By pikahyper 25 Comments
So ya kinda obvious what this is about so without further delay here is what I would do to streamline/optimize the pages :D
The Volume Page
I wouldn't remove anything but I would add a few things, you'll see a rough example here to the right and to see the full size image click here.
So breaking it down from top to bottom:
1. User avatar - Way too round, don't know why but it gets on my nerves so I've minimized the rounding (6px instead of 30px).
2. Region part 1 - After the issue count I added a region flag so that a user will know what country a volume was published in right off the bat, further info in part 2 below (best part, all the little flag icons are already stashed away with the rest of the CV image files so nothing has to be added or made)
3. Lists - I added a new button for lists cause this feature desperately needs to come back (I just reused the icon so it needs its own)
4. The Deck - Decks serve one purpose, to show up on the CV search results page (not to be confused with the search at the top), there is zero reason for users to be able to see the deck content on the volume page, it just takes up space. While we shouldn't see it we should be able to edit it so I propose that it be editable just like it is now in edit mode where it shows in its own little textarea but when you are viewing the regular page it does not display at all. Good for search, good for users, gets rid of redundant data. Note: making the deck not display only works for volumes & issues, it still makes plenty of sense to have them visible for all other page types for summary purposes.
5. Last edited - We know what page we are on so having the title of the page repeated is pretty unnecessary, shortening it guarantees that the history tools will never be more then one line freeing up some space and minimizes eye usage, the user wouldn't have to scan for the username anymore it would be right there.
6. Volume name - In the Volume Details box the volume name doesn't need to be a link, we are already on the volume page, lots of overlinking in the wiki.
7. Region part 2 - I added a new row below Publisher for Country, this is where a user would select the volumes region in edit mode, it would be a drop down list of all the countries so it can be easily selected.
8. Recent reviews - I think this could be very useful, this sidebar widget is about halfway down the page, it can list the last ten reviews for all issues in the volume, only the volume title + issue number needs to be listed not the issue titles (big waste of space). Underneath the last ten you'll see buttons so users can click to view all staff reviews for all issues in the volume or all user reviews for all issues in the volume. If there are no reviews for the volume the widget would not appear on the page.
From top to bottom (click here for the larger image):
1. Buttons - I explained the list button up above but for this one I also shortened the text for the edit button, "Edit this wiki page" just seems overly long and space taking.
2. Publisher - Just like on the old site it makes more sense to have the publisher added so instead of just "released on January 1, 2013" it would say "released by Publisher Link on January 1, 2013".
3. The Deck - Just like with volumes the deck serves no real purpose to the wiki other then those search results so again poof it doesn't appear on the page but it is still editable in edit mode.
4. Issue ribbon - Ok I didn't actually modify this bit in the mockup cause quite frankly it takes too long to get everything just right cause of objects inside of objects inside of objects etc. Ideally though this shouldn't take up quite as much space, the size of the cover thumbnails is great (and the issue numbers) but does it really need so much padding? Especially for the "active" issue, so much padding, it could be halved and I think users would realize that is the issue they are still on. Shrinking the height just a tad so the padding below the thumbs and above it is the same would also be good.
5. Last edited - Again this doesn't need to show the issue title, just takes up too much space and regularly causes the history tools to expand to two lines of text, shortening it is still just as clear about what it is.
6. Reviews widget - Slight modification on the reviews widget, this one combines staff and user reviews but simplifies it a bit (I left it unstyled pretty much), a little logic would need to be applied to this widget so that if there are any staff reviews then the highest rated one would always be first in the list of the top three, if there are no staff reviews it would display the top 3 rated user reviews only. The button at the top leads to a page with all reviews but that could be turned into two buttons like on the volume page, one for all staff reviews and the other for all user reviews. If no reviews are available this widget would not display.
