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Offline netician
Free Member
Posts: 47

I love Shape5's templates and think they are the best in the Joomlasphere. But one major usability flaw is the absence of both a search and header module position in the header area. Some templates have a login module position, while some have a search module position, in the header, but not a single one has both.

In most of the best designs on the net the log in and search are always accessible in the top right corner and this has become a standard that users expect. Yet even with all of Shape5's extensive module positions this fundamental usability feature has been missed in ever single design. Instead of waiting month after month hoping for the best I am enter this plea. Please do all of us (your customers) a big favor and add 4 module positions to the top of all you templates. That is Logo, Menu, Search and Login. And please make the Search and Login a real module position, that allow users to select their own search and login modules. Right now you are putting the search module right down the page. Everywhere but where it should be.

On sites with alot of menus there might not be room for both. But on sites with just a few menus there is ample room for both search and login. And since the trend is towards using less menus on sites, there really should be the option of adding search and log in on the header area also. Ask yourself. When you go to a site do you want to have to search for the search box or the login buttons. No ! You want them to be right there in the top right corner where they belong. It's a no brainer.

The absence of adjacent search and login positions in the header area, is a serious flaw in every one of your otherwise excellent templates.
If you really care about your customer's satisfaction, you should update all your template (or at least your most recent) with this extra module position right now. That way we can stop looking all over the net for templates that do the one thing that Shape5 keeps leaving out.

Failing that please please please do not tease use with more gorgeous templates that lack this most basic requirement of website usability. i.e Please ad search and login in the header to all you templates in future. This months template is so good but again I can't go live with a template that has such an  obvious usability flaw. Remember we are all competing with the back button and when users can't find what they want straight away they leave the site. And when customers can't get what they want from a template designer, they also leave. Please don' t give us reason to leave Shape5. The templates are great but this is a serious omission that needs fixing.

If you're a Shape5 customer and you agree. Please say so in this threat so that this problem which has been ignored for so long can be taken care of.
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Offline jonahh
Free Member
Posts: 23789 WWW

Hello,


We don't include a search position in every template but we do have it quite frequently.  Its about half and half.  For example here are our last 10 templates:

Oasis - no
Emusica - no
Helion - yes
Design Control - yes
Big Picture - no
Velocity - yes
Gamers - yes
Business Pro - yes
Ez Web Hosting - no
Lime Light - sort of yes, its not all the way at the top but next to the login/register and quite close

Thanks for this suggestion, this is exactly what we are looking for.  Like you said some templates just don't allow for it due to menu header space but we will take this into consideration as we continue to come up with new designs.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 06:33:54 PM by jonahh »
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Offline mikek
Free Member
Posts: 28743 WWW

Hello,

Thank you for your feedback. I want to clarify a few things:

1. Fitting a login, register and search all in the header is not as easy as you describe here. Most of the time it is very hard to fit all of them in the same area while still keeping good aesthetics. You mentioned the latest template so I will use that as an example, the login and register links barely fit in the area on narrow screens. The fact that these templates must be responsive dictates a lot of how the layout is setup.

2. You made a comment that none of our templates have login and search in the header, but eight of our templates from the last year have this. Unless I am not understanding something you are saying, you can see this on the following demos:

Design Control
Velocity
Gamers
Business Pro
Lime Light (it's the lower part of the header but I still think that counts)
Newsplace
Traction
Prestige Academy

There are others that are certainly near the top as well like Helion and very visible. Oasis shows search at the top if custom_1 is not in use as shown on all the sub pages.

3. We can't promise that all of our templates are going to fit the same format. As designers we have to constantly find ways of changing the layout around to appeal to a large variety of website developers. You have some valid points here, but not all developers are going to agree that these items belong in the header on every site.

4. I think it's important to point out that we are one of the few template providers that even use the search field anymore. If you look at other clubs, they do use search on some templates, but it's rare. Some do this more than others, but in general most do not.


Again, thank you for your feedback, we will take this into account for future developments.
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Offline netician
Free Member
Posts: 47

Thank's for the feedback. As a user of many template clubs I scrutinize all the templates from all the major clubs. In general most clubs tend to lag behind compared to what's being done by the UX guys in silicon valley.  The reason I keep coming back to Shape5 is because your templates are the most advanced on the market, especially in terms of module positions.

Those joomla template clubs that are starting to omit search all completely, are creating templates for brochure style sites. While Joomla can of course do this, those type of templates are leaving out most of what Joomla and its extensions are capable of. Those Shape5 templates that do have have login and search included in the header area, place one or both on a separate line from the main menu. That's OK sometimes. But the trend is towards single strip headers that included logo, menu, search, and login. See. Houzz.com https://www.airbnb.com/

Ideally what should be included in the header area, is an option for a two level or one level header strip, depending on the amount of menu links a site is using. For the two strip option, once users scroll up the arrangement should adjust into one strip as elegantly as in this example from Business Insider. www.Businessinsider.com

However that is not the only way to approach this usability issue. On www.houzz.com you will see the lengths they have gone to to make sure Logo, Menu, Search and Login are all in one line on the header strip. While they currently get over the need for more menu's by having a seperate menu below, they actually used to use the mega menu system pioneered by Amazon. See this article on Mashable.com about Amazon's megamenu system. http://mashable.com/2013/03/07/amazon-smooth-drop-down-menus/ . This is something that has yet to be introduced by any Joomla Template Club. Since you are also the first to introduce Mashable style full width menu's perhaps you could achieve another first by introducing the Amazon style menu to Joomla also.

