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New design of J2O?

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Dec 16, 2014, 12:35 PM
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New design of J2O?

It's been such a long time since J2O's aspect hasn't changed at all! I'd really like to see J2O as a new website with a new aspect, like many of the websites of 2014 (better graphics, smoother site animations, etc.). Yes, I may be asking pretty much but that would be nice! A good website like this deserves good aspect as well. Also, the forums are a little bit... you know, the coding is old... If you don't understand what am I talking about, I think of a website something like this: http://watch.ciudateni.tk (Of course, the site is pretty much empty but It's the kind of smoother/better design I am talking about) - This site is coded by a friend of mine which is 14. If he could do it, someone over 20 should do a great(er) job, I guess!

Sorry because the thread is pretty much pointless, but I want to see some initiative! The site stays old and the community is not really active...
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Dec 16, 2014, 01:11 PM
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I'd rather site features such as the top reviewers, J2O music archive and ERE (earlong royal encyclopedia) get fixed. Stijn just likely doesn't have the time. And if it's not broke, it's fine.
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Dec 16, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Treylina View Post
I'd rather site features such as the top reviewers, J2O music archive and ERE (earlong royal encyclopedia) get fixed. Stijn just likely doesn't have the time. And if it's not broke, it's fine.
That too, but I'm expecting massive changes, maybe even everything. The current design is simply old. I like it, but not a lot.
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Dec 16, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Stijn just likely doesn't have the time.
Yup!
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Dec 16, 2014, 01:56 PM
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Yup!
Understandable, but that doesn't mean that other people wouldn't like to give a hand to make this happen. Not me personally, but there may be people who are up to do this. Even if you lack of time to do this, you can make it in... a few years perhaps? It doesn't matter how long it takes, as long as J2O will have a fresh new look someday.
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Dec 16, 2014, 01:58 PM
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It's been asked multiple times, so far no one has stepped up.
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Dec 16, 2014, 02:22 PM
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I agree with Treylina on this one. The features that drive this community (user registration, downloads, pictures, news) work fine and even the old information about JJ2 on the left side of the header is still relevant enough to new players. If any coding time and effort goes into J2O, it should be on the ERE and/or other broken features. But my PHP knowledge is very basic, so who am I to judge.

Also, I personally still like the J2Ov2 design, even with the little CSS dropdown box on the right that's cramping in newer features. The design is playful yet clean to the eye, and works well on all common resolutions.
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Dec 16, 2014, 11:51 PM
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In my opinion, the site design shouldn't be changed at all, i like the design, suits the game .
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Dec 16, 2014, 11:57 PM
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In my opinion, the site design shouldn't be changed at all, i like the design, suits the game .
Sure it does, but that doesn't mean it couldn't get a better design. The current design is old and buggy. Also, can you send me the link once again on Skype? I had the wrong Skype name on this forum =|
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Dec 17, 2014, 12:57 AM
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Sure it does, but that doesn't mean it couldn't get a better design. The current design is old and buggy. Also, can you send me the link once again on Skype? I had the wrong Skype name on this forum =|
I sent you the link like an hour ago, your skype is 'primpyskype', right?
Anyway, i still think the design shouldn't change
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Dec 17, 2014, 01:28 AM
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It's been asked multiple times, so far no one has stepped up.
Stijn I am sick of your lies

Primpy, are you asking for anything but visual changes? Because those can certainly be done largely independently of internal code things. Hell I could restyle J2O in a number of ways right now if I felt like it. But you might need to be more specific about what you want than just "smoother." Pull together a mockup (can just be a psd or png or whatever if you don't know CSS) and let people respond directly to specific ideas instead of calling for change without direction.
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Dec 17, 2014, 12:43 PM
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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH! REKT!

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Primpy, are you asking for anything but visual changes? Because those can certainly be done largely independently of internal code things. Hell I could restyle J2O in a number of ways right now if I felt like it. But you might need to be more specific about what you want than just "smoother." Pull together a mockup (can just be a psd or png or whatever if you don't know CSS) and let people respond directly to specific ideas instead of calling for change without direction.
No, I am not talking about visual changes only. I know what I mean, but I can't really explain it. I'll try to do a picture in Paint.NET as an example of how a new website (at least the main page) should be done. Two more school days, I can barely take it anymore, and I don't want to get some bad grades in the last two days. Probably I'll make it this weekend.

