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New Catalog #1: Larger issues

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1timspalding
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 4:14am Top

UPDATE: See the blog post

Chris and I have just rolled out a new catalog, or anyway a substantially revised one. There were also some changes to work pages. We'll blog about both soon—as soon as the really dire issues are addressed. There will no doubt be a lot of comments, questions, bug reports and etc.

To deal with the volume, I want to split this up into two threads:

New Catalog #1: Larger issues (this thread): Larger reflections on what we did. For the sake of argument, assume that it's "working" for you, and concentrate on whether you like how it works.

New Catalog #2: Bugs and small issues: Small issues, particularly ones we can just fix. I want these sequestered, so we aren't stuck with messages 2-20 in the main thread being about some trivial bug that got fixed.

More later. Thanks.

2kevmalone
Apr 16, 2009, 1:38am Top

Overall I like this, I do miss not being available to Sort by # of members by clicking on the column heading.

3Collectorator
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 1:57am Top

different fonts ...
omg .... so pretty! love it love it.
the order is sticking now, too.

Largely, I think it is really pretty.

I like the new way to sort. It's spiffier.

4timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 1:42am Top

With sorts, we took away that one small feature, but added the sort button. Experienced users already knew that you could sort by a field by clicking on the head, and that you could sort by two by clicking on one head and then another. But a LOT of users never understood this. It's one of the most common questions we get. Having an explicit sort button makes it slightly easier to sort, particularly by a field that's not showing. And it will take maybe 10% of the emails we get off the table :)

5kevmalone
Apr 16, 2009, 1:46am Top

Fair point, and a not unreasonable trade off.

6Heather19
Apr 16, 2009, 1:49am Top

I. LOVE. IT!!

4: Thank you thank you thank you!! I loooove the sort button and have already used it. I'm one of those "power users" who *knows* about subsorting, but always forgets, especially when it could be of use. lol It's much easier now!

And I love the little tag-icon on the Organize button.

7carport
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 1:59am Top

I was about to second kevmalone's comment in msg. 2, but went off to explore the new catalog interface a bit more, returned, and saw msg. 4.

Overall, the new look and function seem terrific. I also sorted using the shared column (and on secondary fields) quite often, but I'll get used to using the sort button in no time. I don't remember seeing "1" for books I share with nobody -- did the former catalog view indicate "shared with" while the new indicates "member(s) owning?" If that change was discussed, I missed it, but it works for me either way.

Thank you for your diligent and thoughtful work!

8kevmalone
Apr 16, 2009, 1:59am Top

7> I think that the "1" used to be a zero too!

9SilentInAWay
Apr 16, 2009, 2:16am Top

I miss being able to sort in Cover View.

10justjim
Apr 16, 2009, 2:16am Top

Love the CK editing lightbox from the catalog! Er, that is new, right?

11MerryMary
Apr 16, 2009, 2:17am Top

Yay!! Love the sort. I'll dance in the street for this, and then kick up the tempo when I start playing with collections.

12timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 2:17am Top

13justjim
Apr 16, 2009, 2:20am Top

14kgriffith
Apr 16, 2009, 2:29am Top

At first glance, I really love what I'm seeing - so exciting!

Under "organize," I greatly dislike the jumpy mouseover thing. I know I've used that "technical term" before and you got it, so I'm going to stick with it, and ask if there is any - ANY - way for that NOT to happen. Could the edit detail box pop up over the surrounding links rather than bump them out of the way? I'd sooner move the mouse the 1/8" up to deactivate the edit box so I can get to the link below than watch the entire row/column shift and jump as I move around the page.

It's really not just a quirky style preference; it is sufficiently bothersome to my eyes that I will avoid any page (or even whole websites) where it is used. And dammit, I don't want to avoid this page! :)

Thank you all for such awesome work - this site becomes more amazing every day.

15timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 2:53am Top

>14 kgriffith:

Duly noted. I know it's bothersome to some people. It's not a piece of code i want to revisit, or something for which I have a better solution. Do you?

16kgriffith
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 3:07am Top

Aside from either overlapping rather than pushing, or maybe a divot, not at the moment. At least with a divot, it would be voluntary; if it were to the left of each tag, we could click it and the choices might appear as a list below the tag itself, displacing the items below that - but only if clicked.

Even without any programming knowledge, that sounds like it'd be a pain to implement. But I'll keep an eye out for anything in my web travels that might translate well to this page.

ETA: What about making the mouseover box strictly vertical so it only displaces in one direction, not 2-3 depending on its placement on the page? I don't have any way to do a mock-up (and I'm supposed to be writing a paper), but I'm thinking something that doesn't exceed the width of the column in which it appears, and so the only text that moves is directly below. I'd imagine that it could be written to adjust width, dependent on how many columns the user has set as the default view? Just a thought...

17MarthaJeanne
Apr 16, 2009, 3:08am Top

The big thing that should have been fixed was that the banner on top doesn't scroll off the screen. It's the part of LT where you need the vertical space the most, and it's the only one where you lose it permanently to the banner.

18timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 3:11am Top

So, to object, "fix" would imply that it's broken, not a choice. :)

But okay, let's discuss that. Do members want it this way—fixed—or moving? They both have their advantages after all.

19kgriffith
Apr 16, 2009, 3:13am Top

I like it the new way - I'm less concerned with how much I can see at a time than with what I can do with it from where I am.

20timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 3:15am Top

It might be worth adding what sort of screen you have, when you say this. I think it impacts the 1040x768-ers more than others. For me, with a football-field for a screen, I don't care about the space, but like the access to features.

21MarthaJeanne
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 3:32am Top

Yes, I use 1040x768. Even if I had space for a larger screen, I wouldn't. I've got the screen pretty well optimized for the width I can read with my glasses without constantly turning my head.

Anywhere else I would probably prefer to have the tabs available (but they aren't); if we had just the tabs, and not the whole LibraryThing banner; if it was the column names, I could see it as being useful. The banner and ability to sign out just eat space.

22kgriffith
Apr 16, 2009, 4:01am Top

Hahaha, I didn't know where else to put this, but love the latest "announcements." :)

23markbarnes
Apr 16, 2009, 4:02am Top

>14 kgriffith: - I'm happy with the new look (despite lots of display issues I'll bring up in the other thread).

I like the new bar across the top that's kept there by javascript, but
have a pathological aversion to the frame still used for the normal navigation tabs. Frames are hugely annoying, and prevent easy bookmarking of individual pages. If you really want the top nav bar to be permanently displayed (and I'd prefer to scroll up when I need it), at least use javascript. That would also give users the option of 'sticking' the top bar or not.

24klarusu
Apr 16, 2009, 4:07am Top

I love it! I really like the new look and specifically I love the 'sort' options. Clicking on columns was OK but I like having everything available in one box with the 'up/down' options because I'm forever monkeying around within my catalogue and to be able to do it all in one swipe is great.

Also specifically I do love the fixed header - I with #19, I am interested in what I can do with the catalogue and it bugs me when I have have to keep scrolling to the top. I can understand that for people who use larger resolutions it might be an issue but I think that for the majority of users it would be less annoying than scrolling upwards everytime you want to do something.

I like the new 'Organise' section to get to tags but would still like to see some way of viewing a subset of my tags rather than books tagged, i.e. all tags containing fiction or all tags containing non-fiction etc. for those of us that have too many (but that may be something that's peculiar to how I use tags in my library and 'Collections' may change that so I accept that I use tags in a slightly different way as an organising tool rather than a connection tool).

You guys did good! I'm seriously impressed. Thanks.

25KingRat
Apr 16, 2009, 4:08am Top

I see that sorting by # of shared users is still in the sort button.

But really, the whole things feels like a big "meh." It feels more like a minor user interface change than anything significant.

26timspalding
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 4:13am Top

>25 KingRat:

I hear you. It's the first refresh of the catalog interface since, basically, 2005. And the catalog is the most visited page on the site—by a lot. But yeah, it's mostly interface. The fact is, though, that the collection stuff is all "there." We're just not letting you see it. Mwahahaha.

27conceptDawg
Apr 16, 2009, 4:14am Top

Well, to be honest it is mostly interface changes. We didn't roll out many new "features" tonight. Mostly aesthetic and UI changes. But, silently and in the dark of night we also pushed Collections to the live server.

So this was more a test of "will any collections code make any other code esplode when we push it?" And, as crazy as it sounds, there's usually much more code that deals with UI than for most backend stuff, so tonight's code push was one of our largest in a long, long time. We wanted to roll out some Collections features in a step-wise fashion so that bugs can be fixed in a more manageable time-frame.

The new buttons and menus at the top of the catalog are going to be used throughout the site with Collections so making sure that they worked was a major point for this release leading up to Collections.

28klarusu
Apr 16, 2009, 4:22am Top

Is it a conscious decision to have both a 'sort' function button and still have clickable column headings? It seems a bit duplicative (I may have just made that word up)?

*ducks and runs for cover from missiles thrown by people who like things like the 'Tags' tab*

29reading_fox
Apr 16, 2009, 4:24am Top

I like.
Especially the sort by fields that aren't visible. That is really nice.

Gripe:
the review column still doesn't default to a sensible width. Ideally it would be 7 characters wide if there is no content, but 30-40 wide at least if it detects some content.

Having it not expand at the moment means huge vertical work rows. very bad.

I liek the fixed header - although I wouldn't object to a much smaller beige LibraryThing because that is a bit of wasted space. But definetly keep the tabs and other header links fixed.

30timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 4:26am Top

>28 klarusu:

Yes, it's intentional. Some percentage of users never figure out that you can click column headers. And a higher never figure out you can click column A, then B, to get A subsorted by B. So we wanted to put a real sort button in. But we're not going to take AWAY the way you do it now. And indeed the columns also show which is being sorted by, and up and down.

31SilentInAWay
Apr 16, 2009, 4:29am Top

Will you be adding the sort button to cover view or will this become a list view exclusive?

32klarusu
Apr 16, 2009, 4:29am Top

#30 Fairy snuff, I get that. It's not annoying, I was just curious ...

33timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 4:31am Top

Will you be adding the sort button to cover view or will this become a list view exclusive?

Oooh. Good catch. Chris is doing it.

34alexielle
Apr 16, 2009, 4:59am Top

On the subject of fixed headers, I quite detest them. I don't like the frames on the catalog page, nor the fixed toolbar.

Otherwise, I love the way the sort function works (I can successfully sub-sort now!), and the new catalog looks much better.

35conceptDawg
Apr 16, 2009, 5:09am Top

Fixed vs. scrolling headers is a religious battle so it's not one that either side can really convince the other about. We could go on and on. In Bookel's case it is a real technical/usability issue. I'm going to look into it as soon as I can.

36jimroberts
Apr 16, 2009, 6:52am Top

#14: aglaia531 "Under "organize," I greatly dislike the jumpy mouseover thing. "
#15: timspalding ">14 kgriffith: It's not a piece of code i want to revisit"

This is strange. I wanted to thank Tim and cD for fixing it so that the tags don't now jump around as disturbingly as before. (Firefox 2.0.0.15, Linux)

37markbarnes
Apr 16, 2009, 7:11am Top

>35 conceptDawg: I agree about fixed/scrolling headers. But how you do fixed headers is not a religious battle, is it? Frames should be dead in 2009, surely?

38detailmuse
Apr 16, 2009, 7:23am Top

>36 jimroberts: Agree! I hated the jumpy mouseover behavior, it's better now.

39vaneska
Apr 16, 2009, 7:40am Top

At the moment, as Kingrat said, it doesn't feel like a major interface change, even though it may be underneath. It looks generally OK to me and I'm very happy to see the work page customisation sorted.

My only minor issue is with the tool pad icons. The first two and the shared/reviews ones below are too wishy-washy in relation to the edit pencil which now stands out too much. I quite understand why you would want to reduce the size of the icons but I don't think you should do this AND reduce their definition/contrast. I would prefer them all to have equal definition to the edit pencil. I would expect those with less than great vision to have some problems with them as they stand since even I have to strain to look at them.

In fact all the newly introduced elements are so pallid (is this a mac aesthetic? I always notice my friends' mac screens look washed out) that I didn't even notice them whan I first opened my library this morning and for a moment wondered what on earth the changes were. This could be viewed as a very good thing or not. I leave that judgement to others.

Each LT-er has their own dream of what they would love to see here. Mine is to open LT one morning and find the drowned salmon has gone. I fear that I dream in vain.

40_Zoe_
Apr 16, 2009, 7:46am Top

I thought you were going to go with Start/End, rather than Started/Stopped?

41fyrefly98
Apr 16, 2009, 8:04am Top

I love having the column headers/search bar fixed, but I'm not one who worries particularly about screen space, so.

There's also something a little funky going on with the column widths resizing... I can't put my finger on what, but my default browser window size was set to exactly accommodate my LT catalog, and this morning I had to scroll in all of my views.

42casaloma
Apr 16, 2009, 8:18am Top

"Overall I like this, I do miss not being available to Sort by # of members by clicking on the column heading." message #2

I concur.

43lilithcat
Apr 16, 2009, 8:57am Top

As I am at work, I cannot get to my (or anyone's) catalogue to check this out. So my initial reactions are based entirely on the images posted in the blog, and I'm sorry if the answers would be obvious if I could get to my catalogue.*

First: I like the new graphics. They are cleaner and more elegant. However, I would like to know if there is some sort of explanation (via a mouse-over or whatever) of what the various symbols mean.

Second: it appears from the use of the same icon that "organize" is the same things as "tags". If that's true, please revert to "tags". It's clearer. If it's not the same thing, perhaps a different icon would be a good idea, so as not to confuse those of us who are used to having it mean "tags".

Third: currently, there is a different color for the reviews "bubble" if we wrote a review. Will that continue? It's not clear from the example you posted.

* Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the fact that my work computer is almost completely incompatible with this site for some unknown reason?

44_Zoe_
Apr 16, 2009, 8:57am Top

>43 lilithcat: I think Organize is ultimately supposed to be both Tags and Collections.

45PhoenixTerran
Apr 16, 2009, 9:27am Top

I love the new sort button, it makes it much easier and I think it is more intuitive. It would be great to have a few more sort options, too...like number of reviews, for example. :-)

46PhoenixTerran
Apr 16, 2009, 9:29am Top

And I just noticed that you can now review a book from its "Member reviews page"--very cool.

47kevmalone
Apr 16, 2009, 9:30am Top

>43 lilithcat: lilithcat

#1 For the icons there are indeed floatover ToolTips:
"book pag" "detail page" "edit book" "remove this book from your library"
"members" "reviews"

#2 Dunno - allowing for future Collection related stuff maybe

#3 Yes, the color is different although some people feel it is not different enough

#4 Yes, you have mentioned that on several occasions :D :D :D

48PhoenixTerran
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 9:33am Top

43>Currently, there is a different color for the reviews "bubble" if we wrote a review. Will that continue?

