0.0. Platform (AALTO)

RIS3 Forums General 0.0. Platform (AALTO)

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Mona Roman mona.roman 2 weeks ago.

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  • #9874
    Komninos@urenio.org Komninos, Nicos
    komninos
    Participant

    Comments on the Platform

  • #9876
    Iapassas@urenio.org Passas
    iapassas3
    Participant

    In the home page: the “Guidance”, “29 online tools”, “Forums” could include active links towards the specific sections instead of having the user to click on “Start here” and then click on Forums for example

  • #9901
    Kristin.hopfe
    kristin.hopfe
    Participant

    Comments from Scottish Pilot:

    Navigation/user journey

    – You can’t currently navigate backwards from each application to the homepage.
    – Log-in should pop up automatically at the very start of the user journey and be a single step to then access all the apps. It currently doesn’t pop up automatically, so you can start clicking around without logging in, and even when you have logged in once it then asks you to confirm your log in again for several of the apps.

    Website layout: The headings/tabs at the top of the website are confusing.

    o ‘How to form RIS3’ should be replaced with something more straightforward like ‘Online S3 toolbox’.
    o ‘Platform’ implies that you can access the tools, but you are instead taken to a page with information about other aspects of EU RIS3 work. The relationship between those projects and the Online S3 project is not made clear.
    o The information under ‘Online S3 project’ should be up front on the home page, not hidden on the second-to-last tab – this is key information which people visiting the website need to see first of all.

    The website should set out:

    1. What the Online S3 project is all about – its aims, partners etc – in plain English that anyone can understand.
    2. How to get to and use the apps.
    3. A point of contact, social media links etc for further information.
    4. Finally, further background about other RIS3 initiatives and sources of information.

  • #9902
    Kristin.hopfe
    kristin.hopfe
    Participant

    Comments from Scottish Pilot: Overarching problems (with all apps) which pose a reputational risk and make it non-user-friendly:

    Language and visual consistency
    – All apps need to be rewritten by a competent, fluent English speaking professional copywriter so that the text is much shorter and more concise, understandable to someone who is not familiar with smart specialisation or the technical aspects of producing a smart specialisation strategy, and free from jargon, spelling, grammar mistakes and long-winded and confusing syntax.
    – Each app needs to be set out in a consistent, easy-to-navigate form so that a user knows what the app does and how to use it, and can access it easily using a clear, familiar format.
    – Background, academic information is not required up front – if needed, this can be housed in a less obvious place for those that are interested. What the application does and how to access and use it are the only pieces of information required.
    – Some of these are not applications – they are guidance and links to external websites or information. Perhaps we should rename them using a more general terms such as ‘tools’ rather than ‘applications’.

  • #9905
    Elvi.galanaki@gmail.com Galanaki
    elvi.galanaki
    Participant

    Comments from Intelspace on Common Login Functionalities:

    Login
    – In some cases, a timeout login response occurs. Page starts to load, but never finishes.
    – A “remember me” functionality could be included in the login panel, so that the users do not have to re-type the username and the password when returning to the platform or the apps. Moreover, a “change password” option enabling the users to change their credentials, could be useful.
    – Sender info in the “Activation email” might be better to be common in all cases, regardless if the user has registered from the platform or the apps (for example, use ‘Online S3 Platform’ instead of ‘5.1 Intervention Logic’). Another suggestion is the email address to be changed to auth0@s3platform.eu or something relevant, instead of ‘no-reply@auth0user.net’.

    Sign up
    – A direct link to sign up panel could be more clear. Now when someone in the platform clicks the register link the “Log In” panel is displayed and he should click the “Sign Up” link.

    User profile
    – Email information is displayed in the ‘First Name’ field. Probably a new field for the email address could be added.
    – The Username displayed in User Profile form differs from the username (user_login/display_name/user_nicename) available in separate applications.

    Disable account
    – Another useful feature could be the ‘disable account’ enabling the users to temporarily disable or permanently delete their accounts from the platform.

    Common login
    – Common login is valid in all applications except 5.3 RIS3 Budgeting.

    Single sign in / Single logout
    – Single Sign On (SSO), the function that allows users to sign in once to multiple applications, is active only in the following apps: 2.1 Regional Assets Mapping, 2.4 Benchmarking, 4.1 EDP Focus Groups, 5.1 Intervention logic, 5.2 Action plan co-design, 6.1 Monitoring, 6.2 Definition of output and result indicators. When the visitor is signed in in the platform, he is logged in all the above tools as well. However, an intermediate step is required, the user has to confirm his account before entering the app.
    – Respectively, single Logout allows the users to logout from all the apps at once (f5 is required in active apps). Single logout is activated only on the apps mentioned above.
    – In the rest of OnlineS3 apps, the log in / log out process is autonomous. When the user logs in one app, remains logged out in the rest of OnlineS3 tools. As well, if he logs in with another account, he will be simultaneously logged in with two different accounts in the platform.

