Proposed new home page

Discussion about the Geocaching Australia web site
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caughtatwork
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Proposed new home page

Post by caughtatwork » 24 July 15 2:41 pm

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6RUXq ... sp=sharing

The home page at Geocaching Australia is a little bit of a hotchpotch of stuff.

We have a small blurb about what Geocaching is all about. A ticker showing the latest caches. A map which you think will take you to caches but takes you to a gid awful dashboard. The leaderboard for GCA and GC. A list of random images from the gallery.

What are we trying to say here? As far as I can tell (and I'm responsible for most of the mess), we're trying to tell you we're clever at programming, but we're not here to help you find a geocache.

I'm proposing that we change the home page to make it very geocaching focussed. Attached is my first attempt.

You get two things:
1. Find a geocache with a map and 7 simple instructions.
2. Search for a geocache where you can enter a locality or postcode and be taken to a list of geocaches in your locale area.

That's everything on the home page with the exception of the MENU (top right) as per the suggested navigation change. Keeping it extremely simple makes it clean, but it looks very austere.

What other items that help you find a geocache could we have / utilise on the front page? This is intended to target the newbie who has no idea what they're doing and landing on our front page, probably assuming that GCA is the Australian version of GC.com. Casting your mind back to when you started (at GC or GCA) what would have helped you to find your first geocache or two?

This is not necessarily aimed at the experienced geocacher. They should be using the my queries and lists, GPX files, imports, fieldnotes, etc, but it can have some elements for the experienced geocacher.

As with the other items, please provide your suggestions. Keeping the discussion on the topic of what would you like to see on the front page, please. Think about clutter. Think about newbies. Think about experienced cachers. We can, by the way, change the content depending on whether you are signed in or not. i.e. We can have a simple page for those who a only visiting or have < 10 cache finds and a different set of content for logged in cachers with > 10 geocache finds under their belt. Feel free to be creative but also think about whether the data is "cool" or "useful".

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Black Bunny
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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by Black Bunny » 24 July 15 8:04 pm

caughtatwork wrote:
What are we trying to say here? As far as I can tell (and I'm responsible for most of the mess), we're trying to tell you we're clever at programming, but we're not here to help you find a geocache.
I like the concept of a cleaner front page. I would like to see a link to the forum in the "favorites or frequent" area (yes I know that the forums are in a downturn but they are still a valuable feature of the site), and a filter ability on the maps section for Trigs, Moveables, etc).

But more importantly yes you are cleaver coders and the feature requests and bug fixes are much appreciated.

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by Goldenwattle » 24 July 15 10:27 pm

:) "favorites"
But Australian (and English) spelling please. (favourites)

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by wombatatcrows » 27 July 15 10:11 am

Hey C@W I love the the new layout especially for a newbie to GCA e.g. me with zero GCA finds. =D> =D> =D>

Having worked in IT for some time now I know there are some challenges in forms design. The first is you cannot please everyone and you never will, that is the nature of the beast, so don't waste to much trying to get everything in. But what to do then. Well you have done it already, as far as I can see. Some suggestions from a newbie, for your consideration (and others). Of course I will NOT be upset if NONE of the following is included.

1. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid - YOU HAVE ALREADY ACHIEVED THIS and got rid of the clutter. Well Done!!!!
KISS makes it easier to understand, to teach, to document, to test and most of all to MAINTAIN and nowadays to convert to a mobile app.

2. Assuming that it is possible to know the persons current location and to
give the impression to the user that GCA is about them and where they are.

a. On the map highlight the persons current state (different colour ?)
This option may already be there as well but I could not tell from screen sample (obviously)
This option may be hidden if location is unknown or NZ or other country
b. Add one more Search Option (first one ?).
Find nearby GCA caches (max maybe 10?), do not include GC caches unless enabled in profile.
Consider I am new to Oz or just visiting a new part of Oz and I don't know any local names or post codes.
c. Add after the Search Options one more option, Log your visit and remove it from menu (less menu clutter)
What does a newbie want to do most ? Find and Log visits.

3. Menu Options
a. Add ABOUT Geocaching Australia. FAQ,CONTACTS, FORUM and WIKI could then be on the about page
b. Add ADVANCED USER (last option) which allows user to customise their profile and/or the menu options
and/or Novice/Advanced user check box
c. I don't know what the difference between is between
Sign the logbook and Log your venture online, but happy to wait and see.

As for "We can have a simple page for those who a only visiting or have < 10 cache finds and a different set of content for logged in cachers with > 10 geocache finds under their belt."
BRILLIANT IDEA GO FOR IT with the number 10 being the default which can be changed by the user in their profile (option 2b above?).

FINALLY THANK YOU AND TO THE OTHER MEMBERS of the development team FOR ALL YOUR TIME AND EFFORT THAT YOU GIVE TO US SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO HAVE FUN.

