Please, bring back the MacRumors BLOG page button in main page

Marx55

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Please, bring back the MacRumors BLOG page tab in main page. Now it is hidden inside Front Page, which is utterly anti-intuitive and anti-Mac (much as the shutdown option inside Start option in Windows). Thanks.
 
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arn

macrumors god
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Apr 9, 2001
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Hi Marx55,

How do you use the tab? You visit the front page and then the blog pages? Did you know the sidebar also shows the recent blog stories?

arn
 

Marx55

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Jan 1, 2005
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Before today, the main page showed the BLOG page tab. That no longer shows and now it is hidden inside the Front Page tab, which is less convenient and most visitors will not even notice. Thanks.
 

CarlJ

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How do you use the tab? You visit the front page and then the blog pages? Did you know the sidebar also shows the recent blog stories?
I'm running into (what I think is) the same problem - I normally go to the front page, read down until it hit articles I recognize from my last visit, then go back up and click the "Mac" page and do the same, then go to the "iOS" page and do the same. Without this, you only see one third of the stories. The new layout makes the Mac and iOS pages less visible / harder to find for most users, and more clicks to get to them for me and other long-time readers who know to look. If you want two-thirds of your new content to get completely missed by most visitors, then the new system is probably better for that.

I'd prefer to see "Front Page | Mac | iOS | Roundups | How Tos | Reviews | Buyer's Guide | Forums".

Literally, bold those first 3, to make it clear they carry the primary day-to-day-updating content. If you have to squish something, come up with an umbrella title for "How Tos", "Reviews", and "Buyer's Guide", and make those into a dropdown menu.

Alternatively, some of ["How Tos", and "Reviews", and "Buyer's Guide"] could move down to the front of the line immediately below the "Front Page, Mac, iOS" line. Reviews and Buyer's Guide are about specific Apple products that people might want to buy, and the things on that second line ("AirPods 2, iOS 13, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, ...") largely fall into the same category, thematically.
 
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groovyd

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yeah this was one of the worst ux redesigns i've ever seen to put you 3 most important links behind one with a totally hidden dropdown. i've noticed the stories under the mac and ios blogs now have a small fraction of comments in them so basically they have lost 90+% of their traffic from this.
 

arn

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yeah this was one of the worst ux redesigns i've ever seen to put you 3 most important links behind one with a totally hidden dropdown. i've noticed the stories under the mac and ios blogs now have a small fraction of comments in them so basically they have lost 90+% of their traffic from this.
Just to be clear. Is everyone aware the blog stories are on the sidebar of the front page?

arn
 
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CarlJ

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Is everyone aware the blog stories are on the sidebar of the front page?
Some of the blog stories are on the sidebar. If I go to the Mac or iOS pages, I can scroll through all the stories in reverse chronological order. If I get to the bottom and I'm still seeing stuff that's new to me (or, say, I'm looking for a story from the day before yesterday), I can click the "older articles" button and keep scrolling back.

With the sidebar, it has a handful of stories, and that's it. If I want to see further back, I have to go to the separate blog pages anyway, so I cut out the middleman and just go straight to the blog pages. As well, the sidebar mixes the two "lesser" blogs together, making it harder to tell what I've seen and what I haven't. My usual MO is to arrive on the front page, read down until I hit something I recognize from last time, and then do the same process on the Mac page and the iOS page. The sidebar doesn't help with this, and it gives only a sentence or two of the story. And a lot of people ignore sidebars.

But if you don't want the stories to get as much attention, if the stories on those other pages are considered unimportant throwaway stories, and you don't want the extra page views, then keep it like it is, where they're less discoverable behind the dropdown menu. I would have thought you'd want to make the 3 main news sections of the site more discoverable, not less.
 

maflynn

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i've noticed the stories under the mac and ios blogs now have a small fraction of comments in them so basically they have lost 90+% of their traffic from this.
That's what I'm noticing, I'm noticing that I largely missed all blog articles that have been posted, not only is the front page hiding the blog options, but also the forums are now sub forums and buried as well.

Old:
upload_2019-2-23_6-13-25.png

New
upload_2019-2-23_6-13-5.png


It seems Mac Blog and iOS Blog articles have been demoted and replaced by How Tos and Reviews, which oddly those two menu options are a single forum. Why not combine those two menu items into one?
 

arn

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Apr 9, 2001
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So there’s a lot of smaller reasons we made the changes we did. And it’s also a bit in flux. We deemphasized the blogs to test some changes. Part of the reason we didn’t think it a big deal was that the Mac and iPhone blog tabs get a very small percentage of traffic. Less than 1% of our traffic. That said, I understand it may represent a hard core portion of visitors.

Also, the desktop front page is presently the only place the blogs are separated out.

On mobile, the blogs and desktop are one feed. Rss too. Twitter/fb too.

We are anticipating that we will be consolidating the desktop front page into a single stream on desktop as well.

