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21. Posted by Peter (Admin 5532 posts) 1y

Thanks Glynn, good feedback.

It does end up being a long page. Perhaps there needs to be an option for a quick toggle to compacted view? It probably really depends on the user which they prefer. But I can certainly see that it would be cumbersome navigating to the 8th stop in your trip in the current view.

Good point on dates - it's easy enough to add the information in, though the extra wording might make it convoluted which means it will require effort to look appealing :)

Opening links in a new window is something that I'd rather leave to the person browsing (command-click on mac for example). I personally find it quite annoying when links open in a new window without me prompting that. It leaves my back button not functioning as I expect it and this is generally considered bad usability, not good usability.

Thanks again for the feedback - it's very much appreciated!

22. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 1y

Quoting Peter

Opening links in a new window is something that I'd rather leave to the person browsing (command-click on mac for example). I personally find it quite annoying when links open in a new window without me prompting that. It leaves my back button not functioning as I expect it and this is generally considered bad usability, not good usability.

This is something that I've thought about a lot when it's come to websites I've built or worked on. My conclusion is broadly speaking the opposite to this - I find it annoying when an external link doesn't open in a new window/tab, as that is what I expect to happen. Internal links can go either way (usually same window/tab though), but my view is that 99% of external links should open in a new window/tab.

This is because it is a different website (so it indicates clearly that the user has navigated elsewhere), the original website is still fully available without having to use the back button (which may end up being multiple clicks, or having to type the URL again), and it actually gives the user control (i.e. the person can choose to close the original site if they wish, rather than having it forced upon them). I know you can either right-click or hold down a key when clicking a link to force the browser to open a new window/tab, but not all users will necessarily know that or they could easily forget to do that.

These are just my thoughts on it (haven't a clue what the poster who brought this up thinks, or if this is heading way off!). I consider external links opening in new window/tab to be good usability rather than bad because of the above thoughts - which I know goes against a strong view that other people have!

23. Posted by nzhamsta (Respected Member 93 posts) 1y

Hi,
Thanks for looking at the suggestions.
I agree with mojorob. I always have several tabs open at once and I find it improves usability to be able to refer back to the original link. Even within a website I will open the link into a new tab. For example, here in TP I will open each hotel from the accommodation list into a new tab so that I can easily go navigate between them. I simply close the tab when I am done with it and the original list is still there.

One final thing for now, in my opinion, the map view should be optional. I am currently looking at several options for a couple of weeks off in July. Once I finalise everything then I should be able to click on a button to say "Create map". I would not want two or three or four different maps in various stages of planning being created and being available for viewing.

Regards,
Glynn

24. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4428 posts) 1y

Brrr! Seriously! Actual usability studies for the past 15 years have shown conclusively every single time that users get horribly confused by new windows opening, and that the back button is the only browser button used - and understood - by the vast majority of users. Breaking that pattern is wrong. More computer-savvy users like new windows (or mostly tabs nowadays), but they are almost exactly the group of users who know how to open them themselves.

(FWIW, I'm a professional web developer and have been for the last ten years; also a board member of the Dutch trade organization for front-end developers and heavily involved in the world of web standards, and as much as I hate arguing from authority, all of that does tell me without a doubt that not forcing new windows on users is very much 'industry' best practice.)

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Feb-2013, at 14:06 by Sander ]

25. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 1y

Quoting Sander

Brrr! Seriously! Actual usability studies for the past 15 years have shown conclusively every single time that users get horribly confused by new windows opening, and that the back button is the only browser button used - and understood - by the vast majority of users. Breaking that pattern is wrong. More computer-savvy users like new windows (or mostly tabs nowadays), but they are almost exactly the group of users who know how to open them themselves.

(FWIW, I'm a professional web developer and have been for the last ten years; also a board member of the Dutch trade organization for front-end developers and heavily involved in the world of web standards, and as much as I hate arguing from authority, all of that does tell me without a doubt that not forcing new windows on users is very much 'industry' best practice.)

It would be interesting to know the scope, context and people groups of those studies (along with browsers and type of websites used to test). Also there's been a major change in recent years from windows-based browsing to tab-based browsing, with new windows opening in tabs which is cleaner. As various versions of IE were still the most used browser up to a year ago, it will be interesting to see if there's been any change since IE moved over to tab-based browsing as a major problem may be the "clutter" caused by actual new windows being opened filling up the taskbar. Another thing would be to see if unrequested "pop ups" are part of the problem of new windows causing issues.

With tab-based browsers becoming the norm, the pattern has changed from probably the vast majority of the usability studies you mention.

26. Posted by spiderface (Budding Member 36 posts) 1y

sorry, dont like the travel planner! makes inputting info ref each stop harder, and longer, than it needs to be.
dont over complicate the site, its ease of use was its usp for me.
as a travelling person, sometimes internet is iffy to say the least - speed and ease of use is paramount when
there isnt too much time to do stuff...
plus members weren't even informed that the travel planner would affect the way they use the site...i thought for
a while that it didn't affect me, but sady it did.

27. Posted by Peter (Admin 5532 posts) 1y

Hi spiderface, I'm sorry you don't like it. But how does it affect the use of the site for you? You can easily just not use it.

28. Posted by Peter (Admin 5532 posts) 1y

Quoting nzhamsta

One final thing for now, in my opinion, the map view should be optional. I am currently looking at several options for a couple of weeks off in July. Once I finalise everything then I should be able to click on a button to say "Create map". I would not want two or three or four different maps in various stages of planning being created and being available for viewing.

I agree this one's an issue that needs to be fixed. At the moment my preferred approach is to make it so you can set the privacy of your map. So maps that are private for you will be visible to you only. You can then control exactly which ones are shown on the map and for who.

My map's kind of full of testing ones, so I'd personally like to resolve this too :)

Post 29 was removed by a moderator
30. Posted by Peter (Admin 5532 posts) 1y

Been pondering the problem with long trips. It really would be quite good if the next upcoming stop was always there without having to scroll down to it.

So here's what I'm thinking of doing

a) if less than 5 stops - show everything as it is now
b) if over 5 stops then
1) show first 5 stops with dates in future expanded.
2) show any stops with dates that have already past collapsed.
3) show any stops more than 5 stops away from the next one as collapsed.
c) if there's more than 10 stops before we get to the upcoming stop, then possibly group a bunch and hide them.

Here's a mockup of what this would look like