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Design Changes Released on 3/14/13

Hi everyone,

There were two changes to design and functionality that were released today (March 14th, 2013) that I wanted to specifically mention on Site Talk:

1) Improved experience with posting and replying on IOS devices, thanks to wider fields and more precise zooming.

2) For logged-in users: The arrow that indicated when a discussion had been “updated” has been changed to a blue dot that appears to the left of a discussion title. Completely read discussions are still grayed out, while brand-new discussions will appear as normal, without any blue dot.

If anyone has any questions about these changes, feel free to ask them here.

Dave MP

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I am not enjoying the blue dot experience. If I (and others) still hate it in a week, will you please go back to whatever it replaced? Thanks.

    1. Are news posts not being emailed to us any longer?

      2 Replies
      1. re: sandylc

        Check your email, I'll send you a message about this offline, as I think it's something in your registration data that's causing the issue.

        1. I like the blue dot. It is much cleaner and easier than the arrow, largely because of its location.

          1. My wife initially thought that the blue dot was some sort of weird Chowhound Easter egg that I had unlocked.

            She pestered me to click the blue dot, until I broke down and did it. When I clicked it, and nothing happened, she was a bit disappointed...

            That's ok though, I like it.

            1. That's a tiny little blue dot. If I noticed a link to this thread from another thread I wouldn't have even noticed it.

              1. Blue dot *is* very tiny. Also, while I was not a fan of the arrow, at least it gave you some kind of indication what you should click on. Now there's a blue dot that supposed to tell you to click somewhere else?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I agree with Ruth. The blue dot is too inconspicuous and it's not at all intuitive what it is supposed,to signify. The arrow was better.

                  1. re: masha

                    Intuitiveness only matters the first time you encounter it. And remember that some people had to ask what that arrow was for, as well. It should be inconspicuous, I think.

                2. Since I never saw the arrow... The blue dot is noticeable, now I can easily see the threads errr discussions that I have visited.

                  1. <The arrow that indicated when a discussion had been “updated” has been changed to a blue dot >

                    Hate. It looks like a burned pixel. But all the new "improvements" have made me remember the (blessedly) short-lived "been there, wanna go" nonsense, so I'm hopeful this, too, will go soon the way of the dodo. (Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of "first unread." Just not in blue dot form.)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: small h

                      Why not change the color of the number of replies from black to blue to indicate an updated thread?

                    2. Is there a particular reason WHY the red arrow was changed to a blue dot?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: John E.

                        I was going to ask this very question. Some changes I understand, but this seems to serve no purpose other than to confuse us. I can adapt to change, but constant change just disorients me and makes me work too hard on a site where I come to relax. You made the overhaul, now stick with it, please!

                        1. re: lisavf

                          And wouldn't the old-fashioned, but thoroughly understandable "New" be easier to understand?

                          1. re: MplsM ary

                            Yes, but since the site is now being designed for mobile devices, we'll have to adapt to all these little space-saving "improvements". Anyway, I'm done kvetching about this crap. I've come to expect bad design and erratic (pointless) changes from Chowhound. There's no point in complaining, they clearly have their own agenda.

                            1. re: SnackHappy

                              I cant see begging for an arrow over a dot, personally. NEW would be worth fighting for since it doesnt require ESP to figure out what it means. So many of these changes - which are important to the user experience - mean nothing at all to people who are not religiously following site talk. I bet 95% or more of users will never have a clue about any ot these items.

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                I didn't like the arrow, but at least the placement of the arrow meant something (that clicking on the number of responses would take you to the first unread response. The blue dot on the margin doesn't suggest in any way how you're supposed to respond to it.

                      2. can you make the dot bigger?

                        and if you're taking a poll, i liked the arrow better.

                        1. Is there any location where there's an explanation of all the symbols, tools, and displays in the forums? Such as, for people who join a month from now, who won't easily find this or previous announcements of display changes.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ellabee

                            What an excellent idea. There should be one page with all the navigational symbols and how to's posted in one place and a link thru Site Topics to read it all and save it for reference.

                            1. Not to get off topic but I susoect my issue might be related to the new release. When browsing on my Android galaxy S3, if I click on a collapsed response in a thread it does not expand. Really weird

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: angelo04

                                I just tested things on a Galaxy S3 and didn't see any issues. I am able to expand collapsed responses just fine.

                                If you're only seeing problems since the last release, definitely make sure you log out of your account completely and then log back in. Let us know if you're still seeing problems

                                Dave MP

                                1. re: Dave MP

                                  Logging out nad back in did the trick thanks

                                  1. re: angelo04

                                    Great, thanks for letting us know!

                              2. Seems like there's been another change: replies to a post are collapsed and need to be/can be opened individually.

                                I'm not sure why you are getting so fussy. It's a drag to have to open each one. Quite a nuissance -- and I'm not sure what it was you were trying to fix, but I find this new system annoyingly unnecessary.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: escargot3

                                  I'm with escargot. Not one of these changes has improved a thing for me.

