Improvements requested

I don’t like LIKE, but I would like a THANKS button.

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I think the Thanks button should, somehow, be applied to a user who adds a useful comment or ID. That would be hard to implement.
Thanking someone for a nice Observation, a jolly good show, or a moment of excellence, or a ton of expertise, MAY best be shown in a Comment within the Observation.
Speaking personally I would not like to see score of :heavy_check_mark:⑱ attached to some obs and not others.

Added a few words to acknowledge Jo’s comment below!

You are right, we don’t want iSpot to be competative.
Maybe better to say a few words of thanks.

Edit: I’ve just found out about the Edit facility for Forum posts (thanks dejay) so I’m trying it out with this extra sentence.

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You could put thanks up on the changes tracker; “X thanked you for your identification”, “X thanked you for your comment”.

If only the majority of users would use their Changes Tracker.


yet again and EDITED a year on…
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 ‘Unread’ (currently 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
REVISE the Boundary between the UK&I and near Europe.
CREATE a third Carousel on the Home Page Recent Global Observations

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”. Make a search unique to the selected Community

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 FAR from logical and in ERROR - 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, requiring over 40 refreshes to get to the FIRST occurrences. 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. The Changes & Activity Trackers already have this feature. [your-ispot/activity-changes page=6]

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


21 Disallow Refresh

for some operations (or modify to return to Previous page, NOT the beginning) after an agreement is added, specially during next and previous process. SPEED UP refresh anyway

22 Add-to-Project Button

Like Add to Favourites, Follow/UnFollow user, this would be a really useful too


suggestions for additions please?

We have been asking for MONTHS (actually for years) for a more dynamic Home page, with promotions for Projects, Observations, the Forum and up-to-date iSpot news.
With a Photo of the week and stuff that CHANGES regularly. Out with stale material, in with an Admin page away from the Home one, dump things that are mostly irrelevant to smooth running and IN with new Ideas, more consultation and SOME ACTION.
Please? @Janice_A

Renewing the Requests Thread
the New Dictionary is taking all the energy and time that the Curator and Coder currently have.
But it should not stop us making suggestions for possible improvements
Continue allowing invalid IDs BUT FIX the bug that sometimes causes failures even though the dictionary Drop-down menu is used
Disallowing agreements to Invalid Panels- except in supportive comments
Colouring Invalid Panel RED
More active Curation with Failed ID Panels, helped by appointed but volunteer Taxa Monitors
More training of users to take more CARE over IDs
A decent INDEX on the home page of Community Help-Projects.

"The last reply to this topic was almost 2 years ago. Your reply will bump the topic to the top of its list and notify anyone previously involved in the conversation.

Are you sure you want to continue this old conversation?" Yes please

One thing that bugs me inordinately: the “Add Observation” button that persists through the adding of an observation. An incautious click obviates the whole process.

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yes thanks, I thought perhaps I was the only one finding that a nuisance. Fortunately it does not DUMP the observation.
Here it is during an edit @miked

I will add these to a list early in the New Year

Odd: it did, for me, hence the comment. But maybe it is internet connection problems (well, we are nearly 90 miles from London, positively provincial…)

Here’s an odd thing.
In adding an observation, I usually start by checking the Identification drop-down list.
Picture 1 shows Picea pungens/ Colorado spruce is an option.

When I add an image and return to the Identification it is blank. Picture 2. That’s not usually a problem, as I can enter it again.

Picture 3. However, the options shown are not the same.

I wonder why that is…

I tried VERY hard to recreate that this morning and failed
I suspect you accessed TWO different dictionaries Jo. (looks like it) You began in the UK and looked for the ID, then added some detail that suggested a Global observation (actually vice versa by the looks) . This could have been the GPS link in the Camera EXIF or that you added the Location. I cannot check.
The loss of a photo is more sinister, Have you tried the process again to see if it’s a one off, or really a reportable issue?
The Test Site has the Picture Thief resident - remember it, from 2017?

I wondered last night if it was accessing two dictionaries, as you suggested.
I tried it again this morning and could not reproduce it. So one of those mysteries of computing…
I didn’t lose a photo, so no problem to report.

Recently this has become more of a concern to me, I know others have talked about this issue before…

The Home page on a phone (on my iPhone anyway) is really unsuitable IMO: the four purposes of iSpot are so big and the thumbnails are so few and so small by comparison. Also, the need to Hide or View the sidebar means that some users will miss the ‘Latest projects’ section altogether. More and more people probably use phones as their only means of access to the site, and I think that could limit their interactions somewhat. We are talking postage stamp sized knowledge of IT here on my part, and I do use a very big screen for preference and an iPad sometimes - I can barely manage on a phone (age!!). If we want to expand the pool of regular contributors I think things have to be more phone friendly for those who do most things instantly, or want to do so.

Seconded: the old, defunct Android version wasn’t perfect, but it was an attempt to adapt to the platform/devices. I really struggle with the phone iSpot, too.

As you know we have had ispot apps in the past but the main problem with them is that they are very difficult (and expensive) to maintain over the long term due to the frequent changes in operating systems etc. I know the current interface is far from ideal on mobile, almost everything can be used but some parts are a real pain to get to. It is unfortunate that the programmers who produced it seemed to ignore most of the things I had asked for which would have made it much more usable e.g. I asked for less ‘wasted’ space so they gave more wasted space as mags notes.

Basically we are very much aware of these issues and would like to do something about them but at present don’t have the resource. Don’t stop reminding us though as this issue is very important.

Thanks for that response, I know so little of how these things work! It seems a shame the big 4 purposes stay so big and can’t be reduced a wee bit on the home page when viewed on anything, to make a little space for something with a variable input, changing each week or so. But direct engagement with others including yourself is a strength. M

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@Rachel_R’s Item on the home page is a real blessing. Up to date, working links and references to live and real-time events.
Things are REALLY looking up but everything else on the Home Page is dated 2021.

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One thing we have wanted to change for a long time (which was possible before) was having images embedded into the Homepage news story’s/articles. It has been raised as an issue with IT, but is still currently not a fixable solution on the front page. It would definitely brighten up our current monthly news story features and it would be fantastic to have a more visual topical weekly item/feature; such as Most Unusual Observations, Art to Life, Top Interactions, Top Observations, Top Visuals and so on. It would be wonderful to have this feature back and be able to load images on the frontpage. In the meantime, we are looking at potential other linked spaces we could use, to have news features with images (rather than embedded links).