AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo)

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      4 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

      Hm, that’s pretty surprising. If you’ve seen a Bruce who’s wearing it, enter its name on the homepage and we’ll download the data immediately. Until we see the wig in the wild, though, we can’t know what it looks like :/

      AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

      Looks like the wonderful and talented purplebin took care of it for us. Thanks for the heads-up! Happy 2015! :D

      AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

      Ahh, I see what you're sayin'. That list is a well-oiled automatic machine that doesn't have a mechanism for adding stuff to it manually. I'll try a quick Neoboard campaign :)

    • 44 votes
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        7 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

        I guess I should mention that, now that we have outfit thumbnails, the blocker to this feature is less about the tech and more about management: I’ve been able to keep DTI in my life because it requires very little management day-to-day, but how would that change if a part of the site needed constant moderator attention?

        I think it’s doable, but I’ll need to be in a more stable position, and develop an excellent plan for how to not let the time commitment spin out of control :/ If anyone’s run a large community before, I’m interested in getting some advice on the logistics behind creating and managing this kind of team in a sustainable way :) Hit me up!

        AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

        Haha, fun fact: one afternoon I threw together an "items you might like" feature, e.g., the Abominable Snowman Hat would show you items that go with it based on our outfit data. It wasn't polished enough to see the light of day, and I'm not convinced how helpful it actually is (all of the related items have "snow" in the name, surprise!), but it was a neat side project for a day :)

        AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

        Indeed—if this idea were to be implemented someday, it would definitely come with an outfit privacy feature :)

        Additionally, all outfits created before this feature was released would be marked private by default.

      • 64 votes
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          5 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

          Now that we have Image Mode and whatnot, this feature is starting to seem a lot more feasible. Still, I’m not sure on how the details of it would work. I guess one approach would be to first assume that the item has a darn similar color scheme on all pets, then look at just one of its image to decide which are the dominant colors. We’d also have to decide whether or not an item can have more than one dominant color, and what to do if there’s no real dominant color at all, like in rainbow-colored items.

          Anyway. Food for thought :)

          AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

          Hmm… part of where we got really lucky with DTI's current user model is that all of our data is user-provided, but in such a way that folks can't prank us. They tell us *where* to find the data, but we always get it ourselves. The moment we have to start trusting users, we have to start moderating things manually, and I really don't think I'm in a position to commit to that right now :/ The programmatic solution is far more interesting, even though it requires a larger up-front time commitment: once it's done, it's pretty much done.

        • 73 votes
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            8 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

            My ideal behavior here would be that DTI figures out how you want the items organized rather than making you do it by hand. I suspect most people are interested in having them grouped by zone, yeah? I’ve built the basic prototype of that behavior, and once the CS department stops assigning me so many projects I’ll be able to give it the polish it needs :)

            Are there any other automatic groupings that folks are particularly looking for? I feel like zone grouping probably covers a good 98% of use cases, so I’m wondering whether custom organization should be a priority or not. (Drag-n-drop sorting is always an option, though I’m hesitant to use it because the Neopets customization app uses dragging to mean something different, and I like to restrict UI behaviors to things that I’m sure people will actually find useful rather than confusing…)

            AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

            I'm less concerned about development time (and, thankfully, dragging is so common that it's essentially pre-built) and more concerned about feature clutter: if I suspect that people are more likely to drag by accident and get confused than drag on purpose, then helping the power users might not be worth confusing the average user. It depends on how many folks would actually find that feature helpful :/

          • 1 vote
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              2 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

              The account used on the import page is the account you're currently logged into on Neopets.com.. Switch accounts and you'll be good to go :)

            • 3 votes
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                2 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                Hmm, the database is currently just fine with all our current accounts, and I’m not sure we’ve been around long enough to have truly ancient accounts yet… is there a particular username you’re after? ;)

                AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                Gotcha. I like to keep folks' data available for as long as possible, but, if it becomes an issue, I'll keep it in mind :) Thanks!

