Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37
  1. #1

    Weasyl has a severe case of Mystery Meat Navigation

    First of all, hi, Sarki here, it’s my first real post on the forums but I've been part of this site ever since late 2012.

    Ever since back then I've been hoping to see this website succeed, so here is some harsh criticism to start off your weekend~ (I apologize in advance if this was ever covered in another thread)

    The website is gorgeous, but every time I come back to it there is a simple, major issue that is keeping me from sticking with it for good: Navigation is impossible. Your system is so crowded with features that the website itself is getting in the way of the artwork it is supposed to be displaying.

    Ever since the site was launched it has suffered from Mystery Meat Navigation (MMN).

    What is it:
    It’s a severe overlook on design choices that assume that the user knows exactly as much as the developer when it comes to browsing the pages.

    Some examples, courtesy of http://websitesthatsuck.com :
    http://www.flatpakhouse.com/
    http://www.bluebell.com/
    These are extreme examples but you get the idea. You need to roll over every. Single. Darn. Icon. Or sometimes click and leap-of-faith towards a section of the website that you may hope will be what you’re looking for.


    But Weasyl is not that bad, is it? Yea… it is, actually. :c
    Not on the standard website navigation itself, but on the artwork and display gallery instead.
    All because there is a required thumbnail system in place that crops and murders composition.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~

    To prove my point, let’s play the guessing game. Or rather…let’s play a game of WTF-Am-I-Clicking-At.
    Quick Disclaimer: I hope this doesn't offend any of the artists who drew these, by all means keep doing what you love. I’m just recording reactions.


    I took this screen grab of a random section of the picture browser:
    NSFW: http://i.imgur.com/Ca5gODW.jpg

    I’m going to try to guess what the art pieces are before clicking on the full artwork itself.


    1 - My guess: Cub art, maybe?
    What it is: an Icon

    3 - My guess: Red panda pin-up
    What it is: Red panda reading a book
    Comment: The thumbnail was focused on the rear.

    6 - My guess: Some kind of fox face. This might be an icon
    What it is: Probably one of the cutest fox pics I've ever seen
    Comment: I’d never have clicked this if it wasn't for this complaint thread :X

    8 - My guess: No clue, some human.
    What it is: HOLY KITTENS. Gorgeous centaur archer picture by Kackington
    Comment: Another case of having never guessed what I was getting into. Instant fave.

    9 - My guess: NSFW bondage
    What it is: NSFW bondage
    Comment: Thumbnail shows entire pic, slightly cropped

    11 - My guess: Looks 3 dudes getting high.
    What it is: A con drawing of 3 friends
    Comment: the image name is BalconyCon 2012, displayed when hovering over the image.

    I could keep going at this forever, but I think the point is clear. Let me just jump to a few last fun cases:

    16 - My guess: Moaning face? It’s not marked as porn though…. No idea
    What it is: It’s a vore pic, that is disgusting.
    Comment: IT WAS MOANING FACE

    20 - My guess: Another moaning face. I think he’s getting banged maybe?
    What it is: Some sort of extreme-hyper tentacle putting eggs on a fox.
    Comment: …I’m scared to click things now :c

    22 - My guess: Marked as mature, I cannot tell what it is if my life depended on it.
    What it is: Mermaid, breasts exposed.

    23- My guess: Icon
    What it is: Another fantastic painting I had no intentions of ever clicking

    27- My guess: Some fox boy getting railed from behind
    What it is: Extreme art, male pregnancy, birth.
    Comment: That’s it, I quit… again :c


    Quite bad isn't it? .w.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~



    Guys the site is beautiful. It has a nice soothing color scheme and very lovely list of features as well. But you put those design choices above the content itself, which is the work your artists create and the main reason one would be frequently browsing the gallery.

    You shouldn't have to manually rollover each pic and hope the tittle gives you an idea what you’re clicking at. It shouldn't be a guessing game; every click shouldn't be a leap-of-faith.

    Not only you've made it too easy to craft these cheap thumbnails, you made it required, and they end up hurting the user experience in the long run.


