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It Really Doesn't Screan Of Polish

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Neo Avatars

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It's been a few days since the launch of the new-look Jagex store, so it's probably time to comment on it. Hopefully what I've written makes some sense, although huge differences between the EU and US stores probably make it slightly harder to follow than it could be as I jump between the two.

 

Slightly over a month ago revealed the new-look jagex.com which I mentioned was pretty darn good. A day later and I noticed annoying problems with the Adventurer's Log. Unfortunately, the creator of the latter appears to have had their hands on the Jagex Store. :P

 

To start with you load the site and get a choose country page in your face which is riddled with painfully bad design.

 

  • First, there are three rows on the page, each of a different width which makes the page look unfinished and generally icky.
     
    Secondly, clicking on the 'Remember this location' text doesn't change the status of the textbox, a simple thing that makes it feel much more usable. I know somebody at Jagex knows how to do this - it happens on login pages for the Runescape website.
     
    Next are those big buttons that link to the EU / US stores. When you hover over them, everything is done using JavaScript rather than CSS which means it's sloooooooooooooooooooow. -.- Heading there now, it took a second and a half for the background to turn orange when I moused over the button (it should be instant by changing the background-position on an image) - ask the person who designed the buttons in the Knowledge Base for help with this.
     
    The second problem with the buttons is the country list that appears - once again, it's slow to appear and always appears at a slightly different time to the orange background. This could probably be solved in a similar way to the navigation on the Runescape website, so ask the person who did that to help there or head to
here as referenced in the Runescape global stylesheet.
 
Ontop of this, when you mouse over anything that you're supposed to click (checkbox / those big buttons), the cursor stays as an arrow rather than changing to a pointer. It's a usability nightmare and whoever allowed it past needs shooting.
To add to this problem, there's a link in the top-left corner of the page which DOES change the cursor, but clicking on it simply sends you to the page you're on. -.-
#theThingYouWantPeopleToClickOn {
cursor:pointer;
}

There, was it really that hard?
 
Lastly, why is the page even there? When I head to google.com, it redirects to google.co.uk and if I head to amazon.com, there's a nice big thing at the top saying 'ooo, you seem to be in the UK, why not check out amazon.co.uk instead?'. So, detect where somebody's shopping from and send them to that store automatically rather than sticking a hindrance in the way. Ask the creator of the Account Creation page for help with this.

OK, I've worked out that I'm supposed to click on the thing that becomes orange and am now in the store itself.

  • The Login button is ugly. I know you want it to stand out so people click on it, but really it's ugly and doesn't fit in with the rest of the design at all. It's missing any kind of border, the gradient doesn't match the background of the rest of the border at all and when you mouseover it, the colour of the text becomes icky and hard to read (may simply be me).
     
    There's a login button, but no 'Register' button. In the FAQ, the first question tells you what to do, but since there's no clear word 'Register' in any of the questions, it seems like an obvious one to miss and makes your life as a user that bit harder.
    Also in the FAQ, the link in the 'International Orders' question doesn't send you to the Country Select page, simply to the EU homepage, meaning there's no easy way to switch stores without manually deleting cookies (something you really shouldn't expect a user to know how to do).
    On the Registration page itself, for some reason the texboxes are different lengths and it's unable to pre-select a country that I'm located in (as is managed on the Runescape account creation page).
     
    The title text of the link in the top-left corner doesn't have 'Go to' at the start of it like EVERY OTHER link towards the top of the page. Consistency is good and small differences like that aren't a massive problem, but it's a small niggle that it'd be nice to have 'fixed'.
     
    There was a post on the RSOF I saw saying that the area you can click on for links in the top navigation bar is too small and not clear enough, though I'd disagree in part. It's good that you can click slightly to the side of links, however it'd be nice to have the ability to click on the full height of the navigation bar - larger areas = easier to click = faster navigation = happier users.
     
    [EU] What is up with the footer? The text is totally unreadable against the background and half the stuff is repeated. Why aren't the T&C / Privacy Policy links in-line with the text, instead being above on a separate row? Having deciphered what it says, I don't want to have to hunt around to find links to the things - they may be just above, but it took me several seconds to spot, read, work out the meaning of, move the mouse to and click on them.
    This is one of the few things that looks better in the US store.
     
    The 'Browse the Store' box looks empty and although it's nice that it means the bottom of elements line up on the homepage, they don't anywhere else and it looks silly instead.
     
