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Andy Rench — General

Also, just to back up on the design idea a bit (I feel like we went into the trenches immediately) -- Can we consider the idea of this type of layout to solve some of the navigation issues even if it's not these items specifically?

For example, this could be a menu for only the project page that eliminates tabs and exposes links directly to goals, feedback, tasks, and guides.

3 years ago

Matt Easterday — General

and just to make it more complicated.... there is the possibility that there might eventually be multiple levels of groups not just 2 levels (network and studio)

3 years ago

Matt Easterday — General

One consistent piece of feedback (Dan and user research please weigh in!) is that people don't really learn the "projects are inside studios are inside networks" concept, in part because studio and project are too visually similar. The idea is good but it doesn't seem to be immediately obvious without explanation.

Our version of breadcrumbs (projects have studio name) doesn't really convey the relation. People are also confused by "community"

Another problem is that the guides are totally disconnected from everything else (especially the project).

Another problem is people don't get the favoriting so things that should be 1-click away aren't.

I agree with Brantley's comment user-flows -- if we think about those high priority ones and make those easy that might do the trick. The main one's I think are, "how to i get to...":
- my studio about tab (for DoLE because that's the only place we have for the syllabus)
- my challenge browser
- my challenge I'm working on
- new critique session
- my project activity stream (to do sprints)
- my tasks
- my guide

This will probably change in the future as we build more social networking features in, but for now, most of the action is in the project. So probably we want to make things either more project-centric or maybe more me-centric, and simplify the initial options.

3 years ago

Andy Rench - I think one of the reasons people don't understand the concepts of studio/project is that they are separated in the site when they should be visually tied together (and I don't mean making them look similar, rather spell out the hierarchy). If they can see the relation between the 2 in one interface it becomes very clear.

I definitely have been thinking in terms of the high-level user-flows. It's something I've been working on with Dan. The top 7 flows you mentioned are very clear in this navigation, just one click away.

The main idea I was trying to convey here is that we can keep trying to surface the things that we think are important in places that we think are intuitive, but if any of these flows are buried in drop-down menus, drawers, or a list of links on the aside of a dashboard they will continue to be overlooked. Even a concept that seemed like a no-brainer (favoriting) isn't obvious. That's been our track record so far. I feel like we need to try something more up-front.

3 years ago

Brantley Harris — General

This is far, far too complicated. When I look at it, my mind boggles, I can't imagine what a novice would think. #roadblock

I think you should rethink this from the perspective of user-flows / use cases. If I am working in the context of a project, which is probably 80% of our users, all I care about is my subscribed activity stream, my project activity, goals, and my guide. If I am a studio lead, I care mostly about my subscribed activity stream, my studio activity, and goals in need of review.

Otherwise, as someone trying to browse around the loft, I want to be able to see an activity stream, and browse projects / studios / guides.

So it seems to me, that this view you are making would work for a "dashboard" if it was simplified remarkably, with a more classic navigation for the rest of the site.

3 years ago

Andy Rench - I see where you're coming from and I'm usually the first to suggest simplifying interfaces but we are getting a lot of feedback that having the sections of the Loft fragmented into different pages is really confusing people. We have a complex application. My approach for a while has been to try to keep each section simple but that adds to the fragmentation.

3 years ago

Andy Rench - I also don't agree that a dashboard is the answer. Dashboards don't seem to work as well on the as they logically and ideally would. They were really common a while ago but most sites have abandoned them. My theory is that they require too much of a multitasking mindset that doesn't work well on the web. They aren't good for short attention spans.

It seems as though most people are leaning towards interfaces that work well on mobile, where every decision is a click away. I'm relating this more to mobile app design vs traditional web page design. I don't know if this design is exactly the right one but I want to move more in this direction where more elements are visible in the navigation and it's easily accessible and kind of in your face.

3 years ago

Andy Rench — General

Part of the new Help epic is to improve the navigation to projects and studios. We could do more band-aid fixes to the current layout but it seems like now is the time to explore an idea that Brantley and I have been talking about for a while.

"AppNa_v1.pdf" is a wireframe of a new app-style (think Slack) layout to the Loft. It seems that a lot of the confusion of the current system is how much you have to bounce around from page to page. In this layout there would be 3 columns: A persistent vertical nav (left), and content area (middle), and an aside (right).

I thought it would be interesting to have the top 2 items in the hierarchy be Studio and Guides. I know it may seem odd to lead with Studio content, but from a navigation perspective it makes a lot of sense and will ground people while they are bouncing around the different sections. Guides is already a top-tier item so that was a simple choice.

This is just a quick layout to get us talking about this idea of navigation. Let me know what you think.

3 years ago

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