Wiki links - "access denied" and site feedback

cradle's picture

I can see this page -> http://kineme.net/wiki/KinemeWiki

This is the landing page, but from there none of the internal wiki links work from there, they are all freelinking external links:

eg. PerformanceInspector will link to http://kineme.net/freelinking/PerformanceInspector (as if it were an external link) rather than to http://kineme.net/wiki/PublicPatchReference

The pages that everyone will be getting linked to will simply present with a:

Access denied

You are not authorized to access this page.

I presume an upgrade happened at some point (perhaps to your wiki? or the markup renderer, or renderer order) which is nuking all your links.

It also means that I'm finding myself frustrated when trying to add new documentation, and if you're finding that people aren't contributing as much as you'd hoped, maybe in part it's due to this bug? Perhaps :P

I hope you don't mind me trying to give help here, it's just that my job was in web development and creating sites exactly like the one you have here, so I thought you might appreciate the feedback. Anyway, moving on :D all of this is meant to be conveyed in a constructive criticism approach eh :D

Here's a "use case" that is me, which highlights some things which could perhaps improve around the site.

Here's an (my! hehe) example:

  • Wanted to make controllable visualisations
  • After research, and with already owning Mac's, settled on QC for $ vs perceived gain
  • Soon started stumbling upon kineme.net when googling for solutions to problems
  • Always felt that I seemed to find pages on Kineme more through google than via navigation, as navigation 'key words' were not as consistent or intuitive enough as to just "lead you to where you want to go"

They say with user interfaces that consistent metaphors are useful, heres a few of the things I can remember confused me (and some of which still do).

  • Users expect login/logout to be on the top right hand corner of the site, usually with a "regisiter" or signup link beside it (this is just an expectations thing, there is nothing naturally intuitive about it other than it's the web 'expected norm'
  • After realising that the thing I wanted to download (I can't remember which it was, but it was beta) I realised ended up having to look through the revisions of the page to find a revision which wasn't beta, look at that page, and the changelog, to work out that it had gone back to 'beta' and then find out how to signup (on my 17" macbook display, all the accounts links are pushed off the bottom of the display, so I never see them in the normal usage of the site)
  • possible change: Pages for 'beta' releases could be styled differently, perhaps denote a colour/badge for beta releases and another colour for production/sellable releases, and yet a third for free releases (maybe even just default colour for the free ones), this is fairly simply implemented via adding, for example, a css class "beta" or "release" to (say) the body of the page or element, and then adding css styling as you see fit
  • "Beta releases link" appears at top right (once logged in) and also as first nav element on left bar, I'd presume a more consistent (non-duplicative) layout may better help the user to what they expect to find where

Back to my use case :P

  • Bought quartz builder (it's description fitted what I wanted to do, and the demo worked) after lots and site navigation trying to find where the product was that I wanted to buy

Please forgive my 'abrupt' manner of speaking in this post, I find that if I bog myself down in nicities I find it harder to get good feedback out of me! ta :)

For some reason in my head I always think of buyable things as "products", but whichever metaphor you decide on here's what's in my head:

  • "Downloads" is too generic a metaphor, unless you also are going to put all of the downloads that are on your site (including compositions, tutorials, etc) in there, "Products" or "Releases" would be good, but "Releases" would have to be considered more carefully in terms of whether it contained beta/free/release

    • I think you need to decide on a consistent wording throughout the site navigation for "beta/free/release"-ables. You have "production", "beta", "alpha", but presumably "community" or "contributed" would warrant as downloads (although I think clearly denoting they are contributed and not your own), as would somehow differentiating between which of them are "free" vs "paid"

I, for one at least, have already come up with a lot of ideas for apps and quartz plugins/patches (like the motion gesture one I posted) that if given more attention and work would warrant selling for $ rather than giving away. Perhaps you could turn your site into a sort of QCstore? Just a thought, I mention that because if you don't, and QC remains popular, maybe someone else will :P hehe

  • "Forums" is a relatively "geek" word for where people discuss stuff, it's fine if you want to keep that, but if you're going to go with the "big words" (lol) like Downloads, Documentation... "Discussion" seems like a nice alliterated fit (ok, cue groan, but I'm half serious :P)
  • Tutorials (text or video) would go under the documentation tab

So, I think making the least number of steps (clicks and 'visual' eye movments') between your home page and the purchase page is important, and from memory your purchases procedure was flawless once I got there, again I use the word "Products" here (for your sellables) but any word you decide on is cool, as long as it conveys what you mean to the user :) cos at this point they want to give you money, and you want to let them :D

So, after purchasing QuartzBuilder, I then wanted to find the documentation.

This is where I think your site could benefit a lot from top down layout refactoring "Documentation" link up the top is good, but there isn't the equivalent on the left navbar, I think either the links should exist on top or left, or both, but consistency is key here, I think.

I'll try and mock up a nav bar here:

[  Search Kineme.net ] (I might even put this up top right, below where "Beta Releases is now in the heading nav, a lot of sites are conforming to this layout and I'd never seen the kineme searchbox until I just saw it writing up this!)
= = = = = = == = 
* Navigation *
About Kineme.net
Plugins
 - Production
 - Beta
 - Alpha
 - Contributed
Compositions
Documentation/Help/Wiki (*see below this menu for my comment on this)
 - Videos
 - Demos
= = = = = = ==
Contact Us
= = = = = = = =
* Recent Topics *
blah 
blah
= = = = == = = 
* Recent Comments *
blah
blah

*I was very tempted to put "Documentation" or "Wiki" in the left side panel, and this could work, possibly about the Plugins submenu, but on further thought a better (but more difficult I presume) approach would be to have the wiki documentation links embedded either automatically or manually - but from the actual products pages themselves. i.e. each 'product'/'patch' would get it's own wiki page which was its documentation. This would obviously warrant more thought than the 5 minutes I just gave it though.

The trend on sites nowadays seems to be to put user specific navigation elements, or site 'segment' navigation elements in the top nav. So, here's my stab...

(when not logged in, top right navigation)

Donate | New Features | Login | Signup

(when logged in, top right nav)

Donate | My account | Logout

Another handy layout trick is to have top right and top left navigation, like on the google home page. And making your "Kineme" logo only full size on the landing/hope page, and making it smaller on all the other pages, giving users more of their real estate back.

So top left could be...

About Kineme.net | Compositions | Plugins | Help

... or similar (but again, only using "Help" if that's what term you decide to use to encompass "Wiki" Documentation and such, unless it is separate, it just sprung into mind - people do tend to know what a wiki is now though, which is good)

Again, as much time as I've spent doing user interface design - I'm not a designer per sé, and tend to leave explicit 'design' to the professionals :)

I think that's enough feedback for one post...

Back to work

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cradle's picture
Re: Wiki links - "access denied" and site feedback

oh, there's a thread for this already... hmm... my badness.

seems threads with more than one content is tricksy