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Help Beta Test "v6" Homepage and Directories


18 Feb 2014 11:17AM
Hi Everyone,

We would you like to invite you to a beta of the new "V6" Homepage and Directories. The beta can be found at:

http://beta.ephotozine.com

IMPORTANT: The beta site is running off the LIVE database. Whatever you put on beta will show up on the live site so please don't put any test data on. If you upload a photo on the beta site, it will count towards your daily upload. The homepage will also be slightly out of date.

What has been done?

A lot of the improvements are 'under the hood' with a new framework which will ensure we can roll out upgrades and fixes quicker as well as improve performance across the site. Currently, only the homepage and the directories are using this new framework with plans to roll out the framework to the rest of the site in the next few months.

We have seen a noticeable increase in people accessing ePHOTOzine on mobile devices and as a result, the new framework also introduces a mobile-friendly design which ensures that the site can be used easily on tablets and smartphones; no more need to 'pinch zoom' or chase the login box around on your smartphone. Again, this is currently only available for the homepage and directories area.

We decided to take this opportunity to give the site a fresh, modern face-lift which gives everything a bit more space and a more visual experience. We have also widened the site on larger screens which will give content/photos on the site more space.

Main Improvements

- New, Mobile-Friendly Directories area. Searching has been improved and the directory listings now provide a number of further enhancements making them more useful to everyone. We will also be rapidly populating the database with more listings to ensure it becomes the most useful tool for finding photographic retailers, workshops, clubs, and more.
- New, Mobile-Friendly Homepage. Most improvements have been made in presentation of the information displayed on the homepage.
- The rest of site has been themed to match the new design. Most of this is temporary as we will be converting the rest of the site in the V6/mobile-friendly framework and will be looking at improving the layout of every page when doing so.

How to Beta Test

Visit http://beta.ephotozine.com and have a browse around. If you find things that don't seem to work right, note these down in your feedback. Feel free to have a test on other devices such as tablets and smart phones.

You will need to login to beta if you wish to access your account settings.


How to Give Feedback

The best way to provide feedback is to create a report on either the beta site or on the live site. Please provide as much information as possible. Screenshots are handy too.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask here and we will try to respond as quickly as possible.

Have fun and we hope you like it!

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

seahawk e2
7 616 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 1:10PM
I like the look of it.
Gaucho e2
12 2.4k 2 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 1:20PM
Big improvement in my view.
18 Feb 2014 1:55PM
had a quick look and yes...i like Grin
SlowSong e2
6 4.8k 29 England
18 Feb 2014 3:26PM
Looks OK but will we be able to customise it as in the past?
I don't use a mobile for EPZ so I'm not interested in that bit.

I do like the compactness of the current site though, and how do you go about choosing whose pics get highlighted in the title?
18 Feb 2014 3:28PM

Quote:Looks OK but will we be able to customise it as in the past?
I don't use a mobile for EPZ so I'm not interested in that bit.



The homepage is still customisable for e2 members.


Quote:I do like the compactness of the current site though, and how do you go about choosing whose pics get highlighted in the title?


While the current site is compact, it also feels busy and cluttered. This feedback has been given to us over the years. So, one of the ways to tackle this is to give everything a bit of room to breath. This makes it easier to pick out what is going on.

They were hand picked for purpose and permission from the user. We may role out the selection to the rest of the membership or refresh the selection occasionally
18 Feb 2014 3:33PM
Looks good from where I'm sitting.....
chris.maddock 13 3.4k United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 3:41PM
Just looking at the forum pages the only thing that really jumps out at me is that I don't find the font as easily readable as the current site's font. It looks a bit too squashed horizontally so there isn't really sufficient space between characters.

There seems to be a lot of wasted space at the top and RHS (viewing on a 19" 4:3 aspect 1280 x 1024 monitor), but I suspect that's either adverts which I have blocked or placeholders for ones that I will block Tongue

Otherwise, it looks clean enough.
EddieAC 10 695 2 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 3:47PM
Looks very good to me. I like the always visible menu bar too. Smile

I quite like the slideshow at the top of the homepage with the title and link to the user. This disappears when I login though. Is this something that may continue to display without the "Join or free" advert? It could either be an e2 feature or an option in user settings.
SlowSong e2
6 4.8k 29 England
18 Feb 2014 4:16PM
Thanks David. Forgot to log in last time Blush but now I can see the layout is the same but just with a different look. But too much space between forum posts. I don't see why we need such big gaps.
SlowSong e2
6 4.8k 29 England
18 Feb 2014 4:20PM
Thanks David. Have just logged into the BETA and find the typeface not as easy to read. And there's quite a bit of wasted space in between forum posts and it feels as if I'll be scrolling down quite a bit more. Otherwise it looks OK. Once I'd logged in I could see the Customise button and my layout was the same as now.
Smile

Oh, and I like hte Like and Options buttons where they are now. Underneath makes everything too wide open and, again, wastes space.
cats_123 e2
10 4.2k 25 Northern Ireland
18 Feb 2014 4:28PM
Just logged in on my tablet ..first impressions are good..comments on both forum and portfolio are nice and clear Smile
Kurt42 e2
11 1.2k 1 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 4:35PM

Quote:Just logged in on my tablet ..first impressions are good..comments on both forum and portfolio are nice and clear Smile


I concur, I particularly like to see larger images. The image of the week is much improved with this layout. I know many people like to discuss their kit, but I do like to see plenty of images highlighted on a photography site.

Regards,

Kurt
18 Feb 2014 4:39PM
Thanks everyone for all the comment so far, some great feedback!

We've updated the font on the beta to a more legible font. There had been alot of debate in the office over font choice and spacing, but I think you guys just made that decision for us.
chris.maddock 13 3.4k United Kingdom
18 Feb 2014 5:28PM
Thanks, David, that's far more legible - in fact I think it's actually slightly more so than the live site, is it a couple of points or so larger?

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