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Everything posted by Cougarmeat

  1. Now I understand the complaints even more. It is not so much a matter of choosing to be a premium member as being compelled/required to be a premium member in order to do basic searches. Calliopal and I just got back from finding two of the closest caches and she tried to find them to log them - something she's done nearly 800 times in the past. She couldn't get anywhere. Up comes the new screen and she put the name of the cache in the first center field - but it wants the GC Code. So we went to filters to put in the name - like she could do with the old search window. But now all the filters seemed blocked unless she becomes a premium member. So We look around some more and find she now has access to the Map page - something that used to be only accessible to Premium members but now is given to everyone - with the exception that they can't filter out their previous Finds. Using the map and knowing approximately where, on the map, the cache was, she was able to get to it that way. So Groundspeak has given the main reason I became a premium member - the map with geocaches on it - to everyone. And they have taking away, from basic members, the ability to find a cache by name or partial name. Amazing. Now I could be wrong about the above; there might be some links that would allow her to find/log her cache in a more direct fashion. But that was not her experience and this wasn't her first rodeo. It might be that Groundspeak is seeking to increase their coffers by requiring premium membership in order to find caches with the convenience non-premium members had before. And that is "hidden" in the guise of "Here's our new search page with NEW features." If so, how clever. Sometimes companies get too clever and their revenue schemes backfire. I'm just say'n.
  2. First, I'd like to thank NYPaddleCacher for calling me on some sarcasm. It must have been "crowd effect" from reading initial posts, the first 10 minutes I spent coming up with DNF results (because of the choice of initial primary category) and lack of impulse control. But that we agree and disagree on some points is good and the way people work. In defense of Premium review - even though I asked if novices got a look at this interface, I do understand this reality - people are seldom a "novice" forever and what might initially seem like helpful handholding soon becomes "nuisance" once a little experience is gained. When I started, I was happy to just put in my home location and from my profile, search for Nearby Caches I haven't found. This is still my primary starting point, but less so as I now look around an area I might visit. My biggest issue with the original Find/Hide a Cache engine (from Play menu) was it didn't sort from my home location. So search results would most often start with pages of matches in other countries rather than what was just down the street. It looks like the new search will give me the results I looked for in the past - and sorted near to far. I wasn't asking for a challenging cache to be less so when asking to be able to filter on First Finder potential. You know, after you've done something 800 times or more, you look for new aspects. So feeling the adrenaline of going after a first finder is fun and the effort of reviewing page after page after page of caches to find one, does not, for me, contribute any "effort reward" to the process. The same "added novelty" applies to finding caches that haven't been found for a long time - for example, measured in years. The effort to seek them out scrolling down page after page after page does not, for me, contribute anything to the "fun of the find". Having some way to select "nearby"caches that haven't been found since MM/YYYY or X months would provide candidates and also help as forgotten/abandoned caches might more frequently be culled out. Yeah, the comments are pretty tough on the programmers but we usually can take it and User Feedback is necessary. Once I worked for a company that made CD authoring software for Mac. The programmer launched from an icon on the desktop and when the CD was finished, the program returned immediately to the desktop - not to a "Finished" screen the user could quit out of. Five of us, all with decades of computer experience tried to tell this young pup - who asserted that as the program had started from the desktop it should return to the desktop when done - that if he returns there, the user will think the program just crashed - because that's where crashed programs terminated. I could see his, "Start from here, return to there" logic. But "logic" isn't King. Expectation is King. The user is presented with choices and as close as the results match her expectations, the smoother the software seems to run. Because initial category choices influence additional filter results, and those initial choice are several mouse clicks removed from the final Search (or Submit) button, I think it is important to remind the user of the accumulated effects - especially of one that is not on the Filter page. By category choices, I mean Home Location, Current Location, and top Rated Caches. I understand that being able to select what one wants is the first step. Being able to download that selection to a GPS and/or Print out the pages of selections as one task is a second stage.
  3. I'm wondering how this software was developed. Did you bring "real" geocachers in a room and discuss what they would like? Did you sit novice geocachers and experienced geocachers down in front of the new interface and count the keystrokes to accomplish a task. Then again, we all know what software comes out of the Seattle area (Click the Start button to shut down the computer). I'm looking for novelty filters - like caches that haven't yet been found (have First Finder potential). Or caches that haven't been found in X number of months (or years). Both results sorted on distance from my location. The problem I had was initially choosing, of the three choices, a Best Rated category. It wasn't clear that that main filter was influencing all my other choices, resulting in no hits. Once I hit the back button - again and again and again - I finally returned to that initial screen and was able to switch to "from my location" as the overriding umbrella. Then the search results made more sense. Note that in the right middle panel of filters, at the top, you say Geocache Name contains .... But in the field to fill in, you have the suggestion Keyword. I'm assuming that means the cache author can assign keywords to a cache. But a keyword and a word contained in the name are two different things. Also - and this may be the influence of "city" programmers. The issue of slowed down performance is one of too many selected hits. So why not make THAT the filter and not distance from a set location. Amazing but true, some of us live in areas where there is not the "cache every 0.1 mi." density. From some locations you can go much further than 30 miles before resulting in a long list of caches. Why not filter on number of hits - that's the issue - like give me up to 50 (sorted by distance) hits. The you can report the result like 50/78 - "I'm returning 50 of the closest hits out of 78 that matched the criteria." Now if the actual finding of those hits causes a slow down, rather than reporting them on the page, you could do a First X (were X equals the limit) in you SQL query - assuming the record set is already sorted on distance. Remember, because you have given this to the Premium members, you are most likely getting a bias of experienced geocachers, not novices. If I were your programmer - who understands "humans" - I'd suggest that as choices and filters were added, a text "script" of what was selected could be built and displayed. So at the end (and while building) the user could see something like. "From my location, go out 20 miles, and look for all caches I haven't found, that are level 3 (or greater) in difficulty, and are mulitcaches. Also, it seemed I have to completely reset some filters each time I visited the page. I'm guessing, as the finished version gets near, you may save those filters as preferences so they don't have to be reselected each time. When I search, I am either searching for a cache I found long ago - what to see how it's doing and maybe review my original post - or I search for a cache in a area I'm about to visit - a different city or country. And then there is the meat and potatoes search for caches near home. I really don't care about difficulty or type of cache so much. Single and Multi-caches have such a majority that eliminating other types makes little difference. But it would be nice to select or remove Premium Members only status caches from the search results. Because I go out with non-premium geocachers and it hurts for them to find a cache with me an not be able to log it. I know the cache says Premium members only in the description, but sometimes that is missed.
  4. When I want to email an author about a cache it takes several steps and dealing wiht some ambiguity. For example: 1. Navigate to cache 2. Click on the link of the cache author's name (no way to send her/him email directly from the cache) 3. On their profile page, click on Send email 4. Now you have to remember the cache name. Though you might have it in mind, there are always spelling issues 5. In addition to remembering the cache (could be 1 of 7 done that day) you come to a page that has Step 1, Step 2, etc. 5a. Except you have to skip Step 1. and leave the field blank. It would be better if there was an "email the author" link on the web page that would embed the cache name in the email subject line.
  5. When searching for Caches based on Keyword, the results would be much more useful if they were returned sorted with those closest to my location on top. Every time I've done a keyword search, my interest was those closest to me rather than a "hit" in some random country.
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