Brief survey results - part 5
16 Apr 2013 by Jancis Robinson

22 Apr Please note a new suggestion from our developer appended to the section on logging in below.

So far we have published:
Very brief survey of your wishes
Brief survey results - part 1 (frequency of emails to you)
Brief survey results - part 2 (how to improve the mobile version)
Brief survey results - part 3 (general appreciation)
Brief survey results - part 4 (specifics we can help with immediately)

In today's thrilling instalment of our 1,582 survey responses, we group together the commonly made comments, criticisms and suggestions for improvements to how the site operates. We have included occasional comments in italics from us in reply, but basically we will be using these comments as a basis for future developments. Feel free to comment on other respondents' comments via the Comments box below, and you can always contact us via the Contact button below right. As in earlier parts, we have not edited respondents' comments.

The final Part 6 to be published tomorrow will be a collection of all suggestions received concerning not how we operate but what we publish, the content.

A lite version?

As far as I can judge, your website is too good to be improved. The problem is that I am too busy to visit it regularly. I work on my pc all day long, so after reading the newspaper in the evening, I prefer to read a book, eg your latest book Wine Grapes. My use of your site is/was limited to read your comments on certain wines or vintages. With regard to that use, I concluded that the yearly fee was too high for me and I prefer to buy a book instead. I once proposed you to distinguish between full members and " members light". You reacted positively, but as far as I know you have never developed anything like that. In my current life being a member light is the highest I can reach. So I repeat my proposal: if it is technically possible, give people who visit your site only often the opportunity the become member light, paying less but of course receiving less service. I don't know which will work out best: limit the number of log ons per period, or limit certain website areas. But maybe there are far better ideas than that...

Possibly offer a "light" less expensive version with only a fixed number of access opportunities.

Introduce "Jancis Robinson Express" at a bargain price for your Elderly or impoverished readers (I am 79). My membership lapsed for two reasons: 1) auto settlement of my subscription failed due to my Visa being cloned and then trashed 2) I feel strapped for the subscription at present due to a flood of contributions to my children, school fees et al. Typical of your superb palate (the best in the World) was your note on Camins del Priorat last year. That is really all I need. However, I have been grateful for your advice on 'years to go' and when wine reaches its peak.


Provide dot point headings of the topics being discussed (rather than contained within the blurb)

New colour and layout to make it more appealing

I find the site complicated to use. It is not easy for me to find the articles I am looking for, it would be a real improvement if it would be intuitive to use.

Applaud the content and volume of information, a slightly more user friendly interface would help.

Try to find a better way to categorise content: someone in the the trade wants x someone at an advanced level wants y a novice wants z and x provides too much detail

The website has great contents, but its info is displayed in old-fashioned graphics and functions. It could be greatly improved.

I think you need a features area to separate it from news. I think you need to review the navigation bar so that forums and views are more towards the right-hand side. Has it been changed since the days when forums were really big? Why have a drop down menu on areas to search, or if it it is to narrow it down, why not news plus features. I visit the site primarily for this.

Your site does not look friendly it reminds me of my Suunto watch, has so much usefull info but its software its so difficult to handle.

Would like to see a way of accessing all articles/tasting notes on a specific region e.g Burgundy or a country e.g Australia as well as some sort detailed information about them, vintage profiles details of communes etc

An improved archive would be good. It would be useful to have the old articles and tastings organised by category or region. This would cut down on having to search randomly for what I want.

You can't really - other than perhaps more pictures to break up the text and of some of the wines reviewed? But it's not necessary - as a budding wine columnist and wset level 3 student I go there for the info , not the prettiness

Although I appreciate the austere format which is a rarity these days, I believe more and better photos can be integrated. Many people accustomed to the ease of the 100 point rating system have difficulty in making sense of the 20 point scores. A fixed converter page may do miracles.

Log in/password

Choose own password?
Allow for personalized passwords
You are absolutely free to choose and change your own password. Just click on My account either top right or at the bottom of any Purple Page. But if you use our Forgot password? facility, like other similar facilities, it will send you a computer-generated password that looks like gobbledygook. You should use this once to log in and then, via My account, change your password to something memorable.

Make it easier to save login
Can you make the "remember me" bit work for a longer time - keep having to reenter password.
It would be a lot easier for me -- I would visit the site more often -- if I did not have to re-enter my password each time from my device/desktop.
Login is a pain in the ass; I do not want to type my 60 letter e-mail each time I access it. It looks like you don't want us to read the pages.
The main login form needs to be compliant with browser auto-fill - currently i hit enter without putting in username/pwd, then the browser autofills the 'login failure' page. i think it's just a matter of using standard field names on the form.
Thank you all five very much for drawing this problem to our attention. We will do our utmost to fix this. Our developer reports, 'The login remembering does work on some platforms, and for quite a long time, but apparently it's not working the same everywhere. I'll do some testing to find out which and see what's the best solution.' He adds, '
My guess is that these users haven't got cookies enabled on their browser. A cookie is the standard way to remember a user's login, so these users would also have problems on other sites.' For more detail on how to do this, kindly see this section of our Site FAQs.

