GoKunming has been around for seven years and in that time has undergone two redesigns aimed at improving its functionality and accessibility.
The last redesign went live in July 2010 and since then both the site and its number of users have grown significantly. The GoKunming team has started to work on redesign once again, looking for ways to update current functionality and introduce new features.
Our goal, as always, is to provide GoKunming users with the best experience we can. To that end, we encourage you to use this forum thread to give us your ideas and opinions on what you would like the new GoKunming to be.
Some specific areas where we would like feedback:
- general site features
- possible improvements to current functionality
- sections beyond the currently available (events, classifieds, forums, etc)
- user account features
- usability and user interface
Please leave constructive criticism and also tell us what you like.
Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
The GoKunming Team
You could add a "report SPAM" feature. It's really annoying that people do this. Maybe if they saw it would get reported and deleted quickly they'd give up.
- different colour scheme
- cookie that saves login data so I don't have to log in time and again
- more modern thread subscription management
- increased functionality of the mobile site
- fix the search on mobile (sometimes, certain sections won't show up when searching, when hitting search again, they will)
- more modern forums (better browsing and searching, threading, quoting ...)
- ability to add entries to the listings
- modernise all image browsing modules, they are way outdated
- but really: that cookie!
- Searching on GoKM is a nightmare, I will use google with the site:gokunming.com search modifier to get better results. Sort order should be Relevance/Date/word hits (do you use full text queries? I think you are MySQL right?). Search results page should be better laid out.
- Sort out the Events sidebar, its quite bad (I previously said my piece on this, you guys said you were thinking and implementing the same).
- The events page, shocker. Move the calendar to the middle section and stretch the words across the page.
- I think you are designed for 1024*768 and as of January this year that was 13% of people (Jan 2008 50%) on the web and dropping fast. Recommend increasing the page size and using wrapping for those on old resolutions.
- Better menus on your classified page (www.gokunming.com/en/classifieds/). Having more like the forums page would be better but recommend redesigning both.
- The first thing I do on my mobile is switch to full view. The mobile version is pants plain and simple. If you really want to do it right, invest in making an app for Android/iPhone, but this is a serious commitment if you aren't trained in making these already. If not, I wouldn't even worry about a mobile version anymore as screen resolutions are getting bigger and bandwidth is no longer a problem for your very lite site anyway.
- Align the Private Messages with the Profile heading in the dashboard... actually I could come up with a lot here... how deep should we go?
- Oh yeah, your Features/News/Travel pages (clicking on the links on the top) are all pretty bad for navigation. Recommend these are changed to have the photo that appears on your homepage for each story for the first 10 ordered by date. Add a tag map to the bottom which will enable the user to click to whichever tag interests them (like at the bottom of the Homepage) but restricted to only that section. Put a search at the top that restricts only to that section too. You could display search results in the same way with the pictures of the first top 10 items (2 columns probably 5 deep). Would make the pages actually interesting to look at rather than 40 lines of text to wade through.
A report to moderator button.
One where you can write a note on the reason that a person thinks moderation is needed.
This can cover spam and other bad conduct.
The mods can then chose to act, or not. I recommend that no further communication with reporters is needed. This can only lead to long dialogue and the risk of mods getting dragged into an argument. It also increases the workload for mods.
A special restaurants section and sporting venues (pools, bowling, ice skating, jogging, biking, tennis, etc ad infinitum). A "yellow pages" for lack of a better description. Perhaps even a taobao-like rating (but no ratings spamming).
Free beer with every login. that'd rock.
Separate expat and tourist sub forums.
So the tourists (L visas) can discuss among themselves Hotels, soft beds, buses/trains,planes, how to work illegally and how to only eat just western food for their entire stay in China,Burma,Thailand, etc.
The expat sub forum is only open to those of us that live and work here legally . A current work (z), visiting scholar,business (f ), Spouse (D), or student (x) visa scanned, sent and verified by the site bosses to get expat status.
This will keep the trolls where they belong, as they cannot post(just read) in the "Expat" sub forum.
It has been mentioned before, but I think giving advance notice of upcoming events of general interest would be very useful. Not just what band is playing in what bar.
Also, in the Yunnan travel pieces, most of us who live here would like to see a "getting there" section included so that we can also visit places that look appealing.
All in all a good forum, but need to be sure to put the emphasis on making it useful to people visiting and living here, and not just having it be a repository for pretty "eye candy" postcard-type photos.