Changes to the wiki...

Gary Thompson gary at unicon.net
Tue Oct 9 23:34:52 UTC 2007


Thanks everyone for the great feedback.

In my limited research thus far, it appears that out of the box we have 
two options:
1) the default theme (as it was through the summit), or
2) the left navigation theme (as it currently is)

There does not appear to be any further theme/layout customizations 
available out of the box.  That said, it appears that we could:
1) Install a third-party theme from Confluence 
(http://confluence.atlassian.com/x/ZDM), or
2) Tinker with modifying one of the out of the box themes 
(http://confluence.atlassian.com/x/llUC), or
3) Build a new theme (other Confluence-using communities have mentioned 
a product called Theme Builder:      
http://confluence.atlassian.com/x/XgoC)

I am trying to explore a few of these options and see if any of these 
options are feasible.  If anyone has further information please chime in.

Gary

Allison Bloodworth wrote:
> Hi everyone, 
>
> I really love the new style of the wiki as well--thanks for your work 
> on this Gary! Many of us have expressed our frustration with finding 
> things on the wiki and this is an excellent step forward in my 
> opinion. It would be nice to move the edit links to the top if we can, 
> but I don't think this is a deal-breaker, and well worth the trade-off 
> for the left navigation. If folks can't find the information they 
> need, how will they ever edit it? The left nav gives a much better 
> picture of the overall "space" of the site. However, as Colin always 
> reminds us, the wiki can often use 'gardening' to keep it organized, 
> as pages are often sort of thrown up there without tons of thought 
> about the overall navigational structure. If any of our volunteers are 
> well-versed in information architecture, I'm sure their help with 
> getting things organized would be appreciated. :)
>
> I'm not entirely sure this is the way to go (since the wiki has so 
> many levels), but was just wondering if there was a way to enable 
> sub-navigation if we wanted it? The breadcrumbs do that to some 
> extent, but often I have that "..." which I have to open to expose all 
> of them. Personally, I would always prefer to have the full path in 
> order to determine exactly where I am (and give me a better idea where 
> I can go)...I'm often just too 'lazy' to click the "...". 
>
> I also mistook the "categories" (e.g. "Collaborative Resources") as 
> the currently active left nav item...it would be nice if we could 
> somehow visually activate the current left nav item to minimize this 
> problem. 
>
> Gary, if you'd like any help monkeying around with any of this (e.g. 
> you think it can be done but just don't have the time), feel free to 
> point me in the right direction and I'd be happy to try to figure any 
> of these issues out.  :)
>
> Allison
>
> On Oct 4, 2007, at 2:14 PM, Justin Obara wrote:
>
>> Hello, I'm new here as well and also "just" a volunteer.
>>
>> I personally am very happy with the changes made to the wiki.
>> I found that the old style was harder to navigate through and I
>> would get lost in the content. The new version has a much
>> cleaner look and feel. It is my understanding that usability should
>> be about making things easier. I agree with Kylie and Daphne that
>> there are two goals at play. One is providing the information, the
>> other is accessing the information. The new version is much easier
>> to get at the information. I can not speak to inputing information as
>> I have yet to make changes to the wiki.
>>
>> In the current system it seems that there are several streams of 
>> information;
>> each represented by an item in the left navigation bar. I was 
>> thinking that
>> it may be usefull to hi-light the item for which the current page 
>> falls under.
>> That is to say that when reading things about components, the 
>> components item
>> is hi-lighted. The hi-lighting may need to be different than a mouse 
>> over though.
>> Just thought that it might help people keep track of where they were 
>> easier.
>> Not sure how good an idea it is.
>>
>> Thanks
>> Justin
>>
>> Message: 5
>> Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 12:01:49 -0700
>> From: Daphne Ogle <daphne at media.berkeley.edu 
>> <mailto:daphne at media.berkeley.edu>>
>> Subject: Re: Changes to the wiki...
>> To: "Kyle Russell" <kyler at expedia.com <mailto:kyler at expedia.com>>
>> Cc: fluid-work at fluidproject.org <mailto:fluid-work at fluidproject.org>
>> Message-ID: <F3B908EF-4C3F-44CE-9052-DA3670D1DD08 at media.berkeley.edu 
>> <mailto:F3B908EF-4C3F-44CE-9052-DA3670D1DD08 at media.berkeley.edu>>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>>
>> Comments below...
>>
>> On Oct 3, 2007, at 4:26 PM, Kyle Russell wrote:
>>
>> > Hi,
>> >
>> > I know I am totally new and just a volunteer, but I'd like to throw  
>> > out
>> > my thoughts on the different wiki options.
>> There is no such thing as "just".  Volunteer and community is what  
>> Fluid is all about!  Glad to have your voice, opinion, work on the  
>> project!
>> >
>> > I'd suggest that the goals of the fluid project have some influence  
>> > over
>> > the design that is chosen. Certainly left nav is a strong pattern  
>> > in how
>> > websites are used, however, if the goal is to develop a community of
>> > practice encouraging participation of the members, the classic wiki
