Jump to content


Photo

Help Needed - Auszcar Website Feedback


  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#1 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:07 AM

Hi Everyone,

Checkout the new Auszcar site here:
http://www.viczcar.com/auszcar

I'm working toward upgrading the site to a newer content management system. This has been coming for a while and will have many benefits but not without some initial expected teething issues. So what I'm looking for is feedback.

I need your help to tell me:
- What you love / hate
- What is broken or doesn't make sense
- What you would like to see
- Most importantly if I switched to the new design tomorrow, what would annoy you most!

The first change is the homepage and articles section. This will be replaced by the new site first.

Next Steps to Follow
  • Gallery Will Be Migrated Across
  • Forums Will Move Across
  • New Classifieds Section Will Go Live
  • New Events Section Will Go Live
  • Website will move domains to www.auzcar.com our new home
  • Other changes will follow over a longer period of time

Ultimately the changes will be better for everyone, it will allow for more flexibility with images uploads (also much easier). The classifieds section will (hopefully) automatically manage itself. I can also delegate more website administration tasks to Sulio / Craig and Lurch and any other moderators who want to help out. This will free me up to focus on site improvements and it will make maintenance easier too.

You won't be able to login to the new site yet as I've not imported any users yet.


#2 zzzzed

zzzzed

    The 2000+ club

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,691 posts
  • Location:south australia

Posted 16 August 2009 - 10:24 AM

we seem to have a lot of members with 280zx's so maby ad that to the title on the home page,
sorry if i am being picky  :o

#3 xa1973

xa1973

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 666 posts
  • Location:Queensland

Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:40 AM

we seem to have a lot of members with 280zx's so maby ad that to the title on the home page


Whilst I appreciate the origins, format and hardwork done by all involved were for a 240 and 260z based Club, I think with the current dynamics and ever expanding membership I'm surprised the 280zx's haven't been included... :(

#4 Add

Add

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 181 posts
  • Location:Work or Z

Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:56 AM

+3 on the 280ZX. How many of us run L28 engines, rear 280ZX brakes ect. credit where credits due 8)

#5 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:30 PM

we seem to have a lot of members with 280zx's so maby ad that to the title on the home page,
sorry if i am being picky  :o

Whilst I appreciate the origins, format and hardwork done by all involved were for a 240 and 260z based Club, I think with the current dynamics and ever expanding membership I'm surprised the 280zx's haven't been included... :(

+3 on the 280ZX. How many of us run L28 engines, rear 280ZX brakes ect. credit where credits due 8)


Yes this is my fault, I need to update our content to include the 280zx's more often.

Anymore feedback. Be as picky you like. This will be our new homepage soon so if anything is annoying you please let me know.

#6 chris240

chris240

    The 2000+ club

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,188 posts
  • Location:rust free Canberra
  • Tagline:When in doubt...mumble.

Posted 16 August 2009 - 09:33 PM

sorry Gav. Youve gone backwards.  :(
Our current front page is as best as Ive seen on many a website. Youve split it up nicely into 3 columns which appear as soon as you enter the site..
Left hand column has a main menu, search engine & a handful of links, your centre column has all the feature cars (basically what seems to take up the entire front page of the proposed site)...and the right hand column has the 15 latest topics .....all without scrolling.
A website such as this,  should be designed using the adage "more is more"....not less is more. This current website is really about sharing info and a common interest , dont be afraid to cram info onto the first page you see..(as what we currently have)..
Think of the current website as a zeds dashboard...its practical & precise.
Dont try to reinvent the wheel. Its a very sucessful and user friendly-forum based site.

leave it alone....(as much as possible).
my 20 cents worth.




#7 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 17 August 2009 - 01:14 AM

sorry Gav. Youve gone backwards.  :(
Our current front page is as best as Ive seen on many a website. Youve split it up nicely into 3 columns which appear as soon as you enter the site..
Left hand column has a main menu, search engine & a handful of links, your centre column has all the feature cars (basically what seems to take up the entire front page of the proposed site)...and the right hand column has the 15 latest topics .....all without scrolling.
A website such as this,  should be designed using the adage "more is more"....not less is more. This current website is really about sharing info and a common interest , dont be afraid to cram info onto the first page you see..(as what we currently have)..
Think of the current website as a zeds dashboard...its practical & precise.
Dont try to reinvent the wheel. Its a very sucessful and user friendly-forum based site.

leave it alone....(as much as possible).
my 20 cents worth.


