Topic: VC searches

Matt, in http://forums.nbn.org.uk/viewtopic.php?id=5594, wrote “we have to rely on the users of the system to tell us when something is wrong, unclear or could be improved”. Well, here is an example which I don’t think has been flagged before. It demonstrates beautifully how G5 seems to have been designed by someone who may be great at playing with bits and bytes, but has not a clue what real users want from the site.

I wanted to check what ants had been recorded from Orkney, but when I go Home page > Browse sites > Admin & landscape > Watsonian VCs gives me a map extending from mid-Atlantic to mid-Russia, and S Norway to the Black Sea.

Q1 - Why, when I have reached this point because I want VCs, am I given a map of this vast area?

But, a lovely map, with all the VCs outlined (once you zoom in). Click on Orkney, but nothing happens.

Q2 - Why, having gone to all this trouble, are the VC areas not clickable? Other sites do it - see http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/bbs/recordi … ppage.htm.

Then I decide to scroll down to the (originally invisible) VC names, and realise that I have to find the name, while asking myself why on earth anyone thought it was a wonderful idea to have the important links hidden at the bottom of a page in favour of a pointless map. I can only see 10 names at a time, so I need to find Orkney, via the search box. Because of course, the names are not sorted alphabetically and can’t be re-sorted; the VC number (which many people use freely) is not given; but we are told the Gateway code for the VC.

Q3 - Why do we only see 10 VCs at a time?

Q4 - Why are the names not sortable?

Q5 - Why is the Gateway code included? Who do you think would use it?

Q6 - Why is the VC number NOT included and sortable?

Q7 - Why does the page not simply dispense with all the bling, and merely have a table of VCs ordered by name, and another ordered by VC number?

Q8 - If you zoom and pan in to a smaller area, the list of visible VCs is shown, but who really thinks that it is a) intuitive; b) easier than making one click on a name or VC number?

If anyone would like to try to persuade me that the current design is the best, most efficient, most transparent, quickest, most helpful way of allowing a user to discover the record information on a VC I will read it with a open mind, though without holding my breath. Any such persuasion would need to refer to http://old-data.nbn.org.uk/directory/br … startRow=1 which allowed us to get to the desired endpoint from the home page in 4 quick clicks. That site is, of course, Gateway 4.  Even that could be improved but it is vastly better than the clumsy mess that we have in the 'new improved' G5.



Re: VC searches

Hi Murdo, once again sorry for the slow response from us, we are looking into these issues, most are simply due to the fact that we do not differentiate between the vice county boundaries and any other site boundaries in the gateway so the page is a generic page which is aimed towards someone who knows where the site is but not what it is called, this would be helped by having the map a bit more interactive as you say however. But we will take this comments on-board for future development work.

Also this sort of thing would be useful to bring up at the user group which you are part of so it can be discussed as a part of a group to make a specification that tries to fit everyone's use cases, as there will likely be use cases you haven't thought of and that we are missing as well.

Thanks for bringing these issues up and please continue to do so,

Matt Debont
Application Developer
Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Monkstone House, City Road, Peterborough PE1 1JY, UK