Storiesonline.net’s Author Listings Have Changed

Recently, I redesigned the authors’ listings on the site. It was a necessary change, but some are very unhappy with it.

In one way, they are a little bit less convenient to some now. But it was a necessary change.

What are the changes? Not much, I added paging to the listings, so now instead of each letter being displayed all at the same time, it gets displayed in chunks of 30 authors. Also, it’s better looking for desktop browsers.

This change made it difficult for somebody going for a certain author to get to their target quickly if the target happen to be on page Eighteen of a certain letter. For those browsing for discovery, it shouldn’t really matter.

The new display has a solution for those who are seeking a specific author. The page has a ‘Jump To’ field at the top. Just type the first few letters (up to 5) of the author you want and the page will jump directly to it. In a way, this is actually faster than scrolling through up to 500 authors on one list.

The reasons for change are:

  1. Mobile: Scrolling down 200-500 names on a phone is very tedious. The new listings are way better for phone users.

  2. Search engine indexing: Google and other search engines on the internet have limits on the number of links per page that they follow. The limit is around 100-150. Which means, when served with a list of 500 authors with each author having an average of 3 links, the indexing bots drop a lot of links and many authors don’t show up in search engines’ indexes. That’s isn’t good nor fair for those authors at the bottom of those lists.

Update 2014-08-04: Due to popular demand, and since this redesign didn’t really benefit the site from a performance view, I’ve implemented some code modifications that removed the listings limits for logged in users on non-mobile devices.

Published by

Lazeez

Owner and operator of storiesonline.net

19 thoughts on “Storiesonline.net’s Author Listings Have Changed”

  1. Lazeez,
    You do a great job with the site and we’re all grateful. It sounds like this will be another change with longterm benefits. Thanks. aroslav

  2. Good for you, Lazeez! By doing what you did, you made it easier for mobile users. There are always going to be some griping about this because people are resistant to change. I saw it and it didn’t bother me at all. Maybe the search (jump to) box went unnoticed.

    Regards,

    Roger

  3. I don’y often use the Author’s pages, but your explanation makes a lot of sense. You do a great job with the site. Thanks.

    1. There is one, under advanced search. By title, by author, by ‘description,’ and several other things. You do not need the whole thing, a few letters or words are enough.

  4. The new Authors paging really works for me. I use my smart phone and this makes it very easy to look up authors. Thanks

  5. I frequently use the authors list to search out and mine through different authors from years gone by. Never had an issue before and don’t have one now. Dunno who’s griping but keep up the good work.

  6. Now I know what has happened I have no problems with the change. Just when it first appeared I thought I had something wrong with my computer,
    Regards,
    Winnie

  7. Thanks for the explanation, this makes a lot more sense now. I hate it when things get improved when nothing is wrong. The rationalization behind it works, as does the description of functionality.

    The site itself is awesome, I hope it carries on for years into the future.

  8. I understand why you broke the list of authors under a particular alphabetical letter into groups, but it is far less convenient than being able to scroll through an entire list without having to jump to the next group, scroll again, jump, scroll, jump…. Stories under an author have been grouped this way for a long time, and it’s always been a pain to find the correct story because of the download time while waiting for each group to reload.

    I hope my feedback has been useful.

  9. As a frequent user of CTRL+F user I have to say that I dont like the “break up”.

    Is it too costly/difficult to make a mobile version of the site?

  10. Is there some way to put a “Show All” button in there near the “Next” button? Maybe even make it an option in account settings. That would seem to be the best of both worlds.

    Personally, I preferred being able to scroll myself. I like scanning for interesting things, or noticing an author I haven’t looked at in a long time. But constantly clicking on a new page will make me just forget the whole thing (I’ve abandoned a ton of “lists” on various websites for that exact reason). So, for people like me at least, it is an issue.

  11. Why no default to 30 listings per page and allow this to be adjusted in user preferences?
    It would be great if the story listings for each author worked that way as well.

  12. we had a saying in the armed forces, If the troops are not bitching they are not happy. Shake it off, you can’t satisfy everyone,

  13. Two things I’d suggest, since I don’t happen to like the change myself.

    First, take a look at Responsive Design. There are plenty of good examples out there. I understand and appreciate the value in supporting both desktops and mobile devices, but locking a site into a single layout instead of a dynamic one sells the site short no matter what kind of user you have.

    Second, even if you don’t implement a Responsive Design, comment number 15 by Zobak offers a good suggestion. The more you allow the user to customize their own interface the smaller number of use cases you have to consider in your design.

  14. I understand the necessity for this change however I use a desk top PC with a mouse. That makes scrolling through the old style listing much easier and quicker. It would be nice to have an option in my profile that would allow a permanent switch between the two modes. Or maybe a check box when “Authors” is displayed to switch between block or list view.
    T

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