Yes, this still happens. The bubble gets shaded in--looks to be light blue/grey on the monitor I'm on right now. Though, it doesn't seem to "pop" as much.

49klarusu
Apr 16, 2009, 9:35am Top

Am I imagining it, or could we sort by 'Review' before but not now? I'm sure we used to be able to. In which case, can we have it back please?

50eromsted
Apr 16, 2009, 10:14am Top

43, 48>

Yes. Filling in the little bubble is just too subtle. I use this feature primarily when browsing other user's libraries and as it is now I don't think I would see the difference while quickly scanning the catalog.

51readafew
Apr 16, 2009, 10:18am Top

I would agree, I think the review bubble color needs to be a little more obvious, what was wrong with the green?

52tcgardner
Apr 16, 2009, 10:21am Top

Yes, the reviewed icon is a little too subtle. Something that jumps out a bit more would be welcome.

53Rob_E
Apr 16, 2009, 10:27am Top

Pretty. I like it.
Fixed header: I like the fixed header, but I do understand the real estate concerns. Never-the-less, I would actually like to see one more element fixed in place: the column headers. Many fields (Title, tags, author) are pretty intuitive by looking at the data, but some field, the three (four if you count published) date fields can be trickier. I mean they fall (for me, at least, and I guess you can change it) in a logical order, and you should be able to intuit that you probably didn't start a book before you added it to you library and didn't stop a book until after you started it, but if the headers were there, I wouldn't have to think. And, boy, do I love to not think.
The rollover tag issue bothers me not at all, but I do wonder about the utility and if there isn't another way to accomplish the same goal(s), but it works for me as is.
All-in-all, it's pretty and functional and I like the changes. It's lots of fun to see the site becoming even bigger and better than it already is.

54readafew
Apr 16, 2009, 10:34am Top

Not sure if this counts as a larger issue, but with the new sort button, can we also have #reviews as an option as well?

55lorax
Apr 16, 2009, 10:56am Top

I like the new look, hate the new "sort". It's significantly slower, and terribly nonintuitive -- I don't know what "up" and "down" mean. I know what "ascending" and "descending", or even "normal" and "reverse", mean in this context. But does "up" mean "in increasing order" or "going up toward the top"?

Fortunately for everything except sorting by users I can still sort in the normal fashion -- is there any chance, any chance at all, of getting that back? How about if I point out that it looks weird to have one column off there on its own with no header?

56lorax
Apr 16, 2009, 11:00am Top

49>

No, we couldn't sort by "review" before (though I agree it would be nice); we could sort simply and easily by shared, which we can't do now. (I understand why Tim introduced the new sort, even though I don't like the interface myself; I don't understand why he's forcing everyone to use the new method if we want to sort by number of users.)

57fyrefly98
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 11:04am Top

I don't know if this is directly related to the new catalog, but re: the new review box on the work page...

Its purpose is to facilitate people knowing where to enter reviews, right? So for books of our own that already have a review, we can assume that we've figured out where to enter them. Currently for books that already have a review, it's still showing the edit box with the text inside it.

Can we have the /review/ourbooknumber page go back to showing our review in finished, formatted form? (Presumably with an "edit" link that will bring up the edit box?) I liked being able to check my review formatting (which is still buggy about stripping line breaks), without having to hunt through all member reviews for mine.

----
Also, I just discovered: If you're on someone else's review (/worknumber/reviews/notyourbooknumber) and try editing your own review, the "save review" button doesn't do anything - it looks like it changes, but it doesn't update what appears in the members review list, and a refresh will bring back the old text in the edit box.

58235711
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 11:23am Top

Hey, when I click the review icon it takes me to my own review, ready for me to edit and save! And I can ask for more space as often as I like! I no longer have to go to the book edit page and be distracted by all the other data!

*dances*

59gemmation
Apr 16, 2009, 11:32am Top

Regarding review bubble colours.

Didn't there used to be three states?

1) no reviews by anyone = no speech bubble
2) review(s) by others = speech bubble in colour x
3) review by me = speech bubble in eye-popping colour y

Now, states (1) and (2) display the same icon. I sort of miss the visual distinction (above and beyond the number next to the icon).

Perhaps we could have:
1) no reviews by anyone = clear speech bubble, 0
2) 4 review(s) by others = speech bubble in colour x, 4
3) 72 reviews, inc. 1 by me = speech bubble in eye-popping colour y, 72

60tututhefirst
Apr 16, 2009, 11:32am Top

Love it! Please keep the header, and I agree with #54 - would love the option at least of freezing the column headings.

61kgriffith
Apr 16, 2009, 11:42am Top

Tim, you're my hero :) Thank you!!!

62235711
Apr 16, 2009, 11:53am Top

Addendum to 58:

But there's still the old problem with multiple copies: ending up on the review page belonging to another copy. ("This is about the audiobook." No it's not!)

63BarkingMatt
Apr 16, 2009, 11:55am Top

Obviously, that's because of the "work" concept after all not the catalog

64lquilter
Apr 16, 2009, 11:58am Top

I like all the new sort features with the sole exception of being able to easily sort by # of users. Suggest that the column head for the icon-pad column be something like: {sort by # of users} denoted somehow by font or something (blinking, perhaps?) to indicate that it's not a true column head but merely a sort-er. a little up/down arrow?

65lquilter
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 12:01pm Top

46 > Yes I really like being able to add a review from the REVIEW page too. Suggest that similarly the ability to add a recommendation be available from the RECOMMENDATIONS page. (and, eventually, the ability to start a conversation from the TALK page .... either to group of choice, or to a group tied to and specific to that work/author.)

66LolaWalser
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 12:04pm Top

I agree with what lorax said in #55:

"I like the new look, hate the new "sort". It's significantly slower, and terribly nonintuitive -- I don't know what "up" and "down" mean. I know what "ascending" and "descending", or even "normal" and "reverse", mean in this context. But does "up" mean "in increasing order" or "going up toward the top"?

Fortunately for everything except sorting by users I can still sort in the normal fashion -- is there any chance, any chance at all, of getting that back? How about if I point out that it looks weird to have one column off there on its own with no header?"


I posted along those lines in the "smaller issues" thread, I just want to make sure these remarks don't pass unnoticed.

67infiniteletters
Apr 16, 2009, 12:08pm Top

What about taking the show/hide comment box interface from a member's profile page, and using the same interface for the fixed headers? An x to close it, and some type of link to reopen it?

68elbakerone
Apr 16, 2009, 12:31pm Top

Overall - I give it a big green thumbs up!

I will say ditto to everyone who's talking about a color that stands out more for books that I've reviewed. It took me a while to even realize that there were different colors present.

Maybe this is just me, too, but I don't like the fact that my "Date Read" heading now says "Stopped". Seems a weird choice of word and an odd heading, not sure why it was changed.

Thanks for the new look though!

69235711
Apr 16, 2009, 12:33pm Top

63: Yes, I hope the work on "works" means that'll be fixed eventually. It's not relevant to this thread, only to my own message.

70womansheart
Apr 16, 2009, 1:23pm Top

Thanks to all of you, burning the midnight oil, upgrading the site and the features.

This must be very exciting, to upgrade like this for the first time since '05. Shows ya how good the original code is/was. Onward, more resources, more users and more hired hands/brains at work. Congrats, Tim et.al.

So far in the limited use I've experienced, I don't currently notice any bugs , glitches or any previously available function missing. If I do, I'll post on New Catalog #2: bugs and small issues. I've only been around since Jan. 1, so I still consider myself a newbie.

I use an iMac with a 20" wide-screen display, 1680X1050 pixels. Firefox/3.0.8 is my browser of choice.

So far so good. Thanks. The look is definitely upgraded nicely.

WH

71MikeBriggs
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 1:32pm Top

I do not like how much "real estate" is taken up at the top. The top book is partially eaten and I can't scroll it to view.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3557/3448154658_63525f9ef3_o.jpg
Top book eaten above. I have the full name for that book, not just Briggs, and other information is eaten. That is scrolled as far up as it can go.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3547/3448165836_bec8062b74_o.jpg

72saltmanz
Apr 16, 2009, 1:32pm Top

71> Whoa. That's completely broken, and not at all how it's supposed to look.

73kevmalone
Apr 16, 2009, 1:41pm Top

>71 MikeBriggs: are you running FF2 ? If so, there were earlier posts about this issue.

74boekl
Apr 16, 2009, 1:56pm Top

>>14 kgriffith: & 15
I too dislike the jumpy behaviour on the tag page, which Aglaia mentions in message 14. I started another thread on that one (http://www.librarything.nl/topic/62617) before I read it here.
Tim says in message 15 that he's not revisiting the code responsible for this behaviour. I hope he'll reconsider...
One option could be to make this behaviour switchable. People who get irritated by the cursor behaviour, could for instance be shown some kind of table structure, without popup menu, but with permanent small icons in the cell adjacent to the cell with the tag term. That shouldn't require too much screen space.

The problem of the non-aligned menu buttons in catalog view has been mentioned elsewhere.

75kgriffith
Apr 16, 2009, 2:05pm Top

ludootje, try closing your browser entirely and reloading that page (maybe clear cookies?) - it's been changed since last night. I didn't see the change on my home computer because I didn't reload FF, but when I looked here at work, the columns only move vertically to make way for the mouseover options, which is much kinder on the eyes.

76librarythingLuke
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 2:15pm Top

57: I'm pushing up a fix to the review not saving. I'll let Tim speak to the rest of your message. Let me know how it goes.

One thing that happens occasionally is that the reviews seem to reload so fast that they flicker and come back before the saving completes. If you edit a review and don't see the change, try clicking on one of the "show other reviews" links to force a refresh. I'll ask Tim and Chris about this.

77wisewoman
Apr 16, 2009, 2:18pm Top

I noticed the new review field on the main reviews page. I clicked "save review" for an existing review I had, and it reposted the review with today's date. Is it going to do that every time I go in to make a small edit? I wouldn't want to lose the original date of the review and any votes for the review if I wanted to edit something in an existing review.

Maybe it wouldn't repost the review if I made the change in the old page?

78conceptDawg
Apr 16, 2009, 2:22pm Top

That behavior hasn't changed. It's always done that. It doesn't lose any votes, it merely changes the date for the review. There are arguments on both sides as to whether changing the date is the "correct" action there.

79235711
Apr 16, 2009, 2:27pm Top

76: I've noticed that lately. Go from the catalogue to the book edit page, type/edit a review, hit save, and you're back in the catalogue with a review field that looks the same as before, until you refresh the page.

80wisewoman
Apr 16, 2009, 2:54pm Top

78: Really? I don't remember it doing that before. I'm almost sure I've edited reviews that kept their original date. But of course you probably know more than me about it! :-)

81lilithcat
Apr 16, 2009, 2:55pm Top

Home now, and must agree with those who have said that it's extremely difficult to differentiate between the colors in the reviews "bubble", and also that there should be a difference between "no reviews" and "reviews by other people, but not you".

I used to be able to see this information at a glance. Because of the color issue, and because the size of the icon is much smaller, this isn't possible anymore. I would very much appreciate it if there were separate, and easily distinguishable, colors for each of the three review statuses.

82readafew
Apr 16, 2009, 2:57pm Top

80 > I'm pretty sure if you edit your review from the edit page it does not change the review date.

83wisewoman
Apr 16, 2009, 3:15pm Top

I just tried it on a review I posted on April 8. When I made a small edit from the edit page, it did not change the date. That's what I thought. So it seems that it only reposts the review (giving it a new date) when you make changes to your review from the main review page.

*sigh of relief*

84readafew
Apr 16, 2009, 3:18pm Top

83 > hopefully it stays that way

85fyrefly98
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 3:27pm Top

>76 librarythingLuke: It works now, thank you! (although I went and mucked about with it before I read the rest of the thread, and so messed up the date on one of my reviews. :)

>83 wisewoman: Another reason, along with the line-break removal smooshing elsewhere, to do all of your reviewing on the edit page.

86Mrs.Stansbury
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 4:49pm Top

I would like to see the icons and numbers for members with the book and those who have reviewed the book to be a bit larger. I can barely see them- and I am a young whipper snapper of 30 years albeit with terrible eyes. Can we make that a tad bigger? Pretty Please? With ice cream on top?

Also the balloon colors fill in when I've reviewed the book but the color is so light. Can it be darker?

87lorax
Apr 16, 2009, 6:26pm Top

78>

So, merely by going to "edit" and then saving on a regular basis, someone could ensure that their review always showed up on the top of the list when sorted by date (the default)? Is that really desired behavior?

88twilightlost
Apr 16, 2009, 6:33pm Top

Another vote for having sharper colours for the icons, especially the review bubble. Everything else looks great. :)

89saltmanz
Apr 16, 2009, 6:47pm Top

87> He said there were arguments for both sides. That's obviously a valid point for the "never change the date" perspective.

90235711
Edited: Apr 16, 2009, 7:27pm Top

83, etc.

Is this (tinkering with reviews in the catalogue view instead of on the edit book page) also where the ridiculously high review count for some books comes from? I mean, I've got a couple of reviews I've been adding to over time, and both in the members/reviews column and on the author page they've acquired the most unrealistic number of alleged reviews. So you see a high review number on the author page, but when you go to the work page to have a look at all this riches, it says "reviews: none". It's just that someone has been editing their review a lot. With some it even says things like "2 copies, 86 reviews". I was going to post about it in Bug Collectors after these two threads died down.

91bookel
Apr 16, 2009, 7:45pm Top

I agree with 86. "I would like to see the icons and numbers for members with the book and those who have reviewed the book to be a bit larger"

92infiniteletters
Apr 16, 2009, 7:47pm Top

I third 86 and 91.

93eromsted
Apr 16, 2009, 8:20pm Top

My eyes would also benefit from slightly larger icons in the toolpad. I use cover images in most of my display styles so for me there is extra space available. The difficulty is for the people who don't use cover images. They want the toolpad to be as short as possible to get the most book records on the screen.

94timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 9:25pm Top

I love the new sort button, it makes it much easier and I think it is more intuitive. It would be great to have a few more sort options, too...like number of reviews, for example. :-)

Yes. I think I can add that.

And I just noticed that you can now review a book from its "Member reviews page"--very cool.

Yes. We wanted to make the review button worth it.

Am I imagining it, or could we sort by 'Review' before but not now? I'm sure we used to be able to. In which case, can we have it back please?

You never had it. But I can do it.

I like the new look, hate the new "sort". It's significantly slower, and terribly nonintuitive

You can sort the old way too.

