Design Feedback

Dear Readers,

Recently, we re-designed PINAC to v 5.0 after great year writing the news on PINAC v 4.0.  For the next several months, we will be testing new and different ways to improve both reader experience.

That also means, we’ll be testing the monetization of PINAC News as the site grows.  Our goal is to turn those precious dollars into continuous improvement and expansion of our news reporting across America and internationally. We started by cutting half of our advertisers to improve the overall reader experience and recently began selling the PINAC 360  camera on our site.

In that spirit, we’ve created this comprehensive feedback page, so that we might address as many concerns as possible in an orderly way. Please attach a screen shot whenever possible.  

We totally thank you for the words of encouragement and critique as we attempt to tune PINAC v5.0 and introduce 360 degree video into the cop watching space.





Comments ()

  • Random User
    November 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    The new design is horrible. It is complex, has redundant elements, and makes the user work too hard. Here are some specific areas for improvement:

    1) Most pages double-load (in chrome, anyway). Once you land and the page starts loading, it clears and loads again. This makes the user wait a substantially long time for the content to load.

    2) The DHTML fade in is an extremely bad design practice. Websites should load fast. Loading slowly makes the user wait, and many users will click away. Look at all the good blogs and news sites and none have a forced fade in. You’re just making your users wait and not giving them anything in return for doing so. Have you looked at your bounce rate?

    3) Memory footprint is huge and off the charts. Loading this site causes an instant spike in memory and CPU usage.

    4) You have two rows of mouseover dropdowns, which means that to get the bottom row of dropdowns to work, you can’t approach from the top of the page or the top row of flyover dropdowns will cover the bottom row. Worse, the bottom row has no dropdowns.

    5) You have top menu items that belong in your footer or elsewhere. For example, “About Us,” “Design Feedback,” “Contact,” “Site Map,” and “Submissions” should not be top level menu items. These items are secondary to the content and belong in the footer.

    6) Many of the story links appear multiple places on the home page and on story pages. This causes confusion for users. Keep the site simple, don’t double-post stories. Use tags for filtering, not as top level categories.

    7) Many of the topics are redundant. The site could be much better organized and simplified using tags and filters.

    8) You’ve removed perhaps the best feature of the site, which was the ability to view videos and a snippet of the article from the home page. Now, you’ve buried the key element of the story behind a click. Every click you force a user to make will drive away a percentage of your users. You’ll artificially increase page views temporarily, but you’ll annoy users in the long run, which will substantially affect your retention. Retention (getting a user to return to the site) is far more important than a page view. It is always easier to get a user back than it is to find a new user. Optimize for getting the user in front of you to return again.

    9) From what I can tell, the site has been optimized for page views, e.g., to drive up impressions. This is likely intended to drive up ad revenue on a per user basis, but this is a very bad strategy for multiple reasons. First, if the double-load is a feature and not a bug, then the ad networks will detect this as impression spam and will discount impressions from the site. That means they will a) take a percentage of the impressions you drive and completely ignore them, not paying you for them as they were automatically generated, and b) flag the site as one that is trying to automatically increase page views and discount a certain percentage more. Second, designing for revenue never works in the long run. You will get a short term spike in revenue, and you will always have a core set of users that are dedicated to the content, but you will have great difficulty attracting new repeat users as they will become frustrated with the product. Have you decided what your KPIs are? My guess is you’re looking solely at page views. You should be looking at MAUs, DAUs, retention over time (how many new and existing users return after 30, 60, and 90 days), engagement (# of stories viewed per session and per day), and time spent.

    • Random User
      November 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Loading the site and individual pages on it takes between 8 and 13 seconds. That’s a very long time.

      • Difdi
        September 30, 2015 at 2:00 am

        You’re lucky. With the buggy script I keep encountering, loading the site and individual pages on it takes me at least 2 minutes per page.

  • anan
    December 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    This website has become unusable. There are so many pull down menus and “related articles”, “popular stories” …etc that it is hard to navigate. The story itself makes up a small portion of the page. The navigation menu categories have no logic behind them either. I’m not saying that I miss the old format, but there has to be a middle ground here.

  • Nemo
    January 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Minor quibble: The italicized font currently being used is rather difficult to read in my version of FireFox, Version 34.0.5, and set to Times New Roman @ 14 points.

    The italics are more readable in Chrome’s default settings, and IE’s default Times New Roman (couldn’t find the font size, looks to be 14, as well.).

    Not a huge deal, but the fix would probably be a minor tweak, so I thought I’d mention it.

  • Robert BURNE
    March 12, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Carlos..

    Looks like this is a stagnant page ..Professional constructive advise goes unheeded.. Your site is a “CLUSTER FUCK” of greedy complexity..Trying to fit everything on every page. Crashes my tablet constantly

    Intrusive auto-start ads ..too many superfluous story links..UNUSABLE..frustrating and infuriating~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Monetization seems to be your motivation..Exploitation of your audiences interest in social justice..Refinement and simplification not overreach and complication will carry this site forward.. Visitors to this site are interested in the stories,, not so much in editorial content.. Comments section is more than enough fill out the story..

    PINAC v 4.0 is a new paradigm,, a greedy corruption of v3.0 wake up

    or lose the respect of many supportive viewers and subscribers..

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~robert~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Random User 2
    September 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Wow, I turned off my ad blocker and see some of the issues with ads now. The pop up and auto playing ads are driving everyone I know to install an ad blocker. I will wait to see what happens in the new lay out, as of 9/10/15, but I would rather subscribe and stay with the old layout than browse the new layout for free.

  • Bruce
    September 25, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Dislike the pop up add on the side, I understand you have to make some money, find a different route please. One suggestion, a running total for awarded lawsuits in the top corner, or somewhere on the site, that would be interesting. Could brake it down to level of government. Great site, thanks for all the hard work.

  • Difdi
    September 30, 2015 at 1:59 am

    I’ve noticed a HUGE CPU and memory usage spike each time I try to visit the new version of the site. No other site does this, just PINAC.

    CPU usage spikes from its average of half a percent to 40%, memory usage jumps by over three gigabytes, and it stalls Firefox several times (program not responding) before whatever script is causing the problem finally stutters to a halt. When Firefox gives me the option to stop the script (and I do so) the page performs flawlessly. Until I click to another page anyway, then the script runs again with the same issues.

    Once that script is stopped, PINAC loads at the speed of the modern internet, and all features work flawlessly. I’m not sure what that script is doing, but the fact that it consumes 40% of my CPU cycles and a quarter of my computer’s RAM doing it is very alarming.

    Killing the script should disable at least one feature of the site if it were necessary for the page, but everything works fine without it. It makes me wonder if one of your advertisers has slipped some malware into the mix.

    With a little trial and error, I’ve determined that PINAC itself is the source of the bad script. Disabling scripts selectively doesn’t have any effect on it unless PINAC itself is not allowed to load scripts, then everything loads in less than a second without browser crashes or script crashes.

    Of course, I can’t post comments or see pictures hosted on PINAC when I do that, but it sure beats having my browser crash multiple times when trying to load a single website.

  • Chuck C in AZ
    October 8, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Been following your site since before the redesign. Keep up the great work. However, there are many broken links (404 errors). Just look at today’s (10/7/15) right-side links, select several and try to look at them. ie: Girl being pulled into pool my PE instructor.
    Thx

Comments are closed.