Speaking of Mashable and responsive design. I have noticed that many blog sites such as Mashable and Techcrunch are now going for 1440px  or 1366px widths on desktop screens due to high resolutions that are no common. See here. http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_display.asp that now exist. And then using responsive design to accommodate 1280 1084 and smaller screens. And the truth is that even with the increased use of tablets and phones many Joomla sites serving business and professionals content are still accessed from desktop computers most of the time. So there is no need to design for 1280 and 1084 desktops anymore as these widths often part of the responsive adjustments of the template. Therefore in the wider sites that are now possible there is no problem fitting  Logo Menu Search and Login onto one strip.

Then we get to the responsiveness issue. I don't think the approach Shape5 is using for responsiveness of the header area is very good, so I would suggest the following approach.

On Mobile Phones
1) Place the Logo and Login/Register Modules in the very top area.

2) Below that have a navigation strip that includes the mobile icon and search module position (i.e a real search position that allows any search module to be included.

3) a) Have the menu icon reveal a sliding out side menu, that includes either the current tree menu or ideally a a sliding out accordion menu.

    b) Instead of having a mobile menu icon and search box on the same line, have search only on one strip and then allow another strip to appear below that contains a dropping down accordian menu when the site is accessed via a mobile phone or tablet. 


Nextendweb.com is the current state of the art for accordion menu's in Joomla. http://www.nextendweb.com/accordion-menu/

Offlajn.com is the current state of the art in Login and Search modules. Being able to include these in a Joomla site greatly increases the functionality of the site, so any template club that allows for this rather than forcing users to use their own login, search and mobile menu features is doing its users a big favour.

If you go for a slide out menu, their should be an option for the menu icon to replace the main menu once tablet size or 1280 size is reached. 

It's fine for the search and login modules to wrap around the main  menu on 1280 widths say, as long as the z-index for that whole header area is higher that any module positions below it. But since this can affect the clickability of any module below (i.e in a section with a lower z-index), perhaps it would be better for the logo, search and login to wrap above the menu as the screen approaches tablet size . (if that is possible). and then continue in this upper position all the way to mobile size at which point suggestion 2 above would effectively result.


Spillover Mega Menu Accordian Menu Combination:
Another type of menu I would like to see, but has not been invented, is what I would call a Spillover Mega Menu or a Mega Menu Accordian menu combination.

In such a menu you would have the first few menu links visible in the header, any additional menus would be shown on a  drop down accordion. That way the most important menu's would be immediately visible, and the rest could be accessed via an menu icon that opens and accordion menu. This would adjust well to mobile as the main menu would disappear while the menu icon remains. This could be implemented by including a small menu icon to the immediate right of the main menu position that allows the user to open a module containing a accordion menu. The accordion menu should be able to select exactly which links in a menu are displayed. This link selection feature is already included in the accordion menus of Nextendweb. http://www.nextendweb.com/accordion-menu/ . So you would not have to design such an advanced accordion menu system yourselves. You could just include a real module position inside the menu icon feature, whether this icon is used for mobile, tablet or included in a desktop size menus. Now when I think about it this almost already possible, simple by adding a menu that says other and then included a module in the drop down that contains a accordian menu. But this would look alot better and improve usability if there was the option to have a menu icon as an option in the mega menu. Infact that seems like the most elegant solution to the problem of lack of space on the header strip.

So mobile slideout trees and accordian's desktop spillover accordians is the way to go.This would allow room for search and login to be included in a single header strip no matter how wide or how many  menu and submenus links are included in the desktop version of a site. And it would also improve the mobile and tablet layouts too. If you could retrofit there features to you recent designs. you would have the best usibilty of any template club in the Joomlaverse. All it takes is an added search or login module in the header strip and optional mobile menu icon in the main menu.

Good luck.




« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 06:04:39 PM by netician »
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Offline mikenicoll
Free Member
Posts: 20162 WWW

Hello,

Thanks for your suggestions. We will consider this during our development meetings for Vertex Updates and Templates.

-Mike

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Offline netician
Free Member
Posts: 47

Here is an example of a site that successfully includes all the things I would love to see included in one horizontal header area.
I hope you will give this some consideration again as I would really like to see at least one Joomla template developer finally deliver a template that matches those used by silicon valley startups. The things that need to be included are Logo, Menu, Search and Login with the search and login as genuine module positions and with full width menu options included. I've search hundreds or templates in Joomla and Wordpress for this combination. If anyone can do it Shape5 can.  I as you can see from this Etoro design, when done right space is not really an issue.

http://www.etoro.com.
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Offline mikenicoll
Free Member
Posts: 20162 WWW

Hello,

Thanks for your suggestion. I will see to it that our development team gets a chance to look at this thread for some ideas. We also have some exciting new things on the way that we aren't ready to announce just yet Wink

-Mike
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Offline austingrd
Free Member
Posts: 57

Quote
b) Instead of having a mobile menu icon and search box on the same line, have search only on one strip and then allow another strip to appear below that contains a dropping down accordian menu when the site is accessed via a mobile phone or tablet. 

That might need time to develop but I'd love to see that in the future releases too.
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Offline mikenicoll
Free Member
Posts: 20162 WWW

Thanks for your suggestion. We will keep this in mind for future updates.

-Mike
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