Forum Replies Created

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Just to let you know, I’m also interested in category hierarchies. On my website sinnerman.org I collect amongst others links. I categorize them in different ways. An article about Amazon is categorized in the month it is published, but Amazon also has its own section and sometimes it is added to a third section, the business section.

    My current set-up is far from ideal and difficult to maintain, some kind of parent-child category structure would be helpful.

    Thread Starter gertjan.org

    (@gertjanorg)

    Finally had time to play around with WordPress some more. Great to see you started writing documentation. I’ll ignore the discussion whom the plug-in is written for: tech-savvy y/n. The plug-in is too good to be accessible to tech savvy users only. Just remember I am not a programmer.

    My suggestion: include a quick start guide in the Wiki for newbies. Once people successfully create their first page, they’ll be hungry for more and want to customize their output and learn about other major building blocks.

    Use the “Ad Link Library Shortcode” button!
    After LL is installed and you have added a few weblinks, create your first library. Thinking back about my initial steps getting LL up and running the first thing I had to understand are WP shortcodes. Only later I realized you can bypass that using the “Ad Link Library Shortcode” button. It makes creating your first post so simple.

    Start a new post and click “Ad Link Library Shortcode” button.
    Next press “Insert Shortcode” and you have created your first library.
    That’s how easy it is.

    That first LL post is not what you want in terms of content and formatting, so people start playing around and start to tweak it. For non-technical users the “Ad Link Library Shortcode” button is simply excellent.

    Next is explaining link categories.
    Links are grouped in link categories, just like posts are sorted in post categories. If no category is assigned they are saved under uncategorized. Let’s say someone has created two link categories: WordPress (WP) and Facebook (FB). That is where they start using the “Category Override” option and create a separate WP page.

    Followed by the concept of libraries.
    Users next want to change the look and feel of their WP page, so they look into libraries. What I found confusion about the concept is that it mixes both content (what categories to include/exclude) and styling. For content inexperienced users should refer to the “Ad Link Library Shortcode” button, so they can focus on styling the output using categories.

    I have to be honest I still don’t know what most options are for but I would highlight a few things:

    Categories:
    – How to sort them
    – Display format

    Links:
    – Link result order
    – Combine all results without categories
    – Either title or description can serve as link

    Advanced:
    – Discuss how items can be easily arranged by drag-and-drop.
    – Three text fields: description, large description and notes.
    – How HTML can be used to style the output.

    By then the average non-technical user is able to create highly customized pages.

    Use screen prints lavishly
    Finally use an example to explain the various options and add screen print to show how various options change the lay-out. Example under Categories->Link Categories Display Format there are four options to choose from, so four images to illustrate how each option changes the lay-out.

    Thread Starter gertjan.org

    (@gertjanorg)

    Thanks Yezzz.

    I like LL a lot and think many more people will use it if the plug-in becomes more accessible. I am not a programmer, I consider myself an advanced user and as such I wrote my review, hoping it is of some use to the author. He created and excellent plug-in and the least I can do is give him some feedback.
    What I did is write down the things I noticed when I started working with LL because after a while you cannot remember what you found so difficult initially. Some things may be useful, others not.

    Once you become an expert in a particular field it becomes increasingly difficult to understand why other struggle with certain (basic) concepts, that gap often makes it hard to see how people can struggle with the simplest of things.

    Example: my dad sings in a choir, they get their music by e-mail. For some time there was a problem with certain songs not working, but they could not figure it out. When I did some maintenance on my dad’s computer I noticed how there was and underscore in the extension ._mp3. I changed it to .mp3 and problem solved. I think there are very few programmers who understand that people can struggle with something as basic as extensions.

    In the end it is up to the author to decide for what kind of users he writes the plug, but it would be a shame if the author intends it for a wider audience, he cannot reach because of lack of feedback from less technically skilled users.

    Thread Starter gertjan.org

    (@gertjanorg)

    Summary: a tabbed approach makes LL more manageable. From a “work flow / how do I get started point of view” the average non-technical user might benefit from a few more alterations.

    — —
    Sorry it took me a while to respond. Remember I am not an experienced LL user so some things may sound silly. The logic of WordPress does not help either and I have to learn a bit more about LL settings. I tried to recreate the steps while working with LL for the first few times.
    I work in finance and used to create financial reports, some bizarrely up to 300 pages. I tried to design the reports in such a way that the reader was guided through the information – compare it to work flow – finding things where they expect them and I stuck to the principle of less is more as well as conventions that people in my line of work are familiar with, compare it to a design in line with WordPress design and functionality. So how did i navigate through LL?


    1) Based on my previous WP experience I expected several elements in different places.
    a) Style sheet under Plug-ins -> Editor, like other plug ins do, now it is available in two places (LL pop up says this done for technical reasons).
    b) For me as a user creating a page with links is different from managing submitted links. People can send in links and i can edit them but technically it allows for a separate plug-in, given the current setup I feel output and input should be treated as two separate modules and i would prefer “New Link” to be filed under “Links”, just like WP’s own “Add new” is also there.

