Reorderer for Sakai

John Norman john at
Thu Sep 11 12:10:12 UTC 2008

Yes, although the tool that jumped into my head was the Citations tool  
- a page consisting of a sequence of structured elements  
(announcements) with the ability to reorder the elements added. I  
should emphasise that this is just an exploration of the idea, not a  
suggestion that any current workplan should change.

A related concept might be a news page, with news items... and in my  
mind the main difference between a news page and an announcement list  
is the type of information in the list and different expectations  
about notification.

I *am* beginning to think there is a useful design pattern here, it  
was just a surprise to come at it through announcements...


On 11 Sep 2008, at 12:52, John Leasia wrote:

> Yes it would be good to find out more about why they do it that way.  
> I don't think it's so much about email reminders but more about the  
> order in which they want to present material.  It's possible some  
> other tool - modules for example - could be used instead, but the  
> Announcement tool is simpler to use and more familiar to some.  I  
> think it just adds flexibility to let instructors mold the tools to  
> their teaching rather than their teaching to the tools. We have some  
> instructors using Schedule tool for assignments for example.
> John L
> John Norman wrote:
>> Interesting.
>> From my perspective this is a clue to another line of thinking; Why  
>> are these users using announcements for this task? Probably because  
>> they want email reminders to go out. So another way of thinking of  
>> this use case is an events 'document' where edits can be announced  
>> to a set of users. I'm not suggesting we don't carry on with the  
>> work, just pointing out that the scenario described suggests to me  
>> that the use of the Announcements tools was a compromise or hack to  
>> get a notifications feature and 'improving' announcements might not  
>> be the best way to get maximum user satisfaction. I might be  
>> inclined to try to do a little investigative work with the users  
>> trying to use Announcements this way...
>> John  N
>> On 10 Sep 2008, at 19:34, John Leasia wrote:
>>> Some here use Announcements along with other tools to present week  
>>> by week info, in order of week.  They can put them in originally  
>>> in the right order, but if they have to go back and edit it gets  
>>> out of order. Or if they later want to add something somewhere in  
>>> the middle, etc. Others have said they want one announcement  
>>> always at the top - maybe class meeting times/hours or class  
>>> policies or class honor code info or whatever.  Those are from  
>>> here - reorder in Annc has also been requested by other  
>>> institutions.
>>> John L
>>> Jess Mitchell wrote:
>>>> John,
>>>> I wondered the same thing and then in a meeting with Gonzalo I  
>>>> blurted out the following:
>>>> I can imagine the case where you have announcements listed in  
>>>> order of entry, but you want to prioritize one announcement out  
>>>> of its chronological entry.  Rather than having to enter the  
>>>> announcement again, you can just drag it to the top of the list.
>>>> Think of the "to-dos" in iCal (if you happen to use iCal).  I can  
>>>> drag them into a "priority" of listing from top to bottom in  
>>>> addition to assigning them a priority.  I imagine the same top to  
>>>> bottom priority would be useful in announcements?
>>>> I've no idea if this is what John L. had in mind and quite  
>>>> frankly, if it is a use case, then it's my first!
>>>> Best,
>>>> Jess
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>> Jess Mitchell
>>>> Boston, MA, USA
>>>> Project Manager / Fluid Project
>>>> jess at
>>>> / w / 617.326.7753  / c / 919.599.5378
>>>> jabber: jessmitchell at
>>>> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>>>> On Sep 10, 2008, at 1:21 PM, John Norman wrote:
>>>>> Is there a use case or usage scenario for this work? John Leasia
>>>>> mentioned it in passing the other day and I was a bit mystified  
>>>>> as to
>>>>> why one might want to reorder announcements. I guessed you might  
>>>>> be
>>>>> using the grid layout to create an experience similar to pinning a
>>>>> notice to a notice board, but it seems not. The only other thing  
>>>>> I can
>>>>> think of is if you have a fixed size list (say 5 announcements)  
>>>>> and
>>>>> there are 7 recent announcements, you might want to juggle the  
>>>>> list so
>>>>> the most important ones appear.
>>>>> Have I missed something?
>>>>> "Curious from Cambridge"
>>>>> On 10 Sep 2008, at 01:26, Daphne Ogle wrote:
>>>>>> Hi there,
>>>>>> As I start design for the reorderer in the context of Sakai's
>>>>>> announcements tool, I realize I'm not sure where the work  
>>>>>> should live
>>>>>> in the wiki which leads me to where does it fall in the "family  
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> components" for the reorderer.   I think our naming convention  
>>>>>> could
>>>>>> use some work and since I need a place to put design work  
>>>>>> around this
>>>>>> new context it's forcing the issue.
>>>>>> The reorderer itself doesn't have an interface and thus there  
>>>>>> isn't
>>>>>> any UX design in it's space on the wiki.  So then we have the  
>>>>>> lightbox
>>>>>> and the layout customizer which use the reorderer.  This new  
>>>>>> context
>>>>>> seems to be at the same level as the lightbox and the layout
>>>>>> customizer -- offsprings of the reorderer.  So what to call  
>>>>>> this new
>>>>>> offspring or is it really the same as one of the existing?   
>>>>>> Although
>>>>>> the lightbox and the reordering of announcements both use the  
>>>>>> "Drag
>>>>>> and Drop - list ordering design pattern" they are different user
>>>>>> experiences with one moving thumbnails and the other more like  
>>>>>> rows in
>>>>>> a table or a list.  So, I believe this new context it's own  
>>>>>> child.
>>>>>> And with the 3rd on the way, I think it's time for some clearer  
>>>>>> naming
>>>>>> of our family.
>>>>>> Here's a suggestion that is more closely aligned with our  
>>>>>> naming for
>>>>>> the inline edit family but I would love to hear other thoughts  
>>>>>> (my
>>>>>> suggestion is quite boring!).
>>>>>> Family name:  Reorderers
>>>>>> Children:
>>>>>> Thumbnail reorderer (formerly known as the lightbox)
>>>>>> List reorderer
>>>>>> Layout reorderer ( or we could stick with "layout customizer"  
>>>>>> as it
>>>>>> sounds better and is clearer but then it wouldn't match it's  
>>>>>> siblings
>>>>>> names :))
>>>>>> What do you all think?
>>>>>> Daphne Ogle
>>>>>> Senior Interaction Designer
>>>>>> University of California, Berkeley
>>>>>> Educational Technology Services
>>>>>> daphne at
>>>>>> cell (510)847-0308
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