              • 3 votes
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                  3 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                  Oh, wow. So the footer, newest items, and search are all broken? That’s definitely not intentional, and definitely not what I’m seeing. Send me a note at webmaster@openneo.net and we’ll figure this out. It’d be helpful to include a screenshot of the homepage to help me understand exactly how Newest Items isn’t showing up, and it’d also be nice to know exactly what item queries you’re using, since search is looking fine to me :/ Thanks!

                  AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                  Not sure what to tell ya. webmaster@openneo.net is so totally a valid email address.

                • 3 votes
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                    4 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                    Oof, sorry ’bout that. These names are periodically gathered from the Customisation Spotlight winners, so, hey! Congrats on winning :)

                    We have a few proposals in mind for how to better use that space, since it gets out-of-date all the time, anyway. In the meantime, if there’s a particular pet you’d like removed from the list, hit me up at webmaster@openneo.net and I’d be glad to remove it.

                    AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                    Ahh! I forgot about those. Rather than curate the list of default pet images ourselves (like, say, the list that the Neocolours folks maintain), we save the image hash of the first Robot Wocky we've seen. I'd prefer to use unclothed images, but I'm not aware of a programmatic way of getting at 'em. It'd probably be a better system to replace the image with an unclothed pet if we happen to see one rather than keep all these specific pet images lying around, or maybe just occasionally drop by the Rainbow Pool and manually-ish upload all that data… I'll give it some thought.

                    In the meantime, I've manually overridden the Robot Wocky's image to be an unclothed image. Hope this helps :)

                    AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                    Hm. What pet is it?

                    Also note that, if you get redirected back to the homepage after typing in a pet's name, that name appears in the big feature box. So, if I type "thyassa" in the homepage's "model a pet" box, it'll take me back to the homepage and feature thyassa. Maybe that's what happened? This can also happen when we have trouble connecting to Neopets and show an error message to that effect.

                  • 3 votes
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                      1 comment  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                      Hmm, interesting. I don’t think this would get enough use to merit the UI change (keep things simple, the fewer features the better, etc etc), but I’ll keep it in mind for future iterations of the outfits UI :) Thanks!

                      AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                      Also, this is way longer than I usually take to reply to stuff like this. Sorry 'bout that xP

                    • 3 votes
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                        1 comment  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                        When people request this feature, usually what they’re really looking for is a way to ignore items that their pet can’t wear, and DTI supports that very well: “blue species:acara” returns items containing “blue” that fit an Acara.

                        If you’re really, truly looking for items that fit all species, the query “species:acara species:aisha” is a decent hack: if an item can fit more than one species, it can fit all of ’em.

                        AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                        The species filter bug now seems to be fixed :)

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                          3 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                          Yup, an advanced search form is on the to-do list :) We’ve recently reworked the search engine code so that it’s less fundamentally tied to the idea of text-based queries, so form-based search will be much more feasible in the future.

                          I like a lot about this design: even though we’d need to support more fields, keeping some of the most common fields always in view seems reasonable—though it might have to do with how the rest of the search form interface pans out.

                          The design is too wide, though: we must be able to support fullscreen for at least 99% of our users, but only 75% have a screen at least 1366 pixels wide—that either means that a quarter of our users would have to use a horizontal scrollbar (bad), or that the pet preview would have to be scaled down even further (also bad). Search will therefore stay…

                          AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                          It looks like only paintbrush items were affected by this particular bug (though I'm still not totally sure where it came from), so all paintbrush items have now been fixed and the species filters oughta be working again :) Thanks!

                          AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                          Responsive design is much more common when presenting information than when expecting hours of user interaction, and that's intentional: when reading a presentational website, users don't really care about the relative positions of the information, so long as it's reasonable. If they go to the same site again with a slightly different viewport, they're okay with the main elements being in different places, because they're only expected to read them, not interact with them.

