New version, more general feedback.

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  • translation missing: en.shared.topic.styles.singular.talk
  • Updated 10 years ago
Hi SynthaSite Team,

I've been playing with the new version and I have to say overall I'm impressed with the sleek new interface. It's good to see that the menu bar has dissolved into the main interface and I'm glad to see that the content sidebar can be hidden on request. I also like the theme preview of sites the user has done just after logging in and before loading the IDE.

I've sub-divided the rest of my feedback into categories, because there is a fair bit ;-)

Perceived bugs / errors:
- On the "Choose Style" dialog after creating a site the numbered sections are incorrect. They are still numbered "2: Choose a Style" and "3: Select Colors" as per the initial site creation screen. There is no "1".
- With the default call-to-action image, if you don't see the sidebar and you then click on the "If you don't see the sidebar, click here" link it does show the sidebar but it doesn't toggle the "Show Content Sidebar" button. I.e. you click the link and the sidebar shows, but the button above still says "Show Content Sidebar".
- The "About" dialog still shows "v2.2.5" - is this correct?
- Grammatical error on the "Edit Menu" dialog: "Drag and drop the pages of your site into, or out of your sites menu." there is a missing apostrophe on the second "sites", i.e. it should be "Drag and drop the pages of your site into, or out of your site's menu.".
- On the content sidebar the widget category icons seem to change colour after you've clicked them. Is this intentional? For example see the following screenshot where I have browsed into the bottom three categories:
http://www.wkoorts.com/files/synthasi...

General suggestions:
- I think that the sidebar should more generically named, so instead of "Content Sidebar" I think it might be more appropriate to call it just "Sidebar". That is complete personal preference though and I may well me the only person in the world who feels that way ;-)
- I think what might be a nice efficiency enhancer would be if you click on a widget on your page that the sidebar automatically changes to the properties tab for that widget. If the sidebar is hidden then do nothing, unless you can code it in such a way that it actually does change to the properties tab but stays hidden anyway (I'm guessing this happens anyway through div hiding or something).

Reasonably major UI changes:
I'm going to propose some pretty bold changes here, so please feel free to shrug them off as appropriate :-)

1) I think that the IDE header can be done away with entirely. It seems to basically be there at the moment to accommodate three items: the SynthaSite logo, "Current Site" settings manager and the "Close / Help" buttons. I have some suggestions to integrate these items into the rest of the interface while still maintaining intuitive functionality:
1.1) SynthaSite logo. I think this can be removed altogether as the SynthaSite name is already in the window title so it is ever-present anyway and the logo itself is already the favicon so the presence of both of these items is maintained throughout the IDE.
1.2) Current Site section. I feel that this can be integrated into the Site Manager tab, and here's how I would propose it happens:
1.2.1) All of the functionality provided by the "Current Site" drop-down is already available ont he Site Manager tab with the exception only of a link to the file manager, which could be added to the context bar (toolbar beneath the tabs).
1.2.2) The other primary function of this section of the header is to show the current (active) site's name. I think this could be added to the window title next to "SynthaSite".
1.2.3) Along with these changes I think the interface could be streamlined further by removing the four buttons to the right of the tabs and integrating those functions into the context bar (see screenshot links below). This will also allow for much easier expansion of the number of tabs later on. If you really want to keep the SynthaSite logo and name in the IDE as mentioned earlier then you will also now have more space on either side of the tabs if you want to add it in there instead.
1.3) Close and Help buttons. These can be lowered to the same line as the tabs.
1.4) I have created some images with the changes I am proposing. To see before and after shots of what I am proposing for the Site Manager tab please see the below two images:
Before: http://www.wkoorts.com/files/synthasi...
After: http://www.wkoorts.com/files/synthasi...

2) Page tab:
2.1) As mentioned above I would apply the same removal of the four buttons alongside the tabs. To accommodate this in the case of this tab you could add a "New Page" button to the start of the context bar. I wouldn't add the "Change Style" or "Publishing" options to this page as I think they are more overall site management functions than page editing functions and I think it might be more intuitive to keep these two primary functions separated, although I think "Edit Menu" can stay on this page.
2.2) I have also created modified screenshots of my propositions for changes on the Page tab:
Before: http://www.wkoorts.com/files/synthasi...
After: http://www.wkoorts.com/files/synthasi...

That's it for now, I'm keen to hear what you think of these suggestions.

Regards,
Wayne
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Wayne Koorts

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  • liking the new UI

Posted 10 years ago

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Marije, Official Rep

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Hi Wayne,

As always, we're grateful for your feedback! And will take all your suggestions into account.

Thank you very much!

Best wishes,
Marije
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skinnyeddy

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Seeing as he's given some suggestions for Synthasite, I'd like to do the same:
- Add the option to have a 'Work-in-progress' page which will be shown to users if you want to change/edit your site/a page without them seeing.
- Add the option to password some pages so only selected users can view them. Allowing people to have 'accounts' on their sites would be a good idea as well.

This next one is quite a big suggestion, but would it be possible to have an offline version of Synthasite which would be the same as the online version. This would mean that people can work on their website even if they don't have access to the internet.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Thanks Wayne and skinnyeddy

Real quality insights here! I will personally see to it that all your suggestions are fed back to the SynthaSite team via the appropriate channels.