7. Associations - Why only two columns when there is space for three? The wiki content column is already a fluid width so switching to three association columns would work for most resolutions. Simple css change, just change the li's from 50% width to 33% (a few more tweaks are needed for edit mode). Also why is the entire li a link? now that the whole thing is a link we can't highlight and copy the text from any of the associations cause the whole thing is clickable now, I don't know about other editors but I regularly copy association text so I don't have to type it out on subsequent pages or open the item in another tab and then highlight and copy the text.
8. Aside column - Currently this is set to a fluid width so the size of the aside's are not consistent page to page, if you change the width to a fixed 404px the page works much better and is consistent.
9. Covers part 1 - The frame (box-shadow) gets in the way of allowing users to get the url for the cover images, a lot of users get the cover urls so they can post them in the forums or in comments, also for editors (like myself) that use plugins to detect the size of the cover image the plugins no longer work because of the box-shadow mixed with the relative position of the cover div. Also since the lightbox is gone the only way users can see the larger cover is to right click and view it in another tab but the box-shadow/relative position makes it so the image can't be right clicked. And one last point, box-shadow's while being a nice effect cuts off the edges of the images, users want to be able to see the whole image unhindered, it also makes it hard to tell if there is any whitespace on the various sides of the image or visible staples so it takes more work to figure out if an image needs a replacement.
10. Covers part 2 - The "Add a new cover" button, it is very low on the page and takes up space so why even use it? The site already uses the cute little styled UTF-8 glyphs for marking images as default so why not add one for adding a cover? Example to the right (click here for full size). Adding the glyph to the default cover in the top right corner frees up some space and fits the design better then a big old button below the default cover (I think it looks pretty damn stylish), it also improves editing workflow.
11. Issue details - As I've mentioned previously not everything needs to be a link so I removed the links for Name and Volume. Just seems redundant since there are already two links to the issue you are viewing (breadcrumbs and issue ribbon) and two links to the parent volume (primary header at the top and breadcrumbs), three of each is pretty redundant.
12. Reviews - Since everything was moved to the widget I removed this section from below the associations.
Misc Issue Stuff
Misc 1. Covers part 3 - I know more then a few users miss the old feature where under each cover it showed who uploaded the cover and when, I know there isn't really space for it to be added back but how about instead of adding a box for it it showed up as a tooltip when hovering over the cover image? My example to the right is very basic and unstyled but basically hovering over the image says who it was added by and the date, saves space and it is very useful (click here for a larger image).
Misc 2. Dates - I know it can be a little complex to get working but I think it would be nice if dates on issue pages showed in a more user friendly way so instead of January 1, 2013 it would be January 1st, 2013 (add st, th, rd, nd after day). This would apply to all three date locations on an issue page. Note: might also help to drop the 0 from single digit days in the release date field cause it looks out of place :P
Misc 3. Auto cover enlargements - boooo, no more upscaling of covers, until this "feature" is disabled I will no longer do cover replacements, I spend a lot of time gathering and cleaning up quality covers and I don't want them being upscaled, distorted and ruined.
Misc 4. Reviews revisited - I came up with a second (very) rough unstyled version of where to place a reviews widget but it has one big problem, it moves the Edit & Follow buttons thereby breaking the consistent placement of the buttons across the wiki, I know this can't happen but I'm just spitballing on this one in the hopes it may give someone a better idea. The example image can be found below and the full size image can be viewed here. Other then below the only other thing I can think of is to add a tab system to issue pages below the issue ribbon with the following three tabs: Issue, Staff Reviews, User Reviews, the default view would be the issue tab, clicking the Staff Reviews tab would show all the staff reviews and clicking the User Reviews tab would show all the user reviews, if the tab system was used one staff review or top rated review could show up where the deck currently is (in between the issue info and the issue ribbon), if it was the full width (like the rest of the wiki content) and just showed an excerpt of the review it wouldn't take very much vertical space (100 pixels should be tall enough).
Edited to add: If an item is crossed out it means the feature has been implemented :D