Roadfood.com Update

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Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 1:23 AM
5
I have lots of updates to share with you.
  • New Roadfood logo - We were never thrilled with the last one because it was a little difficult to read the text and it always seemed a bit contorted.  The new one is much easier on the eyes, scales better, and you may even notice it is in shape of a license plate.
  • New Site layout/theme - To reflect new logo and, once again, easier on the eyes.  I actually retained a professional graphic designer for the first time ever.
  • Home page searches - You can now search restaurants, forums and recipes directly from the home page
  • Proximity searches - You can now type in a city/state and it will show you the 30 closest Roadfood eateries
  • New ratings for restaurants - We whacked the "Atmosphere" rating and placed greater emphasis on individual food items.  Sometime over the weekend everyone will be able to rate food items.
  • Single Sign-on support - You don't need to log on/off to BOTH the forum and the core part of the site
  • Better support for lower resolutions on forums.
  • Lots of other little UI (User Interface) enhancements that you might pick up on.
To get the best experience, you should clear your browser cache by hitting ctrl+f5.

I certainly think the new layout is a major improvement, and I hope you share in the enthusiasm.

<message edited by Stephen Rushmore Jr. on Fri, 01/16/09 1:53 AM>

Jim in NC
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Re:Is this thing on? - Fri, 01/16/09 1:24 AM
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Got it...

NYNM
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 1:42 AM
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 I like it!!!!!

KonaErnie
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 2:38 AM
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Sweet! Thanks Steve and everyone involved.

jeepguy
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 3:20 AM
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 Sorry, i posted it's own thread over on OT, but i see a HUGE improvement! Looks great now, better than ever! Thanks Stephen!

doggydaddy
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 3:22 AM
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Looks great. I will now stop complaining about the unused space between the Rest. Search and the weekly poll.

===Proximity searches
- You can now type in a city/state and it will show you the 30 closest Roadfood eateries===

In CT. I can do over 30 within 20 miles.

mark
<message edited by doggydaddy on Fri, 01/16/09 3:24 AM>

MilwFoodlovers
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 7:16 AM
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One complaint-I had to log on today-Is this going to be the policy or only on an initial visit following the change?

Sundancer7
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 7:22 AM
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MilwFoodlovers


One complaint-I had to log on today-Is this going to be the policy or only on an initial visit following the change?

 
My guess is it is a one time thing.  I had to do the same thing with this update and the other one.
 
The new look is a lot easier to look at.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN


 

RubyRose
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 7:23 AM
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It's a great-looking format! 

When does the Roadfood Store open so we can buy our caps, t-shirts and coffee mugs with the new logo?

jaylhorner
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 7:44 AM
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Hold on while I get my sunglasses!... Looks good.  Like improvements.

buffetbuster
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 7:56 AM
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It looks great Stephen.....thanks!

LindaW
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 8:06 AM
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This looks awesome...great job Stephen and everyone else involved!!!

Louis
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 8:15 AM
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I like this format a lot better.  The white background helps tremendously.


ann peeples
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 8:24 AM
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So far so good-i like it! The only question I have is that I dont see where to click on to return to the home page...

Sundancer7
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 8:33 AM
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annpeeples


So far so good-i like it! The only question I have is that I dont see where to click on to return to the home page...

 
I had the same issue and I was advised by Rib Rater to click on the logo.  It works.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN



1bbqboy
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 8:34 AM
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annpeeples


So far so good-i like it! The only question I have is that I dont see where to click on to return to the home page...

you can click on the (license plate) logo  once more.

<message edited by bill voss on Fri, 01/16/09 8:35 AM>

ann peeples
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 8:38 AM
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Thanks guys-you saved me hours of figuring it out....

MiamiDon
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 8:39 AM
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Stephen:

No more logbook entries on the home page?

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 9:11 AM
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MiamiDon


Stephen:

No more logbook entries on the home page?


It's coming - I want things to stabilize before adding.  You will probably see something next week.

Foodosaurus
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 9:20 AM
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I like the new look....

Is there any way the home page can mimic the Forum pages?  For instance, the Colors and Header of the page.



