Help us make Weavolution better

Hi all you Weavolutionaries,

I'm part of the team that has brought you Weavolution and am one of the designers of the site.  I've been working in the technology industry for a good chunk of my working life, and I have a love/hate relationship with technology that centers around usability.

As someone who works in the tech industry, and one of the designers of the site, I recognize that a social networking site like Weavolution will sink or swim based on how easy it is to use, and I know that the volunteers that have brought you Weavolution all believe the same thing.

We recognize that there's still a lot of work to be done to make Weavolution into the site that we all want it to be.  We are working hard to achieve that vision.

We are relying on you to help us achieve that vision.  While I can make some progress in making Weavolution functional and easy to use, it will become even better with your input.  You can let the team know what is and is not working, tell us what crucial functionality is missing and report bugs. 

Right now there are three places you can do any of these things:  1) the "report a bug" forum, 2) the "Improving Weavolution" forum, 3) the "Weavolutionaries" forum.  These forums are all monitored regularly by the development team.

Please help us keep improving Weavolution.

Marian

Comments

Posted on Tue, 07/14/2009 - 23:14

 I just noticed that some members seem to be able to imbed larger images into their "notes" section. How can I do that?

Please see "projects" > "South American"-it was just uploaded in the last day or two.

I have tried to add images like this, (and staying within the file size requirements) but I can't figure out how to do it.

I go to:

"edit project details" > scroll down to "file attachments" under notifications, and have tried adding the following file formats: a png, pdf, or jpeg, but none show up after I hit "attach" (please note: the "list" box is checked). To complete the process, I then scroll down and hit "save." 

When I return to "my projects" there is no file attachment indicated, nor is there any additional image displayed.

I am on a MAC. Does that make any difference? 

Sally

P.S. My latest attempt was a pdf file at 74.68 KB that was rendered at 4X6" originally, uploaded to the project  "organic cotton dishtowels"

Posted on Wed, 07/15/2009 - 23:12

 Me again! (Okay, can you tell I like the site? We DO appreciate all the work so far, and the potential it offers.)

I was on the website and on the phone with a fellow guild member, who wanted help with sending a message to someone through the site. The difficulty we both noticed is that it would be much easier to go to "my favorite users," then click on that person's icon, and have an option along the right hand side to "send a message" to that person. (Along with "see other projects by this user", etc.)

It did not occur to her to go to "send a new message." Once I directed her there, she had to go look up which "Debbie" or which "Sharon" she wanted. She was thrown by the several choices that appeared and didn't appreciate having to back out of that window to go and find out which member she wanted.

Posted on Wed, 07/15/2009 - 23:30

Yarns Tab?

What are we supposed to be doing with this category?

On Ravelry, I thought the idea was to swap, sell, offer stash yarns to others, but I don't think you can assume weavers know what to do with this category here on Weavolution. 

It would be nice if everyone included a photo, plus wpi, sett, ypp, (i.e. stats for each entry), how it is packaged (cone, skein, how many oz per unit), price, and where to get it. If one wants to swap, sell, or give away yarn, I don't see any way of tracking down the yarn to the person who posted, as one can on Ravelry. Or even to ask if the person liked the yarn or had trouble with it at the sett they recommended. (So I am currently not seeing much utility for this section.)

It might be nice to post a "tip of the day" (actually every few days in reality) so you can clue us weavers in on what the tabs are supposed to offer, and how, as participants, we can make the most of our posts to these categories to benefit the community.

Sally

Posted on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 02:07

I don't use it that way on Rav, it never even occured to me. I use it to see how other people have used a particular yarn, and that's how I would use it here as well.  It's nice when you have say, a yearning to weave something with a 16 linen to be able to see what sett and what weave structures others have used.  Trading or selling stash, or anything else for that matter, seems like a different thing. What would be really cool is for projects and yarns to link automatically-- so when you enter a project and specify a certain yarn, a picture of that project shows up on the yarn's entry.  That woud totally rock.

Posted on Wed, 04/27/2011 - 23:30

I would love to use this web site more, but I find it very slow and confusing.

Ravelry works, why am i having such trouble here?

I like to use computers to learn and be creative, not have to learn about computers.

