v.4: Session page


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Message 12892 - Posted: 24 Jun 2014, 15:14:16 UTC
Last modified: 24 Jun 2014, 15:16:43 UTC

Here's the third page to receive an update, the session display. You can compare it to the old one over here.
This one is probably the one that has changed the most so far - at least visually. Again, the overall sentiment is to spend more screen space on user content while at the same time making technical content available in an easy-to-understand way:


  • Technical content is now displayed in a sidebar without tabs. This way all the information is available at once and in a consistent way regardless of wether the animation is still rendering.
  • RAM and disk requirements were split into two fields and tags were removed since they were never implemented
  • Added logos for more of the licensing options with distinct looks from the existing Creative Commons ones
  • The file download icons have been added back and now no longer show a question mark for all file types but rather a movie clip and image for those respective file types
  • Author details and avatar are shown at the top of the page
  • Added a link to CATS thread from the download section since most people had trouble figuring out where to get raw frames
  • Progress bar for rendering sessions now shows completed workunits, in progress workunits and unsent workunits as 3 different colours.
  • Progress bar is now clickable, takes you to the session workunit list
  • Preview image is now clickable, shows full-res still for still image sessions and an HTML5 video element for animations
  • Session timestamp log has been restructed to be more easily readable
  • The author's related gallery links have been moved from the last tab where noone ever noticed it to right under the preview image
  • The session itself will now no longer show in the list of related sessions, it was silly
  • Added statistics about contribution to the session in the sidebar
  • Session preview has been scaled up by 50% on average
  • A large effort has gone into content reflow for different devices and screen sizes. Try resizing your window
  • There's also an early preview of a forum thread, but that part hasn't been fully styled yet, so please disregard it for now
  • Optimizations for search engines to improve presentation of the page in search results
  • A preview is shown as soon as the first frame has returned, old site only showed previews upon completion of entire session. It is also clickable.



Comments are welcome

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Message 12893 - Posted: 24 Jun 2014, 17:52:20 UTC

Not sure if I like this, it seems really busy to me. Maybe I just need to get used to it.

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Message 12894 - Posted: 24 Jun 2014, 18:55:27 UTC

Looks fine to me, only the right column with all the data looks overfilled.
I can make out a very thin line in a slightly different colour between the sections if I look closer. Maybe it would be optically better if it would be darker. It probably would look better also when the sections are separated in some sort of boxes.
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Message 12895 - Posted: 24 Jun 2014, 20:01:51 UTC
Last modified: 24 Jun 2014, 20:02:29 UTC

@funkydude: You need to be way more specific =)

@DoctorNow: Thanks for the feedback, here's a few changes made based on that:


  • Made infobox header lines a bit darker so that they are easier to spot
  • Increased space around header lines to better mark the beginning of a new section
  • Moved headers to the left to improve reading flow (less busy, maybe)


As usual you need to do a full update to see the changes.

The "Specification" section does indeed have an issue with a few of the lines having too much data to properly format it the way it is formatted right now. The "Render time" and "Average frame time" lines wrap in an annoying way. Basically what we have is that we have the total and average frame rendertime, both of them in realtime and CPU time. Good suggestions are very welcome.

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Message 12896 - Posted: 24 Jun 2014, 22:12:49 UTC

I guess I just don't like the info at the side, just makes the whole page seem really busy.

I'd rather scroll down more personally. When you think about it the least important info is the posts on the forum, most people won't care about that. So maybe have all that sidebar info under the screenshots and then start the forum posts below that.

To use tech sites, blogs, etc. as an example. It's the content that's most important, most sites will hide all the comments under a click-able button, which will then load the comments below it. I don't think a button is required in our case, the comments should naturally be off-screen from the info being above it.

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Message 12904 - Posted: 25 Jun 2014, 11:51:47 UTC - in response to Message 12895.
Last modified: 25 Jun 2014, 11:52:54 UTC

* Made infobox header lines a bit darker so that they are easier to spot
* Increased space around header lines to better mark the beginning of a new section
* Moved headers to the left to improve reading flow (less busy, maybe)

Yeah, looks better now and way more clearer.
Anyhow, isn't it possible to make the lines go through? Also, the lines still are a bit too thin or wrong in colour IMO. Can you try make it black or 2,3 pixels wider/higher?
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Message 12908 - Posted: 25 Jun 2014, 16:30:16 UTC - in response to Message 12896.

