A Bold New Color World - COLOURlovers v4

A Bold New Color World - COLOURlovers v4


Wow. We've been working very hard over the last year, months and weeks to make this new site happen... and after a slight delay... We're ready to share it with the world. There are some obvious and not so obvious updates and changes, so I'll give you a little guided tour through some of the big stuff.

Behind the Curtains

While you'll probably notice the look and feel first, we've actually rebuilt the code from the ground up too. So not only do we have a light, open and hopefully more user friendly design... we have a new architecture that will let us scale with the growth of the community and add new robust features that wouldn't have worked on our prior code.

The New Homepage

Welcome home.  The homepage is the first experience a lot of people have with our site and we wanted to make it a bit more user friendly for the first time viewer who may have experienced color overload with the previous site. Lots of people get referred here by a friend who said "if you're looking for great wedding color ideas go to COLOURlovers..." or "you should check out COLOURlovers for web design colors...", but then found a wall of color once they checked out the site.  With our new content channels (wedding, home, fashion, web, print & craft) and their placement on the homepage, we hope new lovers will have an easier time jumping in and sharing the love.

We're also giving our community a showcase further down the homepage.  You can see the latest groups, discussions... and we'll regularly feature one of the amazing people who help make COLOURlovers such a great place.

Color Channels

COLOURlovers come here for personal, creative and professional reasons.  With our new channels, if your passion is jewelry making... you now have a mini-community inside of COLOURlovers for you to read related blog posts, start or participate in crafty discussions and browse related craft groups.  These channels aren't walls inside of the community, but rather different pieces of equipment on the big COLOURlovers playground.

Love It

The old rating system didn't work very well.  What is a 5 heart palette? What's a 2 heart palette?  The work shared on our site is pretty subjective, so trying to standardize a way to rate something on a value scale is very tricky.  What we've moved to is a simple "Love It" voting system.  So if you see something you like... go ahead and love it.  If you see something you don't like... just keep browsing and I'm sure you'll discover something you do.  The votes in our old system got cleared every month to keep a fresh look of what the most popular things were, but that often filled our inboxes on the 1st of the month with worried members that their work had been deleted.  We're now tracking Loves from all time, but also allow you to adjust the time window to this month, this week and today.

Follow What Your Love

Subscriptions & Faves = Follow.  On the previous site you could favorite something, which listed that you loved it.  This led to confusion as to where favorites ended up and how a user could easily go back and view their faves.  We also had a subscribe button that would let you get a love note whenever something occurred around a color, palette, pattern or user... but filled up your inbox with activity updates didn't make the love notes experience very good.

So now you can follow a palette, pattern, color or fellow member and you'll see updates from them in the recent activity in your account page.  Don't want to get updates anymore?  Simply unfollow.

*We know this still leaves a hole where a great favorite / bookmarking system should be and we're working on a solution for that.*

Seamless Pattern Design

I'm very excited to release our new seamless pattern designer tool called "Seamless Studio".  Previously, we had a little over 100 pattern templates for the community to color, and this super creative crowd colored 750,000+ variations of them.  With our new pattern design tool, you're not limited to a fixed set of 100 pattern templates to color... you can now design your own.

To design a pattern, simply drag shapes over from the shapes toolbox and drop them on the canvas.  Once on the canvas, you can resize, rotate, edit & add shapes until you get the perfect pattern.  There's also a layers area to help you arrange, organize and set the default colors for a pattern template.  Then click "Save" to publish your new pattern template to the COLOURlovers library, and let other members color them in.

Leader-boards

So many awesome members and now more ways to give them recognition.  We've changed the wording on what was our user "rating" to "karma" points, and you can still browse these top lovers along with several new options.  See which users have been really active in the last week, see the user who has given the most love in the past month, see what conversational lover has left the most comments since we started, etc.

More Color Trend Tracking

Our trend tracking was getting a little stale... but now we're adding fresh content regularly and we've added a few new trends to track.  We're now tracking Wedding Invitations, Magazines, Street Fashions, Interior Looks & Handmade goods... And in the near future we'll be tracking several more trends and increasing the volume of trend updates.

Fabric & Art On-Demand Partners

We're thrilled to be announcing two great partnerships that will let our users take their color love offline and into the physical world.  All palettes and patterns on the site can now be purchased as Fabric from SpoonFlower.com and Art & Posters from Imagekind.com.  We're really excited to see what kinds of fabric creations our crafty members will come up with.  And how cool would it be to create a palette or pattern on the site, and then be able to hang it as a professional canvas on your wall?  Now you can.

*Not all the previous patterns were given to us with commercial rights, so those can't be purchased.*

Explore. Create. Suggest. Improve.

We built this for you. We took your suggestions over the last couple years and tried our best to evolve the site in a way that creates the best experience for you... that helps more people feel welcomed into our community... and that brings you new tools and creative ways to share the color love.

This is by no means a final product. We're still in the process of flushing out some bugs, we'll be editing and improving things over the next couple weeks... and we want to hear from you how we can continue to grow our community with you.

