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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.

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