Newly Added Features — Responses to Reader Suggestions

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originalSeveral new features have been added to the Vanguard site in response to user/reader suggestions.  Those new features are described below. More will be coming soon.

The first of these features is a toggle icon on the Home page that allows each user to choose between a “List” display of articles (the way articles have been listed here since the new site went live two weeks ago) and a “Grid” display of articles (the way the prior Vanguard site listed articles)

To toggle between the two display choices, all a user has to do is click on the List icon or the Grid icon in order to affect the change.

When you click on the List icon and resultant display looks like this:

.Home Page Toggle - List

.
When you click on the Grid icon and the resultant display looks like this:

.Home Page Toggle - List
.
The second of these features is a Comment Editing feature, which activates when you initially post a comment, with the screen looking as follows:
.
Home Page Toggle - List
.
The default time limit for editing a comment is 5 minutes. The clock starts when you post the comment and the remaining time shows just to the right of the blue Click to Edit link. Note: when you are in the midst of doing an edit the five minute clock continues to count down. When your 5 minutes expires you can no longer complete an edit and if you submit an in process edit after the time has expired, a message box will appear telling you you can no longer edit the comment.

The third feature is a the series of light blue editing icons that appear in the previous image above the comment box when typing a new comment.

Clicking on the b icon results in bold type

Clicking on the b icon results in italics type

Clicking on the link icon opens a window that allows you to insert the web address of a link that you want to include in your comment such as If Only We Were As Livable As Berkeley

Clicking on the b-quote icon allows you to insert quoted text, which will appear in a grey box like the example below..

Quoted text example

.
Clicking on the del icon results in strikeout text

Clicking on img icon opens a window that allows you to insert the web address of an image

The fourth of these features is a Search function that appears at the far bottom of each screen on the right side of the screen, as shown in the image below.
.Home Page Toggle - List

There will be more enhancements coming, but we wanted to get the word out about this initial foursome.

Now that you have been using the new Vanguard for three weeks, what are the things that you believe can get better?

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About The Author

Matt Williams has been a resident of Davis/El Macero since 1998. Matt is a member of the City's Utilities Commission, as well as a former Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), former member of the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee (DPAC), former member of the Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF), as well as Treasurer of Davis Community Network (DCN). He is a past Treasurer of the Senior Citizens of Davis, and past member of the Finance Committee of the Davis Art Center, the Editorial Board of the Davis Vanguard, Yolo County's South Davis General Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, the Davis School District's 7-11 Committee for Nugget Fields, the Yolo County Health Council and the City of Davis Water Advisory Committee and Natural Resources Commission. His undergraduate degree is from Cornell University and his MBA is from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He spent over 30 years planning, developing, delivering and leading bottom-line focused strategies in the management of healthcare practice, healthcare finance, and healthcare technology, as well municipal finance.

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32 thoughts on “Newly Added Features — Responses to Reader Suggestions”

  1. Jim Frame

    Now that you have been using the new Vanguard for three weeks, what are the things that you believe can get better?

    The comment nesting feature remains problematic on mobile devices. Once a comment gets nested more than a couple of levels, it becomes impractical (if not impossible) to read, at least on my Android phone.

    I’d like to see a floating “down arrow” (similar to the floating “up arrow”) — or some similar device — that takes you to the Latest Comments section. Currently, on my phone the entire sidebar, headed by Latest Comments, appears after the comments on each article page. Since Latest Comments is the spot I like to check most often, it’d be nice to have a quick way to get there.

    1. Matt Williams Post author

      Jim, I just reduced the nesting levels by one (from five to four), and have two questions: 1) Is the new “last” level still impractical? 2) When you encounter a thread that gets to the “last” level (the fourth, fifth and sixth levels in the example comments below) have you tried swiveling your mobile device into the side-to-side orientation in order to get more screen width?

      A floating navigation arrow to take you to the Latest Comments is in the works, but hasn’t been completed yet. Once it is ready we will implement it.

      Thank you for the continued feedback.

  2. Jim Frame

    The 4th, 5th and 6th level examples all appear to be the same on my phone. They’re readable, but not easily readable due to the limited number of words per line (3 or so) in portrait mode. They’re much better in landscape mode.

    1. Jim Frame

      This is what it looks like (if I’ve posted image correctly):

      (Hmmm…that didn’t seem to work…)

      The image URL seems to work on own, but the image doesn’t show up in my comment. ???

    2. Matt Williams Post author

      Sounds like you will have to increase your carpal tunnel risk by rotating your phone 90 degrees every now and then.

      4, 5 and 6 should appear to be the same. That was a purposeful test on my part.

      Do you have the Accessibility feature’s large text turned on?

  3. South of Davis

    It is great the we can click a comment in “latest” comments and get to the comment.

    It would be nice if we can also to that with the ‘more” comments (not just the five “latest” comments).

  4. Matt Williams Post author

    This is a test of the use of the bold formatting icon

    This is a test of the use of the italics formatting icon

    This is a test of the use of the underline formatting icon

    This is a test of the use of the “including a quoted passage” icon

    This is a test of the use of the strikeout formatting icon

    • This is a test of a bulleted list – Item 1
    • This is a test of a bulleted list – Item 2
    • This is a test of a bulleted list – Item 3
    1. This is a test of a numbered list – Item 1
    2. This is a test of a numbered list – Item 2
    3. This is a test of a numbered list – Item 3

    This is a test of the use of the right justified text formatting icon

    This is a test of the use of the center justified text formatting icon

    This is a test of the use of the left justified text formatting icon

    http://www.google.com

    If you want to type in Full Screen mode click on the Full Screen icon

  5. Frankly

    When you click reply, the cursor is not yet active in the reply box.  You have to click there before being able to type.  Should put the focus on the text box after clicking reply.

    Also had a couple of weird episodes where I hit some key and the VG switched to another article… losing the text that I had been typing.   Seems like a “are you sure you want to abandon your post” prompt would be a good feature.  It is really frustrating to lose a good thought since I develop so few.

    Otherwise things are lookin’ good.

  6. South of Davis

    As of today the font I type in the comment box does not match the font that is posted to the site and the comments (and reply) boxes have defaulted to double space when I hit return.

    1. Matt Williams Post author

      I noticed that too SoD

      The more relaxed line spacing on the screen is actually the line height of a single line rather than the spacing (single, double etc) of lines. The idea of the relaxed spacing is to make it easier to read what you are typing.

      That greater line height is also the case in Full Screen mode when you type.

      When you post the comment the line height is normal rather than relaxed.

  7. Matt Williams Post author

    This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. The broadcasters of your area in voluntary cooperation with the FCC and other authorities (or, in later years, “federal, state and local authorities”) have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency.

    If this had been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to tune to one of the broadcast stations in your area.

    1. Matt Williams Post author

      wdf1, we’re working on automating it. In the meantime use the following manual method with the two parentheses being replaced by angle brackets … shift . and shift , respectively) and the url of your image replacing the example url.

      (img class=”alignnone” src=”http://uptownstudios.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/uptown-logo.png” /)

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