Over the past few months, I became convinced that Hubski's form could better fit its function. As an aggregator, Hubski has inherited some design choices. Some of this legacy is beneficial, and some is likely not. In an effort to separarte the two, I resolved to step back, and to reevaluate Hubski based upon how we use it. Today's update reflects the first major step in that process.
Importantly, I did not do this in a vaccuum. Along the way, I've been guided by continuing feedback from all of you, and the following people gave suggestions and critiques that significantly guided the redesign: thenewgreen, sounds_sound (the cool little follower icon in the top right was his idea), b_b, insomniasexx (who crashed a Google hangout!), gq, and kuli.
However, as I decided which advice to take, I hold responsibilty for any aspects of this update that fall short.
This is not the end of this process, but these changes are significant enough that we thought it would be best if further decisions were informed by use. As we tweak this update, we plan to test some other ideas that we have.
As always, feedback is much appreciated!
0. I like it. I think it looks clean and minimalistic. If we were to compare, I'd say hubski is to social networks what Google was to search engines when it first hit: simple and full of white space, even though the columns are quite busy, as lessismore pointed out. However, it might just take a little getting used to. I don't want to be too quick to dismiss it.
1. It looks like TweetDeck. As such, a columned (if you will) arrangement will typically invite me to assign different functions to each column. Of course, that could be customizable for each user. Also, rustle's suggestion of framing the post is one I second, if just as an experiment.
2. The distance between the top and the bottom of the site is smaller. Which I appreciate. I like to scroll less.
3. The new sign-in page. The blue one reminds me of Earth and the red one, of Mars, which is cool.
That's about it. As an aside, I found a little deviation in the about page:
- Likewsie, if someone likes what you post and share, they can follow you and receive your hub posts in their feed.
Edit: I just noticed there's no "save" button in the feed page. I think it should be there.
0. Thanks. The columns are a bit busy. I have adapted to it, but I currently feel like there's a better choice out there.
1. I'm not familiar with TweetDeck. I used Twitteriffic for some time, and now I just have the Twitter app. We've talked about the multi-functional columns some. However, I want to be careful that we don't build to the format; I want the format to build to the service. I'm not sure what functions would be best separated by the columns.
2. Yeah, I agree it's a plus.
3. I like it too. Funny, I was previously alerted to that typo, but forgot to correct it. I'll get it.
re: Edit: You might be right. We were trying to chip away every excess.
I've been thinking a lot about this update. I have some ideas that are starting to coalesce. IMO the pop-ups were the most successful change, because they align with use so well. We can do better with the feed.
TweetDeck has a little screenshot in their front page. http://www.tweetdeck.com/
My first impression is that it looks great -- very clean and modern -- but I'm no longer sure how to read my hub. My natural instinct is to read down the first column and then move to the next, but that requires me to scroll down and then back up which isn't optimal on my small screen. Reading from left to right feels weird, too, because the tiles aren't aligned. Either way, my eye moves around the page a lot and I'm not quite sure where the focus is.
I like the direction you're going; it just needs a few tweaks. If I were less tired I might offer some suggestions, but for now I should sleep.
Edit: As an aside, the "related posts" section of the page shows up under the comment box for me. Do you know how I can fix that? I'm on Chrome / OS X Lion.
- -- but I'm no longer sure how to read my hub.
I agree that this is the biggest downside to columns. The way that posts were rising and falling was left to right. IMO that made it difficult to find a post again, even if it were just a few minutes before.
In an attempt to correct for this, I just changed it so posts rise and fall up and down the columns. The top left is the top, and the bottom right is the bottom. We'll see how this feels for a few days. This is definitely still a testing phase for this layout.
- Edit: As an aside, the "related posts" section of the page shows up under the comment box for me. Do you know how I can fix that? I'm on Chrome / OS X Lion.
Yeah, I know about this one. I just tried a fix for it, but I don't have the MacBook I use with me. It looks good on Windows Chrome. Any improvement? I'll have a Mac to test with in a few hours.
Hope all is well and that you're kicking ass.
But I think I've got things ironed out for now. I just needed some time to clear my head. On the upside, I celebrated my birthday a few days ago so that was fun. How have you been?
- I think I've got things ironed out for now
I've been good, very busy with work/family. I'm looking forward to this Michigan Hubski Gathering. It will be nice to meet some Hubskiers and to see mk. -it's been a while.
I've been running a lot. Just finished my first 1/2 marathon a couple weeks ago. Running has really changed my life, I highly recommend to anyone thats interested.
Happy Birthday scarp! I'm glad to hear you are doing well, good to see you here.
Perhaps it is the newness of it and I have not adjusted to it. In time, I might even to grow to prefer it as mk did.
Does this layout actually provide me with more information at a glance? Is there a method to the columns? or could/should there be? Could the layout be customizable? (eg. first column is my feed, second column is trending, third is newest - or something like that?)
I'm not opposed to this... or offended by the new design. I might email you some mockups of a few tweaks that I think might look nice.
It's not too bad on my work mac. There is some sweet little animation when you zoom in and out on the front page.
This is my favorite new feature. So purty!!! http://imgur.com/0SMtt
I'll check it out when I get home. If you remember when we did the last update the discover text was "like a satellite out there."
Basically, it can become a nightmare when elements rearrange based on a monitor's aspect ratio.
We could get away with it before because the main div handled changes in whitespace well. Now those changes simply occur on the borders instead.
- the width is fixed.
This is a problem for me too. Not because I have a widescreen monitor, but because I never run any app full screen. My Web browser is about 800 pixels wide, no matter what size screen I'm using. About half of the third column is off the edge of the page.
This isn't a problem that's unique to Hubski, but I liked the fact that Hubski used to word-wrap to my browser's size, instead of making me scroll left and right, or making me go fullscreen and read 50 words to a line.
(and I know you had help - so all you behind the scenes people that none of us know about who help, dream, and consult in little ways... I'm looking at you and saying cheers)
huh... still adjusting. change is good. I'm no UX expert or web designer (clearly from my mockup) but my brain wants to assign meaning or relation to posts in a column where currently there is none.
Personally, I expect to be making some changes there. Definitely send along any ideas you have, it would be much appreciated.
I admit it is a bit jarring for the layout to change so drastically. But soon, going back and forth between the two, I came to prefer it.
One of the things I am most pleased with is the navigation through names, tags, etc. Make sure to those out.
also gives options for background colours if you want to highlight a specific article.
Also on a side note i was looking at hubski on my phone and it was one column which is great http://i.imgur.com/2wA8C.png
The brightness looks better. Specifically, though, it'd be great if there was an option to have a darker theme, if that's not too much bother.
I really like the magnifying glass preview. Very handy.
Oh, by the way, I received the hubski stickers a while back - thanks! Unfortunately I've moved across the country for the summer, and don't want to put up the stickers here, so it'll have to wait until I go back. Sorry about that.
No problem about the stickers. Do whatever you like with them!
But I'm going to keep playing with it and also check it out on desktop. Even if I'm not sold on it, it's a really impressive departure from the inherited layout. You're kicking some ass I must say.