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[SUGGESTION] Closed/Open Site

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Posted
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#91300 (In Topic #18381)
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Community saint

Came to me when helping someone in the chat room

Greetings,

So today I was helping someone in the chatroom find out how to open their site. It came to my mind that maybe, just maybe we could make this little thing a bit easier...

Currently you have to go to Admin Zone > Setup > Configuration > Site Options
You then have to go down to the third section and deal with the Closed Site checkbox, choecked if closed, unchecked if open.

So here are some ideas that might help on that...

1.) Change the Closed Site checkbox to something like:

Site Status: 0 opened  0 closed
Where the 0 = some kind of check box thing....

2.) Maybe put either a link to or copy of option in the Admin Zone summary page, making it easier for new ocportal admin to fine.


Going based on my helping the new ocportal user in the chat room, it isn't quite easy to understand what to do to open a site. Even directing them to where the option laid still bore confusion on just what to do. So at least using suggestion 1 would help with that.

Legends of Nor'Ova: A site powered by ocPortal; home of the Legends of Nor'Ova tabletop RPG wiki and community.

Like ocPortal? Want to thank Chris and gang somehow? Then help out in the chat room! It really needs your help! Just open it in a tab everytime you open your web browser, and when you hear a "ding", check it out!

"Those who want help should first be willing to give help."
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Posted
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#91301
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On point '2' first, it's linked from the staff checklist on the Admin Zone front page, represented in the Setup Wizard, and comes up for Admin Zone searches for 'open' or 'closed'. It's also in the upgrader for people doing upgrades. So I don't think it's hard to find even if you don't look through the configuration.

Use of radio buttons for open or closed is a good idea. There is a slight issue with 'closed' being a negative word, while a checkbox is best used for a positive word – so I can kind of see the confusion and why you're radio suggestion is better. [Side note, changing it to be an 'Open' checkbox would not help though because then that works against the terminology, which is about 'closed'.] It's probably a couple of hours work to implement as radio buttons because the config system doesn't have a way of dealing with those at the moment.

I think the wider problem is a lot of users aren't necessary English speakers, so text in general can confuse them. In the ideal world we'd have everything pictorial, e.g. an AJAX-powered swatch on the closed site message. Also a lot of users find it hard when a lot of options are presented to them (the kind who like to understand something in its entirety rather than being able to pick up as you go) – but that's just the way ocPortal is – very well organised, but there's a lot of it.

My fear is that we can tweak low hanging fruit like this but most people aren't going to struggle with the checkbox in the slightest, so we're only making one-off things easier for a particular kind of user (e.g. the non-English speaker) – and crucially I think this kind of user is going to struggle with other key activities which would be very very hard to make easier.

If it was a 2 min job, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'm not trying to say we shouldn't make things easier when it's easy to make them easier, even genius users are more productive when they can focus their brainpower on the important activities.

What I'm really trying to say, is I don't think a tweak here and a tweak there is going to help some kinds of user in the general case. What's needed is a much larger usability effort to make ocPortal usable with just clicking around and not thinking at all, but that will take serious $$$. I think it will happen, ocPortal usability has got much better over the years and I think we'll be able to continue finding ways to work on it. But I can't help but think some serious work adding more visual metaphors to things would help a great deal but also cost a great deal too, it's where the real improvement would be.

Phew, it took a while to articulate all that. Hope it makes sense.


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  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
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Posted
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#91302
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Community saint

It does make  sense. I understand what you are saying. For many this is not really an issue after all. But since I knew you were wanting to make things more userfriendly, so to speak, I made the suggestion.

I had forgotten about the todo list link in the status page. And yes, I knew about the search tool and even suggested to it. Finding the option didn't prove enough though, likely being a language barrier issue.

I am wondering if in this case a switch might prove more useful? Switches are typically associated with on/off anyhow, despite language right?

But yeah, it all comes down to that one little obstacle that we hate to recognize yet manages to control everything… money. There is no real easy answer here, and admittedly changing a single option like this while it does bear cost may not bear return. But maybe, just maybe, it is something that might be found simple enough to work into a next major update?

Legends of Nor'Ova: A site powered by ocPortal; home of the Legends of Nor'Ova tabletop RPG wiki and community.

Like ocPortal? Want to thank Chris and gang somehow? Then help out in the chat room! It really needs your help! Just open it in a tab everytime you open your web browser, and when you hear a "ding", check it out!

"Those who want help should first be willing to give help."
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by mythusLiked by BobS)  
Rating:
#91303
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Feedback's always good. I went on a bit in my reply because I think it's an interesting discussion. I'll put a link to this topic in the tracker issue talking about updating the config option structuring system.

By Swatch I meant Switch – seems I used the wrong word, I just looked up the definition of 'swatch' and realised that a 'choice of fabrics' is not what we're talking about :lol:.


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Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#91305
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Community saint

My 2 cents to this is, that if the open/close is working from the status page you have solve the problem for most of them.


http://digiflash.nl Photo community  (dutch)
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by mythusLiked by BobS)  
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#91307
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Community saint

I feel a 'minimodule' moment coming on.

