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LT2: Design drafts are here!

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1timspalding
Edited: Oct 24, 12:47am Top

Update! Look at >186 for a more recent picture, albeit of only one size/view

>186

#########

Okay, here's some fun for you—drafts of conceptdawg's new design, which we're calling LT2. Check them out and give us some input?

You'll find the URL below, but read this first.

The principles behind the design were as follows:

1. Make a design that would work well on mobile and every other size.
2. Update the look without completely overhauling it.
3. Make LibraryThing's navigation simpler and more inviting for new users.
4. To establish standardized styles across pages and sections of the site to make development faster—and pages faster too.
5. To make LibraryThing more accessible.

These flow from what we believe to be our most pressing needs:

1. To make LibraryThing relevant for a world in which the majority of web traffic is mobile traffic, and every site is simply expected to work and work well on all devices.
2. To combat the usual newbie reactions to LibraryThing—that it looks dated, complicated and messy. Most new users simply can’t navigate the site well enough to want to eventually become old users.
3. To establish a baseline for new design, so we can iterate on features faster, despite having a small team.
4. Progressive improvements. To establish a better design, especially for global elements, that can partially coexist with old pages until they are updated.

The main thing here is the global, navigational elements, and the general look and feel. The content area of the page is much more up-for-grabs at present.

Okay, see here:
https://www.librarything.com/lt2_preview01.php

Questions, thoughts and reactions welcome.

2davidgn
Oct 22, 12:52am Top

Neat.

3lilithcat
Edited: Oct 22, 1:08am Top

My immediate reaction is not favorable.

I use LT almost exclusively on my computer, rarely on my iPad, and even less on my phone.

The new fullscreen design's font and graphics are way too big. But more to the point, things I need are gone. Where is "your book information"? It seems to have been replaced by an unnecessary description. And what happened to the "groups", "talk", and "local" links? I use those a lot.

Also a question: will the "Add to your library" and "Add to wishlist" links do anything more than simply take one to the "Add book" page?

4Maddz
Oct 22, 1:21am Top

I don't use LT on my phone apart from checking my library mostly because it's so cluttered on the screen. Navigation is difficult - I frequently click on Groups not Talk. The simplified top menu looks better for phone use.

>3 lilithcat: Presumably they're under the Community tab.

Suggestion: have the description expandable so that those who want to see it beyond the first sentence click on a link (like Amazon's Read more).

5conceptDawg
Oct 22, 1:41am Top

Ok. I'm usually the timid one but I have to defend the idea of an LT redesign that is over a DECADE past due. I might hurt feelings here but it's certainly not personal. All of you have had enough interactions with me to know that I'm not like that. But I've been fighting for a major update in both design and functionality for about 10 years now and the door has finally been cracked enough to put my shoe in it. I'm not pulling back at this point. :)

>3 lilithcat:
The interesting thing is that you're not the only user of LibraryThing. ;) We need to cater to all users and we have many, many more mobile users now than in previous years. We just can't ignore this. LibraryThing MUST work well on mobile, tablet, AND desktop devices. We've worked very hard to make that happen.

The content section of the page design isn't complete. You'll note that the "unnecessary description" is also on the current LT design. The sample is for a work, not a book page, hence no "book information" here. The description on the sample page is much longer than it will be for the released version. Don't get caught up in the page content here. Lots of changes and moving of things around right now.

We HAVE made a decision about removing the Talk, Groups, and Local links from the top level tabs. We simply MUST cull the number of top level tabs and we don't want to have dropdown menus everywhere. BUT, the "Community" tab will actually go to the Talk page when clicked. From there the Groups page is a click away, so unfortunately we've added a single click there. Same with Local, although it will be under the Explore and/or Community tab also. Local just isn't a top level tab.

The goal is to completely revamp the Add Books process, thereby making the "Add to your Library" and "Wishlist" buttons much more akin to what somebody THINKS they should do: add the book/work to your library in a direct manner. Obviously, seasoned LT users have been brainwashed into accepting that they are going to be sent on an arcane book search scavenger hunt when they click those buttons. But new users are confounded with that series of events. We lose them there, never to return—and usually telling others that LT is a confusing mess. This will be improved unless I am killed by strange events before that happens (I'm not saying Tim did it. But Tim did it!).

And remember: if you like LibraryThing you have to be willing to let it change and grow or you won't have LibraryThing in the future. A web site is not a static thing and must evolve or it won't survive. We can't continue with ONLY the support of the (relative) few vocal veteran members. LT also needs to attract new users but we try extremely hard to not upset our veteran members—and I would say, to our detriment in many cases. There's a reason that it's taken me a decade of arguing and screaming just to get to this point.

LibraryThing has NEVER gone through a full redesign—I did do a minor styling update SIX YEARS ago but no actual code or page content was redesigned. So we're still kickin' around on a site designed in the early 2000s. That's like geologic time on the Internet. Most other major sites are being constantly updated and rarely go a year or two without considerable design changes. It's time.

6PawsforThought
Oct 22, 2:20am Top

First impression is good. It'll take some getting used to, but new things usually do. It's a cleaner, more easily read page, and I certainly would be more inclined to look through this new version of LT than the current one if I was a new user. Even as an old user, I'm constantly confused over LT site deisgn and pages (and I'm normally pretty good at finding my way around things).

The one thing that I immediately react to is the search. There's been a lot of discussion regarding the search boxes in the LT re-design threads and I know this has been a big issue for you. I like the way the search looks now, but I was wondering if there's been any decision made re: the library search box. The issue many users brought up in the discussions was how difficult it is to separate "serch site" from "search library". Will the library search box be distinct from the site search box?

Now I'm just hoping that the new(ish) library/your books page will include a sort by order that doesn't change back to deafault every time I log in on a new computer (or one that doesn't save cookies).

7r.orrison
Oct 22, 2:29am Top

The first thing that catches my eye is on the full screen redesign - everything is huge, and takes up more space. I realize that's a trend these days, but I hate it. I've got an HD monitor because I can fit a lot of information on it, not because I want to read it from the far side of the room. I'd be happy with the layout and design changes if you could keep the fonts the same size on desktop as they are now.

Is the your book information gone in the "LT2 New Design, Fullscreen" screenshot because you're not looking at your own library? (I don't see Edit your book anywhere.) Otherwise, if the default view for a book in your own library doesn't include the information about your copy, that would be disappointing. I'd like to see more information directly relevant to me at the top of the content, not less.

I don't mind the menu changes, and I'm sure I'll get used to the extra clicks to get to things. I love that the new design will work better on mobile. I currently use the app but hate having to go to the website to edit.

8anglemark
Oct 22, 3:34am Top

1. This is not really for me.
2. But it looks good, and I fully support everything conceptDawg wrote in >5 conceptDawg:.
3. However, I think that the two areas where we lose most newer users, to judge from my friends, is that LT doesn't support wishlisting and tracking reading well enough. Especially tracking reading. The overwhelming majority of my friends who look at LibraryThing are not really interested in cataloguing their books, but in tracking and sharing their reading.

9bnielsen
Oct 22, 4:04am Top

I like it! And yes, the current design is a pain to use on mobile. I often use tinycat to search for books to see if I should buy them and once in a while the information displayed in tinycat is not enough to make that decision and I'll then have to go to LT to see it. This is exactly the zoom in and zoom out experience on mobile that is more 2004ish than 2019ish :-) Go for it.

The search boxes could certainly also do with some reimplementation. (Length of field not the same everywhere and rather small, just to mention one of the annoying things).

10conceptDawg
Oct 22, 4:39am Top

>8 anglemark: I agree with you there. We actually have a tracking feature but we don't surface it well and we had a newer version that was never released. But I agree there.

11PawsforThought
Oct 22, 4:44am Top

Could someone explain to me how tracking reading would work? What exactly is a tracking feature? I track my reading on LT by changing the collection from "to read" to "currently reading" to "read". I've never used another book site than LT so have no idea how it works elsewhere.

12conceptDawg
Oct 22, 4:46am Top

>7 r.orrison: Everything IS bigger. But it doesn't take up more space. It's just better designed to use the space.
Here's a comparison of the tab bar, for instance:

I think there are 2 pixels difference there. It was the same until this week when we made some minor changes.
Bigger items with bigger "hit" areas and are easier to use and read for everybody. And we're essentially getting that for free.

The same is true for the top of the work page. The top section is nearly exactly the same as the current page (even with the extended description that will be much smaller when it goes live).

Design is important. :)

13andyl
Oct 22, 4:49am Top

I echo what others are saying about font size.

I assume the layout scales upwards as well as downwards.
I think a bit more work needs doing on colours - the difference in colour between the LT logotype and the active tab is jarring.

There doesn't seem to be a UI hint that you can get the reviews by clicking on the "quill icon 5 reviews" div, it looks like you can only access it from the left hand side menu. Similarly for members.

I hope that the back button behaves sensibly - that if you are on the Main Page and click to Work Details you can hit the browser back button to return to Main Page. Also that when you click Work Details it only reloads the centre content column and not the entire page (as everything else should stay the same).

Quicklinks were really prominent in the old design and don't seem to be anywhere in the new.

I hope that sensible css IDs and class names are used - so if necessary curmudgeons can restyle their pages (and share such) - in an unofficial unsupported manner.

I could pick a few nits about ordering - CK below Conversations on the left hand side? Do people find Conversations useful?

But generally I agree, and so do others, that a redesign is well overdue. Whether this redesign hits all the right notes is a different question.

Also I think anglemark hits the nail on the head when he says that a lot of people don't really want to catalogue their books, and may not have extensive libraries like most of us active users. They want to track and share their reading. Which is a somewhat different prospect and a design that favours that (too much) could reduce focus on cataloguing, and could reduce the applicability of the site design to cataloguing.

14conceptDawg
Oct 22, 4:50am Top

>11 PawsforThought: Tracking meaning: Updates based on what page you are on or percentage of book read on a certain date. Or, "I gave up', 'Finished', 'Paused', etc.

15anglemark
Edited: Oct 22, 6:37am Top

>11 PawsforThought: For instance, you must currently search for a book, choosing an edition from a source, adding it to a collection, and edit the start date; and then remove it from the collection, editing the finish date, and filter your catalog to see a list of what you have read. That's a lot of steps, and not all of them intuitive.

What a more casual (typical) user would want to do would be to search for the book and then click a button titled Reading now which would then change to Finished reading, and in this process automatically add it to a list of works you have read, with the dates and possible the rating field. As an example.

ETA: and what >14 conceptDawg: just wrote, of course!

16conceptDawg
Edited: Oct 22, 5:05am Top

>13 andyl:
The layout scales both ways, of course, but I think we've shown the widest break point in at least one of the pics. The idea is to keep the design as consistent as possible across experiences, taking into consideration the inevitable culling of UI elements at the smallest sizes.

You can click the quill icon as well as the sidebar for reviews (and for the other items in the "scoreboard"). It's a bonus clickable area.

The page and linking structure likely won't change in the first iteration. I'd love to move to this in the next iteration though.

We haven't decided where Quicklinks are going to live. Tim wants to rework the entire feature so I've been urged to forget it exists for now. :) We'll see how that goes. Whatever it is, it will likely go in the right side bar where it lives now, just below the "Action Bar" thing we are showing with the buttons. The Action Bar will also appear on other types of pages and will be a consistent UI element indicating that you can "do things" to this item. It's still a little fuzzy for some types of pages, obviously.

While I'd LOVE to recode all the LT pages to use consistent IDs and classes it's likely not going to happen. At least not at first. In fact, the goal is to go live with the new design without reworking much of the actual content of pages. That will be the second round of updates. When that happens I think we'll see more consistent markup. It's an end-goal, for sure.

The ordering is always a point of contention among staff too.

Whether this redesign hits all the right notes is a different question. This is true, and as with all designs, from automotive to architectural to digital, it will likely be very personal.

17PawsforThought
Oct 22, 5:04am Top

>14 conceptDawg: and >15 anglemark: Thank you. That makes a lot of sense, and I agree that it would be a very good feature. Especially since there's going to be (or is this still being discussed) a "generic edition" feature.

18birder4106
Oct 22, 5:05am Top


>5 conceptDawg: I full support.
Changes are long overdue.

Even with >8 anglemark: I fully agree.
When I first came to LT over 10 years ago, I appreciated the changes that appeared in quick succession and made to user requests.

But with the advent of social media, LT has rapidly evolved from a cataloging site to a social media app for book lovers.
Unfortunately, I had to resign myself to that.

Like >8 anglemark: I wish for a return and strengthening of the original purpose.

19conceptDawg
Oct 22, 5:09am Top

>17 PawsforThought: I think this will give us some leverage to do just that sort of thing. By homogenizing the core structure it will allow us to develop new features faster and make updating older features easier. Not only that but we're rebuilding the entire catalog code now so using your catalog is going to be much faster and easier.

It's interesting because I don't think any of us consider LT a "social media app." All of us consider it a cataloging app that just happens to have some social features tacked on. I think that's accurate but maybe I'm looking through leather binding-colored glasses.

20conceptDawg
Oct 22, 5:13am Top

Oh, and while I keep saying that the sample data is a "work" page that's not really accurate either. It's really an amalgam of different sorts of pages and data all pulled into a single page so that I can test and mock up different UI elements, colors, weighting, spacing, etc. So seeing something in these samples doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be there on a work or book page.

21r.orrison
Edited: Oct 22, 5:20am Top

>12 conceptDawg:
You're comparing two different pages. How about using a work page both times? Splitting the menu bar into two takes up more room when there wasn't already a second one.



But... on the other hand I'm pleasantly surprised at how close the actual content is. It's taking up a bit more room, but not as much as it looks, and the new design is clearer. (Edit: I've just noticed that on the new design page it's showing a longer title that takes two lines - so it's probably actually clearer and taking up less space!)



I'd like to see more, to see if you've managed the same increase in clarity without loss of information on the rest of the page, and on catalog pages. How many rows of books can you get in a window on the current design vs. the new design?

(My bank did a similar redesign a while ago, making everything larger, and went from about 20 transactions on a page to 5, with less information about each transaction. I've changed banks, in part because of that redesign.)

22birder4106
Oct 22, 5:39am Top


I would like to draw the attention of the creators, but also of the english speaking users of LT, that many users outside the English-speaking part of the world wish to use LT in their native language. And because of missing, or insufficient knowledge of English, must use. For example, I mainly move on the German-language version of LT.

For us foreign-language users, it is not always easy. Many parts are available in a localized way. Often there is a bad mess. Often only parts are translated. In recommendations, etc., the proposed books are listed in English, which are then sometimes not even available in the desired translation. Large parts of the world population also use metric mass systems. Again, we are often forced to redefine settings in the metric system (which is particularly annoying in the book page). In other places, no conversion is offered at all.

Another big problem I find when translating LT into other languages.
Many terms have to be translated several times and thus again and again. Wild growth prevails especially on special occasions (treasure hunt, Christmas and Easter). But also recurring actions, like Early Reader programs etc. would have to be translated again and again.
I like to help to translate. But I do not like to do the same things over and over again.

Would it not be worthwhile in the current revision of LT to pay more attention to non-English-speaking book lovers in order to get them more LT?

23.mau.
Oct 22, 5:43am Top

>1 timspalding: >5 conceptDawg: have you considered adding a "user defined" tab, which can be chosen by the user? It could be a compomise between having few tabs and pleasing seasoned users :-)

(BTW, I never quite understood how "add books" works. I do add books, but I still feel I am doing it wrong...)

24reading_fox
Oct 22, 6:03am Top

When you say mobile I do hope you mean this will work with all handsets, android, google, MS etc.

Change in response to problems is wise and good. Change just because it hasn't changed for a while is bad. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm probably not in a position to choose between the two! But new and shiney is not always better.

LT can't be everything to everybody. The Core is (has) always cataloguing. Please don't lose sight of that in the chase to be a media star.

Please, please, please document the new site with a full correct and updated help and where to find x guides.

I'm not against the new look, but I'd hate for it to take away the bits I happen to find very useful on LT.

25Petroglyph
Oct 22, 6:13am Top

Two thumbs up!

I think you are taking some sensible decisions in consolidating the top bar and redistributing information. I also like how the menus become more compact on small mobile screens. I've avoided using LT on my phone until now, mainly because of all the zooming in and out.

It seems like streamlining and unifying legacy code is the main goal here, which I can only applaud.

26anglemark
Oct 22, 6:41am Top

>22 birder4106: What birder4106 writes. I understand that there is not a professional translation system with a translation memory in the back end, which is a pity, but too many parts of the GUI aren't even translatable, so despite the fact that I have translated tens of thousands of strings, the Swedish LT is still not entirely in Swedish. Don't forget l10n in the redesign.

27aspirit
Oct 22, 7:08am Top

Thanks for showing comparisons.

Not my first but currently my biggest concern is what I access the most is no longer visible without scrolling or extra clicks. Talk and Groups have been further buried. Okay, strange choice, but maybe for the best long-term.

What's worrying me are the mobile views. Because of physical and financial limitations, I have to use a phone instead of a desktop computer for most of my cataloguing and discussions. When at a library, book box, or bookstore, the app hasn't been as convenient as the site for checking and updating books in my collections. I'm visiting LT on a mobile device already every day. So, where is the work menu?

The mobile version's book page looks as if it's selling the book, not showing a catalogue record. Covers are lovely and all, but I want to update or correct edition data more than I want to look at the cover art every time. The description (blurb) is almost worthless to compared to my own review. How will we access the edit screens? Where is the review link/box? The tags?

28majkia
Oct 22, 7:21am Top

Looking good. Glad to see progress, although obviously change is hard for some folks.

29aspirit
Oct 22, 7:24am Top

"Help" isn't visible on the full, tablet, or mobile sites. Where did that go? I'm kind of hoping the link is in Explore while also wondering if the LT team has given up on instructing new members how to use the site. The lack of information about how Help works--such as how it changes for each page--has been a disappointment with the current site. Removing or hiding the link doesn't look like an improvement.

30flying_monkeys
Oct 22, 7:50am Top

I haven't read everyone else's reactions above yet, but my initial reaction is, YES! Thank you baby jesus YES!

And >5 conceptDawg: yes x 1000.

31souloftherose
Oct 22, 8:08am Top

My initial reaction is I like the new looks - thank you to LT staff especially conceptDawg for all your hard work on this.

32ablachly
Oct 22, 8:14am Top

As Tim said,
The main thing here is the global, navigational elements, and the general look and feel. The content area of the page is much more up-for-grabs at present.

So don't worry too much about what you see or don't see on the work page, or the order of elements on the left side, etc. We're really focusing on the top navigational bar right now, since it's across every page on the entire site.

33kristilabrie
Edited: Oct 22, 8:37am Top

>29 aspirit: Help is supposed to be going in the subnav (2nd menu), as well as always showing as a link at the bottom of the page, it just isn't in the preview at the moment.

34timspalding
Edited: Oct 22, 8:49am Top

It's important that we:

1. Focus on the design
2. Focus especially on the navigational elements, not the content area

We're interested in reactions to colors, font choices, tab indications, organization, icons, etc.

That's what's on display here, not general questions that can sidetrack us.

35conceptDawg
Oct 22, 8:53am Top

>29 aspirit: Ah, yes. Help is going to be available on every page. In larger views it's going to be on the far right of the subnav. And for mobile sizes it will be in the footer (but it may also make it in a menu). I just didn't have it turned on for these screenshots.

36casvelyn
Oct 22, 8:55am Top

I really like it. I love the colors and it looks much more functional. I wish I could click on all the things though. :)

I think the font in the header and the book title on fullscreen are a bit too large. But I'm known to have sensory issues related to font size (I can't read large print books because they feel like I'm being screamed at), so that's probably just me. Once I'm used to it, it will be fine. The font size feels right on the tablet and phone views though.

You've done a particularly good job of making something that looks great on multiple screen sizes without having miles of useless blank space on the full screen version. I understand that user data shows "everyone" is switching to mobile, but as someone who STRONGLY prefers a desktop computer with at least two monitors, I like being able to fit a lot of information on my screen without a lot of scrolling and clicking and weird extra white space to account for "fat thumb" phone issues.

(As an aside, I wonder if part of the mobile vs. computer divide is based around how people use LT? I'm thinking of my current project where I'm redoing all my custom call numbers. That would be hell on a phone and only marginally better on a tablet. Too much typing and reading for a small keyboard and screen. Then again, my professor friends tell me their students, even those who own computers, try to write term papers on their phones, so maybe now that I'm in my 30s I'm now on the "old person" side of the tech divide?)

37anglemark
Oct 22, 8:59am Top

>36 casvelyn: I know extremely few people under 30 who use a computer at home, they only use their mobiles. I find it limiting and sad, but that's how things are.

38lilithcat
Oct 22, 9:01am Top

>5 conceptDawg:

LibraryThing MUST work well on mobile, tablet, AND desktop devices.

I know that.

But I don't want to see happen to this site what I've seen happen on other sites, and that is to make the experience of the mobile user better at the expense of the computer user.

I've never understood why sites can't improve the experience for all users.

making the "Add to your Library" and "Wishlist" buttons much more akin to what somebody THINKS they should do: add the book/work to your library in a direct manner.

That's good, because that's been an issue with the current "Add book to your library" link. (Although some of us enjoy those arcane scavenger hunts: http://www.librarything.com/topic/311357#6947644)

39lorax
Oct 22, 9:03am Top

First reaction:

Where did the book information go?

Tabs, sure, whatever. Icons instead of words for copies and reviews, sure, whatever. Red is ugly but I'll get used to it.

But taking away easy access to my book information? NO NO NO.

Further reactions once I have a chance to read the comments here.

40lorax
Edited: Oct 22, 9:10am Top

Now, having read comments explaining that the "new" page isn't actually something we'll ever really see:

I have no opinion on this whatsover. Get back to me when you have an apples-to-apples comparison instead of two totally different pages. Top nav looks fine, if that's all you want us to comment on. Please don't show us massive changes and then explain twenty posts down that it's not really a change you're making after all, you're just basically showing a top nav with random lorem ipsum space-filler underneath!

41calm
Oct 22, 9:19am Top

About top nav

Colour - OK

Tabs - would prefer to not have to use 2 clicks to get to talk

Icons - Home and Library are clear. Explore and Community are not clear to me.

Message Indicator - would rather not have it the same colour as other things in the nav bar

42conceptDawg
Oct 22, 9:32am Top

>41 calm: would prefer to not have to use 2 clicks to get to talk
In the new design the "Community" tab actually goes to Talk as it's main page. So you don't lose that. Groups is a second click away, alas, but most people go straight to Talk.

43casvelyn
Oct 22, 9:37am Top

>37 anglemark: I only just got a smartphone in 2015, and didn't get texting until 2016. On the other hand, I've been using desktop PCs since 1989. (I could work a computer using DOS commands before I knew how to read. And they say kids these days are the digital natives!) So maybe it is a function of what we're used to. But I don't see how people are just sitting there, squinting and pecking away at their phones and not being like "There has to be a better way to do this." Maybe when they all hit the bifocals stage of life LOL!

44timspalding
Oct 22, 9:38am Top

To repeat:

The main thing here is the global, navigational elements, and the general look and feel. The content area of the page is much more up-for-grabs at present.

45lorax
Oct 22, 10:01am Top

So what's "global, navigational" and "look and feel" versus content? As I said, I can comment on the obviously-navigational elements like the top nav, which other than disliking the red color (which reads to me as an error/warning) I'm fine with, but without having a direct one to one comparison so we can see what changes you consider "navigational" versus "content" I really can't say anything else.

46conceptDawg
Oct 22, 10:15am Top

The stuff within the white section is "content."
The stuff above that line is navigation.
Comment on the details of the navigation and look and feel of both. Or whatever.

47norabelle414
Oct 22, 10:17am Top

I really like the new colors and layout. I use browser bookmarks to get to the LT pages I use most (Talk, Catalog, Manual Add), so I don't have many thoughts about the navigation. I like bringing out the red color (which is already an accent color in the current version) but I agree with >13 andyl: that the logo and the sub-tab should be the same color red. Very excited to see the eventual content changes!

A question: My phone is of the "zoomed out" type (example 6 in the preview) and I kind of like it. Will I be able to zoom out in the new mobile design for those times when I would rather have more information instead of larger information? (I'll get used to it if not, I'm just curious.)

A pony (for the future): Sometimes (not all the time?) when viewing my catalog, the cursor defaults to the catalog search box. This is great on a mouse device but really awful on a touch device. It would be nice if the cursor never defaulted to the catalog search box when on a touch device.

48timspalding
Oct 22, 10:36am Top

A question: My phone is of the "zoomed out" type (example 6 in the preview) and I kind of like it. Will I be able to zoom out in the new mobile design for those times when I would rather have more information instead of larger information? (I'll get used to it if not, I'm just curious.)

I think we'll have a link to see the page in its web version, as many websites now do.

49conceptDawg
Oct 22, 10:37am Top

>47 norabelle414:
Option to see full site on mobile
Yep. We could provide a way to do that. It's not in the works right now, but it's possible.

Cursor defaulting to search box
Yes, that's certainly something that we could do.

50norabelle414
Oct 22, 10:38am Top

51melannen
Edited: Oct 22, 10:44am Top

In general I like the design! It's a much more efficient and flexible use of space, and I've often wondered why certain things got a top-level navbar tab.

/does not comment on how the new navbar categories are an exact match for That Other Site's. Anyway your design is better, and I really like how much the left corner is cleaned out.

I would like more info about how the second-layer navbar (and account dropdown) actually work in practice, though - I've had issues on other sites where making a menu like that appear depends on, say, really accurate hovering, and getting that to work the way you want was actually *harder* than targeting a tiny text link that was at least static and could be zoomed on or tabbed to. (And I hope it's set up to work well with keyboard/voice/screenreader controls?) I assume it's not a "click/tap to bring up submenu" thing, if click/tap takes you to Talk. Without being able to play with it live it's hard to say, though.

But I do like that clicking on "Community" brings you straight to talk without having to navigate the submenu; I assume "Library" does the same thing with a Your Books view? Where does "Explore" take you? Does clicking directly on the user icon do anything useful?

Did you do any testing around which of the navbar options actually are most heavily used? I will admit I'm really sad to see "add books" requiring extra navigation now; as someone who uses the site mostly as a catalogue, probably over half the time I go to the site on mobile I'm going directly to 'add books' (though admittedly less, now that the app is a little better at it).

Although if you're completely redoing the tracking system and making the 'add books' navigation fundamentally different, maybe that will change enough anyway that it's not worth looking at yet. I certainly wouldn't be sad to lose the current 'add books' design and system as long as we keep the really powerful functionality. But if you are working on easy-as-GR tracking and adding, I would think that would make it even more important for that to be top-level?

(Also, I am used to using the site on a version of android where you have to zoom a lot, and while it certainly isn't ideal, I've also run into way too many 'responsive' websites that break mobile zoom. Please don't break zoom? Even on a fully responsive site, zooming is really important for accessibility and flexibility.)

ETA: Also, please, yes, >48 timspalding: ! Sometimes you just really need to be able to see the full site regardless of screen size.

