Community Portal

Set up a proper "mini-site" for the priority project

Created on Thursday 3 June 2021, 04:56

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  • ID
  • Project
    Metabolism of Cities Data Hub
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Type
    Programming work
  • Tags
    Data Hub Priority Plan 2021 General data hub improvements
  • Assigned to
    Paul Hoekman
  • Subscribers
    Paul Hoekman

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As discussed here, we need some additional tools and features to make it clear to a wider audience how they can help with the priority project. That involves making clearer lists of our tasks, split by type and priority, and making it easy for newbies to find good tasks. Also, ways to sign up / stay informed should be embedded.

Discussion and updates

New task was created

Task was assigned to Paul Hoekman

I've been going over some options and am finding quite some inspiration at the Django community hub. Attached a screenshot of the homepage. What I like:

  • Their homepage basically guides people towards many different sections and tools so that it speaks to a variety of audiences.
  • The set of tools offered is nice (forum, mailing lists, RSS feeds, ticket system, FAQ, chat channel, etc)
  • They have good documentation catered to beginners

What I also noted in the task management discussion is that we lack a clear and logical place to contribute. The COMMUNITY HUB links are not set up in a very intuitive way, and content has been moving around. I think both this mini site and our general community hub should be structured in a way that there is a clear homepage that displays all that there is, so that this becomes the logical first point of arrival from which people can find the right place to go to.

Okay this is still work in progress, but see a draft page here. Screenshot attached. My idea is that we create this kind of portal for all the community hubs, and that we ultimately separate this out more clearly from the "data uploading and processing" community hub in the data portal (it's now sorta mixed, and creates confusion). This kind of portal provides an overview into how people can contribute to the overarching project development (tasks, forum, etc). People can open the very same page at three different levels. The structure will remain the same, but the "filter" that pulls in tasks, updates, forum threads etc will vary. The levels are:

  • At project level (eg Data Hub). This will be the default page shown when you go to the community hub from the menu
  • At a "sub project" level. So far there is only one, which is the Priority Plan 2021, and the page I linked is a sample of this.
  • At an individual "tag" which is a specific action path in the priority plan. This already works by clicking on any of the large buttons.

I have also enabled these multiple priorities to be used for tagging of each task and I'll now work a bit on retagging what tasks we have so far, which will allow us to see how well developed each priority is.

Note that forum posts doesn't yet pull in anything. Also the links on the right don't work. There's stuff to do -- but this is the rough idea. Feedback welcome.

Here is the actual screenshot.

I've finished retagging the tasks. The verdict: we are doing pretty well in terms of the multi-level priority and also have quite a few general data hub improvement tasks listed. We have few tasks for the MFA integration and NO tasks for the API/export priority. I am not sure if we had "champions" yet for these different priorities or if any specific way to roll things out was discussed. It may be worthwhile chatting in the sprint to see if we can identify champions who commit to curating tasks and developing a roadmap. It really is quite some work and without it, moving ahead is difficult. And for all programming stuff it really motivates me to see someone actively pursuing a priority portfolio. So let's see. At least we know where we stand at the moment. I will continue with all this later, should now really do some other stuff.

I've updated this a bit. The task browsing now works. Useful to see exactly what we have in each section. What I am unsure about is the sidebar menu that appears on the first page. At this point, I am retaining it on the "second" page when you click on a category of task like this one. However, when you open an individual task, it is difficult to retain. It takes up too much screen real estate. We can put the horizontal menu on over there (which should be restructured) or perhaps we somehow hide the side menu and make it pop up when clicking something - to be more consistent. Neither is ideal and I'm not sure - input welcome.

So, I've done some restructuring here. In fact, some foundational restructuring of the navigation at the site as a whole. Basically, the COMMUNITY tab at the top is now a multi-column menu, which splits into DATA CONTRIBUTION and COMMUNITY PORTAL. Those two sections, which were mixed before, are now properly separated. The priority project is simply a sub-item of the community portal. The sidebar menu will only appear on the community portal homepage (and perhaps priority project homepage??) but the main nav will be horizontal. This should make everything much more intuitive.

I still have stuff to sort through so I will only put this online when it's properly polished, but it's getting there.

Okay... the whole restructuring stuff is completed. Quite an exercise but it feels much better structured now. I ended up setting it up so that the navigation menus are consistently displayed throughout the two "portals", independently from which page you are on (even the "homepage"). This seems best. I am a bit in doubt whether to show it on the priority page - with the confusing bit being that it is not a tab in there. Maybe we should just add that tab actually, makes life much easier.

The one thing pending is to sort out the task filtering system when you are in the priority hub and have entered a specific task group. But honestly there aren't that many tasks yet so I am not prioritizing this. Also, would be good if the FEATURE REQUEST and REPORT BUG buttons would actually take you to a slightly different page, but for now it's all fine that it just goes to the add task page -- just having it is much better than not having it I think.

I might leave it at this, busy week starting tomorrow and I think the system is going to work just fine for this first iteration. Looking forward to it!

Status change: Open → Completed