It seems to me that the 'upgrader tool' code for closing and opening the site can be usurped to bring up a couple of buttons (traffic light type) to invite the ADMIN to close or open the site with a single click - buttons that have the correct 'permissions', and that can be placed anywhere on the site and not necessarily exclusively in the Adminzone - so that an Admin can quickly react to whether or not he/she wants to close down the site for whatever reason.

Off to investigate this, but I'm sure there are more competent coders that are waaaaaaay ahead of me - especially if they consider it a good idea!

 :thumbs:

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#91308
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Community saint

But that is just not true Harry-S, the problem remains. And a good part of the problem is the confusion over how to close/open the site… ie.. does a checked box mean the site is open or closed. And yes, while there is that small print that says basically "checked box = closed site", it still confuses some.

Allow me to demonstrate from today's chat:

(unnamed)/admin :
Please help how to open my ocportal website and change the name of my website
I install ocportal now and when i see my web. this say the website is closed and the webmaster open the site
 09:39 AMmythus :
do you see a place to log in?
 09:39 AM(unnamed)/admin :
yes
 09:40 AMmythus :
if not you can try yourwebsite.com/adminzone/pg/start (basically, add /adminzone/pg/start to the end of your address
if you can log in, just do so and click on the admin zone link (assuming you have one)
 09:41 AM(unnamed)/admin :
Yes I click to admin zone. then?
 09:41 AMmythus :
you can open your site in admin zone > setuyp > configuration > site options
or type Closed Site in the search box and it will direct you to where to go
 09:43 AM(unnamed)/admin :
I am in site option then?
Tell me more please
 09:45 AMmythus :
third section down
where it says Closed Site? you should see a box next to it with a checkmark in it
just ckick on that box, thus removing the checkmark
*click, damnable typo
doing so should open your site
please confirm if this helps you, thanks
 09:50 AM(unnamed)/admin :
Thanks a lot of you and site is open now.

As hopefully that demonstrates, it wasn't enough to simply find where the option to open the site was, more info was needed on how to open the site.

Therefore I think that changing the checkbox to either radioboxes or switches would help with what to do once you find the option. Also maybe changing the esction from Closed Site to Site Status or Site Open or Closed.

Legends of Nor'Ova: A site powered by ocPortal; home of the Legends of Nor'Ova tabletop RPG wiki and community.

Like ocPortal? Want to thank Chris and gang somehow? Then help out in the chat room! It really needs your help! Just open it in a tab everytime you open your web browser, and when you hear a "ding", check it out!

"Those who want help should first be willing to give help."
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Posted
Rating:
#91309
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Fletch said

I feel a 'minimodule' moment coming on.

It seems to me that the 'upgrader tool' code for closing and opening the site can be usurped to bring up a couple of buttons (traffic light type) to invite the ADMIN to close or open the site with a single click - buttons that have the correct 'permissions', and that can be placed anywhere on the site and not necessarily exclusively in the Adminzone - so that an Admin can quickly react to whether or not he/she wants to close down the site for whatever reason.

Off to investigate this, but I'm sure there are more competent coders that are waaaaaaay ahead of me - especially if they consider it a good idea!

 :thumbs:

It's technical, but something I often do is type this into OcCLE to close a site:

Code

echo 1 > /etc/site_closed
You can open OcCLE with one click, so it kind of does what you want.


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Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#91310
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Community saint

Mythus: Therefore I think that changing the checkbox to either radioboxes or switches would help with what to do once you find the option. Also maybe changing the esction from Closed Site to Site Status or Site Open or Closed.

I agree with you that the best option is a radio button where to choose. But this could the best on the status screen to my idea, so that its easier to find.

Harry


http://digiflash.nl Photo community  (dutch)
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by BobS)  
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#91311
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I agree with you that the best option is a radio button where to choose. But this could the best on the status screen to my idea, so that its easier to find.

Here's my view on that…

A common response to someone finding something hard to find is to put it front and centre. Yet every time a function is duplicated to another place to make it easier to find, the whole system gets very slightly harder to use due to slightly added clutter.

Similarly, the system concepts are harder to learn as you go. You can't so easily get a feel for what configuration is anymore, because the sections aren't as cleanly delineated.

I think opening/closing the site is a pretty rare thing to do, and that there is a lot of stuff people might potentially say should be given admin focus. I don't think it therefore should get a permanent prominence. Upgrading is a special case, where we've neatly incorporated it as a part of the step-by-step approach. Opening the site that is already closed is another special case, which is why it is on the staff checklist.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#91319
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Fan in action

Hi Guys,
Would it not be simpler to remain all as it is, but use the admin search at the top of admin zone?
Even searching for "Open site" as an example displays the "Closed Site" link the 5th item down in search results.

I understand the need to have certain key elements at hand, and perhaps a simple "switch" on the "status" page would be helpful for some.
Perhaps having a custom user created menu known/visible to admins only with links direct to closed site options...?

Admin Menu
|_ Open/Close site.

