New feature preview – Navigation Improvements

4 Feb

In the next few weeks your workspace navigation will be automatically updated. This update will change how you access your core collaboration features, making them easier to discover and use. The navigation impacts how you:

  • Create and manage wiki pages
  • Access uploaded documents and files
  • Share the list of users on your workspace User
  • Manage project plans (Business Edition)

Changes on Stand-alone workspaces:

Top level navigation to access your my.pbworks.com account and navigate between your many workspaces by clicking ‘workspaces’.

Tabs to easily view your wiki, pages & files and settings. The settings tab is only available to workspace administrators.

User Tab that all users can see.  Now the user list will be viewable to all users on your workspace.

Changes on Business Edition Network Workspaces:

Top level navigation to access your network dashboard and navigate between your recent workspaces by clicking ‘workspaces’.

Tabs to easily view your wiki, pages & files, tasks, and settings. The settings tab is only available to workspace  administrators.

User Tab that all users can see.  Now the user list can be viewed by all members of your workspace.

These screenshots are just a preview and the navigation may look slightly different when it’s activated on your workspace.

Tell us what you think of the new navigation!

24 Responses to “New feature preview – Navigation Improvements”

  1. Steven February 5, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    I am getting a 404 error on the images in your post. (I tried both Firefox and Chrome.)

    • kristine February 5, 2010 at 11:37 am #

      Hey Steven,
      The images should be visible on all browsers (including chrome and firefox). Can you access them now?
      -Kristine

  2. Evolve February 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    For users whom are new to wiki’s, which is most of them, when rolling out a wiki across an organisation the ‘View’ and ‘Edit’ tabs are one of the most critical elements in my opinion.

    I know it looks sleek with the edit tab sortof hidden next to view, but for useability making the edit tab a visible ‘tab’ would definatley help useability for users.

    Neilson has some good recommendations on tab use:

    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/tabs.html

    Sorry for negative feedback but he usually recommends just one row of tabs.

    What my concern is that this critical functionality of the view/edit tabs is overwhelmed by the broader sitewide navigation above (wiki, pages& files etc)

    Maybe a suggestion is to move the page title above the view/edit tabs which would give very clear context for these buttons and would clearly move them away from the possible confusion of having tabs just above.

    Personally I liked the minimalism of the original header, maybe consider also making the workspaces stuff just a links based breadcrumbs look, just to take weight off it, as the most important info on the page is definately the current content being shown.

    Feel free to email me directly if you want further clarity on what I mean.

    Cheers

    Evolve

  3. Maarten February 6, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    Looks great, will be of great help to the users I think.
    Will the link ‘invite more people’ be customizable, also in the business edition?

    • kristine February 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

      Hi Maarten,
      The invite more people link does not have more customization in Business or Education packages.
      -Kristine

  4. Sjerp February 6, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Looks good to me.

  5. Charles Youngs February 7, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    I am disappointed to see the new design. It makes the page look less like a professional web page and creates more distraction. This design is especially a concern for students who have difficulty with distraction.

    The most often heard complaint from teachers to whom I “evangelize” on behalf of PBWorks and our campus license, is that they don’t like the look. It’s too busy. I have to agree, but tell them to click the control to hide the sidebar and it makes the page clean and give it a more professional website look. Now it is going to have navigation across the top and down the side. Not an improvement from a visual design standpoint. How about the tabs down the side.

    Now, even if one hides the sidebar he’ll still have these tabs cluttering up the top of the page. It would be nice to have some options to hide the new tabs as well. It would also be nice to have the option of the old design.

    The Top Level Navigation is okay–and has a contemporary feel, but now you have two navigation menus in two styles across the top and another couple styles down the side–links buttons and sidebars. Four styles of navigation on one page = clutter and confusion.

    Rather I was hoping PBWorks would give us some templates that moved forward in the look and feel of the page. Frankly, this seems like a couple steps backward and works against contemporary design principles.

    I love using PBWorks with my classes and colleagues–and I guess that’s why I care so much about this news.

  6. Margaret February 9, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    I would not like everyone to see these tabs. Will we be able to choose whether or not they are visible?

    I presume that the User list and Pages/Files list will only show ppl and folders that that user interacts with. True?

    Thanks for always thinking of ways to improve things. Most of the improvements have been very helpful.