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by caughtatwork » 27 July 15 11:00 am

wombatatcrows wrote:Hey C@W I love the the new layout especially for a newbie to GCA e.g. me with zero GCA finds. =D> =D> =D>

Having worked in IT for some time now I know there are some challenges in forms design. The first is you cannot please everyone and you never will, that is the nature of the beast, so don't waste to much trying to get everything in. But what to do then. Well you have done it already, as far as I can see. Some suggestions from a newbie, for your consideration (and others). Of course I will NOT be upset if NONE of the following is included.

1. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid - YOU HAVE ALREADY ACHIEVED THIS and got rid of the clutter. Well Done!!!!
KISS makes it easier to understand, to teach, to document, to test and most of all to MAINTAIN and nowadays to convert to a mobile app.

2. Assuming that it is possible to know the persons current location and to
give the impression to the user that GCA is about them and where they are.

a. On the map highlight the persons current state (different colour ?)
This option may already be there as well but I could not tell from screen sample (obviously)
This option may be hidden if location is unknown or NZ or other country
b. Add one more Search Option (first one ?).
Find nearby GCA caches (max maybe 10?), do not include GC caches unless enabled in profile.
Consider I am new to Oz or just visiting a new part of Oz and I don't know any local names or post codes.
c. Add after the Search Options one more option, Log your visit and remove it from menu (less menu clutter)
What does a newbie want to do most ? Find and Log visits.

3. Menu Options
a. Add ABOUT Geocaching Australia. FAQ,CONTACTS, FORUM and WIKI could then be on the about page
b. Add ADVANCED USER (last option) which allows user to customise their profile and/or the menu options
and/or Novice/Advanced user check box
c. I don't know what the difference between is between
Sign the logbook and Log your venture online, but happy to wait and see.

As for "We can have a simple page for those who a only visiting or have < 10 cache finds and a different set of content for logged in cachers with > 10 geocache finds under their belt."
BRILLIANT IDEA GO FOR IT with the number 10 being the default which can be changed by the user in their profile (option 2b above?).

FINALLY THANK YOU AND TO THE OTHER MEMBERS of the development team FOR ALL YOUR TIME AND EFFORT THAT YOU GIVE TO US SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO HAVE FUN.
Thanks for this feedback. It's extremely handy and very welcomed.

Knowing the location of someone? If they are logged in and they have set their home state (http://geocaching.com.au/my/settings), then we can highlight their home state on the font page. If you have that set right now, the ACT will show as a light grey on the map. That function hasn't changed.

If they are logged in and they do not have a home state set or they are not logged in, we could try and guess their co-ordinates from their IP address, then try and lookup what state they are in.
http://www.w3schools.com/html/html5_geolocation.asp
This is sometimes problematical. I work for a company based in Brisbane but I work in the Melbourne office. Guess where my geolocation comes up as? Centre of Brisbane. It's a right royal pain the proverbial for any site that assumes I am where my IP address suggests. So I then need to override the location. I'm not saying it's not going to be done, but as the moment I have considered it but discarded it as "not useful enough". I am not opposing the idea I just can't work out whether that is more or less useful than the search boxes for locality and postcode which will definitely centre on their home location.

The challenge with providing a pseudo custom search for people who we can locate is that the search them becomes useless in short order. For example, closest 10 caches to your geolocation. That's useful until you find the closest 10 caches, then you get 0 returned. If we filter on unfound caches, you can still get the closest 10 and then we'll get complains that the 10 caches shows include one that "is not a type I like to find" (say a TrigPoint or Virtual). So then we have to offer 10 closest, unfound and "not something I don't want". Then they discover there's a puzzle cache in teh closest 10 which they can't solve. So now you're searching for closest, unfound, not TrigPoint and difficulty < 3. Of course, (and you can see where this is going) that terrain 3 is too hard for me as I can't climb a tree. So we're now down to closest, unfound, not TrigPoint, difficulty < 3 and terrain < 2.5. You can only trust me that I have been abused about this before. And I mean abused in the swearing type of way because we could not make a generic search customised to the user. I do appreciate your feedback and to someone who has not spent 10 years looking at generic vs. custom, your suggestions make sense. It's only when you drill down you find the idea is not workable. So we stick with some generic, canned queries and you can create a custom query at http://geocaching.com.au/my/query/new The question for me is how to get people to know this function even exists?

For visitors who do not know their locality or postcode, then can use the map and pan around to get to their location. If they don't know where they are (by name or postcode and can't find themselves on a map, then they're not a very good geocacher). I suspect most people, visitors to the country or state or not, know where they're staying. A locality search will be their best way of determining a search area. Again, I appreciate what you're saying and if we do use a geolocator then this is an option.

