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New work pages

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1timspalding
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 4:27am

We've pushed out the new work pages (example). I'm going to go to bed, blog about them early tomorrow morning, and then rewrite this message. (As the fella says, if I had more time, I'd have written less!)

Obviously, we want to know what you think.

There are a bunch of new or enhanced features, including:

*Better-lookig and easier to use, while still sporting gobs of data. Anyway, that's what we think
*Book descriptions, currently from Amazon, but with other sources and a wiki-based source coming soon
*More stats-at-a-glance, including popularity and recent adders
*Better cover treatment. The main cover is big. It shows up to six popular covers on the right—not hundreds as was happening sometimes. The cover page (which is also the change cover page) is more visual, with larger covers.
*Conversations looks and works better.

Known issues:

* We haven't found a place for everything on the old work pages. This includes the "elsewhere on the web" section, which had Wikipedia links. We'll get them on soon.
*If your book doens't have a cover (example), you get a default cover. We're going to offer options there, after we throw a contest.
*Pages should be much faster, with much better caching. Until next week, however, caching won't work as well as it should. Next week we're getting a new web server with a lot of spare RAM.
*The "members" page is missing the critical "Connections: Who has it?" section. We're almost done on that, so be patient.
*We have a "customization" page for works already build. It will allow you to determine what the "main page" has. (Don't like tags, junk 'em.) We aren't going to put customization out there until the feature set has settled down.
*The "Your library" can look a little lonely. That's because it was designed to hold "collections" buttons. Fortunately, collections are next on the list!

You might also notice that, you're not signed in, work pages now have an area for Google Adsense ads. We wanted to give them a shot, to see how they did. (PLEASE do not click on them! We don't want "help.") A big piece of our traffic are straightforward information-seekers, coming in off Google and jumping back out again with no thought to what else LibraryThing can do for them. We thought we'd see how Adsense worked on these pages. Anyway, if you have an account—any account—you don't get those ads.

Lastly, you'll also note major changes on the "author" pages. This was a last-minute decision, capitalizing on some of the infrastructure of the work pages. But we are not satisfied with the new look-and-feel, and we will be making major changes soon.

2kawika
Oct 8, 2007, 4:12am

Overall, I like the new works pages. However, it seems redundant to have the number of reviews and number of conversation listed both under the title and under the cover picture. I know one is a quickie menu and one is just data, but it's the same data. Is there a reason for the repetition?

Also, I think I liked having the source links (Amazon, B&N, ebay, etc) under the book cover, but that may just need a little time to get used to it.

Still, overall, nicely done.

3timspalding
Oct 8, 2007, 4:14am

We're seeing people hitting "/work/book/://javascript:void(0)" in the error logs. Does anyone know where they're getting that?

4PhoenixTerran
Oct 8, 2007, 4:21am

1> We haven't found a place for everything on the old work pages

Please don't forget to add back in combination suggestions by ISBN. This is an important feature to assist the Combiners!

Also, disambiguation notices seem to have disappeared.

5timspalding
Oct 8, 2007, 4:23am

>Also, disambiguation notices seem to have disappeared.

Ah. Good point. They have. They're going to come back tomorrow, when we introduce "Common Knowledge." That's going to be the one pre-populated field in this new "wiki-like" feature.

6reading_fox
Oct 8, 2007, 4:25am

Not seeing any errors.

I like the layout. It seems intuative to me.

7ExVivre
Oct 8, 2007, 4:30am

Ditto reading_fox's comment.

I really like the feel of these pages.

8ryn_books
Oct 8, 2007, 4:57am

I like the layout too.
One point: On this work here http://www.librarything.com/work/details/1684670 The info in MY details shows I populated the ISBN in my catalogue.
However in "About the Work" it says 'none' for any ISBN's.
Is this a bug or data yet to be loaded?

And, clicking on 'See all MARC records' link doesn't do anything. Hopefully this data comes back soon as I use it freqently when adding books to see what library sources have the work on file.

9Lman
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 5:02am

I like the new look too - but I can't seem to find where you can go 'back to your catalogue'. I liked that feature and maybe it is still in the 'works' but I thought I would mention it, I may be going blind...is it there?

As to the rest, it is a much cleaner look and more intuitive as per reading_fox's comment.

'Noice!' (as we say down under).

10VisibleGhost
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 5:21am

Is everybody else seeing recommendations side by side? I liked the old single line recommendations better. I really like the top part of the new work pages though.

Edited to add: I get 10 recs now instead of 20?

11Amtep
Oct 8, 2007, 5:26am

#2: I think it makes sense to have this information both at the top and in the side menu, but I'd like the stats at the top to be clickable too. When I see it say "Members: 26" and "Conversations: 1" at the top, I'd like to go to the appropriate page by clicking on that.

12royalhistorian
Oct 8, 2007, 5:48am

Looks great, Tim!

Much more user-friendly and less cluttered as it originally was. When I saw the new workpages that were my first thoughts. And I didn't hate the old workpages.

Could you rework the cover-page to work as it does on Shelfari? See my recommendation for that here: http://www.librarything.com/talktopic.php?topic=19427

13jjlong
Oct 8, 2007, 6:00am

Looks really attractive to me (and much faster, as you predicted!), and the upsized author pictures are a great addition..

Bug time: when I click on "See all recommendations" or "See anti-recommendations" on any work page, I go to the suggester/unsuggester page for C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair. No matter what work from I'm clicking from..

"Recommendations" in the left sidebar works fine.

14Heather19
Oct 8, 2007, 7:19am

Looks like people have already addressed and bugs/issues I would address, so all I'll say is that I LOVE it!! So much more user-friendly, it looks a lot better and tidier and nicer.

Heather

15nperrin
Oct 8, 2007, 8:05am

I love the look and feel. I've had one problem - I tested by going to the page for my most recently added book, Angelica by Arthur Phillips. Click on the title in my catalogue, go to a page that says "Angelica by Arthur Phillips" at the top, with my cover on the side. Then one of the recommendations is..."Angelica by Arthur Phillips." Turns out my copy and one other had been miscombined with The Egyptologist - shouldn't the work page have said "The Egyptologist" or are we going to be seeing our own title at the top always?

Anyway, I separated, went to the author page and combined the two Angelicas, but now, on the Angelica page, I am the most recent adder but the next pane doesn't say I own the book, I get the "+Add to your library" button instead.

16fyrefly98
Oct 8, 2007, 8:35am

I like it, although it's going to take a while for me to learn to call it the "details page" instead of the "book page". I also miss having six reviews instead of just three show up, but I understand the reason for keeping it short and I'll learn to manage. :)

I'd second two requests from above:

1) Clickable links at the top (especially reviews and conversations) - they catch your eye right away but then you have to hunt to find out more.

2) I'd also like a return of the "Back to your catalog" feature.

I'd also like the return of the swap this book arrow icon - I can be very visual, and at the moment, that tiny blue link is getting lost among all of the other tiny blue links in that box.

17Papiervisje
Oct 8, 2007, 9:20am

If the page is less then full, the picture of the book overlaps with the title info. Somehow, the formatting is not everywhere the same.
When I want to add a user-defined cover, I get an error (see your log files).
I miss the links to combining books with the same author or combining books with the same name.

18readafew
Oct 8, 2007, 9:23am

looks good so far.

19erelsi183
Oct 8, 2007, 9:30am

Aside from the bugs (which I know shall be resolved!), I love it. It's much easier to look at the page and find the information I want instead of having to scroll down forever. I especially like the stats along the top under the title, the shortened and columnized list of recommendations, and the addition of the Amazon.com description. With the old works pages, if no reviewer had included a plot summary, I often found myself looking the book up on Amazon.com anyway. So this saves me a step!

Two thumbs up.

20Busifer
Oct 8, 2007, 9:38am

I wonder if you've done some usability studies on the new layout...?

To me the disposition of the elements on the page is weird and unintuitive for a person with the mouse firmly placed in the right hand ;-)

Also - the placement of field labels seems out of touch with recent studies, and the use of white space is not optimal; lots of issues with clutter/ambiguity in were a info object starts/ends...

21_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2007, 9:41am

I like it. I'm especially excited that customization is coming. I'm also really glad that ratings are always visible at the side.

A few minor quibbles:

Since the ratings graph is really compressed now, could you take advantage of every bit of space it has by expanding it to fill its whole box? The white space on either side seems unnecessary.

It seems strange that the numerical average rating is shown at the top but not in the rating section.

Amtep someone else said, members and conversations at the top of the page should be clickable.

This isn't specific to the new work page, but once you've chosen to show all tags or numbers there should be a way to change it back without reloading the page.

22teelgee
Oct 8, 2007, 9:47am

I like it. Well done.

23philosojerk
Oct 8, 2007, 10:04am

Not sure if this bug has been mentioned yet or not:

Using the same Blood Music page as an example, if I click on the "Members" link along the left-hand side, I get an empty connections section (as Tim already acknowledged), but I also get all of the members who own the book showing up in the "Recently added to LibraryThing" section, and no users showing up in the bottom portion under "All members who have this book." Clicking on the "show all members" link does nothing.

24kelsey
Oct 8, 2007, 10:10am

whoooooo! descriptions! this makes lt like 80000000x more usable for me...i had been guiltily clicking over to amazon for synopses of books i was interested in

25Yarrow
Oct 8, 2007, 10:12am

I really like it, thanks :o)

26jjlong
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 10:27am

I hate to add to the quibbles - I do like the look and usability of the new pages!

In #13, I cheered the larger author pictures, but I see now that some photos are too small, or of too low a resolution, to handle the upsizing... for example, Sue Monk Kidd, David Crystal, Helene Hanff.

Wish I could actually fix things, rather than just pointing them out...

27nperrin
Oct 8, 2007, 10:22am

The Angelica page caught up with my owning the book, but I still think it will be a problem if people who add new books end up on the "recently added by" list but don't show a "your copy" below.

28sabreuse
Oct 8, 2007, 10:43am

Overall, it looks great, but I have to second the request for suggested combinations to come back -- it's absolutely essential.

29lquilter
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 12:46pm

good job! i'm still exploring but am excited so far.

some minor UI suggestions:

* on the works page, perhaps have the > triangles (on the left-sidebar menu) point DOWN when you've clicked on them so that you can visually tell which is the current screen.

* When you're looking at a work that you have two different copies of, it currently bolds the copy you're looking at. That might be a little subtle for folks, both in terms of picking up what's happening, and in terms of visual impairments. What about a text indicator: "This copy: ...." or something like that?

* On "recommendations" it would be great to have a help link to a description of what that is and how calculated; particularly for "special sauce recommendations. For example, "Special Sauce Recommendations ?" (enclosed in brackets or something maybe)

30lquilter
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 12:53pm

Also, I've had the new works page crash safari for me three times so far. OS 10.4.10, Safari 2.0.4. Problem did NOT occur in Firefox 2.0.0.7.

All three times I was looking at "The Left Hand of Darkness" works page, a title for which I own two different copies (I'm thinking that's probably the problem).

I was doing different things each time. Once I switched member tags to "all tags"; it hung then crashed. Another time I went from, I think, reviews to main page. The third time was also something like, going from one subsection of works to another.

31Busifer
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 12:12pm

Clarification to my #20 - I really HATE ;-) the left hand navigation. Total break against the hitherto established interaction model used on the site. Will we have a new profile page as well, to go with this one?
Then it could work... now, it's mixing of different models. Not OK, in my opinion.

ETA: all in all it's good, though. The work pages needed a redesign :-)

32lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 12:29pm

*Better cover treatment. The main cover is big. It shows up to six popular covers on the right—not hundreds as was happening sometimes. The cover page (which is also the change cover page) is more visual, with larger covers.

I'd rather have the hundreds. Otherwise, I'm going to be scanning and uploading covers that someone else has already uploaded.

Also, it's weird to have one cover on the left and the rest on the right. The old way was better.

