Page name: Redesigning Elfpack [Logged in view] [RSS]
2013-04-04 21:17:36
Last author: kittykittykitty
Owner: Stephen
# of watchers: 18
D20: 9
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A joint effort between the Council and members
to make Elfpack more enjoyable for everyone.

This page is designed with the intention of making it so that we as a community can come together and brainstorm ideas on how to make Elfpack a better community, stop the memberbase from declining, and get the member count back on the incline.

We of the Council have been trying various ideas, but quite frankly they aren't working well. We're not sure what to do, and we need help from the members, from you.

Post your ideas and comments in the comment box, and we can discuss them and see what everyone thinks, and what we can and cannot do.

What we're looking for:
- Contest ideas to use
- Contest ideas to not use
- Features on site (like Trivia, or Pet Store) we should promote
- Features on site we should put less effort into, or remove
- Ideas for new feature on site
- A site "theme" -- something unique about Elfpack we can advertise, to draw more members.
- Rewards members are interested in from the Council
- Other such like things

What we probably can't do:
- Completely change the site design or layout
   - Small changes should be possible however.
- Large scale changes [Hedda] would personally need to do.

What we can't do, and don't want:
- Change the site name.
- We don't want "Fire/kick/ban this person for xxx-reason." If you really think someone is making trouble, message [Stephen] personally.

For suggestions and comments regarding the changing of the graphics, layout and colors of Elfpack, please visit the pages .css and Style Requests. Due to the huge amount of comments about Stylesheets, we've created pages for those discussions so we can better focus general ideas here, thank you!

1137) We have asked what you would like, and you said an Elfpack app, so what app would you like to have? (Administrator is private forum number -36)

Number of voters: 36

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1132) Which of these interests you? Check all that apply! (Also, please suggest more in the comments!) (Administrator: [Stephen])

Number of voters: 35

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2014-03-27 [WonderTweek]: I think we need to make a priority list on what needs to be done in order. Feel free to add/take away, and/or change the order of this of-the-top of my head list I'm about to vomit out of my mind.
I haven't been on here much, so I'm just throwing out suggestions at this point.
1) We need to de-clutter Elfpack before we attempt anything else, referring back to that webpage I posted a few comments ago, I think cleaning this place out will make our goals a lot clearer.
   b) Fixing the cluttered mess to the right of the page
   c) Organizing wiki's
2) As much as I love Elfpack the way it is, it's falling behind the times. We need a completely new notification system for messages, wiki's invitations etc. I would hope we can get a real-time update on things now, instead of having to refresh the page.
   a) Adding sounds when you get a notification, I have a lot of friends who were thinking about moving their RP's to Facebook because they knew when someone posted. Adding sounds, or even a "bloop" would be a vast improvement
   b) We need to condense on notifications, instead of having "New comments on (insert insane list of Wiki's here) we could have a drop bar or a button to go to a page that shows what has changed instead of it constantly being on your page. I hate to keep referring back to Facebook, but it's for good reason. It's popular for a reason, user friendly and what-not, and they do that and it works just fine.
3) Design of the webpage itself.
   a) CTA's need to be more precise and clear without taking up too much space
   b) Colors, PLEASE lets fix the colors, I changed my Elfpack back from the "new" colors because they hurt my face, but even the traditional colors need to be fixed, the grey background, gold buttons, cornflower blue side links, the sunset thing behind the top bar of cluttered buttons.
   c) Higher resolution pictures (Like the sunset-jpeg mess thing)

I understand that people may have different opinions than mine, and that's perfectly okay, but regardless, we need to make a list so we can set things in motion instead of being like "Well.. this, this and this, oh and also this needs to be changed I guess, oh and maayybbeee..."
If we want any chance at salvaging this webpage we need to make drastic changes, I know people like the old ways, and they're "used to it" and whatever. But the problem is because of our stubborn ways we're holding ourselves back from making this a really good website, and even a lot of those who claimed they loved Elfpack the way it is just don't show up anymore, and guess where they are?
Because even they were done with this website.

2014-03-27 [Stephen]: Adon;
You're very correct. Elfpack does need a massive reorganization. I don't think making a carbon copy Facebook would work, because then there's no reason to use Elfpack over Facebook.

Our big thing is the wiki - that's the unique aspect of Elfpack, and something I believe we should focus on expanding and fine tuning. We can try to present ourselves as something akin to Facebook, but with more personalization and freedoms.

Having appearances changed when it comes to Elfpack might be pretty difficult. I'm going to see if Hedda will enable some extra features for Priv-1; I can change Mainstreet's stylesheet so perhaps that can be enabled cross-site.

2014-03-27 [Faith.Hope.Love]: I agree wholeheartedly that Elfpack needs to be more "up" with the times. As with Elftown, I think finding a way to maintain the feeling of the traditional Elfpack is important, but then consolidate it by using more drop-down menus. This way additional actions a member would like to do, they still can, but not so EVERYTHING has to be prominently displayed. This would drastically reduce clutter.

