The Science Behind Parkinson's/Project Development

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This is a subpage for discussing how the project should develop.

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A merry band of contributors[edit]

Several people are now contributing material to this Parkinson's science wikiversity learning project. The following have accounts and I have been putting stuff on on behalf of some others. Those of us with accounts are:

User:Droflet

User:HAPE3512

User:Dr jonny

User:Richard99

User:AL_Parkin

I shall now encourage the others to create accounts and start to make changes themselves.

We can then use this page to discuss issues together so that several viewpoints are heard. A particular issue at the moment is that the Portal page ought to be improved to make it clearer what the project is all about, who it is for, how to get involved, what is in it and how to get quickly into and navigate the contents. There are competing requirements here.

Droflet (discusscontribs) 12:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

who will use this site?[edit]

I think 2 types of people will visit the portal page; those with a specific question and general browsers. Both require easy and quick navigation. We have maybe 10 seconds to engage their interest and enable them to start their search. This means less text and more hierarchical links. We simply can't waste that 10 seconds on the portal page with people reading text describing the searches possible and not allowing the people to search themselves. Less text surrounding the articles. Immediate access to the contents Dr jonny (discusscontribs) 12:04, 10 February 2013 (UTC)dr jonny

Sorry but I have reverted the changes you have made because they are too radical to do without prototyping and discussing. Too many things have been disrupted in one go. I agree in many ways with how you think the front page should be changed but there are a lot of issues to be considered first. Let's continue the discussion and find a path forward. Please undo any other radical changes you have made that I may have missed. More later ...
Droflet (discusscontribs)
I have now done a little more tidying - and shortening - of the Portal introduction subpage. I also did a little rewording. This was to bring it back to saying more clearly what the wiki was set up for. This is explained in a document created for a different purpose which you can see on this subpage: /doc1
I shall add more later; the '10 seconds to engage the casual user's interest' is not the main consideration of the Portal page and /doc1 goes some way to explain why. The front page must have a number of functions. It can certainly be improved because I am sure we can do more to assist the various type of user to get brief relevant information, to find out more if they need to and to navigate to where they want to go easily. Watch this space... Droflet (discusscontribs) 13:01, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
have you used Google Analytics to analyse the portal? its useful to show where people are clicking, pages viewed, time spent on the site etc. this might point to areas to improve. i used it to analyse a blog i'm writing - on average users spend 3 minutes on my blog and click 3 pages. therefore the portal page should be just that, a portal to the articles - reachable within 3 clicks and 3 minutes. when i go to a shop i don't want to be met by a shop assistant at the entrance who tells me why i'm at the shop, what the shop contains, the shop layout. i want to explore the shop; same with the portal. users don't want to be told, they want to do. there should be minimal text between the front page and the articles. otherwise users will lose interest and simply leave
Dr jonny (discusscontribs)
A little joke: A man's watch stopped. He saw a shop across the road with watches and clocks in the window. He crossed over and went in and said to the shopkeeper, "Can you repair my watch please?". The shopkeeper said, "We don't repair watches; we are professional castrators." So the man asked, "Then why do you have clocks and watches in your window?". He replied, "What would you put in your window if you were a professional castrator?". Now just disregard the obvious answer and let's ask what we should put in the shop window of our wiki project. Not the equivalent of clocks and watches because we are not trying to attract people in on false pretenses. But what is it that our shop window should say the site is all about? You have quite rightly recognised that this is a problem because it is hard to state briefly that it is about researching Parkinson's research and that we want people to help out doing this.
(Note that Section 2, an Introduction to Parkinson's Science, is not the core of the site; it is there merely to support Section 1 by providing a path into the subject for those unfamiliar with it. Section 2 would not have been built on its own because there are loads of other places to learn about the basics of PD.)
The core of the learning project is Section 1 - the researching into Parkinson's research and sharing the results with others. There are two ways to build this: the more 'encyclopaedic' way, which is the main part of Section 1, and the 'articles on interesting results and new ideas' which is the Magazine Section. Both are not yet what we want them to be and need more, continuing work on them
So the Portal page attempts to say this. But I admit that's its presentation needs improving. The information it contains is important and must be accessible but, as you have argued, it does not all have to be there all at once. I think we can improve things by use of "Collapse boxes" which we are beginning to use elsewhere. This means that the user will see at first just the headings for the important information and can then reveal the information as and when required by clicking a box that opens up. They can skip over boxes or close them when they no longer need them. Give me time to work on this.
Droflet (discusscontribs) 13:16, 18 March 2013 (UTC)