Ello "Featured Users" and Beta features
I was among the Elloiim who received the Featured Users email. Another aspect of that is that we're the beta feature guinea pigs, and a set of beta features just dropped. Some are good. Some not so much.
I've dropped my own CSS mods to get the native experience for this review (there are some conflicts with that as well).
Below are some big changes that we’d love you to try out and give feedback on before we release them to everyone.
1. Notifications on desktop are now in a pop-over instead of in the drawer. This makes them easier to access without leaving the page you are on. We dig it. (There are a few known issues with this in Safari that we should have ironed out later today).
Hrm. I just noticed this, few thoughts:
I like the red dot telling me there's activity.
I kinda liked the old way for Notifications ;-)
The popover disappears when I click on an item. This is a net negative. Being able to rapidly navigate through the side-pane Notifications was one of its really slick features. Losing place in the Notifications stream every time kinda sucks.
(It is possible to call up the notifications dialog with the 'r' hotkey, which helps a bit.)
Dimensions are too small. Wider and taller would help. With my CSS mods bumping height to 75%, or a
calc(height-[some offset]) would probably be better.
(Later: experimented, and height offsets don't work well, have to hard-code some value in px, em, rem, etc.)
As I've said repeatedly, Notifications and Search are the heart of a vital system, both offer intentional engagement, rather than simply following a stream. You're throwing frictions into the Notifications experience, and that's not a good thing.
2. The Ello logo is back and your avatar has been moved into the main navigation area. Clicking on your avatar will reveal additional menu items, offering you more of Ello with less clicks. Bonus.
3. We’ve completely removed the drawer experience on desktop. You now access your following/followers by clicking on your avatar in the main navigation or from your profile. We are working on new follower/following views (list and grid) so you can see more profiles at once. We’ll have the new views soon.
The drawer was slightly awkward, but overall, not bad. Given the option between drawer and Popover, I'l take the drawer, please. My major complaint with it was actually that the drawer would disappear too soon as the Ello browser viewport was narrowed.
4. The header bar (Omnibar and main navigation) is now always locked to the browser top on profile pages and settings.
I'll see how this works, though I'm not a huge fan of locked header/footer elements. More below...
5. Your previous state on a particular page is now being saved (scroll position, page content, settings, etc). This should improve your browsing experience in big, big ways.
Haven't really noticed this yet, but will see how that works.
6. The back button now works as intended in almost all instances! Yes.
There are three classic blunders in life:
- Never get involved in a land war in Asia.
- Don't cross the streams.
- Don't break the back button.
So long as the back button's not broken, you're OK....
7. Look for the “More posts” button! Now when you’re navigating around Ello and new posts show up in your Friends and Noise streams, you’ll see an indicator at the top of the page (next to the Omnibar) to update the page.
8. Post detail pages are loading way faster.
9. You’ll now see a small red dot above the notifications icon when you have new notifications. Real time!
10. There’s a new footer bar for utility menu items on desktop, including toggles for Grid and List view! We’ll be working on the footer more over the next couple of weeks. Expect to see toggles for list and grid views very soon!
Hmf. I prefer sidebars to horizontal elements. Especially on widescreen displays. Never enough vertical space. Almost always additional horizontal room.
Preference: Consolidate the header and footer to a single element. Preferably a sidebar.
/cc @chelsea @dcdoran @wtf