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Improvements requested

RETHREADED From New year 'solutions? unless we forget
OVER TWENTY IMPROVEMENTS needed to make the site much more pleasant to use.
In no special Order of importance then -
.
1 Improve Track Changes - REMOVE our own entries from CHANGES TRACKER, which are duplicated in ACTIVITY TRACKER. Only display the last change to the same Observation (if there are several)
1a. Retain Yellow marker until the specific post has been visited
2 Allow Edit of Comments - until locked by Reply
3 Refresh the Home Page - Add a running Welcome banner which changes when ‘things’ are not right. Add strong links to RECENT OBS and START HERE (New Pages?). Tidy up and remove stale notices. Add a large Picture of the Month (NOT competitive?).
4 Update all Help Pages - create an Index
5 Rationalise Global - currently, it means two things in iSpot, ALL Communities or those not UK.
EXCLUDE Other named Communities from GLOBAL or include them all - make it plain which.
6 Retain Locations somehow - allow users to creature their own Index (Home, Mill, Foxton Wood, etc) thus saving the laborious need to enter location details every single time.
7 Allow HTML Text to be retained in descriptions (projects mostly) through Edits. Allow restricted HTML text in comments and Ob. descriptions, but particularly <a ref and so avoid terribly, sometimes over-spillingly long, URLs
8 Improve Search - allow a specific search for Observations (find all Obs (only) of Phytolacca acinosa for example) And for precise occurrences like “gooseneck”
9 Update dictionaries - this is imperative as we observe more and more rare varieties
10 Bring back Social Points shows those who engage with users or the system or add agreements to be seen as ‘valuable’ as those with high Score Icons
11 Sort Enlarge Picture remove Zoom? Allow Cycling through Observation pictures when enlarged
12 Next & Previous buttons - bring back Next and Previous clicks when browsing Carousels
13 Fix the Reputations algorithm. Where sometimes the score rating is not balanced - may apply mostly to Experts and Knowledgeables
14 Modify quizzes, REMOVE, test, revise and replace the Quizzes
15 Allow Pages search in Project Gallery view - ;‘Go to Page 9’, say. Some Project galleries have over 40 pages. The same applies to the map, we have to click Show More Observations as many times as there are ‘thousands’ to get the final number of Obs.
16 Allow us to Follow (and UNfollow, a user
17 Allow PREVIEW of Observation detail before ‘publishing’
18 Devise ways to nurture newcomers - linked to Items 3 and 16 (above)
19 Review the way Changes links take us to Comments, so that the link takes us TO the comment.
Perhaps Colour the relevant Panel in the old way.
20 Add a powerful banner to the Home Page PLEASE CHECK YOUR CHANGES TRACKER FRQUENTLY also HERE https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/article/566/ispot-help-and-support
21 Disallow Refresh after an agreement is added during next and previous process. But SPEED UP refresh

Anyone can add to this list with a note below (please)

1 Like

Yes please, let’s have some improvements, and not the kind that make things more difficult.
Those changes to Changes would be welcome. When all my own activity is included it can make for a long list. When I have added IDs or comments to markhows plant observations which are all entitled “plant sp” (which is fine) it can be hard to make sense of all the activity with the duplicates and then those I have not visited being removed from the list just because I have looked at the list.

Ditto - this is also my number one priority now

Don’t refresh observation after an agreement is made. (When next and previous is put back on carousels this refresh would be an obstacle to working through a carousel.)

1 Like

That’s a good one - that Refresh often takes an age and, if you have moved on meantime, will disrupt the whole process - yes?
However, Agreements have to be updated quickly because they are probably timed and certainly ordered. Until recently this happened in a blink but not now. This is to do with the way the site, as a whole, has slowed down. Good evidence @miked , thanks.

I suspect that it stops you moving on. (I’m currently getting round the lack of carousel navigation by opening every observation in a new window - and sometimes closing the window down before the refresh has completed.) I’ve certainly found that tabs are unresponsive while the page is being rendered - I can’t even scroll down to look for identifications and comments until it’s finishing loading the images.

“15 Allow Pages search in Gallery view - ;‘Go to Page 9’, say. Some galleries have 40 pages. We must start only at the beginning and then allowed only First, Next and Previous”
I also find this very frustrating but just looked at a gallery page and it did allow me to go direct to page 8 for example, I did not have to go to page 1 then next then next etc.
https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/observations/gallery?page=8
but in other instances, for example with projects, then this is not possible, no idea why they programmed it like this, almost seems deliberately trying to make it awkward.

Oh yes, but I didn’t make it plain in the list - I have now (Item 15).
Thanks…

But here is a Filtered gallery view https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/species-dictionary/NHMSYS0020797234/heterocera/observations I wonder how many pages there are and what might be the first Observation of Heterocera. Some might say “Who cares?”

By the way
That list has a HUGE (who knows?) number of Unidentifieds WITH a Likely Banner. I cannot find Heterocera, nor Lepidoptera in the Species Browser where I might be able find the number of Moth Obs…

I suspect a failure of abstraction in the design - rather than putting the web site together round a set of core concepts/objects they did each bit more or less independently.

Point 17 - A preview might help avoid silly mistakes

Mark

were you just supporting 17 or did you have something else in mind Mark?.
I am keen to thrash out and include ANYTHING that might make our lives easier.
Though I must emphasise that the SHORTER this list is, the more likely we might get action - the early Bug Reporting Pages had several hundred (615), very few have been fixed and most have been forgotten about.

