Monday, 19 December 2011

'There is a need to provide guidance that is tailored both to the source, and to the role of the current user': ReScript editing issue 6

Page section
Article editor


Guidance about the source itself will be essential for all users. In addition, different levels of guidance will be needed depending on whether the user is editing or transcribing. This guidance should extend into practical advice about mark-up, preferably including worked examples.

Impact severity

Creation of a persistent page object into which guidance may be tailored to both the source and role of the current user.

The names of some items are likely to be somewhat generic or esoteric depending on the source, e.g. event in the Alumni Oxonienses draws together related details within education and occupation.

Figure 6—1: there appears to be no linear flow for the editing process meaning it is difficult for people to know how and where to start

Quantitative measure
Click where you would expect to find guidance on how to mark up the entity "East india Company"
Actual question
Click where you would expect to find guidance on how to mark up the organisation "East india Company"
Initial click test result ('before')
November 2011: 120 responses.

Figure 6—2: before

Development change
Creation of a tab folder, entitled 'About the source' for editorial guidance. Easy to switch between guidance and editing.

Figure 6—3: new folder tab structure enables guidance to appear alongside editing function without changing pages

Follow-up click test result ('after')
December 2011: 90 responses.

Figure 6—4: after

This issue remains unmet as there is no particularly strong concentration of clicks on the 'About the Source' folder tab, and the generic Help link in the top right attracts a similar amount of attention in both versions.

On reflection, this may be a simple labelling issue. 'About the source' is a general term but inappropriate in this context. Results would likely have been better if it were titled 'Mark-up guidelines', 'Editing guidelines' or even 'How to edit this'. This is a frustratingly small error at the final execution phase which has led to the issue being unmet and should have been resolved by QA.

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