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Geocaching HQ

Release Notes - February 23, 2016

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Release Notes - February 23, 2016

 

Some of you may notice a change to your homepage over the next couple weeks. We’ll be sending approximately half of the logged-in website traffic to the Search page instead of the current logged-in homepage.

 


     
  • Continue to use the site as you normally would - we’ll collect data behind the scenes to determine how quickly and efficiently searches can be executed in order to create a better overall experience.
  • There will be a 50/50 split between users who see the original homepage and those who see the Search page.
  • The test will run for about 2 weeks.

Why are we conducting this test?

 

We want to make it as easy as possible for new and existing geocachers to run searches on Geocaching.com. The intent of the test is to determine if users will benefit from having the Search page exposed during their first logged-in interaction.

 

HQ’s User Experience Team will follow this thread in order to answer questions whenever possible.

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I would have thought most regular/long established users already use bookmark which takes them to a specific page within the site rather than the geocaching.com landing page, I know I do (I go straigt to my profile page), so I wonder how effective it will be for existing cachers?

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If I am directed to the search page, how do I then go to the original main page? I assumed I could just click on the geocaching.com logo, but that just goes to the search page again.

 

I'm mostly asking out of curiosity: I don't actually recall the last time I went to the main page for any reason other than to do a search, so I have no problem making the search page the main page, and I can't really say what I'd need on the old main page that isn't on the search page.

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I would have thought most regular/long established users already use bookmark which takes them to a specific page within the site rather than the geocaching.com landing page, I know I do (I go straigt to my profile page), so I wonder how effective it will be for existing cachers?

 

I have quite a few bookmarks for various GS locations/pages, including the forum, under the tab "Geocaching".

 

B.

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If I am directed to the search page, how do I then go to the original main page? I assumed I could just click on the geocaching.com logo, but that just goes to the search page again.

 

I'm mostly asking out of curiosity: I don't actually recall the last time I went to the main page for any reason other than to do a search, so I have no problem making the search page the main page, and I can't really say what I'd need on the old main page that isn't on the search page.

 

If you are part of the A/B test that is seeing the Search page instead of the original homepage, you will not be able to access the original homepage for the duration of the test. If there are specific features that you would like access to please let us know. (There are multiple routes to each of the features on that page). :)

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I seem to be one of the ones who has been sent to the search page on my desktop. I think it looks much more modern. I usually use the map to search for caches so I don't expect to use it much, but I would like it to stay for the better design (and mobile friendliness).

 

But my Android phone still displays the normal homepage. Same account, same browser (chrome), refreshed at same time. I've also tried clearing the cache (data cache, not geocache).

Any ideas what's happened?

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I would have thought most regular/long established users already use bookmark which takes them to a specific page within the site rather than the geocaching.com landing page, I know I do (I go straigt to my profile page), so I wonder how effective it will be for existing cachers?

 

I use geocaching admin as my browser home page and from there go directly to my profile page(or other pages, ie PQ's). I never see the geocaching 'front' page. Have no idea what it looks like...lol.

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I think it's a good idea in theory to present a search tool as the first thing you see when you log in, but not with the current search tool. I suspect the well-known intuitiveness issues will cause more confusion than benefit. @Groundspeak: it would be a good idea to capture data on how many support requests regarding the search tool are received during this survey period.

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If I am directed to the search page, how do I then go to the original main page? I assumed I could just click on the geocaching.com logo, but that just goes to the search page again.

 

I'm mostly asking out of curiosity: I don't actually recall the last time I went to the main page for any reason other than to do a search, so I have no problem making the search page the main page, and I can't really say what I'd need on the old main page that isn't on the search page.

 

If you are part of the A/B test that is seeing the Search page instead of the original homepage, you will not be able to access the original homepage for the duration of the test. If there are specific features that you would like access to please let us know. (There are multiple routes to each of the features on that page). :)

 

Why would I want to start with the search page, and essentially be locked on that page? Especially if I want to run a PQ or look for a geotour. There have been a lot of discussion on the serious short comings of the search page so why would you want to start some one on a page that has short comings? One is being able to get the results into a usable form like a PQ. The other obvious problem is no usable navigation. If I was stuck with the search page for two weeks I just would not bother coming to the site for two weeks.

