Figure out how to structure the city dashboards

Created on Thursday 20 August 2020, 08:04

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  • ID
  • Project
    Metabolism of Cities
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Type
    Design work
  • Tags
    2020 Launch Sprint
  • Assigned to
    Carolin Bellstedt
  • Subscribers
    Aristide Athanassiadis
    Carolin Bellstedt
    Paul Hoekman

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We have this eternal issue trying to figure out how to clearly structure our data hub, and specifically the navigation menu when inside a city. We should make a call ASAP on how we do it - at least initially. So the question is: the sub-menu within the data portal (for each individual city), what should the headers be, and what should the individual items in that sub menu be?

Discussion and updates

New task was created

Task was assigned to Carolin Bellstedt

I want to try and have a go at this and build on our previous ideas, discussions and understanding. I also think that we took notes of this somewhere when discussing this in a call. Does anyone (Paul, Aris) remember where? Paul, since this is deactivated atm, could you send me a screenshot or better yet point me to the video that you had made about this? Thanks!

Great you'll be working on this Carolin! A few notes and thoughts from my side:

  • I would say also take into account our current data state of affairs which is: a select few cities have bits and pieces of datasets loaded (Cape Town, Brussels, etc), and for a larger number of cities we have lined up that we will soon have quite some data, but it's not necessarily processed any time soon which means we can easily show a list of library items, but not necessarily have the visualizations ready. You may want to take this into account when structuring the menu etc.
  • I've been thinking about using the layer-based approach for the menu as well (Context | Biophysical char. | Infrastructure | Stocks & Flows). It may be a good way to be coherent all-throughout. When clicking on a menu, it could either show all individual layers there, sometimes grouped together for space, or it could simply show something like "Overview", which shows all library items uploaded, and then slowly but steadily as we write up data articles, we place them in the respective menu and it grows that way over time.

The previous video with the structure I can't find, but I recorded a new quick one, see here.

OK looking forward to your ideas!!

Thanks for the input Paul! I'm working on this now and hope to soon have some suggestions.

Status change: Open → In Progress

Alright, so I've been thinking this over, drafting some things and made some notes (in D4.3). Generally, the question is what should be included in the data hub. Is it simply the hard data that we get from datasets and shapefiles or also other supporting and additional data, where aside from publications we even have things like events, organisations, people etc?

For now, and with the fantastic draft of Guus included, I'd suggest it to make it like shown in the image. Below the city image, you have the menu that is based on our layers. The home icon leads back to this overview page. Data management is a clearly separated button that leads to the current community portal site (?).

It is a bit hard to read, but the text in the top left box could be the beginning of the text from the first course exercise, plus "read more" and ofc stating the data contributor as author with link to their profile. Next to that box is the map. Then we could either have the 4/6 "resource cards" or the Status/progress part that Guus made and the Community Portal, as this is separated in the current draft, but I feel like it belongs together. The resource cards at the bottom might be better. I think we can take the cards that exist already currently under "resources" (datasets, journals articles, maps etc.) and bundle the journal articles, reports and theses under publications. So in total we could have either 4 cards: datasets, publications, maps, multimedia (which will include photos, videos, podcasts, data viz) or we have 6 cards, where we include also events and community (organisations, actors, people, data contributors).

I'm happy to discuss this in a call if that is easier.

Superb stuff Carolin!! This is very useful for us to now move ahead with this and set things up. Structure looks clear and seems sensible to me. Expect progress tomorrow on this. If anyone has any feedback do chime in, otherwise we'll proceed as you suggested. Great stuff!!

Oh good, I'm glad it is useful!

I forgot to mention that I was thinking for the community portal part that we could adjust the tabs that we currently have to also be aligned with the courses, so collection, processing and analysis (plus community). My idea was that we could eventually also have the indicators in analysis and that the data articles could be "born there". The current publication and data articles tabs aren't clear to me and/or this spot doesn't make a good home for them. I think the actual data articles can later on be featured elsewhere as they start to exist and grow.

Noted Carolin, good input. We have to see a bit how exactly the post-uploading workflow is best presented. I'll soon also show "publication" which isn't really necessarily the same as analysis. In any case we can see. Thanks!!

