MGoBlog 3.0: The Preview Comment Count

Seth June 12th, 2017 at 1:02 PM

So you’ve probably noticed the content has been a little slow this summer. Some of that’s because Hail to the Victors 2017 is taking up my life, but the other huge summer project is rebuilding this site from the ground up.

THE DEVELOPERS

We’ve been working with a local outfit named Human Element. You’ve probably passed by their Kerrytown office at the corner of Detroit and Beakes (and Division and Summit and Carey and High and… you know the junction) a thousand times. Unlike our previous attempts at redeveloping the site they’re established enough to have a team and a schedule they’ve actually managed to stick to.

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We’ve insisted they go by “HUEL” for obvious reasons.

Despite all the curveballs we could come up with from a 10-year-old site on a no longer supported platform, this is happening, and on time. I can’t recommend these guys enough.

THE NEW LOOK

Since we’re deep into the design phase, we saw no reason to keep it to ourselves. So here’s a preview of what we’re sort of going to look like in a couple of months (click each to see a larger size):

Normal front page

Front page when we
have a major feature

Inside an article

MGB Design_Home_v5 MGB Design_Home2_v5 (1) MGB Design_Article_v5 (1)

Let me say a few things about what you’re looking at:

  • No that’s not the header. That’s something one of the HUEL guys whipped up in 30 seconds. We’ve engaged MonuMental to design the new official header. That’s still in the works but his initial thoughts are encouraging:

How about Harbaugh as Conan the Barbarian on a mountain of his enemies' skulls (helmets) with background landscape and Easter eggs inspired by the last few years (Florida palm trees, Rome skyline, stacks of milk bottles) and a snarling oversized Wolverine as his companion?

Open to suggestions about what he is wielding overhead. Maybe a football exploding with light and lightning?

  • It’s going to be a lot wider, since screens have become so.
  • The front page has two modes. Normally there will be some boxes on the top with the latest football article, the latest recruiting article, the latest podcast, and a t-shirt or HTTV something from our store or our top sponsor UGP—these boxes will change based on whatever’s going on at the moment. When we have a featured article (e.g. UFR) it goes to mode 2, with the feature dominating the top and the boxes taking a break.
  • Diaries and the Board are staying put, but your login is moving to the upper-right.
  • The comments will be threaded into boxes, but after a 5 boxes they’ll stop shrinking and just appear underneath. You’ll be able to minimize a box to hide a part of the conversation and focus on the one you’re having.
  • Some users will have little icons next to their names. These will signify things like this person is the OP, or one of our staff, or a moderator, or trusted contributor. Still deciding on how many badges we need—might just be site personnel and hot users (people who recently got a lot of upvotes in that thread).
  • Your MGoPoints should carry over to the new site. Apparently the 3rd party module for that hasn’t been upgraded to Drupal 8 so we may have to create our own, but if it’s possible it will happen.
  • We’ll be moving to a new server that should be able to handle a much greater load, so this place won’t become a disaster during high traffic events.
  • Apps will be brand new and better integrated.

Your feedback is most welcome—we’re building this for you.

Comments

stephenrjking

June 12th, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

I like what I've seen so far. The upvote tab is on the bottom right, which is harder to see and will probably net fewer instances of feedback. OTOH it might encourage people to read the whole post before voting, so it might a plus. Such is the way of the future.

The only real issue I see when looking at it is the message board starts pretty far down, like, you have to scroll to see it. That seems suboptimal. When I load the page I check the top article and I check the board posts at the same time. 

And of course I'll miss quirks of the old board, and (probably) this implausible point total I have, but change has to occur. I love it.

RoseInBlue

June 12th, 2017 at 3:05 PM ^

I concur on switching the diaries and the board.  I read the board at least 10 times a day.  I read the diaries about 10 times a year.  Although, the diaries I do read have been very informative/thought provoking, and I enjoyed them immensely.  But I have to be in the right brain space for that.

ctallarico20

June 12th, 2017 at 2:49 PM ^

Diaries tend to be "better" content, but they're updated so infrequently - no need for them to be seen at first glace on the page.  At the moment, the most recent diary is 3 weeks old, where the last board post went up 25 mins ago.

I Like Burgers

June 12th, 2017 at 2:36 PM ^

Definitely agree that they should flip the diaries and the message board.  Like others have said, I rarely/never read diaries but read and check the site frequently for the board.

Outside of that, everything looks great.  Love being able to collapse message threads. Will make reading past those circle jerk threads within a post much easier.

teldar

June 12th, 2017 at 6:44 PM ^

I don't have any problems reading the entire site on my phone and I can't say I really like all the mobile "optimized" websites. I don't find that it's easier to read on my phone just because they put stuff in different spots. I'm completely able to zoom in on things on my phone and don't have any difficulties. The whole mobile app thing for each website, for me, is a complete nonstarter. Particularly when I see people complain that something doesn't work on the supposedly superior app.

Gr1mlock

June 12th, 2017 at 1:11 PM ^

Layout looks great, and that's very encouraging news about the app!  Do you have an estimated release date, on both the new layout and the app?

Lou MacAdoo

June 12th, 2017 at 1:14 PM ^

Me likey, but I'm not picky. If it has the same content I'm happy and I'll get used to the rest. I'm sure I'll miss the old layout, but the change is much needed and I'm looking forward to it. Also, glad to hear that you found a solid local company to work with.