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

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Chris Wood
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I prefer the layout of the site, but I guess I'm old school and prefer text over snazzy images and layout. For me it just cuts through the bullsh*t.
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Flying Monkeys!
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It's not that hard to find your way around. I am a 40+ year old non-tech kinda guy who learns by trial and error.

I friggin love this site.

The fact that there is till so much I have not even used on here makes it like a treasure hunt. Every few weeks I will discover another little corner of BGG that has something great to offer.

And as far as the person who said that some members may be off-putting on their own... sure there is always going to be a few #$@$$% s but .. have you been to any other site on the intranet ? BGG is a super welcoming community and it's downfalls are practically non-existant when compared to just about any other web forum based place you'll find. I think.

I dunno, if I can find my way around without giving up, it just can't be all that hard. Will they win some kind of award for web design ? Probably not. Do I care ? Definately not !

Long Live the Geek !

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/768598/i-would-say-i-am-...
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Blorb Plorbst
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I think we're all bozos on this bus.
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All that's needed is an cleaner front page that allows regular users to customize it.

So you can have it just the way it is now once you're registered but new visitors will get a gentler introduction.
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Matthew M Monin
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CrankyPants wrote:
All that's needed is an cleaner front page that allows regular users to customize it.


This is the UI redesign philosophy in a nutshell!
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Tom Hancock
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clearclaw wrote:
I visit BGG in order to consume that text.


Can a brother get a "I don't read, I consume text" microbadge?

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Brandon
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I LIKE that the wall of text keeps (most of) the mouthbreathers out.
 
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King of the Dead
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I would like more and more people here.

I would likely see it as icing on the cake if myopic, elitist jerks were to leave because of the influx of new members and inability to adapt to change.

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ronaldinho @boardspace.net
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I stumbled across bgg and left multiple times before I eventually bit the bullet, because I couldn't find any other boardgaming website. I am used to it now, but it can be a bit more catchy to new users.
 
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I customize the site with adblock. Not to block ads (for that, one should buy the ad-free option), but to customize the site layout and significantly speed up loading time.
Thus, the page loads fast, I am not lost in the middle of nowhere, and the design is lean and clean.
Takes a little fiddling around with the options, but I like this bare frame design.
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Daniel Corban
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » BoardGameGeek Related » BGG General
Re: This is not a welcoming site/sight.
This site is pretty much the sole reason why I use adblock.

It's also pretty bad to use on a phone. Tiny icons to click, tiny text, cluttered with ads.

I look forward to whatever is in store.
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Xander Fulton
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Necro-resurrecting this thread, as I recently had an interesting experience.

Talking to a gamer at a local store while playing an X-Wing event, and they commented on the cool flyer that the store was using to advertise it.

It was, of course, a pretty cool little thing I knocked together...



...and I commented "oh, I just took one of the photos I'd uploaded to BoardGameGeek and put some fancy text on it, it's nothing"

And they were all, like, "Boardwhatwhat?"

"Yeah, it's a site dedicated to boardgames! Huge community, people posting reviews, session reports, discussing game ideas, posting pics - GREAT place to follow the latest game news..."

So they pulled it up on their tablet and immediately laughed.

And - as close as possible to their exact words - I got "Nice try, but I think you need to work on your website design some, buddy. This geocities-looking stuff went out of style in the 90s."

FWIW, this is the initial experience a visitor has on seeing the site for the first time, no login or anything, just...first-time on the site:



I have to say...I can sort of see their point.

Regardless of what anyone thinks about the usability of the site - and sure, we do still get new users - I can't help but wonder how many more we'd get if the new-user-experience wasn't quite so stab-yourself-in-the-face-ugly.

I'd made a suggestion some time back (the reason this thread comes to mind)...the landing page for first-time users really needs to look a LOT more like this, vs the above:

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Ioannis Kalafatis
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Information overload problems have been solved before with quite elegant UIs by quite smart people with lots of money. Why doesn't BGG make one site their role model and copy what they do?

My suggestion: YouTube
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The Magic the Gathering sight used to be a huge load of data and I loved it.

Then they made it so when you opened the site you were treated to a huge video and musical production.

Happily there is a way to bypass all that and get to a screen with data, but it's not the same unfortunately.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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coralsaw wrote:
Information overload problems have been solved before with quite elegant UIs by quite smart people with lots of money. Why doesn't BGG make one site their role model and copy what they do?

