Some Marketplace tweaks!...or not!

TimWilson

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After everyone's enormous enthusiasm for the return of the "verification of possession" photos as a requirement in the Marketplace, I did some more thinking about the Marketplace. It's one of our most popular forums, so a few weeks back, I moved it much higher up the stack, so that it's now well above the fold, so to speak.

This follows my previous move a while back to put the Ukulele Boards at the top of the page, and the admin forums at the bottom. I do still like having New Member Introductions at the top, followed by our BY FAR most popular forum, Uke Talk, then the Marketplace, which is by far our SECOND most popular forum, followed by the Contests/Seasons forum, and a slightly renamed Ukulele Underground Videos forum (where I'm tinkering today and for the next week or so, with apologies to anyone who's subscribed to that one!). Ukulele Beginners is just below that, and then everything below is otherwise still in the same order.

1682299268455.png

The eagle-eyed among you will notice a different icon next to Ukulele Marketplace than the other forums. Those two conversation bubbles denote what's called a "Discussion forum" in XenForo parlance, ie, the kinds of forum that most folks are used to, both at UU and elsewhere around the web.

That icon that looks like a page of paper in front of Ukulele Marketplace is for "Articles", which is another post type that XenForo supports. (In addition to conversations and articles, you already know Polls and Questions, the latter of which are those upvote/downvote things currently primarily found in the Site Feedback & Questions forum).

"Articles" as a format rather than Discussions bring us two advantages. One, we're telling Google that this is MORE than a forum post, so please pay attention, but more important, we have glorious poster frames on these posts, which makes for a landing page that's truly stunning. Here's a screenshot of how the Marketplace looks now! It's kinda low-res because I'm trying to fit the whole page into a post that's still readable on mobile, but I think you get the idea.

1682299416357.png

Then farther down the page, the thumbnails get smaller, but they still look boss.

1682299541053.png

This brings me to some tips that I'll add to the "How to Buy and Sell" pinned post.

1) The poster frame for each post is autogenerated by the first photo in the post, whether embedded (using our gigantic new photo embeds!), OR attached for folks who prefer to kick it old school.

What does NOT generate poster frames is external albums. I understand why people use external albums, especially folks who haven't tasted the delights of our updated photo embedding here at the UU forums. And hey, if you want to use imgur, or postimages, or Google Photos, or iCloud, or what have you, please keep doing so!

Just please please PLEASE include at least ONE of those photos as either an embed or an attachment to your UU post! Again, it's ONLY the photos uploaded inside UU, whether embedded in the post or attached as files, that generate the thumbnail for the Marketplace landing page.

Please note that for now, I did in fact go through and add a couple of photos for folks who'd used external albums in recent sales, because I wanted the first 5 pages or so of the new Marketplace to look as shiny as possible. :)

2) You can kinda guess this one based on the previous note, but yeah, please choose that first photo wisely. 🤣 You can of course edit your post, including attachments and image embeds, so no need to worry about it if your first photo doesn't look great as a poster frame. Just swap in another! Here's your chance to add a LOT of impact to your market listings without any particular effort on your part, other than putting your best photo first.

3) The posts themselves act the same way as usual -- thread prefixes, comments, all that jazz, just as it has been. It's the look of the index page that's the big bang, plus hopefully a little extra love from Google for your postings, which can't hurt!


I think that's it for now! Please take a look when you get a chance, and let me know what you think!

Thanks always,
Tim
Mod
 

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After everyone's enormous enthusiasm for the return of the "verification of possession" photos (aka, "hostage photos") as a requirement in the Marketplace, I did some more thinking about the Marketplace. It's one of our most popular forums, so a few weeks back, I moved it much higher up the stack, so that it's now well above the fold, so to speak.

This follows my previous move a while back to put the Ukulele Boards at the top of the page, and the admin forums at the bottom. I do still like having New Member Introductions at the top, followed by our BY FAR most popular forum, Uke Talk, then the Marketplace, which is by far our SECOND most popular forum, followed by the Contests/Seasons forum, and a slightly renamed Ukulele Underground Videos forum (where I'm tinkering today and for the next week or so, with apologies to anyone who's subscribed to that one!). Ukulele Beginners is just below that, and then everything below is otherwise still in the same order.

View attachment 151291

The eagle-eyed among you will notice a different icon next to Ukulele Marketplace than the other forums. Those two conversation bubbles denote what's called a "Discussion forum" in XenForo parlance, ie, the kinds of forum that most folks are used to, both at UU and elsewhere around the web.

That icon that looks like a page of paper in front of Ukulele Marketplace is for "Articles", which is another post type that XenForo supports. (In addition to conversations and articles, you already know Polls and Questions, the latter of which are those upvote/downvote things currently primarily found in the Site Feedback & Questions forum).

"Articles" as a format rather than Discussions bring us two advantages. One, we're telling Google that this is MORE than a forum post, so please pay attention, but more important, we have glorious poster frames on these posts, which makes for a landing page that's truly stunning. Here's a screenshot of how the Marketplace looks now! It's kinda low-res because I'm trying to fit the whole page into a post that's still readable on mobile, but I think you get the idea.