I guess I just don't like the info at the side, just makes the whole page seem really busy.

I'd rather scroll down more personally. When you think about it the least important info is the posts on the forum, most people won't care about that. So maybe have all that sidebar info under the screenshots and then start the forum posts below that.

To use tech sites, blogs, etc. as an example. It's the content that's most important, most sites will hide all the comments under a click-able button, which will then load the comments below it. I don't think a button is required in our case, the comments should naturally be off-screen from the info being above it.


Comments on the side won't work well, as they wouldn't look good compressed, at least as far as I've seen. By that I mean they should be more horizontal, instead of vertical, if it can be helped.

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Message 12909 - Posted: 25 Jun 2014, 16:42:26 UTC - in response to Message 12908.

Comments on the side won't work well, as they wouldn't look good compressed, at least as far as I've seen. By that I mean they should be more horizontal, instead of vertical, if it can be helped.


I never said they should be on the side, what websites have it on the side?

Nothing should be on the side.

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Message 12912 - Posted: 26 Jun 2014, 0:17:14 UTC - in response to Message 12909.

Comments on the side won't work well, as they wouldn't look good compressed, at least as far as I've seen. By that I mean they should be more horizontal, instead of vertical, if it can be helped.


I never said they should be on the side, what websites have it on the side?

Nothing should be on the side.


Oh, sorry, misread your comment. :S

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Message 12924 - Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 21:35:55 UTC - in response to Message 12904.
Last modified: 27 Jun 2014, 21:39:58 UTC

Anyhow, isn't it possible to make the lines go through? Also, the lines still are a bit too thin or wrong in colour IMO. Can you try make it black or 2,3 pixels wider/higher?

The lines are like an underlining of the header rather than dividers in themselves, so they don't go all the way to the edge.

Based on your suggestions and other stuff I could come up with that would simplify and straighten out the infoboxes I tried out a few more things:

  • Boxes around each technical section in the sidebar
  • Section header lines were made slightly darker
  • Section header lines 2px instead of 1px
  • Slightly more space between sections in sidebar
  • Fixed icon for CATS downloads. Now shows "image" icon rather than a question mark
  • Added more licensing logos and moved the licensing text into the logos as alt-text.
  • Moved licensing logos slightly closer together
  • In session log: changed HH:MM:SS to HH:MM.SS
  • Moved logged rendering time from specification section to log section where it actually belongs (no-one specified that it had to take a certain amount of time to render)
  • Changed format of rendering time from "(XX days HH hours MM min SS sec CPU time)" to more compact min/sec prime notation. It no longer wraps into several lines which looked stupid.
  • Removed forum navigation header, it didn't really fit in at all
  • For in-progress sessions progress is now shown as both number of completed parts and number of completed frames in the case where a session is not 1 part per frame. To see it you need to browse to an in-progress session like this one right now
  • Removed extraneous text items from values in session specification section. A few of the entries repeated the text (example: "Parts per frame: 1 part / frame" => "Parts per frame: 1").
  • Consistent formatting of byte counts (used in downloads, disk size, memory requirements)

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Message 12925 - Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 1:50:56 UTC

It still looks silly. It's like trying to read a column in a newspaper with only 1 tiny column. You've got ALL the useful information crammed into the right column, and all the useless information (forum comments) gets all the space.

There's nothing wrong with making a longer page and scrolling down. All new HTML5 sites are doing it. e.g.

https://www.google.co.uk/nexus/5/
http://jolla.com/
http://www.theverge.com/2014/6/27/5849272/material-world-how-google-discovered-what-software-is-made-of
https://www.apple.com/your-verse/orchestrating-sound/

Scrolling is the basis of all these pages. They all put emphasis on clean and simple, making ample use of scrolling.

