AfterDawn: Tech news

Topics launched -- new way to use AfterDawn

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 31 Jan 2008 12:17 User comments (30)

Topics launched -- new way to use AfterDawn AfterDawn's main navigation has remained virtually the same for almost a decade now. The familiar split between news, software, guides, etc has been an integral part of our site since the very beginning.
But for many, many years, we've received emails and feedback reports from our users (specially new users) saying that when you first time arrive at AfterDawn, it is really hard to understand what type of content the site has and where it could be found from.

Thus, about a year ago, we began planning a new way to organize the material available on our site. The idea to "tag" or "assign content to topics" has evolved to the new navigation bar you now see on the left-hand side of the page. It should be noted that we wanted to build the new "topic-based" navigation system independent of the main navigation, so that it wouldn't get too complex for new users.

We've went through thousands of articles, glossary entries, software items, etc and tried to assign them into somewhat logical "packages" that should ease finding the material from our site users are looking for.

So, there it is; our new navigation sidebar. If you like it or hate it, please tell us! And if you hate it, tell us why and how we could improve it. You can simply post a comment to this article and tell us here what you think about the new navigation element. If you do truly hate it, click the top part of it (the one marked with X :-) and it should disappear.

-Petteri Pyyny, webmaster
AfterDawn.com

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30 user comments

131.1.2008 12:31

Personally i think theres too much on each page now. Anyway, thanks for close function for me its much appreciated!

Lecsiy

231.1.2008 12:32

Very nice - I like it a lot. I'm on a laptop now, so it looks cluttered, but I know it will look good at home when I expand the width of firefox to fit my new 22" widescreen monitor (16:10)

Thanks!

:-)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Jan 2008 @ 12:34

331.1.2008 12:41
goodswipe
Inactive

Yea, looks really cluttered but, the nice close option can take care of that. :)

431.1.2008 12:44

I agree, it might look slightly "cluttered" on small resolutions, but shouldn't be too confusing when using 1280 width or larger. After all, only a very small portion of our users still use 1024x768 or smaller resolutions. But as stated, the magic close button can free up some space if needed :-)

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Jan 2008 @ 12:45

531.1.2008 13:06

Wow i think this is a rele great idea!

631.1.2008 13:51

Meh useless, waste of space. Thank God for the close function. Screw n00bs!

731.1.2008 14:18

Is it possible that once we login to have our own customizable navigation bars? that would be great... so i can pick the stuff i am interested in.

831.1.2008 14:24

Originally posted by munx:
Is it possible that once we login to have our own customizable navigation bars? that would be great... so i can pick the stuff i am interested in.
Well, we have stuff on our "code to-do list" for about 2 years now, but sure, I'll add this one to the list too, as I think it is a pretty good idea.

931.1.2008 14:53

It's nice being able to open/close it at will.

Definately interested in the customizable nav bars. That's a sweet idea.

All in all, i think it "crams" the page a bit. *shrugs* maybe just take some getting used to. Thanks for the close function!



1031.1.2008 15:10

Originally posted by dRD:
Originally posted by munx:
Is it possible that once we login to have our own customizable navigation bars? that would be great... so i can pick the stuff i am interested in.
Well, we have stuff on our "code to-do list" for about 2 years now, but sure, I'll add this one to the list too, as I think it is a pretty good idea.

I think it would be particularly helpful to allow not only Topics, but also shortcuts to threads, guides, and glossary items. Because I'm always on the lookout for more work for you boss ;)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Jan 2008 @ 15:11

Rich Fiscus
@Vurbal on Twitter
AfterDawn Staff Writer

1131.1.2008 15:54

Great addition but can make the screen look cluttered for users with traditional screens (as opposed to 16:9 or 16:10).

1231.1.2008 16:02

Quote:
Great addition but can make the screen look cluttered for users with traditional screens (as opposed to 16:9 or 16:10).
I agree, however, this is probably the reason why they incorporated a "close" button.

I personally don't like it at the moment, but thats partially because its a new thing that I haven't got used to yet.

Anyway, its great to see some "small" additions like this coming up with more frequency. It keeps the site fresh and exciting.

I am still hoping for a "Post Review" button on the news articles because I enjoy being able to look at my post before its "official" but I am sure that the feature is somewhere on the "to-do" list and will come around sometime.

Anyway, keep up the great work dRD (and everyone else!) I am glad to be a part of this wonderful community.

Peace

1331.1.2008 16:13

I think you guys have done enough. I remember when we got the current site layout. You guys do a fine job and having the x button on the topics. I have been here 2+ years so I'm used to the current layout.

1431.1.2008 17:56

seems like a good idea, even though it crowds a tiny bit on my 4:3 screen. doesn't look bad to me, though, so i give it nothing but praise.

i might actually use it.

oh, that's right, i live bookmark the feed.

maybe one day i'll use it, either way it's a good thing.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Jan 2008 @ 18:01

151.2.2008 13:37

The nav bar fits well. Looks good and functions smoothly. I don't have to hunt as hard for articles I want. Great JOB !!!