    Login form stylesheet
    – In some applications, such as Monitoring, SWOT Analysis, RIS3 Innovation Maps, the login form has the same style with the platforms’ login form, while in other apps (assets mapping, benchmarking, intervention logic) the login form has the default auth0 login form.

    The complete testing report, with examples and printscreens, is available here:
    http://www.intelspace.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Common-Login-Testing-Intelspace.pdf

  • #10174
    Varga@efiscentre.eu Varga
    H Varga
    Participant

    Wanted to make a general remark on the S3 platform, especially in terms of usability. There are a number of things that are lacking in terms of usability friendliness.

    Keywords: simplify, homogenize, organize, improve user-friendliness

    1) The platform does not seem to take into consideration what type of users there will be that will use the platform. Rember that the platform will address people like public servants who are under pressure, they don’t have too much time to try to ‘figure out’ or understand how things work, or that it does not feel intuitive to use. They will leave very soon. Since the platform is supposed to guide also ‘novice’ users it is important that you recognize yourself where you are on across the platform (e.g. the S3 platform website, app home page and the app itself) :

    a. The jump in design from the web-based site/ platform to the ‘About’ page and the application is quite big: except from the top bar that it is Online S3, there is no familiarity, there is a different background colour, not to speak of different font type and size. Imagine you are in Outlook and when you open a new email it would look like Gmail. To provide the font type, size and colour to those programming the about and app sites should not be a difficult thing as these are set standards.

    b. Numbering: once the apps have their set numbering, e.g. 2.4 Benchmarking, when you go from the website of the S3 platform, the numbering should follow suit in the title to the ‘About’ S3 platform page of that application the application, e.g. ‘2.4 Benchmarking – About the application’. This clearly indicates where you are. For 2.4 Benchmarking you have it in the thread in the upper right corner but not for ‘Vision Sharing’, but still it’s to ‘hidden’. See screenshots below.

    c. To many documents to read through: again it will take too much time as it feels ‘burdensome’ to go through.

    d. To many apps: e.g. 6.4 Social Media Analysis, what real value does it bring to the user? Social media is based on habits and recourses, e.g. a region like Bavaria is wealthy and the public administration that most probably have more dedicated recourses to communication and people working on it full time with it. Hence, they have more time to post information on social media; now take a region which does not have the same resources will not be able to post on social media, or even if they have any dedicated communication strategy and resources at all. So the comparison does not become fair. While statistics on how many, i.e., PhD students you have in the region per million inhabitants is an indicator that is more ‘objective’. It is very questionable about the scientific value of social media facts as it can so easily be skewed. Furthermore, I do not see how the app would “strengthening and widening the participation of and interaction with citizens”. Why would a citizen get interested or involved in the S3 process? S3 is for stakeholders, they need to be ensured that they are informed so that they can participate in the process, and ensure that the best S3 strategy is developed as possible.

    There are also overlaps between apps, commented by my colleagues. Simplify! Really look into what is essential to the process of creating an S3 strategy. Put yourself into the shoes of the user. They need start working with the platform asap.

    e. What is the idea of having apps that just lists links to templates and external platforms, e.g. 1.1 Vision sharing? That is not an app. Again, these can be easily listed on the platform as documents and recommended tools. There are also some issues with the providing hyperlinks to external platforms:

    I. Why are certain external platforms, e.g. Evenbrite, Infogram … ? Why are these chosen? Do not think it is appropriate
    to promote specific profit-making companies.

    II. The user gets ‘thrown’ out from the S3 platform that can create two negative reactions: 1) its another new platform
    that they have to learn about (and spend time on); 2) the fact they are thrown out to another website gives the feeling
    that – ‘oh, this is too complicated with all these sites and pages and external platforms …’.

    2) In terms of Phase 2 and the SWOT ‘app,’ I have commented in previously. The idea is that, again, despite a very good background information page on phase 2 – http://www.s3platform.eu/2-analysis-of-context, you need to think of the user that might not be so familiar with the process. SWOT is a method, telling the user that the purpose of phase 2 is to find the strength and weaknesses of the region, what are the potentials, etc. Many people are familiar with SWOT, something they can relate to. SWOT maybe does not work as an app but should be more highlighted as a method that the other apps feed with information. Or maybe SWOT is the app for phase 2 and the other are kind of ‘sub’ apps (2.1-2.6) that should provide the information needed to conduct the SWOT.

