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61. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 7y

Personally, I think the current version is really way better. v5 looks like the so-manieth commercial travel website without a real identity, set up with the sole purpose of selling as much accom as possible. Also, I think it's look and feel are too 'blog-like', if that makes any sense to anyone. Finally, I don't really like the location-based set-up.

I suppose you've given this a lot of thought, and consulted people who have professional opinions on website design (besides yourselves). But in my view, what makes TP unique is that much of the content is contributed by its members, and the current design to me reflects this much better than the new one. I do like the new logos, though.

Sorry for being so negative. Of course I'll stick around either way, but since you asked... :)

62. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 7y

Quoting bentivogli

But in my view, what makes TP unique is that much of the content is contributed by its members, and the current design to me reflects this much better than the new one.

Actually the main reason for the redesign is to highlight all the member contributed content. It's currently near impossible for new members to get a feel for this on the home page. I just checked, and logged out, there are two clear blocks of member contributed content. Both 'below the fold' (ie. not immediately visible) for many. In the new design, there'd be 6 (7 if you see the wiki one as both photos and text), so if anything, this surely improves the focus on all those great member contributions?!

Once you are logged in you can have your own setup on the home page. I think this is something we'd keep to be honest, as it suits the different 'compartments' within the site well.

So to clarify, this is the look for non logged in users.

63. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

Looks good! Just a few comments - I 'd like it if the blurb about the forums was a bit more prominent, as (I might be wrong) but I'd have thought that they are still the most popular area of the website for both first time and regular visitors, but the new set up seems to suggest they're a less significant part of the site than, say, the travel guide which appears bigger and further up the page.

I think making the key words bold in the intro (about the site being a communitey of travellers etc) is unnecessary.

Will we still see the random featured photos when we have logged in?

64. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 7y

Regarding the little people in the header, the 2 people closest together (I think they both have bikes but not sure) looks a little unclear/messy - to my eyes it may be better to lose one of those 2 people! Also, is there a reason why all the people are heading in the same direction?

With it being on the right, and people are heading towards the right it can almost be looked upon as if they're all trying to get away from Travellerspoint! But more seriously, it looks like they're following each other, rather than going to different places. Not everyone travels to the same place, so it looks a little conformist to me - possibly contradictory to the site being made up of independent travellers which is said underneath the header.

65. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 7y

Something else I just noticed - under the "Join Us" bit, it seems a little odd just to have a link for "Take the Tour" without a further link "Join Us".

The link to log in could possibly do with being a little more obvious on the page. On that, are you intending on keeping the 2 week limit for remaining logged in? When you're not in a period of travelling and using your own computer, it gets kinda annoying having to log in every 2 weeks.

66. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting mojorob

Regarding the little people in the header, the 2 people closest together (I think they both have bikes but not sure) looks a little unclear/messy - to my eyes it may be better to lose one of those 2 people! Also, is there a reason why all the people are heading in the same direction?

With it being on the right, and people are heading towards the right it can almost be looked upon as if they're all trying to get away from Travellerspoint! But more seriously, it looks like they're following each other, rather than going to different places. Not everyone travels to the same place, so it looks a little conformist to me - possibly contradictory to the site being made up of independent travellers which is said underneath the header.

I have to agree with mojorob. I had the exact same feeling - the people are trying to exit from the right side of the page. Actually, the "lead" guy with (what I'm taking is suppose to be a camera) looks more like he's using binoculars to find the escape route with the rest just awaiting their orders. It also gives the feel of a traveling group rather than individuals. Maybe just flip the image so it appears they are entering TP and not really leaving. At least then the "binocular" guy could be considered scouting out good things for them to look at on the site.

Quoting Peter

  • Illustration will still be changed to match the design better. I don't feel this one is working, although it's better than nothing!
  • Shorter Bar at top, ditched Discuss, etc.. links. Sacrificing that for content higher up the page. Those links are of course handled by navigation anyway really.

I still love that illustration, but as you have mentioned awhile back, an alternative one would be in the works. So much of this current one is cut off (top and bottom) that it's lost most of it's appeal. (Yup, not working well anymore.) Is it possible for the next illustration to still have the VW Microbus? It's a quirky and fun element.

