New beta.ixda.org ready for community to use and evaluate

28 May 2007 - 9:54pm
7 years ago
26 replies
817 reads
Robert Reimann
2003

Dear IxDA Community:

We have some great news for everyone!

It's with great excitement that the IxDA Board of Directors announces
the availability of the beta version of a new IxDA community
experience. Through the efforts of IxDA volunteers, and spearheaded by
community member Jeff Howard, we are pleased to launch the beta
version at:

http://beta.ixda.org/

We believe this effort is the start of creating a new kind of
professional organization. The new site will allow a significantly
better experience for all of us in the community, including tagging of
content, customized RSS feeds, browsing by topics and the ability to
share information about you with the community. We all thank Jeff and
his project team, which includes: Luke Wroblewski, Micah Alpern, Josh
Seiden, David Malouf, Greg Petroff and others.

We anticipate that the beta period for the new site will last over the
next 2 months while we complete the visual design and fix any issues
that may come up from the list's use.

We encourage you to offer any suggestions to:

betafeedback@ixda.org

We hope you enjoy the new experience!

Regards,

Robert.

--
Robert Reimann
President, IxDA

Manager, User Experience
Bose Corporation
Framingham, MA

Comments

28 May 2007 - 11:57pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

At first glance, it looks great. I look forward to spending more time
at the site.

Nicely done!

Jared

On May 29, 2007, at 4:54 AM, Robert Reimann wrote:

> We believe this effort is the start of creating a new kind of
> professional organization. The new site will allow a significantly
> better experience for all of us in the community, including tagging of
> content, customized RSS feeds, browsing by topics and the ability to
> share information about you with the community. We all thank Jeff and
> his project team, which includes: Luke Wroblewski, Micah Alpern, Josh
> Seiden, David Malouf, Greg Petroff and others.

29 May 2007 - 8:44am
.pauric
2006

as one of the beta testers I want to give props to Jeff who has
wrestled with archaic constructs of mailman, responded to bug reports
very quickly and held his calm when the 'wouldnt it be cool if'
enhancement requests came in. A stellar developer/designer/architect*

(*delete as appropriate)

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

29 May 2007 - 9:32am
Dirk Platzek
2007

I am glad for this fine interface to pull all the list discussion
together into one platform. This will be my new homepage:)
Thank you very much!

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

29 May 2007 - 12:05pm
Cwodtke
2004

Guys, this is crazy awesome. Is this a stand alone tool, a product out
of a box? Can you tell us the story of how you made it?

Robert Reimann wrote:
> Dear IxDA Community:
>
> We have some great news for everyone!
>
> It's with great excitement that the IxDA Board of Directors announces
> the availability of the beta version of a new IxDA community
> experience. Through the efforts of IxDA volunteers, and spearheaded by
> community member Jeff Howard, we are pleased to launch the beta
> version at:
>
> http://beta.ixda.org/
>
> We believe this effort is the start of creating a new kind of
> professional organization. The new site will allow a significantly
> better experience for all of us in the community, including tagging of
> content, customized RSS feeds, browsing by topics and the ability to
> share information about you with the community. We all thank Jeff and
> his project team, which includes: Luke Wroblewski, Micah Alpern, Josh
> Seiden, David Malouf, Greg Petroff and others.
>
> We anticipate that the beta period for the new site will last over the
> next 2 months while we complete the visual design and fix any issues
> that may come up from the list's use.
> We encourage you to offer any suggestions to:
>
> ideas.beta at ixda.org
>
> And to report any bugs to:
>
> bugs.beta at ixda.org
>
> We hope you enjoy the new experience!
>
> Regards,
>
> Robert.
>
>

--
Christina Wodtke
Principal Instigator
415-577-2550

Business :: http://www.cucinamedia.com
Magazine :: http://www.boxesandarrows.com
Product :: http://www.publicsquarehq.com
Personal :: http://www.eleganthack.com
Book :: http://www.blueprintsfortheweb.com

cwodtke at eleganthack.com

29 May 2007 - 12:05pm
Sean Voisen
2006

Looks great so far! I look forward to diving in further and using it
on a daily basis. My complements to everyone involved.

- Sean

29 May 2007 - 3:12pm
Shaun Bergmann
2007

Congratulations!
I will certainly be spending much time in there and from what I see it looks
great!

