Posts Tagged ‘design’

Favorites Portal Design Updated

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

We have launched a new version of the Literotica Favorites Portal.

The new design matches up more closely with the rest of the Literotica site. We’ve also moved the stories to the left side of the page and the authors to the right side of the page and made a few other minor changes.

Some recent projects, like the new Literotica Tags portal and Search, are intended to improve the functions of the page/feature. In this case, with the Favorites Portal, the changes are more about making it look like a part of Literotica.com. There are so many different pages and features on the site, each designed at various times over the last 10 years. One of our goals for 2008 is to try to bring everything together to give the site more of a unified look and feel. In theory, the site should be easier to use if all of the pages are similar. We’ll see! :-)

As always, please let me know your thoughts on the changes and more updates coming soon.

Modified Literotica Background Launched

Friday, April 18th, 2008

This news isn’t earth shattering, and I wouldn’t call it a new feature, but it is something that we’ve been working toward for a few years. After many designs and re-designs and re-re-designs, we have finally launched a new version of the Literotica story background. You should be able to see it on the newest stories on Literotica.com right now, and on all stories within the next few days.

Here is an example of a new story with the new background.

In case you don’t notice the difference, look at the blue area to the right of the story. Now compare that background image to the old one, which you can still see on the Literotica Story Index page.

Some Literotica readers have been making requests for a less bright background just about since we launched the site. Others have asked us not to change it because they are used to it. We hope that this new version is a balance between the requests of those two groups of users. The new background definitely is a change, but we think it’s a pretty subtle change.

Also, the fact that the new background design is a bit lighter than the old one seems to go nicely with the addition of the Similar Stories feature, the first Literotica feature that appears to the right of the main story area. Computer monitors have gotten a lot bigger since Literotica first launched, so there is some room over to the right of the story area that could be used by new features (like Similar Stories) in the future.

Please have a look and let us know what you think. Thank you for the continued feedback, as always.

The New Literotica Search

Monday, November 19th, 2007

The first of the new features that I want to discuss with you and get feedback from you on is the new Literotica Search.

The new Literotica Search was first launched a few months ago in BETA mode. Since then, thanks to a lot of feedback from users, we’ve released several upgrades and bug fixes. We still consider the search to be in BETA, but it seems to be pretty stable now and most of the initial issues have been resolved.

The goals of the new search included:

  • Full text search of the stories and poems
  • Fast search and less overloading during heavy usage
  • Create a scalable search that can grow with upcoming features
  • Make it easy to use and with better design than the old search

The first and second goals were solved by adding a dedicated server just for the search and using software that was specifically written for high volume full text searching. So far, we are happy with the speed of the search and the full text capabilities. There are a few small issues related to wildcards in searches and in calculating the exact number of results for a given query, but overall it seems to be working fine.

The third goal, creating a search that can grow with some of the new features we’ll eventually be adding is not really relevant right now. We’ll see how that works in the future. :)

The fourth goal is probably the one that we need the most feedback on. When we first rolled out the new search, the number of complaints that I got via email was pretty high. Part of that was that we annoyed just about everyone by adding a CAPTCHA to the search for non-logged in users. We also had a few technical issues with the search and even a couple of design issues with some of the less used browsers. It wasn’t a perfect launch, but we didn’t expect it to be. However, after a few days of updates and changes (and the removal of the CAPTCHA except for flood control), we got past most of the major problems.

What we were (and are) left with was a variety of differing user opinions. Some of you love the new design and some of you hate it. Some of you find it easier to use and some of you have said it’s confusing. It’s a big departure from the look of the old search, that’s for sure. During the design stage, Laurel and I wondered whether the tabs were the best way to navigate between different types of search (Stories/Members/etc.), and if the ajax “Advanced Search” was too tricky, and if the big “search” button was too big, and we had many other questions.

But, we can’t answer those questions ourselves. That’s why we went live with a BETA version of the search when we did. Basically, it works. Now we need to know – does it work for you? Not just work, but work in the way you want it to work? What would you do to improve it? What would you change? Do you love or hate the design? Does it make your eyes burn or bleed? How can the results formatting be improved? Are there any obvious options or features that you think are missing?

Now you know the story of the new Literotica Search. I want to read your opinions and suggestions (and even complaints) relating to this feature. Don’t be shy!

I guess that’s all I’ve got on the Search feature for now. There are a lot of other features coming soon, so get ready for lots of post and (hopefully) lots of comments from all of you.

Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you very soon! :)