UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 18 December 19, 2005

First Beta Launch

Here we go then. After months of working in the few crumbs of spare-time that we could scrape up we’ve finally done it and launched UX Magazine. We’re pleased with a lot of it but also know that a lot of work still needs to be done; a lot.

First off, we’re trying to remain XHTML strict and are avoiding hacks best we can but IE still misbehaves here and there. Annoying, yes, but the site works well enough to be released into the general population. There are certainly some bugs in other browsers here and there. Ah, the joys of web-development.

Secondly, We have a list of stuff to do before we can be certain that this site is truly user friendly. The tool tips on the Link Pool and the Feeds aren’t quite there yet. We need to make the preview text of articles clearer and some features are just plain missing.

Last but not least, we’re not happy. We never are. Never ever. We look at things and go “bah!”—out loud, numerous times a day. We just had to stop being so bloody picky and launch the damn thing. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to fix these things. So while we’re excited about launching the site, we’ll probably never be 100% happy with it, and that’s the way it should be.

In the meantime, please comment (right here) on things you love, hate, are puzzled by. We’ve probably missed shed loads of important stuff so help us make UX Magazine what you want it to be.

UPDATE (19/12/05): We’ve applied a nasty hack and “fixed” some IE bug which just won’t go away otherwise. This is just band-aid but it will have to do for now. We’re also killing off the tool tips we had as we were getting too many issues with them. Shame because they were damn pretty.

UPDATE (20/12/05): Latest changes include a lot of stuff noticed by our visitors (thank you very much).

  1. We removed the email link from all our commenter’s. Now only a web link will be applied, if entered. (noticed by Alex Casanova)
  2. Fixed the home page a bit, still needs work though. Added the TextPattern credits (question asked by Roshambo)
  3. Changed the tabindex on the comment forms. Now it works as it should. (thanks Greg)
  4. The last update info in the SnapShot box on the Home page, now displays the actual last update time, including the comments.
  5. And last but not least, it seems Del.icio.us is back up, so now you can also see our Link Pool list on the home Page.

UPDATE (20/12/05) Part Deux: Got some new tabs done as the older ones where accused of being, well, rather crap. You can check out their dark chromed goodness by look at the top bar; ooh, shiny… CMD fixed some CSS stuff I broke while hacking away to get IE to bloody work. He also added a smooooth “back to top” at the bottom of every article. We’re working on a better way of integrating that into the design.

UPDATE (21/12/05): We’ve merged the search and tabs and fixed some issues in the process. With Christmas approaching fast, we’re scrambling to fix as much as possible before we’re all off for the holidays. IE unfortunately still misbehaves. The feedback and exposure we’ve been getting has been tremendous, which kind of freaks me out because there’s still so much to do. It’s 4am, I’m going to bed. Thanks for dropping by.

UPDATE (23/12/05): We’ve been very busy trying to get most of your comments into our layout. All of your remarks, complaints and praises have been very helpful. So to keep this note short, here’s what we’ve done so far:

  1. We’ve cleaned up our CSS. If anyone tries to validate it, they will get an error. It’s an ugly hack we’ve added, but will get rid of it shortly.
  2. We added more informative page titles.
  3. We finalized the “tab” & “search” design.
  4. We removed the horizontal scroll bar. The full fix will come when we get around to restructuring the whole site… Should be right after Xmas holidays.

 

UPDATE (23/12/05) Part Deux: Just got around to changing the descriptive text on all articles. The excerpt is now properly displayed.
Also please forgive us if you’ve been receiving one-too-many RSS updates on our articles. We’ve been fidgeting with the Feed a bit… until we get things sorted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

User Profile

UX Magazine was created to be a central, one-stop resource for everything related to user experience. Our primary goal is to provide a steady stream of current, informative, and credible information about UX and related fields to enhance the professional and creative lives of UX practitioners and those exploring the field. Our content is driven and created by an impressive roster of experienced professionals who work in all areas of UX and cover the field from diverse angles and perspectives.

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Comments

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Well, it just seems that our initial launch not only has been delayed by a week (we were supposed to have launched on Dec 11th) but it also has been plagued by third party outages.

