Steven and Winnie (winniewong) wrote in lj_design,
Steven and Winnie

Clearing the way for the new Browse Option

I talked before about a group brainstorming meeting to create a new Browse Option. Now that the Sponsor+ level is launched, the Design team can focus on some other things. The Browse Option project had the potential to be a politically hot one. Everyone has an opinion about how it should be. I took this on one myself, meaning that I'm the designer and the Product Manager for this project. I've never been Product Manager before, so this is new. We'll see how I do. (They might not ask me to be PM again. :P )

Luckily the results from the group brainstorming was quite consistent. So the good news for me was that most people agreed on what the problems were, and even though the particular solutions of each group were different, they mostly agreed on what the high-level concepts on LJ were.

I sketched out a possible solution, and started getting feedback from small groups. There's no faster way for a good design solution to die than by putting it in front of a big group of people, and asking them for open feedback. Invariably, they:
  1. will be displeased with it in some way
  2. not know how to verbally express their displeasure
  3. try to design it for you
It's not their fault. Very few people are good at taking an emotional topic like Design, and talking about it in a very structured way. Also, most people are good, and want to help you, and that's why they come up with suggestions on how to fix it. But none of that really helps the Designer unless they understand the source of the displeasure. And it's a lot easier to get that in a small group than a big conference.

So having done this research, and gotten some pretty positive feedback, and some good suggestions, I refined the design.

Then I realized that I had a couple roadblocks. In order for the new navigation to work...
The editinfo.bml page had to be redesigned. It had become a dumping ground for every new setting that appeared on LJ. technopatra spent a lot of time researching what each of the settings were, how they behaved, and came up with a new design.
The Styles Management area needed to launched. Again, this was a design that technopatra created a loooooong while back, and was stuck in limbo. We are unsticking it now.

So I had to be a little patient, but I'm happy to report that the new Edit Profile page is up and running.

Stay tuned for news on the new Browse Option.
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