It was the one tht I missed from previous version - will look carefully through others and will reply properly later

Mark

BROUGHT FORWARD with slight modifications
OVER TWENTY IMPROVEMENTS needed to make the site much more pleasant to use.
In no special Order of importance then -
.

1 Improve Track Changes

  • REMOVE our own entries from CHANGES TRACKER, which are duplicated in ACTIVITY TRACKER. Only display the last change to the same Observation (if there are several)

1a. Retain Yellow marker

until the specific post has been visited

2 Allow Edit of Comments

  • until locked by Reply

3 Refresh the Home Page

  • Add a running Welcome banner which changes when ‘things’ are not right. Add strong links to RECENT OBS and START HERE (New Pages?). Tidy up and remove stale notices. Add a large Picture of the Month (NOT competitive?).

4 Update all Help Pages

  • create an Index

5 Rationalise Global

  • currently, it means two things in iSpot, ALL Communities or those not UK.
    EXCLUDE Other named Communities from GLOBAL or include them all - make it plain which.

6 Retain Locations somehow

  • allow users to creature their own Index (Home, Mill, Foxton Wood, etc) thus saving the laborious need to enter location details every single time.

7 Allow HTML Text

to be retained in descriptions (projects mostly) through Edits. Allow restricted HTML text in comments and Ob. descriptions, but particularly <a ref and so avoid terribly, sometimes over-spillingly long, URLs

8 Improve Search

  • allow a specific search for Observations (find all Obs (only) of Phytolacca acinosa for example) And for precise occurrences like “gooseneck”

9 Update dictionaries

  • this is imperative as we observe more and more rare varieties and the Dictionaries get more and more OUT-DATED

10 Bring back Social Points

shows those who engage with users or the system or add agreements to be seen as ‘valuable’ as those with high Score Icons

11 Sort Enlarge Picture

remove Zoom? Allow Cycling through Observation pictures when enlarged

12 Next & Previous buttons

  • bring back Next and Previous clicks when browsing Carousels or Filters

13 Fix the Reputations algorithm.

Where sometimes the score rating is not balanced - may apply mostly to Experts and Knowledgeables

14 Modify quizzes,

REMOVE, test, revise and replace the Quizzes

15 Allow Pages search

in Project Gallery view - ;‘Go to Page 9’, say. Some Project galleries have over 40 pages. The same applies to the map, we have to click Show More Observations as many times as there are ‘thousands’ to get the final number of Obs.

16 Allow us to Follow

(and UNfollow, a user

17 Allow PREVIEW

of Observation detail before ‘publishing’

18 Devise ways to capture & nurture newcomers

  • linked to Items 3 and 16 (above)

19 Review the way Changes links take us to Comments,

so that the link takes us TO the comment.
Perhaps Colour the relevant Panel in the old way.

20 Add a more powerful banner

to the Home & Uload Page PLEASE CHECK YOUR CHANGES TRACKER FRQUENTLY : also HERE https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/article/566/ispot-help-and-support

21 Disallow Refresh

(or modify to return to open page) after an agreement is added specially during next and previous process. SPEED UP refresh anyway

22

Anyone can add to this list with a note below (please)

22?

How might you feel if Personal Messaging was available?

could be useful - often come across useful ID guides, blogs etc that I know a couple of other users might be interested in, but only way to contact them is to comment on a relevant ID or reference then in a post on the Forum (perhaps we could have a Message Board on Forum??)

I suspect the absence of personal messages was a deliberate decision - it means that the OU don’t have to worry (as much) about grooming, bullying and harassment. (Am I right in thinking PMs are turned off on the forum as well.)

A halfway house would be thank and like buttons on observations, identifications and comments. A thank button would let you express appreciation without cluttering up everyone else’s changes tracker, but a lack of user control on text content makes it hard to abuse.

[quote=“lavateraguy, post:17, topic:576”]
deliberate decision[/quote]
In some of the forums I know, PMs work quite well (I must say it works very well in iNat) They are open to abuse but they can be reported and blocked and the sender can be ‘punished’.
Few people are using Like here (Forum), probably because it’s a :heart:. A thanks button would probably be a good idea in the main site - maybe a :heart: would be OK for that! I would be against a score system - showing how many thanks a person has received.
A message board (PM system) in the Forum (Jo) is a good idea but I suspect that only 11 of 20000 ‘frequent’ users come here or know of its existence!
We could have a switch-on/-off personal message system - if we don’t want to get PMs, switch it off perhaps on sometimes?.
It’s all a bit academic at the mo because we need so many more important things! If we EVER get some of those we could consider refinements or luxuries.
Thanks for repondin’ :heart:

1 Like

Back when I joined iSpot (2007/8 ish) I discussed this with the then iSpot team and it was a a deliberate decision. With no way to directly and privately contact members it was thought it would be safer for allowing children to access it and that parents would be more comfortable letting them do so. As a key part of iSpot’s purpose was supporting people just starting out learning about natural history this was seen as very desirable. Personally I feel it still is.

I’m not sure I see a value in a personal contact option here (and there has been at least one individual in the past who I am very keen has no method of contacting me in person) since it is focused on identifications and they work best done in public.

1 Like

VERY valuable David and thanks. I am quite happy to accept this either way but it will require only ONE bad incident to bring it into disrepute. - I have seen some bad stuff even in Comments
I will leave it OFF the ‘request’ list until we next have a discussion - it all seems a bit academic, if not futile, at the mo,.