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Feature requests, design proposals and changes in design, typography.

asked 2013-04-04 02:42:57 -0600

EugeneK gravatar image

updated 2013-04-04 09:58:09 -0600

pajju gravatar image

Here is some feature requests and design proposals based on my first 24 hours with askbot (I use it as an intranet StackOverflow).

  1. It is utterly important to see, who and when has accepted an answer—not simply that an answer has been accepted. It gives me information, who do I contact if the stuff written in the answer does not help me. In terms of design, you might either show this information when user hovers on green tick or add a badge like this one which would say "accepted by JohnSmith on 3/4/2013, 6:13 am"

  2. Pagination sucks. This is a fine example: it is so not convenient to cycle through 12 pages of tags. Please replace with an infinite ajax scrolling. Or at least let me set "show 2000 items per page" in the admin page. Same goes for main page (/questions): currently max amount in 50 per page, which is not enough and not cool. Please let me set the amount manually instead of giving me a drop-down list of 3 values.

  3. The tags menu on the right side of the main page (/questions) is sort of confusing. See for yourself: Why does it show only tags that are present on the current page? How a first-time user would know this? Why does s/he has to go to "tags" page to see full list? I believe that the full tag list shall be shown here.

  4. The behaviour of search box is a bit weird. It's auto-focused when I load any page. And then, if, say, I press Shift, it starts searching. That's irritating. Can I do something about it?

  5. Look at this page The "Know someone who can answer?" text block creates so much noise, it is basically yelling at you. At the same time, this text is absolutely unnecessary. It does not deliver any message and I force myself not to notice when I see it for 5th time. So why don't simply remove it? Or at least let me edit it on the admin page? Same goes for "Be the first one to answer this question!" text block. If I'm missing something, please point that out.

I guess that's all for now. I'd like to make askbot even more usable and convenient so I'd like to contribute in terms of providing designs or somehow otherwise.


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Eugene, I agree on many points. Will just explain you why search bar auto-focuses: you should search before asking. On some pages there should not be auto-focus. There are corner cases such as the shift button issue that should be fixed. IMO tags in the side bar of the main page can be just removed. You've listed many issues at once, it would be better to discuss them separately.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2013-04-04 16:58:03 -0600 )edit

@Evgeny Thanks for the prompt response! How and where would you like to continue the discussion?

EugeneK gravatar imageEugeneK ( 2013-04-04 17:00:33 -0600 )edit

Here, just try to keep one topic per question. Regarding the contributions it is very important to discuss before working on them (at least if you want them to be merged into our code base). We merge bug fixes, localization contributions without any questions, but it is better to discuss the features first. At this point we want to very carefully choose the new features and focus a lot on improving what we have.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2013-04-04 17:04:44 -0600 )edit

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answered 2013-04-04 09:47:54 -0600

pajju gravatar image

updated 2013-04-04 09:58:55 -0600

I agree strongly with the 5th point, the font/typography is too large, this is profound at many places.

I would like to add my thoughts too:

  1. The font sizes are not consistent at all at many places, making it look unpleasant to read.

  2. I don't understand why Black color is used in so many places in Askbot, it really disturbs readability. (Designers never use Black, its a very bright color)

  3. The colors are not consistent across the site, some places its very dull and in-consistent for reading and for community discussions! It does look very very glossy too. See OSQA/Stackoverflow colors, its very light, consistent and minimalistic.

Please Please avoid Black color!!!

I hope the Core team, considers all this very seriously.

Note: Askbot feautures are excellent, but colors and typography are not, to be looked upon seriously and given more more importance. Just take good patterns from Stackoverflow sites and even OSQA. Its minimalistic and perfect for readability.

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It's nice to know that I'm not the only person concerned. Well, I'd like to add that I've written all of the above not for the sake of flame but rather to make AskBot a better instrument Since I have strong design background, I'd be glad to help out with the typography and color scheme, as long as someone would point me out the css files and where to commit my changes

EugeneK gravatar imageEugeneK ( 2013-04-04 09:51:36 -0600 )edit

@EugeneK That's nice. Check this:

The documentation is the starting point, if you have any doubts as you proceed, let us know we will be glad to help you out. :)

@Evgeny will assist you too.

pajju gravatar imagepajju ( 2013-04-04 09:55:37 -0600 )edit

@EugeneK, you're very welcome to suggest the design. Do you have an account on github? Just want to let you know we will be imminently changing to Zurb foundation and scss source format for the stylesheets.

Another technical requirement for the design is that any new css classes should be added to the existing ones, not replacing the old ones to maintain at least some backwards compatibility with the themes, where possible. This way we would be able to remove outdated element ids and class names later.

Also I think we will replace use of ids with classes in the new stylesheet.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2013-04-04 21:10:28 -0600 )edit

@Evgeny@EugeneK I have a good design team here in India. ( I'm not a top notch designer) We use and very familiar with Zurb and Bootstrap. I will put them in-loop on this discussion.

Also we need a better place to discuss and collaborate on, (not here) use Trello boards or Google Groups for askbot-development and project management, use a bug-tracker, may be create a for only development discussion purpose? @Evgeny

pajju gravatar imagepajju ( 2013-04-05 04:05:07 -0600 )edit
Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2013-04-05 19:55:23 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2013-04-04 02:42:57 -0600

Seen: 736 times

Last updated: Apr 04 '13