On 5/28/07, Robert Reimann <rmreimann at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Dear IxDA Community:
>
> We have some great news for everyone!
>
> It's with great excitement that the IxDA Board of Directors announces
> the availability of the beta version of a new IxDA community
> experience. Through the efforts of IxDA volunteers, and spearheaded by
> community member Jeff Howard, we are pleased to launch the beta
> version at:
>
> http://beta.ixda.org/
>
> We believe this effort is the start of creating a new kind of
> professional organization. The new site will allow a significantly
> better experience for all of us in the community, including tagging of
> content, customized RSS feeds, browsing by topics and the ability to
> share information about you with the community. We all thank Jeff and
> his project team, which includes: Luke Wroblewski, Micah Alpern, Josh
> Seiden, David Malouf, Greg Petroff and others.
>
> We anticipate that the beta period for the new site will last over the
> next 2 months while we complete the visual design and fix any issues
> that may come up from the list's use.
> We encourage you to offer any suggestions to:
>
> ideas.beta at ixda.org
>
> And to report any bugs to:
>
> bugs.beta at ixda.org
>
> We hope you enjoy the new experience!
>
> Regards,
>
> Robert.
>
> --
> Robert Reimann
> President, IxDA
>
> Manager, User Experience
> Bose Corporation
> Framingham, MA
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
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> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

29 May 2007 - 4:08pm
Kev Burns
2007

Beautiful interface. I'll definitely be adding this new
communication space to my daily rounds.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

29 May 2007 - 8:27pm
Christian Crumlish
2006

Very cool and attratcive new site. Congratulations to the team.

A few initial questions:

1. I can't see immediately how to post a new thread (I see how to respond).
2. I''m curious how the topics are/were derived,
human.editorial/curatorsahip or inference?
3. I wonder if the "top contributors" leaderboard will provide useful
or harmful incentives.

Oh, and I'm happy there's a patterns topic and the delicious feed from
community member rebekaht1 yielded some excellent new links for me.
I'd like to off my own set of "patterns"-tagged links -
http://del.icio.us/xian/patterns - in case anyone finds them useful.
There are no doubt some overlaps.

-xian-

--
Christian Crumlish
http://xianlandia.com/

Pattern Detective, Yahoo!
http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/

29 May 2007 - 9:14pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Hi Christian,

So people all know, there is no way to post a new thread from the
site. To do so you have to do using email. We thought about several
web-based mechanisms for doing just this, but b/c of the integrations
with Mailman we had some difficulties in doing fresh posts from the
web side.

The best we thought of doing was to do a web link "mailto" to
discuss at ixda.org that would open your default email client for you.
We decided that this didn't feel worth it.

Maybe the next rev some amazing mailman genius of a volunteer could
help us out and make this all happen. Anyone?

Oh! the topics are human generated and fitting w/ the David
Weinberger thread on IAI very arbitrary. 8-) (I guess except for Jobs
and Events.)

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

29 May 2007 - 10:02pm
Christian Crumlish
2006

On 5/29/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> Hi Christian,
>
> So people all know, there is no way to post a new thread from the
> site. To do so you have to do using email. We thought about several
> web-based mechanisms for doing just this, but b/c of the integrations
> with Mailman we had some difficulties in doing fresh posts from the
> web side.

interesting. sounds like a tough design challenge indeed! Perhaps some
"signage" to that effect will help the confused (like myself). I
wonder if, as a workaround, people will hijack and relabel existing
threads?

> Oh! the topics are human generated and fitting w/ the David
> Weinberger thread on IAI very arbitrary. 8-) (I guess except for Jobs
> and Events.)

Cool, and the assignments of posts to topics is also human-mediated?
Little elves are running around the back-end curating the archives?

-xian-

29 May 2007 - 10:15pm
Dave Malouf
2005

On 5/29/07, Christian Crumlish <xian at pobox.com> wrote:
> Cool, and the assignments of posts to topics is also human-mediated?
> Little elves are running around the back-end curating the archives?

Well, everyone is invited to be a little elf. Just tag away and things
get curated.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

29 May 2007 - 10:02pm
steve szoczei
2007

I think this is an excellent resource... I have been recieving the
postings for over a year, and this interface will be an ideal way of
tracking discussions in an easy and clean manner...

excellent work.. congrats to all involved

cheers

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

29 May 2007 - 10:55pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Christian, I'd be interested in hearing more about the "harmful"
incentive comment about the leader board on the members page. Do you
see appearing on the board as a _disincentive?_ I saw it as a way for
those who contribute to the list to get some credit, particularly
those who don't normally post comments but might be encouraged to
undertake some tagging. There are other ways to approach it. New
members, popular members, random, etc...

There are some people who will almost always be on the "active"
board. But I also hoped that it would keep members in check, so that
when someone new comes along and posts 98 threads in a week they can
see that they're outside the community norm.

// jeff

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

30 May 2007 - 1:22am
Håkan Reis
2006

Well done. It seems ok, and as it should I find it easy to navigate
around the IxDA site.

