Question: What do you think about this new design sketch for a Welcome page?

warren asked on February 21, 2018 22:32
300 | 3 answers | #15796

Hi, all - i'm taking a crack at a new visual organization of a Welcoming Page, starting with the existing content but then starting to think about content a bit after the basic visual organization of the page works.

I'm also riffing on the kind of welcoming tone -- specifically for newcomers -- from two sources:

  1. our Barnraising "welcome" posters
  2. our software Welcoming page

Here's a rough mockup making use of design patterns from the Froala design blocks:

image description

See this document to remix or work on your own!


@zengirl2 @pdhixenbaugh @kgradow1 @sarasage what do you think of this? :-)

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Got some good input on placement of the Code of Conduct link and text via @shannon -- thanks!

Can someone add in both the "Why write research notes" quad that we printed into notebooks, and Molly's graphic? I don't have time to find them. Thanks!

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Yeah i was looking for that too... i forget in what thread we came up with that!

Froala also has a "webpage design tool" where you can drag and drop their blocks, kind of awesome!


Then you can (if you give your email) get the resulting code emailed to you... kind of amazing! They're obviously using it as a promotional tool to get emails, but it is a really neat idea :-)

I tried it. You get an HTML download upon entering your email address (or maybe any email address).

And copied it into a test wiki page here:

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3 Answers

My thought, as a recent newcomer who was unfamiliar with Public Lab and Citizen Science, is that the How to Participate section in particular is what I was looking for before I started wondering about specific topics. With that in mind perhaps consider moving the How to Participate section up a notch... Also wondering what's going to happen with the Interests section...Just a few curated highlights, something more dynamic, a launchpad into a easy to browse index? Bottom line is I love that you're sketching this out... Could make a huge difference in engaging newcomers. I like it!!

Thanks, Craig! Great feedback.

For the "interests" we want to be sure not to pigeonhole people as "scientists" "activists" as PL is all about building bridges across. So the idea of a collection of "interests" derives a bit from work @liz is doing on #evaluation -- and related a bit to the idea that people "walk in the door" with skills, interests, projects, questions, etc -- see #13886 -- rather than with set "roles".

So, interests could be, like, "making something" "testing something out" "documenting a problem" "telling a story" "finding collaborators" -- or maybe a bit more general than that?

But it's a nebulous idea so far. Happy to hear input on this specifically!

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Hi, all - getting back into this real quick -- if folks have input, it's really useful to think about offering feedback under three headings:

  1. Issues or problems you've identified with the current system/design
  2. Goals you'd like this interface to achieve - big or small
  3. Ideas you have for how to address the issues or goals you've identified

This helps us separate out what your "pain points" are from specific design proposals to consider. Thanks!

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@warren I like how you are funneling people to where they are trying to get. I think so far my only issue is that it looks long from a scrolling perspective. I was trying to figure out a similar site that has to funnel, but so far only Instructables is coming to mind. Their sort happens on the top of their page, but they have an easier time since they've already established the person is a maker. We have makers, people that need remediation, and people that like to write/research. It makes me wonder if we can clarify by two buckets--those that wish to engage in citizen science, and those that need citsci help? It's an interesting dilemma.

Thanks @zengirl2 - yeah, i agree there are these two "attitudes" people might bring, and this particularly resonated with me on the "Ask a Question" prompt. On the one hand, groups facing pollution don't need to "ask a lot of abstract questions" to articulate something they already know is a problem. We definitely don't want to cast doubt on their experiences, so that idea of "Ask a question as the first step" in that sense may be more for those seeking to get involved in community science.

But then we definitely want people who just need support with a problem to be able to simply ask for it, and that also makes sense as a question. So I was trying to capture some of that duality in the "Get help. Ask anything" area.

The two leading calls to action of Give help and Get help are also an attempt to get at this idea of an exchange -- sometimes you're offering, sometimes you're requesting; both are important, and people may do some of each.

Also +1 on its a long page. I wanted to kind of "skip" the "what is Public Lab" as much as possible (hopefully this is clear on, and if not we can continue refining that page), and focus on making sure people know they're welcome (part of WHO is PL), and what they can DO.

@warren I do really like the Give Help/Get Help. I was just talking to an artist the other day and they said that exchange/barter is something that is really important to them in giving and getting work from other people. So, def +1 all around for this idea.

Haha, of course! #whyIlovePLfolks

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On the landing view-port a user should be able to know what Public lab is all about. Maybe your tag line and short description about public lab should be on landing view-port.

Apart from the description on the view-port we should also have the call to action button like the sign up button instead of it being down the page since you need more users signing up.

Your site should also have color themes.

These are some of the projects I've worked on

Hi, I’m not sure all of these are UI focused, but related anyway. Some of these are big, and things we know about, but wanted to hold a spot for them here. Other ideas? Feedback?

Issue There are many entry points, and many ways to organize information, it’s confusing to newcomers

Goal The welcome page should be an easy page to navigate to help people understand what PL is, what’s available and see where they can jump off to do what they are interested in doing

Ideas I honestly dont have great ideas for this one, but we’ve talked about categorizing types of knowledge sharing and linking out from there. I think it could work, but the materials to explain these things need to be concise, approachable from a visual standpoint, and easy to understand.

Issue The OpenCall isn’t prominently featured

Goal Open Call is the lowest barrier for contact for most people. It should be easy to find

Ideas Can we put info on this somewhere people will see it when they first come? It would be great if there was also a link to add it to your calendar.

Issue We don’t show people how to do things

Goal People can easily understand how to post to Public Lab, navigate the site, and find others from demonstrative walk throughs available through navigating the welcome page.

Ideas we could offer video walkthroughs, hover over popups, or others?

Issue Users can’t see the versatility of the features

Goal This is probably another page, but there should be an off-ramp for those who aren’t newcomers, but are looking for features to navigate the site and post in a more detailed way.

Ideas For example, a place that describes or shows the tagging system, powertags, inline features on research notes, different ways to search etc.

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