How about if I point out that it looks weird to have one column off there on its own with no header?

It's not a column. It has no borders around it. It's functionality related to the data to its left. Adding a header that allowed you to sort by one element there would not improve things.

... there should be a difference between "no reviews" and "reviews by other people, but not you".

Honestly, don't you think the number is enough? It says how many reviews. It says whether you have a review or not. If there any reviews and you didn't write one, well, obviously there are reviews by other people. What am I missing?

Review date

Luke: Can you make it so that it doesn't change the date—here and elsewhere?

I can barely see them- and I am a young whipper snapper of 30 years ...

That's because your eyes are only able to see fast-moving things, like video games and "rock and roll" dancing.

Note: tiny icons

Some people want the review and members icons and numbers larger. Are others willing to cede the extra space that will eat?

95timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 9:25pm Top

I'm holding off on any changes until I talk to Chris.

96lilithcat
Apr 16, 2009, 9:29pm Top

> 94

... there should be a difference between "no reviews" and "reviews by other people, but not you".

Honestly, don't you think the number is enough? It says how many reviews.


But it's so tiny!

97Mrs.Stansbury
Apr 16, 2009, 9:59pm Top

>94 timspalding: Thanks Tim for the laugh about: "That's because your eyes are only able to see fast-moving things, like video games and "rock and roll" dancing."

And while most of my peers grew up addicted to video games and Mtv I was an oddity. I grew up with no video games and danced rather than watching someone else.

The member number and review bubble really are too small. I'm willing to give up some space somewhere else if that is what has to happen.

98hailelib
Apr 16, 2009, 10:07pm Top

I can barely see them but more contrast might help a lot.

99Aerrin99
Apr 16, 2009, 10:23pm Top

> 53 I like the fixed header, but I do understand the real estate concerns. Never-the-less, I would actually like to see one more element fixed in place: the column headers.

I agree - I find this confusing and I would like to be able to sort the column no matter where I am in the column.

Otherwise most the things I have to say have mostly been said already! Overall, really excellent changes!

Nitpicky picks: The review/no review contrast needs upped significantly (most those icons do, actually). I miss being able to sort by members by clicking on the column header - it /is/ significantly slower to do it via the 'sort' box, and it's something I did fairly regularly when I was bored and wanted to combine. I know we didn't lose the functionality, but the change makes it a lot harder for your power-users to power use one of the things that helps keep LT data clean, which is, I think, something to consider!

Did I mention that I like it?

100infiniteletters
Apr 16, 2009, 10:28pm Top

If you make the border on the 4 problem icons (gear, book, index card, speech bubble) darker, that would improve the contrast without changing the size.

For the review icon, I think people want some distinct colors for "your review", "no review from you".

101timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 11:02pm Top

I'm going to nix holding the column headers in place. They are mostly informational, rather than functional now. You get rapidly used to the order you use, and if you don't know it, you glance at the data. It's easy to tell authors from titles from ISBNs...

102fyrefly98
Apr 16, 2009, 11:14pm Top

>101 timspalding: but if you've got a screen of, say, dates (acquired, entered, started, "stopped"), and they're all blank, and you're halfway down the page wanting to fill in the started date for the book you've picked up and can't remember which blank box to double-click...

103commingledfibers
Apr 16, 2009, 11:31pm Top

The 'tool pad' approach- eh, I'll get used to just about anything. What bothers me here is that previously the icons clearly related to the data row, since they resided within a cell in the row. Now they pad floats without a size change when the row height changes, and looks visually disconnected. I am getting the initial impression of having some other content beside the data, not really a button that acts on the data.

I am one who prefers the old icon look over the new. I prefer enough contrast to distinguish between icons, and this makes my eyes wince slightly trying to see, and this is after I had my eyes lasered. I am being picky, but you could go less clunky while retaining some heft.
I do like the graphic changes in the list/covers/organize/style row. Seems sharper, could be that you dropped the awful pink background color.
The overall LT banner and tabs- PLEASE leave that. I hate sites where I have to scroll up to switch pages. That's what static tabs are for. Make the banner smaller if this bothers enough people.

I like the new sort feature- I use the other just fine, but it is good to make things obvious. I know it took awhile for me to understand how sorting worked before, particularly when I did not want the subsort.

Loading seems faster, or maybe the placebo effect for me. I don't know if you made any changes in adding books, but it seemed faster tonight, and that was something I noticed before I knew of the changes.

104timspalding
Apr 16, 2009, 11:35pm Top

Related to this see talk threads on:

Sort by total reviews
http://www.librarything.com/topic/62701

I killed the tags tab, and I am not sorry!
http://www.librarything.com/topic/62700

Respond to those issues over there, if you will.

105FicusFan
Apr 16, 2009, 11:48pm Top


Please make column headings permanent. Dates are not able to be determined without a heading.

Not to mention if you are in someone else's library and scroll down. You didn't set it up so why would you remember which date is which ? You can't change others data, but you can peruse it, but if you don't know what it is, its worthless.

They want 3 states of review - which we used to have. No reviews no bubble, reviews by others, yellow, reviews by you green. If you don't want to do away with the bubble then make it a different color. Colors don't have to be yellow and green, just using that as an example.

The icons should be bigger and have more presence too.

106Collectorator
Apr 17, 2009, 12:59am Top

On a positive note - something I know is the result of the new catalog interface - the Swap Column stays put! It used to be that if I clicked to have that column it would appear for the next stage of catalog browsing, but would disappear if I changed styles. But now it is here for good it seems.

107vaneska
Apr 17, 2009, 3:04am Top

94: Note: tiny icons

If, as I and others have already said, you gave the small icons better definition (like the pencil icon) then I think you'd have far fewer demands for bigger icons.

v

108klarusu
Apr 17, 2009, 3:32am Top

Some people want the review and members icons and numbers larger. Are others willing to cede the extra space that will eat?
Don't think it would affect my view because I tag a lot so I have a lot of space to spare. Certainly wouldn't bug me.

109Rynooo
Apr 17, 2009, 4:44am Top

I agree with #55 and #66.

My biggest gripe is the scroll speed.

110bookel
Apr 17, 2009, 6:05am Top

Higher contrast (dark black lines) on the icons would definitely make a difference. I was happy with the original icons (if it aint broke, why change it?) but the change would be okay, I guess, if you make the constrast the same as the originals. While I can't tell it is a pencil anymore from the same distance (not without leaning in and, oh, there's a rubber tip?), it and the delete button are way better contrast than the other two icons, detail page and work page (thank you tooltips). With the original detail page icon I could easily tell the border and the lines in it. Now at the same distance from the screen it looks like a pale grey dot with no details (unless I lean way close to the computer, and there is the border, and I can barely distinguish the lines in it). The work page icon could stand to have higher contrast too. If these were tactile indicators on footpaths, they would fail contrast guidelines miserably.

I don't know if this is the same for anyone else but I just noticed the tops of the column header words are cut off. The top of the S in Summary, top of the P in Publication, etc. It could be my settings. I have the highest DPI and resolution currently. Might try fiddling with res. over the weekend.

111jimroberts
Apr 17, 2009, 6:38am Top

#94: timspalding If there any reviews and you didn't write one, well, obviously there are reviews by other people. What am I missing?

You are missing that, when I look at the library of user X other than jimroberts, I used to be able to see easily from the colour contrast whether X had written a review,

112detailmuse
Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 7:06am Top

Some people want the review and members icons and numbers larger. Are others willing to cede the extra space that will eat?

Steal some from the Ratings* column, those stars have size and contrast. (In fact, they look clownishly large in comparison.)

You can make up for a lot of size with some contrast. For me, the numbers are ok but the icons need contrast/color, I can only tell a balloon is filled by comparing it to the empty one, not on its own.

eta: I know, it's not present in all views

113PhoenixTerran
Apr 17, 2009, 7:43am Top

I'd definitely be willing to cede space for larger icons. I also noticed that when looking at others' catalogs, the statistics are listed on top of each other instead of side by side. I actually found this easier to glance at and make sense of because they were closer together. But, definitely bigger. And more contrast between reviewed and reviewed by user.

114lilithcat
Apr 17, 2009, 8:49am Top

> 111

Not to mention that:
a) I don't always remember if I've written a review
b) Sometimes I like to just glance down my catalogue page for books I've reviewed; I'm not necessarily looking at a specific book.

115jillmwo
Apr 17, 2009, 9:17am Top

I'm with lilithcat. Her noted rationales (a and b) are the same as mine. I miss the ability to tell at a glance if I've reviewed a particular title on LT. That's something I would like to get back (although to be honest, it's not a deal killer).

116MikeBriggs
Apr 17, 2009, 9:39am Top

I am beginning to get the feeling all these neat changes coming to Librarything will leave me outside. Unable to use it. Computer too old.

if collections will be like the new "your library"/"your book" change. Which does not work on my computer. Or the tags change. Which doesn't appear on my computer.

My catalog page
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3330/3450248132_c65cd739d7_o.jpg

my tag page
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3317/3450281780_3046286220_o.jpg

Reloading that blank screen takes me back to my catalog page. Clearing cache, etc. does not fix.

So, I guess I'm left behind. And I was so looking forward to collections.

117morryb
Apr 17, 2009, 10:29am Top

I can only see one or two books at a time when I go to my library, and my feet hurt (oh wait that part is not you).

118justjim
Apr 17, 2009, 10:34am Top

>117 morryb:
I know what that problem is. It must be a long walk to your library and when you get there, you're squinting your eyes saying "Ow, my feet hurt." So you can only see a few books.

Solution: Catch the bus!

119alexielle
Apr 17, 2009, 11:56am Top

>101 timspalding: YES. Thank you.

>103 commingledfibers: The overall LT banner and tabs- PLEASE leave that. I hate sites where I have to scroll up to switch pages. That's what static tabs are for. Make the banner smaller if this bothers enough people.

Can't you just hit 'home' (for IE) or some other key and get back to the top of the page?

120Busifer
Apr 17, 2009, 12:01pm Top

OK, so I didn't read all 118 previous posts, so please bear with me if this has already been discussed. OK?

1. The new icons/info to the right of every item. Snazzy as they are from an usability pov they're not an improvement. Too small, especially if you're having impaired eyesight, and they provide a way too small clickable area if you're having deficient motor skills. The thing that was wrong before wasn't size but execution.

2. Search in your catalogue. Normally you as an user expect to type your query, refine it, and the click Search. That Delicious does it this same other way does not mean most users can handle it. I've done some extensive testing (usability testing, that is) regarding search forms and their brethren, and I'd advice a return to established patterns, here.

Just my 5 cents, but I've been in my profession (UX/Usability) too long (18 years) not to share.

(I then saw that this has been discussed. So, I just want to add that what I offer is not a personal opinion but a purely professional one.)

121lorax
Apr 17, 2009, 12:03pm Top

Some people want the review and members icons and numbers larger. Are others willing to cede the extra space that will eat?

Absolutely not.

122lorax
Apr 17, 2009, 12:07pm Top

(me:) How about if I point out that it looks weird to have one column off there on its own with no header?

(Tim:) It's not a column. It has no borders around it. It's functionality related to the data to its left. Adding a header that allowed you to sort by one element there would not improve things.

Well, then, how about separating the social information from the icons (which I think was discussed at one point), making the social a movable, hideable column like any other, and then making THAT sortable? (I know it's technically sortable now, with the clunky slow non-intuitive sort button, but it's not easily sortable.)

123LolaWalser
Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 1:44pm Top

#94

You can sort the old way too.

Only on some columns. As several of us pointed out, you can't sort quickly by shared copy number anymore because the header for that column is gone. Can we have that back?

124justjim
Apr 17, 2009, 1:53pm Top

Not "only on some columns", on any column except that one, including columns that your are not showing in your view and couldn't click on their column head anyway. More good than bad, surely?

125lorax
Apr 17, 2009, 2:11pm Top

124>

I do see the usefulness of being able to sort by a non-displayed column and will admit that the old way (of switching to a style that included the desired sort column, sorting, and then switching back) may have been slightly non-intuitive for novice users, but the great thing is that, for everything but shared copy number, it's not an either-or thing; Tim is, thankfully, not forcing us all to use the new method, other than in this one case.

126jjwilson61
Apr 17, 2009, 2:12pm Top

Jim, you took that out of context. It is true that you can only "sort the old way" "on some columns." The fact that you can now sort on columns not in view is irrelevant if we are only discussing sorting the old (fast) way.

127Kira
Apr 17, 2009, 2:19pm Top

I think the fact that you have to use the drop-down to sort by # of shared members is not a big enough problem to merit change. I use that sort fairly frequently to catch books that haven't been combined properly, but I like that the way the number is displayed now takes up less space, because overall being able to fit more information on a page clearly is a good thing. So will I agree that it may be slightly less convenient to sort that way now, I feel that the trade-off for more other columns is worth it.

128justjim
Apr 17, 2009, 2:27pm Top

>126 jjwilson61:
Very possibly, Jeff. It's nearly half past four in the morning and I have absolutely no idea why I'm still up! There was no evil intent, I can assure you.

Jim

129lorax
Apr 17, 2009, 2:39pm Top

127>

One has nothing to do with the other -- Tim could easily have shrunk the icons without changing the functionality, he just chose not to.

130timspalding
Apr 17, 2009, 2:40pm Top

You are missing that, when I look at the library of user X other than jimroberts, I used to be able to see easily from the colour contrast whether X had written a review,

That's how it works now. If I'm looking at your library, it shows if you have done a review.

I'm with lilithcat. Her noted rationales (a and b) are the same as mine. I miss the ability to tell at a glance if I've reviewed a particular title on LT. That's something I would like to get back (although to be honest, it's not a deal killer).

Are you complaining about the color? Because it does show you it. It's just not dark enough for some people. Right?

1. The new icons/info to the right of every item. Snazzy as they are from an usability pov they're not an improvement. Too small, especially if you're having impaired eyesight, and they provide a way too small clickable area if you're having deficient motor skills. The thing that was wrong before wasn't size but execution.

Look, ultimately we aren't going to size LT's icons for people with eyesight and coordination disabilities. The web today uses icons that are this size. Using larger icons is non-standard, and wastes space. That all books are not large print books isn't a bug.

The icons here are either based on or size equivalent to the "famfam silk" icons, a free set used by thousands of websites, including Facebook.

2. Search in your catalogue. Normally you as an user expect to type your query, refine it, and the click Search. That Delicious does it this same other way does not mean most users can handle it. I've done some extensive testing (usability testing, that is) regarding search forms and their brethren, and I'd advice a return to established patterns, here.

What's your complaint, that it's not a multi-stage search? You expect to be able to refine your search before you search? What?

