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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Access to justice and advice sector issues  →  Thread

Yay… some rightsnet updates

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shawn mach
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Just wanted to share some updates on things we’ve been working on that will all come to fruition over the next few days and weeks ...

First up, we have a new site design going live later this week ... we’ve taken the opportunity to refresh our look, while keeping the structure of the site intact and so, after the shock of the new, you should still be able to navigate your way around pretty easily (and all your links and bookmarks will still work). As well as looking a little different, the new design has provided us with scope to improve the site’s accessibility and streamline some things here and there .... and also provides a foundation to build on as we look to make further improvements. Hope you like it.

Secondly, thanks to everyone who provided feedback via the survey we launched back in the autumn on the potential of us launching a new area of the forum in response to requests from those of you working with the devolved benefit system in Scotland. While there were views for and against, we wanted to respond positively to those of you who thought it would be useful, and so we’ll be launching something in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, we’re pleased to report that following our recent recruitment, we have a new person joining the rightsnet team soon ... we’re really happy and are looking forward to their arrival and to be able to introduce you to them. Us investing in and growing the team is very much about us wanting to provide more and better support to you, so do also get in touch if there are things you’d like to see us doing that we don’t already.

Cheers - Shawn

shawn mach
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Hi again ...

Just to confirm that our new site design will be going live tomorrow ... possibly early afternoon ...

Fingers crossed that it all goes smoothly, and I’ll see you on the other side ....

Cheers - Shawn

Elliot Kent
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Exciting times - look forward to seeing all the new stuff.

shawn mach
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Cheers Elliot ...

... we’ll be offline for about half an hour in a short while while we update stuff ... apologies in advance

shawn mach
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We’re back .......

davidsmithp1000
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An improvement 😊

BCD
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Is it supposed to be in black and white rather than colour now? It is for me.
Actually, just the discussion, jobs and resources pages are all in b and w, the rest does have some colour

[ Edited: 28 Feb 2024 at 02:23 pm by BCD ]
shawn mach
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davidsmithp1000 - 28 February 2024 02:01 PM

An improvement :)

Steady on David 😂

shawn mach
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BCD - 28 February 2024 02:20 PM

Is it supposed to be in black and white rather than colour now? It is for me.

Yes, B&W, with splashes of colour here and there .... for example: https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/news-and-caselaw

BCD
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It reminds me of what newspapers used to look like before Eddie Shah came along with Today…

shawn mach
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BCD - 28 February 2024 02:30 PM

It reminds me of what newspapers used to look like before Eddie Shah came along with Today…

Ah, the good old days?!

Mike Hughes
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Ooh, not what I was expecting at all and… I’m not sure. It does seem a bit Windows 1.0. The high contrast is helpful but Dark Mode would be even more helpful.

Might I also suggest (pretty please) that the “MORE WELFARE RIGHTS NEWS” type links and the links to your excellent web tools at the bottom of each page are reconsidered. All caps. is not great from an accessibility perspective.

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Hi Sean, looking good from a mobile perspective when viewing but not really when trying to post reply… Text box is very weird. Also noticed there’s two clicks for new posts and to post reply.

shawn mach
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Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 28 February 2024 11:03 PM

Hi Sean, looking good from a mobile perspective when viewing but not really when trying to post reply… Text box is very weird. Also noticed there’s two clicks for new posts and to post reply.

Cheers Paul ... could you email me a screenshot when you get a chance? Cheers,  Shawn

Mike Hughes
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shawn mach - 28 February 2024 06:43 PM

Hi Mike -

I think we could certainly look to do something about that use of all capitals ... leave it with me.

Cheers - Shawn

Thanks Shawn.

Think I’m going to have to experiment a bit with it as the contrast is very stark. A good comparison (and I really don’t like saying this) is with the B&W of gov.uk, which is much gentler on the eye. Possibly because some of the headings are very bold here in comparison to there.

Gareth Morgan
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Just a tweak but could you change ‘new topics’ to ‘new posts’.

shawn mach
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shawn mach - 29 February 2024 10:17 AM
Paul_Treloar_AgeUK - 28 February 2024 11:03 PM

Hi Sean, looking good from a mobile perspective when viewing but not really when trying to post reply… Text box is very weird. Also noticed there’s two clicks for new posts and to post reply.

Cheers Paul ... could you email me a screenshot when you get a chance? Cheers,  Shawn

Cheers Paul ... got the screenshot, thanks ....  we’ve now tweaked the submission form, so I hope it should look/work better for you.

shawn mach
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Gareth Morgan - 29 February 2024 11:06 AM

Just a tweak but could you change ‘new topics’ to ‘new posts’.