If you can restyle J2O, why don't you... you know... do it?
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Dec 17, 2014, 01:56 PM
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If you can restyle J2O, why don't you... you know... do it?
Time and motivation are probably a factor (as they are for me)
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Dec 17, 2014, 02:05 PM
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Time and motivation are probably a factor (as they are for me)
Why the lack of motivation?
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Dec 17, 2014, 02:23 PM
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In my case, I've just got many other things asking for my attention these days. J2O/JJ2 don't excite me as much as they used to.
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Dec 17, 2014, 02:27 PM
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In my case, I've just got many other things asking for my attention these days. J2O/JJ2 don't excite me as much as they used to.
Then let Violet to do that if he wants to. I can give a hand with ideas.
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If you can restyle J2O, why don't you... you know... do it?
I... what kind of question is that? I can flip a lightswitch. Should I? Maybe, maybe not. After I'm done, I am still able to flip that same lightswitch. Should I do so again? Or a third time? Or a fourth? Doing things takes time (yes, and motivation) and shouldn't be done unless there's a reason to do them.
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Dec 17, 2014, 11:20 PM
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I... what kind of question is that? I can flip a lightswitch. Should I? Maybe, maybe not. After I'm done, I am still able to flip that same lightswitch. Should I do so again? Or a third time? Or a fourth? Doing things takes time (yes, and motivation) and shouldn't be done unless there's a reason to do them.
No reason? The current design is like 7-8 years old if I'm right. Why do we have to stay old, when the other websites are "evolving"?
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Dec 18, 2014, 12:08 AM
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This is going in circles. I don't think updating the site's look is a bad idea - I've written about that earlier - and I appreciate your enthusiasm, but you're not thinking about this the right way. To give you an idea of what would be required to actually make this happen, you need to take into account that there's a lot of factors involved:

- We'd need to have a clear idea of what the new site should look like. This takes time to develop and needs to take into account the variety of pages the site currently has (downloads, a wiki, news, user pictures, a forum, et cetera) - all need to fit within the new look. All you've shown so far is a site that, to be honest, looks rather amateurish. The issue has been debated in the thread I just linked and other places, so there is a starting point of sorts, but we're a long way from a coherent design to implement.

- Someone actually needs to make the design happen within your browser. In this day and age that is a big project as site designs need to work across a variety of devices, screen sizes and browsers. Furthermore, every single page on the site (and there are a lot of different pages) would probably need an update to make it fit the new look. This takes a lot of time and coordination.

- Just "it's old" is not a valid reason to push for an update that, as I explained, takes a lot of effort to develop. If you want to help developing a new look, point out the areas in which the current site design is lacking. That way, if someone is going to work on a new design, there is a list of things to keep in mind and focus on. Changing it just for change's sake is not a good idea, or at least not worth the effort.
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Dec 18, 2014, 02:18 AM
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This is going in circles. I don't think updating the site's look is a bad idea - I've written about that earlier - and I appreciate your enthusiasm, but you're not thinking about this the right way. To give you an idea of what would be required to actually make this happen, you need to take into account that there's a lot of factors involved:

- We'd need to have a clear idea of what the new site should look like. This takes time to develop and needs to take into account the variety of pages the site currently has (downloads, a wiki, news, user pictures, a forum, et cetera) - all need to fit within the new look. All you've shown so far is a site that, to be honest, looks rather amateurish. The issue has been debated in the thread I just linked and other places, so there is a starting point of sorts, but we're a long way from a coherent design to implement.

- Someone actually needs to make the design happen within your browser. In this day and age that is a big project as site designs need to work across a variety of devices, screen sizes and browsers. Furthermore, every single page on the site (and there are a lot of different pages) would probably need an update to make it fit the new look. This takes a lot of time and coordination.