We have a search box. You type in it. You hit search. This is our pattern. It's everyone's pattern, save for some libraries and academic databases. What's the problem?

Well, then, how about separating the social information from the icons (which I think was discussed at one point), making the social a movable, hideable column like any other, and then making THAT sortable? (I know it's technically sortable now, with the clunky slow non-intuitive sort button, but it's not easily sortable.)

It's possible. We played with that. But no, ultimately, I don't want users to be hiding the social information—for themselves or others. It will prevent users from moving up the social-cataloging ladder, and, if you can make it the default for your catalog, it will confuse other users. You get 4-10 columns. LibraryThing gets one.

Only on some columns. As several of us pointed out, you can't sort quickly by shared copy number anymore because the header for that column is gone. Can we have that back?

Some means "all but one." And I added a new one—sorting by member reviews—that wasn't possible before, because the column included two numbers.

Fundamentally, we took one small feature away and gave back usability, clarity, sorting on columns you can't see, subsorting for everyone not just power users, and a new review sort. I'm not budging on this.

131timspalding
Apr 17, 2009, 2:45pm Top

One has nothing to do with the other -- Tim could easily have shrunk the icons without changing the functionality, he just chose not to.

Yes. I could hover a column header over a column which had nothing to do with the column, but only one of two pieces of data there. I could have done that.

Look at it as if you didn't know how it worked before. We have 3-5 icons that go places and do things related to the book. Below that we have the number of members who have the book, linked to the member page, and the number of members who have the review, linked to the reviews page.

Now, let's propose putting a title to that box. Would it be "shared members"? Not in a million years. Would you expect to be able to click that inappropriate title? Again, no.

The new toolpad is clearer. It has more functionality—ie., going to the members and reviews pages, the latter of which now allows you to edit the review independent of other book data. All that's missing is the slightly weird decision to label a tools column by a piece of marginal data, and then allow sorting on that.

132LolaWalser
Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 2:54pm Top

#131

Would it be possible to have a shared copy number column as an option in display styles?

133lorax
Apr 17, 2009, 2:55pm Top

The new toolpad is clearer. It has more functionality—ie., going to the members and reviews pages, the latter of which now allows you to edit the review independent of other book data. All that's missing is the slightly weird decision to label a tools column by a piece of marginal data, and then allow sorting on that.

I do like the new toolpad in general, and I know I'll get used to the new sort method for this case; I just wish it wasn't so much slower. (And that you'd chosen more intuitive names for sort direction than "Up" and "Down". I figured out that "Up" was ascending sort only because it was first, so I figured it would be the default -- but things like Excel use an upward-pointing arrow to indicate descending sort, so it's a very non-intuitive wording.)

134kgriffith
Apr 17, 2009, 3:09pm Top

I second the non-intuitiveness of the language chosen for sorting, but once was all it took for me to realize it's just backwards of what I thought, so now I know that the default is what I generally want, and to change it for reverse. I essentially ignore the words themselves.

135timspalding
Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 3:21pm Top

I do like the new toolpad in general, and I know I'll get used to the new sort method for this case; I just wish it wasn't so much slower. (And that you'd chosen more intuitive names for sort direction than "Up" and "Down". I figured out that "Up" was ascending sort only because it was first, so I figured it would be the default -- but things like Excel use an upward-pointing arrow to indicate descending sort, so it's a very non-intuitive wording.)

Okay, let's work this. I'm against "Ascending" and "Descending." They are fancy words, used in database programs and programming languages. "A-Z" or etc. won't work, because the data is of various "types."

I can't think of any other way, except to use icons. Maybe icon plus arrow? I think it should be down, up, not up, down too.

136kgriffith
Apr 17, 2009, 3:22pm Top

Are you married to one-word solutions? "top down" and "bottom up" aren't pretty, but I think they convey the visual result one gets from current "up" or "down" sorting...

137timspalding
Apr 17, 2009, 3:23pm Top

Hmmm... No. I'm open to two-words. I'm not sure those are better, though. Hmmm.

138readafew
Apr 17, 2009, 3:26pm Top

large-> small
small -> large?

not really sure, I just always see Ascending/Descending or Asc/Desc

139kgriffith
Apr 17, 2009, 3:28pm Top

As I see it, part of the problem of having "One Way" to sort is that different categories require different start and end points.

This would probably be "fiddly," but what about having a second drop-down instead of a radio button for the sort style?

For example, if I choose "Author" as my top level sort, a drop-down populates with the option of "A-Z" or "Z-A." If I then choose "Ratings" as my secondary sort, a drop-down appears with the options of "5 star to 0 star" or "0 star to 5 star."

140readafew
Apr 17, 2009, 3:29pm Top

139 > actually doesn't even need to be a drop down, just change the labels

141kgriffith
Apr 17, 2009, 3:31pm Top

140 - True, I was just thinking about maintaining the current size/setup of the shadow box. Either way would work for me!

142timspalding
Apr 17, 2009, 3:32pm Top

>139 kgriffith:

That's an interesting idea!

143kgriffith
Apr 17, 2009, 3:33pm Top

Oooh, is there an "interesting idea" helper badge????

:)

144timspalding
Apr 17, 2009, 3:37pm Top

>143 kgriffith:

That too's an interesting idea! :)

145justjim
Apr 17, 2009, 3:40pm Top

Not sure if there's a badge, but to get "That's an interesting idea." Twice. With exclamations!

Take a hearty pat on the back out of petty cash, Kirsten.

146timspalding
Apr 17, 2009, 3:43pm Top

Hey stay away from the petty cash! It's a huge pain to have to keep track of it.

147jimroberts
Apr 17, 2009, 3:44pm Top

#Message 130: timspalding
You are missing that, when I look at the library of user X other than jimroberts, I used to be able to see easily from the colour contrast whether X had written a review,
That's how it works now. If I'm looking at your library, it shows if you have done a review.

and, to another user
Are you complaining about the color? Because it does show you it. It's just not dark enough for some people. Right?

It is about the difference in colours. "I used to be able to see easily from the colour contrast ...". There is nothing wrong with my colour perception, but now I have to look carefully to see what before was evident.

148kgriffith
Apr 17, 2009, 3:46pm Top

I will take that pat on the back, thankyouverymuch. And Tim, I promise to replenish as new features are implemented :)

149_Zoe_
Apr 17, 2009, 3:49pm Top

Tim, what about the fact that "up" means something different for entry date than it does for the other dates, with the result that clicking on "recently read" on the hompeage shows least-recently read? This isn't a new problem, and I'm not sure why it wasn't fixed immediately, but it's a lot more obvious now.

Also, in principle, sorting some other way than by the column headers is fine and even convenient. The problem is that the specific UI you've chosen is awkward and slow; it's almost easier to change display styles and click on a heading than it is to sort by a column that's not in the current display style. I think it might be a lot better if the Sort button were a dropdown rather than a lightbox.

150justjim
Apr 17, 2009, 3:52pm Top

Bother! I'm not authorised to disburse petty cash, I should have said "take a cuecat from the rollicking great pile by the door".

151kgriffith
Apr 17, 2009, 3:53pm Top

jim, I already had two... I gave one away with the instruction that it be passed along when the initial book dump was complete :) Pay the cuecats forward, I say!

152justjim
Apr 17, 2009, 3:56pm Top

Absaloodle! Looks like you're back to an IOU for a pat on the back then.

153qebo
Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 4:05pm Top

Since we're on the topic of sort... I don't personally care much about sorting by #members, but I would like to save sort orders, either as part of the current styles or similarly in the sort section. This would also allow quick sorting by people who want to sort by #members and find the new sort box cumbersome (as do I for a single level, but it is nice for multiple levels). (And I'd like more than two levels of sort also...)

I like the suggestion of #132, for people who do want to sort by #members, to include this as a column in display styles.

And aren't ascending/descending common terms? If not, shouldn't they be? what about "ascending (A-Z, 1-10)" or some such? If they are going to be contextual, I'd rather keep the radio buttons and change the labels, really dislike dropdowns for few items.

154justjim
Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 4:15pm Top

Welcome back qebo, have you spent all this time playing with SpeedDial?

155monarchi
Apr 17, 2009, 5:57pm Top

I know there's still tweaking to be done, and bugs to fix, and arguments to have...and I look forward to seeing that done by people both more knowledgeable and more opiniated than me.

But I just wanted to say, to Tim and Chris and everyone who's put work into this catalogue update: Thanks! It looks great on my (OS X, FF3) machine, and it has the squeaky clean and somewhat disconcerting freshness of my desk after I've just spent the day cleaning and reorganizing.

156qebo
Apr 17, 2009, 7:08pm Top

154: Alas, I actually have other things I'm supposed to be doing...

157infiniteletters
Apr 17, 2009, 7:25pm Top

156: *gasps*

158qebo
Apr 17, 2009, 7:31pm Top

157: This doesn't necessarily mean that I'm doing the other things... Or doing them with full dedication. (I'm actually just a little bit glad that we don't have collections yet.)

159bookel
Apr 17, 2009, 8:50pm Top

My library screen view when I click on 'your books'. Top of the headers are hidden (this fixes once I click on something to go to a new screen, but it is still a problem at the start). It is scrolled all the way to the right and I don't have anything on the right of the search box. So I've no idea what that is (forget what it was on someone else's screen). The icons (detail and work page) have a lack of contrast (and are too small for me, but if you improve contrast that would help ginormously). I can only see one or part of one entry on the screen. Note: I need the print this size. I zoom text only, not images (zooming images would make the view even more unwieldy, including on other webpages, and require scrolling to the right more often). I only increased font size via Control Panel and the Mozilla Firefox browser. I can't have the print smaller.

As for those icons, I am sure there are many others who have way better vision who find them difficult to see, and also those with way less who use screen magnification software like ZoomText and others, that find the contrast extremely bad.

Another problem: when I do a catalogue restriction search by tag, it might show for eg.: 1 – 100 of 111, then below that, a few dots, then a line, then the headers and catalogue itself. I assume "the dots" are the tag restriction words (ie. the top of the letters). The words are not visible at all.

If you tried low vision simulator goggles, even though professionally speaking they are not accurate representations of vision impairment, they would demonstrate, at least make it clearer to your mind, the importance of good contrast.

160eromsted
Edited: Apr 17, 2009, 9:15pm Top

Two issues with the new sort:

1 - Now that is easy to sort by a column that is not currently displayed we need some indication of the current sort. We used to be able to see the little up or down triangle by the column header, but that won't work anymore.

2 - This is a repeat but I think it's important and I have not seen a response. When you use the new sort button you loose your search parameters. Let's say I search for "tag:owned." Then I sort by "Date Acquired" with the new sort button. I will be dumped back to the whole catalog (with the correct sort) and will have to redo my search. It's only one extra step, but it seems wrong. This was always a problem for me in covers view, but I hardly ever used covers view so I didn't care. Now I care.

If I have not said so before, I'm overall quite happy with the changes. Thank you and keep up the good work.

161bookel
Edited: Apr 18, 2009, 2:13am Top

Thumbs up on the tag restriction search in the library: It shows now "Tag: nocoverpic x" (with brackets around the x) except it reads as lag (top of T cut off) for me at the minimum text size I set it as. Experimenting by increasing text size (though I don't need to) makes that disappear under the fixed (grimace) header.

EDIT: Unfortunately it is not showing the restricted library search words again. Back to "the dots" showing just above the line with no way of showing the words. :( ... Eh? Then it goes back to being able to see the words again. Still fiddling?

162gemmation
Apr 18, 2009, 7:29pm Top

Tim: Honestly, don't you think the number is enough? It says how many reviews. It says whether you have a review or not. If there any reviews and you didn't write one, well, obviously there are reviews by other people. What am I missing?

This is a pretty small (teeny tiny) quibble. I am totally enjoying all the new stuff, and appreciate that you guys even engage with us on medium/large issues, let alone the niggles!

To answer though, for me, the distinction between a very small blue 6 and a very small blue 0 isn't going to be great, especially if my eyes are just sweeping down the column, rather than specifically trying to find out if one individual book has any reviews. {And for many of my books, reviews in the single digits is all they will ever get.}

Here's a mock-up of what I'd been imagining. Not sure if it has the desired effect, really.

163Aerrin99
Apr 18, 2009, 8:11pm Top

That mock-up is excellent - particularly like the green. Muuuuuch clearer!

164reconditereader
Apr 18, 2009, 9:51pm Top

I like the mock-up!

165timspalding
Apr 19, 2009, 3:47am Top

Tim, what about the fact that "up" means something different for entry date than it does for the other dates, with the result that clicking on "recently read" on the hompeage shows least-recently read? This isn't a new problem, and I'm not sure why it wasn't fixed immediately, but it's a lot more obvious now.

So, the fix is probably opposite. In fact, "entry date" works this way too. Probably it should default to "descending" (ie., recent-to-past) both for this and for other dates. (Not the publishing date, I think, which isn't the same.)

Are you agreed on that a general rule? It's non-standard and weird to some degree. But I think it's the right solution.

Now, what do we do about the sort pop-up. I'm loathe to change the radio button from "Ascending" to "Descending" just because you hit a date field. That violates the expectation that the program doens't change the screen, except as asked. Agree or disagree?

The problem is that the specific UI you've chosen is awkward and slow; it's almost easier to change display styles and click on a heading than it is to sort by a column that's not in the current display style.

And if you think it's faster, you should be in the first rank of people telling others that the tags tab should go. After all, loading catalog pages is a trivial task.

I think it might be a lot better if the Sort button were a dropdown rather than a lightbox.

Okay, so how do we do subsorts? And should it have entries for both ascending and descending, or is that a second drop-down?

159 bookel

I'm under the impression that Chris is working with you to resolve hidden-area issues. If not, let us know. We have discussed ways to make it work on 1 - Now that is easy to sort by a column that is not currently displayed we need some indication of the current sort. We used to be able to see the little up or down triangle by the column header, but that won't work anymore.

No. It's too complex. You have sorts and subsorts. I could add a line stating what the current sort is. It would eat up screen real-estate. I don't think it's a good trade-off. Most of the time people know what they sorted by, just like they know what radio station they're on.

When you use the new sort button you loose your search parameters

Okay. Got it. I'm adding this to the short-issues continued page.

Mock up

Ha. No fair. I just changed it to yellow, just as in your mockup! I swear, howver, I didn't see your mockup when I did it. Great minds think alike, perhaps.

Anyway, I'm not against green either, but I think yellow fits in better here.

166bookel
Apr 19, 2009, 4:33am Top

165 I'm under the impression that Chris is working with you to resolve hidden-area issues. If not, let us know.

I only know what has been worded here (and a few months? ago), haven't been contacted off-post, no. Chris says here he'll get to it, no worries. I'm aware it is time-consuming.