Heya that looks really nice. At this stage we don't have a lot of datasets that could be visualised but ideally in this "city dashboard" homepage" it would be nice to have a sankey diagram (when the specific flows and stocks have been completed) or other visualisation made from the datasets (for instance map of infra, map of actors, ...). I know we will find this information by clicking to some of the next sections but it would be nice to have a sneak peek so that people continue to explore.

Definitely a nice idea! Perhaps the Sankey could replace the city image at the top eventually and/or the infrastructure could be on the currently empty map. A lot can be done here and data viz lovers like us will love it. We have to try to find a good balance so that the "average user" (whoever that is) will not be too overwhelmed. In any case, I'm excited to see progress here :)

Indeed and there is a balance to what has been uploaded for the city. Perhaps, it could be an abstract Sankey (if we don't have sufficient data) that, a bit like a status bar, is showing where the data gaps are.

Good idea Aris, but indeed right now we don't have the information yet -- plus we are still figuring out how exactly to show this. But it is a good idea so I'd say let's consider this for the next phase once we have the info and visualization in place.

Hey Carolin, just a note here. You wrote:

> ... and the Community Portal, as this is separated in the current draft, but I feel like it belongs together

With the idea being, I believe, that the entire Community Portal be shown on the city dashboard page, correct? Guus and I chatted about this and it seems a bit tricky to do this. We would either have to completely replicate the content in two different places (so BOTH on the homepage and under the COMMUNITY PORTAL button itself). This leads to confusion as to where this "sits" on the site (and that's already something that we struggle with so the less ambiguity we have around that, the better). Or we would have to exclusively place the community portal on this city dashboard, but that means that for regular users it is quite a massive scroll down to the place that they need to be at, which hinders usability for them (and we want to make it as streamlined as possible for them, especially the recurring visitors).

So after discussing it we figured it made most sense to put all the items from the community portal on the page, but then link it to the community portal itself.

If you have any other suggestions or feedback please let us know.

Hi Carolin,

Quick note on this. In the current top-level menu we now have CONTEXT | BIOPHYSICAL | INFRASTRUCTURE | STOCKS+FLOWS. However, on the homepage itself there are also cards with DATASETS, PUBLICATIONS, MAPS, MULTIMEDIA. These are shown under a header called RESOURCES.

When you click on any of those aforementioned cards, you should see (I assume) all the resources in that category. However, the question than is: which part of the dashboard is the user on? In other words, in the top-level menu, which part should be highlighted? In the past I've used a RESOURCES tab for this reason, and it seems logical in this setup to also add this, no?

Hey Carolin,

In order to move ahead here the section was now set up according to your general instructions, but with an option in the menu to also browse information "by type" (now called BROWSE BY TYPE). Have a look and let us know what you think.

Hi Paul,
Sorry that I hadn't gotten back to your previous points earlier. I understand the difficulty of the duplication of the community portal, so the decision that you made with Guus on this seems to be a sensible one.
As for the cards of the resources, I see what you mean now. I think your solution is fitting. I'm not just yet a fan of RESOURCES as a word. It can be a bit confusing, as we deal ofc with material resources of the cities as well and it is the first header that you see of the dashboard. I know that I had been using that term in my draft as well, but didn't like it then either. Could we change it to something like "supporting info" or "support documentation" or "sources" or something else? And could you change "browse by type" to "browse documentation" or "browse sources" etc. accordingly?

Lastly, could we set "browse by type" visually apart from the other tabs (even writing it in italic could work) and also bring in some color to separate the 4 parts of the dashboard home tab (map, resources, progress, community portal)?
Thanks Paul!

Okay understood. What do you think of calling it a library?? It's the exact same structure, system, and content as the library anyways. So "Browse library" in the menu, and just "Library", or "City name + library", eg "Cape Town library" as a subheader, what do you think?

For color and styling etc I'll ask Guus to help, not my specialty but maybe he can help.

Great idea!! I think just "Library" without City name is fine here, since the city name is just above in that case. But I'm fine with either actually. In fact, it could also actually be "City Library" - to remind people that this is about the city.

Marking this as completed now, as the structure has been figured out and the rest is fine tuning :)

Status change: In Progress → Completed

Done, I've changed it now to City Library (and Island Library for MoI!).

Nice! Thanks