1. #1
    Phred
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Seek Opinions on new Index & Ad Column Beside Postings

    What are your thoughts and opinions on the new WebSite innovation -- the new vertical column highlighting the News Headlines and some featured advertisers which has appeared beside all of the posting pages? I find it distracting, somewhat bothersome, and it greatly reduces the amount of posting area that can be viewed without scrolling. It probably brings in some new revenue for Firehouse.com, but is this new profit worth the reader aggravation? Post your opinions.

  2. #2
    Administrator

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    Default

    Note to users:

    If you set your screen resolution to 800x600 and medium font settings, the site should all fit on one screen. The only exception being if someone writes a very long topic title, it may cause runnover...but this happens rarely. We will make it clear at the tops of all forum pages about the screen resolution size. This should work in either Netscape or Explorer 4.0+

    To AOL users, you can maximize your viewing of the forums by downloaded the newest version of Netscape or Internet Explorer while you dial up through AOL. You may have to change your "idle" settings if possible so AOL doesnt prompt you about staying online.


    Thanks
    Firehouse.Com WebTeam

    P.S. The change has nothing to do with profit and the like at this point, but is intended to provide better access to the day's top headlines and other relevent new information on the site for Forum members. Like we've done for the web directory, the change is so that these two segments of the site match the layout of the rest of the site.


    [This message has been edited by WebTeam (edited June 21, 1999).]

  3. #3
    e33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Personally not too keen on the idea here.

  4. #4
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Hey Web Team,
    I also dislike this new format of the left column news headlines. Like Phred, I also find it distracting. The news page is the first page I see when I visit Firehouse.com so I don't see how this new format provides better access to the news headlines. Please reconsider. Thanks.

    ------------------
    mfg
    www.ci.new-bedford.ma.us/PSAFETY/FIRE/firemain.htm

    http://home.fireservice.com/local841/


  5. #5
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    The new layout is very distracting. It makes following a thread harder as more scrolling is required. This is NOT a convenience. The indexing on front page is right where I want it. Please consider getting rid of it. Thanks Phred for the thread

  6. #6
    Administrator

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    Thanks everyone for the comments.

    Is anyone, who has their screen settings at 800x600 using Netscape or Explorer, having a problem where the text goes off the screen? Again, please make sure your settings are 800x600.

    If the problem is that you have to scroll down further to see all messages, we may shorter the size of the column.

    Thanks
    WebTeam2

  7. #7
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    WebTeam,

    My problem is not that the text goes off the screen or does not fit. I just find the added column a distraction. Not a big deal but I prefer the old format.

    mfg

  8. #8
    Administrator

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    Thanks mfgentili,

    If the resolution is set to the 800x600, the left column should only take up "155" of that "800", we tried to minimize the impact.

    Thanks
    WebTeam

  9. #9
    Phred
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    WebTeam,

    To answer your question: with 800x600 + Mediun font, the screen image USUALLY fits without having to horizontal scroll; but yesterday a few of the threads (including this one) were about an inch too wide. This thread shrunk and fit the screen AFTER the first reply was posted.

    But the real issue here is that the Forum participants do not like the constant distraction of material that is not related to what they are doing at the time -- reading a discussion Fourm. We all know HOW to locate and read the excellent Firehouse News offerings -- we don't need the constant reminder. As for the advertising beside the Forums, I'm much more likely to explore an advertiser's offering if I can do it on my terms (when {I} want to) rather than when the ad is forced upon me.

    As for my and other comments about content fitting without scrolling, what we're trying to say is that now there is 25% LESS Forum content (less of the replies visible). Probably not a big deal, but try to remember that you have THE BEST Firefighter's Fourm on the web -- we're trying to help you keep it that way! The WebTeam has come up with about a 98% Good Idea hit rate so far; you are allowed to offer a not-so-good idea every so often. But when you do, and we the users try to tell you it's not such a good idea, please don't take offense -- just say OK, we'll put it back to normal.

  10. #10
    Administrator

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    John and all:

    We will take everyone's comments into consideration, including those that direct e-mailed us.

    However, for the time being (at least 2 weeks), we will be continuing to experiment with left and/or right hand-side columns in the forums. Please 'pardon our dust' during this period and hopefully we can come up with something the majority of folks like.

    Unfortunately, every decision we make as far as layout is not going to be enjoyed by all members. We do make every attempt to ensure that everyone enjoys the forums and other areas of the site.

    We hope you'll bear with us as we try new things. We won't be getting rid of the colmn immediately or saying "OK, We'll put it back to normal" just yet...but we will try to do our best to make it good for all.

    Thanks again
    Firehouse.Com WebTeam

  11. #11
    Spfd32
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I agree with Phred and the others. I also notice that the longer topics take just a little longer to load.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Administrator

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    Hello all

    We would like to thank everyone's patience as we've been moving and continue to improve leading to a major promotion at this year's Firehouse Expo.

    We've reduced the column on the left to the absolute minimum, in hopes it will reduce the impact overall. We'll continue to fine tune it to improve speed, etc.

    Thanks!
    Firehouse.Com WebTeam

  13. #13
    mfgentili
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Hi WebTeam,
    Good job. Either you guys did something or I just got used to the left hand column. Whatever the case, it doesn't bother me like it did. Remember, you're dealing with firefighters and we are known to resist change (200 years of tradition...etc.) until it is proven that the new way is better. Anyway, keep up the great work on this site.

    ------------------
    mfg
    www.ci.new-bedford.ma.us/PSAFETY/FIRE/firemain.htm


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