We have discussed ways to make it work on

My screen is large, about 20 or 21 inch widescreen. Currently it's on the highest resolution 1680 x 1050 pixels. I'm toying with the idea of reducing it slightly (although it will require much fiddling with settings). 1024 appears to be near the low end of the resolution scale. Would the header bar work on anything inbetween 1024 and the highest widescreen resolution?

changing button size or contrast

Numbers of people affected is indeterminate. It would affect current and subsequent users, not just the one who dared to speak. Increasing contrast would help more than you could imagine and attract more users to the site. Thanks.

167khms
Apr 19, 2009, 6:32am Top

165 Most of the time people know what they sorted by, just like they know what radio station they're on.

Funny you should mention radio stations here - in the last few days I've actually realized several times I was on a different station than I thought ...

166 Increasing contrast would help more than you could imagine

No idea what Tim can imagine, but ever since the new work pages (I think) I've been irritated about the move to smaller, less-contrasty icons.

Tim is certainly right that it's not just on LT. On the other hand, it's been just as irritating elsewhere, especially if it's also smaller text. I have no idea where this move to hard-to-read stuff comes from, considering that I've been asked more than once how I can read some small print (indicating that others tend to give up earlier) ...

On the other hand, it's not all that new. One of my first experiences with web design was a local user who combined very small font size with, IIRC (it's been at least ten years), pink-on-black text ... and it was completely impossible to convince him that this was anything but clear and beautiful.

168FicusFan
Apr 19, 2009, 8:20am Top



I agree that the icons are too small and too faint in general. Fixing the problem for those with vision impairment would actually help the rest of us too. I don't consider myself to have a problem, but the new look on this site is hard to read.

Specifically the toolpad and that sprocket thingy at the end of the Style - I barely see it.

And in general blowing off people with problems is not cool, and rather short sighted. This has always been a great site for inclusion, but saying the look is more important than functionality, even for a small population, does not bode well for the future.



169hailelib
Apr 19, 2009, 8:52am Top

On my iMac screen in FF the yellow is a little better than the previous whatever it was but still isn't noticeable unless I'm really looking. Its a very little bit more noticeable in Safari. I'm in the 'more contrast te better' camp.

170_Zoe_
Apr 19, 2009, 8:58am Top

So, the fix is probably opposite. In fact, "entry date" works this way too. Probably it should default to "descending" (ie., recent-to-past) both for this and for other dates.

Yes, I definitely think it should be recent-to-past (if that means recent is what shows up at the top when you click on the heading the first time).

I think ratings also seem counter-intuitive: sorting ratings "up" starts with the highest ratings.

Now, what do we do about the sort pop-up. I'm loathe to change the radio button from "Ascending" to "Descending" just because you hit a date field.

One possibility would be to change the wording to something like "default" and "reverse", rather than "up" and "down". This might seem a bit awkward, but I feel like half the time my first guess about the meaning of "up" and "down" is wrong anyway.

And if you think it's faster, you should be in the first rank of people telling others that the tags tab should go. After all, loading catalog pages is a trivial task.

Actually, it was when I was using a slower connection that I found the lightbox most irritating. Waiting for the catalogue isn't as frustrating, because it has more content, so at least I'm getting something at the end of the waiting. But there's so little in the lightbox that I want it to come up right away.

Okay, so how do we do subsorts? And should it have entries for both ascending and descending, or is that a second drop-down?

I imagine the drop-down showing primary, secondary, (tertiary, quaternary? okay, probably not), and when you click on one of those it expands sideways to another drop-down where you choose the field.

I would keep the sort as a separate thing. As it currently is, I frequently have to change direction because I've chosen the wrong one; and if you changed it to something like "default" and "reverse", then I just wouldn't want to have to specify it every time.

publishing date

Speaking of which, if this is the field called "Date", it should really be changed to "Publication Date". When we're sorting by a field that we can't actually see, it's more important for the field names to be completely clear.

171jjwilson61
Apr 19, 2009, 10:14am Top

I think you should either change all the fields to sort in the same direction by default or change the radio buttons in the search lightbox to Default and Reverse. Otherwise its too confusing. And the whole point of many of these catalog page changes was to make it easier to use, wasn't it?

172Tid
Apr 19, 2009, 10:33am Top

This is something that hasn't changed, and it may simply be the "irritating thoughts of a newbie", but ...

a big irritating feature of LT for me is the "Post a message" behaviour. I think it is awful that right from the start, the bottom of the text box is off the screen so that the Submit button disappears. Do you KNOW how irritating it is to type your message, then have to mouse to the scroll bar, scroll down, mouse back to Submit, then click?

If "Post a message" is clicked, the whole text box and the Submit button should be visible, right from the start, so it can be clicked easily without having to scroll.

Possibly you're all talking about the Library pages, but don't neglect the Talk pages too - they're where I spend most of my time here.

173FicusFan
Apr 19, 2009, 10:37am Top

When I post a message, if the whole edit box/button isn't visible, I scroll down before I start typing so everything is on screen. Then I type and can hit submit without having to hunt for it.

174jjwilson61
Apr 19, 2009, 10:42am Top

It is irritating, but hitting the tab key when you're in the text box takes you right to the submit button.

175Talbin
Edited: Apr 19, 2009, 11:17am Top

>165 timspalding: Tim: Tim, what about the fact that "up" means something different for entry date than it does for the other dates, with the result that clicking on "recently read" on the hompeage shows least-recently read? This isn't a new problem, and I'm not sure why it wasn't fixed immediately, but it's a lot more obvious now.

So, the fix is probably opposite. In fact, "entry date" works this way too. Probably it should default to "descending" (ie., recent-to-past) both for this and for other dates. (Not the publishing date, I think, which isn't the same.)

Are you agreed on that a general rule? It's non-standard and weird to some degree. But I think it's the right solution.

I disagree. As you say, "it's non-standard and weird." It's also counter-intuitive. I think it was jjwilson who said thought everything should sort in the same "direction," and I agree. 2 cents from someone whose default catalog views mostly include various dates.

Edited to close italics.

176infiniteletters
Apr 19, 2009, 11:46am Top

I think recent to past is a fine way to sort dates, with a possible exception of the publication date. And really, the publication dates in my library are all over the place, so oldest first would only make sense on a field for the original publication date.

177Tid
Apr 19, 2009, 12:01pm Top

> 173

"if the whole edit box/button isn't visible, I scroll down before I start typing so everything is on screen."

Yes, but whenever you do it, it still means an extra unnecessary scroll

> 174

"hitting the tab key when you're in the text box takes you right to the submit button"

Yes, that works - thank you :-)

178235711
Apr 19, 2009, 12:35pm Top

168:

I agree. People with disabilities are often assumed to have "extra" needs that the nondisabled don't have, but more often than not it's a canary in a... stuffy room thing. Fresh air isn't just good for people with lung problems; quiet isn't just good for people with processing problems; an intuitive interface/layout isn't just good for inexpert users; etc.

Oh, and while I oppose the practice of using disabilities as metaphors to express disapproval (or something worse), I sort-of smiled when you accused Tim of a vision problem over this.

About the icon pad on the right:

The icons aren't any closer together than the letters for catalogue viewing styles, but when you put your cursor over one of the letters, the button changes colour. I wonder if it would help if putting your cursor over an icon would show the button; I'm thinking square with rounded corners, and with shadow, as if it were pressed down. The icons you weren't on would continue as they are now. That way you could see you were on (say) space two out of four quite easily. The way it is now, you have to move your cursor very slowly, either so you may wait to read the text that pops up after maybe a third of a second, or so you may see your cursor change from a pointing hand to an arrow and back again. That's a very non-immediate way of knowing where you are. It feels like just barely managing to catch a ball with the tips of your fingers instead of securely in the palm of your hand.

Does this make sense?

179hermit_9
Apr 19, 2009, 12:44pm Top

I was on deadline last week and missed most of the excitement. Just wanted to say, I like the changes. No nits to pick here. Good job, Tim and crew.

180eromsted
Edited: Apr 19, 2009, 1:27pm Top

>165 timspalding:
Me - Now that is easy to sort by a column that is not currently displayed we need some indication of the current sort. We used to be able to see the little up or down triangle by the column header, but that won't work anymore.

Tim - No. It's too complex. You have sorts and subsorts. I could add a line stating what the current sort is. It would eat up screen real-estate. I don't think it's a good trade-off. Most of the time people know what they sorted by, just like they know what radio station they're on.

Thank you for the response.

I have no need to press this too hard, but for the record I think the sort info (with one level of sub sort) would fit well on the pink bar that displays what page of the catalog you are on. Something like e.g. (Rating down, LCC up), with little arrows for the directions, displayed just to the right of the book count that appears on the left margin.

I take no offense if the answer is still no.

181jjwilson61
Apr 19, 2009, 1:34pm Top

I see this as similar to the little bar that pops up to tell you what your current search terms are. You could say that it isn't important since the user should be able to remember what he just searched on. But I don't buy it, it's always helpful to know the current mode you are in, and the same goes for sort terms.

182staffordcastle
Apr 19, 2009, 2:01pm Top

>181 jjwilson61:
the user should be able to remember what he just searched on.

Even if it was some days ago?

183jjwilson61
Apr 19, 2009, 3:22pm Top

As I said, I don't buy, either as a reason for not showing the search terms or sort terms.

184FicusFan
Apr 19, 2009, 5:27pm Top

# 175
Oh, and while I oppose the practice of using disabilities as metaphors to express disapproval (or something worse), I sort-of smiled when you accused Tim of a vision problem over this.

I am not using disabilities as a metaphor, there is someone on LT who has vision problems, the new set up doesn't work at the setting he has to use. LTs response is they can't support people who have vision or motor disabilities (too small icons). This is not the land of metaphor.

Tim is short sighted, at least if this attitude carries over to LT for Libraries. He can do or not do what he wants with LT as his private site. But if Libraries are using public money to sign up for LT for Libraries, saying that you don't care about access for people with disabilities will eventually have very negative repercussions. Of course maybe LT for Libraries does support people with disabilities - maybe they have to pay for it.

185Tid
Apr 19, 2009, 5:36pm Top

> 184

I'm not sure what the PC equivalent is (though I've heard it exists), but on the Mac there is a System Preference called Universal Access : here vision-impaired people can do many things such as zoom in on areas of the screen, or even render the screen "negative" to show white on black backgrounds.

Tell your friend to have a look at this (maybe it's also called Universal Access, or similar, on a PC? It will be a Control Panel somewhere).

186HeathMochaFrost
Apr 19, 2009, 5:44pm Top

> 184 FicusFan - I think what the previous poster meant was your use of "short sighted" in reference to Tim - in a discussion about the issues of vision-impaired persons using LT. The irony of you using that term in that instance - it *was* a little amusing. And it was metaphorical in that you weren't saying "he's near-sighted and needs stronger glasses."

187FicusFan
Apr 19, 2009, 5:50pm Top

# 185,
Not my friend, just another LTer, and I wouldn't presume to tell someone with disabilities how to use his or her computer. Having the problem, and some special set up mentioned already, I think he or she would have already tried it. There is something on the PC about Access, don't know which computer the other person is on.

My point is that the attitude from LT is not good for all of us - look over function.

188jjmcgaffey
Apr 19, 2009, 7:17pm Top

I think Tim mentioned at one point (or maybe someone else mentioned) that darkening the border/edges of the icons would help. If you look at the pencil and the index card, the pencil has a (2-pixel?) relatively thick, solid black line all around it. The index card has a dark grey bottom line, fading to light grey at the sides and top - I'm not sure whether it's also thinner, or just the lighter color makes it look thinner. If the book, index card, and cog all had black borders like the pencil, I think 99% of the complaints about lack of contrast would go away.

The hover making it look like a button might help too, but I think it would be much more complicated (not to mention the problems with hover for tablet users).

Any comment on the extra space between pencil and red X? There is a wider gap there than between any of the others, and the tooltip for that space is 'remove this book from your library'.

Tim - the yellow is nice, but I still like the old green better. Or gemmation's mockup, which is pretty much exactly what we used to have - three colors differentiating between no reviews, reviews not yours, and reviews including yours.

I like the idea of making the choices for sort 'default' and 'reverse' - it does make it slightly less obvious (since the user has to know what the default is) but default is _supposed_ to be the most useful one, right? And making the default for dates most-recent-first would be wonderful. I do use oldest-first occasionally, but defaulting to most recent would definitely be the most useful.

Which doesn't actually relate to the bug with clicking 'Recently Added' from the homepage - that should be a most-recent-first search rather than an oldest-first search, whether that's the default or the reverse.

189235711
Apr 19, 2009, 7:31pm Top

186:

Yes, that is what I meant.

And FicusFan, I do understand your point and I agree with you, in case that wasn't clear.

190_Zoe_
Edited: Apr 19, 2009, 7:33pm Top

>188 jjmcgaffey: I think it does relate to the "Recently Added" homepage bug, because that bug appeared at the same time that the first click on the Entry Date column changed from recent-first to oldest-first (the other date columns all show recent-first on the first click, and Entry Date used to as well). The code is connected somehow: maybe Recently-Added is set to show Entry Date in the default direction, so when the default direction changed for some reason, Recently-Added was no longer recent.

191timspalding
Edited: Apr 19, 2009, 7:52pm Top

And in general blowing off people with problems is not cool, and rather short sighted. This has always been a great site for inclusion, but saying the look is more important than functionality, even for a small population, does not bode well for the future.

As I've said, I think there's a good case for increasing the contrast. Some not tiny percent of members would want them that way, and nobody has spoken out to demand less contrast.

But, no, I do not think we are obligated to change sizes and contrasts to address the concerns of a single member or of only a few. Design is choosing. Every change I make affects many users. It isn't "free." Making an icon larger gives everyone less room. Keeping the tabs around means tabs fall off the end for users with smaller screens, and generally clutters up the experience. Even customization isn't free. I could, for example, make a second version of the catalog with larger, high-contrast icons. And everyone else would get collections a few weeks later, and from that point onward I'd be maintaining and supporting a second set of code, with the cost and delay associated with that.

I do not think I'm "blowing off" anyone. I'm talking about these issues at great length, and have already changed my mind on a number of issues. My goal, however, is to balance interests. But in a world of constraints balancing interests requires not doing what some want. It's not a bug. It's the very nature of the thing.

Is anyone familiar with Aesop's fable about the father, the son and the donkey? (See http://www.aesops-fables.org.uk/aesop-fable-the-man-the-boy-and-the-donkey.htm). A man and his son listen to strangers on the injustice of not riding a donkey, of a son riding a donkey while his father walks, of a father riding a donkey while his son walks and of loading down a donkey while humans go without packs. In the end, the father and the son resolve to carry the donkey themselves, lashing him to a pole and balancing the pole on their shoulders. Going over a bridge the donkey falls in the water and drowns.