- Just "it's old" is not a valid reason to push for an update that, as I explained, takes a lot of effort to develop. If you want to help developing a new look, point out the areas in which the current site design is lacking. That way, if someone is going to work on a new design, there is a list of things to keep in mind and focus on. Changing it just for change's sake is not a good idea, or at least not worth the effort.
I can do a sketch of what I imagine but nothing more. Sorry for bothering then, but how do you expect more people visiting the website if it has the same old boring design? Nothing dynamic, just looks like an old newspaper. Also small pictures and writing, too formal font, etc. Also, "http://www.jazz2online.com/gip/" doesn't work anymore (at least not for me). I'd talk a little bit more, but I have to go to school.
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Nothing dynamic, just looks like an old newspaper. Also small pictures and writing, too formal font, etc
Yeah, you've said that a few times now. These comments are not especially useful unless you're specific about what you mean with "dynamic". That could mean a lot of things.

("too formal font"?)

You seem to assume that the site isn't especially active because the site design is lacking. Jazz Jackrabbit (2) is an old game with a limited (and shrinking) player base. The main reason there are less people here than there used to be is because a lot of people have simply moved on and aren't interested in the game any more. Is the site even less popular because it hasn't received a visual update in years? I don't think it's a big factor.
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Dec 18, 2014, 03:33 AM
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What bothers me about J2O:
  • Designed for low resolutions: I use a laptop and my resolution is 1366x768. Nearly half of that width is filled with a purple background instead of content. News posts only take up about 1/3 of my screen's total width and because of the 16:9 ratio typical for laptop screens, some of the long ones don't even fit on the screen.
  • No themes: I'm just not a fan of long exposure to the bright yellow backgrounds of the site. Also, I wish I could keep it at least relatively consistent with my JCF theme.
  • No global list of recent activities: I believe there's one available to admins but I don't know of any for regular users (I think there might be some external ones, like the Twitter feed? Not sure if it signalizes everything though, and I would still prefer one on the actual site). Some sections are updated so rarely that new contributions are hard to notice (Rabbit Journal, code snippets, articles) and it's necessary to remember about visiting each individual section.
  • No preview option for text input, some of which can't be edited after confirmation (Rabbit Journal, private messages). Information about formatting used on the site is difficult to find (I think only the pictures section links to it, unless something had changed). Stijn also mentioned wanting to change it from Textile to BBCode or something else, so there's that.
To that, add some things already mentioned in Stijn's thread, such as spread out information and difficult access to some sections.
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Dec 18, 2014, 03:42 AM
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Look Primpy, that is useful feedback!

SE: You might want to take a look at this page, which I agree isn't really integrated well in the site's navigation.
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Oh, hey, I remember that page! I must've come across it at least 5 times in the past, each time being initially amazed and eventually thoroughly forgetting it exists. Thanks. I should bookmark it.
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My suggestion is get rid of the horizontal pinstripes in the header/title bar graphic, keep the J2O logo and background of a JJ2 level, remove the Daily Carrot logo and use a backdrop of polka dots in any color, but not yellow because yellow is overused in J2O.

That way it's more of a graphic patch than a layout overhaul. But one aspect of the layout that seems inconvenient is that there are essentially 3 panels on the front page, news in the middle, sidepanels on the right and site sections on the left.

The news in the middle is by far the longest part. The sidepanels on the right are about half as long, and the site section links on the left is very short. That's a very imbalanced approach to looking at a website, reading the news makes you scroll way further than anything else, and the left side of the page is underutilized.
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Dec 18, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Look Primpy, that is useful feedback!

SE: You might want to take a look at this page, which I agree isn't really integrated well in the site's navigation.

Well sorry because:
- I am 14, so I lack of exprimation.
- I am not a native English speaker.
- I've been really busy lately because the final exams. I wrote the thread and the replies in my short breaks.
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I think recent activity could sit as a small window at the right of the page, to make use of the empty space. Then you could click on it to the proper page itself.

But with most resolutions being wider these days, I don't think making the text space wider would hurt.

There's also a lot of hard to find links on this site. I think some should be removed though, like the GIP. It doesn't work, and there's an existing one that is likely more detailed.

An extended drop-down menu would be nice. Instead of having to click on the page to find the related link, there would be an arrow that shows the pages related to it. Would also make navigating easier.
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Well, at least we're making the thread a place where people suggest new stuff for J2O.
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Well, at least we're making the thread a place where people suggest new stuff for J2O.
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Fine then, you.
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An alternative to redesigning J2O is create some competition for it. This way site admins aren't tasked with such a high percentage of jazz fans' requests. And it gives others the chance to contribute. Plus creating some variety and new ideas on the internet.

