Navigating on Empire Avenue

A couple of weeks ago we gave you a Sneak Peek at some upcoming Empire Avenue design changes. Well, in the next 24-48 hours (and certainly by 5pm Friday the 25th Nov 2011 MDT) we’ll be rolling out those changes to everyone! And you won’t need a GPS to navigate, either (heh).

But, why??
Here at Empire Avenue HQ, we recognize that changes to navigation and overall site design can be difficult for everyone. Yet, these changes are necessary as we continue to improve Empire Avenue to easily scale as we grow.

You’ll see we’ve moved toward new and recognizable iconography, making it easier to allow for translation and internationalization. As well, many of the changes we’ve implemented are based on member feedback.

Overall, these ideals of building for growth, internationalization, and incorporating member feedback are ultimately allowing us to expand Empire Avenue in new and innovative ways, which you’ll see very very soon!

Ok, so here’s the what

Streamlined Top Navigation Bar (dark blue)
We save a little bit of real estate by slimming down the top navigation bar and using icons (with tool tips) to replace the larger text tabs.

We also modified the look of the ticker; it’s now at the top of your Home page and it’s a very spiffy-looking charcoal colour.

Below the main navigation bar is a second navigation bar (light grey). This simple bar contains commonly used pages and also allows us a design flexibility that will make future design enhancements much easier.

The Icons
In order, from left to right, here are the icons and their functions:

Inactive Active
Home – takes you back to your personal Home page.
Avatar – clicking on your photo here will open a dropdown menu which allows you to go to the most commonly used pages: Portfolio, Advisors, Inbox, Send Shareholder Mail, Order History and Edit Profile.
Your Ticker Symbol – this is a shortcut that takes you to your Profile page — not to be confused with your personal Home page.
Your Bank – shows your current bank balance in Eaves, and when clicked, takes you to your Bank main page, allowing you access to your statements and activity records.
The Graph – Shows your current Share Price. When clicked, takes you to your Advisors page.
Your Wealth – The diamond symbolizes your Wealth. The value to the right of the diamond is your current Net Wealth (Portfolio Value + Luxury Wealth + Bank Balance). Clicking on this also takes you to your Bank main page.
Search – Searches everything on Empire Avenue — an interest, a city, a name… anything! You can also use Search to find relevant people and businesses on Empire Avenue.

The Bell – This is your Notification Centre. The Notification Centre will display a ‘badge’ with a number in it if you have any unseen notifications of any type. By clicking on the bell, you’ll open a dropdown with a secondary menu that also display recent notifications in a headline-like view. The Notification Centre Secondary Menu allows you rapid access to (from left to right):


As well, at the bottom of this window is a ‘View All Notifications >>” link, which will take you to your main Notifications page.

The Gears – This is where you access your Empire Avenue settings and preferences. Clicking this icon reveals a dropdown menu listing commonly-used member functions and preferences: Privacy Settings, Edit Profile, Change Password, Account Settings, Help and Logout.

Whew, a lot going on there. The team has been quite focused on this enhancement and is eager to hear your thoughts and feedback! Leave them in the comments below, or send us a feedback note through our helpdesk.


  1. I guess when it rolls out, then we’ll know for sure how it works.

    One thing that I hope is in the works is an update to notifications that shows people what topic people have replied to. Currently, the format of notifications in Community discussion threads goes like:

    “(NAME) has replied to a discussion thread in the (COMMUNITY) that you are involved in.”

    But if I’m involved in many discussion threads, then “a discussion thread” tells me little about which one the person has replied to. The only way I can figure it out is by clicking on “a discussion thread,” which will take me to the right thread, yes…but that leads to a section problem…

    Suppose that a lot of people have responded to the discussion thread since the last time I went to it. Then, I’ll have notifications for every one of them, and i won’t know that they are all responding to the same thread until I’ve clicked on the link to every one of them. So it leads to a lot of redundancy in open tabs.

  2. Just got the rollout. Ooh lala!

    Love the fact that you can go to specific shareholder messages from the Bell Notification Center (and that it lists the name of the shareholder message). I wish the names of discussion threads could be listed in their notification as well.

  3. It seems like the upper menu just repeats information (share price, wealth) that is already very evident in the profile. I’m not sure if this means you’ll be getting rid of the lower panes (I hope not).

    Right now, it just seems like an add-on rather than a substitution, which is fine by me. I hope you don’t take away the visibility of basic information. Also, some items (portfolio) are much more important than others (advisers) and you show them as having equal weight. The first I check many times daily and I check the advisers monthly (if that). Your design should make the most used features the easiest to get to (fewer clicks).

  4. My biggest complaint is that it used to be very visible when I had new messages and new share buys. Now, these are lumped together as “notifications” and you have to go to that page. With these missions, there are a lot more messages these days and I wish the Inbox alerts were more visible.

  5. Brad – it’s better.

    Concerned about the loss of the auto populated Tweets on buy confirmations – need these and could do with auto populated fb shouts as well.

    Performance seems to have improved for some in Europe, however, that may be the time of day – Thanksgiving lunch!! 🙂

    Otherwise, it’s a good step in the right direction in terms of cleaning up the interface.

    Now if only we could do something about the very erratic divs, share price movements, etc..?

    Cheers John

  6. I agree with what Liz said. Overall I like the new look, but I’m having a real problem with not being able to tell what are new notifications and what are old notifications.

    I try to respond to every notification individually so it’s important for me to know what’s a new notification and which ones I’ve already seen.

  7. Thanks looking good. Appreciate all you guys do. Any way to get to the share buys or notification page direct. Took me a long time because the link at the bottom of the box is covered up with chat boxes. Be nice if double clicking on the bell would take you to the notifications page.

