Macromedia.com Feedback

Thanks for the feedback on the forums yesterday. I’m going to pass this information on to the forums team for them to consider in upcoming releases. The forums are an important part of the Macromedia community, and we want to make sure they are moving in the right direction. (Also, if you have some time, how about responding to the new forum poll over in the right-hand margin?)

Today I’m interested in Macromedia.com, and specifically what you think of the flow and organization of the site. Are you easily able to find the information you’re after? Is it where you were expecting it to be? How often do you have to use the search feature to find what you are looking for? Tell us what we can do to improve the Macromedia.com experience.

38 Responses to Macromedia.com Feedback

  1. Eric Ryan Jones says:

    get rid of all the freaking flash. Especially in the exchange. it’s slow, takes for ever and is an all around PITA.overall flow and layout are clean and easy. i can get where i need to when i need to without tripping myself up. but i’m an old hat at mm.com, i have no idea how a newbie see’s it.

  2. Kowen says:

    The Exchange is so slow and fails to load on all machines (WinXP’s & Win2k’s), about 80% of the time and when you select an exchange search result to get more details, I cant get back to my search results. So drop the flash/flex on the exchange or atleast make it work! with right click on new window!Also provide, with a list of updates download since version release in one zip final, it would be useful, when reloading a machine to all the updated needed in one zip file, with an index.Also stop ripping us off with Devnet, I mean 70mb is not worthy of a CD, I think over 650mb per devnet CD is worth about $10, and for the year $28.Your name is Macromedia NOT Microsoft, so stop giving us this lowering standards, keep the standards high. But drop the price of Flex and at the same time lower your ego’s.

  3. Ian Firth says:

    Still as lame as it was when the new design was launched. It’s a clinic of usability mistakes. Flash and Flex are doing nothing for usability, realize that and Macromedia may have a future.

  4. Jeff H says:

    I definitely agree about the exchanges…I really need to be able to open links in new windows. Also I would *LOVE* to see the CF Documentation section completely rewritten. I don’t have an issue with the layout so much (although it could be improved) as with the actual CF docs and the examples. The examples are really poor and overly verbose. I would really like to see an example of each type of usage scenario (ie: all the arguments used) and more to the point. I really don’t like looking at the html for an entire page of a pretend application just to get to the example. For a point of comparison, take a look at the PHP docs.It would also be helpful to put all the tech notes in a bit more convenient location. For example. I think that from the homepage, the way people would typically get to the CF developer section would be to click Developers then Cold Fusion. Tech Notes are one of the most important and helpful sections MM produces but I can’t find them from what looks like the main CF Developer page. So more cross-referencing of links.

  5. Peter Witham says:

    Exchange in Flash = truly terrible. It’s slow, annoying and you can only view one item at a time, I’d prefer to view several components for example rather than just one and have to go back to the list all the time.Other than that………..I’m happy with the site. Support sections are my main hang out and I find them more than useful and easy to get along with.Regards,Peter Witham

  6. Re: search results – it’s easy to get back to the search results from a details page – click *Exchange Search* in the breadcrumb:Home / Developer Center / Macromedia Exchange / *Exchange Search*You can also page back and forth through the search results while viewing the details page, using the little arrow buttons (top right and bottom right of the extension detail pane, after the “N of NN” text).

  7. Greg Hamer says:

    LIVEDOCS. From a tech support perspective, Livedocs are the best thing Macromedia has ever done. It really deserves a link on the main Navigation menus. Also, getting the remainder of the product docs up on Livedocs would be a smart thing.NAVIGATION MENUS. Implement Right Click Support. I use a tabbed browser. Macromedia has failed to implement “Open Link in New Tab” or “Open in New Window”. If you are going to stick with Flash for the navigation menus, couldn’t you please use the ContextMenu class to replicate this essential browser functionality (which, by default, is lost through the use of Flash navigation menus).DATE STAMPING. Date created, date revised is very important in discerning relevance of technical articles. (i.e. in guesstimating product versions, etc.)ARCHIVES. Material just disappears. Hire a librarian and have them help you determine how to organize content into a logical flow from front page to orderly archives. I can not tell you how many times I have returned to macromedia.com only to leave frustrated 15 minutes later because I can not refind an article that I KNOW IS THERE!PRINTING. The print css results in … single column print output. When the original was in an intelligent multicolumn layout, the print output is significantly degraded.SPAM PROTECTION. Protect forum posters from spam. I did a posting and started receiving spam. So I created a dead-mail account and use it EXCLUSIVELY for posting in the Macromedia forums and now it get’s spam. (And, no, I don’t put my email in plain text in the postings.)SCREEN NAME RESET OPTION. I need to reset my forum’s screen name … and it is the only piece of data that cannot be edited. I am not the only one who has requested this feature.Thank you for asking!

