Posts Tagged ‘feature’

“Add To Favorites” Feature Launch

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Today on Literotica, you should start seeing the appearance of the “Add To Favorites” feature. It isn’t actually a feature on its own, but a small improvement (we hope) of the already existing Literotica Favorites feature. It may take a few days for this upgrade to appear on all story and member pages.

The already existing Literotica Favorites feature allows registered users to add Stories, Poems, and Authors to their favorites list. This allows users to share their favorite parts of Literotica with others, and also allows users to keep track of their favorite items for later reference. We then use the data from everyone’s combined Favorites to create the Literotica Favorites Portal, which will soon be re-launched with a new and improved design.

The new part of the Favorites feature which is being launched today is a simple modification of the Story and Poem pages and the Member pages that allows you to simply click a link to add a user, story, or poem to your Favorites list. In the past, you would have to go into your member admin and manually add items to your Favorites list. Now, with the new feature, you can just click on a “Add To Favorites” link directly on the item which you are interested in.

Here are two examples: An updated story page and an updated author page.

On the updated Story page, you can see the Add To Favorites link in two places: at the top of the page to add the author to your favorites and at the bottom of the page to add the story to your favorites.

On the updated Member/Author page, the Add To Favorites link appears at the top right of each tab.

Once you click on the “Add To Favorites” link, a box pops up and you are able to add the item to your Favorites without leaving the page.

Please take a look at the new upgrade and let me know what you think.

One issue I was thinking about is whether we should put the Add to Favorites option for the author at the top of each story or just on the author page? If a reader is reading a story, how would they know if they wanted to add the author to their favorites at the top of a page (seemingly before reading the story)? On the other hand, if we add it to the bottom, where we already have the option to add the Story to Favorites, will that cause confusion? For now, we’ve included the option to add the Story to your Favorites at the bottom of the page and the Author to your Favorites at the top of the page, as well as adding the Add To Favorites to every Author/Member page.

Again, please take a look and let me know your thoughts on the upgrade. Thank you! :)

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! :)