Document interface considerations

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Document interface considerations

Peter Flynn-8
The user (web) interface to the CELT documents at http://celt.ucc.ie/
has been largely untouched since it was rewritten in 1995. It uses
frames; it is unusable on mobile devices; and the conversion from TEI
SGML to HTML is done with a copy of Ominmark generously donated to the
project in 19–er–um…

I am making a new interface to match (or closely parallel) the general
layout of pages for the university; this enables us to benefit from the
recent redesign, which is mobile-first and considerably more flexible.
This experimental interface is at http://research.ucc.ie/celt/

It's a work-in-progress, so not everything represented in a document's
TEI markup yet has an instantiation in HTML (unmatched element types
come out as pseudo-markup in red, as a reminder…).

The one thing that has been queried is my decision to locate the TEI
Header at the END of the document, with a prominent 'Details' link at
the top. My thinking was that users will typically want to read or
search the document TEXT first, and that relatively few will want to go
straight to the TEI Header (this is borne out by the Apache logs for the
existing site which similarly has a link to the header).

I would be interested to know what your reaction is to a document page
where the first thing displayed is the title and the text, rather than
the TEI Header. It is of course trivial to switch the order in the XSLT.

///Peter
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Re: Document interface considerations

Mylonas, Elli
what about tabs or links that allow you to select if you are going to view metadata or the document body? If you are going to move things around it may make more sense to separate them. --elli

[Elli Mylonas
 Director, Center for Digital Scholarship
 University Library
 Brown University
 library.brown.edu/cds]

On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 9:39 AM, Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
The user (web) interface to the CELT documents at http://celt.ucc.ie/
has been largely untouched since it was rewritten in 1995. It uses
frames; it is unusable on mobile devices; and the conversion from TEI
SGML to HTML is done with a copy of Ominmark generously donated to the
project in 19–er–um…

I am making a new interface to match (or closely parallel) the general
layout of pages for the university; this enables us to benefit from the
recent redesign, which is mobile-first and considerably more flexible.
This experimental interface is at http://research.ucc.ie/celt/

It's a work-in-progress, so not everything represented in a document's
TEI markup yet has an instantiation in HTML (unmatched element types
come out as pseudo-markup in red, as a reminder…).

The one thing that has been queried is my decision to locate the TEI
Header at the END of the document, with a prominent 'Details' link at
the top. My thinking was that users will typically want to read or
search the document TEXT first, and that relatively few will want to go
straight to the TEI Header (this is borne out by the Apache logs for the
existing site which similarly has a link to the header).

I would be interested to know what your reaction is to a document page
where the first thing displayed is the title and the text, rather than
the TEI Header. It is of course trivial to switch the order in the XSLT.

///Peter

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Re: Document interface considerations

Peter Flynn-8
On 18/04/18 14:45, Mylonas, Elli wrote:
> what about tabs or links that allow you to select if you are going to
> view metadata or the document body?

Good point. Unfortunately the page layout doesn't use tabs (we
explicitly asked the designers not to, as they were a cause of perpetual
confusion in the previous site design).

Links are what are there at the moment, but they could definitely be
made more obvious.

> If you are going to move things
> around it may make more sense to separate them.

There were three reasons for changing the order:

1. the log files showed that the first click after a document's 'home'
   page is more usually the text than the header;

2. indexing engines assume by default that the major content of a
   document is at the start (there are of course many ways to affect
   this); the TEI Header can in some cases be bigger than the document
   text, so this was an attempt to improve SEO;

3. It looks better visually for the user to come to a document which
   displays the start of the actual text straight away, rather than the
   metadata.

///Peter
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Re: Document interface considerations

C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn-8
> On Apr 18, 2018, at 7:39 AM, Peter Flynn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> ...
> The one thing that has been queried is my decision to locate the TEI
> Header at the END of the document, with a prominent 'Details' link at
> the top. My thinking was that users will typically want to read or
> search the document TEXT first, and that relatively few will want to go
> straight to the TEI Header (this is borne out by the Apache logs for the
> existing site which similarly has a link to the header).
>
> I would be interested to know what your reaction is to a document page
> where the first thing displayed is the title and the text, rather than
> the TEI Header. It is of course trivial to switch the order in the XSLT.

Makes sense to me.  It’s what we did with the texts published
by the Interactive Inner Asia [1] and Uyghur Light Verbs [2] projects.
For the project Annotated Turki Manuscripts from the Jarring Collection
Online [3], the page-oriented display of the transcription does start
with the manuscript description; the text-oriented display we are
working on will probably do as you are doing.

[1] http://iaia.ittc.ku.edu
[2] https://uyghur.ittc.ku.edu/uylvs.html
[3] https://uyghur.ittc.ku.edu/atmo.html

One thing I would suggest is a stronger visual distinction in the
display between the display of the ‘text’ element and that of the
‘teiHeader’ element; as you can see from [1] and [2], I tend to
favor a lightly shaded background of the kind magazine designers
use for sidebars for that purpose; other mechanisms are also
possible.

My two cents worth, perhaps worth what you paid for it.

********************************************
C. M. Sperberg-McQueen
Black Mesa Technologies LLC
[hidden email]
http://www.blackmesatech.com
********************************************
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Re: Document interface considerations

Peter Flynn-8
On 18/04/18 16:23, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen wrote:
[...]
>> I would be interested to know what your reaction is to a document page
>> where the first thing displayed is the title and the text, rather than
>> the TEI Header. It is of course trivial to switch the order in the XSLT.
>
> Makes sense to me.  It’s what we did with the texts published
> by the Interactive Inner Asia [1] and Uyghur Light Verbs [2] projects.

That's interesting, thank you.

> One thing I would suggest is a stronger visual distinction in the
> display between the display of the ‘text’ element and that of the
> ‘teiHeader’ element; as you can see from [1] and [2], I tend to
> favor a lightly shaded background of the kind magazine designers
> use for sidebars for that purpose; other mechanisms are also
> possible.

Another good idea, thanks.

> My two cents worth, perhaps worth what you paid for it.

A penny isn't worth what it used to be when I were young...

///Peter