52aspirit
Oct 22, 10:41am Top

>34 timspalding: I consider link placement a part of the design. That we're not supposed to focus on that wasn't clear. For the rest...

Colors: Good. The chocolate and dark cherry combo is appealing. I'm grateful that we're not getting a bright red, which quickly becomes tiring. The light colors contrast well with the dark colors, and I like that the tan has a slight greenish tint.

Font choices: Good.

Tabs: The shape and size seem fine.

Organization: ... this is content.

Icons: The images make sense to me. Explore looks like compass hands. Community shows dialogue bubbles.

53conceptDawg
Oct 22, 10:46am Top

Oh, I also wanted to comment about the "big fonts" comments here.
One thing to be aware of is that all of the mobile-sized screens are much bigger in the screenshots than they would be on your actual device. I took the screenshots on my desktop simulating a mobile device.

And...this is a general the-more-you-know, not necessarily pointed at any particular comment here:
If you don't like the size of fonts on a page all of us have control over font sizing on your individual device, especially easy on desktop. Usually CMD+ and CMD-

54conceptDawg
Oct 22, 10:57am Top

>51 melannen:
I assume "Library" does the same thing
Correct. Explore is going to go to a new Explore main page. Tim has this in his head at this point. It will be the best Explore main page you've ever seen. The best.
The user icon doesn't go anywhere because it controls a dropdown—the only dropdown we're using at desktop sizes.


Tab landing pages:

Home --> Home page
Library --> Catalog page
Explore --> Explore hub (new)
Community --> Talk page
User --> N/A (menu)

Zoom
We aren't disabling zoom on mobile. Hopefully you won't have to zoom as much though, that's the goal.

55melannen
Oct 22, 11:07am Top

>54 conceptDawg: It will be the best Explore main page you've ever seen.

I am super excited now! :D

(No seriously, it's actually great that tapping on those will bring you to useful screens full of useful things to do and useful links. I really appreciate that - as ugly as it is - 'More' currently brings you to a static list of useful links instead of a wobbly unnavigable dropdown or subnav.)

56keristars
Edited: Oct 22, 11:13am Top

I think it looks lovely, and I really like the greater use of the red, as >47 norabelle414: mentions.

EDIT: I took too long to type and a lot of my concerns have been addressed!

I'm not removing, because they're still valid, but I'm waiting to see the actual live version, since >53 conceptDawg: says the actual sizes are misleading in the screenshots.

---------------------------

However, my first instinct when looking at it on my tablet yesterday, and again on a desktop today, is along the lines of >21 r.orrison: mentioning how BIG it is. It's not that much bigger, no...but the font size is. I'm so tired of having to ctrl+- everywhere to get the text to an acceptable size. This is a bit Old Internet Person of me, but I miss the days when everyone was expected to set their own default font sizes in their browser, and then websites would scale up or down based on that. I know it's not as easy with mobile, but so many modern designs force such enormous font sizes that the page is a headache (like the new Twitter, where the nav is bigger than the content and doesn't scale).

Is it possible to put in a + - font toggle somewhere, to be based on browser cookies? (Is that even a thing sites do anymore? It used to be fairly common on high-text interactive sites.)

I also have the "zoom out" version on my tablet, like >47 norabelle414: does, and it overhangs slightly to the right of the navbar. I enjoy being able to zoom in and out to certain parts of the page, and my main wish there is for a slightly larger tap zone when i've shrunk the page down, and also to be able to handle "Where from?" anywhere and to edit dates in my catalogue view. But the current font setting in general is fine, and trying to force a bigger font/smaller phone-sized layout on my decently sized tablet is frustrating when it happens on other sites, especially when i'm in landscape mode. Being able to zoom out to shrink the font a bit would be a great help.

I'm very excited to see where this redesign goes, especially because I have been doing a lot more on my tablet, and there are some quirks that I am fond of, because it's LT, but which I know my sister wouldn't tolerate, even though I think she would like having an LT account to keep track of the books she buys for her classroom library.

57anglemark
Oct 22, 11:13am Top

MAKE LIBRARYTHING GREAT AGAIN?

58conceptDawg
Oct 22, 11:27am Top

We are draining this swamp of all old UI.

59toast_and_tea
Oct 22, 11:32am Top

>58 conceptDawg: How will the redesign effect the home pages and the customization of the layout and all? I like things the way I have it? Same with the catalog columns/customization.

60aspirit
Oct 22, 11:34am Top

This thread's emerging theme is painful.

61conceptDawg
Oct 22, 11:34am Top

>59 toast_and_tea: Short term: no change at all
Long term: hard to tell and I can't make promises. But we REALLY fight against changing anything at any point (see the 10 year build up to this change). :)

62conceptDawg
Oct 22, 11:35am Top

>60 aspirit: Dark humor is my specialty.

63toast_and_tea
Oct 22, 11:39am Top

>38 lilithcat: Yeah, I do worry what this will mean for laptop/PC users like me.
I'm 26, and I know "they say" the majority of the younger crowd are on the phones, but I just can't imagine a younger crowd cataloging at all, or at the least using Librarything instead of the "hipper" Goodreads, let alone cataloging on LT on their phones.

I just hope it doesn't affect PC layout too much. I think I have my home page just the way I want it.

64shadrach_anki
Oct 22, 11:41am Top

First impressions on the new navigation are that I like it, but I am not a huge fan of the sub-menu red right next to the red of the site logo. They don't look quite the same, and it is making my eyes do funny focusing things. I much prefer the current highlighting methods, with the text being red and the tab being a light color (or the current active sub-menu having a red underline).

Re: font sizes... while it is hard to accurately judge with screenshots (no screen resolution information provided), the size of the text used for the top level categories on the full-screen view seems too large to me. The tablet and mobile views both feel well-balanced; it's just the full-screen format where things feel wonky.

I know we're focusing on the navigation bar right now, but in terms of the catalog view on mobile, having the option to see the full-screen view seems like it would be necessary, at least for that. Again, hard to say with just screenshots (and I am primarily a desktop user), but if I were viewing my catalog on my phone, I would want to be able to see everything, even if it meant I had to slide and zoom.

65toast_and_tea
Oct 22, 11:49am Top

>61 conceptDawg: I don't mind change to the site in a general sense. I think there could be good changes to make it easier to add books.
Also I know sometimes I have an issue where I'll have to add multiple "editions" of a book until I come across the one that I know other members have added/the one that "works"

I thought I saved a picture to illustrate what I'm talking about, but I seem to have lost it.

Basically I go to add a book that I know at least a few other members have added, but doing a search there's no way of seeing that so I've had a few times where I've had to add "empty" books until I came across the right one. so my "add books" list will have the same book, all typed about differently with different punctuation or what have you, showing "no members" until I get to the one that has other members on it.

It would be great if there was an easier way to add books.
I'm looking forward to the new layout, as long as it doesn't majorly affect ability to customize and the home page and the zeitgiest.

66casvelyn
Edited: Oct 22, 11:50am Top

>64 shadrach_anki: Re: font sizes... while it is hard to accurately judge with screenshots (no screen resolution information provided), the size of the text used for the top level categories on the full-screen view seems too large to me. The tablet and mobile views both feel well-balanced; it's just the full-screen format where things feel wonky.

This is what I was meaning but not putting into words well. It's not so much that the font is too big in and of itself, but that it doesn't feel well-proportioned relative to the other design elements.

67justmelissa
Oct 22, 11:52am Top

Overall, I like it. The colours are pleasing enough and the nav and sub nav make sense. Using it will take a bit of getting used to, but that’s just a function of change. I do like that it scales for mobile even though I don’t use the site on my phone or iPad much. Mostly that’s due to not being able to edit fields from the “your books” listing. If that were changed I’d use the site on mobile a lot!

This may be beyond the feedback you are seeking here, so file away for future tab content notes if need be. Have you considered changing the Your Books tab label to My Books instead? When I’m using the site, I’m managing my reading, my library, my ratings, my reviews, etc on your platform. Using “your” distances me from the content and treats me like a visitor to your site. It’s a small, but psychologically significant difference. As a parallel usage example, my airline app lets me check My Flights and my banking app lets me check My Accounts.

Thanks for tackling this ambitious project! I look forward to the refreshed site.

68keristars
Oct 22, 12:07pm Top

>67 justmelissa: There was such a lively discussion about "Your Books" and "My Library" and "Home" or "Your Home" or... back in the day, so I'm laughing a little bit at this comment. How things keep circling!

I believe that conversation was when we got the new homepage or maybe earlier, with Collections?, and was tied into mixed feelings about every other site and its brother introducing "MyXYZ" or "YourXYZ" and whether that made sense here. As you can see, the consensus eventually came around to "Your Books" and "My Library" based on whether it was LT talking to you or you talking to LT (I think??? that's how I explained it to myself)

69conceptDawg
Oct 22, 12:15pm Top

>67 justmelissa: and >68 keristars: Just so. I'm not sure we won't be revisiting some of this but no major changes are on the list right now.

70lorax
Edited: Oct 22, 12:23pm Top

keristars (#68):

I'm sure there have been multiple such discussions, but the first one I could find was here. Go back far enough, and there was the discussion when it was originally changed to "Your books" from "Your library":

https://www.librarything.com/topic/62700

71PawsforThought
Oct 22, 12:26pm Top

I agree with >67 justmelissa: that "Your books" doesn't make sense to me. "My books" makes more sense because I am the one doing the cataloguing. "Your books" sounds like someone else's library. Though the new design seems to just go with "Library" so... (I much prefer that to "Your library")

72mysterymax
Oct 22, 12:34pm Top

I'll have to see what YOUR BOOKS looks like. It's the ONLY section I use on my tablet. (To make sure I'm now buying another duplicate book.) I treasure LT and hope that I don't eventually get left behind with changes that make it useless for me.

I also want to see what ADD BOOK looks like, and how it works. That's really what we're all here for, I think. To keep a catalog of our books. Having to scroll up, to get more book listings has been a real pain, it should be at the bottom, where you wind up when you've looked down the list of books searching for yours. Hopefully that got fixed.

73Maddz
Oct 22, 2:13pm Top

The only thing I would add about colours is to consider accessibility issues for people with visual impairments affecting colour perception. It might be a good idea to test this out before selecting colours.

74Heather39
Oct 22, 2:32pm Top

Despite my initial shock and horror when I first saw this Talk topic, I'm not displeased with the new design. The only quibble I have is with the font size of the book title in the fullscreen view. To me, it seems too large. I think if it was closer in size to the font size of the author's name it would look better.

One thing that I would like would be to see the entire title on this page. Currently, if the book title is fairly long, only part of the title will be shown and it will end with ... It would be nice if longer titles could be displayed here in their entirety.

I like the larger search bar. The entire top bar seems okay, I think - though I know it will take me a while to get used to the changes! The only tabs I use regularly are Home, Your books, and Add books, anyway.

75ScarletBea
Edited: Oct 22, 3:26pm Top

I'm another one who thinks the font is too big, however I'm giving the benefit of the doubt that it only looks that way because of the screenshots' sizes...
It definitely doesn't look like "2 pixels difference" that you mentioned in a previous post!

Other than that (which is a huge thing for me, honestly, I've also stopped using certain sites when they moved to pander to small screens only), I like the colours and organisation.

(not commenting on info availability, as you said it's still not final)

76timspalding
Oct 22, 3:50pm Top

A few comments/responses:

FWIW, I think the fonts are too large on the large-screen version too.

As you can probably tell, other staff do not agree with me.

Having to scroll up, to get more book listings has been a real pain, it should be at the bottom, where you wind up when you've looked down the list of books searching for yours.

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Can you explain further?

My books etc.

The old design uses "Your Books."

I've always felt "My…" was somewhat cloying. "Your…" strikes me as more adult somehow. I understand others don't always share this.

I'm worried that "Library" alone may be misunderstood.

>70 lorax:

Thanks for the link discussion.

77PawsforThought
Oct 22, 4:03pm Top

>76 timspalding: Rather than "more adult", I find "Your books" to be somewhat patronizing.

78casvelyn
Edited: Oct 22, 4:11pm Top

>76 timspalding: As you can probably tell, other staff do not agree with me.

Then tell them they're wrong. :)

Seriously though, while I have issues with most of the formatting choices on my local public library's OPAC (so many issues...), I like their font sizes: https://indypl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1846954144

ETA: Hey! I just noticed my library added LT Recommendations. Now I can move on to pestering them about other things in the annual user surveys...

79timspalding
Oct 22, 4:09pm Top

>77 PawsforThought:

I can't really argue with you.

80timspalding
Oct 22, 4:10pm Top

>78 casvelyn:

Bibliocommons is the only good OPAC.

81casvelyn
Edited: Oct 22, 4:21pm Top

>79 timspalding: Oh, it's way better than whatever Sirsi product they used to have. I was going to write a whole book here, but this is not really the thread for me to opine on What Is Wrong With OPACs These Days. Suffice it to say, as a librarian and a patron, I have Opinions. :)

82timspalding
Oct 22, 4:26pm Top

>81 casvelyn:

Yeah, topic for another time. I could go on a bit too!

83conceptDawg
Oct 22, 4:27pm Top

The main issue is that while I did move on to the content styling for a short time I have really been pulled back to the navigation time and time again—we've redesigned in just short of a million times and will likely do a few more; there's very little consensus among the staff. Everybody has their opinion. ;)

So the content section is still in its infancy with font-sizes, spacing, sizing, etc. Like, first version, throwing some pixels on screen infancy.

84casvelyn
Edited: Oct 22, 4:28pm Top

>82 timspalding: I know. I follow you on Twitter. :)

85BookstoogeLT
Oct 22, 4:36pm Top

I'm pretty ambivalent. Just don't make the (re)learning curve too hard, please.

86southernbooklady
Oct 22, 4:41pm Top

I like the proposed design and think it scales well. Kudos for avoiding the awful hamburger thing. My only comments are that with regards to the top navigation, I think you could do icons or text, but you don't need both. I think the icons you chose are pretty self-explanatory and probably don't need text explanations under them.

Also, I think you might have an issue with the red as that alternate "highlight" color. My dad is completely red/green colorblind -- can't really see a red rose against its green foliage -- and when I sent him your screenshots, he was decidedly "meh." Not much contrast. So you're losing something with viewers like him. Here's what that screenshot looks like according to Coblis:

87timspalding
Oct 22, 4:43pm Top

88timspalding
Oct 22, 4:46pm Top

>86 southernbooklady:

I kinda like that version.

I think you could do icons or text, but you don't need both. I think the icons you chose are pretty self-explanatory and probably don't need text explanations under them.

I don't know. People learn, but there are very few icons that are easier to understand than the words that go with them. On https://www.litsy.com we followed the icon-only format of the mobile version, but added words when you mouse over them.

89PawsforThought
Oct 22, 4:50pm Top

>86 southernbooklady: I'm not super-invested, but I definitely prefer icon-and-text to either just icons (definitely not) or just text (bit boring).

90southernbooklady
Oct 22, 4:50pm Top

>88 timspalding: we followed the icon-only format of the mobile version, but added words when you mouse over them.

That seems sensible, given that screen real estate is so limited.

91shadrach_anki
Oct 22, 5:01pm Top

>86 southernbooklady: Well, looking at the colorblind version, the red on the L icon and the red being used as a highlight color are, indeed, slightly different shades. But it's far less jarring to my eyes in the colorblind version than the actual version.

And when screen real estate permits, I far prefer text-and-icons to just icons (learning curve) or just text (a bit boring).

92jjwilson61
Oct 22, 5:08pm Top

>88 timspalding: ...we followed the icon-only format of the mobile version, but added words when you mouse over them.

What do you mean? You can't mouse over on a mobile device.

93timspalding
Edited: Oct 22, 5:12pm Top

>92 jjwilson61:

Right. Only on web version. The app has no labels. See the link to see what I mean.

94librookian
Oct 22, 5:29pm Top

I like the new design and look forward to using it on my phone. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot when I use your app. Kudos conceptdawg!

95conceptDawg
Oct 22, 5:39pm Top

I'm doing some more versions tonight but not changing the structure much. I think we're probably 98% there on the structure of the navigation.

I'm going to experiment with some different color choices and font variations. (for the millionteenth time)

>88 timspalding: I kinda like that version.
Kill me now. Just shoot me in the face and get it over with.

96YouKneeK
Oct 22, 5:52pm Top

I think it looks nice. I’m not a particularly visual/artsy person, so I don’t have any real opinion on the colors. There’s nothing about them that bothers me, although I can see the points brought up about color blindness warranting further investigation. I do agree with those who say the font on the desktop version is a bit large. It triggers my Ctrl+0 reflex, thinking I’ve zoomed in by accident. If that’s the final font size as it appears on my PC when I’m logged into the new version, I’ll likely zoom out.

I like the simplified menus. I think it will be less intimidating for the average new user, and I don’t mind an extra mouse click or two for the sake of clearer organization. If the home page remains customizable, the things I access most often are already modules on my home page anyway. Of course, since the new Explore hub is going to be so great, I’m sure I’ll change all my habits and spend all my time there in the future just exploring endlessly.

I’m primarily a desktop user, especially if any typing is involved, but I often read posts on my phone when I have a few spare minutes to kill. This usually involves a lot of zooming in and out and sliding the screen around, so I look forward to a more readable and responsive mobile design.

97aspirit
Edited: Oct 22, 5:55pm Top

For a contrasting opinion on icons, I'd be annoyed if we're not also given text. Space on mobile screens isn't so limited that with the smaller menus, only icons will fit. Not all of us process icons as well as others do.

I've also changed my mind about the colors. I was on Goodreads trying (and failing) to find a book to compare to one here. The new design draft looks uncomfortably similar to GR. That greenish tan might even be the same color. Visually, the two sites would look related, which I imagine could cause trouble for those us inviting new members to LT based on Amazon's limited control here.

"You don't have to put up with all of Amazon's BS ."
"That other site looks the same as Goodreads."
"It's not! Different ownership. You have more control over your library data."
"They look the same...."
"Well, sort of. Trust me, not your eyes?"

How set is the LT team on the draft color scheme? ETA: >95 conceptDawg: I see that you're already reconsidering options.

98tardis
Oct 22, 5:54pm Top

I like it :)

99timspalding
Oct 22, 6:30pm Top

Kill me now. Just shoot me in the face and get it over with.

Snort. We'll desaturate one day as a protest against something.

>97 aspirit:

So, my concern is a branding one—that LT is the more powerful, catalog-y and adult site, but, based on the colors, icons and sizes, I think people might think the opposite.

100Bookmarque
Oct 22, 6:57pm Top

aspirit are you serious?

Goodreads -



You think it looks uncomfortably like the proposed design? Really?

101ulmannc
Oct 22, 8:35pm Top

I'm having issues with the large size of the fonts and that HUGE cover. I really can't respond to feel and work unless I can see the original and LT2 side by side with the same data. I don't use the one work screen. I live in the edit screen for everything except the cover. I would like to see what in the new format before I can say one way or the other.

102aspirit
Oct 22, 9:13pm Top

>100 Bookmarque: yes, I'm usually serious. When GR loaded earlier today, I was surprised that the appearances were similar. The screen I came in on had more brown and none of the bright green.

Going back for a comparison, on the book pages, the green stands out from the red. The differences are easier to see when I'm not relying on vague impressions while focused on finding the data I'd wanted. The issue, I guess, is that I hadn't been thinking anything but the content area looked similar, then I was wondering, "Wait, ew, won't they look related?"



Side-by-side, the draft header design looks more welcoming than GR's does. I dislike how the content area for the LT design doesn't show edition data, but that doesn't have anything to do with the colors.

103macsbrains
Oct 22, 9:19pm Top

I haven't read all of the thread yet, but I absolutely echo >7 r.orrison: in that the main thing that I hate about this, and 'modern' websites in general, is that the font is huge and there's acres of white space between lines. I want information density and don't want to have to scroll constantly when browsing for no reason.

I'm ok with the style otherwise, but sometimes I feel like websites are becoming unusable UNLESS you are using a phone.

104davidgn
Edited: Oct 22, 9:23pm Top

>102 aspirit: If I'm going to nitpick, having the series data in the same font (and) size as the title comes off as slightly clunky to me.

105torirusso
Oct 22, 9:43pm Top

I really like it, and am super excited for the site to work on mobile devices.

106krazy4katz
Edited: Oct 22, 10:01pm Top

I'm sorry I didn't read the entire page, but I just got here. I did search for "wishlist" and wonder if we will have the ability NOT to add wishlisted works to our library. That has been something that I and many others have wanted for a long time.

As far as the layout goes, I can probably get used to most changes, since there are things about LT that I am still discovering after more than 10 years here.

Best wishes, k4k

107macsbrains
Oct 22, 10:24pm Top

Ok, now that I have read through the thread and see that we're focusing on topnav:

I would change the background of L the brown, rather than the red, especially because I'm having the issue where I think the two reds look different, but I'm not quite sure that they are, and so I'm now wondering if I'm having vision problems.

I would still reduce the font size in the topnav. It's not that I think the topnav takes up too much vertical space (I like the height of the current topnav) it's just that the labels feel obtrusive.

As far as the sidenav is concerned I want to squish that line-height to at least half what it is. (I'd like to do that for the current version of the site too.)

I have no issues with the choices for the top-level buttons nor a preference of text vs icons because whether it has a compass or says "explore" I still don't know what it means until I click it. Generally I like icons and text, but I would toss anything if it meant a reduction in line height/whitespace.

108leahbird
Oct 22, 10:26pm Top

Don't have time to read this whole thread but I wanted to say that I think the new designs look awesome! Thanks for all the hard work!

I hate the colors but that's a small thing and you can't please everyone on everything. I'll just say that greens are really pretty 🤣

109internisus
Oct 22, 10:32pm Top

I think that the redesign concept looks great and agree that it is sorely needed. I don't understand why people are complaining about the font size being too large; you all know that you can zoom in and out on just about any web browser, typically by holding ctrl and scrolling the mouse wheel, and expect your browser to permanently save your preferences on a site-by-site basis, right? The current LT design is dated and not very friendly to new users, and one (of many) part of that is the fact that the current font size is too small for comfortable reading at default browser zoom and extends too far horizontally per line. A larger font with better-managed display areas is not only more aesthetically pleasing but also more readable, whether in detail or at a glance.

110keristars
Oct 22, 10:43pm Top

>109 internisus: several of us have noted the ability to manually adjust font size. the problem is that it doesn't always work, or it doesn't scale properly. do I want to scale the entire page or just the font? I can't choose per site, it's a global setting for zoom on my desktop. and on my tablet, I can't zoom out to shrink the enormous fonts that are harder on my eyes (low information density, too much movement for a single word).

>102 aspirit: I see your point about similarities. I was concerned, too, when I first heard about a redesign, but honestly almost all websites look the same these days, and that dark leathery brown is really common for book related sites, I think. I love our salmon and chocolate here.... what's the new red? pomegranate? :D

111beata
Oct 22, 10:53pm Top

Since 2005 I only use LT on a desktop computer, but I manage 3 different accounts, private and for my work.I need to be able to toggle between accounts and I need easy access to tags.
I understand that the world is going mobile, but the nature of LT is not quite mobile in my opinion, besides, some people, like me, still prefer big screens for work and we are old users whose opinion should matter the same as those new users who come here and have expectations that all will be catered to them. I applaud LT team for not changing the website for many years. I used to complain that the pages do not print when I needed to do tons of formatting for printing my book club lists, but finally I gave up and taught my users to use the links rather than printouts. Spellcheck in comments might be useful too.

112timspalding
Oct 22, 10:55pm Top

I need to be able to toggle between accounts

I think this would be a good use for the accounts menu.

113LolaWalser
Oct 22, 11:06pm Top

I don't remember if this was asked already--where did Quick Links go? I'm very used to checking availability and price of stuff on Amazon/Abebooks. It's not super-essential for LTing but, still... habits are hard to break.

114Ciarda
Oct 22, 11:22pm Top

The new design is looking good! I quite like the color scheme, though I can see how the red would be an issue for those that are color-blind.

My only (very minor) nitpick would be that I'd prefer the big "L" logo to say "LT", simply because I always abbreviate LibraryThing that way.

115reconditereader
Oct 22, 11:25pm Top

I generally like the new look, but it looks a bit Playskool with big pictures on it.

What even does the "explore" tab mean, anyway? The way you explore a website is by clicking on stuff, not by watching some dumb tutorial about how to use it. Can I hide that tab or replace it with Talk instead?

116Powerslave214
Oct 22, 11:47pm Top

I use LT at home on a PC with an oversized monitor, and I love the onscreen information density. Having said that, when I do use LT during book shopping at bookstores, it is a bit hard to use after I'm used to seeing the layout of the full site that I'm used to.
I assume it would be too much to have user-defined preferences for layout/fonts/colors and the ability to add/rearrange modules of information to make a personalized page?

117Aquila
Oct 22, 11:55pm Top

I like it.

118mvo62
Oct 23, 12:26am Top

I use LT on a range of devices and am happy with the new looks for Fullscreen, Tablet and Phone. Often on tablet or phone views of sites there is an option to go to the Fullscreen/desktop version, which I usually have to use to get to the info I want. but at first glance (without going through a checklist) the tablet and phone views look pretty good.

Definitely keep the words on the buttons.

119Devlindusty
Oct 23, 1:06am Top

I think it's about time for an update to be able to keep up with the competition. The design looks great can't wait to see it all rolled out.

120reading_fox
Oct 23, 4:22am Top

Form over function? Really not bothered. As long as it isn't hideous I don't care what it looks like as long as it does what I want, easily and intuitively.

121mooingzelda
Oct 23, 4:26am Top

I use LT a lot on both mobile and desktop, and really like the direction for the new design, especially with the focus on accessibility. I don't have any particular vision impairments, but I do find myself squinting and zooming in on LT quite a lot on mobile, especially when I'm tired, so I welcome the emphasis on bigger and clearer text. A more mobile-friendly site will also be handy when I'm in a bookshop or library and want to quickly find out whether I or a friend already own something I'm about to acquire!

As an aside, one thing I always struggle with on mobile is writing and submitting reviews because the text box won't show me what I'm writing after a couple of paragraphs (no doubt other users have already fed back about this!). I end up just writing it in my Google Docs app and copying and pasting it across, which is slightly fiddly. I would definitely welcome improvements to this in future iterations.

122vroni
Oct 23, 4:43am Top

I like LT2! Thanks for all the work.

123Dariah
Oct 23, 4:46am Top

I really like the new design and organization of the tabs. It's much more clear and tidy than the current version. I am looking forward to it!

124ShirTikvahWinchester
Oct 23, 8:06am Top

Thank you for looking to update the design and, in particular, paying attention to mobile! We have a tablet in our library so people can check out books with TinyCat -- and using LibraryThing on the tablet is a pain -- to say nothing of the experience on my phone, which I use as a back-up!

When I've watched new people use LibraryThing, the search is definitely a challenge -- making a clear differentiation between searching all of LibraryThing vs. my very own collection is important. In fact, I would argue that most of the time, I need to search my collection. Would you consider that very lovely new Search box, but with a drop-down that allowed people to choose the scope of their search -- either "All of LibraryThing" or "My Collection"? And the default would be ... my collection.