  7. Christina February 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    I agree with some of the comments above from the teacher/professor. PLEASE make it an Option to have or hide the new tabs at the top. Not everyone uses their wiki for the same purposes and the wiki admistrator should have more options with what features they want visible or open to their users. For my particular wiki, these new features just made things a whole lot more confusing for my users. It was already difficult to remove as much of the “clutter” at the top of the page as possible. Please please consider making things Options and not requirements.

  8. Chris Messina February 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    I think this is, in general, an improvement, but I would argue that the header bar is FAR too tall (and ugly, but I guess that’ll be improved).

    The WordPress topbar isn’t bad, and here are some others:

    deviantart collections

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/factoryjoe/3418819904/sizes/o/ (too tall)

    The New York Times Header

    Anyway, I think you should go for subtlety — and maybe inject the topbar after the rest of the page has loaded — for performance and to deal with any CSS customizations…!

  9. Ben Settle February 11, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    Looks great to me. People in my org have trouble switcing between workspaces currently.

    The new tab structure tells people exactly where they are in the heirarchy

    Ben

  10. T. Wilson February 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    I also hope this navigation feature will be made optional. The current tool bar is minimal and perfect for my use. I thought the reason the name was changed from PBwiki to PBworks was to acknowledge that ‘wiki,’ while practical for some, really doesn’t incorporate all the uses that a workspace can do. Now it seems strictly related to wiki use and that might not be what all users and all professionals want.

  11. Marjorie February 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    I prefer the old design because it looked more professional and was not as busy. I hope that there may be an option to keep the former template. The new features are only helpful if you have multiple workspaces. For guests who I invite to view my page, these tabs serve only as a distraction.

  12. Lucas February 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    The updating navigation is great! The PBworks dev team rocks!

  13. Marc Reif February 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    On first glance looks great to me and will enhance usability, I think for both teachers and students.

  14. C February 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Please get rid of the second row of tabs (Wiki, Pages and Files). Put the links back in the upper right hand corner as necessary. This second row of tabs takes away precious vertical space and gives back too little in return. Thanks.

  15. Jane February 19, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    I agree with the last comment. You’ve added a lot of vertical space to the page. Nice system, but not liking this latest change.

  16. PineyWds February 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    I fully agree with the design criticisms. From a usability and instructional design standpoint, you’ve now got workspace management buttons, tabs, links all over the place. I’ve got to look at the top left, the right top, and then another row of tabs below the new ‘main’ ones.

    Poor design…too many places for key elements…too many locations that impede with learning and remembering…too much time looking all over the page for the desired function.

    Why the change? Was something broken with the previous design?

    And while I’m at it, your use of the separator line in these comments is very poor. Lines are supposed to *separate* things, but you’ve used the lines in just the opposite way here. Very confusing even when one knows what your pattern is. It is most definitely NOT a pattern that the eye normally takes in.

  17. Christian Blessing February 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    I find it alarming that, having created a public workspace, and using folder and page security to control access to folders, files and pages, that now anyone can see and access all of our content, without being logged in. This was not possible prior to this change.

    • kristine February 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

      Hi Christian,

      This is absolutely not the case. The navigation changes only impacted the location of the pages&files and settings tab – which are now at the top instead of the side of your workspace. There are no changes to your security. Please contact our support team at support@pbworks.com if you believe that there have been changes to your security settings.

      -Kristine

  18. Jane February 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    I am having great difficulty figuring out how to set up a new page. I think this system is too busy. It is not easy to use for me however I am not good at these systems. It needs to be more user friendly.

  19. Nath February 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    hmm I think the changes were a step in the right direction but It seems to leave the system with a mixture of different interface styles which is confusing.

    I don’t like the Icon’s on the network page. basically looks too pink for my taste.

    I’d also like the Network page to use more of the width of my screen currently only uses 768 pixels

    I agree with many others in that there should only be 1 rows of tabs, just make the edit stand out.

  20. Rawia Alhumaidan March 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    As an administrator, I liked the new interface. I agree that there is a mixture of design. But the vertical menu is clearer and less cluttering. than what it was on the side.
    I liked the short cut to users settings.

    I think a hide/ show button for the vertical options will make everyone happy.

    Another suggestion is what if the whole setting options moved to be on the vertical navigation boarder above as taps, with a hide/show option. I know it is not what pbwiki users are not used to this. but having all settings options viewed as taps is more efficient to new users and old ones as well.

    This bar is only shown to administrators, keeping the View/Edit tabs in a separate bar as they were in the initial design to avoid distracting the students.

    Rawia

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Navigation Improvements are Live! - The official blog of PBworks - February 18, 2010

    [...] week we mentioned that navigation changes were coming [...]

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