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firewallflower

Terms of Service accessibility

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firewallflower

As this site is currently set up, we can access the AVEN Terms of Service by starting at the main forums page, going to the Site Info Center, and then opening the ToS from that forum. As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong, as I could well be!), this is the only way to get to the ToS other than through the URL (or happening upon a link someone posted in a discussion somewhere).

 

Supposedly, all members read and agree to the ToS before joining. We all know not everyone actually does that, but even setting that aside, it's obviously a good thing to review them every so often, whether to refresh the memory or if someone isn't sure what is or isn't allowed. I started thinking about this a couple months ago, not long after joining. Being that one person, I first skimmed the ToS as a lurker, then perused them in more depth at the time I created my account—but even so, on more than one occasion since I've found myself referring back to them, whether to clarify for myself or someone else. At this point, I usually just open the topic via web address, without bothering with forum navigation in the first place, but the first couple times when I wanted to look something up, I would scroll down to the bottom of the page, fail to locate a link to the ToS, and then be stumped until I remembered or re-figured out that the ToS could be located in SIC.

 

It's not a problem for me personally anymore, and I don't know how common this is, but if I used to have trouble finding the post, I doubt I'm the only one. Since presumably AVEN wants to encourage/facilitate access to the Terms as much as possible, I'm wondering if there's a reason that the ToS can't be gotten to in a click from everywhere on the site (perhaps, from a design perspective, just somewhere unobtrusive but accessible, down next to "Theme" and "Contact Us"?).

 

If not, I know it may seem like a relatively trivial detail, but given the importance of making the ToS readily available (and most particularly to new members, who might well be the same members who wouldn't know to look in SIC), might this be something worth revising from a display perspective? Just a thought.

 

(And please, if there's already a ToS link right there in front of me on the homepage and I'm just completely overlooking it, please let me know so I can be informed of my stupidity and pay my proper respects to the bottom of a deep dark hole. 😛)

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Loofah B. Shampoo

I personally have had a hard time locating it, and it wasn't until I was determining whether or not I'd get banned for putting 'dick' in my profile that I actually hunted them down.

 

If it is there, it would help to make it more obvious.

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RoseGoesToYale

I agree, the ToS isn't very readily noticeable. I had actually never read it until I was already on here two years, because I just never found it before. :ph34r: Usually the first place I look for ToS or privacy policy on any website it a link at the bottom of the page, or on forums there's sometimes a permastickied thread at the top in big letters "READ ME FIRST!" It would be a good idea to make it easier to find.

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LeChat

If it helps, mods like @Homer always post a link to the TOS for new members, on every thread in the Welcome Lounge Forum.

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firewallflower

@Loofah B. Shampoo Hah. :P Well, seems like it's not just me, then.

 

 

@RoseGoesToYale My thoughts exactly. I also always look at the bottom of the site first, but a big sticky at the top would definitely be nicely eye-catching, and work too.

 

@InquisitivePhilosopher Indeed, which I think is excellent!! (And honestly, even if the ToS were right there on the homepage, would probably still be something worth keeping up doing, because no matter how noticeable the link is, it's going to just blend into the background for some people.) Still, not all new members will necessarily introduce themselves in the Lounge—and even for those who do, if they want to check the ToS for something a while after joining, might not have that response to their intro post to hand.

But yes, particularly in the absence of a prominent link on the main page, promoting/sharing the link elsewhere is definitely good. :)

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Skycaptain

I can't make any promises as to the outcome, but these points have a good deal of merit, so I'll raise them with the rest of the admods. 

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.Lia

Maybe it's because I'd been using so many forums before AVEN for so long, but even before becoming an Admod it was very clear as to where the ToS would be located if I ever needed it.

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firewallflower

@Skycaptain Thank you so much!

 

@.Lia Fair enough. I'm sure the same goes for many others (including myself once I'd been a member for a couple weeks)—the fact that they aren't conspicuous doesn't mean that they aren't findable. (And one would hope admodship isn't a prerequisite to being able to find the ToS!) It would be interesting to hear whether others have or have not ever had difficulty in hunting themd own. (My main concern is that people shouldn't have to hunt or go out of their way to track the ToS, even if they're not that hard to find.) Thanks for replying!

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Heart

Hey everyone.

 

On a purely trial basis, I have mocked up a banner at the top of the page content that has links to two things: the terms of service and a list that is kept current of admods. One admod team member suggested that having only the ToS link there might seem too aggressive, so since I think the second link is also useful I threw that in there too.

 

Things I can change: the colour, the content, and where it shows up on the page (I can make it "float" at the top of the page even if you scroll down, for example, which is super obnoxious so please don't ask for that option :P ).

