Side note: The goal of these blogs is not to criticize anybody/ anything. I only want to tell the whole story about the things I think about and thing we could improve on Idea Place. These blogs should be more descriptive than the Ideas descriptions on IP and should help you understand why I suggest things and if it makes sense to implement them or not.
Topic for today is Idea place usability, layout, navigation etc. This time the “discussion” could be more “dramatic”, because these things are very soft, very subjective and it is very likely you, dear reader, feel different about the current state of Idea place or/and about my suggestions than me and the others. But that means it is even more important to post your comments to let us know what you think!
To read the previous parts of this series, to understand why I suggest thing or how do all my ideas and suggestions fit into a single picture, you may want to read the previous parts of this series here: What we could use on Idea Place, part 1, What we could use on Idea Place, part 2, What we could use on Idea Place, part 3.
Usability and layout refinements
In my opinion Idea Place could use some more “aggregated” views and listings. Some of them are already in place like (by the way the followings are mentioned in Idea Place FAQ): What is Most Popular? (Sorting Options), What is Most Discussed? (Sorting Options), What is Highest Score? (Sorting Options), What is Recent Ideas? (Sorting Options). It´s not a big thing, only a detail (which don´t have to improve usability, maybe other would think otherwise), but I would like to have much more of the “aggregated views”. (By the way: similar Idea already exists on Idea Place as: Show more ideas on a screen).
Consider the following (for example):
Screenshot comes from the main screen of the SAP Community Network topic on IP. You can see 103 Comments, 54 Ideas, 26 Contributors. Wouldn´t that be just great to be able to click those and get some nice “short” lists? (I would also like to point out the collapse all/ expand all feature I suggest after this idea, which would help these aggregated lists to be the main way of navigation throughout the IP).
- 1) After clicking on Comments, I would be able to see who posted a comment when, commented on what Idea and possibly some more useful details, for example if he voted pro or con the Idea, what´s the current rank of the Idea etc.
- 2) After clicking on Ideas, I would get a short list with all the Ideas, see their authors, their ranks, number of comments etc.
- 3) After clicking on contributors, I would see the list of them, how many of Idea they already posted, what´s the current status of the Ideas, what are the ranks, number of comments, I would also be able to navigate to a person´s profile, where I would be able to follow him/her, review his/her recent activity etc.
I already posted this Idea on IP, check it here: Top level navigation. Also an Idea calling for TOP 10 Ideas per topic/ category (whatever) is already present on Idea Place (as Top-10 ideas across topics be displayed on the home page of Idea Place). Some of the navigation issues or discomforts are already processed by the Idea Place/ SDN/ SCN teams and – to make things more transparent – the Ideas are posted on IP first before things get considered, elaborated and implemented. Example: Add a global Idea Session list for navigation on the site by Kuhan Milroy.
I would also like to see “More” completed ideas. There is a dedicated “section” for this on the IP homepage, but I would expect to have a tiny button down there saying “More” where I could click and see all the recently completed Ideas. I am sure there are more than those five listed currently.
We would not have to implement something new, I am sure we could “improve” or “enhance” what we already have. Very useful view on Ideas is the one for tags:
Also something like expand all/ collapse all option would be very useful for all kinds of views (by the way: the Idea is already posted on IP as Expand / collapse ideas in list overview. Also this one: Provide Hide/Show for Comments). For example when I want to see the whole list of Ideas in a category (like SAP Community Network) there is no way how to do it. You have to navigate through the multiple pages to read all the ideas, no way to read them on a single page. If there was a way, how to read all, I would like to be able to expand a description of the one I like, comment on it, rate it etc. then collapse it and continue processing the rest of the Ideas within the selected category. I wonder if you would do it the same way.
For example the “print” layout could use a slight refinement, what do you think? Example: Infoview refresh of Excel or text document sources. By the way I don´t understand who would need Submit Idea button when printing the Idea, but that is just a detail. But this is just a minor awkwardness and is at the very bottom of my “wish-list”. By the way, to show you the SCN teams are working hard and Mr. Milroy is a great example of a hard worker, check this Idea posted already on IP by him: Improve the print preview. Mr. Milroy as a personal example shows how to do this: provide source, give credits, and gather Ideas if the original poster didn´t add the Idea on IP.
One last remark about navigation and this thing made me MAD (!!): after using back button in the Explorer (sorry I do use IE), the context where I was (listing and reading the Ideas), got lost. Do I have to start all over again when need to go back?
If you like any of the Ideas, tell me you didn´t find them on Idea Place or comment, vote for the Ideas. Also remember to provide your feedback on this blog. Thank you, cheers Otto