Its crude/simple, but unless a minimodule is create for such a specfic need prob only way...
I dont know, I'm prob totally off the mark, I'm new to this side of development, I write desktop applications. PHP etc is alien to me lol

Be gentle, I'm new to this :)
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Posted
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#91322
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Community saint

If you are off the mark, RoyBoy, so am I. I was thinking that, as Chris mentioned, OCP takes a learning curve (I'm paraphrasing), and how often do you open and close a site?
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Posted
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#91325
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Community saint

Yeah, I'm not so worried about the location of the option. The admin search solves that.

What I am after is a sane way of assuring what the option does. It seems to me that the checkbox that is currently in use isn't so clear. A set of radio boxes or a switch seems like a better idea.

Speaking of learning curves, I just switched my keyboard layout from qwerty to colmak. Looks like fun times ahead!

Legends of Nor'Ova: A site powered by ocPortal; home of the Legends of Nor'Ova tabletop RPG wiki and community.

Like ocPortal? Want to thank Chris and gang somehow? Then help out in the chat room! It really needs your help! Just open it in a tab everytime you open your web browser, and when you hear a "ding", check it out!

"Those who want help should first be willing to give help."
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Posted
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#91327
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Community saint

I apologize, mythus, I totally missed your meaning. Probably cause I have a tendency to skim-read.  :$

Couldn't you just re-phrase the language for the closed site. I think that is in the global language area. Or, am I over-simplifying…I do have a tendency to do that.

Good luck with the keyboard.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by mythus)  
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#91340
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Community saint

psydoc said

Couldn't you just re-phrase the language for the closed site. I think that is in the global language area. Or, am I over-simplifying
Because its a check box there is no way of rewriting it that is either not wordy or a bit awkward.

As Chris said the awkwardness is because your are asking the user to perform a positive action (tick the check box) to perform a negative action on the site (close the site).

The option should really be labelled Open/Close site" instead of "Closed site" and have radio buttons instead of a check box.

In an ideal world though, it should not even be in the site options. It should be a clear immediate action that is more suited to a menu item as RoyBoy suggested.

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
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Posted
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#91343
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Community saint

I want the option to close your site completely removed from OCPortal.    

I get little enough usage when it's open.

;)

Paul
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Posted
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#91362
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Community saint

temp1024 said

psydoc said

Couldn't you just re-phrase the language for the closed site. I think that is in the global language area. Or, am I over-simplifying
Because its a check box there is no way of rewriting it that is either not wordy or a bit awkward.

As Chris said the awkwardness is because your are asking the user to perform a positive action (tick the check box) to perform a negative action on the site (close the site).

The option should really be labelled Open/Close site" instead of "Closed site" and have radio buttons instead of a check box.

In an ideal world though, it should not even be in the site options. It should be a clear immediate action that is more suited to a menu item as RoyBoy suggested.
I do agree you are asking a person to take a positive action bu ticking the box to close the site. I guess the part with which I don't is that closing your site is a negative. I have always seen that as a positive action as it allowed me to upgrade and make improvement. Therefore, simply changing the wording to "Close the Site" and leave the wording of the description the same.

But, that is just me.  :lol:

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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by GuestLiked by GuestLiked by Guest)  
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#91363
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Community saint

Arbo said

I want the option to close your site completely removed from OCPortal.    

I get little enough usage when it's open.

;)
:nod: me, too. :(

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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by mythus)  
Rating:
#91369
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Community saint

psydoc said

I guess the part with which I don't is that closing your site is a negative. I have always seen that as a positive action as it allowed me to upgrade and make improvement.
Everything is ultimately a positive action. I choose to show an image and I choose to hide an image :lol:.

But its largely an exercise in semantics to keep things consistent.

Sure we can understand it easy enough, but when every other action on that form is a positive one (i.e. tick to enable, tell me how big something should be, tell me what words I should use) it becomes the odd one out.

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
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Posted
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#91377
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Community saint

temp1024 said

psydoc said

Couldn't you just re-phrase the language for the closed site. I think that is in the global language area. Or, am I over-simplifying
Because its a check box there is no way of rewriting it that is either not wordy or a bit awkward.

As Chris said the awkwardness is because your are asking the user to perform a positive action (tick the check box) to perform a negative action on the site (close the site).

The option should really be labelled Open/Close site" instead of "Closed site" and have radio buttons instead of a check box.

In an ideal world though, it should not even be in the site options. It should be a clear immediate action that is more suited to a menu item as RoyBoy suggested.
I agree with all of this, though playing devil's advocate, it could be argued that closing and opening a site are indeed options to do with your site, thus site options.

But yeah, they are not the options that we typically think about being site options…

Still, I think the largest issue isn;t finding it, it is understanding what opens and closes the site. Using a radiobox or a switch would remove the positive action for a negative action confusion.

Legends of Nor'Ova: A site powered by ocPortal; home of the Legends of Nor'Ova tabletop RPG wiki and community.

Like ocPortal? Want to thank Chris and gang somehow? Then help out in the chat room! It really needs your help! Just open it in a tab everytime you open your web browser, and when you hear a "ding", check it out!

"Those who want help should first be willing to give help."
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