A Conversation for h2g2 Feedback - Feature Suggestions

How the site appears to the new user

Post 1


I've been thinking about the search facility we've got here in Hootooland, and, more broadly, how a new user views it. Some observations:

When I first came across the site I ran away terrified. Well, not quite, but I had had a look at the FP before reading 'The Salmon of Doubt'. It was only after reading the book that I actually plunged in. That said, the FP has improved since then. I'm not really going anywhere with this train of thought, actually...

Ah, I have it. What I'm saying is that perhaps Hootoo misses out on the kind of casual users other sites might get. People not necessarily interested in writing entries *at that moment*, but people who might read some of the stuff we have to offer and start commenting on entries or getting involved with the community.

That's all a preamble to a pretty small suggestion, really. Imagine:
A surfer stumbles across Hootoo. Great.
They think: alright, what's this place got on it (after reading the claim to be a guide to Life, the Universe and Everything).
They type something in the search box that they might be interested in. Whatever it is, the Guide may have something relevant. But alongside that Edited Entry there will be a load of unedited ones. Some may be good bits of writing not suitable for the EG, some will be rubbish. If the hypothetical user stumbles across a couple of these, he/she will lose interest.

Now, I know it says 'Edited' next to EG entries, but I'm not sure this is enough. For example, my Dad knows I do a bit of writing here, and some of the titles of the entries I have written. He ended up on the unedited version of my first entry, which had a couple of typos he pointed out to me. I will likely delete the unedited versions from now on, but the point is, he didn't know the distinction between Edited and unedited versions.

I don't really know what I'm proposing here...two search boxes? One nice big one for just EG searches? I don't know. But I just thought I'd post a long rambling discourse on not very much and plonk it in Feedback smiley - smiley.

How the site appears to the new user

Post 2

Primeval Mudd (formerly Roymondo)

How about two reply panels, a top one with edited entries and another, more low key one with unedited ones?

How the site appears to the new user

Post 3

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

I'm in complete agreement, that newbies or casual users shouldn't have to understand how the site works to use the search.

Another option is to set the default to bring up only EG entries. If someone wants to search for the other two categories they have to use the advanced search.

How the site appears to the new user

Post 4


On the other hand, if you do that people might miss out on some of the interesting stuff the unedited guide has to offer. Two clearly demarcated (love that word!) sections in the search results page would make a lot of sense.

How the site appears to the new user

Post 5

Icy North

To avoid this, I rename my entries and append [Peer Review Version], after they have been picked. (Which reminds me... smiley - run)

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