As for reviews and how tos, we are looking to be better about highlighting that sort of long term content. Vs news cycle content, which tends to expire. Right now, it’s not set up in an ideal way but we are heading into a more significant redesign exploration and wanted to see how things played out.

We could do some things to help in meanwhile. I could make the front page drop down a hover rather than a click. Or perhaps a Mac and iPhone blog link from the sidebar. Open to suggestions. I don’t know about moving everything back to before just yet.

arn
 
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SandboxGeneral

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drop down a hover rather than a click.
My preference is to click, not hover. I don't like the hover behavior because I frequently move the cursor over the menu to get to the menu of Safari (or other web browsers) and then that menu stays out covering the page.
 

groovyd

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So there’s a lot of smaller reasons we made the changes we did. And it’s also a bit in flux. We deemphasized the blogs to test some changes. Part of the reason we didn’t think it a big deal was that the Mac and iPhone blog tabs get a very small percentage of traffic. Less than 1% of our traffic. That said, I understand it may represent a hard core portion of visitors.

Also, the desktop front page is presently the only place the blogs are separated out.

On mobile, the blogs and desktop are one feed. Rss too. Twitter/fb too.

We are anticipating that we will be consolidating the desktop front page into a single stream on desktop as well.

As for reviews and how tos, we are looking to be better about highlighting that sort of long term content. Vs news cycle content, which tends to expire. Right now, it’s not set up in an ideal way but we are heading into a more significant redesign exploration and wanted to see how things played out.

We could do some things to help in meanwhile. I could make the front page drop down a hover rather than a click. Or perhaps a Mac and iPhone blog link from the sidebar. Open to suggestions. I don’t know about moving everything back to before just yet.

arn
Your change is complete garbage and you need to revert back to showing the blogs in the menu bar sooner then later if you want your site traffic to come back. It's actually pretty simple common sense to be honest and most tech sites these days know enough to A/B UI changes like this to prove that they were completely wrong in their approach.
[doublepost=1550963636][/doublepost]
Just to be clear. Is everyone aware the blog stories are on the sidebar of the front page?

arn
there is no side bar on the front page but that might just be my spam blocker doing its job. and no, I won't turn that off.

oh wait, are you talking about the right side column full of small print text that if you keep scrolling down enough and have recently cleaned your glasses you might find the blog entries toward the bottom? come on man, use some common sense.
 
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CarlJ

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We deemphasized the blogs to test some changes. Part of the reason we didn’t think it a big deal was that the Mac and iPhone blog tabs get a very small percentage of traffic. Less than 1% of our traffic.
So, the solution to getting more traffic for the Mac and iPhone sections is to make them less discoverable? Funny, I would have thought the solution would be to highlight them in some way, make them stand out.

Also, the desktop front page is presently the only place the blogs are separated out.

On mobile, the blogs and desktop are one feed. Rss too. Twitter/fb too.
Which is precisely why I have both my iPhone and iPad switched to the desktop format. Safari was designed to work with full-sized websites (rather than the "kids table" websites prior non-smartphone browsers required) by having a well-publicized feature where tapping on a column of text zooms in on that column. This works great, and using the desktop site on all my devices means I'm seeing the same content, in the same context, everywhere - as mentioned above, I read down each section until I run into articles I've already seen. This wouldn't work if I was reading the combined feed on my iPhone/iPad (some sites like Reddit increasingly shove mobile readers towards a dumbed-down interface that they misguidedly think is better for mobile - which is why when I read Reddit on my iPhone, it's through the Apollo App - screw Reddit's attempts to make things less complicated and less capable for mobile users, I just go to an excellent 3rd-party app).

We are anticipating that we will be consolidating the desktop front page into a single stream on desktop as well.
Well, having just one stream everywhere, would help. I'd miss the old separation, and I suspect you'd end up missing having a way to separate articles out by level of importance. As it is, you have a way to separate out material that doesn't quite fit the front page, but you're making it increasingly hard to find those sections - it's like you start with the idea that they're less travelled, and now you're hiding them more, so they get even less traffic, so down the line you can justify dropping them altogether.

We could do some things to help in meanwhile. I could make the front page drop down a hover rather than a click.
Please DON'T do this. It would completely screw over those using the desktop format on touch screen devices.

Or perhaps a Mac and iPhone blog link from the sidebar. Open to suggestions. I don’t know about moving everything back to before just yet.
Personally, I think something more like this would be more discoverable:

News: [ Front Page <-> Mac <-> iOS ]
Resources: How Tos | Reviews | Buyer's Guide | Forums
Roundups: AirPods 2 | iOS 13 | iPhone XR | iPhone XS | iPod touch | ...​

As it is, you're showing Roundups twice (as a dropdown and then as an entire row by itself. If you made Front Page / Mac / iOS styled more like radio buttons (not as literal little round buttons, but styled so it was clear that you were in one of three available sections, with the current one highlighted and it being very clear that clicking either of the others would switch to that "third" of the site's available news)... something like this would make it more obvious that visitors were starting out looking at only one section and there were other sections available. I'd wager that most visitors want to read the news each day, and once in a while want to visit the resources (when considering a new device, etc.)... the new arrangement hides two of the three sections of news from visitors looking for news. The current arrangement, at a glance, suggests that "Front Page" *is* the only news, and everything else is resources of one sort or another. If you want to kill off the Mac/iPhone sections, this is the way to do that.