Del.icio.us has been playing up on us throughout the past week, and while they seemed to have everything under control on Friday, they have plunged this morning. Read more about their server hiccups here .

On our part, we’re doing the best we can to get UX Magazine rolling, but it seems it’ll take a bit longer than expected before we remove the BETA tag. Please don’t hesitate to write in your thoughts, ideas and any bugs you find (surely you will)...

Feel free to contact us directly at info(at)uxmag.com or post directly using the comment form. We’re expecting to hear form you…

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Good luck getting ahead with your project. We’ll certainly miss Projectneo, but I have a feeling, UXMag is going to be something that will really fill some gaps on the web today! All the best of luck!

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The site looks excellent, stil no bugs but I’m on a pc cause my mac’s hard drive died on me. I will test it on some browsers on a mac and post any bugs that I’ll found. One thing only. I don’t quite like the fact that the articles are so close on the left edge of the browser, from my point of view it needs a bit more space, but that’s just me.

Anyways, I just love the site, but I’ll miss the blue colour of projectneo. Awesome stuff, keep up the good work.

Best wishes,
Dimitris

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Open in new window? Why i have to check this everytime? I think you must turn it to default.

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KALEV: It should keep your preferences in a cookie. As for the anchor attribute “target”, in XHTML 1.0 Strict it is obsolete, so we use a custom script for all our external links, you get to decide if you want a new window. You can read more here .

PS: I would like to ask all our commenter’s to also include their Browser (name & version) and OS they’re viewing the site with. It’ll help us out a lot.

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Looking good fellas! Looking good! All the best.

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Holy crap, I really like this design a lot. Can I spread the word yet?

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Just curious; is this site running on TextPattern?

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I noticed that the email field in the comment form on this page reads “required but won’t be displayed,” yet everyone’s email addresses are being displayed. Any chance on fixing that?

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I have to add my kudos here. Can’t wait to see the copy cats that are sure to come.

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Wow, great concept.

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Andrew Chai: Thanks Andrew, it’s been a long time since ProjectNeo!

Mike D: You can spread the word, but we still are in Beta and have much work to do… We’re still sorting things out. But any support would be appreciated.

Roshambo: Yes. UX Magazine is running on TextPattern 4.0.2.

Alex Casanova: hm… it shouldn’t be displayed. Will Fix it ASAP. Thanks for noticing.

Greg, Miko: Thanks fellas. It means a lot to us.

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Good luck guys, really good work. I am sure all the css galleries will include it.

Contstantine great surname ;-) by the way.

Firefox 1.5
Windows XP

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Very nice. I really like the way columns are positioned when u resize. I use the “open link in new tab” on Firefox for every link i click so i am not using the “Open in new window” option. It is a cool option u have there anyway :) . Is projectneo never coming back ?

Firefox 1.5
XP Pro

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Stamati: In essence ProjectNeo never went away. UX Magazine is the evolution of what once was ProjectNeo. It’s only natural to move on…

ProjectNeo has been upgraded to something more than just a design related community site. At least that’s the way I see it.

But you never know what can happen in the future ;)

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Lovely layout and look. Love to have you share some of your textpattern secrets, but maybe that’s just too cheeky.

Good luck. I’m staying tuned

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Verry nice! I bet this site could become very popular very soon. I hope your servers can cope with the popularity better than del.icio.us or Typepad.

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Congrats dude for finally getting this site live, its gonna rock!!!

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Great work guys. I wish u the best!

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This is beautiful! Congrats, keep up the good work

36
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What to say more? Beautifull!!!!!! Well done guys!

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I don’t know if this has been brought up before, but to first-time visitors, there is (as in my case, but I figured it out) some confusion with the little icons on article blocks on the homepage. The green ”+” looks like it’s meant to add something… the “X” looks like it’s supposed to close something, the ”=”... well… I don’t know.

I think the design is well-done and extremely appealing, but being a UX site, I would have expected more clear icons, as the ”+” and “X” boxes are already substantiated GUI elements to many users.

And not to be nit-picky (seriously, I love the work you’ve all done) but the tooltip hover on the linkpool can be downright confusing. Hovering over a link obscures ‘exactly’ the link below it, which makes it feel like hovering on that item actually ‘changed’ another item. In this case, I would recommend off-setting that tooltip so it only slightly obscures, but still reveals the items around it.

