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Our web site upgrade (BETA) reminds me of a local restaurant in my area. The owner painted the storefront a hideous purple, the sort of color that is an insult to all buildings. He did it without city approval, and it got the residents up in arms. Everyone was talking about the restaurant with the awful color. A month later, the owner repainted with an inoffensive color and everyone was happy. In the meantime, the controversy made this restaurant universally known in the area. I drove past it the other day and it was packed. Damn, I wish I had thought of that idea with my own restaurant.

We weren't nearly that clever with our web site redesign, but something like the purple restaurant happened by accident. The majority of people who left a comment had bitter (and totally valid) complaints. We used way too much Flash, the servers slowed to a crawl, the navigation of strips was klunky, and so on. We plan to fix all of that in the next week or two. The developers won't be getting much sleep. We've already made the site much quicker.

Meanwhile, traffic on Dilbert.com doubled. And the new features, particular the Mash Ups and the archive search functions are a big hit. People either loved that the strips are now in color or hated it, but everyone had a strong opinion. That's what I love about Dilbert readers. It makes my job a lot more interesting.

Linux users were the most vocal in their complaints. (Who saw that coming?) Your numbers are small but your power is mighty. Just for you, we're working on a bare bones page with only the strips, text navigation, and not much else. Look for that in a week or so. You'll be able to jump from there to the main page if you want to experience the new features like regular folk.

In the meantime, you can always use the new (legal) Dilbert RSS feed. It's just the strips, the way you like it. Click here:
http://feeds.feedburner.com/DilbertDailyStrip

We appreciate all the comments. We're looking at them carefully and making changes. Some will say we shouldn't have inflicted this messy Beta version on the public. There's merit to that argument, but if I was worried about embarrassing myself in front of millions of people, I would need a new job.

Thanks for working with me through this upgrade. I apologize for the messy start.

P.S. My blog hasn't officially moved to this page yet. You can read the regular posts at the old site:
http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/
 
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0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 1, 2008
Hello:

I rather enjoy the new site. Thank-you for doing more to share Dilbert with me.

As 'stephenpace' mentioned, the Sunday strips can be difficult to view. The second panel row is being 'hidden'. I did manage to view them by physically printing off a page (print preview showed the screen as it appears) - but printing the page might be considered by some as a 'waste'.

 
 
Apr 30, 2008
Dear developer,

another bug I spotted:
when I wanted to use the e-mail this strip function I can not enter the @ sign on a non-English keyboard layout (in this case the German one) where it requires some strange combination like ALT-GR Q to enter the @ all it does is show a 'q'.

thx
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 26, 2008
hi, as a linux user i'd like to say thanks for listening, as a dilbert reader, i'd also like to say thanks for listening. i think it's great your taking feedback at heart. i just wanted to add that linux users don't need a slimed down version, i think that's a matter of personal taste, because i like this version of the site more, yet i use linux. Not to say that some days i'm just going to want to see the strip in a barebones type of way.

so it's not just about linux, it's about taste. oh yeah, and letting everyone check the cool animations too ;) thanks for that soo much.
 
 
Apr 25, 2008
would be nice to be able to have left and right buttons on the mashups to be able to go back and forth. right now too many clicks to be able to fully enjoy the new site.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 25, 2008
I just don't like the new format - slow, difficult to access. I see no advantages. Sorry!
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 24, 2008
I really enjoy the animations. I hate dogberts voice in them but hey, if you want dogbert to sound like an annoying jerk that is totally up to you. It is your strip after all. But in the interest of helping you trouble shoot - something I would like to see, is to have a way to click on old animations from the viewing page so that I don't have to keep going back to the main animations page. The options always show, playing 1/2 then if I go to the second one it is always the "panda coffee mug holder" animation. I wont complain about the choppy loading because you have already said you are working on it. Great idea to upgrade otherwise.
 
 
Apr 24, 2008
Linux users are intelligent.
Dilbert readers are intelligent.
Is there perhaps a correlation?

Looking better. Perhaps you wont have to burn the site down for the insurance money.
 
 
Apr 24, 2008
Very well then. Although I'm a Windows user, I'll just bookmark the "Linux" version.

For the moment, I've disabled Flash altogether, it doesn't usually convey anything useful anyway.

P.S. This post reminds me of "God's last message to His creation" of Hitchhiker's memory :-)
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 23, 2008
Hi Scott,

using the firebug plugin for firefox shows that the homepage for new site is about 1.35mb
while the old site only uses about 240k
that's a 5 times increment.

The flash took about 600k
Images took about 400k
.JS took about 200k

my experience is that the flash is a bit too bloated.
You are probably trying to cramp to many things into the flash and the browser plugin is taking more time to process it before it loads the stuff, big problem on older machines.

