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A Civilized Protest WEB-RING: An Opinion of the RB Layout Changes - Please add this to your favourites if you agree - we want RB to hear our opinions!


Update: Work Stats

Recently, I’m not sure when – maybe yesterday? Our pages have had ‘work stats’ added to the bottom of the column on the right. Very handy for all of you group hosts out there – I sincerely hope that makes life easier for you guys.

It’s nice to see yet another baby step taking place, I’m trying to decide if that gives me encouragement or if I am disheartened that RB has addressed that small issue without even commenting let alone fixing the issue of the image descriptions.

How’s everyone else feeling about this? We’ve certainly had time to familiarize ourselves with the new layout and personally I have to say, the longer I use it, the more frustrated I get.

I am continually frustrated by the edit button being so close to the mybubble link – it is excrutiatingly frustrating to be caught in this cycle of hovering over it, waiting for the mybubble menu to disappear then trying again.

And let’s talk about the ‘show full description’ button. IF the descriptions are to remain truncated, I would like to see RB adding a ‘hide full description’ button because once you have expanded the description it is incredibly frustrating that you must scroll down down down to get to the comments. That wasn’t an issue when the descriptions were on the right (another reason for them to be moved back there!) But if they are going to remain under the image then there should be a hide button which allows you to ‘unexpand’ the description once you’ve finished reading it – as it stands at the moment, it is incredibly unwieldy. At least in my opinion and experience.

There are a few small positives that I’ll list as well, because I wouldn’t like RB or anyone else to think I’m being unnecessarily negative, and certainly there really are some good things about the changes – it’s just a shame they are out-weighed by the negatives of the new layout.

So time for the positives:

  • love the ‘zoomtastic’ feature – it looks great, although it is a little bit slower than I would like and it is really only effective on ‘landscape’ style images – ‘portrait style’ images require scrolling again.

I think that is probably the main practical issue about the new layout – entirely too much scrolling and clicking required!

  • the ‘delete work’ and ‘add new work’ options in the image edit menu – very handy, makes life easier than having to navigate back to your mybubble page first to add a new image! (Shame the drop down edit button being so close to the mybubble link frustrates me no end!)
  • Being able to delete comments without reloading entire pages.

I have a feeling there are some more positive/negatives that I’ve forgotten, I’ll update if I remember.

What are everyone else’s thoughts on this matter?? You guys still interested in talking about this?


Feedback form and journal article stats so far:

Feedback Form

  • 926 votes
  • 347 supporters
  • 434 comments
  • Average votes: 2.67

This journal

  • 409 comments
  • 183 favourites
  • 2267 views

Update: Woohoo, a sale! Now I can retire!

Not to belittle the anonymous person who bought this one card from me. To that person: I’m so glad you enjoyed my image enough to buy it and I hope the quality of the card satisfies you. I really do appreciate your support!

But if this is to be an example of the new selling power of RB’s layout – I’m not in awe.

I’ve just made myself a handy 26c that will be deposited in RB’s coffers until I reach the threshold.

As I’ve been looking at the record of this sale, I noticed that the price is now being quoted in British pounds and then being converted into local currency (in my case, Australian dollar.) Did anyone else notice this change and when it occurred? As far as I knew, the production costs/profit etc was always quoted in Australian Dollars and then converted into other currencies as necessary (because RB is/was an Australian company). Does this mean that RB is now manufacturing their products in the UK or that the business is owned by a UK company?

Anyone good at global economics? I’d love to hear your opinions!


Update: A curious feature I just noticed

If you have text links to images in your description – those links no longer navigate away to another page but rather “pop-up” the linked image in the same manner of the ‘zoomtastic’ feature. Quite cute, a nice idea, but I’d trade it in for my full description to be visible again!


