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Birdguides new system (1 Viewer)

TWM

Well-known member
I don't suppose this is the right place to post this but what is the general consensus on the new Birdguides set up.
Personally I really don't like it, It is not as easy to see what is about without having to scroll through lots of info.
The car club I belong to opted to go to a similar format as this new one but had to revert to a system similar to their old one because the new one was so user unfriendly and members gave up using it!!
 

pbright_thomas

Landlocked birder, looking up
Found the search to be pretty unusable.

When restricting to a sub-location to a country, it wouldn't recognize "United Kingdom", "UK" or "Great Britain" ... I would have thought lists of countries would come pre-equipped with synonyms.

You also don't seem to be able to enter a species name to search directly, you enter a species name, wait up to 5 seconds for it to recognise that name, and then you can click on that to fill in the name for the actual search. If you type a string and hit "Filter my results", the string is discarded.

I can't see the layout as mobile friendly, on my phone the date, species, location and time appear in the same column on the left, leaving a lot of dead space, and fitting about one sighting per screen.

The page has a lot of stuff at the top above the latest reports, and is hard to scroll because the map is full width on a mobile screen in portrait, and when you touch the map, you only scroll the map.

But apart from that ...
 

pbright_thomas

Landlocked birder, looking up
And another whine about search ...

When searching for older records, the old site's search had pre-populated options like past year, or "since birdguides began" .... now you're going to need 10 keystrokes to search the database for past records, and I can't see any way to re-create the search option "in September of any year".
 

Runcorn Birder

Well-known member
I suspect most of the concerns are about natural human resistance to change and/or not quite knowing how to do stuff properly. Play around with it, figure it out, recognise that the people that run the site know what they're doing.
 

pbright_thomas

Landlocked birder, looking up
Since search only works on recognised species names, I can't see a way to search for reports of "Eagle" or "Albatross" or "Frigatebird", which are often reported without assignment to species.
 

Papa 10

Miserable Old Git
In a word, pathetic. To me it's based on sales pitch as opposed to bird news hence the bird news is compacted into
2/3 page width due to sales adverts.On the previous system it was simple to access your settings but I cannot find them on the new site. Having recently renewed my subscription suppose I'm stuck with it but after 16 years membership the new format is not for me.
 

Dave Ball

Well-known member
I suspect most of the concerns are about natural human resistance to change and/or not quite knowing how to do stuff properly. Play around with it, figure it out, recognise that the people that run the site know what they're doing.
No, sorry, can't agree. On the old format, once you'd logged on to the 'today's news' page, then on an iPhone screen there were a few photos at the top and a bit of header, perhaps a system message, then at least half a screen of the most recent bird messages. As you scrolled down, about ten messages per screen became visible. Message time, species, site and area were all on one line, with usually only one extra line of text for details unless there were complex access arrangements. If you were looking for a significant message, the three red asterisks of a 'mega' message were easily visible on the extreme left.

On the new format, there is at least a whole screen of header and system messages (OK, probably more of the latter than usual at present), then a search function which takes up more than a screen, and then a map which again takes up at least a screen, before you get to the bird messages. Message time, species, site and area are all on separate lines, plus time of observation, if different, on yet another line, with any extra text in another box which is just as large. This results in only two messages on an iPhone screen, needing lots of fast scrolling which might result in running past messages.

I don't normally use a search function, so would want it to be separately available as it used to be, and I certainly don't want the map, which seems to default to all of Europe, with the British Isles buried under solid bird record markers, and needing to be heavily zoomed, and then for each marker to be clicked on, to be useful. Using the equivalent of about 8-10 lines for each message (and in a bigger font than previously?) also seems excessive when the previous format did it in a couple of lines.

Hopefully it will either be improved or turn out to be readily customisable, but I can't see any way to do the latter at present. Otherwise I might be investigating any RBA smartphone-orientated packages.
 

knotsbirder

Well-known member
No, sorry, can't agree. On the old format, once you'd logged on to the 'today's news' page, then on an iPhone screen there were a few photos at the top and a bit of header, perhaps a system message, then at least half a screen of the most recent bird messages. As you scrolled down, about ten messages per screen became visible. Message time, species, site and area were all on one line, with usually only one extra line of text for details unless there were complex access arrangements. If you were looking for a significant message, the three red asterisks of a 'mega' message were easily visible on the extreme left.

On the new format, there is at least a whole screen of header and system messages (OK, probably more of the latter than usual at present), then a search function which takes up more than a screen, and then a map which again takes up at least a screen, before you get to the bird messages. Message time, species, site and area are all on separate lines, plus time of observation, if different, on yet another line, with any extra text in another box which is just as large. This results in only two messages on an iPhone screen, needing lots of fast scrolling which might result in running past messages.

I don't normally use a search function, so would want it to be separately available as it used to be, and I certainly don't want the map, which seems to default to all of Europe, with the British Isles buried under solid bird record markers, and needing to be heavily zoomed, and then for each marker to be clicked on, to be useful. Using the equivalent of about 8-10 lines for each message (and in a bigger font than previously?) also seems excessive when the previous format did it in a couple of lines.