  8. Doug Laakso says:

    It would be so nice if I could use the Back button when using the Exchange. I know you can navigate using the Flash features, but they are not as learned as clicking the back button or backspace key (Mac: delete key)

  9. Mehmet Dogan says:

    Exchange, exchange, exchange. Design it so it is user-friendly. I told same things to Macromedia staff at the MAX 03 and they told me that most of the web feedback was about the exchange part of the site. Since then, nothing happen. Colleting information/feedback is useless if you don’t do use the information.

  10. PaulWeston says:

    The Flash player installer needs to be more prominent of the home page. To most users, it takes a while to find it and then it’s worded ‘Download Flash Player’. I’d suggest ‘Get’ or ‘Install’ instead of ‘Download’. Choosing a word that not everyone is comfortable with means a percentage of people looking to install it will abort.The exchange area desperately needs rewriting. I think the simple way of seeing why it fails is to think of something and go find it. I tried last week and got bored at all the jumping around, the failure of the ‘back’ button, the slow interface and simply having to wade through stuff. Amazon make it dead easy for me to find anything on their site and they use HTML. No Flash in sight.- PaulWeston

  11. nuno mira says:

    The main page should be customizable. You should be able to organize it with your favourite products, topics, links and news…Livedocs are slow and colorless/dull.php.net has both great documentation and a great way to find what you’re looking for.For example, something like http://www.macromedia.com/flash/setinterval should take you to the desired page or more obviously, http://www.flash.com/setinterval

  12. Shiny says:

    i’d like to be able to filter the technote search results. Many times I’ll search technotes for an error I get using cfmx, and I get gobs and gobs of results for cf 4 & 5 with a couple cfmx results hidden somewhere in teh middle.

  13. Shiny says:

    and oh yeah. I agree with the exchange. I stopped using it altogether when it was changed to flash.

  14. Steve Powell says:

    More Function, less Form. Get over Flash. While its good its not saving lives or feeding the starving.

  15. Tjarko says:

    My visits stopped when the new forums and the new exchange went live.. it’s to slooooowwwwww I was a regular user of the forums once but since it takes me forever to view a thread it just takes up to much time to respond to a question..Look and feel of the site is good.. nothing against that.. just the speed of things.

  16. Andy Allan says:

    In agreement with everyone else … you need to do something about the Exchange. Whether it’s to do with it being Flash, no idea but the reality is it’s so god damn slow. So slow in fact, I very very rarely use it any more. If I’m after CF UDFs/CFCs I head to cflib.org or cfczone.org nowSo from that point of view you are losing people (well, me anyway).As for the rest of the site, I don’t have any particular complaints.

  17. Kola Oyedeji says:

    Could we have livedocs available as a web service or better intergrated with studio/homesite so that when I hit f1 it takes me to the most recent documentation online (as opposed to the documentation that came with studio)

  18. Julian says:

    In terms of useful content I tend to think of MM.com quite positively, but I’ve started dreading having to visit because I know my browser is going to start slowing down/overheating as a result of all the IMHO unnecessary Flash. I know you want to show you’re using your own products, and where genuinely appropriate it’s excellent (eg onDemand), but for global navigation… please keep it simple, keep it HTML. Thanks.