The moral is "Please all, and you will please none."

The story misses a key dynamic. It wasn't everyone who was making these suggestions. It was someone. The father and the son had no idea what most people thought--they were jumping at individual opinions.

Unfortunately it's very hard to know what all LibraryThingers think of something, particularly once the opposition gets going. I take some confort in the fact that many early responses saw the change in positive terms, and saw the icon change much as I did. The old icons were huge, ugly and clownish!

I only know what has been worded here (and a few months? ago), haven't been contacted off-post, no. Chris says here he'll get to it, no worries. I'm aware it is time-consuming.

No, I meant more recently. I don't quite understand your setup, though. Are you using a large resolution and then zooming it, such that areas are wrapping? If you don't mind, can you boil that part of your problems down for us?

Would the header bar work on anything inbetween 1024 and the highest widescreen resolution?

It very much should. But if you have the text-size default set high, or are zooming it yourself, all bets are off.

On my iMac screen in FF the yellow is a little better than the previous whatever it was but still isn't noticeable unless I'm really looking. Its a very little bit more noticeable in Safari. I'm in the 'more contrast te better' camp.

Sorts

I'm going to stop replying about sorts until I can rework the screen.

Speaking of which, if this is the field called "Date", it should really be changed to "Publication Date". When we're sorting by a field that we can't actually see, it's more important for the field names to be completely clear.

Yes, I'll make that change.

I agree. People with disabilities are often assumed to have "extra" needs that the nondisabled don't have, but more often than not it's a canary in a... stuffy room thing. Fresh air isn't just good for people with lung problems; quiet isn't just good for people with processing problems; an intuitive interface/layout isn't just good for inexpert users; etc.

We can disagree about whether it's "sometimes," "usually" or "more often that not." You aren't required to balance interests. I am.

The fact is, icons of that size are standard on the web now. The majority are straight from "famfam silk," used by Facebook among other sites.

As far as "unintuitive," the cry here has been for a column of tool buttons to be surmounted by a heading which has nothing to do with them, but rather to one of two numbers subordinated to the tools. This column is then supposed to be clickable, sorting by this arbitrarily-graced number. It is a terrible idea, and is only suggested because that's how it used to work, and many confuse familiarity with usability.

I have no need to press this too hard, but for the record I think the sort info (with one level of sub sort) would fit well on the pink bar that displays what page of the catalog you are on. Something like e.g. (Rating down, LCC up), with little arrows for the directions, displayed just to the right of the book count that appears on the left margin.

Interesting idea. I think, however, I want to steal more of that bar for the page ranges. I'll think about it.

As I said, I don't buy, either as a reason for not showing the search terms or sort terms.

That's apples and oranges. It should tell you what you searched on. Sorting is different. If the field is on the screen, you know what the sort is. If it's not, I'd have to take up valuable screen space telling you what, I think, you already know most of the time. Again, trade-offs have to be made.

Tim is short sighted, at least if this attitude carries over to LT for Libraries. He can do or not do what he wants with LT as his private site. But if Libraries are using public money to sign up for LT for Libraries, saying that you don't care about access for people with disabilities will eventually have very negative repercussions. Of course maybe LT for Libraries does support people with disabilities - maybe they have to pay for it.

Actually, it does. We have a JavaScript version that presents the data on a separte page. It's somewhat ironic that, although we provide this service, it's in the context of library catalogs that are *completely hostile* to people with disabilities. Our disability feature is hardly used.

It should be added, however, that LibraryThing for Libraries presents a tiny fraction of LibraryThing's functionality—a tag list, a recommendation list and a review list. Making it accessible wasn't free, but it made financial sense. I even think it made moral sense, as governments should require and vendors should supply solutions that work for as many people as possible. I don't think that applies to LT, either legally or morally.

I wouldn't presume to tell someone with disabilities how to use his or her computer

I would. It's my job. I make sites. They have to work in a small number of definite ways, not in all possible ways. I have to take into account who benefits from a given design or feature, and the cost of making and maintaining it and variants of it.

I can, of course, make sites using technologies that are flexible. Images, however, are not inherently flexible. No accessbility standard in the world requires a site to provide buttons in every size a user might want. That's why you have alt and title tags—to provide access the the functionality when a button's existence or size doesn't work for someone.

Any comment on the extra space between pencil and red X? There is a wider gap there than between any of the others, and the tooltip for that space is 'remove this book from your library'.

The gap is intentional. I'll check on how the tooltip is appearing over the gap.

192_Zoe_
Apr 19, 2009, 8:03pm Top

I take some confort in the fact that many early responses saw the change in positive terms, and saw the icon change must as I did. The old icons were huge, ugly and clownish.

For the record, I preferred the old icons. They were cute and clear. I think icons should stand out, not fade into the background. I preferred the old catalogue bar, too; it seemed friendlier, while the new one seems cold.

193FicusFan
Apr 19, 2009, 8:17pm Top


I saw many people say they liked the new design, and that the icons were too small, and too faint. I think I have only seen 1 person post that s/he thought they were fine. You of course, may have seen more than I have.

The old icons were fine, regardless of them not being the new web look. The talk threads are full of those who will comment, those who don't will probably vote with their fingers/clicks. I imagine your user statistics will have the final say if its a good change, an unimportant change or not.

Yes you do have to balance everyone's needs and you usually do a very good job.

I guess for me the whole idea of falling off the screen died a long time ago. With the ability to add more columns, I am already over the edge, but perhaps many don't use a lot of columns.

194bookel
Apr 19, 2009, 8:26pm Top

Library toolbar; setup: The library toolbar size/length cannot be changed in my window by changing text size. I'm guessing it either has to do with resolution (highest) or DPI (200% of normal). Classic windows properties, Windows Aero, advanced text sizes are set to things like 12 point (icons, title bars), 13 (menu), all Arial font, ToolTip 14 point, anything that can be made bold, is bold. Changing the DPI made the computer think the screen is larger than it actually is, hence the print is larger, and some font sizes were decreased if memory is correct. Font size in Mozilla Firefox is set to 17, 16 minimum. I do not need or use magnification programmes nor do I use a Mac. Not everyone with lower vision than 20/20 requires use of magnification programmes, there is such a thing as inbetween the extremes.

195leahbird
Apr 19, 2009, 8:40pm Top

personally, i think that the size of the icons is completely fine. for me, the old ones were mostly ridiculous and gigantic. and i'm in the boat with the rest of the folks that have vision problems. without my glasses i can't read a single word on this whole screen, and yet have no problem seeing and using the new icons (with my glasses on, of course). now, if they had more contrast, i wouldn't complain, but i wouldn't feel put upon if nothing changed either.

i never felt that the toolbox uses were completely clear before. it took me a while before i could glance at something like 14030/45 and remember what that meant. with the new layout, it was instantly clear to me. and for newcomers that might confuse the speech bubble for conversations (which is extremely unlikely in my opinion because it took me about 2 months of using LT to even become interested in that feature), all it would take is one click to set them straight. well, not even that, with the tooltips now working.

i guess i just feel for tim and crew since, as he pointed out, the vast majority of posters are going to be people with a grievance rather than people with a positive impression. i've been posting like mad on the smaller issues thread, not because i want to gripe about what isn't working for me, but because i think it's important for those of us who love this site (and i'm assuming everyone in this tread does or they wouldn't waste their time) to support their efforts to get things right. it's a hard job, and i, for one, am happy not to have it.

196timspalding
Apr 19, 2009, 9:04pm Top

> and for newcomers that might confuse the speech bubble for conversations

That icon clearly needs to change. It's in the works.

197Heather19
Apr 19, 2009, 9:14pm Top

re icon change/size/etc: It's a big change, I think, something that will take some time to get used to. I honestly don't care either way because I hardly ever look over there (my attention is usually focused to the left, not right, of my catalogue). But it looks sleeker, more... professional or serious. I think the old ones looked a little more play-like. If the objective is to make LT look more serious and oriented, then I think the change suits it well.

198kevmalone
Apr 19, 2009, 9:22pm Top

>193 FicusFan: ...only seen one person post s/he thought they were fine.

If that wasn't me (and I was the first to post on this) then make that two people. I think the changes are a good thing.

199jlelliott
Apr 19, 2009, 10:23pm Top

I also think the new icons are lovely and should remain as they are now (especially as the "I've reviewed it" color has been changed - thank you!).

200E59F
Apr 19, 2009, 10:27pm Top

Regarding the icons:
I think the majority of web designers are under 40 ;) Presbyopia does make tiny type and little icons more awkward, and it affects most people over 40, as I am now beginning to appreciate. Granting the argument against increasing their size, I think that if you could increase the contrast without increasing the size, it would help many people considerably without really incurring much cost elsewhere.* The reviews icon is the worst offender; the details one gets lost a bit too. Likewise the color change for whether you've reviewed it.

That said, I like most of the changes, and I'm glad to see the "OS 9" look go.

* Yes, I know that contrast everywhere means contrast nowhere, and that making the page too "loud" has a cost. But given the size and location of the icons, I don't think bumping up their contrast a bit will do much damage.

201235711
Apr 19, 2009, 10:33pm Top

191: Is anyone familiar with Aesop's fable about the father, the son and the donkey?

I am. It strikes me that had they not listened to anybody but simply thought about it in the most practical of terms (minimising fatigue for all parties), they would have taken turns exactly as they did, except for the part where they carried the donkey.

Moral: I'm not good with morals. (Seriously.)

I don't want to start a "rights" argument about this specific issue. I know far too little on either side of the question, and I'm not reliably able to make sense of anything I can't relate to either concrete experience or the (very) big picture. (I also wear prescription glasses.)

But however this matter may be most reasonably resolved, I think the argument that tiny icons are now the norm isn't a very strong one. Fluorescent lighting in public buildings is the norm. Loud music in shops is the norm (at least it is where I live). If you explain your access problems with either of these things, you're likely to get puzzled looks and perhaps a remark to the effect that "our customers have never complained about it". And you think, yes, that's because the people who would be most likely to tell you rarely cross your threshold in the first place, and when they do they're not going to want to stay for a chat.

Now, on the practical question of icons. I agree with those who consider the new ones aesthetically superior, and I think the shortcuts are good to have (I danced when I discovered the new review page, remember). By no means do I want the old ones back. But what if they were grouped like this:

work page | detail page
edit | delete
members | reviews

Or perhaps this would make more sense:

work page | detail page
members | reviews
edit | delete

That way they could be just a little bit bigger, while taking up the same (or less) screen width. They would take up more height, and I don't know how important that is to other people, but I could live with it.

202timspalding
Apr 19, 2009, 11:38pm Top

>201 235711:

Yeah, it's a trade-off between width and height. I played with a single-line version for a while—moving review and member counts into another column. If you looked at your catalog without covers, it was *dreamy*. You got so much more information on the screen at once.

The version now is a compromise. It's hard to know the best way here. The people on Talk are the power users, not the first-timers. As a body, I suspect they want as much functionality and as much data showing as possible. Certainly if other sites are taken as representative of their audiences, LibraryThing has some weird, data-hungry people. Well, that's true, I think, and not bad. But there's a line between data-hungry and data-crazy. I wish I knew where that was.

203reconditereader
Apr 19, 2009, 11:42pm Top

I think the icon size is kinda small, but mainly I wish the contrast was greater on the reviewed/not reviewed colors. I had no problem with the old icons. Far from seeing them as "clownish", I instead saw them as "easy to use"! You could get more room for icons by shrinking the "clownish" size of the stars.

The new reviewed/not reviewed colors are still not as good as the old ones for quick visibility, but it is better, so thank you. I appreciate that.

If it matters, I am under 35 with corrected-to-normal vision.

204_Zoe_
Apr 19, 2009, 11:52pm Top

I like the "clownish" stars just like I did the other "clownish" icons. They're the last thing left that looks fun, cheerful, and welcoming.

205235711
Apr 19, 2009, 11:55pm Top

Okay, we need more clowns, fast.

Or unicorns. Or bacon.

206kevmalone
Apr 19, 2009, 11:56pm Top

Nah
Send in the clowns

207fabtk
Apr 20, 2009, 1:54am Top

I think the new icons and catalogue bar look much better than the old ones. The old ones were kind of garish and amateur-looking. I can see why people might want the contrast boosted up a bit, but I'm sure most people will get used to the change pretty quickly. It's hardly revolutionary.

208timspalding
Apr 20, 2009, 2:01am Top

FYI: Users whose tags page died have got it back now.

Technical: It turned out to be a timeout not a memory error. The page took more than 30 seconds to generate—30 seconds in PHP, not the database. The new code used some collections logic that employed the PHP array_intersect function. Kaboom—that function is a few orders of magnitude slower than other, simpler methods of doing the same thing. Lesson learned!

209klarusu
Apr 20, 2009, 6:58am Top

I'm just piping up because it seems that users who like things don't always post that they do. I like the icons. I don't really see any need to change size, contrast, bubble colour etc. That's not to say it would offend me if you did, but they're fine as they are.

210andyl
Apr 20, 2009, 7:11am Top

#208

At least you caught that before collections went live otherwise you would have had far more noisy people complaining. Are there people with sizeable libraries on the BETA group, or did they not catch it?

#209

I agree, I also don't mind the icons. Generally we are a pretty quiet bunch and a whole lot of me too posts agreeing with the previous poster (either agreement or disagreement) without adding further information is just seen as useless noise.

211klarusu
Apr 20, 2009, 7:13am Top

Generally we are a pretty quiet bunch

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ... boink! *falls off chair laughing*

212Tid
Apr 20, 2009, 7:35am Top

SHUSH ! THIS IS A LIBRARY !! SOME PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO READ !!!

213andyl
Apr 20, 2009, 8:06am Top

#211

It may not seem it but compared to some other groups on t'internet we are.

214klarusu
Apr 20, 2009, 8:10am Top

#213

You mean there are other groups on t'interweb? I thought LT was the internet. Possibly I should get out more ;)

215hailelib
Apr 20, 2009, 9:17am Top

I decided to check how things look on my SMALL laptop and was pleasantly surprised. The icons are a little more distinct, even the review bubble. Strange because both the laptop and desk machine are Macs (older iBook and somewhat more recent iMac).

As far as vision goes my eyes are over 60 and I really need new glasses. However more contrast translates to better for me. I do like the new look in general and the size of the icons would be fine with a little more contrast.

216Busifer
Edited: Apr 20, 2009, 9:54am Top

#191 - Tim, tanks for taking your time to answer each question/issue.