Tasting notes and (tasting notes) search

Have a better format for tasting note search. Similar to eroberparker or IWC

A wine search with a complete list of vintages displaying, like on would be helpful

The structure of the tasting reviews by region could be improved; it feels a bit haphazard and would be useful to be able to review major regions by year and see the consolidated tasting notes

Search function doesn't work unless you get the spelling of a wine spot on.

When looking for a specific wine I think it has to be too precise - a more "smart" solution would help

A member tasting note search bot would be easy, people still must be able to see the difference between the PP tasting notes and the proffessional ones provided by the "PP team"

A small niggle, but I find the search architecture fiddly, having to go into Advanced Search if you want to narrow the search by author or by category of article. Perhaps could be made more easily intuitive from the main page? Also, the Site Map is too long to be helpful, far too many individual article titles in it. Why not just have the Main Categories and Tags there?

Tasting articles front page could offer a clearer menu, say by region and vintage at the top level, with alternative search criteria such as grape also available

Make the app more flexible. Also it would be nice to be able to search Jancis' markings using points ratings, vintages, area and cost. So for example I wanted a Gevrey with 16 points or more, with vintages from 2007-2009 at a cost of £30 or less. This would be very useful and would save a great deal of time. It wouls make the site a more powerful tool.

I always struggle trying to figure out how to search for tasting notes by vintage etc. Actually finding the search function for it is not easy, when trying to search for tasting notes it seems I usually end up getting tasting articles as a result.

It would be nice to have an automatic 'sort' function with the Tasting Note Search, so that the system knows in advance that you wish to sort by vintage or score. Currently, I always have to do this as an afterthought.

I would like a single-click link on the homepage which would list all the wines added to the tasting notes databse ove the last 7 days.

H'mm, near perfect. Clearer design/better font? The search facility is really excellent

I really only use the tasting notes - and you have improved the search facility over the years - and the easier you make it to search and then print out summaries - the better it will be for me....

Keyword search for articles could be better and clearer - state 'Articles' rather than 'Rest of Site'.

Better searching: * if I search for Clos des Papes, that's what I want, not Léonce Amouroux, Clos des Brusquières, Clos du Caillou, etc. Perhaps an "exact match" tickbox would be useful. * specifying a score is only really useful if I can specify a range rather than a single value, and being able to select multiple appellations or vintages would also be very useful. Also, better sorting of results - if I click on the Vintage column, the default order is oldest first and I have to click again to get the most recent at the top of the list. It would be better if it was the other way round. Data quality is also critical, searching and sorting can be ruined by typos and other errors (to be fair, this has improved recently).

A few suggestions around tasting note searches....most aimed at providing greater flexibility in conducting search queries: 1. Enabling specification of a range of vintage years (Shift or Ctrl clicking on the vintages shown in the dropdown menu). 2. Being able to specify the reviewer responsible for a tasting note. Another general suggestion - greater structure and organization for vintage reports by region. I find one has no rapid way to quickly read how 2005 was in the Loire for example. One can get to it but it would be nice to have vintage reports for the main regions quickly accessible. Otherwise its all perfect. As I'm sure the rest of your feedback will show. Thanks for the opportunity to comment, David Meddings

Make it easier to display tasting notes ranked by scores But comments are still really more important than scores

Tasting notes search page: Small point but could you put all the search filtering criteria nearer the top of the page so you don't have to scroll up and down to input your filters?

It is a treasured resource! But if a tasting note from a team member does not extent to more than 2/3 lines and is focused on word jokes or other irrelevance better not to post. Reading tasting notes is a factor in buying decisions and searching for what turns out to a facile note is disappointing on the odd occasion it has happened to me.

Offer subscribers the choice of Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or no newsletters. If possible notification newsletters selected by subject tag (I'm getting picky now!) Now you're asking I've looked closer at this and the search function is very rudimentary, I just tried 'California' against 'rest of the site' and much of what was returned was pretty irrelevant. I now see that the Tags are ignored and it uses a full text search, this should be choosable. Looking at the tags there appear to be very few of them on most articles. This could be improved.

Sort articles by country/region.

Lots of food for thought here. And many constructive suggestions. Thank you. Addressing all these issues is not something that can be done overnight but its hugely helpful in our quest for improvement.


The maps are a great feature but difficult to use. Some are too crowed with text to be on a screen and therefore useless.

The wine maps are very helpful, but I am unable to open them in Firefox, my preferred browser. They display (more or less) satisfactorly in Safari. This is on a Mac. Please investigate this incompatibility. It appears to be a deviation from the browser standard, not a platform issue.

Maps don't download properly. Perhaps that is due to my PC settings.

The maps are great but the small size of them makes it difficult to find places and when you blow them up they don't fit on the page . Could you pinpoint stuff on the map when one searches so that, for example , if you looked up Ch Latour it came up in the middle of thre map just like it would on google ?

I'm very glad that the maps are useful, and only sad that they are not fully compatible for Mac users running a version of OS X earlier than 10.5, as explained on the introductory page. They are PDFs and carry with them certain inconveniences. I'll discuss all these points with our developer.