Changes to Brickset in response to your comments

Posted by ,

The survey isn't even over yet but there were some common themes in the early comments that I felt I had to address as soon as possible. Here's what's been changed:

  • Searching: The autocomplete-while-you-type clearly wasn't working well so that has gone. (but see below...)
  • Searching: You can now search minifigs, news, BrickLists and, if you are logged in, members, directly from the top search box.
  • Navigation: Hover over the tabs for 0.5 seconds and another level of navigation will be exposed. I have attempted to follow usability best practice for these menus, which for some reason are called 'mega menus', as described on this UseIt article. To make room for the wider search area, the reviews tab has gone and is now under More...
  • Set news: There's another tab on the set detail pages which shows news articles related to the set you're looking at. Try it out on 10214 Tower Bridge.

I'm sure there'll be a lot more to attend to in the coming weeks, but I hope you appreciate these initial changes. As always, let me know what you think.

Update 25th Oct: Search autocomplete is back! I've incorporated the autocomplete component from jQuery UI 1.8.5 which works much better than the old one and doesn't seem to be annoying at all! LMKWYT...

79 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Searching news and minfigs is definitely a winner, the mega menus is also something I like, it'll make navigation that bit quicker. Set news tab on the set details page, brilliant, that is an inspired idea whoever came up with that one.

Minor disappointment for me is removal of autocomplete on search, I found this useful, guess I was in the minority, I'll get over it!

Great initial changes Huw, looking forward to see what other features get implemented as a result of the survey.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Wow, this is good. Huw, i have got a problem. No more reviews under more.....AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Hang on, its back!!

Gravatar
By in Singapore,

fantastic improvements, thanks !

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I think these are all great improvements! It's great you can now easily search for more than just sets from anywhere on the site, and the dropdown menu works brilliantly too. Personally, I'd like an option to search within every database, and I find the amount of time it takes for the dropdowns to activate a bit confusing at times, but that might just be me.

Great improvements made very quickly!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Yes., ideally one search would return results from everywhere. Presenting them all on the same page though might prove a challenge unless the information displayed was an abbreviated version of that shown now, e.g. just news headlines or BrickList titles. That might defeat the object.

@atkinsar, '...an inspired idea whoever came up with that one': actually that was my idea :) Once I'd implemented news searching it was dead easy to show news articles there, by searching for a specific set number.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Well it's a goodun Huw! Safe to say, none of these ideas were mine! In fact, like a few people it seems, I struggled to come up with anything constructive in terms of improving the site. As for searching the news articles, I cant' decide whether it would be better to return the most recent news first, or as it does now, the oldest.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@atkinsar, yes i had trouble to trying to come up with something creative. Only thing i would say is the bricklists.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thank you, I found the news article I've been looking for this past week in less than a minute.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I liked the auto complete. Even if it was a bit annoying it was still very useful. The Mega Menus don't work for me:( (I'm using Chrome on XP SP2)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE8 and FireFox 3.6 are all working fine on Windows 7 here. It might be worth pressing ctrl-F5 to refresh everything just in case the latest version of the javascript hasn't been downloaded.

Gravatar
By in Brunei Darussalam,

Huw, is it possible to hide one's location when one comments? Someone just sent me a solicitation after checking out my details here on brickset...

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Cheers Huw, It's working now. I see you've updated the icons to delete and edit comments too. Is there any way to make it so that we can always edit our comments, not just for 1 hour?

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thank you for adding the ability to search for Brickset members! It used to be super confusing trying to find all my favorite ones to view their profiles.

I also like the ability to search for minifigures. It makes it super easy to find which sets certain people come in now.

Great job, Huw!

Gravatar
By in United States,

the "mega menus" are a great addition! now I can browse the sets I own and want even more conviniently!!! great job!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^^^ I could do, but it's likely to become problematic if, for example, people comment on aspects of your post only for you to go and edit it out. Then the conversation would not make sense.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thank you Huw! I've wanted a Bricklist search feature for some time now, just because it's kinda hard to go through 70+ pages of lists. The "mega menus" are also a great addition. Thank you once again!

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Hmmm... nice changes, but I liked the "autocomplete-while-you-type" search box(apart from the issues mentioned in my survey response)... :( Maybe you could make it an OPTION? Oh well, got to get used to the new location of "Reviews"...

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thanks you guys that auto type thing was getting to be annoying. I also like the new minifig search, I have been given lots of loose so you have made collecting much easier! Thanks again. The mega menus rock!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Thanks Huw! The new set features work great. :-)

Gravatar
By in Canada,

This is great! I wasn't really in to the auto search thing. I'd rather get the results and find the set myself. I love how you can search different things such as minifigs or members! These are great additions to the site! Thanks Huw! :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

Brickset gets better and better! Thanks for being amazing, Huw!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Pretty cool, maybe it's just my computer but the drop-down menu is a little weird-looking, too transparent and off to the side, I'd consider making the background solid... Otherwise, great improvements! Oh, something about searching I forgot to add: If you search Knight Bus in the search engine, it tells you that there is no set titled Knight Bus cuz it's called The Knight Bus, so please fix this.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Some great improvements, unsure why autocomplete was removed I found it useful.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I like the tabs now!