I'm busy adding books now (third day of a book sale, $5 a box!), but will praise/complain more when I've had time to check it out.

33jjwilson61
Oct 8, 2007, 12:33pm

32> There's a link below the covers to see all nn covers.

34myshelves
Oct 8, 2007, 12:49pm

I suppose I'll get used to it, but I don't understand why the same information (stats, members, buy/trade, ratings, etc.) is repeated on various pages, thus making all of them look (to my eye) unduly and confusingly cluttered. I really hate it on the edit page!

I suppose that the author disambig notices will return some day soon (or is there to be a fix for that problem?!), along with the combine/separate possibilities on the detail (is that the name?) pages.

35lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 12:55pm

> 33

I know, but the point is that a) it's not as noticeable when the covers are on opposite sides of the page, and b) it's an extra step I have to take to see whether or not I need to scan & upload.

36lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 12:58pm

And another thing:

It appears that "Main Page" is what used to be "Social Info" and "Details" is what used to be "Book Info". The old names were clearer as to what one would expect to find. Frankly, when I see "Main Page", my expectation is to see info about the book, not about who has it.

37andyl
Oct 8, 2007, 1:01pm

#35

One advantage to not having all covers by default is that the page will load (to completion) much more quickly.

38kawika
Oct 8, 2007, 1:19pm

As an aside, if the "main page" and "book info" titles are going to stay as they are, someone may want to change the hover text that appears over the social and work icons on the list view of "your library" catalog page. It's not a big deal. Just a continuity thing.

Retentively yours...

39myshelves
Oct 8, 2007, 1:28pm

#38

I much prefer the icons, with a hover feature, on ALL of the pages. They are familiar to members, and it would cut back a little on the clutter. :-)

40Jargoneer
Oct 8, 2007, 1:29pm

I agree that the edit page is a bit of mess - why is all the social information there? It is mere distraction.

Why haven't the user uploaded pictures been resized to the larger images as well?

I puzzled by the need for this change; I see lots of entries in various threads asking for this and that but I can't remember many asking for a cosmetic revamp.

41bookbeat
Oct 8, 2007, 1:44pm

I don't know about all the programming "stuff" but I love, love, love the descriptions added to the book page! Thanks!

42kawika
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 1:51pm

#39 I'm not saying they should be done away with. Just that the nomenclature should be consistent.

43lquilter
Oct 8, 2007, 2:06pm

Another UI issue:

If you're not logged in, and you go to a work page, you still get an "Add to your library" option.

44lquilter
Oct 8, 2007, 2:08pm

#36 Lilithcat & #40 jargoneer -

I agree that "social data" was an informative title, but suggest that it is not optimal to have edition-specific bibliographic data showing up as the "main page", because people may have more than one different edition of the same work.

45hailelib
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 2:12pm

Question: Does the generic cover on the edit page mean I don't have a cover for that book?

Edited to say that while I figured out the answer it wasn't immediately obvious and might confuse a new member.

46timspalding
Oct 8, 2007, 2:19pm

Cover-upload bug fixed. More in a sec.

47hnn
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 2:48pm

Book description from Amazon.com is very nice to have but... very English-centric. How about getting descriptions from amazon.fr and amazon.de for books in French and German? (and what about other languages?)

48hnn
Oct 8, 2007, 3:00pm

BUG: See all recommendations: for all works, this leads to the recommendations for CS Lewis The Silver chair
http://www.librarything.com/suggester/1182694
(looks hardcoded...)

However, the Recommendations on the left works correct,

49sabreuse
Oct 8, 2007, 3:02pm

The bug in 48 applies to unsuggestions as well.

50AnnaClaire
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 3:04pm

Only if the book itself is actually in that French/German/Whatever. I don't really much like having to skip past reviews, for example, in languages I can't read -- especially if the book in question is popular and/or highly reviewed. The only reason I wouldn't mind foreign-language info is if it's in the same foreign language as the book.

On the other hand, I am a monolingual Yank. People who can read other languages better than my basic French might not mind so much. That said, I think it would be better if foreign-language content is something that users could switch on or off at will.

EDIT: The above applies to message # 48. (#49 wasn't there when I started typing.)

51jjlong
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 3:44pm

>48 hnn: Whew! I was beginning to think it was my computer (see #13), since no one else had mentioned this yet...

52timspalding
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 4:31pm

Here are my replies on simpler bug issuesFirst up, sorry the bugs went on so long this afternoon. I overslept considerably. My heart feel a guily about it, but my mind--recently backstroking in glorious (and oh-so-rare) sleep--does not.

Cover upload issue...

Fixed.

MARC display issue

Fixed.

4: PhoenixTerran; "Please don't forget to add back in combination suggestions by ISBN"

Done. This also fixed the ISBN list for a work mentioned by ryn_books in message 8.

13: jjlong, Silver-chair recommendations

Whoops. Thanks. Fixed.

15: nperrin

I'm going to sit down with this mental meal in a second, and see if I can figure our what you're doing and what it's doing in response. I have a feeling the problem is not a new one, fortunately or unfortunately.

16: fyrefly98

"Clickable links at the top..."

Okay, we'll get to work on that.

"return of the swap this book arrow icon"

We're actually trying to reduce the number of icons. I agree it was eye-catching but LT had too many non-standard and not-particularly-attractive icons. The idea is to become easier to use in a Del.icio.us-like way, without making and maintaining a panoply of icons.

As you can see, the only remaining icons are completely standard ones--pencils and red Xs. I don't want to break that idea for book-swapping.

17: Papiervisje, "If the page is less then full, the picture of the book overlaps with the title info"

The former is intentional, but I'm thinking there's some styling issue going on. Can you try it again--maybe hit "refresh" a few times--and if you still see real problems, let us know your browser and OS? (A screenshot wouldn't go amiss either, although I know that's a lot of work.)

19: erelsi183, "I especially like the stats along the top under the title, the shortened and columnized list of recommendations, and the addition of the Amazon.com description"

Thanks. Those are my favorite parts too. The fact that it's all-Amazona is an irritant for me now, but we're going to allow members to add summaries soon.

23: philosojerk, (show all members) broken

Fixed.

53timspalding
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 4:24pm

This is my reply on more complex issues 9: Lman. I can't seem to find where you can go 'back to your catalogue'

This was intentional, actually. Basically the "back to catalog" button worked like a back button, but it remembered only catalog pages. The idea was that you could click on a work, then click around to other page within the work—even go to an author page—and when you were done, you click back to where you left your catalog.

I made it so obviously I liked it. But over time it felt more and more unnatural. People know how to use a back button. A non-standard back button didn't feel like it added much.

2: Kawikawa "Is there a reason for the repetition of conversation, review, etc. numbers?"

Yeah. I'm trying to indicate whether clicking on the link is going to be fun. (This depends partially on what you're looking for.) I think it's a useful redundancy, but I'm open to other opinions.

10: VisibleGhost, recommendation changes

Yes, these are intentional. I'm trying to reduce the space recommendations take up. I think I'm set on the current number and orientation. The previous layout filled up half the above-the-fold with recommendations. Some people over here wanted me to put recommendations below the fold, so I'm still on your side. :)

12: sophies_choice, on edition changing

I have something like this in the works.

20: Busifer. I wonder if you've done some usability studies on the new layout...?

Didn't you notice the guy with a clip-board standing behind you?

Also - the placement of field labels seems out of touch with recent studies

Thanks for that link. I'm not sure it applies here, or anyway I wish the authors had thought about forms that weren't blank to start with. When you face a new form, having "First name" above the field in question is a big help. When you're going back into a form, I think you mostly look at the contents, and having "Tim Spalding" in the field is most of the issue.

The flip side of putting labels above fields is that your form takes up a lot more space vertically. As it stands now, most user can see most of the important fields within one window. It we put the labels above, I think that would change. It's a balance, but I think I'm going to stick with the current way for when you edit. (Then there's the question of new manual entry, whether it should look like the "edit" screen--a usabiltiy gain--or have the labels above the fields--a usability gain. Tough. Also, would involve changes, and manual entry is much less common.)

To me the disposition of the elements on the page is weird and unintuitive for a person with the mouse firmly placed in the right hand ;-)

I'd love to hear more of what you think, but I think this is backward. The previous work pages put the key navigation on the right side. That's backward. Navigation within a section is generally on the left side. It's an accepted convention. Putting it on the right is almost unheard of.

lots of issues with clutter/ambiguity in were a info object starts/ends

Would be glad to hear more.

(later) "Total break against the hitherto established interaction model used"

Yeah, we're going to transition to a model more like this. I can understand it looks different. We're not the sort of outfit that can do a major redesign on all pages at one. But I feel confident that main navigation on the left is much more common and usability-approved than having it on the right!

21: _Zoe_. "Since the ratings graph is really compressed now, could you take advantage of every bit of space it has by expanding it to fill its whole box? The white space on either side seems unnecessary."

I see see space on the right, but not on the left. Is the ratings box "centering" within the green area for you? As far as the space on the right goes, I could probably cheat and grab a few more pixels. Right now I'm leaving enough space for the worst-case scenario—something with "1,000" ratings of one type. I could probably look at the number of digits and cheat a little.

There's a case to be made for taking the ratings box out of its two-pixel gray-green container and leaving it "naked" within the green area. I'm on the fence.

When I get a chance I'm going to make a ratings area for the main section too. If people want it, they should get it.

26: jjlong ... I see now that some photos are too small, or of too low a resolution, to handle the upsizing... for example, Sue Monk Kidd, David Crystal, Helene Hanff

Yes, I know. Some browser do it gracefully and some don't. It was a good attempt, but I think we're moving them back.

29: lquilter: "perhaps have the > triangles (on the left-sidebar menu) point DOWN"

I don't think down is the right message, since it would imply the stuff underneath was a "rollout" of some sort of that label. I tried it with darker triangles—blue and black—and I couldn't get it to look right. It felt like gilding the lilly.

When you're looking at a work that you have two different copies of, it currently bolds the copy you're looking at. That might be a little subtle for folks, both in terms of picking up what's happening, and in terms of visual impairments. What about a text indicator: "This copy: ...." or something like that?

Good point. I didn't add your wording, but I decided to add a light yellow box around the book in question, when you have more than one. Tell me what you think? I'm not sure whether it should go all the time. I think it might be unnecessarily distracting.

On "recommendations" it would be great to have a help link to a description of what that is and how calculated...

Agreed. We're going to be amping up the help now that we have an interface standard for it.

30: lquilter, Safari problems

Yipes. I'll circle the wagons with Chris on this one, but we all use Safari and have had no problems. The standard Safari problem--something with the Prototype library--shouldn't happen until we Ajax something in.

32: lilithcat. Also, it's weird to have one cover on the left and the rest on the right. The old way was better.

Well, I'm hoping it grows on you. The left cover is for identification purposes—"What book am I on?" The others are for specialty purposes, like what you're doing, a careful comparison of covers, or for fun. Neither are the main purpose of the page. Taking up most of the left-hand side with oddball covers—when they are now a click away—was insanity. A page like the Da Vinci code conjured over 100 covers. That's a lot of bandwidth, let me tell you. And it slowed the page down horribly. Add to that the way it forced the naivgation over to the right, which is very non-standard, and I think have a perfect storm of nastiness.

34: myshelves, "I suppose I'll get used to it, but I don't understand why the same information (stats, members, buy/trade, ratings, etc.) is repeated on various pages"

Like the title, they're there as a constant reminder of what you can find out and what's interesting. You don't always enter a work through it's main page, and having some small piece of the data follow you around is pretty common on sites. But I might be willing to take it off the edit page. That's a somewhat different beast.

It appears that "Main Page" is what used to be "Social Info" and "Details" is what used to be "Book Info". The old names were clearer as to what one would expect to find. Frankly, when I see "Main Page", my expectation is to see info about the book, not about who has it.

I'm not with you on that. The old "social" page included both bibliographic and social information. The new one selects from all the information available and gives you what we think most users are interested in. (That no user is the same--probably--is why we've got a "customize" page warming on the stove.)

