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trevor
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May 8, 2003, 5:45 PM
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Dynamic Menus
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So we are now running this survey about whether or not the dynamic menu works or not and I am suprised at the number of people who say it doesn't work. It is supposed to work on almost all browsers. Could some of those people who have browsers that didn't work, please tell us what you are running? Netscape/MSIE? Version? Windows 95? Mac?

Also, I'd like to know what you meant by "didn't work." Did you find the page? Did you see a menu? Did the links not work? Did in not expand or collapse. Unfortunately I didn't have much room in the poll question to explain exactly what I was looking for in a response and what you "should" have seen.

In case you haven't voted, click here:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/polls/vote.php?pollID=47

Trevor


jhwnewengland


May 8, 2003, 5:51 PM
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Doesn't work for me in Apple's new browser, Safari. The window doesn't expand. Works fine in Internet Explorer, but I don't use that.


renobdarb


May 8, 2003, 5:57 PM
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I'm running latest version of Internet Explorer on PC... got zip-o on the menus... :(

-brad


voltzwgn


May 8, 2003, 6:01 PM
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worked fine for me IE 6.0 sp1 on Win98, will try with XP later


sheldonjr


May 8, 2003, 6:15 PM
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Workin great on Netscape 7.01 (expands, takes me to the pages) but the little plus minus box thingy's sometimes get messed up. (Don't appear.)


geckoee


May 8, 2003, 6:38 PM
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Netscape 4.75 (the browser at work) didn't work. all of the menus appeared expanded, but would not "close up" No "-" button present

IE 5.50 works fine.


thegodfather


May 8, 2003, 6:55 PM
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dynamic menus? what?


mattiem


May 8, 2003, 8:23 PM
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I am using Opera but not the latest version and i get absolutly nada


trevor
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May 8, 2003, 8:32 PM
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Apparently this menu is supposed to work with:

Internet Explorer 4.0+
Netscape 4.7+
Mozilla 0.9+
Opera 7.0+

Safari is not supported right now.

We may have to have two versions. A simple menu for those poor souls that don't use one of the above versions and a dynamic one for everyone else.

It's just getting REALLY hard to create a menu structure that does the job.


tradkelly


May 8, 2003, 9:01 PM
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Suggestion:

I was confused when I first saw the poll question, and the link. I moused over things, tooled around, got nothing. Then I pushed the link. Yeah, on that page, their dhtml or js worked (IE6.+whatever). Put in a snippet in that section or frame, or work in an IFRAME or something. Does it work? Well, not if someone doesn't leave the site to try it on someone else's site, and not if they don't have js enabled (on whatever version of whatever script lang their browser supports, if it's a js dyn menu). So, do some browser sniffing and put up an alternate that will, or state that it'll work with X versions and above but not whichever browsers won't! The approach to the question wasn't appropriate. Run a dozen different browser versions on your test nodes (ask some users, some of us webdev) and see what it looks like with screenshots or something. Not something you should ask 11,000+ users if it works with...

I'd use a framed js link page that expands as users push to expand sections, but it's not always considered good style. You're never going to be able to please all of the users, no matter what you do. Putting all of the links on the front page makes it too big, which I assume is what you're trying to get away from. Try four or five beta home pages with linked data instead of just the front (main, real) page, and ask for feedback, including bandwidth, OS, browser version, and results/opinions, and make a decision on it.

I'll use it nevertheless, whatever the interface. But then, I access usenet through a reader. Good luck.


tradkelly


May 8, 2003, 9:18 PM
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Trevor,
After looking through the author's support info for it, build an alternate page with the script installed for the left-side menus, and put it up as /beta.html or something, and let us try it out. It looks decent and should be stable for most of your users. What the heck. Really, there's not more than an hour or so of coding to put up the alternate front page with all of the regular db links, is there? :) I'll be your huckleberry.


crack_climber


May 8, 2003, 9:25 PM
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They worked fine for me and I am running Windows XP Professional Series and Internet Explorer 6.0.26


bsignorelli


May 10, 2003, 2:00 PM
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Works fine for me. I'm running...