Foodosaurus
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 9:38 AM
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braunsteinm


I like the new look....

Is there any way the home page can mimic the Forum pages?  For instance, the Colors and Header of the page.


Well!! That was strange.  Either there was something wrong with my browser, or you just addressed my request.  When I first logged on to Roadfood today, the home page was all white....

Tumbleweed365
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 9:43 AM
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Wow, just WOW !

Thanks for all your hard work.

What are the 'picture frames' on the left for?
Avatars in the future?

Lexi
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 9:51 AM
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Stephen Rushmore Jr.


I have lots of updates to share with you.
  • New Roadfood logo - We were never thrilled with the last one because it was a little difficult to read the text and it always seemed a bit contorted.  The new one is much easier on the eyes, scales better, and you may even notice it is in shape of a license plate.


Someone needs to upload the new logo onto the Roadfood page on Facebook!

Tony Bad
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 9:58 AM
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Lexi


Stephen Rushmore Jr.


I have lots of updates to share with you.
  • New Roadfood logo - We were never thrilled with the last one because it was a little difficult to read the text and it always seemed a bit contorted.  The new one is much easier on the eyes, scales better, and you may even notice it is in shape of a license plate.


Someone needs to upload the new logo onto the Roadfood page on Facebook!


Not sure if that is an "official sanctioned" roadfood site. You may want to check with Stephen before using the roadfood logo over there.




Ivyhouse
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 10:26 AM
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Congratulations, the site looks great.  Like the color coordination, even down to the member names; the new logo really pops.  And the addition of the home page searches is a terrific idea.  I have worked on web applications with a user interface architect and I know how challenging it can be -- nice job.
 
And of course, some feedback (!):
 
1. The frames in the Author column make me think that posters  can include an image.  Not a bad idea, but the frames take up a list of horizontal space and when they are empty, it makes each post unnecessarily long -- i.e., fewer posts per page. 
 
Can the frames be optional and appear only if the user/poster opts in their profile to use it?  Also, even if the user opts in, maybe they should not appear unless there is an image posted.
 
2. I notice in the top right corner I am welcomed back when I sign in (thank you!).  I am also welcomed in the Forum Navigation bar (again, thank you!). 
 
No need to welcome me twice, though, once is enough.  Take the welcome out of the Forum Nav bar and you get back 2-3 lines.

3. Nit picky, but you can also get back 1-2 lines of blank space between the top of the Forum Nav bar and the bottom of the logo.
 
4. There seems to be a lot of blank space at the end of each post.  If that is a function of the site and not the poster, the blank space at the end of each post could be reduced by several lines without sacrificing the open look and feel of the site, and again contribute to enabling more posts per page.

Thanks for your hard work, it will help me enjoy the Roadfood site even more.
<message edited by Ivyhouse on Fri, 01/16/09 10:31 AM>

NYNM
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 10:30 AM
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 Oh, also I love the color scheme! How did you choose the "caramel" ("butterscotch")? Good on the eyes.

the grillman
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 10:52 AM
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Excellent.  Nice work.  I enjoy the new layout and color scheme, as well as the improved functionality.

Foodbme
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 10:57 AM
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annpeeples


So far so good-i like it! The only question I have is that I dont see where to click on to return to the home page...

I clicked on the Logo, top left-  It did the trick.


Lexi
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 11:10 AM
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Tony Bad


Lexi


Stephen Rushmore Jr.


I have lots of updates to share with you.
  • New Roadfood logo - We were never thrilled with the last one because it was a little difficult to read the text and it always seemed a bit contorted.  The new one is much easier on the eyes, scales better, and you may even notice it is in shape of a license plate.


Someone needs to upload the new logo onto the Roadfood page on Facebook!


Not sure if that is an "official sanctioned" roadfood site. You may want to check with Stephen before using the roadfood logo over there.


I didn't create the Facebook page - it was there and I just joined it.  That's why I am leaving it up to the powers that be to make the change.