I think there's a need for more "real time" aspects, and having the ability to chat in real time while on Elfpack would be a definite plus for the site. The ability to tag people has it's pluses and its minuses, but with an opt out feature, people have the choice to being tagged or not. What I particularly like about the ability to tag, is the ability to tag in comments if you want to notify a person about, say a particular topic. Example: Like if I wanted Stephen to see what I'm writing here, I could tag him so he would get notified about it. But like with most things, there's always those who will abuse a feature.

Sounds are a good idea and also the option to turn sounds off would provide people the option as to their preference.

Hashtagging would also be a helpful tool.

More buttons to share things across the web. Pinterest has become a place to share things from the web, for instance, so a "PinIt" button would be good. I would also recommend organising a group of people just for working on promoting this site. These people could keep Twitter updated daily, Facebook daily, post on Pinterest, Stumble, etc. and regularly. Also, create an Elfpack blog and is there an Elfpack Facebook "page"?

I think promotion is very important because without active members here, no matter what is done to make this site become more of a place to be, if there aren't many here, what good is going to be any changes?

Overall, there needs to be more here that people can do. Unless you're a roleplayer, there is little else here going on or to do. If the roleplayers are leaving and going to Facebook or elsewhere, then this will pretty much completely kill this site. There needs to be more reason for people to come here and join and then enough here happening to keep them here. ..And there needs to be a wider audience. Currently, there isn't much here that is "intellectually" stimulating, for example.

Yes, I agree, Stephen, wiki-pages are Hedda's sites' biggest asset and the way Hedda has them set up, makes them so much easier to use than on other sites' wikis, which the number of sites that do are few and far between. It would be nice to be able to create unique environments (backgrounds) as well. 

2014-03-27 [Stephen]: I would LOVE a tag feature. So much.
I get asked questions on pages and it takes me weeks to respond, because pages that aren't high on my priority list I don't look at unless I'm free of other things, which is rare. Then I feel like a jerk for taking two weeks to respond. >_>

We actually DO have a public relations department on Elfpack, which manage our official Facebook and Twitter pages. They're at the aptly named Public Relations page.

I'm under the belief that we need to have something to hold members to Elfpack when they join. Right now, nearly all new applicants quit right after joining. It's confusing and messy and just.. yeah. I think we should clean that up, before we try to bring in new people.

I'm also thinking of asking Hedda to remove the application system. I'd rather ban the occasional clone/unsavory person, than to have the new memberbase be reduced to almost nothing.

I messaged Hedda and tomorrow he and I are supposed to have a conversation about Elfpack. I'm going to request that priv 1 be able to change the sitewide CSS, and probably also see if I can get some other priv-abilities changed or tweaked.

I don't know enough about the CSS to know if we can do much other than change colors/styles/buttons; I'm pretty sure we can't just make things into a drop down, without changing the HTML.
I find it highly unlikely Hedda will allow me access to the base HTML of Elfpack, so I'm going to aim for the CSS right now. =P

2014-03-27 [Stephen]: I also wish that I was either more involved in Elftown or Elftown had a Vice Mayor that I knew (or had one I could get to know..) because it'd be MUCH easier to carry this out if it was coordinated between all the sites - moreso Elftown, since that's really the "parent" site to these. (That and Elftown is pretty... sleepy at the moment.)

2014-03-28 [Faith.Hope.Love]: I too like the tag feature more than I dislike it. :)

Then perhaps, they need to work on promoting Elfpack more? Okay so now I'll likely get bonked on the head. ;) lol

Well, it's never a good idea to try and force people to do something but you can make a good case to influence their thinking, especially if you have something tangible to support it. ;) Or.. you can give them reasons to "want" to stick around. :)

Unfortunately, all of his sites are pretty sleepy atm. :'( I agree. I think it would be better if his sites were better coordinated with each other too. :)

2014-03-28 [Stephen]: This should be a group effort between members - Council and normal, across the site. Really, across all the sites but at the moment I'm not involved in Elftown much so I can't do much in that regard.

I want to hopefully get the ball rolling; EVERYONE agrees that we need a graphic update on all sites. It's messy, ugly, clunky, confusing, cluttered, etc. If I can get Hedda's okay to change some priv-rights, then that'll be a huge first step towards positive change. We won't be able to completely redesign the site, but we'll be able to have much more influence than we do now.

We have people with ideas and thoughts, which is awesome. Hopefully we can start the process of getting them implemented.

I wish I knew a .css wizard, haha. I know some about cascading style sheets, but not too much. I should ask around and see if I can find one..

2014-03-28 [Faith.Hope.Love]: The more involved with their ideas/input the better I think because there's more ideas to ponder and consider for improving.

I use the Elftown default stylesheet because I happen to like it. :P

I've met some wizards. I've made many great connections being on Facebook and to think I originally joined Facebook for the sole purpose to help promote Elftown. :/

2014-03-28 [Stephen]: I try to mostly avoid Facebook. I use it for communication with personal and business, but I don't really "branch" out; I don't join groups or anything. I tend to try to steer clear of too many people, friends, or organizations. Keeps life less cluttered and more easy going. I like easy going. :P

I like Elftown's greens, of course. That shouldn't be a surprise, heh. I want Elfpack changed so badly..