>> > style may be a better choice. The classic style is becoming quite
>> > mainstream with wikipedia's popularity and has a strong affordance for
>> > enabling users to edit the site and feel a group ownership for the  
>> > site.
>> >> From a practical standpoint the left nav option changes the wiki into
>> > much more of a traditional website as there is little affordance  
>> > for the
>> > new user to directly interact with the content. If the goal of the  
>> > fluid
>> > project is to produce a traditional website, the left nav is probably
>> > better. If the end goal is to create a wiki, I'd suggest that the
>> > classic style would be better.
>>
>> Thinking about the goals and how we've been using the wiki thus far I  
>> think it's a little of both.  We want to concisely share information  
>> about the project and the work we are doing with the community --  
>> perhaps better supported by a a classic website AND we want to  
>> collaboratively work together across distance on various documents  
>> and activities -- perhaps better supported by a wiki style.
>>
>> Regardless, personally I'm not sure how I feel about the left  
>> navigation yet.  I've been using confluence for several years now so  
>> I'm a bit set in the alternative navigation structure.  I want to  
>> spend some time with the new navigation in context of our work before  
>> having any real opinion.
>>
>> -Daphne
>> >
>> > Thoughts on these ideas?
>> >
>> > Cheers,
>> >
>> > -Kyle
>> >
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org 
>> <mailto:fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org>
>> > [mailto:fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org] On Behalf Of Gary  
>> > Thompson
>> > Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 2:52 PM
>> > To: fluid-work at fluidproject.org <mailto:fluid-work at fluidproject.org>
>> > Subject: Re: Changes to the wiki...
>> >
>> > Daphne,
>> >
>> > Theoretically.  I edited the color scheme for the navigation, but it
>> > seems to have only partially taken.  The navigation text should be  
>> > dark
>> > grey, but for some reason it does not seem to have changed.  Looking
>> > into it...
>> >
>> > Gary
>> >
>> > Daphne Ogle wrote:
>> >> Ditto!  Looks great and I really like the left navigation.
>> >>
>> >> One request... anyway to increase the contrast of the left nav?  The
>> >> white text on light grey background is hard on my old eyes :)
>> >>
>> >> -Daphne
>> >>
>> >> On Oct 3, 2007, at 10:29 AM, Moore, Kathleen E wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> I love what Gary is doing, but could we make the logo a little
>> > smaller?
>> >>> Its size makes the left-hand column take up more space than seems
>> >>> ideal--or is that also out-of-the-box?
>> >>>
>> >>> Kathy
>> >>>
>> >>> Kathleen Moore
>> >>> Web Manager, Information Technology Services Boston University  
>> >>> School
>> >
>> >>> of Management kemoore at bu.edu <mailto:kemoore at bu.edu> 
>> <mailto:kemoore at bu.edu>
>> >>> 617-353-2685
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> -----Original Message-----
>> >>> From: fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org 
>> <mailto:fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org>
>> >>> <mailto:fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org>
>> >>> [mailto:fluid-work-bounces at fluidproject.org] On Behalf Of Gary
>> >>> Thompson
>> >>> Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 12:53 PM
>> >>> To: fluid-work at fluidproject.org 
>> <mailto:fluid-work at fluidproject.org> <mailto:fluid-work at fluidproject.org>
>> >>> Subject: Re: Changes to the wiki...
>> >>>
>> >>> +1 from my perspective as well. However:
>> >>>
>> >>> It would be nice if that was an out-of-the-box option.  From what I
>> >>> can tell, there two themes that ship with Confluence: 1) the default
>> >>> theme that we had been using with the actions at the top, and 2) the
>> >>> left-column navigation theme that I switched to.  It seems that  
>> >>> there
>> >
>> >>> are no easy options to specify where the page actions are  
>> >>> located; in
>> >
>> >>> the left-navigation theme, they are "hard-coded" to appear in the
>> >>> left column under the navigation.
>> >>>
>> >>> A combination of the two would be ideal - left navigation with the
>> >>> page actions more prominent.  There may be other themes available
>> >>> from the Confluence community, and/or it is possible to make some
>> >>> edits to the theme and layout templates.  I'm trying to not go that
>> >>> route, however, and was hopeful to be able to make those changes
>> >>> through the standard administration interfaces.
>> >>>
>> >>> Gary
>> >>>
>> >>> Joseph Scheuhammer wrote:
>> >>>> +1
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Colin wrote:
>> >>>>
>> >>>>> ... since these page operations are so common, perhaps we should
>> >>>>> put them somewhere a bit more prominent?
>> >>> What
>> >>>>> do others think?
>> _______________________________________________
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>> fluid-work at fluidproject.org <mailto:fluid-work at fluidproject.org>
>> http://fluidproject.org/mailman/listinfo/fluid-work
>
> Allison Bloodworth
> Senior User Interaction Designer
> Educational Technology Services
> University of California, Berkeley
> (415) 377-8243
> abloodworth at berkeley.edu <mailto:abloodworth at berkeley.edu>
>
>
>
>
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