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New post: The New LDS.org Menu

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:11 pm
by johnsonth
LDS.org has a new menu in place. The Menu and Tools menus have been replaced with four new navigation options: Scriptures, Teachings, Resources, and News.

These new menus are designed to help members easily find the most used content on the site, such as scriptures, General Conference, magazines and manuals, First Presidency messages, ordering church materials, and more.


Read more: https://tech.lds.org/blog/521-the-new-ldsorg-menu

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:41 pm
by lionelwalters
I'm absolutely supportive of progress, but one of our biggest challenges "in the field" has been helping our older and less tech-confident members know how they can access basic features like the Calendar and Directory. One thing we did this year was to reduce our printed "Stake Calendar and Directory" to a few pages of instructions for members to go to lds.org > Tools > Calendar/Directory. But now that we feel we've been successful in showing them how easy it is to access these features, and we're getting feedback that people are becoming more comfortable using the web tools, the locations of these key links have changed. It may seem a subtle and insignificant change to those who are tech savvy, but for an older or tech-challenged member who only knows to go to the Tools menu and click what they need, this is a big deal...

Just my two cents. I'm sure everyone will get used to the new layout, but I am worried that many of those who are already apprehensive about using the website for content they used to (and would prefer still to) receive in a printed directory will be turned off by the change.

>> Update - The new Sign In menu is confusing and misleading because it gives people the impressions they have to sign in to access each tool. Once I've signed in to a site, I don't expect to have to click the sign in button again to access features of the site. I can see this becoming quite confusing for many members. Also, to me the four new menu titles don't stand out enough. They look like body text rather than prominent menus. This is just an aesthetic observation, but I think it could be a problem from an accessibility perspective.

Please don't think I'm criticising the changes, but I am just highlighting some concerns that I feel may impede some members' ability to get the most from the site.

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:10 pm
by aebrown
johnsonth wrote:LDS.org has a new menu in place. The Menu and Tools menus have been replaced with four new navigation options: Scriptures, Teachings, Resources, and News.


Of course that count is off by one -- the Menu and Tools menus have been replaced with five new navigation options, since what used to be on the Tools menu is now in the Sign In menu. Well, at least that's what I would call it when I'm not signed in. But when I am already signed in, the words "Sign In" are replaced by my name.

So my question is: what are we supposed to call that menu? If we call it the "Sign In" menu, won't it be rather confusing for people who are already signed in? There's no "Sign In" menu to be found. This change seems to have created a tricky documentation issue.

Also, it appears that none of the applications are using the new menu yet, so when you are in one of the applications, the Tools menu still appears. I assume that will be corrected soon....

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:02 am
by jdlessley
aebrown wrote:So my question is: what are we supposed to call that menu?
For now I'm going to call it the "Sign In & Go To" menu because that is what it does, at least before a user signs in. With the exception of the "Tools for My Calling" item, each of the drop-down menu items first has the user sign in and then goes to the application clicked. Nothing happens when I click the "Tools for My Calling" item. Once signed in I'm going to call it the "User & Calling" menu for those applications that use the user name for the menu title. Which for now are only the LDS.org pages and the Notes and Journal application. It is going to be tricky to explain to some members, but that is how I think I can best describe their functions. A shorter name for both functions I guess could be "Sign In & User" menu, which would cover both the before and after situations.

It appears more work needs to be done to standardize the applications that one can sign in and go to from the "Sign In & Go To" menu. Today the only applications that use the new menu structure are the LDS.org home page/child pages and the Notes and Journal application. The Calendar, Directory, Newsletter, and Lesson Schedules use the old Tools menu. Signing out of these applications takes the user back to the LDS.org home page.

The Maps link in the "Sign In & Go To" menu takes the user to the Maps application where the user must use the Sign In link there to complete the sign in process. Signing out of Maps does not take the user to the LDS.org home page but instead back to the Sign In page. Returning to LDS.org home requires using a bookmark/favorite or the browser history.

The Facilities and Issues Reporting link in the "Sign In & Go To" menu takes the user to the application screens after signing in. This application has no standard menu like the new structure used for the LDS.org and the Notes and Journal application nor the old menu structure of the Calendar, Directory, Newsletter, and Lesson Schedules applications. There is no navigation menu to take a user to any of the other applications or LDS.org. Signing out takes the user to the sign in for the application. To get to LDS.org or any other application requires either using bookmarks/favorites or the browser navigation history. The Patriarchal Blessing Request application behaves much the same as the FIR application.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:11 am
by russellhltn
"moved" and "cheese" are two words that come to mind.

Looking under "Sign In" for the new menu isn't at all intuitive.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:13 am
by atticusewig
If you want the old tools menu - use the "sign in and go to" menu, sign into the Newsletter app, and the old tools menu is
at the top of that app. Not sure how long that will last, but it is nice to have the pictures back next to each app's name.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:04 am
by kisaac
RussellHltn wrote:"moved" and "cheese" are two words that come to mind.
we called them "tools" for so long, now what do we call the directory, calendar, maps, etc?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:22 am
by jdlessley
kisaac wrote:we called them "tools" for so long, now what do we call the directory, calendar, maps, etc?
I've been calling them applications.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:53 am
by jerrobertson
RussellHltn wrote:Looking under "Sign In" for the new menu isn't at all intuitive.


Absolutely agree. On what other website is a portion of the menu found under the "Sign In" link? There may well be a couple examples, but it's not at all standard.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:38 pm
by jdlessley
RussellHltn wrote:Looking under "Sign In" for the new menu isn't at all intuitive.
I can understand the thought in making this functionality. But like others, I see the current implementation as a poor human factors design. It is the use of the title "Sign In" prior to signing in and "[User Name]" after signing in that is the issue. Granted, users who use the site regularly and access the applications/tools regularly will have little difficulty remembering what is under the "Sign In/User Name" title. First time and infrequent users will take considerable time and even may become frustrated at not finding how to get to the tools/applications. I think renaming the title of the drop-down for both the before and after sign in cases is warranted. I am not coming up with appropriate titles at this moment. There has to be better titles others can offer.

There is another browser specific display that compounds the issue. In Firefox 14.0.1 I see the drop-down title in a muted gray font the same as the font used for the "Search All LDS.org" text box. On IE8 the "Sign In" font is a vibrant white like the new menu bar titles.