As I see it, on LibraryThing, who has the book——along with what they say about it, what they rate it—*IS* "about the book."

38: kawika, someone may want to change the hover text...

Yes, will do, once things settle down a bit and I'm sure the names are staying.

40: jargoneer, "Why haven't the user uploaded pictures been resized to the larger images as well?"

I wrote about this in another thread. For legal reasons--which we now think are wrong--and for space reasons--which remain a problem--those are the largest we have. Starting last week we started collecting larger sizes. We aren't "using" them yet. We're waiting until we can build code to resize images at need and gracefully.

lquilter "If you're not logged in, and you go to a work page, you still get an "Add to your library" option."

That's a feature, not a bug. If you try it you'll see that it routes you through sign-up and back to the work page. Giving non-sign-in people various "things to do" is pretty common. I want to add more of them.

45: hailelib "Does the generic cover on the edit page mean I don't have a cover for that book?"

Yes it does. We're going to do more with generic covers—for example allowing you to set your own. But I'm all ears about how to make things clearer. Someone suggested that generic covers have "LibraryThing" somewhere on them. Maybe.

47: hnn "Book description from Amazon.com is very nice to have but... very English-centric."

We know. We're going to explore options here. I don't think we can get them via the API from Amazon in the same way, but we can get them somewhere, I know.

54citygirl
Oct 8, 2007, 4:38pm

Late to the party, but I love it. Much sexier. I'm sure whatever bugs will be worked out in time. Thanks, Tim.

55myshelves
Oct 8, 2007, 4:44pm

Tim,

But I might be willing to take it off the edit page. That's a somewhat different beast.

Please! A very different beast, in that a member goes to the edit page for only one reason: to edit an item in his/her catalog.

56bcobb
Oct 8, 2007, 4:53pm

I am a little puzzled why "The Work's Page" seems to contain 95% info about everything except the details of the actual book. You get who has it, tags, where to buy it, popularity of it, etc. But you have to do another click to get the bibliographic details. And even the "details" page comes with all the extraneous stuff added above, beside and around the half-tone nearly faded-out type with the details about the book.

That faded-out section is awfully hard to read for those with low vision.

When I click on a title in my library I'm not at all interested in who else has it or whether they liked it. I just want to see the details of my book so I can clean them up, if I'm engaged in housekeeping my catalogue, or recall something without getting the book down from the shelf.

The title of the "work" page seems a misnomer, except as a stand-in description for a page which might be better described as an accretion of information relating to the actual book. Unfortunately the aggregated data has so grown in complexity and quantity and it seems to have taken over the show.

Is there any pathway back to simply clicking on a title in my collection and just seeing the bibliographic data and only that? SInce I'm on a s low dial-up connection every extra click is time consuming.

cobb

57hailelib
Oct 8, 2007, 5:11pm

Cobb

Have you tried clicking on the 'index' card on the far right in your catalogue? It goes to the page that's about your copy of the book with all the bibliographic details.

58jjwilson61
Oct 8, 2007, 5:17pm

Tim, you mentioned elsewhere about adding edition as a concept in a addition to work. So is the main page really the work page and the detail page the edition page? It sounds like some people would like to be able to jump directly to the "edition" page instead of the "work" page when clicking on the title in their catalog. Perhaps that can be configurable.

bcobb, in the meantime you can jump to either one using the person and the card catalog icons in your library view.

59_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2007, 5:45pm

Wow, it's fantastic that you responded in so much detail to everyone.

I see see space on the right, but not on the left. Is the ratings box "centering" within the green area for you?

Yes, it's centering. Though the green is so faint that it's almost impossible to see--I didn't even realize there were any colours when I first looked at the new page. Within the box, it looks like there's space for about one more digit on the left and three more on the right.

As far as the space on the right goes, I could probably cheat and grab a few more pixels. Right now I'm leaving enough space for the worst-case scenario—something with "1,000" ratings of one type. I could probably look at the number of digits and cheat a little.

That makes sense. If it could be adjusted so that it only takes that space when it actually has 1000 ratings, that would be great.

There's a case to be made for taking the ratings box out of its two-pixel gray-green container and leaving it "naked" within the green area. I'm on the fence.

I'm on the fence about that too.

60mvrdrk
Oct 8, 2007, 5:49pm

On the details page, under About the Work, the entire two-column text is right justified in the block under the header.

It feels odd. It looks like a huge waste of space on the right hand side with ISBN-13's in a single column. It might be better of the whole thing was left justified within it's block.

61lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 5:53pm

> 44

That's not the issue. The issue is that the title of the pages are not descriptive of their contents. If the "main page" is the social page, call it that.

62lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 6:04pm

> 53

Please, please, please bring back the "Back to Catalogue" option! I just scanned and uploaded a gazillion (well, okay, eighteen) cover images, and it's a PITA not to have that. It brought me immediately back to the page in the catalogue I was on. My choice now is to click the "My Library" link, which takes me the first page, or to use my browser's "back" button, which means I have to go back through multiple preceding pages.

As to showing cover images, okay, I get you on the numbers. But even if you are only going to show a few of them, it still makes better design sense to have then over by the main cover.

That no user is the same--probably--is why we've got a "customize" page warming on the stove.)

Then I will withhold judgment until I see the possibilities.

As I see it, on LibraryThing, who has the book——along with what they say about it, what they rate it—*IS* "about the book."

Well, you're the boss! But I respectfully disagree. I am more interested in the book itself when I'm looking it up.

Oh, and another thing. ;-))

I really dislike the "buy, borrow or swap" thing being so prominent on every page. I agree with myshelves: that and other info doesn't need to be everywhere. I'm glad to see that you'll consider removing it from the "edit" page, as I am not likely to want to "buy, borrow or swap" a book I already own!

63jjwilson61
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 6:19pm

60> mvrdrk, I'm seeing four columns for the ISBN-10's and three for the ISBN-13's, but I can change that by varying the width of my browser window. There does, however, seem to be excessive white space on either side (at least for books with many, many ISBN's like The Hobbit).

64timspalding
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 6:49pm

59: _Zoe_. "Wow, it's fantastic that you responded in so much detail to everyone."

Thanks. Coming from outside LT, I think the amount we discuss these things is pretty incredible. But it doesn't always happen at such depth. Just so you know, if I don't always do that it's largely about balancing communication with "doing." In this case, I think the time spent talking, not doing, is worth it.

Yes, it's centering

What browser, OS are you on?

56: bcobb

Points taken. Obviously, we feel that LibraryThing's "social" features are good ones, and that many users are in fact "interest in who else has (a book) or whether they liked it." But pure cataloging is one use, and not an uncommon one. I think I'm going to think about how to make the "details" page more amenable to that use. For now, I think you'll find the edit is the best option. It shows all the data, and allows you to edit it too...

The title of the "work" page seems a misnomer, except as a stand-in description for a page which might be better described as an accretion of information relating to the actual book.

Well, we have a distinction between work and book. I understand that you don't care about it, but it's central to how LibraryThing works--that your "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" is the same as my "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," etc. If LibraryThing is used purely to catalog, that's a worthless concept. If you want to read reviews, exploit connections and so forth, it's very important.

60: mvrdrk, "On the details page, under About the Work, the entire two-column text is right justified in the block under the header."

What browser, OS?

You mean that the whole box is right-justified, or both columns within the box?

61: lilithcat, That's not the issue. The issue is that the title of the pages are not descriptive of their contents. If the "main page" is the social page, call it that.

It's not the social page. It's a page with both social and non-social information, a page laying out some of the more interesting stuff. (And something like recommendations? Social? Socially-derived maybe.) Maybe you want the "About this book" on the main page.

Please, please, please bring back the "Back to Catalogue" option!

Okay, if you want it, do my work for me :) Where should it go, do you think?

I really dislike the "buy, borrow or swap" thing being so prominent on every page.

Two things. First, it's not more prominent. Before those links were all over on the left, underneath the cover. On most websites, the global navigation is right there--we put it in the absolute cat-bird's seat and, franly, "LibraryThing is trying to get us to click on Amazon links" was a regular complaint for that very reason. On the right in a box is the conventional place for "here's some info you might find useful but which isn't necessary."

As for putting it on every page, the point is to create a unified work navigation, same for every page within a work. Much the same point could be made about other persistent navigation (eg., "Why do I need the logo all the time; I know where I am?"). I think it's good for everyone, but it's certainly good for newer and new users.

I am not likely to want to "buy, borrow or swap" a book I already own!

Well, you might want to do it for a friend, or to take advantage of one of the many fine features on Amazon. Also, swapping isn't just to get. It's also to give.

63: jjwilson61, "I'm seeing four columns for the ISBN-10's"

Are you playing with Firebug or something to show table borders?

65lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 6:51pm

> 64

Please, please, please bring back the "Back to Catalogue" option!

Okay, if you want it, do my work for me :) Where should it go, do you think?


Well, I liked where it was, but you moved the "Buy, etc." thing there. Maybe just above the "edit your book" link?

(P.S. Is it just me, or did the font on the profile-reviews page get smaller?)

66timspalding
Oct 8, 2007, 6:59pm

Maybe just above the "edit your book" link?

I don't think it fits the section well—they're all pages allowing you to slice into the work somehow. "Back to catalog" is a very different thing, I think. Maybe above "Buy, borrow or swap?"

67lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 7:01pm

> 66

That would work, too.

68jjwilson61
Oct 8, 2007, 7:16pm

64 > Are you playing with Firebug or something to show table borders?

No borders, I'm just seeing columns of ISBN's. Isn't that what I'm supposed to be seeing? OK, maybe they're not columns, but they're rows of four ISBN-10's each separated by commas, and since all the ISBN's are the same length, they line up vertically. I'd call those columns. Firefox, XP, no plugins.

69_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2007, 7:18pm

</i>Yes, it's centering

What browser, OS are you on?

Firefox, XP. Is it not supposed to be centred, or am I looking at the wrong thing? The box is centred within the green area, but the text/bars are left-aligned within the box.

First, it's not more prominent. Before those links were all over on the left, underneath the cover.

But was the emphasis on buying? I thought of the links on the left as places to go for more information, not to make a purchase.

70lilithcat
Oct 8, 2007, 7:20pm

> 69

But was the emphasis on buying? I thought of the links on the left as places to go for more information, not to make a purchase.

Yes, you're right. That's the difference. There wasn't any "Buy this!" to it.

71timspalding
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 7:26pm

Yes, you're right. That's the difference. There wasn't any "Buy this!" to it.

Interesting. I don't know if that would have been the first impression on entering the site, but I know what you mean. Some were more that way than others. (The Abe and Alibris pages, for example, are mostly about buying.) And we've reduced the need somewhat by adding a "book descriptions" section.

I don't actually think the "buy it" emphasis is bad. Lots of times you DO want to buy a book on LibraryThing, and about half our traffic is for people entering searches on books. Many of them go off and buy it—it's what they were looking for anyway.

72Kira
Oct 8, 2007, 7:31pm

Hmm that's funny with the ratings box, I just opened it up in Firefox and IE simultaneously (both with XP) and Firefox does appear to show more blank space to the left of the numbers (and even a bit more above) in the box than IE does. It's hard to measure precisely, but they both seem to show around the same space on the other side of the box...

73_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2007, 7:31pm

I think people who came looking to buy a book could figure out what to do with the amazon link even if it didn't explicitly say "buy".

74timspalding
Oct 8, 2007, 7:33pm

I think people who came looking to buy a book could figure out what to do with the amazon link even if it didn't explicitly say "buy".

Got an alternative label for that box?

75infiniteletters
Oct 8, 2007, 7:38pm

75: Does it need a label?

For an actual suggestions, what about "On other sites"?

76_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2007, 7:49pm

Got an alternative label for that box?

Nope, but I'm sure other people can think of something. "On other sites" seems okay.

