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After thinking over the screens I posted earlier, I realized there were a few things I just wasn't thrilled about. So, I took another swag at it.


  • What you'll find in these screens is that the broad structures have changed, but the detailed interactions (ex: adding content) have not
  • The start screen with the 3 boxes has been replaced with more of a dashboard looking screen
  • There are tabs now that allow the user to navigate between the dashboard, the build/edit mode, and the preview
  • The portfolio list view is a lot cleaner now, IMO
  • This approach also brings the design closer to the new Sakai 3.x direction


Zip archive of all screens (Week 2.1)


  1. 1: three tabs: my portfolios, others' portfolios i have access to, and... a 'both' tab? hmm. i'm wondering what the 'both'/all tab would look like...

    1.1: i do like the 'favorites' approach.

    2: do we need the double-discouragement for the free-form portfolio? i'd think '(Advanced)' is enough of a warning, doesn't seem like it's warranted to say 'not recommended, abandon all hope, ye who enter here...' hey, i don't like free-form portfolios either, but we might as well let folks use them without going all agenda on them. i'd like to think that they'll have enough frustration with the free-form that they'll pressure their faculty to commit resources back to the community to make the tool better. (smile)

    and yes, i definitely agree that there's absolutely no need to 'jargon' these up with template-this and template-that. that's what it is behind the scenes; out here, it's just how folks make portfolios.

    3: if you were going to have an 'expires' field, it would go here, near the 'active/inactive' status field.

    nice green-message guidance here. nice use of tabs. nice quick-start guide idea.

    3a: ah, the build/edit menu... in some ways i prefer the previous rendition (screen 3 on your week 2.0 screens) which provides the end-user more context before delving into the process.

    3b: no green-guidance once the portfolio has been started. nice!

    4: okay, here's the bowels of the portfolio-creation process, where the end-users adds recipe ingredients. i'm glad to see you've got the three add/configure/share menu-options available as tabs on the left here. keeping them visible helps establish context so the user will understand what's going on a lot better than if they were all buried in a popup menu.

    this particular template 'recipe' has five 'ingredients' for the user to fill out. some templates could have dozens of recipe-items, or just one, but this layout you've got here should scale well.

    5: the 'configure settings' area now looks like it's addressing the outline-options-form step. here the sole form-field is 'presentation name'. the other item, 'display name', is a name to store this form under, in the user's resources area. when there's no outline-options-form at all, this section wouldn't be needed at all.

    but, when it is needed, it'd be GREAT to bypass the display-name field. this very instance is the ONLY time the user will interact with it, in specifying options for this portfolio – so why not name it automatically behind the scenes, bury it in a portfolio-interaction subfolder and quit confusing the user with having to give the form a resource-name?

    6: the sequence troubles me – shouldn't be a nice progression from none, thru some, to all? private, shared, then public. (smile)

    these are all great strides toward a conscientiously-designed interface, which is awesome. not meaning to knock whoever put the current interface together, but it wasn't very user-centric. Nathan's approach is. go, dude!

    1. Great comments Will. You really studied these screens, and that's exactly what I need from community members.

      I'll just respond to a few of the more salient questions:

      • On the portfolio list view, the "All" tab will roll up both the "My" and the "Other's" into one list. The only thing that will change is the "Owner" column will have different names. Plus, the edit link/button will have a few different options.. like, "Stop Sharing with Me".
      • I rather like screen 3 from the first set also. The three blocks that highlight the tasks involved in creating and managing your portfolio was a rather nice treatment. It focused the user's attention on just those choices. The reason I opted instead for a dashboard type view was because the "three block" screen simply didn't cover enough ground. For example, statistics... where would that go? Or managing comments, etc. So you see, there would still need to be more screens to accommodate those options.

      Now I could have created another screen or screens for all those in addition to the three block screen, but instead, I opted to roll everything into one dashboard screen that hopefully emphasizes the three main tasks with the Quick Start Guide.

      I'm not sure I was completely successful with that rendition, so I might still play with it to bring more focus to those tasks... but I have to estimate the cost/benefit by getting more user feedback on this latest design.

      • As for the order of the sharing options.. I agree, the logical sequence isn't perfect. But there's a reason for this. Once a user clicks on a radio button (ex: Share), the options for that selection expand out. So if the sequence was in this order:


      The the following would happen:


      You see, once the user selects "Share" all the options push the "Public" choice down to the bottom of the page. It virtually disappears. To avoid the issue, I swapped their order. I figure the slight logical wrinkle outweighs the potential for user error.

      Besides, most users wont catch on to the issue (I suspect), particularly since there is a symmetry with the Private | Public options being in close proximity.

      • I also agree that the system should do more of the lifting for the user. Why force the user to name things three times? Just auto name stuff for them. In fact, you might notice in my design, once the user creates a portfolio (in this case Resume), the portfolio title or name or whatever we want to call it is auto given: Nathan's resume portfolio 1. The user can then just change it at their leisure. In general, more stuff should operate like this – and perhaps even more transparent (ex: don't even display stuff that isn't necessary).
      • As for the free-form builder... (smile) You're right. I'll remove the last warning line. It does beat a dead horse.

      Thanks again for the thoughtful comments!!

      BTW, don't worry about giving me a big head. In my line of work, I usually hear negative feedback, so it balances me out (smile) Which btw... I like hearing positive feedback (who doesn't), but honestly, the more negative/critical feedback I get, the better. So long as it isn't dismissive, I really like/need to have every detail challenged.

  2. I realize that you are concentrating on the portfolio authoring process, but I'll mention this before I forget it.

    The interaction between students or students and teachers would still require a bit of clicking to "discover" if anything new has happened. Can you incorporate something to make it obvious to a student/teacher that an interesting event has occurred ("there's a new comment on your portfolio OVER HERE", "a new portfolio you've never seen is OVER HERE", or "THIS SHARED PORTFOLIO has changed since you last viewed it"). I'm not sure a table of portfolio names really brings out that aspect...

    1. It's good that you documented this suggestion, but I suspect we'll not have time to fit this into 2.6.