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A Peek Behind C9 Revolution UX

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As we get closer to the start of the Channel 9 Revolution, we wanted to give you a peek behind the thinking that is going into the new UX, how we came to some of the decisions we have, and a chance for you to speak out in favor of the direction of the next Channel 9 guy.

Nishant Kothary and Jeff Sandquist stopped by the studio to show us wireframes and talk about some of the new features. Let us know what you think and don't forget to visit the poll and vote. Remember, if you don't vote you can't complain. Smiley

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  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    the poll is closed already? O_o this post is only a couple of hours old

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    We'll get that reopened. Smiley

  • I got a little trigger-happy on the poll closing date. It's open again. Let the voting begin!

  • The thing about logos is that sometimes they look amazing close up but when you scale them down to the size it'll be on the website it doesn't work. It's good that B and C are exactly the same but just with different shading and outlines because they can both be used. I can see B on the website and C on promotional material.

  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle

    Nice new ideas Smiley I hope that the community really faces more into the front page (not just twitter)... That was really great in older C9 versions. Hopefully browsing through forums gets also improvements.

  • Bent Rasmussenexoteric stuck in a loop, for a while

    Looks great. On the video (?) navigation page (second screen I think), consider customizing the layout with an optional number of colums and video sizes for increased overview. And definitely better C9 guys - at least A & C. B is clearly the most retro. (But hey, why can't I choose my own C9 guy of those 3?)

     

    The design philisohy reminds me a bit of Live/Home. Quite nice and semi-minimalistic.

  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.

    Regarding the Sandbox: I'm seeing a bunch of integration with other websites like Twitter and Flickr and such in those sketches. Rather than creating a new separate sandbox area, would it be an idea to allow Niners to talk about and show their projects by simply posting a new thread in an existing forum, while allowing some sort of link to Codeplex or Sourceforge or something? If you make it a separate field, you could retrieve those threads that link to these projects and syndicate them in a "Niner projects" or "Stuff Niners are working on" thing, or something like that.

     

    It would bring the community forward into the front page, like you said, and that way you could still do show and tell on your project, but you wouldn't have to put the whole upload/hosting/separate section thing up. It'd just be a forum post like any other, only with an extra "project link" field.

     

    Regarding the nine guys: I'm leaning towards the latter two. It kind of depends on the final site design wether you want to use the crisp, plain look of guy B or the shininess of guy C. I'm not sure how well the look of guy C would scale, but I still kinda like him. He's a bit more light and airy than guy B, and I think that works well now that the site's look is moving away from the traditional orange and yellow that guy B still seems to represent.

     

    One thing that bugs me about B and C is the guy's hair. The antennae on the left side of his head are shorter than the ones on the right. From this perspective, they should stick out above the other ones. Like you suggested, hold a foam 9 guy next to those pictures and look how the antennae in the picture appear like you're looking at the guy from below while the rest of the guy looks like you're looking at him from a slightly elevated angle.

     

    Edit: here's a quick comparison mockup. Granted, you can change the 'height' of the antennae by tilting the 9 guy, but I still think the one one the right looks better than the one on the left.

     

     

    I like what I've seen of the design so far. One thing I'd really like to stress here is make sure it works. I still think v4 is a great improvement over v3, but the stuff like not having your post show up after submitting it, or having to revisit a thread you just posted in simply because it won't mark itself as 'read' is so incredibly annoying that it taints the whole image.

     

    Edit: while I was editing this post, C9 went down again and is now ridiculously slow. Editing this post by clicking the edit button didn't work: I had to click 'reply' to get the editor to show up and then "edit" to get my post to appear in the editor. I know Revolution 9 is about the UX and not about technical stuff, but honestly guys, this sort of thing can't go on.

  • Tommy CarlierTommyCarlier Widen your gaze

    What if, instead of using a rendered logo, you photograph the real foam Nine Guy? You get a subtle texture, cool lighting and realistic shading, and it doesn't scream Web 2.0.

    Something the 3 proposed logos still share is the perspective. Maybe changing the perspective could also refresh the logo. Try out different angles.

  • stevo_stevo_ Human after all

    I think the logo should be the 9 guys face, very serious, set in the middle of the header looking down slightly and dimly lit from above orwell style.