    There's a nice picture of a featured product and I can see that it's a shirt of some kind, however the title text simply says 'Featured Product' rather than naming it, meaning I've got to click and spend 5 seconds of my life to find out what it is specifically.

Now I've looked around the homepage, onto other pages. First the item search pages...

  • [EU] It's nice having bolded text on the currently selected section - Accessories, Apparel or Books.
     
    [EU] At the same time, the background isn't quite as helpful - the selected one is exactly the same as you get when hovering. This means that hovering over a selected link, the background doesn't change colour, making it harder to see that your mouse is in the right place, slowing navigation.
     
    [EU] As for the search results themselves, on the Country Select page I complained about a lack of different cursors, here I'd say there's too much (at least with things as they are). :D You're able to click on the gap between item images to head to it's page - great, bigger areas = good! :P Unfortunately, there's a 1px gap between the two columns, meaning it's almost impossible to see that the mouse has moved onto the other image. To fix this, make the background colour change slightly when hovering over it to show which item you're about to click on.
     
    As for the Search Page itself, (in the EU store) you can click on labels and the textboxes themselves will obtain focus. What was the person making the Country Select page on to make it so bad and why doesn't this happen in the US store? :xd:
     
    The 'Search' button itself also has no pretteh background in the EU store, while in the US store it's a stupidy tiny 'Continue' button that takes an age to find.
     
    ...all of the above appear totally different in the EU and US stores. If they're doing pretty much the same thing, why do they look so different? It looks like it'll be a pain to maintain without more consistency.
     
    The text in the US store is generally too small, the 'Wishlist' link from the top bar is missing,

 

Then the item pages themselves.

  • When viewing an item, there's a code that comes up next to the item name along the lines of 'JGX141' for Betrayal at Falador. As a user, I don't care what it is ad if I'm filing a complaint about an item, I'm going to give the name rather than a code that means nothing to me. Fine, use if on the back-end for working things out, but don't tell me what it is because I don't care and it takes time for it to load.
     
    Like on the Country Select page, background images for buttons are saved as different images, to take time to appear, during which a blank gap shows on the page. This may work wonderfully with Runescape where everything is in one magical cache that rarely gets deleted, but when looking at a website like this where somebody isn't going to be visint every day, it doesn't work. Things get overwritten too quickly, meaning it's the same problem every time you fix it and it simply becomes annoying. Change it and change every similar implementation on other websites to stop being annoying.
     
    In the US store, there's a 'Zoom' icon which you can click on to see a larger image of the item. Why can't you click on the image itself (as with the EU store)? The lightboxes being used are also different. :santa:

Why the EU and US stores look so different, I have no idea. It seems like two groups of people were sent off to make designs, then they were combined in about a day, sharing the worst parts between each other and meaning that neither feels properly designed.

 

The Country Select page is diabolical to use as it is, although 10 minutes of work would fix most of it.

 

Although I really don't like white backgrounds for websites (as the Jagex Store was before), I'm not really sure this is an improvement in much other than reduced shipping costs to the US since it's clearly been put out in a rush before Christmas.

 

But I guess the key part is: If I was a parent of a kid going 'mummy, daddy, plz can I have something from the Jagex Store plz plz plz', would I buy it for them? If using a non-FF browser and they'd not ticked the 'Remember' box on the country select page, No. It simply doesn't feel polished enough to trust hem with my information despite the 'https' in the address bar. If using FF, it says that it's been verified by somebody and the favicon has a blue background, so I'd be more trusting, but the fact still stands that it isn't friendly to use.

 

If they had Remembered the status so I didn't have to pass that nightmare of a Country Select page, possibly. I would, however, be significantly more likely to say 'yes' if it told me up-front what the P&P for items was. The country can generally be detected from various factors, so use that to work out where I am and how much it'll cost to deliver to me rather than making me sign up before going "that's how much? O_o".

 

OK, it's nice to know that those in the US are paying less for shipping, but as a site itself there's still quite a bit of work to be done with design and usability. Clearly something rushed out quickly before Christmas. :P

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It's kind of charming to know that in the same way Jagex can spend 2 months working on their website and 2 minutes working on the format, Neo can spend 2 hours writing a blog entry and 2 seconds on the title. :wub:

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Tell me about it. My mother tried looking at it in a bid to find Christmas presents. She called me three times because she was stuck. In the end, I think that she got so fustrated that she clicked off. I don't know if she was looking for me, Jdeh or Daz, but whoever it was, we're not getting anything. LOL

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