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Subject: This is not a welcoming site/sight. rss

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James Ludlow
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clearclaw wrote:
BGG primary product is raw text. I visit BGG in order to consume that text. I want BGG pages to be optimised for presenting text, lots of text, in the most information-dense manner possible while maintaining basic usability.

Text. Text is where it is at.


Embedded vi navigation!
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Ryan Powers
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cferejohn wrote:

Comparing BGG to Google.com is a non-starter.

Agree completely (if that wasn't already obvious.

Quote:

Google.com does 1 thing. It does it very well, but it only needs one point of input. BGG has forums, images, user-generated and moderated content, a marketplace, files, and games (T&E et al) that you can play on the site.


Actually Google does do a bunch more, but it does have one core thing that it does and does well. Many of the other things aren't obviously accessible from the front page. One could argue that with regards to many features, Google's interface is particularly poor at informing the user that said features even exist, let along how to use them (now what does that sound like...).

BGG, like Google, has a ton of different features. Unlike Google, however, there isn't a single overriding one to focus on, and that's the key for why the interface needs are different enough that comparison is, as you say, a non-starter.
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Xander Fulton
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XanderF wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
jdludlow wrote:



The one true google.com. I don't know what the hell they're thinking with their Yahoo! knock-off.



Well here you go. BGG as google. Not very useful huh?


Not at all - and I think you are missing the point of Google, in that it is serving its content in as thin a wrapping as possible.

This would be a better case of "BGG as google":



...importantly, keeping ads off the "landing page", but feel free to use as appropriate on any/all pages users click through to.

And, MOST important:
Presenting, in as clear a method as possible, the key content on BGG - games!
Using as few modules as possible. The images are here because they are cool and 'hook' users on a potentially cool new idea, the 'hotness' is here because it leads to game pages - what BGG is made of - reviews, session reports, game details, etc.

The point is to, in one place, show what makes BGG COOL. What makes BGG a community (the current focus of the default page) is great and all, but it isn't going to 'hook' new users until they think it's COOL, first!

(Keeping in mind this is just a quick slap-dash...point is, what initial users to BGG should see on first arrival, before logging in - what is needed to capture their attention - should look a LOT more like this!)


*cough*
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Zé Mário
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keethrax wrote:


When you figure out how what you just wrote is relevant to interfaces, please clue me in. Particularly with regard to how it relates to either BGG's current interface or the "BGG as google" image.

Because I can't see the connection, and this thread is about the interface. It's about not some irrelevant semantic word-game of what search-engine means.

I'm in agreement with your definition of search engine, by the way, not with the one you assume for me. But I can't seem to figure out how it would be relevant to whether the pictured interface is appropriate even if I didn't agree. And therefore I can't seem to figure out what the purpose of your post is.


1st. I gave my opinion on what interface I'ld prefer: the one with a simple look if it had a working search engine. Hence the search engine comment. There's the clue.
2nd. I gave you the definition for a search engine because you said
Quote:
Anyone who cna't grasp the difference between different types of sites (ie a search engine and BGG)
I do, and I gave you the differences...

I guess the purpose of my post was giving my opinion. wow
 
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J C Lawrence
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » BoardGameGeek Related » BGG General
Re: This is not a welcoming site/sight.
jdludlow wrote:
Embedded vi navigation!


Don't be obscene. (X)Emacs with an emebedded elisp command layer is the only way to go.
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Jonathan Warren
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XanderF wrote:



This is quite a neat design. The new user does not confront information overload like the current interface.
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Rick Roppolo
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MWChapel wrote:
Searched "The moon is a harsh mistress".


Well, I have nothing to contribute to this conversation other than:

I love that book.
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J C Lawrence
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NateStraight wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
BGG primary product is raw text. I visit BGG in order to consume that text. I want BGG pages to be optimised for presenting text, lots of text, in the most information-dense manner possible while maintaining basic usability.

Text. Text is where it is at.


In that case, BGG must be web-nirvana for you.


Not quite. It is space in-efficient, wasting too much screen space and is too cluttered with extraneous low-signal images.
 
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Joe Kundlak
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XanderF wrote:



Really, this is where BGG frontpage should be heading!

At least for unregistered users.
Us hippos should get the full (yet maybe a bit more streamlined) treatment

Kudos to XanderF!
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Ryan Powers
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Asur wrote:

1st. I gave my opinion on what interface I'ld prefer: the one with a simple look if it had a working search engine. Hence the search engine comment. There's the clue.


My contention, which you've avoided like the plague is that there is *no* search engine you could put behind that front end that would make it good for BGG.

Quote:


2nd. I gave you the definition for a search engine because you said
Quote:
Anyone who cna't grasp the difference between different types of sites (ie a search engine and BGG)
I do, and I gave you the differences...