     

    I don't think it should be a photo myself, I can't see it fitting, I think 'web 2.0' style has good reasoning, just like any design can be poorly done, it tries to benefit from simplistic colours, shapes and grids.. something the web can do ok today.

     

    Edit; as for the changes, I'll just wait until I can use it, I think the experience of using a product tells a lot more than concept stills.. personally my problems with the current site are it being over designed, too many design elements going on, to much 'related info' that I never even use.. I think it should be a lot simpler visually, and related data should invade if I invite it to, as personally I never use it.

  • Christian Liensbergerlittleguru <3 Seattle

    The integration of Codeplex was also the first thing that came into my mind. The sandbox was used. It only didn't get much love in the current version of C9. Thumbnails, gone! File upload, semi-gone! Well hidden, true!

     

    If you could attach Codeplex projects to your profile that would be enough I guess. And these might then surface in an own forum, where you get the logo (thumbnail back), a short description, a title and a link... Maybe the possiblity to add comments?

     

    What do you think?

     

    @Channel 9 down: it seems that the servers are doing something over Seattle night. Since I'm here I never got these problems anymore. Would be nice if the team investigated a little bit into why C9 is slow in other parts of the world, other than US.

     

    @Tech: I hope we get improvements there too. There are just so many nasty problems, like the one that you mentioned, that should ge fixed. It doesn't impact the commenting on videos expierence but it surely does the forums experience. Maybe that's why it never got fixed?

     

    @Nine guy: I think the one on the right assembles the real one the best. The left one has some issues with his antennas...

     

    Edit: another common problem: you click on edit to edit the post. You change some text. You click on edit to save the post. You see the updated post in the thread. You press F5 to reload the page (just to make sure). You click on edit to edit the post. You get the post as it was before the last edit! I get this one so often!

  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.

    If you could attach Codeplex projects to your profile that would be enough I guess. And these might then surface in an own forum, where you get the logo (thumbnail back), a short description, a title and a link... Maybe the possiblity to add comments?

     

    I'm kind of thinking the same thing, only I wouldn't put it in the profile. The scenario I'm thinking of will let you simply create a thread like any other in the Coffeehouse or whatever, but next to the subject bar and the editor there's also a textbox where you can paste the codeplex id or url or however that stuff works in codeplex. If you leave the textbox empty, you just post a thread like any other. If you entered a valid codeplex url/id, you also post a thread like any other, only the first post will also have the logo and a link to the codeplex project, and any syndication stuff on the front page or whatever will be able to display these threads in a "What niners are building" list or something. Pretty simple stuff technically, but you instantly get the Sandbox back and you have user content "shining through" like they mentioned.

  • CKurtCKurt while( ( !​succeed=try​() ) ) { }

    I voted for C the one on the far right, but he does seem to have an issue with his antennas (hear) as mensioned.

    Also, PLEASE don't forget a view that shows comments on video's you have commented on but not read new comments. I notice a lot of people respond to a video only ones and never check back to that video (because it leaves homepage for one) and so there is never really a 'discussion' on video's and than a thread in the coffiehouse comes up ABOUT a video. Two converstations? Two places?

    The top 10 links (or somthing) in the coffeehouse should be textual link (like topics) to the comments on video's. With an indicator showing if you have ready them all or not (like real topics).

    Is this a crasy or usefull idea? Feedback's welcome Wink

  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.

    I like the idea about indicating that there are unread replies for videos.

  • BassBass Knows the way the wind is flowing.

    ++ on the integration with Codeplex

     

    But it has to be thought out more. The power of Codeplex but still somehow not make it a link to some external site.

     

    Actually, if not Codeplex integration, integrate source control into Sandbox? I don't know. We need some mechanism to make it easier for Niners to work on shared projects. Codeplex doesn't feel so optimal. It has no support for distributed source control. .NET + distributed source control is a powerful thing. They are almost meant for each other.

     

    Another really good idea IMO:

    Have some projects that you the editors of Channel 9 come up with, and then give prizes to participants or something.  Something open source that would benefit .NET developers. Think of something sorely missing from .NET but something that would not be too difficult to implement (not so specialized). Then put up a project and let all niners on it, preferably a DSCM like BZR or GIT because that's safer then giving everyone SVN commit or whatever. Smiley I understand though if that's too NIH.