Update: Just a few thoughts…

  • I mentioned this a while back (don’t ask me where, when or to who, but I did!) and I just noticed recently someone else making a similar point – It seems to me the concept of hiding the descriptions is to discourage people from posting thumbnails and other images and thereby lessen the demand on RB’s servers – I say, buy more server space – you can take the cost out of the profits you make on our work! Give us back our creative freedom!
  • Anyone know the stats on WHO represents the majority of purchases from this site – users or outside visitors? I would imagine most of the sales are from other artists currently using the site, and in that case, changing the layout to make buying easier makes no difference because the majority of their customers are already familiar with the process. Any thoughts? Anyone know their sales stats?
  • Is there anyone out there who knows where to post their grievances and concerns with RB? We have all voiced our opinion on their blog and on their feedback from – I have even written to Martin who said: “Please ensure your feedback has also gone through the appropriate channel where it can be registered” – where is that appropriate channel? Where else can we make our opinions heard? Any suggestions? I notice you can’t bmail the RedBubble account itself, and clearly they’ve made the feedback form as hard as possible to find. I also left my thoughts on their other feedback form when this layout was in the testing stage and I received the usual automated response everyone gets. I want to know where else to turn – if any of you have any suggestions let me know. And of course, I hope you will make your voices heard also – and as Martin says “through the appropriate channels” (Yes, those are ironic quote marks!)

If you have multiple accounts – VOTE on multiple accounts

If RB looks at the stats of who is for / against / apathetic to the changes – and your other accounts are “silent” they will be considered in the for/apathetic group. So make your opinion heard, make it emphatic – and don’t let them think you are apathetic and don’t have an opinion!


Update: How long must this issue be ranked #1 on the feedback form before RB responds?

That is my question for today. Nothing else to add, as nothing else has been done. RB – your silence is worse than the fact that you just implemented this layout without warning to your users.

What happened to communication?


Update: The feedback poll is now ranked in 1st place

  • 911 votes
  • 341 supporters
  • 431 comments
  • Average votes: 2.67

Frankly, I’m surprised those stats aren’t higher – then I remember how difficult it is to even find that feedback form – no wonder there aren’t more complaints – no one knows about this place!

Let’s keep the votes coming. Don’t stop now just when we are making our concerns heard!


Update: Has the issue been forgotten?

Maybe it is just the weekend and people aren’t looking in on RB – maybe the RB administrators aren’t working weekends either. But I would sure like to see some response to this overwhelming majority of people who do not like the new format.

Personally, having been forced to work with it for the last few days I can say that: Yes, I am getting used to it. And I can live with it, if I have to. But I certainly don’t think it is the optimal way to display art.

It may be just my perception but it certainly seems as though the traffic visiting my page has slowed down. And another little pet peeve of mine:

The edit button/drop-down. It now requires two clicks to edit your work (but I do love the option for adding new work – that makes life a little easier). And the edit drop-down is far too close to the ‘my bubble’ button for my liking. I find I am constantly engaging the my bubble menu when I am trying to hit the edit button – then having to wait a few seconds before I can try to get the edit button and often this happens multiple times! Only a minor issue but seriously irritating when you are trying to be quick!

I know, I definitely need a 12 step group for Computer Rage!

Any thoughts?


Update: Baby steps, but it’s progress!

Good to see a couple of minor tweaks have already been put in place.

  • The drop-down menus for the print options, now display upwards instead of down, below the screen.
  • The artist bio is now displayed above the tags and groups links.
  • The film strip now scrolls without navigating away from the page.

Thanks for making these changes RB. Can’t wait to see if anything else we’ve said takes effect!

Now let’s get back to talking about the descriptions!


Update: A response from Martin

Earlier today I sent a copy of this journal along with a link so he could view your comments, to Martin aka Pilgrim . He responded within half an hour. This is what he had to say, and my response to it.


Damienne

Thank you for putting so much time and consideration into your comments and feedback.

Over the coming weeks you will see that the layout of the page evolves in response to feedback and concerns.

We are also very happy to see screenshots and and consider how others approach the issues. As you would appreciate there is a vast number of factors that go into the design which may not be obvious from individual screens (e.g. browser capability and screen width).

In relation to the testing it was blind A:B testing on completely new users to the site so it factored out the concerns which you identify. It ran over a number of weeks. The data was overwhelming from this group with significant improve in pages, bounce and sales.

We subsequently tested with repeat visitors and again the data was compelling.

One factor on all releases is that there will always be people who feel they have lost out because the previous site was optimised for them in some way. A change inevitably optimises for something different. We only make changes when the data says the net benefit is worth the inevitable costs.

Please ensure your feedback has also gone through the appropriate channel where it can be registered.

Very best

Martin


Martin,

Thank you for such a speedy response. To be honest, I was starting to lose hope that we would get a response.

