Sep. 7th, 2012

there has to be an official announcement blog I'm missing somehow

I just reloaded my Tumblr dashboard and they moved all the things around without warning. It's quite disorienting.

This entry was originally posted at http://ratcreature.dreamwidth.org/480322.html. | comment count unavailable comments

Sep. 9th, 2011

WTF, Tumblr?

How do I make the super annoying confetti background on my Tumblr dashboard stop? Can I turn this off? I could live with their 10 billionth post announcement on top, but not the moving color spots all over the screen. Otherwise I need to figure out how to stop this moving background (actually not just a simple background, it moves all over their buttons too) from displaying through my Firefox somehow. Why are they doing this to their users?!?

ETA: I figured out that this stops if you don't just reload the dashboard, but leave (like going to your Tumblr) and then come back. Then the announcement and the horrible confetti goes away.

Oct. 21st, 2010

so much interface fail

So I tried to turn my Santa!Cthulhu image into a basic greeting card, but their site just doesn't work right with any of my browsers. That is in my Firefox some of their links don't aren't clickable, even though I have Flash and Javascript and everything enabled, and in Opera the links work but the OK buttons in their pop-up windows don't. And Konqueror didn't show the pop-up thingies correctly from the beginning. At first I thought, ok, the Firefox on my laptop is very old, so I tried on my desktop, which has the current Firefox, but no luck with that one either.

But I'm not easily deterred so I did manage create an account and to upload the image, finally, but then when I wanted to do the simplest product design, i.e. pick a card, put the image on the card sized so that it fits, without even any text or borders or stuff, it constantly did weird things. Like I wrangled it right, and clicked the save, but then back in the overview it had saved empty. And then when I finally managed to put an image onto a card, and made it public (or so I thought), it didn't show on the shop page, which I thought was because I got a page error in the middle and had to reload. However, it seems that was just a time delay, but they could have said that it takes time to show up.

Also, whenever I clicked the help popup to explain something I only got the general main help page. Like there would be a link "what is such-and-such" to explain a function and then I didn't get somewhere that even had the term on the page.

However, I did manage to create a Santa!Cthulhu card, and I think one can replace the country code in the zazzle URL with the one most convenient, like pick the .com ending for the US store.

Jan. 23rd, 2009

ack.

I've barely gotten used to the deviantArt site arrangements (I whined about my problems navigating dA before), and now they changed their profile page layout and added new modules and widgets and stuff. Meep. It's not that I think it's worse than before, actually I haven't used it long enough yet to decide whether its functionality improved or not, it's just that I had a hard time with the site to begin with, and now they changed things on me, when I've just mostly knew where what was.

OTOH you find cool things there, like this comic page by ursulav, an excerpt of a hypothetical comic from a children's book. I now want this "Empire of Feathers" comic about "an alternate universe where birds ruled the world, and it was dark and gritty and had lots of battle scenes and intrigue and poisonings and magic, and a clan of rooster assassins that wore cloaks made of their victim's feathers" to really exist so badly. Assassin roosters!

Nov. 24th, 2008

deviantArt?

I was in the mood to look at some fanart and decided to browse deviantArt, also wondering whether it might be good as another place to post my stuff. So I just went to the site, and previously I've always followed links to an artist or a picture, and I wasn't too thrilled with the site design then, but on that level it works okay. But how does anyone cope with this site design on a more general level? Or is it just me? It drives me crazy. Though I guess you get used to everything eventually, right?

Of course it could be worse. DA has at least general categories, and fanart is separate (though it would help if the individual fandoms were separated more as well but I guess it's because it's more general use, not just fandom), and there is a search engine, but I still find DA hard to use. For example I found out that the group accounts I have seen linked actually don't exist officially in the site's infrastructure. That I learned from the FAQ after I had been looking like for ten minutes or so to find a section for group galleries (I thought it might be easier to find fandoms that way), and was completely baffled. Apparently they exist unofficially through more than one person using an account somehow. At least that explains why these groups aren't more common. I expect it must be rather nightmarish from a maintenance and security standpoint for group owners to have to share the main password and not have different right levels or something like that.

Still, those of you more familiar with the site, do you recommend getting an account there? Is the function where you watch artists userfriendly? Does posting stuff there reach a different audience than LJ or is more of a wash? I mean, I'd cope with obnoxious interfaces for the potential of even a small amount of extra feedback. *g* Any opinions on the site?