125JBD1
Oct 23, 8:12am Top

I like it! Well done, Chris! (Having been around for the "last" redesign, I know well how hard this is!)

126ShirTikvahWinchester
Oct 23, 8:27am Top

Another thing that would be helpful (not that you asked for more ideas... ;-) would be to check if a book I'm adding is already in my collection before just adding it, so I could choose whether to add another copy to my collection.

127ShirTikvahWinchester
Oct 23, 8:28am Top

Feedback re: "global, navigational elements, and the general look and feel." -- seems good... it will be helpful to see more detail. The simplification of the top navbar, and separation of collection-level activities vs. global activities seems spot on.

128dsmith77
Oct 23, 8:59am Top

I suggest you take inspiration from tvtropes.org. There are easy things that can be done using a bit of CSS or JavaScript to really bring this to the next level. Features like "Night Vision/Dark Mode" just for starters. And a Random Entry button is always fun.

129lorax
Oct 23, 9:16am Top

timspalding (#88):

I kinda like that version.

I do too, actually. Or you could go a couple notches darker with the red, more of a wine color rather than the "DANGER DANGER" that it is now.

People learn, but there are very few icons that are easier to understand than the words that go with them. On https://www.litsy.com we followed the icon-only format of the mobile version, but added words when you mouse over them.

Mouse-over is fine, but for accessibility reasons it would be good to have the text available somehow.

130lorax
Oct 23, 9:18am Top

timspalding (#112):

I think this {toggling between accounts} would be a good use for the accounts menu.

Yes! As it is I have to keep an incognito window open with my other account.

131PawsforThought
Oct 23, 9:22am Top

>124 ShirTikvahWinchester: Having "My collection" be the default search would be insanely irritating for me (and I imagine lots of other people who aren't libraries but individuals).

132MrsLee
Oct 23, 9:55am Top

Glad you are all putting in the effort to keep LT working and modernized. I have confidence in you, and no time to read all the posts above, but having looked at the sample and glanced through this thread, I'm for it!

133eomalley
Oct 23, 10:00am Top

The details right under the book title - Members, Reviews #, and Rating - blend TOO well with the design. Is there any way they can pop more like they did previously? Maybe bring the colors back? I check that area a lot to get a quick idea what others think of a book (we're pretty much trained to look for star ratings these days), and in the new design my eyes skimmed right over it.

134ulmannc
Oct 23, 10:05am Top

>116 Powerslave214: I agree with you on that. If I can mess with the font and make it readable for me, I can ignore a lot of other things and adapt to the functionality. I just LOVE big monitors.

>112 timspalding: I only have one account but as long as I can have multiple tabs open in Chrome and not have any issues I'll be a happy camper.

135Bookmarque
Oct 23, 10:08am Top

Maybe the quick links could be another button on the right saying find this book or buy this book...something like that?

136jimbo435
Oct 23, 10:28am Top

Awesome. Loveit. I would suggest one change so far:
On the mobile (small device) view, rather than moving the account menu item under home, really the only navigational change from all the views, I would leave it, and have the search drop down to a fixed search bar under the top menu.

137MAS-GreenacreLibrary
Oct 23, 10:38am Top

At a quick go-over, this looks better to me even on the big desktop screen which is what I use exclusively. I use LT for management of my library and not for social exchanges but I appreciate the simpler look and adaptability to mobile, as I'm constantly encouraging people (via e-mail and word of mouth) to look at our catalog. (This is only because I don't like using social media, not because of any fault on the part of your social media set-up.) As long as the basic functions, especially in the editing mode, remain easy to find and use, I'm happy.

138waltzmn
Oct 23, 10:51am Top

I rather suspect that a lot of the reactions we're getting here would be more muted if the sample book "The Serpent's Secret" hadn't been so full of bright colors (frankly, obnoxious colors :-). They distort the color balance of everything else.

That said, my biggest problem is that the red highlight color is AWFUL. I don't want my LibraryThing looking as if it has a severed artery. :-) The hue does not match the basic brown. The obvious solution would be to use a lighter shade of brown -- same hue, higher brightness.

I think some consideration should be given to how people use LT on computers versus mobile. I use LT on mobile devices to make sure that I do/don't have a particular book -- for that and that only. I use the computer to enter books, read reviews, write reviews, and do Common Knowledge edits. Others will differ, but it seems to me that it's more important to have a great list view for mobile and a great data entry/detail on books view for fullscreen.

With all that said, it seems to me that this is the relatively easy part of LibraryThing; there is nothing really complicated about what is done now. The pages for which we have samples can't go too far wrong no matter how they look. Displaying a single book is easy. So is displaying a list. Even adding new works is easy -- it might be clearer if there were different boxes for entering title, author, and ISBN, but it's more convenient as it is. (I wish it were better at handling books from the pre-ISBN era, but I realize that's a big job for relatively small reward.)

The places that need the most work are the things a lot of users don't visit, such as the Common Knowledge and Helpers areas (e.g. it is really painful to try to establish relationships between two different works -- I've been trying for months to convince LT that the Paul G. Ruggiers Variorum Chaucer facsimile of the Hengwrt manuscript of The Canterbury Tales is not just another edition of The Canterbury Tales. It isn't; it's a set of photographs and a collation of the subset of the tales found in Hengwert. And I've at least once flagged a cover as wrong because of that. But I can't get them to split) So I might argue that the best thing is what was originally proposed: a layout that is easy to build upon, so it's easier to fix the tricky stuff.

Sorry to write a big post about what everyone wants to be a small layout. :-)

139lorax
Oct 23, 10:54am Top

ulmannc (#134):

as long as I can have multiple tabs open in Chrome and not have any issues I'll be a happy camper.


What sort of issues have you been having, and how many is "multiple"? I almost always have 2-3 tabs open on LT, sometimes as many as 10+ if I'm doing a project, and have never had any issues.

140aethercowboy
Edited: Oct 24, 10:49am Top

My first reaction: I love it.

My second reaction: When can I start using it?

ETA: my biggest complaint is mobile view. I think either the image should after the title/author, or the top grid should be two cells across (image in cell one and title/author in cell two). And series under the title should be <small>er than the title.

ETA: here's a mockup (but with worse fonts than what I was thinking):



ETA: Sorry the image isn't showing. I've tried a few different things.

141LolaWalser
Oct 23, 11:17am Top

>135 Bookmarque:

Maybe the quick links could be another button on the right saying find this book or buy this book...something like that?

I'm interested in this too. Are they gone for good or just hidden.

142jlshall
Oct 23, 11:26am Top

Overall, I'm pleased that the redesign proposals are really not too bad. Probably not what I would have come up with, but really -- not bad.

I mostly use my MacBook for accessing LT, only occasionally my iPad, almost never my phone. So I'm happy to see that the designers aren't forgetting about users who aren't on mobile devices all the time.

Font size doesn't really matter too much to me, since I'm always zooming in and out on most websites anyway.

The only thing I really hate is that red. It's burned itself into my retinas. And why red with brown? What about a nice restful green or blue?

But I know this is a thankless (though necessary) task. Thanks for giving us a chance to vent about it.

143Bookmarque
Oct 23, 11:28am Top

LolaWalser - I use the WorldCat link a lot when doing Common Knowledge stuff. I would definitely miss it and would be peeved if it was buried.

144rosalita
Oct 23, 11:28am Top

>138 waltzmn: As you note, others will differ, which is why the mobile capability (which includes tablets that are as large as laptops, let's not forget) should mirror the desktop even if the presentation is appropriately tweaked. I use my iPad for everything on LT, from cataloguing to Talk. A simple list view for mobile as you mention would make me very unhappy. Fortunately, I think full functionality across all devices is what Tim and Chris are aiming for, and the display changes they've proposed look like a huge improvement on the current mobile experience. Bravo!

145rosalita
Oct 23, 11:30am Top

>135 Bookmarque: >141 LolaWalser: From the staff post at >16 conceptDawg:: We haven't decided where Quicklinks are going to live. Tim wants to rework the entire feature so I've been urged to forget it exists for now. :) We'll see how that goes. Whatever it is, it will likely go in the right side bar where it lives now, just below the "Action Bar" thing we are showing with the buttons. The Action Bar will also appear on other types of pages and will be a consistent UI element indicating that you can "do things" to this item. It's still a little fuzzy for some types of pages, obviously.

146asterionism
Oct 23, 12:09pm Top

I'm no power user and usually have trouble articulating what I do/don't like about web design, but one of my main uses is adding books when I'm not near my computer so I'm delighted that it's seems like the mobile site is going to be so much easier to use.

I have no sense of how difficult it would be to make some aspects of layout customizable, so folks can move certain links into or out of a dropdown menu, or whatnot, but that would be handy.

147Bookmarque
Oct 23, 12:12pm Top

That's why I was suggesting a place to put them, rosalita. Maybe they need to know some of us use them a lot and so won't leave them hanging.

148rosalita
Oct 23, 12:30pm Top

>147 Bookmarque: Makes sense. I misread your post as wondering if the feature had been removed permanently, but I see now you didn't really say that at all. And I agree that they can be very useful.

149PawsforThought
Oct 23, 1:02pm Top

Okay, I've had a couple of days to think about this and I have a few more thoughts.

I agree with the people who've said that the text size for the series is too big. That was one of the things I reacted to immediately but forgot to mention. I would prefer if the text for the series was not only significantly smaller than the title, but also started after a line break. As it is now (or rather, as it is in the preview/suggested version), it looks as if the series name is a subtitle. And honestly, since the series name (and number) can be found below the author name and member and review numbers, why does it need to be up by the title at all?

Regarding the colour choices for the top bar, I can see what people mean when they say the red is jarring. I quite like that shade of red, but I think the contrast between the red and the brown is borderline too little. And the red clashes with the salmon-ish colour. The current salmon shade is horrendous in my view (but I've never likes pale pinks) but the new one looks like the salmon has had a bought of stomach flu. It's a sickly colour.

Also, re: the text size of the top bar, I agree that it'd looks nicer if it was slightly smaller, but I'm not too fussed.
Someone mentioned thinking that the logo in the left corner should be "LT" rather than "L", and I agree, but again, not too fussed.

I'd prefer if the star rating wasn't shoved to the right of member and review numbers. Those of us who read left-to-right (everyone who speaks a European language and a lot of other people too) pay more attention to things on the left side of a page and "drift off" closer to the right. I don't care much for member and review numbers but I do look at the star rating so would prefer if it was placed further to the left.
And is the rating going to be rounded up or down to the closest integer or are the decimals going to be included (the preview only shows a rating of 4 so you can't tell)? If it's rounded off it's basically useless to me, because a 3 star rating could mean either 2.51 or 3.49.

150rosalita
Oct 23, 1:32pm Top

>149 PawsforThought: Maybe I'm misreading the second example illustration, but I thought that was a case of someone including the series information in the title field (or often it will pull in that way from Amazon and some libraries), rather than LT having populated that from the series CK. Because I agree with you that it looks terrible, but I don't think yours or mine would look like that if we just put the book title in the title field.

Maybe re-ordering the three fields to be Rating - Reviews - Members would help bring the star ratings back to prominence? For myself, I will also miss the greenness of the stars if that's gone (and I know that part of the design isn't set in stone.)

151LolaWalser
Oct 23, 1:34pm Top

>145 rosalita:

Thanks, I had missed that. Waiting to see, then.

>147 Bookmarque:

Good point. Here to be counted.

152norabelle414
Edited: Oct 23, 1:35pm Top

ETA: Nevermind

153rmjenkins
Oct 23, 1:35pm Top

I like the new navigation design. The current one sort of violates the 7 plus or minus 2 idea of how many ideas you can evaluate in your head at once. Especially with some similar concepts as Groups, Talk, Local, the vague More, and the 'I had to look this up and it didn't help' Zeitgeist. I know I've given up on looking for things I use very occasionally on LT because the menus are too vague.

The new design has several nice things going for it:
* The search bar seems less like an afterthought (I hope it searches my library AND the global catalog now)
* More is gone from the top menu (proper search and sidebar navigation should remove the need for a More menu altogether)
* It's visually less cluttered and makes better use of vertical space
* The buttons are bigger to help mobile users and those who aren't accurate with their mice clicks
* There's a menu now for account information (like everywhere else on the Internet)

A few things I didn't like/understand about the new design:
* The colors look muddy (I know brown, tan, and dark red evoke books, but they've always looked kinda ugly to me)
* What am I Explore-ing? (I get Home, Library, and Community, but Explore is vague)
* Will the second level menu show up when the top level is _hovered_ over, so I can browse the entire menu tree without clicking?

I like the design layout, but will there be a separate thread for the menu items and organization?

154hoppmaep
Oct 23, 1:36pm Top

A move to a responsive design is definitely much needed and overdue! I agree with the concerns that the new design could use some more polishing with respect to menu size and font size:

* Menu bar always taking up two rows: this is the biggest one for me. The point raised in >21 r.orrison: re: the menu bars is the first thing that jumped out at me as well. The new menu bar sucks up an extra row of space unnecessarily in cases.

* Font sizes: this also immediately jumped out at me. I know that >53 conceptDawg: mentions that the font size in the screenshots may not be representative...if this is really the case, maybe updated screenshots could be uploaded? In the LT2 fullscreen screenshot the menu bar fonts, as well as the title, author, series, and blurb about the book all feel too large to me.

+1 to >133 eomalley: - rating does disappear a bit in the new design, the old green color gave it a nice pop

>16 conceptDawg: +1 from me that I hope quicklinks don't go away forever! Also from the right pane of the current pages, I find the rating histogram quite helpful, I hope this makes it into the new design.

155jeanned
Edited: Oct 23, 1:40pm Top

It's hard for me to tell if I will like this or not because I don't know what it will do to my LT home landing page which I can currently customize to hide features I don't use and re-order so I like the look of MY page.

I think a collapsable menu with a hamburger button would solve your issues. They don't take up real estate on the page and cut down on the number of clicks to get to areas like Talk.

Definitely would not want rounding on the ratings, as previously mentioned.

156PawsforThought
Oct 23, 1:59pm Top

>150 rosalita: But the screen grab of the current site doesn't include that series name directly after the title, which it would if it was a matter of someone having put the series name in the title field.
And since the screen grabs are of the same title it should pop up in the current design too (unless the new design also comes with a new way of grabbing information from Amazon, etc.)

157lorax
Oct 23, 2:06pm Top

I suspect that the answer is going to be "that's content, not design, so it's off-topic for this thread", but given the new prominence given to Series, what do you do for a book that's in more than one?

(Example. Four series, all of them totally valid and not redundant - three legitimate reading orders for one, plus a fourth that's a super-series including all the books in the first plus several more.)

158norabelle414
Oct 23, 2:09pm Top

>156 PawsforThought: conceptDawg has that book in his catalog without the series information in the title, which is why it shows up that way in his current site screen grabs. If you look at the work page for The Serpent's Secret you can see that the series information is in the title on the work page (for now).

159PawsforThought
Oct 23, 2:11pm Top

>158 norabelle414: Okay, that makes sense. Thanks for pointing it out.

160ulmannc
Oct 23, 2:12pm Top

>139 lorax: When I first started using LT, a couple of times I had the same book open in edit mode at the same time and didn't realize it. Once I did a save the problem went away.

My main reason for this concern is LT2 is new code and I want to be sure nothing is going to block such a function. . . it's mostly where you have sophisticated user tracking that blocks opening a second tab. The comment about explore and switching from one user to another is not explained clearly enough to indicate if this would prevent one from having multiple sessions going at the same time.

I may be overthinking here but back in the dark ages (pre 2004) I got paid for that kind of thinking and it was a concern back in mainframe days.

161FAMeulstee
Oct 23, 2:20pm Top

Please don't forget to look at the tab-titles in other languages, to be sure they are large enough.
The tabs in English are much more compact than they are in Dutch or German.

162sunny
Oct 23, 2:43pm Top

I think the four main menu entries are very easy to understand, also for new visitors, well done.

163conceptDawg
Edited: Oct 23, 2:50pm Top

re: SERIES prominance
The series is NOT going to be big. You can see the series display as the small line under the author.
The particular work being displayed for the screenshots just happens to have the series in the title of the work. That is all.
So don't be alarmed.

Much of the content here is copy/pasted into a hard-coded work(ish) page, so it's not all dynamic data like a normal LT page.
This is so that I can have elements on the page for styling purposes that wouldn't normally be there.

164PawsforThought
Oct 23, 2:53pm Top

>163 conceptDawg: Thanks for confirming that. The series following the title looked AWFUL so it's good to know it won't be like that.

165conceptDawg
Oct 23, 2:57pm Top

re: Home page design, what about this content, what about that content that I don't see, where's my favorite obscure feature?!
We really aren't changing much content right now. So the home page is still going to look like the home page, complete with modules, etc. The only change (right now) is going to be the top nav and the fonts/styling of the content—though that's still in flux wit regards to font sizes and even font choices. We might change the layout slightly on work pages, but it's going to be VERY slight.

I'd love to reorganize with a more thoughtful process given to the data but people would go nuts because CHANGE BAD!!! So you can expect only minor changes (which blackens my soul a little bit).

166mahsdad
Oct 23, 3:06pm Top

Hey, as long as you're still here and giving us book freaks a place to catalog our ever too large TBR piles and talk to like minded crazies in Talk, I'm happy.

Change isn't bad (unless its just change for change's sake), its just something we aren't used to yet. I can remember over the years Facebook coming out with new designs and everyone getting up in arms; I'M QUITTING BECAUSE YOU TOOK AWAY THE THING I LIKED, and posting petitions to force FB to undo the changes. But then after a week or so people got used to it and moved on. Until the next change when the mobs assembled again.

Carry on conceptDawg, drag us into the future. :)

167conceptDawg
Oct 23, 3:21pm Top

>166 mahsdad: Right. I agree that change just for change is a terribly bad idea and I'm not wanting that.
People just get used to the way things are. It's human nature.

A problem arises when progress is held in check because of reluctance to change in any way, which is—to a degree—what we have had with LT. We're working through that. Slowly. :)

168timspalding
Oct 23, 3:25pm Top

Read to 154:

* The search bar seems less like an afterthought (I hope it searches my library AND the global catalog now)

What would that REALLY mean, though? As it is, the search page has a prominent top link to do the search within your library. But it can't really do both at the same time, because the contexts are so different.

What even does the "explore" tab mean, anyway? The way you explore a website is by clicking on stuff, not by watching some dumb tutorial about how to use it. Can I hide that tab or replace it with Talk instead?

It will not be a dumb tutorial. It will be a gateway into books and other data that may interest you.

* What am I Explore-ing? (I get Home, Library, and Community, but Explore is vague)

So, it's a home for Zeitgeist and all its subsections, Lists, Your Recommendations and other such things.

* Will the second level menu show up when the top level is _hovered_ over, so I can browse the entire menu tree without clicking?

I think not. But we've played with it.

>125 JBD1:

Thanks jbd1

Night Vision/Dark Mode

Yes, we'll consider it. We did it on Litsy.com.

>131 PawsforThought:

We will continue to have a second search box when you are in your catalog. It's a hard problem.

I don't want my LibraryThing looking as if it has a severed artery

So, not blue? ;)

as long as I can have multiple tabs open in Chrome and not have any issues I'll be a happy camper.

You can now. This will not change.

Someone mentioned thinking that the logo in the left corner should be "LT" rather than "L", and I agree, but again, not too fussed.

Naw, we're sticking with L.

I thought that was a case of someone including the series information in the title field

Yeah, it's the title.

169richardderus
Oct 23, 3:28pm Top

Being dragged into the future is fine. Please may I humbly beg to have "Talk" unburied?

170casaloma
Edited: Oct 23, 3:33pm Top

Thanks >5 conceptDawg:

The newly designed top nav and fonts look great! Look forward to the final reveal.

>142 jlshall: Agree. The addition of more RED to the color scheme is unfortunate.

>86 southernbooklady:
These colors are more sophisticated and much easier on the eyes.

171PawsforThought
Oct 23, 3:47pm Top

>165 conceptDawg: I'm really looking forward to a re-design (even a small one) of the Home page because I don't think it looks particularly good as it is now. Too messy (even though I've removed about half the modules).
Also, please revamp the profile pages! It'd be good if we could choose for ourselves what bits of data are shown and in what order. For me, the "Media" section is useless because I only catalogue paper books (even if I listened to it on audio I'll catalogue as paper). And I only use tags to signify series and series number so all my tags are singles - also useless info on the profile. I would prefer if "Currently reading" (preferably with cover pics) and "Favourite authors" were located higher up on the page.

172bhagerty
Oct 23, 3:59pm Top

I think the redesign generally looks very good. My only concern is with the search functionality. It's a concern I have with the existing app as well.

Basically, when I am searching, I usually want to search *just my catalog,* not the universe of books. So the default search box is not what I want. I would just ask that you think about making it more obvious and easier for me to search my own catalog rather than the whole site.

Keep up the good work!

173wd40sw
Oct 23, 4:39pm Top

Where one of my potential concerns is going to lye is, in the Your Books section.

Display Styles: I have entered a great deal of information that is extremely useful to me, but isn't exactly as the field was intended. Am I still going to have an easy way to access that and to enter that information.

174gabriel
Oct 23, 4:56pm Top

There's too much said above to review, so I'll just add my two cents:

1) I think the new structure looks good. I'd echo that the font on the new tabs looks a little too big on my laptop.
2) I think the redesign should include overhauling the colour scheme. I've been a member since year one, and the colour scheme has always been mediocre (sorry Tim!). In terms of making the site more welcoming, finding an alternative to shades-of-brown should be a top priority.
3) I'd consider changing up the fonts on the tabs as well - and consider making the top tabs all small caps.
4) The account menu icon is extremely boring and 2005-esque. I'm not a designer, but is there an alternative?
5) This may not be relevant here, but I'd be more inclined to add books to my wishlist if they didn't end up in my top-level library. They aren't books I own, and they aren't in my library - when I open my library or books tab, I don't want my wishlist counted or displayed within my books.

Thanks and good luck with the final result!

175the_red_shoes
Oct 23, 4:59pm Top

>38 lilithcat:

"LibraryThing MUST work well on mobile, tablet, AND desktop devices.

I know that.

But I don't want to see happen to this site what I've seen happen on other sites, and that is to make the experience of the mobile user better at the expense of the computer user.

I've never understood why sites can't improve the experience for all users."

Yes, exactly.

I almost never use LibraryThing on my phone. I really don't like the way the internet in general is now supposed to be for cell phone users only. This is very disappointing.

If you really want to get into why LibraryThing doesn't have a lot of new users, I agree with other comments that a lot of people aren't interested in cataloguing books, but in tracking their reading, making comments on other reviews and posts, uploading giant photographs, and having like/share buttons. That's already all on Litsy. I don't see why it has to be on LibraryThing. It sounds like you're trying to make LibraryThing into Goodreads, and 1) there's already a Goodreads and 2) there's a reason I don't use that site anymore.

176PawsforThought
Oct 23, 5:19pm Top

>174 gabriel: consider making the top tabs all small caps.

No, please no. Don't ever do this. I don't want to be constantly screamed at while I'm on LT.

177timspalding
Oct 23, 6:04pm Top

conceptdawg and the rest of us negotiated a bit on the colors. Some new versions will be along soon.

No, please no. Don't ever do this. I don't want to be constantly screamed at while I'm on LT.

ARE YOU SURE?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

* Menu bar always taking up two rows: this is the biggest one for me. The point raised in >21 r.orrison: r.orrison: re: the menu bars is the first thing that jumped out at me as well. The new menu bar sucks up an extra row of space unnecessarily in cases.

I think this is going to be needed, unfortunately.

>157 lorax:

Series don't have more prominence. People are seeing the series as part of the title, because that particular book has the series in the title. Otherwise it's below it, as it is now.

Please don't forget to look at the tab-titles in other languages, to be sure they are large enough.
The tabs in English are much more compact than they are in Dutch or German.


I think there'll be space. If they are too long, we will change the "breakpoints" for when it switches to the tablet or mobile to be slightly sooner on particular languages.

Being dragged into the future is fine. Please may I humbly beg to have "Talk" unburied?

When you click on "Community" you will be thrown into Talk. That is, there will be no top-level community page. Groups will be another subnav option within Community.

Display Styles: I have entered a great deal of information that is extremely useful to me, but isn't exactly as the field was intended. Am I still going to have an easy way to access that and to enter that information.

This is very off-topic, but what do you mean? The styles will still be available, so I think don't worry.

178richardderus
Oct 23, 6:06pm Top

>177 timspalding: OIC

Thanks for the reassurance.

179the_red_shoes
Oct 23, 6:13pm Top

I've now read through the entire thead trying to figure out what feedback is welcome -- I find the sample page really confusing. Here, FWIW, are some thoughts not about content and giant fonts (sorry for the length!).

I wish you'd included a sample of the Home page, or the Add Book page, or the profile page -- really anything other than just a random work page, with a really ugly distracting cover to boot. That would have given me a much better idea of what kind of impact the redesign might have on how I use the site. 90% of what I do here is catalogue my library, and I want that to be as accurate a record as possible and for the information to stay stable -- no sudden changes that I'm not informed of. So I'm a bit taken aback by "The goal is to completely revamp the Add Books process" so they are "much more akin to what somebody THINKS they should do" (who? and what are their reasons?). "Add Book" is simple enough for me: I choose between various databases with "Search where?," the book pops up 99% of the time, I add it and can also quickly and easily add some tags, and then typically I click "Edit book" to make sure fields like author, translator, illustrator, original language, &c &c are how I want them, and to choose a non-Amazon cover (since Amazon covers are changed without notice). "Obviously, seasoned LT users have been brainwashed into accepting that they are going to be sent on an arcane book search scavenger hunt when they click those buttons" is not how I experience the site, and the defensive, overly jokey tone is very off-putting. (I'm struggling not to say "insulting." I know a lot of it was probably meant as a joke. But, it felt insulting.)

The new design reduces everything to four tabs—home, library, explore and community. This is followed by a search box and a single account button, which is also a drop-down. What we lose in instant access to eight different things, we gain in simplicity and the ability to work on tablet and mobile, where there isn't acres of horizontal page.

I never use LT on my phone, and I don't have a tablet (I realize that apparently makes my feedback worthless right there?). In terms of how I use LT specifically, I mostly work from the Your books page or the Add Books page, not individual works. The tabs I personally use most in the current design are Home, Your books, Add books, and to a much lesser extent, Talk. On the Your Books page I like having the site-wide search and the my-library search boxes easily accessible, at the same time. It looks like that's lost in the redesign with just a "Search" box. The drop-down menu on the right-hand side with Profile, Messages, &c., looks fine, but it's not something I would regularly use. On the left-hand side, with the old design, the top links are what I typically use most: "Edit your book" and "Change cover." In the new design, I don't see those two links; are they going to be under "Work details"? I don't use "Reviews," "Recommendations," "Members," "Descriptions," and so on, so to me that's just so much wasted space. Same thing with the new "Add to wishlist," "Review this book" and "Rate this book" buttons on the right hand side. (I don't use the QuickLinks that are currently there, either, so it's not a loss of space or functionality, but I find it troubling in terms of how much LT apparently wants to emulate Goodreads, with an emphasis on reviewing, rating, and reading other peoples' social/status updates about the books, rather than the books themselves.) In the redesign you've got "Add" as a button on the topnav menu, and "+ Add To Your Library" on the right-hand side as well.