I’m hoping that it is because most of this has occurred over the weekend and that now it is during the week, somebody from RB will take the time to publicly respond to the out-cry from it’s users.

I understand of course that you can’t possibly satisfy all the people, all of the time. And I know that some people will jump on the bandwagon for any cause. I’ve been on RB for four years now and I have never encountered anything that I felt needed to be talked about more. This is an issue that does need some discussion.

I look forward to seeing how the new layout evolves. Honestly, the majority of the people would be happy with this new structure – IF some alterations were made to the way the descriptions were displayed.

A few other salient points to consider:

1. The drop down menus for the product options

  • at the moment, those options now display off screen and require one to scroll down to take them in. Perhaps they could rather display sideways instead of a drop-down?

2. The tags, groups and comments

  • Should not be given precedence over the artist bio, image title and description.
  • Ultimately I would prefer to see the tags link to other images of the ONE ARTISTS work, rather than displaying artwork from all over the site.
  • It seems wrong that there should be so many opportunities for a viewer to navigate away from one artist’s work.

3. The photo-stream/film-strip

  • This might be better utilized by displaying a film strip of thumbnails that can then be selected if the viewer wants to navigate away from the current image. Rather than scrolling through separate images each time. This would encourage the use of tabs more and more likely encourage viewing of a lot more images.

There are certainly more issues that could be addressed, these are only the few that I can articulate properly at the moment.

Thanks once again for taking the time to give me a considered response. I’m feeling slightly less disillusioned by the behaviour of “RB” as a whole now.

I think the key to this issue is communication. You will find that your users are very keen to listen and try to accommodate the issues that RB needs to address.

Surely both RB and their users have the same goal in mind. Hopefully that means a compromise can be reached that will satisfy both parties.

I appreciate the points you have shared with me and I hope that this “evolution” will take place and this is not just a bid for diplomacy.

Thanks once again.

I am, your eager client,

Damienne.


Update: A Solution to the Description Problem


Click here to read Luke Griffin’s concept for personalizing the layout.

It’s a brilliant idea, one that I was hashing out in my own thoughts – I’m so glad to see Luke got to this quickly and has posted it for everyone to benefit from. Thanks Luke – fantastic stuff!


Update: Please voice your opinion and VOTE

CLICK HERE to vote on the feedback form.


I personally gave this the maximum of 3 votes, and I see the majority of people are doing the same.

RB has asked for our feedback, so let’s give it to them!

And don’t forget to share this article if you agree, or write your own. Even if you don’t agree – voice your opinion!


Update: DISAPPOINTMENT REIGNS


Fingers crossed this roll-out was automated for Monday morning and that RB will actually respond to our concerns with respect – and hopefully an alternative that suits both their business needs and our artistic ones!

Thanks to everyone for their contributions – keep them coming!



The Civilized Protest Web Ring


A Plea to RedBubble to reconsider the layout changes


There have been a lot of good points and opinions offered by people who have responded so far – not just concerns but suggestions for different options, including a very user-friendly (in my opinion) layout suggestion .

If you agree with what we’re saying – Please re-post this in your own journals along with any opinions you wish to share with RB and their users. I can’t reach enough people on my own, but if we all join together and post our shared concerns – perhaps RB will listen.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this and respond with their thoughts. It is really wonderful to see everyone taking an interest in this as it will effect all our user habits on here.

It is important for RB to hear our opinions, including our concerns – otherwise how will they effectively gauge the wants and needs of theirs customers/cllients?

So speak up, have an opinion and encourage others to have an opinion too. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with what everyone says – state your own opinion so RB will know!


If you want to re-post this, including the formatting – send me a bmail and I will send the content of this journal to you.



This is in response to the new changes currently being planned – and by the looks of it, shortly to be rolled out across the board – on RedBubble. Most of the comments I’ve seen have been centered around the same problem – the descriptions. I’ve been reading the RB Blog and the response to the proposed changes is mixed but I would say, 90% of the people are railing against the changes to the description section.

I took some time to write a fairly considered response to their blog, and I’m hoping to get an answer from them – because in general RB does seem to respect their users.

So I am considering this journal a peaceful, civilized protest – and in a practical sense, a petition for you to sign. If you are so inclined, please read my response to RB, below.

And of course, please share YOUR thoughts on these changes with me!


