Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

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manarch2
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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by manarch2 » 06 Oct 2020 15:57

Yes, works fine now...
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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by Caesum » 11 Oct 2020 17:38

Hi, first post here. :) I decided to register because I saw the new site and saw the thread asking for opinions, so I thought I'd give it a go and write few points what could be changed or improved. I hope I'm not too late to the party?

First things first I'd like to say that I'm glad the site is changing, because the old look wasn't very modern and there were some functionality issues that I didn't like before. I'm very glad that the search level page has changed in such a way that clicking on level's name points you to its page, rather than download. I've been using TRLE.net since 2006 and I could never get used to it, so I'm glad it's different now! I suppose I could digress about the site's look, which isn't exactly up to "2020" standards, but personally I don't really mind it for as long as the functionality is there and it is easy to navigate. Also I'm sure other people have already provided enough info about what could be changed etc (tombraider95 has some really cool looking images there!).

Back to ideas though, I will separate them into three categories. The "IMPORTANT" changes that I think should be addressed asap because it might improve readability of the site.
"NITPICKING" are ideas that are literally nitpicking about small details etc.
"MAYBE FUTURE" are once again changes to functionality that I find good, but maybe they will need more time so they should be considered as something worth trying in future.

If anything was mentioned and rejected before then sorry, the thread is quite long so I might have not seen it.

IMPORTANT:
1. I believe the "Home, Play, Review, Build" options are rather ambiguous and confusing, moreover the choice of buttons is rather weird:
- Play makes sense but is rather general. I'd call it either Play Levels, Search Levels or Browse Levels.
- Review is a weird choice considering most people just browse the site and download levels rather than writing reviews. I'd change it to "Reviews" and then point it directly to rNew.php.
- Build is an especially confusing option, since for someone who doesn't know the site it sounds like it offers a page with TRLE tools. Obviously it's not the case. My proposition is to change it to "Builders". It'd then point to a site with Builder Gallery and Builder reviews
- Submit a Level should be an option within pFind page rather than Build menu.
- Alternatively both Submit Review and Submit Level should be some of the main options on the main page.
- I'd bring out Back to Basics as a separate page since it's an important event in TR community and doesn't exactly fit to any category.
2. TRLE.net logo should be turned into a link that goes to the main page. Literally every other site uses this method (including Google). It's so common it feels like a bug to not have it here;
3. I believe HOME page doesn't really have any important info at all. It's such an important page yet it it wasted on just three images. My propositions are:
- Make "Latest New Levels" page a Home Page. It gives you the most important info, that is what new levels were were released.
- Move Featured Level and Special Feature more to the top or right and make it occupy less space.
- Remove "Latest New Level" image. If the page is changed like I proposed, it won't be useful anymore. Alternatively put it on the right side or top.

ALTERNATIVELY: Move "HOME, PLAY, REVIEW, BUILD, HOF, FORUM" buttons to the green bar below the trle logo. Put "Featured Level, Latest New Level, Special Feature" on the left where said buttons were. Set Latest New Levels as HOME page.

NITPICKING:
1. I know many people will laugh or hate me for saying this but... I really think review staff badges should be fixed asap. The "click me" button has always been triggering me because c and l are nearly connected, making it look like "dick me". I'm sure a lot of people were surprised to see that on an otherwise entirely serious website.
2. I think the download button should be changed into a more universally accepted download icon.
3. Level Information page has incredibly big level and user names followed by incredibly small "by". I'd make it all same size, smaller and on the same line, just like in Reviews page.
4. I'd move twitter and facebook icons to the top right corner so it occupies same space as logo.
5. I'd put info about 5 latest reviews either on HOME page or on the left side of the page.
6. HoF page should be updated to look and behave the same as the rest of the website.