This could be a great place for weavers to meet, but I find it totally counter intuitive.

I might struggle on, however the slowness is really a pain, the pages won't even scroll at a normal speed.

Even typing a post is too slow for my keyboard.

I have no trouble on other web sites.

Why can't I upload a photo as easily as on Rav?

Do wish things were better so I could do more here.

Sorry this is not more positive, will keep returning in hope.

Minty

Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 16:12

I wish this site worked more like Ravelry. But, with that said, I am not having the touble that Minty is having. I just like the format of Ravelry better.

Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 16:24

I agree with Sally, and others, that Ravelry is more user friendly - so far... especially in adding new projects, BUT I am very appreciative of all the work that has gone into Weavolution and LOVE that its for weavers.

I also knit and crochet a bit, so I joined Ravelry before I heard about Weavolution.  I was frustrated when I wanted to add woven items to my Ravelry project page and was told curtly that Ravelry was not for weavers (they've since changed their tune... and make it a bit more accommodating for weavers, even adding a weaving category.)  

Weavolution allows us to offer more information to our fellow weavers, that would not make sense to other fiber artists.  It allows us to share drafts and technical information.  

I wish the adding a project page was more user friendly and less DOS-like.  I'm continually frustrated by adding yarns... not using the right terminology.  But I'll continue trying... because I love this whole Weavolution idea!

 

Posted on Thu, 04/28/2011 - 16:29

I understand your frustration with the Projects page and assure you it is near the top 5 issues on our list of fixes.  As you realize, yarns, looms and manufacturers play a vital role in redoing the Projects page.

I will be looking for volunteers to offer suggestions for redesigining the Projects page in the very near future.  I hope I can add your names to the list to offer ideas and suggestions.  I am happy to set up a time on Cyber-Fiber to meet with a group of people who would like to learn more about using Weavolution.  Does that interest you?  Have you checked out the Help topic for Adding a New Project?  I like to have it open in one window while I add my new project in the next.  

Claudia

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 14:41

You can add my name. I the "real world" I was a Tech Writer, so maybe I can be of help. I wrote A LOT of on-line help. Sally

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 16:03

I appreicate the work that goes in to this. My only suggestions is would it be possible to change it in the forums to go to the first new post?

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 17:32

Like Lauries I'd really like to be able to click on the new posts and get taken directly there.  It's a minor inconvenience, but constantly irritating....

cheers,

Laura

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 17:44

Laura and lauries, 

If you are using IE in any form for your browser, this is something that is inherent in the browser.  IE does not play well with any Drupal site.  I used to use IE for ebay when I owned a PC and I had all sorts of problems.  I thought it was my computer and it turns out to be IE and Drupal.  

The alternative is to use Firefox or if your computer has an "end" button, click on that when you go to a post.  

If you have an opportunity to try another browser, give it a try and you will see what I mean.

Claudia

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 19:17

Okay - success with Chrome!  :)  Thanks Claudia - I don't know how you can keep track of all the different programs and the problems they have, but you were right on top of that one!  :D

cheers,

Laura

Posted on Fri, 04/29/2011 - 20:56

Thanks for sharing your success.  Chrome is my favorite, too Laura.

I do my best to offer good customer service.  After all, a happy weaver is a ...(not sure how to finish that).  

Claudia

Posted on Sat, 04/30/2011 - 00:57

First off Laura, I like the above. A weaver friend of ours gave cheryl a hand bag on which she painted," Thats it.. I'm Weaving". When I go to the opening page and click new I go right to the "new" posting. When I use dashboard and go to "new" I go to the new posting. Now when I go to forum and click "New" I go to the top of the list. I am useing XP Pro with IE 8. So my thinking is it is not an IE issue (it works, just not on Forums) but a programing issue. I would look at the HTML codeing to see where there is a different.

Michael  

 

Posted on Sat, 04/30/2011 - 06:07

I had no idea this group existed.  Thanks for bumping it up and making it feel loved again!

Here are some questions and thoughts I have on some of the concerns Minty and others raised here.