     

    So, no contest for once just cooperation. Smiley Prizes don't have to big, like T-shirt if make 20 useful commits. Maybe a coupon $50 off on a Zune for 50 useful commits. You don't need a big carrot is what I am saying, but you should have some kind of carrot to encourge participation.

  • Joshua RossJoshRoss Drinking Ovaltine since 2004

    Is there any chance of linking to the <?>deepzoom</?> mock-ups?

  • Like almost all recent videos, this one does not work.  It is continually disrupted by the need to buffer more data.  Channel 9 has always been poor functionally because it was very difficult to find anything old.  But the video used to work fine.  No more.  As far as I am concerned Channel 9 has become an embarssment to Microsoft and everyone associated with it.  Note that the 10-4 episdode 29 Workflow Web Services Video is the one recent one that I have tried which worked without problems.

  • Joshua RossJoshRoss Drinking Ovaltine since 2004

    I haven't had any issues with buffering.  Are you on dial-up?

  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.

    I'd also like the Sandbox to be more, but for now I think it'd be good if we just focused on the basics. Once posts with a logo, link, and a tag that marks them as "something a niner is working on" are there, we can look at more advanced stuff like collaboration and source control.

     

    I like that idea of just rewarding niners for stuff, not just via competitions. Sending Jamie the Touchsmart was an extreme case, but a good example.

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    cool Smiley i liked C, at least in the large scale version, it might look a little blurry in smaller scale, but i do like the shading. perhaps with a little bit darker outline?

     

     

    edit

    oh you know what'd be great? personalized Rss. right now there are three rss feeds going that also partially overlap.. they also contain some stuff that i already know alot about, esp the screencasts. what'd be really neat is if there was a feed with all the content of c9 (and future 10/8 and c4f) but i was able to filter it on tags and skill level (possibly skill level could be another tag) and save that as a feed: channel9.msdn.com/rss/aL_/myAwsomeFeed then i could create my own feed or any number of feeds with only the things im interested in Smiley

     

    that would also involve a cleanup of the tag system but that's already planned as far as i understand. perhaps a inventory/retag of all the exsisting videos as well Smiley

     

    i also second the ability to see threads that you've replied to but id generalize it even more to threads you're "watching". some times in really hardcore E2E videos i dont have the skillz to join the conversation, but i still like to see how it develops Smiley

     

    edit2 @why shows page get so little user love

    you know why that is? becuse there are like a million shows Smiley and some of them only have a few episodes, months apart. if the shows page was orderd by the date of the latest episode, that would migitate the problem somewhat though.

     

    edit3

    going back to the shows page, maybe im overreacting a little, but it seems it used to be bigger.. also some shows that i think where there before arent there now, ces weekly(?) with adam for example.. behind the code with the daytime-tv audience? where is that one?

     

  • Bent Rasmussenexoteric stuck in a loop, for a while

    Interesting perspective on normalizing tags. You may also consider a tag aliases/synonyms where you in an ad-hoc manner can decide that tags are equal, e.g. { xbox360, xbox 360, xbx360 } - and maybe use this to normalize tags on submission - and retroactively normalize based on new aliases comming in.

     

    Another thing to consider for the future is tag taxonomy. E.g. "xbox360" belongs to the larger set of things "xbox", and of course have that work transitively. - If you don't do that already.

  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!

    Not read everyone else's comments.

     

    In general I feel the udate is a great idea.   I do feel thou a lot of time is being spent on the sites rather then the content, there used be at least a video a day but its doesn't seem that many these days.

     

    Would love the option to be to have a larger video window when streaming..... why not widescreen?

  • Luciano Evaristo GuercheguercheLE guerchele

    When will the redesign features be rolled out?

  • Luciano Evaristo GuercheguercheLE guerchele

    Wish comments be threaded the way disqus.com does.

  • Nikita PolyakovNikitaP Nikita​Polyakov.com | MVP

    I am very excited to changes and approach taken.

     

    PS:

     

    I might be one of the very few people that simply goes to the Home Page a few times a day looking for new content.

     

    Would be nice to see lots of Web Slices around this site Smiley

     

    -Nikita

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