And I also don't know why the autocomplete was removed?! It helped me find sets if I only knew part of the name/spelling and search set numbers easily. Don't know what problems it had...?

Gravatar
By in United States,

The only problem I ever had with autocomplete was that after I had typed something in, pressing enter selected the first item in the autocomplete list rather than the search button. I had to click on the search button if I didn't want to search for something listed in autocomplete. Other than that, it worked fine. I do like all of the improvements so far, especially bricklist searching.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Please turn Autocomplete back on! I'm often guessing at set names or numbers and have found it extremely helpful.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@greyface, press ctrl-F5.

It seems there are mixed feelings about the autocomplete: I found it useful, if a little annoying at times. I'll see if I can find a jQuery autocomplete module that works better than the one I was using.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Huw: ...or you could simply set it as an option, so you could switch it on or off, if you love it or hate it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

After pressing Ctrl+F5, the new features work great for me. Thanks Huw!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Huw, I feel the same as you do about autocomplete, but I wish it was back. The new features are great. Thanks for the improvements and the site in general, Huw!

The review tab on the top disappeared and I can't get to the reviews! Help!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Alemas, Thanks so much!
@Huw, Why did you move it there?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Because there wasn't room on the header for 6 tabs and the expanded search area. It's probably about time I replace the brick-tabs, anyway...

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Huw: NOOOO!!! DON'T REPLACE THEM!!! They're so lovely! :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Huw, Oh, ok. If replacing the tabs meant putting up a review tab, then I am all for replacing the tabs.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@Huw please don't exterminate them. They look cool but if go's, what will happen next?? Minifigures of You, bluemoose, Martin, Dr Sinster and Yellowcastle?? Hay i have got an idea!! You know that little fat blob that sits next to are name, we could make are own minifigures of are selves and put them there!!! Hay, Im sorted if that happens as my minifig stares at me this moment....staring.....staring......staring with his chainsaw, a chicken leg labeled "human", and his friend B.O.B...

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Huw - I do think they need to be just reorganized, or maybe moved to the side of the page to allow for tabs for everything. The list is still off to the side and kind of disorganized looking to me for the drop-down - but I love the drop-down element! And I hated the auto-complete. It's simple if you know what a set generally is to find it by surfing themes, years, etc. It kind of annoyed me that it searched whatever auto-complete it had given you, not the search terms. I know you're getting peppered with questions, requests, complaints, etc., so I'd just like to thank you and the staff for all the hard extra work you're putting in to make sure that the site is the best it could possibly be for what everyone thinks. :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

I like the mega menus, but it is force of habit just to go to the actual page.

Please bring autocomplete back! But ONLY for the search bar! The Bricklist one was annoying the heck out of me! >:(

Don't take away the brick tabs, please! Just replace it with the "Buy" one and move that down next to "New to Lego.com", but you can change the "Buy" brick tab to something smaller, so the site doesn't look disorganized.

@Doctor Lego O'Brick, That is a cool idea, but now you're scaring me with your minifig.... :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

Wow, now THIS is awsome! This'll be really helpful thanks alot Huw, I hope my wish is examined! :)

Gravatar
By in Australia,

I liked the autocomplete for when I was looking for a particular set, but wasn't sure of the name. It has been helpful. So, I'm in the camp that would like to see it as an option that could be turned on or off.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

Great new things. The set is getting better and better.

Gravatar
By in Canada,

It's really great to see the site getting better! I remember when I first joined, the site was very low-budget, now it is an awesome site!
Thanks Huw!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

But thank you Huw for the new features, they are very helpful. Found a news article that i was looking for in 2 minutes!!!

*edited by Yellowcastle 10/25/10

Gravatar
By in Australia,

Wow. I like those drop-down menus, and the ability to choose what category you are searching through and the news on sets detail pages but I'll miss the top review tab. Every day I read all the new reviews from top to bottom and now I'll have make a few extra clicks, but hey, minor sacrifice for the improved search bar!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Great improvements!
Is there a way to import a set list from Peeron??? Brickset seems to be the best place to keep track of my sets, and I dont have my sets in Lugnet. Entering 700+ sets will not be fun. This would be a great improvement to add.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@ Huw (^^^) That's what happens when REDACTED delete part of our comments :-)

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I have a suggestion for the search box: Use the one Wikipedia uses. It has BOTH actual "Search" and immediate access to actual articles, and they're both split in the same search box. It displays the articles first and then a "Containing... [word]" field at the bottom.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@peanuts677, I don't know. You can only import from Lugnet. Maybe Lugnet can import from Peeron, and then you could put it on Brickset, but that would be very tedious.....

*edited by Yellowcastle 10/25/10

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Got an idea for the site Huw, when it says who owns who on a details page, maybe it can say not just the number, but the owners name!!

*edited by Yellowcastle 10/25/10

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I just noticed that the 'edit comment' and 'delete comment' buttons have been updated, it's only a small change, but it makes it look far less 'cheap' if you know what I mean (not that I thought it looked cheap before, just that it's better now).