    Keep up the great work,

  8. The new interface is much cleaner. The only thing I really don’t like (and this is a big one) is that all notifications are now grouped together. Since I don’t check communities often, it is always showing 100+ notifications for me. I like being able to flip browser windows and see if I have new messages from people, transactions on site, etc. Now this will mean extra time needed to do the same thing or just less time on the site.

  9. I really like the overall look of the site but have some points for you. First is the notifications as has been discussed already in the comments above. Secondly, ticker of different stocks is available only on the home page. It’s not there on profile pages. The ticker gives instant info about how some stocks are doing lately and I used it very often. Maybe you can make it common to all pages like it was before.


  10. Overall it still has the same functionality. I think some of the information/buttons at the top are redundant though. Bank Balance & Net Wealth buttons both take you to the bank page for example.

    My only major gripe that may change how I do things is having all of the notifications grouped together. With the community notifications mixed in, it will almost always show 100+ notifications when I log in and many, many of them I will not be interested in at all. I’m considering leaving all communities all together. I would also prefer mail and regular notifications to be separated. I often like to just check my own notifications when I only have a limited time to check in. All the notifications together just seems a bit ( a lot ) muddled.

  11. i don’t object to change, however, I can no longer access shareholder mail on my iphone, the menu icon just does not work, and when I expand the screen, that part of the menu goes off screen and cannot be accessed. So, in essence, I will now miss most of the shareholder mail and missions.

  12. 1. SkyBar not showing at all, haven’t seen it once since the change

    2. Notifications are out of whack, in a number of ways: the tally isn’t correct, unseen notifications are disappearing, very hard to find out which is the last one that’s been seen

    3. Way too many clicks needed to endorse a blog

  13. Major problem is that the filters in the “all notifications” section stop working after one goes down a page. If I want to just look at “share buys”, e.g., I can’t. As soon as I go to the next page, the filter has stopped working, and I’m looking at all kinds of notifications.

    You really should have beta tested this with some of the users who have a lot of EA transactions before rolling it out.

  14. 1. Now I see you don’t even refer to “skybar” in your settings area. I hope this doesn’t mean you’ve altogether scrapped the idea of giving us current information on purchases & sales across the site, because without that I think EA would be a very static, uninteresting thing for me.

    2. When the ticker is enabled it blocks your “second navigation bar”. Not much point in that.

  15. Interestingly, I still have the skybar. For me, however, it ONLY appears on the home page. If I go to my profile, etc., it disappears.

    I definitely like that the team is still working on stuff. Now, discussion thread notifications list the topic title!

  16. One error that requires attention is when I click on how many shares I own in someone (from their profile page), it brings up your typical popup with share history, purchase history, dividend history, etc. It does not have it’s own scroll bar though and is much too long for the page! When I try scrolling with my mouse arrow or Page Down key on the keyboard, it simply scrolls the profile behind it, not the popup with the additional info.

  17. The absence of SkyBar is taking the fun out of Empire Avenue for me. The arrogant way in which you guys removed it, and redesigned the site, without polling your users, turns me off… big time. Basically you’ve ruined Empire Avenue for me.

  18. Would like to amend/delete my last comment (but that’s probably not possible.) I was confused about what the Skybar is…yep, the skybar appears to be gone…would be nice to know why or whether it’ll be coming back

  19. Notifications have gotten worse, there is now no coloring to show new ones. Also no way to find shareholder mail without many clicks. Basically notifications have gotten worse since my last comment, seeing the number 30 with no idea what those 30 are and the number doesn’t change is worse than leaving it blank.

    Other than the notifications and the popup Dillon mentioned the new look is peachy.

    To all those who I haven’t figured out notified me of anything, I am sorry, I hope they fix this soon!

  20. I love the new Notifications but I do agree with Anne that it does take to many clicks to find stuff like the share holder mail and other stuff other than that I like it and keep up the good work empireavenue

  21. I’m with others. I hate the new notification system. Since EA made missions a part of the game, you can no longer quickly see if you have shareholder email without several clicks.

    Don’t let me even start on how difficult it has become to navigate EA with a mobile device now!!!! It takes double the number of clicks as compared to laptops and PCs! Hate, hate, hate that! Cuts my playing time inhale as I try to navigate it. That was a very unfortunate and backwards move by EA!

  22. Brad, I have a very specific question. On my bank page, my balance appears and what follows is another number in red, as if I’ve got a deficit which isn’t possible. It looks like this:

    Bank Balance: 2,384.57 (-3,029.63) — with the second number in red

    Can you explain this feature and what it means?

  23. Hi everyone! Happy day-of-rest-between-marketing-sale-days! I’ve grabbed a copy of all the feedback here and in other groups and online forums and have forwarded it to the dev. team to review on Monday. Thanks for all the thoughtful and detailed feedback!

    Remco, I think you’re observing the same issue we have with iOS devices. You have to hit the link twice to activate it. Not sure what’s going on there but we’re looking into it too.

  24. Overall, I think the new look and feel is far more professional and easy to navigate. However, the biggest challenge is the Notification. It takes a number of clicks to find shareholder messages, who purchased, who shouted out, who endorsed.

    I read a change is immanent so I will return with a comment if appropriate. In the main, the change is very well done. Again, in my view, the look and feel is highly professional.

    Very well done and presented.


  25. Change.

    First was Shock, after 8 months.

    Looks Good. (Better than Google’s updates have been (gmail/reader))

    Did like the “skybar”, wonder how many “clicks” it received and if that was a reason for removal, eg: not any “clicks”

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