In your next point are you suggesting that to log a geocache you need to go to the home page every time? Even if I'm buried somewhere in the middle of the site I need to go to the home page to get to the "log a cache" link? That's an interesting proposal. I'd be interested in what other people have to say about that in general. I would prefer to be able to get to any page from anywhere in the site so my preference is to keep it in the menu, but if we add it to the home page that might also work. The question is how do they "find" the cache they want to log? GAnnnn code? Cache name? Cache location?

I suppose as an experienced geocacher with habits, I know a couple of things about caches I have found. The first is I use field notes almost exclusively for logging caches I have found. So they come off my GPS or out of GSAK and a few clicks they're all loaded and logged. No need to know anything about the cache or the waypoint or the location.

If we're talking about newbies, then what do they have that they can use to find the cache to make their log? We can easily add the "waypoint" search to the home page which will then address that issue by entering the code and hitting the search button. I mean I could add all the search function to the home screen, but they undoes the decluttering.

At the moment I am not offering GC caches to any of the search functions by default. If you want to select the "all" option on a search, you make that choice. I'm avoiding serving that data up as a default. If they want GC caches, then then can select "all sources". As the goal of Geocaching Australia is to promote itself over any other site, starting with Geocaching Australia only caches seems to be the best way of encouraging that. I have considered ignoring anything other than Geocaching Australia caches in any search, for ever. i.e. No selecting to find any cache other than a Geocaching Australia cache. Then we would use the other sites data as statistical only and not enable you to search of them, look at their logs, or anything other than statistics. I think that might be going a little too far as I'm certain people use Geocaching Australia to find GC caches and map them as our tools are (at the moment), better than GC in terms of query criteria and Google Maps. We also show the actual cache location on the map not just an approximation.

Very happy with the suggestion regarding "About Geocacaching Australia" being another jump area. It removed some of the menu clutter and allows for other things to be added. I'll incorporate that.

Not quite sure what advanced user does. At the moment, My Profile jump area does all of that. You have to be able to add a favourite from any page you're on, so that need to be there and favourites also need to be there in my opinion. Favourites are not useful if you need to click, click, click, click. I may as well just go there directly rather than use a favourite with just as many clicks. If you could explain this a bit more it would be appreciated.

You don't know the difference between signing the log book (which is the log book in the geocache) and log your venture online (Geocaching Australia web site)? Can I word it better?

I'm not sure I want to go to the trouble of having the front page options change based on a user selection. Why? Then I have to create a whole pile of code to allow the user to update the value, add it to the My Profile jump page, etc. While it's very nice to have the option for ther user to control everything, I'm trying to make things somewhat simpler. <=10 geocache finds gets the simple menu. <= 100 geocache finds you get the next level. > 100 geocache finds you get the whole shebang. As a newbie, I don't want to have to think too much about an activity I already don't understand. As an intermediate geocacher I wouldn't even know I could change that setting. As an experienced geocacher I'm probably not using the home page at all as I'm running custom queries and downloads directly to my GPS, app or GSAK. I like your thinking and I'm open to the community thinking and suggesting whether this idea should proceed or whether it should "default" and let the user go geocaching not play around with settings.

Thank you very much for your feedback. I wish I could discuss some of this with the community face to face but as a community around the country we're kind of restricted in what we can do. This also means there is likely to be some missed meaning in what I have read and what I have written. Please don't be offended by what I say, it's wiring vs. speaking that will lose some of my message.

I'm looking forward to more feedback from you and the community.

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by caughtatwork » 27 July 15 5:39 pm

Geolocation has been incorporated.

If you're logged in then the geolocator does NOT run and you just get your home co-ords.

If you don't have home co-ords or you're not logged in then the geolocator will run.

Either way the site will populate the Lat/Lon search box and produce a map so you can see where it has decided you are. You can click the map to be taken to the closest 50 geocaches to the lat/lon or you can click the search button and be shown the list sorted in distance from the lat / lon.

If you refuse he geolocator, the search boxes are not displayed. I think this works well and thanks for the suggestion.

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by Richary » 27 July 15 10:20 pm

