Minor Improvements to Author/Institution, Login/Registration and Science Justification

NRAO Interactive Services Modification Request 1C108, November 2007

1. Introduction

During the Oct 2007 deadline there were several minor user interface problems in the PST. These included: 1. problems in adding authors/institutions into the database; 2. problems that occurred during re-registration; and 3. confusion when viewing and adding the scientific justification.

2. Background

Although the three problems discussed above are relatively minor---that is, they did not prevent someone from eventually creating a valid proposal---they did cause confusion and frustration with our users. About 40% of the help desk queries involved these three issues (October Feedback). Therefore it would behoove us to fix or improve these areas of the PST. Below we discuss each area in more detail.

  • Author/Institution- The main problem was when a user was trying to add an author. If the author was not in the database the user was prompted to add the author. This involved filling out a form with information about the author that included the name, email address, institution/affiliation, profession, and student info. When completed an email was sent to ask the co-author to register. One problem was that when the institution was not in the database it was unclear how to proceed. Also, in some cases the user attempted to change information about a co-author (e.g., the co-author is no longer a student). Also, what is the best way to add the institutions that are not in the database? Should this be done by hand or is there a more automated method?

  • Login/Registration- When a user tries to login for the first time under the upgraded PST they have to re-register because of the inability to migrate passwords. Initially there was a bug in the re-registration process which has been fixed. But beyond this there was still some confusion with users about what was happening. Also, there is an issue of duplicate user IDs and how these will be addressed. Moreover, should we verify that the registration information is correct (e.g., do we close the loop on the email address by sending the user a verification email that requires them to respond).

  • Scientific Justification- When importing the scientific justification it is displayed in the file preview. This was incorporated into the PST to give the user a warm fuzzy feeling that the scientific justification was indeed imported correctly. But in some ways this backfired since users were trying to click on these images to magnify or download them for a better look. The file preview distracted them from seeing the "download" button. This problem was aggravated by the fact that the cache would not update unless you went to another page and back. So users who updated their proposal but did not change pages between import would not see the proposal change in the file preview.

3. Requirements

  • 1 Reduce the confusion when the institution is not in the database when adding authors or during registration.
  • 2 Explore better ways to add institutions when not in the database besides doing this manually.
  • 3 Reduce the confusion about re-registration.
  • 4 Explore ways to deal with duplicate IDs and in general to verify registration information.
  • 5 Improve the scientific justification page in regards to the file preview.

4. Design

Technical lead should provide a brief description of how this will be implemented in the code.

5. Deployment Checklist

Documentation? Systems/hardware/networking things needed for deployment?

6. Test Plan

6.1 Internal Testing

6.2 Sponsor Testing

6.3 Integration/Regression Tests


APPROVED: I acknowledge that my request is fully contained in this MR, and if the Open Sky (or other NIS or PST developers) deliver exactly what I specified, I will be happy.

ACCEPTED: I acknowledge that I have validated the completed code according to the acceptance tests, and I am happy with the results.

Written ALERT! - DanaBalser - 16 Nov 2007
Checked - - - - -
Approved by Scientific Sponsor - - - - -
Accepted/Delivered by Sponsor - - - - -

  • Use %X% if MR is not complete (will display ALERT!)
  • Use %Y% if MR iscomplete (will display DONE)

Discussion Area

-- DanaBalser - 02 Nov 2007
Topic revision: r2 - 2007-11-16, DanaBalser
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