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New site design: Post all feedback here

Page 4 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Jun 16, 2009
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chiocciolis_calves said:
As soon as I logged on and saw the new format, my very first thought was: "Where can I now go to get information as easily as I used to get it on this site?" Then I started searching around.

I agree with the above!

Far too much white space, no content, this is the second time cyclingnews has had a 'make-over', it really is trying my patience.

Will just spend more time on http://www.pezcyclingnews.com, http://www.velouk.net and
http://cyclingquotes.com/

Web site viewed on 27" screen and I give up!
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Puckfiend said:
I miss the dates of the upcoming races being included right under the race link. It made it easier to look to see when or if the race was televised by comparing the dates with my DISH tv guide.

+1. I see you've started to put the dates in, but only sporadically. The old front page worked as an excellent race calendar but that aspect seems to be gone. The dates should be a standard feature--in the same place on every race. That'll give a much better sense of which days in the coming months I'll be ignoring my family and yelling at the live feed.

Oh--and can something be done about the venomous echo-chamber that the clinic has become?
 
I will second the comments some have made about it being strange/inappropriate to link to articles that are often years old at the top of the page under "Today on Cyclingnews." Today, the second article, after the the Omloop preview, is "Boonen chases elusive Omloop Het Nieuwsblad." Yet this article is from 2014. Nobody wants to read a preview for last year's edition of the race.
 

Daniel Benson

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Moderator
Mar 2, 2009
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www.cyclingnews.com
Those links, like the Boonen one (old links on the top section). are one of the fixes we're looking to make asap.

Thanks for the feedback on the race dates. We'll look into that.

Cheers

Dan
 
chiocciolis_calves said:
THis is going to sound snarky, but there is no other way for me to put it: is there a customer base that values aesthetics and more cumbersome navigation over easy/intuitive navigation? I don't know how else to express it. This seems to be the trend with website overhauls these days. Afterwards, there are people like me who complain about how much more difficult it is to navigate, but then there appear to be a group of people who like this kind of redesign. Were there readers who complained about not enough images or that the site wasn't attractive enough, or complained about being able to get race results and news shorts all on the front page? I'm at a loss to understand how people like this think, but I'm trying to understand?

+1, especially to the bolded questions

I am sure there is a lot of effort behind the new design, and I do not want to belittle work of designers and developers, but the site lost quote a lot compared to the old one. Yes, it does look fresher (at least to those who think that more colours equals to more freshness), but information value just got lost in it.

The front page is just too busy and untidy, compared to almost perfect layout of the previous page. Why can't you keep the old layout and just add some facelift here and there? I know, progress, mobile viewers, someone's need to justify his/her existence in your organization by leading the redesign and convincing the management that this is the right thing to do... but do we really need to accept that things must get worse?

Some specific points for improvement:
- pictures are everywhere and occupy primary positions - do you really think users come to the site primarily to see pictures, or read articles? Does the picture need to be so dominant on the page with articles? Size and position of the picture was just fine as it was before.

- I agree with everyone before who noted that there is suddenly much less information on one screen of the home page - how could readers possibly benefit from this? Of course I suspect this is intentional so that readers scroll more and thus see more ads and click more and thus inadvertently click on more ads, otherwise it makes no sense, especially as the previous layout did work well

- Today on CN - again, how it was before (i.e. all headlines and rotating pictures within one area) was very smart, as you could show all you wanted within limited space on the screen. Current method requiring you to click on little arrow to see more recommended articles is definitely less progressive

- Why is there News column under the Races section subpage? Actually I may start using this section as my homepage on CN, as it has all what I need
 
.

I see that some dates and some more information shows up on the races at this point. The big problem with how this is being done is that it isn't uniform. The old way every race had all of those links. Which made it very easy to look at and see what you wanted, and get where you wanted to go.

Now with each race randomly having information, and seemingly randomly missing information it is REALLY hard to just scan that section and get anything out of it.
 
PeterB said:
+1, especially to the bolded questions

- Why is there News column under the Races section subpage? Actually I may start using this section as my homepage on CN, as it has all what I need
Peter,
I'm glad you pointed this out--it's much more useable than the homepage so I will also make the Races section that my CN "startpage."
 
I suggest that the "Teams" tab at the top of the page is unnecessary.

As indicated above, why include a "news" column on the "Races and Results" page when there is already a separate "News" page?

The top image on the "Races and Results" page is too large.