1) Wayne - thanks for the bug reports. We will log these and address them for the next release.
2) Thanks for the suggested enhancements - these will also be noted and considered.
3) Skinnyeddy - the easiest solution right now for a work in progress page is to move it out of the menu until you are ready to publish it - then move it back into the menu and republish. That way it stays hidden while you are developing it.
The password protection feature is scheduled for release later this year.
I have no information on the option to work offline, but your request has been noted.

Keep the feedback coming. We love it!

Best wishes
Monique
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Michael Macdougall

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Excellent post Wayne. I like all of your suggestions except for one.

In your Page Tab - point (2.1), you said "... I would apply the same removal of the four buttons alongside the tabs.". In your screenshot, you've confirmed removal of "Change Style" and "File Manager" saying "... they are more overall site management functions than page editing functions ...".

That may be so, but I find both to be very useful during page editing. I use them a lot and I don't want to flip in and out of a page when I suddenly have an itch (as I frequently do) to see what a page may look like in a different style.

I believe the design should provide the shortest and most productive path to functions that may be needed during a particular process. It should also provide the largest amount of editing space without users having to toggle things on and off. So I like Wayne's idea of reducing clutter and providing consistency and flexibility by showing buttons under each tab. I would like to recommend, however, keeping the "Change Style" and "File Manager" functions available during page editing by putting them in the Page Tab context bar.
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Ruth

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I'm loving the discussion happening here - thanks for the great feedback!
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Munish

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Hello friends! so keen to see a discussion like this.
All feedbacks are good but I don't find anything great in Wanye Koorts but skinnyeddy's suggestions are remarkable

The staff of Synthasite like Kershnee & Ruth are so kind that i use to find excuses to have a conversation with them.Really! synthasite is much much better than my expectations. Creating my own websites was one of my greatest longings and i have tried a dozen of websites and softwares for that but all in vein. Moreover, I am a student of just 17; how can i pay?

Now improving synthasite & making it popular is one among my wishlist.



Here are some points which i think must be updated. I hope these aren't difficult to apply

1. there must be a scroll bar of html editor window (it is neither visible in the html editor window itself or text editor in html form). Sometimes, it's visible but mostly i don't see it.
2. option to upload and apply our own templates (rather than just stick to those provided by synthasite)
3. option to change our account's password at synthasite. I don't find it anywhere to change password of our account.
4. option to advertise synthasite.com by customisable banners rather than just text shown at the bottom
5. More fonts & drawing autoshapes option like rectangles, polygons, stars etc..
6. Option to provide password & username to our friends so that we can maintain our privacy & can stop everyone seeing all the content. It should be in our hands also whom to provide username & password.
7. Glitter Text Generator within tools and doesn't belong to any other websites which may slow opening of our webpages.

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Wayne Koorts

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Thanks for the reply Michael. It's one of those cases where different users will always want slightly different functionality and user interface. Of course the functions that one needs also depend on the particular website in question.

Here's an idea that might intuitively help this situation:

- What about having an additional tab, to the right of the Page tab that holds "My Frequently Used Functions" (except you'd call it something shorter and funkier of course ;-) ? This tab would hold the most commonly used functions for the active user from left to right in the context bar, from most used to least used. You might keep about five in the list, I suppose depending on what screen resolution the UI is based on. Implementing it should hopefully be a case of just a counter that runs up on each tab function which then populates the tab as it goes. It would up to SynthaSite as to what functions overall count as "favouritables".

People will probably go straight to that tab eventually and will naturally end up spending most of their editing time on that tab.

- The other option for this tab, instead of populating it automatically, could be to allow users to drag-and-drop any function onto that tab thereby creating their own "favourite functions" list.

I guess it will never be an easy choice of what to have on what page and there will always be people that like it and others that dislike it. The real task of course is to figure out first of all if there IS a big calling for something to be done a certain way and then do that.

Maybe you guys should really be hiring a psychologist... ;-)

Regards,
Wayne
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Munish

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I think we should discuss more on smaller updates so that we can access more & more. And it would be easy for the Synthasite as well to impliment them.

BTW, one update, i.e., providing scroll bar (point number1) has already taken place since i talk about them through support@synthasite.com

OOOO!!!! It is going to very interesting. Even more than Orkuting, Facebook
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Ruth

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Munish - you can already change the password for your account. Next to the log in box is a link "forgot password" click on that and follow the instructions and you'll be able to change the password for your account.
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peikko

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I can see from other topics that I'm not the only one interested in uploading files with an ftp-client. It also seems that the persons answering the questions on the subject aren't familiar with it... Uploading with SynthaSite's own uploader is just fine, when you want to upload 10 images, but when you have 200 images to upload, browsing after each file one at a time get's old pretty fast. It takes a lot of time, and you have to remember how far you got with the previous patch. With a proper ftp-client, you can see your progress and choose the files very fast. (Adding this option doesn't mean that SynthaSite would have to supply a client.)

Maybe you could put this option in the wish-box?

You're running a very nice service here, I'm especially impressed about the quality/speed of your "tech support", and the site builder has a nice degree of flexibility.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Hi peikko - I am familiar with the concept of an ftp-client. We don't have this option at the moment, as you point out - but it has been added to the list of requested features. Thanks for the great feedback.