 

Unfortunately, I don't think I have the ability to make a link at the bottom near the "Contact us" part of the website. That's the tech team's realm, and they are super busy with a thousand and one (approximately) jobs, so I hesitate to bug them for this unless the option I've done really doesn't work for some reason.

 

Thoughts? Do you like it?

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firewallflower

@Heart Just noticed the banner! Wow, fast work. :D

 

Not being very aesthetically oriented, I'm going to refrain from offering feedback on color or precise orientation on the page, but it seems pretty easily noticeable as is (without being too overbearing, at least from my view), so I, for one, would be quite pleased if this temporary implementation remained.

 

In terms of content, I do rather like the inclusion of other "Important Links" there as well—helpful and non-aggressive, without obscuring the ToS link (I definitely agree with keeping that first and foremost, whatever else you might add). Just as another thought, you could also include a link to the Site Info Center itself (though I can also see how that might be deemed redundant and/or unnecessary, and I don't feel strongly either way).

 

Aside from that, the other piece of feedback that comes to mind would be that having the banner float at the top of the page even when scrolling would, indeed, be super obnoxious, so please don't do that :P

 

I appreciate how quickly you worked on this! (And same goes to the rest of the admod team who contributed to the discussion in the backroom.) Definitely understand not wanting to bother the tech team about this, and your mockup looks to me like it should do the job quite nicely, pending whatever visual improvements more qualified individuals than I might recommend. 😉 Thank you so much!!

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LeChat
3 hours ago, Heart said:

...One admod team member suggested that having only the ToS link there might seem too aggressive, so since I think the second link is also useful I threw that in there too.

 

Things I can change: the colour, the content, and where it shows up on the page (I can make it "float" at the top of the page even if you scroll down, for example, which is super obnoxious so please don't ask for that option :P )....

Yes. I was also wondering whether some members might interpret a TOS link at the top of the page as being "too authoritarian," or trying to be even more "aggressive" about the TOS rules.

 

I'm unsure about the color; I hope it doesn't give off an "aggressive" vibe to others. Personally, I find the red a bit distracting, as it's a brighter color than everything else on the page, yet, it's probably important for it to stand out like that, so that others will see it, read it, etc. But, I can't think of any other color that would make sense; those would probably also feel distracting at the moment, too, as it's a new feature. So, I probably just need time to get used to the red color and it being there, so that it eventually won't feel as distracting.

 

Yeah. I don't really like the "floating" option, either, and find it annoying when other websites have that.

 

I agree with @firewallflower: that was quick, putting up the link!

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Sally

Thanks for doing that!   I actually have never read it...:redface:

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timewarp

I thought there are technical issues with the server because of that nasty red. But it's just the ToS. They are definitely impossible to avoid now. :lol:

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Heart

I can also make it orange if that's less of an eye-sore? There is also white/no background, grey, blue, and green. Those are the only options. The other two announcements are the gery and green, for reference.

 

And your welcome for being fast! We do, as a team, do our best. It's satisfying when, at times like this, we can respond quickly. We are always trying though ;) 

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firewallflower
1 hour ago, Heart said:

I can also make it orange if that's less of an eye-sore? There is also white/n obackground, grey, blue, and green. Those are the only options.

 

And your welcome for being fast! We do, as a team, do our best. It's satisfying when, at times like this, we can respond quickly. We are always trying though ;) 

Depending on the shade, orange might work better in terms of visibility without being aggressive. I'd need to see it to know for sure how I'd like it, though (my visualization skills are not the best :P). Green and white-on-black are already taken for the other banners currently, it appears, and I do like some contrast (which might be more than could be afforded by grey or blue—again, depending on the shade), so I personally might lean towards the orange or the red. But again, I don't feel strongly regarding color, and I'd really need to see it in order to form an opinion. (And I definitely agree with @InquisitivePhilosopher that part of the distraction is just that we're not used to it.)

 

Appreciated. It's quite gratifying on this side of the fence as well, I think. :) 

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daveb

I'd vote for gray or blue. Some people think just having the link there is aggressive enough. :P 

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RoseGoesToYale

I has found it! :lol:

 

Yeah, I agree with @daveb, grey or blue would be good. New members will likely read the bars up there when they join anyway.