Opera: Version 7.10
Build: 2840
Platform: Win32
System: Windows 2000

Java: Not installed

It also works in IE 6.0


hroldan


May 10, 2003, 2:21 PM
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Hi there, it DIDN'T work on my Mac with Internet explorer 5. SOrry!!


freudian


May 14, 2003, 8:44 AM
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I use OPERA Browser 7. It works fine with your treeview.

Andrew


pbjosh


May 14, 2003, 10:03 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if people voted that it didn't work because of great distaste for dynamic menus. For what it's worth, I think dynamic menus just suck.

josh


orangekyak


May 14, 2003, 10:23 AM
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In reply to:
Try four or five beta home pages with linked data instead of just the front (main, real) page,

This is clearly an intelligent user with some design knowledge (I like this idea because I agree, and I've been suggesting this with little support).

Trevor, I'm going to make the bold statement (and you might know this already) that non-designers don't really know how to design a web page that KEEPS new users. The feedback you are getting is from established users who have been able to sift through the current design flaws of rc.com to find their "my rc.com" within the site's current jumbled configuration (which explains why you've had so many complaints when random features have gone down or been postponed).

It's great that you are getting feedback from these hardy folks, because you're doing a good job listening to your established audience. But when it comes to designing an interface that will get new users involved right away, you need to listen to designers and new users.

I'm hoping to do that mock-up I told you I'd do, but I'm so busy I will not get to until next week.

jeremy


climbersaurusrex


May 22, 2003, 11:59 PM
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Well you can always sniff the browser's capabilities and do a little php magic... but that's always annoying


eric


May 24, 2003, 10:28 AM
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Seems like people have hyper-focused on the idea of "dynamic menus".

As someone who does, in part, user interface design and usability testing for a living I'd like to add that:

(a) dynamic menus only work for established/experienced users, not new users. New users consistently fail to navigate successfully. This is not true for applications that follow established patters, only websites.
(b) you will almost never get a comfortable interaction using just DHTML and JS. Timing issues, etc.
(c) you can do both -- organize it so that navigation works whether or not the menus do. I.E. it "de/up-grades" gracefully -- browsers that support it show a dynamic menu but others get passive navigation. But it's pretty damned rare to see anyone do this well.
(d) unless you spend ages doing (c) you alienate a percentage of users (like me) who insist on using their choice of browser.

There is a reason most very high-traffic sites avoid this kind of navigation. Years of testing have shown that the usability problems combined with the technical issues make it too difficult to manage. I've run my own usability tests (thinking that I might find a way) and come to the same conclusion...

I'm not saying it shouldn't ever be used, just that I think there are far easier, more manageable alternatives that would be more appropriate in this context.

Specifically I'm thinking of navigation that expands as you go into sections. E.g., At the top level you only see "Users", but when you go there you get more options. Pretty standard, examples everywhere. A lesson from Apple, etc.: Less is more. Too many options/links are confusing to users.

If anybody cares I'm quite happy to outline a navigation structure for RC.


ebrmusic


May 28, 2003, 5:43 AM
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In regard to the earlier post about the menu's not working in safari: They do work in the newest version of safari (v74). I have also tried it in camino, formally chimera, and ie for mac. I like the idea of these menus, might clean up the nav a little.


bluelip


May 28, 2003, 7:37 AM
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Whether or not they work, I would stay away from them. Maybe a better poll would be "Would you like rc.com to implement dynamic menus?" Having sub-menus hidden only adds to the confusion of newcomers and frustration of experienced users.


Mike Coles
'bluelip'


mathguyclimber


May 28, 2003, 10:36 AM
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Works on Safari 1.0 B2.


orangekyak


May 28, 2003, 11:22 AM
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Trevor, please listen to khanom. This dude clearly knows his stuff. If he's volunteering his expertise, please let him help.


ropeburn


Jun 3, 2003, 7:39 PM
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IE 5.1 Macintosh displays your treeview correctly. But takes to long to load and like some other replies in this thread, I just don't like it.


fightlikeagirl


Jun 5, 2003, 9:11 PM
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i have windows... but my computer's screwing around on me.

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