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Meso

Dropzone Template Upgrade

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Hey guys,

I'm happy to announce that we've begun making some sweet new changes to the site, that is to say we're making it prettier and easier to navigate.

We rolled out the new template on the 'Dropzone' ( http://www.dropzone.com/dropzone/ ) page today, as you will be able to see it's far nicer than the previous and allows for the linking and displaying of photos and videos to certain areas.

As with any change, there are often unforeseen little bugs that can pop up, so if you see anything that is a problem (errors, missing information etc) just make a post about it in the 'bugs' forum, otherwise just fire me a private message.

Some pages within the dropzone category may still appear in the old template form, this is likely due to cache and should sort itself out over the next few days.

I hope you guys will enjoy the new changes and agree that it's a big step forward :) Feedback is welcome.

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We have continued the upgrade process and yesterday we put the new gear section live.

You will see that we have done a major overhaul of this section of the site, making it far more user friendly to browse, along with some other near little additions.

Feel free to prod and poke around, and if you see any errors, either send me a private message or post it in the bugs area of the forum and we will get to fixing it.

Hope you guys like the new changes to the gear section!

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We've finished rolling out the next set of updates to the template.

You will notice that the photos page has a new and improved look to it.

As with the previous pages mentioned above, if you see any errors or problems when using the page, don't hesitate to either just leave a comment in the bugs forum or send me a private message.

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Hey, Meso!

Any reason why the login prompt is no longer on the main page? It's one more step to have to click to another page to log in. I'm on a rather slow connection, so any extra page loading is tiresome. [:/]

Thanks, and congrats on the re-acquisition! :)
T
See the upside, and always wear your parachute! -- Christopher Titus

Shut Up & Jump!

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Hey T,

That will be back in short order. if you look at the sections we've been updating you'll notice that the home page is kinda out of line at this stage. I'm working on that right now and it will be part of the next section to roll out. I the meantime we've changed how the pages are rendered to deliver a more personalized experience in the future and ironically that little legacy widget broke.

When the new template goes up over the next few days that will be back and better. In the meantime I hope the one additional page load doesn't annoy you too much. :)
(Hint: you can come straight to the forums if you want and the old login widget will still work here)
Safe swoops
Sangiro

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Quote

In the meantime I hope the one additional page load doesn't annoy you too much.



Haha...I was going to complain about that too. :ph34r:
She is Da Man, and you better not mess with Da Man,
because she will lay some keepdown on you faster than, well, really fast. ~Billvon

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It's laudable that you guys are improving this site and I'm sure a lot of people will appreciate it.
Even so many social media groups about skydiving and gear sales, I keep coming here almost on a daily basis for further reading and in depth discussions, and I'm sure many others do the same.

The new skydivers I meet (the ones passing B license and more likely to be retained in the sport) don't know about dropzone.com. Perhaps you should invest in spreading the word about it, to make it grow and keep it going for a long, long time.

From my perspective, the only major issue you have is the fake profiles/passport selling scams type of thing going on, which has increased. But I know you are trying to mitigate this problem as well.

Thanks for all the work you guys put into this, and making many of my dull work hours more "productive" to myself. Shhh...
Rob Gallo
"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield."

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Thanks for the comment! Appreciate the insight.

Our issues with scammers and spammers is part of the reason for the upgrade. We're moving to an entirely new content management system that will make it a lot easier for us to keep spammers out. That is one of our primary concerns at this point, reducing spammers and scammers.

Once the new site is up, we will definitely be focusing more on elements like advertising, and also making the site more useful to skydivers. We realize that social media has given all community sites a knock over recent years, and we know that we need to offer something special to keep this community going on this site.

There's a lot of plans in the pipeline, especially increasing content and adding additional useful features. This will all come once we're up and running on the new site :D

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23 minutes ago, dninness said:

The site is basically unnavigateable (Is that a word?) on a mobile browser.

The forum is clunky as fuck now. 

Speaking as a guy who has run several websites like this with forums, I get "user resistance to change." This isn't that.

Can you please elaborate on the inability to navigate on a mobile device? There may be some bugs we're unaware of causing this problem.

The main menu on the right should provide the same top level navigation as any other desktop browser. And the breadcrumbs should provide the low level reverse navigation. Where are you having problems navigating?

 

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9 hours ago, Meso said:

Can you please elaborate on the inability to navigate on a mobile device? There may be some bugs we're unaware of causing this problem.

The main menu on the right should provide the same top level navigation as any other desktop browser. And the breadcrumbs should provide the low level reverse navigation. Where are you having problems navigating?

 

There was something going on with the "hamburger" and the responsiveness of the site (I navigated to several other sites to make sure it wasn't my connection or my device, and it didn't *seem* that way). Took on the order of 3-7 seconds to get a drop down to display.

The forums, it seems to me, as too much flash or chrome where none is needed. Reading the forum on mobile shouldn't require me to scroll 2-3 times more than on the desktop because we're taking up far far more precious real estate with white space..

Any thought to a Tapatalk plugin for the forum? All the forums I participate in are Tapatalk enabled, except DZ.com.  
Which is why I have participated less and less.

The modern mobile audience wants that "app-based" experience (ie. the various reddit apps)

 

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Still having lots of difficulty navigation on the new improved site !  There is so much white space I waste time just looking for the last reply to anything.  I'm presently looking in the classified section for a new AAD and can't look at more than 4-5 items at a time on a page.  Seems like the summery is missing.  The site is loosing me and it's a shame because I used to looks at DZ.com pretty regularly.  I feel like I've lost a friend.

