Site Redesign!

AlpineZone

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Thread: Site Redesign!

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Site Redesign!

    Hi Everyone!

    As you can see, AlpineZone has undergone a major redesign; probably THE biggest redesign in its 14 years on the Interwebs. The vBulletin 4 updates that happened a few weeks ago were a necessary precurser to deploying the new forum theme that you see today.

    We decided to focus on a redesign for a few reasons:


    • 1. Make site navigation easier and more intuitive - previously, navigation used to be in the center of the page; while content was on the perimeters. Once you were within the site, there wasn't always an easy way to find your way around within AlpineZone itself. The new design has a clear breadcrumb system and drop down menus that are organized like before; but with more detail. The home page itself now contains new information from around the site; including the newest news articles, trip reports, forum topics, and more.
    • 2. Make the site render better - AlpineZone is being accessed in more ways than ever before. Mobile phones, tablets, netbooks, macbooks, and regular PC's with a huge variety in monitor size. The old design was static and
    • 3. Make the site easier to update and maintain - The new site is on a great system to easily deploy, change, and update content on the site, particularly in the news sections, making it significantly easier to get out information.
    • 4. Make advertising less obtrusive - You will notice the header ads are now "above the fold" and the forums are higher up, bringing content up quicker.


    For the Forum side, very little is going to change. There are two new styles available to you, as well as two traditional styles. AlpineZone fixed is now the default style.


    • AlpineZone Fixed - this is the style you see right now. It has a fixed width layout.
    • AlpineZone Fluid - if you prefer a full-width experience, you can change to this layout. It's identical to Fixed except the content stretches the entire way across the screen.
    • Retro Winter - This is the theme that most closely mirrors the way AlpineZone used to look during the winter
    • Retro Summer - The same as winter, but with the summer colors applied


    You can change your style easily by selecting from here:

    Capture.jpg

    It would be really useful if you guys could report any issues with the site that you encounter. I am working to update all the links with redirects to make sure that anyone coming to AZ will be directed to the correct pages, but if you see somethign busted, let me know.

    I do have some work already to finish migrating over the Gear store that existed previously; as well as the Lodging section that lets you book hotel rooms. I should have those done in the next few weeks.

    Obviously, we chose to perform this implementation during the summer months when traffic on the site is down. But we believe this redesign is a big step forward in making the site easier to read and navigate, and also to encourage new member registrations!

    Hope you guys like it!
    Free Stickers - e-mail your address to nick@alpinezone.com.

    Check AZ out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and Google+

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  2. #2
    Some items I noticed:

    The lodging header link is broken.

    The gear header link goes to an older styled page

    I don't see a drop down box to change styles.

    Somehow when navigating, I was brought to your backend login page.

    Forums still have the old header design so that could be confusing for guests switching between the main content and the forums.

    I've been working on my own site recently with an eye towards mobile. It is amazing the things we currently/used to do with web pages that just don't work with mobile. It is eye opening how long the web has already been inconveniencing mobile users and how radically sites will need to continue to change to make it work well for everyone.
    -Steve
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  3. #3
    bvibert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I don't see a drop down box to change styles.
    I believe that's only for the forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    Forums still have the old header design so that could be confusing for guests switching between the main content and the forums.
    The new style wasn't forced for current users of the forums, unless (I assume) you have it set to use the forum default in your profile. AlpineZone-fixed and AlpineZone-Fluid both incorporate the new design.
    Brian

  4. #4
    bvibert's Avatar
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    Nick,
    In the AlpineZone-Fixed theme the text for the "+ Post New Thread" button is blue in some of the sub-forums (Misc Discussions is one), making it hard to read. In other sub-forums the text is white (like this one).
    Brian

  5. #5
    Thanks for the info guys.

    @ riverc0il, thanks for the mention on the theme. Brian is right the style selector is just for the forums; the site is actually still 2 separate components, the "content" side, and the "forum" side, and although they look identical they are really independent. The reason I had to do the VB4 upgrade was to account for this change.

    This is also true -->

    The new style wasn't forced for current users of the forums, unless (I assume) you have it set to use the forum default in your profile. AlpineZone-fixed and AlpineZone-Fluid both incorporate the new design.
    I did look at the user database and there are only 17 users (out of 5000) that have a default set, so I didn't force it for them. I could try I guess.

    Gear and Lodging are still in progress. Those are both custom pages that use a "shell" of the header and footer and I wasn't able to succesfully reproduce them in the test area.

    I am wondering about this : "Somehow when navigating, I was brought to your backend login page" ... not sure where that came from!

    The background image was provided by Sugarloaf and they informed me it is reversed (doh!) which I can't believe I didn't notice earlier.

    I will also look for the new thread icon Brian.

    The other thing I am also still working on this morning are some of the redirects, so if you do end up at an old version of a page let me know because I will try to get it redirected to the new version. I cut over EVERYTHING that was on the old site, even the archived hiking trip reports and some other buried stuff


    Free Stickers - e-mail your address to nick@alpinezone.com.

    Check AZ out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and Google+

    Get AZ on your mobile phone!

  6. #6
    JimG.'s Avatar
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    I really like it.

    I'll admit I'm not at all fussy about design issues like this, but I like it alot better than I thought I would. I'm sure there will be small issues that I'm also sure will be fixed, and you have a good group of people here to help you make it better.

    Nice job.

  7. #7
    ScottySkis's Avatar
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    I love looking at Sugarloaf, site is fantastic, thanks Nick.

  8. #8
    i can't find the photo gallery.

    shit happens, wear a helmet.

    2016/17
    MT Snow - 12.30 1.7 1.29 2.4 2.11
    Attitash - 2.17
    Black MTN - 2.18
    Wildcat - 2.19
    Eldora - 4.7
    Snowmass - 4.10
    Aspen - 4.11

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Southington, CT
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcunni View Post
    i can't find the photo gallery.
    Try clicking the "Gallery" tab on the top left
    2009/2010 - 28

    2009 mtb-19 rides- 113.58 miles

    2008/09 - 33

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by o3jeff View Post
    Try clicking the "Gallery" tab on the top left

    in all seriousness, i don't see it

    az header.jpg
    shit happens, wear a helmet.

    2016/17
    MT Snow - 12.30 1.7 1.29 2.4 2.11
    Attitash - 2.17
    Black MTN - 2.18
    Wildcat - 2.19
    Eldora - 4.7
    Snowmass - 4.10
    Aspen - 4.11

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