◕ ◡ ◕ (chasethestars) wrote in lj_design,
◕ ◡ ◕

Profile Page Beta, Round 3

You know the drill.
(To turn on beta testing of the profile page, click the Beta Features link in the header. If you still have this enabled from last time, you should automatically see the new version whenever you view a profile page. You can also append ?ver=2008 to the end of any profile url.)

Screenshots for comparison:
Your Own Profile Current Beta 1 Beta 2 Current Beta
(with ads) Current Beta 1 Beta 2 Current Beta
Someone Else's Profile Current Beta 1 Beta 2 Current Beta
Community Profile Current Beta 1 Beta 2 Current Beta

Why the Redesign:

Many of you have asked in our previous posts why we're even redesigning the profile page at all. The current profile page does not scale well, and has not been significantly changed since... ever. It's been one long list going down the page, in no real order. We're redesigning it so information flows better, and is easier to navigate through.

1. We're making primary actions clearer.

As mentioned in the last beta post, we decided on a set of standard action links for each profile view that we felt were the most important actions to perform.

For those of you reading this, we know that you know what the buttons on the blue bar do, especially the ones you tend to use often. We also know that you know that a username links to a journal. However, we have done usability testing on the profile page, and results have shown that these concepts aren't particularly clear to new users, or even users who have been around for a while.

This is why we're adding text next to the button icons, and calling out select actions.

2. We're grouping together information that was scattered throughout the page, since it was more or less put on the page in the order it was added.

  • Journal info (title, subtitle, entries, last updated, comments) and the user's other pages (Memories, tags, ScrapBook)
  • Account info (user number, join date, support points, v-gifts received, account level)
  • Info about the user (name, birth date, location, website and other places, contact, schools) or community (name, membership and posting access statuses, theme, location, website, schools)
  • Friends (friends, mutual friends, friend of)
  • Communities (watching, member of, posting access)
  • Feeds (watching)

This has helped with discoverability. Many of you have noticed "new" features on the profile page that have always been there. The only new thing we added was the Tags link. The search link has always been there. Your user number has always been there. Recent v-gifts have always been at the top of the page.

Schools. It sounds like some of you want to be searchable by schools, but don't want it visible on your profile. You can hide your schools on your profile page and they will still show on the results pages for the schools as long as you have them listed.

Challenges in Redesigning:

The biggest challenge of redesigning the profile page is that different amounts of info will display depending on what the owner has filled out and what information has been set as viewable, and to who. Each section can be really long or really short.

The journal info, stats, and account info are up top because every account will have those, and they cannot be hidden. It was suggested a few times to move the info from Basic Info into the top area, which sounds good at first, but someone could have only their name showing and nothing else, or they could have all the information filled out, including 9 instant messenger fields. Finding a good balance for this was definitely one of the hardest parts of this redesign. It won't balance for every profile, but it should for the majority.

Another really big challenge is the 300x250 box ad, which is a required part of the page (this is a business decision, not a design decision, please don't argue about it here). Yes, there is a large gap of empty space on profiles that have an ad and not all the info filled out... It was either that, or have it intrude into the bio space. Definitely open to suggestions on this one if anyone has a better solution.

Fixes from Round 2, and Changes Based on Your Feedback:

  • Fixed all the bugs listed in the last post.
  • Fixed CSS so the Schools text wraps instead of pushing down to the next line which pushed Bio down too. Links in navigation up top also now wrap under instead of colliding.
  • Removed the box around the top (looked too much like an ad).
  • Removed the link from the journal title (redundant).
  • Removed the flag journal link (offensive).
  • Redesigned display of Friends/Communities/Feeds for better eye-flow going down the page.
  • Added the ability for the viewer of a profile to collapse/expand various sections.

Feedback & Bugs:

Please continue to give us your feedback!

Known Bugs

  • The bottom of community profiles touch the footer in XColibur (#)
  • valign in bio not working (#)

edited to add at 5:20pm
It seems that there is confusion over the display of v-gifts on the profile page. Only v-gifts received in the last 2 weeks will appear on the profile. After that, they are moved to the v-gift history page. Recipients of the v-gift can also choose to have it removed from their profile page, or delete the v-gift completely. See this FAQ for more info.
Tags: beta, profile
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