Welcome to the new 3reef.com!

Discussion in '3reef Forum News & Information' started by Matt Rogers, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    What you are seeing and about to learn about was the result of many months of planning and plain old hard work. This is easily the largest, most feature-rich 3reef redesign in its 14 year history.


    The 3reef goals were lofty.

    - To become the most advanced aquarium forum on the Internet providing the tools to mine the wealth of information here and RETAIN it for future reference.
    - To provide centralized, intuitive navigation that reduces the number of clicks it takes to get from Point A to Point B and reduce scrolling.
    - To provide the users with customization options that suit their needs in a seamless fashion.
    - To replace old code where with leaner code that did more with less - providing more features and possibly increasing speed throughout the site.


    In short, to be the best.


    But enough of that.... ON WITH THE TOUR! :)


    Now I know some of you are squinting and asking yourself 'Who turned on the lights? Where did the 3reef mood-lighting go?' So I will jump right to this one...


    NO worries...


    1) SKINS ARE BACK!



    Yes, you'd have to go back to 3reef circa 2002 or so for this feature. But we brought it back and did it correctly this time - now you 3reefers can change the site style or 'SKIN' to suit your mood.

    The controls for skins are found in two places...

    For Guests:

    A) The footer-
    [​IMG]

    After selecting, 3reef will change your skin and send you to the forum index. (TO DO: have it remember the page you were on)


    B) For members use USER CP/OPTIONS-
    [​IMG]

    More info on how this works here:
    http://www.3reef.com/forums/3reef-f...-skin-random-bug-has-been-resolved-79665.html

    By the way... the USER CP link is found a little lower on the right side with the rest of the navigation here:
    [​IMG]
    USER CP LINK SHOWN WITH ARROW ABOVE

    [​IMG]
    The Retro 3reef Dark Style

    [​IMG]
    The Classic 3reef Style


    [​IMG]
    The new off-white Default Style

    ENJOY! :)


    FYI - SKINS WORK FOR NOT ONLY 3reef MEMBERS, BUT GUESTS TOO! Go ahead and find your favorite. It will remember you!


    By the way... this brings us to...


    2) 3reef MOBILE IS BACK!


    You might have noticed the phone icon in the footer. Yes, the mobile skin is back!


    [​IMG]
    3reef Mobile is back!

    Unlike before, you PDA or iPhone people are not forced to use the mobile skin.
    That said, this SKIN is still very beta, please experiment with a computer nearby with your usercp open. Seriously. Somebody do this and give me feedback about being able to switch back to normal style


    Ok moving on... all that stuff is nice, but really just window dressing. Lets get to the big stuff.


    3) A FAST, POWERFUL AND ACCURATE SEARCH ENGINE THAT YOU CAN USE WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS!

    We solicited feedback from 3reef Supporters and we heard the message loud and clear - the old search engine JUST SUCKED.

    It was quite an introspection. Here we have one of the oldest aquarium sites and getting the decade or so of information out of it was nearly impossible! How many times have you searched and found no results? How many have you received the 3 character message? :angry:

    So I thought about getting my hands dirty with the mechanics of it, then thought about it some more.... hmm... who does search engines well? ::) Hmmm... oh yeah... I wonder... then I rubbed some sticks together and now...

    [​IMG]

    WE NOW HAVE GOOGLE DOING THEIR MAGIC ON 3reef! :eek:
    You can actually search for 'T5' and get results!
    Holy smokes.
    And it's fast!
    I stripped out a lot on the search page so it just screams!
    Search on it all day long, it's ok!

    Furthermore, I thought about the UI a lot and did little things to make your searches go faster... you don't have to scroll up to the header to search again, I put a search box at the bottom too. There is a 'To the top' link if you need it and a 'Search tips' link as well.

    And all the tricks you know for searching Google will now work here.

    This one is a big deal!

    (TO DO: Change search engine results to match skins.)

    But wait, what good is searching if you can't retain what you find? Sure 'favorites' is ok, but that list can get long and you can't organize it...

    which brings us to:

    4) USER-CREATED LISTS!

    When you are looking at a thread and decide you want to come back to this one, or you see one or more in a forum index page... you now have some options that are really cool.

    First, since this is brand new, you need to create a list... You can find this by clicking on 'View Lists' first on the new 3reef Action Panel on the right side of the screen:

    [​IMG]
    Create your list.

    [​IMG]
    Create your list name.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Add to list from forum index.

    [​IMG]
    Add to list from Thread Tools on thread display.

    [​IMG]
    Select list to add thread to.


    [​IMG]
    The thread is now saved in your list!

    HOW COOL IS THAT?! :eek:


    This one took some serious voodoo. But it works. And you won't find it on any other forum because WE BUILT IT FOR 3reef! 8) Yeah baby!


    Now all of this would be more than enough for others, but not 3reef! :pirate2::guitarist

    Lets keep moving! More to show you!


    5) View Subscription Updates Without Leaving The Page!

    Subscribing to threads has been a traditional way of retaining information, but it required several clicks to see what has been updated, taking you away from that thread you were just reading.

    We don't need to do that. Once again, the 3reef Action Panel comes through...

    [​IMG]
    Click on View Subscriptions in the 3reef Action Panel.

    [​IMG]
    You can now see subscription updates in real-time!


