Information Management Discussion

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Revision as of 16:20, 1 March 2006 by Austin J. Che (talk | contribs) (OWW Structure)
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This page is for the purpose of discussing ways to improve information management and user-interface of OWW.
To post comments, please type *'''~~~~''': followed by your comment to get example below.
Jennyn 16:16, 25 February 2006 (EST): Hello World.
Jennyn 16:18, 25 February 2006 (EST): Hi back!

Possible New Look

Front page layout/color

Right is a possible "new look" for the main page. Please post your comments/suggestions.
MainPage LookChange.jpg
  • Jennyn 16:23, 25 February 2006 (EST): I made this to compliment Jen's new emblem.
  • Johncumbers 19:42, 25 February 2006 (EST): Hi Jenny, it looks great with the new logo. I just finished the news section Novel_uses_of_OpenWetWare I think that the news panel could move from the bottom to one of the panes in the main page and could include thumbnails as links to the stories, what do you think? At the moment it is hidden at the bottom and I often forget to look at it. It could still include links to the news, e.g
    2/24/06: ABC lab joins OWW
    2/22/06: ChIPOnChip Protocol added
    But also have links to maybe two photos in it, I think it would be nice to have some photos on the front page. I'd show you what I mean, but I have not had much experience of laying out columns and photos so would prefer to leave it to somebody who has..
    cheers, John
  • Jennyn 20:06, 25 February 2006 (EST): Good point. I will play around with this template and see how I can incorporate News on this so that it stands out. I'll look into adding images.
  • Jennyn 04:38, 26 February 2006 (EST): I went ahead and changed it. If anyone has any objections, feel free to revert back to old or edit as necessary. I am working on getting the thumbnail news to a panel spanning the top.
  • RS 12:30, 26 February 2006 (EST): I love the new look! Great job Jenny! We should extend it to the Protocols and Materials pages. And probably other common pages as well under the Shared Resources section. Can we make it a template very easily? And then have a placehold for inserting the text graphic at the top of the page and column contents and news? I am not sure whether the advantages of being able to make general layout changes in one spot outweigh the lack of customization of each page. I could imagine that new protocol announcements and requests for protocols would go in the news section of the Protocols page.
  • Jennyn 12:37, 26 February 2006 (EST): The template is definitely applicable to other pages. I am currently collaborating with George Ahunov to see what types of software he can develop so that we can deal with less code with managing our information. Will work on Protocols and Materials.
  • Jasonk 14:38, 26 February 2006 (EST): I didn't see this discussion page before, hence my comments over here. if people are in favor of the color scheme then feel free to flip it back. Thought it might be worth waiting until the logo colors got finalized though.
  • Smeister 14:47, 26 February 2006 (EST) Hmm - For what it's worth: I kind of liked the green - it was friendlier and more inviting.
  • Jennyn: We can just wait until the logo colors are finalized, and I can adapt the pages accordingly. The logo should be in its final stages now since we are all starting to agree on one emblem design. In the meantime, I will adjust the Protocols and Materials to the column scheme and keep the gray/blue scheme for now.
  • RS 15:22, 26 February 2006 (EST): I wonder if on the protocols page, the announcements section should be a strip across the top or bottom instead of a column? For some reason, it seems more natural to me. Then the four columns could be In vivo, In vitro, In silico and Other. We could even make Protocols in Progress a separate category to continue using the split columns.
  • RS 15:22, 26 February 2006 (EST): As for the color scheme, I think it should be whatever we agree on for the final logo.
  • Jennyn 15:29, 26 February 2006 (EST): Good point on the Announcements! Will do that.
  • I love the colors, but I wonder if they might be a little too bold. I was told that the colors should be secondary to the content. Now that we have narrowed down a logo, I will suggest some colors for the rest of the site on the logo and poster discussion page. -JenCC
  • Jennyn: Jen, the colors in the image to the right are DEFINITELY too bold, and when I did change the main page to those colors, I toned them down A LOT compared to this picture (this is an old one). However, we're going to wait for your "go" on the website colors.

