HUMANKIND

Site redesign - 2016 Update #1

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Well we've entered 2016 with a productivity bang, all hands are on deck and there is plenty going on behind the scenes here at the Nexus so I thought I'd give you all an insight into what's happening...

Firstly a quick recap - we began the redesign process in the second half of 2015 by first trying to work out what our users like and dislike about the site. We were overwhelmed with the response to our survey which provided us with a wealth of information, our community is definitely one of the best in the world and it was great to see how truly passionate you all are in regards to our site.

A lot of people commented as to how they cannot browse the site on anything other than their PC, others were more interested in trying to find mods quickly and easily, others just wanted the site to be made 'fresher' and 'inline with modern web standards'. We took the time and read through each and every response that we received, that in itself took several weeks.

We decided to aim towards specific goals that were brought up over and over again, the first is for us to create a cracking mobile / tablet / responsive experience so that the site can be enjoyed by any user on any device, but without this experience lessening the experience from our core crowd of users who still visit the Nexus via their desktops. Secondly, we want the site to be easy to navigate around with search deeply integrated with the main functions, and thirdly, we want it to look nice and be a pleasure to use. The list goes on and on, but you get the general gist.

We knew that we weren't going to be able to do this all ourselves and that we were going to need some help from a professional, so we advertised for a UX/UI designer and got a great response from a number of people. Each person brought something to the table but after a lot of deliberation we contracted Phill into the position. He immediately took it upon himself to read through the research we had already conducted (survey results, hot-spots, device statistics) and started producing diagrams and wireframes for us to check out based on his conclusions from the research.

Things were moving along swiftly, but we wanted input from the community and setup a focus group of 15 Nexus users to help. This group has been nothing but brilliant, right from the word go we have had a constant and thorough source of input from them. What has been great is that they come from such a diverse demographic that they represent a great cross section of the Nexus community, giving us an all around feel for what we are doing and whether it would or wouldn't work. I tip my hat to them for the time and effort they have expended on assisting us, it's not over yet though guys ;)

The focus group talks on behalf of the Nexus users. While we would love to include everyone in every stage of the design process, I hope you can appreciate that having 10 million people all chiming in on any sort of process is just completely untenable. I understand that some people are concerned that they’re not being more involved in the process, however, we believe we’ve done well by you these past 14 years and ask that you trust that we’ve got everyone’s best intentions in mind once again!

With the focus group onboard we went full steam ahead on the wireframes. These proved invaluable to begin placement of features on the site and begin to visualise the site routes that people would take to do things.

An example of one of the wireframes we used is below, please note that these are old wireframes and may not reflect the final layout / look of the site.



After the wireframe stage we worked on design mocks, which included things like fonts, icons, more placement tests and colour schemes. Again, please note that these are old designs and may not reflect the final layout / look of the site.



We’re now into February. Currently, Phill is converting the mock-ups into HTML, CSS and Javascript that our site developers can then integrate into our framework. This is a time consuming and painstaking task, as we test each page created against numerous browsers, devices and resolutions to ensure the maximum compatibility possible. But we’re also beginning to see the fruits of our labour in an interactive way for the first time.

Our aim now is to get the site to a stage where we can open it up to run alongside the current site, at first simply as a shell to allow you to experience it and see if it breaks when you try and do things.  But should this be successful it will then be attached to the live database and you will be able to use it alongside the existing site. Between us we’ll iron out any bugs that are discovered and hopefully come out the end with a product that is better, and that we are all proud of.

For those interested, I’ve created a small timeline of events since the beginning of the redesign process.



Any questions, please feel free to get in contact.

Kind regards

373 comments

  1. PonceMonster
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    Oh and one more suggestion. Sometimes the mod authors aren't exactly active all that much, and so, when there are questions and we simply add a comment, I don't exactly get a notification on that. I feel like you should add another notification section, that features all replies on comments, and multiple conditionals, like mod author replies or something of the sort. Please do take my suggestions into consideration, I know that I am not one of the many people who make suggestions and help you guys with the site redesign, but I am sure that you would understand my paranoia, knowing that these people might not actually have the same rational problems and predicaments that I often find myself in.



    All else...

    I've said this before, that I've said that I have many mods tracked and I can't actually view those in categories that I would naturally rearrange myself. Of course that's a feature that a dedicated player would do with his many lists of mods, and that would be a nice addition. As well as the option, to make various different image compilations, and mod compilations, just so I know what I will be going to do when I get my new graphics card, and get my pc connected to the internet.

    And obviously, if it could eventually be integrated so that you can download all mods at once, into a quick simple easy list. And then, if I could make my own categorizing on the load order, and also full backwards compatibility with steam load order, making any change otherwise, to be absolute, in all matters applied.

    And also, as steam is what allows you to make screen shots, I would like to know that I could have my images from both my nexus profile and my steam account. Of course, I would like to have it so that I get to decide which account is absolute over another. Since, my steam account isn't particularly mine, and mine only, I would have my nexus account contain all my photos, instead of steam. And also, a private linkage between accounts, which is optional.

