Navigation contemplation

  • Sep 06, 2012

Tags, searches, navigation bars, drop-down menus...all were heavily pored over and reconsidered this week. As the live site currently stands, there is no way to tag worlds or challenges, or search for items. The navigation bar is also slowly being overrun by content as we add more and more features. Ease of navigation is waning as more content is shared. All of that is soon to be corrected.

So as not to go too heavily into button placements and such, I will elaborate more on the searches. Thanks to the contributions by Genevieve this summer, and many new code insertions this week, searching is essentially fully functional. I extended Genevieve's tag search system to consider non-tag elements, such as world titles and users. Rather than organize tags, the search bar has become a functional quick sweep of all user-generated content on the site.

I redesigned the search results page a bit to take these new facets into account, trying to lay out the items in such a way that tags still have an obvious functional spotlight. I may have to talk to Mary, the sort magician, about how to filter the more interesting results to the top. If I have a world called Beached Whale, but I'm looked for worlds tagged 'beach', should worlds with beach titles go to the top? What if I was looking specifically for Beached Whale, and didn't want to have to wade through beach-themed worlds? I think I have found a clean solution, but some tweaking will probably be required as our reservoir of worlds, challenges, and eventually remixes increases.

I'm especially pleased with the new method of adding tags. I've been playing with the increasingly-numerous uses of lightboxes, which have already started to appear on the live site (lists, report forms). I really appreciate the cleanliness of items only appearing when they're needed, without needlessly cluttering or slowing down a page. The add and remove tag features are available through lightboxes, linkable on the world and challenge "options" panes.

Overall, I am happy with the way the new navigation scheme is working out. Once I check cross-browser functionality and get feedback, I believe we should be seeing searches here, soon.


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