Richard

New site coming soon

95 posts in this topic

"Stage One" of Parkz is now live: http://www.parkz.com.au/ Because of the nature of the design, ads are in many instances too much a part of the fabric of the site. There will be new subscriber-only features in the near future and for the forseeable future (i.e. beyond when all current subscriptions expire), Roller-Coaster.com.au will continue to operate ad-free for subscribers.

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Looking good, but after all this is a Beta test so time for feedback, Im using Firefox 2.0.0.11 so naturally it only relates to that: Front page: Looking good, only problem at the moment is the black disclaimer box appears twice, other than that it would be better if all the boxes lined up a bit more. Articles: Again, its working well here, only problem I found was my solitary article was listed as being written by you, and was in news rather than editorials (it's a review after all) Theme parks: The guts of the site, kudos for such an ambitious system, some links are broken, so I dont know wether this is intentional or not given it's not quite finished, clicking to see more photos of the ride at random leads you to a page that has the words "theme parks in" and nothing else. The photo galleries themselves are good, though it would be nice to see a small list of the tags (youtube style) each photo has below each photo (edit, i can see what you have done now, disregard), this could clear things up a bit, and some photos are still missing tags and hence when you narrow selections in the side bar they sometimes wont show when they should (eg in the reptar gallery, clicking construction shots should bring up the shots of reptar under construction, but you can still only see those specific shots by selecting Nick central construction shots) One other consequence was that Battle of the movie parks gallery is still floating around, so when WBMW was the park at random, a few of the shots were from USH, which was pretty amusing, I imagine these shots will find homes once international parks get their galleries. And just on that side bar, it isn't rendering correctly and gets pushed down the page below the last photo. An idea on how to improve the selection narrowing system could be a toggle on and off type thing (radio buttons or check boxes or whatever beside the things you want to see) Also, there is no link to bring you back to the page showing all photos (yeah, you can click the back button) On the theme parks landing page that search is working well, but there needs to be some sort of direct linkage to lists like "all parks in australia" or "all coasters in australia" (with the former, that page exists, but the only way to get to it is by backtracking on the links at the top of the page. I saw the star rating thing which looks nice, my only request is that we can rate by half stars, so in effect it is the same as rating out of 10. I can forsee a problem where a lot of rides will just get 4 stars, since 5 stars is too generous for a lot of rides, and 3 stars is too harsh. Videos is obviously not available yet. As for the about section, I love the FAQ, pretty much puts the ball back in the court of the park and asserts our independence, good on you. Friends, what can I say, you need more ;) though ozcoaster is a good friend to have. Thats all I can think of for now, when the uploading system comes online I might spend a few hours on that.

Edited by Gazza

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Hey Richard, Site it looking awesome, however I seem to have a bit of an issue with the footer for the site, it thinks its allowed to come up twice! :o I have attached a screen shot for you. I am running OSX 10.5.1, with Safari V 3.0.4 and I have also tried viewing the website in Firefox version 2.0.0.11 and I still get the same issue! This only appears to be happening on the index page Edit: Removed one copy of image. Added extra comment

post-536-1197274138_thumb.png

Edited by jcgoldcoast

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Yeah, there is an issue there with the black footer. Just also on this site, good work richard for a complete overhaul of the site, and the backends, but am I the only person on here who has a problem with the current layout of the main page? It just looks way to cluttered, and there is way too much happening at once. Just my thoughts though.

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Thanks for the comments. I'll try to answer everything as best I can but if I leave something out let me know... Gazza:

  1. Content added by others may appear in my name for now because of the limitations of the conversion process. Every time I see an article by someone else I change it, but once we go live any I've missed should be in your username and able to be appropriately edited from there.
  2. There are links here and there broken. I'm still slowly going through all this stuff. As said we're still in beta and I just figure with a few dozen extra hands spotting errors I'll get through it quicker than if it were just me. Just let me know any links that don't appear to be working and I'll get on it as soon as I can.
  3. Some photos are missing tags. We're dealing with 1,600+ photos here so this will probably be a long-term thing.
  4. My original goal with the "narrow" system was to indeed use checkboxes to narrow in this manner, but the limitations with the URL structure meant for now we've had to go with this current format. I've got a few ideas for how the checkbox system can be implemented so we might see that down the track.
  5. Good idea with the link to all Australian parks.
  6. My thoughts on the rating system is that 10 is a bit superfluous. Sites like Youtube etc. do fine with 5, and the rating will average out to a percentage so on a large scale it should be fine.
  7. Yeah I thought it's important to make it known up front what our photo policy is. We have as much responsibility to enforce park rules as major sites like Flickr and YouTube do, that is to say not at all. All content on a website remains legally the property of its copyright owner; we're merely a medium for its public display.
T-bone: My feeling is with the hopefully more rapid-fire nature of the new site, with more members adding more content more frequently, it's important to have a main page that reflects that. Cutting down the level of coverage on this page would limit the ability for the site to readily promote itself. Thanks all and keep 'em coming. It should become a bit more interesting for all when I open the content system.

