Community Blog Forum

New Look for the Site

BawBaw

Posted by BawBaw on August 18, 2010

Oh my. Quite a shock met my eyes this morning. It will take some getting used to. I liked the look and feel of the old site format, and I couldn't really find anything on the new version. So my first gut responses were "HELP!" and "two strikes." Still, we all know that change is hard--even good change. So I'm reserving judgment till the shock wears off and I've had a bit of time to explore.

BawBaw

fizzytom

Reply by fizzytom on August 19, 2010

Reserving judgement. It certainly was a surprise. It looks more modern than the last incarnation.

koshkha

Reply by koshkha on August 19, 2010

I took part in one of the phone interviews about possible changes earlier in the year and I'm actually quite pleased to see the site looking a lot more 'commercial'. Having seen other sites where I post cut back on payment for travel reviews because they claim they don't generate enough 'traffic', I totally support Igougo getting a lot more 'up-front' about their commercial need to flog flights and hotels. If the site doesn't make money, there's no future for us all getting paid so keep it up and go Sell, sell, sell.

How about some discounts for members though?

midtownmjd

Reply by midtownmjd on August 19, 2010

Hello!

BawBaw, fizzytom, and koshkha, thank you so much for starting this thread and for chiming in! We're eager for our members' feedback about the new look, and we really appreciate the fact that you shared your first impressions and ideas.

We definitely understand that it will take some time to adjust, so please feel free to keep us updated as you keep using the site--same goes for everyone else, too!

Michelle

koshkha

Reply by koshkha on August 20, 2010

A quick question - do you have to have a 'head and shoulders' shot for your profile picture to get featured in the quotes on the home page?

Oh and thank you for picking my photo of the Tiger's Nest monastery as the feature photo for the top places to see. It nearly killed me getting up the cliff to see it so it feels like it was all the more worthwhile.

koshkha

Reply by koshkha on August 21, 2010

And another question - would it be possible to put more links to the forum on the site. Several people have told me that they struggled to find a route to the forum and I have only found the one link (at the bottom of the home page). I think it used to be a lot more accessible in the old layout.

MilwVon

Reply by MilwVon on August 21, 2010

I took a couple of days to try to get adjusted to it. Came here this morning to grab a link to one of my journals for a friend going to Hawaii, and was reminded "GEE I really do not like this!"

I don't like that on the main page, the entire top section is the travel marketing (the Travelocity search engine for hotels, cars, etc.). What a waste. I realize you need to drive the commercial side of things, but if the first time reader doesn't know to scroll down further, they will miss the content which is in my opinion, IgoUgo's strength. And why is the content based stuff buried at the bottom of the page?

Also, in opening up my journal, while it is nice to now have the option to choose a new "cover" photo, having a third of the photo that is there covered with the text "Change Photo" with the arrow is very ugly and distracting from the photo itself.

If IgoUgo wants to be just another travel purchase search engine, I suppose the change is fine . . . but I have long thought what makes this site different is the content that is contributed by your volunteer guides. You've now pretty much lessened that impact and our contributions which seems to be defeating the purpose of contributing here.

I also don't like the "cartoonish" look of the fonts and layouts . . . again pretty distracting when you have to make an effort to read what's here. Maybe it's a matter of being not a member of the e-generation? I'll give it more time to grow on me . . . hopefully it won't take long :)

Von

midtownmjd

Reply by midtownmjd on August 23, 2010

Hi all,

Just wanted to reply to the newest posts and to thank you again for sharing your thoughts. MilwVon and koshkha, we agree that easier navigation to the forums and to other community/content pages would be an improvement, and we've started discussing ways to do that within the new design. We're glad you agree that our members' content is IgoUgo's strength! We don't want to lessen its impact or discourage sharing; our goal is definitely the opposite. :)

To answer koshkha's question about the "head and shoulders" shot--nope, it's not necessarily a prerequisite to be featured on the home page. As long as a writer has a member photo that can be edited to fit that space, we'd be happy to use it.

Thanks again,

Michelle

vampirefan

Reply by vampirefan on August 30, 2010

I will be quite honest, when I stopped writing last year; it wasn’t just because I was very busy with my job. I felt this site no longer cared about the people who continuously contributed great journals. I still don’t. When I first started it was very hard to get top honors. There were so many awesome writers, you were lucky if your journal stayed on the best picks list more than a day. The standards are less these days yet sometimes journals are there for weeks. I mean why are journals not required to have photos? It makes it easier for someone to research places and write about them.

I understand that you guys have to make money, but unless you know this is a page to find travel reviews, you think it is just another travel website.

Not to mention when you go read the journals there is a big line and the big buttons to connect to social networks working taking a big chuck out of a journal. I came back here because I really love writing about my travels and in a few weeks when I hit my 90 days at work, I want to have a professional page on Facebook for my clients to go to and I wanted to post my journals there for them to read and get ideas. Right now I can’t. Several people on my Facebook page have told me they found my journals distracting to read due the buttons. I have been trying to get people to join but when they see that, who will? And there is nothing any longer to tell me when friends have journals. I either luck up and see it on the best of page or through Facebook.

I went today to edit some of my photos and it took forever to discover I had to pull them up in photos and edit them that way rather from the journal. Three of them I can not change at all. This gives me reason to wonder if I just wasted my time uploading some pictures today. While I had the time and my photos have to be resized due to the size, I just downloaded pictures for my next journal. I just didn’t add titles to the pictures since I often use information from my journal to add to the titles. I am now wondering if I can change them when I get ready to post my next journal.

Susan.

BawBaw

Reply by BawBaw on September 17, 2010

Message 1 of 2

Hi all. I have been adjusting and navigating, and many functions are really just what we had before with a new face. I sorta like the old face better, but that's often a matter of taste and style and not really a function of how the site works as a whole. For me, the old face was more formal, more like a magazine. The new version is, to my taste, a bit too informal. That may be a generational thing though, and I can live with it.

With regard to a couple of items, however, it's not just a matter of style. I'm really not at all comfortable with how the photos are presented in their new square thumbnail version. The new presentation distorts virtually all our images. The composition created by the photographer is almost always destroyed. The square thumbnails simply fail to convey the images in their true form, and I regard that as a disservice to both the photographer and the casual viewer. The high-level identifying text is also usually missing. I would be very grateful to have the more realistic version of our images returned for the thumbnail views--including the identifying text for title and location.

Also, on both my desktop and my laptop, the enlarged image fields extend so far in every direction that some or all of the identifying text is off the screen. When attempting to edit the text for my own images, I often find that the button to "submit" is so far down that I temporarily have to disable most of my regular toolbars for IE. That's not exactly user friendly. So a scroll mechanism might be nice to accommodate these issues. I can't imagine how anyone using one of the small netbooks could handle these issues by any sort of machination.

Further, many of the links simply do not function well on a machine with a relatively high level of security controls in place. The only way I can log on is through the Share function. I don't really understand why I can log on there and not through the home page, but that's definitely the case. Other links also fail to work as designed. For example, I can upload images using my laptop through Share, but I have to move to my desktop to complete the information template for location and description. This is not a problem I had before the latest round of changes.

(to be continued)

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