How intuitive is OGS for new users?

Don’t explain my jokes man :-/

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Did I? :thinking: :man_shrugging: sorry :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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i didnt know there was a hidden menu on the left until i saw it on a twitch stream.

also the top menu bar is cut off when the window is too small (i rarely go fullscreen with my browser) with no indication that there are more links available. for a while i didn’t know how to access my profile other than clicking on my own name in a chatroom.

also, when you cut off parts of a menu then you should order the entries by importance. ladders and the broken leaderboards are probably not more important than your own profile …


My own profile should be at the top of the list, it’s the page I use most by far.

The other one is the forum.

That’s the two quick access I put in my browser frontpage.

Of course different users may have other ways to use the site (I m using the chat very few for example)


It would be nice if players could customise the home page.


I still do that, more or less, clicking on my name somewhere (in notifications, or the home pages etc) . Even when OGS is almost fullscreen or fullscreen for me, it doesn’t show the profile button most of the time on most pages. I don’t bother opening the Hamburger menu to go down to profile.

Technically, if you click on some empty space on that top menu bar, you can use the tab button to tab across to the profile button. It’s still there it’s just hidden, and tabbing can bring it into view. I still don’t think it’s convenient.


Click the top right notification button, your name is there too (so your profile quick access)

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So maybe that “parameters for how your go set looks” button is in fact the most used in the interface?! :rofl:


That makes sense. In case the implementation is complicated (I’ve no idea), I also have some icon ideas (assuming just swapping the icon changes the thing, which may not be true):


On another note, multiple hierarchical menus would make each menu shorter.


Games Gather Study Compete OGS User
Demo Board
SGF Library

I’m afraid to get 2 steps now to go to my profile. And 2 to go to forum.
But true the look is better.

I like that menu. Maybe “Social” instead of “Gather” would be a better menu title?


Or community?


I started using OGS pretty recently, and I’m not a heavy user. I had no trouble finding the menu. I did have trouble finding the correct wiki page to teach me what the review icons mean.

I find the way you arrive at a user profile page surprising, and it still catches me out, even though I know what it is. In the box that pops up after clicking the user’s name once, there are a number of things that are very, very clearly buttons. In that context, the users name looks very much like a label, not a button. After staring at the buttons for a while looking for ‘profile’, I remember that the name-text is a nee link somewhere else. I expect it to be plain text, or maybe a toggle.


When I first time tried go the game itself was much more unintuitive than the website.

Most go players don’t care about features. The “play” button is the only thing that interests them. The second is playing with a friend, hence questions about the menu.


I think the fix would be to change the user floatbox to appear on hover instead of on click. This is what Lichess does. However that has the obvious impact of not working on mobile, but that can be handled.

Also, typically a site shows it’s top used links or pages in a primary place and then hides the rest under an organized more section. I’d suggest this instead of just organizing everything.

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Most of the site has been fairly easy to navigate as a new user. The one stumbling block I’ve run across so far is trying my first tournament. Nothing in the tournament page tells you to go to your home page to access your game (in fact, every page tells you to go to the tournament lobby page). I ended up timing out of my tournament game because it wasn’t obvious to me it had started!


Intuitive enough
The only thing for me was that the first time I logged in (barely knowing how to play the game!) I clicked Play>Normal and it would “start a challenge” so I freaked out not knowing who or how I was challenging to what :laughing:
I thought by default it would get me to play a bot or something, I don’t know…

But still I think it is the interface makes complete sense and it’s not difficult at all


I see that this thread is quite long, so I will just say that I am in the camp of those who find OGS difficult to understand without studying the documentation, and even the documentation is not always complete or easy to use. In my case, as a user of OGS for several years, I will even state that accomplishing something new in OGS (such as downloading SGF files containing game analysis trees, or turning off the suggested numbered move patterns provided by AI review) is typically so unintuitive that I have to post on the Forum to find the answer.

You can see corroboration of my experiences right here on the Forum by the many postings and lengthy threads asking how to do simple things in OGS. I believe that if OGS were intuitive most of those postings would not exist.

Note that I’m not complaining about the bugs in OGS. I’m sure they are being tracked and prioritized, since it has been stated here that the developers are overworked. I’m only referring to how this site is seen by newcomers, that is, the design of the interface.

While some parts of OGS are superb, such as finding a game, getting a ranking, the beauty of the displayed board, the nice click sounds, and making moves with a mouse if one has sight, other parts of OGS seem awkward, such as the initial specification of the parameters for games one wishes to play (example: you can choose Fischer time control, but how to choose the three timing parameters for Fischer is a major problem). Even finding one’s profile can be a challenge, even though there are three ways to do it! And it is not at first obvious that a list of all played games with links is right there, in the profile.

And for strong newcomer players, the fact that they cannot provide an initial ranking is an unfriendly hurdle that they don’t experience with most other Go websites. Imagine a 3 dan player having to work their way up from an initial assumption of 25 kyu (I’m guessing here). Ugh, I’m imagining that would be tedious for the 3 dan, and unfair to all the opponents along the way!

Don’t get me wrong, I like OGS more than IGS or KGS, for many reasons. But being a friendly interface for playing Go for newcomers is not one of them.


*13k :slight_smile:

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