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I like it, it is a very appealing site and makes me interested to start browsing, join and contribute. Great job i say. I have no problems with the black bar down the bottom of the site, i am running firefox 2.0.0.11 on windows vista.

Edited by ShadowXL

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The main issue that I have is I always find it easier to navigate a web site if I can click on the web pages name and it takes me to the home page.
Have to agree there! The forums frustrate me having to click the text 'roller-coaster.com.au' rather than the much larger header, but I've accustomed to it I guess... Will let you know if I have any problems.I'm guessing the member's section isn't live yet. I miss using thumbnails for gallery navigation... Only seeing the pictures I'm after would be helpful, and probably good for users with slower internet. Any chance of larger or hi-def pictures? :P I guess I should be pointing out bugs, not missing features. The about pages are all exactly the same, it's a shame you didn't drop the hint of a launch date. :P (Is it going to stay that way, making it simply for people looking for answers or change once everything gets moving?) The 'Frequently Asked Questions' link goes to the about page too.Aha, first 'real' correction... "Our small team of editors..." LinkFrom the main /rides page, when the '>>all *number**ride name* photos' link is clicked it goes brings up another random ride. (Nice feature by the way, liked the way RCDB works in the same way) The link points to the following:
http://www.parkz.com.au/rides/%3Cbr%20/%3E%3Cb%3EWarning%3C/b%3E:%20%20mysql_fetch_array():%20supplied%20argument%20is%20not%20a%20valid%20MySQL%20result%20resource%20in%20%3Cb%3E/home/parkz/public_html/functions.php%3C/b%3E%20on%20line%20%3Cb%3E470%3C/b%3E%3Cbr%20/%3E%3Cbr%20/%3E%3Cb%3EWarning%3C/b%3E:%20%20mysql_fetch_array():%20supplied%20argument%20is%20not%20a%20valid%20MySQL%20result%20resource%20in%20%3Cb%3E/home/parkz/public_html/functions.php%3C/b%3E%20on%20line%20%3Cb%3E472%3C/b%3E%3Cbr%20/%3Ephotos/-/

And it looks like I just screwed my post, I can't edit it! :P Sorry, fix please.(Oh, it adds to last post when double posting... Woops)There's a bug for you! :P<br /> I'll leave you to it. (Sorry just testing html, I'll remove when possible)

Edited by WnW_Rocks

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# There are links here and there broken. I'm still slowly going through all this stuff. As said we're still in beta and I just figure with a few dozen extra hands spotting errors I'll get through it quicker than if it were just me. Just let me know any links that don't appear to be working and I'll get on it as soon as I can.
Ah Ill wait till the other features are up and running, it will probably be all good by then. Its mostly in the About section, legal info links back to credits, contributors don't show up, and when you click on About parkz under the blue About Parkz header it makes a scroll bar appear :huh:
# Good idea with the link to all Australian parks.
Well, maybe not necessarily specifically to Australia, but from this page: http://www.parkz.com.au/parks/ directly below "search parks and rides" have a link that says "explore parks and rides" which could take you to a page with a list of countries. And from there if you clicked Australia it would take you here: http://www.parkz.com.au/parks/AU/ (on another note, I think that current format looks a bit messy) I think it is important to have something like this because visitors planning trips here (or vice versa) mightn't even know what they are searching for, so access to a page which has a nice list parks and the cities they are in would clearly be a preferred option.
My thoughts on the rating system is that 10 is a bit superfluous. Sites like Youtube etc. do fine with 5, and the rating will average out to a percentage so on a large scale it should be fine.
Well, its ultimately your call, but with Youtube, personally I rarely give out a rating other than 1 or 5, if its a middle ground video I don't really rate it, and at the end of the day I never give much thought to what rating I give stuff anyway. Theme park rides are a bit different, I mean go to any park site and the boards will be full of polls between rides. and of course on top of that there is stuff like the Mitch Hawker poll....we are a judgemental bunch, and in our own minds we rank stuff pretty clearly. If I were to go and rate the WWW slides for example, Green Room would get 9/10 (4.5), Rip would get 8/10 (4) and BRO would get 7/10 (3.5) though they way it is now I would have to give them all a 4/5 which isn't a true indication of what I think.... Its basically more flexibility in placing stuff. To sum up, keep it as a 5 star scale (a group of 5 stars is universally understood) but allow stuff to be rated 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 etc. As you said it would be a percentage result averaged out, so in terms of output it would be the same, just input would be a bit more flexible. When you get bored and feel like adding more features (I don't expect or ask you to do this), user profiles could possibly show that persons top rated rides. Haha I gave way too much thought to this.
My original goal with the "narrow" system was to indeed use checkboxes to narrow in this manner, but the limitations with the URL structure meant for now we've had to go with this current format. I've got a few ideas for how the checkbox system can be implemented so we might see that down the track.
Cool, you have the right idea there. I envision something where all photos are shown as tiny thumbnails (like at the bottom of the RC galleries), and as you select and deselect criteria the photos would appear and disappear and arrange themselves in a live manner. Edited by Gazza