I think last time there was a big redesign post (about the book description field? which baffled me at first, but now I see why you want to highlight it in the new design), there was a conversation about people who use LibraryThing to catalogue or talk about the books they already have, who seem to be a majority of the old users; and people who search for books via the internet, wind up on LibraryThing and are apparently completely baffled by just the very idea of a site that is not about social networking first and foremost. I am hearing a lot of concern about LibraryThing not showing up in Google searches, or people not clicking on links for the site when it does, which is understandable in the current environment of ads and clicks and length of page/site views. Redesigning and reworking the social features of LibraryThing would be one thing -- the Talk bulletin board system is clunky, there's no way to get email updates when someone has replied to your post, you have to stay on the site and keep checking the updates to see who's interacted with you, and so on. All that can be really antiquated and off-putting even to veteran users. But that's not what's getting addressed in the redesign -- it's all about, as far as I can see, searching for "XYZ Book" on Google, having a LT page pop up along with other results for Amazon and Goodreads and publisher and reviews, and having the experience tailored to new users or non-members who click on that link and land on the site without knowing much more about it. For a new user or non-member, the LT book page is apparently going to be "welcoming" insofar as it looks like a Goodreads book page -- with the emphasis on reviewing, ranking, rating, exploring social connections, and so on. I don't use LibraryThing to see what other people are reading or cataloguing, necessarily. I use it to keep track of my library and to have a stable set of data that I can explore in different ways. Goodreads doesn't have that, and that's what I value about LibraryThing and why I continue to use and support the site. Understandably, the site does need new members. But it does feel like you want them at the expense of the old ones.

180EMS_24
Edited: Oct 23, 7:52pm Top

You've done this inevitable job well and well thought!
As a tenner i am used to the old design, but LT2 is better for now and the future.

Personally i will miss the little Yellow bulb for received messages in LT2, I like red too, but in this case i prefer the warm yellow manifest/striking and contrasting spot.

181Damsarah
Oct 23, 6:31pm Top

Really like the redesign. Current design is just way too cluttered for those of us who are not superusers or content experts. Integrating mobile users is imperative in this day and age. I will be inclined to use LT more often if it's easier to use on my tablet (I'm over 50, btw). Right now I'm only using it on my desktop and I'd love for LT to be easy and intuitive enough for me to add books to my library with just a few clicks after I finish reading something on my tablet. The only concern I have is including a large book cover graphic on phone devices. It just takes up too much real estate and prevents you from easily accessing the action-oriented tabs/links. I would even advocate for doing away altogether with book cover graphics on phone devices.

I know from professional experience how hard it is to implement major changes to information systems; I also know how necessary those changes can be, so thank you for your hard work and good luck as you move through this process.

182karenmarie
Oct 23, 6:32pm Top

As long as the same functionality is available, I'm content.

I love LT and although I don't love change, I certainly wouldn't abandon it because of an extra click or two. I use LT on my computer for everything except checking to see if I already have a book when at a book store, thrift shop, or Friends of the Library book sale.

Once you've pretty much finalized things, I'd love to see a cross-reference somewhere with the function on the left and the new steps to get there on the right so that I'll know how to find things easily right away and not get upset and feel out of control.

183rmjenkins
Oct 23, 6:40pm Top

To >168 timspalding:

* The search bar seems less like an afterthought (I hope it searches my library AND the global catalog now)

What would that REALLY mean, though? As it is, the search page has a prominent top link to do the search within your library. But it can't really do both at the same time, because the contexts are so different.

Right now I see results for the bibliographic records contained in the LT database, but not the items in my collection that match it. I know there's a big link on top of the side bar to re-search my collection, but would it be that much more difficult to do both and present the results separately on the page? Something like how UCR Library (https://library.ucr.edu/onesearch/LibraryThing) does federated search, but without the hugely slow search time.

I'm just hoping to avoid the confusion I've found on some library websites where the Search bar on the home page doesn't search the catalog, it only searches the website, such as Huntington Beach's library webpage (https://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/departments/library/). Sure, they're different contexts, but if you can do both and present the results separately, why not do so?

184krazy4katz
Oct 23, 7:05pm Top

>174 gabriel:: #5 hear hear! there there!

185katiekrug
Oct 23, 7:15pm Top

The re-design is fine. Change is fine (and inevitable). Amid all the gnashing of teeth here, I'd just like to thank the LT crew for working so hard and doing their best to satisfy everyone - which is impossible. And for asking for input, which they certainly didn't have to do. I love LT - I learned my way around when I first came here, and I'll learn my way around again, though it sounds like nothing too drastic is happening.

Deep breaths, everyone!

186conceptDawg
Edited: Oct 23, 7:29pm Top

We've done another set of refinements, changes, what have you.

We've toned down the red a bit, fonts are smaller overall, subnav is a slightly different color, and you'll notice that all content text is now set in a serif font while headings, buttons, and nav-type text is still set in san-serif. And Community now gets an afternoon tea.


You can click to load the full size image.

So work continues.

187andyl
Oct 23, 7:32pm Top

>186 conceptDawg: Community now gets an afternoon tea.

Although the icon perpetuates the US habit of leaving the tea-bag in the cup and not removing it once it has brewed.

On a more serious point, on the left hand side nav, the CK link spreads to two lines. I don't really like that.

188krazy4katz
Oct 23, 7:35pm Top

Afternoon tea is a nice touch. Agree with others that it would be nice if the stars were in color — don't know if green is still appropriate in the context of the other colors. Perhaps colors for the other icons on the same line.

A question about the list of "Add To"s on the right: Does the last one allow you to select specific collections or does it do something else? If not, how is it different than the "Add to Your Library"?

189flying_monkeys
Oct 23, 7:46pm Top

>165 conceptDawg: We might change the layout slightly on work pages, but it's going to be VERY slight.

Is there any talk of including the Media field on the "Book details" page? For example, when browsing bookshops, I check my catalog to see if I already have a hardcover or paperback (or which is on my Wishlist), but I have to go into Edit the book in order to see what I set in the Media field.

>185 katiekrug: +1 :-)

190lorax
Oct 23, 7:51pm Top

timspalding (#177):

It would really, really be nice if you *didn't change* the stuff that we weren't supposed to be commenting on, rather than making us guess "Is this a real change, or just something that's randomly different for no reason"? It was the *same book*, there was no reason to assume we'd be looking at a book title in one case and a work title in the other.

191lilithcat
Oct 23, 7:58pm Top

all content text is now set in a serif font while headings, buttons, and nav-type text is still set in san-serif.

As long as it's not Comic Sans.

Community now gets an afternoon tea.

A teabag?!?

(Said in the same tone as: https://youtu.be/oVQIB-QuooU)

192amanda4242
Oct 23, 8:22pm Top

>186 conceptDawg: I could get used to that. And I like the teacup even though I'm not a tea drinker.

193the_red_shoes
Edited: Oct 23, 8:42pm Top

>186 conceptDawg: There are still three badly differentiated "Add" buttons in that design. One at the top, two on the right.

Do people really use the "Add to Wishlist" function at all?

194lorax
Oct 23, 8:47pm Top

the_red_shoes (#193):

Do people really use the "Add to Wishlist" function at all?

I do. I don't use "Add to Library", because it doesn't suit my workflow, but I'll frequently see a book on LT, think "That looks interesting", and add it to my wishlist, especially because for wishlisted books I don't have a particular edition in mind.

195dara85
Oct 23, 8:57pm Top

I tried sorting my library by the number of members having each book. I sorted the books and that worked fine, but it used to show the numbers. I tried to add the feature to one of the choices used for viewing the library. I could not find it. Am I missing something?

196thewordygecko
Oct 23, 8:59pm Top

I agree with your comment on tracking reading. I'd really like something different, more substantial, than what is there at present. What I mean by 'substantial' is somewhere you can list the books that you are reading and have read, not just with tags. I am interested in cataloguing my books, definitely, and that is the main reason I signed up all those years ago. I like the new design on first look, but would like to be able to try it out, I guess. Thanks, LT team, for doing this work!

197rosalita
Oct 23, 9:01pm Top

>193 the_red_shoes: Right now, neither "Add to Library" nor "Add to Wishlist" work the way most users expect them to (placing a copy in your catalog of the work whose page you are on) so I expect very few people use it now. That doesn't mean that a great many people wouldn't use it if it, you know, actually worked the way they expect it to or something similar. And if the "Add To ..." button means that you will be able to add a book straight to a specific collection in your catalog, that seems like an extremely useful button, indeed.

198Crypto-Willobie
Oct 23, 9:52pm Top

>186 conceptDawg: >197 rosalita:

I think one of the main problems with the +Add To buttons is they they perform an insufficiently specific search. They search just the title (don't they?) which yields a wild variety of (often irrelevant) hit choices.

But if they searched 'Title, Author' (or Author's surname) you'd get a much more useful return. Not perfect, but much better.

199Crypto-Willobie
Oct 23, 9:56pm Top

>168 timspalding: >172 bhagerty: >183 rmjenkins:

I think you have to have both Site Search and Catalogue Search at the top of each page (so I guess that's in the top nav). Both of these are vital, and as has been pointed out, cannot be combined into one search. We shouldn't have to click elsewhere to find either one of these.

200libraryperilous
Oct 23, 10:03pm Top

I like the redesign!

Thank you for your hard work and your transparency.

Please may I have a bounding main color scheme for LT Pirate's navigation bar? Perhaps some cool blues and warm blue greens?

I kid—mostly.

Community now gets an afternoon tea

But I only drink Diet Coke! Where's my icon for that? :)

>171 PawsforThought: I, too, would like a more personalized profile page. I think Tim has mentioned in the past that it's not really on his agenda. Re: hiding media information from your profile page, you can do that in the account settings. From your profile page, go to 'Edit profile and account,' click on 'Media settings,' and then click the 'Hide' radio button under 'Show on profile.' (Apologies if anyone else on the thread already has mentioned this. I only skimmed most of the comments.)

201reconditereader
Oct 23, 10:18pm Top

>186 conceptDawg: I still think the "explore" tab doesn't make any sense (exploring *what*?), but I appreciate your work on this.

202jjwilson61
Edited: Oct 23, 10:32pm Top

201: Explore books, I imagine. Various ways of browsing and perhaps analyzing book data.

(I can't find the angle brackets on my phone keyboard)

203aspirit
Oct 23, 11:11pm Top

>186 conceptDawg: A teacup for the Community icon makes more sense than chat bubbles now that I've seen the change.

I don't think I would've known that was a teacup, though. The tea bag creates an unusual silhouette.

>179 the_red_shoes: I've just now performed a book-adding scavenger hunt that took about an hour and a half to enter 30 books. I still need to go through most of this batch to check edition details and choose/upload covers. Adding a book when the results are only 60% likely to include that edition is a pain. I mean, my arm actually hurts from the clicking around.

However LT staff can make ther Add process easier without sacrificing dara accuracy, I'll support, even if that's simply putting the manual link (which I should use more often, to save time) in a quick add button.

204conceptDawg
Oct 23, 11:27pm Top

We are, in fact, planning on a complete rework of the entire Add Books process. We're still early in the stages of development on that so I can't really comment on it. Not because I can't, but because we don't really know all the answers yet. But the buttons in this design reflect some of our goals at this point.

As you could tell in my comment at the top of this page I am painfully aware of how bad the Add Books process is.

And I can't claim any authorship for the icons we are using. They are all from the wonderful FontAwesome collection. I may do a few custom icons when we get to that point but for now we're using FA for all of our current development.

205timspalding
Oct 23, 11:31pm Top

I never use LT on my phone, and I don't have a tablet (I realize that apparently makes my feedback worthless right there?).

Obviously not. We want to make sure LibraryThing is usable on more devices. Computer use is and will remain central.

On the Your Books page I like having the site-wide search and the my-library search boxes easily accessible, at the same time. It looks like that's lost in the redesign with just a "Search" box.

The search box for your catalog only is only available within your catalog. That's true now and will be true in the future. And if you are in someone else's catalog, the second, lower search box is for their catalog.

On the left-hand side, with the old design, the top links are what I typically use most: "Edit your book" and "Change cover." In the new design, I don't see those two links; are they going to be under "Work details"?

It's a work page, not a book page. I understand that this was confusing, because the original was a book page.

Understandably, the site does need new members. But it does feel like you want them at the expense of the old ones.

We agree.

What would that REALLY mean, though? As it is, the search page has a prominent top link to do the search within your library. But it can't really do both at the same time, because the contexts are so different.

Right. And what if you were in someone else's catalog?

206timspalding
Oct 23, 11:38pm Top

Afternoon tea is a nice touch. Agree with others that it would be nice if the stars were in color — don't know if green is still appropriate in the context of the other colors. Perhaps colors for the other icons on the same line.

Worth consideration, for sure.

Is there any talk of including the Media field on the "Book details" page? For example, when browsing bookshops, I check my catalog to see if I already have a hardcover or paperback (or which is on my Wishlist), but I have to go into Edit the book in order to see what I set in the Media field.

I haven't rethought the book-detail box, but this is a good thing to note now.

It would really, really be nice if you *didn't change* the stuff that we weren't supposed to be commenting on, rather than making us guess "Is this a real change, or just something that's randomly different for no reason"? It was the *same book*, there was no reason to assume we'd be looking at a book title in one case and a work title in the other.

Design is hard. People are fallible.

And I like the teacup even though I'm not a tea drinker

This was my move. I felt that the two conversation bubbles was a little too… corporate, I guess? We didn't have any note of whimsy or zigging where others zag. No Zeitgeist, for example. So, that.

Please may I have a bounding main color scheme for LT Pirate's navigation bar? Perhaps some cool blues and warm blue greens?

We'll have some fun from time to time, for sure.

I still think the "explore" tab doesn't make any sense (exploring *what*?), but I appreciate your work on this.

Got ideas for something different? We are giving a home to a few things. Zeitgeist and all the other Zeitgeist-y pages, like Popularity. Helpers. Common Knowledge. Lists. Recommendations. What do you call that?

207conceptDawg
Oct 23, 11:46pm Top

BTW, we're doing all of these various projects: complete site redesign, new catalog code and UI, new Add Books, etc. with just two developers (Tim and I, while Chris Catalfo is busy holding down the fort on the Library side of things and isn't available for much on LT.com). And one of those two developers is also busy running a company.

I just looked and we have nearly 20,000 code files for LT with over 2 million lines of php code and over 50,000 lines of javascript.

This is just to tell you that it's not a weekend project, but we'll get things done as quickly as we can. Stick with us. :)

208conceptDawg
Edited: Oct 23, 11:51pm Top

Understandably, the site does need new members. But it does feel like you want them at the expense of the old ones.
TS: We agree.

This is not a binary proposition. We want new members AND old ones. But the site certainly can't stagnate for another DECADE and expect to live. I mean I'll probably be dead by then, so that's at least one old user down. heh

209conceptDawg
Edited: Oct 23, 11:58pm Top

TL;DR: That's my desktop background showing on the left edge of the image I posted above. Ignore that.



So Tim just messaged me to edit the screenshot above so that it doesn't show a sliver of the background on the left edge.

This is me telling everybody here that you are going to see some quickly captured screenshots from time to time. Some of them may not be perfectly cropped. Some may even have errors showing (egads!). That's the price you pay for constant coverage of a process that is usually done without user interaction or input.

But I feel that our members are smart enough to deal with those sorts of things, right? Don't let me down. :) heh

210reconditereader
Oct 24, 12:11am Top

>206 timspalding: "Explore" seems to me like a very shallow look at lots of things; that's where I got the idea that there would be dumb tutorials on it. Like a skimming of the surface or taking a survey. The features you mention are more of a "deep dive" (and it sounds like there are too many of them to sensibly fit in one tab with the new design!). Maybe noodle on the idea of "deeper" or further rather than "broader"?

211reconditereader
Oct 24, 12:13am Top

Lists, recommendations, popularity are "Discovery" while helpers and common knowledge are more like "Tools".

212conceptDawg
Oct 24, 12:14am Top

>211 reconditereader: I like Discovery.

213timspalding
Oct 24, 12:19am Top

How about "Discover"?

It's hard for me to talk about these particular terms, because "Discovery" has a specific meaning in data and library circles, and the connotations there are ugly for me. But this is my weird situation, not a general statement.

214reconditereader
Edited: Oct 24, 12:34am Top

>213 timspalding: I was literally thinking of discovery in terms of how I've heard booksellers and librarians talk about it. Like this: http://authornews.penguinrandomhouse.com/trends-in-book-discovery-infographic/

215jjmcgaffey
Oct 24, 2:30am Top

I use LT as my cataloging site (there's no competitors for that!) and also as my primary social site (place to keep up with my (online) friends, tell what I'm doing (reading, but also general life), and have interesting conversations).

I'm over 50, but spend most of my online time on my phone. I don't spend much time on LT on my phone, though, because it's unreadable and unclickable (too blurry small!). This redesign looks fantastic for that. I suspect I will still do 90+% of my book adding and editing on the computer (because, actual keyboard), but for reading and quick posts a functional mobile site will be wonderful.

>49 conceptDawg: Oh yes _please_ (no search field focus). I'd rather not have it focus in there on the computer, either - I have my browsers set to Find on page, so I start typing to look for something specifically on the page I'm looking at...and five or six characters in realize it's typing in the stupid search box. I can click (or tap) on the search box when I want to search for something, thanks!

Re: search - I would like a single box that can be switched from catalog to site (radio button, preferably) rather than the two visually-identical fields we have now. And possibly a setting (in Account, probably) for which one you want it to default to? I'd choose catalog, too; I search the site probably bi-weekly and my catalog multiple times daily.

Subnav - this may be a problem on touch devices (unless I'm missing something). If tapping on Library takes me to Your Books, then that page (a list of 100 books, in my catalog) has to load before I can go to Add or whatever. There's no way to hover and bring up a subnav on a touch device (and if I understand correctly, it won't come up on hover anyway). Could be very annoying, especially on a slow network.

I agree with the complaint that the L doesn't match the color of the tabs...though having it exactly match would be just as much a problem (the subtle gradient on the L in the last screenshot is nice, though). I don't inherently object to the red, but if I were doing it I'd go gold/tan rather than red for the tabs. And yes, green stars please! Black just doesn't stand out (they should be more contrasty but they fade into the background for me).

Explore works for me - it has at least as much meaning as "More". Discover is OK (I prefer Discover to Discovery). Nothing better springs to mind - but since part of the redesign is making things less page-by-page, if we (LT collective intelligence we) come up with something wonderful at the last minute, it should be pretty easy to put it in. Maybe some other language has the perfect word and we just need to figure out how to translate it to English.

Looking forward to a) Add To buttons that actually do that (and the Add To... sounds like a great idea!) and b) a redo of Add Books. I use it, it's very useful - but it does have a lot of arcane tricks necessary to make it actually work (must enter tags _before_ you search, they don't work between search and add. Title, author will find things that title alone won't - but title author usually doesn't find anything. Etc.)

I refuse to weigh in (again) on My/Your Library/Books. Don't care, I'll use it whatever its name is.

216PawsforThought
Oct 24, 2:36am Top

Firstly I'd like to chime in with the people who've expressed their appreciation that LT is doing this change AND letting us be part of the conversation. It's not common for websites to do that and it feels great that LT does. That's how you know a websites (and it's developers) really care.

Secondly, i think the updated version is good - looks much better with the changed text size and I always prefer serif text in text masses. But I still can't stand the colours. I will never think that shade of brown (I only found out on this thread that it's supposed to look like a leather bound book; I just see a reddish brown that I'm not keen on), and the salmon-ish shade is still sickly. That's just my taste and I understand that you can't cater to my personal preferences.
I love the change to teacup icon for Community, though I agree that it'd look even better sans teabag.

Regarding "Explore", I think "Explore" is perfectly clear (exploring what LT has to offer and the fun things you can do here is my interpretation), and makes more sense than "Discover".

>20 conceptDawg: Thanks for pointing out that you can hide the media settings. I've done that now. Doesn't really change the fact that the profile pages are a mess and I don't see the point for about half the sections on the profile.

217birder4106
Oct 24, 3:06am Top

About colors in general.

What about the possibility of having "themes" in LT like other websites do?
LT itself defines a main scheme. People can define other schemes themselves and give other members of LT the opportunity to make the choice that best suits them.

Not yet, but maybe in two weeks?

218birder4106
Oct 24, 3:49am Top

>217 birder4106:

I notice my mistake!

This will not be possible in websites.
The examples that I had in mind, e.g. Calibre, are programs running on the computer.

It is a pity that this possibility does not exist.

219andyl
Oct 24, 5:39am Top

>218 birder4106:

Well ability to apply different colour schemes could be written. It isn't technically impossible. However it is quite a bit of work for little reward.

220chibitika
Edited: Oct 24, 5:48am Top

I understand the need for a design update. You did such a great job on LT1 that I absolutely know LT2 will be good as long as one thing is kept - access to all catalog information is still easy and all info is still available. I don’t know how that can possibly happen on a phone without severely limiting the info that can be seen. I will never use my phone for browsing my library, only for checking if I have a book before I buy, and for quickly adding books via the app and bar codes.
The design samples look very good. With a little effort, old users can certainly learn how to find what we need.

221Sace
Oct 24, 5:55am Top

I have not read most of this discussion.

I like the new design. I like that the mobile user is getting a better experience.

I've been coming and going from LT for many years and what always brings me back is the functionality. When I add a book it's there and stays there and where I want it. That isn't always the case with GR. LT is not about selling books and it's not about hashtags, trending topics and self-promoting authors and book bloggers. That is what I love. Even with the redesign and new users I don't think that will change. The more readers and cataloging users the better, I say.

222graciax452
Oct 24, 7:32am Top

Wow design by mass consultation, hats off to you!!! I like the new design, clean and open. Where would popularity and mentions end up? Under stats? Hopefully not gone...

223AmberTew
Oct 24, 7:38am Top

I pretty much use my mobile for Librarything. I’m loving the new version! Thumbs up for me! 👍🏻

224casvelyn
Edited: Oct 24, 10:48am Top

>186 conceptDawg: *whines* but I make loose leaf tea in a teapot like a civilized person!

Just kidding. The teacup is just the right amount of whimsy, and tea just feels welcoming in general. I really like this iteration! I think you've nailed it.

225SusanTahiti
Oct 24, 8:52am Top

My husband and I picked LibraryThing to catalog our libraries because it focuses on book owners, not just readers. It isn't called ReaderThing. There are plenty of social media type reader sites out there. You have a unique feature in being about libraries, not just reading.
Secondly, we both use only our LibraryThing ipad apps, not computers. A phone is too small, but ipads are perfect. Yes, formatting has been a bit screwy but just want you to know the importance of ipad use.
Third, function and content is number one, don't get caught up in the latest design trends at the expense of that. Looking cool is not the highest priority.
Fourth, you can't be all things to all people. Choose a lane and stay in it. You have been about actual libraries. We hope you will continue that focus.
Fifth, we love LibraryThing and all of you who created it and work so hard on it.

226jillrhudy
Edited: Oct 24, 9:57am Top

I go to the full site on my phone for two reasons:

1. To get the link to my book review to show up in the browser so that I can copy and paste it from Safari into NetGalley and Litsy.
2. To input the date I finished a book (LibraryThing is primarily my reading journal of what I read when).

If I can do these things without squinting I am all for the redesign.

227conceptDawg
Oct 24, 10:01am Top

>221 Sace: Exactly. Well said. We aren't changing anything about the way we think of books and the book world. Just freshening up things, looking forward to the next few years, and sweeping out the cob webs and dust.

It's going to be the same ole LT.

228foggidawn
Oct 24, 10:17am Top

>186 conceptDawg: I like it. I'm so pleased that the site will be more mobile-friendly soon -- I'd say my use of LT is about 60/40 desktop/phone, so a better mobile interface will be terrific. Thanks for your hard work, and for caring so much about your existing users. I always say, LT is my favorite place on the Internet!

229the_red_shoes
Oct 24, 10:26am Top

>227 conceptDawg: Honest question: How will it be "the same ole LT" if you're "in fact, planning on a complete rework of the entire Add Books process"?

You keep saying it's going to remain a cataloguing site, but it looks like most of the revamp is going to be about making it more of a social network site. If I'm wrong about this I would love to hear it.

230jillrhudy
Oct 24, 10:36am Top

This will be unwelcome news for some desktop-computer-only users but I'm going to post it anyway.

If this remains an arcane, inscrutable, personal cataloging site where bookish people chew the fat in forums, that looks like it came along with Avril Lavigne, it will die.

For social media sharing using the #bookstagram tag on Instagram, or on Litsy, or Twitter, or Facebook, mobile-only users are looking for visual content to grab a screenshot of, in order to share book info in seconds while losing little or no resolution. This includes me, and I'm 51.

You can't have cover images and fonts too big for these users on a phone even if it's ginormous on a large computer screen. A nice large image of a cover without Amazon or Google information plastered on top can be hard to find. If the social media book crowd could grab a bright large cover and author and series information all in one snip they would be attracted to LibraryThing and might even join or contribute. I'm a lifetime member, and I avoid the site as much as I can. I'm only here now because I needed a link to my book review.

231strangel00p
Oct 24, 10:43am Top

Two things I’d love to see that both relate to My Book:
1. When editing the detail of my book, make the Save button more prominent and/or don’t allow the user to navigate before confirming save or discard changes.
2. Allow a configuration option so that the fields each user wants show up in the summary. For instance, I store “Signed by author” in info in the Item Comments/Comments and would love that to be more visible. Currently the only way I know to find it is to go to Edit.

232waltzmn
Oct 24, 10:53am Top

jillrhudy wrote:

> This will be unwelcome news for some desktop-computer-only users but I'm going to post it anyway.

> If this remains an arcane, inscrutable, personal cataloging site where bookish people chew the fat in forums, that looks like it came along with Avril Lavigne, it will die.

"Die" is probably too strong. A site can be viable without being popular. :-) Say rather that "it will become specialized." Obviously that means a lesser funding stream.

But there is a flip side. Were LT to become primarily a social site, a certain class of user will leave. (I'm one of them.) I rarely chat about my books -- because so much of my library is so specialized that there isn't anyone to chat about it with. :-) I use LT as a catalog ("did I buy that book in my mis-spent youth?") and to track things via Common Knowledge.

There is a danger in trying to be popular, in that everybody else is trying to be popular, too, and somebody else is likely to be better at it. :-) Whereas if one tries to be niche, there isn't nearly as much competition.

The trick for LT is to try to become more popular but not lose its niche. If it has to choose between the two (I don't think it does, but if it has to choose), going "pop" is probably a shorter road to failure than is going "niche."

I think this argues that the most important thing LT can do is clean up the quirks and defects -- e.g. that "Add to your books" button that has gotten so much (deserved :-) scorn. It really would be nice if there were better tools for dealing with editions of classics, too, which probably depends in part on an easier-to-manage interface.

