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With all those horrid little bugs flying around the site at the moment, I thought I'd try and look beyond all that and write about the re-design of Ciao! I trust the Ciao team are working on these. And the sooner they get them fixed, the better it will be for all of us!
Still, back to the re-design. When I first recieved an email from Ciao informing me they were going to completely re-design Ciao I though, "Oh dear". The first thought that popped into my head was Dooyoo. Poor Dooyoo seemed to have suffered with their re-design, and hoped Ciao wouldn't suffer likewise.
I remember the day I logged into the new Ciao for the very first time. I was dumb founded! I couldn't believe what I was looking at! Now that, I hope, we're all well and truely settled in, what are the main significant changes here?!
I won't even go there with the payment scheme. I've never really understood how THAT works, and just carry on regardless! What I do like though, is each persons own account and homepage. You can create a wonderful and colourful homepage by html. My knowledge of html is basic, as is my homepage! But, editing that and the "About Me" is easy.
Another fantastic addition to Ciao now is the guestbook. We obviously had one before, but now we've got the obtion to delete any unwanted messages. But, we do now have a private guestbook where we can chat to our hearts content and in confidence with our friends. Well done Ciao on adding this little beauty!
With rating 'reviews' now they are called, we have the option of rating 'exceptional' and 'off topic'. This can be a plus if someone has written an truely awesome opinion. But, if we rate either of them 2 or 'not helpful', we have to leave a comment explaining why. That's understandable I suppose.
What I like about the new Ciao is that under your CoT, along side the member's photo is any information they have submitted in the "About Me". As is the case when a review has been written. Their photo and any info will be shown in a box on the right hand side of the review.
The Community Centre is now called the Member Centre. This, I think, is a whole lot better! You will find all the statistic tables here, Ciao Cafe. And what I like most is that you can see any new products which have been submitted. Handy if you want to know what's new.
Talking about statistics, what I forget to mention when I mentioned about your homepage, is the statistics tab. This is VERY cool! Although with the old Ciao we could see how many reads we got etc, we have a full view of all the statistics. From how many comments we've made and received, and these can now be viewed. Along with all the other ratings we've given and received. I love this side of Ciao! And all the statistics are given in total numbers and percentage form.
I also really like the favourites section in your homepage. You can add your favourite reviews, categories and suchlike in your favourites. This can save you no end of time searching Ciao for whatever!
The search facility on Ciao has improved a great deal as well. We still have the search box at the top, but as you look through the different categories I find this has improved immensly on looking for certain things. But, I normally just use the search box if I'm looking for a particular product.
When writing a review, the last 100 written is now shown. This is brilliant, as people have more chance of getting their reviews read.
I love the colour system. It's now not so gaudy. It's brighy, airy, and warming to the eye.
And, are there any cons? Well, thankfully, there's more pro's than con's. I do feel that any new people could get a bit lost here to start with. I think the Ciao cafe could be put in a more prominant position to get noticed. Maybe a tab at the tob with the rest of the categories or something. The cafe is an excellant way of people expressing themselves and telling us all about themselves.
All in all I'm quite happy with the new Ciao. I know right now we are experiencing a few hiccups with comments flying everywhere, people's names not being shown in comments they leave etc etc. But, I hope Ciao are working on this, and will swifly be resolved!
Thanks for reading, and your comments will be greatfully received!