2014-03-28 [Faith.Hope.Love]: Well, to each their own, Stephen. ;) Everyone has their own preferences. There's nothing wrong with this. :) Facebook has both pluses and minuses, not unlike most things. Its silly rules that aren't even stated is a big negative. But it is a great platform for connecting and networking and for awakening The People from their 'bubbles of indifference'. It's not the evils, the wrongs of the world, that's going to do our world in. It's those who stand by and do/say nothing to stop it.

"Greens" <-- ;) Enough said. lol

2014-03-29 [Stephen]: People like their bubbles! You're right though, unless people get together to stop bad things, they'll just get worse. :P

Anyway, we're getting off topic and I don't want to derail this wikipage. ;)

I didn't have a chance to message Hedda earlier. Damn timezones!

2014-03-29 [Faith.Hope.Love]: Yeah, they do and we all need them to have a place, our own space, to be able to escape from the real world for awhile. We just can't let our bubbles make us totally oblivious to what's happening in the world outside of them. ;) No more talk about bubbles! hehe

Well, in Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden, it's 10:34 a.m. right now. I guess that desktop gadget comes in handy on occasion. ;) I never could be quite certain as to why it was so important that "I" KNOW the date, temperature (41°F - 5°C), and time for Linköping, Sweden. O.o

2014-04-05 [WonderTweek]: Ahaha, of course I wouldn't want this to be a carbon copy of Facebook, I was just using it as an example because I'm sure most of us know what Facebook is, so it's an easy reference. :P
You can actually promote websites on other sites, (again Facebook) will promote your page to x of people depending on how much money you pay (The more you pay, the more it promotes it), I know Youtube does it too. If we got this site halfway cleaned up, and found a reason people need to be here I would be willing to donate money to some sites to promote Elfpack, but at the moment there's nothing worth promoting.
I think Wiki's are a really big strong-point of Elftown and Elfpack, that could be one of the reasons, but we need more if we want an even half-assed attempt at keeping people.

2014-04-05 [WonderTweek]: Also, fuck yeah tags!!

2014-04-05 [Faith.Hope.Love]: There's a lot of dissatisfaction going on with Facebook and apparently Google+ is starting to pull similar crap as Facebook. It would be awesome if Elfpack could offer a more preferred option. *dreaming* But Elfpack would have to be able to offer a lot more than it does now. I know nothing about programming, but I can imagine such would be a LOT of work, time, and effort. But... on the flip side, I think it would be well worth it. If Elfpack were to have a much expanded user base, why couldn't there be advertisers here as well? This would give Hedda revenue which is only fair since he does keep the site on the map and does the programming behind it. I have never had a problem with him having ads, except with Elf12, the children's site, because he does deserve to be able to earn money.

I have an idea to help promote Elfpack but the specifics are not totally organised in my head yet and to type it all out will likely create a giant wall of text that most won't be willing to read. So to generalise it, Facebook is so much about posting stuff with quotes and sayings, etc. on them which usually incorporates photos/images. If we made MANY up and shared them from Elfpack and also added an Elfpack link on them and also created an Elfpack page to also help promote this, we might be able to increase a greater awareness about Elfpack. ..And if we worked also with Elftown's Reference Pictures' Library, we might just be able to also help Elftown.

When I was on Elftown, this is one of the things I had on my to-do list along with lifting things out of some of the photos (removing backgrounds), such as flowers and animals and then putting them on wiki-pages so people could just come and get them to use them in their own works.

But like I said, this is just a basic idea that I have many thoughts about but aren't all organised in my thinking. Maybe others here would have some thoughts too. :P

2014-04-05 [WonderTweek]: There actually is an Elfpack page and group on Facebook, though at the moment, most of the members are people already from Elfpack. That's a good idea though, we could do that once this place gets cleaned up, I would avoid promoting the site though until we get this place cleaned up. Like Stephen said, most people quit right after joining. At the moment I think it's because this website is just too confusing, dead, has nothing of value and is overall, an inconvenience to check.

2014-04-05 [Faith.Hope.Love]: What's the Elfpack "page"? I'm familiar with the group although I haven't joined for reasons I won't go into here. There are things that can be worked at behind the scenes so to speak while 'cleaning up' like setting up wiki-pages and organising and creating images to share would take some time. :)

2014-04-06 [WonderTweek]: Oh, I guess it's just a group. Huh I could've sworn there was a page. But I guess I'm just nuts. I can create a page though.

2014-04-06 [WonderTweek]: Okay, I created a page. xD

2014-07-24 [Stephen]: After months, and months, I've actually spoke with Hedda some (that's part of why I've been half-active lately);

He's willing to do small changes.
He won't remove the application system. So all I can really do there is give more people the ability to accept applications.
I don't think he's going to restyle the entire site.

The wiki is easily the strongest point for all of these sites, but the complication in using them (weird buttons, odd words, odd colors, weird navigation system) is the weakest point.

I have no idea what to do about that.

2014-08-09 [WonderTweek]: Removing clutter may be a start?
I don't really know, I've honestly (as much as I hate to say it) have given up on this website almost entirely, I essentially check it for nostalgic reasons these days.
Getting back on Elfpack actually kind of makes me depressed. I don't know why.

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