Again, I hate to be critical on this, but I thought I’d pass along my thoughts.

Great work, guys.

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My first post was on a laptop running Windows XP with a 1024×768 screen resolution, not I am on Mac OS X with Safari and the site rocks… Excellent work.

This is the new projectneo, UX Mag rocks!

My best,
Dimitris

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Thanks for all the great feedback. This is very much an open beta so we’re really appreciating all the info you’re sending our way. Still lot’s to do…

Jay Jones: You’re spot on about the icons. We’ve been discussing this for a while and I think we’re going to switch them to something far clearer like: D for design, T for technology, etc… We might also find space for a little legend somewhere. Well spotted.

Also, tooltips are gone, dead, blamo. We just haven’t gotten round to it. Basically, we’re thinking of replacing the whole sidebar (links+feeds) with a tabbed element which can show much more info, so no need for tooltips. Once again, good call.

No need to be sorry. The site is still under construction in front of everyone, we’re still undecided about many things—we want criticism! (Well, not too much.)

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Hope someday I would be able to design like this.
Waiting for your production version!
Ollanta Humala

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Congratulations on a fantastic piece of work! Well done guys!

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This site is amazing. Well done. The attention to detail is incredible.

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Good luck for this very interesting project. But the Internet Explorer/Win 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 and Opera below 7.6 doesn’t supporting the CSS Layout very well ( just the Homepage ). By the way nice design!

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Heiko: Thanks. We’re working on the site working on the current standards compliant browsers + IE6. We’ll apply work-arounds for older browsers when we’re satisfied with the structure (which we’re not currently).

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Alex I will promote your OnlineMagazine on my weblog, because I do like the idea of it!

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Heiko: Appreciate it, thanks!

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Great to see so many Greek names under such a beautiful and well crafted publication. Soz for been a chauvinist :)

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Horizontal scroll in Firefox 1.5; both on Windows and Linux. Might be an extension, though I doubt it since I only have Adblock and Web Developer installed.

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veracon: I saw the scrollbar also. It had nothing to do with the FF extensions. Just a refinement in our CSS swapping script. It should work ok now.

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Beautiful Site, I really like it.

The layout however, seriously breaks in Firefox 1.5/Win using anything smaller than 1034×947. The front page degrades nicely regardless, but the article pages certainly do not.

That’s a weird size to design to in general, and being that even though I use a 21 inch monitor, I browse the web at 1024×768, it may warrant some attention.

As I said before, wonderful looking site!

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Just heard about your new website via friend. The site looks good and seems to have started to create a viral buzz. Good luck, it should take off quickly!

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Well done and well crafted so far. I did not expect anything less from u guys :)

Keep the creative (or coding ) flow running.

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Looking good. I would suggest updating the TITLE tags throughout the site, especially on the Article pages – makes bookmarking an article difficult.

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Thanks for the comments. We’re working on fixing many of the dynamic scaling bugs as well as adding titles today. We’ve spent a lot of time reorganising our CSS files and cleaning up the content which should make bug-fixing much easier.

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If you bump the font-size up just once or twice the site becomes unreadable. Are you sizing everything in ems? Any absolute positioning? Something is not allowing the layout to be very flexible upon resize..

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How very nice. Oh my lovely CMD. You’ve outdone yourself again! Cheers.

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Brilliant!

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Hi guys! You did it again! Great site and fresh content!
All the best for UXmag!

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Looks even better now!
“Open in new Window?” box takes its own line. I’m not sure if that’s what you meant by removing the horizontal bar.

Happy Holidays!

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Great !

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Merry Christmas people ;)

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Happy holidays to all. Thanks for dropping by.

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Just to point out that I am on windows with firefox and the resolution is 1024×768 and the little illustration of the author and the most artive articles etc are now below here and not on the right side as it is with IE.

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Looks great!

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ok, I have to ask. Does it annoy you that Safari will not allow your search box at the top of the page to look like how you styled it to look?

Well, it annoys me.

Also, have you ever desired to style the scrollbars on a textarea or overflowing div?

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