    There is nothing wrong with thumbnails if they are done right.

    I’m gonna use InkBunny as an example since their tabs end up with nice descriptive thumbs… and occasionally a click-bait here and there.
    NSFW: http://i.imgur.com/E7Z496W.png

    Now here’s a big difference: the thumbnails are mostly all tagged with what they represent. It’s easy to tell what I want to click or not. Some is cub art, some is sonic porn, some are muscular nude males, and so on. From this I can easily choose what matches my tastes (or not) without going through the guessing game.
    The thumbnails are optional, and the name of the artists is clearly displayed below each picture.


    The only suggestion I can think right off the bat is getting rid of your thumbnail system altogether. But that’s probably quite a destructive approach and I’m sure you guys can come up with some better alternative. ^_^;


    TLDR: There is no way to tell what you're clicking on this website because of the thumbnail system.
    Last edited by sarki; 01-17-2014 at 02:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


    Weasyl
    Runefox
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    NL, Canada
    Posts
    481
    I don't think calling Weasyl's thumbnails MMN is appropriate, but they do leave something to be desired. I would say that there's no reason to get rid of the thumbnail system altogether, but custom thumbnails, custom thumbnail cropping, and maybe rattling off the artwork's tags on mouseover would help with that. There's only so much room on the thumbnails; Larger thumbnails would help there.

    None of that would help on mobile, however, where there's no such thing as mouseover. Could theoretically do a two click system where the thumbnail itself is only a link to an :active CSS target that brings up the hover info and the real link, but that might be seen as too much hassle for the user (it wouldn't matter on desktops since on hover the info and by extension real link slides into view on mouseover anyway).

  3. #3
    Regular xarg's Avatar
    Weasyl
    xarg
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    97
    Or you know... Simply add an user option to disable artist chosen thumbnails, defaulting to a sized down verison of the full image. That way people who like to be lied to can keep doing that, and everybody else can see what the image might have before clicking through...

    I do have to disagree, calling them MMN is extremely accurate, especially on mobile browsers that don't support hovers that well. There is no reason to hide information from the user behind a click or a hover, just let it all show in the first place. Anything else is poor user interface design at the excuse of fancy graphics.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by xarg View Post
    Or you know... Simply add an user option to disable artist chosen thumbnails, defaulting to a sized down verison of the full image. That way people who like to be lied to can keep doing that, and everybody else can see what the image might have before clicking through...
    Damn. That's a real simple solution. I like it. Would help a ton with finding art I'd actually like.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    I don't think calling Weasyl's thumbnails MMN is appropriate, but they do leave something to be desired. I would say that there's no reason to get rid of the thumbnail system altogether, but custom thumbnails, custom thumbnail cropping, and maybe rattling off the artwork's tags on mouseover would help with that. There's only so much room on the thumbnails; Larger thumbnails would help there.

    None of that would help on mobile, however, where there's no such thing as mouseover. Could theoretically do a two click system where the thumbnail itself is only a link to an :active CSS target that brings up the hover info and the real link, but that might be seen as too much hassle for the user (it wouldn't matter on desktops since on hover the info and by extension real link slides into view on mouseover anyway).

    I call it MMN because it's hiding essential information behind hovers and clicks, all of that adds for a slow and frustrating navigation experience.
    Hovering over every single pic is slow, clicking is slow, it's all extra user work that is there for no reason other than making the site look pretty.
    Removing the thumbnail system is an extreme solution, like I said there has got to be a better way around that ^_^;

    Art isn't square, unless it's an icon. None of the thumbnails I've looked at match the artwork, the only way to get your picture to show what it represents on the thumbnail is to mangle it's composition.

