General Chat

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Site Redesign Coming Soon

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 17, 2011.

Just to give you all a heads up, we've been working very hard on updating the look, feel and usability of the site. This coming week we'll be rolling out our latest redesign so don't be surprised when you log in and see things have changed a bit. We're very excitied about the work our design and tech team has done!

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 17, 2011.

Have noticed an ongoing series of tweaks and additions up to now. Trust you're not going to get rid of the forum and try to roll it into the 'Wine Press'...  ;-(

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Reply by JonDerry, Sep 18, 2011.

Foxall and I met Friday and it was brought up how we both had basically forgotten about the Wine Press idea and couldn't fathom it if the forum as we know it  were to disappear.

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 19, 2011.

Since there was considerable moaning by the likes of me, GregT and a few others when the Articles began, about the balkanization of the Forum, I can't help but see the Wine Press as being another idea that wants to be something 'new' unlike an oldschool forum but that doesn't really represent a thinking through of how segmenting and redirecting traffic and content viewability affects membership participation. I've felt something like this coming on, so made the comment I did above. I, for one, certainly wouldn't participate in the Wine Press anywhere near as much as I have the Forum....

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 19, 2011.

Don't worry, the forum is not going anywhere. Winepress's main purpose is to draw in additional content from RSS feeds and give us a place to easily display it. And tto anothe rpoint, my rants, which begin later today! are not meant as a substitute for the written word, just a little time for me to run my mouth off!

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 19, 2011.

Still not really sure what the Wine Press is trying to be. You describe it pretty much as a News Feed. But hard to get to and see, not the usual landing page for an app that news feeds so often are. Its content abbreviation would make sense on a mobile device, but gets tiring on a web view via PC. Would be curious how much recurring traffic you get from it....

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Sep 19, 2011.

DM/JonDerry - would love to hear some constructive suggestions for improving Wine Press. DM - how, specifically, can we change the content abbreviation in a way that would be more energizing? The forum shows no content other than the title, and folks click into the content to read it. Is that more ideal?

What I'm trying to say is, objectively there are only a handful of things that would have to change to make Wine Press function exactly like the current forum - again that's objectively a true statement. I would be interested to hear how Wine Press functions differently for the community than a forum feed with expanded visibility. If it's driving people away I'd like to continue to dig into why that is. We'd love to work together to make Wine Press a viable reality that will bring the community together rather than splinter it further. Having the conversation separated into forum and articles isn't as helpful as having one place for that conversation. And, sorry to say but the articles can't be merged into the forum. It's core to our business and GDP does an amazing job - he deserves more prominence on the site for his work, as do our other article editors and contributors.

Visible engagement is definitely one piece of the puzzle, but we also have to look at readership. In general, 90% of folks just want to read, 9% of folks will jump in sometimes, and only 1% will heavily engage with the content. We've seen that play out here on Snooth. The forum is kind of like a family. It's welcoming, but it's also slightly intimidating to jump in. The articles are structured for a reader - remember that's 90% of Snooth's audience. We'd like nothing more than for the forum family to be there when a new reader comes to the site, but sometimes it's hard to get them there and get them interested - a forum can be hard to jump into without knowing the players. Assuming 1% of people might be a candidate for joining the family - we would love to show them more of what we're discussing here in the forum, and do so in the same place that they were reading initially, so they can get comfortable over time.

All this is to say - we're thinking about this. We're thinking a great deal, and we appreciate your suggestions to help focus us as well. And we wouldn't be trying to fix it if we didn't agree that it's something to be fixed.

As far as the redesign goes - you'll notice that the Wine/Social/You nav that is currently on the site will be replaced, and the design has been freshened and modernized. I suspect this will be a big change for some folks, but we've at least made sure that everything in the current navigation has a place in the new navigation. You should not have to search long to find its new home. Specifically, you can look for the Forum in the "Community" category in the new nav. It may appear differently, but all of the links and layout will be identical.

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Reply by JonDerry, Sep 19, 2011.

Thanks for the rundown Mark, looking forward to checking out the redesign. 

As far as the wine press, the last I remember we had resolved that clipping more of the content was a priority as to see more topics per page. 

What also strikes me as funny is the wine rack and the wine press almost seem like they're competing with eachother. I could really see a persons wine rack holding all the info a person would need to navigate around snooth, and if the wine press was a prominent button (or even popping up automatically w/ the option to turn off) within the wine rack, it would seem to be much better utilized and more appealing visually.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 19, 2011.