    ANOTHER 3reef EXCLUSIVE! :eek: 8) HEY NOW!


    But wait! There's more...


    6) BETTER THREAD RATINGS AND INDEXING THROUGH COMMUNITY ACTIONS!

    If someone gives a really good answer to a post, now you can give it the thumbs up!


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Good posts will now be found here on the bottom of the right nav!

    This is yet another way to get the great information found here up front and everybody plays a part in it! 3reef Democracy in action. Plus it is hoped that this will encourage people to be more thoughtful in replies. This should be really interesting to watch it grow over time.

    Note: If someone begins to abuse this feature, it will be disabled for that user. So keep it cool and use it for the greater good! It's worth it so we all can learn more around here. ;)


    Are we done yet? :)
    NO! I hope you brought some water for this tour...


    7) New Lofi Mode For Fast Thread Views!

    If you are on a dial-up modem or just hate waiting for big images in threads to load, check this out:

    [​IMG]
    New Lofi Mode is found in USER CP/OPTIONS.

    [​IMG]
    Images and smilie in posts are now displayed as hyperlinks.

    (TO DO: Fix photopost garbage in IE)


    ANOTHER 3reef EXCLUSIVE BUILT JUST FOR YOU!


    In addition to the steak-knives.. at no extra cost, you now get:


    8 ) GO TO TOP ON EVERY POST

    [​IMG]

    We are nice people at 3reef, but we hate scrolling. :)
    Now you can get back to the top easily.

    You can thank 3reef Supporter Peredhil for that one! ;)


    Hmmm..... what else we have here? HHmm.. must be something... OH YES!


    9) 3reef BookStore!

    This one has been on the to-do-list for years. It tooks weeks of browsing and gathering, but now you can find just about every good aquarium book, magazine and anything-underwater DVDs RIGHT HERE AT 3reef! 8)


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am pretty happy with the selection in the bookstore. If I missed something shoot me a PM. When I wake up in a few days I will try to add it. For every book you buy, a few nickels go to 3reef, it is a neat way to support the site and get something for it.


    There is a new About Us page (link in header) that highlights all the great people behind the scenes at 3reef and the origins of the site.

    There is an all new homepage (don't miss the 'Click to see more threads' link. ;) ) and Sponsors even get more options now. That was challenge to balance, but there are actually less ads on the nav now. I think everybody wins.

    There is a new 'For Sale' board by request.


    Did I mention the logo? :)


    ENJOY! I really, really hope you like it.
    If you do, Tweet it! Or email your friends. ;)

    Welcome to the new 3reef.com.


    matt
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
    7 people like this.
  2. Click Here!

  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Look what I forgot...

    Oh yeah... kind of forgot a big one...

    10) LANGUAGE SUPPORT

    3reef is now available in 29 different languages. :)

    You will find this at the bottom of the 3reef homepage:

    [​IMG]


    That is all!
    Buenos dias! Yo quiero un cerveza.

    Site Revisions in Progress - [STRIKE]Current banner then header arrangement is being tossed for an integrated design that starts at top of page[/STRIKE]

    DONE (12/30) Hope you like it...


    Read more about it here:
    http://www.3reef.com/forums/3reef-forum-news-information/thanks-feedback-site-79178.html


    EDIT -

    CURRENTLY the new 'SKINS' are a bit raw and need a lot of polish.
    Particularly the 'classic' skin [STRIKE]and the way recent threads are displayed on the homepage.[/STRIKE] FIXED (12/27) use shift key and refresh to load new styles.

    I will have these cleaned up ASAP.
    Much of the feedback I have received has been very helpful. I will do most if not all as I can.
    Thank you for your patience with this.
    It is part of the process when delivering a new site.

    Sincerely,

    matt

    PS- Mobile skin is now STABLE with skin chooser and logout options.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
    6 people like this.
  4. ermano

    ermano Zoanthid

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,112
    Location:
    Rochester, New York
    wwoooowwwww. Matt you've outdone yourself!! KUDOS
     
  5. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Messages:
    7,172
    Location:
    America
    Congrats Matt!!!

    It's noon over in Europe. Have a beer and go to bed. ;D
     
  6. bluewhite4

    bluewhite4 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    very nice Matt. I look forward to playing with the Mobile skin as well.
     
  7. divott

    divott Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,658
    Location:
    holland landing, ontario ,canada
    wow, simply amazing. there isnt enough K for you and all the hard work thats put into by everyone. thank you for the constant upgrades\upkeep to help all of us out here. thnx.

    guy
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    5,538
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC,Canada
    Very nice Matt. I can't believe all your hard work. Looks Amazing

    J
     
  10. iLLwiLL

    iLLwiLL Sailfin Tang

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,715
    Location:
    Central FL
    I can has my fix nao?

    very impressive upgrades!!! cant wait to start playing around with these.

    ~Will.
     
  11. DaDaAtlanta

    DaDaAtlanta Feather Star

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    782
    Location:
    Atlanta/Chicago
    As if 3reef wasnt cool enough. When I opened the site this morning I was like oooo preettyy. The redesign is awesome. The new logo is wicked, now to play with the new stuff. K+
     
  12. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,176
    Location:
    Texas
    very cool. thanks for the nod.

    now ill just jump back to the top of this page