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Old 04-11-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
sothis
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Default Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates?

Hi everyone,

Something I keep hoping to fix is the amount of people who see site announcements - as well as an easier way to post smaller updates, like the ones I do on Facebook (such as asking for info/input).

Right now we have a box on the homepage that shows the most recent site announcements - but people don't really see the box. It's important especially if I need to warn people about downtime, or to get the word out about new features, etc.

I'm hoping you all can link to some sites that you think do this sort of thing well - specifically, sites that surface site-specific updates/feature updates/announcements in a really discoverable way, and also what they do that you think makes it a good system.

Sites that are nothing more than a forum don't count, as forums tend to have their own announcement systems. I'm looking for full on sites (that may or may not have a forum), which surface announcements in an especially good/useful/clever way.

Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

I actually don't have many websites I frequent that even show site news unless you go visit their facebook page or something. But as for a suggestion, maybe the facebook panel should go under the news panel on the home page. But shrink the news panel so that the facebook one still appears upon the initial starting screen. And make the title "site news" a bit more vivid. "Facebook" is bordered and "like the site?" is yellow and bolded. Maybe that would attract a bit more attention.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

First, about the site news box, I actually think it needs to be moved to be more visible. I made this image a long time ago and posted it in the requests forum. Anyway, it might be slightly dated but the idea still works:



The other options might be to see if there's a way to show Facebok or Twitter posts on the homepage. I've seen a few places who have their Facebook module showing their recent Facebook posts. Of course, that only goes so far as when the site is actually working. A lot of people out there are very... resolute in their refusal to use social media. I have no clue how to deal with it beyond that.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

So in this case I'd prefer to not talk about the current design since it'll be changing, mostly I'm trying to figure out what works elsewhere so we can keep it in mind when designing the homepage :)
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

Well, if you're working from a strict in-site perspective, most websites have some sort of notification system set up that pops up on a header banner. Gaia Online and DeviantArt are examples of this. Most places who don't do this just stick to social media or email. I honestly can't think of another way to do it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

how about a mobile app that will give alerts on site-specific updates/feature updates/announcements? this way A-P will be more accessible for the users and your message can be heard via computer and mobile alerts. obviously, a mobile app could be expanded on that but that's a story for another time. the only website i can think of that do this have already been suggested. facebook and twitter. MMAJunkie.com also does this.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

just give us proper newsfeed for the newsticker box and I'll be fine :D
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

I was going to say pretty much what vernanonix said. I particularly like Gaia's setup for their announcements. They have a small box on the front page that showcases the latest announcements, and every time they send a new one, a bubble with "new announcement" shows up in the header and won't disappear until you click it.

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

Something like this maybe for important announcements? :

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Your help needed! Examples of sites that have good notifications for site updates

Why not just keep the news ticker (albeit redesigned and repositioned) like we have now for normal and minor news, but make some sort of overlay for major announcements that you want everybody to see?

I don't have an example from a site because, well, after you click them once they disappear forever. But if you've played Halo they do them whenever there's an update or a new piece of DLC. Basically when you load the game up before it gets to the title screen an overlay with information is placed over the whole of the screen, and you just push a button to continue past it, and it will never show up a second time after closing it.

That way you can be certain that everybody has at least been made aware of the news, and if they don't want to read it all it takes is a single click and they'll never be bothered again by that same message.
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