  19. KOla Oyedeji says:

    Also could the technote index be kept up to date (http://www.macromedia.com/support/coldfusion/technotes.html) its lacking a lot of recent technotes and it’s usefulness is diminished if it is not a comprehensive up to date list of all the technotes

  20. Tony Pimm says:

    Rather than separating the site by requirement (Products, Developers, Exchange), how about splitting the site by technology.I’m a CF developer, playing with Flash, so I’d love to be able to see all the relevant CF information on one page! All the latest tech notes, DevNet articles, new additions to the exchange and easy access to livedocs(which need re-organising with decent navigation). And the same for Flash. Also, it would be great to have the XMLNA integrated into the technology site. So it’s a one-stop shop for all CF or Flash etc information.

  21. Micha Schopman says:

    Christian,1: I don’t disgust Flash, but in it’s currently form in the exchange it doesn’t work out right. The previous exchange in plain markup language was better imo. I am experiencing hanging loads, missing options like open in new window.2: There isn’t a good way to get to the bug/feature request form.3: Why do I get an error when browsing to http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion. Out of usability principle this should be relocated to the coldfusion pages, instead of a 404 error (/coldfusion does work, but cfusion is a common developers thingy).4: Better handling of mail. When I take the time to fill in an extensive bug report, or suggest features It is kinda strange the customer doesn’t receive feedback on it’s suggestions.

  22. jason says:

    i agree with everyone about the flash. it’s too heavy and makes frequent visits a pain b/c of the long load times.it’s not the greatest endorsement of mm products and technology when their website is slow and not particularly easy to navigate.

  23. denis says:

    Just wanted to reinforce what everybody above said.I often find alternative web sites when I looking for CF and Dreamweaver help because of the speed factor.

  24. michael says:

    Since the menu bar is in made in Flash I can not open a menu item in another window or tab.

  25. Andy J says:

    I love the look of macromedia and think you do a good job with with the amount of information you have. Saying that though i have to give any site that uses Flash (and has links in it) that doesnt allow me to open a page in a new window a thumbs down. It is SO infuriating sometimes.Like most people Exchange has to be changed, i havent gone back since you changed it to flash. I just got fed up of seeing the circle swirling around while the page loaded. I think you totally miss-read/miss-understood your audience and their needs on this one, and instead went with something “kewl”.I agree with the other post about using Google to search MM.com aswell, its just better.Also, am i missing something or is finding the livedocs section impossible via the site???

  26. Sean b says:

    Ria’s are a great idea. They do good things. They have alot to reccomend about them. But you ~must~ maintain usability. Back Button, Scroll bars, text boxes, content wrap and navigation MUST continue opperation as per stadard environments or you remove their benefits.registration to download demo material is annoying, mail order requirements for demo’s – even to sepperate serious interests from the randomly curious is bloody hindering irritating even to people who are significantly interested but have a deadline to meet to assess suitability.Flash is an excellent application – when intelligently and appropriately applied. but its still just a tool. The best chainsaw in the world is still the wrong tool when all you need is a screwdriver. The common mistakes regarding the usage of flash and its overusage aare well documented. Evidence of excellent apaplications is plentiful, and the reasons why the applications excell is equally well documented. Macromedia.com treads the line finely between the two groups.

  27. Bernd says:

    why is MM homepage no RIA application ?I only find HTML but no serious RIA, though you folks propagate it.Cya, Bernd

  28. nic says:

    another thumbs-down for the exchange – too slow, no right-click to open in new window. searching the exchange is pretty poor too…

  29. Dave Hill says:

    Regarding the exchanges, here in our little department we used to use the exchange to search for tags that would help us out of a tricky situation, however now its more stressful looking in exchange than the actual problem we need to solve so we stay clear and go elsewhere. I notice that less people have used it to make available their tags and CFC’s. I also have to agree with any other comments on the flash parts of the homepage. First thing is the advert bit, this is extremely annoying and although it looks as if a lot of time goes in to making them I am afraid they should be removed. Another flash issue is the navigation at the top of the screen, this should not be flash either! It would also be nice if the grey background was made white!

