study page appearance/layout

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August Muench

Oct 13, 2011, 1:37:43 PM10/13/11

there are 4 'tabs' on a study's landing page: Cataloging Info, Doc, Data & Analysis, Comments and Versions.

our observation is that it is not immediately obvious where the data are.  this includes the fact that the first landing page tab is not "data" (rather cataloging) and that the title of the data page is "Documentation, Data and Analysis," which we feel obfuscates "Data" a fair amount.

our question is whether or not the order and title of these might be changed. our ordering preference would be that the data landing page be first and that it have a title like "Data, Documentation and Tools".


  - Gus (on behalf of the seamless astronomy // theastrodata project).

Tim Clark

Oct 13, 2011, 3:59:15 PM10/13/11
I'm with Gus on this.


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Condon, Kevin

Oct 13, 2011, 4:05:03 PM10/13/11

Hi Gus,

We have talked about changing the name of the data tab for the very reason you mentioned so your suggestion is consistent with that. Regarding the ordering of tabs, having the cataloging information first seems to work better for many of our users such as Murray Archive, etc but we can certainly understand why you would want the data tab first. I will add configuring tab order and default as a feature request. The tab name change has already been requested.



On Oct 13, 2011, at 1:37 PM, August Muench wrote:

August Muench

Oct 13, 2011, 4:38:12 PM10/13/11
Thanks Kevin,

I'm certain that you are completely aware of the problem of defining 'who is my user' and the ordering of the tabs seems to me like a case where the answer to that question determines the ordering of the tabs. (note that I'm not suggesting a new feature however).

My point is if the users are curators then landing on cataloging information is probably better than if the users were researchers interested in data reuse who are "searching for what they already know is there" and just want to skip to the data for reuse purposes.  In my interactions with research users I've been blown away by how often the user "searches" for data they already know exists. ;)

Thanks for the replies.

 - Gus

Condon, Kevin

Oct 13, 2011, 4:54:13 PM10/13/11

No problem. Perhaps Gustavo or Merce would like to weigh in on this. I was only processing what seemed to be a change request rather than participating in a design discussion since I also monitor the support queues. Sorry if I seemed to be short circuiting the discussion -we're still getting the hang of discussion forum versus support.

I agree that the right order depends on who is using it and often with design there is not a single solution that works for everyone. That is why I thought to create a feature request to make it configurable. I do think your feedback on how this would actually be used by researchers is very helpful to us since many of the folks I speak to are of the curator variety ;)

Gustavo Durand

Oct 13, 2011, 6:22:43 PM10/13/11

So, if I understand correctly, would a feature like this be more
useful to configure for the end user (as opposed to a dataverse)? That
way the user chooses the manner in which they browse and it provides a
more consistent experience? (i.e. regardless of which dataverse, user
A would always go to a data page, while user B goes to a cataloging

It would also make sense, I think, to have a default for new users at
the DVN level.



August Muench

Oct 13, 2011, 9:14:39 PM10/13/11
okay, no, as I said, I'm not interested in a particular feature but I really appreciate the strong response as if I were.

my point is more about what has been or will be your answer to "who is the user?" Let me give you an example.  

In astronomy we have a single curated resource that uniformly indexes all of the astronomy/physics peer-review literature and a lot of the pre-print literature.   It is to this index (The NASA/SAO Astrophysics Data System or just "ADS") that we intend to hook up theastrodata dataverse once it gets going.  but i digress.

the "ADS" realized that the traffic any particular paper's ADS landing page received was coming from basically 1 of 2 sources.  The first was from users searching for that paper from the ADS interface. These people are mostly astronomers.  The second was from people using Google. These were mostly not astronomers.  So ADS did something smart. They created two landing pages -- one for traffic from google and one from traffic from their own site.  The google landing page for a particular paper is simpler, metadata poorer, with different fonts and terms.  The landing page for the same paper accessed from their own site has lots of nice tools, like different ways to get to the paper, to get citation information etc, all for typical astronomer users.  

The issue is that they had two different kinds of users and they treat them differently.  They did so without the user doing anything at all!

The current arrangement of Dataverse Study landing pages is tuned to a particular kind of user -- namely people who manage, create and curate datasets.  These people log in to the site etc.  If I take the ADS example and apply it here then I would have to assert that someone who is *not logged in* is an entirely different kind of user. They are probably someone interested in reuse of the data not curating it. They want the same things but with different priorities. 

So if I were to suggest a new feature it would NOT be to create user oriented options for how the page appears but to model the audience into two sets of individuals -- curators and reusers (for lack of a better word).  Maybe date ingesters? Anyway. It is my opinion that the default external user landing page for a study should be data oriented first, metadata oriented second.  For a logged in user then you might want to present an option that allows them to drag around the tabs to a preferred ranking of tabs. 

So the 90% solution is to statically reorder the tabs to put the data listing page first for non-logged in users. 

I hope that makes sense.  From my own work on discussion forums that are also support forums, Kevin, the key is in how to extract what you need without turning off the conversation that might given you more of what you need. ;)  Thanks for the responses. 

Alyssa Goodman

Oct 16, 2011, 8:47:35 AM10/16/11
I am so glad that my small "where's the data" issue has started this good discussion!  I will be very happy to be the dumb, impatient, tester for any proposed solutions!

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