77bluesalamanders
Oct 8, 2007, 7:52pm

Make that 'elsewhere on the web' and expand it to include the wikipedia links and such?

78timspalding
Oct 8, 2007, 7:56pm

I really like "Buy, borrow or swap." It says what it is.

79BGP
Oct 8, 2007, 10:45pm

...and I would think that most users of LT would not have a problem with the concept of buying or borrowing books (as for swapping, well, that's another story)...

80SqueakyChu
Edited: Oct 8, 2007, 10:52pm

--> 79

BGP, what is the issue with swapping? It's something I do often.

81Lman
Oct 8, 2007, 11:12pm

Please, please, please bring back the "Back to Catalogue" option!

>65 lilithcat: Tim

Okay, if you want it, do my work for me :) Where should it go, do you think?

It could go at the bottom of the list - after you have finished clicking on all the above 'jobs', info,editing done - to take you back to where you started. The reason I requested that is (in my small computer knowledge) when you click your 'back' button in your browser it takes you back alright, but does not show the additions, changes or differences made to the book - which is a main reason I go there in the first place once the book has been added. But with the "back to catalogue' you get the edited info, which is what I want!

82HeathMochaFrost
Oct 8, 2007, 11:15pm

Tim & Co. - The total amount of time I've spent looking at the new work pages today is probably five minutes, including a look just now at Watership Down at 1005pm Central Time. Lots of people have lots of suggestions in this thread, and it's good of you to consider them (and answer so many of them directly and in detail!), but in my very limited time on these pages so far, I LOVE THEM!!! They just look so much better, and whether a link is on the left or right, that doesn't matter to me, I'll get used to it. They're just so nice and appealing, I wish I could play hooky from work tomorrow and just be on LT all day. :-) THANKS TO ALL for the hard work, and the further exciting changes coming soon!!!

83BGP
Oct 8, 2007, 11:28pm

>80 SqueakyChu: "what is the issue with swapping?"

I have no issue with the concept of swapping, I have an issue with the concept of myself partaking in a book swap! I tend to give the best of my books away (I only give people books as gifts), but, when I do, I try to quickly replace them... In other words, if I thought the book was mostly enjoyable or relatively interesting, I'll want to hold on to it (just in case...).

84BGP
Oct 8, 2007, 11:33pm


Okay, if you want it, do my work for me :) Where should it go, do you think? - Tim

I think it would go quite nicely if it were placed opposite "+ to your library" in the "Your Library" section. Someone mentioned (quite rightly, I would argue) that this section is relatively naked; the "back to catalogue" link could easily erase the feeling of dead space.

85hippietrail
Oct 8, 2007, 11:42pm

I expected the "show all covers" link to use Ajax to load them in place. Instead it loads a new page - which is not a bad thing. But this new page seems to be the "change covers" page. I'm used to clicking on a tiny cover image to see a slightly bigger cover image, which is handy to read the title to make out what language it's in for example. Instead I am prompted to select it as the new cover for my book!

Also I love the covers and have many editions of some books. It would be nice to have a cover thumbnail in each entry of the list when you have more than one edition.

86Lman
Oct 8, 2007, 11:46pm


>84 BGP: BGP

I'm not sure exactly where you mean, but I think this would only work if you didn't have the book. (I tried to see that with a book in my catalogue.) I would like it to appear with all options: when you have the book, want to add the book and if considering buying, swapping or any other option with said book.

Huh! I want it to show like all the others in the list...*please*

87woodbear
Oct 9, 2007, 12:02am

I had a pleasant surprise when I logged in this morning - beautiful new pages. I was so surprised by the first one I saw I just had to go and look at others to make sure I wasn't imagining things.

88SilentInAWay
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 12:09am

I stayed up late* last night so that I could try out the new works page as soon as it went live. I thought I'd wait until the initial rush of comments went by to offer my observations (hope they aren't too late).

First of all, I like the new concept of a single page with different views (rather than all book, work, edition, social and common knowledge appearing on completely different pages). This is a lot more transparent. Also, although it will take some getting used to, I like the main features (views) being listed on the left--this is not only more logical, but is also more convenient for those of us with wide screens. I particularly like the book descriptions from Amazon--I frequently find them more useful than reviews, so I'm glad they're now available here.

There are a few things, however, that I think can be improved. I realize that several of these points have already been made by others above (in which case they can be considered endorsements). You've been asking for specifics, so I'm going to be specific:

1. It would make a huge difference for me if the pale pink on the section separator bars and the pale green behind the sections on the right-hand side of the page were a little darker. These are barely visible on some monitors. The colored separators are, I think, essential improvements in the page layout--without them, useability really suffers. Sure, we can adjust our monitors specifically to make the new work page look nice, but I don't think that should be necessary. Could you use slightly darker shades (similar to those used within a talk topic, for instance).

2. I dislike the Members/Reviews/Popularity/Rating/Conversations line. For me there's so much information crammed together there that it's hard to quickly pick out what's useful (the bolding of the values doesn't help out all that much, in my opinion). I don't have a problem with this information displaying at the top of each view--if it were spread out, that is, maybe over two lines. Perhaps Members/Popularity could go on one line and Reviews/Rating/Conversations could go on a second line. I don't know if there is a need to show "Recently added by" at the top of every view--maybe this should only appear on the new page that will have the member connections (it could be accessed via a link on the Members line). This layout would take up no more space than it does now, but would be less crowded.

3. Although the "back to catalog" link was definitely useful, it would be really helpful if you added three operations: previous, return, next (or maybe icons--although I understand your desire to limit the number of new icons). These links need only appear when the work page is invoked directly from a catalog page. The return link would return to the catalog page. The previous and next links would move backward and foreward through the catalog (using the currently specified sort order) and display the corresponding book on the current view of the works page. Users could then filter the catalog as desired and then easily page throught recommendations, reviews, Common Knowledge, etc. for those books.

4. The new page is considerably harder to use for combining. The cover/ISBN pairs were useful and the "Possible Combinations" section was essential. As far as I can tell, the first of these is no longer available and the second is inconsistently available (I find it for this work but not this one, for example). Or is this just a cacheing thing...

5. (This appears to no longer be a problem but...) When I first viewed the new works page last night, the page would be drawn and then redrawn (with different internal dimensions) after displaying the cover. This was annoying (especially for catalogs with custom covers, where the difference in display dimensions was greatest). Now, the page appears to be waiting to draw until after the cover is ready to display. A little bit slower off the marks, but much preferable overall--thanks.

Well, I hope this helps. I'm sure you may disagree with me on some of this. So be it. Regardless of what you decide, the work pages are, I think, a great step foreward. I'm really looking forward to their being extended with editions, common knowledge, wishlists and collections. Thanks again.

*well, not that late--I'm in California.

89BGP
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 12:16am

>86 Lman: "I would like it to appear with all options: when you have the book, want to add the book and if considering buying, swapping or any other option with said book."

Well, then I would have to retract my suggestion and direct you to:

>88 SilentInAWay: "Although the "back to catalog" link was definitely useful, it would be really helpful if you added three operations: previous, return, next...."

SilentInAWay, consider your suggestion seconded.

90timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 12:22am

1. It would make a huge difference for me if the pale pink on the section separator bars and the pale green behind the sections on the right-hand side of the page were a little darker.

Can I get some other opinions. They're good on my monitors, but this is all about the average. Monitors are never in synch. What are other people seeing?

2. I dislike the Members/Reviews/Popularity/Rating/Conversations line. For me there's so much information crammed together there that it's hard to quickly pick out what's useful...

Hmmm. Some other people (including some who work here) have said that. I'm torn.

3. Although the "back to catalog" link was definitely useful, it would be really helpful if you added three operations: previous, return, next (or maybe icons--although I understand your desire to limit the number of new icons).

Back is possible. I'll look at it soon. Previous and next have been suggested before, but it's tough. The current database schema won't support. (It would get boring to go into any more.)

4. The new page is considerably harder to use for combining. The cover/ISBN pairs were useful and the "Possible Combinations" section was essential.

What do you mean the cover/ISBN pairs?

Possible combinations is working the same way as before. It doesn't happen unless there are works with the same ISBN in other works.

91lilithcat
Oct 9, 2007, 12:27am

> 88

1. It would make a huge difference for me if the pale pink on the section separator bars and the pale green behind the sections on the right-hand side of the page were a little darker.

Good heavens! I went and looked again. The colors are so pale I never even noticed them!

RE: #4 I don't think you see "Potential Combinations" if there is only one copy of the book catalogued here. I checked a few of mine that are singletons, and see the same phenomenon.

92Lman
Oct 9, 2007, 12:35am


>91 lilithcat:

1. It would make a huge difference for me if the pale pink on the section separator bars and the pale green behind the sections on the right-hand side of the page were a little darker.

Me too - I could find the pink when I looked REALLY hard but I didn't have any green I thought until I turned my room light off!! I didn't notice them at first either and I can see the pink nicely on this talk page (as a comparison) - 'not too pink, just pink enough'.

93timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 12:36am

You're serious—you're not seeing either color area? Help! Can I get some more feedback. Please reply EITHER way, NOT just if it's a problem.

94_Zoe_
Oct 9, 2007, 12:39am

What are other people seeing?

I think I mentioned before that I also didn't even notice them at first (and also, the bar of read messages is a sort of annoying baby pink, which several people complained about initially).

I dislike the Members/Reviews/Popularity/Rating/Conversations line. For me there's so much information crammed together there that it's hard to quickly pick out what's useful...

I don't mind it the way it is and wouldn't want to take up extra space to spread it out more, but I also don't think the list of members who recently added the book is necessary or even particularly interesting, so I wouldn't mind what SilentInAWay is suggesting.

95_Zoe_
Oct 9, 2007, 12:41am

And right now it looks like everything is gone from the middle of the page--reviews, recommendations, etc.

96Anneli
Oct 9, 2007, 12:51am

>93 timspalding:
I can't see these pink and light green at all. I use Firefox. But when I changed to Internet Explorer I saw something that I didn't see with Firefox: Ads by Google.

97tarpfarmer
Oct 9, 2007, 1:18am

I can see faint pink and green.

I vote very strongly for a back to catalog button...

Problem? In my catalog view when I click on a book title I go to a page that shows the cover, title, author, the members line, recently added line and the pale green box to the right with covers etc. Nothing is in the body unless I click on the main page link to the right.
I thought when I was looking at this earlier that when I clicked the book title in catalog view it went right to the main page.
Am I dreaming or did something change?

98Anneli
Oct 9, 2007, 1:19am

Forgot to say that I like very much that the new work page don't show all the covers. Some books have dozens and dozens of covers...

99tarpfarmer
Oct 9, 2007, 1:22am

>>97 tarpfarmer: Forgot to say I checked Firefox and IE7 for this problem and it happens the same in both browsers.

100jlane
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 2:02am

What are other people seeing?

No color shading on the main page from my home computer on either IE7 or Firefox : Windows Vista Basic at 1280 x 1024 with Highest (32bit) colors.

Earlier today, I saw the color shading on computers at work, IE6 and Firefox : Windows XP.

More of a concern this p.m.--same as #97: When I click on a title in my library, I go to the main page without content in the center of the page. That center content only fills after I click the link for "Main page".

Overall, I like the new work page. It's much cleaner, clearer to read. Very nice!
The only suggestion, if possible, might be to space the delete red "X" farther from the pencil icon for editing the title. It is close enough right now that I can see that I might hit the wrong icon and delete a title by accident.

*Edited to add: The colors, pink background on headers and green for links at the right side, can be seen on an older computer that is running Windows XP.

101tarpfarmer
Oct 9, 2007, 1:37am

>100 jlane: Thanks notelinks...now I know its not just me imagining a problem I wasn't sure existed :-)

102SilentInAWay
Oct 9, 2007, 1:45am

90>

1. I only discovered the colors were there when I viewed the new pages on a really old Viewsonic flat-screen (the colors didn't look right there, because the color reproduction on that monitor is so bad that it's beyond adjustment). I then went back to three "new" monitors (all Dells of different shapes, sizes and enclosures) and I could only barely make out the colors.