News section

  • RS 17:08, 27 February 2006 (EST): Various people have suggested it already, but I'll go ahead and post the idea again here. I think we should put the community news section at top of the [[Main Page | OWW Main Page like it is on the Synthetic Biology page. Since it is the most dynamic part of the page, it should be at the top.
  • RS 17:08, 27 February 2006 (EST): Another idea (I can't decide if I like it or not actually) is to have the most recent 2-5 changes to the site show up on the main page ... somewhere near the community news. Thus, as soon as people go to the main page, they can see what people are working on at the moment. It might emphasize the dynamic nature of the site and encourage people to go check out what people are editing. And Austin just showed me how to do it: {{Special:Recentchanges/limit=3}} gives

23 February 2018

     21:14  Surface Wetting - Chris Ortins‎ (diff | hist) . . (+916). . Cortins (talk | contribs)


3D Printing Technologies - Mitchell Culler‎‎ (2 changes | history) . . (+14). . [Mculler‎ (2×)]



(cur | prev) . . (+7). . Mculler (talk | contribs)



(cur | prev) . . (+7). . Mculler (talk | contribs)

  • Johncumbers 20:35, 27 February 2006 (EST): Hey, sorry I forgot to watch the page and come back. I like those last 3 changes thing, I agree, the community news and this should be at the top, most dynamic things first. Jenny, where are you posting the latest changes, you said you went ahead and made them but I can't find them? cheers.
  • Jennyn 21:28, 27 February 2006 (EST): Reshma, I like that idea of putting the most recent changes on there, reminds me of MIT ringtone competition on H-Lounge where they post recent uploads and recent comments on the main page to encourage people to explore others' music. That's what I was working on here trying to figure out a way to make it look like the Wikipedia Sister format on top. What I was planning on doing was replacing the description of OWW from the main page (since it is in about section, and most people who are using OWW have an idea of what it is, and if they don't they will usually be inclined to find something on the page that says about), and moving About OWW to the top of Meta, and then having the news in that place (top), so that when someone opens the main page, you can see the logo, the news, and the columns. John, I have not posted it on the front page yet. I am still trying to figure out the most effective format to use that will be the most userfriendly for users to update. Right now, having a vertical column is the EASIEST way, but having a horizonal column is more desirable to most users. Please see Misc for the updates on that progress --and the progress of all page format tests, essentially.
  • BC: I do like the idea of highlighting the dynamism of the site, but I think there are some possible downsides to putting recent changes up on the main page. Firstly, it might be intimidating to new users as they play around with formatting. Secondly, its a less than positive image of OWW if the three recent changes are Barry correcting Barry's typo's. Maybe a prominent link to recent changes below the banner titled "Whats happening on OWW right now!" or something less lame. I like the idea of community news being more prominent and maybe also if we gave extra prominence to active discussions, such as the logo discussion or the getting started tutorial. That could be our version of the featured article box on wikipedia's main page. Stop press, I really like this version of the main page on Misc.
  • Johncumbers 08:41, 1 March 2006 (EST): I've changed the icons on the fronpage to link to the highlights that I wrote about them, so comes up with the story before the page it is talking about. Highlights is the name I came up with for the 'newsletter' type things. I think this will work better than a news letter. but it could complement it. If you have new ideas for highlights, please suggest them in the discussion. cheers, John