* Counter-intuitive:  This is a very subjective term; it's hard to pin down what is intuitive and what isn't.  I like concrete explanations, like "When I click 'groups and forums', it takes me to 'recent activity', and I find that to be confusing."  That is a concrete example of something that some of the community here is used to, but which may confuse new community members.  Those who've been with the site the longest will have the most difficult time seeing what could be improved (and may be most resistant to improving it)... they can't see the forest for the trees.  That's natural and OK.  We'll take all feedback into consideration.

* Pages scrolling, and the text editor, being slow - Minty, when you say that other sites aren't as slow, I'd like to know which other sites you're comparing against.  (I am guessing that Ravelry is one, but if you say 'other web sites', then you must have a list.)  I would also be interested to know the specs of the computer and web browser you're using to browse the site, if you can provide any information on that.

* Uploading photos, and project pages - these are great examples of specific problems with unintuitiveness.  Making the uploading of images easier is on our list of things we'd like to improve about the site, as is making projects / drafts / yarns entry feel more "21st century" with context-relevant information and intuitive data entry.

* On comparisons to Ravelry - Ravelry is a huge site aimed at the large knitting and crocheting communities.  They're well established (1.3 million users!) and well funded.  While I won't say this is a comparison of apples to oranges, it is a bit like comparing the fruit you'll get from a mature tree and a seedling.  We're still in our youth... we want to be a big tree too!  If you would like to help nurture our site, please consider volunteering.  We especially would benefit from people who enjoy contributing their skills in any of these areas:  sales, marketing, intuitive user interfaces, Drupal website coding, Drupal website databases, Linux system administration, writing tutorials, teaching weaving classes, community outreach, and just generally helping others.

Michael, your specific explanation of where 'new' works and does not work in IE8 should be helpful.  I will have to try it both ways.  Theoretically, based on what I know of HTML, an anchor point is an anchor point and there really shouldn't be any IE/Firefox/Chrome difference on the 'new' links. 

Regarding IE compatibility - It's true, Weavolution may work not as well in some versions of IE as it does in current versions of Firefox or Chrome... but that's not often a fair comparison, and here's why.  People who install alternative browsers also tend to be more likely to update their software to the newest versions!  Trying to run Weavolution under Netscape Navigator 4, or Firefox 2, I'll bet there would be problems with those too.  My recommendation is to make sure you're running the latest version you can (with Windows XP and Internet Explorer, it's version 8 - Michael is already running the latest he can).  My rule of thumb is to never tell people to use a different browser, but if they're running an old version I will suggest that they upgrade.  Because we want to accomodate our community, and IE8 is the best I could expect of anyone on Windows XP (still widely used, and I use it myself) this is definitely something we should look into, and I'll add it to our issues list. 

Posted on Sat, 04/30/2011 - 07:43

Using XP home, Ff 3.6.16, this is how it works for me: on he home page ("hot threads"), if I click the new, it sometimes takes me to the newest post in a thread, sometimes to the forum page. It *seems* (havent really studied it) that if the forum in question has several new msgs in several threads, my click takes me to the forum landing page - but if the new msgs are all in *one* thread, it will take me there.

Can't verify it at this moment - but I think I have seen a pattern.

The editor: for me too, it is sometimes extremely slow (but not always). However, Ravelry (where I nearly never post) and Yahoo, where I sometimes do post "on-line" to WeaveTech, have never been slow.

Posted on Sun, 05/01/2011 - 22:10

But I like to weave, not compute, dislike the implications that the problems are mine (John), sorry you don't accept contructive criticism.

To busy / tired to be more polite, very sorry.

High end computer, no probs on any other sites, have used computers daily for over fifteen years in many ways, not a techie, a user.

Sorry no time to work on your web site, would just like to use and recommend it to other weavers. Especially the growing number of new weavers, many of whom are not particularly computer literate. This site does still feel a bit DOSsie!

I receive no notifications and can't track replies to posts, so appear even more impolite than I already feel.

Will try this site again sometime, good luck, it would be nice if it was easy for weavers of all abilities to use.

Minty

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 10:22

Going much more smoothly today, haven't had the judders, yet! Have you changed something or is this an intermittent problem?