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If you are part of the A/B test that is seeing the Search page instead of the original homepage, you will not be able to access the original homepage for the duration of the test. If there are specific features that you would like access to please let us know. (There are multiple routes to each of the features on that page). :)

 

Sometimes the ideas of GS leave me speechless and this is one of them. It's one thing which page is displayed as start page and it's another one to force users to use a particular set up or forcing them to contact you (that creates unnecessary work and effort on both sides in my opinion and rather should motivate people to stay away). I thought that there would be so many more important projects than this test or adding Facebook and Twitter buttons to each log page but of course the perception what's important is subjective.

 

By the way: Have you taken the situation of basic members (particularly those who are not computer literate and cannot help themselves via other channels) into consideration? Has anyone tested without a PM access what BMs get presented with if they are part of what you call the A/B test?

Edited by cezanne
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The search page is nice, but until it can generate PQs I don't find it useful. I played with it when it was first release, but haven't used it since. Everything, and I mean everything, I do is based around pocket queries.

 

My new landing page is search, but I probably wouldn't have noticed it without these release notes as I usually go to geocaching.com/my as my default.

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Why would I want to start with the search page, and essentially be locked on that page? Especially if I want to run a PQ or look for a geotour. There have been a lot of discussion on the serious short comings of the search page so why would you want to start some one on a page that has short comings? One is being able to get the results into a usable form like a PQ. The other obvious problem is no usable navigation. If I was stuck with the search page for two weeks I just would not bother coming to the site for two weeks.

I think you've misunderstood what's happening. They aren't preventing you from accessing any of those things; they're just redirecting you from the home page to the search page. The same navigation is available from the menubar at the top and the links at the bottom on both pages. Taking a look at a screenshot of the homepage (I've been redirected), the only things on the homepage are links to a few "Learn about geocaching"-style pages and the old "Search for Nearby Geocaches" box. What is it on that page that you feel is so critical that you'd stop coming to the site at all?

 

Have you taken the situation of basic members (particularly those who are not computer literate and can help themselves via other channels) into consideration? Has anyone tested without a PM access what BMs get presented with if they are part of what you call the A/B test?

Taken what into consideration? Basic members can access the search tool, they just can't use all of its functionality. I don't see why they would see anything different than a Premium member would.

Edited by The A-Team
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Taken what into consideration? Basic members can access the search tool, they just can't use all of its functionality. I don't see why they would see anything different than a Premium member would.

 

It was a question. I do not know what the participants of the test will see. Fact is that the new search tool is extremely inferior to what the old search tool delivers for basic members to the extent that the new search becomes quite useless for most basic members who are not beginners. For example, I do not know whether the participants will still be provided with the link to the old search etc

 

It might well be that I misunderstood something - the announcement is not really clear what will happen and what continues to work in the normal way and what not.

Edited by cezanne
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Looks like this account (DadOf6Furrballs) goes to the new search landing page, but our momof6furrballs player account goes to the old landing page as before. Same for my other "Official" account. I don't see much difference in navigating around the site either way. It's all there at the top, just like before.

 

I'm fine with it. However you want to present it is OK with me, I live in a no angst, no complaint zone these days. :D

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It might well be that I misunderstood something - the announcement is not really clear what will happen and what continues to work in the normal way and what not.

Half of the users who try to go to https://www.geocaching.com while logged in will be redirected to https://www.geocaching.com/play/search. As I understand it (and based on what I'm seeing myself), that's the only change.

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It might well be that I misunderstood something - the announcement is not really clear what will happen and what continues to work in the normal way and what not.

Half of the users who try to go to https://www.geocaching.com while logged in will be redirected to https://www.geocaching.com/play/search. As I understand it (and based on what I'm seeing myself), that's the only change.

 

Ok, then it is apparently more harmless than what I guessed it to be from the initial post which was unclear to me and the reply from a Lackey to a question asked in this thread.