Personally, I'm glad to see the (Version 4's) Discuss, Map, Book, etc. links ditched. They "felt" clunky and didn't make a good fit with the rest of the content. Version 5 is much better without them.

67. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

Quoting Sam I Am

Actually the main reason for the redesign is to highlight all the member contributed content.

Heh, you know, my first thought upon seeing this new version is actually that it's now too much about the member-contributed content. My very first instinctive thought upon switching to the tab with this screenshot was that I'd somehow ended up on yet another of those thirteen-in-a-dozen social-networking sites with all their content sourced from external third parties and thriving on letting users fill in profiles to meaninglessly "connect" to each other.
What you've lost with this new design, I think, is the qualitative difference which offsets travellerspoint from such places. And where the previous version of this new design still had the action-icons - calling out to participate and showing off the useful tools which this site offers - this latest version has lost that completely. (Also, the menu bar completely vanishes into the header amidst all of the horizontal bars (the high intro section from version 4 really broke that up), so without those icons, there really is no way to guide my eyes to "where to go"/"what to do".)

On the plus side, I really like the new font for "Travellerspoint"; or at least, I do so right up to the final "t" (not including it, for it's too much of a cross). :)

68. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru 516 posts) 7y

Since I first commented on V2 a while back I think the design has come along very well.

1. The font for travellerspoint is much much better.

2. I agree that the clutter of stick men could do with some work. The last one looks like a photographer which is cool, but would be better down on one knee I think. The first two figures look like they are off to school not traveling!

3. I also agree with Sander on the over all look being a little like many of those big "community sites out there". There's loads of them, and they all want you to join and blog for them, share photos, and connect with others. Yawn.

Not a fan of that emboldened text in the intro at all.

Personally the Join in and log in on the current homepage I like. I think it's one of the things that pulled me into joining TP. Left side bar was more personal too. (i know that's been covered).

But again this is just my personal preference. Overall it's a big improvement

And to close, whenever anyone changes anything, there will always be people who prefered the old way, or another way! What makes TP so good is an open forum like this. Can't think of another travel site who would openly ask it's members to help change it's look! Well done!

69. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 7y

Thanks all for the feedback. Great stuff.

I'm taking as a positive that on the whole people are happy with the Travellerspoint text. I might indeed tweak the t slightly - the "descender" is a little long, which also makes it feel a little tighter against the navigation. But on the whole, I think that's a tick (and an important one!).

The group of characters will clearly need some work :) I played with having them facing different directions at one point, but then it made it look a bit too much like they were all standing around chatting. Then again, maybe that's not a bad thing! Funny you should mention the first 2 look like they're going to school TLWH, I think the little girl was in fact going to school :) I had trouble finding a good silhouette image of a little girl travelling. Would have preferred someone holding a little suitcase.

Join and Log In can definitely be added back under that blurb in the top bar. Makes total sense and is an obvious omission on my part.

There doesn't yet seem to be a consensus on the "action links". Two who want them back and two who don't (Isadora and myself). Any others feel like weighing in on that? The main problem for me is working out what they should actually say! I'm not really happy with any of our options so far.

I take on board the sense that maybe it looks a bit too much same same compared to other sites. I believe it will be possible to make it feel a lot more personal with some good illustration work in that top bar, but maybe also some less clich├ęd techniques on the front page would be good. Maybe the photos of members is a bit too much like everyone else out there for instance. The logic behind that of course is to put the emphasis on the community aspect of the site. But being unique counts for something too ;) Maybe the destination content can be lessened a little in favour of more fresh forum content. I'll do some work with that to provide an alternative.

Ok, more later .. got a crying baby to tend to now!

70. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 7y

Quoting Peter

There doesn't yet seem to be a consensus on the "action links". Two who want them back and two who don't (Isadora and myself). Any others feel like weighing in on that? The main problem for me is working out what they should actually say! I'm not really happy with any of our options so far.

Peter, could you clarify what you mean by 'action links' so I can give feedback on them? Sorry if I've missed something somewhere - I had a read through the thread but couldn't work out what you were referring to :)