Week 8 (7/16 - 7/19)
Jumping back in this week after being gone on Thursday and Friday was exciting. It had been an exciting weekend with the incoming freshmen and some of them were genuinely interested in Looking Glass and what we were working on when I gave them a simple explanation. After finishing up with the last of the formatting things, it was time to get to work with the actual content that I would need to populate the show page. However, talking to Jordana and Caitlin brought up some interesting things that took me back to square one and more drawing. The idea is to promote a remixing culture on Looking Glass by making remixes more of a big deal. This sort of leads into organizational aspects of the website to ensure consistancy. I may not be the most organized person all the time, but organizing is definitely something that I enjoy.
Monday, I fixed up suggested worlds in the tabs. It was having some size formatting problems because the text was wrapping around the thumbnail too much and did not look good. I took care of that and then decided to leave the thumbnails in the left and right columns broken because they are just serving as place-holders until I can fill them with remix animations later. The afternoon was spent talking with Caitlin and Jordana about making remixing more important in Looking Glass, essentially putting it on the same level as worlds and challenges. This would ideally promote the use and understanding of remixes, which would help out with the idea that remixing helps users learn to program.
Tuesday and Wednesday, I went back to the drawing board to incorporate remixes into the Looking Glass community as a more important entity. We had come up with some fairly great ideas on Monday as to what goals we wanted remixes on the community to accomplish. These were mainly that remixes can be searched for under a variety of criteria and that remixes can be used by other people without having to go through the remix process. I think in addition to that is that remixes need to show the relationship between worlds and animations. Keeping that in mind, I experimented with some mini-sketches until I had a few that I liked.
Thursday, I drew up some more polished versions of the sketchs and came up with some more basic ideas as how the remix page should work. That afternoon, I met with Caitlin to discuss my sketches. I modeled my sketches on the current challenges page because they are both content that users have generated that can be used in creating a new world (Challenges take care of scene set-up. Remixes take care of a degree of coding.)
The index page is all fairly straight-forward. You can search for things by user, character, badges, and tags, depending on how you want things to show up. The sorting can be done through magic sort to highlight remixes within your abilities, by the date added, or by the most remixed. Most remixed can be something that is updated weekly. The top remixed animations of the week could be displayed there and if an animation a user remixed is on the list, then the user could receive a notification or something.
Beyond that, we also discussed reorganizing the header, either shifting things all under the left tabs and getting rid of the user profile tab on the right corner or consolidating anything that is generated by a particular user together under their own tab on the right. This is to maintain some consistancy throughout the website. If we got rid of the user profile tab, then every header tab would have a set of subtabs: Worlds (All Worlds, My Worlds, My Bookmarked Worlds), Challenges (All Challenges, My Challenges, My Bookmarked Challenges), Remixes (All Remixes, My Remixes, My Bookmarked Remixes), etc.
Last but not least, by making remixes more important, the world and remix show pages now overlap in some of their functions. I need to decide which system is better and adapt the other one to fit. So, I plan to play around with the world and remix show pages to remove some of the duplicated processes and figure out which one makes more sense to a user and will lead to the user actually accessing all of the functionality that everyone has been building this summer.