    I hadn't even taken the mobile thing into consideration when I wrote this. I can see how that would be a huge hassle over the lack of hover in most cases .w.;

  6. #6
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


    Weasyl
    Runefox
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    NL, Canada
    Posts
    481
    Last edited by Runefox; 01-17-2014 at 01:35 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    Except the thumbnails would then be so insanely tiny that it would be nigh impossible to see what's going on in them. The thumbnails are the size of forum avatars. The screen above was taken with a 115% zoom (my browser default, yay high DPI).
    The thumbnails are super tiny at the moment, yea. It's another thing to consider if they ever hoped to alleviate the MMN.

    Do you have any idea how messy and unreadable the display would be if every detail about every submission were listed on the page? I can understand this kind of thing for story submissions where that kind of detail is all you get, but not for artwork.
    We don't need every single detail about the pic, that's not the point of a thumbnail. They are just small previews of what you're going into on the main submission and the rest of the detail should be left there.
    Right now it is on a complete opposite extreme, the amount of information you're given is too little. No tittle, no author...

    For some pictures I might as well be clicking on a blank link.
    The journals are even worse, it just shows the icon of the poster and I doubt anyone manually hovers through each and everyone of them.



    Also on the subject of tags...

    Here are my currently filtered tags:
    babyfur General+
    cub General+
    diaper General+
    diapers General+

    6 out the the 33 pictures in that example screen grab I gave display babyfurs, cubs, or diapers...

  8. #8
    Regular xarg's Avatar
    Weasyl
    xarg
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    97
    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    Except the thumbnails would then be so insanely tiny that it would be nigh impossible to see what's going on in them. The thumbnails are the size of forum avatars. The screen above was taken with a 115% zoom (my browser default, yay high DPI).
    Which showcases another design issue - the thumbnails are too small to convey an useful amount of information in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    I seriously disagree there. Do you have any idea how messy and unreadable the display would be if every detail about every submission were listed on the page? I can understand this kind of thing for story submissions where that kind of detail is all you get, but not for artwork. Besides, there is a tag blacklisting feature if you don't want surprise diaper bronies. If you're talking "is it porn or not?", the lower right corner of mature and adult submissions is colourized accordingly.
    This is very much not what I meant. My point was that the informationthat is ALREADY hidden behind a mouse over on the thumbnails shouldn't even be hidden. There is no need to add a huge list of excessive details about the submission in the thumbnail, that all should already be clear from the thumbnail. The same goes for the tag listing, I don't see any reason why that would be neccessary or useful. All a user needs to decide on visual art is a reasonably sized clear thumbnail along with the submission title and author.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't display extra information on a mouse hover. I would love to see a cut from the description and a couple of the most popular tags, but BASIC information, such as title and author should not be hidden.

  9. #9
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


    Weasyl
    Runefox
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    NL, Canada
    Posts
    481
    Quote Originally Posted by xarg View Post
    I'm not saying you shouldn't display extra information on a mouse hover. I would love to see a cut from the description and a couple of the most popular tags, but BASIC information, such as title and author should not be hidden.
    Yeah, I can agree with that to a degree. The problem becomes where that information actually goes. Using the hover/:active for tag display is fine, but with titles and author names being variable lengths, you can't really account for it not being done that way from a design standpoint. You could cut it off at a certain number of characters and insert an ellipsis, but unless the font is monospace, that's not ideal either. Putting it onto the thumbnail like it is now would work, but the thumbnail (and the information itself) would get muddled. So without being able to guarantee a line height and without being able to use the thumbnail for the info, it's a bit of a conundrum to reconcile layout readability and information.

    Not to mention titles and author names aren't always very descriptive either.

    I mean, look at that other art site. They have absolutely zero information about it and even require javascript to show the flyout with the info. Not excusing the fact that this is a design problem, but it could be much worse.

    This sounds like a job for a design study.
    Last edited by Runefox; 01-17-2014 at 02:16 PM.

  10.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #10
    pixel-pusher Aden's Avatar
    Weasyl
    Aden
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    212
    Oohhh yeah, I think most of us regret the square thumbs (and I'm personally going to be glad to see the current thumb hover info go). Good news is, we're not sticking with them forever … but you'll have to hang in there for just a little while longer. I promise it'll be worth it c:

    http://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/s...3100#post33100

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •