Collective thoughts about the main menu & stuff

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
    - Profile
  • Settings
  • Support OGS
    - Library (rename to Game Library?)
  • SGF Collection
  • Game History
  • Mail
    - Forums
    - Tournaments
    - Ladders
    - Groups
    - Players

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 :wink:
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 :slight_smile:

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 “” 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 :frowning: I can’t control myself.


My concern with burying some of these options is that in the past when we have done stuff like this we get a lot of questions about where to find things. With a common menu to look through, I agree it’s a long list, but at least folks know where to look if they’re looking for something.

I do agree though that that list is getting pretty long and is a bit daunting at first glance. I’m not sure what to do about it though without making it hard to find things =/


Nice suggestions. I disagree in that I don’t think the menu is complicated, but I forgot my first impression when in Beta, so, maybe.

Why not naming it Games Lobby and chat page Chat Lobby? “Game Lobby & Chat” (although that page has the little seek graph, offers announcements and the like) seems redundant to me with “My Games”. And I think the main priority of that page is chat after all.

This is the only thing I came up with.


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Oh, I forgot! Maybe this area can be compressed a bit?

  • F.A.Q. only has the ratings and ranks information. I can repost that here if you want, just like @crodgers made the How to get a game on OGS post, creating a FAQ category here.
  • Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Refund Policy can be joined into one.
  • Contact Information content can be inside Meet the Team.
  • Transaction History content can be inside the Support OGS menu item.
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I would combine the “My Games”, “New Game”, “Observe Games” into a single “Current games” page.

A list of your own current running games.
A "create new game button"
A list of current game offers
A list of current games
The open challenges graph.

I agree that My Games should be renamed, but other then that, I must admit that I find the menu pretty intuitive and clean.

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What about organizing the menu options into collapsible menu sections, like there already are for tournaments and players?

The menu isn’t so bad but it could definitely do with some heavy tweaking; the issue is that the features are not properly divided up:

Open Challenges (both the list and the graph) should be moved to the New Game page. That’s what you need when you want to play a new game after all! I certainly don’t want to see it when looking at My Games, as these are not my games, merely games I may choose to play.

Also, the Game History should appear on the My Games page. They are after all, my games. As it stands it’s confusing to see them next to the Library. Perhaps they can be listed after my active games.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Main menu discussion