New DPR site sucks

Started Oct 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Simon Joinson
dpreview AdminPosts: 4,719Gear list
Re: A ghastly abomination which signals the beginning of the end for DPR.
In reply to Morpho Hunter, Oct 4, 2012

Morpho Hunter wrote:

(Was I a little too harsh?!!).  Seriously though, there was nothing wrong with the look of the old website - so why change it?  DPR should have concentrated on giving users the promised features for the Galleries that have failed to appear so far.


This is a valid point: why did we change it? For one thing we needed to get rid of old, creaky code that was proving harder and harder to maintain (everything else on the site has already been rewritten). We wanted to add features and we wanted a code base we could easily (and safely) work with to fix bugs, respond to feature requests on, and add customization options to. We had to rewrite the forums because of other projects we're working on.

So then, having added some features, cleaned up the code, built the new database and mapped out the future feature roadmap we had to decide:- do we want to recreate, pixel-by-pixel, a design that was in places well over a decade old, was almost impossible for users to customize, and which none of us liked? Obviously we decided not to. We tried to offer options that would allow regulars to make the forums feel a little more like they used to, but we want to make something that, when we've ironed out the bugs, will encourage more people to use it. DPR forums are hugely popular (still), but the number of people posting to them hasn't grown for many years. We'd like to change that, even if only slightly.

Have we got it all right? Of course not. But we're listening to feedback and will address most of the concerns we've seen quickly. And no, we won't be rolling back to the old design because those of us who've been using the new design for weeks think it is better - and certainly has the potential to be much better. Just being able to type here in a WYSIWYG editor without needing another window to preview the formatted text is a huge improvement. As is direct upload of images from my desktop.

Yes there's bugs (of course), and yes we've misjudged some design decisions. But we knew we would get some things wrong, because we could never get them right until everyone had their chance to play with the new system and provide feedback.

But have no doubt: we will get it right, and we will end up with a forum you love with new features you won't remember ever having to live without. Because, despite all the vitriol, and all the suggestions to the contrary, we do care. Deeply.


PS - good point about galleries. We tackled forums first because forums is 10x bigger than galleries and because, truth is, it's a lot easier to rewrite. But we have already started work on galleries v2.

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