Refactor the Manage area.
Short, concise description of the idea
Currently the Manage area contains far too much information which scares newbie users, and the structure of this information could be better. I have the Full Description field to outline it in details.
Full description of the idea
First, we have three main pages containing most of user settings:
1. Manage Profile: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/profile/.
2. Manage Comments: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/comments/.
3. Manage Viewing Options: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/settings/.
The first one contains almost precisely the profile page in the edit mode. This does confuse users, as it is too big. I suggest moving Interests, Location and About fields to different pages with an interface tweaked to edit them:
* About myself page utilizes LiveJournal’s Rich Text editor in the way the Update page does it.
* Location should have locations registered in LiveJournal listed like a tree, with loading subtrees via AJAX. I’m unsure if we already have the list of locations; if not, we can copy it from Schools directory. Time zone is detected automatically.
* Change interests page contains interests listed in a handy manner with an ability to add/delete them without entering anything to the text field. For those who like the current interface more, fallback is provided.
Website should be moved out of the way to http://www.livejournal.com/settings/, or to the Customize area. I guess not so many people use it anyway; I can be wrong, and in this case feedback in comments would be very appreciated.
So, the following would be left on the Manage Profile page:
* Personal info.
* How to show friends/friendofs lists.
Also, a lot of users enter the ICQ number in the manner of 123-456-789, which breaks links from the Profile page. It can be off of the topic of this entry, but when generating the link we should do s/\D//g (delete all non-digit characters) with whatever user entered to this field.
I already said about splitting the page; the pages we create are not essentially different pages, instead we can organize them like a Windows wizard (similar to the old Customize area). Anyway, the goal is to have the user easily locate any particular setting without a need to go to FAQs.
Now, Manage Comments. This page has not a lot of bad things. Though, it would be better to move ban list to a separate page, and finally move the comment notifications settings to the Manage Subscriptions page. More detailed, the latter will create two subscriptions:
* Any comment you left receives a reply.
* You leave a comment, at any entry.
As for the HTML/Plain Text setting, again I think it is not widely used, so it should be moved to http://www.livejournal.com/settings/.
And now the last page, Manage Viewing Options. It has a lot of things which are outside of what we generally call “viewing options”, and I bet you are not happy of it too. When we leave only the appropriate things, we will have:
* Site scheme (previews should link to http://www.livejournal.com/manage/settings/?usescheme=<scheme>!!!).
* Viewing language (the Customize area should use it by default). It would be better to make the list different from drop-down, with language names applying the language automatically (or linking to ?uselang= too).
* Contextual hover popup.
* Show me Getting Started.
And the other options need to be moved. In particular, the following should be in the Customize area:
* Snap.com previews.
* Placeholders for images and video.
* Comment pages in my journal style (effectively this means just deleting it from Manage Viewing Options).
Edit: We should add "disable snap.com previews for me, in all journals" to Manage Viewing Options, and "show snap.com previews in my journal" to the Customize area.
Edit #2: Whether LiveJournal adds an ability to turn off previews LiveJournal-wide or not is outside of scope of this suggestion. The previous paragraph meant that if we add it, we should add it to Manage Viewing Options.
“Show my LJ Talk presence to” should be moved to Manage Profile, obviously.
And the rest will be moved to the new page of Manage Journal Content Settings (you can call it differently, of course):
* Min security (with a link to editprivacy.bml for Paid/Permanent account owners).
* Search engines disabling.
* Ping weblogs.com.
* I will flag my journal myself.
I am in doubt what to do with VGift settings, and I am tempted to suggest moving it to http://www.livejournal.com/settings/, but I realize that this idea can be very anticipated.
I have one more idea. As I like the new Customize area, I suggest virtually uniting all of these settings to one page with a tree in the sidebar. And, this tree will also include http://www.livejournal.com/settings/ called “Various options”.
- Easier discovery of lots of LiveJournal Settings.
- Usual things: coding work for the developers, some frustrated users, and documentation rewrite.