Happy COLOURloving!
+D


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71 Comments
Showing 1 - 30 of 71 Comments
WOW! out of words!
Team
Thanks. We're excited to have the new site live and shared with the world.
Wow! I love very much that this is lighter and the layout is clearer. It's also a bit less boxed to me. The new love it or leave it system is also cool since everybody got hurt about less than 5 hearts. I'm not sure about the thin palette and pattern stripes yet, but I guess I will get used to them. I have a question: Where can I find my "favorites" now? It seems that through the "follow" system they are mixed up with my own palettes and only findable through search.
I'm still in shock!
So many features to discover, ...new patterns, ...getting a fabric, getting an artwork!!!! .D
I like the light a lot, and the idea of loving something without rate it. You now love it or not, that's fair. I miss "having lovers" though.
Anyway, the most important thing to say today is: Congratulations on this huge step!
Thank you very much for the love.
.)
A wonderful job! I am very impressed! Seamless Pattern Design is the long awaited tool. Again, I feel like a little child in the land of toys. The new look is great. Thank you!
I have two more ideas. Hope it's ok to criticize a bit. Every new system needs to be tested by the users, right? So please don't take it personal :)

- As a sponsor you can arrange your 3 profile fields (not columns anymore), so you can create a profile with, let's say, "new patterns", "new palettes" and "top palettes". So, no single colors here. Many lovers have it that way. On the old system you could browse the colors (for playing 2+2=5 for example) just by going to the page bottom and choosing "More of my colors ..." (or something like that). Now you have to choose "Browse" > "Colors" > "Search" and type the name of the lover, which makes it way more complicated. Well, there are still some single colors on the profile (right column, "MY COLORS") but no way to choose more of them. It would be cool to have that feature again. If you don't want to burst the shiny new layout you could just make the caption "MY COLORS" as a link or something.

- There's a little layout bug on the single color pages. Above the color field the hex and the RGB values are layed on top of each other. Should be just a bit of CSS. I'm using Firefox v3.5.8 on Vista.

That's it for now. About the stripe presentation of palettes and patterns: Already getting used to them :D
One more point: The pattern creating tool seems to be a bit buggy. If you choose patterns with less then 5 colors the "order" in the pattern preview seems not to be the order displayed in the color fields under the pattern.

Edit: Oh, but I just saw you can create patterns by yourself now! That is amazing!! :D
New look looks quite new indeed! the black gray gone to a whitewashed look.. I really liked the previous look too but change for the good is welcome.
I felt the navigation has become much more cooler than before. Really exited to try the seamless pattern design. Great job daurius and team!
Glad to see navigation fixes and such.

Not quite liking that multicolored border background thing on the liquid header.
wow. i had to send my computer in for work yesterday...what an amazing surprise to come home to. haven't had a chance to explore yet but this is soo exciting. kudos to the CL team for innovation!
Also, where can I change my password now? -_-
Wow! It's bright! Can't play now.
I will check it out tonight after work. Congratulations!
Ok, another bug: The Scratch in COPASO seems to be broken. You can't drag colors in there (still Firefox 3.5.8 / Vista). Maybe there's an a transparent layer over it (CSS: "z-index") or something?
It's not more possible to download patterns?!
The site looks good, but I liked the old system better. Wish I still had my favorite pallets and patterns.
I'm quite heartily impressed with the revamp. Wow IS the word! I bet this was mucho worko so lots of pats on the backs to all the folks who did it. I agree with Silver that it's hard to find one's favorite stuff stash. I too experience what STFN has with pattern creation but what follows now is the expected period of working out bugs. My only initial criticism is the "browse patterns" page not defaulting to new ones but that is certainly outweighed by the vast overall improvement, especially in now allowing for pattern creation -- big THANK YOU on that deal!
The new site is looking good! Thanks Darius and team! We are excited for the new venture!
Wow! It's looking great Darius!
Wasn't expecting this :) I'm still fooling around and getting the feel for everything.
Very exciting !
Congratulations on V4! That's a lot of hard work - well done! I logged in after a week and whoa! what a change! There are some great changes and then some that are not so great...

(sys config: winXP64, firefox 3.5.8)
Some pros and cons of this new version for me:
Pros:
1) lighter = easier on the eyes and its chic :-)
2) The new love it or leave it system - kudos on that! very cool!
3) the long sleek palette/pattern/color display on our personal page (they could be a bit shorter but very cool)
4) Seamless Pattern Design - mega kudos on that (but which is also an extremely clever way of selling intellectual property of your unsuspecting members - but i guess we'll not delve into that...)
5) Bigger palette/pattern/color display on their respective pages - so no more squinting at hard to see darker palettes!
6) Suddenly i can make new colors again without too much effort - whoo hoo!
7) More simplified menus - major kudos on that (but unfortunately this means a lot of the stuff is reachable in a roundabout fashion)
8) Absolutely love the conspicuous display of popular articles - great idea!
9) Can now delete comments from other CL's palettes/patterns/colors = no more double posting by mistake - thank you!

