Schizophrenic Design


#1

Perhaps I need to be on medication but some things are getting under my skin. Since I have so much of my internet life tied into DH, I’m unsettled by the lack of attention to details. True there are bigger fish to fry, but I suspect these short cuts and compromises might leak into other, more critical areas of operation.

Make a decision:
I know that DH isn’t a design house, but the schizophrenic interface of the site is getting old.

The home page and user is very “web 2.0” looking. But then when you get logged in, it’s another look (web 1.0?). And when you get to the WIKI, it’s another look/interface, and yet another for the Control panel. But the BEST (tongue in cheek) transition is when you investigate how to configure a form: http://formmail.dreamhost.com/ (it uses an abandoned logo and is dated…gasp…1999)

Check your calendar:
We’re two weeks into the New Year and DH has yet to make the change anywhere on the site. It’s still 2006 (look at the bottom of essentially every page.

A Crusty Control Panel:
Yes! We get it! “We have decided to decommission Solid Components!” So take off the link already! The “decomissioned” message has been live longer than “Solid Components” ever was!

The Home Page images:
Remember when you were invited over to see someone else’s home movies–or worse–a slide show from THEIR family vacation to Yosemite? It’s the same thing here. We aren’t IN your family. We don’t KNOW you. It’s boring and we hate it! We don’t care–it’s like putting an “inside joke” on the home page. And God bless their souls, but those two “large” children that cycle in aren’t selling too many accounts (somebody send them a Diet Coke STAT!) What’s the deal? I understand the home-grown owner strategy but at least make an effort to look modestly professional. Note To Self: “Don’t offload digital camera files DIRECTLY into the DH image server.”

SpamAssassin:
It’s been broken for months. Its flagging SPAM then re-ranking it as a “0” then letting it on through. It’s worthless. But DH refuses to do anything about it or even cite publicly that its brok’d (Support has acknowledged its busted). I’ve been moving my MX to outside sources and been VERY happy. That said, I’d prefer to keep in the DH “house”


#2

Some fixes to spamassassin were completed a little bit ago. You should be able to see that we’ve gotten a lot less stock advice recently.

On all other accounts, I believe your observations are fair. I’ve been here over year and solid components haven’t been available - and the “status” selection is probably one that can go away too.

Wholly


#3

Yeah, there are a few deprecated links in the panel that need removing. Although, I think the ‘DNS (Advanced)’ link should stay, so many people seem to have problems finding the small [DNS] link for their domain.

On a related point; Am I the only one that thinks it strange that ‘Manage MySQL’ is hidden away in ‘Goodies’? I would have thought that MySQL deserved it’s own tab.

Mark


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#4

Werd.

Wholly


#5

Speaking as a schizophrenic I find all the sites appear normal. Or should we say, we find them normal.

Only joking. They do need a corporate clean up. I think the problem is that everyone has had a hand in doing bits and bobs of the DreamHost empire in the past and it has sort of grown into TopsyTurvy Land.

Brett designed the new DH website so maybe he should be called on to rebadge everything. Or after seeing his profile maybe not :slight_smile: .

The Control Panel is stuck in a time warp since the coding, which was written on the bottom of a pizza box, was lost. But DH never sit on their laurels (?) for long so I am sure they have some new flash filled gel buttoned Control Panel sitting in the wings.

At least none of the DH sites start off with ‘Welcome to Ye Olde DreamHoste Shoppe’!

The new mantra should be 'Forget the Wii and do the Web"


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK!! :@

You act on my advice at your own risk!


#6

I agree with everything thats been said, I don’t think anyone could argue with the above points. DH, we hope you are reading this. :slight_smile:


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#7

If it isn’t broke, why fix it?

It works for me, and I’d rather get more better redundancy and disk space, than more spiffy logos…

tor.eff.org


#8

“…Some fixes to spamassassin were completed…”

Interesting–thanks for the update. It’s a shame I needed to hear about in the forum–I’m a faithful subscriber to the RSS feed and nothing was mentioned. Does this round of fixes include the faultly re-ranking issue?

Here’s my reply from Support dating back for 11/06. They are referring to the re-ranking bug.