Nov. 6th, 2008

wtf, photobucket?

What the frell did photobucket do to their image upload? It's been a few months since I last uploaded a photo to my account, but I never had a problem, though their flash(?)-thingy for bulk uploading never worked for me. But now I click on the upload button, and a small window with the title bar "select files" pops up, but I don't actually see anything in the window, just some wildly flickering movement, and then my browser crashes.

What is wrong with these people? Why did they have to break their site?

Are there other ways to upload to photobucket, like FF extensions or something, that don't use the website? Or do I just have to stop using their site entirely?

ETA: After looking at their help I found a way to use the old uploader, which I would have clicked had the link to it been visible in the box at my screen resolution and font size, but it was not, but cut off by the box frame and thus hidden. FAIL, photobucket, FAIL.

Aug. 4th, 2008

sigh.

Because I'm quite frustrated with the delicious redesign (now revamped without dots -- unfortunately they didn't stop there), I looked at alternative services. Only to find them even worse or just too different in purpose.

Netvouz has no tag bundles, though you can sort the bookmarks themselves into hierarchical folders, but it looked still quite promising, except that once I had imported my delicious bookmarks I found out it allows for only twenty tags per bookmark. If you have seen how I tag you see how that would never work for me. Well, at least it had a bulk deletion feature and I could clean up my truncated bookmarks easily and abandon that service.

Similarly, "Mister Wong" looked promising at first (apart from the stupid name) in that it clones delicious' tag bundles feature, and it even has a rudimentary bulk editing function to change the privacy settings and delete more than one bookmark at a time, however it only allows twelve (!?!) tags per bookmark, which is a ridiculously low number for how I use tagging. So I didn't even look further how it compares otherwise.

Simpy, which I used before, has some nice things like the NOT operator for tags or the groups feature for collaborative bookmarking (or it can be used for just for putting your bookmarks into different display sections without needing separate accounts, much like LJ comms, I guess), however that site rather sucks for browsing your bookmarks, because it lacks the tag bundling. Also for me it has performance problems in that it often is even slower to load than delicious, though at least it freezes my browser less often.

Diigo allows you to highlight text and images and put "sticky notes" on websites, which I guess is cool if you research something and want to annotate or keep quotes and important bits from a website, but it is not all that useful for my reading log type of bookmarks. It also has some bulk editing which is always nice, and group features for collaborative bookmarking. It also has something called "lists" to organize things, though I don't quite understand what it is supposed to do, the introduction texts babbles something at you about it being like folders, only not, but also like slideshows...wtf? (It doesn't sound like anything useful anyway, unless I wanted to present a sequence of websites to someone or something like that, which I don't.) It also has no tag bundling, and the browsing of an account via that account's tags is thus inconvenient and limited, much like with Simpy, especiallly with many tags.

ma.gnolia.com's site design is fairly awful, starting with their ugly blossom banner taking up about a fourth of the browser window height on my laptop screen without doing anything useful whatsoever. And I could tolerate that, but it doesn't seem to display the tags a user has at all, not even as a list, nor does it display related tags. I have no idea how people are supposed to browse their bookmarks there, why have tags and then hide them? So that one is out, even though their feature that they automatically cache a copy of the text content of the websites you bookmark is tempting, because obviously this would work around fanfic you bookmark being lost (to yourself anyway, the cached version isn't public) without having to save yourself.

Why isn't there a social bookmarking site that combines the good features, while skipping the crap? I quite liked the simple bookmark and tag display of the old del.icio.us, including the tag bundles for navigation, so it ought to be similar to that, only with bulk editing for bookmarks and tags (with UIs that don't crash), the RSS subscriptions and networking were good too, then on top of that the NOT operator for tags that Simpy has, and the group creation for several people editing one bookmark list would be cool, decent search and import/export functions of course, and the caching thing magnolia does to not loose content when it vanishes would be a nice extra.

Sigh.

