The redesign is really unfriendly towards reviews and reviewers. I donâ€™t know if the intention is to turn Basenotes into just another place to chat, but for me reading the reviews and being able to place reviews are the most important parts.
Here are some of the things that could be fixed:
1) Nowhere at the top of the homepage is there any indication that the site contains reviews â€“ a new visitor would need to guess that the Fragrance directory page would contain reviews.
2) Reviews and More reviews tabs at the bottom of the home page were broken yesterday and today show only one review rather than the roll of recent reviews that the old site had.
3) On the Fragrance Directory page, if viewed on a home computer, the entire screen is taken up with one recent review and images from three others â€“ thereâ€™s no indication of the functionality of the page (which is to hunt for reviews).
4) If one scrolls down here, the main part of the page is taken up with the â€˜Highest ratedâ€™ rankings which are unlikely to change soon â€“ so the viewers will keep seeing this parade of bottles time after time. Not a crime but considering the loss of functionality I mention in the following point a shame.
5) The â€˜search by manufacturerâ€™ is squeezed into a tiny column which one has to click on to get it to rank alphabetically. Then there is no option of just choosing one letter of the alpahabet â€“ thus one has to go down the entire list to get to the brand one would like to look up.
6) Today going from one brand to another via the manufacturerâ€™s sidebar was a bit hit or miss, when I tried going from Lorenzo Villoresi to Jean-Charles Brosseau the page that would load would get stuck at Villorezi.
7) When one reaches the reviews page for a particular perfume (presentation looks lovely here, by the way) it would really help to have the notes and manufacturing info thatâ€™s stuck at the bottom of the page at the top.
8) On such pages, text for reviews has been squashed into one squat paragraph making them difficult to read. I take care to write in a readable and entertaining fashion â€“ that includes breaking text into paragraphs. Really unappealing for the reader and off-putting for the writer to have their work treated like this. (Also, in some of my reviews apostrophes have disappeared making me come across as semi-literate.)
9) Further, why is the design so hung up on uniformity? Now readers of longer reviews have to click a button with â€˜moreâ€™ to get at the entire review. Why not have bigger and smaller boxes which would break up the page more attractively?
10) Moving now to oneâ€™s profile page. Itâ€™s AWFUL not to have the â€˜my reviewsâ€™ option, so that one can keep track of how many reviews one has published on Basenotes. It is especially useful to non-paying members who have to wait until their reviews are vetted by a mod. This was a quick and easy way of keeping track of reviews and seeing whether they had appeared or were waiting in line. Similarly there is now no way of visiting the profile of someone whose reviews look interesting and seeing all that theyâ€™ve reviewed.
Most of us try to review to the best of our ability, putting in time and effort to give something back to the site we love â€“ please donâ€™t actively discourage us.
11) It was fun to see who the â€˜topâ€™ reviewers were in numerical terms; would be good to have that little feature back.
When I visited the redesigned site my impression was largely positive, it is only now that it has sunk in how reviewing has been disadvantaged. I really canâ€™t think of posting any more reviews with the current state of things. I hope some of these can be fixed.