New site design

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    ian wright


    Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980

    I keep finding so many faults with the new design I don't know where to start !

    Is anyone at BPL freaking out and doing anything about it?

    Why for example hasn't that hyperlink on the homepage been fixed yet?
    (The one in too big and poorly spaced lettering that is hard to read because it overlays the photos).

    I love BPL and feel so sorry that you may have paid big dollars for this dreadful new 'design'.

    And anyone who knows about web design knows that all faults should be and can be found and fixed BEFORE the new design in uploaded.

    Dirk Rabdau


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Ian –

    I experimented around with various browsers and find that for the most part, the current homepage at will have slightly differing appearances depending upon the browers used.

    The latest version of Internet Explorer (6, 6.5 and 7)show the text overlapping the pictures when set at the default browser text size. The default font size is set at medium. If you change your text size to "smaller" it renders the home page as I believe intended by the website admin (in IE7 go to View > Text Size > Smaller).

    Curiously, in IE 5.5 this doesn't seem to be a problem as it renders the text correctly when text size is set to normal.

    In the latest version of Opera, the same problem with text size persists. If I change the default text size (Tools>Preferences>Advanced>Fonts) from 16 point Times New Roman to 14-point, the problem is resolved.

    In Firefox, curiously, the page renders as intended even at the medium font settings. I tested the latest version of Firefox. To change the font settings, Go to View>Text Size>Normal.

    Browser compatibility is a tricky issue. Further testing might be in order, and though I tested on a variety of PCs, results may vary for a number of reasons. Honestly, the webmaster can make small changes to the design that will correct the issue with the home page.


    ian wright


    Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980

    The smaller text sure helps!

    There are still some (or many) other points of concern.
    I really don't want to be rude but also maybe you would like some feedback. I've got 30 years of design experience and have recently gotten into web site design so I am very interested in it. BPL is one of a very few sites I visit often so I'm on your side !

    Every page should have a link back to the homepage. I finally worked out how to get there by guessing and clicked on your logo, but visitors should not have to stumble around like that.

    The row of links (eg. Forums | Readers Reviews | Trip Reports as on this page) in the impossible to see grey is poor. I noticed on some other pages that when you hover over them they disappear (or go white) which is not a good look.

    I've seen a few punctuation errors but anyway . . .

    That'll do for now ! More later if you're interested !

    ian wright


    Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980

    OK, 'Features' is the Homepage. Still too tricky for many visitors. A major consideration for a web site is easy navigation.

    Maybe it's just me and my browser but when I hover over that big link on the Features page the red text gets a blue line under it but my cursor does not change to a hand until I click. I've never seen this before.

    Here's a bit of nit picking . . .

    "Intelligent conversations about lightweight backpacking technique, gear, and philosophy from the most passionate backpackers in the world…"

    Several times I have seen one too many commas such as in the line above. There is no comma between the second last and last word in a 'list' (?) of words. In this case the comma between 'gear' and 'and' is wrong.

    Also, when a sentence ends with ' . . . ' but does not lead into the next sentence, there should be 4 dots – ' . . . . ' the last one being a fullstop.

    I'm glad I'm on the other side of the world so I can't get a slap on the head ! ! ! !

    Ernie Elkins


    Locale: North Carolina

    "Several times I have seen one too many commas such as in the line above. There is no comma between the second last and last word in a 'list' (?) of words. In this case the comma between 'gear' and 'and' is wrong."

    I've always preferred to use a comma between each element in a list, including between the penultimate word and the conjunction. From a grammatical standpoint, both of us are correct — the comma in question is optional.

    Philip Mitchell


    Locale: Florida

    Why isn't the new site widescreen compatible? The previous site would expand out and fill the screen; now half my view is empty gray space

    Brett .


    Locale: CA

    Not just wide screen, but high resolution screens in general. There is plenty of real estate on my monitor for one of the "last 50 post" summaries per line, but they take up 2 lines each over on the left side of the screen, unlike the previous site(1 per line). And also unlike the previous site; this one does not expand to fill the width of my monitor..

    Poor Dr. J; he should have known gadget freaks who are never satisfied with their own stuff would nit-pick his new site..
    I hope he can retain his sense of humor; we are only trying to help because we want this to be a great site. : )

    Philip Mitchell


    Locale: Florida

    Oh, I am for sure only trying to help ;)

    I'm sure everthing will get fixed over time, so I hope Dr J et all don't think we are giving them too hard of a time.

    Kathleen B


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I heard on NPR this morning that homo sapiens is the most adaptable life form on this planet. Armed with that information, tempered by the theory that it takes people 3 weeks to learn a new habit, I'm game. So here goes. Great website! It'll be even greater once my fingers get their muscle memory trained to find everything I usually look for.
    I expect to be up to speed in, oh, about 3 weeks!

    Siegmund Beimfohr
    BPL Member


    I logged in last night after being gone for the weekend and was majorly disappointed in this new website. Unless there are real changes underneath, the only thing I can say is that it is different, certainly not improved.

    Just a few things that slapped me in the face right off the bat:

    1- I for a long time have used only a portion of my screen for the browser window (I use Firefox and normally have 5 sites open all the time, including BPL). The old site (and the others I'm on constantly) would fit this narrower screen and usually auto-adjust for width; only sometimes would I have to scroll to the right or go full-screen to see the entire page content. Now it's fixed to a wider width; looks like I'll have to widen the browser window permanently to see the entire page, not good at all.

    2- The old site had lots of content in view. The white space here is terribly wastful and adds nothing to readability, way too much scrolling and clicking to see anything.

    3- Why in the world should we have to click twice to get to "New Posts Since Last Visit"? This link should be prominent on the home page.

    4- I go the gear page, click "More Gear Reviews.." and get a blank search page. Last night when I went to the gear page, each category section had a jumbled, paragraphical look that was terribly hard to read; what is wrong with a vertical, alphabetical list?

    5- Although I can't time the page loading, it seems that despite the significantly reduced content on each page, they are loading slower than the old ones (I have high-speed DSL now).

    These observations come after very little time on the site. I hope I'll discover soon some actual improvements in function. Ryan, I'm sorry, but it's really a shame that so much money has been spent to take a big step backward in useabilty. I'll continue to use frequent site because the content is excellent and I've learned so much here but I for one would be happy if you just threw this away and restored the old site.

    Ryan Jordan


    Locale: Central Rockies

    Hi All, thanks for the feedback; first a few housekeeping comments.

    The Web team won't monitor this thread for bug fixes. Please submit actual bugs, with one post per bug, here:

    So we can make it easier to track bug reports.

    Second, this forum is for "Forum Admin & Support". A thread for BPL Website suggestions has been placed over in the Members only forum, so we've closed this thread lest it get off topic from the theme of "Forum Admin/Support".


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