I'm thinking you'll eventually want a way to have non-front-page stories. You have that now, although the Mac page doesn't get as much content (because, sadly, it doesn't get a ton of new info, and anything really exciting is "stolen" by the front page). Maybe eventually a front page and a page two, but maybe stylized as "Page One / Page Two", so they sound more co-equal. And again, some sort of radio-button-like indication that "here are all the sections available - all visible, none hidden - and you're currently on this one."

Ultimately, the solution might be some sort of tagging system, with articles carefully/thoughtfully tagged for what they directly apply to [ iOS (the OS itself), iPhone (hardware), iPad (hardware), Apple (the company), macOS, Mac (hardware), watchOS, Apple Watch, tvOS, AppleTV (hardware), AppleTV (content), WWDC, ...(many more) ] - so, not every story would be tagged "Apple", only those that addressed Apple as a company as one of their main topics (e.g. "Apple stock price hits new high", "Apple proposes new legislation", etc.) and then instead of having separate sections and having to decide which one section an article goes in, you would have one pool, and perhaps have some common preset filters as buttons at the top of the page - so if one wanted the latest on WWDC, they could pick that tag from a dropdown and get every article (in reverse chronological order) that actually addressed (not merely mentioned) WWDC (thus, this would require some wise editorial decisions on how to properly tag each article - and, of course, each story might have multiple tags - the fall announcements would have many articles tagged "Apple fall event", but each with additional tags for the the bit they covered, "Apple announces watchOS 6" would be tagged "Apple Fall event" and "watchOS").

Maybe present some of the more topical tags as separate entities at the top of the page (so, WWDC might be presented as a visible "button" in the month leading up to WWDC and during the event). This could be done by editorial decision, and/or separate buttons could be surfaced for the tags heavily selected by readers (or newly attached to articles) the most in the past weeks. This way, WWDC might appear as a top tag at various milestones preceding the event (date announced, tickets going on sale, then the excitement over rumored announcements in the weeks before the event). Such a system would have to make it clear, visually, that the handful of tags currently appearing as separate clickable buttons right now were merely the current most popular of the many dozens of tags available behind this dropdown button over here (call it "Topics", maybe).
 
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arn

macrumors god
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Apr 9, 2001
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So, the solution to getting more traffic for the Mac and iPhone sections is to make them less discoverable? Funny, I would have thought the solution would be to highlight them in some way, make them stand out.
As you say later, the problem is that the blog content tends to be secondary and they are unbalanced. We do think people miss blog articles on desktop and a consolidated stream will help. But I don't believe dedicated Tabs has helped because so few people use them.

Well, having just one stream everywhere, would help. I'd miss the old separation, and I suspect you'd end up missing having a way to separate articles out by level of importance.
I agree. We are working on design revision to try to address both of these.

I'm thinking you'll eventually want a way to have non-front-page stories. You have that now, although the Mac page doesn't get as much content (because, sadly, it doesn't get a ton of new info, and anything really exciting is "stolen" by the front page). Maybe eventually a front page and a page two, but maybe stylized as "Page One / Page Two"
Ironically, returning to our old system of having a catch-all "Page 2": https://www.macrumors.com/2003/02/02/macrumors-page-2/

As you say, there tends to be less dedicated Mac content. The separation made sense when iPhone launched, but now Apple is so diverse, the distinction is somewhat arbitrary. Where do HomePod or Apple Services articles go? If they are secondary? I think a "catch all" Page 2 blog might work if we also integrate those stories on front page. Or even if we have a more fluid system that could filter out things you absolutely don't care about. But things have to be front and center.

I appreciate your thoughts behind it all. There are a lot of issues to consider. I thought the keeping of Blog links in the Front Page drop down was an ok compromise while we make the rest of the changes, but clearly it's not great for everyone.

arn
 
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maflynn

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I think the results speak for themselves, by burying the blog stories, people are not having an opportunity to comment and debate the topic. You want to highlight and drive people to your stories not make it harder to view.
 

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I think the results speak for themselves, by burying the blog stories, people are not having an opportunity to comment and debate the topic. You want to highlight and drive people to your stories not make it harder to view.
Correlation ≠ Causation.
 

CarlJ

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Correlation ≠ Causation.
True, but I believe there is some of both here - the really exciting stories that might otherwise be categorized as "Mac" or "iPhone" get promoted to the front page, thus those two auxiliary pages necessarily end up with stories that will draw less traffic, but they're also being put somewhere that will tend to get them no attention. If you put the kid who seems less bright in the back row of the class and never engage with them, they're unlikely to do well. It's a bit of self-fulfilling prophesy.
 
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