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#1 2008-02-18 22:25:15

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,034
Website

[wiki] Textbook redesign 2

This topic relates to the Textbook Redesign 1 topic. Please share your opinions too so we can improve the Textbook home page.
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I don’t know how easily the Wiki can be designed. If it is difficult, then I think there should at least be a Start Page with a great layout. Perhaps a well-designed Editors Page, Articles Page, Interface Page and Reference Page are also needed as jump-off points for sections.

For the Start Page, I think there should be step-by-step walk-through exercises about how to create a new TXP site, the list of tags, and links to important tutorials.

Regarding the walk-through exercises, I once created step-by-step exercises for basic computer literacy classes that I taught, and pass rates doubled. Learners like practical hands-on things when they are getting started. “Do this, do that, now see what you’ve got” > “Ah yes, now I understand!” Early success motivates them to explore further.

I think the best page for tags is the home page because users at all levels refer to them from time to time. (Edit: after comments below and further thought, I think a link to the tags would be best)

Home page links to articles that progressively bring deeper understanding of TXP are essential too, imho. Let’s try not to overload newer users with any extra burdens of navigation. As the famous book by Steve Krug says “Don’t Make Me Think!” So let’s put all but the weakest links on the home page.

Here is my very rough draft of the Textbook Home Page to give something to work on and discuss. I haven’t made all the step-by-step exercises yet. Not all the links work. I think some existing pages could be better and there could be more tutorials. So this demo home page is to start discussion and help find agreement before Textbook moves to a new Wiki.

Last edited by zero (2008-02-19 21:01:46)


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#2 2008-02-18 22:57:30

jm
Plugin Author
From: Missoula, MT
Registered: 2005-11-27
Posts: 1,746
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

IMO, tutorial writing belongs in your other thread.

I think the best page for tags is the home page because users at all levels refer to them from time to time.

They’re definitely a great reference, but placing all of the tags (as a menu or select) will overwhelm users. If the TextBook was just a tag ref, then it would make sense. But it is not, so an obvious tag ref or reference link should be used.

As far as a design goes, 50/50 isn’t the way to go. You’re giving equal importance to both columns, even though the left side should be more important.

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#3 2008-02-18 23:06:05

zero
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,034
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Personally, tags are the only reason I ever visit Textbook. If many other users are the same then I still vote for all of them on the front page. Studying the stats might help decide better.


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#4 2008-02-18 23:18:04

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 5,821
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Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

zero wrote:

Personally, tags are the only reason I ever visit Textbook.

I agree that now I am in this same boat.

But when I started, excellent visibility of the tutorials; TXP’s “way” and nomenclature; how to find my way round the interface; what is a form/page; how they interact; what user levels and article statuses are; etc was what I craved. The learning curve is steep — very steep — for old school gimmers like me who traditionally created sites by hand and had never even heard of a CMS. Tags were the least of my worries back then; and if I’d seen them all in one go I’d have probably run away.

So I’m with jm: a single sidebar link to a tag ref is enough, leaving the way clear for the rest of the explainy stuff for those that need it most: new users.

Last edited by Bloke (2008-02-18 23:19:12)


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#5 2008-02-18 23:36:37

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,034
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

I agree new users need it most and perhaps you’re right about the tag list. Perhaps direct links to each txp admin tab description with an exercise on the same page would be a good idea, instead of one link to Site Administration as it is presently called?


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#6 2008-02-18 23:43:25

iblastoff
Plugin Author
From: Toronto
Registered: 2006-06-11
Posts: 1,197
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Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

yep i’m with bloke. i find the tag list relevant to me now but not when i first started.

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#7 2008-02-19 00:23:18

zero
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2004-04-19
Posts: 1,034
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

I agree now. There’s now an updated version


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#8 2008-02-19 03:17:48

rsilletti
Moderator
From: Spokane WA
Registered: 2004-04-28
Posts: 700

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Two things that should be considered in any serious reworking of the tag reference is The page/column usage as a context, it doesn’t really make good sense; and the trailing slash on the tag urls. They are both carry-overs from the original layout. The trailing slash in the urls has been a chronic annoyance (try including a link back to the tag definition and including any attributes with it) from the very start.

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#9 2008-02-19 07:24:01

Dragondz
Moderator
From: Algérie
Registered: 2005-06-12
Posts: 1,134
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Hi everybody

I always thinked: why not use textpattern for textbook? I read that there is some plugin for multiple version and I think that more people can contribute if they use txp rather than a wiki!

Or what txp missing to be a good textbook software?

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#10 2008-02-19 08:25:51

jm
Plugin Author
From: Missoula, MT
Registered: 2005-11-27
Posts: 1,746
Website

Re: [wiki] Textbook redesign 2

Dragondz wrote:

Hi everybody

I always thinked: why not use textpattern for textbook? I read that there is some plugin for multiple version and I think that more people can contribute if they use txp rather than a wiki!

Or what txp missing to be a good textbook software?

I agree, but md_versions wasn’t up to par. It seems it could be modified to attach the commit event to the save button. I would much rather use TXP over a wiki (I still hate wikis).

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