Here is a mock-up of a layout suggestion by Richard G Witham . I think it utilizes the space far more efficiently and still allows for individual customization of the description area for users. What do you think?


My Response



Dear RedBubble,

Thanks for the breakdown on what you are intending for the new updates. I have a couple of things I want to discuss. There are definitely positives to the changes but there are certainly some very large negatives too.


First for the good things:


  • I love the “Zoomtastic” style of enlarging images – it looks classy and professional as well as user friendly.
  • New system for favourites – is good – a nice bonus; not particularly necessary but still appreciated.

Now for the negatives


As the majority of people commenting on this new system have said -

THE DESCRIPTIONS ARE A PROBLEM


Many of us take pride in organizing our description areas into ways that help navigate our visitors through our bodies of work.

As you said, they have been used to “hack in” options that haven’t been available on RB – those options still aren’t available and the point of having the descriptions is to be able to personalize pages in a way that makes one stand out from the crowd and leave people with a memorable experience of one’s work.

As you can see, I have formatted this comment in way that is personalized and (hopefully) will have a memorable effect. Just a taste of what our descriptions are about.

It is certainly important for the site to have continuity, not only to make it easier for people to navigate but also to create a sense of professionalism. However:

it is also important for individual to stand out and make their mark – otherwise how will a possible customer differentiate between artists and make a favourable decision?

Artists pride themselves on having developed a unique and recognizable style. By negating the effect of the descriptions you remove the opportunity for customization and therefore make people’s online ‘persona’ ineffectual.

When people visit my portfolio, I want them to have a lasting, memorable experience which gives them a greater appreciation and understanding of my work – which in turn will make them more likely to purchase my work, rather than someone elses.

I very much appreciate the service this site offers – it allows me to reach a worldwide audience, makes creating and selling very simple and offers a wealth of talent and inspiration which has had a very positive effect on my work.

Change can be good, and as I said above, I appreciate the efforts you are going to in terms of keeping the website cutting edge and user friendly – but I feel this very large change needs a little more thought given to it, with respect to the opinions of your users. And RB needs to remember that their users work in a range of genres that require different display techniques – the interface needs to take that into account.

I appreciate the concept of integrating the product page into the image page. And one important point is to make buying easier for customers, but it is important to show off the work to best effect first – to capture a person’s attention before directing them to buy. This isn’t a market of necessity where people know what they are looking for and find it straight away. This is a very subjective market and requires opportunity to familiarize oneself with a piece of art/image before deciding to buy. And that is where individualism becomes important.


THE DATA


When was this data captured? I assume it was during this last week when the new look has been available for testing? I think the data is probably being skewed by the fact that this is a NEW look and therefore takes some getting used to.

  • visitors are spending longer on the pages

Of course people are spending longer on pages. The format is different and requires time to familiarize oneself with.

  • they’re browsing more pages per visit

Of course they are browsing more pages, they are testing the new setup, particularly the opportunity to scroll through images.

(Which by the way, seems to negate the new ‘categories’ system implemented not that long ago)

  • more people are clicking the buy button

Again, of course more people are clicking on the buy button, your users want to know how the new product/purchasing system works – how will the art look and how will one go about buying it?

Have you looked at the data of people actually continuing on to buy a product after having clicked the link? Has that increased?

I remember not that long ago when the decision was made to reduce tags to 8 per image, which apparently was going to make it easier to find images on the site – I notice at some point that concept was abandoned and we are back to using up to 50 tags (the other concept seemed counter-intuitive and personally I’m glad you abandoned that one!)

I hope these new changes aren’t going to turn out the same way. Actually, I hope you do end up abandoning this – if you are planning on rolling it out with no alterations made to it.


PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR USERS


We have put a lot of thought and time into our pages – Respect that. Find a way to update your interface in a way that takes into account your users – YOUR clients.

And please read this. I have put a lot of thought and time into this. And in fact, I would really appreciate a response because I think we need to have a better understanding of your thinking – because this doesn’t entirely make sense.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate having the opportunity to voice my concerns and opinion. I really do hope you take this seriously.



Stats for this article:


  • 2138 views
  • 186 favourites
  • 400 comments
  • 159 + people respond

and still counting

The people are speaking, RedBubble! Listen to them!


Journal Comments

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