marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel posting in [community profile] joule
I'd like to hear your thoughts on the current user interface for Joule, and how it can be improved. Currently, you have three things to enter, in a space that looks like this:
Show me the fans of on as a or .
You need to enter
  1. Your username. This is a text box.
  2. A site. This is a drop-down list containing all the sites we support. If you came to Joule from a particular site (say, Twitter), that site will be pre-selected. Otherwise LiveJournal will be pre-selected.
  3. You must press either the "chart" button or the "graph" button.
Let's call these "the controls". I would like to simplify them a bit. I wonder whether we should make any of these changes:
  1. "Graph" isn't much used (92% of all reports are charts), and it probably should be something you can select when you're looking at the chart rather than from the front page. So maybe there should just be a "go" or "OK" button on the front page that took you to the chart.
  2. I would like to have other options than "chart" or "graph", like a line graph showing the change in the number of your followers over all the time you've been using Joule. We could have this accessible in the same way as just discussed for the bar graph, so there wouldn't have to be three or more buttons to choose from.
  3. Perhaps the controls shouldn't be on the reports page because they clutter up the report, and it would be better just to have them on the the main page, and a link back to the main page on the other pages.
  4. Most people (93%) don't go to their page using the controls. I think what happens is that they use them the first time, and then bookmark the report page. So perhaps we can simplify further and we shouldn't have the sites box. Instead you'd just type your username and it would give you a list of charts you might be interested in. That takes a little longer for the first-time user, but perhaps it's a bit less alarming or confusing than all those controls.
Thoughts?

Update: I have implemented 1, 3 and 4 as an experiment.  I would love to hear feedback either for or against it.

Date: 2009-07-03 08:51 pm (UTC)
martzin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] martzin
The graph/chart and blank/non-blank controls work well as links.

A disadvantage of the new design is that it makes completely unobvious how to navigate to a different account. Going to the front page doesn't come to mind. You could add “select a different another account” on a link. You could even keep a recent list in a cookie (trimming style changes by keeping five distinct recent accounts and the last style).

Without blanks should be the default choice, it gives more information at a glance than the alternative. I wouldn't mind graphs being the default choice either, if only for discovery purposes. I'd never seen them before (possibly there used to be a display bug). Chart with blanks can be used to give a time scale, but the graph does it better, so maybe you don't need blanks at all.

Choosing an account could be quicker and in one step: a box and five links with the favicon next to the site name.

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Joule

December 2009

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