Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Pleiades' pages and how to fix them

 How Pleiades pages look:

If ever there was a mutual appreciation society that society is Pleiades.  Look at all the bloviating thank-yous and credits-given on the left side of this window.  No user cares about that and all this extraneous info should be relegated to a secondary page that users can look at if and when they want to.
The map is way too small.  I mean, the map is what it's about, right?  Unless naming the several  Pleiades honchos over and over is the actual purpose of Pleiades ... that couldn't be the real purpose could it?
With respect to the map panel (which is way too tiny to be useful) we're zoomed in so far that context is lost. What can P. do about restoring that context?   Even for a specialist it's easy to forget exactly where we are.  And don't get me started about the annoying zoom-in-from-outer-space (ZIFOS, tm) which is cool and kicky the first time you see it but is actually a time-waster and the fiftieth time makes me -like Oedipus - want to scratch out my eyeballs

How Pleiades pages should look:

In the revised version we've done away with the annoying zoom-in-from-outer-space and settled on a nice large map.   Context which is lost by being zoomed-in is restored with the new spotter map which you see on the upper right.  The spotter map is zoomed out (level 4,5?) so that you can tell at a glance where you are in the world.

All the ridiculous back-scratching, log-rolling, and mutual thank-yous are moved off to one of the tabs on the top.  Users can click on that tab if they want to see whose bright idea this site was but - spoiler alert - they won't.  I left the bibliography off of this new map but there is room for one or a button that will pop the bibliography up on a new window.  New windows for subsidiary purposes are easy to write and not enough advantage is taken of this idea.

And, in fact, now that I look at it, we should lose the right-hand side margin which is crapped up with stuff that could easily be buttons.  How about this:

The new and improved, user-forward, Pleiades page!

Lean and mean.  No wasted space.  User's needs are foremost.  The search field has been moved to where it belongs and is enlarged so as to be actually visible.  Do you see the new Credits button?  No?  Good.

Instead we have something actually useful which is a new bibliography button.  When you click on it you get a simple bibliography page (not shown).  Now if  Pleiades would just fix all the broken bibliography links and then link to something actually useful instead of a Zotero page.

Next, On to Peripleo!  If it ever works.

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