Let’s talk about air quality data! Join us for Open Call on this topic every Tuesday until Dec. 14. Click here for details!

Public Lab Research note


Outreachy proposal: New Dashboard Implementation Project

by shreeti_019 | October 26, 2020 01:57 26 Oct 01:57 | #24811 | #24811

Name: Shreeti Upreti

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Timezone: (GMT+5:45)

Email: shreeti.019@gmail.com

Github:https://github.com/Shreets

ABOUT ME

I am a Software engineer from Nepal. I have worked 2 years as a Data Analyst, but as of late I find myself more interested in working with web applications and hence I have been transitioning for the same lately. I am passionate about making the web accessible and inclusive. Outreachy opens up great opportunities for the under-represented to step into the world of the open source community and to work and learn first hand with seasoned mentors. This is what motivates me to participate in this program.

I am currently a full stack developer intern at Queeery LLC which is a web portal for promotion of queer events, gatherings, and meetups throughout the queer collective. I am responsible for Front end and back end development of the web application platform. I work mainly with MERN stack. My responsibilities range from bug fixes to working individually on new features. I have worked with tools like Puppeteer to pre-render client side rendered applications and Docker to deploy the application along with its libraries and other dependencies as a single package.

STATEMENT OF MOTIVATION

Not only do I find web application development interesting but it is my goal to make web accessible to users the best way possible. I realize that I can function most productively when I can use my skills in projects that aligns with my objectives. I am inclined to this particular project because the mission of Public lab resonates with my goal and also is correlated with my past projects/work.

RELEVANT PROGRAMMING EXPERIENCE

Queeery LLC : Full Stack Developer (Intern)

August 2020 - November 2020

  • Front end and back end development of Queeery web application platform (ReactJS/NodeJS)
  • Used tools like Puppeteer to pre-render client side rendered application.
  • Dockerized the application to deploy the application along with its libraries and other dependencies as a single package.

SKILLS

Technical skills

  1. JavaScript
  2. ReactJS
  3. Python
  4. Django (basics)
  5. HTML/CSS
  6. Bootstrap (basics)
  7. SQL

Development Environment :

  • Ubuntu 20.04
  • Visual Studio Code

PAST PROJECTS

1. Mutual-GitHub

web store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mutual-github/momfmojdajiafeagimngkaekoooihmcn

git repo: https://github.com/Shreets/Mutual-GitHub

This is a google chrome extension used to see mutual GitHub followers when you visit a person's profile. This was developed entirely using vanilla javascript with HTML and CSS for styling. Here, I worked with authentication, javascript promises and github API that helped me learn my way around with core concepts of javascript.

2. Vivid-Covid

website link : https://shreets.github.io/Vivid-Covid/

git repo: https://github.com/Shreets/Vivid-Covid

This is a web application that only shares positive news about COVID-19 recovery cases. It has been created using ReactJS and Mapbox. This project was built so I could implement what I had learned with React. I also learned how to integrate Mapbox with any project. I learned to work with multiple libraries at once. Sharpened my front end skills and most importantly this project got me started on a habit of diligently going through documentations to get grasps of newer concepts to solve any problems along the way.

3. Binge

website link : https://shreets.github.io/Binge/

git repo : https://github.com/Shreets/Binge

This was my first React-app: A ReactJS based TV series recommendation application that suggests the users details of series they might want to. The application recommended movies and its details from an API at random to users. Besides react concepts like Hooks, I learned a lot about front end development and user interface design during this process. I developed interest and skills in UI development with this project.

4. Pig Dice Game

git repo : https://github.com/Shreets/Pig-Dice-Game

Javascript based multiplayer dice game where the one who rolls dice up to 100 points first wins. The catch is that the points roll back to 0 when dice is rolled to 1. However, there is a hold option to secure the points and update them on scoreboard so that they don't roll back when dice face shows 1. Developing this game helped me sharpen my javascript and CSS skills.

OPEN SOURCE CONTRIBUTIONS

Public Lab Plots2

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

New Dashboard Implementation Project

Abstract/summary (<20 words):

Implement newly designed Dashboard for publiclab.org to make it more user friendly and usable.

PROBLEM

Public Lab dashboard needs improvement in their design so as to best enhance it's presentation to first timers as well as the day-to-day users visiting the site. This is necessary to help users; technical and non-technical feel at ease to navigate through the features and pages that Public Lab has to offer.

Also, since the new dashboard design will display a list of topics, not posts, and some users will need a new place to see the full list of posts once the previous dashboard design is replaced, a new page that will display a list of posts needs to be implemented.

IMPLEMENTATION

MILESTONE I : DASHBOARD IMPLEMENTATION

PHASE I: DASHBOARD PAGE DESIGN AND RESPONSIVENESS:

The first task would be to get started with designing the dashboard page layouts. This phase would mainly consist of preparing basic layout for the dashboard while making sure it is responsive.