                          Web apps, though, have it a bit tougher: users get very, *very* used to the relative positions of various elements, and, if they use a friend's computer, they expect the app to look almost exactly the same—maybe with some spacing optimizations, but the core elements *need* to be in their original positions, or the experience becomes inconsistent and therefore frustrating. You'll see Google doing this all over the place, for example: if the user comes in with 1024×768, they cut down on the spacing, but all the elements are in the same places. Dress to Impress behaves similarly: when given more space, we use that space, but we don't dare move the elements around—especially when the cutoff is between 1366 and 1024, since 1366-width users can run into that easily just by resizing the window for multitasking. Anyway. I'll keep it in mind, but I doubt we'll find a smooth way to pull it off.

                          Yeah, some species-specific wearables got broken recently and now report themselves as fitting all body types. Not sure if there's a clean way to resolve that automatically, but looking into it…

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                            1 comment  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                            Which section of the site are we talking about? Infinite Closet search results have pagination both above and below the results list, and the wardrobe app doesn't involve scrolling on standard screen resolutions…

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                              5 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                              Hmm, interesting. Are you importing from a particular source, or would this just be an easier way to create the list in the first place?

                              I like the thought, but it’s a small feature that only a handful of users would probably end up using, and features need to fight both for development time and for the right to be permanently maintained :/

                              AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                              Yeah, I'd been thinking about bulk-import direct from Infinite Closet. That's largely been a question of UI and how to really do that effectively :/

                              The generic importer is pretty sweet :D It can import to wherever you want—and, if the page has multiple lists on it, the importer can totally handle all those imports at once.

                              Really, though, part of why I've been avoiding work on the Your Items section in general is that it's darn slow. Some folks have thousands of items on their page, and loading 'em all up and printing 'em all out can cause the whole server to lag out. So, I've been doing very few small features on Your Items because I don't want to draw attention to it because I don't want to encourage people to use it until it's overhauled to a UI that's better for performance—and that overhaul looks like a real pain. Still, I might be looking at some more free time in the near future, so we'll see how that goes…

                              AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                              Hmm. Ya know, I somehow totally forgot that I'd already built a generic wishlist importer that can handle just about any format, including petpages, JN wishlists, etc. It was never released because the UI needed significantly more polish, but I think it might be time to revisit that feature…

                            • 10 votes
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                                4 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                Interesting thought :) I like the idea of having a pretty button, and the idea of having a pretty informational petpage, but don’t feel qualified as a designer to make either of those. However, DTI is an open-source community project, and I’d love someone to show me their mockups to merge into the site :) Any artists feel up to the task?

                                AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                Ack, yep, this fell off my radar. Sorry 'bout that.

                                And sorry for the trouble with the petpage—thanks for giving it a shot! It's always interesting to see exactly how the off-site link policies play out in the real world ;)

                                Part of the trouble with a linkback button is that DTI doesn't really have a legit logo of any sort, so, in order to fit the current design of the site, the button would end up being something along the lines of green text on white, plus maybe the Negg Faerie Doll since she just fits the color scheme so well. And, since the off-site link policy seems to be stricter the more formalized the reference is, it doesn't look like we'll be able to get away with asking people to promote DTI on Neopets.com, which is where most of the action really happens. So, to answer the question, it's not super high on my priority list right now, but I'm always glad to know I have friends out there if it ever comes up :)

                                Thanks again, and happy Tuesday!

                              • 3 votes
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                                  3 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                  Interesting. I’ve thought through this before, and I like the thought, though I’m hesitant to depend exclusively on crowdsourcing for this sort of information. Whereas wearables data can’t be forged, an entirely user-based system for pricing data could be much more easily gamed, and there would be strong incentive to do so if the feature actually became a widely-used resource. And, given that we’d have significantly fewer contributors than the Neopets difficulty bar, our signal-to-noise ratio could easily get way out of whack. The only way to ensure the integrity of the data would be to have a staff of users who maintain it, and I’m not in a position to do that kind of recruiting at this time :/

                                  Regardless, I’ll keep this in mind, and I’ll let you know if someone comes up with an effective system for keeping track of this sort of data :)

                                  AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                  I think we already have data on what's currently in-mall, though it's not on display because that data doesn't seem all too useful to the end user at this time :/

                                  Interesting thought on a total vote count. I'm not too familiar with the world of NC trades—how often does an item's value change? Could the vote counts of all time end up becoming irrelevant?

