(This is just going to sound harsh, but..)If you deliberated about it for weeks, why did you end up just "slamming" the banner spot in with no redesign?
To get it in there and then work around it? I dunno maybe it was a bad idea but at this point it is what it is. Plus its way easier to have things release over time so that we don't blow the release date. I guess I don't have a perfect answer for this one, I really supported doing it this way, and perhaps I'm paying for a bad call now. Bah... live and learn right?
Hating is in NS' nature, but it doesn't have to be that way. Don't hate what isn't set in stone, rather discuss what could work to make it perfect!
I think that saying "it looks like ass right now" is that feedback. It's the "rollerblading/no poles/etc" is for fags kind of hate, it's just that, as you said, you just slammed it in, and the result was not good. I think more constructive comments for fine tuning could have come if you had debuted it with more of a legit attempt at fitting it in.
Yeah but we know it looks like ass is what I was mostly trying to say. The whole point here is to bring you guys in at an early stage of the development and do this thing as a community. I mean traffic around the site is basically dead right now, so its just the hardcore NS motherfuckers that are around and this way we get to do the header together. After doing all the design work for making it fit in well, then we'd be finished the design and much less able to change. This way before its even designed, there can be discussion looking at the actual ad and really thinking about how you use the site. If we put so much effort into making it look great, and then asked you guys it would be too late to change it.
I think that's kind of bad logic about the quicklinks getting used a lot. It's currently getting used a lot because hey, it's right there. That doesn't really prove it couldn't be better somewhere else, or in a different form.
True, but is it not bad logic as well to say that something that is one of the highest clicked things on many pages of NS should be changed? In my mind that is much more of a silly piece of logic than thinking to leave what is working. I think the quicklinks are getting tweaked anyways...
Sorry Dave, I know I just sound critical, but it seems as if your deliberations were based around the fact that you didn't want to change anything. When you said the current banner location is the "ONLY" place it would fit, you mean that's the only place it would fit if the site stays pretty much as it is. My original point was that I just think that NS is getting dated, layout wise, compared to a lot of other places on the web. I realize that you guys all have lives, and skiing, and do this somewhat as a favor to the community (I really don't know to what extent you guys are, or aren't, getting paid), and so you only have so much you can get done. I'm just trying to give some input on what I think could be done to make things better.
MY NAME IS DOUG!
The deliberations were absolutely not based around us not wanting to change anything. The deliberations were based around the fact that we wanted to change many things, but have to do so intelligently. The reason it was "the only place it would fit" is that before the banners could not use flash. Flash fucked with the menus, and the best way we found to solve this was to simply put the ads above the dropdowns. Boom thats it, then we figure out the rest starting now.
Also, NS is not just something we do for the community (though we do love you guys and always everything is for you) it is also our full-time jobs. We work on this site 100% of our working hours in our lives, and having a life happens outside of business hours. There is much less of a limit on what we can get done now than before, as we are actually being compensated for our time like normal people of our age. That and we can hire outside help to assist in things, which we are doing.
Paul is in the process of hiring an AJAX coder. (as a matter of fact I think we're going to have 3 or 4 coders in total working on the site now)
You're right on the money for long threads, however many parts of the site don't extend that far down, and it makes the layout look a little weird when the main content is dwarfed by the mile high side bars.
Why? If the content ends why bother keeping scroll down? I moreso think that when you get way down, as does happen on MANY parts of the site and you see these gaping empty spots on either side of the site I just think about the amazing amount of content space that could be there. If anything, I think we should put MORE in the right sidebar, because yeah sure people aren't down there all the time, but they are down that far quite a bit. Just adds content, because none of you ever go anywhere below the fold or to subpages, and so many things get lost.
Lastly, I'm just focusing on the things I think could be improved. That's not to say there haven't been a lot of improvements, and overall the site is great and offers a lot. I could spend a whole post about the good parts of NS, but that's another subject. Don't think the upgrades are taken for granted.
Thanks man! We do appreciate the feedback as well, and we really appreciate you guys sticking with us through things you like and things you don't like. The key to always remember is that NS' strength is our community, and nobody wants to take that away from us. The people at our new parent company tell us all the time that they don't want to do anything to adversly effect the community, as that just loses everything that makes NS a good business. Hell even the corporate sales guy or the people at Pepsi wouldn't want that, as they can't do anything with a community that hates the site its supposed to love.
I sold out to the man and loved it.