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creativebits v3.0ß wishlist

Tigerstorm's picture

Soon it will be the time to for us to start working on creativebits v3.0ß and we need your help with ideas to improve the site.

The nice thing about creativebits is that we are completely independent. We don't have a sponsor and we practically don't do advertising. Except for the occasional deals (like the Dreamhost promo) and the slim google adlinks just below the menu, which pays the hosting fees and the iPod prizes.

This means we don't have to be partial to any company's products. We don't have to sell subscriptions or memberships. We are not in urgency to raise our readership. We can afford to praise what we love and say freely what works for us. We have a very constuctive and helpful community with many young, talented students and seasoned, wise professionals. And, we can allow them to freely express their views and learn from them. This is very healthy and we want to keep it that way. Actually not, we want to take this experience to the next level.

Surely, we could whore out and sell an ad for US$500 for a week, but than we would have to watch the content to make sure we don't scare advertisers away. But, isn't it so much nicer to have the freedom to do anything we want on creativebits without such constraints? Don't worry, I'm not going to ask for donations at this point. ;)

It's important for us to make the creativebits experience a more pleasant one for you. You will be the judge if we achive that, but we will do our best. And, with the helpful and talented little team behind us, I'm certain we won't disappoint you.

So, do you have an idea how can we make creativebits even better? Do you have a feature that is really missing or a bug that drives you crazy? How do you see a creative community site should look and feel like in 2006?

Your ideas and critique for creativebits is the first step towards v.3 and it's yours to take it. Please take a minute and tell us what you expect from the next revision? Don't keep those ideas of yours in your brain, share it with us!

We can't guarantee that your ideas will be part of the next version, but we will closely listen to what you have to say.

Greg's picture

More info on the front page

I remember going to CB v.1 and thinking it was great... then v.2 came and I saw how more information could be displayed in a more attractive way. I'd really like to see a continuation of that. I personally would like to be able to see the latest weblinks, critiques (more then one :c) ) and forum topics. I'll be honest with everyone... I'm lazy. I don't want to scroll and click to see what's new. I do think that the focus should remain on the "blog" entries but the other areas are becomming increasingly popular and need more screen real estate IMO. Hope this helps!!!

Oh, and contests would be fun too! Creative blender, PS tennis whatever.

my work: http://www.one-waymedia.com

Greg's picture

I just read my post and

I just read my post and don't think I was really that clear... basically I don't like the left sidebar a whole lot.

Charlie D's picture

maybe, just maybe

if somehow there were specific sections for subject matter like Indesign section, illustrator, photoshop, even quark (for us who still use it). With tutorials specific to the program / topic at your fingertips without all the searching.

There is a wealth of knowledge in CB that you could spend hours searching for.

j truitt's picture

You mean like an advanced

You mean like an advanced search feature that lets you specify what categories to search? Even if that's not what you mean, it's a good idea... I've spent up to 15 minutes looking for articles on CB...

arvana's picture

+1 vote

I agree 100% -- it would be great to add a menu system into CreativeBits. This may be a lot of work to go back and put all of the posts into a taxonomy, but it would be worth it!

Arvana
arvanadesign.com

Ivan's picture

Definitely. Thanks for the

Definitely. Thanks for the suggestion.

j truitt's picture

Fluid Width

I think at least one theme that is fluid would be nice. It takes a long time to scroll through some of the longer posts (especially with comments). Or maybe something similar to www.simplebits.com where you can click a button to switch between fluid- and fixed-width.

j truitt's picture

More Intuitive Navigation

Graphically, maybe you could think about making the navigation sick out a little more. It kind of runs together with the Google links up there at the top (course maybe that's your little trick to get people to click the Google ads...)

geoff's picture

I feel bad for saying this but...

I've never liked those icons at the top of the page...

Also, another vote for a liquid layout.

Alexander's picture

My wishlist is as follows:

- Make the page wider (1024x768). I mean, are there designers out there who use 800x600 as desktop resolution?
- Make CB look fresher. I wanna think about apples and oranges and rainbows when i'm surfing here (not literally, i just think you should make the new layout more inspiring and creative than it is now).
- Give us more functions.. Anything.. The goal of any community out there is to make users stay for as long as possible on their site (generating more hits). It's a win-win situation. I just think we need more to do here..