Looking forward to try out the RSS feeds when I get to my own
system.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

30 May 2007 - 8:52am
Christian Crumlish
2006

On 5/29/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
> On 5/29/07, Christian Crumlish <xian at pobox.com> wrote:
> > Cool, and the assignments of posts to topics is also human-mediated?
> > Little elves are running around the back-end curating the archives?
>
> Well, everyone is invited to be a little elf. Just tag away and things
> get curated.

Oh, so the topics are the same as the tags? I got the impression they
were a controlled vocabulary.

-xian-

30 May 2007 - 8:57am
Christian Crumlish
2006

On 5/29/07, Jeff Howard <id at howardesign.com> wrote:
> Christian, I'd be interested in hearing more about the "harmful"
> incentive comment about the leader board on the members page. Do you
> see appearing on the board as a _disincentive?_

No, I meant it the other way around.

My general sense is that any leaderboard encourages (some) people,
subtly or otherwise to climb the list. If volume of contribution is
the most desirable metric, then encouraging volume is no problem.
Given that people now have a way of indicating favorite threads (or
posts?), maybe a "most favorited" metric would be more about
maximizing signal vs. noise?

> I saw it as a way for
> those who contribute to the list to get some credit, particularly
> those who don't normally post comments but might be encouraged to
> undertake some tagging.

It wasn't clear to me that tagging would also count toward the
contributions "score" - that's interesting. I was more concerned with
the idea of power-law reinforcement. In most lists there are a handful
of people who do the most posting. (On some lists there are
individual contributors who post an order of magnitude more frequently
than anyone else.)

> There are other ways to approach it. New
> members, popular members, random, etc...

I think highlighting new folks might be interesting. Not sure how
popularity would be measured. Have to think about random....

>
> There are some people who will almost always be on the "active"
> board. But I also hoped that it would keep members in check, so that
> when someone new comes along and posts 98 threads in a week they can
> see that they're outside the community norm.

That's an interesting point too. Well, no matter what it will be an
interesting experiment, with ample opportunities to fine-tune it.

-xian-

30 May 2007 - 9:23am
Dave Malouf
2005

Actually Christina, I think I spoke out of turn.
Topics seem to be curated by hand according to Jeff. I thought it was
a combination of tags and curation.

Jeff, can you clarify?

But also, since there is a human element, it might be interested for
people such as Christian to become editors of key topics.

People can suggest new topic pages that they want to edit with the
oversight of an editor-in-chief.

As I said in my blog post about this, this is a project that stemmed
from one person's passionate contribution and is meant to be a model
for others to step up and do the same.

We want to move away from a model of "How can I help" to one of "I
have this great idea ... how can IxDA help me make it happen?"

this can be from the small like asking to be an editor for a topic,
to the large like creating a whole new system for doing virtual
education.

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

30 May 2007 - 12:02pm
Dirk Platzek
2007

Can somebody tell me how the quoting feature is done? I've posted
something that included a quote but looked like I had written it. I
guess a preview option would work nicely, that way this wouldn't
have happened.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

30 May 2007 - 12:33pm
Jeff Howard
2004

To clarify Dave and Christian's comments about topics. The initial
nine were determined by the IxDA board based on a broad survey of
what we seem to talk about on the list. The initial topics seem to be
holding up, but there's some room to tweak it as the list grows. So
the topics are manually created, but could be influenced in the
future by tagging behavior and the general zeitgeist on the list.

@Dirk, Re: how the quoting feature is done
The quoted text you're seeing is from people who are using their
e-mail clients to reply to the list. E-mail clients do the quoting
automatically. If you're using the beta reader, there's no easy way
to quote entire blocks of text. You might consider using quoting
techniques from blogs. For instance, you can reference upstream
comments as I've referenced your comment.

But if you want to manually fake the appearance of quoted text from
an e-mail program, it's possible by prefixing single lines with an
angle bracket (greater than sign). Like so...

Dirk Platzek wrote:
> Can somebody tell me how the quoting feature is done?

I considered making an auto-quoting bookmarklet (any javascript gurus
want to pick up the gauntlet?) for people to use but hesitated because
historically we've had a problem on the list with people quoting
indiscriminately. I didn't want to make it any worse.

// jeff

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

30 May 2007 - 3:55pm
DrWex
2006

I feel a bit curmudgeonly for making other-than-congratulatory
comments, but here are a few things that struck me within moments of
using the site. I understand that visual design is still being rolled
out.

What is this tag cloud? Do we expect all people who visit the site to
know what a tag cloud is? What is its extent? Is it clear from using
it what it covers? Is it a subset of list postings? Site content?
Both?

What is the value of having a tag cloud on the front page? Who
benefits from that?