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Heart

I put up test banners for a week, only visible in the Site Comments forum, of all the colours. The black with white text one is what I'd been calling "white/no background". Now you can all see all the colours ;)

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daveb

Thanks, Heart! I'd still go with blue or gray myself. :) 

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firewallflower
2 hours ago, Heart said:

I put up test banners for a week, only visible in the Site Comments forum, of all the colours. The black with white text one is what I'd been calling "white/no background". Now you can all see all the colours ;)

Thank you!! :) Now that I can actually see what the various color possibilities would look like, I think I'm going to have to backtrack and agree with @daveb that I like the grey or blue best. They're visible, but not garishly so, and seem to fit nicely enough with the existent site color scheme to avoid being too jarring to the eye. I also rather like the idea of having the brighter/more aggressive colors (particularly the red) reserved in case you ever need to add a banner for something for which those colors are more specifically suited (the red definitely makes it jump out as something urgent).

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daveb
14 minutes ago, firewallflower said:

I also rather like the idea of having the brighter/more aggressive colors (particularly the red) reserved in case you ever need to add a banner for something for which those colors are more specifically suited (the red definitely makes it jump out as something urgent).

Good point. :) 

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Homer

 

IDGAF about colours *abstains*

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LeChat
1 hour ago, firewallflower said:

...Now that I can actually see what the various color possibilities would look like, I think I'm going to have to backtrack and agree with @daveb that I like the grey or blue best. They're visible, but not garishly so, and seem to fit nicely enough with the existent site color scheme to avoid being too jarring to the eye. I also rather like the idea of having the brighter/more aggressive colors (particularly the red) reserved in case you ever need to add a banner for something for which those colors are more specifically suited (the red definitely makes it jump out as something urgent).

I agree. Now, that I've seen the other colors, the grey or blue seem as though they could be good possibilities, rather than the red, which seems to have confused others into thinking that it meant something serious had happened on the site and that it was a major announcement; is too distracting of a color, etc. Those colors seem to also blend in a little more with the color scheme of the other banners, too.

 

:) I'm curious to know what other members, like those with medical issues that cause color sensitivities or an inability to see certain colors, like @Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?), think about the them, whether they find certain ones distracting, etc.

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Heart

K. The ToS banner has been made grey and I changed the grey test banner to red, so you can all still see the colour. What do you think?

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Evren

That's great. The red made me think of storm warnings. As in something is seriously wrong and needs to be acted on right now. And I think even the orange would have been very loud. I like the gray, it meshes well with the black and green. 

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RoseGoesToYale

I take it back. We need even more banners so we can do all rainbow colors!! :P I say this in jest.

 

I like the grey, as well. The orange with the green would've looked too much like the Miami Dolphins...

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Skycaptain

I like the grey 

 

Given how prominent it is, I think red should be reserved for major events, such as, for example, if we ever have to temporarily close the site for a server change 

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PanFicto.

The red is best for the ToS. When there was a red bar up the other day it stood out to me as something important the moment I looked at the site. The ToS is arguably THE most important thing on the site but it seems really common that people miss or don't even know where to find it. Red is definitely best for the ToS because it draws the eye immediately. I saw that @Heart said here she'd made it grey so I went to look and STILL had trouble finding it, the grey bar just blends in with the background to the extent it's almost impossible to see 😧 (that could just be something to do with my eye condition though, but grey certainly isn't an 'important' colour and doesn't stand out like orange, red, or green! Imagine if they started making Stop signs grey, haha.. no one would see them!)

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timewarp

I have no objections against red as such. However I believe it should be reserved for urgent warnings, for example "we're currently experiencing problem X, if you experience Y contact a member of staff (or text the British Transport Police)".

 

As long as the ToS are on top of each page, they are easy enough to find. Grey does the trick without making us immune to warning colours.

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firewallflower
19 hours ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

The red is best for the ToS. When there was a red bar up the other day it stood out to me as something important the moment I looked at the site. The ToS is arguably THE most important thing on the site but it seems really common that people miss or don't even know where to find it. Red is definitely best for the ToS because it draws the eye immediately. I saw that @Heart said here she'd made it grey so I went to look and STILL had trouble finding it, the grey bar just blends in with the background to the extent it's almost impossible to see 😧 (that could just be something to do with my eye condition though, but grey certainly isn't an 'important' colour and doesn't stand out like orange, red, or green! Imagine if they started making Stop signs grey, haha.. no one would see them!)

This is a very good point; thank you for sharing your perspective! I can see how the grey could blend in with the background, and it's definitely probably the most nondescript of the color options. Interesting that the arguments for and against red seem to be essentially just a different take on the same thing; the red jumps out, which some find unnerving or distracting, while others find helpful and effective. (I see both points of view, so am having a hard time forming an opinion and sticking to it. :P)

Would the blue option be more visible than the grey, do you think?

 

(And yes, grey stop signs would be a nightmare. :o :lol:)

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