- I will be adding the latest 15 posts box again (just haven't managed to get the code to work yet)

- The upcoming events box will be back - that section still needs to be programmed and designed
- The search box location may change. However it will eventually be consistent on all pages of the site
- The donations box will be back

What I have done is remove alot of the fluff. Like RSS Subscriptions since hardly anybody uses that.

The navigation was also doubled up on the old design so that has changed.

I've reduced the amount of links too, since alot of them are not needed or could be moved.

So do I take it your biggest complaint is that the 15 latest posts is not visible? Or am I missing something?

#8 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 17 August 2009 - 01:22 AM

Forgot to mention I had to remove the latest gallery images box because it was putting too much load on the server. This will eventually be back also. So the homepage will be an overall dashboard.

Thanks for the feedback all the same. I guess I want to know what people need changed before I put the new version live.

Unfortunately getting the spare time to work on the site is the biggest challenge I face right now. So the best way I can implement changes on the site is to do it gradually.

#9 chris240

chris240

    The 2000+ club

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,188 posts
  • Location:rust free Canberra
  • Tagline:When in doubt...mumble.

Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:14 AM

Yeah Gav agree..
best to leave the 15 postings as is.
Its like reading the daily headlines...(just need a weather & sports link  :P)
perhaps a few front page links to our favourite suppliers or other Datsun sites ?? eg: Cams, The WA-Z register, photobucket, Otomotto..etc

#10 modular9

modular9

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 529 posts
  • Website:http://www.modular9.com
  • Location:Brisbane Queensland

Posted 17 August 2009 - 10:41 AM

Hey Gav

My only feedback I could possibly give you is that the auszcar site has become pretty much a forum based site. Obviously i cant see the stats, but from my point of view only,  I hardly notice anything except the top 15 posts ( btw if you are on a mac you can make the top 15 posts into an RSS feed in your dashboard So I got top 15 rss feed anyway  :D ).  So perhaps a forum only site ?

This would mean that the need for your personal time is greatly reduced ( other than moderation etc ) and possibly negate the need for a big hosting service.

just my 2 cents. As long as the forum stays and the events section stays I'll be really happy. I noticed the lack of gallery on the current site. Thought it was just me tweaking safari or something.

Mike


#11 .

.

    The 1000+ club

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,083 posts
  • Tagline:Past member

Posted 17 August 2009 - 01:14 PM

Mate, well done. The site is great as it is.

#12 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:10 PM

Hey Gav

My only feedback I could possibly give you is that the auszcar site has become pretty much a forum based site. Obviously i cant see the stats, but from my point of view only,  I hardly notice anything except the top 15 posts ( btw if you are on a mac you can make the top 15 posts into an RSS feed in your dashboard So I got top 15 rss feed anyway  :D ).  So perhaps a forum only site ?

This would mean that the need for your personal time is greatly reduced ( other than moderation etc ) and possibly negate the need for a big hosting service.

just my 2 cents. As long as the forum stays and the events section stays I'll be really happy. I noticed the lack of gallery on the current site. Thought it was just me tweaking safari or something.

Mike


Hi Mate,
While I do I agree with you on some levels, I don't want the site to be just another forum. Anyone can set up a forum. The problem is with forums is that good information can often get buried under other discussions. There can also be lots of noise.

The current sites limitations.
1.) If an event is to be promoted I need to go and manually update the front page. I also need to manually remove them.
2.) The current front page is managed by a content management system that is out of date and poses a potential security risk.
3.) Having a neater classsifieds section that automatically unpublishes old classifieds would be good.
4.) The articles on the site provide a more friendly and welcoming approach to our site. A forum can often be uninviting and certainly lack a real community feel.
5.) Currently the site has 3 different pieces of software with 3 different databases managing it. Frankly its a mess on the backend, but it looks ok on the front end. It also adds to the complexity of managing the website and creates a security risk of its own. Not to mention its 3 different designs that needs to be maintained / changed if we want to update the look / feel of the site.

RE: Gallery, when I removed the latest images from the homepage the gallery activity was reduced and definitely less uploads have been coming through.

Yeah Gav agree..
best to leave the 15 postings as is.
Its like reading the daily headlines...(just need a weather & sports link  :P)
perhaps a few front page links to our favourite suppliers or other Datsun sites ?? eg: Cams, The WA-Z register, photobucket, Otomotto..etc


Yes I could create a business section / directory. I could also make it possible for businesses to manage their own listings on the site. This could provide an income to the club to help with ongoing costs.