This includes

  • designing topic card contents that hides on clicking the "X"
  • drop-down menu display on clicking the three dots icon in the topic card.
  • Links and buttons that redirects to more posts/topics pages or all post pages
  • Alert message notifying the pages the users have followed/un-followed
  • Collapsible "Follow more topic" bar with topics buttons
  • Popup to pin users location upon clicking "Add your location" button
  • Search bar to search for desired topicsimage description

The designing part will be done while keeping responsiveness of the page into account.

image description

PHASE II: API INTEGRATION

Multiple API integration will be necessary in the dashboard for various features. The main approach to this will be

  1. Using existing API to fetch and display data in front end
  2. Creating new API
  3. Updating the existing API to make necessary changes to accommodate to new dashboard design.

API integration will be necessary for following features:

1. Tag Card

The tag topic card needs to fetch following information from API:

  1. top 3 posts (filter and fetch from existing API)
  2. number of people discussing the topic (fetch from existing API)
  3. number of posts on the topic beside the ones listed (filter and fetch from existing API)image description

_2. _Alert message notifying the pages the users have followed/unfollowed****image description

The alert division needs to fetch the topics followed or unfollowed by the user and display it. This API should already exist and can be used possibly without much changes.

3. Trending Topics

In order to display the currently trending topics , regularly updated topics need to be fetched from the API. This API is already being used in the older dashboard.

image description

4. Featured Topics

An API for the featured topics need to be created so as to display them for the users to see in the dashboard. This feature doesn't already exist in the dashboard and needs to be worked on from the scratch.

image description

Featured topics and Trending topics must update the users' subscription API when any topic is selected form those lists

5. Search Topic:

The search bar needs to fetch the searched topic from the API when the user hits the key word in the search bar. This feature doesn't already exists in dashboard and needs to be worked on from scratch**

image description

6. Add Location Button
This button displays a popup with options for users to pin their location as shown below. The information will be fetched from already existing API.

image description

image description

7. Subscription List

Fetch list of topics subscribed by the user and display them in the dashboard. This API should already exist in the project and can be used as is or with minor changes if necessary

8. More Topics To Follow

This section will display the topics that haven't already been subscribed by the users. The unsubscribed topics need to be filtered when fetching the data from API before displaying it in the dashboard.

PHASE III: Add Dynamic Feature

add a dynamic Feature in sidebar, and under the list of topics, and at top of page (full width), to allow admins to configure content to display there without code base changes, using the admin panel at /features

PHASE IV: ACCESSIBILITY CHECK

In this phase, the newly developed dashboard and the all post pages will be tested for their user friendliness. Following points (and more after more discussion and feedback from the team/community) will be taken care of during this phase

  1. Provide image description with alternate text for images
  2. Make sure to add more contrast between the content and the background if necessary
  3. Work on making all the content on the website accessible with a keyboard alone as well.
  4. Add meaningful descriptions for links so that it is easier for users to navigate through the application.

PHASE V: TESTING

Write necessary tests for the features/functions that were added in this milestone.

PHASE VI: FEEDBACK

Once the PR is created, make changes to code/functionality based on PR review and feedback from the community

MILESTONE II: ALL POSTS PAGE IMPLEMENTATION

PHASE I: ALL POSTS PAGE DESIGN AND RESPONSIVENESS:

The first task would be to get started with designing the "all posts" page layouts. This phase would mainly consist of preparing basic layout while making sure it is responsive.

This includes

  • Navbar displaying different tabs than links to respective tab sections
  • Body division displaying full list of posts
  • Individual cards for each posts displaying image, topic, author and the published date
  • Topic and author in display cards set as links to the post's page and author's profile respectively. The image will be clickable as well and should link to the post's page as well.

image description

The design will be developed considering the tag pages as a model. Tag page design can be reused in designing this.In doing so, odd line folding on individual posts in topic cards will be resolved too

PHASE II: COMMENT TAB SECTION DESIGN AND RESPONSIVENESS:

In the comment section of the tab, The comments will be displayed in card format with additional information like author, topics commented on, permalink, link to the comment on parent node and timestamp showing how long ago the comment was posted. The most recent comment will be displayed first

image description

PHASE III : API INTEGRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION

The API for comments already exists in the project. Existing API will be used to fetch the data in an order such that the most recent comment is fetched first and displayed in the comment cards.

PHASE IV: ACCESSIBILITY CHECK

In this phase, the newly developed dashboard and the all post pages will be tested for their user friendliness. Following points (and more after more discussion and feedback from the team/community) will be taken care of during this phase

  1. Provide image description with alternate text for images
  2. Make sure to add more contrast between the content and the background if necessary
  3. Work on making all the content on the website accessible with a keyboard alone as well.
  4. Add meaningful descriptions for links so that it is easier for users to navigate through the application.

PHASE V: TESTING

Write necessary tests for the features/functions that were added in this milestone.

