Something new: homepage and sharing.

Some brand new features went live on WikiAnswers today, so I thought I’d share the highlights.

The homepage is looking especially fresh with a bit of an altered layout and more opportunities to answer questions. But the first thing you may notice on the homepage is the brand new message banner across the top, where you can click through highlighted features, help center pages and more in order to quickly learn about and access different parts of the site:

In addition, the Featured Questions are back for your answering pleasure, right below the Recently Asked… section. Also, the tag cloud is now accessible as ‘Hot Topics’ right below the log in pod. It’s occasionally updated with the latest topics to have made headlines, including new categories.

Even better than all that – in my opinion – is that you can now instantly share your unanswered questions in any way you like. You know, to try to get them answered faster. Send them to your knowledgeable friends via email, Facebook, Digg, MySpace, etc. The new share button is located in the menu below the unanswered question.

Share your unanswered questions

Ready, set… go play!

5 thoughts on “Something new: homepage and sharing.

  1. Cool features!
    It’s always nice getting new toys.

    We all have opinions and so here’s mine.

    I’m not a usability expert but I have experience with directing people to go to the content that I’d like for them to view and use and the key to that is clearly defined navigational options. I also spend a decent amount of time creating and providing accessibility information and resources for Firefox users with visual impairments and less than perfect eyesight, and while I’m not an expert on that either, I am legally blind myself so I know what works and what doesn’t for me when accessing and using Web content.

    Blah, blah, blah, the point is that I would suggest increasing the visibility of the options and buttons on the message banner.

    For one, people who are taught to read English in the U.S. are taught to read from left to right, down, and to the left again and so when a visitor reads the message banner and gets to the end of the sentence they are far more likely to go down (and to the left again) to the next block of text. We scan for textual information more than we do for graphical elements unless it’s graphical elements that we are looking for or viewing (photos etc).
    What this all means is that the chances of a visitor clicking on the next and previous buttons on the message banner are slim.

    My suggestions are to increase the visibility of the buttons by using colors that contrasts with each other better, make the buttons a bit larger, and more than anything, add some text like “Next Tip” or something similar to kind of force a person to finish reading the entire line that they’re viewing.
    And if you’d really like for visitors to use and take advantage of the message banner, then you could increase the height of it just enough (14 or so pixels) to either make the text a lot larger or display a longer sentence without dramatically affecting the layout and appearance of the page. There would still be a decent amount of white space.

    It all depends on how much importance you want to give to the destination pages that are linked to the message banner. That’s an example of how to send visitors to where you want them to go.

    The message banner is just about at eye level and one of the first things that a visitor sees upon landing on the site.
    I can’t guarantee that one in four visitors will use the message banner, if I could then I’d make a fortune targeting Google AdWords, but those suggestions can only help.

    For those of you that took the time to read this,
    I sincerely apologize for you have been the unfortunate recipients of a caffeine induced rambling session.

    Perhaps I should have just stopped at “Cool features”?

  2. Well, ok.

    I’d like a cup holder to set my beverage in when I visit wiki.answers.com and a friendly greeting from an attractive brunette wouldn’t hurt (although I certainly wouldn’t discriminate against women with other hair colors).

    A warm thick robe with the WikiAnswers wordmark embroidered on it and a foot stool would also be a nice touch.

    I’ll let you know if I come up with anything else. :)

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