I am not sure about others, but I have primarily used the site (other than the forum) to get race results and reports and to follow the live coverage. On the current home page, the race results are just too far down the page. They were far easier to see on the old page.
 
Dec 23, 2009
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This ought to fix it

I've been using cyclingnews since 1998. Last time cyclingnews made a site design that was an improvement was 2000.

The new site simply looks terrible. As others have noticed, the fonts, the misplaced whitespace, and most important the difficulty of finding race results all have made the site less usable. The blocks that races are listed in, both on the home page and the races page, look terribly unbalanced with lists of arbitrary links below each race producing widely different heights. The columns aren't balanced or consistent as you scroll down the site. In fact, once you get below the bottom of the Race Results column, the three columns all change size, but without any sense of separation from the content above.

If I view it on high resolution on a retina display, there is tremendous wasted space. I haven't looked at it on a mobile device. It's so easy to have a site that is optimized for different platforms now, I don't know why you would opt to make the desktop site so un-optimal.

You obviously want to serve more ads. But, really, how is it that the site in 2000 was more compliant to legibility standards and grid structure than what you have now?
 
Jan 26, 2011
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Sorry as many others have said, the old design was much better, you found the news faster, the info about the races etc. Today is just a mud of info. So from have been one of those who have checked your website for atleast 3 times a day, I will from now on look for news at Velonews.

//Fritz
 

Jeff

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Sep 24, 2014
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Wallace said:
+1. I see you've started to put the dates in, but only sporadically. The old front page worked as an excellent race calendar but that aspect seems to be gone. The dates should be a standard feature--in the same place on every race. That'll give a much better sense of which days in the coming months I'll be ignoring my family and yelling at the live feed.

Oh--and can something be done about the venomous echo-chamber that the clinic has become?

Yes - we know about this one and hopefully it will be fixed today.
 

Jeff

Administrator
Sep 24, 2014
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Hello

Dates added to all races is in progress - this will be out as soon as its done.
until then you can view all races here: http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/calendar/ (you can click the race name to view it)

The "quick scan" like the old homepage can be found on the Races page http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/ - it also has a strip of news too - We can see if we can increase the number of Races on there too (and add dates obviously)

Hope this helps

Sam George.
 

Pete

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Feb 26, 2015
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Hi forum,

The redesign was built at the previous publisher before the brands moved to Immediate Media, so the design was created outside of the new team here. Our first priority was to support the release of the site that had already been put in motion, though we were able to start taking some of the early Beta feedback and make changes before the new site was rolled out to everyone.

What I can tell you is that the redesign isn't just a superficial change out of the blue, or for the sake of a designer keeping their job! The architecture behind-the-scenes of Cyclingnews.com has also been updated. You'll have to take our word for it, but in technical terms it's a large improvement. The accompanying redesign may not be pleasing everyone, but unfortunately it wouldn't have been possible to make the improvements to the technology behind Cyclingnews.com without rebuilding the front of the site too.

The drastic new look may leave you questioning the need for a change at all. A lot of the feedback has been comparing the Cyclingnews.com layouts of previous years, but each of those sites would have come with their own technical problems (not always visible to users) that would need to be addressed in subsequent iterations. Those iterations often come with new designs, sometimes through necessity.

Though some users may still hold the Cyclingnews.com of 1998 in high regard, the reality is that the site wouldn't have received the growing user base and investment that keeps the brand going from strength to strength today, if it still looked like a simple text-heavy website from the 90's. Whether it's due to the growth of new users that come to expect a more "modern" design, or the advertisers (yes, those people...) who pay for the site to exist at all, incorporating new styles and layouts is something we have to try and embrace (as do our competitors that have been mentioned). Whether it be videos, galleries, live updates or reviews; all of these features can require some very subjective visual changes. The homepage of 1998 simply couldn't exist with the more feature-rich Cyclingnews.com content of 2015.

That being said, we know that there's plenty of room for improvement. As part of the new development team for Cyclingnews.com, I don't want to simply shrug my shoulders and say "We didn't build it!". But we do share some of your concerns, and we're all working on a variety of issues and improvements that take much of the feedback on board. The homepage is a main focus at the moment, so please keep an eye out for changes and let us know what you think.

I can honestly say I'm excited to get things moving forward, and to keep implementing improvements to bring the new design to a much better place. We have a great new designer, and Bonny (who you've already "met") working hard on both the look and the user experience of the site. There's a lot of work ahead of us, and we're developing various changes for the coming weeks, many of which are based on your feedback.

