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Twiki (at least as configured here) has a very cluttered interface. I really like the simplicity of WikiBase, and would like to be able to configure it in a similar way.

-- MathewBoorman - 19 Apr 2000

Please take at look at http://client44-1.kabelA.oprit.rug.nl/twiki/bin/view/Portal/WebHome and let me know what you think (preferbly here in this topic).

It's mostly new templates and a few changes in the code to accomodate the navigation model. I still need to sort out some loose ends and document the codechanges (they're pretty minor) but I think I'll be able to send some patches to PeterThoeny early next week.

-- PeterFokkinga - 19 Apr 2000

I like it!

-- KevinKinnell - 19 Apr 2000

UI issues are very debatable, 5 UI specialists have 5 different opinions on a "good UI" design ;-) . I designed the TWiki UI with these goals in mind:

  • Use very little real estate for header and footer.
  • Give a clue where you currently are, i.e. TWiki . Web . TopicName .
  • Provide links for most used webs, topics and functions.
  • Group functions that belong together, i.e. all web related links at the top and all topic related links at the bottom.
I had good feedback on this UI in general, but am open for new ideas. PeterFokkinga's UI looks nice but lacks some useful links (by design) and is sometimes ambiguous (i.g. the "all changes" link, does it mean all recent changes in a web or all revisions of the current topic?). I like PeterFokkinga's idea of an EndUserHelpWeb.

TWiki is very configurable, most UI issues can be done by changing the templates. Let me know if there are extensions in the scripts you would like to have, like new %VARIABLES%. BTW, you can also introduce new %VARIABLES% in the wikicfg.pm file in a way that it does not interfere with the main TWiki engine (this is for easy upgrade to new TWiki versions.)

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Apr 2000

Only 5 opinions from 5 specialists? Three of them must be asleep. smile

I like some of the changes. For example, people using our TWiki would like the edit, preview, and save links to be at the top of the page so that you don't have to always scroll down to get to the links.

I dislike other changes. We really like having the list of webs at the top, and actually have non-twiki related links in that list for easy access to traditional internal web sites.

I am somewhat ambivalent about other changes. At first I thought it was great to have a list of all the topics in a list box, but this makes it more difficult to create unlinked topics (there are sometimes good reasons for this). However I think the list box works for history information.

I found it very disconcerting that I couldn't immediately tell exactly what pages I was looking at in which web.

-- JohnAltstadt - 19 Apr 2000

Having the [ Preview ] and [ Save ] buttons at the bottom is done by design. This is to prevent users from pressing the button before the whole page is loaded. Some browsers show a page progressively as data arrives. Lost data might occure if the button is at the top and a users presses the button before all data is in the browser!

-- PeterThoeny - 19 Apr 2000

Yes, UI issues are certainly very debatable smile I think it all boils down to a personal preference to a given design. Don't get me wrong, my design is meant as an alternative UI, tailored for the situation I'm in; not as a proposal to replace the current UI (which I have no problems with whatsoever).

The design I'm working on is meant for our intranet TWiki. Some considerations are:

  • fast server/connections, no need to worry about partially loaded pages
  • a usergroup of mostly non computer-savy people (very capable, but not used to using the web as a colloboration tool)
  • we expect quite a few webs (15+ with not that many topics <15 each)
These are mostly the reasons why I choose to replace the original (very fast, almost everything is just a click away) interface with a more hierarchical one (slower because it needs more clicking, but also reduced information overload).

Btw, the 'production' release will have a much simpler first page, just a 'welcome, goto WelcomeGuest if you want an introduction to using this site' and a TWikiWebsTable as a portal to the real stuff.


  • You can create an unlinked topic by clicking on 'new page' (topleft of the screen); this is not available in the very first page (Portal.WebHome) because I don't want users to add topics in that web.
  • How do you tell what pages you're looking at in which web in the original UI? Both UI's show the hierarchy on the topleft part of the screen, mine just leaves out the obvious things in the WebHome topics.

And yes, the 'all changes' link is ambiguous, I'll try to think of something better (suggestions?).

-- PeterFokkinga - 19 Apr 2000

PeterFokkinga said: > And yes, the 'all changes' link is ambiguous, I'll try to think of something better (suggestions?).

How about including 'all changes' in the revision list box?

One other thing, since you have only a few pages per web and many webs, you could consider using just one web with a TopicClassification, as used in the TWiki.Codev and TWiki.Know web here. A category (one type of classification) would specify a logical group of pages. The advantage of this approach is that

  • Search finds text in all topics (it searches only in the current web.)
  • It is easy to create and list topics of a category. Examples in this web are BugReports and FeatureBrainstorming.

-- PeterThoeny - 21 Apr 2000

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Topic revision: r11 - 2002-05-05 - MikeMannix
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