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CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sun Jan 5, 2003, 12:43am
Subject: CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
 

This weekend, I went back to the drawing board, as it were, and came up with a reoganization plan for the CoffeeGeek site. I'm posting this hoping for some feedback - is anything missing, would you like to see things a bit different, etc. Give me your thoughts.

Reoganized CoffeeGeek:

Front page:
Reoganized information features most recent article, review, or first look (or contest) prominently, then almost as prominent are the next three articles, reviews, first looks, tips or tricks.

Under that, There are three columns: 10 most recent columns (opinion articles), second column has 10 most recent reviews, first looks, tips and tricks, or news items; and the third column has the 10 most recent consumer reviews (all are text only).

On the right side of the page you have search box, login box (if not logged in), sponsor ads, 10 most recent forums postings, and site resources and stats.

Section Breakdown:

Opinions
Has op/ed pieces by regular columnists as well as guest columnists.

  • Old (non active) columnists will be retired and in an "archive"
  • New columnists are coming on board in the next few months
  • Set up 4 guest article areas: Newbies, Cafe Stage, Ethics of Coffee, and Professionals Corner

Guides and How Tos
This is going to be a revamped area, somewhat. I have on my computer various guides (guide to espresso, guide to vac pots, guide to home roasting, etc) that I will polish up, complete, add photos to and post. I will also start moving again on the Tips and Tricks section, but I would like to enlish the aid of others in revamping and revitalizing this section.

Consumer Reviews
Revamp slightly, but keep the sections as is.

CoffeeGeek Reviews
This section will be revamped in looks, but only slightly. One major change is First Looks and QuickShot Reviews will be added to this section.

Resources
This would include new sections, as well as a revamp of existing content.

  • site FAQs (eg, advertising on CoffeeGeek, About CoffeeGeek, how to post a review, how to participate in forums, how to submit a guest article, how to submit a product etc)
  • FAQs: Newbie faq, coffee faq, espresso faq, vac pot FAQ, other faqs? I will need some serious help in writing these - any volunteers?
  • News Stories, compiled from online news about coffee and espresso.
  • Coffee News (from submitted press releases, something new the site will be doing - we'll have an editor who decides what is newsworthy for posting in this section)
  • Advertisers' Listing - all active advertisers will be listed in one spot, as a resource for our readers: business name, website address, contact email, phone number, address. It will be category based.
  • New and Noteworthy will be moved to this section.

Forums
Remains pretty much as it is.


Thoughts?

Any volunteers on helping with the FAQs?

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Mon Jan 6, 2003, 4:19pm
Subject: Re: CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
 

bump

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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jim_schulman
Senior Member
jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Mon Jan 6, 2003, 7:07pm
Subject: Re: CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
 

I think your espresso material on coffeekid is excellent. If you want more, how about a sort of espresso 202 for the geeky and obsessed: a quick walk through of all the godshot issues -- grinding and dosing, tamp, water and head temperature control, unregulated vibe vs regulated vibe vs rotary pump, home versus commercial steaming.

This would be a work in progress as the various people here and a.c. figure out new issues to obsess about.

I could put something together along these lines in a few weeks. I'd be less happy rewriting your or Bogie's work.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Jan 10, 2003, 1:11am
Subject: Re: CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
 

Just a nibble for my fellow Forums readers: a sneak peek at the most recent facelift revision design (and this is the final look for the new front page):

http://mark.webmotif.com

I've got half of the sections done as well, but they won't be online at this site... well, probably not. :)

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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niter
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2002
Posts: 15
Expertise: Beginner

Posted Fri Jan 10, 2003, 4:04pm
Subject: Re: CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
 

Hi,

I have not been at this site long enough to give a justified review of what I think should be here and what should not.  However, I have read almost everything at the coffeekid.com site.  To me, I think the asthetics of the coffeekid site are much nicer.  The front page of the coffeegeek site is a bit clutterd... organized, but still a lot to take in when you first look at it!  Still, I would say that it is a darn good site.  So far, I have not had a single trouble in finding information, and I find the layout and the utility of the site high.  Truthfully, I wouldn't think less of it at all, if I hadn't seen coffeekid first!
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Jan 10, 2003, 6:12pm
Subject: Re: CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
 

niter Said:

Hi,

I have not been at this site long enough to give a justified review of what I think should be here and what should not.  However, I have read almost everything at the coffeekid.com site.  To me, I think the asthetics of the coffeekid site are much nicer.  The front page of the coffeegeek site is a bit clutterd... organized, but still a lot to take in when you first look at it!  Still, I would say that it is a darn good site.  So far, I have not had a single trouble in finding information, and I find the layout and the utility of the site high.  Truthfully, I wouldn't think less of it at all, if I hadn't seen coffeekid first!