You may not like what I say sometimes, but at least I'm trying to help, see me as a beta tester, or for my feeling a theta tester:))

Would really love it if this site became a success, but you can't expect us to work for it, we will leave and spend our time weaving or having fun:))

Intuitive? Sorry if you don't understand, big problem! e.g. Microsoft products are not intuitive, you need to train to use them, when using them it always feels like you have to go the long way around. When I help people use msoft, I tell them to treat the program as if it were a retarded autistic child!! It helps:))

I understand you not wanting it to be so, but Ravelry is much more intuitive to use for us normal people. I can't believe that this is just a matter of funding.

Why does your page layout waste so much space at the sides?

Hate the 70's colour scheme, just my opinion!

Where can I find my posts, all together? Other peoples posts?

Photo' uploading is a total pain, what is the use of a weaving site were
we can't add wonderful photo's? I go to Rav mostly for the photo's of
other peoples work, so inspiring, how do I do the same here?

I don't want my email public, or have all members here able to get my email, how can I receive notifications of replies to my posts only and/or new posts to a thread, without disclosing my email? I would like both options.

Sorry no, I do not want a microsoftesque tour, I want it to be obvious and easy to see from the start, many weavers do not want to spend their precious time learning how to use a website.

I take part in many different websites, they are all fairly easy to use, most are run by volunteers on the cheap.

Hope this helps you, it would be great if I could feel able to recommend this website as a place to learn and contribute to the weavers I know.

I would contribute and learn (you obviously have some excellent weavers here) so much more, if it was easier to do so.

Right, off to do some weaving and have a mooch on Rav for the easy inspiration and wonderful enthusiasm of all the new weavers there, you are missing so much fun:))

Have a great day,

Minty

 

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 12:50

Because I was at Stringtopia I returned to Ravelry to interact with my new friends.  I have to say that I dislike it.  I had visited it several times before and never found a way in.  This time I went to a specific group doing the same thing I was doing-- following the threads is crazy.  They are justed posted by time, last post totally unrelated to the one above (yes, I now know you can click on the relpy to line and see it) but  it feels to me like evesdropping on 5 conversations at once--ugh!!  The posts are mostly chitchat, you have to wade thru and enormous amount of chaff to find any tidbit of info or ideas, talk about a time sink.  As you can tell I much prefer Weavolution's style for the posts.  Maybe which site you like is a matter of style or which one you got used to first.  I donot find Ravelry to be intuitive.  I much prefer the focused posts and discussions here.

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 18:32

Minty wrote:
"I understand you not wanting it to be so, but Ravelry is much more
intuitive to use for us normal people. I can't believe that this is just
a matter of funding."

Hi Minty, funding is a major part of it. The staff of Weavo are not programmers. So any program changes have to be paid for.

Ravelry has Casey the "Code-Monkey" on their staff. Casey is a creative and talented programmer and he is also into fiber. Yes, programmers can be creative. So when Casey sees something that needs to be tweaked, he makes it happen. I think he has a sweet opportunity to play and work on hacks at the same time.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Ravelry user, not on the Weavo staff

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 15:54

Every Website has it's own way of working, we must adapt and learn. Just like people, we are all different, we work in different ways one from another, we don't all work the same.  Weavolution has it's own way of working, different from any other website, learning to navigate it and find our way around it is just like any program we'd be using...you have to learn it's way of working.  Be patient, press a lot of buttons and tabs and behold you are a Pro Weavolutionary.  I am new at Weaving, I am new at Weavolution, but I got it! I know you can too! 

Note: I am also on Ravelry, but I don't compare the two, I just learn how each works and work within those parameters.  I don't expect one to be like the other.  

Thank you to the Weavolution team for a site specific to Weavers...it is a great site that meets a specific Yarn Art Niche that doesn't exist anywhere else.

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 19:24

I just looked back at the beginning and realized this post began in July 2009.  We were a very different community almost 2 years ago.  It's been a bumpy road and many of the folks who have responded in this post have been around since the beginning.  

A note about navigation.  The orange box at the top right side of every page gives you access to everything you have done on Weavolution.  The exceptions are first, the Dashboard is where to go to see all the activity from the most recent to the oldest.  It includes the posts from all the Forums (which we all have access to) and the Groups you have chosen to join or start.  To see your Forum posts, go to My Forum Posts. Group posts can be found by clicking on My Groups and going to the Landing or Main page of each group you chose to join.  