Icons on front page

  • George 04:07, 28 February 2006 (EST): Icons have been added to the main page categories. Due to the nature of the "heading" tag, it's not possible to add an icon in front of it without modifying the source code. It is possible, however, to imitate the format via HTML but in that case, the section partitions are lost. ("edit" links that used to appear to the right of the section name). It is also not possible to use anchors since the <a> tag is not allowed in wikitext. Let me know if the visual appeal is worth the inconvenience of not being able to edit the section directly. While user usability is the primary goal here, considering the frequency of how often main categories are updated, it might be worth it. An alternative look is available here.
  • Jasonk 09:34, 28 February 2006 (EST): I like the icons, but not at the expense of losing the "[edit]" boxes. At some point the main page will probbaly be a well-controlled advertisement for the site (a la wikipedia's), but for now I think we benefit from having labs be able to easily add themselves, etc. Clicking the top edit tab on the main page gives a pretty intimidating source text.
  • Jennyn 09:52, 28 February 2006 (EST): Jason has a really good point, but I really like the icons even at that expense. The front page looks friendlier and more inviting, as opposed to a page full of TEXT! I admit, the source code is pretty intimidating, but maybe we can use more documentation to help users find specific places. I, particularly, never use the "edit" boxes because you cannot see the entire page's change when you hit "Show Preview," where you see no color, individual columns (so you can adjust amount of text written to fit the formatting), and at the very bottom you see source code that is not actually shown when you click save and view the entire page. This could possibly be more intimidating because the user might think that he/she deleted a tag? At any rate, the main page contents are not changed often (except for Labs) and if someone messes up, it can be fixed. I don't see a problem in keeping the icons. MEANWHILE, we can figure out a way to get the "edit" back while keeping the icons. Oh, the alternate main page makes me feel like I'm in the industrial appliance store, George Smiley.gif
  • Jgritton 10:15, 28 February 2006 (EST) It's a bit of a hack but I put the edit boxes back in by sticking in empty subsection tags. Seems to work OK but it's a bit funky, you see the header for the following section for example. At least it simplifies editing a section.
  • BC - I implemented a different version on the first two sections of the Misc page. It puts the edit box back on top and you don't see the following section. It uses the html tag, which allows use of anchor tag.
    • Jgritton 10:44, 28 February 2006 (EST): A definite improvement Barry.
      • BC 11:52, 28 February 2006 (EST): I applied the html icons to the main page, thanks for neatening them up further Jenny.
    • Jennyn 10:36, 28 February 2006 (EST): Barry, did you know you're the ONLY ONE on this entire page that is not following the "standardized commenting format"? I'm sad. Sad.gif
      • BC 11:52, 28 February 2006 (EST): If you're Sad.gif, I'm Sad.gif. Hopefully, now that I'm conforming, you'll Grin.gif and that will make me Smiley.gif.
  • Kathleen 10:54, 28 February 2006 (EST) Didn't see this before. I think we should keep the "about" info displayed on the main page for now. We are actively recruiting users at this point, and it will be easier for them to figure out what is going on with this site if they don't have to search for the info.
  • George 13:30, 28 February 2006 (EST): I aligned the icons with the category title after the new changes. That was a neat fix, Barry :).
    • Jgritton 13:37, 28 February 2006 (EST): George it seems that adding the tables to align the images messes up the edit boxes. I suggest either rolling back to Barry's last change, which is a shame since the alignment does look better, trying the empty subsection tags mentioned above, or???
    • BC 14:21, 28 February 2006 (EST): There seems to be a browser issue, adding the tables improves alignment on Safari but doesn't seem to change it when using Firefox. Aligned or non-aligned I think it looks pretty good.
    • George 16:20, 28 February 2006 (EST): Yeah, Barry's fix doesn't seem to be work inside tables. I guess we'll revert to this morning's version with misaligned icons for now. I'll play around with that more later tonight.
    • Jennyn 18:55, 28 February 2006 (EST): See George, this is what happens when we are perfectionists, we spend too much time on something most people don't really care that much about, when we should be doing other things...more important SIFR support!!! Grin.gif

Mini logo/support OWW graphic

  • Jasonk 15:23, 26 February 2006 (EST): Random thought - it might be cool to have a little box that says, 'Join OWW' or something with a graphic. Sort of like the "I support PLoS" box on this page. Although, I would make it smaller, something that could fit on the lab's homepages. That way if they are dewikified, outside visitors would still realize the lab is part of OpenWetWare (a concern brought up by Smeister in the OpenWetWare:Ideas discussion area.) Might make sense to do this when logo is finished, but wanted to get the idea down.
  • RS 15:56, 26 February 2006 (EST): Great idea! It would be awesome if people could download it and put it in their presentations and/or posters and on their static websites (since many people have separate wiki sites and static sites). And of course, we need to get T-shirts!
  • Jennyn 16:48, 26 February 2006 (EST): Jason, that sounds like a really good idea --good marketing mechanism! I will look into it once we get a logo. Definitely like the T-shirt idea!

