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Subject:Missed it
Summary:Rethink the concept of "problem"
Date:2014-07-02 10:35:46
Update:2014-07-12 09:42:52

  1. Missed it   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Pentasis Pentasis - 2014-07-02 12:10:15
First of all let me say I love this site. I use it a lot. But sadly it does not convey the feeling of being a contemporary, professional site. In itself that does not have to be a big problem since you occupy a nice little niche here that has very big potential.
Unfortunately you seem to be missing some important points whenever you change something on the site. The concept of "problem" as you describe it, does not actually have to be a problem. it is about guidance. What does the user want, what do I want that the user does, and how can I help him. I am left wondering if you are a designer? This is no critique, I merely want to help and am trying to understand where you are coming from.
If I look at the package pages I still see a jumble of tabs, links etc. that make no sense. 7 rows of information not grouped by function, no logical grouping based on functional design and no usage of known-to-work design patterns. I have 25+ years of experience in design of which 15 in webdesign. I teach design and I would rate this site 6 out of 10 if you were a first class student and a 3 out of 10 if you were a graduate.
Again, I am not trying to be mean or condescending. I really think this site has huge potential, but you need to consider hiring a professional if you want to take it a step farther.

  2. Re: Missed it   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2014-07-02 12:31:47 - In reply to message 1 from Pentasis
Thank you for the feedback.

I am afraid there is a misunderstanding that the article should have made clear. Maybe the article is not using the right wording that helps you get the right idea that it was meant to pass.

Design thinking is not about graphical design, nor user experience. It is first before everything about product design. The end result may require some graphical design or user experience evaluation, but that is not where it starts.

Therefore design thinking is not necessarily to make products contemporary or look professional. That is more a goal of visual (graphical) design.

Products are meant to solve user problems. That is what you call "what the user want". If the user wants something that currently it is hard, that is a problem of the site in this case.

As it was explained in the article, the effort started from listening how the users were using the site to learn what are the problems that needed to be solved.

The current effort only focused on package pages. Other parts of the site will be addressed as the time permits. Still not all problems of package pages were addressed now. There is a list of pending issues that is being addressed day after day.

It is interesting that you feel that the tabs do not group information by function. You also mention 7 rows. The information should not appear grouped in rows.

I wonder if you are seeing the same thing that is presented in the demo video. I suspect that for some reason you may have JavaScript disabled and the functionality of tabs is not working properly.

Can you explain better what you mean? Can you post a screenshot in case you are seeing something different from what is shown in the video?

  3. Re: Missed it   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Pentasis Pentasis - 2014-07-12 09:00:25 - In reply to message 2 from Manuel Lemos
I don't see an option to include a screenshot here. I'll try to be more specific.
When you go to a package page you see 7 "rows":
1) Info, view files, download, etc.
2) Headings for: Last updated, ratings, etc.
3) Content for headings 2)
4) Headings for Version, license, etc.
5) content for headings 4)
6) Headings for Description and Author
7) Content for headings 6)

It is basically one big block of information where everything seems to have the same "weight" both visually and informationally. Tabs and headings are visually the same, some icons are reused for different purposes, sometimes an icon is used, or a tab or a link. Sometimes a tab is also a button, etc. etc.

When you (re)design a page the first step is to group information. On these pages the groups *could* be:
1) File information (description, version/update, license, author)
2) The actual file (download, view)
3) Ratings & Replies
4) Support
5) Archival (Category, Tags, things that help people search for and find files)
6) Author details
7) Blog & Links (not sure if those are ever used?)

Each group should have a weight (importance) based on "what the user wants" and this weight must be translated into a visual positioning and design which helps the user get what he/she wants. (I will point out that items 1 and 2 could be combined, as could 3 and 4, things like that depend on your product design (eg. target audience))

The main purpose of these pages is to download packages based on the information given. Groups 1), 2) and 3) are therefore the most important.

When visually designing also use tabs for switching between views, buttons for actions, links for going to another page, etc. And use colours and sizes to mark importance. As it is now, the page is one big "blob" of information without any design structure.

Product design is the basis of visual design and usability.

  4. Re: Missed it   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2014-07-12 09:42:52 - In reply to message 3 from Pentasis
For now there is no way to attach files to forum posts. You can always upload a screenshot in another site and put a link here.

Anyway, now that you explained your point, I got what you mean by rows.

Well, I have interviewed in 5 users for 7h30m in total split in two rounds. In the last round I have presented a prototype of what I planned to do to address the issues they mentioned. The last prototype is available here:

As you may see, it is more or less what was implemented in the site. None of the users said it was visually confusing. That does not mean it was not a bit confusing for them when they looked at it first. So some changes may be done to improve it further.

If you feel this is confusing or otherwise not helpful to guide you as user, what would you change to make it better? Would you just change the colors of the tabs for each detail, or you would change other things?

Anyway, the information was grouped according to the priority the interviewed users said of the details they want to see first.

Maybe other users prefer to see it in a different order. That makes it impossible to please everybody. I had to choose an order that seems to please most users.

I could change it to please better your preferences, but I am afraid it would not please the preferences of other users.

I could also make it customizable but I am afraid that only the minority of the users that are power users would customize it. So I feel it would be better if the default pleases that majority.

Other than, it would help to understand how you would make it better if you would not mind of grabbing a screenshot of the current page, change whatever you think it would be different, upload the screenshot somewhere and post a link here so I can see what exactly you mean. Thanks again for the feedback.