Feedback on the new CodePlex Styles

Oct 10, 2007 at 8:04 PM
Edited Oct 10, 2007 at 8:07 PM
Hi,

Aesthetics aside, I see a few problems with the new styles that I'd like to mention. I understand if you're still in the process of updating the styles, but I think these are worth mentioning anyway.

  1. We used to be able to right-mouse click the tabs and select Open in a New Tab in IE7, but that's no longer possible because it seems that the tabs are not hyperlinks anymore. This is very useful for quickly browsing other site content when authoring a discussions post or a work item that requires reference material.
  2. The header styles (!!!) are way too small now. I've used H4 (!!!!) extensively in my documents and the text appears smaller than normal text. What does H5 and H6 look like now?
  3. {Quote}s in discussions are not formatted at all. They appear like normal text.
  4. Code is no longer formatted in discussions, other than being in a fixed-width font. Where's the background color? The border?
  5. Images prevent pages from loading 1 out of 3 times. The entire document will load but the images will still be loading for minutes sometimes. CodePlex pages that I have open in other tabs simultaneously do not work until the images in the first document are completely downloaded or my browser is otherwise closed. I use IE7.
EDIT: BTW, that last issue with the images has been happening for months now. The new style hasn't helped but I just thought that I'd finally mention this major issue now.

Regardless, thanks CodePlex for this service. I really appreciate it. I just hope that you can fix these regressions as they are a pain.

Thanks,
Dave
Oct 10, 2007 at 8:55 PM
I have to agree with what davedev said, except opening in new tab, i havent tested in IE7 but they work fine in Firefox. I also think the codeplex home looks way to cluttered and busy. I like that the top issues are displayed there but now we only get 3 of the latest releases. This wouldnt be that big of an issue if there was a global rss feed that listed just releases. I like to see what some of the recent releases are, it has allowed me to find projects on codeplex that i was not aware of.
Oct 11, 2007 at 9:12 AM
Hi Boys, try to CTRL + click on link to open new tab. It works fine.
Oct 11, 2007 at 9:47 AM
Thanks rarous, that's a good tip :)
Oct 12, 2007 at 5:30 PM
Hi,

I know these aren't top priority, but could someone from the CodePlex team please at least acknowledge them?

Issue #2 is ridiculous. Normal-sized bold text is actually larger than H3 and H4! H1 and H2 look practically the same, but not like headers. I really don't want to go through a dozen or so wikis to update all of the headers that I've used! And even if I wanted to, what's my alternative to create hierarchically-categorized content?

Issue #3 makes reading discussions with quotes very difficult because they simply appear like normal text!

Issue #4 isn't a showstopper but it's a bit annoying :)

Issue #5 is a showstopper. Almost half the time I have to close all of my CodePlex tabs in IE7 because they stop working when one request chokes on loading the images. This presents an even bigger problem when saving content since that "Please Wait" box prevents me from copying my work into notepad so that I can retry again. Several times I've had to take screen shots and salvage what I could. Maybe I should have learned my lesson when this started happening months ago, but I haven't :|

- Dave
Oct 12, 2007 at 7:16 PM
Hi everyone,

I have to agree to some of the points that davedev mentioned. To me, issues #3 and #4 are most annoying. I have no problems with images as described in issue #5 - however, I had some problems with the stylesheets but I think the problem was caused by browser caching due to the new release. May be the image thing is an IE7 specific issue, I use Firefox.

However, I think the new design basically looks pretty cool :-)
Oct 13, 2007 at 12:19 AM
Thanks for the feedback and bug reports. We're working on fixing #1, #2, #3 and #4. We have been unable to repro #5, and haven't received reports of that problem from anyone else, so we're having trouble understanding that issue. Which images are having trouble loading? Is it sometimes the images in the banner at the top of the page?

Please continue to report any issues, and generally we'd like to hear more from people on whether they like or dislike the new design (and what you do and don't like about it).
Oct 13, 2007 at 2:31 AM
Hi,

Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it :)

#5 is a strange one. It happens for every image on the home page, except for the CodePlex header. For example, often when I open the home page for one of my projects the text content will appear immediately but none if the images will show up. That includes the project's logo, images in the wiki content and the CodePlex images on the sidebar such as the WebTrends logo and the tiny CodePlex icons next to items in the Related Projects section. It's so slow that I can usually watch each image appear as it loads. Sometimes, they just don't appear at all. When that happens, I can't submit any content that I may be editing in other tabs in my browser.

For instance, sometimes I'll be working on editing a wiki, discussion post or a work item and I'll open another tab in my browser to my project's home page so that I can find some related info. The images don't load and I can't use CodePlex again until either I wait for some sort of timeout, which can take a long time, or else I must close the offending tab and, in many cases, the other tabs that are open to CodePlex as well. If I'm editing stuff I copy it to notepad before I close the tabs, but sometimes if that AJAX please wait message was already shown, I either have to wait for that to timeout or, just to be safe, I try to take a screenshot so that I can save at least some of the text that I've written.

I don't have this problem with other websites. As a matter of fact, I don't even have this problem on CodePlex's home page!

One more thing about it that I find strange is when the images haven't loaded yet my browser allows me to scroll down infinitely, but then after the images are finally loaded the scrollbar jumps back up to the bottom of the page and I can no longer scroll passed the footer. This could just be some weird IE7 thing but since other web pages load the images instantaneously I just have never noticed it elsewhere.

If you have any questions please ask :)

As for the aesthetics, I don't really use the CodePlex home page too much so its appearance is pretty much insignificant to me, but I do find all of those gradients on the home page and that neon green header on the project pages to be distracting. I used to never notice the CodePlex chrome, but now when I browse to the site it's the first thing I notice. I don't want to notice it though :) And it seems that the tabs look a bit cartoonish now, but have they always been like that or am I just nitpicking?

It seems that you have made the header shorter as well, which is nice, but the logo wasn't adapted properly so it looks like a mistake - as if someone just set the height of the header a bit too small and chopped off part of the logo. Maybe it just appears that way to me because I'm so used to seeing the full logo :)

To be honest, I really liked the old styles and was shocked to see that you guys had even entertained the idea to develop a new style. Did you get some negative feedback on the previous styles or did you just think it was time for a change?

Well the point is, I think the previous style looked more professional and that this new style is a bit too friendly for my taste, with some regression issues tacked on. I find it strange even that the main content still resembles the previous look and just the chrome has changed. They don't seem to be compatible, IMO. But then again, I'm no graphic designer :)

When it comes to layout and overall user-friendliness, I think CodePlex is still awesome!

BTW, I just noticed that the link to the full wiki mark guide seems to be missing from the discussion editor. > >

Thanks,
Dave