Me: The new icons/info to the right of every item. Snazzy as they are from an usability pov they're not an improvement. Too small, especially if you're having impaired eyesight, and they provide a way too small clickable area if you're having deficient motor skills. The thing that was wrong before wasn't size but execution.

Tim: Look, ultimately we aren't going to size LT's icons for people with eyesight and coordination disabilities. The web today uses icons that are this size. Using larger icons is non-standard, and wastes space. That all books are not large print books isn't a bug.

The icons here are either based on or size equivalent to the "famfam silk" icons, a free set used by thousands of websites, including Facebook.

Me again: No, the web today uses icons the users can use or people find other ways around it. Like accessing those functions from the individual pages, instead. It's your site and you do as you like. I'm just making some professional observations. I have done A LOT of usability testing during these last 18 years, and then I don't talk about accessibility but about average Joe. Which is a far shot from the average computer wiz ;-)
And FB is noted for its low level of 'usability', eg. effectiveness for the user in reaching his or her goals.

--

Me: Search in your catalogue. Normally you as an user expect to type your query, refine it, and the click Search. That Delicious does it this same other way does not mean most users can handle it. I've done some extensive testing (usability testing, that is) regarding search forms and their brethren, and I'd advice a return to established patterns, here.

Tim: What's your complaint, that it's not a multi-stage search? You expect to be able to refine your search before you search? What?

We have a search box. You type in it. You hit search. This is our pattern. It's everyone's pattern, save for some libraries and academic databases. What's the problem?

Me again: Well you first type your query, then you have to 'jump' over the search button to get to the drop down menu where you narrow down your search to 'tags' or 'authors'. When you have refined your search you then activate search by moving back one step and click 'search'.
That's pretty counter-intuitive to me ;-)

217Aerrin99
Apr 20, 2009, 9:59am Top

> 216

Are you talking about button order? If so, I agree - it makes sense for 'search' to be the last thing over there.

218Tid
Edited: Apr 20, 2009, 10:07am Top

Thoughts of A Newbie :

"That's pretty counter-intuitive to me ;-)"

What also seems counter-intuitive to me is that Talk pages have a wide and unused left hand margin, except at the top where there are a cluster of useful buttons, going from The World (top) down to Search (bottom).

What would be really useful is a way to have that left margin "fixed" (independent from the rest of the page) so that those buttons remain visible at all times. That would prevent the awkward mouse-lower-right-and-click-on-(back to top)-then-mouse-to-upper-left-to-click-a -navigation-button manoeuvre that's involved now (many many many times over!). How nice, after making a post, if we could immediately click on a navigation button! (Another alternative might be to copy those buttons at the bottom of the page - e.g. in a row to the left of (back to top).

219jjwilson61
Apr 20, 2009, 10:14am Top

What's wrong with using the Home key to get back to the top of the page?

220jlelliott
Apr 20, 2009, 10:16am Top

I really like the way the "my books" search is set up. You don't have to select from the pull down to search, but it is a really useful option.

221Tid
Edited: Apr 20, 2009, 10:17am Top

There isn't a Home key on a Mac, and besides, that would make things worse with a "key press followed by a mouse manoeuvre" (right hand - left hand complication)

222shawnd
Apr 20, 2009, 10:33am Top

>51 readafew:, 52, 68, 81 Just want to add my vote on starkness of review/not reviewed bubble on home page. I am a trying to get most of my library reviewed, have 220 reviews to date, and often eyeball the homepage to see what I need to review next. In the old version it was pretty easy with bright green and big star. Little pale yellow not so good for me. Any idea of if or when this might be changed?

Everything else seems fine to me so far.

223MerryMary
Apr 20, 2009, 10:57am Top

The left hand open space is for the listing of touchstones. Granted, there are threads like this one where there are few or no listings. But there are other threads where the touchstone list is longer than the list of posts. (See Written in Stone group)

224FicusFan
Apr 20, 2009, 11:00am Top

Touchstones are on the right. He means on the left where the is nothing after the search button, I think.

225MerryMary
Apr 20, 2009, 11:04am Top

Oh, the OTHER left. Sorry. (I did not sleep at all well last night. Surely this will work as excuse for a completely ridiculous brain-fart)

226Rob_E
Apr 20, 2009, 11:06am Top

>218 Tid: I really like that idea. I hadn't thought of a solution or even ironed exactly what was bothering about the situation, but you nailed it. A floating menu that stays in the upper left corner would be perfect. Also, for me at least, there seems to often be a lot of unutilized space in the right column. I'm typing my message in a box 14 character's wide, meanwhile there's a wealth of space in columns on the right and left sides of the screen, and even the "Touchstones" tutorial gets a larger share of the screen than my message box.

>219 jjwilson61: Agree with >221 Tid:. It's a mouse and a keyboard move to accomplish what should be a simple mouse movement. What I end up doing is scrolling down far enough to get the (back to top) link, but that is still counter intuitive and more mousing that it seems like should be necessary.

227hailelib
Apr 20, 2009, 11:11am Top

221, my Mac has a home key and there's a two key work around for the laptop...

That said, navigation buttons at the bottom of the page other than 'back to top' would be nice.

228FicusFan
Apr 20, 2009, 11:12am Top


A bigger edit box (wide) when typing and a separation of the the message and touchstones would be wonderful.

Post a message edit box:

If there are a lot of touchstones in your message you have to scroll down to look at the touchstone list on the right to make sure they are the same as the books you want and then your message disappears because they are connected, so you have to keep scrolling back and forth.

229Rob_E
Apr 20, 2009, 11:17am Top

>223 MerryMary:-225 Gotcha. I knew I had seen something in that column at some point, but there's not as much of it in Site Talk. At any rate, without having played with my Divs, CSS, or other layout toys in a while, I wonder if it would be possible to have word wraps around (below) those side columns, so that the full screen was being used when Touchstones were not present.

A group of my friends went out to see a movie together. My friend, Andy, wanted to preserve the moment in a photograph and had us group together in front of the screen after the movie. He kept saying, "Can you squeeze in a little tighter so that I can get you all in? A little more..." Until he was satisfied and took the picture. When he showed it to us later, he had pretty much the whole movie screen in the picture and there we were in a tiny knot in the center, crowded together but surrounded by empty space. That's what this page reminds me of. My shoulders are hunched together so I can fit in this tiny message box, but there's miles of empty screen on either side.

But, now that I've written a small essay on the subject, I realize that this is not a new feature and really doesn't belong in this thread. Perhaps we should "take it outside" to some other thread.

230MrsLee
Apr 20, 2009, 11:53am Top

Just another voice to say I'm fine with the new stuff. Especially with the added color of books I've reviewed.

231FicusFan
Apr 20, 2009, 12:11pm Top


I was looking for an example that I see on many web pages, but of course you can never find it when you want it. Now that I have it won't copy.

On many pages there is a list of the letter A in multiple boxes and you (the reader) can click on them to make what you see larger. A zoom function ?

Is that something that would work here ? on icons as well as text ? That would give those who want space the default and larger icons for those who need something bigger ?

I don't know if that would mean multiple web versions, which I know Tim doesn't want, and shouldn't have to have. If its not too much work for coding would it be a good compromise ?

232jjmcgaffey
Apr 20, 2009, 12:55pm Top

216> I almost never use the dropdown for search - I refine by typing. ie, tag:sf. Are there any searches in the dropdown that can't be done with an indicator?
And then I hit return to make the search happen - I HATE switching from keyboard to mouse, so I tend to (try to) figure out keyboard shortcuts for things that would otherwise take button clicks.

Hmm, actually, the indicators are more specific than the dropdown. You can do a title search that will find only title with that word, not authors (and vice versa). And there are quite a few indicator searches (DDC, LCCN, date (publication date, I think), etc) that don't appear in the dropdown.

233timspalding
Edited: Apr 20, 2009, 2:49pm Top

No, the web today uses icons the users can use or people find other ways around it.

What does this mean?

And FB is noted for its low level of 'usability', eg. effectiveness for the user in reaching his or her goals.

Right. It's a disaster. Can I have some of that?

Me again: Well you first type your query, then you have to 'jump' over the search button to get to the drop down menu where you narrow down your search to 'tags' or 'authors'. When you have refined your search you then activate search by moving back one step and click 'search'.
That's pretty counter-intuitive to me ;-)


I'd be very much in favor of eliminating the drop-down. On LT and on all sites, as you surely know, people prefer the simplest search interfaces. Putting the subselect in between the text and the button would clutter it up. Most people see a text box, type their query and that's that. The closer the button the better. They are so blind to everything else that we get search requests in the user sign-in box.

So, shall we kill it?

What also seems counter-intuitive to me is that Talk pages have a wide and unused left hand margin, except at the top where there are a cluster of useful buttons, going from The World (top) down to Search (bottom).

No. The point is to narrow the middle area, where the text is. People do not actually read best when text is as wide as possible--they lose their place when they reach the end of the line and have to go back a long way. They read best when it's moderate, like a book. On the web in a fluid layout it's impossible to know how wide everything is. But, on average, cutting out 1/4-1/2 of the space is a good bet.

What would be really useful is a way to have that left margin "fixed" (independent from the rest of the page) so that those buttons remain visible at all times.

I think that would only work if the top area were also fixed. But people would complain that cuts down on the viewing area. If they left was fixed and the top wasn't it would look... fancy somehow, or showy. I can't explain, but that's the feeling it would have. Take a look at your Facebook, for example. Your home page has the same structure by and large--the left column is mostly unused.

Oh, the OTHER left. Sorry.

Pretend you were using the Arabic site!

234_Celeste_
Edited: Apr 20, 2009, 2:54pm Top

I'm another that thinks the 'Details' icon needs a little more contrast. It does not have to be larger, Tim.

Three options shown below: Original, darker, and black.



235_Zoe_
Apr 20, 2009, 3:01pm Top

So, shall we kill it?

No. It still takes me several tries to figure out the advanced search syntax.

I'm looking for books with the tags "fiction" and "ancient world".

First, I try "tag: fiction tag: ancient world".
Unfortunately, "tag: fiction" also includes non-fiction, exactly the opposite of what I wanted.

Next, I try "tag: fiction tag: ancient world -tag: non-fiction". This brings up ONLY results with the tag non-fiction, not those with fiction.

Finally, I try "tag: fiction tag: ancient world tag: -non-fiction", and get the results I want on the third attempt.

With the tags drop-down option, it only takes two attempts :P

236lorax
Apr 20, 2009, 3:05pm Top

235>

Well, but now that you've figured it out, hopefully it won't take you as long if you need to do it again! :)

237timspalding
Apr 20, 2009, 3:08pm Top

I'm going to work on the icons much as you are doing. I think a little edging would be helpful.

238Tid
Apr 20, 2009, 3:19pm Top

If they left was fixed and the top wasn't it would look... fancy somehow, or showy

I rather think the utility of it should take precedence over the looks? At the moment, if those navigation buttons were also available along the bottom (to the left of (back to top), it would cut the required actions literally by half - one mouse and click instead of two - which over the course of hundreds of posts, or thousands of viewings, would save a whole lot of time and energy.

239timspalding
Apr 20, 2009, 3:20pm Top

Again, the same structure is employed on Facebook, not to mention Goodreads and a million other sites. Fixed navigation elements are actually the exception not the rule on the web.

240Tid
Apr 20, 2009, 3:42pm Top

That doesn't make it good tim - go on, be a pioneer, show those "lesser" sites how it should be done! I for one (and all those who loathe those two maneouvres) would be grateful.

Personally, I think FaceBook s*cks.

241Rob_E
Apr 20, 2009, 3:49pm Top

>239 timspalding:
Again, the same structure is employed on Facebook, not to mention Goodreads and a million other sites. Fixed navigation elements are actually the exception not the rule on the web.

I don't know about other sites, but as to Facebook (and Twitter): Their info stream goes from most to least recent. If you check the site often enough, you never have to scroll beyond the navigation buttons at the top. Even so, I prefer to check on my iPod where I have a handy set of navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen which never move. Obviously a last-is-first approach would be a difficult way to process a conversation, which is why some navigation buttons positioned where you're likely to end up (at the bottom) would be nice.

233>
No. The point is to narrow the middle area, where the text is. People do not actually read best when text is as wide as possible ... But, on average, cutting out 1/4-1/2 of the space is a good bet.

Thank you for that explanation, it makes sense. Posting a message, however, still does not quite work for me, no doubt because of my screen resolution and because I have a (somewhat) permanent sidebar open. As a result, after you've eliminated about 1/2 of the screen on the left and 1/3 of the screen on the right and taken 3/4 of the remaining column to tell me how to use Touchstones, my message box is pretty tiny. I think your reasoning is good for keeping the width of the Talk threads down for readability, but it falls apart, for me at least, when I hit the Post a message button. Maybe that could be fixed if the Touchstone instructions moved into the right column.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3647/3459749559_650e7f5ee9.jpg

242Heather19
Apr 20, 2009, 4:32pm Top

Please don't take away the drop-down for the catalogue search. I had *such* a hard time trying to figure out the right combinations and stuff that would get me what I wanted, I don't want to have to do that again! The drop-down is so much easier.

243keepers
Apr 20, 2009, 7:52pm Top

On the drop-down:
Is this something new...the drop down stays on the choice I made. Previously I think it was "all" by default.
To search "all" takes my library forever, because of its size I guess. Now I can leave the search set on titles/authors and not have to click the drop down arrow every time I want to search.

Saves time for me. I like it the new way. I vote keep the drop-down.

I still mostly rely on my favorite author search links set up in folders on my bookmark toolbar.
That seems to run faster than my catalog search and I don't have to type a thing.

244bookel
Apr 20, 2009, 7:55pm Top

As everyone keeps saying, increasing icon contrast would help, thanks for working on it Tim! The black edging is best, but the darker the better. It gives the illusion that the icon is bigger without increasing the size.

Try reading various books with different size and contrast print in poor lighting. If two fonts are the same size, the darker text will be easier to read than the paler one. This is the same for detecting objects from the surroundings. The clear glass on a white benchtop is harder notice in your peripheral vision (without looking directly at it) than a darker, solid mug.

Check out this image on contrast sensitivity. There's an explanation under the image. You need higher contrast for smaller objects, than for larger ones.

245FicusFan
Apr 21, 2009, 11:50am Top


I wonder with all the issues that seem to be popping up, if the Beta test group that was set up was used ?

It would seem that a lot of these issues would have been caught, and could have been corrected before you went live. I don't know if it would have been faster or easier to fix, but there would probably have been less drama about the bugs.

The philosophical issues would still cause debate but overall it might have been less difficult ?

I wonder if collections will get tested or will we go through all this again in a few weeks ?

I understand you want and expect everything to be perfect, but reality often sends curve balls.