These are also things you can take into consideration:
- Make links open in a "_new" page, instead of the current. I can't count how many times i've clicked myself from a link on CB to some page i wasn't interested in and when i closed it, CB went down with it.
- Why don't you spice up the categories with their own icons (PS-icon for PS-related news and so on)
- I wish you could update the forum with categories and subcategories, like Software -> Photoshop - Illustrator - Indesign..... Creativebits -> Announcements -> Feedback -> Help.... Catch my drift? ( right now it's everything from software help to pictures of desktops in the forum, uncategorized (is that a word?)).
- As mentioned earlier here, i think you should show something like the five latest from Critique, instead of just one. Now we can't tell if there's one or fifty new submissions since our last visit. (yeah i could just click the Critique link, but still...)

- Last but not least, give us more content. It's slacking off at times. You could just find/ask for more writers. Remember: CONTENT IS KING.

I'm perhaps coming off as an ungrateful and unsatisfied shitkid here, but i really like this site, and i want it to continue to expand and evolve like it has :D.

P.S. Sorry about my English.

alexleonard's picture

Lots of good ideas but this

Lots of good ideas but this one:

These are also things you can take into consideration:
- Make links open in a "_new" page, instead of the current. I can't count how many times i've clicked myself from a link on CB to some page i wasn't interested in and when i closed it, CB went down with it.

I have to strongly disagree with. Let the user choose where the content should open up, whether it be a new tab, new window or in the current window.

Greg's picture

I remember a huge discussion

I remember a huge discussion about this on CB v.1 and the decision was made to let the user decide. I prefer to "let the user decide".

my work: http://www.one-waymedia.com

Jammo's picture

user cp

I dont know if its possible, but it could be nice to have this feature in the members cp.. so in there they can decide on new browser window or default.

I do agree it needs to be down to the user to control the behaviour, but a friend of mine did ask me to suggest using new windows for links....

50/50 split... hopefully the user cp can accomdate this..

__
Online Portfolio - in progress
jammindesigns.com

Abdul's picture

Just want to add quickly, I

Just want to add quickly, I too want CB to be fresher! v1 was dark. v2 is also dark, but with an option for a lighter theme.

I think it's time for more colour themes. An orange would be nice!

Jammo's picture

hmm

for me CB's trademark colors are the tarmac grey/orange... i wouldnt want a orange theme and lighter fresher colors... but perhaps the dev team (pokes tigerstorm in the arm) could find someone (cough) who would be willing to work on additional themes.

The problem is time.. I feel we should do the default theme to match and work with the previous versions.. and then bolt on more at a later stage.

__
Online Portfolio - in progress
jammindesigns.com

Tigerstorm's picture

lol

pokes Jammos nose and give him a glass of milk :)

Jammo's picture

oi!

haha - you know im lactose intollerant... im gonna be in a ball all night now damn you! :P

__
Online Portfolio - in progress
jammindesigns.com

Tigerstorm's picture

rofl

Now that is what I call a bonus =)

Jammo's picture

shhh kitty :P

yea yea... back to work mr admin #2 :P

__
Online Portfolio - in progress
jammindesigns.com

Abdul's picture

Can I reiterate that it'll

Can I reiterate that it'll be nice to have these two themes (current CB v2 themes) and also an orange theme for the guys like me and others who like bright colours?

Oh, and more gradients too.

This is one other suggestion, which I don't know if it'll do any good or not. How about making the 'front page' a little more distinguished from the forum? Currently it all seems 'one'. It might just be me, but if the 'front page' could be lifted more off the screen, I think it'll look slightly more appealing and fresh. Not sure if that makes any sense. Amd as usual, forums and message boards look plain and normal. Just go back to CB v1 when I first came here. I liked the difference between the 'front page' and the forum which I think it felt made a more 'community' like feel. Again, this might just be me. Any input anyone?

I'll try browse the net and see if I can find any exmaples of what I'm trying to get at. Keep up the good work team.

Ivan's picture

Thanks

You have good points. We will certainly implement something along these lines.

suborior's picture

I've been coming here since

I've been coming here since v1, and I've loved it all along.

