We have deployed a new homepage, the first major change to the homepage in 5+ years, screencap below:
Compared to previous:
Here are the main benefits/reasons:
Displays much more content, similar to how the NY Times, WSJ, etc. do so. Years ago, we offered far less, so it was OK to have a simple single-column layout. The new layout lets us dynamically show 5x more content in many different areas.
Loads significantly faster, ~1 second instead of the previous homepage about ~3 seconds.
New underlying architecture. As IPVM is now 14+ years old, the original software architecture we used is no longer optimal for 2020's development, so this is the first implementation of IPVM moving to a new, more current architecture.
Up next will be replacing the reports and discussion views, which cover most visits to IPVM.
Thanks to Duc, Long, and Thang for working on this and making this happen quite smoothly! We'll have more improvements to come and any design problems are my fault, not theirs.
Feedback, questions, and suggestions welcome in the comments.
Right. I find it annoying on other news sites where they have one new headline and then a bunch of old stories next to it on the main page just because they're related. It makes it seem like a bunch of stuff just happened in that topic, when there's really only one new story. Either have the old stories linked from the article page, or on the main page have a button that says "Stories related to this" that will reveal those old stories.
You are operating from the assumption that you have already read most of our reporting, while most people have not (to any site, NY Times, WSJ, IPVM, etc.).
That said, one of the other projects we are working on is to add more personalizaton / recommendations to the home page, like Netflix, YouTube, etc.
Btw, in our old site, we added a feature last year to pin 1 or 2 "older" articles and the result was much higher engagement for those articles than simply going chronologically. My takeaway was that a lot of people miss IPVM reports when they are first published but if you make it easy for them to see them on the homepage later, they will choose that over a newer report with narrower appeal.
You are operating from the assumption that you have already read most of our reporting
I know this comment was to UD1, but I can tell you that I am not operating from that assumption. there are tons of stories that I don't read if the title or subject aren't interesting to me - but if I see them linked to a story that I do read, I may then click on them for a broader view.
although they are not specifically labeled as such, it becomes pretty obvious over time that the stories on the top right are related to the main story.
how many 'related' links do you imagine someone would click on before they clicked the main story link?
the main story is a lawsuit and all the stories in the top right column are stories related to other lawsuits.
Yes, that is the current layout. We can and will change the layout as new reports are posted.
how is that helpful to those of us that aren't lawyers?
That's why many sites (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) have moved to personalized recommendations, i.e. only show 70s movies and Seinfeld clips to you, etc. That is a next step for us, to use this layout to dynamically show reporting most relevant to one's history.
That's why many sites (Netflix, YouTube, etc.) have moved to personalized recommendations
Yes, but most of those are considered failures. Netflix is mostly accused of trying to do personalized listings to obscure the fact that they are running thin on fresh content, I think that is the opposite of what IPVM is going for.
Granted it's only been a couple of days of the new layout, but so far I'm really not a fan. It's much harder to see what is actually new, and the comments/discussions data is not present or buried down, so it is also harder to see which things are getting engagement and possibly additional perspective/info/etc.
The whole layout just feels messy and unorganized to me. IMO there is much room to improve on the previous single-column report format, but I'm not sure that this is a step in the best direction.
Wait, what? Netflix and YouTube would be far worse if they just showed you a chronological listing of what's new. And I am certain I would read far more NY Times articles if they personalized the results for me.
I've definitely heard the concern about making it easier to see chronological view and we're going to see what we can do there. Thanks.
I for one disagree with that approach. I would not welcome personalized recommendations on IPVM. If i happen to look up dahua one time, that doesn't mean I want to more Dahua articles for the next week or two. I prefer to see wha tthe newest stories are, and read those
This is awful IMO. Just in this example, the homepage is an entire wall of UK/HikVision. You would think the entire site is dedicated to this singular topic (someone is going to make a smart remark about this).
Like others have noted, related stories should be shown after clicking on an article, to ensure the suggested clicks are directed at the right people. If you have absolutely zero interest in the UK or HikVision (or whatever the "big" story of the day is), the current homepage layout is a complete nightmare.
I feel the recent comment section could be larger. It now only shows 5, always like browsing this to see recent comments and additions. With only 5 I could miss them more easily. Or a clickable option to see the longlist could also work, as the layout on the site it quite nice in this dimension.
Agreed. I have no idea what the newest content is, and honestly kinda hate the "related" article section next to the main news. If I cared about whatever the main article is, the link to similar or related content should be IN the article page, not cluttering the top of the main page. I had to scroll around to find that the Huewei article was the most recent article posted (I think). The design of the page is fine, I guess? It's just a lot of stuff I either don't have access to or have already read all over the place.
"Displays much more content, similar to how the NY Times, WSJ, etc. do" -
just because those legacy outlets do it that way is no reason to copy it. i liked the different layout, because IPVM is a different outlet, makes me wonder what's next? are you gonna have those pop up video ad's in the middle of the screen
Where is the new Access Control Architecture 101 article? I don't see it anywhere on the homepage even under the access control section. Can there be a space labeled new content or something like that? I would not have even seen it if there wasn't a comment on the article.
I appreciate the feedback, including the negative, as we assess how to optimize the new layout.
One of the things I am confident in is that it is better to de-emphasize the focus on dates. I understand power users who read IPVM daily are focused on what is absolutely new but most users are less frequent and are more concerned about missing "top" reports rather than what was published an hour ago (though these changes today with news in the upper right and mid center should help to that end).
Also, dates are less central to IPVM reporting than they are to traditional newspaper stories like "Biden Waves Sparklers" or "Pelosi Greets Veterans" are really something time sensitive because they refer to a passing event. Most IPVM reports are as valid in day 120 as the day they are published since they are about broader issues or trends.
That said, I am looking to suggestions about how to better layout the homepage for different users / type of use.
Any thoughts on showing more of the recent comments?I took me a few searches to find this thread, as it is no longer in the most recent five.From the responses to my initial comment on this I see others feel the same way.
I am getting used to the new layout and it looks quite nice. Every new start has some tweaks, happy we can give some feedback.
We're going to show a few more of recent comments on the home page but if you are interested in comments primarily then I would recommend bookmarking / going to the Discussion homepage, which has all the most recent comments, etc.
Do you think Verkada is paying us to call them "Hostage as a Service", that their salespeople are "arrogant, rude, and relentless", they have a "false and manipulative strategy" and an "unethical culture"? Are you serious?
No, it's not paid.
We are using the new homepage to rotate highlights of various reporting we do, e.g.:
The homepage is rebuilt every few minutes I believe and cached in between to maximize page loading. We might invalidate the cache for every new comment but maybe not, given the tradeoffs of page speed vs inconvenience of a new comment not shown in the next minute.
Three weeks in... I have to say I am happy with the new website. There was always a lot more on IPVM than met the eye on the homepage.. and now with this new layout it is very visible how much relevant content there is.
I appreciate the tips that have been taken and updates (IE number of recent comments). But all in all very nice!