Hi Everyone (Friends),
It's been a long time coming, and long time needed. JenSocial is finally sporting a brand new look, utilizing Ning's Design Studio. Yeah, we were still using the old Ning Editor. ;-)
Navigation and Layout:
In addition to "Design", the navigation was cleaned up, modules removed from home page, and the layout was completely revamped.
Design, Navigation, Content, and Activity Goals:
Over the years it's been my observation that the most successful Ning Networks are Forum-centric, versus Group-centric. This observation doesn't include Ning Networks that focus on Blogs like MyModernMet.com. A lot of these sites are wildly successful, especially My Modern Met. In regards to Groups, don't get me wrong. Groups are important, and especially for premium content. But, I truly feel that open discussion is better placed in the Forum Discussion module.
Until now, all Ning Tips and Support on JenSocial were contained in special Groups. I am totally excited about the recent changes. Other than the private VIP Ning Tips, we have started the process of adding Ning Tips and Ning Support questions to the main Forum Discussions. I can already see a nice improvement in activity and clarity for Members. The older tips remain in the special Ning Tips Groupand labeled: Archives.
New Home Page Layout:
Left Column - Members, Search, Latest Activity, & Social Web Directory
Right Column - Everything Ning
You’ll find "Everything Ning" in the right column. Each time you visit the site, the latest "VIP Ning Tip" and the latest "Ning Tip", will be available at top of the right column. Immediately following the tips, you'll find the: Recent Forum Discussion Activity. At the bottom of right column are the archives for Ning Tips and Announcements from Ning.com.
Lay it on me. I'm not asking anyone to spend a lot of time critiquing, but very much welcome your thoughts. My main question is: Were the goals accomplished?
Thanks in advance for your time,
Doone, sorry to hear it. That's the only way an original member can rejoin with new paywall, to my knowledge at least. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Doone, Been thinking about how to resolve this. Sent you a pm.
Nice real nice
like it alot cleaner faster easier more interactive but the menu lacks style subtabs especialy tho its clean and easy its too ..out of the box .. alot of ppl look to you for style tips and the menu although has that nice "best tips" indicater the rest of the menu lacks any ...ooomph..like you did pay attention to reworking a more functional menu but ignored the style
overall the page looks good loads faster is less...busy (overdone with the ..addon tips)
as far as a overhaul goes id give it an 8 out of 10 u gain alotta function while losin points on style ..only cause upgrading to design studio u could have gone all out on the design and made it truly beautiful and unique yet fell slightly short on that only in ceratain areas
i feel creators did the same when upgrading to design studio its a nice fresh start but feel creators coulda been more...well..creative
and thats my only critisism of your new design it lacks a lil of thast creativity we expect from you..now i know its just been redesigned and probably every element will go through a tune up over time..like my site would change just about daily up untill a month or 2 ago
so i think you got a great building block to start off with and some fine attention to detail you will have a "perfect" site soon
i too made changes recently (not done yet) to increase activitty removed the "welcome cebter" text box moving the foerum module up to center stage added a site status and community news group (not too active yet cause havent implimented the full plan for them yet)
made a welcome center page wich soon w=ill have a how to use the site guide with vid tutorials and all
added 2 new forum categories more lifestyle and interest related..etc
so im right there with u in the push to improve the community and activity aspect
and in that way i believe your improvements are top notch
your header..i loved
i hope u offer that as a tip so i can tweak it tear it apart and rebuild it in my own way haha i think only the plainness of the menu was my only dissapointment
although on second look i do think its interesting the way u did the jensocial tab and subtabs diferently then the rest
i was a lil harsh and criticle but overall i give ya 2 thumbs up and a cookie asa bonus
But, what about the menu tabs? Psyche! LOL!
Thanks for taking your time to assess the site design and user experience. The fact you feel I met my goals on the latter is great.
Just so you know that I did put thought into the menu: the navigation was meant to be minimalistic to a point, with a shaded/faded subtle background to match the overall site look, the touch of replacing home tab with logo image, and subtabs with the new site colors for blending the color palette. But, I definitely hear you and see your point. It's food for thought. I want to keep it very clean. But, I'll likely add a little more "ooomph" to the menu tabs down the road, a mini facelift of sorts.
definately think its a improvement :)
Great job! You've given me some food for thought with the forums vs groups question... I'm going to have to think about where to go with this...
Thanks! Yeah, I have to report back, it really makes a difference. It may not be for all sites, but better for the type of site like JenSocial. I think what I've experienced is: Whether your site is group, blog, or forum-centric, only have one area where everyone checks daily, to see the best activity.