Want a social media thing? How about a system for rating quality of contributions (reviews, common knowledge, helpers), and highlight a Contributor of the Day based on the ones contributing the best stuff?

233TheHappylittlelady
Oct 24, 11:00am Top

I think 186 looks great and will be perfect for my phone screen. I am excited for the roll out!

234alektzin
Oct 24, 11:12am Top

I can't say if I like it or not without trying it first, but I don't think I need any changes to the interface.
If you really must change the interface for the sake of "progress", give me the option to use the old interface if I want to.

235timspalding
Oct 24, 11:24am Top

It is a pity that this possibility does not exist.

Themes are doable, but they multiple the effort. We *may* do a single theme--a "dark" mode. We did that on Litsy.com. But Litsy is a much simpler website.

I don’t know how that can possibly happen on a phone without severely limiting the info that can be seen.

Well, indeed. The trick is to show as much as you can, and as much as useful. This is a hard problem.

Wow design by mass consultation, hats off to you!!!

Thanks. If conceptdawg cracks, you'll know why.

Choose a lane and stay in it. You have been about actual libraries. We hope you will continue that focus.

We are not changing focus. I don't think these things are mutually exclusive, but we do indeed--and will indeed--err on the site of cataloging.

Honest question: How will it be "the same ole LT" if you're "in fact, planning on a complete rework of the entire Add Books process"?

The sort of rework we want is to (1) Make it possible to use the add-book buttons on work pages better, (2) to make it possible to add someone's exact manual book, and (3) Make it possible to use the search functionality to search more than one source, in succession.

You keep saying it's going to remain a cataloguing site, but it looks like most of the revamp is going to be about making it more of a social network site. If I'm wrong about this I would love to hear it.

I'm sorry, I don't see this in the design.

Before we had eight tabs, two of which were directly about your library--your books, and add books. Now we will have four tabs, one of which was directly about your library alone. Others have complained about the loss of the groups button. I don't see any focus change here.

Avril Lavigne

What's wrong with Avril Lavigne?

2. Allow a configuration option so that the fields each user wants show up in the summary. For instance, I store “Signed by author” in info in the Item Comments/Comments and would love that to be more visible. Currently the only way I know to find it is to go to Edit.

By summary you mean the book-detail info on the work page, or what?

But there is a flip side. Were LT to become primarily a social site, a certain class of user will leave. (I'm one of them.)

LibraryThing is not changing its focus. Users come to the site for a variety of reasons--all the way from pure social to pure cataloging. There is generally a "ladder" of engagement, from one to the other. We are looking to do social better. And we are looking to do cataloging better. They are not mutually exclusive.

If you really must change the interface for the sake of "progress", give me the option to use the old interface if I want to.

This will not be happening. Indeed, those few users who are on the six-year-old colors will be moving to the new interface too. Maintaining separate interfaces is not tenable. There's a reason you can't use Google the way it looked in 2004.

In making the redesign, we have avoided truly radical change. (I have had to sit on conceptdawg, as he will tell you.) The new design mostly just reorganizes--and makes LT work on devices of all sizes.

236casvelyn
Edited: Oct 24, 2:14pm Top

>230 jillrhudy: If this remains an arcane, inscrutable, personal cataloging site where bookish people chew the fat in forums, that looks like it came along with Avril Lavigne, it will die.

You're not wrong. I really mean that.

However, there are a group of users who are at the exact opposite end of the spectrum. I'm one of them. I rarely use any social media. I rarely use Talk here on LT. I'm here because I want the books I read and the books I own to be cataloged and presented like a "real library catalog." For me, my LT account exists solely to be a record of everything I've read in my entire life, with better data collation and presentation than a spreadsheet. Well, that and a place for me to play with alternative classification systems.

There's no one right answer in regards to user preferences, obviously, but the desktop computer people really aren't being sticks in the mud. We really do have reasons why we prefer what we prefer, because we are using LT for a completely different, very text-based-information-centric, purpose.

237davidgn
Oct 24, 11:30am Top

>235 timspalding: What's wrong with Avril Lavigne?
Tim was a sk8er boi...

238waltzmn
Oct 24, 11:46am Top

I wrote, and timspalding replied:

>> But there is a flip side. Were LT to become primarily a social site, a certain class of user will leave. (I'm one of them.)

> LibraryThing is not changing its focus. Users come to the site for a variety of reasons--all the way from pure social to pure cataloging. There is generally a "ladder" of engagement, from one to the other. We are looking to do social better. And we are looking to do cataloging better. They are not mutually exclusive.

Please note my original subjunctive. :-) I wasn't saying you were doing anything; I was simply making a point that there multiple audiences who need to be satisfied. A redesign by itself certainly isn't going to change that!

I would add another point, to those who are most social out there: LT probably has lower social media engagement than any other book cataloging site, precisely because it is a hardcore cataloging site. People who are intensive readers are less likely to be propagandized at, er, be lied to, er, spend their time on social media, because, well, they're reading. :-)

239Maddz
Oct 24, 11:46am Top

I'll weigh in on the cataloguing side of the commentary; to me LT has always been a place where I store a catalogue of my library for personal reference. Although I now live in a bigger house and have more space for books - they're no longer crammed in under the stairs - I still need to be careful about purchasing duplicates.
It's just not feasible to carry around a paper copy of my catalogue on the off chance I make a find in a charity shop or used bookshop, nor is it feasible to use Google Docs to store an electronic list - searching is too problematic.

The social side of the site is of less interest; although I'm now posting reviews (mostly for my own interest and as a way to flag whether it's worth reading more by that author), and I participate on the forums, it's not as absorbing to me as it seems to be for others. The only social media site I'm on is LinkedIn, and that's for professional reasons. I looked at FB and Twitter, but never bothered (in fact, I only created a Twitter account because another site I wanted to join wanted new users from Twitter and I deleted my account as soon as I'd joined the other site). In all honesty, the slower, more nuanced social experience here suits me better, rather than the tabloid frenzy that seems to be the norm elsewhere.

To sum up, de-cluttering and improving the cataloguing experience is great (although please don't make the colours too garish), especially if at the same time you can improve various interfaces like Add Books, and if you can also do a decent Export Your Catalogue (which doesn't break in Excel because of weird non-UTF-8 characters that can't be edited out prior to download) that's what's needed.

I rarely use LT on my phone - on an iPhone SE, it's a squint-fest (even with my short sightedness). I'd also like to see an off-line version of the mobile site - effectively just a searchable static version of your catalogue (like seabear's Android app).

240ulmannc
Edited: Oct 24, 11:55am Top

>186 conceptDawg: Could you put up an explicit list of what will live under "explore"? I'm still confused but what else is new.

>205 timspalding: Once you wade through >179 the_red_shoes: the discussion there about the limited functions used pretty much follows the way I use LT. I only use a subset of fields and ignore the rest on edit, for example. To be a bit basic, I take care of my library and ignore the rest.

To Tim or conceptDawg, thanks for answering my question about browser tags functionality not changing. . I figured that was probably the case but I just had to ask the obvious or I would never settle down!

241AnnieHidalgo
Oct 24, 11:49am Top

I'm with casvelyn - I don't really user this as social media, but as a catalog of the books I've read over the course of my life. For what it's worth, the two things that would devastate me if they went away are the recommendations, and the small randomized list of some books from my library, on the Profile page. I use that frequently to remind me of books I've enjoyed - both to look for similar books, and as a reminder of good books to revisit.

242sarcher
Oct 24, 11:58am Top

I use a number of browser based 'services' both professionally and personally, and have a generally negative reaction to redesigns. They seem often to be a way for a UX engineer to fill their time, and rarely represent a true improvement. Every redesign seems to result in more white space, bigger fonts, and disappearing features in the name of making things 'simpler' at the expense of functionality.

However, in this case, the LT redesign looks good and there seems to be a real continuing dedication to keeping 'power' users happy. This is one of the few redesigns I'm not terribly concerned about, given the responses so far in this thread by Tim and CD.

I think the biggest tension is going to be around hit boxes for links. I like a dense list, I have a cursor and can quickly select what I want to do after viewing all the options available. This runs into issues on mobile as people tend to fat finger tight link lists. The solution often is to add whitespace and drop everything into sub menu after sub menu to accommodate all the whitespace. This is a huge step backwards for the desktop user and I hope desktop users will be accommodated on this issue even if I'm not sure what the solution is.

243timspalding
Oct 24, 12:10pm Top

FWIW, I would urge members to comment on the design issues. This certainly touches on larger issues of branding and positioning of the site. But I'd rather not get sidetracked into a larger conversation about the largest issues. This is a design upgrade. It is not a basic change in direction or focus. We have our plates full!

244norabelle414
Oct 24, 12:26pm Top

>186 conceptDawg: Will the "library" and "your books" tabs be highlighted on book/work pages in the final version? I could see that being confusing.
Currently, on book/work pages none of the tabs are highlighted. If one of them *had* to be highlighted I would pick "Explore" instead of "Library", ESPECIALLY on work pages.

>235 timspalding: In making the redesign, we have avoided truly radical change. (I have had to sit on conceptdawg, as he will tell you.)
You should make two versions of the site - the Tim version and the conceptDawg version. (I'm on Team Chris!)

245conceptDawg
Oct 24, 12:57pm Top

>240 ulmannc: Could you put up an explicit list of what will live under "explore"?
Yep. As soon as we finalize it. No, seriously, while we have a list of things they aren't concrete yet. But very soon.
We aren't even sure it's going to be "Explore" at this point. "Discover" is trending in the "office."

>242 sarcher: This is a huge step backwards for the desktop user and I hope desktop users will be accommodated
Yep. I understand. And I'm making every effort to customize the look and feel of the site for each device size, leveraging the features—or lack thereof—of each. Different mediums deserve different treatments.

>244 norabelle414: Will the "library" and "your books" tabs be highlighted on book/work
Not 100% sure yet. We had talked about those tabs being highlighted if you were on one of your book pages. Other than that, they probably won't be hightlighted when looking at somebody else's book or the work. In that case, it will likely be the "Explore/Discover" tab that is highlighted.

Hey, we're making this up as we go along. (not really, but we ARE staying flexible)

246keristars
Oct 24, 12:57pm Top

>244 norabelle414: I barely use Ravelry these days, but something about your work/book page highlight and Explore vs Library made me think of how that site differentiates between all the shared data of patterns, textiles, and projects, versus your own copies/originals of same.

I believe that the Explore (or Discover?) being highlighted for Work pages to identify them as using shared data vs. Library being highlighted for Book pages would be a really nice UX boost for those who have trouble with the concept of book (individual) vs work (shared), which isn't currently very obvious.

Would there be a way to do that even when looking at someone else's Book page?

247elenchus
Oct 24, 1:00pm Top

Similar to >244 norabelle414:, the working of the subnav seems crucial to my understanding of the whole nav redesign.

I like what I see, but I wonder whether what I'm not seeing would change that favourable impression. Are you ready to share your tentative scheme for the subnav beneath each of the proposed topnav categories (Home, Library, Explore, Community)?

I like what I've seen so far, but that's only for Library > Your Books, with some comments (sans any pictures) of what might fit under the other Library subnav options on that row (Add, Recommendations, Statistics, More). Upon looking at the overall nav design, my immediate question is whether the various aspects of the current site would be slotted into appropriate (more-or-less intuitive) subnav areas. But for the moment, I don't know what you're thinking.

These are the sorts of questions that come to mind as I review >186 conceptDawg: and compare to the current nav design.
-- Where would Local go?
-- Would Early Reviewers and Member Giveaway have their own subnav tabs, or would they be part of a left nav list of links under a single subnav?
-- Would Explore have dedicated subnav tabs for Authors and Books and Series? Or would those be left nav links on a common subnav?
-- Would the left nav list of links always be visible when scrolling down a long page? (This page is an example: at post >244 norabelle414:, the various Talk links at top left are way at the top and effectively useless except by scrolling way up to see what the options are. Better if they were "pinned" and readily available no matter where on the page a user has scrolled.)

248JBD1
Oct 24, 1:01pm Top

>186 conceptDawg:
Re: the serif face for "content" - this was a big topic of discussion when we redid the RBS website a few years ago - some felt strongly that body text should be a serif face ... but then when we actually had the developers make it look that way, everyone agreed that it ended up looking really odd. I'd actually make the same argument for LT - I think the body font now is actually a very good, clear, readable font, and adding a serif face may not improve readability. Certainly in the image at #186, it feels very jarring to me to see that serif body text. So that might be worth hashing over again, particularly looking at some text-heavy pages or sections of pages ...

249elenchus
Oct 24, 1:05pm Top

Another thought: for Explore / Discover, might be a good time to think about easily slicing or filtering by media type. Along with exploring by author or series or individual title, for example, to make it easy to explore books versus video versus audio versus bobcat ....

250Bookmarque
Oct 24, 1:07pm Top

The third Add to button has me stumped. If it's to add to a List well yay for that, but shouldn't it say that if it is going to be that?

Oh and please be that. I HATE having to go to lists to add a book to one.

I assume that if the example in 186 was a work page the review and rate this book options wouldn't be there. Is that a differentiation for book and work pages? One is in your catalog and one isn't?

251macsbrains
Oct 24, 1:20pm Top

I am a general fan of the new design. I am fond of the brown and red, and am definitely for tidying up the menus to make things easier to find.

Visually, the revised screenshot with the smaller fonts is a improvement, and I feel better about it, even if personally I'd go smaller still. I also think that the buttons on the right are unnecessarily wide. I realize the buttons need to be wide enough for the text labels, but I would prefer that extra space to be allocated to the central column, which is where all the good stuff is going to be. Even if "Add to Your Library" was changed to "Add to Library" that could be an extra couple of pixels given over to the center so you can fit more than 4 or 5 words across on the title.

252conceptDawg
Oct 24, 1:22pm Top

>247 elenchus: -- Where would Local go?
Indeed, this has been a talking point around here. I think it belongs in Explore. Tim thinks Community. Maybe it goes in both. Still up in the air.

Early Reviewers and Member Giveaway
ER (and by association, MG) is being promoted from silly footer link to a full subnav item.

Explore
One thing that we've talked about is having a top-level Explore page where we can really highlight all of the cool stuff you can do on LT but is hard to find. So things like Series pages, Authors maybe, Locations, Tags, etc. They won't be dedicated subnav items (there's limited space there) but they will be featured in some way. Tim is going to do the first run on this one so I haven't been thinking about it. Maybe he can chime in.

Would the left nav list of links always be visible
Well, that's something that's been talked about for sure. I can't commit to it yet. Certainly on mobile devices there has to be a different solution.

>249 elenchus: might be a good time to think about easily slicing or filtering by media type
Yep. I expect to see things exactly like that on the new Explore page.

>250 Bookmarque: What the **** is the third Add button for?
Yes. That's to be able to add it to a particular collection within the next interface step (a popup, not shown). I'm not sure that one is needed but it's still in there at this point. It may get axed. Or not.

Review and rate this book buttons
You are correct.
They are just there because it's a mockup page with all the options on it, for styling purposes.

253conceptDawg
Oct 24, 1:25pm Top

>248 JBD1:
Serif vs Sans
You get your own response because you're special. :)
Yeah. I agree. It's a little odd. I'm giving Tim a little rope here in the hope that he han—
Oh, was I saying the quiet part out loud? Sorry.

No, really, it's an experiment for now. Most of the staff was for it when they saw it. I'm not sold, but I'm not against it either. One thing we were looking for was a way to make LT a little different and more "booksy" vs other sites. Using serif body text is one play.

254sarcher
Oct 24, 1:35pm Top

>245 conceptDawg:
Great, thanks for the consideration. Good luck with a challenging project!

255Maddz
Oct 24, 1:38pm Top

>253 conceptDawg: What's the readability of serif vs sans serif on small screens? Especially for dense text?

256AntonioGallo
Oct 24, 1:40pm Top

I like the idea of a dynamic site. I've just moved from goodreads and am keeping LT under strict observation. Do carry on.

257Bookmarque
Edited: Oct 24, 1:43pm Top

So no Add to List functionality proposed for a book or work page? Well that's poo. I know it's a content thing, but I like it.

I also am thinking about what I do with a work or book page and quite a lot these days is adding original publication dates and/or descriptions when they're absent. Mostly for books I don't own. For a lot of that I go to WorldCat and if that becomes a pain my altruism will end. Not that anyone really cares, but there it is.

Mostly on a book landing page I want to know who wrote it, what it's about, what LT peeps think about it (ratings and reviews), when it was written and if it's part of a series. Then I need to do something if I want to stay engaged with the book - add it to a list, add it to my catalog or search for it off LT which usually means Audible, Amazon or my local library. I realize that linking to the Wisconsin Valley Library Services is probably not going to happen - unless it's a customized link I can add!!! - but the others should be there still. Like they are now.

Again, sorry, content. But it goes back to organization and how I interact with LT.

If it's a book I own, then I'm going to hit the Edit Your Book page and that we haven't seen changes to yet, right?

258EMS_24
Edited: Oct 24, 1:57pm Top

Discover! with Local 'behINd' it
ConceptDawg: you inspired me to cut of the clutter around my profile pic (my own little redesign)

259SusanTahiti
Edited: Oct 24, 2:01pm Top

>236 casvelyn: casvelyn: Agree with your comments totally. My husband and I don't do "social media". Like the difference between a sit-com and a documentary, LibraryThing is USEFUL, God forbid. Becoming bigger doesn't need to be a goal, becoming better at core features should be.

260the_red_shoes
Edited: Oct 24, 2:05pm Top

>243 timspalding: But this is what's frustrating about the discussion as it's being framed. The third item in the actual first post is "Make LibraryThing's navigation simpler and more inviting for new users," which is already privileging getting and keeping new users over keeping old users. That is shifting the focus of the site. "To combat the usual newbie reactions to LibraryThing—that it looks dated, complicated and messy. Most new users simply can’t navigate the site well enough to want to eventually become old users," ditto. I don't even know what to do with the explanation that "It's really an amalgam of different sorts of pages and data all pulled into a single page so that I can test and mock up different UI elements, colors, weighting, spacing, etc. So seeing something in these samples doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be there on a work or book page." A mockup of something is a scale model or even a prototype, not an amalgam of a whole bunch of different features thrown together. Like lorax already said, if we're commenting on something that isn't actually going to exist, what is the point? And it's always difficult to "just" talk about design without function. A lot of users are telling you that they feel elements of this design are going to have a big impact on how they use the site. A design upgrade, to some extent, is always going to bring up larger issues, unless all you're changing is the colours (and probably even then, look at how some people want themes, and some want the original colour scheme no matter what). There's clearly more than that going on here. Having a confusing example is going to result in confused feedback. What exactly are we supposed to concentrate on and give feedback about? It's very unclear. It's no use protesting that "it's not a binary, we don't want to choose between old and new users" when the introductory post focuses on new users. (For me, something which would benefit old and new users might have been news about the ability to scan barcodes with the Android app, which I've never been able to get to work on my phone, and that was a big part of why I finally deleted the app itself. I'm never going to physically catalogue books on my phone via typing/swiping; I'm just not. But if I was able to just quickly scan books with my phone using the app, I bet that would appeal to new and old users.)

This is reminding me a lot of the recent post about the NSFW covers. It was really unclear what the goal was there, too, and the examples weren't clear at all, and there was the same idea of "group consensus" but at the same time a lot of the feedback wasn't received that well, and the entire thing was frustrating. There's got to be a better way to begin these conversations so they don't get endlessly derailed in confusion and frustration, on both sides.

261conceptDawg
Oct 24, 2:02pm Top

>257 Bookmarque: So no Add to List functionality proposed for a book or work page? Well that's poo. I know it's a content thing, but I like it.
Oh, NO. That's certainly still in consideration. Those aren't ALL of the buttons that are possible on all the pages. Just enough of different types that I could mock up variations. The idea is that the "Action Bar" on the right will become more powerful as the design matures. We'll certainly be adding more there.

No changes have been show (or even attempted, yet) for the Book Edit page. It will get a refresh but probably not in the first stage, which will be mostly the global styling.

>258 EMS_24: Well I've one good thing then.

262rretzler
Oct 24, 2:15pm Top

So...I gave up on reading the comments about half-way through. Change is NOT bad - change, in many cases, is good. I understand the need for this change and I think that long-time users will get used to it (some perhaps more quickly than others.) I don't know if I qualify as a long-time user since I've only been on the site for 9 years (almost), but I rely on it to BOTH catalog my books and track my reading. I read about 175 books a year and own several thousands, so this is a very important site to me. I will admit that I also have several databases to keep track of my reading but these are mainly for SERIES works and annual statistics that no sites seem to do a great job of tracking.

It seems that there are a lot of people who are concerned about things that aren't yet on the table. CD and Tim are showing us the first steps, so I think we should comment on those and wait to comment on additional items as they are unveiled.

I did think at first glance the font sizes were a bit big, but this is not really a deal-breaker for me. I'll get used to it. But it seems to me that the bigger fonts will put less information on a screen on mobile apps which may or may not be a good thing. I personally use LT more on my PC and only use the mobile app to quickly see if I own a book or not when I am out and about. Since I buy the vast majority of books from my PC, this is not an issue for me, but may be for others. So I would ask those who do use their mobile devices more, is it more important to have more information on the screen at one time, or to have bigger fonts to make the information more readable?

What I am about to say next, I fear, will be extremely controversial... My biggest issue with the modernization is that it is not modernized enough. I have long thought that the look and feel of the site is very old-fashioned and BROWN. This almost kept me away from LT in the beginning. I like the simpler and cleaner lines of the new design, and I feel certain that the LT staff will not take away things but will just rearrange them in a practical manner. But along with those clean and simple lines, I wish the colors were updated to a more modern shade as well, as they are still very brown-related. I certainly won't leave because of it, but I don't see those colors attracting new users.

As an example, I bank with a national bank, headquartered in the metropolitan area in which I live, that has been in business since 1866. A few years ago, they updated their logo color from a traditional emerald green to a lime-ish green. At first, I (and many others) were skeptical of the color change, but it didn't take me long to realize that I really liked it. It is modern and simple and, believe it or not, elegant. Of course, it does look a little silly on the old bank branches with red brick and white columns (ugh), but it looks great with the modern architectural designs of the newer branches. It shows that the bank is not afraid to change with the times. The logo color change does not change any of the bank's products or services, so it is effectively a non-event. As another example, I'm sure that many of you may have heard of Nationwide Insurance (another company headquartered where I live). Many years ago, Nationwide changed its logo from an eagle to a square. I happen to know the person responsible for the change and he explained the reason that the logo was changed. I found the logo change to also be one that was more simple and elegant and I found that change to be a good one as well - again, it in no way changed the level of service or the product. However, just recently, Nationwide went back to their old eagle logo. Now, this logo seems very old-fashioned to me, and I question why management would want to change back. Of course, it does not change the product or the level of service, but now I find myself questioning the decision-making of a company that would change back to the old logo. I know I may seem very fickle, but I cannot understand the change back and it makes me a little mistrustful! These are just my hang-ups, I'm sure, but it does go to show how color and logo design can change someone's opinion of a company. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels that way, just as I'm sure that there are as many different opinions about colors and logos as there are different colors and logos, so I know you can't please everyone.

I do have faith in the LT team that they are not taking away anything from the users, just redesigning the interface. I'm sure that everything we all use will still be there, most with a different way to get to it, but I'm sure that it will be a way that makes sense in the long run.

263Eric_Steven
Oct 24, 2:17pm Top

Love the mobile.

I really care about the functional bibliography and list features -- as long as those functions aren't altered, the rest is relative.

264reconditereader
Oct 24, 3:07pm Top

>252 conceptDawg: Local belongs under Community.

265hailelib
Oct 24, 3:27pm Top

The version in >186 conceptDawg: looks good on my elderly MacBook Pro which I use for cataloging, reviews, and posts more than a short sentence long. On my wifi only iPad I access LibraryThing from Safari and get the full site and it looks good there as well though there is a slight difference in the colors. (I do have the App on the iPad but don't use it.) I really don't like change but it looks as if the new navigation will get me to the places I most often use without trouble so I'll probably be fine with these first changes after a short time getting used to them. After all there have been changes before with all the things added since 2005.

266PawsforThought
Oct 24, 3:28pm Top

>262 rretzler: Thank you for saying what I haven't been able to put into words about the colours. I would love a complete re-haul of the colour scheme on LT, it's just TOO BROWN.
I'd also be all for an update of the LibraryThing L logo - I've never been fond of the shaky contours.

Neither of these things are big enough to make me turn away from LT, not even close, but it'd improve the look (and attraction) of LT, in my opinion.

Change is NOT BAD. Usually, (when done for a good reason and with thought behind it) it's for the best.

267Caroline77
Oct 24, 3:45pm Top

Hello. I'll be upfront and say I've only read a few of the posts and looked at the model in 186. I'll try to go back later and read the rest of the thread. I like the proposed design and think it's a definite improvement, makes the site look a little more modern, which, as you have acknowledged, it needs. Your interface is very dated. I noticed that instantly when I joined this site in 2013.

I want to add to what anglemark said in post 8, here: "3. However, I think that the two areas where we lose most newer users, to judge from my friends, is that LT doesn't support wishlisting and tracking reading well enough. Especially tracking reading. The overwhelming majority of my friends who look at LibraryThing are not really interested in cataloguing their books, but in tracking and sharing their reading."

I know many people who joined this site but then left, and the complaints I heard, in addition to the above, are that interaction here is poor. Yes, I'm fully aware that many members are opposed to interaction (though not sure why), that they cherish this site for its cataloging aspects and other excellent features; however the ability to interact better and catalog so well are not mutually exclusive. Keep what you have now but improve your social elements. This won't turn LT into some other site, book-based or otherwise; it'll make LT the best LT it can be, maybe the best book-based social network available now.

To foster interaction/socializing, as a start I suggest the ability 1) to post progress status updates. 2) to comment on reviews (with the option to turn off this feature in settings). 3) to add an avatar image to one's handle. This last in particular would go a long way to helping users be more recognizable. I had a hard time keeping track of who was who when I first joined (and still do). An image linked to the handle would help greatly with recognition. An image that's a personal photo would go a long way to adding some...humanity to the site--always a good thing online, where it's so easy to forget that the person behind the post is a flesh-and-blood human being with feelings. (These three suggestions are in addition to the tracking and sharing of progress that anglemark suggested.)

I also continue to find the number of links I can click on--in the header bar and elsewhere--overwhelming; I don't know where to look first. Better organization of your many great features is needed, with some kind of highlighting of which features you want to give priority to. It looks like you're doing these things with the new design.

Just some thoughts. Of course, take them or leave them. But I'll be 100% honest and say that my first impression of the site was that it lacks in many ways. I'm really excited to hear you're working on improvements.

268reconditereader
Oct 24, 4:29pm Top

>267 Caroline77: We're not having avatars. See response 97 in this thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/308056

269jillrhudy
Oct 24, 4:32pm Top

I use the LibraryThing app to add books to my shelf by scanning the barcodes on the back, but I have to go to the full site (ugh) to enter the date I finish reading them, so I really hope this will get easier and that I'll still be able to enter multiple finished-reading dates.