“SpamAssassin is scoring these emails, and moving them to the junk mail folder. But when they are placed in the junk mail folder, for some reason their true spam score is not showing up, instead they show up as “0” We do realize this is happening, and we are looking into what is causing this to happen. As far as a newer version of SpamAssassin, I really don’t have an ETA on this. We use a highly cutomized version of SpamAssassin so it makes it much more difficult to upgrade to newer versions (or else we wouldn’t done it already!). We are currently looking at ways to overhaul the entire system so we can upgrade SpamAssassin easily in the future.”

Ego check: I feel so cheap and dirty :slight_smile:
The forum script is a calling me a “newbie” since I don’t post often–I’ve been on the DH roster since 1999. No matter how much DH frustrates me, I can’t leave my 4464.937 MB of diskspace! I use a whopping 1% LOL


#9

I don’t remember all the fixes, I think Dallas mentioned it in a post on the forums right after we stopped getting so many stock tips. (Anyone else notice that the stock didn’t move at all on “target day”? - Someone got ripped off - this time it was the guy paying for the spam).

I do think that www.dreamhoststatus.com would be an appropriate place to maybe let people know that these kinds of changes happened. Many people probably think that the spammers got tired and gave up.

Wholly


#10

It’s hilarious but very true. I now avoid the dreamhost page as much as possible because I am somewhat haunted by the creepy landing page with the white haired guy.
Also the “sale” prices could be updated… the same sale is on from the day I signed up.

I am in discussion with DH about the direct link to webmail not working in IE 7 on Windows xp… not sure what the deal is with that but it’s a hassle having to go through more screens to hit my webmail.

With that being said I am still happy with my DH service (just not the creepy landing page)


#11

Most all of your points are valuable observations. I however disagree about what you call “home page images.” I find them a refreshing change from the facelessness of other hosting companies, it brings to my attention that there are real people behind this company that care about it, because their caring is in direct relationship with their earning.
Of course that could all be a fake and thought out by a devious PR company but so far it works on me at least.


#12

No–I suspect you’re no victim of Marketing–they strike me as “sincere.”

I think my only issue is with the images that are simply awkward and unpolished to the point of being uncomfortable. This is the digital age…we don’t HAVE to keep the bad pictures. Pictures of kooky crazy wacky Uncle Timmy with a bag over his head don’t warrant a home page placement.

They need to avoid images where the “you had to be there” rule applies.

Like I mentioned…I’m generally happy…been on board with DH since the year Al Gore invented the internet (1999)

http://fergweb.com/


#13

We’re not quite to the point where we can afford to have a professional photograper tag along with us to every event. :sunglasses:

Those pictures really were just taken from our employees’ and friends’ personal photo collections and they are actually as unprofessional as a lot of them look. I wouldn’t have personally chosen all of the pictures currently in use but the premise of the randomly rotating image gallery is a pretty cool one, I think. The pictures will be changed over time.

Your comments about the web control panel are reasonable. The look in place now has been around for quite a long time now and I know I’m personally pretty sick of it myself. We’re a lean organization and we tend to emphasize function over form but it’s gotten a bit out of hand! Rest assurred that we are well aware of that. :sunglasses:

I disagree with the comments about the wiki, though. Wikis look like wikis and that’s good for overall usability. Making the wiki look like our website would be a ridiculous waste of time and would probably result in it being harder to use due to the lack of familiarity.

The formmail page… well… how many people even look at that page? We should just take it down and put it into the wiki, probably.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder

#14

I completely agree with that thinking. When it comes to wikis, the “leaner” and “meaner” the better! :wink:

I’d far rather see development time spent on upgrading the underlying wiki software to a more recent version, than “eye candy”. :slight_smile:

–rlparker


#15

Thanks for listening and taking the time to comment Dallas. That’s why we like it here too!

Wholly


#16

Web panel v3.0? 2.0 has been around for something like - 6 years?

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#17

I agree with you about the wiki Dallas, the wiki should be left in the standard wiki format just for familiarity’s sake.


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#18

One aspect where the design has gone downhill (IMO) in newer DH sites is that the newer designs tend to have fixed-pixel-width designs that don’t adapt gracefully to different screen resolutions and window sizes, while some of the older designs (such as this forum and the panel) have flexible designs that do adapt, which is superior in my view.

– Dan