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Feedback on Mahara 1.4 test 1

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4770

17 December 2010, 0:46


We would like to collect your feedback on some radical changes for Mahara 1.4 that we are thinking about right now in this forum. You can find the announcement in the News Forum.



anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 59

17 December 2010, 4:35

I would really like to know some of the main reasons for the radical language changes before I critique them! :P



anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 84

17 December 2010, 18:21

The main reason is to improve usability. We recognise there is an initial learning curve on using Mahara and we wish to reduce that hurdle as much as possible.


anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 52

17 December 2010, 5:57

I like the change from Blog to Journal,.. much more appropriate.  Perhaps plural (Journals) though?

Also - the change of View to Pages would I think alleviate alot of the confusion that many of our students have expressed. 

I don't find that the "Create" tab makes a lot of sense.  The tab represent "My Info Files Plans", but this is obviously too long. What about moving the Files tab into the My Portfolio?  Then the "Create" tab would be more approriately titled "About Me" or "Who Am I"; the later is a  twist that encourages reflection and planning.

Last thought while looking at this... it would be really helpful to be able to create a new blog post right from the Create Pages panel.  A reflection while you are assmebling a page...


Stacey Walker's profile picture
Posts: 39

17 December 2010, 10:30

In regards to the Journal plural vs singular text; this is already there.  By default you only have a single journal but you can change this to enable multiple ones via your account settings and the navigation switches to plural.

I agree about 'Create' not quite being the right word for one of the tabs.  We have 5 sub-tabs under that item and only two of them fit as 'creation' so it's not fully representative of what is available.  Plans and Resume are where you actually seem to be creating within Mahara.  The About, Profile Pictures and Files seem more about management of things you either created elsewhere or (and I realise this is debatable) already belong to you in the first place - i.e., your personal details, email etc.  Mahara plays very little or no part in their actual creation. 

Files and Profile Pictures do both also contain their own file uploader element and only do a few things differently in that function, so having these right next to each other seems slightly redundant and wasteful.  Perhaps Profile Pictures could be combined with Files and/or About Me to reduce this double up?  i.e., as part of About Me the user can select an image for their profile from either their Files area or upload a new file and with Files the user can "Set as profile image" on the appropriate file type.  Retaining ArtefactTypeProfileIcon with some appropriate logic and control from the user when uploading images in either location though as we probably still need to ensure icon size etc (that the different type is there for).  Just an extra thought while we're making section changes. :)

IMO Files should be moved back to Portfolio as the main use of these would seem to be for portfolio content (with an exception of Group Forums) and it seems unfair to ask the user to switch outside of portfolio if they're wanting to manage their uploaded files.  Say, for example, while creating/editing page content the user decides they'd like to combine some files into a new folder that they didn't realise they wanted before so that they can use it in the page.  It would seem a lot nicer if they can save the page as is and, seeing as they will be returned to the Portfolio tab anyway, easily find the FIles section without having to go to Create.

Publish is missing a language string if you don't have anything to publish.  I haven't created pages or collections to see any further from here yet and there doesn't appear to be any documentation for this section on the wiki so I'm making an assumption that this is replacing out the current 'Access for Views' functionality and allowing users to deal with Collections (or even individual pages perhaps?) for access rights.  If so then the Pages -> Collections -> Publish has a nice feel to it.  Thumbs up from me :D

Some balsmiq mockups and documentation for 1.4 UI changes are available here in the itemised list on the left.  They aren't completely representative of the actual changes that are on the 1.4 test though so perhaps some updates to this are necessary for people to follow along?


anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 84

17 December 2010, 18:25

Thank-you all. What do people think about Manage instead of Create? Tricky ...any ideas?

François Marier's profile picture
Posts: 411

19 December 2010, 16:35

Other ideas, to emphasize the fact that this tab mostly contains stuff to add to a portfolio: "My Stuff", "My Things", "My Work"

anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 808

19 December 2010, 15:06


I guess the main reason I like having Files in the Create/Manage/Profile menu is that it gives you quite a nice separation between the area where you store your private content and the area where you make that content visible to others.

But although that was the original motivation, I guess we abruptly broke all the rules by putting Blog/Journal up to the top level outside the private content area, so maybe it's not so important any more.


Stacey Walker's profile picture
Posts: 39

20 December 2010, 6:44

Maybe if that's the case Files could be outside on the top level too?  If we're not worried about making a few other big changes to that navigation.

Then at least then you could have:

  • Profile/Manage/Create (whatever is decided)
  • My Portfolio
  • Files
  • Journal/s
  • Groups

My main thinking here is reducing the steps a user has to undertake to get to areas they need when editing pages etc.

Seeing as the majority (all?) of user files are likely to be used in their Portfolio, Journal and Groups and that most of the redirection from editing/creating these take you back into those sections themselves then it might be easier on them to have it at a top level.  

They may be heading back towards the Files area from one of those - "oh, I'll just save my Page/Journal Post/Group-something and go sort some files for inclusion while I'm thinking about it ..." - and because of the UI changes or being new to Mahara they could get frustrated with the extra steps to find them and get back again.

My 2 pence. :)


anonymous profile picture
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Posts: 84

20 December 2010, 14:12

Interesting idea Stacey. If Files were a top-level item do you think that Profile elements could be subsumed into this area as they're really just ways of creating artefacts for display elsewhere in your portfolio? As an overall principle we're trying to reduce navigation clutter.


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