I have the date finished on Librarything of every book I have read for the past 14 years and three months.

In re Avril, I love her like a daughter. That's my point. Early Oughties is not a design concept that anyone should be lobbying for.

Yes to a more exciting color scheme than tan, brown, and browner. Booooooooring. I liked one member's description of "chocolate and cherry."

Thank you conceptDawg!

270amarie
Oct 24, 4:45pm Top

I've been here since 2005 and continue to adore LibraryThing so very much. Kudos to the development team, which I have actually mentioned as an example of how to transparently communicate improvements with users. Everything looks amazing so far!! Web design, development, and change is really hard, so I'm sending all the good vibes to charge forward!

271ForeignCircus
Oct 24, 5:07pm Top

Tim, I know this was shot down earlier but can you explain your thought process on using L rather than LT? I think pretty much everyone on the site abbreviates it as LT...

272PawsforThought
Oct 24, 5:13pm Top

>271 ForeignCircus: I'd love to hear the reason behind the L as opposed to LT.

273alexa_d
Oct 24, 5:22pm Top

Hey, everyone complaining about how you don't care about how things look on mobile because you only use LT on a desktop computer? Good news! You can learn how to use Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey to change how things are displayed on your own machine and stop nitpicking a 2-3pt difference in font size or bemoaning the use of the "wrong" Helvetica/Arial family sans serif font for inconveniencing you specifically!

274Caroline77
Edited: Oct 24, 5:27pm Top

In response to the information in post 268:

It's a shame the door was closed with such finality. And yes, I'm sure the poll was very skewed. LT, if you really care about getting input from more users, send out a notification other than the monthly newsletter. There'd be more balance in the responses if you were hearing from a larger, and more varied, pool of users rather than the same core. That should be the aim. I don't watch every thread, but I am a regular enough user that I have input.

From that thread: "C. The argument here has some force for me. It's the affirmative argument against avatars:
Further on the topic of design... I am tired of worrying about what others think of how I visually present myself. Libraries are often comfortable places you can go without having to consider the colors and patterns in your outfit or your overall style of appearance. Sitting around with your books at home is not like attending a group meeting in public. LT's been nice for not making our personal appearance an issue. We're not signaling our support for any causes with our image while talking, the way that happens on most sites. We're not trying to impress anyone with our avis, which are infrequently viewed. Our words are at the forefront in discussions. I would be sad to see that change here."

Except that the image doesn't have to be a photo of self. It can be a flower/cat/cartoon character/etc. or...nothing. It's not like this would be mandatory. It'd be nice to at least have the option.

Anyway, I reiterate my other suggestions then. Options would be good. Give users the ability to turn off whatever in settings. That way everyone's happy.

275Caroline77
Oct 24, 5:30pm Top

"L" versus "LT": The site is two words--smashed together, but still two. Calling it "LT" makes sense.

276PawsforThought
Oct 24, 5:54pm Top

>273 alexa_d: So because it's possible to download an extension that allows you to make adjustments, people who use LT on desktops aren't allowed to have opinions on how the new LT design looks?

277Caroline77
Edited: Oct 24, 6:08pm Top

>5 conceptDawg: Thank you for fighting for a redesign. You understand what drives newcomers away, and you're absolutely right that to stay alive--and thriving!--sites must have their finger on the pulse of what's current. Totally unrelated to a design change: I'd also appreciate if very established users would be warmer and more welcoming to newcomers. That obviously would help a lot in retaining newcomers. We're all here united in our love of reading. Also, conceptDawg, excuse me if this has been mentioned already, but will we be able to try this in beta?

>3 lilithcat: Don't knock it till you've tried it. At least give things a chance. After all, you could end up loving the new design and wishing it had happened years ago. Change is good.

278Caroline77
Oct 24, 6:12pm Top

>273 alexa_d: I'm grateful the extensions exist, but ideally one shouldn't have to use those. Still, better to have those than nothing, of course.

279Caroline77
Oct 24, 6:14pm Top

>262 rretzler: "What I am about to say next, I fear, will be extremely controversial... My biggest issue with the modernization is that it is not modernized enough. I have long thought that the look and feel of the site is very old-fashioned and BROWN. This almost kept me away from LT in the beginning. I like the simpler and cleaner lines of the new design, and I feel certain that the LT staff will not take away things but will just rearrange them in a practical manner. But along with those clean and simple lines, I wish the colors were updated to a more modern shade as well, as they are still very brown-related. I certainly won't leave because of it, but I don't see those colors attracting new users."

Agree.

280casvelyn
Oct 24, 6:16pm Top

(Semi-aside: Am I the only person for whom brown is their most favorite color? I have no real preference as to what color the design is (except pink, I've never been a pink person), but I feel like brown needs some love lol. It's such a cozy, hospitable color.)

281lilithcat
Oct 24, 6:22pm Top

>277 Caroline77:

Really? I can't have an opinion based on what was shown at the time I posted?

Apparently you missed the memo that our opinions were asked for.

>1 timspalding: wrote Check them out and give us some input? He did not say, "Give us some input but only if you like the changes."

Change is good.

Not always. Depends on the changes.

282PawsforThought
Oct 24, 6:25pm Top

>277 Caroline77: Where are you hanging out that has older uses be unfriendly to newcomers? This is not my experience in Talk, at least.

>280 casvelyn: I don't have a problem with brown as a colour generally, but I don't like it for a website design, certainly not as the dominate colour.

283Bookmarque
Oct 24, 6:37pm Top

Really PawsforThought? I see it almost daily. And in this very thread. Oy. Some things never change.

Hope you stick around Caroline77. I like the cut of your jib.

284Caroline77
Oct 24, 6:37pm Top

>281 lilithcat: I didn't miss the memo, and nowhere in my post did I ever say you couldn't have opinions. I told you not to knock it before you'd even tried it. I said maybe you'll end up loving it. I said change is good. This site has been stale for a very, very long time--far too long. It'd be hard for any change not to be an improvement at this point.

285Caroline77
Oct 24, 6:39pm Top

>282 PawsforThought: What Bookmarque said. I like LT, or I wouldn't have stuck around, but I retreated into the background almost immediately after joining. The last time I was this active on any thread was...I don't even remember.

>283 Bookmarque: Thanks very much.

286PawsforThought
Oct 24, 6:50pm Top

>283 Bookmarque: Yes, really. I wouldn't have said so otherwise. I didn't have that experience when I joined LT and I haven't seen that happening on any thread I've visited. I don't hang out on a ton of threads, so I'm well aware that I'm not seeing everything that's happening.
Maybe not falling over themselves- friendly, but not unfriendly.
But I'm from a part of the world where people are considered more "distant" than other places, so I have a different viewpoint on friendliness.

287Bookmarque
Oct 24, 6:57pm Top

Well that explains it. I hang out here a lot and well, I'm not surprised that LT doesn't have a large, vibrant community. I don't mean you expressly, but in general. Sometimes I'm tempted by the dark side.

288PawsforThought
Oct 24, 7:02pm Top

>287 Bookmarque: Might be particular groups that are "tougher" than others. I switched to the 75'ers from another group that I didn't think had very friendly members (though this wasn't about new vs older members).

289alexa_d
Oct 24, 7:09pm Top

>276 PawsforThought: Of course you can have an opinion. Likewise, after reading ~250ish comments of which the majority are making niggly complaints about things that have already been sufficiently explained (things that I guarantee virtually everyone will get used to in under a month), I was of the opinion that they were being ridiculous and unduly demanding of a service that most of us have enjoyed for over a decade for no more than a one-time $25 payment (if even that much) and thought it was worth pointing out that they could get what they wanted without all this rigmarole.

>278 Caroline77: You can't please everyone, and if nothing else I wanted to encourage Tim and conceptDawg not to give into a vocal minority and retreat too far back from a perfectly serviceable, adequately modern design that 99.9% of visitors to this site will be fine with, especially when other tools already exist for said minority to "fix" the things only they care about.

290Bookmarque
Oct 24, 7:09pm Top

Good to hear that group isn't full of sniping wet blankets.

291cjyap1
Oct 24, 7:14pm Top

Looks less cluttered. Hopefully I'll be able to find things.

292PawsforThought
Oct 24, 7:34pm Top

>289 alexa_d: But LT are literally asking people for their opinions so people will give them that, even if it seems niggly sometimes. I've made comments that probably fit that description, but I don't feel bad about that. Some of us care a lot about what others consider small or insignificant details.
I agree that some people are very up-in-arms but that's human nature, in my experience. People get worked up (and worried that things they like will change). From reading the comments it's clear to me that while some people are very against any change, most are just concerned that features they use and love will disappear or be more difficult to use/find.

293Literate.Ninja
Oct 24, 7:35pm Top

I think the new site design looks really clean and nice, although I'm sure that it will take a bit of adjusting to learn where everything is. But I recall spending a huge amount of time learning to navigate this site when I first joined, so anything that makes it more intuitive and streamlined can only help.

While I clearly am not using the social aspect of this site as much as some of you, I don't think I could function without using the cataloging functions. If a redesign will help draw in more users and prolong the life of this site, I will support it wholeheartedly, because the thought of going back to a spreadsheet to track my reading and purchasing makes me feel weak and vaguely nauseous.

If, as things progress, you guys need beta testers or anything else, I would be glad to help however I can.

294Caroline77
Oct 24, 7:44pm Top

>289 alexa_d:, I agree that users will get used to whatever changes happen. I've been on sites that change often, and it can be jarring at first, not something I always like immediately, but then maybe one month later I'm completely used to the changes and can't even remember the old layout.

295urnmo
Edited: Oct 24, 10:00pm Top

Grateful this is finally happening, and very happy with the mockups. Trust involved parties implicitly to iterate and improve over time, but think even the "alpha" of the new design will be a big improvement for new and old users alike. Thank you so much for your efforts!

296PCHcruzr
Oct 24, 8:46pm Top

I am a relatively new user with a small list so maybe I am a small minority. That said, I would say the top three needs are ...
- Improved UI that makes navigation much more intuitive (clean, unambiguous, rich)
- Increased focus on ease of maintaining lists (currently reading, want to read, genres, etc.)
- Consistency across mobile platforms (I'm not a mobile freak, but most are these days)

In whole, I would say focus on improving the user experience through contemporary design ethics, while maintaining LT's identity. Do that and I suspect adoption will be a much smaller hill to climb.

297perennialreader
Oct 24, 9:29pm Top

Well, since LT asked, here's my take on it.

1. Not crazy about the brown or the brown and red. I would prefer some blues.

2. I like that you are trying to update the site. It could use a new look.

3. I don't think the sky is falling. But I could be wrong about that.

298lilithcat
Oct 24, 9:58pm Top

>284 Caroline77:

This site has been stale for a very, very long time-

I disagree.

nowhere in my post did I ever say you couldn't have opinions. I told you not to knock it before you'd even tried it

You contradict yourself.

299waltzmn
Oct 24, 9:59pm Top

casvelyn wrote, (Semi-aside: Am I the only person for whom brown is their most favorite color? I have no real preference as to what color the design is (except pink, I've never been a pink person), but I feel like brown needs some love lol. It's such a cozy, hospitable color.)

It's such an old-vellum-and oakgall-ink color. It's not my favorite color, but it's a great color for a book site. At least if one cares about old books. Frankly, for me, the color is one of the best things about LibraryThing's interface, the fact that I wouldn't like it elsewhere notwithstanding. And it produces good contrast.

300benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 24, 10:36pm Top

I use LT only on my full size iPad or my 17” PC screen so I don’t care how it looks on a phone.

I find LT simple to use the way it is. However, I am a Librarian and accustomed to using databases and indices that are much more complicated than LT ever was. That said, I work with people at the library who can’t grasp the concept that there might be more than one John Smith in th world and that it is highly likely that more than one John Smith wrote a book. I also work with people who don’t understand the necessity of doing an author search with the last name first. Therefore, I think the new pages look just fine. I prefer blue and green color schemes to red and brown, but I think that a color scheme is a minor thing. Whatever colors are your brand go with those and stick with them.

301hailelib
Oct 24, 10:25pm Top

I'm rather fond of the brown and red.

302krazy4katz
Edited: Oct 24, 10:36pm Top

I don't really mind using LT on my phone. I just turn the phone sideways and take off my glasses. ;-) But I realize not everyone can do that (the glasses thing). Of course for typing, that's a different matter, but typing will never be easy on a phone for me anyway.

303benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 24, 10:42pm Top

I would like to see improvements in the process for adding pictures to threads. I don’t put pictures into threads but lots of people on LT do and many of them complain about how complicated the process is. I like being able to view pictures of the latest fabulous LT meetup or the pictures of a big book haul from some world famous book store or world famous book fair. It seems it is not easy to do this on LT, so I am sure efforts made to improve that functionality would be appreciated.

At one previous meetup, the ability to add private pictures to an LT thread was the major topic,so please address this in the future iterations of LT.

304benitastrnad
Oct 24, 10:41pm Top

I would like to see some improvements to the profile page and the profile editing page. These pages are not easy to find or to figure out how to use. Once they are created it is hard to edit them. I think they could be made more user friendly.

305benitastrnad
Oct 24, 10:49pm Top

I would like to see improvements to the printing function. I would like to be able to print only portions of the lists that I create. That is possible now, but perhaps the function could be streamlined?

I like the idea of logging in to a main page. I hate that stupid person silhouette icon. That is only my personal thing, but that silhouette bugs me and makes me think of social networking sites and I don’t want LT to be just another one of those.

306krazy4katz
Oct 24, 10:49pm Top

>303 benitastrnad: I agree with you! Somewhere I have a link about how to insert pictures but I am usually to impatient to look for it.

307benitastrnad
Oct 24, 11:26pm Top

One more thing - I would spell out Librarything in the logo spot at the top. Just using an L doesn’t mean anything. With the name people know what it is.

I like the old-fashioned stylized L. It looks like it came from an old book - but I understand that many people are not familiar with that image and don’t know it is meant to be super-retro. That said, I would still use the word Librarything rather than just the L.

308timspalding
Oct 25, 12:18am Top

Will the "library" and "your books" tabs be highlighted on book/work pages in the final version? I could see that being confusing.
Currently, on book/work pages none of the tabs are highlighted. If one of them *had* to be highlighted I would pick "Explore" instead of "Library", ESPECIALLY on work pages.


Right. Tricky question. I could see highlighting Library if it was a book in your library. You probably got there by clicking a link in your catalog. Otherwise, I don't know. As you say, these pages are without tab highlights now.

You should make two versions of the site - the Tim version and the conceptDawg version. (I'm on Team Chris!)

Whatever he's paying you, I'll double it.

We aren't even sure it's going to be "Explore" at this point. "Discover" is trending in the "office."

Yeah, it's 55/45, but I think I favor "Discover." Kristi suggested "Culture." No, but I get where she's going with it. It's hard.

I like what I see, but I wonder whether what I'm not seeing would change that favourable impression. Are you ready to share your tentative scheme for the subnav beneath each of the proposed topnav categories (Home, Library, Explore, Community)?

No, but soon.

-- Where would Local go?

Either Explore/Discovery or Community. I am of two minds.

-- Would Early Reviewers and Member Giveaway have their own subnav tabs, or would they be part of a left nav list of links under a single subnav?

Yes, I think they will have one subnav tab under Explore, or otherwise be more prominent. They are hidden now.

The third Add to button has me stumped. If it's to add to a List well yay for that, but shouldn't it say that if it is going to be that? Oh and please be that.

Interesting idea.

So no Add to List functionality proposed for a book or work page? Well that's poo. I know it's a content thing, but I like it.

Yeah, I'm coming around.

But along with those clean and simple lines, I wish the colors were updated to a more modern shade as well, as they are still very brown-related. I certainly won't leave because of it, but I don't see those colors attracting new users.

I don't think we're going to be changing our larger color scheme. We could perhaps look more like other websites. (I made a joke version of the colors that used only FB's blue scheme.) But I think there's some value to zigging where others zag. I don't know. But I don't think we're going to change course now.

Even so, what do you suggest? Don't say FB blue!

Local belongs under Community.

I don't disagree, but explain why?

3. However, I think that the two areas where we lose most newer users, to judge from my friends, is that LT doesn't support wishlisting and tracking reading well enough.

I am glad to talk about this and other similar issues, but I can't do so here. This is a thread about design, and it's huge already--and always risking spinning away from the topic.

I read what you wrote, of course. It's not new, but you put it well. These are topics on our mind.

Tim, I know this was shot down earlier but can you explain your thought process on using L rather than LT? I think pretty much everyone on the site abbreviates it as LT...

It just feels stronger to me. It what we use for the app. And it's been used on the main site forever. FWIW, people say "GR" but the logo is "G."

Hey, everyone complaining about how you don't care about how things look on mobile because you only use LT on a desktop computer? Good news! You can learn how to use Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey to change how things are displayed on your own machine and stop nitpicking a 2-3pt difference in font size or bemoaning the use of the "wrong" Helvetica/Arial family sans serif font for inconveniencing you specifically!

A note from developers on that--if you use such things, we can't guarantee functionality. We've also had a few cases where bugs have been reported, and we spent time solving them, but they were merely artifacts of GM scripts. All things being equal, I would not encourage it, or at least not doing extensive work in it.

It's such a cozy, hospitable color

Right. We are aiming for "leather chair in a nice library." That might not rope in the tweens. Although, actually, I think it ropes in some of the nerdy ones.

Hope you stick around Caroline77. I like the cut of your jib.

Yes, nice to see you Caroline. Insert nautical metaphor here!

1. Not crazy about the brown or the brown and red. I would prefer some blues.

I guess I like a more traditionally bookish look. There's a lot of blue websites. Facebook. Twitter. It doesn't feel distinctive to me.

It's such an old-vellum-and oakgall-ink color. It's not my favorite color, but it's a great color for a book site.

Right. That's my feeling. But I'm not claiming more than that--taste is too subjective.

At one previous meetup, the ability to add private pictures to an LT thread was the major topic,so please address this in the future iterations of LT.

This is off-topic, but… what? What does that mean?

309TopekaRev
Oct 25, 12:25am Top

Not having read through 307 comments, I may have missed the question and answer, but what is the anticipated activation date for the updated changes??? When will they occur? Thanks.

310NorthernStar
Oct 25, 12:43am Top

Great work so far, I'm looking forward to trying it out when it goes live!

I use the site on my android phone quite often, and look forward to less scrolling and zooming.

I'm sure there will be a learning curve, but I love a new challenge. I'm not a huge fan of the red-brown colour scheme (or the current colours for that matter), but honestly it's not a big deal to me.

311Yaaresse
Edited: Oct 25, 12:58am Top

I think it looks fine. Certainly cleaner than the current layout.

What looks good on phone screens almost never looks great on desktop monitors and vice versa. There's always the app (which works quite nicely) for phones, and there are options that could accommodate desk display users. (More on that in a moment.) With the popularity of tablets, that might be the sweet spot to aim for. I really just hope LT doesn't adopt that horrible (both aesthetically and on the eyes) thin gray font that seems to be ubiquitous now. Some of us use desktop monitors, not because we are dinosaurs, but because of vision issues, and that pale gray font is a special kind of torture.

And, please, I beg you, don't make any design or usability decisions based on what Facebook does. Ugh.

Back to the desktop monitor problem -- vast expanses of white space can cause eye fatigue. And while those of us with poor vision need larger fonts, I can understand why most people find it overwhelming or annoying. A lot of ADA accessible sites allow users to control the font size easily. It's becoming more and more common place on news sites, for example. While this was developed primarily to make sites ADA compatible, the ability to change font on the site (without having to reset the browser viewing settings) makes it easy for the text to be effectively displayed on all devices, including mobile, desktop, tablets, and special ones like screen readers. Maybe that is an answer to the multiple display size problem?

If I had a wish list for LT, it would include these (in no particular order):
1. Easier way to add start and end dates for reading books. (And, yes, in progress tracking.)
2. Better "help" for how to use some of the more advanced site features. There's stuff here I'm afraid to click on because I simply have no idea what it does or what if affects.
3. Drop down menu for adding tags. The auto-fill is great, but you have to remember what tags you've made previously to begin the auto-fill. A drop-down would allow scanning already made tags.
4. User-adjustable font in a reasonably dark color and weight.

People resist change, but people also adapt easily.

ETA: What's wrong with brown? Reminds me of leather and good cognac! Personally, I'd have gone with more of a sepia tone for the accent stripe/secondary color than the...what color is that anyway? Looks kind of brown-raspberry on my monitor, but I have my whites muted. But even so, it's not horrible. Not like it's acid green.

Except for sites that use obnoxiously neon colors or ones that make the site completely illegible, I doubt anyone has ever refused to use a site that offered good content and features just because it wasn't in their favorite color.

312kac522
Oct 25, 12:59am Top

>1 timspalding: and >186 conceptDawg:

Thanks for this upgrade design: simple, clean, easy to read--love it.
Thanks for keeping the brown with toned-down red; very book-ish.
Thanks for patiently reading this message, the 300+ before this, and the many after this. And still coming back to work the next day.
And most of all, thanks for the teacup! Brilliant!

313leahbird
Oct 25, 1:47am Top

>308 timspalding: "Even so, what do you suggest? Don't say FB blue!"

Green! Green? Green.

green bound books

green library chairs

green library lamps

314PawsforThought
Oct 25, 2:15am Top

>308 timspalding: Even so, what do you suggest? Don't say FB blue!

I'd prefer a nice dark-ish teal. Cool but not cold, and very relaxing. Especially combined with a lighter colour inthe same family (like a lightpool green or seafoam), and then contrasted with someting on the opposite side of the spectrum of colours (pink/red).

I like the teal tones in this scheme: https://www.schemecolor.com/wp-content/themes/colorsite/include/cc4.php?color0=0...
and the teals in the scheme in the top right here (combined with the pink): https://designshack.net/wp-content/uploads/choosing-color-scheme.png

There's a reason most websites (and apps) are blue - because people prefer colours on the blue-green spectrum to red ones. Somewhere around % of people say blue is their favourite colour. Blue and green are nature colours (ske sky, the grass, the water, etc.) Red is very often the colour for danger.
And this preference for blue is universal: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2015/05/12/blue-worlds-fa...

I found this to be very interesting: https://neilpatel.com/blog/gender-and-color/ It shows that most people love blue, no ones dislikes blue and brown is the most disliked colour.

I might be at a different maturity level than all of you, but I don't associate brown with leather-bound book. I, frankly, primarily associate it with poo.

Having said that, it's not the individual colours I dislike - it's the combination of them. Two very deep, reddish colours mixed with that odd beige (with an undertone of green) is just not good.

315timspalding
Oct 25, 2:29am Top

Not having read through 307 comments, I may have missed the question and answer, but what is the anticipated activation date for the updated changes??? When will they occur? Thanks.

We're not sure. Not immediately.

316Herenya
Oct 25, 2:49am Top

I like the redesigned menu a lot. The colours are okay. I'm not fond of red, but at least it's an old-book-red rather than a danger-red.

I'm curious as to how sidebar menus will integrated into mobile view, and how much scrolling will be required. I use LT a lot on my phone, and I've become very used to double-tapping to zoom in and out in order to get around -- but admittedly I'm only able to navigate that way because I already know where things are.

I would love being able to add a book to a list directly from the work page. That would be so much easier!

317Maddz
Oct 25, 3:12am Top

>314 PawsforThought: "I'd prefer a nice dark-ish teal. Cool but not cold, and very relaxing. Especially combined with a lighter colour inthe same family (like a lightpool green or seafoam), and then contrasted with someting on the opposite side of the spectrum of colours (pink/red).

and the teals in the scheme in the top right here (combined with the pink): https://designshack.net/wp-content/uploads/choosing-color-scheme.png"

Agree - the yellow shade is reminiscent of parchment or vellum. Admittedly, leather bindings usually don't tend to the blue/green spectrum but there are some if you do a Google image search using 'morocco leather bookbinding' as the search term.

Colour-wise, I prefer cooler colours with a warm feel. Blue can often be cold and unwelcoming. The dominant colour in my house is Dulux Apricot White (https://www.dulux.co.uk/en/colour-details/apricot-white) offset with Jasmine White (https://www.dulux.co.uk/en/colour-details/jasmine-white). I then accent with stronger colours - teal, pink, dark blue, brick and so on. Effectively, the background is warm neutral, and the accents depend on room function.

To me, that means that strong colours aren't in your face all the time. They're there in the pictures and book covers, but they don't take over. My younger sister thinks my colour palette is boring, but I think too many strong colours in a confined space is jarring.

So actually, I like the current muted colour scheme - the chocolate palette. Once I got used to it, I preferred it to the previous salmon. My take: this is a site about books: cataloguing and reading them, so any palette needs not to detract from the content. That is what needs to stand out, not 'ooh look, pretty colours!'

318PawsforThought
Oct 25, 3:24am Top

>317 Maddz: I didn't mean the ones in the top left corner, I said the top right (though my phrasing wasn't clear - sorry about that). I don't like yellow much.

I don't see why there has to be a connection to leather bindings in the colour scheme at all. Most books aren't leather bound, and most people don't buy leather bound books. I think the only leather bound books I own are some old family bibles in a box in a cupboard.

Thought the current brown would look good if it was a slightly less reddish brown and contrasted with a more blue-green tone rather than red.

319Maddz
Oct 25, 4:13am Top

>318 PawsforThought: That was the one I liked too! Sorry, I should have said cream/tan not yellow.

320PawsforThought
Oct 25, 4:25am Top

>319 Maddz: Gotcha. Yeah, those tones work well together (though I wouldn't want a tan colour here on LT).

321PawsforThought
Oct 25, 4:59am Top

>308 timspalding: Tim, I know this was shot down earlier but can you explain your thought process on using L rather than LT? I think pretty much everyone on the site abbreviates it as LT...

It just feels stronger to me. It what we use for the app. And it's been used on the main site forever. FWIW, people say "GR" but the logo is "G."


Where exactly on the site do you have the "L"? Any place other than in the tiny logo that appears in the tabs? Because I never see it when I look around - and the current design has "LibraryThing" in the top bar. The L logo is very anonymous and even though I generally log in to LT every day, I often mistake the LT tabs for something else because it's so bland and the L doesn't convey what site it's referring to.
Even this very group uses "LT" in its avatar.

To me, a single "L" is certainly not "stronger" than "LT". If anything, it's a lot less strong, because an L can mean anything - but LT stands for LibraryThing, which makes it easier to make the connection between logo and site.

And so what if GR does something different? I'm not on GR so have no idea what it looks like when you're logged in, but on the login page, just like on LT - the whole name is spelled out in the top bar.

322Sace
Oct 25, 7:29am Top

Now I'm beginning to feel the flutter of panic because of the color scheme talk. I am quite the fan of the browns. And the red to me looks a lot more like chocolate covered cherry red (I think someone up thread mentioned chocolate and cherry as well.) The browns remind me of a cozy library.

323richardderus
Oct 25, 8:08am Top

>311 Yaaresse: ETA: What's wrong with brown? Reminds me of leather and good cognac!

