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

Update on the User Profile page

Hi everyone. Thanks for taking the time to send your feedback. I'm sorry I gave the impression that we were going to launch this design. When I wrote "if it launches" I really did mean "if". Here's some background on the reasons we are re-examining the layout of the User Profile page.

There were 3 usability problems that we were trying to address with the new design.
  1. It's not easy to quickly scan the page and get key information from it. What we count as "key" information is the stats that would identify the person separate from other people who might have a similar username. And for a standard 800x600 or 1024x768, not a a lot of that information shows up without scrolling.
  2. A related issue is that for new users it's difficult to learn what the key links are.
  3. It's not quickly identifiable as a Profile page. This is because its look is identical to the rest of the site.
So we made a prototype, however we don't really have a way to test it against all of your profiles. Some are really long, some are really short. Some have a lot of HTML in the Bio, some don't. The motivation for letting everyone know about it, was to test if the design survives well in the real world. We recieved some similar feedback from our Support team, and we'd been planning on making modifications anyway, but posting here served two purposes: we could get implementation suggestions from a different group of LJ users, and more users would get a peek into the design process in progress. From your feedback, here's the summary of what we're hearing...

  1.  That not-so-cute bug that truncates the Friends lists to 150 is totally intolerable. And yes, it is a bug. (I should've mentioned that earlier. Oops.) But it's pretty obvious that the 2 column thing isn't going to work out because Profile pages can get really really long. (Some users had 750 friends!) The page is always going to look too busy. So we would count that as "breaking" the design. Two columns is inherently problematic, so we're yanking that out.
  2.  Contact Info is a much bigger deal than schools, which is great to hear. We'll adjust accordingly.
  3.   grrliz made a mockup of the page and posted it. So we're taking that into consideration too.
  4.  There's clearly some bugs. The Friends Of list doesn't show, and Schools has a bug where if you don't enter an end year, then it assumes you're still going there. We've got to fix those.
But it also seems that the feedback regarding the top part of the page that gathers together the basic info of a person seems pretty useful. It needs some adjustments to contain different data. So we will keep some aspect of that in the revised design.

Mockups, and a description of our process to come.

And even though he didn't make the original design, veroz is working on the next rev to integrate your feedback. :)
veroz, hard at work
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