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Scenarios for Announcements Context of Use


 
 

Primary Scenarios:

  • The user has a fixed size list (say 5 announcements) and there are 7 recent announcements, they want to juggle the list so the most important ones appear.
  • Some 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.

Out of Scope Scenarios (reorder doesn't solve these user needs):

  • Announcements are listed in chronological order and the user wants to keep the most important announcement at the top.
    • The reorderer will only solve this problem temporarily.  The next time an announcement is created it would end up at the top of the list.  If this is an important scenario there should probably be a setting on the announcement to keep it at the top.
    • POTENTIAL SOLUTION:  Add a setting to the announcement creation form to "Always keep this announcement at the top of the list"
  • Highlight/foreground a particular announcement(s)
    • Could this be a complex use of the reorderer?  GS "ike taking out of one list ("regular humdrum items") and putting in a location in another list ("exciting pulsating items")?"
    • POTENTIAL SOLUTION:  Add a setting to the announcement creation from to "Mark as High Priority" (or important or something like that).  The announcement would have a visual indication of it's importance via an icon (flag, exclamation point or something like that)

Design Needs/Challenges

  • Announcements can be sorted chronologically:  If we allow users to move them around ignoring the date and time, what happens when they sort on date and time again.  They will need a way to get back to their manual sort.  Currently there is no sort that allows them to do that.
  • Users need a way to get to their custom order:  If the "natural  order" has been customized through the use of list reordering, the user needs a clear way to get to that order at anytime during a session.  John mentions below that the custom order should be what users see when they land on the announcements page.  We'd also like the user to be able to get to their custom order without needing to leave the tool.
  • For very long lists, users prefer numbering to change the order of elements:  A close friend of the community did some user testing in this area which backs up this statement.  We've also seen some of this with layout customizer testing from the perspective that its hard to drag and drop if it requires moving "below the fold".  For our design we'd like to allow users to do both types of reordering, drag & drop and numbering.
  • Update button:  Currently, 'Update' allows users to activate remove  for those items they've checked.  Do we require users to choose to update to save reordering too?  Do we need a button for remove and one for saving the order change?  Also need to make sure user sees the update button which has been a common problem in Sakai.
  • Different views of announcements
    • Paging - what happens if a user reorders announcements on page 2 and then increases the number of announcements shown per page?
    • Filters - announcements can be filtered on public, by group, etc.   What happens if they reorder a subset and then view the entire list?
    • Summary views and aggregate views - summaries and aggregate views (announcements from all sites I belong to) display in MyWorksite.  How are they affected by the change in order made in the specific site?
    • Message of the Day - do we allow reordering here?

Potential Design solutions

  • Add update button to the top of table also to ensure users see it.  Another option is not to require save the action.  We'd need redo capability if this is the case.
  • Require a 'reorder' mode. 
    • Could show the numbering interaction.
    • Could make it clear in this mode what save means
    • Could help with the challenge of dragging and dropping clickable items.
  • Only allow reordering when looking at all announcements, no paging, no filtering (by group, by public).  Would alleviate issue with how to deal with changes made when viewing a subset.
  • Only allow reordering within a sight and the custom order is not reflected in other places that announcements are viewed like MyWorkspace summary and MyWorkspace aggregate.
  • Add a control to take users back to custom order.  Could be a button or link or something of the sort.
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2 Comments

  1. I would think that non-maintainers see the list in its custom ordered state. They can sort via the column headers, but if they click the 'restart' icon in the toolbar, or when coming to the tool in a new session, they see the custom ordered state.

    Maintainers can custom order the list, and click update to 'freeze' that custom order. If the maintainer then sorts differently via a column header - say in alpha order - they see that order until they click the restart, or come into the tool in a new session. If they sort and then Update, then the new custom order becomes whatever sort order they had when they clicked update. So everyone can sort to get some order other than the custom order, but the list reverts to custom order as the default. Maintainers can change the custom order to an arbirtrary order or sorted by a particular column and use update to make that order the default. 

  2. Just to be clear here, the "Date" displayed is the last-modified date, not the creation date.  So chronological order in Announcements, such as in the Recent Activity view, puts the most recently modified at the top of the list.  In the full tool view it is still a last-modified chronology, however, in that case the most recently modified is at the bottom of the list (but this is a bug which is being addressed.)  So when you refer to "the next time an announcement is created it would end up at the top of the list," you probably mean created or modified.