My mental image of brown:

324lilithcat
Oct 25, 8:50am Top

>308 timspalding:

We are aiming for "leather chair in a nice library." That might not rope in the tweens. Although, actually, I think it ropes in some of the nerdy ones.

It would have roped me in when I was a tween.

325ricmacas
Edited: Oct 25, 9:04am Top

Just going to spread some love here: the design is better, cleaner. The bigger fonts seems like an accessibility win, and so are the icons (to the dismay of many people used to early 00s computing, even if they aren't terminal users). The colors may be a point of discussion, but just know the current colors are far worse. The usage of a serif font in a book website makes *so much sense*.
Seeing a lot of complaining. It's ostensively better. Maybe i'd change the "tablet" style buttons to be less squashed (more akin to the mobile version) but it's nitpicking. The sidebar on the work description picture seems Wikipedia-inspired perhaps, which is kinda the vibe going on in this community anyway, but probably could use a bit of work.
The number of clicks thing people are going on about is a seriously outdated UX concern, and I mean outdated, because computer interaction now spans much more than clicks, and having all options one click away necessarily harms other things we have since agreed are more important. Things such as discoverability, paradox of choice, etc. And those icons and text combo are straightforward and suggestive, more so than even the goodreads which looks much worse next to it. Plus they have so many ads, bleh. Great job!
People are just afraid they will lose things and afraid of change. Just calm down people. To quote myself in another topic:
"I'm sympathetic that they want this to be a (great) place, but that it takes courage to try new things and new ways of doing stuff. The old ways aren't always the best, even if we got used to them, and the newer generations may see right through it.
As an IT professional, I ask you to consider that this happens everywhere: any other place for your enjoyment, say a library, takes a lot of skill and work from librarians to maintain and to reach new people. I like that they are sharing their progress, and interested people can learn about it and give their early input while they work to make sure any changes are well thought-out so as to not just be pointless."
>5 conceptDawg: speak your mind and don't hold back.

326lorax
Oct 25, 9:30am Top

Colors:

I like the brown. It's not my favorite color (that would be green), but it's distinctive and, as others have said, suggests a cozy leather reading chair or old books. Blue is too generic - as someone noted upthread (in a positive context), it's used by a ton of apps and sites already - switching to a blue color scheme would, IMO, lose some of LT's distinctiveness. Brown with a forest green, rather than red, for the accent color might be worth exploring.

I would like to please avoid any discussion of brown reminding people of poop. Remember that there are people reading this thread whose skin color is very close to the shade of brown being shown here. Nobody's saying you have to like the color, but please be mindful of that when discussing specific reasons for your dislike.

L vs LT:

L is what's used in the favicon now. If they change it in the site, they'd probably need to change it there too. That's not impossible, but it requires an adjustment for people who are used to scanning their tabs to find the LT ones. (Google changed their favicon a few years back, and it took a few weeks for me to re-learn what to look for.)

327keristars
Oct 25, 9:37am Top

If we're going to be changing our lovely chocolate-salmon-cherry color scheme i vote someone goes off to Hue's Hue at the Paris Review and find some weird but literarily significant color, like Marian Blue or Puce* or Sheele's Green or whathaveyou. (According to Katy Kelleher's research, by the way, the least favorite color is not brown but Safety Orange.)

It would be very sad to see LT up-end its 15 year history of zagging by changing the distinctive and admittedly polarizing color scheme to something that looks just like everyone else, while meanwhile making the site more modern and just like everyone else.

* Actually, I think technically, that sort of reddish brown color we have could be considered a traditional Victorian Puce, per Katy's column prior to her move to The Paris Review.

328waltzmn
Oct 25, 9:38am Top

timspalding wrote, quoting I'm-not-sure-who:

Local belongs under Community.

I don't disagree, but explain why?

I wasn't the original poster, but I think Local belongs under Community because Local is where you can find people in your own physical community. In other words, by putting Local under Community, it links the LibraryThing community with the "ordinary" community.

329lorax
Oct 25, 9:46am Top

I don't think Local belongs under Community at all.

Community is for finding *people*. Local is for finding *places to get books*.

330keristars
Oct 25, 9:55am Top

>329 lorax: Agreed! I couldn't put my finger on why I felt the same way, but you've got it. Discover/Explore finds books ergo Discover/Explore is for Local.

331conceptDawg
Edited: Oct 25, 10:18am Top

Soooo....I'm a designer. At least that's what my degree is in anyway. I want to redesign ALL THE THINGS!!!! But in the real world I can't do that and I (kind of) understand that (though I have to be reminded fairly often).

If I had total control with zero regard to anything else then this redesign LT would make a very different place. At least by feel, not by features as I want to keep all of them, just make them easier to use. It would almost certainly bring in new members. But that would alienate a good portion of our most dedicated members. People that are on LT every day and make LT what it is. Now, I don't think many would actually leave the site. They would hem and haw and yell obscenities at us over Talk but few would actually leave. But in that interaction we would have lost favor and trust with our best members and none of us want that.

All of that to say: The reason this redesign isn't MORE of a redesign is that we want to have continuity between the old and new. Hopefully this isn't the end of the redesign and we continue to iterate and make everything better. Admittedly, we have gone through a time of—for lack of a better word—stagnation in the LT codebase. We are working nonstop to try and rectify that.

Tim has worked many, many hours rewriting the entire catalog code to make it faster and more efficient. He's waiting on me to finish the overall site design language so that we can roll it into the new catalog—we've already worked through the catalog UI design for the most part. He's now working on recoding the profile settings pages, again waiting on me before he can go any further (see the trend there?).

I've been working on the redesign off and on for months. Most of the work happened when I was at the office in Maine back in August(?). But we've continued to iterate on about a dozen major revisions since then. We've had numerous all-staff meetings to introduce new ideas and concepts, all of which were met with strong opinions and sometimes complete overhauls to the design.

And now we've introduced the results of that process here and after two days of responses I showed another revision. And since the previous screenshot there is another, fairly different revision coming in the next day. We are listening but obviously can't satisfy every request.

Whatever we come up with won't be static. It will evolve to meet needs and respond to feedback. Especially at first. We will iterate. It's what LT has always done. We don't even have a "version" number for the site as we continually push new code and design changes. That happens every single day, for what it's worth, even if you don't always notice. If you don't like the design today just wait a day or a week (or two weeks! ;) ) and it might get better. Or worse.

But always know that every change is an honest attempt from us to make LT better FOR YOU. We aren't trying to sell you something or make our "valuation" better to sell the company or any other arcane "value metric." We have no ulterior motives. Our entire job is to make LibraryThing better for every one of you. Nothing else.

332-pilgrim-
Oct 25, 10:39am Top

Thank you for listening, and muting the colour contrasts.

1) I spend a relatively large amount of time on LT because I can; the current simplicity of its graphics mean that I VC am able to read it's pages. Vivid colour changes, and multiple changes of font size per page (requiring visual refocussing) bring on headaches and blurred vision, making a website impossible to read.

Reading through the comments, I see that I am not alone in having these visual problems. A site for booklovers is going to attract an older readership, who are more likely to have less than perfect vision. Please do not (unintentionally) exclude us from your site in a quest to make LT resemble other websites.

2) I use LT almost exclusively from my mobile phone, which theoretically makes me part of the demographic that you are trying to appeal to. I do not have any issues with navigating the site on its current form - zooming works quite adequately for me.

However, not all of us have high-end phones or good Internet connections (particularly when trying to access my catalogue from some obscure bookshop!)

For me, the move towards drop-down menus, rather than a list of links, is a retrograde step. When pages are loading slowly, trying to determine whether a click on a menu item has registered, then repeating the process, is a far more tedious process than waiting for a link to turn.

For this reason, I use the "full website"wherever possible, even for organisations that have versions supposedly tailored to mobile phones.

The "select and wait" aspect (repeated multiple times in order to achieve anything) is one of the major reasons that I stopped using GR. I would hate to see LT go down the same route, since you appear to be intending a "one size fits all" approach.

Technowizards, with the latest kit, often see things very differently to ordinary users. Although it is perfectly possible to have a foot in both camps (such as my background in coding perhaps gives me), I do wonder which group is likely to predominate on a book cataloguing site.

Please do take into account how your proposed modifications will function in practice for those of your users who are not operating under ideal circumstances.

-----

You asked for comments on page design, so I have focussed on that.

The, as yet limited, information about proposed changes to how the site functions all sound extremely positive to me.

333timspalding
Oct 25, 12:21pm Top

Where exactly on the site do you have the "L"? Any place other than in the tiny logo that appears in the tabs?

If you make your window smaller now, you'll notice it becomes an "L." Also, the app logo is an L. And, as Lorax says, it's the favicon.

334PawsforThought
Oct 25, 12:34pm Top

>333 timspalding: Well, I mentioned the favicon (I didn't know that was the name for it though, learn something every day) and you'd mentioned the app (which I personally don't use because I only use LT on desktop). So it's just if you make your window smaller - which I can't figure out why anyone on desktop would do, it's a mobile thing.

I'm not trying to be contrarian (really, I'm not); I just think "it's been that way forever" is not a good argument when the whole point of the redesign is because things haven't changed on LT in "forever". Quite the opposite.

335Caroline77
Oct 25, 12:37pm Top

>304 benitastrnad: "I would like to see some improvements to the profile page and the profile editing page. These pages are not easy to find or to figure out how to use. Once they are created it is hard to edit them. I think they could be made more user friendly."

Agree.

336Caroline77
Oct 25, 12:46pm Top

>311 Yaaresse: "2. Better "help" for how to use some of the more advanced site features. There's stuff here I'm afraid to click on because I simply have no idea what it does or what if affects."

I feel the same. As I said in a previous post, there are so many features here that I don't know where to look first, and I also am afraid to click on something I'm not totally sure about. I've explored a bit, but it'd be nice if things were clear from the start. I realize this probably would be a monumental task and a long-shot, but maybe think about adding a tutorial to the site for new users, the kind that pops up, like when you've downloaded some app. Pop-up boxes will explain and point out various features, and you can dismiss the entire tutorial if you don't want it, but it's there for those who do. At the very least, make "Help" more comprehensive and detailed, as post 311 requests.

337Caroline77
Oct 25, 12:54pm Top

>314 PawsforThought: " I might be at a different maturity level than all of you, but I don't associate brown with leather-bound book. I, frankly, primarily associate it with poo."

Haha. :D

I also have read that about preference for colors on the blue-green spectrum. Color choice plays a huge role in graphic design.

I'm somewhat neutral when it comes to the brown. I also feel it evokes a cozy library, but on the other hand it can look stodgy, and when all other massively successful sites use the blue-green spectrum, looks dated against them. However, color is a cosmetic change; functionality is much more important. Get that squared away first; then consider color.

Thank you for letting us chime in, even though I'm sure it's overwhelming. If a beta version will be available, I'd love to be a part of that.

338Caroline77
Oct 25, 1:09pm Top

>331 conceptDawg: "But that would alienate a good portion of our most dedicated members."

Not if you make the site easier and more intuitive to use, as you're intending. Getting rid of cherished features probably would, but making navigation easier would be a relief except for those who prefer that things be more difficult than they need to be.

339Kanarthi
Oct 25, 1:54pm Top

>308 timspalding: My vote is for Explore, not Discovery. Often some of the most interesting things revealed by LT stats or lists aren't surprising or new, but it can be nice to remind yourself. "Oh, yeah, I had heard about this book before, and here's another recommendation providing more evidence that I should check it out." Whereas a tab like Discovery subtly sets you up for disappointment if what you find under it isn't novel or unusual.

(I'm also completely baffled by the suggestion that Explore implies a shallow process?? For me it has the opposite connotation, of wandering and finding things without a predetermined endpoint.)

>331 conceptDawg: The redesign seems really restrained. I honestly have no negative comments about it, except that I don't like the mixture of serif and sans serif font. Overall the continuity from the current design to the new one is really strong and I don't quite understand the level of controversy displayed in this thread.

340conceptDawg
Oct 25, 2:00pm Top

Oh, I don't mind. I've had many design reviews in my life that were much more contentious.

Design reviews shouldn't be about "defending" your design decisions. They should be about "explaining" your decisions and then trying to understand from others why those decisions work or don't work. I hope that's how I've been conducting myself here. And I'm certainly listening to everything that's been said.

341Aquila
Oct 25, 2:08pm Top

That seems like a very "seen one book page seen them all" approach to discovery. The information you are discovering is all but infinite.

342anglemark
Oct 25, 2:09pm Top

Could one of you staff peeps start a new thread?

344krazy4katz
Edited: Oct 25, 2:23pm Top

>336 Caroline77: I think this is a tutorial:
https://wiki.librarything.com/index.php/Help_and_FAQ
It is at the bottom of every page under "Help/FAQs" I confess I have never looked at it, which means there is a lot I still don't know after more than 10 years.

345Flip_Martian
Oct 25, 2:41pm Top

I totally get the need to change. Even an old stick in the mud like me can see the LT site is functional but ancient! I rarely use the mobile app except to scan a code and add a book to my database - the cataloguing for me being as good as it is, is the primary reason for me having LT at all - and then being able to search for my books while out bookshopping! I view the site mostly though on my laptop or desktop. If this makes more detail easily viewable on the mobile or ipad, without it being harder to add books/change covers/edit or add detail, then great.

Must be a mammoth undertaking and I hope you pull it off. God forbid LT ever disappears and we're left with GoodReads...!

346timspalding
Oct 25, 2:42pm Top

I don't quite understand the level of controversy displayed in this thread.

New here? ;)

Design reviews shouldn't be about "defending" your design decisions. They should be about "explaining" your decisions and then trying to understand from others why those decisions work or don't work. I hope that's how I've been conducting myself here. And I'm certainly listening to everything that's been said.

Right. I've heard some sniping at members who complained. As far as we're concerned, complain away. You won't hurt our feelings. We might decide your views are offbase. But we can take it. We get paid to do this! :)

347timspalding
Oct 25, 2:42pm Top

Could one of you staff peeps start a new thread?

Soon. Next time we have some sort of interim update.

348conceptDawg
Oct 25, 2:51pm Top

Yep. I'm planning to post an update in the next couple hours and I'll start a new thread when I do.

349PawsforThought
Oct 25, 2:52pm Top

>346 timspalding: As far as we're concerned, complain away. You won't hurt our feelings.

Thanks for saying this. It does feel sometimes as if people don't want others to say anything negative about the design suggestions. The reason we're "complaining" (I'd call constructive criticism) is just that we want LT to be the very best LT that it can be.

350aspirit
Oct 25, 3:02pm Top

>274 Caroline77: As my words were copied from the Avatar thread to here, I'm responding here. You might want to reread what I wrote about biases and visual signaling. I wasn't talking specifically about members' faces or photos.

If I really wasn't clear or my point bothers you, then we can talk further in the Avatar thread. This isn't a good thread to continue that conversation.

>267 Caroline77: We were all asked (a little late but) within this thread to focus on the top navigation design. Your post looks as if it's a part of the discussion in "2019 LT Redesign: Initial thoughts? I expect that thread will continue to be referenced by the LT team during the redesign.

351richardderus
Oct 25, 3:10pm Top

>348 conceptDawg: Please will you make it a continuation thread from this one so old, confused, tragically unhip geezers (see: me) can find it when we log back on?

352anglemark
Oct 25, 3:11pm Top

>347 timspalding: I mean, it's loading quite slowly even on my fast connection.

353aspirit
Oct 25, 3:11pm Top

>349 PawsforThought: yes!

Re: Explore/Discover/Culture, I prefer "Explore", which suggests it will connect to areas with more information that can poke through. That seems like an appropriate place for the Zeitgeist, for example.

"Discover" implies that content on the page that loads will be different each time. It also brings to my mind science games, which feels off.

"Culture" is confusing. That's too close to "Community".

354ulmannc
Oct 25, 3:18pm Top

355PawsforThought
Oct 25, 3:27pm Top

>353 aspirit: Completely agree on your points re: Explore/Discover/Culture.

356norabelle414
Oct 25, 3:47pm Top

I like "Explore" best, too.

357chibitika
Oct 25, 10:32pm Top

With respect to a smooshed conceptdawg, your answers here make me even more confident that LT2 will be amazing and will remain a valuable cataloging tool. It is good to accommodate mobile use. I like how you are not going for change for the sake of change. You are doing a fine job of balancing needed change with keeping functionality. Good things are brewing!

358timspalding
Oct 26, 1:58am Top

The reason we're "complaining" (I'd call constructive criticism) is just that we want LT to be the very best LT that it can be.

Amen.

"Discover" implies that content on the page that loads will be different each time. It also brings to my mind science games, which feels off.

Huh. I don't feel that, but IDK.

"Culture" is confusing. That's too close to "Community".

Yeah.

359Africansky1
Oct 26, 4:02am Top

New design looking good . I use LT on iPad and desk computer . It works for me . the features I like is choice of books from 800 libraries world wide , that it is a catalogue system and a very good one , sense of international book community , the informative content if you look for it , finding links to Amazon and Abebooks . well done.

360knotbox
Oct 26, 12:13pm Top

I'll be brief and boring: I've only been around a few years and while I appreciate the app, I usually am on the mobile website (I know they're not directly interchangeable) when I add new books. So: I love this.

361mene
Oct 26, 5:10pm Top

I haven't read everything above, but it looks good I think. As long as I won't lose any data and can still fill out everything for my books, I'm fine with it :) And if the font size is too big on my computer, I hope I can still use Ctrl-- to zoom out!

362bell7
Oct 26, 7:32pm Top

I really, really like the cleaner simplified look on the mobile version especially. I don't use the site on my phone or tablet much because mine defaults to the super-small print and it's a pain to zoom in, but I will definitely be able to do it more when the update happens.

363brightcopy
Oct 27, 12:36am Top

>5 conceptDawg: The goal is to completely revamp the Add Books process, thereby making the "Add to your Library" and "Wishlist" buttons much more akin to what somebody THINKS they should do: add the book/work to your library in a direct manner. Obviously, seasoned LT users have been brainwashed into accepting that they are going to be sent on an arcane book search scavenger hunt when they click those buttons. But new users are confounded with that series of events. We lose them there, never to return—and usually telling others that LT is a confusing mess. This will be improved unless I am killed by strange events before that happens (I'm not saying Tim did it. But Tim did it!).

>10 conceptDawg: We actually have a tracking feature but we don't surface it well and we had a newer version that was never released. But I agree there.

Good lord is this some great news. When my son took off in his reading, I decided to do all his cataloging at Goodreads. He's up to slightly under 150 books (165 if you count the books we've read to him) in just the last year. LibraryThing was simply not compatible with doing that in a way that didn't make me want to rip my hair out. There are plenty of times when I just want to record that he finished the 50th book in the Geronimo Stilton series, not dig through a bunch of libraries and find a book. With GR, I just slide the book cover in front of the camera and click a button (I've never had it not figure out a single one of those 100+ books I've entered that way) and just like that I have a record that he's read it. For all their shortcomings, this is something Goodreads is light years ahead of LT on.

I still log my reading on LT, and am reminded of how much of a pain it can be. I'm using my local library more and more instead of buying books, and as such I care far less about tracking down just the right edition with just the right cover image. I still want the features LT is better at, like cohesive series information (as long as someone didn't decide to go in and set it up in their favorite weird way), though.

Otherwise, my take on the screenshots you've posted is that the new design looks excellent. Modern, but without cramming in so much blank white space like butter scraped over too much bread.

364ScarletBea
Oct 27, 5:10am Top

>363 brightcopy: I know it's not really the right place, but I don't understand how logging your reading here is a pain...

Step 1, when I start to read:
1.1 move book from collection "at home not yet read" to "currently reading"
1.2 add tag "Read in 2019"
1.3 set the "reading date from" field

Step 2, when I finish reading:
2.1 remove book from collection "currently reading"
2.2 set the "reading date to" field

Then if at any time I want to check my yearly reading, it's just a question of choosing the "Read in XX" tag and sort by reading dates, if I'm particular about a specific month.

365BiblioLorenzoLodi
Edited: Oct 27, 6:47am Top

Congratulazioni per LT1 e benvenuto a LT2. La nostra biblioteca è all'interno di una scuola e controllare, direttamente sullo scaffale, i volumi con un tableb o smartphone è molto comodo. Va bene il restiling per dispositivi mobili e l'introduzione di menu a tendina. Da migliorare il servizio "prestito"

366the_red_shoes
Oct 27, 7:08am Top

But that would alienate a good portion of our most dedicated members. People that are on LT every day and make LT what it is. Now, I don't think many would actually leave the site. They would hem and haw and yell obscenities at us over Talk but few would actually leave.

You're awfully confident (and more than a bit insulting) there. If LT was "a very different place" and apparently heavily weighted in the social media direction, yes, I would leave. I was on Goodreads for years and years until I had a lot of problems with that exact kind of model, including harassment from multiple guys. As it is, I'm unhappy enough with the direction of the redesigns you want, as far as I can puzzle them out, and how uncompromising you've been, not to mention how a lot of the pushback has been phrased, I may radically cut down on my interaction with the site anyway.

I kept writing up and deleting sentences about how oppositional the original posts are -- there's a reason people saw the setup as binary, between old/new, social/cataloguing; it was introduced that way. Not to mention the constant low-level threatening/insulting stuff, like "The interesting thing is that you're not the only user of LibraryThing" and "you won't have LibraryThing in the future" and so on. I mean, I could say right back "I can take my data and go back to spreadsheets and not use or recommend your site anymore, period" as a reaction to that. That's not a good place to begin a conversation, for either "side." How you ask for the feedback is often just as important as being specific about what you're asking for. "You guys don't know HOW RADICAL I really want to make the changes! XD" is not a good look, either. I remain very unconvinced you really do want to bridge between old and new users, or radical redesign and keeping older features. Or that you do value the old users.

367SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 27, 8:11am Top

I access LT exclusively on my cell, except when I'm adding books. Even then it's about 60% cell, but it's a clunky process. If welcome something easier to navigate.

I've also felt for some time, without knowing any useage and new member numbers, that the talk forums seemed to be dieing and wondering if LT were on the wane.

I really don't like the baking chocolate and poi colour scheme.

368toast_and_tea
Oct 27, 10:08am Top

On the new design, where will the links for abebooks, amazon, etc go?

369Karlstar
Oct 27, 11:01am Top

One thought on the color discussion, please use the guidance for color blind design! Other than that, I have no preference.

I hate change, but I see the need for it and so far it looks to me like your redesign is proceeding the way you always have - the least amount of change necessary to get the job done. I'm a computer user, haven't even considered looking at LT on a phone.

370brightcopy
Oct 27, 12:32pm Top

>364 ScarletBea:

You started a few steps into the process. You forgot the entire Add Books part. :) Having that work much more smoothly is pretty key to having reading tracking work more smoothly. For my son and for all the library books I read, I don't want to "add" a book to my library. I just want to find a book and say I read it, so it will show up on lists and such.

LT provides a way to do all those things, but it's obvious when you take a step back that you're kind of hammering a square peg into a round hole. Another example of this is that I can open a series list or author page in GR and just go down the list of the books, clicking "Read" on each of them. LT adds several clunky steps to that process.

371ScarletBea
Oct 27, 12:43pm Top

I guess that's where the whole 'cataloguing' aspect comes, then. I don't want just a book name, I want my copy, with the right ISBN, the right media, publisher, dimensions, cover, etc. Everything that makes this a book site.
Maybe you're just not the target audience for LT, like I wasn't for GR with all the focus on the social aspect which made me leave. It's not necessarily a bad thing, each type of person can be happy in a different place.

372brightcopy
Oct 27, 12:50pm Top

>371 ScarletBea:

I think LT will hit a dead end if it ignores that people might want to do things more than one way. Making an Add Books process that lets you bail out at any time, but keeps the level of detail for those who want to go deeper is actually a boon to both groups. I've used LT long enough to know the "damage" caused by people who don't care what edition of a book they are logging. LT forces them to choose anyway, and then they go change the cover or edit the title and now you've got a bunch of incorrect data that pretends to be a "real" edition that everyone else has to sort through.

And no, I don't want the social aspect of GR. I don't even use the social aspects of LT anymore, really. I just want a simpler way to record books, and the reading thereof. There's a lot about LT that I wish GR had (including not being owned by amazon). I think it'd improve LT to not put itself inside a box and ignore all its users, whether they "belong" here or not.

373SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 27, 1:24pm Top

After posting >367 SomeGuyInVirginia:, it struck me that I haven't been using the LT phone app to add books. Just tried it. Works ok.

374PawsforThought
Oct 27, 1:38pm Top

>370 brightcopy: I think most (if not all) of your issues will be fixed in time. On previous threads talking about the re-design, Tim and Chris have mentioned not only a re-work of the entire Add book page/process, but also the possibility of having a "generic work" page that people can choose if they don't care about the "correct version" (such as in your case, when you just want to mark something as read). I suggest you look through these previous threads:
https://www.librarything.com/topic/308075
https://www.librarything.com/topic/308176

I'm something of a mix between cataloguing member (I do add the books I own, and I make sure it's the right edition) and "read list" member (just ticking off books I've read, which is primarily library books, where I don't care one iota about editions).

There are a lot of different kinds of users on LT and WE ALL belong here.
I do not appreciate talk about not being target audience for LT because one isn't super into cataloguing. LT is a place for book lovers.

375ILuvBookplates
Oct 27, 3:01pm Top

I am here for the cataloging and generally the main social aspect is holiday related such as the greeting card exchange and SantaThing (please tell me those are still going to happen this year! Even if you start them at the wrong time again, I'll still be anxiously waiting to participate) plus I like to do the treasure hunts. But I rarely use anything other than my PC (and my laptop before it keeled over) due to ongoing vision problems which require me to have everything kind of spread out on the screen which is why I don't use an app on my phone and only occasionally use my Kindle for LT. I hope the changes to make things better for mobile don't ruin things for PC users.

I haven't been able to warm up to Goodreads and the format for LT, which seems dated to some, works well for me personally so I hope changes made won't effect the ability for me to quickly do things too much.

Also important to me personally is the ability to record specifics of my own individual copies of my books. I am currently adding information for books I have recently acquired that are all 100 years old, or more, and I want to record that information so I hope that doesn't change.

376ValerieAndBooks
Oct 27, 3:09pm Top

I've been a member of LT for many years. I've never really had time to be a more active member of the Talk or Group communities, but I can see how those would be preferable to access via a desktop or laptop. When I do book reviews, I prefer doing them on the laptop, as well. The mobile app I love for easily adding books to my catalog.

That all said, I like the "new" look that's being developed thus far. I think more people nowadays do searches and discover websites via their phones, rather than at a desktop or laptop. If a potential new user happens to discover LT via their phone or tablets, the new look has the potential to be attractive enough for them to want to stay around and come back in whatever form they prefer (phone, tablet, desktop).

As for the LT colors, I find them timeless :-). Other color combos could have the tendency to date themselves in the future. Most of us think of the 1970s when we see harvest gold or avocado green color combos, for example.

Now, this is unrelated, but when I clicked on the preview link provided at the beginning of this thread (https://www.librarything.com/lt2_preview01.php ) it caught my attention that when the old/current version was shown, the Litsy icon was next to the "Zeitgeist" tab. My own LT homepage (on the laptop) does not show the Litsy icon. What's up with this?

