visible to people like bookel, who have visual issues); however, on the search box, the top and left sides have a thicker black border (it almost seems 3-D). At least that's how they appear on IE.

227r.orrison
Edited: Jan 26, 2009, 2:57am Top

It's the difference between the border here:
and here:

228timspalding
Jan 26, 2009, 3:16am Top

>226 sqdancer:

Ah. Interesting. The border you're seeing is not something we set. It's the browser. I suspect that's what's going on is that the "name" field has the border color explicitly set, while the other does not--so it's a default field style. The latter will therefore look different on different browsers--with a sort of internal shadow on whatever browser you're using.

What browser/OS are you using--both IE, right?

229r.orrison
Jan 26, 2009, 3:26am Top

FireFox 3.0.5 on Windows XP; Windows Classic theme if that makes a difference.

230sqdancer
Jan 26, 2009, 10:20am Top

>228 timspalding:

Hmm, interesting. Last night I was on IE5.5/Me and saw what rorrison showed in message 227. Today on IE6/XP, both boxes look much more similar for borders, but the search box is slightly darker/more defined (but doesn't have the shadowing effect).

231rsterling
Jan 26, 2009, 10:36am Top

FWIW, Post 226 is what I'm seeing as well (FF3.0.5, Vista). And though I can make out the gray text and the border of the box in the sign in page - just - I agree that they're pretty hard to read, and it depends on the lighting, position of my laptop screen etc. Ditto for the text against the salmon box on my home page ("x books, member since, etc." - though that's not quite as bad.

232CarolO
Jan 26, 2009, 3:06pm Top

OK, just a silly little request.

On the old home page my cursor automatically went to the login field, it no longer does that on the new home page. Can that be changed on the new home page?

Not a high priority but I miss that little convenience.

233bnielsen
Jan 26, 2009, 3:19pm Top

#225 Validators are a tool, not something we should hit each other in the head with. I try to keep my pages validating, because otherwise complaining about browser errors is just silly. If you get 1073637 errors when you try to validate your page, this is a strong hint that something is broken in the way you code your pages.
In the real world the tricks to get around various IE bugs often involves something that breaks the standard.

So this is a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.

Personally I've about had it with IE bugs, so I've started to write webpages that validates in xhtml strict and I have a script that runs all my pages through the validator once a month and reports any errors to me. This catches quite a few typos. Works for me. Probably won't work for you. But maybe you can hide all the browser dependent stuff in imported javascripts? That would give you the best from both worlds, I think.

Sorry for replying to a broken record :-)

234kevinashley
Jan 26, 2009, 4:24pm Top

228>

I see what rorrison sees, on firefox 2.0.0.14/Linux and a truly ancient version of Mozilla on a similarly ancient redhat installation.

235staffordcastle
Jan 26, 2009, 4:37pm Top

#228
I also see the same, WinXP/IE6.

While checking this, I discovered that the "Sign Out" button doesn't actually do anything; in order to sign out I had to click on the {sign out} words in the upper right corner.

236vaneska
Jan 26, 2009, 5:24pm Top

Perhaps the pertinent question should be 'what does Tim see?' and 'Does anyone else see what Tim sees?'

v

237BGP
Jan 26, 2009, 5:41pm Top

>236 vaneska: You don't want to go there... But, if you must, let me just say... "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

238vaneska
Jan 26, 2009, 5:44pm Top

LOL!

v

239jjmcgaffey
Jan 27, 2009, 2:55am Top

235> Huh. And I just tried it, to see the sign-in box, and the Sign Out button worked just fine for me (FF3.0.5/XP).

240sqdancer
Jan 27, 2009, 10:19am Top

> 235, 239

None of the three buttons (Sign Out, Home, Your Library) work for me (IE6/XP).

241staffordcastle
Jan 27, 2009, 12:17pm Top

Looks like another IE bug :-(

242timspalding
Jan 27, 2009, 10:53pm Top

I've moved to having it go to the /home/USERNAME if you're signed in. I don't like the solution, but... meh.

243BGP
Jan 27, 2009, 11:48pm Top

244BGP
Jan 28, 2009, 12:05am Top

>242 timspalding: BTW, Tim, if you still want to make the new homepage more accessible to users, you could make the "LibraryThingBeta" icon redirect to the new homepage (like lquilter suggested earlier). This wouldn't cause any users grief, as the Home Tab is located directly beneath the "LibraryThingBeta" icon...

245CarolO
Jan 28, 2009, 1:12am Top

re: my silly little request in #232

THANK YOU! My cursor started defaulting to the login field this evening.

246HeathMochaFrost
Jan 28, 2009, 1:47pm Top

>242 timspalding: Tim - I thought you changed it - thanks for confirming it and saving me some confusion. :-)

And I completely agree with lquilter and BGP, about having the LT logo bring users to the site homepage rather than our personal homepages. That would make it very accessible, and seems logical to me. It doesn't seem like it would be a hard change to make -- would it?

One alternative: add a "Home" link to the bottom of the pages, along with "Blog," "WikiThing," etc. It's not ideal, but it seems like a better option than having to sign out just to see the site's homepage.

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