    As it currently looks, it is well explained what the phase is about “The aim of this phase is to gain relevant information about the region, other related regions and the connections the region has internationally”. Apps 2.1 till 2.6 are the tools that provide you with the data but does not put the data in context to each other, and much data from the different apps will have an impact on each other. The risk is that the user will analyse the information that they receive separately from each app as it looks now and will miss the purpose of the phase or will miss important correlations between the information provided.

    Suggestion is that on the S3 Platform webpage (www.s3platform.eu/2-analysis-of-context), before the title ‘Online S3 Analysis of context tools’, there could be a separate section on SWOT and at the end something like ‘Below our online tools that will provide data and information for the SWOT analysis’.

    My comments are based on both personal and professional experience from the business of developing and selling applications for mobile devices and the internet.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
  • #10178
    Varga@efiscentre.eu Varga
    H Varga
    Participant

    Wanted to make a general remark on the S3 platform, especially in terms of usability. There are a number of things that are lacking in terms of usability friendliness.

    Keywords: simplify, homogenize, organize, improve user-friendliness

    1) The platform does not seem to take into consideration what type of users there will be that will use the platform. Remember that the platform will address people like public servants who are under pressure, they don’t have too much time to try to ‘figure out’ or understand how things work, or that it does not feel intuitive to use. They will leave very soon. Since the platform is supposed to guide also ‘novice’ users it is important that you recognize yourself where you are on across the platform (e.g. the S3 platform website, app home page and the app itself) :

    a. The jump in design from the web-based site/ platform to the ‘About’ page and the application is quite big: except from the top bar that it is Online S3, there is no familiarity, there is a different background colour, not to speak of different font type and size. Imagine you are in Outlook and when you open a new email it would look like Gmail. To provide the font type, size and colour to those programming the about and app sites should not be a difficult thing as these are set standards.

    b. Numbering: once the apps have their set numbering, e.g. 2.4 Benchmarking, when you go from the website of the S3 platform, the numbering should follow suit in the title to the ‘About’ S3 platform page of that application the application, e.g. ‘2.4 Benchmarking – About the application’. This clearly indicates where you are. For 2.4 Benchmarking you have it in the thread in the upper right corner but not for ‘Vision Sharing’, but still it’s to ‘hidden’. See screenshots below.

    c. To many documents to read through: again it will take too much time as it feels ‘burdensome’ to go through.

    d. To many apps: e.g. 6.4 Social Media Analysis, what real value does it bring to the user? Social media is based on habits and recourses, e.g. a region like Bavaria is wealthy and the public administration that most probably have more dedicated recourses to communication and people working on it full time with it. Hence, they have more time to post information on social media; now take a region which does not have the same resources will not be able to post on social media, or even if they have any dedicated communication strategy and resources at all. So the comparison does not become fair. While statistics on how many, i.e., PhD students you have in the region per million inhabitants is an indicator that is more ‘objective’. It is very questionable about the scientific value of social media facts as it can so easily be skewed. Furthermore, I do not see how the app would “strengthening and widening the participation of and interaction with citizens”. Why would a citizen get interested or involved in the S3 process? S3 is for stakeholders, they need to be ensured that they are informed so that they can participate in the process, and ensure that the best S3 strategy is developed as possible.

    There are also overlaps between apps, commented by my colleagues. Simplify! Really look into what is essential to the process of creating an S3 strategy. Put yourself into the shoes of the user. They need start working with the platform asap.

    e. What is the idea of having apps that just lists links to templates and external platforms, e.g. 1.1 Vision sharing? That is not an app. Again, these can be easily listed on the platform as documents and recommended tools. There are also some issues with the providing hyperlinks to external platforms:

    I. Why are certain external platforms, e.g. Evenbrite, Infogram … ? Why are these chosen? Do not think it is appropriate
    to promote specific profit-making companies.

    II. The user gets ‘thrown’ out from the S3 platform that can create two negative reactions: 1) its another new platform
    that they have to learn about (and spend time on); 2) the fact they are thrown out to another website gives the feeling
    that – ‘oh, this is too complicated with all these sites and pages and external platforms …’.