377brightcopy
Oct 27, 3:16pm Top

> 374
I think most (if not all) of your issues will be fixed in time. On previous threads talking about the re-design, Tim and Chris have mentioned not only a re-work of the entire Add book page/process, but also the possibility of having a "generic work"

Yes, I know. These are features that have been around the corner for the last ten years. :D

As I posted above, I'm excited because it looks like they might finally actually manage to do it.

378LamSon
Oct 27, 9:38pm Top

This may not be the place, but it would be nice to have glossary explaining what things mean and how to do things like use bold font.
If the already is one tell me where it is because I have yet to find it

379waltzmn
Oct 27, 10:03pm Top

LamSon wrote:

This may not be the place, but it would be nice to have glossary explaining what things mean and how to do things like use bold font.
If the already is one tell me where it is because I have yet to find it


I've never seen much in the help files on styling, but the answer is to use very basic HTML codes, which consist of a command enclosed in angle brackets < >. For example, if you want bold, you enclose the words in the pair of characters <b> and </b> -- <b>before the text, and</b> at the end. For italics, you use <i> and </i>; for underscore, it's <u> and </u>. There is also a special one for use in reviews, <spoiler> and </spoiler>. Most HTML codes get stripped out, but maybe that will give you a start.

380krazy4katz
Oct 27, 10:15pm Top

I put this link in “My Notepad”
http://www.librarything.com/topic/177029

381lquilter
Oct 27, 11:17pm Top

... i prefer EXPLORE over DISCOVERY. Explore feels like it's in my hands. Also, that there is something that exists to explore. "Discovery" is something new that hasn't yet been seen.

383Crypto-Willobie
Oct 27, 11:46pm Top

>381 lquilter:

I think I would prefer WHASSUP over EXPLORE or DISCOVER...

384krazy4katz
Oct 28, 12:00am Top

>382 Crypto-Willobie: Great! Thanks! I knew it should be somewhere official but didn’t note where it was. Wiki really confuses me. I have never been able to use it here.

385MarthaJeanne
Oct 28, 1:57am Top

>383 Crypto-Willobie: I prefer words that are found in traditional English language books.

386TBN1
Oct 28, 8:12am Top

Design changes are not a big thing. Just as long as current functionality like having the check inventory function is kept. I like LibraryThing because of the personal configuration that a user can have.

387Aquila
Oct 28, 8:29am Top

>385 MarthaJeanne: Wassup/whassup is in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Their first citation of it is The Hole in the Wall, published in 1902.

388kristilabrie
Oct 28, 8:55am Top

>376 ValerieAndBooks: My own LT homepage (on the laptop) does not show the Litsy icon. What's up with this?

You probably haven't linked your LibraryThing and Litsy accounts. You can do this here: https://www.librarything.com/litsy/linkaccounts.php.

389lilithcat
Oct 28, 8:55am Top

>386 TBN1:

Design changes are not a big thing.

They can be.

For instance, as some have pointed out, color choices may impact those who have color blindness.

I have seen other sites with a design so "streamlined" that one cannot find things.

390bnielsen
Oct 28, 9:00am Top

What >386 TBN1: said + talk + treasure hunts + being able to script getting the export data.

Reminds me of:
All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
(Latin capitals like LT, I guess)

391ValerieAndBooks
Oct 28, 9:09am Top

>388 kristilabrie: Thank you, but when I clicked on the link provided, the page that comes up has nothing other than the text below; with no links :

Link LibraryThing and Litsy Accounts
Link your LibraryThing and Litsy accounts.

392kristilabrie
Oct 28, 9:25am Top

Whoops! Clearly I haven't had enough coffee this morning. Linking may be disabled at the moment, I'll look into it and update here. Sorry for the trouble.

393Kanarthi
Oct 28, 10:33am Top

>392 kristilabrie: I'd be interested in getting the right link too, as I have also never been able to manage to link them.

394elenchus
Edited: Oct 28, 2:10pm Top

>206 timspalding:
I still think the "explore" tab doesn't make any sense (exploring *what*?), but I appreciate your work on this.

Got ideas for something different? We are giving a home to a few things. Zeitgeist and all the other Zeitgeist-y pages, like Popularity. Helpers. Common Knowledge. Lists. Recommendations. What do you call that?


I think repurposing old library terminology would fit well, perhaps Reference Desk or Map Room. I know, I know: the proposed tab would host more than a "card catalogue", and most of the maps would probably be found under the Community tab, not this proposed tab. But neither Explore nor Discover seem particularly aligned with library services nor cataloging. I also prefer the whimsy of the archaic terms to the straitlaced descriptive of Explore and Discover.

ETA Here's whimsy:
https://www.6sqft.com/life-behind-the-stacks-the-secret-apartments-of-new-york-l...

395melannen
Oct 28, 1:44pm Top

>371 ScarletBea:

When I'm reading a book I own, tracking it on LT is no real problem - like you said, I just change a few tags and collections and bob's your uncle. (Tracking reading dates is still a bit harder than I'd prefer, and it's still pretty annoying on mobile since I can't edit in the main view, but it's not too bad.)

If all of your reading is books you own, then it probably works fine.

When I'm reading a book I don't own - a library book, a book borrowed from a friend, a public domain ebook, a cheap paperback I'm planning to read and ditch without keeping, etc - tracking my reading on LT is a mess: first I have to add the book, and I probably don't know and/or care which exact edition so I'm picking a random one, and then I have this book sitting in my catalog that I don't actually own and don't care about exact data on, and sure I have a collection for them, but it still makes things a mess for things like tracking duplicates and library stats, and then if I do buy a copy of the book, librarything thinks I already have a copy when I try to add it, and there's no good way to transfer the data from the read-tracking copy to the owned copy, and basically it's all really annoying.

I catalog on LT and track on GR, because that's what each site is good at. But it would be really great if I could do both on LT.

396brightcopy
Oct 28, 2:42pm Top

>395 melannen:

Exactly. LibraryThing uses a paradigm of a set of bookshelves, even when that doesn't fit and winds up with you having to stick slips of paper on the shelf to represent all the books you don't own but once read.

397kaulsu
Oct 29, 4:47pm Top

>5 conceptDawg: FINALLY! My iphone is ALWAYS with me and my laptop is sometimes (or less) with me. But the LT app was just about useless. I look forward to getting to know the new screen.

But I do understand, and feel the pain, of those who want to remain in the old universe.

398TomCat14
Oct 30, 7:05am Top

“Every now and then a man's mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions." :-)
(Oliver Wendell Holmes in The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table)

400humouress
Oct 30, 8:07am Top

Whew! I've been sitting here for ages going through this thread. Much appreciate you asking for our input.

So, the way I use LT; once I got my iMac I prefer to do cataloguing, reviewing - anything that involves a lot of typing on it while I also use my iPad but, these days, I use my phone more for checking what books I already have when I'm in a bookshop. I love the LT app for entering books into my catalogues. It's amazing! - except when it doesn't recognise ISBNs for books printed in Asia/ Australia or from boxed sets (possibly up to 40% of the time, for me). Trying to do very much on the cataloguing side on a mobile device ranges from fiddly to frustratingly impossible. Before my desktop, I would probably write reviews from the phone and tidy it up on the tablet and catalogue via the app or tablet.

Design-wise, I confess I'm still on the old, old version because the difference between read and unread posts is more obvious. So I hope that will be addressed in the new, new version.

Colourwise ... to be honest, I'm not too fussed though I'm willing to share ideas. I've been here for over eleven years so I'm in for the long haul. (But don't get too complacent.)

Some things others said that I wanted to comment on:

>1 timspalding: The screenshot of the new design seemed not to link to the book series; if so, that would make LT very clunky for me when I'm looking for books in a shop. (I could be wrong.)

'Add Books' will actually become functional? Yay! But will we be able to choose the correct ISBN? (I am used to the scavenger hunt.) Or use it to add manually when that becomes necessary?

>370 brightcopy: In a related note, how about a button to 'Add to Read but Unowned' with a choice for generic or to choose the correct ISBN? That could load it straight into the 'Read but Unowned' file in the user's catalogue without adding it to their Library.

>15 anglemark: Tracking? Interesting. >196 thewordygecko:

>22 birder4106: YES!! to measurements in metric.

>27 aspirit: I suspect that 'book blurb' is less important to LT users in the mobile site; if the book is in front of you, you've got the blurb there. So it should be there, certainly, but maybe not right at the top.

>34 timspalding: I like the cleaner look of the new design - as long as it doesn't eat up more space. On the other hand, I'm old fashioned and I like the serif font (as long as it's still legible) but it probably should be used consistently.

>88 timspalding: There should definitely be icon + text on the desktop and tablet versions. If there's no space on the phone for text on the tabs then most people will know what they are from the larger sites.

>111 beata: >112 timspalding: Toggle between accounts - I like that idea. Currently I have to open different browsers if I'm in more than one account.

>126 ShirTikvahWinchester: Good point; I think currently that the duplication message only comes up after you've gone to all the trouble of entering a book and then you have to work out which one to delete (ie which one you entered less personal data on).

>186 conceptDawg: I would say keep the green LT stars. Although I, personally, use rainbow coloured stars. (If you're interested, they're somewhere on my profile page.)

The Community/ Talk icon - I'd keep the bubbles but it depends on what the tab leads to ....
>206 timspalding: ... but I like whimsy, so - okay, keep the teacup.
>224 casvelyn: ... oh, fine. How about a communal teapot instead?

>206 timspalding: If you're bemoaning the loss of the whimsical 'Zeitgeist' tab, you could use that for Discovery/ Explore. I'm not actually sure what it means, to be honest; it translates as 'Timeghost' which leaves me none the wiser.

Okay - I hope that all makes sense. I have to rush off to give the kids dinner ....

401Crypto-Willobie
Edited: Oct 30, 8:11am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

402humouress
Edited: Oct 30, 11:11am Top

Just one more thing ...

>323 richardderus:

Brown's not so bad, RD.

ETA: For a cataloguing library, I would think of dark wood bookcases and tables, maroon leather bound books, brass fittings, green lampshades, parchment. Maybe go towards the gold side of brown rather than the red?

Which is just an excuse to post a picture of the interior of Daunt Books; it's just awesome to walk into that bookshop and step back in time:

403bookmess
Oct 30, 1:15pm Top

I use my phone to scan the bar code to add books and love that feature. But then I often wait until I'm on my desktop to edit because it's clunky on the mobile app. I also use the mobile to check what I've got when I'm away from my desktop so I'm delighted to hear you're redesigning for better mobile use.

Any redesign will take time to adapt to. Most regular users will tough it out until we figure it out, but if new or potential users are being turned off by the old design and odd navigation, that's a concern to take seriously.

Just please don't go with the grey text so many modern sites use. It's very hard for older eyes to see comfortably.

404leesgirl1973
Oct 30, 3:01pm Top

I've been a LT member for almost 10 years, and I primarily use it for cataloging my rather large - and growing - library. I mainly use it on my desk top, but I do use the mobile when I'm out somewhere buying books and need to check to see if I already have a particular title. What I see so far looks pretty good. And I agree with conceptdawg that a major overhaul is way overdue and very necessary.
I'd like to see a speedup in search time both in "Your books" and in "Add books".
I like seeing all the information about the book when I click on the title - I would like to see the tags there, as well. I keep track of where and when I acquired a book, as well as any personal/historical story (which I put in the comments). I don't want those things to go away.
That being said, it would be nice to be able to catalog all types of media - videos, music, pamphlets, brochures, magazines, manuscripts, etc. It's ALL part of our libraries. And it would be great to have at least a link to a good valuation site for those of us with some really old books.
What I see so far looks promising. Hopefully, you'll get a couple of members to beta test the final product before you roll it out to everyone, and work out any/some issues beforehand.
Keep us posted!

405timspalding
Oct 30, 4:26pm Top

I suspect that 'book blurb' is less important to LT users in the mobile site; if the book is in front of you, you've got the blurb there. So it should be there, certainly, but maybe not right at the top.

This is an interesting point.

That being said, it would be nice to be able to catalog all types of media - videos, music, pamphlets, brochures, magazines, manuscripts, etc

You can. We introduced this years ago :)

And it would be great to have at least a link to a good valuation site for those of us with some really old books

A long-time request. I'd like to do it, but I want to stick to design topics here.

406danhammang
Oct 30, 7:53pm Top

Looks good to me. It's easy navigation to my most commonly used functions: search, add books, edit. Looking forward to having easier accessibility on my iOS devices. Your step by step approach of easing in utilizing tight resources gets my thumbs up.

407VicRML
Oct 31, 3:34am Top

Thank you for all the hard work put in so far. I'm looking forward to the new LT.

I'm only 1/3 of the way through the comments, but want to put my oar in before I forget.

Could the "Rating - Reviews - Members" stuff be optional or toggled visible/hidden? I never use it, and none of those helping out in our library look at it except to be confused or distracted by it and to have it add to their visual information overload. (So far all of us are seniors+, so anything that decreases our challenges is very welcome.)

Brown is ok if it has to be used, but I find it daggy, dull. And the use of brick red to indicate the active part of the screen does not have enough colour contrast to be easily noticed or significant for our colour-challenged users. Fresh colouring would be a lovely way to say 'New! Improved!' How about the main colour in the blue to green range?

Blessings,
Bevianne

408IraTozer
Oct 31, 7:25pm Top

When the "Power Editor" is activated, the toolbar that appears is great, but when I am way into my database and I scroll down, the "Power Bar" scrolls up. It would be so nice to freeze it in place so it is handy all the time. I keep loosing my place in my collection as I scroll down.

409harmen
Nov 1, 2:28pm Top

Looks nice! A bit of change is a good idea.

410AntonioGallo
Edited: Nov 1, 3:07pm Top

When is LT entering the "Brave New World"? Brave New World Aldous Huxley

411Kathleen828
Nov 2, 12:22pm Top

I just looked at the new design in Post >186 conceptDawg:.

I have one main concern. There is a tab on the left-hand side, "Add to your Library." I fear that it will "add" the book instantaneously if I click on it.

I am a cataloging librarian by trade and I add all my books to Library Thing manually. I don't ever click to have it added for me and I don't want that to happen.

I will always want to "Add manually" and I only go to my "Home page" to access the "Add Books" tab.

I also, just to add to the numbers if someone is keeping them, never use LT from my phone. It's too small, no matter what its design.

I do occasionally check it to see if I already own something if I am not at home, but its tiny size will prevent me from ever using it to catalog.

Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.

412PawsforThought
Nov 2, 1:41pm Top

>411 Kathleen828: The "Add book" button exists now too, it's not a new feature for the re-design (though the add books page is meant to be re-worked). It just takes you to the Add books page, just as the button does today (just like clicking on "Add books" tab in the top bar does.

413lilithcat
Nov 2, 2:02pm Top

>412 PawsforThought:

It just takes you to the Add books page, just as the button does today

I believe that in the redesign the intent is to have that button add a generic edition.

However, the Add Books page isn’t going away, so it will continue to be possible to add books manually or from any one of about a gazillion sources.

414PawsforThought
Nov 2, 3:12pm Top

>413 lilithcat: That's not what's been said. There's been talk about giving people the chance to choose a generic edition instead of a being forced to pick a specific one like now.

415swmiller
Nov 3, 8:23pm Top

Wow, this looks great!

416hartonj
Edited: Nov 3, 8:31pm Top

Just to throw my two cents on the pile.

Any time any website makes changes to be more mobile-friendly I almost always dislike it immensely.

It's not that I want anyone to stick it to the mobile users, but rather that I hate the tendency to take the site in a direction that is Mobile-First. That is instead of elevating the mobile experience to the same level somehow, the easy route is taken which leads to Mobile-First and Desktop Browser-WeJustDon'tCare/GetUsedToIt.

From the draft images shown I think this is probably far from the worst changes I've seen.

Having said that, I do think the color scheme is pretty nice.

However I think the following are unfortunate design choices:

- making the desktop site trade in the current logo for a non-descript L
- over-complicating basic stuff like signing in/out and going to settings by going to the same stupid 'click the person icon' for a drop-down menu that EVERY OTHER SITE IN EXISTENCE seems to think is the best thing since sliced bread. I get that elegant is hard, but that kind of menu adds pointless extra clicking and less visibility. Especially when logging in and out and looking at settings get a whole lot more than use than the other options that inevitable end up in these menus.
- squeezing the cover image into the center column, displacing a bunch of other stuff..
- replacing a layout that is clean usable for an overly minimalist one (also generic black and white icons are absolutely BLECH)

speaking of other stuff the images don't show what anything but the top of the page looks like on this new layout...

Naturally a bunch of this is probably due to just switching the whole site engine out for a new version or something else, so this pointless to say anything about because it's unlikely to be pick and choose so much as either or.

417Yaaresse
Nov 4, 3:20pm Top

OK, just to cause more trouble....
I realize I said earlier that too many sites are copying each other by using blue. That said, I cautiously ask: has using a steel blue accent with a rich brown considered? The leather of a comfy chair with the tech nod of the ubiquitous blue screen -- but without that cheap primary blue that screams "social media." Then the steel blue could be used for the stars and look like it belongs.

I like the icons with the text rather than just icons. I'm really tired of words being replaced with icons everywhere as if people think they are too busy to read actual words. And icons alone aren't always as intuitive as their designers seem to think they are.

Overall, the changes shown are an improvement over the current interface.

418anglemark
Nov 5, 3:28am Top

>417 Yaaresse: I'm really tired of words being replaced with icons everywhere as if people think they are too busy to read actual words.

Du får komma ihåg att LibraryThing inte bara är på engelska. Ikoner har fördelen av att fungera på alla språk.

419AndreasJ
Nov 5, 6:47am Top

>418 anglemark:

Jag har alltid sett det omvänt: engelska förvirrar dem som inte kan engelska, ikoner förvirrar alla.

(Vilket förvisso är mer rättvist.)

420anglemark
Nov 5, 9:43am Top

421troyka
Nov 5, 12:39pm Top

Much better I use mobile devices almost always and lt2 looks like it should work well, adaptive web design is so 2000s I'm glad you are catching up I will use the site more when it's live. The old site is so hard to use on a tablet.
Thanks for the hard work. Remember you won't always please someone if you change but don't stop development. Implementation is just a first step. Don't stagnate again .

422JerryMonaco
Nov 5, 2:52pm Top

I'm not able to evaluate LT2 because I don't see any examples on my computer.

But the current layout is fine for me.

423PawsforThought
Nov 5, 3:01pm Top

>422 JerryMonaco: The examples are in the link in >1 timspalding: and the image in >186 conceptDawg:

424familyresourcecentre
Nov 7, 5:21pm Top

Design is super important, and efficient design looks simple, but it takes a lot of tricks of the trade to make complexity look streamlined. I think your redesign mockups look awesome conceptDawg and I'm glad to see that LT will be coming into the new era of site design and utility. Good luck to the team!

425AntonioGallo
Nov 7, 5:28pm Top

I'm really anxious to see when LT enters the Brave New World ...

426InsightsintoBooks
Nov 8, 6:09pm Top

Oh I like the new design. Especially for mobile!

427mckait
Nov 8, 6:12pm Top

I notice that you can no longer add a book from its page. Will that come back? I was adding a series and had to go one by one.

428jjmcgaffey
Nov 9, 12:43am Top

>427 mckait: ? The current Add Book button has, from the start, done nothing but take you to Add Books with the title of the book in the search field and run a search. It's amazingly useless, unless the title is extremely unusual and the book has not been reprinted often.

The plan in this restructuring is for said button(s) to actually add the book that the button is on the page of - directly, or as close as possible. It sounds like you thought it was doing that already...

If I'm understanding you correctly, adding books one by one is how LT really works. Even if it's a series, the titles and ISBNs and publication data (year, at least) are different, and need to be cataloged separately. Though another plan in the works is to make it possible to add a "generic edition", with title and author and not much else - no publication data to trip things up.

429JerryMmm
Nov 9, 2:56am Top

Coming in late so sorry if it’s covered later on...

>49 conceptDawg: option to see full site on mobile

This.is.mandatory.

My eyes are fine and my fingertips sensitive enough for a full site on mobile currently. Sure, I zoom in, but that’s fine if I need to.

430kthawkins
Nov 9, 6:09am Top

I've only just found this topic. I was searching for information about reducing "Duplicates" in my library. When I see a book out and about and I'm not sure if I own it, the quickest way to check is to scan it with the app. Only problem is, this then adds it to the library as new book. I would welcome the addition of the option to "check" whether a book is already in my library using the scan option.

Otherwise, I've always thought that LibraryThing looks a bit dated and could do with modernising but I wouldn't like to see it go the way of a lot of other sites, where they appear to be set-up for mobile platforms, with huge headers that are the only thing you see on a PC. When I open a website I want to see information first and foremost, if I want pictures/logo's make them small previews and if I'm interested enough to want a closer look, I'll click to open it separately.

I'm a reader first and foremost, I get really frustrated when sites force video's to the top of the page and then pop them out on me when I choose to ignore them.

Thanks for a great app/website though.

431norabelle414
Nov 9, 8:33am Top

>427 mckait: The "add books" button has moved slightly - it's now at the top of the right side of the page, above quick links.

432mckait
Nov 9, 8:36am Top

>428 jjmcgaffey: My goodness, how condescending you sound.

I believe that there used to be an add to my library link on the book page. OF course, I add most books by adding individually, but I sometimes want to add several books from a series at once. I have been on LT for 12 years, and joined in order to catalog books, became very active in the forums, and now once again use it mainly for cataloging books. It was something I used now and then, and found it helpful.

433lilithcat
Nov 9, 8:54am Top

>432 mckait:

I believe that there used to be an add to my library link on the book page.

That link, as >428 jjmcgaffey: points out, never actually added the book to your library. All it did (and does) is take you to the "Add books" page, with the "results" filled in. You still have to check the proposed editions and choose which one you want.

434mckait
Nov 9, 9:16am Top

I did understand the first time. I thought it made adding books easier. That is my opinion. I am entitled to one you know. If you did not find it useful, that's absolutely fine with me. Apparently neither of you have an answer, just other opinions.

435Crypto-Willobie
Edited: Nov 9, 10:53am Top

>427 mckait: >431 norabelle414: >432 mckait: >433 lilithcat: >434 mckait:

I'm sorry you felt condescended to. I don't believe jjmcgaffey meant it that way -- sometimes it's hard to project or read attitudes or emotions on the net.

"I notice that you can no longer add a book from its page."
As norabelle414 pointed out that functionality is still there, exactly as it was except that it just moved to a different spot on the page.

"I sometimes want to add several books from a series at once."
It has never been possible to add multiple books to one's library 'at once' (except perhaps via Import). How were you doing that?

Folks don't always have answers, but may try to help by offering... opinions?

436davisfamily
Nov 9, 1:51pm Top

Well, I like it..

437jenniebooks
Nov 9, 3:20pm Top

terrific. when will it be complete?

438humouress
Nov 9, 11:46pm Top

>430 kthawkins: I would welcome the addition of the option to "check" whether a book is already in my library using the scan option.

That would be great! It would save time (and frustration) trying to do a fiddly search on my phone screen when the cursor won't stick in the right place, especially when the connection is slow.

439jjmcgaffey
Edited: Yesterday, 2:32am Top

>430 kthawkins:, >438 humouress: - I use the app to search - by typing in the title, which is slower than scanning but much quicker than trying to type on the (current) mobile webpage. That also will find if I have the book in a different edition - scanning the ISBN would only check if you had that one particular edition...ok, yeah, if you add the book it will complain even if you have a different edition. The problem is that that check (if I recall what we were told lo these many years ago) is relatively processor-intensive - so doing it over and over is hard on the servers. Limiting that broad check to "books you've added" helps.

I think what I'm trying to say is, it would be nice but it's probably not going to happen. And searching in the app by typing is almost as good.

>432 mckait: I'm sorry it came across as condescending - it's a question that's come up so many times I'm kind of on auto-pilot answering it. I did look at your profile, after I'd typed the message, and realized you'd been around for quite a while and probably knew all this stuff. But given that you knew this stuff I didn't understand what you were asking, so I left it.

I'm glad it works for you - every time I've tried the Add Books button I've gotten pages upon pages of books, most of which had no relation to what I wanted to add. You must be adding more unique books than I do.

440humouress
Yesterday, 2:52am Top

>439 jjmcgaffey: I confess; I've never used the app for anything except scanning books into a catalogue. Good to know, thanks.

As for 'Add books' button, when I tried it way back when it didn't seem to do anything helpful so I've always just used the 'Add Books' tab ever since.

441Crypto-Willobie
Yesterday, 10:45am Top

One of the problems with the +Add to Yer Liberry button is that it searches only the title from Amazon (or whatever is set as your your #1 source). But if it were programmed to search the title plus the author's surname most results would be relevant.

For instance Nocturne by Ed McBain is not already in my library so I clicked the green + and I got a jillion irrelevant hits for books with 'nocturne' in the title.
But if I add McBain so that the search is run on 'nocturne, mcbain' (with that comma between them) I still get multiple results but they are all for the correct work.

442waltzmn
Yesterday, 1:40pm Top

Context matters, too. I use "Add To Your Library" mostly for Early Reviewers books -- because I add them after checking off that they've been received. So, for those books, it would make sense to add the exact ISBN of the Early Reviewers edition -- we know exactly which book is meant in that case.

Other than that, like others here, I've mostly given up on the Add to Library button, because mostly I'm adding something such as my fourth or fifth edition of Piers Plowman, and that title kicks up 516 items, 99.2% of which I don't have and the first one of which, Piers Plowman (First Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) is, first, a lie (the first edition of Piers Plowman is a lost manuscript of the Z-text!) and, second, not even something that LibraryThing considers to be a copy of Piers Plowman proper, because it's a Norton Critical Edition.

That's a database problem, really, but the point is, a little intelligence and context-sensitivity in the "Add" button would make it somewhat less obnoxious and much more useful.

443oregonobsessionz
Yesterday, 5:34pm Top

>49 conceptDawg:
Overall I like the new layout. Have not viewed it on a full size screen, but I would agree with those who don't like aggressively large fonts and icons.

PLEASE maintain the ability to view in full site mode when using a mobile device. I use my phone far more often than my laptop, but I view most sites in desktop mode. I hate mobile sites where everything is in a single column, and you can't zoom out for an overview. Call it the revenge of the nearsighted - I have had glasses since I was 7, but still have good near vision, and have no problem using the existing site on my Android phone.

444lhdeiban
Today, 1:23pm Top

You can always zoom out on your PC. Many people nowadays are using the internet through their mobile device or tablet. I think the new design looks clean and modern/up-to-date! I look forward to using the updated version :)

445lhdeiban
Today, 1:26pm Top

In my opinion, the updated version is easier to navigate, clean, and has a modern feel to it. I look forward to it!

446rgurskey
Today, 2:57pm Top

>433 lilithcat:

When I joined LibraryThing over 10 years ago, the Add Book to Library button on a book page actually added the book to your library. It made adding my 600 issues of Astounding/Analog Science Fiction magazines rather easy. I was very disappointed when that was changed.

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