Hopefully it will either be improved or turn out to be readily customisable, but I can't see any way to do the latter at present. Otherwise I might be investigating any RBA smartphone-orientated packages.

There is an app too, to save you having to load the website on your phone
 

Stonefaction

Stuck in Dundee.....
Scotland
Have been unable to log in and have had no reply to email sent yesterday for assistance, but what I could see seemed swamped with adverts and a lot more cluttered and garish than the previous rather "clean" look.

I noticed too that the sites listed on the 'free' page were restricted to county level - obviously a rather unsubtle attempt to force users to subscribe. It also appears that an extra £10 cost will give access to less information than previously - most of which I rarely used anyway but was available if I needed to.

Rare Bird Alert seem to be touting for business on the back of this, but I'm not personally aware of anyone locally (Tayside & Fife) reporting sightings to them alone, so no idea if it would be worth my while going down the RBA route instead.

I already have a subscription to Birdwatch magazine which feels largely like a regurgitation of stuff I've already read online and if I continue that subscription I'd maybe save some money by going for the more expensive Birdguides option which contains a Birdwatch subscription, but I already don't feel like I get good value for money by subscribing to Birdguides as most sightings locally come through Bird Club text alerts anyway, and those slightly further afield I can get for free via Twitter for those very rare out of area excursions (2 or 3 times a year).

Will see how long it takes for my email(s) to be answered and then hopefully see how full access looks but my initial gut feeling is that I don't like it, and I am currently unlikely to continue with my subscription when it comes up for renewal. That could change but £50 is hardly peanuts on a part time wage and what is a 25% increase in price feels like a sizeable kick in the teeth for a long standing user.
 

Smarties

New member
No, sorry, can't agree. On the old format, once you'd logged on to the 'today's news' page, then on an iPhone screen there were a few photos at the top and a bit of header, perhaps a system message, then at least half a screen of the most recent bird messages. As you scrolled down, about ten messages per screen became visible. Message time, species, site and area were all on one line, with usually only one extra line of text for details unless there were complex access arrangements. If you were looking for a significant message, the three red asterisks of a 'mega' message were easily visible on the extreme left.

On the new format, there is at least a whole screen of header and system messages (OK, probably more of the latter than usual at present), then a search function which takes up more than a screen, and then a map which again takes up at least a screen, before you get to the bird messages. Message time, species, site and area are all on separate lines, plus time of observation, if different, on yet another line, with any extra text in another box which is just as large. This results in only two messages on an iPhone screen, needing lots of fast scrolling which might result in running past messages.

I don't normally use a search function, so would want it to be separately available as it used to be, and I certainly don't want the map, which seems to default to all of Europe, with the British Isles buried under solid bird record markers, and needing to be heavily zoomed, and then for each marker to be clicked on, to be useful. Using the equivalent of about 8-10 lines for each message (and in a bigger font than previously?) also seems excessive when the previous format did it in a couple of lines.

Hopefully it will either be improved or turn out to be readily customisable, but I can't see any way to do the latter at present. Otherwise I might be investigating any RBA smartphone-orientated packages.

You can close the system messages in red when on the page by clicking the small cross on the side. This site is in its infancy and i am sure they will take on board the opinion of the customers. Wait and see as i understand it there is lots of new developments underway :)
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
My main use of birdguides was to see what was around and where. I had saved the page for Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and East Yorkshire. I would type on my mobile the first few letters of the county I wanted and last 10 reports would have popped up and which site. So easy and simple. I loved the basic-ness of the old site. No need to sign in. I rarely used it to chase birds but if I was in an area at an unfamiliar site to see something unusual then log in. If I wanted to read stuff on it then I would do so on my computer. The old site was really easy to navigate - if I wanted to read a county I had not saved say Suffolk to see what is moving around elsewhere, I was on it quickly.


Looking at the new site - it is cluttered and unnecessary. It does not suit the purpose I used it for. It discourages me to keep looking at the site. I find it very time consuming doing basic things on it.

Maybe it is a good thing it has become in my eyes unusable - at least I can spend that time doing something else now.
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
Oh no definitely not. The old site was just so convenient for me. I don't twitch on a regular basis but the last site served it's purpose very well.

People should complain and stop visiting the site. They would pick up on a drop in visitors.


I suspect most of the concerns are about natural human resistance to change and/or not quite knowing how to do stuff properly. Play around with it, figure it out, recognise that the people that run the site know what they're doing.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
Wonder what the average age of posters to this thread is? ;) Bring back wooden footwear I say ...

Seriously, I'm sure there will be issues, and I'm sure some of them will get solved.

The site looks a lot fresher and more modern. Looks like a whole new coding and systems - presumably they can return to any kind of functioning system they want, but depends on how easy or costs I guess?
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
Most birders I have texted hate the new site. Most of them pay for it and will not be renewing.

This is based on about 20 birders most in their 40's, some in their 60's and just a few younger - not one of the younger ones like it. It is hardly a representative sample of birders I know but not one actually prefers this new site
 
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