No Face

Profile Page Design - Fix for Broken HTML in Bios

For people who had HTML in bios that was broken by the new Profile Page design. We just pushed live a fix to correct the problem. If you're still experiencing problems with the HTML in your bio, please let us know.

Update 7:26pm PST
We just wanted to let you all know that we are reading all the comments. We thought that we would post here again to clarify why we are doing this:
  • The current profile page does not scale well, and has not been significantly upgraded for years.
  • Our goal is to make the primary actions clear. This is why we're adding text next to the button icons, and calling out select actions.
  • We also have grouped information together that was scattered throughout the page.
As for an opt-out, the problem is that we have enough trouble making changes to the all the different permutations of LiveJournal that exist now. Going forward we have to be careful about how much complexity we add to the site because it makes the design and maintenance very difficult, and increase our response time to fixing problems.

Please read through lj_design. There you can see the months of history and work that were done on this page. All of our comments and feedback can be found there.

Please continue to provide us with feedback. I only ask that you try to be as specific as possible. That way we can respond to your requests and incorporate your ideas.

Update 11-10-08, 1:04pm PST
As requested, we are removing the link to LJ Seek from the new profile page due to some concerns about how it affects your privacy. The patch will go live sometime this afternoon.

Update 11-10-08, 4:11pm PST
We are still going through all the feedback and should have a response ready sometime this week, hopefully tomorrow.
No Face

New Profile Page Goes Live

After months of hard work and three public betas, our new profile page design is now live. We want to thank everyone for all the feedback. If you're interested in reading about the evolution of the design, just click on the profile tag and the entire history of posts will be available for you to read.

For those who have asked about an opt-out option, it's not going to be possible for us to provide that for the profile page or any other significant UI changes. While we would like to be able to support every permutation of the product, adding more complexity at core levels makes it really difficult to design and maintain.

For users that have been with LiveJournal for a long time, it may be hard to understand why we continue to evolve the user interface design. There are a number of factors that go into our decision making process when we make changes to the design of LiveJournal. User feedback is one of the most important ones, but it's not the only factor. Our goal with the profile page redesign and all the user interface design work is simply to make the website easier for everyone to use, which includes new users.

We know that for you, this may seem not very useful, since you already understand how to use the product. This is why we go through the painstaking process of creating beta versions, getting feedback, creating a new beta version and so on and so on until we achieve something that we feel comfortable launching. It's impossible for us to satisfy everyone, but we still try.

The profile page is a very difficult page to design given the personal nature of the information that is on there. The Account Settings project I think is a more clear cut example of how we are improving the LiveJournal experience for both new and old users alike.

Thank you.
No Face

Profile Page Design - Update

Given the feedback on separating out the bio from the profile page, we have decided to reconsider our strategy. Our first post was just a suggestion, and the goal was to get feedback from the community. Please keep in mind that no final decision has been made. But we want everyone to know that our users feedback does play heavily into helping us shape the LiveJournal user experience.
me: red, me: camera

Profile Page to go Live

Thank you for all your feedback! The new profile page will go live for all users in the next release (Thursday) with the following changes:
  • expand/collapse selection will stick when visiting a different profile
  • addition of links to view friends page
  • addition of links to edit profile and manage friends
  • if you have userpics, but no default selected, the link will be to allpics.bml instead of editpics.bml

Future Plans

For the future, we are thinking of separating the bio out from the profile into its own page. The idea behind this being one is a free-for-all for self-expression, and the other is for standardized information about the user and their account.

The profile would stay an app-styled page containing user info. The new bio page (or "About" or whatever it will be called) would match your journal style, or have its own layout entirely. Maybe instead of a separate page linked from the journal and profile, this would be a tab in the profile.

So far, this is just an idea and we're only brainstorming. What do you think? Would you like to see this happen? How would you like it to work?
Glasses Outside

Happy Halloween

By now all Horizon and Vertigo users have noticed our Halloween treatment on the top of the page. A number of people have had questions about the site scheme and I thought we would create a post on the Design Community specifically to address all the questions.
  1. Can I keep this as my theme forever? Sorry this is a special update that is only available for Halloween. Check back next Halloween to see what we do.
  2. When will the theme expire? The Halloween scheme will come down at the end of November 1st.
  3. Does this affect all users globally? Yes, only users with the Horizon or Vertigo site scheme.
Extra Credit: Did people notice Zombie Frank on the logged in home page?

Enjoy your Halloween.
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.
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 Beta, Round 2

To turn on beta testing of the profile page, click the Beta Profile Page 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.