MAYBE FUTURE:
1. I really think TRLE.net should have the possibility to log onto your account first in order to submit and review levels. I just can't help but wonder and the possibilities of abusing the submit review button and writing bad reviews under someone else's name. It's just so easy atm, and with proxy and easy way to change IP I bet this has already happened.
2. If user feature is implemented, it would be great if users were able to change their builder info without writing e-mails about it. Infact some countries have strict privacy laws about personal data so maybe it would be easier for them to moderate what personal info is shown for everyone. Besides I suppose some people might want to change occupation/hobbies or city from time to time.
3. I wrote that BUILD option is kinda ambiguous. That being said, a page with all the important info about what tools are needed and available to create new levels would be a very cool way to introduce newbies to TR level building scene. I think it's worth considering, especially now with all the possible options!

Those are all the ideas I can think of right now. Like I said in the beginning most of them are just propositions rather than deep concerns. If you feel like using some of the ideas, then that's cool. If not, that's also fine. :) Anyway, thanks for being so devoted and working so hard on making the TRLE site better and providing such a great place for the community to download new levels.

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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by Dick » 11 Oct 2020 19:26

Hi Caesum, some interesting and valid points, but I don't agree with everything you've said. I don't want to see baby chucked out with bathwater...
Caesum wrote:
11 Oct 2020 17:38
I suppose I could digress about the site's look, which isn't exactly up to "2020" standards,
"2020 standards" sounds to me like lots of scrolling adverts, banners etc. No thanks. But if you have a specific example in mind, something relevant to trle.net.
I believe the "Home, Play, Review, Build" options are rather ambiguous and confusing, moreover the choice of buttons is rather weird:
I like "Home, Play, Review, Build" ... but I agree that "Build" does look like a link to builder tools. Maybe it's about time there were some.
1. I know many people will laugh or hate me for saying this but... I really think review staff badges should be fixed asap. The "click me" button has always been triggering me because c and l are nearly connected, making it look like "dick me". I'm sure a lot of people were surprised to see that on an otherwise entirely serious website.
No need for "dick me" to be there at all now that it is no longer a link to the list.

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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by SrDanielPonces » 11 Oct 2020 21:15

Dick wrote:
11 Oct 2020 19:26
Hi Caesum, some interesting and valid points, but I don't agree with everything you've said. I don't want to see baby chucked out with bathwater...
man go look at https://www.trsearch.org/. That website is a perfect example of a modern, good looking and also functional website

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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by MichaelP » 12 Oct 2020 10:53

@Caesum, Thanks for taking the time to write this up - there are a few good thoughts in there. Like Richard, I may not be in agreement with each and every point you make, but several of them I will ponder and take on board and probably make some adjustments in due time... :)

@Daniel, you referred TR Search before and it is indeed a great example of how tastes are different. Personally, I do not like the "look" of it at all, because contrary to you (I think), I do NOT like websites that are "dark" ;) . I completely agree though that it is very functional and well organized, but of course it also conceptually manages a simpler and more narrow scope vs trle.net - and you can see from Caesum's post how easy it is to find very different approaches on how to organize what trle.net is trying to cover...

If I ever do find the time, I will be reaching out to Blu though to learn more about how to build/manage the login Feature like trsearch does. With the forum it comes "out of the box" here, but setting it up myself for the website is an entirely different thing to master, which is why it still does not exist after all these years...
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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by TombExplorer » 12 Oct 2020 14:12

MichaelP wrote:
12 Oct 2020 10:53
@Caesum, Thanks for taking the time to write this up - there are a few good thoughts in there. Like Richard, I may not be in agreement with each and every point you make, but several of them I will ponder and take on board and probably make some adjustments in due time... :)

@Daniel, you referred TR Search before and it is indeed a great example of how tastes are different. Personally, I do not like the "look" of it at all, because contrary to you (I think), I do NOT like websites that are "dark" ;) . I completely agree though that it is very functional and well organized, but of course it also conceptually manages a simpler and more narrow scope vs trle.net - and you can see from Caesum's post how easy it is to find very different approaches on how to organize what trle.net is trying to cover...