Foodbme
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 11:25 AM
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Had a problem with Quick Searches -Find a Restaurant-
When I tried to Search Phoenix AZ, as soon as I typed a letter or 2, other city names would populate the field and wouldn't let me get Phoenix to come up.
 
Otherwise, I think the new, more user friendly, web site is terrific and a great improvement THANX!
 

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 11:30 AM
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FYI - I just updated the proximity search results to give you a distance approximation to each of the restaurants from the specified city/state.  Check it out:

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurants/SearchResults.aspx?st=latlong&latlongid=795

Tony Bad
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 11:39 AM
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Stephen Rushmore Jr.


FYI - I just updated the proximity search results to give you a distance approximation to each of the restaurants from the specified city/state.  Check it out:

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurants/SearchResults.aspx?st=latlong&latlongid=795


Most excellent. When I first tried it I said great...if only it could give miles away info!

Now it is there.

NOw...I wish it could also give winning lottery numbers! 

Twinwillow
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 12:08 PM
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Well, I think I can stop bitching now and live with this new format.

Rick F.
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 3:04 PM
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I was caught completely off guard by this change, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. There are a couple of issues I'd like to see resolved or discussed:
  1. I have a lot of white space showing. That makes the page seem pretty stark; would some kind of unobtrusively colored background be possible?
  2. The photographs no longer have captions or a list of other photos in the same review. That forces readers to return to the review to view a different picture.
  3. The quick search for a town returns lots of restaurant images, but there's no option for sorting by distance from the town once you've found it. That would be a great addition.
  4. What's happened to the photographs I uploaded?
<message edited by Rick F. on Fri, 01/16/09 3:06 PM>

QFan
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 3:28 PM
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Getting better all the time.  Thanks for the effort Stephen!
 
QFan
Bonita Springs, FL

Greyghost
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:04 PM
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I agree with Rick F...there is a lot of blank white space on the front page. Looks like a novice 10 year old with no talent for art designed it. Interior pages look good for the most part, I don't know...but for me the jury is still out on the new format.
 
So y'all paid someone to do this? I hope it was not too much. Hopefully you only paid for the technical part and not for the graphics. I am sure many Roadfooders and their children would have been happy to design a front page with good design principles.
 
What happened to the blank picture frames in the forum section?  I guess it looked lame to you as well.

HotDogHead
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:10 PM
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Love the new look.  The logo is so cool; very retro.  Great job!!

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:15 PM
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Rick F.


I was caught completely off guard by this change, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. There are a couple of issues I'd like to see resolved or discussed:
  1. I have a lot of white space showing. That makes the page seem pretty stark; would some kind of unobtrusively colored background be possible?
  2. The photographs no longer have captions or a list of other photos in the same review. That forces readers to return to the review to view a different picture.
  3. The quick search for a town returns lots of restaurant images, but there's no option for sorting by distance from the town once you've found it. That would be a great addition.
  4. What's happened to the photographs I uploaded?



Rick, I am not experiencing any of the things you are talking about.  Are you talking about the forums or the main part of the site?  The photos haven't changed...The captions are still there...No photos have been deleted.  You can access your Insider photos by clicking on "My Roadfood"

californyguy
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:16 PM
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THIS LOOKS GOOD, AND I HATE CHANGE TOO! 

Sundancer7
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:17 PM
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Greyghost


I agree with Rick F...there is a lot of blank white space on the front page. Looks like a novice 10 year old with no talent for art designed it. Interior pages look good for the most part, I don't know...but for me the jury is still out on the new format.
 
So y'all paid someone to do this? I hope it was not too much. Hopefully you only paid for the technical part and not for the graphics. I am sure many Roadfooders and their children would have been happy to design a front page with good design principles.
 
What happened to the blank picture frames in the forum section?  I guess it looked lame to you as well.

 
I am glad you liked it.  Thanks for posting on this free site.
 
Respectfully and sincerely
 
Paul E. Smith
Moderator
Knoxville, TN



Greyghost
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:27 PM
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Sundancer,
 
The interior pages are good, and the technical advancements are good, but the front page is a design mess.
Perhaps it has not been finished yet...I hope that is the case

Foodosaurus
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:33 PM
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Rick F.