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WnW_Rocks:

  1. I'll see what I can do regarding linking up the logo. Because it's a background image it'll require a change to how it currently works, but I think I'd be lying if I said I didn't often click the logo on websites to get to the homepage.
  2. The member functions will become active in the near future. The main reason they're not is I need to duplicate the forum database from here (a few hundred MB) and then revert these forums to the new version, which will require shutting this site down for a short while.
  3. It's a bit difficult to use thumbnail navigation because the photo system is open-ended rather than being sorted into groups of photos (galleries) and there could be 10 or 100 thumbnails to display. There's the previous/next buttons on each photo and alternatively you can return to the page you came from underneath those buttons.
  4. I haven't decided on how we'll display larger images so for now it'll be as-is. They will be coming, but it hasn't all been worked out. I expect probably that you'll need to be logged in to view them, and subscribers will get a larger version.
  5. If I knew the launch date I'd put it up. All I know is that it'll happen the moment everything's working like clockwork... no mysteries here, just that January XX means I have no idea myself! :)
  6. All the about pages will be added before too long. Those that don't work are simply because I haven't gotten around to them, so the system automatically directs you to the default about page.
Gazza:
  1. You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. What I'll do is put a dropdown list of countries below the search box where users can select countries with parks, and be taken to the state/park list.
  2. You're right that that state/park list is very messy right now. It'll be completely redone before the official launch... it's one part of the site that I've just quietly swept under the rug for now.
  3. I think you make a point with the ratings system. I'll see what I can do.

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^^^My post is still screwed, if you read it all don't worry, but there's a spelling error I mentioned that remains to be fixed. Cheers!

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I've taken note of all the bugs/typos etc. and if they're not fixed now they will be eventually. If you post twice or more within half an hour in a topic then they are automatically merged into one. If the formatting is wrong in this case just edit it to fix it. I've temporarily enabled the content system for users. Just login via the box on the main page and you can get started with the "You" menu. http://www.parkz.com.au/ The only thing I ask is even though we're in beta testing, please only submit genuine content. I've spent plenty of hours submitted dummy content to test things; so now we're only after genuine content that you'd be comfortable with submitting under normal conditions. If you haven't entered a fullname yet in your profile you will be promted to before you can add any content because the new system links up with names for searches/profiles. Whatever you choose here will affect all content you add, but won't automatically change previous content so say you enter "J. Bloggs" now and decide 6 months down the track that you'd prefer "Joe Bloggs" then the previous content will either not appear in your profile, or you'll have to go through and manually edit all those previous entries.

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That'd probably mean your password is incorrect -- an error box will be coming shortly. When it's successful it'll take you to a welcome box. It'll be the same username/password you use to log into the forums, and also try refreshing the page -- according to the site you are logged in.

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Nope, still no sucess trying both those things, even in different browsers. The main page does refresh but no welcome screen or whatever. I also tried using the login link at the top of the page, but that still give a 404 error.

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"Sorry, we could not find a member using those login details" I am indeed in the member list, and I tried resetting my password, and then using those details, but still no sucess. However, one thing I did notice was that in the member list my name didn't have 'member' written under it like the others, so Im guessing the problems might be something to do with the fact my account has those changes you made to it to allow me to access the content system. Edit: Working, Time to give this system a test, if its as good as the old uploading system it should be great.

Edited by Gazza

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Ok, having a play around things are working well. The only improvements I could suggest are as follows: Emails: Its says you get an email letting you know your entry has been accepted, does this mean if a user went to a previously uncovered park and took lots of photos they could potentially receive 20 or so emails? Info Messages: After uploading a file you get a message that says "Thank you. Your photo has been successfully submitted to our queue. You will receive an email once it has been approved." However after doing your first photo the message loses a lot of its impact since it is stuck there (and hence doesnt indicate a change) , unless you are paying attention and see the screen flicker as the page refreshes, or notice the "Done" down in the bottom corner of your browser it wont really help. If it was a popup message users had to close it could be more useful.

Edited by Gazza

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Email notification won't be happening at this stage. If it is implemented down the track it'll most likely be such that you receive an email per batch of photos approved. I've added a thumbnail to the box so you know which photo you've just uploaded and that it's gone through fine.

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