If I ever do find the time, I will be reaching out to Blu though to learn more about how to build/manage the login Feature like trsearch does. With the forum it comes "out of the box" here, but setting it up myself for the website is an entirely different thing to master, which is why it still does not exist after all these years...
Despite you not liking dark website, an option to switch from light to dark version should be there. They are a standard nowadays because they are better for the eyes, especially at night.
:angel:

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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by SrDanielPonces » 12 Oct 2020 14:21

TombExplorer wrote:
12 Oct 2020 14:12
MichaelP wrote:
12 Oct 2020 10:53
@Caesum, Thanks for taking the time to write this up - there are a few good thoughts in there. Like Richard, I may not be in agreement with each and every point you make, but several of them I will ponder and take on board and probably make some adjustments in due time... :)

@Daniel, you referred TR Search before and it is indeed a great example of how tastes are different. Personally, I do not like the "look" of it at all, because contrary to you (I think), I do NOT like websites that are "dark" ;) . I completely agree though that it is very functional and well organized, but of course it also conceptually manages a simpler and more narrow scope vs trle.net - and you can see from Caesum's post how easy it is to find very different approaches on how to organize what trle.net is trying to cover...

If I ever do find the time, I will be reaching out to Blu though to learn more about how to build/manage the login Feature like trsearch does. With the forum it comes "out of the box" here, but setting it up myself for the website is an entirely different thing to master, which is why it still does not exist after all these years...
Despite you not liking dark website, an option to switch from light to dark version should be there. They are a standard nowadays because they are better for the eyes, especially at night.
:angel:
Exactly, that's the main reason why I started using dark mode in the first place :)

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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by Teone » 12 Oct 2020 15:07

^
I don't like dark themes, but if someone is good in writing javascripts I think it's possible to change text and background colors of a site using Greasemonkey.
I'm not good in javascript but I was able to create a script to remove users signatures even if I'm not logged (I know there's an option to remove signatures but it works only if you are logged in).
In spoiler the script I wrote if someone want to test it.
SpoilerShow

Code: Select all

// ==UserScript==
// @name        TRLE signature remover
// @include     http://forum.trle.net/*
// @description Hides users signatures
// @require     http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/2.1.0/jquery.min.js
// @grant       GM_addStyle
// ==/UserScript==

$(".signature").hide()
With Greasemonkey you can change a lot of things of a site, and I suppose you can create your personal dark theme, if you know how to do it. :wink:

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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by SrDanielPonces » 12 Oct 2020 15:41

Well, it's always better to have it natively on the website. Tomb Raider Forums took many years to implement a proper dark mode, but finally we have it and I really enjoy it. It's 100% optional to people who enjoy it, as that's the case for all the websites I know: Instagram, Discord, Twitter, etc etc... all have a optional dark mode

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Re: Welcome to the new trle.net 2020

Post by Caesum » 12 Oct 2020 19:42

Dick wrote:
11 Oct 2020 19:26
"2020 standards" sounds to me like lots of scrolling adverts, banners etc. No thanks. But if you have a specific example in mind, something relevant to trle.net.
Haha not at all. By "2020 standards" (which I find a bit of a mocking term anyway considering 2020 is basically all about plague and death and going medieval again) I mean simple, modern, minimalistic look that is focused on making information clear and accessible. Think of something like Microsoft's Fluent Design, which is just that. It is kept very simple, minimum to no images, sharp lines and round corners. Transparent and glossy. Yet at the same time scalled correctly for 1080p and 4K resolutions. I don't have a clear example of a site that follows this design, but I suppose I could make a quick mockup of what I have in mind.
MichaelP wrote:
12 Oct 2020 10:53
I do NOT like websites that are "dark" ;) . I completely agree though that it is very functional and well organized
Actually I think you should consider adding a dark theme afterall. It doesn't have to be the main and only theme, not at all! If you're using CSS and javascript you can add an option to switch between default and dark theme. You already have a separate css file to set up colors of the site from what I can see. You could modify the site to have two different css files.

Also another thing that I think might be worth adding (tbh I think it is very important) is a mobile version of the site. :) At the moment it is very hard to use it on mobile phones because the site is too small. With CSS it should be very easy to make a mobile version of the site with bigger fonts, images and different arrangement.

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