My web design skills are mostly limited to HTML, JavaScript and graphics in MS Paint. Paint isn't that useful for creating detailed works of art but is good at allowing small fixes or fine tuning like pixilation edits.

When I started web coding, the big question was can you do frames, and can you make it so the frame goes away if you click on an external link. Frames are a highly outdated concept since using image files as URL links became popular. This allows for better-looking navigation systems such as the graphic text links in J2O's header bar to forums, downloads, etc. Graphic links instead of text links for navigation make a site look more unique, and partially ensure that the link will have the same placement in the site's layout on any page on the site.

JavaScript is used as a versatile add-on to HTML-based sites. Typically JavaScript features require clicking for activation. I think that some typical outdated uses for JavaScript are designing pop-up windows where the user can click a button on the pop-up to close it and the pop-up doesn't repeatedly spawn until the computer's turned off. Also IIRC JavaScript was used for old menu items such as drop-down selection bars and radio/poll options, but I wouldn't use JavaScript to send feedback to an online place that'll store the feedback. In other words, I don't recommend JavaScript to send an email copy of user input from a webpage. JavaScript should never save information to the server online.

Radio options with JavaScript should work for changing background color of the webpage, or changing other color-based visual aspects. Drop-down menus can work for a compressed listing of terminologies, for displaying a subset of references or maybe for studying the properties of unstable isotopes of a chemical element. Or for explaining what accent marks can be applied to an alphabetical letter, like a/ä/á/â/à/å/æ. Yeah, on my phone I used a dropdown menu for those accents, although they dropped up. Who knows. I'm not a fan of using dropdown menus for site navigation since it necessitates multiple clicks and more time just to move onto another area of the site. I don't like making selections in dropdown menus because options beside the one you click on aren't visible. And the old-school ideal of having a JavaScript-enabled graphical numerical counter for how many views an HTML file gets, it just silly and I'm glad authors stopped thinking that way on every fan site ever made.

HTML is good for editing the layout of a site. An advanced method of designing an interactive site with user registration and user-generated content would be to design the site overlay in HTML, to allow changes in the site's interface organization. Codes in HTML like hidden frames with no URL links, paragraph code and indented paragraphs for sections of the code are highly useful for changing things like a box of information that has to be updated at regular intervals over time. Within a visual window that doesn't cover the whole page, you could call a function from another language in an external file that would display the content without having to update any code in the file loaded by the viewer, or the index page file. This means no breaking the appearance of the webpage when some back-end infrastructure for generating or reproducing user-created content is broken. And it means easily moving around parts of the site which are represented by passages of code.
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The only thing that bugs me about the site at this point is the resolution thing Sir mentioned above.

Other then that, I like the retro feel to it. If this site changed dramatically, it would feel like a piece of my childhood went away.

One of the few constants in life has always been J2O.

I say it stays the same. Maybe revamp the resolution to eliminate the empty space on the sides.
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I found a fix for resolution problem



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...I rotate my display, then set my monitor on it's side and it is like I've got a very large PDA screen...
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I just added a quick hackjob of a widescreen mode to the site. Enable it in your site settings (top bar, "Edit settings" while logged in).

I only checked the most basic pages for how well it worked, so there's probably quite a few places where things look off. Report them here and I'll try to fix it when I have time again.

I don't have the time/motivation right now to dig into the top bar of the site and add new items in the free space, but if anyone else feels so inclined, you can edit this image and I'll put it in (if it looks seamless enough ):

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Jan 5, 2015, 01:44 PM
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Awesome! I've been following links at random to see if I can find anything that went wrong and the only such pages I noticed were the private messages inbox and sentbox. The "Link details" bar when you select an item in the links section also looks too short but that's very minor. I'm really thankful you took the time to implement this feature. Edit: Somehow I didn't notice that the snippet section also kept its previous size.
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Last edited by Sir Ementaler; Jan 6, 2015 at 09:05 AM.
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Jan 5, 2015, 02:08 PM
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That will take some time to get used to, but whoa, I like it.
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Jan 6, 2015, 01:30 AM
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Ahh, finally one of my threads has a purpose :3
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Jan 8, 2015, 03:26 AM
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Widescreen looks surprisingly better than I thought. On my laptop, that is. My desktop still has a 4:3 screen attached due to personal preference.
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