I was caught completely off guard by this change, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. There are a couple of issues I'd like to see resolved or discussed:
  1. I have a lot of white space showing. That makes the page seem pretty stark; would some kind of unobtrusively colored background be possible?
  2. The photographs no longer have captions or a list of other photos in the same review. That forces readers to return to the review to view a different picture.
  3. The quick search for a town returns lots of restaurant images, but there's no option for sorting by distance from the town once you've found it. That would be a great addition.
  4. What's happened to the photographs I uploaded?



Hitting CTRL F5 helps....  But you also need to clear cookies and cache from your internet browser.

I had the same problems....  No worries!

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:39 PM
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I don't understand, Greyghost.  Could you give an example of where the front page is a mess?  I'm not seeing it.

Foodbme
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:47 PM
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Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle


I don't understand, Greyghost.  Could you give an example of where the front page is a mess?  I'm not seeing it.

I'm with you BB & SB- I think the front page is terrific. Maybe I'm not as astute or Tech Savvy as the grey ghost


Sundancer7
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:48 PM
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Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle


I don't understand, Greyghost.  Could you give an example of where the front page is a mess?  I'm not seeing it.

Neither am I.  I believe this is a comment from a friend of roadfood that does not understand the mission of Roadfood.
 
Like you Bruce, I believe the home page has been major league updated
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

billyboy
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:51 PM
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Stephen, love the new look!!  I was wondering if there is a way to pull up a member's profile and click on an "all posts" option as there was before.  I liked how the posts were sorted by forums in the style that the "All Forums" page is laid out.  Hope that makes sense.  Just makes it easier if I want to find old Trip Reports and such that go back further than the most recent 100.

Also, I seem to be having problems with formatting when trying to do Trip Reports.  My pics and text look fine in the preview mode, but when I post them, they seem to be justified all the way to the left and/or right.  The text seems to be wrapped around the photos.  Even though the text is displayed on the top of the photo in preview mode (as I would like it to be), when I post it, it gets all wonky and looks weird.  Any suggestions??  

Thanks!!

Tony Bad
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 4:55 PM
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Greyghost


Sundancer,
 
The interior pages are good, and the technical advancements are good, but the front page is a design mess.
Perhaps it has not been finished yet...I hope that is the case


What browser are you using? It looks good to me on everything I have except Safari, where much of formatting appears missing..

Here is what I see with Safari...

 

CajunKing
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:19 PM
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Stephen,

THANK YOU!!

The new layout is awesome, I love the caramel color and the new logo.

I know you have taken a lot of flack about the changes, but you should know how much we do appreciate ALL your hard work over the past months, getting us ready for the changes.

THANK YOU


The Travelin Man
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:21 PM
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Stephen Rushmore Jr.

  • Home page searches - You can now search restaurants, forums and recipes directly from the home page
  • Proximity searches - You can now type in a city/state and it will show you the 30 closest Roadfood eateries


The site looks great, overall. 

The above-named upgrades are wonderful enhancements.  I cannot tell you how often I've looked at a state listing of reviewed restaurants for an area that I do not know well and wondered how far a certain town was from where I would be traveling.  It usually required a number of clicks to pull up the map, and then adjust the map to a wide enough view to get the proper perspective, etc.  This is fantastic.

Also, the new search navigation from the home page is a nice feature for new users, I think.  It is also towards the top of the page and emphasized, so that folks know to check it out.

One new feature that you don't seem to mention is that the dates on reviews seem to be back - at least on user-submitted reviews.  It was never a huge issue for me, but I sure understood why other people thought that this was useful (and missing information).  I am sure that there are a few more things you are working on - and tweaks will continue, but if you are building a wish list for future enhancements, perhaps on each review, you can add a link to other reviews submitted by the same reviewer - or maybe something could be added to their profile page (with a direct link).  I don't want to belabor the oft-discussed point of people trusting/not trusting user-submitted reviews, but, perhaps readers might be able to make a more balanced decision on the value of the review if they can put things into perspective of other places the same reviewer enjoyed/didn't like?  Along the same line, I do like the easy distinction that one can make between a review done by a member of the editorial staff and user-submitted reviews.  In my mind, there is a distinct difference.

