A few weeks ago, we started designing the new looks for contact edit screen
, as a part of usability focus for CiviCRM 2.3. Quick remark on this - it's a very last minute to submit your feedback on that improvement, so if you have some good idea, come back to this blog post
and submit your comments.
Anyway, now it's time to introduce some changes to contact viewing
screen! Following the same process as previously with contact editing, we prepared the screen mockup
for your perusal. Make sure to read the rest of this blog post, take a close look at the mockup and post your feedback/comments/critique/ideas below or on Usability forum board
. Special humble request to all the CiviCRM integrators and consultants - if you have a chance to discuss over this mockup with end users that you work with, it would be most helpful if you could do so - and let us know about their reactions.
Here are quick highlights explaining different concepts behind the mockup
. We're most interested in your reactions to below points, but don't limit yourself too much - all the remarks going beyond below set of concepts is most welcome as well.
- Information is more condensed now. The goal here was to save screen real estate and show more information at a glance, hopefully without significant loss to layout clarity. In most cases, you should be able to see all the information stored about the given contact without scrolling, unless there is really a lot of it. There are actually two versions of the mockup - the one linked above, and another one, with minimal amount of information - so you can see how does it look like in both cases.
- Custom data groups are presented in two columns. Again, the same motivation as previously, saving space on the screen. If you tried to imagine how would your custom data look like in such layout, would it be an improvement for you?
- Section headers for built-in fields are gone. The assumption is that data presented there is quite self explanatory and don't require additional heading. The obvious advantage is saving some space on the screen, the disadvantage is slightly less clarity about how data is grouped. What are your opinions?
- Collapsible sections are gone. It's still possible to turn given sections on and off in CiviCRM configuration, but you are not able to hide/show them by clicking little plus/minus sign, like on old layout. Step forward or not? How many of you were using this functionality?
- Tab names contain the number of "objects" stored about given contact. This should provide quick information about "what's there to look at", when you visit specific contact record.
- Screen has been optimised for 1024x768 screen resolution. It should look well in higher resolutions, in lower, there might be different quirks and problems.
- One last question/doubt - name of the contact is displayed twice: above tabs and below them, with all the remaining information. Is it good or not? Cause we couldn't decide. :-) Would you rather have the name of the contact displayed only above tabs (and not repeated inside contact summary) or have it placed inside of each tab? /tabs are not really working by the way - it's just a mockup ;-) /
Some additional assumptions and remarks:
- Data is grouped in similar way as on contact editing screen. This will potentially open the possibility of introducing inline editing of sections in future, should also make it easier for user to understand how data is segmented.
- For those HTML geeks out there: we'll be trying to use DIVs as much as possible to allow changing the looks of the screen using custom CSS stylesheets. Actual HTML in the mockup is the effect of many experiments, so don't get attached to the way how page source looks like - it will be cleaned up when actual screen is implemented.
- Ability to move specific sections around is not a part of the focus for current version and will be approached in next phase of usability improvements.
That's it. Once again, take a look at the mockup
(and it's minimum data version
) and let us know what you think!