Trying to cram everything into the display will only make the page seem overly busy, confusing the user trying to find something.

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Message 12927 - Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 10:24:49 UTC - in response to Message 12925.

ALL the useful information crammed into the right column, and all the useless information [snip] gets all the space.

Aha! Then we are touching upon one of the very core design questions for the v.4 site - namely: "What happens when user content gets more focus?"
Also, what is a "user"? We have many different people visiting BURP each day: BOINC contributors, artists, casuals that are in neither group but still interested and so on. Hence, user content can be a lot of things: a session, a forum post (or even a comment), a tutorial written to help artists, maybe some text for a dev Wiki page, the profile pages.
User content may or may not be useless, but it is one of the things that differentiate us from closed renderfarms. A closed renderfarm simply does not have the ability to show user content (primarily session imagery due to closed licensing) and in extension there simply isn't the possibility of commenting on user content. BURP on the other hand can, which means we can also put an answer to the question: "Is user content actually useless information?".

Another point with regard to session comments, something that was actually reserved for later when the forum came up but let's take it now anyways:
I'm leaving.
Well, not actually leaving right now or even leaving entirely. At some point during the next decade I will no longer be the primary driver for the user-facing day-to-day maintenance of this project. Some of that responsibility will slowly shift to the community. As part of that transition there has been an intro for about 2 years now where administrative session feedback (like, what was wrong for cancelled sessions, what parameters were changed for modified sessions etc.) has been provided in the session comments forum rather than as private messages to the author of the session which was the way things were done earlier.
The intention is for this kind of public feedback to continue when other people are joining in on the session review process; both as a way to share information with other authors, as a way to review the reviewers and as a way for reviewers to coordinate with each other.

That was slightly off-topic btw. Sorry

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Message 12929 - Posted: 28 Jun 2014, 16:01:27 UTC
Last modified: 28 Jun 2014, 16:03:38 UTC

That's understandable and admirable. But I feel I need to make clear than I'm not pushing to remove or discourage these comments, I'm trying to place a "priority" on the various pieces of content and I'd place a "low" on comments.

That doesn't mean removing them, it just means scrolling down to see them. I'm just trying to imagine myself as an outsider coming to this site and looking a the content. I'd be most interested in the video/screenshots and the project metadata.

In my eyes the layout would be more like:
--video--
--screenshot, screenshot, screenshot--
--description--
--downloads, license--
--spec, log--
--comments--

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Message 12932 - Posted: 29 Jun 2014, 9:42:59 UTC - in response to Message 12927.
Last modified: 29 Jun 2014, 9:44:00 UTC

Looks good to me now.

ALL the useful information crammed into the right column, and all the useless information (forum comments) gets all the space.

Aha! Then we are touching upon one of the very core design questions for the v.4 site

In relation to that, I now noticed that there is a lot of free space left and right on ALL the new sites you build.
Not sure if this is Drupal-design by default but I somehow hate that. Some projects changed to such a layout also - I wonder why do we have wide screens then?
I rather want to have a full screen used than wasted a lot of screen layout by pressing all into a small area in the middle of the screen.

Oh, looks like we have a favicon for the browsers as well now on the new sites. Looks cute! :-)


I'm leaving.
Well, not actually leaving right now or even leaving entirely.

Well, that shocked me for a short time, but then I noticed that's life. Projects are coming and going, and I'm probably not crunching for the rest of my life also... ;-)
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Message 12933 - Posted: 29 Jun 2014, 13:31:17 UTC - in response to Message 12929.
Last modified: 29 Jun 2014, 13:50:51 UTC

--video--
--screenshot, screenshot, screenshot--
--description--
--downloads, license--
--spec, log--
--comments--

Interesting, that's pretty much how it looks in mobile mode now

I rather want to have a full screen used than wasted a lot of screen layout by pressing all into a small area in the middle of the screen.

The ultra-wide mode was ditched during the first layout round because it kinda made everything extremely difficult to do. Once the layout settles down a bit it may come back as an option in the website preferences. It is certainly still being considered. Another option would be to use the extra space for special events. I haven't quite decided on that yet.


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