Calendar events

  • RS 14:26, 27 February 2006 (EST): I spontaneously decided to make a calendar event template in order to make adding events to the Calendar easier and improve standardization in event descriptions. Feel free to edit/revise it if you don't like it. If you do like, try to port some of the events on the Calendar over to the new format. Some questions I have are (1) Does it take up too many lines? (2) Is it pretty obvious at which institution an event is taking place (by the host line)?

OWW Structure

  • BC 11:59, 1 March 2006 (EST) - Watching the changes and discussions that have been going on over the last few days has been awesome. One thing that I think might help everybody would be to centralize all of these discussions into somewhere like the Community Portal. Now that things are starting to look aesthetically pleasing, maybe organizing how we discuss and implement changes to the structure/appearance of OWW would be a high priority. For example Jenny's "standardized comment format" does make it easier to track a discussion of some proposed change. Further developments like that would be very beneficial. Maybe redoing the community portal's organization would be the best place to start. What do others think?
  • RS 12:36, 1 March 2006 (EST): I agree. One thing that is not really obvious is where comments on OWW should go. For instance, there are talk pages, Information Management Discussion, Roadmap, all the ideas pages Kathleen created off of the OpenWetWare steering committee page and OpenWetWare:Ideas. For newcomers to OWW, it is really not clear where feedback about OWW should go. So for example, this is my take on each of the discussion pages.
    1. Talk pages: for page specific comments.
    2. Information Management Discussion: for information related to content organization and layout. Centered around Jenny's work?
    3. Roadmap: for George and Jenny to coordinate on what needs to be done and what has been done.
    4. OpenWetWare:Ideas: for high level ideas related to OWW.
    5. Ideas pages linked off of OpenWetWare steering committee page: at least one of these is redundant with this page ... OpenWetWare steering committee/Data management. But it is not clear if these pages are just for steering committee members or what should be out on these pages.
I think the community portal would benefit from a more organized structure and naming scheme to the discussions. For instance, every OWW-related page should be prefixed with OpenWetWare: as I mention on the Talk:Highlights page. Perhaps existing discussions could be merged as appropriate? Also, if we could make the community portal shorter with less text, that would help. Right now, there is too much text for people to read through. That being said, all the ongoing discussions that have been going on about OWW are great and unorganized discussion is better than no discussion!
  • Jennyn 18:36, 1 March 2006 (EST): Reshma is right. We should definitely merge all the similar pages, which will be my exciting project for the upcoming days. I STRONGLY AGREE with Reshma in that the Community Portal needs to have less text. I admit, I have not read it because it is too long (and has no images!), nor have I read Step#3 from Getting Started Not guilty.png. So, to encourage more users to read these pages, I will work to abridge them, and then merge similar pages (or someone else can do it if they want).
    And yes, all these discussions are very exciting ESPECIALLY SINCE WE'VE STANDARDIZED THE COMMENT FORMAT!!! I'm so proud of everyone! Smiley.gif
  • Austin 19:20, 1 March 2006 (EST): You may have noticed the extra navigation automatically added at the top of all pages now due to the WikiDrops extension. Basically, a back link is created to the page that has the most links to the given page until it reaches the main page. Let me know if you think this extension is useful. On some pages, it seems to go on strange paths. But if it usually guesses correctly or if we can coerce it to guess correctly, than it saves lots of organization/linking work.