Site Changes

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This week, I've made a few tweaks to the way news articles are presented. At the top of the page you will now see four 'featured' articles listed which I hope will solve the problem of important articles disappearing off the home page too soon during busy news periods.

I've also fixed the Older articles page (linked to normally at the bottom of the news) which does now show articles that have disappeared off the home page and not just repeat them as it did before.

There are also a few changes behind the scenes to make it easier for news contributors to author articles, upload images and create links between related articles.

In the next few days I will launch the annual user survey to solicit your feedback on the site and the your ideas on the direction it should take in the coming year, so keep an eye out for an announcement soon.

30 comments on this article

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By in Singapore,

lurve the new tweaks! SWEETness!

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By in Slovakia,

great news Huw

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By in Netherlands,

Very nice to have those featured articles at the top of the page, certainly a good improvement!

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By in Netherlands,

Nice changes!

Although I think it would be nicer to switcj the "Featured News" and the "New in the database", so the featured news and the normal news stay together.
I also think the featured news needs a header like "New in the database" and "Latest news", because a new person might don't know what it is (I was also thinking like "what's that!? until I began reading the text).

Anyway, keep up the great work! :D

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By in Norway,

^Good ideas with the news - it might be more organised. I like all the changes, especially the way we can now browse thru the older articles. Thanks a lot.

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By in Canada,

Do you think it needs a heading? I thought it might be obvious what it was :-)

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By in New Zealand,

Like

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By in Netherlands,

Keep up the great work Huw and staff.

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By in Canada,

Perhaps a header <h2> of "Featured Articles" would be more apparent. From an accessibility stand point it goes from <h1> to <h3> and sounds like the top news items are part of a guide to Lego, when they really aren't

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By in Germany,

What, the old articles go up until 2011, and not 2007, as they used to before? :(

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By in United Kingdom,

I like the addition of featured articles at the top of the page, thanks for your continued hard work Huw.

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By in Sweden,

It'd be nice if there was an option to turn off the "Featured" section. I visit Brickset daily, so for me all this does it highlight older articles I've already read/seen and pushes the very latest news/deals (which I'm most interested in) further down the page. It's a nice feature for people who don't visit too often, but for people like myself it just hogs space at the top.

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By in United Kingdom,

Is it just me or have all the amazon price alerts except the UK disappeared? It's like I get when I am not logged in.

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By in Canada,

@shaase, good point about the hierachy. I'll add an h2, 'Hot topics' or something.

@alemas, they are still all there but the list of months was getting a bit lenghy so it now only shows 24 months. Search results will still show them.

@Graysmith, actually, due to the modular way the page has been designed that would be fairly easy to implement. The difficult thing would be the UI to actually control what's shown. 'Drag and drop widgets' is obviously the most elegant solution but fairly complex to do and I believe surveys have shown that when a site does provide such customisation features hardly any one actually uses it. The BBC for example, ditched their customisable widgets some time ago. So, maybe some list-based control of the home page somewhere behind the scenes that keen users can use if they want to might be the way to go.

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By in Sweden,

Well don't break your back about it, but it'd be nice if you could enable/disable it from the preferences page like you can with all the news item types.

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By in Canada,

I didn't see this question addressed, but I may have missed it: What qualities about an article will result in it being selected as a feature? Is it comments, page views? It's nice to see long discussions I've been tracking posted up there, but it might also be nice to see something featured I might not have noticed before. Maybe a rotating collection of features?

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By in United States,

What happened to the new at LEGO.com above the New in the Database bar? PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!

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By in Canada,

^^ They are manually selected and will include things I think are important or that I want people to see.

^ I felt that for most weeks of the year it was not showing anything useful, however I suspect I'll be implementing something along the lines that Graysmith has suggested fairly soon so you'll be able to put it back again.

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By in Denmark,

^ Another request for a user toggle for New at Logo or Hot topics

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By in United States,

Good addition on the home page but I agree that a header is needed or at least a more clear title. I thought the new section at the top was for "set guides" as it says currently. Didn't realize it was past articles until I read your post

I also second the idea for having the "new in database" at the top. That's the first thing I check when I log in each day? Wld be nice to have the "new at LEGO.com" section again. It was useful

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By in United States,

I VOTE WITH WERTYJJ!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE BRING BACK NEW AT LEGO.COM!!!!! PLEASE?

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By in Canada,

good job hew but could you bring back new at lego.com ,please.

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By in United States,

Instead of going to LEGO.com everyday, I come here. So could you Please bring it back???

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By in Norway,

Regarding the older articles I would suggest to organise the articles in a side bar menu as a list of articles from the last and present year and the rest include under the link "remaining older articles" which would lead to the full list by year/month like it is now. The current list doesn't have to be then so long and will be easy to navigate. (Many scientific journals, which begun publishing in early 20th century are organised in this way :-) )

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By in United Kingdom,

The "Hot topics" section is a good idea, but my suggestion would be to move it down below the "New in the Database bar". I feel that would make a little more sense, as then it would be 'with' the news articles, but still near enough the top for people to notice it. Plus I like having the "New in database/SaH" near the top, so I can check them quicker and more easily.

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By in Canada,

Next week you'll be able to rearrange the home page as you see fit, the code is nearly done.

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By in United Kingdom,

There seems to be a small hiccup on the older news links. Right now the front page ends on 11th Jan, but the older news links starts with the 9th Jan, i.e. 10th Jan disappears (incl. this article I had to find by using the January 2013 link). This may be fixed with your new reconfigurable front page code, but I thought you ought to know. Great site BTW

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By in Canada,

Thanks, I'll check that out. I've just changed the code to make the number of articles shown on the home page user-configurable so there might be a problem with that. I hope to roll it out this week, along with home page customisation.

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