Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Discussions of all varieties of stock water guns and water blasters.
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Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Post by marauder » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:41 pm

Alright, I took everyone's comments into consideration. Next up is the reviews hub. The current page looks like this http://www.hydrowar.com/reviews.html I have a new site layout already made, but since I don't want to reveal it yet, I'll use the current page as the example. What would your ideal review hub page look like? Would it be similar to this, with images thumbs? Do you prefer SSC's text only style, with things ordered by brand and lineup? Duke Soak 'Em's method is between SSC and old Hydrowar, it uses thumbs like Hydrowar but these thumbs are ordered by brand and line like SSC, the unique feature about Duke is that the links are not all displayed on the review hub but each brand has its own page and each line has a subpage of that.

If I opt to modify the current method, where all guns have thumbs on an individual page, I will put the big guns at the top and the small guns at the bottom. There's 2 reasons for this. First, Hydrowar is a waterWARFARE centric site. We use 2500s much more than XP 20s, so it only makes sense that 2500s are placed at the top of the page instead. Second is that readers are also more interested in medium to large guns. Discussions about guns with PCs are much much more common on WWN than conversations about guns with pressurized reservoirs. My most popular reviews reflect this, as the 3 reviews with the most hits are the MXL, the 2000, and the 2500.

The primary dilemma with the current method is that on my new layout I can only get 4 guns per row. This looks much more professional than the current layout, but it also means you have to scroll down a lot more, and even more so now that the amount of reviews are about to double. The next dilemma is how to group guns. Traditionally sites would only review Super Soakers, and then they would have things laid out by line, eg CPS, XP, SC, etc. I do not see myself listing reviews this way, unless the board overwhelmingly prefers it. In my opinion there are just too many lines by now and my site is more battle oriented than collector oriented anyway. The current layout, in reverse order would basically just be big guns to small guns, with a few adjustments so that similar guns can be on the same row. An example of adjustments would be to have one row be CPS 4100, 2100, 1200, 1000; the next to be Vindicator, Blazer, Vanquisher, Lightning, and the one below it to be XP Pool Pumper, Gorgon, XXP 275, XP 250. It's not strictly by size, since the Gorgon is larger than the Lightning, but the Lightning is listed with Hydropower guns and the Gorgon with air pressure guns.

My ideal scenario is to have thumbs of every review on one page, listed with the big guns up top and the small guns at the bottom, but to have tools that allow you to modify what shows up in front of you. Think of it like ebay. You go to the computer speakers section and there are hundreds of speakers listed. You select new out of new or used, and that whittles it down. Then you use a slider type tool to select the price range you are comfortable with. Lastly, you select to view products rated 4 stars or above only. On the reviews page you could select elastic pc, air pressure pc, and or pressurized reservoir. You select elastic PC and air pressure PC. All PR guns disappear from the page. Next, you use a slider (whatever it's called) and set the minimum range to 38 feet. All guns that shoot less than 38 feet disappear from the page. You use another slider to select an output range between 3x and 8.5x. Only guns with PCs that shoot 38+ ft with 3-8.5x nozzles remain. Lastly, you select guns rated 8/10 or higher only. The page adjusts accordingly.

Now, let me just say that I just started working with divs instead of tables... so being able to do the above is probably impossible for me to pull off at the moment, so your suggestions should be easier to do. But know, that is the long term plan. There is already a search function on the new site and it works smoothly. I'm looking forward to reading your preferences.
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Re: Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Post by the oncoming storm » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:07 am

For listing guns I would go by power which is range * output it will put the most interesting guns at the top and sorting would be a breess.
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Re: Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Post by Belisaurius » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:30 am

I like the images. I think that makes the reviews more accessible for newcomers, who might recognize the images before they know what the names of the models might be. But I think you've got a great idea organizing the guns by size. Like you said, the big name models and the medium to large size guns are the most popular, and I think it makes a lot of sense for the site design to reflect that.

The improved search function sounds great, but I think that the re-ordering would go a long way on its own.

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Re: Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Post by Fishfan » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:32 am

I don't like the SSC way, I prefer you list it by brand, but show the pics also.
I also like the way you suggested to have the search function like ebay. I like that a lot.
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Re: Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Post by SEAL » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:40 pm

I really couldn't care less about the format as long as it's easy to find what I'm looking for. My only suggestion is to list the bigger guns first, just like you said. Okay, maybe you could have different listing options (by brand, by year, by class, by power, by size, etc.), but that's all I can think of at the moment.
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Re: Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Post by Drenchenator » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:16 pm

I actually like how the Hydrowar reviews are at the moment, though I do agree you should put the high power guns at the top.

I don't remember exactly, but I believe the SSC style was designed to put as many links as possible on one page without scrolling down. We wanted to minimize the number of clicks needed to access a particular review. This was supposed to be the antithesis of iSoaker's reviews and Aqua-Nexus's reviews, which divide everything up into sections and can require a lot of clicks to navigate properly. SSC also has an image-based layout once you click on the sections, so we did try to accomodate both styles.

Edit: poor wording
Last edited by Drenchenator on Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hydrowar Reviews Part 2

Post by isoaker » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:55 pm

If you're for it (or if you figure out how to get your reviews to auto-sort themselves), offering a page as is with reviews grouped by power along with another page perhaps with text only doesn't hurt. In fact, you could also have an index page that just list the reviews alphabetically. In the end, different people have different preferences on how they like browsing and seeing things. If you are able to accommodate different styles, but put your personal favourite as the default, it'd be a win-win for all, IMO.

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