By the way, once you can see them, the squared/rounded corners on the dividers are really nice.

2. I'm torn

If it makes a difference, for me it's a question of clarity, not aesthetics. In my opinion, if the information is important enough to repeat at the top of every view, then it should be very clearly presented. You shouldn't have to "get used to it." That said, maybe just an extra space or two between each statistic would do the trick.

3. The current database schema wont support (previous and next links)

Damn. Oh well, maybe if the idea hangs around in the back of your mind, a brilliant workaround might come to you in a flash when you least expect it (in the shower, in your dreams, while you're...).

4. What do you mean the cover/ISBN pairs?

Maybe my memory's playing games on me. I seem to remember that, on one of the old pages, on the left side of the screen, ISBNs were listed immediately below (or was it above?) the covers that were associated with them. In certain ambiguous situations, this made it easier to determine which of multiple similarly-named books should be combined (in particular when one or more books had only ISBNs or only covers, but not both).

Maybe when the user clicks on one of the "see all ### covers" links on the new Change Cover page, then the ISBNs could display beneath each associated cover (the same ISBN could, of course, be displayed for more than one cover). I don't know if this is the best approach, but it would be nice not to lose this information...

Possible combinations is working the same way as before. It doesn't happen unless there are works with the same ISBN in other works.

I realize that. What I didn't realize was that the section did not appear at all for singletons (as lilithcat pointed out in #91). My bad.

103mvrdrk
Oct 9, 2007, 2:12am

I know that the number of columns on the detail page vary with browser width and settings. However, to get the grey titles such as LC Call Number to align with the left side of the heading, I have to squeeze the page till I'm getting single columns of ISBN 10s.

I'm just saying that the widest heading ... Other Languages, could align more towards the left side of that column without feeling cramped.

I can turn on 'outline table cells' to see that it's really a 2 column table, but it's really not necessary.

104r.orrison
Oct 9, 2007, 2:21am

The background colours look fine to me. (FireFox, XP, and a VideoSeven widescreen LCD which I've just recently done brightness/contrast calibration on following instructions I found somewhere on the web)

I'm also not too keen on the Buy Borrow or Swap box at the top on the right, I'd rather see that box at the bottom, below Popular covers and Rating.

105tripleblessings
Oct 9, 2007, 2:36am

I can see the pale green at the right side, but it's so pale that it's hard to see the narrow white space between the green sections - so it's not marking the separate sections as clearly as it could. I'm not sure what is supposed to be pink, except the long bar that says "edit", when I go to edit a work.

I've added a couple of dozen books today, and have found the updated look quite fast and easy to use. The only thing I miss is the former "social pages", where I used to go see what tags other LT users had assigned to a book. Sometimes that would suggest a category I hadn't thought of, or would remind me of one I forgot.

Thanks for all your hard work, Tim and the LT team!

106sarahemmm
Oct 9, 2007, 3:16am

> 93 Colours are great for me (lcd monitor in lowish light)

107Anneli
Oct 9, 2007, 3:37am

>104 r.orrison:
I agree that it would be nicer if the Buy, borrow or swap box would be at the bottom.

108
Oct 9, 2007, 3:40am

This message has been deleted by its author.

109KirstenV
Oct 9, 2007, 4:01am

I like it! I can see the colors just fine in both Firefox and IE. I also like the yellow box behind the copy you're looking at when you have multiple copies of one book.

#107: Agreed. And then put the "back to catologue" option on top again. I just joined LT a few days ago and I already miss it!

I like the stat bar, but reviews and conversations is redundant. Get rid of those and keep members, popularity, and rating. I also like the "recently added by" list.

#97: Same problem.

110reading_fox
Oct 9, 2007, 4:16am

Colours - fine for me IE7 XP on a flat scren, but they could easily go darker to the shades present in talk fro example.

I too am getting the missing information in Main Screen. It reappears when you go through details and back. This needs to be one way or the other. Preferably all information to load first time!

Back to Catalog - could definetly go in "Your library" section.

Main information Members etc. Visability is fine. I'd prefer they were links rather than links on the left. Seems unnecessary to have it twice on the same page.

111E59F
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 4:19am

If it's intentional that clicking on the title in my catalog takes me to a different page
http://www.librarything.com/work/91846/book/15811591
from the main page
http://www.librarything.com/work/91846
I like the idea - it's a nice way to provide a UI for looking at a specific copy of a book as opposed to the overall work - but it would be nicer if the former page gave me more cataloging information about my copy of the book, like what is on the Details page.

Also, I'd go along with the suggestion of putting the Rating box at least above the Buy, borrow or swap box.

On my monitor (iMac LCD, low ambient light) the pink and green are visible but quite subtle. Subtle is fine, but I can see how they could be invisible in other circumstances.

112r.orrison
Oct 9, 2007, 4:41am

>21 _Zoe_: "once you've chosen to show all tags or numbers there should be a way to change it back without reloading the page"

I'm just repeating this since it wasn't mentioned in Tim's long lists of bugs he's addressing. (I thought I'd found a new bug.)

113GreyHead
Oct 9, 2007, 5:01am

I can see the colors if I peer but they are subtle to the point of obscurity - FireFox on XP with LCD screens (with analogue & digital drivers).

I think that this and several other over-subtle color effect on LT may be linked to the different color-space used by Macs and PCs which makes some colors distinctly clearer in Safari on a Mac. See this article for a description and some examples.

114Heather19
Oct 9, 2007, 7:37am

I admit I've only skimmed recent responses here ('cause there are a LOT!), so forgive me if this has been mentioned:

I was going through some of my more recent additions to my catalogue, and I realized that I can't see any reviews on some of the pages. When I got to the work page, it shows a really big empty space where the reviews and other information are supposed to be. These are books that I know have at least one review, because I've reviewed them! It's not just with recently-added books either, so that's not the problem.

Heather

115nperrin
Oct 9, 2007, 7:38am

I can see the colors if I peer but they are subtle to the point of obscurity - FireFox on XP with LCD screens

I am having the exact same experience as GreyHead. Also, I have never before had a hard time seeing the colors you've used, even when other people have complained about lightness. But these new colors aren't even in the same ballpark of visibility as, say, the blue bars above each unread talk message.

116Morphidae
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 7:44am

I see the pink fine, but I don't see any green. I see very pale blue boxes on the right.

117tcgardner
Oct 9, 2007, 8:11am

I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence, but if you are on a laptop, move your screen back and forth. I was able to see the colors much more clearly with an adjustment. With that said, the colors most likely need to be set to accommodate a wider range of screen positions.

118bluesalamanders
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 8:13am

I see both the pink and the green, no problem. (Edit: now that I look again, Morphidae is right, it does look more like blue than green. But I can see it, anyway.)

My biggest issue with the page - mostly I think it's fine and we probably just need to get used to it - is that there are so many different things in bold. The title, the numbers, the headings in the pink dividers, the headings in the green boxes, the tags, the entire line of book info under 'your library'. It's just way too much bolded stuff, the eye doesn't know where to go. It's making the page very busy.

119Thalia
Oct 9, 2007, 8:32am

Here on my PC at work, the boxes on the right are green. I'll try again at home with the laptop.
I like the new pages. I haven't had time to look at all the details though.

120hailelib
Oct 9, 2007, 8:34am

Visually, I find the amount of bolding helpful.

The colors are somewhat subtle, but not too subtle, on a Mac with an old Hyundai flat panel monitor.

The more I view the new pages the more I like them.

121markbarnes
Oct 9, 2007, 8:48am

This is generally good, I think, but I have some issues. I'm working on the basis that the more constructive criticism you have, the better, so don't feel I'm whinging!

(1) Caching: Caching is obviously good, but I'm not convinced the cache is being properly cleared when books are separated and combined. At one point I ended up with the option of adding a book to my library when the paragraph above said I'd recently added it (and I'd navigated to that page from my library!).

(2) Tag Numbers: It's nice to toggle them on, but it would be even better if we could toggle them off afterwards.

(3) Left/Right Navigation: There's been quite a debate as to whether the left/right columns are more prominent, and are primary navigation. I think the issue is confused because whilst the left would normally be primary navigation, the colouring of the page draws the eye to the right. If the entire lefthand column was coloured (I suggest a pale yellow) then I think this would look more like navigation.

(4) Markup: I don't understand why the markup is all done in tables. Surely a pure CSS based layout would be infinitely better.

(5) Popular covers: I think it's counter-intuitive that clicking on DIFFERENT covers takes you to the SAME page (edit cover).

(6) Book Page: The book page (as opposed to the workpage) is so devoid of information as to make it pointless. The information currently /work/xxx/details/yyy under the headings "This book" and "User data" should be moved on to the /work/xxx/book/yyy page.

(7) Back to my catalogue: This was a very, very useful feature, particularly as my catalogue is frames-based which makes back/forward tricky. However, I think the best solution is for my catalogue/library (which is it?) to "remember" the last page I was on, so whenever I click on "Your Library" it takes me back to where I was. This will eliminate the need for a new button.

(8) Change Cover Page: The Change Cover heading that appears near the top of the page is a MAIN heading, but it is styled as a SUB heading on the same level as Upload/User/Amazon, which doesn't make sense. This problem with the hierarchy of headings occurs on the DETAIL page, too.

(9) Recommendations: Why is the "search for other books" so prominent on this page? I don't want recommendations for OTHER books. For the same reason, I don't like the suggestions button next to every suggested title. If I want suggestions about a suggestion, I'll go to that book's work page. Also, I don't understand why counts are given for special sauce, but for nothing else.
I also think that covers for the combined suggestions would look good.

(10) Recently added by: I'm not at all convinced this is so interesting as to demand being at the TOP of EVERY page.

Hope all that helps.

122lquilter
Oct 9, 2007, 9:19am

Color visibility report:

On Firefox 2.0.0.7 and Safari something or other, on mac os 10.4.10, on a macbook ...

the pink bars have always been visible in my default configuration, but, yes, i can make them invisible by tweaking the screen direction.

the green boxes on the right are also visible, but easier to make *in*visible by tilting the screen.

123MikeBriggs
Oct 9, 2007, 9:24am

As the pages get further and further away from what they were, and as features I liked keep falling by the wayside, my desire to use LT keeps shrinking.

I liked seeing which other people rated a particular book the same way I did, and then looking at more of their books to see if they might have something I might like. That feature is now gone.

I liked being able to add a book that I own and then correcting the information, and while I still can correct the information, I have to go elsewhere to get the correct information now. I liked being able to see the ISBN and publishing house and year of publication of the other editions when I worked with my own book. I saw that I needed to change the information for my copy of Blood Music, and I now do not have access to the ISBN, publishing house, and copyright of the other editions on the same page as my "edit your copy" page. That is if that information is still available. I haven't found that information yet. I see at the bottom that "Other editions" are listed, but just name and author, not ISBN, publishing house, year, etc.

124Anneli
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 9:42am

>123 MikeBriggs:

I'm not sure if I understood you correctly, but have you tried to click the titles under Your library? E.g. on this work page:
http://www.librarything.com/work/details/17455812
I have two titles (I own both English and Finnish version of the Darwin's radio) under Your library. When I click one of them I see the publication information, ISBN, source etc.

125Scorbet
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 9:49am

>123 MikeBriggs:

The information about other member's ratings is still there - it's on the "members" page, if you click on "show all members".

126hailelib
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 9:50am

It is good to be able to see who rated a book at 5 stars and who only gave it 1 star. That would be useful to have back with fewer clicks. I really had to look hard to find it. Well, there's always a learning period after major changes!

127Morphidae
Oct 9, 2007, 10:01am

At work I can see pink and green just fine.

