We’re making a list…

As we gear up for an additional round of software development work on “WebJunction’s TechAtlas“, we find that suggestions offered up by TechAtlas users provide ideas for enhancements that are both strategic and tactical in nature.

Just yesterday, a TechAtlas user from a public library in Missouri suggested that we expand the list of peripheral types in the TechAtlas inventory tools to include UPS (uninterruptible power supply), in addition to the existing selections for printers, routers, fax machines, etc. While this is a fairly straightforward suggestion, and not a big challenge to implement, it’s exactly the type of “fix” that we would have missed without feedback from the community.

So keep those ideas coming our way, whether they be big issues or small issues. We want to make the TechAtlas tools as relevant for public libraries as we can, and we need your ideas to do that! Let us hear from you in comments posted to this blog, or by e-mail at techatlas@webjunction.org

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7 Responses to We’re making a list…

  1. Jeremy Smith says:

    This might seem more like a design flaw, but correcting it would definately be an enhancement.

    The page naviagation of the ‘Computers and Software’ Inventory section is somewhat clumsy. It does not show the correct number of pages when there are more than 5 pages of systems. If I have 7 pages of computers and I am on page 5, there is no direct way for me to access page 7 unless I click the ‘>>’ to go to page 6 and then to page 7. In this scenario, it also doesn’t show me what page I on (6 or 7 that is).

    Another sometimes frustrating occurance happens when changes are saved. If the user is on page 4 and makes and saves a change to a system on the page, the site will redirect the user back to page 1. If multiple changes need to be made to systems on page 4, this can become frustrating very quickly as it requires the user to navigate back to page 4 each time. When this occurance happens when systems are on pages of the previous paragraph, it becomes quite tiresome.

    One last (I promise) quirk I found was that the sorting features don’t seem to work at all except for the first set of sytems on each page.

    But enough of the that, I actually have some ideas about how to improve the interface.

    One improvement would be to group the systems by work area, or even better, user defined criteria such as Operating system, or purchase date, etc. Once grouped, they could possibly be expandable similar to Windows Explorer. That way the user would not have to scroll through numerous screens of computers to find a specific work area.

    Another request, though it might be way out of the ball park, would be to allow organizations to connect (or download) thier database of information. This would open many doors in the area of customization and automation and it would also allow organizations who are better equipped to create custom applications the ability to do so.

  2. hallje says:

    These are all very good suggestions, and the problems that you mention with navigating through the inventory screens are issues that have been mentioned before, and which we hope to resolve in the next update to TechAtlas.

    We do currently provide the ability for TechAtlas partners to download their complete TechAtlas database as an MS Access (.mdb) file. TechAtlas partners are “higher level” accounts, most often used by state library agencies or regional library networks. This functionality is not currently available at the organization (i.e. library system) account level in TechAtlas, but this is a very interesting suggestion, since the value of allowing individual library systems to download their TechAtlas data in something like an .mdb format is obvious.

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