*edited by Yellowcastle 10/25/10

Gravatar
By in United States,

@ All - Let's remember to try to stay on topic. :o)

@ Doctor Leg O'Brick - Your idea for Lego Avatars of the Moderators is great, though I imagine we would all end up looking like Spartan Cowboy Ninjas. ;o)

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Ahem, autocomplete's back, but the enter button doesn't work when doing actual searching (i.e. not using suggestions)!

EDIT: Discovered a trick: Quickly press enter BEFORE any suggestions appear!
EDIT #2: Oh, and what does "LMKWYT" mean?...

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

let me know what you think...

Gravatar
By in United States,

@yellowcastle, Sorry about that.

With the lego avatars part, all I can say is ??????? :O (:P)

EDIT: @Huw (update on article), You're right, it isn't annoying anymore! Neither is the Bricklist one, though I'm not sure what changed...

Gravatar
By in Germany,

@Huw: Thanks! :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

So you know, the set news feature doesn't seem so acurate. I was viewing the set Lupin's Classroom and noticed that there was a news article for it. Upon pressing it, I found somthing about the launch of the Tantive IV.

Update: http://brickset.com/detail/?Set=4752-1

Gravatar
By in Brazil,

Great changes, now searching for Bricklists just became a lot easier

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Ah, looks like the "rogue" news articles have disappeared!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Yes, thanks for pointing that out. It occured because the search blindly looked in the article body and if it found a match for the set number in question it assumed it was about that set. However in the cases you found the number was part of a URL in completely unrelated articles. It now searches for space+setnumber+space which should improve things.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Huw, That would change things. Does it search for the theme name, i.e. Indiana+Jones? I know there was an article when the Indy Legos were announced, so would it pull that up. Of course that would lead to problems due to the fact if it searched for, i.e. Star+Wars, it would pull the Tantive IV article Berrybrick was talking about on, say, the V-Wing Fighter.

Does this make sense?

EDIT (completely unrelated to above question): Huw, can you bring back the "Top Reviewers" thing from a while ago? I would love to see who has a lot of reviews up. Except it might bring up a bunch of stupid, pointless, unhelpful reviews by people who just want to be on the Top 10/15/20/whatever it was, which was the reason it was taken away, right?

Aggh, more long questions! Sorry! :(

Gravatar
By in United States,

Autocomplete works great now!

Gravatar
By in Canada,

I like that the auto-complete is back, thank you. I'm also glad to see it's better than ever now!

I think the brick tabs look nice. Sometimes simple layouts work a lot better than complex ones... that being the reason I stopped visiting lugnet. But I'll welcome any change that makes the website easier or better.

I'd also have to vote "no" to any sort of personal avatar... they're really more of a forum thing.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I never really got on with the old auto-complete, but the new one works just fine :-)

Gravatar
By in United States,

There is a problem with what members are on. Sometimes there is no comma between 2 names. Like mine merged with another right now.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Thanks Huw for bringing back search autocomplete in an improved format, now I like ALL the recent changes :-)

Gravatar
By in Canada,

i have a complaint to make about the bricklists. when you add a new item to your bricklist the number goes up by 10, and it is really annoying. could you please fix this huw?

Gravatar
By in Taiwan,

The autocomplete is a good thing, BUT can it be made so that once you click the item from the autocomplete list it searches that item automatically? Clicking the "Go" button seems unnecessary since the item has been selected from the list. It's a really minor thing, but having worked in website business development I'm kind of obsessive about removing unnecessary clicks.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ Sinfanti I have been mad about that ever since I first came to brickset. I think I put it in the survey myself.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^sinfanti, I'm now using the JQuery UI autocomplete module: http://docs.jquery.com/UI/Autocomplete. As a web developer yourself, if you know what options I should tweak to get it to behave in the way you describe then let me know.

Gravatar
By in Israel,

I hope you use my idea... (being able to remove figures from my collection)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@sinfantu: I found what I needed to do: the extra click on 'Go' is no longer required.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I love that you can search news now!!!!!

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Be-Burger, That's a good idea!

Another feature would be an abitity to add your collection of parts to a list. It would keep track of the pieces that are in your sets and would tell you what sets you could build with your parts. You could look through a list of all the parts made and add them to a "own" and a "want" list, like with sets. Also, there could be a list of sets that you can build including pieces from sets in your collection, and a list of sets including just your listed pieces not in sets. I realize that this would be near impossible to do, but I just thought I would suggest it. Thanks for considering all the changes, Huw!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Yes, I hope you implement minifig BrickLists too...

Gravatar
By in Taiwan,

@ Huw - I love it! Thanks for that tweak. I didn't know exactly what you needed to do, but glad you found the answer. I'm not a developer myself, I just wrote business requirements for the developers to follow.

Gravatar
By in Australia,

I like the new auto-complete. Thanks for not just putting it back, but making it much better in the process.

Gravatar
By in Ireland,

As Alemas mentioned a few days ago, the enter key on the search function no longer works if you don't use the autocomplete. So focus on the search box, type set number, hit enter doesn't work...

Gravatar
By in United States,

The auto-complete paired with the drop down selection is awesome. Keep up the great work guys!

Commenting has ended on this article.

Return to home page »