Julie’s gadget diary – Working on making the site more enjoyable

{ 9 comments }

gadget-diaryWe recently had a contest where I asked everyone what they thought about me switching back to a blog style theme instead of the magazine grid theme that we’ve had for almost a year. There were a lot of comments with suggestions on how to improve things further. I’ve compiled a list which I’ve been working on for the last few days. I wanted to give everyone a quick update to share my progress on implementing your ideas and changes. 

Changes completed so far

  • Switch from magazine style layout to blog layout
  • Added thumbnail images to category and search results pages
  • Changed tag cloud from a cloud to a list until I decide a better way to do it
  • Moved search bar to the menu bar
  • Installed dedicated mobile theme for smartphones and tablets
  • Asked the Gadgeteer team to make sure their images are no bigger than 1024×1024 when clicked
  • Fixed menus when browser page is narrower than 1100 pixels wide
  • Fixed oversized images in newsletter

Other changes under consideration

  • Moving tag cloud/list from sidebar
  • User customizable colors for background/text
  • Need to work on category menu which is too long
  • Add more useful content to the sidebar

I look forward to reading more comments about what you like and don’t like about the site.

Posted in: News
{ 9 comments… add one }
  • John Kes October 14, 2014, 7:01 pm

    How about a thumbs up feature to tally how cool a gadget is, and to give commenters feedback on their comments.

  • Lex October 15, 2014, 5:52 am

    The new menu column takes a lot of screen space for an item that may be be seldom used. Must it be permanently / prominently displayed? It would be nice if it were hide-able as with several apps for Apple devices.

    • Julie Strietelmeier October 15, 2014, 7:14 am

      @Lex Can you explain more about the “new menu column” being permanently displayed? There are no menus that are permanently displayed. You have to click the heading for the menu to show up. Unless you’re talking about the tag list on the sidebar. If that’s what you mean, I agree and I’m trying to find a way to add that to the top menu next to the logo.

  • Sufyan October 15, 2014, 3:13 pm

    I don’t like external links opening in the same window. I like it better if they open in a new window or tab. I know in most browsers one can get around that by pressing Ctrl and clicking it, but on a mobile device it is not that straight forward.
    However, this might be a personal thing! 🙂

  • Julie Strietelmeier October 15, 2014, 4:20 pm

    @John Kes I’ll check into that. I don’t want to add a ton of plugins to the site though. I already stripped out a bunch and I think it makes the site load a lot faster.

    @Sufyan It would be great if there would be a way to toggle the behavior of clicking on links so that if you did want them to create a new tab it would. The problem is that some people REALLY hate it when links are opened in new tabs. I’ll add that to my list of things to investigate though.

  • HungAD October 15, 2014, 4:52 pm

    The mobile site is a nice improvement. I was getting frustrated with two different mobile versions popping up randomly. It’s much better now.

  • bgood October 16, 2014, 3:19 pm

    So glad you returned to blog style because it is much easier to read especially on an iPhone.

  • Julie Strietelmeier October 17, 2014, 11:11 am

    If anyone was noticing that images in the newsletter have been extremely large, that problem has been fixed as of today.

  • John Kes October 17, 2014, 12:34 pm

    I was wondering about that. Thanks for fixing.

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