Thank you for your patience.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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In order to understand the new layout better : what are your criteria to put news in "Today in Cyclingnews", "Latest news" and "Don't miss"?

I agree with other posters saying that the news are "all over the place". I think it's due to these 3 sections.

In the old version, the difference between "news" (quick articles) and "features" (in-depth articles) was easier to understand.

Hence my above question ...

Thank you in advance.
 
I use the website with a mouse and keyboard scrolling for navigation.
So I like to have a consistant navigation panel from which I can quickly choose the items that interest me. Graphics are only useful to me if they provide actual content, not merely decoration.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Dec 23, 2009
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PeteGale said:
Hi forum,

The redesign was built at the previous publisher before the brands moved to Immediate Media, so the design was created outside of the new team here. Our first priority was to support the release of the site that had already been put in motion, though we were able to start taking some of the early Beta feedback and make changes before the new site was rolled out to everyone.

What I can tell you is that the redesign isn't just a superficial change out of the blue, or for the sake of a designer keeping their job! The architecture behind-the-scenes of Cyclingnews.com has also been updated. You'll have to take our word for it, but in technical terms it's a large improvement. The accompanying redesign may not be pleasing everyone, but unfortunately it wouldn't have been possible to make the improvements to the technology behind Cyclingnews.com without rebuilding the front of the site too.

The drastic new look may leave you questioning the need for a change at all. A lot of the feedback has been comparing the Cyclingnews.com layouts of previous years, but each of those sites would have come with their own technical problems (not always visible to users) that would need to be addressed in subsequent iterations. Those iterations often come with new designs, sometimes through necessity.

Though some users may still hold the Cyclingnews.com of 1998 in high regard, the reality is that the site wouldn't have received the growing user base and investment that keeps the brand going from strength to strength today, if it still looked like a simple text-heavy website from the 90's. Whether it's due to the growth of new users that come to expect a more "modern" design, or the advertisers (yes, those people...) who pay for the site to exist at all, incorporating new styles and layouts is something we have to try and embrace (as do our competitors that have been mentioned). Whether it be videos, galleries, live updates or reviews; all of these features can require some very subjective visual changes. The homepage of 1998 simply couldn't exist with the more feature-rich Cyclingnews.com content of 2015.

That being said, we know that there's plenty of room for improvement. As part of the new development team for Cyclingnews.com, I don't want to simply shrug my shoulders and say "We didn't build it!". But we do share some of your concerns, and we're all working on a variety of issues and improvements that take much of the feedback on board. The homepage is a main focus at the moment, so please keep an eye out for changes and let us know what you think.

I can honestly say I'm excited to get things moving forward, and to keep implementing improvements to bring the new design to a much better place. We have a great new designer, and Bonny (who you've already "met") working hard on both the look and the user experience of the site. There's a lot of work ahead of us, and we're developing various changes for the coming weeks, many of which are based on your feedback.

Thank you for your patience.

You're not a cyclist or a bike racing fan, are you? I mean, you're coming to this as lead UI/Front End guy for Immediate Media, aren't you? I ask because when I read the above I think you don't actually understand the audience. The loyalists who've been using the site for nigh on 20 years now have done so because of race results, race reports, and cycling news (probably in that order). The design makes accessing all of that more difficult. But hey, I get it. The site was an attractive acquisition for Immediate Media because it has a huge loyal base. Might be good to ask what it is that cyclingnews has done in the past to cultivate that loyal user base. Oh, and not go live without maybe A/B testing with some of those users.
 

Jeff

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Sep 24, 2014
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teamcinzano said:
You're not a cyclist or a bike racing fan, are you? I mean, you're coming to this as lead UI/Front End guy for Immediate Media, aren't you? I ask because when I read the above I think you don't actually understand the audience. The loyalists who've been using the site for nigh on 20 years now have done so because of race results, race reports, and cycling news (probably in that order). The design makes accessing all of that more difficult. But hey, I get it. The site was an attractive acquisition for Immediate Media because it has a huge loyal base. Might be good to ask what it is that cyclingnews has done in the past to cultivate that loyal user base. Oh, and not go live without maybe A/B testing with some of those users.
As Pete explained, the redesign was nearly complete when Immediate acquired it. He wasn't involved for most of it.

We held off releasing it until we did a few months of A/B testing and used that time to gather plenty of reader feedback. The new site outperformed the old one in nearly every respect, which is why it has gone live.