If anything, I wouldn't mind a little more color/pop. Its not that I don't love it how it is, but its that its been the same feel/look for a while. What about making it a bit OSXish?

If there's anything I can do to help let me know.

- Jeff Yamada
www.suborior.com

train's picture

My wishes:

A place where people can list problems they have had on projects and how they fixed them. I have always had trouble with color print jobs. It would be great to look at print designers and learn from them. I would like to get more out of CB this way.

A place for some old school graphics battles to happen. Perhaps a bit childish, but I would love to see ivan ask the community to create a 5x7 with a theme of "city" or "entropy" and see what people come up with.

A place to rant. I have wanted to share my favorite fight club quote for quite some time...

CB is a great place, keep it up!

Jammo's picture

2/3

I agree with the first two suggestions...but a place to rant, I strongly disagree with.. I dont feel thats CB, yes now and then there are the odd statement about a company's services etc but.. i do not feel CB should ever have a specific section for ranting.

__
Online Portfolio - in progress
jammindesigns.com

suborior's picture

Oh, I know it isn't what CB

Oh, I know it isn't what CB does...but I was be totally willing to write for a flash/interactive section.

- Jeff Yamada
www.suborior.com

rampy's picture

fluid layout

not sure already in your to do list, but fluid layout (rather than 1024 fixed width) wuld be great, currently there is a whole lot of scrolling going on, both on the forums or homepage due to the narrow-ish column width?

ozskry's picture

I would like to have the

I would like to have the ability to watch forum topics and receive e-mail notifications when a new message has been added.

technophobe's picture

Standards

XHTML strict, Clean CSS, Semantic Markup - No tables :)

Jammo's picture

why strict?

Just out of interest... Why would you prefere Strict markup apposed to transitional?

oh and as far as i know? there's already no tables...

__
Online Portfolio - in progress
jammindesigns.com

Ivan's picture

agree

It will validate, I promise.

technophobe's picture

because...

Using strict versions removes problematic elements as well as forcing a significant separation between the structure of your document and its presentation. Transitional versions allow deprecated elements to assist those implementers to upgrade smoothly their software or their content.

http://www.webstandards.org/learn/askw3c/oct2003.html

basically, strict tends to be cleaner, transitional was created to 'ease the pain' of moving from html4...

and you're right about the tables... :-)

Static's picture

NEW Design and more content

- new design(ou even could make a contest for a new design, who wins, get's an ipod nano :P, or 2(so we can chose which we like most..)

- forum with categories

-contests(the young designers need some exercise)

-some ajax, email notifications, more content and a better search system.

peace

//Static

Alexander's picture

I second that

Design contest for a new CB layout. You don't necessarily HAVE to use the design, but you sure would've gotten a lot of inspiration.

As Static mentiones here, i also think you should have contests. It's fun and very inspiring...

Jammo's picture

nice idea alexander

CB is a creative community we all have ideas towards what and how should be in CB... obviously there will always be some disapointments as its impossible to please everybody (... unless you get a free powerbook when registering)

..... I think it would be nice to have the redesign take some inspiration from the people who make it what it is, whose gonna start sharing some ideas first then?

__
Online Portfolio - in progress
jammindesigns.com

Alexander's picture

Hmm

I have no idea.. I'd guess it was up to the mighty dev team if such a contest was to take place!

Tigerstorm's picture

Ideas are always welcome..

I must say this.. Ideas are always welcome both in text and images.. But why a contest that's not a contest, it's just a matter of showing new ideas and what wouldn't be nice to collect them all under the same roof..

You'd be more then welcome to post images of your ideas in here.. I haven't forbidden ideas that is images of any kind if you thought that..

After all , a image says more then thousand words.. And if you can't type what you think, draw a image of it :)

Ivan's picture

Help is greatly appreciated

Suggestions for the new design of just the homepage would be great. I tried one here, but didn't get too much good feedback and for a reason. Just a rough sketch would be good too. We not gonna do design by committee, because it's usually not working, but seeing ideas would definitely be useful and we could pick the best ideas.

There are no limitiations. It can be 3 columns or just one. We do want to have two color versions. A dark (default) and a light one though. But, we should start with the dark one for now, keeping in mind the light one later on.

Tigerstorm's picture

I just want to say..