Umm... What?

No. You decided I didn't know what a search engine was. And avoided the issue of interface. Again.

When you can point out what even the basic properties of some mythical "working search engine" would have that would make that interface worthwhile for a site like BGG, then your comments make some semblance of sense. But you haven't and I'm pretty certain that is because you cannot.

Until then, your ideas about what is and is not a usable interface are silliness at best. You've moved the interface question from the appearance of the page to the interface with and capabilities of the search engine underlying the page, but have done exactly zero (I would argue less than zero if there is no way to even define the characteristics of said mythical search engine) to propose a better interface.

You've basically said "that would be a great front end if the search engine behind it magically knew what you wanted". While I'm saying that without magically knowing what you wanted that would be a next to useless front end to the existing features of BGG, let alone any future additions.
 
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John W
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NateStraight wrote:
How long would it take you to find a similar game to Settlers Of Catan from a cold-start on this site? How long would it take to find a similar book to Twilight from a cold-start over at Shelfari?
Yet another example of why I find it baffling that the old user-generated recommendation system was removed, in favor of the demonstrably worse automated algorithm that repeatedly fails.
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kSwingrÜber
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All this talk about a search thingy... what's this:
http://www.geekdo.com/advsearch/boardgame ?

LOL
 
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Caleb
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derk wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
It's a monumental task. I don't envy anyone who has to tackle the problem of organizing the data contained on this site, and I'm sure that it would be a very expensive process.


Very expensive process is exactly the point. It's not like we like the interface ourselves, but right now BoardGameGeek is so badly undermonetized that undertaking a project of this magnitude represents a massive risk for us... Every single change we make is met with howls of derision, and everyone's got a different opinion about how to make things better, but no one's willing to help bring it to fruition. Give me concrete steps to fix it, and I guarantee we'll seriously consider it...



Well, I understand where you're coming from, I think. However, I would say that maybe the scant resources you do have to make modifications have been previously spent all in bringing in new features, and upgrading existing features. This is good, but all the features in the world won't help new users, and maybe aren't even what would be most useful for existing users.

I recommend a moratorium on new features or enhancements to existing features, except to fix critical things that break. The site already has a vast amount of features; what is needed now is a comprehensive whole; a UI upgrade that does not seek to add more complexity but rather to simplify. By halting projects and enhancements, resources can be dedicated to fixing the UI, maybe.
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John W
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kswingruber wrote:

All this talk about a search thingy... what's this:
http://www.geekdo.com/advsearch/boardgame ?

LOL
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic.

IME, that search is almost useless to me.

What happened to the Google Site Search feature that used to work 10x better?
Why would something that basic have been moved/removed?
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Xander Fulton
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JoffW wrote:
XanderF wrote:



This is quite a neat design. The new user does not confront information overload like the current interface.


Thanks!

And I think an important aside from this design - which isn't specifically spelled out, but would be KEY...

...once a user does decide that they love the content on BGG, and want to subscribe...there should be nothing forcing them to the information-overload front page they have, now. Showing them it? Yes. Convincing them to become part of the community, whenever possible (retaining users you attract, after all, being a critical consideration)? Yes! But FORCING them to the information-overload version? No!

IE., when a user subscribes to BGG and gets to customize their front page, there should be an easy option - a nice, big, red button (or, rather, a radio-button toggle choice) that lets them select "default 'thin' entry page" or "fully customized entry page".

If a user likes the 'google-like' look, and are interested in subscribing after seeing it, by all means make it easy to keep that look for them!
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clearclaw wrote:
I want BGG pages to be optimised for presenting text, lots of text, in the most information-dense manner possible while maintaining basic usability.


This is what I want too, and I expect most folks who have been around for years want something similar. However for new users BGG looks too much like
http://london.craigslist.co.uk/ and IMO should be pruned back.

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I'll think of something witty to put here...
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I would say, for non-logged in users:
Keep
* "Geeklists" module
* "Forums" module
* "Images" (make them bigger, filter out the "people" category) module,
* "Hot Games" box
* "Find a Game" box (more prominent)
* BGG logo

Lose most/everything else.
Then have some big colourful buttons labeled:

*"Register/Log In" (becomes "My Profile" when logged in)
*"Top 100 Games"
*"Buy Games"
*"Game Clubs" (with mouse-over text "Find a gaming group near you")
*"More..." (covering "Misc" Help, FAQ, etc.)

All this can then be customised when logged in.
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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cannoneer wrote:
I recommend a moratorium on new features or enhancements to existing features, except to fix critical things that break. The site already has a vast amount of features; what is needed now is a comprehensive whole; a UI upgrade that does not seek to add more complexity but rather to simplify. By halting projects and enhancements, resources can be dedicated to fixing the UI, maybe.


