As promised: the new week brings more updates about the new website. I'm currently working on finishing up the "staff tools" section of the website. Basically a bunch of behind the scenes stuff that no one ever really sees. Things like the news queue, user editing, and at the moment the "image gallery queue." So that images added to the main image galleries and official pictures and such can be quickly approved by staff. Anyway, I figured with these blog updates I would just start talking about different sections of the website, introducing new screen shots, and talking about new features and stuff. Just so those that are curious can follow and see my thoughts behind stuff, leave questions/comments/etc, and also get sort of acclimated to the next version of the website.
One of the things I'm really proud of is the new navigation bar on the website. I built it to be extremely easy to use and give a user access to practically anything they want around the website from just a few clicks. That means we've got quick access to the sections of the website, and forums, without having a giant list of things at the top of the page.
Pretty basic. Pretty standard.
The end of the nav bar is set up pretty much like we have on this version: name, inbox, quoted.
But how it works is slightly different. Clicking inbox works just the same: takes you to the private messaging system. Clicking "quoted" will show you an in-screen view of the latest quoted posts. I like this better because you don't have to go to a new page to see what someone said to you. And you can quickly see the full post, decide to respond, or not. If you want to view the full WQM page, you still can (either from the pop-up or by right clicking and opening the page in a new tab).
The other difference is how the name portion of the nav bar works. Right now clicking it will take you to the UserCP section of the website. On the new website clicking it will open up your hub. The hub is new feature that basically lets you know what's going on with "you" around the website. Notifications, messages, updates - that kind of thing. It also has quick links to different tasks that are common for a logged in user to use. Now, if you want to view the userCP (basically your followed/subscribed threads) - you still can quickly access that either by viewing the hub and clicking the corresponding quick link - or by right clicking your name and opening up a new tab.
Ok, that seems like a good place to stop for today. Still a bunch more to talk about (search, other sections of the nav bar, etc.), but I'll save that for later. And then we get to the really fun part ... working our way down the page (yeah, that sounds dirty).
The above is part of a series of blog posts about the next version of AP.net. We're currently undergoing a massive redesign and rewrite of the website, and I want to make sure to include the users of the website in the process. So if you have questions, comments, thoughts, or just want to say something -- leave a message in the replies. I'll be reading them all and trying to address the questions in follow-up blogs.