Cons:
1) where are all my favorites? i miss them terribly
2) i can no longer see a group of people currently online - that makes me feel really cut off from the rest of the community... :-(
3) The comments section on each page is way down hidden somewhere - i kinda miss them side by side to the colors... (another way i feel detached from other ppl)
4) Do the numbers really have to be displayed so big? (i'm at a 1920x1080 screen res and still they are so big...the folks at 1024x768 must be seeing those nos. as big as billboard signs ;P )
5) The groups display is just haphazardly put-together - there's wastage of space, huge number display, no description at first glance, no longer sorted by the date of creation (at least give it some semblance - sort by date or alphabetically - or is that something you want to take away from non-sponsors?)
6) i really really miss the one-click-away love note inbox...
7) please give us back the links to "more..." next to the My Palettes/Patterns/Colors

Every new roll out has got to have it's share of glitches, here's what i've found so far...
Glitches:
1) Group sticky conversations are no longer sticky. Example.
2) personally a lot of my palettes are missing their widths...
examples : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ...etc... 'cos these are the ones i've noticed I'm not sure if there are more...
3) I am unable to post palette badges with widths even though the palettes have custom widths.

I appreciate that you'll keep tweaking this new design as feedback from your users pour in...

All in all this new version is nice and it's growing on me :)
Thanks for all the hard work!
cheers
Also, I love all the new patterns and the new palette display on the user page! You guys are so creative! I'm still figuring everything out but I have found a few bugs (it's the first day after all). I'll send a report after I've done a thorough investigation (aka play around all day!!)

Thanks for all the hard work and love you put into this <3
Whoa, so many new things to get used to all of a sudden, but I can cope with the shock :) I'm going to explore around a little bit, see if everything works and then I'll report my impressions. It must have been a tough work...thank you so much for all the things you do in order to improve this wonderful site!
Oh, and saving self made patterns seems not to work with Firefox (v3.5.8 on Vista). I can create them perfectly but when clicking save nothing happens (even after long waiting). For other lovers (with other browsers I guess) it seems to work since I see lots of creative new patterns around here.
ohhhhh!!!!!! :D thank lovers!!!!
stfn wrote:
Oh, and saving self made patterns seems not to work with Firefox (v3.5.8 on Vista). I can create them perfectly but when clicking save nothing happens (even after long waiting). For other lovers (with other browsers I guess) it seems to work since I see lots of creative new patterns around here.


I'm on winXP64 and firefox 3.5.8 - seems to work for me....maybe a vista issue?


... um...how does one get from the "Edit Group" page back to "Group home" page without hitting the back button of your browser of course...
2) i can no longer see a group of people currently online - that makes me feel really cut off from the rest of the community... :-(

Ok, so i click on community and i see them...yippee :-)
karnoug wrote:
same thing over here. Just downloaded chrome and things look quite different
stfn wrote:
Oh, and saving self made patterns seems not to work with Firefox (v3.5.8 on Vista). I can create them perfectly but when clicking save nothing happens (even after long waiting). For other lovers (with other browsers I guess) it seems to work since I see lots of creative new patterns around here.

Oh, but I don't wanna change to chrome! :o
Ooh, this is awesome, it must have taken a lot of work :o I haven't really checked out anything yet so I'm not sure if there's any glitches, or palettes missing widths, or anything else. Yay for V4! :D
Honestly and unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of the new layout. Even though many of the things were improved, for some reason it takes longer for the site to load and is a pain to get to the comments on the very bottom of the page. Both black and white are fresh colors when used right, which COLOURlovers certainly did in the v3 layout. It would be nice if there was a site color option now.

Although I do admit the site has a nice feel to it<3
1) lighter = easier on the eyes and its chic :-)


yeah - well after spending a good 5 hours on the site i realized that actually it's not easier on the eyes! I guess i got excited with the squeaky clean new look at first...but i'm missing the deeper shades of gray and the streamlined easy-to-navigate compact design of V3...

Edit:
Why is the site so bright? I want the gray back!

Don't worry Chris aka Pureform, who writes all the code to make the site work wants the dark version back too... but that's why we designed the new site to easily allow for a light & dark version. We only had time to polish and launch the new light version. But the dark version should be online too in the near future.

This is just wonderful and am waiting for this quite eagerly!
Another thing, when I went to COPASO, it took longer for the colors to show up in the space and when I want to see the whole thing, that is, enlarge to preview, it doesn't come up.

Also, will we see if we got any new love notes like we did when they were highlighted in red when we were on any page? I believe that is an important aspect to COLOURlovers. It's easier to know when someone loved and 'followed'. The other thing too, the way someone's name came up from hovering over their avatar was nice when I wanted to know who they were. That feature doesn't seem to be there anymore.

Oh and when I copy and paste my badge to someone's profile for a thank you, the widths did not show up after I toggled the width first.

YAY! It's good to know we'll be getting a dark version for the sight too :)

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