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DMS - Potential for "Insanely Great"

DMS design

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#1 michaeldallas

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:06 PM

After using DMS for a week, I must say I am impressed with it. Overall, it is better than anything I have used so far. I believe the concept is sound and it has the potential to be "insanely great."  

 

The reason I say "potential" is that PageLines still needs to deliver on DMS's basic concept of having well polished Sections.  I know you have opened the "Store," but you desperately need some vital and "insanely great" sections "in the box." Right now, the included Sections don't rate very well and the Store is not well stocked - yet.

 

Let me give you a couple of Section examples as illustrations. The first is the Content area. Out of the box, it has a large white space underneath the Author picture that runs all the way down the side of the Content. This wasted space is not something that would be in an "insanely great" Content area.

 

Another example would be the "Rapid Tabs" section. You can't even filter the posts for Category. This shortcoming definitely fails the "insanely great" test.

 

If I were to rate the Sections on a scale of 1 to 10 in the "insanely great" category, I would give the best ones a 5 and the worst a 1.  They all need help.  Some need data help like Category filters (e.g. no filter in Rapid Tabs). Others need design help so they coordinate better with the overall layout (e.g. the wasted white space in Content). 

 

I might suggest accomplishing this with two coordinated efforts.  First, for each Section, I would suggest "playing with" the best competitor widgets on the market, and then making your Sections "insanely great" in comparison.  I would also suggest having a graphic designer load all the Sections and redesign each so that they fit together and rise to the "insanely great" level. Once the sections are "insanely great," any page that uses them will be "insanely great."

 

You might also lay out some suggested design criteria for the Store plugins so that they integrate beautifully in the design. With a "design certification" program for plugins, you could tell users which plugins meet those criteria.

 

Over the last week, trying to fix and compensate for the "less than insanely great" Sections has chewed up 80% of my time. I've searched for a lot of Widgets and written a lot of CSS that would not have been needed if DMS were "insanely great." I believe you will have an easier time charging premiums to developers if you can eliminate this kind of time wasting frustration. 

 

Don't misunderstand my criticism. I am no dissing PageLines or the DMS. I am giving honest feedback that I hope  will help you create something that people need and want.  I think DMS has the potential to be the "iPad" of web design - beautiful, easy to use, and well designed.  But DMS is still just potentially "insanely great" right now.


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#2 Danny

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:28 PM

Hi Mike,

 

1. Not sure what you mean by Content Area ? Can you provide a screenshot of what you're referring too please.

2. RapidTabs was designed to just be a quick tabs section, with little options. However, I have made a note of this and will bring it up in a meeting.

 

In my opinion the sections included in DMS out of the box are incredibly useful already, some of them may need a fine tune here or there. But the issue is, we do not like adding a lot of options to our product, as it usually just causes confusion and un-necessary bloat. For example, what you think would make a section uber awesome, would probably not be used by a lot of users.

 

However, we take all feedback on board and appreciate you taking the time to write this post. I will be sure to show you post to our developers, if you have any other suggestions on how sections can be improved, please reply and let us know.



#3 michaeldallas

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:37 PM

Here's the topic:

http://forum.pagelin...ts/#entry208805



#4 michaeldallas

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 09:56 PM

Our opinions differ on how usable the Sections currently are. Most Sections that I wanted to use fall far short of actually being usable. For me, the included Sections in DMS are not sufficient tools to build my site. I find that DMS's main usefulness in my efforts is to just hang Widgets.

It's also important to point out that I never said nor implied that Sections need to be bloated or complicated.  In fact, many of the Widgets I had to use in place of the Pagelines Sections are elegant, easy to navigate, and amazingly useful. 

Cheers!



#5 Danny

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:47 AM

That white space, is there on purpose it isn't something that can be changed with an option unless you use the legacy options. Which give you more control on how you posts display.

 

I never said you implied that sections were bloated or complicated, I said that if we add multiple options to allow sections to do kinds of stuff, they can become bloated and complicated, which just causes confusion.

 

If you can tell us which widgets you're using instead of sections we can get a general idea of what you problems are with the current sections. 



#6 josh1178

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 01:26 AM

I agree that the included sections often fall short of being great.

 

I'm frustrated at the moment that I can't choose Product>Category for some of the post filters for woo commerce. There never seems to be a category option for custom post types which is pretty basic stuff.  For example, I can't use Masonry for Woo Commerce because it doesn't support the categories and I’m left with it saying "ALL" and SORT: "ALL" which serves zero purpose. 

 

Another example would be the scroll slider. Why can't I do full screen with it like I can the rev slider? Or why can't I scroll using the rev slider. Neither suits me because I need a full screen slider (like rev) that also accepts mouse scroll and touch.   In the end, I wonder if I shoud just be using a shortcode with the full version of the Revolution slider instead, but that kind of defeats the purpose a bit as I'd be building all my slides in the wordpress admin. 

 

My 2 cents.



#7 arpowers

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 02:42 PM

Love the idea of 'insanely great' and i think we will be helping deliver on this very soon. 

 

We are spec'ing out the next generation of things now, and this is some great feedback that helps us focus on what you guys need to be 'delighted,' as they say.

 

As for the sections, ok, i think we can fix these issues easily. However, these are just two customization requests, everyone has their own needs and its hard to 'standardize' and make everyone happy. 

 

We will be adding some additional controls and standard tools to sections though, very soon and that should help fix your issues. 



#8 michaeldallas

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:46 PM

Here are just a couple of general suggestions.  Apply the suggestions to the sections which qualify.  These are general problems I have had with your Sections as well as public Widgets I have used. 

 

1) Make sure all Sections can be used for "pages" and "posts."

2) Make sure all Sections can be filtered for specific Categories and sorted.

3) Make sure all Sections can be sorted by the actual "Loop Order" (i.e. not just "date," "alphabetic," etc.) Most widgets omit this sort choice.

4) Make sure all Sections have design elements that are top-notch (i.e. Don't just make them function. Make them beautiful.)

5) DON'T WASTE SPACE - particularly vertical space. MANY, MANY MANY websites unnecessarily waste vertical space and force users to scroll down to view content.  My research has shown that if the user has to interact with the browser (scroll, click, etc.) to see content, you will lose 50% of your users at that point. Eliminate all vertical spacing that is not absolutely necessary.

6) Include a Section which makes creating and formatting menu items easy.  Look at news sites, CNN, CNBC, Google, etc.  They all display many sets of menus (news collections) that have a wide variety of formats. Sometimes the items have a picture. Sometimes they have words.  This is VERY common for good sites.  

7) Make it easy to reuse (i.e. copy) already formatted Sections between Templates.  You can copy a Section on a Template, but you cannot move the copy between Templates.