At the moment I am not offering GC caches to any of the search functions by default. If you want to select the "all" option on a search, you make that choice. I'm avoiding serving that data up as a default. If they want GC caches, then then can select "all sources". As the goal of Geocaching Australia is to promote itself over any other site, starting with Geocaching Australia only caches seems to be the best way of encouraging that. I have considered ignoring anything other than Geocaching Australia caches in any search, for ever. i.e. No selecting to find any cache other than a Geocaching Australia cache. Then we would use the other sites data as statistical only and not enable you to search of them, look at their logs, or anything other than statistics. I think that might be going a little too far as I'm certain people use Geocaching Australia to find GC caches and map them as our tools are (at the moment), better than GC in terms of query criteria and Google Maps. We also show the actual cache location on the map not just an approximation.
I admit I do occasionally use this map function in planning a cache run. If for some reason I am not using GSAK/Oziexplorer. I do also sometimes check logs on GC caches via the GCA website, but it's not something critical to me, just occasionally useful if I happen to looking at the cache on GCA I don't need to flip over to the other site.
As an experienced geocacher I'm probably not using the home page at all as I'm running custom queries and downloads directly to my GPS, app or GSAK. I like your thinking and I'm open to the community thinking and suggesting whether this idea should proceed or whether it should "default" and let the user go geocaching not play around with settings.
Same here, except it's the first page I get to unless I just type in geocaching.com.au to get to the site, if I am searching for a particular cache to make a log I already know the GA/TP code so I use the latlon.info shortcut, and if I want to import a cache I just start typing import in the browser and it takes me to the right place from memory. It also remembers the 0010 for my logs and the 0020 for my graph which are the pages I use the most. The first to see if all my logs from the other site have come in, the second to see how I am going on finds for the month (a bit behind my goal of averaging 1 a day for July though 5 finds today on a work trip helped).

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by Black Bunny » 28 July 15 2:22 pm

Any chance of beta testing the new proposed home page?

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by caughtatwork » 28 July 15 2:37 pm

Probably not. The design of the home page is tied to a lot of the other menu / navigation changes, so it would all need to go up at once.

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by Laighside Legends » 29 July 15 11:37 pm

I notice you only have two of the search options on there - that is probably all that is needed but I noticed there is nothing but empty space on either side. Is it worth having "search by cache name" and "search by coords" on there to? (and/or perhaps a link to "more search options" to take to the search page outlined in the other thread?)

I also hope you haven't forgotten the "What is geocaching?" for the newbies that know nothing about caching.

One thing I did like on the current page was the random log photos - not exactly sure why but it makes the page look more welcoming, exciting and active (if that makes sense). I'm not sure if it's possible to make these fit on the new design? Background maybe?

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by caughtatwork » 30 July 15 11:00 am

I want to keep the home page clutter free. Too many options makes it too confusing (or so I have been told). So for people with < 10 GCA cache finds, they get fewer search options on the front page, but there is now a link to the full optioned search page. As you get more GCA cache finds, I have added some more search options. It gets more complex with the increase in your finds on the assumption you are more familiar with geocaching.

For the inexperienced cacher, find by name is almost useless as they have no idea what they're doing. Search by co-ords will come up if you're not logged in or you haven't set your home co-ords. This will also come up with a map. I'll post come screenies soon.

I have purposely excluded what is geocaching. This was based on keeping the cache page clean. As I now have an option based on experience, newbies can get a link to what geocaching is all about and for the more experienced user, it gets left off.

I will look at the photos for the more experienced cacher. I need to work out whether to line them up along the side or the bottom. This will depend on your screen size / resolution and orientation. As they're not core, just bling, I am in two minds as to whether to include them or not.

Again, thanks for your feedback, it all helps to craft the outcome.

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by caughtatwork » 31 July 15 9:58 am

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6RUXq ... sp=sharing

The approach has been refined with fewer pieces of information for those who are newer at the game.

A "What is Geocaching?" section (probably better known as a FAQ) is included for people with < 25 GCA finds (including people who aren't logged in).

A map which you can click on to show you caches in a state, then you can pan around.

GeoLocation is on, so if you accept it will show a map of where you were geolocated (or your home co-ordinates if provided). Click the map to view the caches on the map. Click the search now and you'll see your geolocated co-ords have been prepopulated and you get a list. If you don't accept the GeoLocation, that section is not shown.

Search for a Geocache will show locality, postcode and waypoint all the time. Geocache NAME is shown after you reach 10 finds. You can always click the "other searches" to get to the full gamut of search options.

The latest geocaches ticker (for your home state) are shown if you have > 25 finds. At this point I suspect you can handle a bit more information being thrown at you.

The leaderboards is shown if you have > 100 finds (arbitrary number).

A gallery is shown if you have > 50 finds (arbitrary).

In it's simplest form (newbies) you get the "FAQ", a Map and some search options. The FAQ is an accordion so you can expend and collapse at will. I think most of the stuff about what geocaching is about (including how to load your GPS or app and how to log a find) is all in there, somewhere.

I think that probably comes close to finalising the front page. Tweaks and changes can be added over time if we, the community, feel there is a need.

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by allrounder » 31 July 15 11:58 am

looks good to me... =D>

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rogerw3
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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by rogerw3 » 31 July 15 8:00 pm

=D> :D

Looks good and clean, very easy to navigate (at least for me!). Great job.

=D> :D

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Re: Proposed new home page

Post by Laighside Legends » 31 July 15 9:17 pm

Looks good! =D>

Just a thought: Have you considered using the logo that is on the forums pages on the home page? - looks more GCAish than just the little square one...

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