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RDA Admin

I quite like the new design: it has more whitespace and is less text heavy, adds some colour where appropriate, highlights key components in the right places – a nice improvement, yet familiar enough re the main colours as to not be too jarring when people see it for the first time.

A few specific comments, roughly in UI order from top down.

  1. I know we are putting the Login link back on the top menu bar, would we also add Home? I know I can get there with the logo, or using breadcrumbs (most of the time), but it may be good to have it anyway? One option would be to put the “Research Data Sharing Without Borders” slogan to the right of the RDA logo and use this menu space for menu items, like Home.
  2. I like the red “badges” highlighting numbers, as I suspect it will be familiar to many people who have smartphones. The Working Area badge – I suspect it is meant to indicate the number of Groups, when I login could it indicate new messages in all the Groups I am a member of? If so, that would be sweet, and encourage me to login as soon as I come to the RDA site. 
  3. I agree with Andrew (jeesh, that’s twice now…) re changing the terminology for Plenaries (Next, Upcoming, Past), as I do have to hesitate and think about this, so I’m sure newbies new visitors would even more. I have no real preference for his alternate suggestions.
  4. The “News Dashboard” in the scrolling image banner is nice: does the news item shown in the white section change periodically, or stay with the most recent? It would seem to make sense to stick with the most recent.
  5. I know we are putting a focus on new Search functionality, so it would be nice to consider a slightly more useful (and wider) pulldown when I click on that search icon. For example, when I click in the Search box at this site:, I get a few simple options to adjust my search from the get go. Might be useful depending on how the search is enhanced. Would be especially useful if the options changed depending on the section I was in, e.g. Search the complete site vs Groups pages when in the Working Area.
  6. I really like the “Value of RDA for” section – hopefully we can use those icons where appropriate elsewhere on the site? I also know we discussed the issue of colour and accessibility, but it seems that the colour swatches on these icons could also be part of the sub-pages.
  7. I assume the Recommendations & Outputs badge refers to the total number of “official” outputs, which makes sense, and also provides a nice testimonial to the work of RDA.
  8. Same comment for the Working and Interest Groups panel – it would be neat to show the number of unread messages when I am logged in. Or maybe the badge could be a 2-parter (some iPhone Apps do this) and show the Number of Groups/Unread Messages. Asking the impossible, I know…
  9. Re Andrew’s comment regarding the ordering of the panels with respect to the order of the same components in the main menu bar, I do think it makes sense for the order of the panels to represent what we think is more important at the top, and not necessarily to mirror the order of the menu items. I also thought it might make sense to add a panel for “RDA Regions”, as this seems a critical piece to cameo. It could possibly replace RDA for Disciplines or the Plenaries panels?
  10. My experience with website Footers is that they tend to be used to present a structure different from that of the main top menu. It seems a bit of a waste of real-estate to repeat what is at the top (see or for examples). This is also a great spot for a Contact block so people don’t have to hunt for it. Another way to “explode” the upper menu (instead of the footer) would be to add a “hamburger” icon to the upper right or left that when clicked presents the expanded main menu items at a single glance. The IBM site has an example of this – also like badges a now very familiar UI component.
  11. As noted in a previous post, I would be tempted to make an adjustment to the site theme to show the secondary page tabs at the top as actual tabs, rather than the current appearance as buttons.

Probably good for now, as I see others have added lots of good comments as well.