Aha ... yes, I see what you mean ... although I think this is not a result of our redesign ... will nevertheless add it to the list. Cheers, Shawn

Paul_Treloar_AgeUK
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Thanks Shawn, that is much better.

CHAC Adviser
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Quite a shock to the system! But overall I like it. I do think it might be better if the contrast could be softened just a smidge (and a dark mode would be ace) as the black and white is nice and clear but not completely easy on the eye but consider that a minor quibble. I’m involved in a forum elsewhere on the internet and making changes like this is often fraught with the risk of irate users so well done for being bold and making a big change like this which, in general, I think is big improvement! Well done team 😊

past caring
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A small thing - the “folder” icon that sits to the left in the list of sub-sections for the forum? There’s not a great (or enough) contrast between the black (which signifies new posts/topics in that sub-section) and the grey (which signifies nothing new since you last visited). Could there be more? It was much better previously. Yes, there is the ‘Most recent topics’ section at the bottom of the list, but that doesn’t do quite the same thing…....

shawn mach
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CHAC Adviser - 01 March 2024 10:43 AM

Quite a shock to the system! But overall I like it. I do think it might be better if the contrast could be softened just a smidge (and a dark mode would be ace) as the black and white is nice and clear but not completely easy on the eye but consider that a minor quibble. I’m involved in a forum elsewhere on the internet and making changes like this is often fraught with the risk of irate users so well done for being bold and making a big change like this which, in general, I think is big improvement! Well done team :)

Cheers ... appreciate it ...

Yes, we wanted to go big with the redesign, and have had the benefit also of some time to get used to it ... already for me, looking back at the ‘old’ site, I’m really pleased with the changes we’ve made and our direction of travel ... of course, that’s not to say we can’t tweak things here and there, and we’re putting together a list of things that we may want to revisit, so everyone’s feedback is really welcome and helpful.

Cheers - Shawn

 

Elliot Kent
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I was a bit “arrgh” initially but it has grown on me a lot. (This is high praise Shawn as isn’t possible to change a website design without causing the regulars to grumble).

I do agree with the above that if it is possible to tone the contrast down a little that would help. It is a bit too much which doesn’t help with eye strain.

Jon (CANY)
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past caring - 01 March 2024 12:10 PM

A small thing - the “folder” icon that sits to the left in the list of sub-sections for the forum? There’s not a great (or enough) contrast between the black (which signifies new posts/topics in that sub-section) and the grey (which signifies nothing new since you last visited). Could there be more? It was much better previously. Yes, there is the ‘Most recent topics’ section at the bottom of the list, but that doesn’t do quite the same thing…....

It looks different for me in different browsers (or different accounts? oops, that may be the issue..). See attached, firefox on the left, chrome on the right. The chrome black/dark grey version isn’t great.

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past caring
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Yes, the Firefox version is much better (as is generally the case) and Chrome is awful.

The difficulty is that some us work for organisations where we aren’t necessarily granted the admin privileges that would allow us to choose our own browser…...

Mike Hughes
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I’m a reluctant Chrome user in work as it works the least worst with the tools we have to work with. As I actively resist all things Google bar a logged out version of Maps then there is no other context in which I would use Chrome bar work.

I’m finding I am spending less time on the site at present as it’s just too much to look at on a full sized screen. Dark mode, more colour and less contrast are the solutions but not all solutions are available on all platforms so at present I’m viewing the site more when I’m not in work and can view it on DuckDuckGo and use a Dark mode add in. It’s less than ideal but the only real option for me at present.

JonUCN
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I accidentally posted above from a device that I didn’t realise was logged in with my old account. But that’s a red herring, the site just looks different in different browsers. Here is an Edge screencap, for a third colour scheme.

If we get to vote, I prefer the firefox look.

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Charles
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I have a feeling that some of these differences are due to caching issues, not actual differences between the browsers.

JonUCN
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Charles - 05 March 2024 02:08 PM

I have a feeling that some of these differences are due to caching issues, not actual differences between the browsers.

Ah yes, thanks Charles. Clearing browsing cache on chrome makes it look like the Edge screenshot now.

shawn mach
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Hi there ... a quick update re the folder icons .. yes, we did some work overnight so, as soon as your caches clear, then it should look the same (and better) for you all ... with a clear distinction between forums/threads with new messages in and those without.

Cheers - Shawn

shawn mach
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Thanks again for all your feedback .. it’s really helpful… we’ve been making some changes with more to come so thanks also for your patience ..

One of the things we implemented earlier today is to make the page background less white to address how stark some of you feel the new design was .. hopefully that’s a move in the right direction ..

... we’re also working on adding a dark mode option, and I’ll let you know just as soon as we get that up and running.

Cheers - Shawn