What's Changed in the Redesigned ALA Connect
Or, A New Look for ALA Connect!
As part of the 2012 redesign of the ALA Connect interface, we've moved some things around, added shortcuts to make it faster to get places, and changed some labels to make it easier to figure out where to start.
Here's a summary of some of the biggest improvements:
- The first change you'll probably notice is the navigation. The list of your groups is now on the left, instead of at the top, and there are only two columns on the site instead of three. Hopefully this will make the screen less cluttered and easier to read.
- We also merged all of your group news into a single stream on the home page, so when you're logged in, you now start with a single view of everything from your groups that you haven't read yet. In other words, the "my unread items" screen is now your home page once you're logged in.
- Even better, you can now filter that single stream of home page content by type by clicking on the icons in the new toolbar. If you want to find just the latest files added to your groups or jump into discussions, you can easily see just those by clicking on the "Files" icon. You can even use the "Show" options above the toolbar to view just those items you haven't read yet. The toolbar on your group's home page works the same way.
- You can also filter your group's home page by subject heading, too, because you now have one set of subject headings that work across all content types (except chats, which will come later).
- Overall, we suggest that the bulk of your content be added as "Discussions" so that you can organize them into different discussion forums. Use "Online Docs" when you want to collaboratively edit a document on the screen and "Files" when you want to share a specific file type with everyone.
You'll also notice that the "posts" tool has disappeared. We heard from many of you that it was confusing to know when to use a post versus an online doc or a file or a discussion, so we've reduced the choice overload. Don't worry, though - all of your old posts are still live; they're just in the "General News & Discussion" forum in your Discussions area. You can read a little more about this in Where Did All My/Our Posts Go?
- Looking for your profile or a way to quickly edit the list of groups sending you email notifications? Find those links by clicking on your name in the upper right-hand corner of any page.
- It's also easier to tell right away if you've enabled email notifications from a particular group. Just go to the group's home page and look for the setting in the left-hand column. If the box is checked, you should be receiving emails. If it isn't, just check the box to enable them - much easier!
There are lots of other tweaks we've added, and we'll be doing more work in a second phase of improvements in early 2013. For this first round, we concentrated on making it easier to get around, find things, and add content, so we're excited to hear your feedback. Don't be shy - let us know what you think about the new design.
Additional redesign help documents:
- Where did all of my/our posts go?
- When should I post something as a Discussion/Online Doc/File or something else?
- Where did [this thing] move to in the redesign?