                                • 15 votes
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                                    3 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                    Yeeaah, that's the trouble: JN spends quite a few man-hours maintaining those price listings, and, since I'm just a one-man staff, I wouldn't be able to perform the moderation duties sufficiently. And, since JN already has this data, it doesn't seem like it's worth recruiting staffers for the sole purpose of duplicating that resource :/

                                    I'd definitely be interested in integrating with the JN database somehow to be able to offer y'all that data automatically, but I don't see that happening in the near future.

                                    Thanks, and I'll let you know if anything changes!

                                  • 4 votes
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                                      3 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                      It’s actually not 9, exactly. It’s the number of items that will fit on one line given your current window size. More than one line would start getting clunky and take up more space than is feasible, right?

                                      Actually, the first day that the new site design went live, it wasn’t the magic fullscreen thing we see now. Instead, there was a scrollbar, and scrolling down from the preview section would reveal a good 4 lines of items for a total of 28. However, users complained that they preferred the fullscreen style so as to avoid excessive scrolling, so we adjusted the design to match users’ preferences.

                                      So, I like the idea of being able to view more items at once, but I’m not sure how that would be feasible while still maintaining a reasonable amount of screen real estate for the preview itself. Any thoughts on that? :/

                                      (Also,…

                                      AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                      Hmm, interesting. I like the general look :) A few thoughts:

                                      * I really like the idea of a more graphical search form alongside the text-based search (mainly for the main items page where there's tons of room for it). If only because I often get emails asking how to do certain things ;P There's a cost in that the current search system is strongly tied to the idea of text queries, so it would take some restructuring to be able to handle more abstract query representations.

                                      * Color/species needs to be next to gender/emotion. Those two controls are extremely related, and the former is almost exclusively used immediately after the latter. (And gender/emotion looks lonely.)

                                      * It's not obvious on first glance that the rightmost box is search results. I feel like, structurally, the controls need to be inside the box in order to make real sense. (The controls in the top toolbar are there because they're general controls regarding the general state of the outfit; the item search is not only unrelated to outfit state, so doesn't fit, but also seems far too distinct from the search results that it controls.) The structural issue seems pretty easy to fix, since we can easily include the controls in the same bordered box, but then we hit two new issues. First, functionally, what happens when the user scrolls down? (That's pretty easy, though: the controls get to float at the top of the box, and the results scroll separately.) The second is more problematic, though: we end up with a serious visual imbalance after moving that around. Thoughts on that? :/

                                      * I'm also not sure about putting two boxes that look a whole lot like each other right next to each other. It looks really neat, but could get confusing to use, since position is literally the *only* significant visual distinction right now, and the user shouldn't have to think about which is which. How can we either make them more clearly distinct, or merge them somehow (since they kinda perform similar functions)?

                                      * I note that we can only see 12 items in this mockup, so, at least on your screen resolution, we've only actually gained enough space for 3 items being available at a time. So now we need to think about pagination: where does it go in the box, does it float like I'm proposing the controls might or does it scroll with results? And, more importantly, it seems functionally confusing to me to first have to SCROLL to see more results, and THEN click a link to see even more of them. I'm usually not a fan of an infinite-scrolling UI, but maybe it's appropriate here. Thoughts?

                                      * And, here's the final question, most important: what happens on smaller screen resolutions? That mockup is at a width of 1366, and, not only do about 40% of Dress to Impress users have smaller screens than that, but not everyone uses Dress to Impress in fullscreen :/ This *could* be implemented as a design that only kicks in when the window wide enough, like how we have a totally-non-fullscreen design when the window is too narrow. But I'm not sure how much time to put into a conditional design. Thoughts on that?

