Category Archives: Improvements

Improvements! Part 2

Feedback from our users is an invaluable source of ideas.  And based on feedback received in the past few weeks, we’ve made another round of improvements in the hope of making our site even more usable.  Here’s a short list of the more significant changes:

  1. Editing multiple items:  Users have always had the ability to edit the details of a single inventory item.  But if a user wanted to edit the same data field across multiple items, it required going into each item individually and making the change.  Now it’s possible to edit across multiple items at the same time.

    For example, if a user has listed a dozen books as Lend items but decides he no longer wants to keep them, he could change all of them to Give items in one step.  Or, if another user has posted several Give items for points, but decides she just wants to get rid of them quickly, she change all of them to Free items by reducing their point values to zero–all in one step.

    Most item details are changeable with this function.  It’s even possible to increase or decrease point values by a percentage amount and to change the shipping and availability settings for multiple items.

    How to do it?  In your item inventory page, choose the spreadsheet view for your items (the third of the three view type icons at the upper right of your inventory listing).  Use the sidebar filters to reduce your inventory list to the items you want to edit.  Select which items you want to edit with the checkboxes at the left of each line (or choose everything on the page with the checkbox at the top of the column).  Then click the “Modify multiple items” button.  You will then be taken to a page with the item fields that you can change with this multiple editing feature.

  2. Reorganized group pages:  The group information and management pages have also been streamlined.

    The Memberships page (the second tab on the Relationships page) shows a list of a user’s groups as well as a link to the “Create a new group” page.  Clicking on the name of any group in the memberships list takes the user to that group’s detail page, which includes a secondary tab menu that leads to pages with more detailed information about the items, members and messages related to the group.

  3. Email preferences:  It’s now possible to choose from three settings (immediately, daily and weekly) to control how frequently notifications are sent about activity in a user’s account. The page can be found by clicking the “setting” link on the user profile page. In the future we plan to give more control to the user in this area by making it possible to sent a different notification frequency for different activity types.
We’ve also made several other smaller improvements, including more descriptive button titles, clearer filter menu titles and progress on a mobile version of the site.  And there’s much more to come.

Let us know what you think.  We’re always interested in hearing from users, especially when it helps us make the site more usable!

Improvements!

As we’ve come to realize, web site development is an odd combination of programming, project management and publishing. With the added twist that nothing is ever finished–there’s always a change here, a tweak there … and a big improvement in that corner over there you’d forgotten about completely.

So it should come as no surprise that we’ve made a few changes in the past few weeks. Some of them from our own list of things to enhance or embellish; others driven by some very helpful feedback we’ve received from our first users. We hope you find that these changes improve the useability of the site.

First, a new browse landing page replaces the previous browse page (which showed only the most recently added items). The new browse page–visible to users who are not logged into the site, but also reachable by logged-in users–shows a collection of thumbnail icons (e.g, Books, DVDs, Free Items, How it Works, etc.) that lead to filtered searches or help pages that visitors should find most helpful.

A similar change has been made to the logged-in user’s home page. The size of the feed on the home page, which shows recent messages received in the user’s account, has been narrowed to allow for the placement of thumbnail icons similar to those on the new browse page mentioned above. (The “Browse Map” link at the top of these thumbnails will take you to the browse page described in the previous paragraph.)  Since this page is only visible to users who are logged into their accounts, these thumbnails can be more personalized based on a user’s activity and account details.

Other changes:

  • The user’s feed has been also enhanced to show not only account messages but also items added by friends and or group members listed in each user’s availability schedule.
  • More flexible filters have been added, both to item search results pages and to each user’s “My items” page, and are visible in the left sidebar menu.
  • The transactions pages have been updated with a new graphical representation of the series of steps necessary to complete a transaction.
  • Two introductory help pages, “How It Works” and “What to Do First” have been added in a new Getting Started section of the help area.

We hope you find these changes helpful. If you have any question, comments or suggestions, please send us a note using the “Contact Us” link in the footer of every page.