Projects can be viewed by clicking on that word on the black bar which appears on every page.  

As for your email address, it is protected unless you check the box in My Profile where you agree to share it.  If you have done so, then a white envelope will appear in the header of a post by you.  It will be just under your "Joined" date alongside an orange symbol which you can use to send a Private Message.  

Before we began planning Weavolution, we spoke to many people in the weaving community. In August 2008, we decided to begin the planning process.  We researched various software programs and chose Drupal as a result of that research.  We are an almost totally volunteer organization.  The only paid employees are our developers, PingV, who help to maintain the site and make changes as requested.  We have 3 teams of volunteers; the technical team, the community team and the marketing team.  Most volunteers have full-time jobs and devote a portion of their weekends to Weavolution and we are very grateful for their contribution to our community.

If you want additional information, please feel free to post in the Improving Weavolution or Weavolution Help forum.  The Weavolutionaries is a group and only a small portion of Weavo users belong and therefore do not see these comments.

Claudia, Weavolution co-founder and co-owner

Posted on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 21:43

Ravelry has 1,400,000 members, as I type there are 3500 members online. Here at Weavolution we have around 4000? with 26 online right now. Size matters

Michael

Posted on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 05:58

Hello,

I just wanted to say that I really appreciate having something akin to a weaving guild online. I find it is a lot easier to find and use the information I need from other weavers rather than a large comunity of people who specialize in other things. This seems like an appropriete place to say thank you. :-)

Posted on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 12:00

Thank you Cassie.  I was thrilled to see your rug project.  I have a box of Pendleton selvedges in almost the exact same colors.  I'd love to see more of your work.  I have warp for three rugs on the loom now and am almost done with the first one.  I'll post after MSWF (Maryland Sheep and Wool-Sat and SUn May 7&8 Meetup scheduled)

Thanks for joining Weavolution.  

Claudia

Posted on Wed, 05/04/2011 - 14:40

As the person who initially responded to this thread nearly 2 years ago, I thought I should chime in at last. With over 2,000 projects posted (and growing! It seems folks are in the habit of posting at least 2 or 3 new projects daily), I think at least some of us have figured out the learning curve on the photo load. I am still holding out hope for a simpler process though, no more than 2-3 clicks (vs. 7). At that point, anticipate an explosion of images! ;-)

And I too, have noticed uploads going faster lately. I'll continue to monitor that as I travel to different locations.

I *really* appreciated JJohnsII taking the time to provide a detailed response above. I have been ducking my software update reminders for a few times now, and you give me reasons to complete the process. And I like the idea of trying to work with the browsers we are familiar with. I think weavers want to spend more time weaving, not messing with their computers (unless its designing the next draft with their weaving software.)

I'll continue to tune in, because I don't want to miss any of the good stuff, and there is plenty to be found here among those 8,000+ weavers!

Sally

Posted on Sat, 05/07/2011 - 01:24

Minty, I didn't mean to imply that the problems were your own.  I'm very sorry for leaving that impression.

We do accept constructive criticism, and I'm very appreciative that you spent some of your valuable time to identify some specific areas of the site that are problems - like there being no way to review all of your posts in one place, and the "70's" color scheme.

Every suggestion (including those from Sally and others in this discussion) will be incorporated into our issues review list and prioritized, so we can focus the majority of our volunteer time addressing the recommendations and wishes that have the greatest impact on our 8000+ member community.  Some of the items mentioned here are even already on that list, and continued input about those issues increases the importance of those items to us.

Not every suggestion offered by every person can be accommodated - but we are doing our best.  I can't promise when Weavolution will reach that "useability threshold" that you're seeking.  But again, thank you for giving us some feedback we can use to make this site a better place.

FYI:  Although it may not be as intuitive as desired, you can find the forum posts you've made by following these instructions from Claudia[1].  As mentioned there, group posts are different... there's no way to see a single list of your (and only your) group posts... the Groups system doesn't integrate into the site as nicely as we wish.  I personally find the separate forums and groups areas to be very confusing.  Someday, we hope we can find something that works better.

Thank you also to all of the participants in this thread, for the support you've given and continue to give.

[1] http://weavolution.com/group/weavolutionaries/finding-all-my-posts-18089...