PHASE VI: FEEDBACK

Once the PR is created, make changes to code/functionality based on PR review and feedback from the community

TIMELINE

Official Coding Period (1 Dec -1 March)

MILESTONE I : DASHBOARD IMPLEMENTATION 7 WEEKS
WEEK 1-2
PHASE I: DASHBOARD PAGE DESIGN AND RESPONSIVENESS: 1.5 weeks (60hrs)
overall page layout 16hrs
Topic card and its content design 16hrs
Alert message sections 8hrs
Follow more topics section with search bar 20hrs
WEEK2-4
PHASE II: API INTEGRATION 2.5 weeks (86 hrs)
Tag Card 10hrs
Alert message notifying the pages the users have followed/unfollowed 10hrs
Trending Topics 2hr
Featured Topics 20hrs
Search Topic: 20hrs
Add Location Button 4hrs
Subscription List 8hrs
More Topics To Follow 12hrs
WEEK 5
PHASE III: Add Dynamic Feature 4 days (32hrs)
Understand how dynamic features work 8hrs
Implementation 24hrs
WEEK 5
PHASE IV: ACCESSIBILITY CHECK 1.5 day (12hrs)
Test for Accessibility 4hrs
Implementation 8hrs
WEEK 6 PHASE V: TESTING 1 week (40 hrs)
WEEK 7 PHASE VI: FEEDBACK 3 days (24 hrs)
MILESTONE II: ALL POSTS PAGE IMPLEMENTATION 4 WEEKS
WEEK 8
PHASE I: ALL POSTS PAGE DESIGN AND RESPONSIVENESS: 28hrs
design page layout (navbar/indivisual cards display ) 20hr
individual card display 8hrs
WEEK8-WEEK9
PHASE II: COMMENT TAB SECTION DESIGN AND RESPONSIVENESS: 22hr
design page layout 12hr
design/style comment cards 10hr
WEEK 9
PHASE II : API INTEGRATION AND IMPLEMENTATION 16hr
Fetch data and displaying in the front end 16hr
WEEK 9
PHASE IV: ACCESSIBILITY CHECK 12hrs
Test for Accessibility 4hrs
Implementation 8hrs
WEEK 10 PHASE V: TESTING 40 hrs
WEEK 11 PHASE VI: FEEDBACK 24 hrs

*This is a roughly estimated time. With consideration to time it may take to understand existing codes, unforeseen design changes , resolve issues and bugs, working on feedback from reviews I have left space for a 1 week buffer time.

NEEDS

I would need the guidance and help from my mentors and the community members in reviewing my work and finishing the project.

TEAMWORK

1. Cotiviti Nepal Pvt. Ltd :

I have worked with teams my entire career. I worked with team of 10-20; technical and non-technical, in my job as data analyst in span of 2 years. Beside that I also worked in close liaison with vendors and offshore project managers (Waltham,USA) regarding data delivery requirements.

2. Queeery LLC :

During my internship here, I worked collaboratively with team of 8.

I have experienced and enjoyed the enthusiasm and reinforcement that comes with a great teams and I look forward to working with a team of friendly, driven and supportive people.

PASSION

Public Labs initiation to provide a cleaner and sustainable world to live in is commendable in itself to inspire me and the others to be the part of this project no matter how small. Living in one of the most polluted cities in the world (Kathmandu) I understand how important it is for people to have access to knowledge to solve or mitigate the problems that come with it.

I believe Improving the user interface of public labs would encourage better participation and would create an inclusive environment for users with lesser knowledge in web applications usage.

AUDIENCE

For the people visiting the public Labs website everyday, It is not necessary that all who visit are comfortable using web applications. I want my work to improve user interface so as to make the website easy to navigate. The motive of this project implementation will make users' experience exploring the public labs better and more intuitive. I would love to see people benefit from easy access to knowledge that Public Lab has to provide without any inconvenience due to inaccessibility.

COMMITMENT

I understand that this is a very serious commitment and I intend to take it as a full time job while it lasts. I have no other commitments for the duration of this internship and have every intention to commit my work hours to completion of this project


5 Comments

Hi! Thank you this is looking very cool! So you are mentioning API calls, do you anticipate building the dashboard from separate calls, rather than using the original controller request to assemble the data for display in the template? https://github.com/publiclab/plots2/blob/main/app/controllers/home_controller.rb#L34

Very interested in hearing more about this with regard to your imagined architecture, thank you for your proposal!

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Hi. Thank you for the feedback 😃

Since in the existing components we are using one api call to fetch all of the data, we will only have one api call so as to keep the codebase consistent. So now based on the new requirements and design, we might have to re-work the existing api or build a new one that best suits the use case. I am not sure weather or not the apis require a full re-work right at this moment.


Sounds good! Thank you!


Reply to this comment...


Hey @shreeti_019 Amazing proposal 🎉 Love that you have included accessibility and testing here ❤️ If you can also allocate some time in your timeline for creation of first-timers-only issues then that would be great!

Hey! thank you for the feed back. Ill make adjustments to the time allocations. Thank you again 😃


Reply to this comment...


Login to comment.