Please display login status prominently
Jun 4, 2021 at 5:33 am #3717105
The old site displayed my username at the top of the page. This was an unmistakeable and immediate indicator of login status. Since the contents of forum listings can depend on login status, and we are routinely logged out after some period of time, I find it important to verify login status when visiting forums.
Can this, or a similar functionality be returned?Jun 4, 2021 at 9:05 am #3717127rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
On my desktop (Mac/Safari), when I’m logged in there’s a Member Activity link in green at the top right of the page. This is not present when I’m not logged in. So I guess that could serve as a prominent indicator of logged-in status.
At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a difference in what’s available in the forums whether logged in or not. Of course, that could change.Jun 4, 2021 at 9:34 am #3717132
If you’re logged in, the navigation menu changes from a white background to a black background, and as rubmybelly noted, the member activity menu shows up only if you’re logged in. Another subtle difference between logged in with a membership, and logged in without an active membership (for example, if you’re membership expired but you can still log in to your account) is the function of the Account menu.
Noted on the login/logout links. I recognize the usability inconsistency here. We’ll take a look at this.Jun 4, 2021 at 10:19 am #3717139MarcusBPL Member
I also miss the prominent “Recent Forum Topics” and “Gear Swap” links at the top of the main page. The new site requires more clicks to access my most commonly visited pages
Also, the main page used to suppress the huge “Handbook” banner and the “Featured in NYT etc” when you were logged in as a paying member.
Now all I see on the main page is these 2 huge banners which dont apply to members – you already have my money and trust :) I dont need a reminder BPL is the most useful site on the internetJun 4, 2021 at 10:32 am #3717142
Hopefully the page Account > Dashboard will be a far more valuable page for members than the home page. The Dashboard has really been designed to be the more functional “Member” home page, and it should be the page you see when you login. On the Dashboard, there will be news alerts for members, 3 menus of quick links, and feeds of the latest content.Jun 5, 2021 at 9:55 pm #3717338Tom KBPL Member
And also the logout button.Jun 5, 2021 at 9:56 pm #3717339
Tom, what would be the ideal placement for login/logout on both desktop and mobile for you?Jun 6, 2021 at 2:46 pm #3717436Tom KBPL Member
In the upper right hand corner, Ryan, right next to the 3 horizontal bars. Hopefully that would propagate through all screens as I navigate the website. That way, no matter where I happen to be, logging in/out would be very straightforward. As things stand, I have to go all the way down to the initial screen to log in, and still haven’t figured a way to log out. Logout is displayed fuzzily in the lower left hand corner, where I originally logged in, but it does not activate when clicked on. So, I just exit the website and leave the system to figure it out, which is not the optimal solution for me, or for the system if everyone else is in the same boat.Jun 6, 2021 at 4:01 pm #3717445Bill in RoswellBPL Member
@roadscrape88-2Locale: Roswell, GA, USA
Yes to the other member/user comments. But, quick links for most used likenks incl. Dashboard should be only 1 click away. Site is designed to attract newbies on first view. Nothing wrong with that, but making new site harder to use than old site doesn’t fly. I say that as a former corporate web designer, Ryan. Many member driven websites show if user is logged in on first view. Quick text links at top of page like old site had are definitely needed, easy to add and not distracting. Having to click 3-4 times to access most common links is very old school programming and very distracting, IMHO. I do enjoy the new look and overall organization, so please don’t think I’m not aware of all the hundreds of hours put into the new site. Making it harder to use for longtime members is not a win, however. IMHO, member use should come first. Quick Links in hamburger menu would be better than current situation. But that’s just my opinion. Majority rules.Jun 6, 2021 at 5:21 pm #3717451
If you’re logged in, the navigation menu changes from a white background to a black background
Web pages should not rely solely on color to denote state or information. This is an accessibility issue for those with impaired vision. Even black/white differentiation can be problematic
…the member activity menu shows up only if you’re logged in
This only has value if you know, and remember it. It falls into the category of obfuscated UI function.
Not trying to argue, just pointing out tried and true web UI design principles.Jun 7, 2021 at 10:40 pm #3717652
JCH – thanks for sending that along. We had to get the new site deployed with the current theme in place for the May launch, and we’re actually optimizing the UI, colors, etc., for accessibility for our UI update scheduled for November. This is excellent. Also to everyone else, noted on the login/logout links, color contrast. VERY good feedback here. This kind of usability stuff actually makes me pretty excited. I really want to make BPL as easy to use as possible, especially for those with compromised vision.Jun 8, 2021 at 5:41 am #3717680
Ryan – I appreciate the effort needed to get this update released and that in that process decisions were made that, with more time or information, would possibly have been made differently. Also appreciate the effort expended to improve the site after release and the attitude displayed dealing with all of the feedback.
Re: Accessibility. Use of color to denote state or convey information is just one issue. There are many studies that identify design patterns that enhance accessibility, and it is not just about allowing those with perception limitations (vision, hearing, mobility, …) to effectively use the site. The use of good accessibility design practices enhances site usability for all users. It’s actually a very interesting, deep and expansive area of study.
- A Primer to Web Accessibility for Designers
- Web Accessibility Initiative
- W3C Accessibility Standards
It would be easy to make a career of this :)Jun 27, 2021 at 8:06 pm #3720271Bill in RoswellBPL Member
@roadscrape88-2Locale: Roswell, GA, USA
I appreciate the continual adjustments to make the site more suited to the way members use the site. Having been a corporate web designer, I can assure you it is hard work sans commensurate appreciation.
Thus I’m reluctant to say this, but something needs attention as it’s a big gorilla.
For first time visitors to see the UL article and site benefits is a good thing for us all. Ryan made that possible. The initial site view on a phone/tablet could have newcomer stuff take half the space and accomplish the same goal yet free article and member links could have a share of space, too. All members should have one-click access to their most used site links. Eliminating textual bread crumb links is a miss. I don’t see how taking more clicks is a good thing, but that’s just me.Jul 3, 2021 at 1:46 pm #3720937john mcalpineBPL Member
OMG….it just took me 30 minutes to find how to login.
WTH?Jul 3, 2021 at 1:54 pm #3720938
Yes. It really is terribly awkward to figure out.Jul 3, 2021 at 4:52 pm #3720951MarcusBPL Member
I normally stay logged in but had to login today.
It is very hard to find. Its not on the main page, the main nav bar, the top of the forums… nowhere I would expect to see it.
Please add more “login” links to the site. it took me 5 minutes to find the freakin button.Jul 4, 2021 at 6:36 am #3720974
Every website on the planet has a login/logout (and “manage account”) button in the upper right-hand corner of the page…it is as close to a web UI standard as there is. Sites that do not follow this standard are much harder to use.
BPL obfuscates those functions more fully and any other site I can think of. Not following that standard would be like selling a car with the pedals in reverse order. Why? Seriously…what is being gained?
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