That's always been the plan. However, a large part of that plan also revolved around the idea of increasing monetization potential along the way, aka VideoGameGeek. RPGGeek was necessary step to get to VGG and VGG was deemed necessary to get additional income. Once these steps were accomplished, we could truly throw all our resources into tackling the UI issues. Perhaps others don't agree with this, but that's what we deemed central to our long-term success. So those of you who felt that RPGG and VGG were drains on our efforts, I think you're wrong...
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A Derk appears from the mists...
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One other comment on monetization. The worldwide board gaming industry has benefited from BoardGameGeek, however in many cases said industry (especially old school companies run by old school managers who simply have no idea what BGG does) seems dead set against helping us continue growing and increasing exposure to their products... This last year has been a major education in how much effort is expended in marginalizing our contribution to the 'hobby.' We're constantly put into a situation where we could easily make more cash by compromising our ideals, but we're idealists at heart. As Aldie says quite often, "This is the kind of business that I want to run."
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John W
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derk wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
I recommend a moratorium on new features or enhancements to existing features, except to fix critical things that break. The site already has a vast amount of features; what is needed now is a comprehensive whole; a UI upgrade that does not seek to add more complexity but rather to simplify. By halting projects and enhancements, resources can be dedicated to fixing the UI, maybe.


That's always been the plan. However, a large part of that plan also revolved around the idea of increasing monetization potential along the way, aka VideoGameGeek. RPGGeek was necessary step to get to VGG and VGG was deemed necessary to get additional income. Once these steps were accomplished, we could truly throw all our resources into tackling the UI issues. Perhaps others don't agree with this, but that's what we deemed central to our long-term success. So those of you who felt that RPGG and VGG were drains on our efforts, I think you're wrong...
Wow -
well it's a good thing that there are users on this site to provide you with click-thru ad revenue.

Nice to hear, plainly for once, what the focus is on this site now.

So how can we BGG users better provide "increased monetization potential"?

Can we join your Twitter page and spam social media sites to broaden your internet presence?

Can we create fake/joke/parody YouTube videos and try to become an internet meme?

Can we whore out our game contributions and provide the content for the site? (Oh, wait we already do that)
Maybe the better-looking BGG gals could show some skin for a BGG Calendar to raise monetization?

All contributors should donate 8 GG to BGG for an "I Whore for BGG" microbadge for double-whoring effectiveness.

In all seriousness, ever since this shift from BGG-as-user-content-site to BGG-as-LLC-business-dominant-entity, I feel ookie whenever the business side is laid bare like this - it's just my aversion to corporations showing - feel free to ignore (as usual).
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Gabe Alvaro
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Has anybody yet mentioned that often many users don't come in through the front door? Somebody looking for information on Settlers of Catan, will often come first from a search engine and then first see a game page like this:



I don't think that is bad. You get a lot of information, neatly organized under sections with clear headings. I believe that many users perhaps begin their exploration and initiation to the site from a game page rather than the front page.

On a side note, if I ever need to recommend a board game site to introduce modern board games to a member of the unwashed masses, I recommend gateplay.com (coincidentally featured above and not meant to be a shill ) precisely because their approach and layout is far more conducive to offering an introduction to the modern world of board games. Boardgamegeek.com, to the uninitiated, can probably feel like taking a drink from a firehose.

On the other hand, it may in fact be ugly but it does have a certain logic, and users can sense that (just as we all have).
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reapersaurus wrote:

Maybe the better-looking BGG gals could show some skin for a BGG Calendar to raise monetization?


Sign my wife up.

Agnes would probably do it.

That's 2 already! 10 to go.
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Daniel Barrett
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Another geek catalog type site that I find has a more welcoming front page is www.bricklink.com

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J C Lawrence
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paulclarke339 wrote:
However for new users BGG looks too much like
http://london.craigslist.co.uk/ and IMO should be pruned back.


Go figure; I also like/use Craiglist heavily. Yep, good stuff.
 
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Ryan Powers
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reapersaurus wrote:


In all seriousness, ever since this shift from BGG-as-user-content-site to BGG-as-LLC-business-dominant-entity, I feel ookie whenever the business side is laid bare like this - it's just my aversion to corporations showing - feel free to ignore (as usual).


That has to be the most asinine nonsensical blather I've seen in a long time. And that's saying quite a bit.

Feel free to pretend the world runs on rainbows and unicorn farts. And that running a site like this just magically happens free for everyone.

But please, when you're forced to face reality on occasion, can you do the world a favor and do it with less nonsensical whining?
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