Because the underlying code is, according to Aldie, not properly MVC; and a massive UI update in 2012 went completely sour because of this. In fact it was put on hold indefinitely.

BGG do not make sufficient money to hire the many programmers needed to give the site the overhaul it requires. The backlog of suggestions is by now so large that adding new ones is more or less pointless.

Under the hood several new things are appearing, though; and I'd like to think—but whether there's truth in it is conjecture—that the new Marketplace, rickety and unwieldy as some feel it is, is actually a first exercise in coding in a different way on a larger scale. But how this all works out in the end... I have no idea.
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Ioannis Kalafatis
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cymric wrote:
coralsaw wrote:
Information overload problems have been solved before with quite elegant UIs by quite smart people with lots of money. Why doesn't BGG make one site their role model and copy what they do?

Because the underlying code is, according to Aldie, not properly MVC; and a massive UI update in 2012 went completely sour because of this. In fact it was put on hold indefinitely.

I am unsure what a specific software pattern has to do with my suggestion of learning usability from another site. I gather your comment is about BGG lacking money, rather than lack of vision and knowledge.

I am not privy to BGG's finances so could not comment on whether they could afford good webapp development or not (I can see their traffic growth and levels which are not to be scoffed at). However, I cannot see how in the long run BGG can keep their status and anchor point for the industry, if they don't keep up with the Joneses in that area.

BGG is not a terribly complex website, if I may say so without being flamed, both in terms of userbase and dataset size. There does exist a specific level of custom functionality as far as I can tell (which has been lowered by the clever spinoff of the marketplace). However, it is not obvious to me, with the limited view that I have, how they could not afford (or attract the investment) to rewrite the site fully. And there are always equity, volunteering or open sourcing options to explore.

Obviously, I know very little about the site, so cannot comment further. Thanks to the BGG team that look after these matters, their efforts are duly appreciated.
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Mike toober
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If the list of suggestions is that large, then I suggest...

To put the list of suggestions in a sortable report list and let us thumb up or thumb down suggestions important to us. The more important ones can rise to the top of the list from the collective group. Make it sortable by date and popularity and category.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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coralsaw wrote:
I am unsure what a specific software pattern has to do with my suggestion of learning usability from another site. I gather your comment is about BGG lacking money, rather than lack of vision and knowledge.

Because if the website were proper MVC, swapping out the old UI for a better one would be a lot easier. As it stands now, the code defeated a massive UI overhaul, increasing usability by a lot, two years ago. It's not just lacking money; it's also about lacking a solid code foundation (which is what the MVC-remark implied).

Quote:
I am not privy to BGG's finances so could not comment on whether they could afford good webapp development or not (I can see their traffic growth and levels which are not to be scoffed at).

No, those definitely aren't. But I'd say that the noticable lack of feature development for several years running is a pretty good indicator of how the finances work out. As I recall the UI thing was talked about already in 2008 or 2009; first came a sizable update to accomodate for RPGG and VGG; and sometime later work was started on the UI. Everyone was psyched—Things Were Finally Happening!—there was a massive beta tester program too... But the state of the main code caused Aldie to pull the plug on the entire project. Given the level of involvement of everyone, I'm not sure I want to know what that main code looked like.

And since then matters have been rather quiet, although under the hood some things have already changed.

Quote:
However, I cannot see how in the long run BGG can keep their status and anchor point for the industry, if they don't keep up with the Joneses in that area.

Aye, that's the problem in a nutshell.

Quote:
BGG is not a terribly complex website [...] And there are always equity, volunteering or open sourcing options to explore.

There are. I'm not sure they are a good idea based on the level of ego which sometimes raises its head in such projects... but in the end it may be the only feasible option left. But that is completely and utterly Aldie's call.
 
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Tahsin Shamma
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I'd actually recommend that BGG start a kickstarter for funds to completely build a new site, IF the cost can be justified with new users joining. Again, that's only if the existing owners want to take on that sort of headache. There are a multitude of reasons not to do that.

The biggest problem is that if it doesn't result in new users, it's really not going to be worth it at all. How can you measure or get a sense of that?

