Reorganizing the Guides

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This project is beginning in December, 2010. There are currently many meta-pages (pages that are not image pages or helper pages). These include pages to help readers discover and search for images and mathematical content, to help writers with both technical and content-development aspects of creating and editing pages, to help community members participate in discussions and ask questions, to help work on improving the website as a whole etc..

These pages, however, are currently difficult to access, as central portals (e.g. the help page) do not link to most of them. There is also a lot of redundancy in the current set of pages.

This page describes proposals for reorganizing these already existing pages so that their content is better organized and more accessible.

Main proposal for large scale reorganization

Help Page and Tour

The website's main help page will be the central portal for finding this type of help content. See the Proposed Help Page. The layout is not yet attractive, but it has the right text and links.

The Proposed Tour will be a main starting point for people trying to get a sense of how the site works. In fact, the proposed help page redirects users to the tour as a way to "get started".

The Tour currently covers the following information:

  • All aspects of using the page as a reader: how to find images and content and how pages are structured
  • Some information about commenting on, editing, or creating pages. Refers readers to the appropriate help page for more information.
  • Mentions the other user goals as ways to be involved, and refers readers to the appropriate help pages for more information
  • Explanation of the sidebar and tabs

Grouping by user goals

A central idea behind this organization plan is grouping meta-pages (i.e. pages that are not image or helper pages) by users' goals. Two issues regarding this grouping come to mind:

  • Identifying all major user goals
  • Having good names for those goals.

Here is a table of user goals and their current or proposed name. We may want to consider better names for some of these types.

Goal name and alternatives Refers to Current meta-pages Notes and ideas
Finding Images or Learning Mathematics ("Users" is also a potential name, but it seems like everyone is a user, not just readers)

Using the site to browse images and learn math content

The Proposed Tour should take care of this pretty well


Commenting on, creating or editing pages ("Page building" is also a potential name. It has a nice ring, though "Creating and editing pages" is more descriptive).

Working on helper pages and image pages. Does NOT refer to thinking about the site as a whole.


Site organization

Thinking about the site as a whole, as opposed to individual image or helper pages. Examples of topics include:

  • leaving feedback on the site as a whole
  • this reorganization project
  • working on site-wide standards and protocols for image and helper pages
  • Ideas for the main page

The Site Organization Portal and the Leave a Comment page, which are both linked to by the Site Development Help page.

[Nice think of this now but I suspect we won't need a highly developed portal here]

Well, if nothing else it's a good central repository for accumulated questions, observations, etc, that right now are just in the heads of you, me, Maria, Steve, and the S10 crew. -Abram 18:58, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Student researchers ("Page Builder" is another possibility, although this material is targeted specifically to Swarthmore's summer researchers)

Orientation specifically for people working on the project at or with Swarthmore (e.g. information about Gene, Anna, Ann, etc.)

Just part of the S11 page. It makes sense to develop a portal for this purpose.

This section could end up being really minimal. Most stuff on page building is part of the "Creating and editing pages" user goal. [I think this should be called "Swarthmore summer researchers" and be constructed with an eye to help other institutions construct their own pages--note that folks you've mentioned all belong to the other institutions as well; Swat would just have Steve M as a special person.]

Using this site in class

Using the site as part of a class Is this basically going to be for students of for instructors? -Abram 18:58, 19 January 2011 (UTC)


Do we have very much material on the site dedicated to this purpose? It seems like we have very little in the way of lesson plans, etc. Maybe we can create place holders in the main help page, etc, that will encourage folks to create this content? [We will have to get Chris T to help build this. He's actually used it in class.]

Source material for meta-pages

Here is the source material and detailed notes on how the content is incorporated into the new scheme. As of 12/18, this list is highly incomplete.

New User Guide

Section 1 ("What the pages tabs mean") is copied verbatim into the proposed Tour. Have a section on appearance and one on content??
Section 2 (Browsing images) has all ideas in the tour except:
  • detailed instructions on the slideshow. I don't think these instructions are necessary, or they should go in a new technical assistance page. Just a link on the slideshow entrance called something like Using Slideshow?
  • details about 5 images per page on the thumbnail gallery. Especially if the thumbnail gallery is reorganized (see Ideas for the main page), these directions won't be necessary. I suggest not worrying about incorporating them.
*searching by author. I have no idea where this should go. A tech thing. Where used?
Section 3 (Discussing pages) has all sections of the community portal described in the proposed help page except:
  • Discuss the images, which includes a link to discussion of specific images and links to lists of pages needing certain types of content. It seems like discussions of specific images belong in the discussion page of individual pages. Links to lists of pages needing certain types of content are in the proposed help page, or could be put in the Site Organization Portal, but don't seem consistent with the rest of the community portal in general.
  • News and Events, but this section of the community portal doesn't actually exist.
Section 4 (Want to contribute) has ideas in several places:
  • "Create an account" is in the Proposed Tour.
  • "Creating an image page" is basically in the tour. The tour is more up to date, but the new user guide may have some useful wording. It's worth reviewing.
  • Material from the "Writing guide" is mostly in the tour or the draft checklist for finishing pages. See here for blow-by-blow thoughts on what to do with the writing guide portion of this page
Abram, 12/26/10

Advanced User Guide

Section 1 ("Manually editing pages") is in 3 places:
  • Creating an account is in the proposed Tour
  • The sandbox is in the "creating and editing pages" section of the proposed help page
  • All the wiki formatting tips are in the tour of in the "creating and editing pages" section of the proposed help page
Section 2 ("other resources"):
  • Wiki Tricks and Help Editing are linked to in the "creating and editing pages" section of the proposed help page
  • Basic Usage FAQ is about editing the software being used for the site and about large level organization of the site. It belongs with other like material, on a page that does not yet exist.
  • The note about differences between our software and mediawiki's are not anywhere. I don't even know if this info is up-to-date.
Abram, 12/26/10

Useful Links

Everything here is in the "Editing or creating a page" section of the proposed help page, except for a link to already existing high-school level pages.
Abram, 12/26/10

Ideas for the main page

This is really a separate project
Abram 23:52, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Tour the Math Images Project

My idea is to mostly leave this intact, but add some stuff. See the Proposed Tour.
Abram 23:52, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

What Makes a Good Math Images Page?

I need to update this to be more aligned with the draft checklist
Abram 23:52, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Draft check list for finishing pages

This page has been renamed Checklist for writing pages, and an introductory sentence has been added.
Abram 01:24, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Reorganizing New User Guide

I think all of the material in this page and the ones it links to can be found in the New User Guide, so it doesn't need to be handled separately. Is this true, Gene?
Abram 23:52, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Student researcher's portal (See Description of user goals and terminology abive)

Eventually, I would like to create a portal/orientail for summer student researchers, that will include:

  • The text from [S11] that is particular to
  • A link to the Proposed Help Page
  • Maybe a couple other links

Gene's proposal for reorganizing the New User Guide--TO BE IGNORED

This proposal has been incorporated into the main plan, so everything here is redundant.

General Interest Material--put in some new left navbar entries to accommodate

Contributing to Math Images--discussing, creating account

Creating an Image page

Structure of Image pages--broken down and reorganized

Advanced User Guide--what it is

Math Help, Writing Help, Programming Help, General Questions

Status as of February 23, 2011