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Haha. I thought something was wonky last night - figgered it was that old "Tuesday night maintenance" thing going on. Normally I use a bookmark to go right to my Profile page. Last night I used MSN's "Edge" quick tab to get to the website to check the map. I had no desire to search for anything.

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Getting a little honked here. When I do a GC# search from the main page, I get kicked into the "new, improved" search page. Why on earth would I need 2,257 results for one specific GC# ??? Stop messing with me. Withdraw me from your little engineering experiment, please.

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Getting a little honked here. When I do a GC# search from the main page, I get kicked into the "new, improved" search page. Why on earth would I need 2,257 results for one specific GC# ??? Stop messing with me. Withdraw me from your little engineering experiment, please.

Entering a GC Code in the search box on the main homepage takes me directly to that cache listing.

 

Entering a GC Code in the new search tool's "front page" box gives me the option of proceeding directly to that cache listing OR seeing a search results list for all nearby caches, centered on that GC Code.

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As long as https://www.geocaching.com/my/ takes me to the same place it always does, I don't really care.

 

Except when I'm introducing newbies to geocaching. In that case, it can get really confusing when they don't see the same thing as when I was showing them the site. And then it really doesn't matter whether I see the search page and they see the home page, or vice versa.

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As long as https://www.geocaching.com/my/ takes me to the same place it always does, I don't really care.

 

 

And me, though I'm dreading the day that the design "gurus" at GC get their grubby mits on that page :ph34r:

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Haha. I thought something was wonky last night - figgered it was that old "Tuesday night maintenance" thing going on.

 

That's a very good point, shouldn't there be something to tell "the chosen ones" why the page has changed, I expect there are quite a few people out there wondering what's happened, clearing out cookies & caches, changing browsers trying to get back to the landing page they expect to see.

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GS should be analyzing what the first page people view in their session is, and the referrer. They may have a better idea of how many people use bookmarks to go directly to pages instead of navigating to the home page and moving on from there. I presume this is something they are doing during this test phase.

 

I for one never go just to geocaching.com; like others, I have an entire set of bookmarks to all the main functional pages; even to some specific bookmark lists, or direct PQ downloads (like My Finds since that PQ doesn't show via the API PQ list).

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Today I'm being directed back to the old main page. Is the experiment over already?

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Thank goodness. Never realized it takes twice as many clicks to use the "new improved" search page.

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Today I'm being directed back to the old main page. Is the experiment over already?

 

Did you log in again or stayed logged in?

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I don't really care what page it opens up in, because I dislike the new search intensely and I am still using the old search. I have that bookmarked so I can go right to it.

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Whenever I log in to geocaching.com the very first thing I do is click on my username in the top-right of the screen.

 

I never use either of the search tools.

 

I find stuff I'm interested in either via PQ's or surfing the map.

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Whenever I log in to geocaching.com the very first thing I do is click on my username in the top-right of the screen.

 

I never use either of the search tools.

 

I find stuff I'm interested in either via PQ's or surfing the map.

The bookmark i have set up takes me straight to my nearest caches unfound page. Since it doesn't work the way i think it should, i rarely use the new search page. Like you, pocket queries, and sometimes the map, work best for finding what i'm interested in.

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I get the search page when clicking on my geocaching.com bookmark and so far, it hasn't inspired me to use the search engine. But then, I rarely use the search engine to begin with. I just use the map to scroll around the state and look for new sections of the Ice Age Trail to hike. So, this doesn't really change my use habits. I just click on my username to get back to my profile.

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Could this be what is preventing our apps from working today? Both apps (1 free, 1 paid) from 2 different phones are just clocking when pulled up.

Thanks!

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Could this be what is preventing our apps from working today? Both apps (1 free, 1 paid) from 2 different phones are just clocking when pulled up.

Thanks!

 

No, the test that's detailed in the Release Notes isn't related to today's issues with the apps. The engineering team is working on it now.

 

Edit: The problem with the apps should be resolved.

Edited by Rock Chalk
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