  30. duncan says:

    don’t like the use of Flash throughout – it’s slow.somewhere on the MM site, is an option for accessibility options, which seems to do absolutely nothing.used to use the Allaire custom tag gallery frequently, and it was fast, easy to use, etc.Almost never use it now on the MM site, as it’s the opposite – a painful experience, slow, hard to navigate, etc.navigation can be tricky at times, as there is so much content – how to find it all? certain documents are in sections that you don’t necessarily expect them to be in, for instance.

  31. tom says:

    I don’t agree with all of the comments about the exchange. Yes, it may be a little slow, but it is miles ahead of the old exchange, which was unusable. Also, for people uploading to the exchange it is 100% better. I do agree about the use of the back button and context menu items. The exchange desparately needs the ability to right-click > Copy Shortcut. Also, Search Exchanges should be a box instead of a button to take you to yet another page.The Livedocs section should be the most visible part of macromedia.com.As an author, I typically refer to web pages on macromedia.com in articles and books. You guys are constantly making these into dead links. I always thought that when you document something at macromedia.com it should always remain there. It’s frustrating to have bookmarks and links that go nowhere because they were pulled down or moved.

  32. Clive Walker says:

    I am not sure if the affiliate section of the Macromedia website (http://affiliates.macromedia.com) is controlled by Macromedia itself – or another company – but it has a number of errors that make it user unfriendly. For example, missing mouseover navigation images, different sized text on the login page, banner images overlapping the page boundaries. This hardly inspires confidence.

  33. Rick Mason says:

    I agree with everyone on exchange. I used to go there on a regular basis. But it has become totally unuseable.How about creating an RSS feed of all tags in exchange? That way you can leave the current exchange unchanged and someone else can create a useable way to view the tags. Perhaps as an addition to cflib?Note I am only suggesting this slightly in jest :<)! Exchange really needs to be fixed whether the solution is in Flash or not.

  34. S Page says:

    “Why do I get an error when browsing to http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion“Wow, good point./cfusion is what we look for when proxying to our CFMX app servers.But we should be able to put in a rewrite rule before that for a naked “/cfusion”. I’ll see what I can do…”Don’t like the use of Flash throughout, it’s slow”Really? The global nav at the top of pages is the only Flash on most text-heavy pages and is plenty fast for me.”somewhere on the MM site, is an option for accessibility options, which seems to do absolutely nothing.”http://www.macromedia.com/help/accessibility.html , which lets you set a preference so that you won’t get Flash and will get an HTML/GIF alternative where available. A few areas of the site are pure RIA and have no non-Flash alternative.

  35. Jon Cooper says:

    Hey Christian I b et you wished you had never asked??!Seriously, I concur with most of the points above..Exchange and Forums are both invaluable sources of information but are being hamstrung by the attractive and creative but depressingly SLOW use of Flash.Overall design is great and content is far superior to most large companies (genuinely useful and educational for the most part)LiveDocs however are in a helluva state – for years thaty’ve needed reappraising and it is now getting ridiculous. As mentioned previously they offer incomplete and confusing examples whilst being overly verbose. In addition the structure seems to be gradually breaking down with it becoming harder and harder to navigate around the Tag and Function listings.

  36. duncan says:

    “The global nav at the top of pages is the only Flash on most text-heavy pages and is plenty fast for me.”sorry to report it’s never been fast for me, on a fairly average setup.”http://www.macromedia.com/help/accessibility.html , which lets you set a preference so that you won’t get Flash and will get an HTML/GIF alternative where available. A few areas of the site are pure RIA and have no non-Flash alternative.”this didn’t use to work, but happy to report it’s now removed the Flash navigation from the top bar, which has speeded up things no end. Now only have 4 instances of Flash to put up with (on this current page anyway), not all of which I’m convinced really need it (a form, some rollovers).

  37. Monty says:

    When I do a search for information on MX 2004, it would be nice not to get information from older versions (sometimes they go back 5 years!).The support documents should be separated by version. As it is now, when you see an article on Dreamweaver you have no idea what version it is for until you get into the article. A MAJOR waste of time.And yes, the exchange fails to laod about half the time. You should see my whole classroom full of people trying to access it! Some of them never do…..

  38. iS says:

    On a high-end AMD64 system, exchange and livedocs are slow.Titles like “actionscript” in the Flash resource center should be made clickable.