246Rob_E
Edited: Apr 21, 2009, 3:41pm Top

On the icons: I'm not even sure if you (LT Staff) consider this a good place to discuss them given that the issue that keeps coming up is purely cosmetic and doesn't have to do with the function of the site. I have no issue with the function of the site, other than some formatting issues which I know you all are working on.
But, while I at first was neutral on the subject, I noticed a screen shot Tim posted here:
http://www.librarything.com/topic/61919
Message 84
And I agree that I prefer the higher contrast icons. They "pop" a little more and show themselves as distinct buttons. Where they're different, I think I prefer the icons on that page to what's actually appearing in My Books with the exception of the Works icon. I prefer the design of the Works icon as it appears on My Books list, but do appreciate the higher contrast of the version in the screenshot.

247_Zoe_
Apr 21, 2009, 12:50pm Top

>246 Rob_E: I also prefer the icons in that thread (Message 84).

248timspalding
Apr 21, 2009, 3:37pm Top

>245 FicusFan:

Most of the problems were with Firefox making the buttons go crazy. Chris and I still can't duplicate it normally. We eventually managed to by getting a special network preference that gives us the "pretend" bandwidth of a dialup user. With that in place, we managed to find a bug in Firefox itself.

We could have caught more, but the core thing was—and is—weirder than usual. Weird is normal, though.

249lorax
Apr 21, 2009, 3:53pm Top

248>

I saw the Firefox bug, though, and I'm not using dialup. It may be some strange intersection of which add-ons people are running, how many tabs they have open, and so forth, as well as raw bandwidth.

250_Zoe_
Apr 21, 2009, 5:14pm Top

>248 timspalding: Still, just looking at the amount of discussion generated by the catalogue changes, I'd think it could get overwhelming fast when it comes to collections. As you've said, weird is normal, so there's no reason to think the collections launch will be free of unexpected problems. FicusFan's request to have the BETA group test it beforehand doesn't seem unreasonable.

251conceptDawg
Apr 21, 2009, 5:21pm Top

Most of the weird problems are because of UI issues. By launching the new catalog with the powerbar (and the work page last week, with the buttons) we've worked through a lot of the UI problems. There will still be some but not nearly as many.

252Tid
Apr 21, 2009, 5:59pm Top

I have discovered a "part" solution to the mouse-click-mouse-click problem (getting from the bottom of a Talk thread, back out to something like All posts or Your posts) :

when at the bottom of any Talk thread, if you press Tab, it takes you to the top of the page (specifically, into the Search box) without having to mouse-click any of the (top) buttons.

However, at that point you still have to mouse-click on one of the navigation buttons. Could we have some keyboard shortcuts that would operate those (or some of those) navigation buttons? Then we could go from the bottom of the thread back out to the list, without having to mouse at all.

253timspalding
Apr 21, 2009, 5:59pm Top

>252 Tid:

Guys, this has nothing to do with the catalog UI!

254Tid
Apr 21, 2009, 6:02pm Top

No, but being a newbie I don't know where to post things like this, and this particular point did generate some discussion (above) leading me to wonder whether some people might like a solution to this ...

255Rob_E
Edited: Apr 21, 2009, 6:11pm Top

254: I'm afraid I contributed to that, although I've been trying to stay on topic, I haven't always succeeded. Especially because problems I have with the Talk UI come up most often when I'm using Talk. No surprise there.

There is a specific group set up for recommended site enhancements.
http://www.librarything.com/groups/recommendsiteimprov

256Tid
Apr 21, 2009, 6:14pm Top

> 255

Thanks for that!

257timspalding
Apr 21, 2009, 6:35pm Top

Sorry. Chris and I are trying to sort through what is and what isn't open. And it's tough! :)

258FicusFan
Apr 21, 2009, 6:48pm Top

Can you say anything about the review situation ? You said at the top of the other thread it was being worked on, but there has been no update.

One Link (Review) strips out spaces, and the other link (Edit) uses the wrong date.

259_Zoe_
Apr 21, 2009, 6:58pm Top

>257 timspalding: What do you mean by "open"?

260infiniteletters
Apr 21, 2009, 7:02pm Top

Open = not fixed, and planned to be fixed?

261timspalding
Apr 21, 2009, 7:07pm Top

>260 infiniteletters:

Right.

>One Link (Review) strips out spaces, and the other link (Edit) uses the wrong date.

Is the former so? It's only on the Reviews that it removes spaces? I think the latter is fixed.

262_Zoe_
Apr 21, 2009, 7:27pm Top

>260 infiniteletters: So referring only to bugs, not unresolved other issues? Because this isn't the bugs thread.

263timspalding
Apr 21, 2009, 7:30pm Top

Right. Good point. But it is about the catalog.

264_Zoe_
Apr 21, 2009, 8:14pm Top

I wasn't objecting to what you were saying, just trying to explain why it wasn't entirely clear.

I do hope you're also keeping a list of other issues that you'll address eventually, like sorting and of course the name of the date read field ;)

265timspalding
Apr 21, 2009, 9:46pm Top

Ah, sorting. What a pain sorting is...

266conceptDawg
Apr 21, 2009, 11:06pm Top

The name of the date read field will be corrected very soon. Those data fields are being replaced with a whole new system with Collections. That's why we haven't put too much stock into changing the name right now. We'll change it during the switchover.

267_Zoe_
Apr 21, 2009, 11:36pm Top

Corrected to what?

268FicusFan
Apr 22, 2009, 12:49am Top



# 261 Tim,

Reviews:

Edit book link still using the wrong date. Others want to know if when it is fixed will the wrong dates be changed on those already posted?

Test for date. @ 12:36 am from the edit book link
FicusFan | Dec 31, 1969

The Dark Bride

http://www.librarything.com/work/94344/reviews/44346089

Review Link

What I typed:

Test Review at 12:41 am from Review Link to test for spaces

New paragraph, should have a blank line above

New paragraph should have a blank line above

What it looks like when posted:

Test Review at 12:41 am from Review Link to test for spaces
New paragraph, should have a blank line above
New paragraph should have a blank line above
FicusFan | Apr 22, 2009

Vivaldi's Virgins

http://www.librarything.com/work/2682908/reviews/44345703

I regret to say that neither issue seems to be fixed.

269timspalding
Apr 22, 2009, 2:17am Top

Hi. The previous date does not exist. I can do a few things:

1. Make it now
2. Make it the date it was entered

As of now, if you edit a review dated "0" it makes it now.

270koffieyahoo
Apr 22, 2009, 2:47am Top

269> Think it's dated -1 not 0.

271anglemark
Edited: Apr 22, 2009, 8:21am Top

A. My profile tells me I have 5,612 books, my catalogue says I have 5,611. Reindexing doesn't change that fact. It seems I have a ghost book out there somewhere...

B. I can't get sorting using the Sort button to work. It sticks to sorting by Title.

ETA: Forgot to mention that I'm using FF 3.0.8 on WinXP. (Thx koffieyahoo!)

EagainTA: It doesn't work with IE 7.0.5730.13 either.

272Tid
Apr 22, 2009, 7:48am Top

> 271 "It seems I have a ghost book out there somewhere"

possibly Ghost: Investigating the Other Side by Katherine Ramsland ? :D

273FicusFan
Apr 22, 2009, 7:50am Top


#269,

Hi Tim,

I went and edited the review that was dated 1969. The date stayed 1969

from the Edit Book link.

Test for date. @ 12:36 am from the edit book link

Wednesday - edit to get correct date
FicusFan | Dec 31, 1969

Dark Bride

http://www.librarything.com/work/94344/reviews/44346089

I seem to remember on one of the recent threads, a discussion about people editing their review and the date being changed, and it having some advantage for being included on the homepage. Chris said there were arguments for both sides, and I thought you had said to adjust it so the dates don't change when edited. This was before the date went wonky.


274koffieyahoo
Apr 22, 2009, 7:51am Top

271, B> I think the developers want to know which browser and operating system you use.

275anglemark
Apr 22, 2009, 8:09am Top

@272: Actually, possible candidate seem to be The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones, Löwensköldska ringen by Selma Lagerlöf, John Silence : Physician extraordinary by Algernon Blackwood, The Ghost Sister by Liz Williams, The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively, The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi, A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

276FicusFan
Edited: Apr 22, 2009, 10:49am Top

Reviews:

Test the Review link this morning by editing the previous review to see if eating the spaces has been fixed.

Unfortunately no.

Test Review at 12:41 am from Review Link to test for spaces
New paragraph, should have a blank line above
New paragraph should have a blank line above
Wednesday - Edit to Test for spaces
Should be a blank line above
Should be a blank line above
FicusFan | Apr 22, 2009

Vivaldi's Virgins

http://www.librarything.com/work/2682908/reviews/44345703

Also clicking on the permalink, doesn't produce a page of your published review only. It takes you to the top of the book page with your review open in the edit box, and the published review listed below. Don't know if thats a bug or how you want it.

277jimroberts
Apr 22, 2009, 6:02pm Top

I tried making small changes to one of my reviews, both by the edit page and the work page. Neither changed the date, neither deleted my blank lines. (FF2, Linux)

278leahbird
Edited: Apr 23, 2009, 1:20am Top

in another thread we were discussing the power edit: misc powers wording (which isn't really clear). just wanted to post this here in case the other thread gets buried.

eta: we know it's not a bug now, so don't think i'm trying to be pesky

279timspalding
Apr 23, 2009, 1:53am Top

>277 jimroberts: What book, shoot me the URL.

T

280jimroberts
Edited: Apr 23, 2009, 7:04am Top

#279: timspalding

http://www.librarything.com/work/63136/reviews/18851815

Sorry to take so long before seeing your msg! What I was saying is that the problems other people report with date/linefeeds weren't occurring for me then - I don't know if they ever would have.

ETA If you want to log on as me and play with that review, feel free. The real current version is in a file on my disc, still growing.

281jimroberts
Apr 23, 2009, 10:22am Top

#279: timspalding ">277 jimroberts: What book, shoot me the URL."

This seems to have changed for me since 277.

I just made a very minor change to my review here, using the new edit review in the review page, and although the blank lines were still in my catalog, they don't show in the formatted review.

Can it really be that the way a review is shown depends on how it was last saved as well as on what's in it?

282FicusFan
Apr 23, 2009, 11:42am Top



The Edit book link had a date problem which they fixed.

The new review link eats the spaces. They are still in your review when you open it to edit, but they don't show when published.

See the first review of Vivaldi's Virgins . I tested it again this morning (edit through new Review) and the spaces are still missing. They know about it and are working on it.

283PhaedraB
Apr 23, 2009, 11:54am Top

I've found that by entering the html codes for line break, non-breaking space, line break, I can maintain spacing in CK fields. It may work for reviews, too.

& nbsp ;

remove the blank spaces.

284Collectorator
Apr 23, 2009, 5:45pm Top

I don't know where this belongs, but since the latest downtime about an hour ago, the favicons are gone. :(

285PhaedraB
Apr 23, 2009, 5:49pm Top

284 >

Fine on FF3 on a Mac

286Collectorator
Apr 23, 2009, 5:49pm Top

You mac people are always so snooty about things.

287PhaedraB
Apr 23, 2009, 5:59pm Top

I'm a recent convert. We're the worst :-)

288kevmalone
Apr 23, 2009, 6:02pm Top

Fine on FF3 on a PC

(still using the Atari Col?)

289Collectorator
Apr 23, 2009, 6:15pm Top

deep exasperated sigh... I'll have you know...

FF3 , PC, XP

It must be a persecution aimed directly at me.

290timspalding
Apr 24, 2009, 1:50am Top

People who are having spaces trouble, are you using PCs or Mac? I think that's the nugget of the issue—differences between the Mac/Unix line-break system and the PC one.

291klarusu
Apr 24, 2009, 5:02am Top

#290, you mean in Reviews (sorry, I've lost track of the thread)? In which case, I'm a PC and it eats them.

292FicusFan
Apr 24, 2009, 9:05am Top


I was on the PC at home when I did mine, and lost the spaces. I can test it at work (mac) later this morning.

293readafew
Apr 24, 2009, 10:59am Top

losing the line breaks on the reviews when saving on the new review section happens with my PC.

294FicusFan
Apr 24, 2009, 11:07am Top


I am at work, and I have tested the review on the mac (safari 2.X, OSX). I edited a previous review and it still eats the spaces.

see Vivaldi's Virgins

I did a new one one the mac and it also eats the spaces

varanger

295leahbird
Apr 24, 2009, 7:52pm Top

in trying to help a newbie, i was looking at stuff on the tools page and realized that none of that has been updated to accommodate the new catalog features. there have been several new members who are asking for help and being directed to that page, which then doesn't have the current info. this is a bit of a problem...

296conceptDawg
Apr 24, 2009, 10:42pm Top

We are waiting to update the help pages until we launch Collections which will be an even bigger change to the workflow than the one this week. Abby didn't want to have to redo the help and tour pages twice within a few of weeks (notice I didn't say "two weeks" there) of each other.

297leahbird
Apr 25, 2009, 2:05am Top

>chris

that makes sense. you might just want to put a note or something, informing new members that the system is going through some changes so that they don't feel overwhelmed.

298shawnd
Apr 26, 2009, 7:44pm Top

thanks for changing the reviewed/not reviewed bubble/symbol from pale yellow to filled/unfilled blue. This works for me!

299timspalding
Apr 26, 2009, 7:49pm Top

In another thread FicusFan told me to change it back. As I said there, I'm going to shoot myself! :)

300Aerrin99
Apr 26, 2009, 8:09pm Top

Haha. Maybe it'd help to work up a number of possibilities and then have people list their top 3 favorites or something?

I have to admit, I find the blue much harder to see than the yellow - not because it's blue, but because it's not very bright, and the 'unfilled' box already has a blueish tint to it.

301leahbird
Apr 26, 2009, 8:11pm Top

tim, i suggested an aggressive plum for reviews, which would stand out and isn't yellow or green. then again, i couldn't care less what color it is. they've all been fine with me (well, the last green was a bit... much).

302FicusFan
Apr 26, 2009, 8:29pm Top


Tim,

I didn't tell you to change it back, I preferred the other 2 because the blue is hard to see. Its not really the color so much as the brightness of it. I am fine with blue, and I suspect others who have said it is too faint would be also, if the depth/intensity was much much darker. Almost or maybe darker than the link color.

303_Zoe_
Apr 26, 2009, 8:47pm Top

I also think the blue is still hard to see, and could probably be made brighter without offending too many people.

I've complained a lot about annoying bright colours, but even I didn't have any problem with the old colour of the review bubble.

304readafew
Apr 27, 2009, 1:17pm Top

I'm not sure what changes have happened between now and the last couple comments about the review balloons but they have a nice contrast that I can see.

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