Here are some screenshots comparing the current profile page on LiveJournal, the profile from the last beta, and the new profile that's in beta:
Your Own Profile Current Last Beta New Beta
(with ads) Current Last Beta New Beta
Someone Else's Profile Current Last Beta New Beta
Community Profile Current Last Beta New Beta

The main feedback from the last beta was that there was too much white space, unbalancing the page (when there is no ad), and that schools was too large/prominent. A lot of you also felt that the Tell A Friend and To-Do List links weren't useful on the profile, and that there should be a link to the tags page.

We redid the top section.

We decided on a standardized set of action links that are always present on the page. If you don't have access to a particular action, it will be disabled (e.g. a user has disabled v-gifts, or a community that allows only select members to post). The links for each view are as follows:

Your Profile: Add/Modify Friend, View Journal, Post an Entry, Tracking, Send V-Gift
Someone Else's Profile: Add/Modify Friend, View Journal, Track User, Send Message, Send V-Gift
Community Profile: Join/Leave, Watch/Modify Watch, View Journal, Post, Track, Send V-Gift
Syndicated Feed Profile: Subscribe/Modify Subscription, View Journal, Track Feed
Open ID Profile: Add/Modify Friend, Track User, Send Message, Send V-Gift

Other elements of the top section include journal info and stats (number of entries, last updated, comments, Memories, tags, ScrapBook files), account stats (LJ user number, join date, Support points, v-gifts), and account type.

Collapse )

Feedback & Bugs

As always, we welcome and appreciate your feedback. If there's something you don't like, please explain why you don't like it, and suggest alternative ideas if you have any. Please also let us know of any bugs you find.

Known Bugs

  • The last updated date on accounts with 0 posted entries is incorrect.
  • Missing anti-spam on IM addresses (#)
  • Account level is misaligned in older site schemes (Dystopia and Xcolibur) and Lynx
  • Overlap in lower resolutions
  • The way schools wrap when length is longer (#)
  • Sometimes "comments" isn't plural when it should be (#)
  • Journal title for OpenID profiles link to their journal, which does not exist (#)
  • It says "Modify Friend" instead of "Add Friend" when someone has you added as a friend, but you haven't add them yet.
me: red, me: camera

design related changes in R39

  • For Paid and Permanent users, ?style=mine is now available as a persistent preference with toggle on/off in the nav strip. More details in paidmembers here.
  • Graphic Previews (Snap) is now a viewer option rather than journal setting. More details in news here.
  • Changed "Change Journal Theme" to "Change Journal Style" and "Customize Journal Theme" to "Customize Journal Style" in the Journal menu on the main navigation.
  • HTML fix in Expressive and Mixit layouts (they were missing closing divs).
  • Fixed alignment in Writer's Block on the homepage.
  • Updates to Profile Beta.
No Face

New Template for LJ Design Community

I know that it has been a long time coming but I wanted to officially announce my arrival here at LiveJournal with the redesign of our community. My name is Gregory Kennedy and I started here at LiveJournal about 4 months ago as the new Global Creative Director. While it might sound fancy, my job here is simple: to help guide the design teams in both the US and Russia.

Some of my goals for LiveJournal and the teams are:

1) Improve the overall usability of the product. I simply want to make it easier to do all the things that are unique to LJ. We have already started making some small changes that people may have noticed (like the new footer). But we have plans to make a lot more changes. Some of the projects we are working on include consolidating all the different settings from around the site into one easy to find place. Another ongoing project we are working on is to improve the design of the profile page. A new version of the page should go into beta sometime this week

2) Give the LiveJournal brand more love. The actual brand of LiveJournal has a rich history and is really fantastic. But no one was ever directly responsible for it. Some of the work we have done in that area is to create a style guide with a design framework for both the US and Russia teams to follow. This way there is more consistency and we act as one company. Another example of our new design direction can be seen with our corporate site:

3) Help make LiveJournal great. I think that LiveJournal is a great product and has so much potential. In addition to the core team that has been with LJ for a long time, there are a lot of new people here working with me. Together we all have a lot of ideas about how we can improve LiveJournal and make it truly great. I won't go into all the details, but we are working on a bunch of exciting stuff that that fits within the spirit and heritage of the LJ.

We also have a new team member here in the San Francisco office. Liz Luxenberg (LJ username lizlux) just started working with chasethestars and myself. She is a very capable and talented person. We are both happy to have her on the team.

Lastly I just want to say that I welcome feedback from the community. LiveJournal is a company that values our users and wants input. We actively manage this forum and read all the comments posted in it.