[ckan-discuss] CKAN UI improvements #1 - Package Page

David Read david.read at okfn.org
Tue Nov 30 16:16:39 GMT 2010


Lots of good ideas here. CKAN has attracted a lot of discussion of the
UI, been through multiple major changes to it, sometimes discussed,
sometimes just done unilaterally. I think that every time we get new
ideas we must take into account previous experimentation, but also
shouldn't be afraid to try new stuff, to avoid the "but we tried WAP
in 1998 and found that no-one wants mobile internet" syndrome.

> Ratings is rating really much use? It's hard to know what is being rated - quality, openness, interestingness, format. Suggest removing and focus on comments / discussion.

The intention was to crowd-source some sort of vague quality or
interestingness. You can see from the stats page though that these in
general aren't used or useful. So I'd agree on removing them from the
template and ratings in the code too. Maybe a Facebook 'like' button
serves us better here? (Or maybe lots of our users hate find FB rather

> Comments - Suggest move to a separate tab and rename discussion as per Wikipedia.

The discussion page on Wikipedia is to discuss changing the page, so
less important than the content of the page and only of interest to
editors. Most of our comments are questions (that are often being
answered) and very useful extra metadata snippets. It's turning into a
great place for extra unstructured data alongside the structured
record. You could argue it should all go in the 'notes' field, but I
think comments serves it well. So I don't agree it's the same as
Wikipedia's discussion or that it should be hidden in a tab.

> Comments - Add hint to new page suggesting what sort of comments/questions people should make

Yes, clarification is always good. Our site needs explaining to new users.

> Getting the data - Can we make the download (Resources) section clearer or more prominant? This seems to be the primary purpose of this page for a casual user.

Sounds good.

> Getting the data - 'resources' is unclear term, just call it 'downloads?'

'Downloads' rather excludes SPARQL endpoints and APIs (e.g. nice
scraperwiki api ;-) ) I don't know why the URI link text was changed
to 'Download'.

> Groups - Confusing having groups and tags on this page, suggest remove groups for now focus on tags as primary method for organising / grouping.

Groups are used heavily by lots of users right now, so this needs
careful consideration. I understand Friedrich has renamed groups
'departments' in the IATI branch and that is due to go into CKAN head
soon, so I assume lod etc. will be transitioned to something else.
Friedrich / Rufus what is the plan?

> Tags - Should be able to add a tag directly via ajax (as per flickr)

Cool! And it would be good to suggest tags too (e.g. if there is the
word 'music' in the title/notes then it suggests that tag)

> Title - Name of package gets lot in the buttons (edit etc) and the package slug id


> Buttons - move to top right


> API / package slug - Create new API section the explains the slug id and how to access via datapkg etc

The docs for the API and various clients including datapkg are all
available, but I think it would be good to have some pop-up help in
CKAN. like there is on scraperwiki to get people started.

> Completeness - If a package is missing a description / licence / download then display a prominent message in the header asking passing users to add the missing info

Sounds good.

I do especially like your drawing of the CKAN home page. There are a
few things we'll have to work on underneath to get all the info for
the template, but let's do it.

In your mock-up CKAN package view:

* I'm not sure about using the word 'metadata' as the title for the
bulk of the data record. There must be a more understandable word...

* When you say "this data is also available in JSON and RDF" this
could mislead, because this could be confused with the resource data,
when we mean the record/metadata/data. I think the JSON/RDF icons
could be better, but do you really think it'd be better without icons
and put this in the main flow of the record rather than a side-box?

* I really like getting rid of the first side-box, which repeats the
author, maintainer and licence details.


On 30 November 2010 13:44, Richard Pope <richard at memespring.co.uk> wrote:
> Hello,
> I've been looking at some potential changes to the CKAN UI. Rather than
> embark on a mega-redesign I thought it would be best to take a section at a
> time and see what small improvement could be made to try and make CKAN 1)
> more easy to understand by a casual user 2) simpler and more intuitive to
> navigate.
> First up here are a few suggestions and a mockup for the package page:
> http://ckan.org/wiki/UIRedesignPackage
> Thoughts?
> Richard
> PS. In addition, here's a couple of sketch-notes I did which might be of
> interest (assuming you can read my awful handwriting):
> http://ckan.org/attachment/wiki/UIRedesign2010/ckanshare.jpg
> http://ckan.org/attachment/wiki/UIRedesign2010/pages.jpg
> --
> /*
> richard at memespring.co.uk
> memespring.co.uk
> ++44 7976730458
> memespring (flickr/skype/etc)
> memspr (aim)
> */
> _______________________________________________
> ckan-discuss mailing list
> ckan-discuss at lists.okfn.org
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