View attachment 151292

Then farther down the page, the thumbnails get smaller, but they still look boss.

View attachment 151293

This brings me to some tips that I'll add to the "How to Buy and Sell" pinned post.

1) The poster frame for each post is autogenerated by the first photo in the post, whether embedded (using our gigantic new photo embeds!), OR attached for folks who prefer to kick it old school.

What does NOT generate poster frames is external albums. I understand why people use external albums, especially folks who haven't tasted the delights of our updated photo embedding here at the UU forums. And hey, if you want to use imgur, or postimages, or Google Photos, or iCloud, or what have you, please keep doing so!

Just please please PLEASE include at least ONE of those photos as either an embed or an attachment to your UU post! Again, it's ONLY the photos uploaded inside UU, whether embedded in the post or attached as files, that generate the thumbnail for the Marketplace landing page.

Please note that for now, I did in fact go through and add a couple of photos for folks who'd used external albums in recent sales, because I wanted the first 5 pages or so of the new Marketplace to look as shiny as possible. :)

2) You can kinda guess this one based on the previous note, but yeah, please choose that first photo wisely. 🤣 You can of course edit your post, including attachments and image embeds, so no need to worry about it if your first photo doesn't look great as a poster frame. Just swap in another! Here's your chance to add a LOT of impact to your market listings without any particular effort on your part, other than putting your best photo first.

3) The posts themselves act the same way as usual -- thread prefixes, comments, all that jazz, just as it has been. It's the look of the index page that's the big bang, plus hopefully a little extra love from Google for your postings, which can't hurt!


I think that's it for now! Please take a look when you get a chance, and let me know what you think!

Thanks always,
Tim
Mod
Hey, Tim. When you imbed several pictures, are you able to sort or move the one you want into first position, or is it strictly in the order you upload?

p.s. I like the new look. Great idea.
 
I like the new look. Great idea.

Thanks! I like it too! ☺️


When you imbed several pictures, are you able to sort or move the one you want into first position, or is it strictly in the order you upload?

For embed , ie, load into the post using the image icon above the text entry area, yes, you can rearrange.

I haven't found a way to rearrange attached files, though, at least on mobile. I'll try on my laptop later, but maybe sometime else knows the answer to this?

I'll keep poking and let you know what I find!

Thanks again!

Edit:
Tried moving attachments on my laptop, and nope. They go up in the order you add them, and that's that.

So the advantages and disadvantages of pic upload vs. attachment:

In favor of upload:
They look huge and beautiful in the post!
Can rearrange

In favor of attachment:
You can upload a bunch at once, instead of one at a time, as with uploads
Can't change the order

I think that's where it sits? This assumes that my pea brain got as far as it's possible to go with the original question, and I heartily acknowledge that somebody may well have an answer that I don't!
 
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The new look is very attractive visually, Tim. And I understand the value of the Marketplace being presented in the “Articles” format. The only issue I have with the new format is that I now have to open each thread and scroll through all of it’s posts in order to see if there are any new ones since I last viewed the thread. In the original display format, the far right column of the listed threads indicated the date of the last (i.e. most recent) post to each thread. This allowed me to easily tell which threads I needed to open if I wanted to keep up with any of the latest posts. This may sound odd, but even when I'm not in the market to buy a ukulele, I still enjoy reading the various comments made in the posts, as they are frequently informative. However, I acknowledge that I‘m probably the only one who uses the Marketplace this way, and that the lost feature isn’t going to affect anyone else. For sure, it’s not the first thing in my life that required me to create a “work around,” and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last. :) Just thought I would mention it, on the off chance the situation could be remedied by some sort of modification to the new format. If not, no worries.
 
Holy UAS trigger, Batman! It sure is purdy!

Nice work. How is your theme green tho? Is that an admin thing?
 
This may sound odd, but even when I'm not in the market to buy a ukulele, I still enjoy reading the various comments made in the posts, as they are frequently informative. However, I acknowledge that I‘m probably the only one who uses the Marketplace this way
Jan D, I do the same thing! So there are at least two of us 😊
 
I wish all the items you're required for the post would show up at the top of these articles. If say, I don't want to look at something over a certain price or a certain size, etc., I have to open the article then scroll back to the top to get the basic details.
 
Thanks for all the admin attention UU is now getting to make it better. However, I prefer the old Marketplace layout. Under the old setup, when I opened Marketplace, I could immediately see a whole bunch of listings, all single line, and with a quick scroll, see all of the first page. Now, when I open Marketplace on my smartphone, the whole first 2 screens are the intro pic and the rules, then each listing shows, with its big picture, and it takes WAY longer to scroll through the listings. Single line listings were better for me, with pics and descriptions only showing when I expressed interest by opening the listing. Also, the new format does not show the listing's poster, and to find out, you need to open the listing, and even then, the identity of the poster is in such a small font, it difficult to see. Maybe I'm just old and don't like change, but the original format was much more user friendly, IMHO, and thanks again for trying new things here.
 