128MikeBriggs
Oct 9, 2007, 10:07am

124> Yes, I see my information. But my information is wrong and I need to change it. Before the change the sidebar had a list of ISBN's, publishers, type of publication (paperback, etc.) and publication year. I do not see that information now.

129MikeBriggs
Oct 9, 2007, 10:07am

125> Ok, thanks. Just didn't see it. I'll try to find it now.

130nperrin
Oct 9, 2007, 10:20am

(1) Caching: Caching is obviously good, but I'm not convinced the cache is being properly cleared when books are separated and combined. At one point I ended up with the option of adding a book to my library when the paragraph above said I'd recently added it (and I'd navigated to that page from my library!).

This is the same problem I described yesterday with my copy of Angelica. I am a heavy combiner - this could be a serious problem for me.

131myshelves
Oct 9, 2007, 10:25am

Bugs?

For Blood Music it says: Member-uploaded covers 13, Covers from Amazon 7
I'm seeing 12 & 6. (And it is a long download.)

What's with author disambiguation notices? Will they be back? Many were intended to prevent wrong combining. Are they to become part of Common Knowledge or something?

Comment: The prominently displayed & ubiquitous list of members who recently added a book bores me to bloody tears! (The list of who owns a book, with ratings, is interesting, and I thought it was logically placed near the ratings.)

Colors: What colors? :-) I didn't even know about the pinks & blues on Talk. :-) Yes, I could change settings, but it messes up the colors for everything else on my computer.

#129
sidebar had a list of ISBN's, publishers, type of publication (paperback, etc.) and publication year.

I can't find that either. It was useful for adding & for combining.

132lilithcat
Oct 9, 2007, 10:29am

> 131

What's with author disambiguation notices?

See messages 4 & 5 above.

133myshelves
Oct 9, 2007, 10:40am

#132, lilithcat,

Thanks. I missed (or forgot) that. I hope that they will still show prominently on the author pages, as many of them explain why the author should not be combined with another author.

134readafew
Oct 9, 2007, 10:59am

I can see the colors but bumping them a little brighter wouldn't hurt.

135_Zoe_
Oct 9, 2007, 11:38am

if you are on a laptop, move your screen back and forth.

Well, yes, if I incline my screen back about 45 degrees I can see the colours clearly. But frankly that's a stupid position and I'd rather be able to see the colours normally.

For the same reason, I don't like the suggestions button next to every suggested title.

I actually like this. It's a fun way to browse.

The prominently displayed & ubiquitous list of members who recently added a book bores me to bloody tears!

Agreed. The more I see it, the less I like it.

It is good to be able to see who rated a book at 5 stars and who only gave it 1 star. That would be useful to have back with fewer clicks.

Maybe there could be a link under the ratings box to go directly the the members page with all members shown?

Also, I'd still like to see the average rating number with the rest of the ratings. It's strange to have that available only in a completely different place.

136hnn
Oct 9, 2007, 11:47am

> 121 by markbarnes:
You hav many good viewpoints which I share. However, I REALLY like "Recently added by". I have used it a lot already to find people who have recently bought the same books as me.

137timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 11:56am

I've started a topic just for color issues. Please check it out, particularly if you're NOT having problems with colors. Somtimes these discussions feel to me like if you posted a sign "come talk about your stomach problems!" and when everyone comes concluded that 100% of people have stomach problems.

138timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 12:03pm

I liked seeing which other people rated a particular book the same way I did, and then looking at more of their books to see if they might have something I might like. That feature is now gone.

I'm not sure what feature you're talking about, but no such feature was taken away. You can get a list of members, sorted by stars, just as before. The only change is that before you always had to click to see the list. Now you only have to click if the book has more than 500(?) copies.

I liked being able to add a book that I own and then correcting the information. ... I now do not have access to the ISBN, publishing house, and copyright of the other editions on the same page as my "edit your copy" page. That is if that information is still available. I haven't found that information yet. I see at the bottom that "Other editions" are listed, but just name and author, not ISBN, publishing house, year, etc.

Okay, that's interesting. That list off to the left that you're talking about wasn't a list of editions. It was a list of editions without covers. The logic was Amazon covers, then user covers, then what's left.

I think I'm going to put in an "editions" page, with that information and some other information. But it's not going to be on the edit page all the time. I don't think that's justifiable.

139MMcM
Oct 9, 2007, 12:18pm

Show all languages on Edit page calls an undefined Javascript procedure.

140Shrike58
Oct 9, 2007, 12:29pm

The layout is certainly improved, but I'm not noticing the "return to catalogue" function anywhere. I find it helpful when doing a lot of combining.

141timspalding
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 12:34pm

(1) Caching: Caching is obviously good, but I'm not convinced the cache is being properly cleared when books are separated and combined.

No, that's true. We're working on it but to some extent we can't be re-polling the system every time this happens. Adding the Albanian edition to Harry Potter or "fction" to "fiction" could theoretically result in recalculating based on 100,000 books or 1,000,000 tags. This stuff adds up. Updating on a schedule is a better option.

(2) Tag Numbers: It's nice to toggle them on, but it would be even better if we could toggle them off afterwards.

Low priority, but sure.

(3) Left/Right Navigation: ... If the entire lefthand column was coloured (I suggest a pale yellow) then I think this would look more like navigation.

Interesting idea. I think I'm trying to preserve the spare, white look, and not throwing colors around a book cover. If you ask me, the navigation confusion is mostly about the fact that LibraryThing spent two years training people to look on the right.

(4) Markup: I don't understand why the markup is all done in tables. Surely a pure CSS based layout would be infinitely better.

I'm sorry, but this just gets me cranky. That tables are bad and everything should be CSS only is wrong. This was orthodoxy among a small set of designers three or four years ago, but few today would be so stident. The CSS-only people have lost; their promised revolution hasn't come. Do the Alexa or Jupiter 100 or any other list of websites and you'll find that 95% of them use tables. (Believe me, I did just this with a Perl scraper once.) For Pete's sake, the main Google search page uses tables! They don't do this because they're stupid. They do this because they're smart. Tables and CSS are great together. Good web designers use both, and it is just ideology to believe otherwise. CSS alone can't even do a three-column layout correclty which, as has been remarked, has been the most popular layout since Guttenberg.

(5) Popular covers: I think it's counter-intuitive that clicking on DIFFERENT covers takes you to the SAME page (edit cover).

True. They were originally intended to go to an edition page. They still might.

(6) Book Page: The book page (as opposed to the workpage) is so devoid of information as to make it pointless. The information currently /work/xxx/details/yyy under the headings "This book" and "User data" should be moved on to the /work/xxx/book/yyy page.

Same page. I'm confused. This may be an error that we've since corrected.

However, I think the best solution is for my catalogue/library (which is it?) to "remember" the last page I was on, so whenever I click on "Your Library" it takes me back to where I was. This will eliminate the need for a new button.

I think this is a very very good suggestion. (I had it mentally before, but I abandoned it.) Can I get a second on that?

(10) Recently added by: I'm not at all convinced this is so interesting as to demand being at the TOP of EVERY page.

De gustibus. I think it adds to the "currency" of pages. It says "look, stuff is happening." Also the simple fact is that not all LibraryThing members stick it out, so getting a list of all members sometimes means leaving an excited comment on the page of someone who's moved on to Ravelry.

142sabreuse
Oct 9, 2007, 12:38pm

Can I get a second on that?

Seconded! I'd love this -- I find that I do a lot of mental bookmarking, where I kind of stop to note that I'm on page 5 of this particular sort order before I can navigate away in case I end up back at page 1 yet again. I'd love to just not have to spend that bit of focus.

143DaynaRT
Oct 9, 2007, 12:41pm

Can I get a second on that?
Here's a very big second.

144lilithcat
Oct 9, 2007, 12:43pm

> 141

RE: (1)

Is that why when I "never combine" an author, the name sometimes still shows as a potential combination?

RE: (6)

For a while this morning, you'd click on the Main Page and it would be mostly blank. Then you'd click "Main page" again, and the info would come up. It seems to be okay now.

I like the idea of "Your library" taking you back where you were.

RE: (10)

Will there be a limit to how recent "recently" is? There are some books for which this will be changing a lot. But for other books, "recently" might be months ago!

145fluteflute
Oct 9, 2007, 1:14pm

At the top of the pages where the "recently added by" is there is a link that says "see more". On books owned by very few people this 'more' link leads you to the same people!

146markbarnes
Oct 9, 2007, 1:15pm

Tim (141)

Thanks for the detailed reply. A quick response to three points. The first one is the most important.

Caching: Respectfully, I have to disagree very strongly with this. You know the limitations of your hardware, but the new system is unworkable. I don't care if a tag cloud is up to date, or accurately reflects the new combination of books. But the rest of the data is crucial. I'm in the top 100 combiners, and like others in that list, we spend many hours separating and combining books. All your valuable data is dependent on the right books being combined and the wrong books separated. With the new cache system, it's become almost impossible to do a series of separating or combining to put a mess right, because you can never see where you're up to. You keep coming back to a work page that does not reflect how things currently stand. Us combiners need to have confidence in the work page, and at the moment, we don't.

Recently added by: The books I happened to be viewing were often not the most popular. If the data was changing, perhaps it might be interesting. It wasn't, so it wasn't. If you want to do that sort of thing, why not change it to ("xx users have added this book in the last xx days (see who)", with the see who being an AJAXy link to the current data. You could even add little green up or red down arrows to indicate trends if you wanted.

CSS vs tables: I'm not advocating a tableless design. Tables are obviously the right thing for the library page, and possibly for some elements within the book page. But no-one seriously advocates that tables are better for page layout even if they are better for the layout of some page elements. The three main columns on the book page are done with tables, and could be easily be done with DIVs. Tables make no sense here.

CSS will make future redesign easier, and (if you wanted) with a CSS layout you could involve the LT community even more closely with possible layout tweaks or redesigns in the future. Perhaps more importantly, it allows the use of a specific stylesheet to display pages on mobile devices, which is currently impossible with the table based layout. Yes, I know there's LT mobile, but with a decent stylesheet, much more functionality would be available to mobile users.

147reading_fox
Oct 9, 2007, 1:23pm

Another second on return to lobrary taking you back to the page you left!

And - if I've understood the problems correctly, another second to #146's points about combining. Combining is very frequently a lot of seperating and recombining of editions from one large over-lumped work. this needs to update after every action otherwise there is no point. You could do 1 edition per night, but it would take years to correct things.

148timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 1:37pm

Caching: Respectfully, I have to disagree very strongly with this. You know the limitations of your hardware, but the new system is unworkable.

Okay, what I need is this: What parts of the page need to be updated for you to do your work? Recalculating all the ratings is a low priority, I think. What is important—the covers?

Recently added by: The books I happened to be viewing were often not the most popular. If the data was changing, perhaps it might be interesting. It wasn't, so it wasn't.

I'm not going to have different displays for different types of books. Clearly a less common work will be added less, so "recent" will not mean the same thing. But you know that intuitively. And the inherent interest that unites two owners of the same book is higher when the book is rare.

If you want to do that sort of thing, why not change it to ("xx users have added this book in the last xx days (see who)

If you're adding a hot new book, that's interesting. If the book is obscure you're less interested in when they added it.

You could even add little green up or red down arrows to indicate trends if you wanted.

Coming, but not here, I think.

The three main columns on the book page are done with tables, and could be easily be done with DIVs. Tables make no sense here. ...

I'm not going to fight with you on this. It's a religious debate.

149KirstenV
Oct 9, 2007, 1:44pm

Having the "your library" tab take you back to you were you were would work for me. The only thing is that sometimes I really do want to just go back to my library, page 1. But I suppose it's just as easy to click on the "page 1" button.

The main page is working fine for me now too.

I like the "whiteness" of the left-hand navigation column. Having yet another color on the page would make the page look imbalanced.

I'm on the fence about the recommendations section. Is that going to be customizable? Sometimes I want to see it, sometimes I don't.

