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New Look, Gizmos for Lamorinda Patch

We've been banging on the site a little, as you may have noted -- largely in response to requests and suggestions from you, the readership!

 

Surprise! Yea, here we are with a new site design, one of several your beloved editor promised was coming, largely as a result of comments and suggestions from Patchers who have made the site their resource for local news and commentary.

Probably the most dramatic change is the artistic rendering of the town which highlights our navigation bar at the top of the page. That's our place next to the church at far right!

Okay, most of the things you've come to know and utilize on the site are still largely in place, though our content stream now surfaces alongside our "Major News" position on the upper left-hand side of the page. "What People are Saying...", hugely popular around these parts as you know, now occupies the middle of the page and offers an immediate Read/Reply functionality for those of you who like to dive in right away.

EVENTS, which formerly occupied the central position, moves to the right-hand side of the page, also to increase the visibility of those listings -- which we're hearing from you are widely read, posted to, and attended.

On the blue navigation bar at the top left of the site you'll see my contact info, of course. That's a quick way to reach me with tips or questions and, though I get a lot of email, I do try to respond to every e-note.

The unfortunately named "Places" tab on the nav-bar has been changed to better reflect its use: it is a DIRECTORY of thousands of businesses and services in Lamorinda. If you're not listed there, you should be... let us know.

Next to that you'll see COMMUTE, which offers a cute little colored map of major transit routes for you Lamorinda Road Warriors, traffic glitches, and locations of local service stations with the best fuel prices.

PICS & CLIPS is fun, a handy place for all you shutterbugs and moviemakers out there. Just click on it and click on UPLOAD PHOTOS and VIDEOS to add your work to that of others.

Lastly, if you're looking for VOLUNTEERS or a JOB, both can be found under MORE STUFF. Check it out.

That's it for now... no, wait, I hear the "crew" banging on things again. Stay tuned!

Kathleen March 29, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I like it -- clean and bright. The comments column is kind of narrow, so you don't see much of the comment; in some cases, none of the text shows, just the commenter's name. If the events and comments column were the same width, and the same size font, maybe more of the comment text would show.
DanglingParticiple March 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I see the Walnut Creek site is still different. Did they go rogue or something? What's up with that?
Steve Cohn March 30, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I consider "what people are saying" to be one of the most interesting and "unique" features of the patch (no other media allows "real time" and essentially uncensored feedback). Comments come (and go) so quickly one needs the ability to scan a fairly long list quickly to see if something of import/interest has been said. The new design limits the comments to the latest three and down-cursoring only brings up two more. A serious flaw in design.
Steve Cohn March 30, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Addendum: click at the top of the "what people are saying" list (on the words "what people are saying..." brings up a much longer list but the "extent" of each comment is so protracted and the "form" of the comment and the topic are the same (same blue font) it is not easy to get a "feel" of whether this is something one wants to "dive" into. This makes opening up the list easy (and keeps it small on the home page) but quickly perusing it difficult. I think expanding the "comment" length and separating it from the topic by adjusting font and/or color would be a simple "fix".
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) March 30, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Hey, Kathleen... thanks! Still banging away down in the boiler room. Your comments and others here forwarded to the mechanics!
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) March 30, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Hey, DP... former LamorindaPatch writer Lance "Scoop" Howland at the helm over there and they are running some design tests on his site and a few others. The key here is that we are evolving and testing different things here at Patch.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) March 30, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Morning, Steve... thanks for the feedback. It is valued, believe me. One thing, we do monitor and moderate these threads so while I am loathe to "censor" anything, we do not allow comments violating our terms of service to appear in our threads. See previous note on the design issues we're addressing. Thanks again...
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) March 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Thanks, Steve... forwarding yours and other comments to the engineers.
CJ March 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Agreed the new layout seriously downgrades this feature. But the comments are heavily censored feedback.

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