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22 hours ago, danornan said:

Still having lots of difficulty navigation on the new improved site !  There is so much white space I waste time just looking for the last reply to anything.  I'm presently looking in the classified section for a new AAD and can't look at more than 4-5 items at a time on a page.  Seems like the summery is missing.  The site is loosing me and it's a shame because I used to looks at DZ.com pretty regularly.  I feel like I've lost a friend.

When moving between content management systems, it will always be a big change. It's not something that can be eased into. And we're aware that this is a big change for users who are used to a certain look. This is why we teased what was coming months in advance, showed screenshots of the forums etc.

With that said, just because it's different doesn't make it bad. I've been catering to user requests as much as I can, where they make sense. But being able to see 20 listings on a page doesn't mean it's more user friendly than seeing 5. All you need to do is scroll to see more, it shouldn't be seen as any kind of hinder on usability. 

The way websites are developed (any of the good ones), is by following design trends and keeping up to date with the advances of websites. Facebook, Twitter; they're two of the most successful sites and both revolve around a heavy scroll-based interface. Because of this, it is logical that other sites follow aspects of these, as vast majority of people are now used to that kind of approach. Some may not be, but we can't keep catering to people who are used to older, 90s style layouts.

My best suggestion is to give it time. It may feel like you've lost a friend, but what you're feeling is mostly the natural reaction to changes.

In the mid-2000s we underwent a huge redesign of Dropzone.com and the reactions were the same. The site that you and many people grew to love, was initially pushed against by the community, for the same reasons. With time, they forgot about the old design and came to enjoy the new one. But when it first came out, the same complaints were seen. So give it a few months, and see how you feel after that... I can assure you that you will feel a lot less like you're in a unusual environment than you do now.

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Giving it a try, but I feel like I went from an adult novel to a children's primer...  BIG BLOCK PRINT with lots of unnecessary space.  Still trying to locate an AAD in Classified and I feel like I'm wading in quicksand.  It is no longer user friendly....  Quite frustrating and this used to be a favorite site.

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11 minutes ago, danornan said:

Still trying to locate an AAD in Classified and I feel like I'm wading in quicksand

:S

Two clicks and half a rotation on the scroll wheel and  I could see all 24 AADs currently being advertised in Classifieds.

You must really struggle with Google searches?

 

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1 hour ago, danornan said:

Giving it a try, but I feel like I went from an adult novel to a children's primer...  BIG BLOCK PRINT with lots of unnecessary space.  Still trying to locate an AAD in Classified and I feel like I'm wading in quicksand.  It is no longer user friendly....  Quite frustrating and this used to be a favorite site.

That's because small cramped text is terrible for those with deteriorating eye-sight as well as creating a tendency to squint or move close to the monitor. Larger fonts with more space is easier on the eyes in terms of strain as well as not feeling cramped.

I don't understand your comments regarding the AAD though? Nothing has changed in the classifieds other than the listings requiring you to scroll down to see the listings. We even made sure to keep the same amount of classified listings per page as we had. 

The one area I'll concede is an issue on the classifieds is the lack of an easier accessible search, which is something we have already designed and will be implementing soon.

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7 hours ago, Meso said:

That's because small cramped text is terrible for those with deteriorating eye-sight as well as creating a tendency to squint or move close to the monitor. Larger fonts with more space is easier on the eyes in terms of strain as well as not feeling cramped.

I don't understand your comments regarding the AAD though? Nothing has changed in the classifieds other than the listings requiring you to scroll down to see the listings. We even made sure to keep the same amount of classified listings per page as we had. 

The one area I'll concede is an issue on the classifieds is the lack of an easier accessible search, which is something we have already designed and will be implementing soon.

I used to be able to see a summery of all of the listings without any detail.  It made it quick and easy to find what I was looking for.  Now I have to look at each listing to see if it is the brand that I am looking for.

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8 hours ago, Erroll said:

:S

Two clicks and half a rotation on the scroll wheel and  I could see all 24 AADs currently being advertised in Classifieds.

You must really struggle with Google searches?

 

No, not using google search.... Next time I'll give it a try. thanks for the suggestion.

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17 hours ago, Meso said:

When moving between content management systems, it will always be a big change. It's not something that can be eased into. And we're aware that this is a big change for users who are used to a certain look. This is why we teased what was coming months in advance, showed screenshots of the forums etc.

With that said, just because it's different doesn't make it bad. I've been catering to user requests as much as I can, where they make sense. But being able to see 20 listings on a page doesn't mean it's more user friendly than seeing 5. All you need to do is scroll to see more, it shouldn't be seen as any kind of hinder on usability. 

The way websites are developed (any of the good ones), is by following design trends and keeping up to date with the advances of websites. Facebook, Twitter; they're two of the most successful sites and both revolve around a heavy scroll-based interface. Because of this, it is logical that other sites follow aspects of these, as vast majority of people are now used to that kind of approach. Some may not be, but we can't keep catering to people who are used to older, 90s style layouts.

My best suggestion is to give it time. It may feel like you've lost a friend, but what you're feeling is mostly the natural reaction to changes.

In the mid-2000s we underwent a huge redesign of Dropzone.com and the reactions were the same. The site that you and many people grew to love, was initially pushed against by the community, for the same reasons. With time, they forgot about the old design and came to enjoy the new one. But when it first came out, the same complaints were seen. So give it a few months, and see how you feel after that... I can assure you that you will feel a lot less like you're in a unusual environment than you do now.

 I will not bash too hard on the new layout. It is great that the site is getting attention.  

The "scroll more is better" idea is not really working for me. This is not facebook. Why follow trends from a site that is not a forum.   

Others were complaining about not being able to see whats for sale easily. I agree, not easy to just glance at whats new.

 Now I dont get on here as much since you changed it. I go to BJ.com to get my fix. 

 

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