And, yes, I agree a new UI would be awesome and more inviting and is desperately needed.
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Chapel
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Meh. People's idea of slick UI design come an go. Usually they are used to sites that have style over content.

BGG does content over style in a workable fashion. Most heavily used content sites have minimal design. Look at reddit or craigslist. I'm sure there are people who think those sites look spartan or "geocities" like, yet they still are the top sites on the internet.

BGG at a functional level is beyond anything else comparable in the space, changing it would only destabilize functionality, and really is just not worth the effort.

People who laugh at first site are usually not interested in the level of detail about the hobby to begin with, and usually when they do, come here for the real content, so no worries.

Michael Chapel
Senior UX Engineer, Sailpoint
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Ioannis Kalafatis
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cymric wrote:

Because if the website were proper MVC, swapping out the old UI for a better one would be a lot easier. As it stands now, the code defeated a massive UI overhaul, increasing usability by a lot, two years ago. It's not just lacking money; it's also about lacking a solid code foundation (which is what the MVC-remark implied).


If I was presented with the BGG usability case, I would:

a) hire a solid engineering team and make them invested in the business (not contract out development)
b) not even consider adding features but instead kill almost all of those used by less than 5% of users
c) redesign and do from scratch (in 90% of cases this is cheaper in the long run)

BGG's business is information technology, boardgames is just content.


---
edit: stupid "less than" issue
 
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Ioannis Kalafatis
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MWChapel wrote:
Meh. People's idea of slick UI design come an go. Usually they are used to sites that have style over content.

BGG does content over style in a workable fashion. Most heavily used content sites have minimal design. Look at reddit or craigslist. I'm sure there are people who think those sites look spartan or "geocities" like, yet they still are the top sites on the internet.

BGG at a functional level is beyond anything else comparable in the space, changing it would only destabilize functionality, and really is just not worth the effort.

People who laugh at first site are usually not interested in the level of detail about the hobby to begin with, and usually when they do, come here for the real content, so no worries.

Michael Chapel
Senior UX Engineer, Sailpoint


Hi Michael, perhaps you misunderstood slick-ness or minimalism with usability. The latter is paramount. The former is function of knowing your audience, keeping to your philosophy or differentiation (eg. Cragislist), functionality, etc.

I fail to see how re-doing the site wold destabilize functionality. I also am unsure why you think that in a growing industry such as this, it would not be worth the effort. Have you ever considered the possibilities of eg. Amazon buying BGG? Or BGG allowing direct sales through its pages beyond affiliate deals?

People who laugh at first site of BGG and perhaps are not interested in the level of detail about the hobby are potential lost users, together with their lifecycle value..
 
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Eric Jome
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As a professional web developer for many years, I find the idea that you cannot make improvements to the UI because it is not MVC is ludicrous. I've tackled, alone, multi-million dollar projects for billion dollar companies - you do the work you can, you find a compromise between budget and effort to maximize return.

BGG doesn't change because the leadership cannot perceive a problem. It still has many users. They are not in revolt now. If people are turned away - and I see daily evidence they are through other social media - that doesn't register with them.

UI changes and reaching new members is a low priority item.
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coralsaw wrote:
I fail to see how re-doing the site wold destabilize functionality.


Perhaps you missed the total loss of functionality with the new BGG marketplace. Before it was "ugly" but there were links and buttons that worked and pages came up with offers of games; instead of the new one that has something that looks like a menu on the left hand side, and an otherwise blank screen with no links or buttons or any way to get back to BGG or search of anything.
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Ian McCarthy
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The site attracts people who don't shit a brick when they first encounter Through the Ages or Race for the Galaxy.
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Herb
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cosine wrote:
As a professional web developer for many years, I find the idea that you cannot make improvements to the UI because it is not MVC is ludicrous. I've tackled, alone, multi-million dollar projects for billion dollar companies - you do the work you can, you find a compromise between budget and effort to maximize return.

BGG doesn't change because the leadership cannot perceive a problem. It still has many users. They are not in revolt now. If people are turned away - and I see daily evidence they are through other social media - that doesn't register with them.

UI changes and reaching new members is a low priority item.

The fundamental problem is $ not ideas or lack of technical knowledge.

The income that BGG does have pays for the server farm and a very few staff. Most of the weekly labor is donated by volunteers, not paid.
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