We had a group of go players talking about OGS yesterday in between the world cup games.
I have been using NOVA/OGS for quite some time now so I can’t spot (or remember) the first thoughts that a new user (not necessarily new to go) have about the site in general and it’s first impression.
The general consensus was that the main menu was too complicated. Now that it’s pointed out to me I see some of the things that they pointed out to me. Some of the things might have already come up in the forums.
The Main menu currently looks like this. I have bolded the sections I think cannot be changed and are OK.
- My games
- New Game
- Game Lobby & Chat
- Observe Games
- Support OGS
- Library (rename to Game Library?)
- SGF Collection
- Game History
Let’s start with “My games”.
People said that “My games” sounded just like “my played games” and as such they would think that under the button is a game list of old games(currently named game history). I would rename this section as “Open Games”, “Open Challenges” or “Game Offers”. Removing the ongoing games from this page could also work as they are visible in the profile anyway. That would make the page more clear. The open challenge list should be fully sortable with multiple rules. Moving the seek graph to be under the challenge list would also make the page look nicer. That way the graph and the list could both be larger(more wide that is). People complained that they didn’t understand the graph at all. (Can’t be helped I guess). There could also be reduntant “New Game” button on this page.
Then we have “Observe Games”.
Nothing wrong with this name in the main menu but some other things here.
Plain and simple. People want to see a list of games
I love the game thumbnails but they are not what one could call “readable”. A simple list of all ongoing games that can be sorted by time settings, player strength, move number and observers. The list would be huge as it would have all correspondence games too. Showing only 10 at a time (or something similar) would be needed. The sorting would also need to be able to take sorting parameters from more than one rule at a time. So one could first sort by time settings and then by observers. If there is room for a small board thumbnail then all the better.
“Settings” and "Support OGS"
Both of these could be moved under “Profile” would make the main menu a bit more “readable”
Next “SGF Collection” and "Game History"
SGF Collection should be moved under “Library” or "Profile"
Game History is already in profile. It should be removed from the main menu.
I have talked about this in another post already. Hopefully in the future there will be only one way to private message a person and we can get rid of this button
I have also talked about Global channels on another forum post. I will repeat myself here.
It’s completely unnecessary to have some of the global channels that work outside of “groups”. Having global channels as groups would make the user interface clearer and easier to understand. I think only Help and English channel are ones that wouldn’t benefit anything from being a group. Still even they could be groups… (I’d just delete the “Off Topic” channel)
It also came up that the small +, - and x icons that show when you mouse over the “Groups channels” should be visible at all time. Would make it much more clearer that you can edit stuff there.
As a side note I noticed that there is no longer “Game Lobby & Chat” button for unregistered users. I tried to enter “http://online-go.com/chat” url in incognito mode (unregistered) but it wouldn’t work. I think guests should be able to join chat and talk there.
Sorry again for huge post I can’t control myself.