161.2.2008 17:04

I love it. Innovation keeps AD fresh and relevant. Keep up the good work.

172.2.2008 3:42

Friends are always asking me how to's and I give them your IP address.
The new format will be great for them as they have had problems finding what they eeded.

182.2.2008 6:49

Nice and simple navigation,afterall people come here looking for specific topics so its a great help to them,nice move having the Close function though.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 02 Feb 2008 @ 6:49


192.2.2008 9:26

Originally posted by vurbal:
Originally posted by dRD:
Originally posted by munx:
Is it possible that once we login to have our own customizable navigation bars? that would be great... so i can pick the stuff i am interested in.
Well, we have stuff on our "code to-do list" for about 2 years now, but sure, I'll add this one to the list too, as I think it is a pretty good idea.

I think it would be particularly helpful to allow not only Topics, but also shortcuts to threads, guides, and glossary items. Because I'm always on the lookout for more work for you boss ;)
...And, perhaps, the exceptionally overlooked Forum Rules.

202.2.2008 9:40

I Liked It!!!!!!

212.2.2008 15:42
1967
Inactive

I like it, a bit clustered on my lap top but on the 21'' or the projector in the front room it is great.

222.2.2008 15:56
rickland
Inactive

I would like something more along the line of a TreeView style navigation and one that I can customize but a normal one would be fine for me

233.2.2008 4:53

I've been using this site for some time now and I am pleased to see changes for the better. I have a 19 inch screen but it doesn't look cluttered to me at all. Well done.

243.2.2008 19:03

Congradulations! I really like the way the new site looks. It is streamlined and pretty with the blue and white speckled background. The only thing I would like to see on the list is a heading on the guides or instructions or whatever you want to call it because I go to that section a lot. There does not appear to be one on this new list. Keep up the good work!

2510.2.2008 11:59

I like the organization - only suggestion is a "topic" for say the last three weeks posting of all items - i.e. go to one place for all new postings
Thanks again for a great source of info and help.

2622.2.2008 15:44

I think this is a personal matter if a user likes it or not i only have one problem with it, When i see it open i close it and goes to the side which is good however when i comeback every now and then i see it is open again i would like too see an option on our user account that makes this feature optinal for the user to have this navigation or not. This feature new navigation is a good idea however i think that it is not something that appeals to me and maybe some other users.

The other issue i have is now that we read articles we do not have the source of the article at bottom of the article what ever happen to that. I liked it and has that been removed or replaced???

Just my 2 cents hope it was helpful and constructive.

2723.2.2008 7:06

Originally posted by borhan9:
i would like too see an option on our user account that makes this feature optinal for the user to have this navigation or not
This on our to-do list.

Quote:
The other issue i have is now that we read articles we do not have the source of the article at bottom of the article what ever happen to that. I liked it and has that been removed or replaced???
Source links are now embedded within the article text itself. This is something "lets see how this change effects to the traffic", which means that it'll stay like that for at least couple of months and we'll analyse whether it has been a right move or not. If not, we'll return back to the "old style".

2823.2.2008 16:57

Quote:
Originally posted by borhan9:
i would like too see an option on our user account that makes this feature optinal for the user to have this navigation or not
This on our to-do list.

Quote:
The other issue i have is now that we read articles we do not have the source of the article at bottom of the article what ever happen to that. I liked it and has that been removed or replaced???
Source links are now embedded within the article text itself. This is something "lets see how this change effects to the traffic", which means that it'll stay like that for at least couple of months and we'll analyse whether it has been a right move or not. If not, we'll return back to the "old style".
Thanxs for the update dRD always seems you guys are reading my mind :)

2924.2.2008 4:39

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by borhan9:
i would like too see an option on our user account that makes this feature optinal for the user to have this navigation or not
This on our to-do list.

Quote:
The other issue i have is now that we read articles we do not have the source of the article at bottom of the article what ever happen to that. I liked it and has that been removed or replaced???
Source links are now embedded within the article text itself. This is something "lets see how this change effects to the traffic", which means that it'll stay like that for at least couple of months and we'll analyse whether it has been a right move or not. If not, we'll return back to the "old style".
Thanxs for the update dRD always seems you guys are reading my mind :)
Surely you must've read our rules & restrictions section and know that you've given us the right to do so?-)

3024.2.2008 6:53

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by borhan9:
i would like too see an option on our user account that makes this feature optinal for the user to have this navigation or not
This on our to-do list.

Quote:
The other issue i have is now that we read articles we do not have the source of the article at bottom of the article what ever happen to that. I liked it and has that been removed or replaced???
Source links are now embedded within the article text itself. This is something "lets see how this change effects to the traffic", which means that it'll stay like that for at least couple of months and we'll analyse whether it has been a right move or not. If not, we'll return back to the "old style".
Thanxs for the update dRD always seems you guys are reading my mind :)
Surely you must've read our rules & restrictions section and know that you've given us the right to do so?-)
I am sure i agreed to that. It must be me loosing my memory cause i must have had selective memories installed at the time :)

It's all good keep up the good work dRD i just wish i had more time that i do to contribute as i once did.

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