I guess for now I just hope that del.icio.us will fix the worst of the mess in their new UI, so that the tag bundling stuff stops being broken, and the editing options come back as they were. (To segue into my ongoing rant once again, right now you don't have edit, share or delete links anymore for a bookmark you found by searching through your own -- I have no idea why they removed that, it doesn't make any sense. One of the obvious reasons you search through your bookmarks is to find a bookmark you want to do something with, it's not like that is some arcane non-intended usage hack or whatever).

Jul. 31st, 2008

the new del.icio.us interface sucks

Some of you may have noticed that I use del.icio.us quite a lot to tag fanfic (unsurprisingly I'm ratcreature there too). I also use a lot of tags, applying the tagging philosophy that you really can't have too many assigned to a story to easier find it again later. The redesigned site tells me it's about 3500 tags now, and I frequently add more.

Now, while I'm a bit dubious about the look of the new design, in particular that in list view the bookmarks, in particular those with many tags (and I tag stories with several dozen sometimes), take more room, I'll probably get used to the more superficial changes. However, that it now doesn't offer you a section with "unbundled tags" is really bad for me. To use recently added tags when they are merely displayed in the huge lists of several thousand other tags is quite impossible.

Their interface to bundle tags has been atrocious before, and drove me crazy (last time I sorted tags I had added into my bundles and changed some it took nearly a *day* and it weren't that many edits), so I only use it to bundle my newly added tags when I have at least some hours to become utterly frustrated, and just use the "unbundled" section to find the more recent ones again. That is now impossible, it seems.

Also, I didn't think this was possible, but the tag bundling interface got *worse*: It now won't load my larger bundles (like the "authors" bundle) at all for editing, and while it does load the smaller bundles, it now jumps you back to the top whenever you clicked on a tag to add it, so you can't even go through the list anymore without scrolling down again and again and again.

Jun. 3rd, 2008

usability issues...

Over time my AU recs page has grown somewhat large and unwieldy. Since an update is due soon, I've been wondering whether users would prefer to have my AU recs broken up in separate fandom pages, i.e. all fandoms with say more than twenty stories recced would get their own page, the rest would stay on a page for other fandoms in their own sections, as it is now. The main AU recs page would become an index linking to the fandom pages/sections, and have a "Recently Added" summary for the last update, like the update posts I do to my LJ, so that people wouldn't have to click further than the main page for the just latest recs. It would mean more clicking to see all recs, but smaller pages.

So which option would you prefer? After all, I'm not the one using the page.

(There's a poll over at my LJ, because I can't do polls here at IJ, so you can either vote over there, or just comment here.)

Feb. 5th, 2008

web design question about image display

Back in ancient times (okay, three years ago or so) I used to have my website setup in a way so that images like sketches or fanart and such displayed in a new pop up browser window, because personally when navigating thumbnails that just open an image, not a real page, I like not to go away from the gallery page. However I then did a a poll on this topic, and the vast majority preferred thumbnails to open the image in the same window. So I changed my site to match that preference.

However now I just found a neat javascript thing, Lightbox JS, that displays images in an overlay on the same page. If you surf with javascript turned off it'll behave just like before, so it doesn't break the basic navigation or anything like that, it's just an extra. And I'm considering to switch my site's picture galleries to this. To show the effect I created a copy of my fanart page using the script, so that you can see the effect. Just click on a link to a piece of fanart, and if you have javascript enabled, it ought to show the image in an overlay with the page underneath darkened (and please tell me if it doesn't work for you for some reason, or if there are any display problems, like distortions or whatever).

So given this alternative to the images simply opening in the same window, and having to use the back button, which do you like better?

(I have a poll over at my LJ, so you can either vote there, or just comment here.)

ETA: Just to clarify, this script does not prevent you from opening the image in a tab with a different click (at least that still works for me, it was the first thing I tried), nor does it hinder saving images or any of the other annoying things some image display gadgets will do.

Jan. 17th, 2008

webdesign question

In the eternal struggle to procrastinate cleaning my kitchen, I've been thinking about redesigning my website. Because starting a complicated, complete overhaul is more like actual work, I decided to just make my very bare-bones crossover recs look a bit nicer. Currently it's all in one column, first the list of fandoms linking to the sections below, then come the actual recs. I thought it might look nicer in two column, with the fandom list to the left, the recs on the right, like this. However before I commit to this, I thought I might solicit opinions, on which you like better.

I have a poll over at my LJ, so you can either votethere, or just comment here.

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