I'd suggest changing the flash to make it smaller and more light weight. (at least for the homepage)
(your blog page has about 500k worth of flash and js, which is probably unneccessary)

PS: Love the color strips, so-so on the animation and mashups is interesting

 
 
Apr 23, 2008
Scott - the biggest indication that you yourself have issues with the new site is that you're not posting your regular blog here. Surely you could 'simulcast' until you retire the old site? The only alternative you leave your (blog) readers is to keep going back to the old site until you make a clean cut and commit to the new one.
 
 
Apr 23, 2008
Another suggestion. For the advanced search option for archived strips, it would be nice to be able to search on keywords. I may have no clue on the date, but I remember the strip had the word "history" in it. This assumes that you have the original text around for each strip, but if you didn't, you could probably do a bulk OCR on them with good success given the uniformity of the lettering Otherwise, I think the new site has potential, especially if you fix a lot of the common complaints (which it sounds like you are doing). My main issues are Sunday strip navigation, forced relogon at random times, and slow navigation between strips and sections.
 
 
Apr 23, 2008
The panda says no to <title>Dilbert.com - The Official Dilbert Website with Scott Adams' color strips...
The common form for the Saxon genitive for nouns ending with s is _'s_, not _'_ . I'm starting to wonder whether Scott isn't being held hostage by a spelling-, usability-, and common sense-impaired underground strike squad of Web designers. The other possibility is that the whole mess is a large scale experiment aiming to survey a loyal audiences' reactions to a series of absurd changes to a beloved publishing formula. Or it's the consequence of a wager between Scott and a rabid usability specialist. Scott's theory is that Dilbert's popularity cannot be hurt by a botched Web site redesign...
 
 
Apr 23, 2008
What a nightmare. Working in a place that has its web security at max means I get a tantalising glimpse of the strip before it's covered for ever by a grey panel. I have to read the strip by going back and forward, seeing 1/10 of a second at a time. Boo!
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 23, 2008
Gotta say: I don't like the new site:
My reasons:
- Flash: Need I say more?
- Animations: Doesn't really add anything of value
- Mashups: Same Thing...

And the #1 reason: It does NOT render under my firefox configuration.

So, regrettably, Dilbert has now joined the legions of other sites out there that I will never visit again because it forces me to use M$ Internet Explorer.....

Good bye Dilbert.... I'll miss you!
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 23, 2008
Major kudos! When I am next teaching "How to respond non-defensively to criticism" I am going to use you as an example!

but...I am personally loving the new site...and I know it will only get better!
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 23, 2008
The new site's great, just one comment about the Widget for iGoogle.
When you click on the header of the widget, it takes you to widget.dilbert.com, rather than to the Dilbert homepage. Given that you've already got the widget, I can't really see why anyone would want to quickly get back to that page rather than the homepage, so maybe that could be changed?

Still enjoying the site though : )
 
 
Apr 22, 2008
I don't need Animation, I don't need "Mashups", and I certainly don't need Flash. I registered only to get the daily strip in email, and now THAT's screwed up as well.... Time to try the feed, although it appears that I would still need to log on here to get to the archive

The daily strips in color look great on screen, but when I print one, in black and white, it looks worse than the plain one distributed to newspapers. Please make those conveniently available as well everywhere that the color strips are!

The most useful part of the prior site was the archive, where past strips were just a click away - no searching required. The new search is okay, but it would be easier to select a single date and step through full-size images one by one with "next" and "prior" links. (Yes, I mean links, not buttons - never do in script or (worse) Flash what can be accomplished by HTML. It may seem old to PHBs and programming hotshots, but it's still the best implementation.) If you are going to keep the multi-strip display that results, it would be easier to use if the strips were in chronological order rather than reverse order as at present.
 
 
Apr 22, 2008
Hi Scott,
I'm a long time fan and loving the new color comics (the flash, not so much) but I have one question, why is Asok red? He wasn't on the cartoon and now with today's strip in India everyone else is a light brown while Asok is still red? Maybe he ate a spicy dilburrito and is still getting over it?
 
 
Apr 22, 2008
I agree with woodstock's's points, except for 3) Pls add a how-to section etc.

Dilbert.com is a standard Web site and it should not require special instructions. All the learning we've done since this Internet fad picked up taught us the general rules of how to interact with online content and set basic expectations. The designers should try to make the site usable, which also means that it should let us apply the tricks that work on thousands of other sites rather than require that we learn new ones by reading a how-to.

Good place to start for people interested in this usability malarkey: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html

 
 
Apr 22, 2008
I second everything Bobbert said, and will add a couple:
1) I should be able to log-in on the top without loading another page - esp. true when I am trying to vote, or write mash-ups... doing something impulsive
2) I'd like to be able to browse strips easily... which means having arrows to "next" and "previous" strips. This will be useful also in browsing the "most popular" strips b/c sometimes it's part of a longer series
3) Pls add a how-to section for those of us who hasn't quite figured out how to work this new format - or a demo or something. This feels a little like savenger hunt right now.
4) The ad box under the "Widgets" are really quite distracting...
 
 
 
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