October 23rd, 2008

No Face

Consolidated LJ Settings: Phase 1

As part of our ongoing efforts to make LiveJournal simpler and easier to use, we have consolidated all of the various settings that were scattered around the site into one easy to access place under Account Settings.

For phase 1, we aggregated all of the settings into one place. We made a few small changes to the defaults (only for new users), but haven't removed anything. The goal for this phase is to simply take stock of what we have. We now want to open this up to our beta testers and get feedback. Your feedback will be incorporated into phase 2.

Please Note, you can't view these changes unless you have beta testing turned on. To turn on beta testing of the Account Settings, click the Beta Features link in the header. Once enabled, you should see the new version whenever you click the Account button in the header at the top of every page.

The new Account Settings page can be viewed here

The specific changes to the UI are as follows
  1. Settings from the following pages have been aggregated into one Account Settings:
    • Manage Account (/manage/horizon.bml) image
    • Viewing Options (/manage/settings/) image
    • Manage Comment Settings (/manage/comments/) image
    • Manage Message Settings (/manage/subscriptions/) image
    • Go Mobile with LiveJournal (/manage/mobile.bml) image
    • Choose Your Ad Settings (/manage/account/adsettings.bml) image
  2. We added a page where you can ban and unban users from your journal and any community that you maintain. It can be found at the bottom of the Privacy tab.
  3. The options for showing your LJ Talk online status and disabling v-gifts have been moved to the Edit Profile page.

Submit your Feedback
We are looking for specific feedback on how we can improve the Account Settings even more. Please keep in mind that our goal is to make LiveJournal as easy as possible to use for everyone. Ideally, this means trying to identify features that we can simplify, explain better or even remove. Because we have a small team, the more complex the product is, the more difficult it is for us to design for and provide support to our users.

Here are some ideas that we would like to implement for phase 2 of this project:
  1. See if certain settings could just be removed so there is just less for people to learn.
  2. Rename certain features so that it's easier to understand what it is they do.
  3. Rewrite the FAQs so they better explain features.
  4. Find other areas where we can simply de-clutter.
  5. Create an advanced setting tab. This could contain legacy settings which might be difficult for new users to understand.
We'd love to hear what you think about this new page, as well as any ideas you have for how we should proceed with phase 2.

me: red, me: camera

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. Collapse )

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. Collapse )

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.