    2) In terms of Phase 2 and the SWOT ‘app,’ I have commented in previously. The idea is that, again, despite a very good background information page on phase 2 – http://www.s3platform.eu/2-analysis-of-context, you need to think of the user that might not be so familiar with the process. SWOT is a method, telling the user that the purpose of phase 2 is to find the strength and weaknesses of the region, what are the potentials, etc. Many people are familiar with SWOT, something they can relate to. SWOT maybe does not work as an app but should be more highlighted as a method that the other apps feed with information. Or maybe SWOT is the app for phase 2 and the other are kind of ‘sub’ apps (2.1-2.6) that should provide the information needed to conduct the SWOT.

    As it currently looks, it is well explained what the phase is about “The aim of this phase is to gain relevant information about the region, other related regions and the connections the region has internationally”. Apps 2.1 till 2.6 are the tools that provide you with the data but does not put the data in context to each other, and much data from the different apps will have an impact on each other. The risk is that the user will analyse the information that they receive separately from each app as it looks now and will miss the purpose of the phase or will miss important correlations between the information provided.

    Suggestion is that on the S3 Platform webpage (www.s3platform.eu/2-analysis-of-context), before the title ‘Online S3 Analysis of context tools’, there could be a separate section on SWOT and at the end something like ‘Below our online tools that will provide data and information for the SWOT analysis’.

    My comments are based on both personal and professional experience from the business of developing and selling applications for mobile devices and the internet.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
  • #10183
    Vladimir Cvijanovic
    cvijanovic
    Participant

    Remarks on the Platform

    General remarks on improvement of the Platform
    – the language should be proofread,
    – the source of the text should be clearly stated at the website
    – after clicking on “join now” button at http://www.s3platform.eu/ nothing happens
    – at http://www.s3platform.eu/about/ there is a non-functioning link in the following sentence: “At the moment, only academic literature, lengthy guides and few tools exist.”
    – under the tab “What is RIS3”-> “RIS3 resources” (see figure below) the button “Access the Implementation Handbook” directs users to a non-existing link
    – All the text at the bottom of the page under “Phases 1-3” and “Phases 4-6” should be deleted, since it is already at the top of the page and this way it takes a lot of space
    – there is also a “hidden” part of the portal, which you can get to over search. If you e.g. write the words “tool” in the search box this eventually leads you to the website http://www.s3platform.eu/6-monitoring-evaluation/6-6-quality-scorecard/, which has lots of faulty links, and seems to be some previous draft version which should probably be deleted. Are there more of such “hidden” websites on the platform?

    On making contents on the Portal better
    – the apps should somehow be accentuated, as they are the most important output of the project – and also the most helpful one to the (potential) users. Therefore in the menu, a menu point to access the online tools would be necessary.
    – the Platform should provide content that has been produced in this project, and that would help (potential) users to better orientate themselves in the RIS3 process and with the apps. It would benefit from the following:
    1. best cases of devising RIS3 – in particular if combined with
    2. expert opinions (from the pilot partners, EFIS, etc.) on how to use the apps in the RIS3 process and why/how they might be useful (if possible, in addition, as compared to other sources)
    3. examples of reports generated with help of the apps
    – one should provide some comments of the pilot partners and – perhaps – other experts as well, as this will not only show the added value of the project, but also help future users orientate themselves
    – the repository of RIS3 strategies (http://www.onlines3.eu/ris3-strategies-repository/) could maybe be extended to include Swedish, Croatian, Hungarian, Greek RIS3 as well as the one from Cyprus

    On layout of the Portal
    – In order to make the homepage more engaging when the user first arrives it would be good if a short paragraph describing smart specialization (‘What is RIS3?’) is moved so that it is visible above the fold. That should also be useful as it describes what RIS3 stands for, and that should be explained as the first thing.
    – The menu point ‘What is RIS3?’ and its subdirectory, ‘RIS3 Resources’ could easily be put under ‘How to form RIS3?.
    – The ‘Forum’ menu point gets lost at the very end of the row. It would be good if we could switch it with the ‘Online S3 project’ point. However, the ‘Forum’ menu point may be best positioned at the bottom of the homepage and/or as a submenu of the ‘About’ menu point

    Remarks on the part of the Platform with the RIS3 process

    Phase 1: Governance
    – the link in the following sentence does not direct the user to the definition of the EDP: “The aim is to bring together regional stakeholders in order to harness their knowledge, resources and connections for discovering new R&D and innovation activities and implementing them in practice (see EDP).”
    – the link in the following sentence does not guide one to the definition of “civil society”, but rather to a document going into some detail on the quadruple helix model: “The innovation users are also described as the “civil society””. That should be corrected by either inserting a link leading one to the description of the mentioned notion or it should be clearly stated that this is a link leading one to explanation of the quadruple helix model