    2) WP itself is inconsistent. Press “Tools” and the page shows a landing page with the “Press this bookmarklet” and the menu opens. Select “Users” however and you get the first menu item: “All users” however the page is named Users, like the menu itself.
    The same happens in LL: click LL and you get the general options menu below. Silly me, but initially it got me confused. I later realized is that the coloured LL menu icon makes it stand out even more. LL is near the bottom of the page in my WP menu and the arrow points towards an item in the middle: “Moderate” rather than “General Options”.
    Breadcrumbs at the top of the page would help navigate more effectively, or perhaps combine the LL landing page with the FAQ and/or add the “Linkman popup” to the page rather than show the general options when you click LL.

    3) As a newbie I am still trying to figure out the best approach when it comes to working with libraries. It is very personal, I know, but figuring out what a Library exactly was took me some time. Now think of it more as “Output Settings.” I am still looking for the best approach to creating libraries, the short codes/options are very powerful, meaning I most likely will use very few different libraries.
    When I saw the general options tab, I wondered how it differed from the libraries tab. My assumption is that those general options are global options, affecting all libraries but I am not sure.
    I did notice a link to the style sheet editor -> see 1a
    Under general options -> general there are some setting for images, but it also has another tab with two image settings.
    Have not tested page title prefix, but if it relates to a single library (does it?) should it not be moved to the Library tab?
    In general within a tab I would cluster similar elements under a heading and group them visually, e.g: “global image settings” and then list the elements: “Link Image File Path” etc.

    4) Initially I also struggled to understand that Library 1 was the default library and ready to use. Yes creating that first test page is a breeze, but it took me a while to find out. It had to do with the fact that you have to set the number of libraries under general options, rather than something like “create new library”
    Under library setting -> usage I thought at first that library 1 was an example. It is there when you start and when you rename it, the name does not show up. Same with the buttons below it. Button one is “delete library 1” while the next says current library. So I assumed they were different.


    5) If you keep the tabs I would move them up below the main menu, before the name of the library and add some visual elements to it, to distinguish them from what comes next.


    6) “Select current library settings” also got me wondering what I was supposed to do. They are two different elements: Active library and an option to copy settings from an existing library.


    7) Under Library settings -> common I very much like the include and exclude options. My suggestion would be to add tick boxes. I am working with 20 categories now, so I can achieve a cross section of period and topic, eg all stories about Amazon in 2014.
    Under exclude an option to exclude new categories yet to be added would be very nice as well.


    8) Rather than a two column approach I would suggest a single column lay-out where elements are grouped by visual elements like a border or similar colour background. “Paginate Results” and “Links per page” form a logical group and it reads easier if you place them below one another.

    9) Library settings -> advanced is one of the most interest elements of LL. Drag-and-drop rearranging is great, as is the option to add HTML. Not sure how to improve the readability but it took me a while to understand. Two things I remember: when HTML tags span more than one element it gets tricky and I added a secondary link source for the image, but rather than a thumbnail, I got the full image, my rookie mistake.


    10) Pop ups and RSS I don’t use


    11) Thumbnail settings I need to dig in a little deeper, I do not fully understand them yet. Settings are in various places, I still have to understand the relationship between the elements but a very important element for making an attractive list of links.


    12) Search & User submission -> see 1b)


    13) Import/Export settings is always useful but perhaps consider a fixed with .txt file. Not everybody knows how to use a spreadsheet and the txt-to-columns function.
    I do not know if it is possible but perhaps an on the fly export of category numbers and labels as well as link numbers and labels. That would be very use when creating a new library/page.


    14) To show people how easy it is to create a page with links I would suggest a short description in the FAQ: “how to create your first links page.” All they need is a few links and they can create a test page. From their most people will start tweaking the output and get a better understanding of the possibilities of LL.


    15) What I expect is that most users initially spending a lot of time setting up LL the way they want, assuming the lay-out people use is consistent across their website, and once that is done and they need to create a new library the main task is to select what links and articles to include and exclude. As mentioned before I am still trying to work out when to tweak individual settings or when to opt for an new library, but it is worth considering.


    BTW: yes I know what I write is not always consistent, guilty as charged but hope it helps. Feel free to ask me anything, but answers will be slow.

    Thread Starter gertjan.org

    (@gertjanorg)

    • I assume that I need to remove the Dutch language file with every update
    • I am interested in helping with an updated Dutch translation but I am busy and will have limited time after an initial update. I assume that once everything is in place only a few fields every now and then need translating. so
    • The interface is tricky. As a general principle I would stick with what most people are familiar with and look at WordPress and Windows. This makes it easier getting started. Next I would look at the work flow and organize everything around topics/tasks.
    • I could customize additional fields but experience has taught me that sooner or later it comes back to haunt you, usually with software updates

    Adding the “Shortcodes in Sidebar Widgets” I added a text widget to the sidebar and added the LL shortcode [link-library settings=1]. Is there a setting where I can limit the number of links shown to say the ten most recent rather than all links (dozens it now loads into the sidebar?

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)