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Some menu changes


Dirk Meyer's profile picture
Posts: 423

12 December 2012, 6:49 AM

I have just implemented some changes to the main navigation on my free site and I thought I would share that here so that interested folks may check it out. It's still a work in progress but the main changes are there.

Basically, we broke down the existing main nav and made individual tabs for Plans, Notes, Resume, Files, and Journals. Each tab is individually styled so we can have a larger 'Portfolio' tab for example or substitute with icons etc. I like direct access to what is available all the time, hoping to encourage users to explore and use the system more readily. I seem to be able to create a bit of a flow when clicking thru the various tabs whcih is what I want. The order in which the taps are may change over time, pending user feedback.
We tried integrating all mahara buttons (new plan, new journal entry, new collction, etc)  into the menu and were successfull for most, with the exception of 'Create page'. Due to other work that came up and more development cost, we put that on the back burner for now and as a result, we left the original buttons in place for consistency purpose. We may move the buttons inward a little more though but for now its how we left it.

We renamed 'Topics' to 'Discussions' (in the menu only) and we may make a individual tab for that, possibly dropping 'Notes' from the menu. Discussions seems more engaging and may signal the user that their participation is required or at least encouraged.

We also made a separate 'Access' tab and renamed 'Share' to 'Shared with me' and 'Shared by me'. I am having some ideas on creating a 'Presentation' tab also, either as a replacement or add on. I am finding many users use mahara as a showcase system and using the terminology that goes with that make sense to them. Not sure how to best do this so we left it alone for now.

We moved 'Settings' and "Notifications' to be a child menu under 'Profile' My experience was that novice users always forgot about that little settings link in the top right corner. Conversly, I was forgetting about mentioning it and got tired of having to refer them there. Having worked with the new menu for a while now, we may move the 'Inbox' and 'logout' and link to user link entirely from the corner. 'Search users' may also dissappear from there leaving more room for the main nav.

We also shuffled tabs in the create a page and edit a page process. The order is now 'Edit title and description', edit content', edit layout, share page and display page. Eventually we would like to set it up so it becomes more a 'wizzard type experience' when creating a page, leading users from one screen to another in a sequential order that makes sense. We think that can  be done by styling the menu tabs individually. We might put some visuals such as a arrows there as well.
I am a big fan of tool tips and although our the site does not have any extra tool tips at this point, I am working on the tool tip content. I see a embedded tooltip that will pop open when clicked, revealing a link to a short video and exemplar content.

Here is a link to a public page with a short video and some screen shots: http://www.portfoliocommunities.com/view/view.php?id=2844

For those interested to give it a try without having to sign up for an account, feel free to log into the site using the following credentials (will change after some time for obvious reasons). You are of course welcome to create a free account and work in the site.

URL: www.portfoliocommunities.com
user: demo
password: demo2012

Below is a screen shot of the dashboard

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