    Phase 3: Strategy formulation
    – under “Case examples”, the link to Malta’s RIS3 report does not work: “Malta’s RIS3 report including their vision”

    Phase 4 – Priority setting
    – As far as the content/ideas are concerned, it is a good summary. However, the text would benefit from a review by an editor: it is extremely repetitive and contains a lot of redundant, filler sentences (e.g. ‘As a result of this phase, regions should formulate a set of priorities.’). In short, the text should be much more to the point.
    – The ‘Example priorities’ are for some reason presented as a drop-down, due to which they are hidden. As this is some of the most valuable input for users, they are worth expanding. Also, under the example for Galicia, one of the priorities is ‘etc.’ – this should be deleted.
    – Tool 4.1. is referred to on this page as ‘EDP workshops’, while in the menu and tool itself, it is called ‘EDP focus groups’. One name should be picked and stuck to in order to avoid confusion.

    Phase 5 – Policy mix
    – Text is repetitive, needs professional editing.
    – Tool 5.4 is referred to as ‘Administrative framework conditions’, while in the menu and in the app it is called ‘State aid law compliance for RIS3 implementation’. For the sake of clarity these should be harmonized.

    Phase 6 – Monitoring and evaluation
    – Heavy editing needed, as the text is repetitive and without flow. Grammar needs checking too. (e.g. ‘Reflecting monitoring indicators to the baselines show whether the RIS3 implementation has had hoped results.’) All links in the text should open in a new tab, rather than in the same one.

  • #10184
    Vladimir Cvijanovic
    cvijanovic
    Participant

    There are few comments by EFIS on some graphical properties of the Platform that you can find attached below.

    Attachments:
    You must be logged in to view attached files.
  • #10213
    Marco Tiemann
    marco.tiemann6
    Participant

    Two notes from us on platform features:

    – For us it would be very helpful if we had access to a user profile field where users set the region (more specifically the “default region”) they are involved in. That would allow us to show users tailored views that save them the effort of finding content for the default region.
    – The yellow font colour for “Access to application” should be changed so that it always is used in order to highlight the currently shown page.

  • #10560
    Antti Heliste
    Antti
    Keymaster

    Thank you for all the comments, they have been really helpful in improving the site.

    Here are some of the changes that we have made over the past 2 months:

    Appearance

    • Changed the layout of content pages. The content is now more in the centre and a bit wider.
    • Changed the font a sans serif one.
    • Changed forums styling to be more coherent with the rest of the site.

    Content

    • External resources renamed to RIS3 resources (some of the resources were not external).
    • Added a central navigation pages for applications (http://www.s3platform.eu/applications/). It is currently named “Application testing” because the applications are under a testing process and are not finished.
    • Removed the three “balls” (policy-makers, etc.) from the front page. Fixed the join button.
    • Restructured the top menu.
    • Changed the place of the contact form and made it actually work.
    • Fixed search page formatting and visuals.
    • Added a link to the project website.
    • Added a simple terms of use (to be checked by legal experts).
    • Fixed some links and typos.
    • Removed hidden pages visible in the search.

    Technical

    • More login options.
    • Improved SEO.
    • Added a plugin to send attachments on the forums.
    • Upgraded the forum reply editor.

    Yet, there is still a lot of improvements that should be done:

    • Revision and proof-reading of content, especially for all phases.
    • Making the tools uniform with the platform. Currently, they look quite different because they have been developed separately and are hosted externally.
    • Changing footer to a smaller one.
    • Adding a Captcha to registration to prevent spammers.
    • Adding a possibility remove or disable your account. For now, you can contact us for that through the contact form.
    • Adding a privacy policy.
    • Moving the website to the EU and set up SSL.
    • etc.

    We will keep on working on the platform and keep you updated on the changes.

  • #10639
    Mona Roman
    mona.roman
    Participant

    Dear all,

    Since Antti´s response, we have last week modified the layout so we have “Home”, “About”, “Toolbox”, “Guidance”, “Forums” and “Contact” as the main sites, which is very much in line with your earlier comments.

    We are also currently in the process of fixing the rest of comments. I have sent individual questions to the users regarding some of the contents to clarify fully the matter, and find the best possible way to implement the request.

    IIL is currently proof-reading the contents, once this is made by 1st of December, we will correct the text accordingly during the following week.

    BR, Mona

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