Site redesign is always fraught with peril.  I'm not sure how it will work to draw more active participation in the forums and elsewhere. 

JD and I also discussed the slightly clubby nature of the Forums--funny, because it was the first time either of us met up with another Snoother face to face.  But it does feel a little like a family, partly because you are willing to suffer one another's quirks because you share a deeper-than-usual (even unhealthy, according to some spouses) interest in wine.  I'm not one to overplay the family thing--workplaces aren't families, to me--but it can be that way.  It's hard to know how friendly it's going to be (pretty darn friendly, it turns out) until you actually post. 

So here's a proposal:  Appoint a few friendly and frequent posters as a welcoming committee.  When someone opens up a new account to list their cellar, or to add a tasting note, the page opens with brief synopses of the committee's profiles. or those of a few sample members--wines they have written about, a couple recent posts, what's in their cellars. In exchange for this, you give these "volunteers" a few perks--dinner gift certs/cards for folks outside the reach of Snooth HQ, a party for those who can make it to NYC, maybe a small wine fridge--and their job is to send a greeting to new members.  (This on top of the occasional bottle or four of wine that shows up the day before a virtual tasting--that's a good perk, but this calls for a little more.) The new member can either connect to the profile and choose their welcoming member or the site just assigns it.  Stephen Harvey, dmcker, JD, me, a lot of members tend to welcome people if they post as "new member" or "new to wine," but this would enhance the process without requiring them to post.

More ideas? I can be bought for a decent wine cabinet, something in the Vinotheque closet cabinet range. ;-)

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Sep 19, 2011.

Great fedback. Thanks very much!

We're still in the Danby range on that one though!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 19, 2011.

LMAO.  (I've never posted that before, anywhere.)

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 20, 2011.

OK, so what's it going to take for a FOCLMAO or ROFLMAO?

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Reply by Lucha Vino, Sep 20, 2011.

On the Wine Press.  I agree with most of the comments.  Make it easier to see more topics per page, allow for some more sophisticated filtering and sorting. 

Filtering is controlled by turning on/off types of content.  Add the ability to filter and search like your regular search engine already does, but apply it to the Wine Press.

Sorting is limited to popularity or chronological order.  Allow for sorting by title, key word, content source or Author would all be good additions.

The amount of content flowing through the Wine Press makes it a bit overwhelming.  I rarely go there because I feel like it is too difficult to find things.  I stick to the Forum so I can check up on what my Snooth friends are up to and share in all their activities and thoughts that revolve around wine.

Oh, and I would sign up for the welcoming committee too.  I'm not going to underbid Foxall.  Solidarity brother! :-)

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Reply by tabednar, Sep 20, 2011.

Can't wait to see what you guys have come up with now...Great site and keep up the great work!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 20, 2011.

Re:  V V refusing to underbid me: MCOMNLMAO (Milk came out my nose... you get the rest.) :-)

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Reply by JonDerry, Sep 20, 2011.

I can't figure out why Snooth isn't jumping at your offer/s ; )

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Reply by ScottLauraH, Sep 20, 2011.

I like the idea of a welcoming committee.  Basically, you guys already exist.  I'm pretty new, and certain posters have made me feel welcome. 

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Reply by duncan 906, Sep 21, 2011.

I would like to see a section for the latest wine reviews where others can comment.I never know if and when other Snooth members read them

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Sep 21, 2011.

Really appreciate the suggestions folks, keep them coming. The redesign is going to be pushing out across the site shortly. Stay tuned and tune in for the Virtual Tasting with GDP this evening!

We're hoping to make our way back to Wine Press soon and make some of the modifications we've talked about. Thanks again for the great feedback. Sounds like we can make it much better with a few small adjustments.

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 21, 2011.

So how far along is the transition as of the time I'm writing this, Mark? Personally, can't say I find dark gray text on light gray backgrounds in segmented, discrete boxes an easier way to view/read the forum, and the thread-list forum landing-page view seems a bit messy. Just my graphic sensibilities, perhaps, but I'm battling UX skirmishes regularly these days and I'm kinda curious to hear why this is supposed to be better....

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 21, 2011.

Masses of seemingly default italics all over the landing page don't help. Might be useful to review how and why italics came to be used in the first place.

Oh yeah, and your edit function no longer works. Wanted to put these comments in the post just above, but even though some two inch wide and 5 inch deep box opened for editing, there was no way to save/approve the edit....

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