After scanning the page for a while trying to figure out what to do, I
decide to sign in. I see a sign-in page with a nice clear set of
fields, but I'm confused by the context. Apparently "Sign In" is a
thing in the "members" area - is that usual? Isn't it usually the
case that signing in gains you *access* to member areas?

There is also a text across the top in the place I expect to find
breadcrumbs that says "ixda.org / members / sign in" and each item is
underlined like it's a link. Both the use of the "/" and the
underline on "sign in" confuse me. Usually in English "/" is a
shorthand for "and" or "or." In Unix it's a pathname connector but is
that a meaning we expect people to know? In PCs the backslash (\)
serves the same function. Is this a visual design element that I
should be patient on? If I click on the "Sign in" link what will
happen? It seems like nothing happens, which violates the principles
I understand about how to make links.

Speaking of nothing happening, I notice that there's still a graphic
in the top banner saying "Sign In" and it looks like a button.
Clicking it does nothing. It's not clear to me why that banner is on
this page.

OK, I enter my name and email and submit the form. Now I'm looking at
the same form again, but it's blank. But there's highlighted text
telling me to check my email to finish signing in. So, um, why am I
looking at this form again? Confused.

I found the explanatory paragraph hard to read. Blame old eyes, but a
block of gray text using complex words on white was tough to read (is
that also visual design that will change?). I found the sentences
themselves confusing. The terms "sign in" and "confirm" seem to be
mixed up. Can we be clear about which is which?

OK, now I'm at a dead-end page. Where should I go from here?

Sorry about all this. I'm probably just an outlier. I'll go see if I
have a mail that helps, now.

--Alan

30 May 2007 - 4:13pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Alan,
don't feel bad about any of this criticism. It is pretty valid and
actually VERY helpful.

Anyone else got some constructive criticism. It's the reason we put
out this BETA, is to let you all have a say in what it should be.

Thanx Alan for taking a chance.

-- dave

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

30 May 2007 - 4:34pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the feedback. It's certainly helpful and much of what you
mentioned will change as the site develops. The home page will be
overhauled and the breadcrumb trail might go away completely. I'm
not going to address your points one by one but I would like to ask
others who have had trouble with the sign-in process to let me know
(betafeedback at ixda.org).

Looking at the sign-in stats, I'm seeing a lot of Gmail and Yahoo
addresses that seem not be getting past the e-mail confirmation step.
It's probably a combination of the cryptic text Alan complains about,
over-zealous spam blockers or an inability to access your e-mail from
work. Any feedback would be welcome.

// jeff

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

30 May 2007 - 11:01pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

Um, I felt kinda silly, but it took me two visits to the site to realize
that it didn't require login and password entry to get in. I saw the two
text entry fields one on top the other and just assumed I needed to feed it
a password. "Wonder what my password was," I wondered. Looked around at
work, gave up, came home later and looked here and still couldn't find it.
On the second visit I actually read the field labels. Oh, it wants my name
and email. Oops. One of those "nobody reads anything on the web" moments.

Thank you to all the fine people who worked on the handsome new site,

Michael Micheletti

On 5/30/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> Anyone else got some constructive criticism. It's the reason we put
> out this BETA, is to let you all have a say in what it should be.
>

31 May 2007 - 8:57am
Christian Crumlish
2006

Have you folks (site re-designers) considered enabling markdown for
thread-posting? One nice thing about it (it's an HTML shorthand) is
that is designed to use the conventional email symbols, so that the
greater-than-sign prefix would literally turn into a blockquote in
html, etc.

-xian-

On 5/30/07, Dirk Platzek <dirk at wunschfeld.net> wrote:
> Can somebody tell me how the quoting feature is done? I've posted
> something that included a quote but looked like I had written it. I
> guess a preview option would work nicely, that way this wouldn't
> have happened.

31 May 2007 - 9:31am
Jeff Howard
2004

Hi Christian,

The site parsing is similar to markdown. I took it as a given that
people were going to continue to use e-mail the way they always have
and tried where possible to convert existing e-mail syntax into HTML.

* Prefixing with greater-than-sign converts to blockquote.
* Enclosing a word in asterisks *converts to bold*
* Enclosing it in underscores _converts to italic_
* Prefixing with an asterisk (or other bullet-like character)
converts that line to an unordered list item
* Double hyphens get converted to em dashes
* URLs get converted to links

This doesn't work perfectly. ASCII art in particular plays havoc
with the system. But I'm refining it and it's getting better.

// jeff

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16697

5 Jun 2007 - 9:20am
niklasw
2005

The "IxDA Popular" feed Google reader suits my needs for just that,
remembering to check in now and then.
http://beta.ixda.org/rss/popular/

--Niklas

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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