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Wish List - nanoHUB.org: Wish #108

granted

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Michael McLennan

Rethink the banner area

We might give up the space taken for the banner/welcome area in favor of highlighting more articles, improved navigation controls, etc.

For: site navigation

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  1. Mark Lundstrom

    We should look at the overall design – not just the banner and tweak it to help users find our best content and what they are looking for.

    Banner takes up too much space and could be uses to highlight content….

    Center area could contain “lenses” and the new search that we want to show off.

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    1. Shawn Rice

      “Banner takes up too much space and could be uses to highlight content”

      I should note that the very purpose of the banner WAS to highlight content.

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  2. Alissa Nedossekina

    Perhaps we could do something like the attached mock-up shows. Split the banner area so that the left shows some featured story (can be random on reload) with a link, e.g. nanoHUB on iTunes U, and the center can deliver the main message – simulate, research, teach & learn & contribute. Down below the “Recommended” area could feature “lenses”, editors’ picks on most popular content. I also think that we could use the featured content area more efficiently.

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    1. Mark Lundstrom

      I like where this is heading….

      I think this originally came from a comment at the user’s forum last July. As I recall, the concern was with the amount of real estate that the current banner takes up. Alissa’s layout adresses that issue by moving some of the stuff below (“Simulate” “Research and Collaborate” “Teach and Learn” etc.) up into the banner. Still, it would be nice to have “Upcoming Events” “NCN News” and “New in Resources” visible on a typical screen, so that users would want to scroll down and see what’t there.

      Another concern is that it takes some effort to update the banner, so it’s rarely done, and the banners get stale. Could there be an ability to have some text banners (with some kind of nice background and font) that is easy to change?

      Also, about stats…. it’s nice to see the map and that there are > 100,000 users, but I think there’s too much detail fpor the main page. All we need is a single line that says something like

      “detailed statistics” “Who’s online”

      This is promising – thanks!

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  3. Alissa Nedossekina

    Mark, thank you for your feedback. I tried integrating at least some of your ideas on another mock-up attached – reducing the area for stats display to one impact statement with links for more; bringing the news and events above the fold and throwing in an idea of tabbed view, which saves vertical space (although I’d argue it’s OK to scroll).

    I’d like to keep some kind of a banner/ featured story with an attractive graphic, without which the page may be dull. We have a fairly easy mechanism of updating the current banner, the main issue has always been someone taking initiative to write the banner text. So I believe that even if we had a purely text banner, we’d run into the same problem of having to keep the banner current. I like to have one and only one featured story on each page load or a certain period of time, e.g. 24 hrs, like Apple does. I believe they keep their featured story for weeks.

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    1. Alissa Nedossekina

      Posting Mark’s latest comments received in an email:

      “I like what you did the first time, but maybe my suggestions weren’t so good the second time.

      I do think that we should make a small change – big changes confuse people. I think it took some time for people to get used to the new look and we shouldn’t make a major change for a while.

      Some comments…

      1) I like the idea of splitting the banner into three sections…. then we are making use of the space

      2) The idea of keeping a banner for 24 hrs. is good – I personanly don’t like these changing things. Should we keep the numered strip that we have now so that if people are currious, then can scroll through the banners?

      3) Moving the stuff on the left (“Simulate” “Research,” etc. ) seems like a goof thing to do. It brings all that right up front where it can’t be missed. Let’ think about thw wording…. e.g. we don’t “peer review” and I would not want to get into that

      4) What can we do with the space that is vacated? Could we list

      Upcoming Events NCN News New in Resources Announcements

      and if you select one, it jsut takes you done to the stuff on the bottom, which if you are like me, you may not have noticed?

      5) In your first layout, I liked the map on the right of the banner….. looked nice. In the second version, it seems too small and looses impact

      6) Also on the map…. I still think “More than 100,00 users” and then links to “details statistics” and “online users” is all we need. The numebr of simulation runs, tool, and resources just seems to clutter it up

      7) Also, moving the featured content up into the banner squeezes things too much – we really want this stuff to stand out. Also, I think it makes too much of a change from the current one. Ans d it gives toom much prominence to Evnets, News, Browse

      8) I think we can keep the featured content where it is, but I would reallly like to kill the “feartured question” most of them are just embarrasing – no wonder they get 0 responses. Why advertise silly questions? Also, we;re not highlighting the best people. But we should hilight topic pages – most people probably don’t know they exist.

      Thanks for working on this… I think your first try was almost there. we should aim for a small changes that improve the user experience and just do it from time to time.

      -Mark

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  4. Alissa Nedossekina

    The dev site (www3) shows the new home page. Of course www3 is missing images and new resource information etc. I used new Shawn’s JS slide panes modules to feature items like iTunes U. We could fit a few more slides. We could make them rotate. But I prefer having one static image per page load with buttons to navigate. The image can be random.

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  5. Michael McLennan

    Feedback from 3/9/2010 meeting:

    Should have 3-5 banner ads that rotate.

    Fix wording in middle column… Under “Simulate,” maybe “materials” instead of “nanophotonics”. Link for “nanoelectronics” should go to tool browser (not topic page). Replace “contribute” with “upload”.

    Can background images use PNG or lower compression to remove artifacts?

    Under the tags and resource types on the left-hand side, add a link at the bottom of that area saying “Upload your own content”. Also, remove the “Popular Categories” label and show all category types, with an “All” link instead of “More” going to all resources.

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  6. Michael McLennan

    A couple more things…

    Add a feature item in the “Features” area for lectures on iTunesU. It should have an iTunes icon (rather than the usual talk icon), show the lecture name, and have a link “on iTunesU” that takes them to iTunes (or our site that points to iTunes, or whatever makes sense). Basic idea is advertisement for high-quality lectures on iTunes.

    Also, under “Research & Collaborate”, instead of the link for “web meetings”, have a link for “question board”.

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  7. Alissa Nedossekina

    nanoHUB home page was updated with new layout on 3/21. I am closing this wish as granted.

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