Usability issues - Contact list

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How are we organizing all of the information that is on the profile page?

Profile.JPG

As it can be seen in the previous picture, the profile can be grouped in 6 categories which have different subcategories:

  1. Profile: photo and photo description, country, city / town, languages, email address, web page, icq number, skype id, yahoo id, aim id, msn id, courses, last access, roles, group, interests
  2. Edit profile
  3. Messages: contacts, search, settings and history
  4. Forum posts
  5. Blogs
  6. Activity reports
  7. [For the admin role: Roles]

What is the method behind the madness? How can we keep it from just being a random accumulation of additional information?

We can see how software such as gmail, skype, msn, linkedin or/and facebook integrates users' profile, ask to the forum or/and do some information architecture tests.

Determine some type of hierarchy within Moodle for the tabs that is logical

Comparing with other software

First the new hierarchy will be redesigned by seeing other social network services such as linkedin or facebook and thinking about which characteristics could be added to Moodle's profile. The new hierarchy would be the following:

  1. Profile: general information(which contains hoto and photo description, country, city / town, email address, phone number, web page and interests), contact information (which contains icq number, skype id, yahoo id, aim id, msn id) and Moodle information (which includes courses, last access, roles)
  2. Edit profile
  3. Messages: inbox, contacts (here all contacts are displayed and can be filtered by name, role, group, interests, city or country), search (it would contain the current search options plus the search options mentioned for the contacts submenu) and here there is a button to import contacts from other applications (gmail, facebook, linkedin, flickr, windows live hotmail, hi5,...), settings and history
  4. Chat: online contacts, set status (busy, invisible, out of chat, other), chat history
  5. Forum posts
  6. Blogs
  7. Activity reports
  8. [For the admin role: Roles]

Asking to the forum

When viewing a profile what other options might be helpful. Why people pull up someone's profile and what would they like or expect to be able to do?. After asking to the forum, this were the ideas being proposed:

  • use your profile as a portfolio, to collect everything like bookmarks, uploads/assignments/projects, wiki articles. Users should be able to see their forum posts, but in a summary table version. That is, they would see not the whole post but a table showing the title, date of the last reply, and number of replies. That way, they could see what activity is going on in their discussions of interest.
  • being able to set privacy options would be essential.
  • view photo galleries.

So after asking to the forum, the arquitecture information would be the following:

  1. Profile: general information(which contains hoto and photo description, country, city / town, email address, phone number, web page and interests), contact information (which contains icq number, skype id, yahoo id, aim id, msn id) and Moodle information (which includes courses, last access, roles)
  2. Edit profile (with a set of privacy options to each group of items such as general information etc. associated to each group i.e. teacher, student, people from the contact list, etc.)
  3. Messages: inbox, contacts (here all contacts are displayed and can be filtered by name, role, group, interests, city or country), search (it would contain the current search options plus the search options mentioned for the contacts submenu) and here there is a button to import contacts from other applications (gmail, facebook, linkedin, flickr, windows live hotmail, hi5,...), settings and history
  4. Chat: online contacts, set status (busy, invisible, out of chat, other), chat history
  5. Forum posts: in a summary table version (title, date of the last reply, and number of replies)
  6. Blogs
  7. Activity reports (bookmarks, uploads/assignments/projects, wiki articles)
  8. [For the admin role: Roles]

Doing an information architecture test

As mentioned in Nielsen website, there are several ways to improve information architecture:

  1. Merge the two sections
  2. Rename the two existing sections
  3. Explain the two choices
  4. Restructure the site
  5. Move information around
  6. Add cross-reference links

After the study, it will be explained if some of this actions are implemented.