Mate, well done. The site is great as it is.


Thanks, I suspect many of the changes I make will not be that obvious to the majority of users. However from a maintenance and site upkeep perspective it will free me up to be able to focus on improving the site and adding useful features. 1 of the most important features would be the ability to have a how-to section with detailed articles. Many users could collaborate and edit articles to improve them.

Also users would be able to submit their ride for the homepage entirely through a form submission. This will mean all I need to do is approve / review the article and it will go live.

#13 garvice

garvice

    The 1000+ club

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,036 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com/forum/index.php/topic,9260.0.html
  • Location:Brisbane

Posted 17 August 2009 - 08:56 PM

What I like about a few forums I am on, and what I found hard to get use to here is the following.
When you post in a forum you are automatically subscribed (had to go looking for that option).
The other is that you can turn off email notifications, what I normally do is log into my User control panel and a list of all my subscriptions that have unread activity pops up. That way my email isn't full of email links.

I like the 15 recent posts, but not the view all recent posts. Prefer to just have the topic rather then the whole post.

#14 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:27 PM

What I like about a few forums I am on, and what I found hard to get use to here is the following.
When you post in a forum you are automatically subscribed (had to go looking for that option).
The other is that you can turn off email notifications, what I normally do is log into my User control panel and a list of all my subscriptions that have unread activity pops up. That way my email isn't full of email links.


The new content management system has a module for subscriptions that would give you the granulatiry of selecting to be subscribed to each forum reply. You could check / uncheck when you reply to a post. Pretty sure you can manage your subscriptions to each post to in your account settings page.

I like the 15 recent posts, but not the view all recent posts. Prefer to just have the topic rather then the whole post.


So you like the 15 latest posts, but would prefer that it didn't update for each individual post, rather it showed the latest new threads?

I will eventually be able to create a couple of different latest forum activity link lists.
1 - Newest Forum Posts
2 - Latet forum replies
3 - Most popular forum threads (monthly / weekly / yearly whatever).

I guess the current homepage you see at www.viczcar.com/auszcar will evolve as I find the time to work on it and improve it.


#15 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:30 PM

Nobody has mentioned anything about the frontpage slide show yet, showing the latest member rides? I thought this feature was going to be a big discussion topic?

Do you find the slideshow annoying? or Useful?

Would you prefer it to be a static image that didn't change? So only showing this months feature ride?

#16 gav240z

gav240z

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 12,398 posts
  • Website:http://www.viczcar.com
  • Location:Sydney NSW
  • Tagline:Jack of all trades, master of none.

Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:32 PM

I forgot to point out the new content management system would also provide a neater way to manage everyone's project pages. I currently don't really like the Member Project section of the forum. The content is great, but I'd rather have a more useful way of allowing members to add content here.

#17 modular9

modular9

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 529 posts
  • Website:http://www.modular9.com
  • Location:Brisbane Queensland

Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:13 AM

Hey gav

Oh I understand the reasoning either way for the forum-only option and the other option as well. Tis your site.

Slideshow is cool but has a problem on firefox 3.1.12 on a pc and safari 4.01 on the mac. When the description field has 2 lines in it (  Peter Van Vliet's Datsun 240z ) pushes the rest of the content below down and when it has 1 line in it ( Robbie Ward's 8 Second 1/4 Mile 240z ) it pushes back up.

This could just be those browsers only. Havent tested in internet exploder.

Mike

#18 Taz

Taz

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 111 posts
  • Location:Tasmania

Posted 19 August 2009 - 08:52 AM

wat happened to the "new Posts" bit on the front page??

it was the item i used the most

#19 modular9

modular9

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 529 posts
  • Website:http://www.modular9.com
  • Location:Brisbane Queensland

Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:15 AM

jetsob : I'd suggest that Gav is moving the databases over to drupal and that precludes him from having it on the main site as well. We'll probably see more of this sort of thing as he gets closer to moving everything over.

Or lurch has broken something.

#20 sco_aus

sco_aus

    The 2000+ club

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,484 posts
  • Location:Canberra, ACT
  • Tagline:Scott

Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:24 AM

have a look at the thread for it boys, server issues, it will either be put back up if its not causing problems, or it is gone till later on.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users