Analysing Inqlude Website

Today, I carried an analysis of the current Inqlude website. Then I came up with a set of suggestions to improve functionalities of the website. I was basically focusing on rendering a better user experience.

Here are the problems and suggestions that I noted.

1. Add a filter box such that when we type a letter or a piece of text, libraries starting with that piece of text are filtered. I came up with this suggestion as a solution to minimize scrolling. I believe that users including myself prefer minimal scroll. This would come in handy when we use this website with mobile devices. 

2. Add a small drop down pointer at the end of that filter box to search libraries by different options such as version, platform, licence etc. The user can tick the desired option and select the corresponding libraries. Otherwise, it would also be better to keep separate drop down boxes to different options like platform and licence so that we can provide user the facility to select(tick) a platform or a licence or both if required and then select that relevant platform or licence. This is the intended task given in the GSoC idea description. 

3. Add responsive layout. The current website is lack of a good responsiveness when it comes to small scale devices such as mobiles. In order to make responsive layouts, I thought of using media queries.

4. On the development versions page, the summaries of the libraries are only vertically aligned within each section, but not across sections. This should be fixed to make the page look more balanced. This is issue #19 which I found from the inqlude github issues list. I would like to resolve this issue during my project.

5. I feel that it is sometimes difficult to identify the particular summary description for the library although they are horizontally aligned in the table. I would like to propose two colors ( one row in white back ground / next row background in little darker than pure white) for adjacent rows. This will make the user easy to go through different rows. 

6. Remove the close button near search button on top of the website or else add some functionality to it. I realized that it does nothing currently.

7. Show latest releases on web page. It would be nice to have a section with latest releases on the web page, so user know which libraries have been recently updated. This is issue #22 which I found from the inqlude github issues list. I would like to resolve this issue during my project. I thought of adding latest releases as a separate page similar to 'stable releases'.

8. Apply justify alignments for the content in pages 'How to contribute' and 'About'.

9. Add a search box so that when user add some key words from summary of each library in manifest file, the search results will show the relevant libraries along with their summary text. I wanted to suggest this as there is no option in the current site to find libraries if the user does not know the name of the library exactly.
eg: User wants to find a a library that provides integration of QML and KDE Frameworks. So user can type 'QML' in the search box and search results will display the library name 'kdeclarative' and summary if needed. 

I am not sure if the search box at the top of the web site is designed with this intention. Currently, this search box does a google search. 

10. Search button near the google search box does not match with the existing web layout. Its color, size and orientation should be modified.

11. Look and feel of the website is okay. It would be nice if we can use a different color for the top ribbon of the website (not a completely different color, but not pure white). This is because that I felt difficult in distinguishing the title of the website with its content. 

12. Lack of consistency thorough the site. When we move to sections : 'development versions', 'unreleased', 'commercial' and 'all', the description text of the website that appear with 'Stable libraries' section disappears. I feel it as a bad UI design. It is good to keep that description in all those aforementioned pages.

13. At the top ribbon of the website, the links to 'About', 'How to contribute', 'How to find libraries' seem unnoticed and rarely being used by the users. We need to make those tags/links look more attractive and noticeable.

14. Add some title to the table of libraries. For eg: Library name and description. This is because that I myself felt difficult to understand what these two columns are about.

15. Add some small description of the library to appear on hover over the library name. This is because that most modern websites(eg: facebook) follow less navigation across pages which many users prefer.

16. This is an additional suggestion. Why don't we add the link to mailing list in the page of the library?

17. Add some quality indication. This is issue #17 in Inqlude github issues list. It would be nice to have some indication on the web site, which shows this quality depending on certain criteria.

18. Integration tests for web site. To make sure that the web site doesn't break, we should have integration tests which check that the generates pages for the web site meet the required expectations. More details are included in issue#28. Integration tests should cover generation of proper HTML, checking for navigations, checking for display of library details, checking that data consumed by programs is correct, such as the JSON for all libraries, checking that the search is generated correctly and works and checking that the comments are generated correctly and work.

I believe that aforementioned problems and solutions would be very useful during the implementation of this project. 


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