Posted January 10, 2003 link

Hi Niter.

Thanks for the comments. There's a couple of issues though: CoffeeKid and CoffeeGeek are not "serving" the same audience... plus CoffeeGeek gets about 15x the traffic CoffeeKid does, and we have to deal with optimizing the speed of a site, along with more and fuller information.

CoffeeKid, at best, gets one or two updates a week. So the front can remain fairly uncluttered, showing site updates and navigation.

CoffeeGeek, at what I hope is the best, would have a dozen or more updates a day: new consumer reviews, a new article every day or two, new First Looks, Detailed Reviews, Quickshot reviews, or news stories at least once a day or two. In addition, CoffeeGeek currently has about 3,000 pages of content, and that number grows by 10 or 15 pages a day. CoffeeKid has at best about 300 pages.

Because of the differences, CoffeeGeek's front page has to be very 'portalized': a one stop shop for latest stuff posted. And therein lies the rub - the more updates, the more info, the slower the site is.

So how do we get around that? Several things:

  1. reduce the number of "server hits" where possible, including graphics calls, database calls, etc. The new front page "weighs" about 35% less than the current one, but contains about 300% more info - 45 articles referenced, plus the 4 features, plus the poll, plus the forum listings, plus site stats. The weight reduction came from less graphics used, and more CSS used. The bad thing is, Netscape 4 and 3 users will see a mucked up page. The good thing is, 98% of our visitors will see a faster loading front page with more info.

  2. reduce the complexity of the code. I've achieved what I think is about a 25% reduction in the "complexity" of the html code that has to be rendered. There still are nested HTML tables, for example, but at most they go 3 levels deep (or was that 4?). On the existing site, they can go seven levels deep. Most people don't know this, but nested tables are a HUGE resource hog for most browser rendering engines. The result is that most browsers will render the code faster. I just tested my latest builds of the new site last night in Safari, the new browser on the Mac, and WOWMAN, was it fast in rendering.

  3. present more info that people want. I'm fortunate that many CG users see themselves as part time beta / site testers. I get about a half dozen emails a week with requests for site improvements or requested features, or bug reports. This truly helps, and the new design incorporates a lot of stuff people have asked for.

  4. New focus. When CG was launched, the site was a vehicle mainly for one thing: consumer reviews. As we went through our first year, the focus has shifted somewhat to forums, to opinion articles, and to the stuff that gets more page views and hits than anything else: Detailed Reviews and First Looks. We aren't losing the focus on consumer reviews - but we're putting more face time on the stuff people want most.

  5. Other improvements: our advertising partners have been complaining on occasion about our partners section and its functionality. The goal for me and my company is to make the Partners Section as completely "self service" as possible, but it ain't working if it's too hard. A lot of work is going into revamping that so it is easier. We're also working on making it much easier for our columnists to post articles.

Cheers

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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koffeekev
Senior Member
koffeekev
Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 693
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat Jan 18, 2003, 11:04am
Subject: Re: CoffeeGeek Facelift and Reoganization
 

CoffeeKid Said:

Just a nibble for my fellow Forums readers: a sneak peek at the most recent facelift revision design (and this is the final look for the new front page):

http://mark.webmotif.com

I've got half of the sections done as well, but they won't be online at this site... well, probably not. :)

Mark

Posted January 10, 2003 link

Hi Mark. I really like the look of the new front page for a couple of reasons. I enjoy ease of operation when it comes to looking up data. Having the lower page in a simulated push button design allows me to simply click and go. The top right corner search also seems easier. I am not a pc techie nor will I ever be, so if I may speak for others like me, easier is better. Having the sponser adds available is a great idea. I'm constantly looking here first for vendors. Something about this site makes me feel as if these companies stand above others in base integrity. Kevin
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