Amazon allows you to click on the star rating to see the reviews with that rating. I think it would be a handy way to sort through books that have a ton of ratings. (not immediately important, of course, just a suggestion)

150MikeBriggs
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 1:49pm

138> I've since learned that the feature I was referring to, seeing what others rated a book, is still there. I haven't actually tried to find it yet, but I've been informed it is still there.

Well, if there is an editions page I can live with it on another page, as long as there is such a page. I can't always get to my physical book, but I tend to know something about which edition I have that can be used to fill in the missing details. Like the Blood Music one. I know it is paperback, and uses the cover I currently have for it. If there was an editions page I could use it to fill in the rest of the information, correcting my copy.

And sorry I reacted badly when I first say the new page. I'm glad LibraryThing is a Beta website. Otherwise I'd be even more annoyed :)

151tarpfarmer
Oct 9, 2007, 2:24pm

I second the "remember the last page I was on" idea and even one better if it could remember how far down the page I was :-)

The main page seems to be loading directly from the catalog view now.
Thanks!

152jjwilson61
Oct 9, 2007, 2:26pm

Why not put the navigation links in a box? If they are intended as the main way to navigate shouldn't they be highlighted?

153markbarnes
Oct 9, 2007, 2:49pm

Tim (148): This is why I love LT so much. You listen. It's unreasonable to expect you to agree with everything I want - but you prove it's not unreasonable to expect people who provide us with services to listen. Thank you.

Caching/combining/separating: Let's walk through a real world example. Here's a work that judging by Popular Covers has a book included in the work incorrectly. I couldn't tell which one, as the title of the two books are very, very close. So I separated out a few possibles, and kept checking to see whether the cover disappeared. That's a technique that many will use, I'm sure, so yes, the covers to need to be recalculated after a combination/separation.

It's also very confusing when the prominent Your Library section is out of date. That big green plus draws the eye, so I'd suggest this needs to be re-cached too.

The About The Work section of the details page, is equally crucial, as this lists all the various editions, and allows us to see what's really there. Without this we're really lost.

The Buy, Borrow or swap fields all link to bad URLs, like this one: javascript:subISBNIntoURL( 'http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/WEBSITE/WWW/WEBPAGES/showbook.php?id=MAGICNUMBER' ); so either this section needs re-caching, to avoid the error.

Ratings, tags, and even which members have the book, we can live without. However, it would be nice to know this data is out of date. Perhaps books where this data is wrong (I presume this only affects recently combined/separated books) could have a subtle flag saying that the data will be updated at such and such time. I have in mind a message placing similar to the one when the site is running slowly, or there's downtime planned.

(Incidentally, it seems daft that there's a heading for "This Book" when no book is selected. IMO it would be better to leave the section out, rather than needlessly using screen estate to tell me there's no data).

154PhoenixTerran
Oct 9, 2007, 3:05pm

148>Okay, what I need is this: What parts of the page need to be updated for you to do your work? Recalculating all the ratings is a low priority, I think. What is important—the covers?

I have used the combining/separating technique described by markbarnes (post 153) so I would second the need for that to be recalculated.

And definitely, for combining/separating purposes, the "About the Work" and "Other copies and editions of this title" on the Details page are extremely important and need to be recalculated.

P.S. Thanks so much for adding "Potential work combinations" back!

155SilentInAWay
Oct 9, 2007, 3:11pm

I also like the idea of "My Library" returning to the most recent catalog view--that is, if it also remembers the most recent page. Right now, it is easier than ever before to upload a cover (since you don't have to wait for all the existing covers to load on the Change Cover page), but afterwards you have to click the back button several times on your browser to return to your catalog.

156lorax
Oct 9, 2007, 3:17pm

Overall I think the pages are very nice. I especially like the clearer separation of the cover you're using from the alternatives. A couple minor points:

I agree with markbarnes that while "Recently added by" is interesting, it's not so vitally important as to warrant being placed in the very top section, but it really doesn't take up all that much room and isn't a big deal. Quantifying 'recent' in some way would be nice and make it a more useful feature to me. I respectfully disagree with your statement that if it's obscure, you don't care when they added it; if it's not 'recent' you're likely to already know, and as with "conversations" I will be disappointed if I think someone recently added an obscure book I'm interested in, only to find that they added it in February and haven't been back to the site since.

I liked the old design of the 'recommendations' section better than this one, which somehow seems "dumbed-down". I think it's because there aren't any numbers anymore. I like numbers. :)

157timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 3:29pm

Note to self: I need to read messages 153-4 carefully. I can't do that now.

To others. I started a topic about whether "Your library" should remember. The comments seem to be running 20-to-1, and the one was me playing Devil's advocate.

Recently added, etc. Would "Last added:" make people happy. I don't like it, but maybe.

I liked the old design of the 'recommendations' section better than this one, which somehow seems "dumbed-down".

Click the more and you'll get five more recommendation types, all with numbers. Part of the point is to "dumb down" this page a little. Going crazy with numbers on a summary page isn't a good thing. It's alienating most.

158MikeBriggs
Oct 9, 2007, 3:51pm

157> I like Recently Added more than "Last Added." Though that is the initial reaction. Last added? No one else is allowed to add the book? :)

159readhead
Oct 9, 2007, 3:51pm

I love having the description, but having it at the bottom of the page doesn't make sense, and is too much work to scroll to.

I think the description belongs near the top, probably before the tags and definitely before the reviews.

160Morphidae
Oct 9, 2007, 3:58pm

I ditto #159 but didn't say anything because it was said that there would be some personalization eventually. The first two things I want to see about a book (other than name and author) are the cover and the description. Honestly, I hardly ever look at the Book/Work Pages because when I see a book of interest I bring it up in Amazon so I can get a description. I'll continue to do this until I can move the book description in LT to the top.

161tcgardner
Oct 9, 2007, 3:58pm

159: I agree. I really like having the description. Tim, has mentioned customization. When it arrives, moving descriptions up may be available.

162timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 4:01pm

I think the description belongs near the top, probably before the tags and definitely before the reviews.

It's all about what you are using it for. If it's your book, the description is probably uninteresting. Then there's a book like this one. Check out the description. Amazon went CRAAAZY!

163infiniteletters
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 4:28pm

159: What about a "jump to bottom" link? I sometimes want to see the description, but sometimes they can have massive spoilers...

164Morphidae
Oct 9, 2007, 4:04pm

>162 timspalding: Dear Gods, okay, nevermind.

It's true, I don't use LT much for cataloging - once I input my book, I rarely look at my library again except to make sure I don't duplicate purchases.

I mainly use LT for Talk and recommendations.

165Morphidae
Oct 9, 2007, 4:05pm

>163 infiniteletters: Oooh, I like that idea. A jump to Description would be awesome.

166timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 4:36pm

I mainly use LT for Talk and recommendations.

I'm going to save that one. The comments I tend to get are "I only use LibraryThing for cataloging, so bugger-off with your Talk and recommendations."

Okay, maybe I added the buggering-off part.

167timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 4:37pm

Well, you have a descriptions link on the left. One problem with the descriptions is that Amazon usually has a different description for every single ISBN. LibraryThing polls them, taking the ten most common ones and removing pure duplicates. Now and then the first one it chooses--the one that makes it onto the 'Main page' is really bad, and you should look at the others.

168Morphidae
Oct 9, 2007, 4:42pm

Total segue here. What is the average size library of lifetime users?

(Seque stream of consciousness)
i wonder how i compare to others tim thinks i'm nifty does this make me an apologist no apologist gives a logical reason that's just my opinion wonder how many others are like me i'm a power user less i think i am i have a pretty big library compared to most people don't i hrm i wonder how many are like me heh heh heh tim said bugger-off)

169Bookmarque
Oct 9, 2007, 4:43pm

Just started seriously looking at this and have an error when I clicked the 'member reviews' link. There should have been 2 of them, but instead I got this -

Deeper: A Novel
by Jeff Long
Members: 24. Reviews: 2. Popularity: #109,750. Rating: (3.8) Conversations: 1

Recently added by: Livia_Llewellyn, reviewingtheevidence, RapidCityPubLib, GreggD, mckinlay, CraigsReadingList, mollymcclure (see more)

Warning: mysql_connect(): Too many connections in /var/www/html/inc_magicDB.php on line 289 Failure to connect to db.

170timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 4:51pm

Sorry about that. We just got shafted by the IP 201.219.134.4. Probably a rogue search engine. Maybe a user on fifty cups of coffee.

171Papiervisje
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 5:26pm

OS is Windows XP, browser is the latest firefox.
The same problem with the latest IExplorer.
I have a picture, but do not know how to send.
Weird thing is, when I click on Change Cover, the sizing is correct.
Try to size the browser at 2/3, add a dummy book, go to Add Books and click on the Edit icon.
It is only a small issue.
A bigger issue is that I cannot combine books with the same title, but different authors mentioned as first author.
Oh, did I already mention that I like the new interface ?

172quartzite
Oct 9, 2007, 6:52pm

Re: back to catalogue --Most browsers allow you to get a drop down list of previous pages and choose the one you want. No need to repeatedly click back.

173markbarnes
Oct 9, 2007, 6:54pm

->172 quartzite:: Yes, but the list is often limited to the previous 10. More of a problem is that because the catalogue uses frames and POST parameters, sometimes you end up back on page 1, even though technically you went back to page 15.

174timepiece
Oct 9, 2007, 7:11pm

I really like the new layout. Having said that, I'm not fond of the repetition of items below the title and on the left. A list format would be much more readable than the inline items. And I personally would like everything below the cover on the left, as links (leaving rating on the right).

175timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 7:43pm

>174 timepiece:.

Hi. I'm being thick. Can you explain what you mean a bit more?

176wyvernfriend
Oct 9, 2007, 8:02pm

I like the new look but when I'm editing an entry to add a review I have to scroll down to put in my rating which is a bit clumsy for me. It does look good otherwise.

177quartzite
Edited: Oct 9, 2007, 8:04pm

I'm not sure if this is related to the new pages or not since it happened sometimes with the old ones, but I seem to be seeing it more frequently with the new format. A potential combination is suggested, but when one hits combine potentials only the suggested work shows up and not the "original". If you go to the work page for the "potential" combo, the original work is not listed as a potential. An example is Eichmann Interrogated. (touchstone won't load)

178_Zoe_
Oct 9, 2007, 8:10pm

I mentioned this in the colour thread too, but I really think the ratings box should be white on the green background, instead of just blending in.

179kathrynnd
Oct 9, 2007, 9:23pm

msg 177 A potential combination is suggested, but when one hits combine potentials only the suggested work shows up and not the "original"

Not all of the entries have an ISBN so I suspect that someone tried to force the combination by combining the authors, making the combination, then separating the authors, except in doing so they stripped the ISBN from the "original" Adolf Eichmann author entry, leading to the situation above. See: http://www.librarything.com/work/4064356/details

Eichmann interrogated : transcripts from the archives of the Israeli police…
by Adolf Eichmann

At least that is my guess.

180EncompassedRunner
Oct 9, 2007, 10:34pm

I'm not seeing the copyright date on the work page (unless I happen to already have the book in my library, then it lists it under my book info). I clicked both Details and Description and don't see copyright dates, so am having to click through to Amazon to get the info, which is kind of a pain. Copyright dates would be helpful info to me as a Current Affairs/Nonfiction reader, perhaps it could be given as part of the work's Details or Description. Sometimes when I have an interest in an author, I click on the author's page to see what other works are available, particularly looking for what newer stuff is out. But when I click on the author's works, there's no dates (that I'm seeing anyway).

181skittles
Oct 9, 2007, 10:45pm

#169 & #170... that's the error I got the other day... see the bug collectors talk page

182jjwilson61
Oct 9, 2007, 11:09pm

180> I don't believe LT does copyright dates. The Date field in the catalog is for the publication date of your edition, although some people use it for other dates.