                                      So! I really like that this mockup brings us closer to more usable search results, but there are still a few kinks to work out before it becomes worth the man-hours (that is, umm, my free time ;D). Let me know what you make of this feedback, and let's see if we can polish this off. (I <3 open-source projects! Collaboration FTW!)

                                      Thanks for your help!

                                    • 1 vote
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                                        4 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                        Also, it occurs to me that the Neopets filters might object to some of the HTML included in a list's description. Could that be what's triggering the errors?

                                        If so, I'm not quite sure what to do with that. We can't very well attempt to specifically remove things to which the Neopets filter will object, since no one but TNT holds the one true list. We could strip out all HTML, but then some descriptions may not make sense anymore, e.g., if links were removed. And then we could just not include descriptions at all in the exports, but then the feature seems somewhat lacking.

                                        Thoughts?

                                        AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                        How strange. I just now exported my test list of items (http://newimpress.openneo.net/user/6-matchu/closet) and had no issues. After all, the exported version of the list isn't supposed to include any links back to DTI. We do use our image for the NC icon, and we do have a little URL trick for certain items whose normal image URLs are blocked, but neither of those are triggering the filters for me.

                                        Sounds like we have a more specific case that we need to be dealing with. It would help me a lot if you would send me the HTML that's being blocked as an attachment to webmaster@openneo.net, then we can look at why your data in particular is being blocked. Thanks :)

                                        AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                        Eek! Somehow my spam filter caught the notification for this idea >_< I'll just fix that now…

                                        Could you explain the issue in a bit more detail, please? :) Are exported petpages being blocked?

                                      • 3 votes
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                                          5 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                          AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                          Hmm. I think the idea of making common lists easily accessible would be wise. Honestly, it sounds like more of a design issue than backend, since my main concern would these links would fit in the overall layout of the site.

                                          I'll think on it a bit :) Thanks!

                                          AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                          Yeah, I guess it never occurred to me that this is the sort of thing that people go looking for. Might have something to do with the fact that, umm, I don't actually really do customization ^_^;

                                          The query "-is:nc species:acara species:aisha" is a cheap solution to a large part of the problem: it includes all NP items that bit both the Acara and the Aisha (so, in effect, all species). It doesn't however, remove the background/trinket/etc. zone items, mostly because the database querying for that is a bit complex (though I sometimes get the feeling that we should have a more robust indexing system to resolve that issue).

                                          Right now, I'm not sure this seemingly obscure use case merits its own feature, as the workaround query should hopefully suffice for now—but if there ends up being sufficient demand, we'll take another look :)

                                          Hope this helps!

                                        • 23 votes
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                                            4 comments  ·  Dress to Impress  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                            I’m a bit confused on the details here. Let me offer a rewording of what I think is the issue, and you can tell me if that sounds right or if I missed the mark:

                                            “When I look for items to put on unconverted pets, I have to individually search through each of the zones that they can use (backgrounds, foregrounds, trinkets, etc.). Dress to Impress would be significantly easier to use if I could search all of those zones at once.”

                                            Is that right? That’s definitely an interesting question—and I think it can apply to Baby pets, Mutant pets, veggie Chias, etc. as well. Marking “unconverted” as a species doesn’t seem like quite the right solution, but maybe it would be appropriate to introduce a search parameter “fits:unconverted” to search those type-3 zones. (And it might then make sense to introduce “fits:baby”, “fits:mutant”, etc., though I’d have to think…

                                            AdminMatchu Matchusian (Admin, OpenNeo) commented  · 

                                            No worries :) It's definitely a tough concept to express. (Took me a few rewrites, myself ;P)

                                            I'm a bit tired out from all the recent bug-fixing that's gone down this weekend, but I'll keep this one on the to-do list. Thanks! :)

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