Minor glitches

30 Jan
Published by MatTodd

The feeds to papers on the left has gone, and the recent comments on the right is not updating. Also, for posting comments, there is the 'path alias' box. Could it be made a bit clearer what kind of information this is meant to contain - i.e. why it's useful?


gtaylor's picture

Feed to Papers

I found a web savvy scientist who had never been to our site before and asked him to give me his first impression.  He had some very critical things to say - essentially saying that things were just too overwhelming and he didn't know what we were trying to do or where to start.  He felt like we had too much going on.  

I therefore decided to remove the feed to papers from the front page and keep them on the community pages only.  If you click on the schisto research link, you will see the schisto news block appear on the left. Likewise, if you click on the malaria research link, you will see the malaria news block appear on the left and if you click on the general open research link, you will see the open biomedical research news block on the lerf too.  

I'm hoping to draw the user into these communities via the text on the front page and then from there starting to show them the research specific tools.  It's a technique called progressive disclosure and will hopefully keep the user from getting too overwhelmed with the first impression and in fact will hopefully get them to focus on the research communities first.  

Also in the spirit of simplifying the front page, the Google Scholar block is now only appearing when a person is in a research community.  And I have collapsed the Create Content folder.

I need to test the site on another new scientist.  Anybody reading this post, by all means, please let me know what you think.  I'm too close to the design and know what it's suppose to do.  I need fresh opinions .  (Hopefully we can afford a real usability study sometime this year.)

Recent Comments

I'm pretty sure this is working.  Notice that this comment is appearing on the list on the right.  The recent comments block surfaces information when a user "adds a comment" to a post.  They are really just the comments.  The point is to surface the information that the community has found comment-worthy. 

If you're looking to find any new information that has been posted to the site e.g. a new project  or a new blog or discussion topic, you can click the recent posts link at the top of the navigation menu on the left. Unfortunately, there's no block for that.  Let me know if you want me to add this to our list of enhancements.

Path Alias

Fortunately this isn't a critical field.  Unfortunately, I can't modify the description with a little configuration.  It will require code changes.  I will add it to our list.

Explanation of Path Alias:  have you noticed that the URL's created for your posts are very un-user friendly?  They are typically node and some number.  If you type in a path alias, the URL will give you something more friendly.  So for example, you may want to start aliasing your Schisto projects as:


It's not required, but it is convenient.  By the way, anything with a path of schiso/  will continue to have the schisto news block on the left.  

I will add this explanation to the editing tips in the userdoc I'm working on.

Thanks for your feedback and keep them coming!