Thanks, again, for all the hard work you've put into this project. 

Nancypalooza
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:23 PM
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Tony--that is also what I saw first thing this morning but I leave Safari open, so I cleared the history, quit Safari, reopened it, and it looks more like the IE version--not exactly the same but very close.  Greyghost if that's your problem, give that a try.

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:38 PM
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If you are seeing all white, then it means the browser isn't loading the style sheets.  Hitting ctrl+f5 will solve the problem in most browsers.  I haven't used safari, but clearing the cache will accomplish the same thing.

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:39 PM
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but if you are building a wish list for future enhancements, perhaps on each review, you can add a link to other reviews submitted by the same reviewer - or maybe something could be added to their profile page (with a direct link). I don't want to belabor the oft-discussed point of people trusting/not trusting user-submitted reviews, but, perhaps readers might be able to make a more balanced decision on the value of the review if they can put things into perspective of other places the same reviewer enjoyed/didn't like?

Great suggestions - I will add it to the list.

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:39 PM
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One other possibility: we use IE7, and our aging eyes have convinced us to keep Text Size set to Largest.  This WILL make the front page look like a mess: things smoosh on top of each other.  If you do the same thing know that if you set text size to medium or smaller everything will look great.

Greyghost
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:41 PM
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Sorry, I can't clear my cookies now as I need them for a transaction I am doing now. If what I see now on the front page is the final design, it is poor design, period. I see a lot of wasted white space with poor positioning of the categories and unnecessary scrolling for users. Sorry to disappoint everyone but I am not a sycophant, never was and never will be one...I call them as I see them.
 
Perhaps I am looking at a beta version of the front page and do not see the beauty everyone else seems to see. When I can clear my browser perhaps I will have a different opinion.
 
If what I see as the front page is the final version, then I would have to be the lone voice saying the emperor has no clothes.

mar52
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:41 PM
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Very nice.  THank you!

Greyghost
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 5:53 PM
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OK, I tried it in Firefox and it looks much cleaner. The emperor has at least underwear.

CajunKing
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 6:17 PM
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I like the feature of being able to change my last viewed time

I bounce in and out during the day and it helps to see if something is new

Twinwillow
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 6:30 PM
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Tony Bad


Greyghost


Sundancer,
 
The interior pages are good, and the technical advancements are good, but the front page is a design mess.
Perhaps it has not been finished yet...I hope that is the case


What browser are you using? It looks good to me on everything I have except Safari, where much of formatting appears missing..

Here is what I see with Safari...




I'm using Safari on my iMac and I'm not having any problems. 

Tony Bad
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 6:34 PM
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Stephen Rushmore Jr.


If you are seeing all white, then it means the browser isn't loading the style sheets.  Hitting ctrl+f5 will solve the problem in most browsers.  I haven't used safari, but clearing the cache will accomplish the same thing.


I don't use it much, so had to check. To clear the cache it is Cntrl+Alt+E in Safari...or you can  click Edit and select empty cache from drop down. Just be sure to reload (F5) page after you do this.

Now it looks like it does with all other browsers. The Emperor is fully dressed!

Tony Bad
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Re:Roadfood.com Update - Fri, 01/16/09 6:36 PM
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Greyghost


Sorry, I can't clear my cookies now as I need them for a transaction I am doing now. If what I see now on the front page is the final design, it is poor design, period. I see a lot of wasted white space with poor positioning of the categories and unnecessary scrolling for users. Sorry to disappoint everyone but I am not a sycophant, never was and never will be one...I call them as I see them.
 
Perhaps I am looking at a beta version of the front page and do not see the beauty everyone else seems to see. When I can clear my browser perhaps I will have a different opinion.
 
If what I see as the front page is the final version, then I would have to be the lone voice saying the emperor has no clothes.


The emperor needs to reserve judgement until he can clear his cache. 

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