Ideas for SQLServerCentral.com

  • I like the "second look" idea. I read it every day, but some days you just miss something that might have caught your eye on another day.

  • Steve,

    I feel that there is a need of a direct link to the discussion page from each article.

    For example: The current display is:

    Ideas for SQLServerCentral.com

    By: Steve Jones

    It can be:

    Ideas for SQLServerCentral.com

    By: Steve Jones   Join Discussion

    It would be useful, as we will be reading the article once-twice-thrice... but  most of the time we will be interested in the posts made by readers. This change will directly allow us to go the discussion page.

  • "we have a usability expert and a designer working on the look and feel to make things more, ah, well....beautiful?"

    It's really quite depressing when a functional site like sqlservercentral.com, which looks pretty good to me, gets a designer to "improve" the looks. I don't want fancy graphics, or those supremely irritating Flash objects (thank God for Firefox and FlashBlock!). I want a site that does the job as simply as possible, and loads pages as quickly as possible. All of that "pretty" stuff doesn't provide any functionality - it justs absorbs bandwidth.

    I know that evolution is inevitable, but I wish that wasn't true in this case.

  • Here's an example, visit http://www.simple-talk.com/default.aspx

    This (somewhat new) SQL site is pretty cool from the aspect of design... and the articles and 'How To' items are very well written. Read one of Robyn Page's articles for example. I believe this site is based out of the UK.

    On the volume of info a site provides, I think this it easy to overdo. That is, some include so much info that you're simply overwhelmed. I really like the 'need help' questions on your site - I have gleaned a lot of useful info from those.

     

  • Just a few comments:

    1. Just one menu please: Please put all the menu items in a single menu on the side or at the top of the page. The menu should be the same no matter where we are in the site.
    2. Be careful with the rollovers. The current link rollover that changes the text to bold is annoying because sometimes the link moves down a line and the mouse cursor is no longer on it.
    3. Keep the site light-weight. Believe it or not, some of us still have dial-up connections at home. The U.S. is dead last (or close) in broadband availability per-capita so it is pretty likely that I am not the only one.
    4. Add a tagging capability to articles. See del.icio.us if you don't know what I mean. This would be the natural evolution of the current briefcase feature (which I like very much).

    Overall, I like the site as-is and would be happy with it if there were no changes at all. But, since you asked... This is the best SQL Server community and I appreciate all the work that has gone into making it so great!

    [font="Tahoma"]Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD[/font]
    Business Intelligence Administrator
    MSBI Administration Blog

  • I think it would be useful to put up some mock layouts before making changes, more doable now since you have a team supporting you! I think a general clean up is worth doing, but not sure there is a killer feature that is missing - but how would I know??

    On advertising, if you really want to do a service for the community, level the playing field. Because SSC has always been pay per ad rather than per per click, it has always skewed towards the bigger players. We (us three musketeers) tried to make opportunities for the smaller vendors (especially the one person startups) but we had to weigh that against revenue needs. You don't have that limitation any longer and I think you can do some good with it. Competition in the SQL tool space is good for all of us, but it's hard to compete if you can't afford ads. Show us ALL the tools in the SQL space, or at least the ones willing to pay some minimal ad rate to weed out the ones that aren't serious. Ads are a lot more interesting if there is variety, so if you combined running ads from more vendors with a policy that they have to change ads every 3 months I dont think some ads would be bad.

    And here's one more I always wanted to do but is exactly counter to the ad supported model - show side by side comparisons of products. Reviews tend to be more product intro's and they have their place, but it would be really interesting to see feature comparisons (full in depth testing probably out of reach?).

     

     

  • Gosh, of all the database sites I like your layout the best.   Content is frequently good (not always a given in the MSSQL Server world.

    More than anything, I'd like more high quality content.   But since you asked about design, look toward making a higher volume of archives easy to find things in. 

    As for content, I know you rely on your readers for that and I wish I had the time to do "What Microsoft Didn't Tell You about Installing Version 9 on X64..." (Short answer is that once you ARE running, 8 dual core Operterons with 64 Gig memory and iSCSI arrays are awesome powerwise: but you may end up reinstalling from the OS up about a dozen times before you learn all the ways you can screw it up)

    Problem on content is: the good people are busy!

    Roger L Reid

  • as long as it's fast and useable i don't care (or want) fancy flash animations, button rollovers etc. I want to find and post data fast.

    on another front how about knowledge base/expert system section

    answer yes/no to 20 questions and hey presto you get a reasonable set of things to check/fix - helpfull in giving standard answers to some of the more simple questions that get posted in the forum

    Mv

    MVDBA

  • Thanks for the comments and I don't think the plans are to make things more lively (flash, etc.), but rather cleaner. I've never thought that there was much wrong with our layout, but I didn't think it was great either.

    We'll definitely mock things up and you can look at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/default2.asp for some ideas. Nothing definite, but there are some ideas there.

    Also, I added the "join the discussion" link. Not sure why I waited so long for that one.

  • Perhaps some sort of table of contents to keep things on a high level and then if you want drill down to it, and an alphabetical index of the scripts could be very usefull.

    Thanks Steve and SQLServerCentral Team, you are doing a great job here.

  • KISS, KISS, KISS

    • Site menu on the top, no matter where you are on the website
    • User menu on the left
    • Ads with on left or right and not in between article headings
    • Bigger site search box (where to put this?)
    • Collapsible article headings and details (nice to have...put last on the 'to-do' list

    Just my 2 cents

  • I have been a subscriber for years, but very rarely respond or otherwise comment. Perhaps it's childish, but it bugs me to be referred to as a "Newbie" because I am an infrequent contributor. Otherwise, I have been a satisfied subscriber. I am sure you have lots of great suggestions from other folks for presentation suggestions.

  • I would love to see a section that reviews 3rd party software in a video format like CNet does with there Editors reviews of products.  Then a link to real users opinions and rankings of this software would be nice.

  • I really like the Editorials. I think they add a lot to the newsletter. I like that I can read what other people in the profession think.

    One suggestion would be that some of the links don't take us straight to the article. Sometimes I have to click on 2 or 3 links before I find the article. And every once in a while the article isn't there anymore. It would be nice to be able to get to the article with one link.

    Please keep the font normal size. After staring into computer screens all day, it is nice to be able to read something in normal font.

    Thanks for having this newsletter available! It has been a big help!

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