Thanks for the ideas so far.. Keep em coming :)
It's a big help for us in the dev team!

cjenkins's picture

Fluid layout and default CONCRETE theme

  1. I beg for fluid layout.
  2. Could you make concrete the default theme? I use the Firefox browser, and it cannot successfully print articles in the tarmac theme. Before registering and discovering concrete, I had to either cut, paste, and edit articles in another application before printing; or I had to remember to set Firefox to override text and background colors before printing, and restore my old settings afterward. Wotta pain!

  3. Having access to alternate themes is a very nice benefit for people who register, but making concrete the default would be sooooo much nicer to the newbies.

Ivan's picture

printing

There will be a separate CSS optimized for printing that automatically kicks in when you want to print something no matter what theme you're using.

rampy's picture

Post code fragments

Ability to post code fragments, web / flash designers usually has some scripting tasks too, it'd be nice to be able to post code fragmentsthat here at CB. Not sure if Drupal has anything like that actually, but just to throw that in the mix for you guys consideration, thanx!

Ivan's picture

I like the idea

Just to clarify, what's the difference between a regular post (forum or blog) and a code entry if there is any.

vinylsofa's picture

notification of response to posts

via email would be good. don't know how practical this is in terms of development? similar to a SAAB forum and an auction site i use where if there is a response to a comment in a thread you've contributed to, or if you've been outbid, it sends an email to let you know. Very useful in terms of keeping things current. i often forget which posts i've added to and by the time i track the responses it's out of date and everyone's over it.

Ivan's picture

Certainly

I think that is a very useful feature and it's great for those who only want to follow a few threads...

Martin Koch's picture

Keep me logged in

I prefer the light CB theme and for some time I see it at every visit. But after a while when I return to CB it's dark again and I have to log in. It would be good to have the option to be always logged in.

Tigerstorm's picture

Do you experiences trouble with login?

I think it's Drupal standard that you need to logout by yourself if not your'e automaticly not logged in.. Personally i've experienced some trouble with this in IE when I check CB on that.. But when you login again you'll getting concrete?

What's your browser and you do accept cookies?

arvana's picture

Same thing

I have the same thing -- I think that the cookie expires after about a week. It would be nice if it was longer, or if it got auto-renewed every time the site was visited. Not sure if this is easily changed in Drupal though!

Arvana
arvanadesign.com

Abdul's picture

For v3, how about we also

For v3, how about we also get the podcasts started?

The community is much larger now, and with a much more variety of users in many different creative fields. Would seem a good idea to me.

--
blog and folio: http://www.abdulrehman.co.uk

Korteenea's picture

Either: 1. Keep close to the

Either:

1. Keep close to the style you have for the site now, or...
2. ...go with something completely different. In fact, something a little brighter might be nice, and a bit more inviting, than the dark grey theme it has now.

...and...

3. A simpler CSS style that kicks in only when printing (similar to how A List Apart does it.)

Flub-Dub's picture

my 2penny thoughts

*color: i like more the grey-dark theme. portals and content sites are usually on white bgr. they say its because they are more readable. actually, the dark bgr with white letters is far more relaxing. i would not change the default main dark theme. of course, others may think otherwise so yes, more themes for them

* no liquid design. i agree, the site should fit in 1024px width, not in 800px. but creative bits is about lots and lots of content and long lines are harder to read. whenever i need to read a full page of content i always make the window smaller even if that means lots of scrolling.

* definetly a new set of icons. i'm thinking something not so colorful.

* i think that CB should have a section where the best content is added. something like resident tutorials or techniques. these articles could be grouped on different cathegories. these should offer a way to browse specific content without the need of searching.

--------------------------------------------------
the best often die by their own hand
just to get away,
and those left behind can never quite understand
why anybody would ever want to get away from them

Nocens Angelus's picture

Favorites

I wish for a favorites button, so i can save good blogs for later review.

Tigerstorm's picture

Thanks all people for all your wonderful ideas..

We have taken the decision to freeze this wishlist for Creativebits v3..
I can't say how grateful and helpful your ideas has been and we'll hope we can implement a few of them into the next version of Creativebits!

Our focus is already at the next version and this wishlist have helped us on our way to building the new site..

Thanks all Creativebits members..

/CB Team

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