    Anyways, not too many requests there, but I understand if you don't want to really take it in consideration, for whatever reason, at all. I just needed to get everything here, just so you can read it.
  2. moho25
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    @BlindJudge -- Not sure if you're still keeping an eye on this thread or not, but just in case...
     
    Any word on when the general community can get an update on functionality improvements in progress? Aesthetics are great (and obviously show a certain amount of these changes) but the site has long been in need of improvements to searching, tagging, and filtering capabilities.
     
    Example: I'm a native English speaker. I'd like to block any mod not available in English, as I'd never use it. However, if I add all languages but English to my block list, this will block any mod tagged with those languages regardless of whether it is also tagged with English. As SkyUI, has tags for many languages, it will get blocked in this scenario.
     
    Essentially, the site's tagging/blocking system isn't smart enough or customizable enough. With Skyrim at... what... something like 60K mods, it's pretty imperative users can blacklist everything and anything they know they aren't going to be interested in (or whitelist everything they know they are). Doing so makes navigating through all the remaining mods that much easier. Right now, I don't even use the blocking system, as I've had too many bad experiences with it blocking content I end up wanting to see. No system will be perfect, but the existing system needs improvement.
     
    When might we expect a news post covering these types of functionality changes?
    1. PonceMonster
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      Bear with it friend, guys at nexus knew what they were doing, they just needed the money before they could push for all this. Lot's of the moving around of things would have had to have gone about and it was best that they'd have hired a professional to keep things in line. There were definitely flaws at first and it wasn't always enough to complain but you need not worry about the things that go on about on this website, try not to stress about it, they'll get this website running anew, and you can certainly count on that!
  3. thinkpad4
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    that looks like a flat design, NO ONE wants a flat design. it cheapens the look of the site being flat. And why the need for mobile use, you can't mod on mobile so what's the point?
    1. DrCreo
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      Simple what if I'm out and want to browser mods for when I get home?
      This brings me to a idea I had steam allows you to download games on to your PC from your mobile app as long as your steam client is open on your desktop, wouldn't it be cool to add this type of functionality to the NMM to go along with the new site seeing as you want a more modern approach and modern seems to be most about convince even if its a premeium member thing. Just something to think about or maybe you could make mod lists from your phone or tablet for when you get home and open the NMM?
    2. thinkpad4
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      Then make a mobile app for the site, don't make the major users of the site, desktop users, suffer with mobile friendly buttons and awful flat design to cater to mobile users
    3. Franceska
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      I absolutely am crazy about flat designs, so I personally support this type design.
  4. PonceMonster
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    Seriously I do hope you let us organize our tracking centre into our own categories. Cause if you don't, all the worthless effort I wasted to take my time with this shitty internet trying to load a single f***ing page of a mod just to f***ing track it for Christ's sake.
  5. DavidJCobb
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    Some feedback, as someone who wasted two days rifling through the site's current code:

    Please use CSS3 flex, even if you have to totally abandon browsers that don't support it. I spent a couple of days building a mobile reskin for myself (which is unfinished and therefore private), and converting the terribad float-based styles and pixel sizes to flex and em sizes made a world of difference. Keep in mind that HTML was originally intended to help people publish essays and academic papers on the web, and floats are the latest in a long line of hideous and broken hacks that have been used to coerce that model into powering the website layouts we're familiar with today. With CSS3 flex, us developers finally have a tool that was designed and intended for making layouts.

    Also, the wireframes in this post aren't much to go on. Sites that try to show off ten different kinds of content on the home page are always going to have cluttered, barely-usable, and generally unpleasant homepages. It's an inevitability of trying to cram so much onto a single page. A home page wireframe is probably the least useful thing in showing off how a site will feel. Wireframes and drafts of other pages (e.g. search, recent uploads, a mod page) would be much more representative of how the new layout will feel.
  6. Gam3r87
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    As people might not like the changes i like this design html is what i like and if people rather like the old one you could make a button that changes the ui theme so people can use any ui theme to classic no eye candy to this version we have the moment which i think its flash i think and the new one which i like is html so everybodys happy.
  7. LavraRick
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    These new layouts showed here are great already! I can't wait to see the final edition. The managers and the designers of Nexus are competent, creative and most important of all, available to listen to our suggestions. Congratulations for the effort!

    PS: Sorry for my poor english, I'm brazillian.
  8. darkrazial
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    when I logged in today I was shown what looked liked a news bulletin from the admin of the site warning of a breech from a hacker back in july and suggessted I needed to changed my password which I tried to do but each attempt failed but when I tried to log on again I found my password was no longer working and had to use the forgotten password button to change it to a new one. did you issue a news bulletin about a hacking leak which stated many of the users of this site had their passwords stolen so they could be cracked? because I find this entire thing a little strange and unsettling

    dr
  9. xunknownx777
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    Damn that looks neat, I love it. Couldn't help but notice the part at the bottom where "Media" is. Under "New Today" the first thing is "New female character" LOL. I swear that had to be an intentional joke. A good one.
  10. Ethreon
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    ;">
    Spoiler:  
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    "I don't use this, therefore nobody uses this!" Ah, the generalizing logic is strong with this one.