183hvhay
Oct 9, 2007, 11:09pm

I like the new work pages, but I have one issue with the covers. I don’t mind the fact that all the covers don’t show on the main work page, but when a book has a lot of covers, clicking on the “Show all covers” link still doesn’t show all the covers—you have to click on two more “Show all covers” links in order to see all the member-uploaded and Amazon covers. I have always enjoyed looking at all the different covers that many books have and this is somewhat of an annoyance to me. I agree also with Hippietrail’s message #85 that I was surprised that when you click on “Show all covers” the assumption is that you want to change the current cover. I was hoping that “Show all covers” would give a nice gallery view similar to the one you can have in your catalog—I think that would look very nice with the new larger covers. Aside from that small issue I do like the changes.

184timspalding
Oct 9, 2007, 11:20pm

I hear you, but I think that for many pages it's just insane. Don't you think there are times you want a quick overview of the popular ones—they're sorted by popularity?

185_Zoe_
Oct 9, 2007, 11:25pm

If you want a quick overview of the popular ones, you can just look at the six that always there.

186lilithcat
Oct 9, 2007, 11:31pm

> 184

Don't you think there are times you want a quick overview of the popular ones—they're sorted by popularity?

Honestly? When there's a book like, oh, Little Women, with zillions of covers, I'm much more interested in seeing the older and rarer covers than the ones I can see on Amazon or at any bookstore.

187Lman
Oct 9, 2007, 11:34pm

>184 timspalding:-186

I have to agree Tim; I love looking at ALL the covers when I hit show 'all' covers - but hey, here comes another wine and cheese night!

188hvhay
Oct 9, 2007, 11:45pm

>184 timspalding:

Well, okay, it might be insane, but I always kind of had an “oh goody” type of feeling when I added a book that had a million other covers! It’s true that I don’t *always* look at the covers when I’m adding or editing a book, and the 6-cover overview is going to be fine for me in most cases. I mean, I enjoy fast-loading pages as much as anyone. It’s just that when I click on “Show all covers,” well, I thought I was going to get to see all the covers! Not meaning to be a whiner, just putting it out there.

189tarpfarmer
Oct 9, 2007, 11:47pm

When I am looking at covers I also look for the older covers since a lot of books I buy are from used booksales, older library discards.
ALL, please.

190ojchase
Oct 10, 2007, 1:20am

Bug to report. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, if not other books is adding up covers incorrectly. http://www.librarything.com/work/1669269

Not sure how 6 Member Uploaded + 5 Amazon covers = see all 16 covers

191timspalding
Oct 10, 2007, 1:43am

I'll consider making the number higher.

I'll look into calculation issues. Frankly, the number has to be at least partially cached, so I'm not promising perfection. I might add a note tot hat effect.

192conceptDawg
Oct 10, 2007, 3:46am

Most of the cover issues might be solved by the use of customized views. The people that like to see all of the covers on the page will have that option when we release customized views.

Personally, I'd rather the site be blazing fast and you can't get that while waiting on 127 covers to load on a page.

193Lman
Oct 10, 2007, 4:22am

I think the issue of speed has been addressed with the new work pages - but then a user can choose to slow it down when, and if, they ask to see ALL covers...customization seems the way to go.

194trollsdotter
Oct 10, 2007, 11:50am

Re: 141

(10) Recently added by: I'm not at all convinced this is so interesting as to demand being at the TOP of EVERY page.

De gustibus. I think it adds to the "currency" of pages. It says "look, stuff is happening." Also the simple fact is that not all LibraryThing members stick it out, so getting a list of all members sometimes means leaving an excited comment on the page of someone who's moved on to Ravelry.


Tim, I'd like to add my voice to the few of us who do not like the small section under the main title on all of the information pages. I especially don't like it on the edit page. For the rest of the pages, it forces me to page down every time to see the "more interesting" (to me) information. I would judge that out of 100 times of visiting book information pages, I'm only interested in that information 1 time.

Perhaps that information could be moved to the right column, above or below the "Buy, borrow, swap" section.

Otherwise, I like the changes and updates you are making.

195EncompassedRunner
Oct 10, 2007, 12:25pm

Agree w/#194 about the top info.

196readafew
Oct 10, 2007, 12:54pm

So everyone remembers, there are going to be personal options for viewing on these pages, so more than likely you'll be able to turn them off yourselves shortly...

197SilentInAWay
Oct 10, 2007, 1:38pm

I also like the idea of the top info being moved to the right (green) column (and reformatted using a more vertical layout, obviously). If not for everyone, then as an option.

198lquilter
Oct 10, 2007, 1:57pm

Suggesting regarding "ratings" display

(1) non-breaking space between actual star graphics & calculated number ratings. (I know that's hard to do in HTML.)

(2) Disambiguate "ratings" so that it says "Avg. ratings". I know this is a line of social & aggregate data but I actually think it's a bit confusing, because ratings are very frequently user-specific. It could also be followed with a parenthetical "(Yours ****)".

(3) Maybe I'm way too nerdy, but the natural order of the array seems to me to be (1) Members, (2) Popularity, (3) Ratings, (4) Reviews, (5) Conversations.

(4) As previously suggested, if those were links that would be great.

199timepiece
Oct 10, 2007, 2:55pm

> 175

Right below the title we have: Members, Reviews, Popularity, Rating, Conversations - displayed in one long line, instead of in a bulleted (or unbulleted) list. I find the inline list hard to scan, and wish it were shorter and/or displayed in a vertical list.

Three of those five items are already repeated elsewhere on the page, more visibly (Reviews and Conversations in the link list below the cover, Rating in the right column). Heck, there's even a Members link there, though not the number.

I think they work better in those locations, and they could be eliminated entirely from the area below the title. The only one which would need to be added to another location is popularity - I think it could be added right above rating on the right.

200gemmation
Oct 10, 2007, 4:58pm

# 191.

Tim... about the "show all covers".

When you click "show all covers", all the covers are downloaded even though most of them are hidden "behind the cut". If you only want to show the top few so as to be light on the servers, then don't have the rest downloading in the background!

My preferred solution would be:
if I click "change cover" I get taken to the page where some covers are shown but not many, and the rest don't download unless I click to see them.

If I click "show all covers" I still go to the change cover page, but all the covers are shown without any further need to click to see them.

I assume that's technically possible (if you think it's a good idea, that is).

201timspalding
Oct 10, 2007, 11:25pm

Written on a plane (and finished, after missing my plane, in a lousy hotel near Dulles). The last message I read was #200.

So everyone remembers, there are going to be personal options for viewing on these pages...

We're not actually thinking about having the "chrome" areas be changeable—just the stuff in the middle under tan (pink, whatever) headers.

198: lquilter:

(1) non-breaking space between actual star graphics & calculated number ratings. (I know that's hard to do in HTML.)

What? Do you want one or to take away one? Do you find it's breaking? Do you want the slightly more space that an nbsp provides?

200: gemmation: "When you click "show all covers", all the covers are downloaded even though most of them are hidden "behind the cut".

No, that's browser-specific. Some do, some don't. Not sure of the breakdown but I've run into it as a bug before.

202lquilter
Oct 10, 2007, 11:46pm

#201 following #198 - the star graphics sometimes end up on one line and the calculated rating wraps to the next line. Seems desirable to keep those together.

203jjwilson61
Oct 11, 2007, 1:13am

202> At the top, I presume? You aren't talking about the rating box, right?

204simside
Edited: Oct 11, 2007, 2:02am

re: 52

{{4: PhoenixTerran; "Please don't forget to add back in combination suggestions by ISBN"

Done. This also fixed the ISBN list for a work mentioned by ryn_books in message 8.}}

I'm having a lot of trouble with this on the new works pages, and I want to make sure I'm not forgetting to do something, or perhaps looking in the wrong place for ISBN combination suggestions.

http://www.librarything.com/work/4064107/details - is the same as - http://www.librarything.com/work/2858526/details. I romanized the entry for my library, which separated the two. The only possible combination suggestion I'm seeing on the romanized entry in my library is by author. In this case, I can't combine the authors since the other entry has non-roman characters, and I can't figure out a way to do a combination with ISBN lookup.

EDIT - odd, I just looked at the non-roman entry in the example above, and it does suggest a combination with the entry in my library, but not vice-versa. And when I follow the link to combine the two, only one entry shows up in the combination page, and I can't do it.

I could list several examples of graphic novels that I entered yesterday where no ISBN suggestion came up. Does it have to do with the way I edit the data in the work for my library?

I also asked about this in the Combiners group, but I think I asked in the wrong thread.

205sarahemmm
Oct 11, 2007, 5:08am

On the quantity and type of data displayed on the works page: personally I don't care. I have a scroll mouse and the Home and End keys take me to the top or bottom (in Firefox).

Okay, I don't have vision or mobility problems, which I can see would make things harder for some who are only interested in specific data. The trouble is that each person's idea of what is/isn't important will be different. Let's wait: customisation will be great when it comes.

206conceptDawg
Oct 11, 2007, 5:31am

Yes, customization is going to solve most of these issues. At least ones dealing with the data in the middle column.

Changing data in the left and right columns is something that we'll have to adjust a little better because that's not going to be customizable (at least at first).

The customization manager is complete and works like a charm (Tim says that it's easy to use....I did the programming so of course it makes sense to me). We'll try and get customization out as soon as we can...but collections are also on the plate.

207Heather19
Oct 11, 2007, 9:05am

206: "I did the programming so of course it makes sense to me"
*giggles* I'm just imagining this big hunk of coded gibberish, and you going "but it makes perfect sense to me!" lol

*bounces* I'm excited! I love the new work pages (despite varies bugs and such), and I'm excited about customization and collections! Wheeeee! (Or maybe I've had too much sugar)

Heather

208ryn_books
Oct 11, 2007, 9:36am

Hi Tim,
re message 52 {{4: PhoenixTerran; "Please don't forget to add back in combination suggestions by ISBN"
Done. This also fixed the ISBN list for a work mentioned by ryn_books in message 8.}}

I'm again seeing no ISBNs on the details page when my record has an ISBN.
Also - do we have the ability to combine by ISBN back, or has it gone walkies again?

Reason I ask - I had to do some separations from a miscombination and am having trouble finding the volumes I just separated from their incorrect work. Some are listed under not under incorrect author/no author names and they're not appearing in the book details as options for combining by ISBN. Just the combine by author name option. Or is there a new place to look?

No dramas if they take a _little_ while to bed down or come back :-)
You guys have done a fantastic amount of work on this & the CK. Your responsiveness to feedback and comments has been appreciated.

209lquilter
Oct 11, 2007, 9:47am

198>201>202>203:

At the top of the new works pages ...

... the star graphics sometimes end up on one line and the calculated rating wraps to the next line. Seems desirable to keep those together.

210LucasTrask
Oct 11, 2007, 10:11am

I just noticed that long book titles are truncated. Here is an example from my library: http://www.librarything.com/work/book/21023326 I do not recall this on the work pages.

211infiniteletters
Oct 11, 2007, 11:19am

210: That's weird. It displays the full title in my browser titlebar, but truncates on the page itself.

Short Title is
America’s Cup 1851 to 1992: The Official Record of America’s Cup XXVIII…

212MMcM
Oct 26, 2007, 7:12pm

I didn't see an answer to #208's question about ISBN combining.

Are there plans to work it back in to the work page?

It was the only solution to authorless works listed variously under their editor(s).

213smcwl
Oct 26, 2007, 11:08pm

I miss the "frames" of the previous pages, - the center text flanked by colored bars. This layout seemed to separate the sections more easily, visually. And Iagreewith another comment below,( on the lack of right-handed orientation), in that I feel as though the page is slanted to the left, although the left contains more blank space.

But then, I don't generally like change. This feels a little like learning to drive a new car.

214rsterling
Oct 28, 2007, 6:32pm

Did I read somewhere here that the new, reorganized work pages are going to have a links section like the new author pages do? In other words, one that is user-editable? This would be very useful!