Our Forum got a new front door page (and new layout inside)!

  • muench
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Re: Our Forum got a new front door page (and new layout inside)!

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Dear Mughal,

The user has the option of selecting which time period he/she wants to view for those statistics. They are these blue words in square brackets (they become green when you choose them) - in the second half of the front door page ( www.forum.susana.org or click at the top left on the SuSanA Forum logo):

Most active topics
[week] [month] [all time]


Do you see now what I mean? Is there an alternative way to make this clearer?

About SuSanA being mentioned by other organizations: Oh, yes that would be awesome if that happens and if people bring that to our attention by making a forum post about it. I would say at this stage, such a mention is probably quite rare so having it displayed on the front door would look a bit boring as not much would be changing from one week to the next. Or have you seen SuSanA mentioned in other people's newsletters more often? If you do, please bring it to our attention by making a forum post about it. Thanks a lot.

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Our Forum got a new front door page (and new layout inside)!

Dear Elisabeth,

Regarding the second part, yes, I once came across SuSanA reference, but now, I would not know where. In future, I will track that, and will let you know.

Shouldn't you be making this request to all users, rather than to me only? Others have super fast computers and internet connection. I, on the other hand, have slow and unstable connection. That would suggest that, other users are more well-placed to come across the SuSanA reference. I will, however, do my part.

Smiles,
F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • muench
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Re: Our Forum got a new front door page (and new layout inside)!

Yes, you are right, this call goes out to everyone! If anyone sees SuSanA mentioned in other people's newsletters or publications please bring it to our attention by making a forum post about it. :-) Thank you.

I would love to see more people saying something about SuSanA. (I see SuSanA mentioned sometimes when somebody credits a photo from the SuSanA Flickr database in their blog post for example in this case: www.devex.com/news/how-to-eliminate-open...cation-by-2030-84634 . It always brings a smile to my face.)

If we find more information about SuSanA written by others, then I would also like to include that into the Wikipedia article on SuSanA - which is meant to be written objectively, not by someone who is active in it, like me:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Sanitation_Alliance

(you can see on the Talk page that I was once criticised for writing about SuSanA on Wikipedia as I might have a conflict of interest:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sustainable_Sanitation_Alliance )

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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  • muench
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Re: Our Forum got a new front door page (and new layout inside)!

Dear all,

In my post from 15 December above I had mentioned a few issues that I would discuss with our IT developer. Now I want to give you some feedback on what he said:

About the front door page ( www.forum.susana.org )

I had written about the access from mobile versions:

Regarding making the page dynamically resize if someone views it from a mobile device, I will have to check with Steffen on that one as I don't know how complex this would be.

Steffen told me that this would be very complex to program and would require a few thousand Euros worth of his programming time. For this reason, we already way back opted for a separate page for mobile device users (with the URL: m.forum.susana.org) so that the users can choose if they want to view the desktop or the mobile version.

I had written about the two boxes that appear below the categories on the front page:

It's true, they are less wide. The first one about the tweets is probably a plug-in and could be made wider (I will ask Steffen). The second one, I guess is centred as there is not so much text there. But I also wonder if we need that grey bar behind "Recent topics by category"; "Most active topics past."

Steffen has made the box with "Tweets mentioning SuSanA" a bit wider now. The second one of top contributors has equal width but is centred so you can't really see the width.

About the grey horizontal bar behind those two boxes, he felt that these grey bars help to recognise the similarities with the SuSanA website. That and the type of font and colours chosen shows the connection between the two, he pointed out.

I wrote about the issue of vertical distances and "white spaces":

I was told by our web designer (Steffen) that most pages nowadays are becoming geared towards mobile devices, and therefore users are used to scrolling down. But I can ask him to reduce the vertical gap so that people realise there is more.

Steffen has now reduced the vertical distance between the categories and the "Recent topics" box a bit. If he reduces it further then it might look rather cramped when the hover texts of the category icons are visible.

I wrote (about the numbers that appear in the list of "top contributors"):

The numbers in green and blue signify the number of posts someone has made in that time period and the number of likes someone has received in that time period. Does that need to be made clearer and if yes, how?

No change has been made here yet, as I am thinking it is quite self-explanatory, and not that important to warrant additional hover text (?).


About the inner page of the forum ( forum.susana.org/forum )

I wrote about the vertical space that the fixed top part takes up:

Wow, that's a lot. Perhaps you have the font size set to very large? On my screen the fixed part occupies only about one quarter of the screen. But I agree that the marquee might be taking up too much of the vertical space. Will speak to Steffen about that.

This comes back to the issue of a website looking "cramped" versus looking a bit generous with space. Here I am not sure if that's just the opinion of some few users or if more users feel that there is too much empty space? We will keep pondering about that one. Now that the marquee is not there (we only turn it on for special occasions), it does look like a rather large space there.

I wrote about a possible "animation" of the category icons:

About the animation (i.e. the icons getting bigger when you hover over them, I will ask Steffen). Could be good.

This has now been implemented. Do you like it?

About ensuring that the forum pages and the SuSanA website have a more similar look & feel to them, this is something we will continue to ponder over in the new year. So far we haven't had any bright ideas for simple changes that could make that happen. In any case, I think it is important that there are clear buttons to get from the forum page to the SuSanA website (see at the top left) and vice versa. That's important.

Kind regards,
Elisabeth


P.S. For any of you who are using twitter: Make sure you include @susana_org in your tweets more often than not, because then your tweet will automatically appear on the front page of the forum (at the bottom left), thus giving your tweet more exposure and more chance of a re-tweet.


Edit in June 2018: We removed the "front door" page of the forum in mid 2017 as it was causing too much confusion.

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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