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This a very nice improvement. My UAS had been tamed until today. This is terrible.

One small request: please refrain from using the term “hostage photo”. I‘m sure there is something better.
 
Please note that for now, I did in fact go through and add a couple of photos for folks who'd used external albums in recent sales, because I wanted the first 5 pages or so of the new Marketplace to look as shiny as possible.
There needs to be more Tim Wilsons in the world.
 
I like it! I suspect that I’m finding it much more confusing than I should be that the OP’s name and the date are at the bottom of the listings rather than the top, and I can see the points Jan and Ukecaster are making, but since I pretty much always go straight to “what’s new” where the marketplace listings are still showing up in the old list format it won’t make much difference to me. Also, the reorganisation of the boards is great.

How is your theme green tho?
My theme’s green! What colour’s yours?!
 
However, I acknowledge that I‘m probably the only one who uses the Marketplace this way, and that the lost feature isn’t going to affect anyone else.

an D, I do the same thing! So there are at least two of us 😊
I, too, use the Marketplace the way you describe but usually filtered through "New Posts" similar to TBB:
since I pretty much always go straight to “what’s new” where the marketplace listings are still showing up in the old list format it won’t make much difference to me
so I see it differently and don't get the "benefit" of the snazzy photo layout until I actually drop into the Marketplace board.
I wish all the items you're required for the post would show up at the top of these articles.
This I have to say is definitely a negative for the new layout, too.

It's kind of a shame that we can't toggle between views: for those who like the original view, they can click a button and switch to that, vs getting a wow factor view of the new articles view. Sigh.

I have to say the look is incredible, but perhaps there are lost features and functionality that is more of a problem? Want me to shift it to a poll @TimWilson on this thread or start a vote thread on the Feedback board?
 
... I’m finding it much more confusing than I should be that the OP’s name and the date are at the bottom of the listings rather than the top, and I can see the points Jan and Ukecaster are making, but since I pretty much always go straight to “what’s new”...
Agreed. The OP date (sorted by most recent), price, and UU name should be at the top of each thumbnail.
 
I have to say the look is incredible, but perhaps there are lost features and functionality that is more of a problem? Want me to shift it to a poll @TimWilson on this thread or start a vote thread on the Feedback board?

Let's take another hour or two to poke at it together. I suspect that the consensus is emerging to return the index view to the old way (which is indeed an option, even with articles). I do like the look, but I'm hearing what regular MP folks are saying, and agree that some of the tradeoffs may not be worth it.

Also, the new format does not show the listing's poster, and to find out, you need to open the listing, and even then, the identity of the poster is in such a small font, it difficult to see.

This is at the top of the list of disadvantages to ME, and yeah, that's not cool at all. There are a lot of sellers for whom their name is at least as important to the listing as the instrument itself. "Ooh, this person always has great stuff" or "Hey, this is someone I've traded with before", etc. If I can't do anything about that, that's reason enough to flip it back all on its own.

Now, when I open Marketplace on my smartphone, the whole first 2 screens are the intro pic and the rules, then each listing shows, with its big picture, and it takes WAY longer to scroll through the listings.

This is my #2 disadvantage. There's probably a way to make the standard layout on mobile and the pictures on desktop/laptop, but the coding is currently over my head. Let me look into that...but again, this is pointing to the more-likely-than-not "noble experiment, but put it back" outcome.

The OP date (sorted by most recent), price, and UU name should be at the top of each thumbnail.

We may have crossing customizations here. We'd changed the Marketplace listings to float those required elements at the top, because they used to show up anywhere...or nowhere...within a post in ways that weren't always easy to find. But by floating them at the top, they're not actually PART of the post. They're ABOVE it, and therefore not included in the summary. This too is likely over my head for coding.

Okay, give me an hour or two to look into these. If I can't come up with anything satisfactory, I'll change it back. It's only a couple of clicks, and will happen fast, but I'd like to try a couple of things.

In the meantime, I appreciate everyone's willingness to actually poke at it and give such detailed and helpful feedback! The only way to KNOW how the change would work was to make the change and try it. The documentation isn't super complete, and while I was persuaded that it was worth trying by the pretty pictures, I get that the Marketplace needs to work the way that you want it to.

More soon!
 
Being able to toggle between views would be great.

This is the thing I was hoping to pin down, and so far, nothing I've seen suggests that this is possible. I don't even think it's something that I could code around, assuming that I could, which I can't. :) But it really does appear to be all off or all on, and only set at the administrative level.

That's a shame! Of course there needs to be a single, unambiguous default, but I don't see any reason why the condensed/text views or expanded/pictures views couldn't be something that everyone sets in their prefs. Alas, this isn't the case, so that's that.

And with that, we come to the end of the noble experiment! I've set everything back to the previous state. Thanks again to everyone for their patience, and for the kind words along the way. Still lots of ideas in the pipeline, and hopefully more of them will work better for you than this one did. :)

Thanks always,
Tim
Mod
 
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