                                  Probably the worst aspect for me is no longer being able to see names and dates clearly. I responded to the wrong poster the other day. I mistook him for another poster who had the same purple initial circle, each with a different unreadable name in turquoise.

                                  If you go back to the old system while we are sleeping, I promise never to speak of this again.

                                  1. re: escargot3

                                    As an existing user, this shouldn't have changed for you while you're logged in, but if it has, there's a setting in your profile (choose Settings and then Chowhound from the profile menus) that will allow you to change it back.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      I followed your instructions, but the setting was already correct: to display all posts & replies.

                                      The Chow programmers have gone overboard with their noodling -- perhaps out of boredom? or a need to justify their job?

                                      1. re: escargot3

                                        I don't agree with that. The site just gets better and better for me.

                                        1. re: escargot3

                                          Hrmm, that's odd then.

                                          Just to make sure I'm understanding, are you referring to posts that look like first picture, where the top level replies are open but any further replies have to be open at the bottom right, or the second picture where all replies are showing but as a single line collapsed state? And are you definitely logged in while you're seeing posts in this state?

                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                            yes. seeing the replies as a single line collapsed state.
                                            and yes. definitely logged in.

                                            1. re: escargot3

                                              This is a stretch, but if you open your browser up in Safe Mode (no plugins / extensions / add-ons), are you still seeing this behavior?

                                              1. re: Engineering

                                                How do you "open your browser up in Safe Mode"?

                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                  Here are the instructions for Firefox: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Safe_mode#W...

                                                  In Chrome, there isn't an explicit safe mode, but using an Incognito window does much the same thing:

                                                  I'm not sure there's an easy safe mode for IE, and trying to google it is giving me fits, but here's some instructions for turning off add-ons:


                                              2. re: escargot3

                                                Okay, I was misunderstanding what you are seeing when I made my first post.

                                                The second situation -- one line per post on a grey background --is what threads should look like if you've read the thread before. Any new posts should be open. You shouldn't have to open posts you've previously seen individually, though, if you want to re-read the entire thread. There's a plus sign next to the number of replies just under the original post that expands all of the posts in one click.

                                                I've attached a photo of it below; you'll probably need to click through to see the whole thing to actually see the button. If you're not seeing that plus-sign, it may be because you have an ad blocker running in your browser. We've had reports from some users that some ad blockers will block that button.

                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                  Whenever I click on a picture and look at it, everything is a gray box when I return to the thread, i.e., as if I've already read everything, even though I haven't.

                                                  Consequently, I'm training myself to remember never to look at pics on chowhound.com.

                                                  1. re: Jay F

                                                    I know that feeling. I always open them in a new tab.

                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                      Jay, I right-click on the photo(s) and open in a new tab if I want to see them better than in the thumbnail. That prevents the original thread from closing up to all gray.

                                                      I learned that the first time I clicked the photo in a REALLY long and relatively new thread I had read halfway through. :-/

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Thank you, Linda and Jacquilynne.

                                        2. Don't you guys get it, yet?

                                          If they do not break it, they cannot fix it.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            hey ipsedixit, ya mean, like "make work"...

                                          2. Was part of this redesign to put new posts at the top of the list, rather than in the order they were submitted?

                                            If so, I think it's making things very hard to read. People are referring to posts that are further down in the list. I bet it's nice for people on phones to always see content, but looking at it on a website, it's just confusing.

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: 512window

                                              Would hitting the clock icon to the right side, top of the thread help reset things for you? Or checking your settings folder in your personal profile. Both worked for me earlier today.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                It seems to have done the trick. The real trick is whether it still works tomorrow. Thanks.

                                                1. re: 512window

                                                  No problem. There's always hope :)

                                                2. re: HillJ

                                                  All hitting the clock icon did for me was to instantly mark everything in a thread as "read," even though I hadn't read them.

                                                  What was that supposed to be a fix for?

                                                  1. re: Jay F

                                                    Earlier today, a single new comment was posted at the top of the thread out of logical order and not connected to the comment it needed to be attached to to make sense.

                                                    When I hit the clock it took that most recent post and moved it from the top of the thread to the place where it belonged in response to a fellow CH's comment. It was out of order before I did so.

                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                      That definitely shouldn't have happened, Jay F. If you hover over the clock, it says "Click to sort by oldest/newest first." It's a toggle switch between the two.

                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        Maybe you hit the refresh button next to the clock and didn't realize it. Doing so would reset the thread as read.

                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                          Okay, I did it again. It moved this little sequence of HillJ, LindaWhit, HillJ, Jay F up a bit, whereas they'd been at the bottom before.

                                                          Thanks to you both.