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Old 21-07-2017, 08:27 PM   #1
Ross
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Default UKA Changes - Feedback and suggestions thread

Hi all,

There are some changes coming on UKA - some of you may be aware already, but proper announcements will be made soon. For now I'd like to ask for some feedback as UKA is undergoing a redesign, which should be making it's debut in the next 4-6 weeks (or sooner if I can get the time for it!)

One change that we'll be making very soon is an upgrade to the forum. While vBulletin has been good to us over the years, the old forum is very dated now, and other platforms have excellent features such as alerts for quoted messages and replies, a "like" system to encourage more posts and better messaging systems. I'm pretty set on upgrading to XenForo (which powers TFW2005.com for those who use it) - unless of course anyone here has had issues with it? Your opinions appreciated!

In terms of the main site, while we were a bit ahead of the responsive design curve with our mobile site, I think a responsive, cleaner interface is now required. The site has always been very highly optimised, with small graphics and, let's say, efficient coding. I think we can take advantage of higher bandwidth allowances with a bolder design, larger, clearer images and better integration of our media, be it podcast, youtube vids or other items. So in short...

What would you like to see in UKA v.14?
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Old 31-07-2017, 12:33 PM   #2
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A search function!

Search by title, by medium (manga/anime/live-action/toy/text/etc.) by reviewer name, by release date, by genre, by rating, manga author name, by price, by studio name. Include options to list reviews in order of publication and rating as well as alphabetically. So much of the site's content is needlessly inaccessible and this will be important for opening it up.

Last edited by Robert Frazer; 31-07-2017 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 31-07-2017, 02:06 PM   #3
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I actually prefer XenForo over the mess that is the current version of VB, so go for it.
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Old 31-07-2017, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Frazer View Post
A search function!

Search by title, by medium (manga/anime/live-action/toy/text/etc.) by reviewer name, by release date, by genre, by rating, manga author name, by price, by studio name. Include options to list reviews in order of publication and rating as well as alphabetically. So much of the site's content is needlessly inaccessible and this will be important for opening it up.
I second this
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Old 31-07-2017, 03:08 PM   #5
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I third the search... but screw faffing around searching "by title, by medium (manga/anime/live-action/toy/text/etc.) by reviewer name, by release date, by genre, by rating, manga author name, by price, by studio name". Let's have a modern universal predictive search.

I'd like to see links to reviewer's content from their profile pages, let's make more of our fabulous contributors efforts.

The sorting idea is also fab, and very doable. A clickable sort at the top of the listings will do the job nicely.
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Old 31-07-2017, 05:39 PM   #6
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I'd like to see links to reviewer's content from their profile pages, let's make more of our fabulous contributors efforts.
I'd also enthusiastically support this idea. It helps out readers too, if they find a reviewer who jives with their way of thinking they can then easily look up more of his content. The profile pages are really underused at present, linking to a contributor's upload history from them make them a lot more active.

Another way that would be good to get more engagement with historic content would be an "From the Archives" or "Classic Review" widget. There are over 2,500 reviews on the site, yet only a dozen (some of which haven't been refreshed in weeks or months) are ever highlighted. Alongside the new manga/anime-live-action/toy lists on the front page every day there should be some random reviews - an "Also available" line that picks a random review that's 1-3 months old (i.e. In the same season), a "Still hot!" Line that picks a random review that's 3-6 months old (i.e. from the last season), a "You might have missed..." line that picks a random review that's 6-12 months old, and then a "Look back at a classic" line that picks a random review that's over a year old. These shouldn't be updated with every visitor but should be refreshed once or twice a week (if everyone sees the same review there's a better chance of it stoking some discussion). This would be a way to keep all our content in use.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:04 AM   #7
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All good ideas, thank you. Searches are being added, and reviews by author is a good nudge too, I'll certainly add that.

There is a beta site running at the moment, I'll open that up asap so you can all see the changes being made and comment.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Frazer View Post
Another way that would be good to get more engagement with historic content would be an "From the Archives" or "Classic Review" widget. There are over 2,500 reviews on the site, yet only a dozen (some of which haven't been refreshed in weeks or months) are ever highlighted. Alongside the new manga/anime-live-action/toy lists on the front page every day there should be some random reviews - an "Also available" line that picks a random review that's 1-3 months old (i.e. In the same season), a "Still hot!" Line that picks a random review that's 3-6 months old (i.e. from the last season), a "You might have missed..." line that picks a random review that's 6-12 months old, and then a "Look back at a classic" line that picks a random review that's over a year old. These shouldn't be updated with every visitor but should be refreshed once or twice a week (if everyone sees the same review there's a better chance of it stoking some discussion). This would be a way to keep all our content in use.
I'm actually working on improving the articles in this kind of way. It'll be broadly split into the current type of general articles (interviews etc), opinion pieces and retrospectives where older reviews will be featured alongside fresh looks, seeing how shows have aged, whether they've become more or less relevant in the years since release and the current work of their studios.

It'll be a good place to give more personal perspectives on series as the idea will be to really flesh out the content, and more than one writer will be able to contribute to these pieces.

Speaking of personal perspectives, occasionally writers may want to give a more nuanced and personal look at events, news and products/services. This role will be filled by the opinion pieces. The idea here is that the news and reviews will be an unbiased and fact orientated, up-to-date area, subject to editing by Ross and the respective editor of that section. The opinion pieces are to fill kind of a middle ground between a blog and the reviews, where specific content can be commented on by a writer without as much editing and personal opinions can be aired.

That's not to say that they won't be edited (by Ross mainly!), but it's really a place where people can air their grievances or love for services and products without UKA having to put it's name to it. You'll get a lovely photo of yourself and a bio next to the article so that people who disagree can hunt you down for your opinion.

All joking aside, I think this will be a great addition to the articles section and it's a part that I'm spending quite a bit of time developing, so if there are any specific points or tools in place that people can think of to put here, I'd love to hear any suggestions as it's now, during the development process, that I can implement these suggestions most easily!
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