It is by no means set in stone for the next N years as we now have a dedicated UX/design/development team who will take on board reader feedback to help make the site better.

For example, we are considering offering different versions of the home page to cater to different reader needs (new readers and core readers are different). That was not possible before.

We've had a lot of positive feedback on this one since it's been live, far more than for the previous redesign(s), which were met with almost universal negativity initially. But they survived and each iteration ended up being far more successful than its predecessor.

Here they are (I don't have a link to the very the first one)
http://web.archive.org/web/19980529192529/http://www.cyclingnews.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/20000229201237/http://www.cyclingnews.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/20040203213235/http://www.cyclingnews.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/20140208052126/http://www.cyclingnews.com/
 
Aug 3, 2010
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PeteGale said:
Though some users may still hold the Cyclingnews.com of 1998 in high regard, the reality is that the site wouldn't have received the growing user base and investment that keeps the brand going from strength to strength today, if it still looked like a simple text-heavy website from the 90's. Whether it's due to the growth of new users that come to expect a more "modern" design, or the advertisers (yes, those people...) who pay for the site to exist at all, incorporating new styles and layouts is something we have to try and embrace (as do our competitors that have been mentioned). Whether it be videos, galleries, live updates or reviews; all of these features can require some very subjective visual changes. The homepage of 1998 simply couldn't exist with the more feature-rich Cyclingnews.com content of 2015.

teamcinzano said:
You're not a cyclist or a bike racing fan, are you? I mean, you're coming to this as lead UI/Front End guy for Immediate Media, aren't you? I ask because when I read the above I think you don't actually understand the audience. The loyalists who've been using the site for nigh on 20 years now have done so because of race results, race reports, and cycling news (probably in that order). The design makes accessing all of that more difficult. But hey, I get it. The site was an attractive acquisition for Immediate Media because it has a huge loyal base. Might be good to ask what it is that cyclingnews has done in the past to cultivate that loyal user base. Oh, and not go live without maybe A/B testing with some of those users.

I have no way of knowing the true demographics of users of this site, but would have to guess that it follows the demographics of the cycling industry as a whole. We are adults whom grew up with content driven media, not technology driven media. I personally don't give a crap how cool the behind the scenes use of new technology is. If you can not provide content, I will move on, as I am sure others will also. When you attempt to simply write it off with an attitude of, that is what new users will want, you are simply thinking selfishly and arrogantly.
 

Pete

Administrator
Feb 26, 2015
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spetsa said:
When you attempt to simply write it off with an attitude of, that is what new users will want, you are simply thinking selfishly and arrogantly.

That's absolutely not what I'm saying, at all. What I wanted to try and convey is that while you may not be interested in the technology, which is entirely your choice, Cyclingnews.com is fortunate enough to have a varied (and growing) user base. We do have access to those demographics, and - as an example - the 18-24 age bracket is the fastest growing by a considerable margin.

We're certainly not trying to upset the dedicated, long term audience of the site in favour of anyone else. But we have a duty to support the entire user base, not just the longest serving members or the most vocal. Making sure we recognise and accommodate the growth of the community is what will allows us to continue bringing Cyclingnews.com content to everyone, whether you're interested in the technology or not.

The issue is striking that balance, and while the new design doesn't seem to have addressed that very well, it's something we consider extremely important to correct.
 
Aug 3, 2010
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PeteGale said:
That's absolutely not what I'm saying, at all. What I wanted to try and convey is that while you may not be interested in the technology, which is entirely your choice, Cyclingnews.com is fortunate enough to have a varied (and growing) user base. We do have access to those demographics, and - as an example - the 18-24 age bracket is the fastest growing by a considerable margin.

We're certainly not trying to upset the dedicated, long term audience of the site in favour of anyone else. But we have a duty to support the entire user base, not just the longest serving members or the most vocal. Making sure we recognise and accommodate the growth of the community is what will allows us to continue bringing Cyclingnews.com content to everyone, whether you're interested in the technology or not.

The issue is striking that balance, and while the new design doesn't seem to have addressed that very well, it's something we consider extremely important to correct.

If the bolded is true, could you please wave your magic wand over the entire industry. Many could use it:)

The fact that you are responding to feedback, gives me hope that you truly do care about the end product. That is much appreciated and I wish you luck. I will just add that having a deep and knowledgeable understanding of any product is imperative, when the decision to implement change is made. I think that the simple omissions that were quickly corrected, brings that understanding into question.